Tag Archives: #bodybuilding

The Long and the Short of Having a Stiff One

The general rule of thumb while in prep for a bodybuilding competition is that booze is bad and you should consume none.  Over the course of the last few years I have heard a lot of people (mostly non-bodybuilders) explain that vodka is better for you then wine, that wine is better than beer and why just one or two drinks will not affect your weight loss or your health.  So I did my research and here’s what I found.

The Short

If you’re interested in tracking macros, calories etc the top portion is probably all you need.  The reality is that for every gram of alcohol you consume is works out to 7 calories and no nutritional value in mineral or nutrients to your body whatsoever, it also makes your body work overtime in order to metabolize it.

General Rules for Caloric Breakdown of Foods

You’re body gets calories from the food you eat, in order for our bodies to function we need carbohydrates, protein, fat and water.  Along with essential vitamins and minerals.  Without these things our bodies do not function as they should.   Vitamin, mineral and water content add nutritional value to food but do not provide any calories.  The key is to spend the calories on foods that provide a variety of vitamins and minerals without a lot of calories and that provide the most energy in return.

1 gram Calories
Carbohydrates 4
Protein 4
Fat 9
Alcohol 7

 

Alcohol Breakdown

Alcoholic drink Calories
Beer, lite, 12 oz. 100
Beer, regular, 12 oz. 150
Frozen daiquiri, 4 oz. 216
Gin, 1.5 oz. 110
Mai tai, 4 oz. 310
Margarita, 4 oz. 270
Rum, 1.5 oz. 96
Vodka, 1.5 oz. 96
Whiskey, 1.5 oz. 105
Wine spritzer, 4 oz. 49
Wine, dessert, sweet, 4 oz. 180

 

In summary, having a drink depending on your goals, is acceptable.  If your goal is to get on stage and you are stressing it to the max, why load up on empty calories that make losing weight more difficult and give you none of the added benefits of energy, strength, recovery.  Contest prep no-no.  Occasionally during weight loss, meh.  Boozing it up on a daily basis?  Read on….

The Long (er)

Most of us like to have a cocktail or two from time to time and there is really nothing wrong with that, this post is not about binge drinking or issues with alcoholism, alcohol can be classified as a drug and the reality is it’s the most widely used drug in the world.  According to the national institute of Alcohol abuse and Alcoholism, in the US 17.6 million (1 in 12) adults are alcohol dependent.  If you are in this boat I would advise you to seek intervention.

The majority of the rest of us drink socially and / or moderately, yes it effects how we act almost immediately but it also effects your body in a myriad of ways that you are not aware of.  (Or at least I wasn’t until I started researching).  I prefer to make informed decisions and I will continue to have the occasionally bevie.

Alcohol provides a lot of calories with no nutritional value, and it also interferes with how your body processes and stores nutrients so that healthy foods that you do eat aren’t actually doing their job.

Once you have a drink, your body begins trying to metabolize it immediately.  So, it stops metabolizing anything else you have consumed in order to make the booze the priority.  The reason for this is that unlike the good stuff (protein, carbohydrates and fat) there is nowhere for it to be stored so it must be processed.  Once that drink enters your stomach, up to 20% of it can be absorbed there and go directly into your blood stream.  Within minutes it reaches your brain and gives the feeling of being a stimulant (buzzed).  The remaining alcohol content goes into your intestines and is absorbed there with the rest of the nutrients and very small amount gets pumped out through sweat, saliva, urine and your breath (why breathalysers work).

The sugar in our blood is called glucose and is used for growth and energy (hmm… bodybuilding buzzwords if ever I saw them).  Blood glucose comes from the foods that we eat and the breakdown of the glucose stored in our muscles (glycogen).  The primary hormones involved in maintaining a healthy blood glucose level are insulin and glucagon.   Generally when your blood sugar drops your body will respond by making more or burning stored sugar.  When you’re blood sugar rises it secrets insulin to keep it within a healthy range.  Drinking can deplete your glycogen stores in a matter of hours.  Long term studies of heavy drinkers showed that 50 – 65 % of people with alcoholic liver disease had either glucose intolerance or suffered from diabetes.

The reality of all of this means, that drinking in moderation and socially is acceptable depending on your goals, however the explanation of how it actually effects your body in “growth” (muscle gains) and in energy (Strength) cannot be ignored overall.  I for one still love my red wine and will continue to have it occasionally.  However depending on your goals and your health you may not want to imbibe. I completely believe in moderation on an everyday level and while many fitness buffs may preach that “food is fuel” mentality I live my life to enjoy it and one of the things I enjoy is good food, good wine and great company.  I also believe in understanding how things work and why my body does what it does.    Cheers!

 

References:
American Counsel for Drug Education
Sizer, F., and E. Whitney. Nutrition Concepts and Controversies. Toronto, Canada: Thomson Wadsworth, 2003.
FDA News Release. Nov. 17, 2010.
American Diabetes Association

Squat Evaluation and Other Glute Building Exercises

ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN GLUTES ARE MADE FROM SQUATS

The general consensus for bodybuilders and weight lifters is that FROM (Full Range of Motion Squats) are the better than PROM (Partial range of motion) squats.  A study conducted by *The Journal of Strength and Conditioning researched the two and found the following:

PROM

Partial range of motion squats found that force and power were greater.  PROM Squats can be beneficial to athletes that do not require full range of motion for their sport in other words you can move more weight by using partial movement (no big surprise there).

FROM

Full range of motion squats are defined as squats where you’re hips become parallel with your knees or lower.  The study found that speed and total work performed was greater in FROM squats.  Concluding that Full range of motion may require an athlete to use lighter weights then with Partial Range of Motion squats but that these squats were better for overall conditioning as well as body composition.

My personal experience is that there are times that both are useful.  Since my injury a couple of months ago READ HERE I have found back loaded squats near impossible, I still do them.  I have been doing partial movements though while lifting heavy, and so far can only do FROM squats with about 20lbs loaded, working slowly towards my body weight (again).  Going as deep as I can.  I have also put an emphasis on front loaded squats which while much lighter I can achieve FROM.  I have also been experimenting with other exercises to throw into my Bum Building repertoire and have a few absolute favorites.  (This does not extinguish the need to keep up with the big booty building moves of squats, deadlifts and lunges.  But switching things up and adding things in makes working out far more fun)

TUSH BUILDING EXERCISES TO TRY

Sumo Squats
Target: Inner Thighs and Glutes

Place a dumbbell on end between you’re feet.  Stand with feet pointing out and knees slightly further then shoulder width apart.  Squat down keeping you’re back as straight as you can and pick up the dumbbell by one end and stand.  Lower the dumbbell back until it just touches the floor before standing again.
sumo

Kickbacks (Also called “Donkey Kicks”)
Target: Hip Flexors, Quadriceps, Glutes and Core

These can be done with or without weight or apparatus.  I personally do them utilizing the smith machine at my gym but you could just as easily do them with cables, or ankle weights.  Set the bar on the smith to the lowest point, kneel on all fours with your feet able to comfortably push up and back on the bar of the smith, switch legs and repeat.  Warning doing these will definitely make you walk funny the next day.  I’ve worked up to 2-25lb plates and will be aiming for 2-35lb plates this weekend.
Donkey_kicks

Curtsy Lunges
Target: Glutes and Adductors

This is exactly what it sounds like.  Think back to some old movie like Gone with the Wind, where gentlemen bowed and ladies curtsied.  Except replace the white gloves and corsets with gym clothes and barbells.  Normally when you lunge your leading leg should be slightly out and toe pointed out (this is a very commonly badly performed exercise).  In this case you are going to lunge with your legs almost crossed.  Want that nice round look on your tush?  Give these a shot.
curtsy

Hip Thrust or Glute Bridge
Target: Glutes and Core

These can be performed a few ways and there are variations.  Beginners may want to start with only body weight (lie on a mat knees bent, thrust hips into the air with shoulders still on matt) slightly more difficult do the same thing and extend one leg out straight, or my personal favorite is to sit on a bench, rest a barbell (currently I do these with 70 lbs) and step off the bench until you’re shoulders are resting on the bench with the barbell resting across your hips.  Lower you’re backside to the floor, and raise back up to flat again, keeping your knees at a 90 degree angle.  (Little trick: when you’re finished sit on the floor and tilt the barbell upright in order to get up from these)

hip-thrust

References:
*http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2012/04000/Effects_of_Changing_from_Full_Range_of_Motion_to.2.aspx

No Excuses

Everyone has an excuse.  Whether it’s for why your house is a mess, you’re wearing the same clothes 3 days in a row, haven’t had the oil changed in the car or why you just do not have time to get to the gym.  I should know, I used them for years and years.  It wasn’t until I gave up on the excuses that I started to see major results (30 lbs lost in 45-ish days)

Reality is that everyone has busy lives.  At the time I started hitting the gym, I was a single Mom of two boys then 13 and 5.  They have two different dads, which means two different schedules and a lot of the time two different and just as stressful headaches.  I was working about 45 minutes each way from home to my job where I generally put in 40+ hour weeks.  I was also running a home based business doing hair extensions out of my house, needless to say, I had gotten into the habit of eating what was easy instead of what was healthy.  I would make huge batches of Sheppard’s pie and lasagna.  While they are delicious, I cannot eat like that every day, I was also surviving on no less than 4 XL Tim Horton’s Double-Double Coffee’s (that’s more than 120 grams of sugar just from coffee).    I have never been lazy.  I really was busy.  I would get up early to make breakfasts and lunches, to make sure kids teeth got brushed, and that homework was organized and in line.  I would also be responding to emails and text messages from work, trying to stay in touch with my family out of town and driving kids to soccer, hockey, school stuff etc.   I have never been much of a TV Person, but I certainly liked sitting down at the end of the day with some quiet music and a glass of wine.

The moment that I decided I had enough everything changed.

I gave myself one hour!  “My” one hour when I started was always right after work.  Boo liked the gym daycare because there were always lot of other little boys to play with so right after work I would pick him up from regular daycare and go to the gym.  He’d play, I’d sweat… or lie on the matt hoping the fact I couldn’t move anymore appeared to be stretching.  I gave up Tim Horton’s cold turkey, gave up most of my red wine.  I would still have a glass with friends, and I still do, it’s just not every night.  I switched out white potatoes for mashed cauliflower, quinoa for rice and started learning to use spices instead of sauces and creams.  That’s it.  1 hour every day and I was down 30lbs in 45 days.  I also started drinking water, water and more water.  I felt amazing!  Going home for Christmas that year I shocked everyone by how well I was doing.

So let me help you give up your excuse.

“I don’t have time”

  1.  How much television do you watch on average in a day / week?

Personally I usually have one series per season that I enjoy.  Winter time is Game of Thrones, summer its True Blood, fall-ish is mad men.  Yes the TV is on at my house, I have kids and a bf.  They watch annoying kid stuff and annoying loud car stuff.  But if you’re watching even an hour a day you just found your time to work out.

  1.  Set the alarm for an hour earlier.

When you’re overweight and tired, the idea of getting up early and losing an hour of sleep is horrifying.  Trust me I remember it vividly.  Hitting snooze like 6 times so that suddenly everybody is running late, nobody has what they need and you inadvertently go to work in mis-matched heels.   Thing is the more you work out and get fit, the more energy you have… seems backwards but it’s true.   Exercise releases oxygen into your body, more oxygen makes you feel more energetic.  Then add in that it releases endorphins and they make you “feel good”.  So now you’re working towards “looking good” and you already feel good.  No caffeine or sugar crash required.

  1. Have a Nooner

Most of us work long stressful days and there’s nothing like taking even 30 minutes on your lunch to sweat out the frustration of a long day of frustrating “work”.

  1. Work out at home!

Do this in front of the TV if you really cannot miss your “show”, do it in the morning, in the evening while making dinner whatever works for you.  Body weight is a great thing, use it.  Squats, lunges, jump squats, crunches, planks etc.  Even better grab some weights, a kettlebell, and a resistance band and you can work out wherever and whenever you like.

 

“Eating Healthy Is Too Expensive”

  1.  All I have to say to this is cut the crap!  Yes perhaps eating “healthier” options from your favorite overpriced burger joint is more expensive.  But a can of Tuna generally can be found around a dollar, eggs are dirt cheap, and spinach can be bought pre-washed for like $3 for enough to eat a salad a day for a week plus throw some in just about everything else you cook.

 

Sample Healthy Grocery List (1 week – 1 person)

  • Dozen Eggs:    $2
  • Egg Whites (2 packages of 3 large from Costco): $6
  • Salsa:     $2.50
  • Sweet Potatoes: $1 / pound
  • Oats:    $2
  • Frozen Roast Chicken Slices (this probably will last you two weeks): $10
  • Tilapia Fillet’s:    $10
  • 4 cans of Tuna:   $4
  • Random veggies and fruit buying what’s on sale: $5
  • Almonds: $5

 

I can make about 15 Different meals with the list above.  I’ve rounded for ease.  That entire list is less than $50 for more than a week of groceries….   You can’t have a Coffee a day and a burger for 5 days a week for that. … which brings us to the next excuse. (also the first excuse)

“Cooking Healthy Takes Too Much Time”

  1. I either cook everything all at once on a Sunday and pack my fridge with Tupperware.  Never takes an hour to do all the cooking for a week.  Most days I cook in the morning for the day.  After the gym and while getting myself and my kids ready for the day.   Meal 1 is usually oats, meal 2 and 4 Egg whites, salsa and spinach tossed and scrambled in the frying pan takes about 2 minutes to make, spinach salad with chicken and almonds and cherry tomatoes for lunch, and grilled fish and veggies for dinner and depending on my prep half a sweet potato.  Add in a handful of almonds or some protein powder or veggies to crunch on and you just prepped all of your food for the day in 15 minutes.  Easy Peasy!

 

“I am big boned, small boned, an ectomorph etc”

  1. Nice to meet you.  I’m Kelly and no, you’re not.  Genetics definitely plays a role in body type, shape and size.  However I’ll guarantee you’re bones are not three times bigger than anyone else’s.  I personally think that these excuses have far more to do with how you were raised, or are you’re raising your own children.  If you only ever were raised to eat meat and potatoes, chips and always had ice cream I guess I can see why you might feel deprived.  It’s definitely a learned habit.  However they say doing something for 12 days makes it a habit.  So, set you’re self-up for success by making a 12 day plan and do not deviate from it at all.  Bet you will look and feel amazing.
  2. From the ladies this is usually “I just want to get toned”.  When they ask what I do at the gym and I tell them I lift as heavy as I can their next response is usually “But I don’t want to get bulky”… Ummm… so you want to look like me, and I just told you what I do, I am by no means a big girl (at all) so…. ?

“I take medication / have an injury”

  1.  Of course you are not supposed to start any exercise program without first consulting a physician.  However I have yet to hear of a physician saying no to working out due to any malady out there.  Medications can work against you, however they will not stop you from working out.  As for injuries, start light with any injured body part and work up slowly to full strength.  Personally I was plagued by a bad back due to a car accident in my teens that used to “go out” randomly all of the time.  I started doing no weight back extensions at the gym 2.5 years ago and it has’nt hurt me since.

 

“I do not know what I am doing”

  1. This is the Internet, and there is a thing called “Google”.  A few of my favorite resources:

Hope this was helpful.

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not second last!

Does’nt sound like much an achievment.

 

However.  My goal was always to do better then my last competition  Which means for me, do better, feel better and look better.

Results posted for the bikini category.  Master’s only qualifies the top 3 for elite.  And the top 5 for open.  and…. I came in 5th out of 12th for Master’s.  May seem odd but 5th in bikini means more to me then 3rd in fitness.  YAY!

 

 

5TH PLACE!  UFE Bikini Masters 2014
5TH PLACE! UFE Bikini Masters 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Competition Recap and Plans

UFE SHOWDOWN 2014

Showdown took place at Centenial Hall right here in good old London Ontario.  I do not work on Fridays and I spent the day limiting water, getting my nails done, and getting spray tanned for the competition.  For a tan this time, since I am always looking for a way to keep on Budget rather than do the traditional Competition Tan, I bought a bottle of Pro Tan overnight competition tan.  This stuff is amazing.  I began on Wednesday night by applying a coat, did the same Thursday night and then went for a regular old spray tan on Friday afternoon.  The other half took the kids to the race track Friday night, and I headed to the athletes meeting.  There were ALLOT of competitors in this show.  My guess is well over 100.  So, it was jammed, and moved incredibly slowly.  Suggestion:  Allow people to fill out their waivers, and bio’s online and give out the Goodie Bags at the show, perhaps during the 9 am meeting?  Standing around for 2 hours dehydrated but having to pee and throwing off you’re meal schedule the day before the show is not a lot of fun.  Either way I met some great people again.

Day of the show, Countdown over!
Day of the show, Countdown over!

Friday night I barely slept, too excited, feeling fabulous and just generally wound up.  Got up at 5 am and put curls in my hair, Alysia of AM Pro Makeup Artistry came to the house just before 8 am and I can honestly say she is absolutely amazing!

 

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Was supposed to be at the venue for 9 am, but the athlete meeting pre-show never happens when they say so I didn’t miss it even though my hair wasn’t done yet and I was running behind.  Totally lost my brain Saturday morning and forgot to bring my competitor numbers as well as the memory card for the camera.  Not that it matters, the other half isn’t keen on taking my picture apparently.  He got some good shots with his cell phone I suppose and I even talked him into 1 whole picture with me.

dandme

 

I competed in Masters Fitness Model and Masters Bikini.  I felt amazing.  However I rushed my bikini walk as its the first time I have been on stage for a year and regardless of all of my practice I got nervous and zipped through my walk.  My Bikini round of fitness model went really well, the judges were paying attention, I felt confident and fit.  Sports wear for fitness model, I had pink boxer bottoms (seen above) that were riding up and I tried to utilize bikini bit to ensure I was showing the goods on stage, instead just ended up with big dark glue marks on my hiney.  I had been prepared and brought another pair of bottoms, however they had fallen out of my bag and before stage time I could not find them for the life of me.  (I wore them at the evening show).

Pre-judging done, we went home and I could have gone straight to sleep.  However an hour later I was back at the venue for pictures with Chris Linton Photography  He was amazing to work with, I have not seen the photo’s yet but I am waiting on pins and needles.  They were taken outside of Centenial Hall in the court yard.  Lets just say you get some crazy looks from people when you’re wandering around at 2:30 in the afternoon downtown in a hot pink bikini and clear stripper heels!  It was so much fun and I can hardly wait to do another photoshoot.

 

After that I had about enough time to go home, have a glass of vino, feed the kids, and head out to the evening show.

babies 

Evening show was so much more fun than the morning, everyone was having fun.  You relax, the judges have made their decisions.  I spent all day having complete strangers telling me that I had this.  I felt like I had it.  Masters fitness model was called for awards first.  And I got 3rd!  Yes very excited and suprisingly very dissapointed too.  I really thought I HAD this.  All that work.  However and some won’t like that I am posting it.  I don’t think I get brownie points for being my own trainer, or for not being part of any of the “teams”…  I also have no sponsors, no idea how you get them either.  So, yes I am now a UFE Elite Fitness Model.  Bikini masters I have no idea where I placed because they only called top 5 and have’nt posted results yet.  Not so upset about bikini even though I thought I came through on my phyique and my quarters turns, but I screwed up my T-Walk (nerves!)

3rd place masters fitness model ufe showdown 2014
3rd place masters fitness model ufe showdown 2014

So… its been a week and a half.  Now what?

Trainer

After asking for advise and speaking to a few I have made the decision to hire a well known trainer.  Not announcing it yet, as I still have to figure out how and send them funds.  Announcement coming soon!  This should deal with the No Trainer and no idea how to promote myself issue.

Gym

Still at it.  Hardcore.  I want to compete again in the fall and I want to win.  First place please and thanks.  So, still going hard.  Took 2 days off right after the competition and schedules with the kids starting summer has been a little chaotic however I am dedicated to my workouts and my lifts are coming back up.

Food.

Oh how I missed food.  Regardless of my best intentions I jumped two feet off teh diet right after the show.  I have eaten and drank to my hearts content.  That’s gotta stop or all that hard work is right out the window.  Competition weight is not do-able year round with a job and a life however I do not want to go back up to my starting weight 12 + weeks ago of 143 either.  Seeing as I want to compete possibly october and definitely november that means its gotta stay relatively clean.

 

 

 

12 DAYS TO UFE SHOWDOWN 2014

INJURY UPDATE

Big thanks to the chiropractor, I am again functional, if not 100%.  Went and saw him early last week, he cracked my spine back into place, did some kind of ultra sound thingy on the sore muscles and then electro shock therapy’d me and told me not to “twist”.  So for 3 days I literally didn’t.  It is not so much my back that was hurting, though certain movements were certainly uncomfortable.  It was soft tissue damage from buggering up my ribs right in my chest.  I spent the rest of the week doing lighter weights than usual, and some BORING steady rate cardio on the recumbent bike.  Great thing about this was I also found a great new book (new for me anyways) Bryce Courtenay Fishing for Stars.  (Baz if you are reading this, you’d likely love this guy all of his books are based in or around Australia with amazing descriptions.)

As of this weekend I am again able to work-out all body parts, though I am still being careful and avoiding twisting movements.  Managed a pretty decent shoulder workout yesterday and while I could definitely “feel” the injury for the rest of the day it was fine as of this morning.  Bonus back to my bursts of jump rope during cardio and not sitting on the bike anymore, though maybe one day this week since there is only like a chapter and half left in my book.   My diet has been pretty good, I did not weigh myself last Tuesday like I usually do because I was feeling rather over whelmed by the injury and while I don’t put much stock in the numbers I did not need to see what the scale said in case it said something I did not like.  Will weigh in tomorrow and discover where I am.  To be on target it “should” say: 132.3.   If it doesn’t.  That’s ok.  I feel great and I know my body will do amazing things in the next week or so.

SHOW UPDATE

UFE Showdown has historically done the Open and Master competitions in the AM followed by an Elite / Pro only show in the evening.  I loved this last year because it meant, at 10 am you arrived at the venue, and by 2:30 – 3 you were done and knew how you placed or did not… (well, not exactly… You were either in the top 5 or not)  This year seeing as I am back in my home town where the competition is, we had planned a big back yard BBQ for afterward and my sweet heart promised to make me home made burgers and cheesecake… mmmmm cheesecake.

However they have updated the show format this year and the 10 am show is now pre-judging for Open, Master and Elite categories.  Evening is finals again for all 3 categories.  Which means both pre-judging and the evening show are going to be very long events.  UFE is pretty good at moving things along though and half the fun is back stage.

So change of plans, we will be relaxing in the yard between the shows and heading to Joe Kools afterwards, all are of course welcome.

RELAY FOR LIFE

Just like the last few years this Friday June 13 (one week before the show) is the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life here in London.  There is still LOTS of time to donate, so please consider contributing… You can donate http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFL_ON_even_?px=3357521&pg=personal&fr_id=14854

I set a goal of $500 this year and have already surpassed it.  Our Team “Freedom Fighters” has multiple survivors, and this year will walk for the first time in memory of our recently departed beautiful captain Liss.

keep-calm-and-relay-on-10

All that being said.  It’s a week before my show, and walking for 12 hours will deplete and wear out the strongest of people.  I happen to be at very low body weight, and right into my 10 day deplete / carb load phase… Not sure I handled it all that well last year and I need to put a plan in place that not only allows me to participate in this amazing event that is so very close to my heart but also doesn’t mess up what I have worked the last 12 weeks for… Suggestions welcome.

 

12 DAY PLANS

In the usual spirit of “My Body is a Science Experiment” that I generally go into my planning with I have decided to yet again modify my peak week to try and hit perfection.  I am basing this on what I felt worked, didn’t worked, have read and have seen during many “small mini trial peak weeks” I have done over the last couple of years.

fc10767652bc4ad350b21ef662a51eed

I have already depleted carbs, most of which are coming only from good old asparagus (which really doesn’t count as a carb) and my one banana right after my morning workout.  I have also already started to up my water intake to about a liter to liter and half more than I normally drink.  At 10 days this will go up by the same again.  Monday to Thursday of next week the goal will be 12 of my 1.5 liter water bottles.  Friday I will drink when thirsty with no limit or goal in mind until about 4PM when I will try to limit myself to less than a liter for the rest of the day / night (that probably sounds like a lot to some, however when you drink as much water as I do… I’ll be thirsty) Morning of the show, will take sips as needed until pre-judging is done.  (I know this works for me, but I will not put myself at risk of dehydration.)   Friday; the day before the show should be fun.  I have a nail appointment at 10 am… all this work deserves some pampering and my Mama got me a mani pedi for my birthday that I have been hanging onto for just this.  Mid-afternoon I will start adding in carbs (I am a bikini / fitness model I do not want to look too tight, or vascular) the carbs I know work for me are things like apples, and fruit, rice cakes etc.  Later in the afternoon I have an appointment for my tan.  Followed by the athletes meeting at 6 PM.  And oh yes, dinner of some sweet potato, lean steak and a lovely glass of vino

 

Workouts will stay as they have been until after this Thursday.  Friday being the relay I am obviously going to try and nap, sleep in etc.  Since I’ll be up all night.  Saturday if it is nice will be the same again, hopefully at the beach.   Sunday, Monday, Tuesday (Days 6, 5, 4 out) will be higher reps, lighter weights – 2 exercises per muscle group with Sunday being my last day doing legs.  Wednesday, Thursday will likely be my toughest days… Stick to my diet, no workouts, work and rest as much as possible as well as organize everything I can for Saturday.

 

I’m sure something will occur to me between now and then… or I’ll just have low carb brain and post about my gym sneakers, the cloud that looks like a burger or the contents of my gym bag … 

“My Hottest Body Ever” Project Plan

The Plan

mybeautifulbodyproject

The English Dictionary defines a “plan” as: A scheme, program or method worked out beforehand for the accomplishment of an objective. 

This competition preparation I set out to develop a very detailed and comprehensive plan for the accomplishment of my goals for UFE Showdown on June 21.  I determined my goal weight, goal measurements, diet, and review and re-evaluate dates as well as my diet, workout schedule and days.  I planned my cheat or re-feed days as well as put together a spreadsheet to track all of this.

The best laid plans have hiccups along the way.  I have also attempted to track, what they were, when they happened and taken notes about any particular things that I believe may have triggered those things.  No plan is perfect, but by tracking both success and failure it will be easier and more successful the next time around. It also makes it easier when you find something early on in the plan to re-evaluate and adjust. The “plan” includes a budget with costs and expenses, estimated where unknown and then updated as found out to track how much competing costs as well as to mitigate what I will spend on my competition.

In other words I have a project plan to get to the stage.  Anyone who knows what I am good at will know that this is exactly how I function at work as well.  If you are managing multiple projects with multiple timelines and different resources you need to have these “plans” in order to keep track of everything that is going on in each one.  (Yes, I have one of these for the household, kids, and other “projects” I work on in my personal life, though not always as comprehensive as this one is…)

Expenses

Things like my competition registration, monthly gym expenses, and tanning were known and have not wavered.  I put a budgeted max amount to spend on photography this time, as I have not had the “professional” photography done at a show yet, and selected a set of backstage photos from the UFE photographer Healthy Vision.  I would have liked to get photography done after the show as well or on the same weekend but it was out of the budget, however I did overestimate the back stage photos and so have money to re-allocate.  While planning to compete at the Spring Bash which I was unable to do back in April I had created another new suit, very in-expensively.  I also still have two suits from my last two competition from 2013.  However who wants pictures in the same suit.  So I am still on the fence about whether to order new / used suits, or to use the suits I have (Or order one new suit and use one of the suits I have).  Either way I do have money allocated for at least 1 new suit.

Diet

The original diet was carefully planned taking into account what I was eating on a “normal” daily basis, what I know about how my body reacts to certain foods, and realizing where my plateau’s have hit in the past.  For the first 3 weeks I was eating around 1600 calories, which included about 150 grams of carbs (veggies, oats, and sweet potatoes) and very little sugar.  At 7-8 Weeks out I re-evaluated this and dropped to about 1400 calories, decreased my carbs and decreased my fats while upping my lean protein intake.

Tracking

I honestly weighed myself (something that I never do) at the beginning of my 12 weeks.  On April 1 I weighed in at 143.7 lbs.  Not much really when you figure I am 5’8” and very active.  My last show after peak week I weighed in the day of the show at roughly 134lbs.  So for this show I decided on a goal “weight” of 130lbs before peak week.  In order to achieve this I worked out that I would need to lose 1.41 lbs per week every week between April 1 and June 17.  I then weighed myself once a week at the same time on the same day every week.  In the first 4 weeks my average weight loss was 1.7lbs.  I figured out that if this trend continued I would weigh 125 lbs by the time of my show.  Being a huge hater of cardio, I was determined to do as little of it for this show as was possible.  For the first few weeks my cardio consisted of changing my weights from 3 sets 6-8 reps with 45-60 second rests to circuits of 3 exercises one of which was usually a core “thing” and upping reps to 8-10 I was also doing about 20 minutes on the treadmill after every workout fasted speed walking at max incline.  When I realized that I was losing quicker than plan I decided to change the cardio portion and experiment with the circuits and combined a 4th exercise into every circuit done.  For 60 seconds of my circuit I now skip rope.  Essentially over a 60 minute workout I accomplish between 15 and 20 minutes of 60 second bursts of cardio, I also enjoy this much better than walking on a treadmill, my results stayed pretty much consistent (which I found interesting).   As of this morning my weight loss is at 136.7 while the original goal weight was at 136.8 meaning that I am no longer ahead of my plan, I am meeting it.

Not time to re-evaluate “yet”.  Sunday being mother’s day and knowing I was ahead of plan I allowed myself not just a “re-feed” meal, I honestly, took the day off.  Had an amazing day with my children, my other half, and my mom and sister.  I ate off plan, did not work out and enjoyed my family and garden. This turned out to be the best mother’s day I have ever had in my entire 15 years of being a mom.   No regrets there.  I will not know if this de-railed my “plan” and progress and will not until next week’s weigh in so I am not changing what is working until then.  I could be retaining water, have not slept well the last couple of nights, or I may just shed my cheat day within the next couple and then some.  It does however put a small crimp in my plans for a birthday cheat this weekend.  THAT is still to be determined.  But since I have no real plans, c’est la vie.

So there’s the update… this would be “my hottest body ever” project plan.

 

 

 

The Good and The Bad

The Good Parts

Some parts of competition prep are amazing.

Watching your body change weekly.  I am “fit” most of the time, however as much as I know how strong I am and how good I look compared to the average almost 35 year old mom I also know what I am able to look like.  Competition level fitness is not maintainable long term while living like a normal human being.  Yes, I could probably stay leaner than I have this last year, which I am going to aim for after my competition.  Plus if I qualify I would like to compete at the national competition in November and if not that one, the Halloween Mayhem competition end of October.   Right now, I can daily get up, look in the mirror and see the changes that all of this work and dieting is doing to my body.

No Thinking

When you eat the same stuff day in and day out.  There’s not much thinking that has to go into meal prep (at least for yourself) Grocery shopping for just me is a breeze.  (Egg whites, spinach, salsa, tilapia, asparagus, brussel sprouts, chicken boobs – and… DONE) OK, I’m a mom, when do I ever get to grocery shop just for myself????

Goals

When I have a goal, I see it through.  I have set very specific goals for this competition and other than a cheat meal once a week I really haven’t deviated from the plan.  So far the only cardio I am doing is 60 second active rests in between weight exercises which I have also been doing as 3-4 exercise circuits and upped my reps from 6-8 to 8-10.  I move for 50-60 minutes straight at the gym.  If I can do this whole thing through diet and weights without endless bouts of boring cardio I will be thrilled.

The Hard Parts

My Hands

Mentioned this before.  However even though I wear gloves religiously I have calluses that would give my mechanic bf a run.  On top of that arthritis in my hands and typing at work all day and they are seriously, cold, and sore all of the time, and not so pretty despite my best efforts at moisturizing and pumice stones

Diet

Things not to say during prep

  • “Surely, just one bite won’t hurt.”

o   You’re right, I could probably have 1 bite of something bad.  Except the problem is if I did that every single time somebody said it to me, it would do something bad.  1 bite when you are just on a diet or eating healthy – no biggy.  Trying to become fitness model lean… no.  Not to mention that I am one of those, that if I succumbed to it once I would likely talk myself into it over and over again.  So, no thank you.  You eat the treat.

  • “But you’re already so thin”

o   No, No I am not.  I do not want to be “skinny” I want to be fit.  In order to show those muscles that I have spent almost every day for 2 ½ years building I am dieting very hard and working very hard to get to a low body fat percentage.  Yes in normal every day work clothes I probably do look “thin”.  But that’s only because muscles take up less room then fat.

  • Please do not invite me to dinner and promise to cook something “healthy”

o   I will happily go visiting during prep.  But I will either eat before I go, or take my own meal.  Please do not be offended when you promise to cook something healthy.  Its lovely that you are trying to accommodate my weird goals however you’re version of healthy and what I am likely eating are probably worlds apart.

  • Do not apologize for eating stuff I cannot have in front of me.

o   This is a choice I made.  All by myself for me.  My children do not eat tilapia and egg whites the whole time I am prepping for a show.  They eat, lasagna, pizza, steak, potatoes etc.  Yes, there are times I may have to walk away cause its making me drool to an extreme level however I am not upset that you are eating something I have decided not to.

 

Clothes

Yes of course it’s fun when clothes get big.  I talk about that on here all the time, shrinking into smaller, cuter clothes is always fun.  But having gone from a size 14 to a pretty steady 6 I have now built up if not a decent wardrobe at least a functional one.  Problem now is because I am dieting down for the show, even my stretchy workout clothes are too big.  Case in point.  Size 4 lululemon work out pants that I love, were falling down while trying to jump rope between sets yesterday.  UGH.  Goodwill / value village trip may be called for this weekend.

Are You Going To Win?

Winning!

I get asked this all the time.  Most recently by my friends over at www.transformationpics.com.  Also by friends, other competitors and complete strangers.  Just because I do body building competitions many people seem to think “winning” is easy.  I have not placed top 10 in the two shows I have done.  But winning is easy.  I win all the time.  I win by looking the best I have ever looked.  I win by having the guts to get on stage next to the fittest of the fit and looking and feeling great.  I win by knowing that the changes I have made in my lifestyle mean that I will be here for my children, their children and seeing as I had Big Kid at 20, likely my great grandchildren.  That’s winning!  I win and celebrate every time I lift heavier, beat a PB (Personal Best… I’m putting this in cause for a long time I didn’t know what that was and I was too shy to ask 😉

For me, I will not get on stage, unless I look and feel better than I did at my last competition.  Every single time you work out, the longer you work out, the harder you work out adds muscle, definition and form to your body.  I have two and half years of serious muscle built up now.  I cannot wait till show day.

 

Live and Learn

There are very few that can get on stage and win their first competition.  Just having the nerve to put on one of those itsy bitsy suits let along be judged and critiqued on your body is one major accomplishment.  There are oodles of people that get discouraged because they did not do as well as they thought they should have and never compete again.  I am not one of those.  My first show, I learned that even though I had heard it a hundred times, I needed major work on posing.  I also learned how a show is run, and I learned that even though I get nervous, I like being on stage.

 

My second show I realized that while I spent a lot of time on my appearance, there are some things that need to be “perfect”.  Hair and makeup seem like a silly thing to spend time on when you’re being judged on your physique.  These shows are a bit of a beauty pageant after all.  This time, I’m going to spend the money on pro makeup and hair.  I also learned that things like you’re suit, should not be “different”… I love my suits, but sometimes you have to go along with the crowd, there’s a reason certain color are popular, because they look better on stage…

 

Competition are Subjective

You could do one show and place first, and do another and not even make top 10 and do the exact same as you did at the first show and look better.  This is a subjective sport.  Different judges see and judge different ways.  Some of the girls I competed with at my first competition also competed at my second.  At the first show they placed top 10, and then did not place at the second show.  Most looked far better in my books at the second show.  However, it depends who is there, who your competitors are, who bring it that day, who the judges are.  Etc.  I actually placed better my second show then my first, just not top 10.

 

So yes, I plan on winning!

Cutting Diet 7.5 Weeks to UFE Showdown

7.5 Weeks to Bikini / Fitness Model Competition

UFE Showdown
Centennial Hall London Ontario
Competing: Masters (35+) Fitness Model & Masters (35+) Bikini
June 21, 2014
Height: 5’8”
Current Weight 136 lbs

I get asked this all of the time.  My last two shows I played with my diet just about weekly to figure out what was working and what was not.  Problem was that I also was not sticking to it routinely, was not sticking with and generally just flip flopped through it.  Thought I would be very open about what I am eating this time around.  Please note, that I am not a nutritionist, and this is only what is working for me currently.  It gets re-evaluated if I hit a plateau, or about every 3 weeks.  This occasionally includes upping carbs, or fats for a few days, upping calories or adding cardio (trying really hard not to do that).  It is also not good for your metabolism to eat below maintenance levels for extended periods of time.  This diet is to prepare for a bodybuilding competition and is extreme.  At this point I also am still indulging in a cheat night every week because it is not hindering my progress.  I am actually ahead of my planned schedule.

Weeks 12 to Current I ate 1500 calories a day and lost approximately 7 lbs.

7.5 Weeks Out this is what I am eating.
I work out fasted first thing in the morning for an hour.  The only cardio I am doing is active rest periods of 60 seconds jumping rope.

MamaIsFitDiet7Weeks