ALL New Stuff…..

Well….hello there….

gym creep

IF you have followed the blog at all, then you will notice my absence as of late. To be real, it was a myriad of different reasons.

First, I did have surgery and decided to actually take some downtime.

Second, I was truly questioning why I do what I do and if it matters at all in the grand scheme of things (jury is still out on that one).

Third, I was working to try and fill in the gaps of training, so to speak.

While first and second will be saved for another day, I’m going to share a little of the third with you now.

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I have been truly bogged down by the fact that a lot of people who come for help don’t get very far. Truth is, it felt as though there was a part missing…..let’s say, a spoke from a wheel wasn’t there. So, it made it very difficult for us to get anywhere. So I began to research other areas of expertise and talk with other trainers who have been successful at making their client, well, successful. The answer came again and again: an online training platform.

If you’re like me and you don’t dig technology all that much, then the thought of online training can seem daunting. The fact is, in today’s fast paced environment, you need something that will stay a step or two ahead so you can focus on life and not be overwhelmed by workouts. This online training platform can be held in the palm of your hand and is as easy as checking in on Facebook so everybody knows you’re handling your business ;)

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I have teamed up with TRAINERIZE to offer plans to help you reach any goal. Since my specialty is Corrective Exercise, this can be used in conjunction with your current training program. The app itself is extremely user friendly and you can track your progress in-app so you can see exactly where you’re headed, whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle, get stronger, be quicker, or simply move through life with less pain. You can see it all and track it all here.

It’s also simple to set up and doesn’t keep you bound to JUST seeing your trainer on certain days/times.

Start by checking into Pricing and available Schedules (online only option is available). Then, you will receive a message from your trainer to confirm a time for training that week. You have the option to see your trainer face to face 1-2 times per week, depending on your goal and schedule. For example, Olympic lifters usually see me once per week to focus on mobility and flexibility. Fat loss clients usually opt for twice per week. Once established, you will also get training programs uploaded into your app. These program will be personalized for your goal and lifestyle. This way, you know exactly what to do and can keep track of your workouts in-app. Your trainer can keep track as well and is informed of workout consistency. This creates an accountability that will propel you forward DAILY.

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I’ve also added meal planning capabilities to the app (all plans are done by me, not generic) so you can choose to add that option OR simply opt to get your nutrition in line while staying with your current trainer or training program.

Important Notes:

  • ALL face to face sessions are semi-private.
  • Private training sessions ARE offered, but are priced differently and not available for purchase in-app.
  • Meal planning is priced separately and requires a brief Q&A with your trainer.
  • You are totally allowed to switch times during the week, but must let your trainer know.
  • All plans are month to month and must be cancelled NO LATER than 2 weeks prior to next billing cycle.
  • Specialty training, such as MMA and Sports Performance, are also offered in a group setting.

This allows you to finally have the tools you need to reach THAT goal and start setting new ones. So, check out the app today, pick your program, get in a group, and start seeing and feeling results within a week!

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

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The glasses-eating dog after booty day :)

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Track workout! I even let him have my water

Fun Friday: Fanny Lifters!

Laugh all you want, but (or should I say BUTT?), the fanny you sit on as you read has more to do with your health than you may realize.

Your Glutes (butt, hide, junk in the trunk, money maker, whatever you wish to call them) play a LARGE role in the health of your lower back, hips, knees, ankles and feet.

A lazy butt, which can be a misfiring muscle or one that refuses to fire altogether, is quickly becoming the cause of many physiological disorders AND the reason work days are missed.

Why?

Well, your butt is designed for a purpose and it’s not just to keep your pants from falling down. Side note: your pants really are supposed to stay up. Nobody cares to see your underwear….

You have 3 muscles that make up your rear view: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus and Gluteus Medius. Now, we know the MAX right? It is pretty much the size of your butt and resides beneath the other 2. The MAX “ties in” to the top of the hamstrings (there is no anatomical chart for glute-ham tie in by the way. It’s just a way to point out that your glute should not sag over your hamstring). The MINIMUS lies at the very top and ties into the smaller lower back muscles. The MEDIUS creeps around the side and is responsible for the shape (insert shameless booty pic here):

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So, now that we know the basic anatomy, it’s important to realize what can go wrong. The main culprit in our hurry-up-and-sit society is the MEDIUS. Your medius is not just a pretty muscle, it is responsible for the power in your steps as well as the functionality in your hips. Your medius has been proven to be the cause of many below-the-hip issues such as plantar fasciatis, runners knee, IT Band syndrome, plus a variety of other joint problems. There’s even a medical diagnosis for an underactive medius: Lazy Butt Syndrome. I kid you not….

The issue lies in the fact that we sit so much our butt has literally forgotten how to work properly. Take a simple movement for example: the squat. Do me a favor and stand up…..suck it up and do it, it will serve a purpose. Now, sit back down and stand back up 15-20 times. Who cares who’s watching???! You can help them fix their lazy butts later, right now I’m more concerned with yours. Now, after your reps sit and relax. Where do you feel it most? Chances are the quads (front of the thighs) and possibly low back just got a workout right? BINGO! You have a lazy butt. Don’t feel bad, you’re in excellent company. Doctors are finding that those from truck drivers to marathon runners are popping up with lazy butts. Lazy Butt Syndrome isn’t selective and it certainly does not always mean you are a lazy person….just your butt.

As we have sat on it for so long, our medius has simply become accustomed to not firing. When we squat and stand it simply goes along for the ride. Our already over active quads and low back (both of which are overactive due to sitting and keeping them in a contracted state) just take over. That way the medius can go on being a freeloader. The problem is that if the medius does not fire properly, we are overusing and misusing muscles and their surrounding tendons and ligaments. Over time, this creates a strain on the kinetic chain and the body’s efforts to align start to create movement patterns that can be quite harmful. If the medius isn’t firing when we run, for example, the IT Band (outside of the thigh) will tighten in order to hold the femur in place and power the leg. As the ITB gets tighter, it begins to pull the knee out of alignment. If you’re like me and ignore this thinking exercise should be painful, then one day while running sprints your ITB will pull your knee out, you’ll hit the ground and shred your hamstring which hasn’t been properly utilized in the kinetic chain. True story, happened years ago, and is why I know first hand that your butt is important.

How do we strengthen and fire up the medius then? It’s a mind/body connection issue. When you squat or lunge, make sure your form is on point and you are literally squeezing your glutes inward. This action calls on the medius to fire and support the femur in the hip socket. Great exercises for medius activation are:

  • Floor Bridge
  • Sumo Squat
  • Side lying bent leg abduction (old school leg lift)
  • Bowlers or Curtsy Lunge
  • Single leg step up with glute squeeze at the top

Now, your MINIMUS can cause problems as well, but is seemingly not as rebellious as the medius. The minimus can actually cause more problems due to inactivation of the medius. The minimus will tighten and place pressure on the low back and sciatic nerve pathway if the medius is not firing OR (and a highly likely cause) if the abs are not supporting the movement. The minimus can be a quite pretty muscle if developed properly. It plays a large role in spinal stability and core strength.

As its name suggests, the minimus is the smallest of your 3 glute muscles. It really doesn’t need to be overworked, as that can cause more strain. The key to a beautiful and functional minimus is ensuring core activation prior to glute training. Moves that will help to build strength and functionality in the minimus are:

  • Stiff leg dead lift
  • Bird Dog (opposite arm/leg reach on all 4′s)
  • Supermans (either alternating opposite arm/leg or lifting all 4 limbs off the ground from prone position, neck stays neutral)
  • Leg lift to the rear from standing

Your glutes can become the biggest stability partners in your quest for health. By learning how to properly activate your glutes and then integrate them into functional movements, you can ensure power in your workouts and joint health for years to come.

Until next time, keep squeezing and have a healthy day!

Michelle

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