Bikini Competition Prep: 21 Day Plan

Like I’ve said before, maybe your goal is to compete OR maybe you just want to look and feel better in your jeans. Either way, we can all learn a little something from training the way fitness, figure and bikini athletes train: like it’s our job.

This week marks a new program for me and will last for the duration of 3 weeks. I love short duration programs as I usually make the most changes then. Why? Because I can commit better to a diet and exercise program as long as I know it won’t last forever:) I’ll outline the new program for you, then give you a peek into the things I refuse to give up…at least for now.

First off, I am “sweating it out”. What exactly am I sweating? Fat? Calories? Feelings of insecurity? No, it doesn’t work that way. In forced sweat workouts what we’re trying to do is really two-fold. First, we’re sweating out toxins in the body that hinder the utilization of fat for energy. Your 2 biggest culprits here are alcohol and sugar (hence why it is SO important to abstain from both during these 3 weeks). Second, we’re sweating the stored water on the surface level of the skin. This is another reason why this phase doesn’t last long and shouldn’t be a part of your daily life. The water between muscle and skin is great to have as it plumps the skin and makes it all youthful (you know you’ve gone too far when you no longer look youthful), but in the quest for seeing serious definition, as in a competition, photo shoot, film part or reunion, ditching the water will allow more of the muscle to show. Take a look at the basic principles of the Tight Skin Diet while you’re here though. There is nothing worse than definition and loose skin! With the TSD you can maintain tight skin through proper nutrition.

sweating it out

What else? Well, due to the new workouts and proficient sweating, my water intake has gone from 1 gallon to 1.5 gallons. About half of that has lemon in it. I’ve also upped my protein by about 10 total grams per day and this will slowly go up with time. I’m still getting in plenty of fresh veggies too, as that is key to great skin and great health. SUCK IT UP AND EAT YOUR VEGGIES! My carbs have increased in that my afternoon snack is always oatmeal, usually with a banana. This snack enables me the necessary energy for my second workout. Do you have to do a second workout? Of course not! But eat some oats and that can be an option for you ;)

I do struggle with ditching some things. First of all, I won’t give up my green shake every morning. That’s not a bad thing not to give up, really, so I just refuse. It makes my skin glow and has eliminated unsightly pimples at the age of 35, thank you very much. Also, I won’t give up my coffee…or my half and half. Shameful, I know, but I do have an addiction and I’m seeing how far I can get while holding on to that pet. I did give up alcohol and my beloved Gummy Bears (yes, you read that right), so I figure I’ll ride the cream and coffee train for a bit longer. I have cut back though :)

So, if you want to change your body, add some definition or just try something new, consider following in the steps of someone who has done it…I mean, they’ve actually accomplished it so why not?

Until next time, live healthy!

 

Michelle

 

Yoga, Bikinis and Detox

As strange as it sounds, the 3 items above really to go together.  I have found that combining them is a sure-fire key to ultimate success :)

YOGA:

A lot of people shy away from yoga and for good reason I suppose. Yoga can be intimidating in the physicality alone and also the spiritual attributes that some people tie to it. Let me place your fears at rest: yoga is not a spiritual practice (although I do admit I find myself praying quite a bit during arm balances!) and the poses themselves are quite doable and safe if you know your limits. Yoga helps us each stay attuned to our own bodies and that is the main reason it is so popular amongst fitness freaks like myself. Without yoga, I tend to push myself far past my limits and end up with injury. Yoga also helps us handle stress better and decreases the release of cortisol—-a hormone that attributes to belly fat. For me personally, if I skip out on yoga for a while, the detoxing benefits are lost and I’ll gather up a bit of a pooch in my midsection…not attractive OR good for swimsuit season. To get the most out of yoga, think about the yoga you choose. I have a few fave teachers for sure :) First, Sadie Nardini is the creator and founder of Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga and is an anatomy expert (plus she’s just super cool). CSV yoga focuses on dynamic movements from the core and has helped me shed unwanted pounds directly from my midsection! SCORE! Kathryn Budig is the founder of Aim True yoga and her approach to yoga is extremely fun and playful. Aim true makes even the hardest of poses doable and the least flexible feel a bit more like gumby. Tara Styles is fun and down to earth, offering up yoga cures for everything under the sun all in short, easy to digest sequences. The best part about these 3? They all have free yoga available on either YouTube or Yoga Journal.

Still not digging the yoga? We don’t judge here :) Give Pilates or Barre a try as they also help alleviate the stress response and tighten the tummy without adding more stress to the body. The best part about all 3 modalities of mind/body fitness is that they compliment just about any existing exercise regimen (you crazy runners can benefit from any of them!).

DETOX:

Detox has become a rich buzz word. The most elite of Hollywood participate in detox regularly. Here’s the real deal: detox is basically cutting out processed foods and giving your digestive system a break for a while! It’s really simple, the more leafy greens and vitamin/mineral filled foods you eat, the better you look and feel! Summer is a great time for detox since fruits and veggies are abundant and rich in vitamins and minerals. You don’t have to purchase fancy packages for detox (but if that’s your gig, I do like Dr. Junger’s work). You can simply eat more greens and drink more water. Cut out caffeine as much as those around you can stand and add in some cleansing herbal teas like dandelion and green tea. You’ll be feeling better, moving with less pain, and looking great in your bikini (or jeans and t-shirt) in no time.

Take what you need, do the best you can with what you are given, and give back every day!

Michelle