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

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

Meal Plan for Bikini Comp Rounding Out

Ok, so some people out there have the blessing of junk in the trunk…….personally, I don’t :(

Any junk in my trunk has to be strategically placed there! I’m an easy gainer everywhere (meaning I can gain fat or muscle pretty easily) except my rear, so my workout split and meals have to help me round out without rounding everything. Confusing? Absolutely! But worth it in the end…hahahaha, pun not intended, but funny anyway. If you are among the blessed, cut down on fats instead of increasing….score one for flat butt ladies. Let’s move on shall we?

Rounding out for Bikini Comp*:

Pre-workout. Hot lemon water upon waking. Smoothie, 8 oz water, 1/3 cup cooked oats, 1/2 banana, 1 scoop whey protein.

During workout. AMINOS!!!!! I dig Optimum Nutrition.

Post workout/breakfast. 1/2 cup oats cooked in 1 cup water, blueberries, strawberries, any berry…..1 tablespoon coconut oil, 2 eggs.

Mid morning snack. My green drink.

Lunch. 2 cups salad, 1/2 avocado stuffed with tuna salad, drizzle 1 whole lemon over.

Afternoon snack. Apple and peanut butter OR protein shake and small handful of almonds (if I’m lower carb that day).

Dinner. Grilled salmon steak (or just grilled/broiled fish, no need to get fancy), 2 cups veggies, 1/4 cup rice or baked sweet potato.

Late night munch (before bed if hungry). Protein “ice cream”. I mix 3/4 scoop protein (casein would rock here) with 6-8 ox coconut/almond milk and 1 tablespoon chia seeds. Mix well, place in freezer at least 1 hour before you need it!

 

Glute rounding moves:

I have found bilateral training to be a great way to round out glutes. Here are some of my fave moves…

Sumo squat with wide stiff leg dead lift

Walking lunges (I honestly do 200 or more a week)

Step Ups

Curtsy Lunge

Bulgarian Split Squat

Pop Squats

Skater Lunge

Glute kick back

The Jane Fonda (otherwise known as a bridge or hip lift)

Blend these together, mixing reps for best results.

Need more workouts? Check out my YouTube page for free workouts and nutrition advice, follow me on Twitter for weekly booty calls or check me out on Bodybuilding.com for motivation.

 

 

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

 

* Just a note: I do NOT eat the same thing everyday unless I’m just shy of my goal. You can feel free to mix it up, so long as your macros stay in balance.

 

Ready. Set. GOAL!

I had promised that I would share my goals for the new year with you, and I hate to break promises :)

Ambitious goals are what keep life quite interesting in my opinion. These are the goals that begin as just a fleeting thought in the corner of one’s mind, but over time the thought becomes bigger and , in my case, flashier. I do love sparkle and believe everybody’s life could benefit from a bit more.

So, in the spirit of keeping it flashy I will share some of my 2013 GOALS with you:

  1. I am working towards a physical space of my very own. A gym to call my own :) THIS will actually not be as flashy as one may expect since I truly LOVE the feel of a good old garage gym.
  2. I do have physical goals to accomplish this year, but most fall in the realm of strength and endurance, not jean size or numbers.
  3. I have entered and will COMPETE in my very first fitness show this May! I’ll be sharing that journey with you as well.
  4. I will travel to Moldova this month, but have set a goal to travel to Africa this year as well…as often as I can :) I am partnered with Hopechest ministries and will continue to go where I am called, without questioning.
  5. I will finish 2 books this year: 1 is on weight loss and my specific specialty (keeping the skin tight!) and the other will cover my mission trips and tell the stories of the girls who have been caught up in sex trafficking. I will give a voice to those who feel as though theirs has been taken.
  6. In light of #5, one of my final goals is a publishing deal. Why? Publishers get the words to more people.

So, there are the majority of my goals. I always set goals for my personal life as well, working on relationships and growing in my faith daily.

The question I pose to you is “How big are your goals?” Do you stick to the “safe” goals? Maybe you hang around the ones that are a bit easier. Or perhaps you park over the same ones you’ve had for years, knowing if you don’t make it all will not be lost. Friends, those kind of goals keep you simply existing. What would happen if you believed that great things can happen through you? What if you set out to leave a few footprints through this life? What would happen if you decided to stop existing and truly LIVE life as loud as you could? Who might be affected? I’ll be honest, once you change your mindset to make a change, YOU will be the one to benefit the most.

Live out loud this year!

Michelle