Archive for April 27, 2010

Early Mornings

So I’ve picked up a few of the opening shifts at the gym. I did it for two reasons: I can workout on my shift and technically that means I’m getting paid to work out, and because I feel bad that our manager has to open the gym(meaning wake up at 3:15am) every day during the week.

Early Monday Workout

I hopped out of bed at a whopping 3:15am today, and dragged my ass into the kitchen to cook some breakfast for after my cardio. I don’t prefer to do empty stomach cardio, but I also don’t like eating that freakin’ early in the morning.

I got to the gym to find people waiting for me to open it. They are nutz I’m tellin ya. It was 4:15 am when I got there…Crazy people.

I did the normal opening duties and headed to the stepmill for a 50 minute sesh. I had my iPod on and it actually went by pretty quickly. That early in the morning, sometimes I think I’m still half asleep while I’m doing the cardio and don’t really remember much of it.

Afterwards, I head to the front desk to eat my food: egg whites with spinach and red cabbage, and rolled oats. Lurvely.

I let that digest and then hit up shoulders!

Shoulder Boulders

-Push Press s.s. w/ Upright Row

-DB Arnold Press s.s w/ DB Lateral Raise

-Cable Front Raise s.s. w/ DB Rear Delt Raise

Twas a hard one. I’m really noticing my shoulders popping out and my upper body is leaning out really well. My stomach is also leaning out and my abs are starting to make an appearance again. I missed those babies. In a few more weeks, maybe I’ll get ballsy and post some progress pics.

I’m currently a little under 14 weeks out and feeling really great. My coach thinks I’m right on target, and of course we are going to kick things up even more come 12 weeks out, but for now, the weight is falling off and I’m happy with the way things are going.

I’m heading to LA yet again this weekend with the roomie and can’t wait!! The gym we train at when we’re there is down the street from where we’re staying, so we can walk, which is perfect. I think i actually may be going to the lake Thursday before I leave for california too…might be a little bit of a crazy day..but I can’ t pass up the lake! It’s my favorite place in the world! 🙂

Buyer Beware


I was learning about how supplement companies are able to market their products and how they get their ingredients. Basically, companies see that “X” is the hot new product on the market. Hot product=pricey, and as long as there is a “dusting” of that product in their ingredient list, they are able to put it on their Proprietary Blend. Beware of proprietary blends!! You don’t know how much of a product is in there, and it could be so minute that it wouldn’t do anything=Waste O’ Money. I’m not saying that all companies do this and it also doesn’t mean that all proprietary blends are bullshit….all I am saying is buyer:beware.

With that said, not ALL companies are like that. One company in particular is quite the opposite and makes sure that their products are made with quality ingredients AND with the consumer’s health in mind. This equates to heavy testing and trials before being put on the market. I spoke with the owners directly and got a really great vibe about their goals and dedication to what they are all about. Smith-Bryant Labs makes some really great products and if you’d like to try them out, right now Promo code: Lean will get you 50% of the LEAN product and Promo code: Rush will get you 25% off the RUSH product.

*I am not a doctor and you need to check with a doctor before taking any type of supplements. No matter how well tested, any supplement can have an adverse effect on someone. We are all different and different products will affect each person differently. Just like food allergies, not everything agrees with people. I am also not saying that you NEED to take supplements. Some people prefer to take them when they are having trouble pushing through a plateau, and others don’t feel comfortable taking them and that is PERFECTLY OK. Again supplements are there to SUPPLEMENT, they are not a cure-all and you have to exercise and eat well to get great results.

Flexibility and Muscle Fascia

Today has been a pretty long day. Another 3am wake up call and off to work I went. I swapped legs out yesterday because my hamstrings were STILL sore from my workout on Sunday. Not just a little bit sore either, like hurt to the touch sore. Today they were just a little bit sore, so I went ahead and did my quad-focus leg day.

I was asked why I split up glutes/hams and quads. The reason I do this is because I love training legs and want to make sure I make every single rep and exercise count. With that being said, I can easily spend 2 hours training legs if I were to do them all in one day. That would be excessive and probably not very helpful to my physique. If I try to hit all angles and shorten the workout, I feel a little gypped, so I split them up and I do about an hour each time and feel like I get a very thorough leg workout each time.

The Workout

Barbell Squats, Hack Squats, Smith Machine Split Squats, Leg Extensions(different variations), and single leg Leg Press.

You might be thihking…umm squats work your glutes/hams too. Well hell yes they do, and they are extremely effective at doing so. The reason I do them on my “quad focus” day is because deadlifts and squats are my biggest lifts, and it is tough to do them both on the same day along with the other exercises. That is exactly why I call it a quad FOCUS day..I try to focus on my quads, but obviously it is hard to single out the quads besides leg extensions and such.

Cardio was also done at about 4am, and I barely remember it, but I do remember that I was a sweaty mess. I dominated that stairmill today!


It’s not secret to those that know me, that my flexibility…how should I put it….sucks? blows? isn’t-up-to-par? Put it however you want it, but I am not a flexible person. I lift heavy and hard(insert dirty joke here) and don’t stretch, foam roll, ice, soak, etc NEARLY enough. In fact, it’s pretty pathetic how little of that I do. It is something SO important and I am completely aware of that. I would almost go as far as to say it is the most important thing to do, because if you aren’t healthy you can’t perform.

That brings me to my next point. Although I’m not very flexible in most areas, I have particularly tight hips and come to find out, a tight lower back(who knew?). I was made aware of this yesterday at my first appointment with my flexibility coach.

I tweeted that and got responses ranging from “that’s ridiculous, why don’t you hire an astrologist” to “i don’t stretch and i’m flexible.” Let me clarify, a flexibility coach doesn’t just stretch you out and send you walking. Bill worked on releasing my muscles and breaking up the fascia. Muscle fascia is a connective tissue that helps support your muscles.

“Definition: Fascia is strong connective tissue which performs a number of functions, including enveloping and isolating the muscles of the body, providing structural support and protection.

Deep fascia covers the muscles in connective tissue aggregations which help to keep the muscles divided and protected. On occasion, this fascia can create tight knots or connective adhesions which act as trigger points which can cause pain ”

Basically, my muscle fascia was/is knotted and bunched up throughout my back and needed to be released. Bill worked on my upper back, lower back, shoulders and glutes and although it is somewhat painful during the treatment, you feel wonderful afterwards. Dare I even say I feel looser today than I did yesterday, after only one treatment. I am a little bit sore from the pushing and poking(wow this post is starting to sound like the intro to an amateur porno.) but I can tell that this is going to be a huge help for me.

So why is flexibility SO important?

Among(decided today that among is one of the weirdest words EVER) MANY reasons, this is the one I like best: Range of motion is what allows you to activate certain muscle fibers. When you do a squat and you go ALL the way down, you are contracting your glutes much more than if you were to only go half or 3/4 of the way down. If you aren’t even flexible enough to perform a squat, how do you expect to fire those muscles? You physically CAN’T. If you want to increase your performance, try to increase your flexibility. You might be surprised.

Sunday/Monday Workouts + JUST START

Good morninggg! Okay seriously, it’s 3AM and I’m wide awake. Not by choice, but because I am opening at the gym today. Lovely. To be honest, I don’t really mind. It really means I get to do my workout and get paid for it, since not too many people are there this early, but moving on…..

Sunday Glute/Ham +Sprints

Sundays are definitely my favorite day of the week now. I used to hate them because Monday was the next day, but I love the places I work so the week is never a bad thing for me. Reason #1 to do things you love people!

I woke up Sunday morning and headed to the gym to get a short but sweet glute/ham workout in. Instead of doing marathon workouts for my glutes/hams, I cut them down but make them really tough. Tough as in I’m dripping with sweat by the end, and it only takes me 30 minutes.  I did:

 stiff legged deadlifts superset with prone ham curls

Bosu hip thrusts with barbell superset with quadruped hip extension under the reverse hyper.

Afterwards I headed to the track for my FAVORITE workout of the week: SPRINTS. I am loving sprints so much. I haven’t jogged in about a month because I just got sick of it, and I am deciding that I really like sprinting effects better than jogging effects. Win/WiN!

8 x 100

4 x 50

4 x 10

4 x side shuffle to sprint

1 x 400

I had 2 people join me for the workout and we were all beat by the end. There are a few other people who are there every Sunday as well, who actually do track meets still(they are in their late 40’s…proof that it’s never too old!) These guys are in kick ass shape and their jog is my sprint. No joke. One of them actually thinks I should try to do a meet, so the seed is planted but I’m not making any promises. My age group would probably be the fastest one out there, and I think he’s on glue, because I’m seriously not a fast sprinter compared to those guys.

Monday Workout

Monday’s workout consisted of Shoulders and 45 minutes of cardio. My shoulders were sore 2 hours after my lift. Hot damn.(really? who says that?)

Afterwards, I SOO did not want to do any cardio, but before I let myself talk me out of it, I just hopped on the stepmill and before I knew it I had 6 minutes left.

Tip: You are not always going to WANT to work out. Even me, who LOVES working out, has days where I walk in the gym and just want to curl in a ball on the couch and do 4 sets of napping. Sometimes you just have to start and that’s all you need, sometimes you will dread it the entire time you are doing, but just turn your brain off and start moving! This doesn’t mean that if your body is truly telling you that you shouldn’t work out that you shouldn’t listen, because you definitely should, but when it’s just your mind that doesn’t feel like doing it, well JUST START.

Where does the time go?

The days, weeks and months are flying by right now! I haven’t posted in a few days and it seems so fast!

Wednesday I got a KILLER leg workout, and Thursday a KILLER back workout. Both left me insanely sore. I have been doing 45 minutes of cardio 6 days a week, and today I am taking my first complete rest day in 3 weeks!! Much needed, my friends.

Exciting Stuff

-I will be a contributor on a fitness competitor website in the coming months. I will give you the link when the first installment is up, but I’m really excited about it!!

-I am doing a photo shoot for a company I have worked with before in the next few months. It should be fun, and it will be out at the lake AKA: My favorite place ever!!!

-Working on some sponsorship opportunities so keep your fingers crossed for me :):)

Other than that, I’m still training hard and sticking to my diet. I did have one day of bad eating, but other than that things have been going smoothly and I’m noticing changes in my body which is ALWAYS FUN 🙂

I am exactly 15 weeks out today which is a lot of time, but no time at the same time.(Hmm, can I say time any more times?? AHHH haha i’m a dork.)

Do you have any questions for me? I’m putting together a Q&A Post with some frequently asked questions, so ask away!

Prescott + Marvin

I don’t have a lot of time but I thought I’d squeeze in a post. I’ve got two new clients and I need to get their initial meal and exercise plans written up this evening.

This morning I did 45 minutes of fasted cardio. I was absolutely starvin’ marvin only 5 minutes into it!! I pushed through and then devoured my food. Afterwards I did a so-so bi/tri workout. I say so-so because my heart wasn’t into it at all and I felt like I was just going through the motions, rather than really focusing. I still got a decent workout though:

I did 4 supersets, 3 sets each.

EZ Bar Curl/Rope Pulldown

Cable Side Arm Curls/OH Extension

Rope Hammer Curls/One arm pulldown

Preacher curl/bench dips

I finished the workout and headed up to Prescott for the day to hang with my little brother. He’s living up there right now and so far doing well. I had a really good time and the weather was perfect! We walked around the city and just hung out. Non-stop laughing=good times.

I’m off to finish up my work and clean. Tomorrow is LEG DAY, cardio, appointment with my academic advisor(wish me luck that they agree to what i want haha!) and then working the rest of the afternoon. Actually from tomorrow until Monday my days are JAM packed with the lake, work and a wedding. All good things, but it is going to wear me out I can tell! I will be looking forward to relaxing on Tuesday next week. Laytah!

Glutes/Hams + Sprints

Thanks for the comments on the last post! You guys are awesome 🙂 Made me feel a lot better. It’s just frustrating and part of me wants others to understand, but I know that they never will and it’s a waste of my time to make them try. Oh well.


How about an AWESOME Sunday workout. It was probably the best workout I had all week!! This week’s workouts just didn’t feel as amazing as usual. The tiredness I was feeling throughout the week affected me for sure, but I’m feeling MUCH better. I really think that I just do not do well with caffeine. I’m back to 0-1 caffeinated drinks per day and I feel good.


This was a short, but effective workout. My mind and heart went into every single rep and I made them all count.

I did two supersets, 4 sets each.

Stiff Legged Deadlifts/Prone Ham Curls

Bosu Hip Thrusts/Quadruped Hip Extensions under the Reverse Hyper

I put 100% effort into those exercises and although before the workout started I had planned to do more, I had a realization. I don’t need to do marathon workouts to get results! I know that I have known that for a while, but it didn’t really click until yesterday. 16 sets is plenty if you work your ass off(literally ;-))

Afterwards I headed to the track for a sprint workout. I think I put 110% effort into this sprint workout. i went balls to the walls with every sprint and the endorphins kept me going harder and harder. I can officially say that sprinting is my FAVORITE thing to do….for now.(I change my mind a lot, i’m sure you’re aware ;-))

8 x 100 yds

5 x 10 yds

4 x side shuffle–>50 yds

1 x 40o

5 bleachers

This workout took me about 40-45 minutes, and like I said, I put in everything I had in me for each and every sprint. My legs were feeling it by the second sprint, but I pushed on. The feeling of walking off the track after a great sprint workout is like NOTHING else. Your legs feel like COMPLETE jello, and no other exercises(that i’ve found at least) give them that same feeling. LOVED IT!!

Today I did 40 minutes of cardio so far, and I’m off to meet my trainer for shoulders I think. I’ll give a recap later today or tomorrow!

Healthy vs. Extreme

Pauline Nordin talks about it quite a bit, and it’s a topic that has recently been brought up between myself and a friend.

Am I being too extreme?

This is a rhetorical question(i think, english isn’t my best subject ;-)).

Working out>partying

Eating chicken and veggies at home> eating “normal” food at a restaurant

I’ve been recently told that I have an “unhealthy balance” when it comes to working out and eating well.

Here is what I have to say about that:

CORRECT!! Except I don’t think it’s unhealthy. Is it extreme? You bet. Do I love it? YUP! It makes me happy, HOW is that unhealthy? I feel better than I ever have in my life, and I wake up in the mornings excited to start the day. I still hang out with my friends, and although I don’t go out as much as I used to, I still have the same friends that I did before I started this. Sure, I’ve lost some friends, but none that were very significant in my life, otherwise they would have stayed in my life. I don’t have any enemies(to my knowledge) and I do my best to be a good friend.

Working out is more than just a hobby to me. It is something I want to take to another level. I want to continue competing, I want to create a career out of it, and I want to show others how to make healthy living a part of their life. I don’t tell other people that they should go be extreme and workout for hours each day. If that’s what they want, then I will be behind them, but if that ISN’T what they want, then you better believe I will support that as well. In fact, I will support almost any lifestyle that someone chooses. After all, it is THEIR life. If I don’t agree with a lifestyle, that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with it. If I think it is something that is going to hurt me or hurt them(basically if their chosen life is to be addicted to drugs, murder, theft, etc.) then I probably won’t stick around to watch, but even then, I’m not going to interfere unless it is my place to do so(i.e. family member, good friend, etc.)

I wish that I could receive the same treatment. I am not asking others to do what I do. All I am asking is that they realize that this is something that I WANT TO DO. And it’s more than what I mentioned above. Working out is my outlet. Working out is an option 24 hours a day 7 days a week, holidays included. The outdoors never close, and if they do, I have a floor in my living room and I’m sure I could make a great workout there if I wanted to. In other words, it doesn’t ever let me down. My life is far from perfect, yet I still manage to be happy. I owe a lot of that to the time spent working out. You think you are just working your muscles when you work out? No, in fact, you are working your brain more than anything. Whether it is to relieve stress, or to use your mind to push yourself through the last few reps, your brain is what is working the hardest. Your muscles just follow along, they don’t have to think.

In my life, and moreso in the past 5 years, I have been faced with drug addiction, alcoholism, a broken family, and watching family members basically rot because of addictions, and a lot of money problems. I still wake up every day(for the most part) with a smile on my face and endorphins that are through the ROOF! I will often write on facebook that it is “illegal to have this much energy and excitement this early in the morning.” Why and how am I able to feel this way??? Because I have found something that helps me cope. I have found something bigger and better than me and something that challenges my mind, body and willpower every single day. There is no rest, it is continuous, and when all shit hits the fan, it is always there waiting for me to challenge it again.

The rewards that I have reaped from this whole “working out thing” are intangible. You can’t buy or sell them and they are something that only YOU can get. People can help you along the way, but you can’t pay someone to do the work for you. It is all YOU, and when you push past barriers and continue to beat your challenges, you are left with the greatest gift you could ever receive.

I encourage everyone to live YOUR life the way YOU want it. Live for YOU and nobody else. Choose your own path and let others choose theirs.

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