Tag Archives: #bodybuilding

Do What Works For You

Too often lately I have seen posts bashing IIFYM (If it fits your macros)  vs Clean Eating and strict dieting.

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If following a strict diet works for you… do it.

If tracking macros and making pop tarts fit them works for you… do it.

Too often lately I have seen posts bashing Cross fit or military training vs Traditional weight lifting or bodybuilding

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If doing HIIT accompanied by monkey bars and rope climbing works for you… do it

If doing traditional sets, drop sets and weights focused on contraction works for you… do it.

 

Too often lately I have seen things bashing the girl that wears lipstick to the gym… “because she is obviously just looking to pick up”

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If you want to wear lipstick because being surrounded by meat heads and mirrors it makes you feel good… do it.

If you want to roll out of bed and go to the gym… do it.

 

Its supposed to be about what works for you.  Because lets face it.  You go to the gym for you!  Weather it is because of health, beauty, strength… you are there to better yourself.  Do what works for you!  And please stop bashing others who are trying to better themselves.  Everybody starts somewhere.

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Happy 3 Year Gym Anniversary

3 Year Anniversary in the Gym.

They say that it takes consistency for 21 days to form a habit.  Doing something for 21 days straight makes it an ingrained habit.  That was my thinking on November 18, 2011 when I joined the gym.  Goal 1 was 30 lbs by New Year’s Eve, to accomplish that goal, I would spend a minimum of 1 hour a day at the gym working out, I also changed my diet drastically.  And January 1, 2012.  I hit my goal.

No, I have not worked out 7 days a week for the past 3 years.  There are times I am there 5 times a week, and others seven.  There have been whole months where I let it slide and just quit going.  However I always go back and I have to say I am very consistent.  I know that my well-being is much better when I spend time on me, and my “me” time involved some serious heavy metal.

That being said, I am into “B-O-D-Y-B-U-I-L-D-I-N-G” and that means the longer, more often and heavier you lift consistently the more you can change your body.

The picture on the left is November 18 2011, as you can see I won’t even look in the mirror, looking back I wish I’d taken one head on so you could really see what I was dealing with.

Second picture was a year later.  As you can see a lot had changed.  I was beginning to get ready for the first competition I would do in April 2012.

Third Picture was 2 years in the gym November 18, 2013.  2 years of lifting, clean eating, and having competed in 2 bodybuilding competitions.

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Today’s photo.  Well 3 years later.  All of that hard work has definitely made a difference in this Mama.  It’s never too late to change your life

 

To every one of my readers, friends, and especially my family that have supported me through this crazy journey, both the ups and the downs I want to say THANK YOU.  There have been days I just want to say enough is enough, I’m going to eat the cheesecake like everybody else.  And there are days when I have.  But those days are the exception, or a planned treat.  I wake up every morning and lift, I am proud of my strength, proud of my accomplishments and very happy with the way life has turned out.  I couldn’t of done it without you.

Moms Blabber, Food Prep, Life Update…

I give so much thanks to all of the friends and like minded friends I have made through this blog.  Some have sincerely become people I consider friends. Even if we have never met face to face.  I am just two days out from my 3 year anniversary in the gym.  That post I have written and re-written multiple times  Who knows what form it will take, however there are alot of things I have learned over the last three years.  Most of which is, you don’t know everything ever… just keep trying.

 

So, this is just a blabber post about life in general, because well… that’s how the blog started.  One post about why I wanted to blog that basically said, put it out there and maybe my mom or then bf would read my drivvel.

 

So, this week’s tip.  Food Prep.

Ya, sucks.  But honestly for me, if I don’t do it I am far more apt to fail.  I generally prep my food in the morning for the day, alongside making breakfast and a whack load of sandwiches and things I cannot eat for the boys who are bottomless pits (all 3)  and can eat whatever they want with no consequence.  I booked a photo-shoot for 2 weeks from now with Dana Brushette which I have wanted to do for close to a year.  She does boudoir and pin up shoots.  This one is at a retro style house and I can’t wait.  And while I am nowhere near competition shape, I need a goal and a motivation right now, cause I am 19 weeks from my next competition and I’m kinda in a rut.  No goal, great program, not so sure about my diet (following coaches plan please don’t tell him)    So cue goal, two weeks out and I spent most of the day cleaning, laundry and cooking for the week.  But not just for me, for the kids too.  (sorry coach, I’m on my plan for the next two weeks)

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So, my food for at least the next few weeks.  Egg whites, green beans and spinach twice a day, extra lean ground turkey with green beans, onions, asparagus and a lil salsa and Italian seasoning twice a day, whey protein, peanut butter and tuna steaks.  Two weeks to rip it into shape.

 

I also made 8 cheese bagels with cream cheese, 8 sandwiches with different meat, condiments and ingredients, packaged muffins (the big costco ones in half per bag), cookies, carrots, separated yogurt containers and loaded up on bananas and apples for the boys.  Should make lunch making easy in the mornings, I hope.  Cause stead rate is going out the window for full blown fat burning HIIT.

 

Two weeks to stunning 50’s pin up.  GO

Sometimes I feel fat…

 

No, I am not.  And Yes I do know that.  I work very hard at the gym, I eat healthy and I am aware that I am very fit, especially for my age.  However some days I can look in the mirror and feel amazing and other days all I see is rolls and lumps where all the muscles I swear just were.  My body sits at about 15lbs more than competition weight when I don’t watch what I am eating.  My boyfriend eats everything and anything, usually covered in gravy or cheese, the kids are the same.  Click HERE to hear it from him.  Truth is, I was like that too for years.  Now I cannot eat like that.  However it seems that even when I think I am watching what I eat and not eating clean 100%.  My body adjusts and sits at almost 15 lbs more than competition weight…. And that 15lbs bothers me more than I like to admit.

 

I despise the scale with a passion.  I like to go by what I see, and how my clothes fit. Here’s some tips for tracking progress other then the demon box. However with the addition of my new trainer I have to take weekly progress pics, and oh ya… step on that stupid little scale once a week.  And it is messing with my head!  I have been consistently losing every week, however add in a bad progress pic this morning and even though I’ve lost just less than 10 lbs in the last four weeks.  I still don’t feel good.  Today I feel fat.

 

Here’s the silly part.  When I woke up to go to the gym this morning, I could see my abs.  Wish I’d taken a picture, because I really did feel great about how I looked.  Then I went to the gym and got on that scale and suddenly I felt awful.  Came home and had my other half take my progress pics to send to my coach and my mood plummeted.    The pictures were just bad pictures.  I was part way through getting ready to go to work, my hair was all over the place, and my other half doesn’t see what I see in the pictures ever.  Gotta love him for it.  But those pictures along with that little box put me in a bad mood.

 

So… What’s the point of this post?

 

Well I guess even those of us with the best intentions and mind set get upset by that stupid little box called a scale.   Yes my mood plummeted but it is coming back up.  I feel better having written this post just because I said it and can see how ridiculous it is to be upset by it.  I also think I need to find a way to weigh myself for my trainer without actually having to look at the number myself.  Hmm… that one could be tough!

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.

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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. 

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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.

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.

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.