Inflammation and what you can do about it….


I got it.

Actually, it has come to my painful attention that many people walk around with it.

Don’t get me wrong, inflammation is actually a favorable process and much needed in our bodies. Chronic inflammation and inflammatory disease however, is not so awesome.

For our purposes, we’ll be focusing on the latter.

Over the summer, I was experiencing a hodgepodge of different symptoms. Nothing was really WRONG, but everything felt a bit OFF.

I was instructed to take some time off from lifting since it could be overtraining (I was unconvinced as to that, but what the heck). So, I did bodyweight exercise and PIYO for a month….and it just got worse.

SO…I found a chiropractor and started getting adjustments. My upper body was rocking, but my lower body (lower right quadrant specifically) was getting far worse.

Ultimately, I found myself crying in my docs office begging for some kind of diagnosis. To date, we’re still working on an actual diagnosis, but we are closer and finding that my issues are inflammation related.

Before I move on, I must digress for a moment. It is not my lifestyle or contest prep that caused the inflammation (several doctors have assured me of that), rather it is the past sins I forced on my body that more than most likely contributed (starvation, chronic dieting, over training and WAY too much cardio). So….now that I have cleared that up…

Chronic inflammation and pain is no fun, BUT there is something you can do to help lessen the severity. BTW, I wrote an article on this in GORGO mag, go check it out.

In the interest of taking control of inflammation and the fact that it is finally Fall, here is my BEST Anti-Inflammatory Soup Recipe and it will lead the way for an entire series on inflammation.


Weekly Anti-Inflammatory Soup

Seriously, I make this once a week and we eat off of it all week long. Pair it with chicken for more protein OR fish for more inflammation fighting power.

FIRST, please do not boil all your veggies in water or stock for soup…..that’s just nasty. Also, realize you need to wash stuff and I shouldn’t have to tell you that.


1 onion, diced

1 whole head of garlic, diced

6-10 carrots

4-5 celery stalks

1 container pre-sliced mushrooms (unless you fancy slicing them)

2 diced bell peppers

Small red potatoes to your heart’s content

2-3 tablespoons coconut oil

Hot water, cause it’s soup DUH


I NEVER Measure seasonings and we have different tastes anyways. Pick and choose what works.



garlic (yeah, we love garlic in this house)


smoked paprika


NOTE: turmeric can be used in small doses and is great for reducing inflammation


Pay attention now……

In a soup pot, place coconut oil, onion, garlic and salt. Listen for it to talk to you.

Then, add your mushrooms and cook a few minutes until they become quite soft and start to cook down a bit.

Next…add everything else EXCEPT water.

Cook down, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Finally, cover with hot water (seasonings should already be in), bring to a boil, cover with a lid and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

What you have left is a fantastic and extremely tasty vegetable soup, ready to go to work in your body and warm up those Fall woes.

And your family will thank you for not boiling everything in water…..cause that’s nasty ;)

To your health,




Hiatus is sometimes necessary

Have you ever had something eat away at your heart because you know you simply HAVE to do?

Have you ever felt like life may be getting your leftovers because you aren’t focused on the most important things?

Well, I have had that feeling for some time now and as a result I will be taking an extended break.

I don’t want to leave you completely empty handed, so I have listed some of the most popular links and search items for your viewing and educational pleasure :)

It’s better to take a break and gain some focus than to go halfway with anything right?

Looking for ways to tighten skin pre and post weightloss? I have you covered in the store.

Nutrition Short Cuts help you view your food in a different light without upheaving your whole life.

Body Image can be a struggle for many of us. Read on HERE about ways to improve yours.

Want to train like me? Here is a look into my training as I get ready for competitions or just being an awesome individual at life :)

There’s LOADS of free info and beautifully written guest posts on the blog as well, so feel free to browse.

I’ll be busy writing a devotional and Bible study for women who struggle with worth in this fast paced world.

Until next time, keep moving forward!


FREEKEH Foods Review and Recipe

Over the past few weeks, I have had the chance to review (meaning cook and eat!!!!) the fabulous Freekeh Foods.

Curious as to what Freekeh really is? I’m glad you asked :) Read on for this info straight from the source:

What is Freekeh?

So glad you asked! Freekeh is a process which means “to rub” in Arabic. Freekeh was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their crop of young green wheat was set ablaze. Most folks would sulk over their misfortune, but the crafty villagers rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up and “Eureka!” Freekeh was created. We’re proud to offer you this tasty, nutritious ancient grain with a funny name.


So what do you do with Freekeh?

The question should be… what can’t you do with it? We love it in soups, pilafs, salads, you name it! There really is no wrong way to Freekeh! So go ahead — unleash your imagination and make it your own. Adopt it, fall in love with it.


Freekeh truly is one of the most versatile grains I have worked with AND the texture is amazing. I tried two different types (regular and rosemary sage) and was able to find LOADS of recipes on their site.

The family favorite was the Freekeh Jambalaya. We had this after returning from a trip to New Orleans, where we tasted the real deal. The Freekeh Jambalaya was a winner and hit the spot :)

Freekeh is a nutritionist approved way to add more healthy grains to your diet and reap the benefits from fiber, carbs and all natural goodness.


The Road to Figure, becoming a bodybuilder, and why you should do what suits you best

Happy Monday people!!!!!

This particular conversation/post has been on my mind for months now (I have a very busy mind) and it will more than most likely make it to video…..for now, we’ll all read together :)

If you’re just looking to lose some pounds and have zero interest in lifting anything…..please read on! I promise you will get something out of it ;)

Bodybuilding and the Figure decision:

gym selfie 7jpg from fasted cardio, calorie restriction and circuits……

Musclemania 2015 Front Side Pose to competition.

I’ve been involved in the fitness industry for over a dozen years now and I came from HATING sports and fitness of all kinds. I was never athletic and my start in fitness came in the form of yoga. So, after teaching yoga and a load of other aerobics classes, I began to develop an interest in weight. The weight training I did was not bodybuilding as it was mostly light weights with just enough reps to keep me small (there will be a WHOLE other post about our obsession with small-ness soon). It wasn’t until a year ago that I decided to get serious, start an actual bodybuilding program, stop trying different fads, and possibly even compete.

Years ago I thought I would compete in the bikini division and even began some prep. If you’re even thinking of playing around with competing, I encourage you to get to know the different levels of competition and the competitors within them. You see, bikini was going against everything I was…..I naturally love weight in all forms, meaning I can put on muscle and fat pretty easily…taking it off is a different struggle entirely. Training for the bikini division was making me physically ill because I was going against my natural body type. So, last year I decided on figure and started training the way my body responds best :hard and heavy.

In my quest for a figure physique I was able to make peace with foods I had long since left behind (because eating ENOUGH is paramount) and I embraced the discipline it took to put the muscle on and eventually strip the fat off. While contest prep was hard, it was far from brutal or undoable…..coaching is key here. In fact, after a lazy summer (spent with diagnosing some health problems that have been left to their own devices for far too long), I am gearing up to start a new competition season, hoping to bring my best to the stage each and every year.

In my quest for Figure, here are a few things I have learned about Bodybuilding:

  1. You have to be humble. True bodybuilders are not proud and they really do not belittle others. We all start somewhere in this sport and we all realize that in order to be our best self we must be accepting of flaws….in ourselves and others.
  2. It’s not about the HOW MUCH. I always thought it was simply about how much one could lift, but bodybuilding is about having a critical eye that can look for balance. When striving for a balanced physique we have to step back often and assess the situation. When in prep, my legs have to be run to balance out. They tend to hold more muscle than the rest of my body put together….so lifting lighter, added plyo and running are crucial to success.
  3. Embrace your whole body. You cannot HATE your body into submission. It just doesn’t work that way. I had to learn that my body really did work as one unit and if I wanted that unit to be successful I had to lead it as ONE….not belittling or ignoring the parts I felt weren’t up to par.

3 month front progress  3 month back progress Progress pics 3 months apart.

I also had to get comfortable with the changes in my body. That lean machine on the right is NOT the norm as that is the night before stage. The human body (some more than others) likes some body fat :)

So, embracing the changes during and after show prep can be challenging (and a whole other post), but mastering that part of the mind is empowering to say the least.

Now, it’s your turn…..

What if you have no desire to compete?

What can you possibly learn from a competitor?

The lifestyle of a competitor is not that far off from what ANYBODY needs to reach any goal. Check it out:

  1. Consistency. This is the #1 thing you need to reach any goal. Just like in the middle of prep I can’t decide to start eating ice cream for every meal or just do yoga for my workouts, the DAILY things you do can drive you towards or away from your goal. Develop consistent behaviors that propel you forward.
  2. Check in with your progress. No matter the goal, make sure you are checking your progress. I’m not a huge scale fan, but progress pics are the bomb! I could tell on a weekly basis what was changing and what was lagging behind. Develop a progressive system to see how close you are getting to your goals. Try monthly goal checks and to-do lists to start.
  3. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. I know you hear it a lot, but you really can’t change ANYTHING (weight, money earnings, level of respect, kids behavior, career, etc.) without getting uncomfortable. So stop lolly gagging around and step into the uncomfortable stuff so you can move through and move on!

Whether you’re looking to start your own business or step on stage, you can learn a lot from the perseverance and consistency of a competitor. A lifestyle of success is directly related to a lifestyle consistent with your convictions and goals. Step out of your own way, into the uncomfortable, and fight for what you are after in life.

Stay humble, but stay strong,



HOUSTON, we have an awesome ride for you this Saturday!

If you live in or near the Houston area, then you’ll want to take advantage of some new tech coming to indoor spinning.

This Saturday (8/29) from 9-2 you can enjoy a totally FREE look at how you can achieve a smoking hot gamer bod :)

SPIVI is launching at Ascent Fitness in Houston and it will take your workout to a whole new level.


Check in to the event page on FACEBOOK  and join in on a new way to ride.

Are you ready to get your gamer bod?

Ascent Fitness Debuts an Innovative 3D Cycling Experience

Join the Cycling Revolution


HOUSTON – August 2015 – Ascent Fitness announced it would be the only cycling studio in Houston to carry Spivi Studio, a 3D video game training system, created for indoor cycling and fitness studios.

Spivi Studio is installed on existing equipment and generates an interactive 3D experience that places trainees on a virtual road with a personal avatar depicting their energy level. Using heart-rate monitors to track performance, Spivi then sends a personal training summary to each cyclist by email after their session.

“Spivi was brought to my attention by a competitive cyclist who was excited about a virtual reality cycling program that allowed him to compete with his friends from his own house,” says Karyn Snyder, owner of Ascent Fitness.

Synder has dedicated her life to helping others live a healthier lifestyle. In 2007, she became an ACE certified personal trainer and opened a personal training company, Ascent Fitness. She made the leap to incorporating the virtual program in her studio after the buzz began to spread among Texas cyclists. “By creating a virtual atmosphere, trainees can be more engaged with their training and have access to their progress via scientific data, while participating in a fun atmosphere. Spivi Studio will allow a different experience altogether the spinning/indoor cycling industry in Houston.”

One feature of Spivi includes target views, which focuses on heart rate, power and cadence. Members can set their Functional Threshold Power (FTP) individually for their personal profiles and instructors can run in-class tests to automatically set this value. It gives riders live performance feedback on the screen for added motivation. Now, join the 3D cycling revolution, exclusively at Ascent Fitness this August!



Opening this past spring, Ascent offers a wide range of classes including indoor cycling, yoga, weight lifting, and body shaping to give everyone access to a multi-dimensional approach to fitness. Ascent Trainers are equipped with national certifications, knowledge of anatomy and physiology and in-depth understanding of exercise programming. They are dedicated to helping every person improve their cardio, strength and flexibility through proper technique and motivational training. Ascent brings together fierce workouts with a fun flare for everyone from athletes to beginners.


For more information about schedules and classes, please visit



The pros and cons of a home gym vs. a big daddy gym

Good morning and welcome to a new week!

This is back to school week for us, but I realize some of you have already gotten into the school flow.

Did you know that back-to-school season is the second busiest season of the year? It’s second to the new year as back-to-school comes with a new schedule and new challenges as well as fresh goals (or refreshing the old ones).

So, today we are tackling a question that I am asked very often: Should I get a gym membership or can I get fit at home?

The answer can be a bit complicated since it really lies in your personal goals and what you have available to you to propel you toward that physical goal.

I have personally been working out at home since I was a teenager and first learned all about what working out can do for your body, mind and spirit. Here is MY take on the pros and cons of both home gyms and big gyms…….I like to make you laugh, so lighten up and enjoy.

morpheus-home gym

Pros and cons of a home gym.

Now, just as a disclosure I feel I need to tell you that I have an actual gym at home. We renovated the garage into a gym and I have quite a bit of space to move around. Over the years I have gathered weights, bars, suspension trainers, ropes, trampolines, kettle bells, etc. so I’m not hurting for equipment. Keep in mind, you really can get fit in a small space with limited equipment (even just your body) if you have the right guidance :) Click HERE for necessary guidance (shameless plug).

  1. You don’t have to have fancy gym clothes. You don’t have to match. Heck, you can work out naked if you want, but I wouldn’t advise that cause eeeewwwww. With a home gym you can literally workout in your pajamas. Some people may say this is a con……but we all know it’s a total pro!
  2. You don’t have to wear shoes. I was having a bunch of foot problems a few months ago and then I started lifting barefoot (you pay closer attention and use good form!) which enables the body to distribute weight more evenly in the feet instead of our fancy shoes overcompensating for imbalances.
  3. You can get stuff done in sweaty workout clothes…….OK, this falls into both the pro and con. As I type I have JUST finished a sweet back workout and I haven’t showered. I did change though! The con of sweaty gym clothes is that’s gross.
  4. Working out at home increases compliance. Most people find excuses to skip the gym. Who wants to throw on tights when they are super bloated? Who wants to dead lift when they have gas? Who wants to drive to the gym at 4 in the morning?!?!?!!? Being able to walk from kitchen to gym without running into anybody looking at your bloated belly is a big pro and increases compliance to any workout program :)
  5. I tend to work harder at home. I can feel free to yell, grunt, spit, cry…whatever it takes. I don’t have to reel in my inner beast lady to make others feel comfortable. Extra bonus: I don’t catch glimpses of my awful facial expressions :/
  6. You don’t have to wait for equipment. Seriously dude, if you need to return a text or brag about your warm up set on Facebook, do it by the water fountain! Working out at home eliminates the stress other gym goers may cause.
  7. If something breaks you can either fix it or replace it (or pretend you never had it) instead of having to tell the front desk, who tells maintenance, who has to wait for the OK, and then it’s fixed 2 years after you cancel your gym membership.
  8. Your gym stays open in just about any weather….BONUS: you don’t have to drive in nasty weather to get there.
  9. Your dog is totally welcome…..that may just be me.
  10. Perhaps most important: you have your pick of post-workout food just steps away :)

Now, a few cons:

  1. You may need specialized equipment that your family is unwilling to give up precious living room space to hold (focus on the cause people!).
  2. You still need to schedule your workouts. Simply having a gym within walking distance is not enough to get your booty there.
  3. If you’re a social butterfly (or feel you need to be seen in order for your workouts to count), home gyms won’t work for you.

gym creep

Big daddy gyms….and boxes, warehouse gyms, etc.

First, boxes and warehouse gyms have actually gained in popularity because they offer a better “feel” than big chain gyms. The premise is almost the same though, you pay for some type of membership to use space and equipment.

  1. Con: creepers. These are the people who just watch you workout. They have no other goal than to watch others. Not all creepers are nasty, some are just watchers. Either way, creeping is not cool.
  2. These places do have equipment in a space and your family doesn’t complain that they can’t see the TV around your squat rack.
  3. These places also have trainers and floor staff. Now, some (a rare few) are good. MOST are untrained or brand spanking new and want to tell you how to workout without knowing your current level of fitness or your goal.  They also can’t answer questions like, “How do I adjust the leg press?”…..these people should be avoided.
  4. You’re on show whether you want to be or not. You can give the speech that your crew is too cool to watch others, but we’re all human…’re being watched and ultimately compared by others. So, embrace that.
  5. If you dig working out around others then  gym is a safe bet to get results. If you like a “team” feel, a box would be better suited to your needs. If you’re a hermit…..stay home cause you won’t like either.
  6. Biggest con: it’s a hot bed of bad form. One person performing a move with bad form and confidence will result in many more doing the same thing (see #4). So, get the right guidance and you’ll be golden.

No matter how you choose to get fit, your biggest limitation may just be the voice between your own 2 ears. Figure out your goals, set up a plan of attack…..and make like Nike and just do it!

Stay safe and healthy,


Finding my voice in Fitness

I had a major turning point this past week…..I remembered something I had forgotten: my voice.

Oddly enough, I was inspired by fellow blondie, Elle Woods :)

Have you ever had an instance where you forgot your voice?

I have been working and blogging in the fitness industry for over a dozen years, and when you are here for a while you can start to get a muddled voice. You forget what you know and sometimes your beliefs can take a back seat to current trends or stronger personalities.

Sharing your unique voice is what helps others most in the journey of life. I took some time to figure out what my voice truly says and I found out some pretty interesting things along the way…..

Srtong Camp 32 Photo taken at Strong Camp Houston by Paul Buceta

  1. A tight physique isn’t everything. It is my belief that working out for the sake of aesthetics won’t keep you motivated or get you very far. Since trying my hand at competing, this personal belief began to take a back burner. The more I focused on my looks, the worse I felt about myself. I went to the beach for almost a week and never donned a bikini……because I didn’t think I could.
  2. Listening to your body helps….to an extent. I have admittedly become a happy couch potato this summer. We love to watch movies and I have indulged with my family more than I ever have. But you know what? It’s OK. I’m not suffering from heart issues because a small season involved more rest than usual. Do I feel tight and lean? Not in the least…..but I have spent countless hours sitting with my kids talking, movie watching, playing and even planning for the future. I can get abs again, but talking freely with 2 teenagers is a rare treat.
  3. Sometimes, more is just more. I was working out nearly 3 hours a day when summer started. Half of that was heavy-duty lifts, the other half was cardio and yoga. Now, I still do yoga several times per week (at this stage in my life it is a must) but my workouts are home based and a bit shorter. I can get just as much done in a much shorter time frame. Why? Because metabolic conditioning is where I excel…..I just forgot that over this past year because I though I HAD to follow the rules. My workouts now are 25-45 minutes in the gym and consist mostly of kettlebells. The swelling has gone way down in my arms and legs and I’m starting to see definition I thought was lost until I decided to do another competition. This is my voice.
  4. True fitness can fit into any lifestyle. I really don’t believe you have to quit living just to be fit. I still eat chocolate and drink wine. I workout with my daughter by doing NTC workouts OR playing on the Kinect. True fitness isn’t all or nothing, it’s balance.

So, not that I have rediscovered my voice I plan on doing things with it. I plan to help others find their voices and find a fitness program that works with life, not against it.

So, what is your voice? You have something powerful to offer the world……you’re just hiding it :)

Until next time,


P.S. Be sure to sign up for the email list ——–>>>>>>>>>>> to get exclusive workouts and recipes, plus check out our store for new offerings.


I’m BaaaAAaaaack!

Hey stranger!

In case you were wondering, I went on a fabulous family vacation and unplugged ALMOST completely (darn you Instagram!!!!). I highly recommend this. The simple act of removing myself from the constant borage of other’s lives (as social media works now) helped to rekindle some long lost passions and get me ready to tackle some new goals :)

My question for YOU:

How has your summer been? Better yet, how have you kept it healthy? Even better, what challenges are you finding to staying healthy during the summer?

OK, so that was actually 3 questions……answer below in the comments section along with HOW I can help you stay focused and healthy as the summer comes to a close.

What’s cooking now?

Some awesome new content is on the way for the website and social media channels. It’s all about making health, fitness and nutrition more readily available to everyone seeking a healthy lifestyle. You’ll also see the site get a bit of a face lift AND some brand new services will be added as well.

Please, tell me more!

Gladly :)

For starters, I will be experimenting with home gym workouts as opposed to the big gym workouts. Why? Because just about everybody can work out at home in some capacity. I’ll also be filming videos on building your home gym with the focus on the tiny and the large spaces. We’ll also discuss equipment as in what to spend on, what to save on, what to pass up and how to find good equipment on the cheap.


My YouTube page will receive a face lift as well and you’ll see weekly videos now. I’m filming Tabata style workouts, warm ups, cool downs, foam rolling, yoga, abs/core, and lifestyle videos. This translates into some free content to help you get moving and reaching your goals.


You’ll receive a new newsletter each Wednesday which will contain a workout exclusive to subscribers, plus a run down of what I am eating, drinking and just plain loving at the moment. If you aren’t signed up, put your email into the box to the right —–>>>>>>>>>


The blog will focus a bit more on the most challenging aspect of health: your food. We will discover new ways of cooking, prepping and eating that will make things easier. If you’re local, I will also have some pretty cool happenings coming soon ;)


I am working on new meal plans, grocery lists, mindset books, workout sequences AND a very special book focused directly to a question I get asked all the time (it deals with skin and weight loss, so get ready).


So, if you’re excited then make sure you sign up for ALL the updates ————>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I promise, no spam :) as that is processed and unhealthy…..

I’ll see you soon with all the new content,


Strong camp 110 Waiting for something to happen…… :) Photo by Paul Bucetta


gym selfie 7jpgHome gym……WORKS!

How heavy should it be?

The weight you lift, I mean….

I think I just had a Yoda moment :-P

O.K. Let’s move onto the meat of the matter shall we?


One thing I see a LOT in the gym (aside from many varying forms of weight lifting that could possibly kill somebody) are ladies lifting light.

I mean, like LIGHT. Before I move on I must say that I’m not talking about squatting the bar because you are working on form and building muscle. I am not talking about brand new lifters who NEED to start lighter than they usually do. I’m talking about those groups of ladies (cause they tend to be in flocks) who are so afraid to lift heavy they stay lighter than they should. This post is for you.


Let’s bust the common myth: weight lifting will not make you bulky or huge. Tuck that fact away. Women can benefit greatly from regular weight lifting. If you’re not trying to compete, you can get by with 3-5 lifts per week and reap the benefits such as:

  • Increased lean muscle mass
  • Increased metabolism
  • Increase bone density (it’s more important to you when you’re older so start now)
  • Increased tendon and ligament strength
  • Fewer injuries such as joint rolls and sprains
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Increased energy….once you find your balance :)
  • Increased libido (Helloooooooo, nurse!)
  • Tighter skin

I could go on and on, but we’ll stick with these for now. Most women won’t lift heavy due to the fact that they worry they will look bulky. If these women DO try some heavy weights, chances are they may experience the slight swelling that can occur when your tissue expands due to the load. This will usually dissipate after a while, but some ladies get scared. They may also notice the scale moving on up and find that disturbing. Well, contrary to the popular saying, muscle and fat weigh the same. I mean, a pound is a pound right? The fact is muscle is far more dense than fat and therefore it takes up less space. Less space makes for a leaner body overall.

Are you sold on the heavier weights yet?

Once you start to take in all the benefits, the next question is ALWAYS, “How heavy should I lift?”

In my own opinion, I think you should second guess your lack of spotter :) but let’s break it down by goal.

Weight lifting really is a numbers game. Everything you do is like an algebraic equation that is solved by your body. So, let’s take a look at popular goals and the algebra one can use to reach them.

  1. You have some body fat to melt and you want things to STOP jiggling pronto: With this goal your best bet is a rep range of 12-15, meaning the weight should almost be immovable by the time you hit 13-14. Notice, you are going for a FEELING here. You’ll notice the more you lift that you have strong days and not-so-strong days. Take it in stride and always show up.
  2. You’re over 35 years old/have experienced a HUGE weight loss/are noticing loose skin OR all of the above: THIS is my specialty. The rep range you are shooting to hit is 6-8 (some scientists offer 4 is good, but I find my joints will give out when I go that heavy). Again, you’re going for a feeling here. The weight should be immoveable by the time you hit 7-8. This particular rep range with heavy-duty weight (adjusted to your specific strength) has been shown to increase elasticity in the skin by increasing the production of collagen. It also helps to force produce more testosterone, which will help bring balance to hormones that become imbalanced with age AND it helps to spice up that sometimes lagging libido.
  3. You want to compete on American Ninja Warrior……or you dig endurance sports. Your particular rep range protocol is anywhere from 15-30. This will be lighter weight and focus on different muscle fibers to pull the load. You may use 5 pounds for an overhead press, but by the time you reach 30 reps I promise your shoulders are on fire. Tis builds endurance in the muscle and increases endurance between the mind/muscle connection.

I know it seems complicated, but here’s the deal: you have to know your body and know your goal. Since I have lost so much weight, I actually incorporate the first 2 mostly (with a lower rep focus on the larger movements) and will throw in high rep every once in a while to burn out the muscle, increase size or just to do something different since I get bored easily.

My advice to you is to play around with it and try. keep a record of what you lift AND if you think you can lift heavier next time. You can always try a slightly heavier weight and if you only get 2 reps, be happy, drop the weight and finish your set. your results are determined by you alone. So make your gym time personal.

Now it’s your turn: Comment below with any questions you have on weightlifting OR the tips and tricks you have used to progress your lifts.

Oh, and let me know what your favorite lifts are when you train!


mc-7174 WM

Funny Thing Happened Today…..

Good morning!

Let’s all get caught up real quick, shall we?

I just started back at the iron yesterday after a 3+ week break (it was forced) due to some health issues (not caused by lifting).

So….I’ve had a few mixed emotions.

First, I am excited to get back to the gym….however, that feeling is followed by the quick second of not wanting to leave home made harder by being home bound for so long. Any introverts feeling me?

Getting up the last 2 mornings has been a mixture of those 2 emotions in some way….going to bed is the same as I seem to talk myself out of going by the time I close my eyes.

THEN, I remember how I FEEL when I go regularly***(see note at bottom)

Funny-memes-how-I-feel-after-the-gym Something like that :)

This morning was my first leg day in what felt like forever, and after yesterday’s eh back workout, I wasn’t too pumped. So, I put on my fave Converse (the BEST for leg days) and set out to train these sticks that have taken me through life so wonderfully.

The workout itself wasn’t epic at all (I don’t favor epic as I try to aim for consistent), but it felt great. I trained legs unilaterally (one at a time) to address the many imbalances in my lower half AND the weight pushed wasn’t too shabby for such a break.

Two very rewarding things happened because of my consistency:

  1. A guy came into the sauna and asked how long I had been lifting. This is sauna guy’s favorite question….and mine too :) . See, these past few weeks I’ve felt small and not in a good way (why do women always strive for small anyways????). My midsection felt fluffy and my arms look like little noodles, lacking the curves they had not too long ago. So this question came as a great source of motivation for me. You see, I’ve been working out for 10 years (12+ years of yoga) and lifting consistently for 4 years. The body goes through an ebb and flow, but my soul mate workout is still there when I’m ready to pick it back up. My muscles start to remember the grip of the bar and the press of standing. I train for something far bigger than a show…..I truly train for the flow of life itself. Other than my marriage, this lifestyle has been my biggest commitment.
  2. A lady in the locker room (who had a cute workout top on) asked, “Didn’t ya’ll have some kind of show this past weekend?” It took me a while to realize that the “ya’ll” meant competitors. I had been added to an elite group. Even if you competed once (or 20 times) and no longer do, it is still an elite group. The group isn’t about who came in the leanest…’s about being a finisher. Did you know that under 5% of people actually have what it takes to finish out the goal of competing???? True story. It’s strength of mind and character that gets us there and it’s that same strength that keeps us going when life gets tough. She ended the conversation with wishing me luck on this weekend’s comp. In my eye, I am nowhere near competition shape, but she sees me in a different light.

bursting pipes gym meme

That begs the question of why can’t we see ourselves in that light?

When I go to the gym I wear long tights and baggy tops (although sleeveless cause YEAH!) so it wasn’t my six-pack (which is in there somewhere) or my lines that made her think I was ready for comp…it’s my passion lived out in the gym.

I’m grateful for the passion that I have. The passion in the gym is a gift! I start every morning with quiet time and a thankful prayer. I dedicate my workouts to those who cannot move, even though they desperately want to. I think about what I could be doing each day to inspire women to become the best version of themselves….the version outside of the aesthetic. That’s the one thing I think of and strive to do whether health permits the gym or not. That is my calling and I work out to ensure I am fit for my calling….not my jeans.

Now it’s your turn.

What light do you see yourself in? Does it match the light others see? Are you practicing a life of passion?

I’d love to hear, and I am listening! Let me know how I can inspire you :)

And by the way, thanks for inspiring me….


***NOTE: heavy-duty weights is MY soul mate workout and the one I love the most… find the freedom to try things and figure out yours. There is no one way.

Strong Camp 14 Photo by Paul Buceta taken at Strong Camp Houston 2014