What Bodybuilding has taught me this past year

Hello people! Happy Monday :)

Take a moment today to remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as you go about your daily activities please.

OK….so as I was pounding away on the Arc cardio trainer today, I began to think about how life has changed for me this past year. Yeah, I know we are well into 2015, but my calendar of life doesn’t really heed to the regular years, so play along.

I have to be SUPER honest with you as I continue. I have been seriously bodybuilding for only about a year now…..though I’ve loved it forever and thought I was doing it for a while. As it turned out, that was just a thought LOL. In light of my brand new livin it lifestyle, I wanted to share what Bodybuilding has taught me over the past year and hopefully clear up some confusion in the process. Oh, and share some awesome pictures taken by Paul Bucetta at Strong Camp.

Strong Camp 78 Photo by Paul Buceta

1. EVERYBODY benefits from strength training, but bodybuilding is NOT for everybody.

Bodybuilding is a lifelong sport. It is like football, tennis, soccer, or triathalons….You train for life. Everybody should be doing strength training (which is what I was doing prior to opening my eyes) as we benefit greatly from it, BUT bodybuilding takes a physical and mental stamina that many are not willing to give. It doesn’t make you any less of an athlete, but bodybuilding is a chosen sport.

Strong Camp 24 Photo by Paul Buceta

2. Mom and Dad were right….I do use math every day.

Bodybuilding is also a science (go team science!) and therefore, it requires math. There is a science to reps, sets, weights and all of your dietary intake. This part is not for the passers-by or the faint of heart. You have to hold a commitment and tenacity to figure this stuff out :) And guess what? I love my math now because proper math gives me results.

Strong Camp 40 Photo by Paul Buceta

3. It really is a lifestyle…..not a 12 week program.

I started the way a lot of people do: with a short-term goal wanting long-term results! True bodybuilding requires a commitment to a consistent lifestyle that offers a front row seat to amazing things beyond all imagination…but I may be a bit biased.

Strong Camp 62 Photo by Paul Buceta

4. My faith increases as my humility increases.

Contrary to popular belief, bodybuilding is full of some of the most humble people I have ever met. You see, your body can knock you down at any time. Bodybuilders understand the science behind the fact that we are never 100% the same each time we walk into the gym. This is true if you really challenge yourself. You can have awesome strength gains one week and have to drop the weight the next. It doesn’t mean it’s not working, it simply means you’re human. Bodybuilding hasn’t made me to feel better than others, but rather reminded me that we are all created equal and each given the opportunity to thrive and live to the absolute fullest.

Strong Camp 96 Photo by Paul Buceta

5. I am not definable by numbers.

Putting muscle ON the body (i.e. bodybuilding) requires numbers. It requires calories, reps, sets, pounds, rest, more calories, etc. The number on the scale, the number on my jeans (well, right now it’s tights), and even the number on the weight rack does not determine what I have to contribute to the world. Numbers are fleeting and ever-changing. That’s the great thing about science…we know that happens as fact. Bodybuilding has taught me the patience to get through the changing tide and the perseverance to keep going.

Strong Camp 66 Photo by Paul Buceta

So, maybe you feel like you want to be a bodybuilder…..it works for some. It takes heart, dedication, discipline, and a willingness to NOT listen to those around you who say you’re too crazy, committed, insane, busy, or over-dedicated. One thing I can tell you is that you will never meet a more humble group of people who have your back no matter what.

Strong Camp 119 Photo by Paul Buceta

P.S. There’s a lot more than 5, but I figured we would start there :)

Check out Strong Camp at www.strongfitnessmag.com

 

 

Motivation Monday: A Peek into My Personal Training

 

***DISCLAIMER: this post is to give you an insight into what I am currently doing during this season to train for figure. It is meant to inspire and help others, but should not be taken as a replacement for training and/or medical advice.***

guns

So, normally I am just spouting off ideas of what you can do to reach your goals right? And that’s GREAT….but it may be nice for you to know that I am human (or so people keep telling me) and have goals as well. Today, I’m give you a tour of my training and nutrition plan as is at this moment. Ready to peek into my personal life? Let’s go!

THE GOAL:

I am competing in 2 figure competitions in 2015. The first will be March 28th and the second will be May 10th. If you’re unfamiliar with divisions in competitions, FIGURE are the gals who are lean with a nice amount of muscle definition. I can compete in the Bikini division now, but wanted to push the envelope even further for myself (that is NO disrespect to bikini competitors, ya’ll rock!). So, the goal of the moment is to put on muscle and lots of it. I have to be mindful of nutrition because I do NOT believe you have to put on FAT to put on muscle (call me crazy, but I call it science). I’ll be walking you through both AND give you a link to my workouts as well.

THE WORKOUTS:

Right now I wake up about 3:55 a.m. and START THE COFFEE :) I get dressed, grab my coffee and supps, and try to hit the gym by 4:30 a.m.

My weekly split looks like this:

Monday: BACK

Tuesday: SHOULDERS/ABS/Cardio (maybe 20 minutes)

Wednesday: LIGHT LEGS

Thursday: BACK

Friday: CHEST/ARMS/SHOULDERS

Saturday: HEAVY DUTY LEGS (I usually lift around 50K pounds this day)

Sunday: NOTHING….absolutely nothing. This is the Lord’s day and I use it to worship and rest….and work the church parking lot once a week :)

This split will probably change in a few weeks, but right now it works. I need to grow the width AND thickness of my back, so it gets worked heavy 2x per week. I’m also hitting shoulders 2x per week, but they are responding VERY quickly. Legs are hit twice, once for development and once for conditioning. I added some MMA work last week, but have to be careful with anything that will cause my back to lean out as I am already quite lean there.

Want to see my workouts? I track them ALL at Bodyspace. You can find them under my workouts. Just remember to adjust sets/reps/weights to your goals and current fitness level.

This particular week is an UNLOADING week. Basically, I’m taking the load of exercise down a notch to give my muscles the chance to adapt. I did it this week because I was starting to feel quite fatigued and having a little longer recovery periods. How I accomplish an unloading week is pretty simple: the VOLUME of exercise decreases. I don’t want to decrease the WEIGHT, just the volume. So, for example, I normally do 5 exercises 5 sets on back day. Today I cut the sets to 3. I don’t want to decrease weight, just the time under the load. This will amplify recovery and I’ll be ready for higher volume AND weight sets next week.

How do I know this?

education You know I LOVE certifications! My newest one :)

NUTRITION:

My nutrition stays very steady and I have found what works best for ME. Please note: following somebody else’s nutrition plan can be detrimental to your goals! You have to figure out what works best for you. Below is an example of my plan. I usually have a 50/30/20 split in macros.

Upon waking: 6 oz coffee mixed with 1 scoop protein powder (my fave drink of ALL time)

During morning training: 1 scoop SIZE ON with water

Meal 1: 1 serving gluten-free cream of rice cereal with 1 scoop chocolate protein powder and 1 tablespoon peanut butter

Meal 2: 5 oz chicken/steak OR 7 oz tilapia, 1/2 cup rice, 1 cup veggies

Meal 3: same as #2

Meal 4: 1 apple, 5 oz chicken, 1 cup veg

Meal 5: 7 oz tilapia OR 5 oz salmon, 1 cucumber

Meal 6: 1 scoop chocolate casein/whey mix, heated gently and mixed with 6 oz water and 4 ox unsweetened almond milk (basically protein hot cocoa)

I’ll get into the supplements later (drat!), but will be sharing what I have found to work WONDERS. I do take a multi-vitamin daily and recovery supps. No fat burners or anything excessive though.

As you can see, I eat a LOT! I can maintain my weight easily around 2500-2800 calories (I totally realize this is a BLESSING!) since I reversed myself out of chronic diets and beefed up my metabolism. This SHOULD make cutting a little easier when prep actually starts (around Christmas, cause I’m crazy). I do a reefed when needed, but right now that’s only every 3 weeks or so. I do not have cheat meals regularly as I have found that the more balanced my nutrition the less I crave anything. A treat for me may be some dark chocolate or even a piece of pizza (healthy pizza) and those fit easily into my macros.

Some other GREAT news is that I got my first sponsor (woohoo! Official ATHLETE!) and you can find my page and supps HERE. So check it out, cause the more the page hums the more my sponsors love me :)

That’s the basics. I will be keeping track of my prep on INSTAGRAM and YOUTUBE, with a few rare posts here. Thanks for your love and support!

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