Competition Prep Update: 4 weeks in :)

Good Wednesday morning!

Well, this past week has seemed almost a bit of a bust. I’m proud to say ALL workouts were completed, though the cold weather kept me bundled on the couch in between! My sweet Moldovan friends are laughing extremely hard at me right now :)

Temperatures here were dipping all the way below 30! OK, for a lot of the world that’s no big deal, but in Southeast Texas we take this stuff seriously. Since my garage has been converted to my gym, it lies outside of the comfortably 70 degree zone. Even with a heater in there I felt wimpy. So, how did I fix this first world problem I was dealing with? I compromised :)

My morning HIITS are done in my living room, where the new puppy has finally learned not to bite my rear while I’m working out…or just anytime actually. My strength workouts (I’m now trying out a pretty cool little program by Dr. Jim Stoppani on bodybuilding.com) were moved to my bedroom:

bedroomtraining

It’s not the same as the gym ,BUT it made due even for leg day. Since legs are more focused on conditioning during this part of my training, the weights were light and the reps were high (100′s).

I have 6 weeks of workouts mapped out until we leave for our mission trip to NOLA! A lot can adapt and change in 6 weeks, so I’m feeling pumped. I have added some aminos to my daily supps, sipping on them just before my HIITS in the morning and then adding a second dose on the nights I teach kickboxing. Determination is proving stronger than cravings and soreness…all in good time friends :)

My actual show may change a bit as I found out I may be returning to Moldova for a short-term trip just before May 18th, which is the original intended date. I am still fighting for a spot in an online competition. I sometimes find those more challenging since your picture is up for judges to truly review! It’s not just a few seconds on the stage. So, my nutrition will continue to get tighter and today will offer up an hour or so of cooking my fish and sweet potatoes for the rest of the week.

Progress is showing though and I’m due for measurements towards the end of the week and just before my birthday. I have stayed on the clean path and have a couple of treats planned out in advance. For my birthday celebration we will be enjoying some wonderful Ethiopian food and a coffee ceremony. A large part of my heart still resides in Ethiopia so I am happy to see some friends here in Houston. Then, my hubby and I will take a much needed date the following week where I fully plan on enjoying a glass (or possibly 2) of some good red wine.

If you plan ahead AND stick to your plan, results are sure to follow!

prepweek4

Peace, love and lunges!

Michelle

Competition Update: 3 weeks in to prep

Happy Hump Day!

As promised, I am trying to keep peeps up to date on prepping for my “stage debut” as it is called :) It’s not because I think people are preoccupied with my lifestyle choices, but because there are probably some ladies thinking about competing (or even just taking part in prep) and may find this helpful. So here we go…

OK, so last week I took my official measurements (wowza! but I didn’t cry!) and entered into an online competition that coincides with the date of my upcoming stage comp. My hopes are that this will keep me FOCUSED! Yeah, that’s the plan. So, let me break down what’s been happening since last week:

  • First of all, can I be painfully honest? I wake up every morning thinking this is a HORRIBLE idea! :) True story. I say this because there are many of you reading who think once you have a “fit” lifestyle that it’s easy to maintain. NOT. I am sore every day and always on the verge of chucking it. Hey, I said I would be honest. So, what keeps me going? Well, once I get moving the soreness really isn’t all that bad. I strive to work smarter each day, not harder, and I’m trying more preventative techniques. It really does help to have a specialty in corrective exercise! The main thing that keeps me going is my family though. My husband supports me 110% and has even started joining me on track workouts (along with the new puppy). My kids tell me they believe in my and my daughter even made me an awesome sign to hang up in my home gym to keep me moving forward. Focus on the end goal, not the little things in between.
  • My nutrition has taken a hit as I have shown some oddities when it comes to certain foods. In short, I’m showing signs of intolerance to egg whites and dairy. I said EGG WHITES people! Egg whites and show prep go together like rice and beans. So, I’m adjusting and re-calculating. It’s times like these that I can fall back on protein powders (whey doesn’t seem to bother me) instead of real food. Protein powders are awesome and have their place, but real food needs make up the majority of the diet.
  • The new dog ate my glasses this weekend…doesn’t have much to do with prep except I’m feeling exceptionally old as I cannot see and must remember to make an eye appointment :)
  • My seasonal boot camp has started! I love this time of year as hopeful ladies come together in one room with the goal of improving not only their quality of life, but their outlook as well. Due to boot camp, my schedule if being played with until I find what works best for me. This morning I did yoga instead of cardio. Why? I taught kickboxing from 7-8 last night and though I felt like a true rockstar while teaching, my body felt like an aged rockstar this morning :) Again, the world was coming to an end UNTIL I got moving and worked the kinks out. Upper body and boxing are on deck for this afternoon in between clients.
  • I’m still trying to manage the inflammation my body seems to really dig. I woke up yesterday morning with a full body rash (lovely) and swollen face and limbs. Chalk it up to something ingested and since my diet is bland, I blame something along the lines of supps or environment. At any rate, Benadryl knocks me clean out!

So, as you can see, competition prep certainly has its ups and downs. I am attending a SUPER FUN Fitness Expo at my hometown prep gym Metroflex Houston this weekend. This will help keep my motivation up. Just remember, whether you’re competing on the stage or simply competing with yourself…always keep your eye on the goal because you’ll never know if you CAN until you actually DO.

Peace, love and lunges!

Michelle

20140122-094446.jpg

The glasses-eating dog after booty day :)

20140122-094515.jpg

Track workout! I even let him have my water

Re-igniting the Elite

Welcome to hump day! :) My favorite day…

As a general disclaimer: I am embarking on my first round of Figure Competitions this year and will be blogging about the journey once per week here. So, if competitions don’t intrigue you, feel free to check out some other blogs in the archives :)

One week into a light prep (being that my official PREP stage doesn’t hit full on until January 13th) and it’s been a roller coaster already. I have to be SUPER honest with you on this prep stuff because I believe it helps us all a lot more. Let’s start with the meal plan shall we? TUNA. That’s the majority of my meal plan. My hubby and I hit the grocery store ready to conquer prep like a couple of seasoned pros. We loaded the buggy with tuna cans, salmon fillets, chicken breasts and LOADS of veggies (that’s normal though). I got home and immediately wanted to rebel though…

It started innocently enough. I wanted to enjoy meals with my family since my training schedule would kick back in this week and I would be working during meal times. So, I started with “just a little” of what they were having. Mind you, we all eat healthy, but their meals were not on my plan. After that it was accepting the chocolate my kids would offer since refusing would be so rude. By the week’s end I can honestly say I stuck to my plan a good 2 days….SHEESH!

I have also grown very fond of movies over the holidays. Our family got all caught up on the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit and Star Trek. We threw some cooler genres in there to even things out as well. Anyways, I really enjoyed being still and cuddling with my kids. I never skipped a workout, but then I would loaf around the rest of the day. This is the very behavior that I warn my clients about. So, when I went last week to get my check up AND hire my coach (unfortunately, not at the same place) I have to say I wasn’t totally shocked that I had gained about 15 pounds over several month. I wish I could ask my doctor if it was hormones, but I know it was me. So, I had a choice: I could feel sorry for myself and try to convince myself that my body was just acting out…OR I could get honest.

It has been my experience in the past that being TRULY honest with yourself is the ONLY way to make the necessary changes. SO, I started with the WHY…

I put on my tights and tank top (as opposed to sweats, which you can hide ANYTHING in!) and headed out to my gym so I could have an honest assessment. As I worked through a grueling conditioning routine for my legs (note: conditioning is a term we use for “WORK YOUR FAT OFF”), I was able to break through several mind and emotion issues that I was allowing to hold me back.

I had been looking through my progress photos over the past year and realized that I was MUCH leaner as the began. So I had to trace my steps backward to figure out what has happened. Wowza, did I discover some issues. So why do I share these faults? I think a lot of us hide behind them on a daily basis.

Let’s discuss where I live first. Baytown is far from the mecca of health and fitness. As a matter of fact, if people see somebody walking outside it is often assumed this person must be homeless or else they would be sitting in their car. The local gyms are used more as meet-ups and social gatherings, as evidenced by the people who go but never show a change in physique. Baytown has more places to eat than it needs and we still push for more establishments and faster service. When I am on my game, I stick out like a sore thumb. I’ll be honest in another respect: I don’t seek out company that challenges me. I don’t surround myself with those who seek to challenge my physical limits, therefore I always feel “good enough”.

Looking over the course of 2013, I was able to pinpoint when it started to get lazy for me. NOTE: where you live and the company you keep are not a viable excuse. They have no bearing on the outcome of your goals unless you allow them to. SO, around the time my son turned 14 I had already been to Moldova and was planning a trip to Ethiopia. The pictures that kept my resolve going slowly started coming off the walls and I slipped into “comfortable” gym workouts. Upon my return from Ethiopia I poured any extra energy into a new business and homeschooling my daughter. I detached myself from my goals and picked up a more socially acceptable laid back lifestyle. When my jeans started getting tight, I lied to myself and said it was muscle. This statement always takes my back to a famous Arnold quote, “If it jiggles, it’s not muscle…it’s fat”. Painfully true…

Now, is having some laid back time bad? Is family movie night bad? No, of course not. What had happened though was that I no longer held myself up to a higher standard. I was so worried about what others thought of my lifestyle that I started to alter it. This is craziness. For starters, we cannot control what others think or how the react to us. Second, why should we dim our light so others can operate on half batteries and still “feel” good? That’s me trying to anticipate others feelings again and that’s wrong on so many levels.

So what am I doing about it? I’m going to work work! I had a long face to face with myself and decided that there was once a time when I loved being part of the ELITE. Why? Because this particular lifestyle is available to everybody! You don’t have to be born special to get into this club and the endorphins are free :) . AND…everybody is in a good mood due to said endorphins. What do I identify as ELITE in my life?

  • I don’t skip workouts. I don’t take a month off for Christmas and then “get back in the game” . My health isn’t some game to be tampered with…it is my lifeline to seeing my kids get married and life full lives.
  • My kids don’t have their own food. We don’t have a “kids shelf” in the pantry. That’s plain stupid. If you don’t eat it, don’t feed it to your kids.
  • I live the example. I don’t expect my family or clients to do anything I haven’t already done.
  • I realize that self-discipline is the ONLY thing that will get me there. No pills, potions or motivational speeches will do it. Discipline…something this new generating lacks greatly.

So it is with this new resolve that I have changed the way I think about prep time. I take the hateful comments and use them as fuel. I set forth to create an example of discipline and perseverance. I try to be the very version of myself that God intended…not a copy of what I think people want to see. I will revel in the good and let the bad slip by. I will realize that I cannot and should not try to control how others perceive me. I will not dim my light to make others feel comfortable. AND…I will stay away from Facebook as it just upsets me :)

Until next week’s installment I encourage you to seek out YOUR very best self and burn bright!

Michelle

After 1

#TBT: Throw Back Thursday

This particular hashtag seems to have become increasingly popular amongst social media picture users. You know who you are people! So I thought I would take full advantage, I mean the opportunity :) to shed a little light on how I went from being overweight, depressed and suicidal to a bikini competing world traveling missionary who truly kicks…butt. So, check it out.

100_1637I happen to be one of those truly blessed people who has fought with my weight ALL MY LIFE. My mom was a chronic dieter as was her mother before her and so on. The number on the scale was never good enough, the number on the pants tag was never good enough, therefore I was never good enough. By the time I was a teenager I had already been on Atkins, the Fat Free Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet, Slimfast, Weight Watchers, TOPS, nothing-but-salad diet, etc. You name it, I did it. While most young ladies are beginning to notice boys and wondering what they will be when they grow up, I was just hoping the seams of my stretchy pants wouldn’t give out. I begrudged food and everything it stood for and I believed the absolute LIE that it was in my genes. The truth was..it was in jeans.

100_1631 By the time I had my first child I had wrecked my metabolism. I was tired all of the time and walked the tight rope of starving myself and binge eating. I wore a lot of black too….though I still love black :) . I digress… The question most often asked is “How did you do it?” Well, slowly. I did it all wrong for years. I stopped eating meat altogether and existed on tofu and fake cheese for over a year. Why? Vegans were skinny, duh! I just wanted to be skinny. Every time I would fall into old patterns of starvation and binge eating, I would blame genetics (which, when you think of it is like blaming God, RIGHT?) and step back to the back of the diet line to be sold a bunch of bull that made no sense yet I NEEDED them to make me SKINNY. It’s a crazy world out there y’all, buckle up and be safe when looking for answers.

I found yoga after a few years and things began to unravel. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I thought about COMPETING when I’m in my mid-thirties, I would have laughed until cried…then I probably would have just cried. So, the steps have been many. Please to NOT discount what I said there: MANY! There is NO shortcut that will get the results that are worth the work. There are no drinks, powders, potions, pills, gels, creams, or even surgeries that can expedite HARD WON results. So, what does it take then?

along the way Step One: HONESTY. I hate to be the bearer of horrifying news BUT…the excess fat hanging around on your body was your decision. WAIT…what about my friend that eats whatever and is tiny? High five them and tell them God must not have thought they could handle the weight loss situation and that, my friends, is why we are all created differently. By the way, don’t think your thin friend has an easy life; they probably deal with things you could never imagine. That info was extra and free, you’re welcome :) OK, SO…be HONEST with yourself. If you’ve been relying on false measures for weight loss, it will backfire in the end. Sit down and look long and hard. In order to shed weight (the more weight, the more change) serious LIFESTYLE change has to occur. That crap about “You’ll lose all the weight you want and never feel deprived” is plain and utter BULL. The first step to cracking the weight loss code is taking an honest look at what you have to work with and what got you there. Basically, whatever got you there needs to be ditched and a new normal needs to take hold.

100_1638 Step two: TAKE ACTION. You know what happens when you talk about reaching your goals? NOTHING. You shouldn’t have to go around justifying your goals and re-explaining them just to keep yourself on board. Less talk, more action…literally. You HAVE to move MORE than you are comfortable with moving to make a change. Again, free advice :)

After2 Step Three: PATIENCE. You must become the Ghandi of weight loss patience. Do not rely on the stupid scale (I will blog in-depth about my scale conspiracy theory later!) and realize that your jeans may fit different from one day to the next. Why? Because your body is a living, breathing, ever-changing organism dude!!! Why on Earth do we think that it should just comply neatly without change or fuss. If I want a smaller butt, then my butt should shrink without anything else changing. WRONG! Your body is in a constant state of change and energy balancing. This is why your weight can fluctuate and why you can feel super tight one day and like a swollen piece of road kill the next. We are sometimes unaware of the salt content in foods and our water balance is hardly ever spot on, so be patient with yourself. It takes longer than 12 days, longer than 12 weeks, longer than 6 months! I think REAL lifestyle change does not truly sink in until after 1 full year honestly (SSSSHHHHHH: I cannot tell you about it right now, BUT something HUGE is coming!). Grow more patient as you reach each individual goal (check out Goal Setting on this blog to figure out how to do that effectively) and TRUST THE PROCESS.

After 1Step Four: Own it. You wanna know the COOLEST thing about reaching a goal that YOU worked for? You can sit back and take a moment to relish in the work you accomplished. You don’t have to give props to some drink or pill…you can say it was you. Well, in my own personal case, it was myself and God cause there was a lot of prayer involved! You can’t hate your way to your goal. Jealousy of others will not get you there. It is, quite literally, all you. I can give you meal plans, workouts, regimens…but at the end of the day you decide if you want to be the person who leaves a legacy or a whiny little life of “IF ONLY”.

Today is the day you decide. Don’t wait until after the holidays. DO it now! Make your plan, make a change, do it for yourself, your family and the rest of the world that is waiting for YOUR impact.

Peace, Love, and Lunges,

Michelle

 

Healthy Holidays: Quick Fix Workout

As we enter into the season of joy and overindulgence, it’s nice to have some ammunition in your back pocket that will help you burn off some of those indulgences and keep it fit throughout the holidays…within reason ;) Try this workout 3x per week for maximum results.

Warm up with a light jog or power walk for 5 minutes

15 squats

20 alternating back lunges

50 jumping jacks

10 burpees (either a single or double leg)

15 pushups

30 mountain climbers

Jump rope (real or imaginary) for 2 minutes

Recover for 1 minute and REPEAT 2 more times

COACHES TIP: Keep your core engaged the ENTIRE time to work your abs and keep you spine safe and movements clean and efficient.

Give it a try all at once, or break it up throughout your day to rev up the metabolism. DO IT…then log it in the comments below :)

Peace, love, and LOADS of lunges,

Michelle

 

 

Olympia Results Recap, Training Essentials and How to Use Olympia Momentum to Garner Your Own Results

Olympia 2013 came and closed this weekend. Although I watched the results from my computer and Instagram feeds, I still felt compelled to get up and Do MORE! Let’s recap who brought it to the greatest stage and then check our own motivation to bring it every day.

Olympia 2013 RESULTS:

Mr. Olympia 2013 is Phil Heath

Men’s 212 is Flex Lewis

Men’s Physique was dominated by Mark Anthony

Women’s Bodybuilding champ is Iris Kyle

Fitness winner Adela Garcia (no surprise there)

First ever Women’s Physique division winner is Dana Linn Bailey

Ashley Kaltwasser grabbed the Bikini Division

The stunning Nicole Wilkins won back her Figure Olympia title and is now a 3x winner.

The Olympia represents the best of the best in an extreme sport. Congratulations to all the winners AND to all those who worked hard and took the stage in confidence.

 

 

Utilize your motivation:

There are things that happen in life to cause us motivational spurts. It could be the Olympia. Seeing those fit bodies, won by extreme training and fierce dedication, cross the stage and take the win can motivate some of us to do more in the gym. Others may be more motivated by a different sport or goal. Some are motivated by news from a doctor. Unfortunately, many wait for the latter motivation before they get up and do something. Motivation serves one single purpose: it gets your butt off the couch. After you get off the couch you have to continuously put forth the effort. How do you keep motivation? Set your goals in pen. Share them with the world if you need to, but write them down and have somebody hold you accountable. Take weekly stats to track your progress. I take pictures, usually pre and post workout, that I can thumb through to check out my strength and conditioning progress. You can check in on your food log, check weight or inches, or simply check the number of steps you take. Record small victories to keep you moving forward.

 

Training Essentials:

I’m not a big gym fan (if I chose to compete in Figure, that would have to change!), so I’m required to be a little more creative with my fitness than machines. You can have what you need to get fit with as little space as your living room floor, or as much as your garage or warehouse. It’s all in what you stock up on :)

  • A full length mirror. You have to be able to see form, period.
  • Free weights.
  • Resistance bands.
  • TRX, Jungle Gym or other trainer
  • BOSU (yeah, I think it’s necessary)
  • Exercise ball
  • Medicine balls
  • Non-slip mat
  • Yoga mat
  • AND…if you’re me, then a big punching bag (or 3-4).

Start small here. Grab some dumbbells in varying sizes (step AWAY from the 3 pounders if you want a tight look to your body!). Try 5, 10, 15 if you’re brand new. I always keep 10′s on hand for shoulder day, even though I can press 25′s. The should isn’t so stable and you don’t want to overdo. Always perform a warm up set with lighter weights then add weight as needed. Once you’re comfortable with the weights, add some bands to your routine. Bands are awesome for resistance and come in all sizes. Bonus: you can pack them and take them with you wherever you go. Slowly add a bit more to you home gym as you become more proficient in your workouts. Know your goals and what you need to accomplish them.

Start somewhere!

Michelle

 

Bikini Morning Ritual and a Sample Meal Plan for Tight Skin

My rituals, or habits, play the biggest role in how my body looks and performs on a daily basis. There are a couple of things that are engrained in my daily behaviors which help me to get the most out of my nutrition and gym time.

THE GREEN SHAKE

I cannot stress enough how important this is. It brings my body into an alkaline state, making my supplements more efficient and my energy levels skyrocket. It’s best if you have a high-powered blender (Vitamix), but if not, simply run it through several times. I make mine in large batches and drink it over a 3 day period.

IN BLENDER (in this order)

2.5 cups pure water

3 cups fresh, washed spinach

Run blender on low/medium for a couple of minutes

ADD

2-3 cups romaine, washed

1 cucumber (washed and chopped)

Run for a minute

ADD

1 green apple, washed, cored and chopped

1 pear, washed, cored and chopped

2 kiwi, washed (skin can be removed OR left on for more fiber)

Run for a minute

ADD

1 banana

Small handful of parsley (if desired. Parsley is excellent for cleansing the blood)

Juice of 2 lemons

Blitz it good :)

Feel free to add the flesh of 1 ripe avocado if your diet is in need of healthy fats. If your skin is looking dull and lackluster, avocado will help.

Add more water as needed to suit your tastes.

Drink 16 ounces every morning. If you’re still hungry, opt for oatmeal.

20130902-063244.jpg

Sample Bikini Ready Meal Plan:

Upon waking drink 6 oz hot water with the juice of 1 lemon

Coffee or tea is fine, sans sugar or flavored creamers

Breakfast: 16 oz green smoothie, oatmeal if desired

Snack: Small handful of almonds or walnuts, 1 orange

Lunch: 2-3 cups mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. 1/2 baked sweet potato, 4 oz baked or grilled fish (or canned tuna or salmon)

Snack: 1 scoop whey protein in 8 oz water. If this falls post-workout ADD 1 piece whole grain bread OR 1 banana OR 1 cup grapes

Dinner: 2 cups steamed veggies, 4 oz baked chicken or turkey, 1/2 cup whole grain rice OR quinoa, small side salad if desired (lemon juice over).

Snack before bed, if hungry: 4 oz low-fat (2%) cottage cheese OR 1 scoop casein protein in water

Follow this plan tight (6 days on, 1 rest day with a treat…not the WHOLE day people) for 4 weeks to notice changes.

Omit breads, crackers, pastas and sweets during meal plan days. Save things like this for treats :)

Michelle

Tight Skin Thursday: The TSD Principles

As many probably know, the questions I get asked the most when it comes to weight loss is about keeping the skin tight. Let me rephrase that: it’s about getting skin tight post-weightloss. So, today I’m focusing on my speciality….keeping it TIGHT!

TSD PRINCIPLES:

  1. First and foremost, it’s important to lose weight the right way….like the tortoise, slow and steady wins the race and has more skin elasticity (that was left out of your beloved children’s tale). Fad diets, quick weight loss promises and surgeries (though I DO believe they have their place) can lead to loose skin and lacklustre complexions. Know that it will take time, but you will also come out the victor. It took me over 6 years….you can put the time in to reap the rewards.
  2. Resistance training is key. Whether you prefer to lift super heavy (me! me!) or lighter with heavier sets and reps, make sure you are getting 4-5 resistance training sessions per week. Yep, you need more the more you have to lose. Resistance training helps to stimulate collagen production as well as testosterone, which keep the skin tight.
  3. WATER! I know I keep beating this dead horse, but water is really important for your skin. Drink upwards of 100 ounces per day, and remember that vegetables, fruits and herbal teas can contribute to that number as well.
  4. Green is good. Up your vegetables, seriously. Add them to smoothies, make a glowing green smoothie and drink it every morning, opt for salads at lunch and dinner….whatever it takes, get them in your body.
  5. Lean protein is important. Choose chicken, turkey, lean game meats, lean beef, LOTS OF FISH (seriously, I can’t stress that enough), protein powders, etc. Lean protein is the building block for the lean muscle you need to burn more calories, drop fat and keep skin tight.
  6. Ditch the breads, but keep some carbs. Carbohydrates are important for healthy, glowing skin. Over processed breads and pastas can pack on pounds and stress out your gut though….so ditch them. Whole grains like oats, rice, quinoa, etc. are better bets.
  7. Limit alcohol and sweets. Both can break down collagen if overused. You don’t have to avoid them like the plague, just utilize them as treats which are earned.
  8. Break a good sweat every day. Learn to dig the sweat people. Sweating helps clear the pores and it helps to tighten the skin through detoxification….so sweat on.
  9. Love the life you live NOW. Happy people reach goals faster because they aren’t always looking back at past failures. Know your goals, make a plan of attack and live each day to the fullest.
  10. Have SEX…a lot of it. Sex increases testosterone which helps build lean muscle AND it’s good for your skin, so there you have it! Headache be darned, do it. And for you husbands seeking validation, simply tell your wife that you are really just contributing to her goals :)

 

So, there you have the principles that will get and keep you fit and healthy.

Have a healthy day,

Michelle

Workout Wednesday: Jen Rankin

This is fellow Texas girl Jen Rankin. Check out what she has to say about True Strength and get motivated!

You can find Jen on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more motivation :)

 

Benefits of Proper Training: Knowing HOW TO Reach Your Goals

“Why do you train?”

It’s a common, yet confusing question. Each of us have slightly different goals when it comes to training. This is why we must approach training (and choosing a trainer) with a glass slipper approach: one size most definitely does NOT fit all….

COMMON TRAINING QUESTIONS:

What’s more important, cardio or weights? Honestly, there is a scientific theory based on how the body works and then there is one’s own knowledge of how their own body works. The muscles of the body are particularly designed to move the skeleton of the body. If the muscles atrophy and are no longer used, we can no longer move, period. While some of us may think the muscles are designed to help us look good in bikinis or fill out our jeans….they actually serve a more functional purpose. In order to gain strength (I’m not talking size at this point) we must place a certain amount of pressure upon the muscles in order to force them to adapt. The absolute GREATEST thing about being human is that we have been created to adapt. In order to create the needed pressure for the aforementioned adaptation we need some resistance training. Here is where it can go haywire for some: resistance training and body building are NOT the same thing. Training for muscle growth is vastly different (in both training and nutrition) from training for fitness, overall health and better strength. What would I consider resistance training for our purposes?

  • Weight training (obviously)
  • Resistance Bands
  • Exercise ball
  • Body weight exercise
  • TRX/suspension training
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Barre
  • Dance
  • Kickboxing
  • Boxing
  • Martial Arts

Honestly, I’m sure there is more but these examples will suffice for our purposes. These activities all help to build lean muscle and therefore allow the body to burn at a more efficient rate, meaning you’ll have a higher metabolism. Various workouts, such as kickboxing, dancing, body weight, etc. can actually help with cardiovascular health as well as maintaining and building lean muscle and are favored among those strapped for time and seeking more efficient workouts. So, where does all the confusion come in? In my opinion, it’s due to far too many opinions being thrown out there…..

One thing that is always remarked upon is weight training and women. I hope at some point we will get over this, but alas, we have not. Weight training will not make you BULKY. Women lack the needed testosterone to get super big. As a matter of fact, the women who compete in body building (the huge muscles) have to work far harder at gaining and maintaining muscle growth of that capacity. Nutrition and supplementation have to be spot on 24/7 and these athletes devote their lives to growth. Which is why people like me tend to lean towards bikini comps :) Case in point:

flat abs before                      weight training abs

So, the pic on top was taken at the tail end of a cardio rush, where I was simply doing cardio (running, kbox, etc) with no weights. The pics on bottom were 4 weeks later(2 weeks and 2 more weeks) after I picked up heavy weights again. See the point? Now, here’s the rub: weight work brilliant FOR ME. They happen to be my go-to and when I’m prepping for pictures, a show or even just the water park, I stick to weights and have minimal cardio. This is my gig nad by challenging and listening to my body I have found what truly works. It’s backed by the exercise science and my routines are pretty old school. I don’t throw in all this super crazy stuff….I lift things up and put them down LOL!

THE WEIGHT LOSS FIX:

What I always try to remind my clients is that our goals are not the same. My goal at times is to put on muscle and drastically cut fat. Theirs can be that the doctor told them they have to lose 50 pounds stat! These are 2 very different goals and should be approached differently. When you are just beginning a weight loss journey consider this: just move it. I really don’t care the type of cardio weight loss clients choose, it just has to be done consistently. I know Fitness Magazine had an article about how HIIT training can cut body fat faster, but I also know from experience that jumping repeatedly with over 200 pounds on your frame is not an activity you will keep up with! So, when you’re at the very beginning, JUST MOVE! Now, once you start to get your footing and you’re very focused on nutrition (water and greens will get you anywhere you want to go), start adding resistance training in order to bump up the metabolism and keep the skin tight.

MOTIVATION:

Here’s the deal with the M word…it is short-lived, but necessary. Where do I find motivation? EVERYWHERE! I can find it in past pictures (I mean, if my body did it once it can do it again!), old pics (AH!, I don’t want to go back THERE!), YouTube videos, magazine articles, movies, etc. I also keep plenty of fit friends in my circle and all up on my social media. When I decided competing would be in my future, I started gaining friends who were already doing what I wanted to do. That’s a key component to constant motivation right there. So think of your life a little different. I may not get paid big bucks to keep my booty in shape for a movie, BUT I train like I do…..so I’m ready when the call comes ;) Change your perception and make good choices on who you surround yourself with on a daily basis.

Now we’re moving forward, but I warn you not to get distracted and lose momentum! Think like a freight train, not a kitty cat….

Much fit love,

Michelle