All posts by One Fit Mama

35 Year Old Mom. Bikini and Fitness Model Competitor

The honest truth about being a competitor.

This post may not get me any fans.  Its just my honest truth about what I have learned being in the fitness industry for the past 3 years.

 

1.  Competing is hard!

I’m not talking about getting on stage, though getting up the nerve to step on stage in 6 inch clear stripper heels and an itsy bitsy bikini is certainly not an easy thing to do.  I’m talking about weeks and months of eating chicken out of tupperwear, not going out with friends, and dealing with people who think that you are starving yourself (You’re not, and most of those people are only projecting their own issues with food onto the lifestyle you chose) You give up relationships, you give up time out with friends, you give up sleep, you give up time with your family, you give up alot.  You also invest alot and gain alot personally.  Most people have issues with your life style because its not something they can do, not because its something you do.

You know you are a bodybuilding competitor when….

2. You are not going to become famous

People like dana linn bailey, kai green and phil heath are the exception!  The chances of making a living to support yourself with this sport are slim to none.  I am an active member of the fitness community, however I am not a sponsored athlete.  I would love to become sponsored by one of the many companies I love however I also do not and will not ever become a sponsored athlete of a company I cannot support or believe in.  That being said, competitions and organizations prefer sponsored athletes (uh oh…. there’s one of the truths the industry won’t like).  Showing up at a show and competing with a slew of sponsors will definitely get you noticed and make sure you  place better than non-sponsored athletes.  I have been at shows where I am positive the best physique for the category did not win…. for a few reasons.  Either its their turn for having put in their time, they may even be a brand new competitor with no following and the least physique but they have a list of sponsors on their bio.  I have a question: How is this your first fitness competition and you are already sponsored by a list of companies… not only that but you have no social media, and no following but you are sponsored by some of the biggest companies in the industry (yep, people lie)  However if you are “sponsored” by a company that the organization wants weather real or supposed you will get noticed. … that does’nt mean that you will continue to win, you’re just good for the organization.  The best does’nt always win.  And most competitors work full time jobs with kids and make major sacrifices for their sport.  A few of the pro’s in my organizations national competition coming up are begging for donations right now in order to compete….

 

 

3.  Competing is Expensive

That being said I have seen people win in victoria secret $70  swim suits. But registration for a show generally runs into a couple hundred dollars, with tanning, make up, hair, suits and costumes you are looking at a minimum of a 500 investment per show… and that does’nt touch on training, or photography or any of the extras that many see as a requirement.  There are many ways to save on competing but you also need to know that not using the sponsored “teams”, official “makeup and tanning” etc  may work against you.   People in organizations talk.  If you’re doing it to prove something to yourself then make sure you check out my post on ways to cut costs HERE.

 

4.  Its an industry… deal with it

Like any money making industry the fitness industry is there to make money.  Every organization is trying to get the most competitors (registration fees and sponsored companies) and the most sponsors, magazine exposure and recognized athletes as the next.  Some are more focused on the competitors then others.  Some are more objective then others.  Except it is still an industry based on money.  If you do not fit their version of a pro athlete or do not have enough push and clout behind you it does not matter if you are the best physically… if you are not marketable then you are not going to get it.  its just the truth.  This is a subjective sport.  Subjective to the industry professionals and the organization you choose to compete in.

 

4.  Drugs are prevalent.

When I first decided to compete I cannot count the number of people that asked me or my mom whether I was on drugs!  I compete with the UFE.  Its a drug tested drug free association… sorta.  Anybody that knows anything about bodybuilding knows that even the pro’s in a drug tested organization are not necessarily drug free.  It only means that the steroid using athletes have learned when to cycle off their chosen poison in order not to get caught.   That being said if you decide to compete in a drug free association without drugs know that you will have to work twice as hard.. and twice as long.   Does’nt mean its not possible, just means that 12 weeks of working out and dieting will not make you win against 6 months of roids…

 

5.  Know why you are doing it.

If you are competing in order to prove yourself to yourself, as a goal, or just to feel good about yourself DO IT!.  But just know its addictive.  That how I started.  It was a goal.  Now I want to win, and ya, I am working my arse off to get it.  But the chances of stepping on stage and winning your first competition are slim to none.  The chances of becoming a professional fitness model or bodybuilder with sponsors enough to never have a real job again… probably less than 1%.  The sport is amazing.  It is an amazing industry with fabulous motivated individuals striving to be their best.  But it is not a means to an end.  It is promoting a lifestyle, one that can be healthy and one that can also mess with your head.  If you do not know where you want to be, what you are and why you are doing it.  Dont.

 

 

Flu Season Gym Etiquette

Its that time of year again.  I just got over a bought of the flu that lasted almost 2 weeks and lead to all kinds of yuck.   While I know how I got the bug (thanks honey)  it got me thinking about the gym when you are sick, slightly sick or down right ill.

Hygiene All the Time

I am always very conscious of hygiene at the gym.  Doubly so lately considering all of the news coverage of the Ebola Virus suddenly having me becoming a hypochondriac.  I don’t think you need to walk around with a mask or in a bubble.  However some basics things definitely help with keeping the bugs at bay.  The biggest one for me is hand washing.  I wash my hands before every workout and right after every workout.  I also make a very concerted effort to not touch my face at all during a workout.  If I have to cough, its into my arm.  If I need to wipe at a stray hair on my forehead, same thing.  Be smart.  Wiping down machines is more than just courtesy and if you or somebody in your house may be ill or at risk, wipe down the handles, pins etc as well.

 

When to workout.

If you have a mild cold or bug.  I’m talking a little bit of the sniffles or a slight cough, by all means sweat it out.  But remember that if you’re body is already fighting a bug, lifting heavy weights means it will also be trying to repair itself, which could worsen your symptoms or prolong you’re illness.  If you’re sick and germy it may be best to just stay home.

If you have a fever – DO NOT GO TO THE GYM

You’re not only putting yourself at risk but you are risking the health of everybody else in the gym.  Stay home, sleep, heal and return to you’re lifting when you’re healthy.

 

Supplements.

I have done lots of research on vitamins and most studies show that increased Vitamin D during the colder months along with vitamin B are incredibly successful in fighting off those pesky germs.

 

 

Today’s Butt Blasting Workout

My Favorite Day of the week is LEG DAY.

This mornings workout.  Try it and let me know how you feel.

MjAxMi1mZTEyYzRiNjEwNmY5NWRh

Deadlifts.
15 Reps @ 80 lbs
12 Reps @ 90lbs10 Reps @ 100lbs
2 sets of 6 Reps @ 110lbs

Hip Thrusts
15 Reps @ 60 lbs12 Reps @ 70 lbs
10 Reps @ 80 lbs
8 Reps @ 90 lbs

Walking Lunges
3 sets of 30 steps @ 60 lbs

Front Squats
12 Reps @ 70 lbs
10 Reps @ 80 lbs
8 Reps @ 90 lbs

Calf Press
4 sets of 12 @ 180 lbs on the leg press machine

Leg Press
4 sets of 10 @ 180 lbs

Hip Abduction & Hip Adduction
Did this on each machine…
12 Reps @ 90 lbs10 Reps @ 100 lbs
8 Reps @ 110 lbs

Leg Raises
Tried a new machine for these (I don’t use alot of machines… it was ok, but I think I’ll stick with cables)
Each Leg
2 Sets 12 Reps @ 55 lbs
2 sets 10 Reps @ 60 lbs

And for fun, I did 150 situps on a decline bench with a 25 lb plate and 4 sets of 6 chinups

 

Review: Con-Cret Creatine Micro Dosing

cre·a·tine

noun

Biochemistry
noun: creatine
  1. a compound formed in protein metabolism and present in much living tissue. It is involved in the supply of energy for muscular contraction.

I do not take many supplements.  I find that the lack of testing on most sports supplements makes it difficult to determine there worth.  I am fortunate enough to be involved with a sport that occassionally hands out samples of different products to try and some I continue with and others I either shelve or give away.  Personally I am a huge fan of Perfect Nutrition Whey Protein in Gluten Free, Active Womens multi-vitamins, Ripped Freak Fat burners.  Other than those I have tried many but take very few. 

After my photoshoot with the fabulous Rick Oliver a couple of weeks ago I was given a sample of Con-Cret Creatine Micro-Dosing in Fruit Punch flavor.  It may be suprising but even after 3 years of heavy lifting in the gym I had not tried creatine.  I had the misconception that it was for men. 

CON-CRET-2T

My sample was 25.2 grams and said to have 24 doses in the container.  Instructions say to have 1 or 2 servings per 100 lbs of body weight.  I then did my research and found that at that rate it would take about 3 weeks to start feeling the effects.  I am impatient so I found articles on saturation on line.  For the first 5 days I took 4 scoops of this stuff a day.  While it is supposed to take weeks to start feeling the effects… I am sold that this product is Amazing. 

I have beat every single one of my personal bests at the gym in the last 5 days.  I have more energy while there and I am experiencing less DOMS than normal.  I do feel that I am retaining water slightly however I am attributing that to the saturation phase I experimented with last week.  I am definitely going to continue with this product! 

I found the product on Supplement source and at $39.97 for 48 servings it will definitely be added in indefinitely.  They also have great information on the product itself so be sure to check it out.

 

I highly recomend this product.

 

 

 

Note: This is an independent review, I am not in any way affiliated with this company nor am I being compensated for this, or have I been asked to do it.

Things I have learned about being a Mom

1.  You can teach your children to Load and Unload the dishwasher

However do not expect that when they load it they will do it properly… this is apparently rocket science to anybody but Mom.  If they unload it and the sink is full of dishes, unless expressly told to do so, they will not put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

2.  Socks will be everywhere

In the couches, under the kitchen table, between mattresses.

3.  They will never use the last of anything

This would require going to the effort of replacing or throwing it out.  In the case of cookies, they will leave one in the bottom.  In the case of milk there will be a swallow.  Water bottles will be drank 3/4 of the way and left wherever.

4.  If something is lost… You will have to find it.

My children have complete melt downs if after 30 seconds of looking they cannot find; something.  This immediately results in “Mom… where’s my…. !”.  Trying to get them to look harder is an argument you probably will not win.  Pick your battles.

5. Until they hit puberty, bathtime, hair brushing and general hygeine will be a war on germs. 

6.  Your house will not be clean ever again!

possibly for an hour if nobody but you is home, but that’s about it.

But most of all I have learned to choose my battles, enjoy the hugs and kisses and fun moments and that time outs were not created for children… they were created for parents.

Kaizen Cleanse Review – Do Not Waste Your Money

No Longer a Daily Review

So I started the Kaizen cleanse on Friday.  You can see my first post here.

 

Friday

You drink these two green sludge “cleanse” drinks.  Take my advice if you try this out yourself, do not mix with water.  They still taste awful but are definitely better when taken as a shot.  Close your eyes and drink it down.  First night I took 5 of the pills that they say to take every other day unless they are not working in which case you can take them every night for up to 7 nights in a row.

Saturday

The next morning I woke with incredibly dry mouth, very bad gas and that’s about it.  After sticking to my clean eating diet all day and drinking down two more of the foul tasting “cleanse” shots I took another dose of the pills before bedtime.

Sunday morning I felt absolutely awful.  Dry mouth is an understatement, no matter how much water I drank I was thirsty.  Tried to go to the gym as usual and felt dizzy.  I still had awful bloating and gas.  Though this time I finally was able to “go”.  In fact a few times.

AND I’m DONE

Did not last the full 7 days on this.  Granted if I ever need a laxative I guess they are in the cupboard if I’m, stuck.

Final Opinion

The ingredients of this cleanse are essentially natural diuretics and laxatives.  Which is actually why I chose it.  However I would not suggest this.  Water loading to get rid of bloat which I am doing this week anyways in order to get ready for a photo-shoot, along with low fat, high fibre food and you’ll get much the same results in a much healthier way and without having to feel awful.

 

kaizen cleanse day 1 review

disclaimer:  I am not paid for this review.

so, going into a competition I would never dream of doing a cleanse.  I am a natural athlete with UFE and I have never and would never “cheat”.  However I am going into a photoshoot with Rick Oliver and I am not on point from where I would like to be.  I have been stressed out about this photo shoot since I decided to do it and I decided that as part of my peak week I would try a cleanse.  Going with my “body is a science experiment”.  Rick generally shoots physique and bodybuilders and I am a little tiny fitness / bikini model who loves to lift heavy and who also loves that I’m “trim”.  So. Last week I decided to try out a cleanse.

 

Cleanse decision

So. Not a whole lot went into this.  I will not do a “juice cleanse”.  I also will not starve myself for anybody. I work out 6-7 days a week at 5 am and I love that I lift heavy.   Getting ready for a competition is hard work and adds stress to your body.  While I want to look fabulous in my pictures I do not want to do a full competition prep – I just want to be “photoshoot ready”.  So, I decided to search for an easy to use cleans product.

 

Why review

I am doing a daily detailed review because while I found some great reviews of this product most were through people trying to sell it or Kaizen themselves.

 

Where I got it.

I bought this at www.supplementsource.ca  which is a london (home town) based company.  They had 2 cleanse products and this is the one I chose.

Off the point comment

Canada post is having major issues with finances.  Even though I drive past the supplement source website on my way home there is no pick up option.  Canada post picked up my order on the 11th, drove it to Mississauga to be processed and then drove it back to be delivered on the 14th.  Ya, there are some major issues in canada post. \

 

The product

Kaizen is essentially a natural herbal remedy with a diuretic and a cleanser.  You eat healthy and for the first two days you take the CLEANSE liquid detox purifier twice a day and for 7 days you take the overnight “diuretic”.  (They call it something else… whatever).  So its now day 1

 

DAY 1

Did a heavy leg day at the gym followed by 1.5 hours of pampering at the salon!  Came home to begin my cleanse.

Instructions say to have the first cleanse with 8-10 oz of water after b-fast.  I was a little late on that and poured green sludge cleanse liquid into my giant 1.6 litre water bottle and downed it.  Tasted like crap regadless of the label which reads naturally flavored apple / lemon.  No worries. Drank it up.  Ate normal all day.  Spinach and chicken salad for lunch, tilapia and b-sprouts for dinner and sesame seed snack this aft.

Around 8PM I took second cleanse shot.  It had tasted sooooo awful drink one I seriously plugged my nose and took it as a shot.  Taste is way better.

The Gross stuff.

This is supposed to clean out your kidneys, liver and refresh your skin.  I have pooped a few times today but not like I have pooped more like…. I went poo a lil bit a few times (TMI I know.).

Tonight

According to instructions I take 5 of the detox / cleanse (re: diuretic) pills tonight and see what happens.  Tomorrow I begin my water load and do my last major all over body deplete workout.

 

 

Status as of this afternoon:

 

to see status pictures follow me on instagra @onefitmamacanada
More update tomorrow.

Dear stay-at-home-mama

Dear stay-at-home Mama,

 

How are you?  What have you been up to?  Did Timmy win his soccer game yesterday?

Little update on my life.   Boo just finished his baseball season, unfortunately he didn’t make the end of the year tournament but the coach is trying to put together a parent and kid game for fun.  Hoping it’s a day that I can be there, am not working and do not have to drive him 180 km’s to meet his dad for the weekend.  Big kid passed his summer school course with great grades.  He wants to try out for the football team again this year, so if you know anyone doing after school daycare for Boo please forward them onto me.  I’m still training hard.  I get up around 5 every morning to go to the gym and am really lucky my office has a gym at it so I use half my lunch hour to work out too!  I became an elite athlete this year and “can” go for my pro card in November if I choose to.  However I will probably plan to compete again at showdown next year, it’s in my home town and it’s just too difficult to make arrangements to be away for a weekend.   As you know we have the girls on the weekends that the boys go to their dads.  Unfortunately neither of their other parents wants to switch with us so it’s always a bit of a juggling act.  Would be amazing to have them all at the same time since they get along great together however we don’t want to disrupt everyone else’s schedule.  The kids went on vacation with their dads a couple of weeks ago and honey and I went away for the weekend.  Unfortunately I was out of cell service area and big kids dads got pretty upset.  Guess we should not have done that however it was wonderful to have some quiet time with honey and some friends.

In your last letter you asked a couple of questions.  Thought I would take some time to answer them for you.

As for how I keep my house so clean, everybody pitches in.  You would be amazed how quickly you can clean a house when you have all hands on deck, and considering that we have four children if everyone cleans for 30 minutes it’s about the same as spending two hours doing it myself.  Boo knows how to fold towels, hang up his laundry and run the Swiffer and vacuum around, big kid is great for cutting the grass and all of the kids help unload the dishwasher.  I have to admit that some things you just gotta do yourself, like cleaning the kitchen sink and scrubbing the bathroom, but it’s just part of doing everyone’s part to keep the house clean.

In response to where do I find the time for the gym, just wanted to assure you that my kids are just as important to me as yours are to you.  I love my “me” time at the gym, probably as much as you like your ladies coffee dates after school bus drop off.  Personally during the work week I get up at 5am, I belong to Anytime Fitness and it has 24/7 access, that time of day it’s like having a gym all to myself.  I get home just in time to get everybody else going on their day before heading off to work.  I am also super lucky cause my work has a gym at it.  It’s quite small but works great when I am getting ready for a show or a photo-shoot.  When Boo was little I went to a gym with a daycare.  It was great!  For $5 I got an hour of me time and he got to play with kids his age talk about win-win.

You’re right that I sometimes miss “those moments” with the kids.  I can’t always make it to the school assembly where he gets his award for being the most “courageous” in his class at least not when I only find out about it that morning, but I can usually be there if I know in advance.  I don’t volunteer to help during the day because I am working but I generally volunteer to organize some sort of activity with whatever they are involved in at the moment.

No, we do not have a house keeper or cleaning lady, we do not have a gardener and unfortunately the only tutors our kids have are me, honey and their respective other parents.  School day evenings can definitely be hectic, Boo’s still young enough to need a babysitter, and they all have homework and activities.  Yes, occasionally something slips through the cracks… a project not done on time, a teacher website not checked daily or a kid who misplaces the note from the teacher reminding you that your I mean their project is past due.  I am sure none of that ever happens to you since after all your “kids come first”.

Being a mom is definitely hard work!  But it’s also incredibly rewarding.  I will admit that it took a long time to really get the hang of it all.  It’s easy to fall into the pattern of feeling sorry for yourself or not feeling appreciated for everything you do.  For me it was learning to make myself a priority.  As soon as I began to do that everything else got so much easier.  It’s also when the right things came into my life, and my children became happier too.  You know that saying about if mama isn’t happy nobody is.  Well it works in reverse.  When Mama is happy everyone is… or at least usually is.   We do have teen agers in the house after-all

Just wanted to say thank you for volunteering at the school.  I really do appreciate that there are moms out there that are able to do that and enjoy it.  It’s amazing that you pick your kids up from school or meet them at the bus every day, I certainly wish it was a choice I could make.  Thank you for organizing the fundraiser sales for the scouts last season, all of my colleagues loved those cookies and I ran out of room on the order form.

I know that it’s really tough for you to get time to yourself, so let me know if you want to bring the kids over for a sleep over on the weekend, just please remind them that the rules are sometimes different and we do have things like bed times and they will have to clean up after themselves.  I know that the rules are different at our house and yours but I also don’t like being the bad guy because of it.  My kids don’t seem to mind and we do lots of fun things together.   Thinking about a back yard fire and a trip to the water park this weekend and Timmy is more than welcome to come along.

 

Yours Truly,

 

One Fit Mama

 

 

 

 

Science Behind Eat, Train, Rest, Repeat!

If you go to the gym chances are that you are not only trying to lose weight but gain muscle.  Or perhaps you are one of those people who are “looking to get toned” but are worried about getting too bulky.

If you are a long time reader you will already know my pet peave of having women stop to ask me what I do at the gym to look like I do, my response alwas being  “I lift weights”.  There next response is 9 out of 10 times, “Oh but I don’t want to get bulky”.  Seeing as I am anything but I find this hilarious.  My quick response is generall the quick quip “its not easy to get big, and muscles burn more calories while at rest”  then I walk away.

While the easy answer is the easy answer I thought I would explore the science behind why muscles grow from hypertrophy, cell activation, and hormones used.  Although that would definitely be too long of an explanation

Muscle growth takes place after your workout when your body repairs and replaces damaged muscle fibers through a cellular process which fuses muscle fibers together to form new muscle protein strands or myofibrils. The repaired muscles increase in thickness and number to create muscle hypertrophy (GROWTH).  All of this happens however after your workouts and while you rest.    To gain or grow muscles you need to activate satellite cells.  Activating satellite cells may be the difference between what allows some to grow massive muscles and what makes others “hard gainers”.

Lift Heavier

Underlying all progression of natural muscle growth is the ability to continually put more stress on the muscles. This stress is a major component involved in the growth of a muscle and disrupts homeostasis within your body. The stress and subsequent disruption in homeostasis causes three main mechanisms that spur on muscle growth.

In order to produce muscle growth, you have to apply a load of stress greater than what your body or muscles had previously adapted too. How do you do this? The main way is to lift progressively heavier weights. The additional tension on the muscle helps to cause changes in the chemistry of the muscle, allowing for growth factors that include satellite cell activation.  Muscular tension also most dramatically effects the connection of the motor units with the muscle cells. Two other factors help to explain why some people can be stronger, but not as big as other people.

 

If you’ve ever felt sore after a workout, you have experienced the localized muscle damage from working out. This local muscle damage causes a release of inflammatory molecules and immune system cells that activate satellite cells to jump into action. This doesn’t mean that you have to feel sore in order for this to happen, but instead that the damage from the workout has to be present in your muscle cells. Typically soreness is attenuated over time by other mechanisms.  This is also the reason why those who go to the gym for long lengths of time but never increase their weights often see great results during the first few weeks and then plateau.

Metabolic stress causes cell swelling around the muscle, which helps to contribute to muscle growth without necessarily increasing the size of the muscle cells. This is from the addition of muscle glycogen, which helps to swell the muscle along with connective tissue growth. This type of growth is known as sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and is one of the ways that people can get the appearance of larger muscles without increases in strength.

So, what about hormones and Testosterone?

Hormones are another component largely responsible for muscle growth and repair because of their role in regulating satellite cell activity. Insulin Growth Factor (IGF), in particular Mecho-Growth Factor (MGF) and testosterone are the two most vital mechanisms that promote muscle growth.

Testosterone is the main hormone that most people think about when working out with weights, and there seems to be some validity to the thought that testosterone increases protein synthesis, inhibits protein breakdown, activates satellite cells, and stimulates other anabolic hormones. Although most testosterone is bound in the body and therefore not available to use, strength training seems to help not only release more testosterone, but also make the receptors of your muscle cells more sensitive to your free testosterone. Testosterone can also stimulate growth hormone responses by increasing the presence of neurotransmitters at the damaged fiber site, which can help to activate tissue growth.  The IGF regulates the amount of muscle mass growth by enhancing protein synthesis, facilitating glucose uptake, repartitioning the uptake of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) into skeletal muscles and once again, activates satellite cells to increase muscle growth. There is the big reason why women especially have a harder time gaining muscle.  In order for Figure and Physique competitors in a natural competition to gain size their training and diet is highly specialized in order to allow the largest amount of protein synthesis as well as trainer accordingly to gain muscle.  This is not the type of thing a first timer or even experienced lifter is liable to stumble upon while working out.   It is a science.

 

Where is my “Rest” muscle and how do I train it?

I personally dislike rest days, for me it’s harder to stick to my diet when I do not go to the gym, that doesn’t mean they are not important though.  If you do not provide your body with adequate rest or nutrition, you can actually reverse the anabolic process and put your body into a catabolic or destructive state. The response of muscle protein metabolism to a resistance exercise bout lasts for 24-48 hours; thus, the interaction between protein metabolism and any meals consumed in this period will determine the impact of the diet on muscle hypertrophy.

 

So as you can see “EAT, TRAIN, REST, REPEAT!”  Really is a valid mantra.  If you eat the right foods, train hard and rest enough to allow for repair you will grow your muscles.  And yes, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn while doing nothing.