Manic Monday & Back Workout!

Woahhhhhhhh. Somehow when I woke up on Monday, I just knew it was going to be “one of those days.” I even took the proper precautions and got my HIIT done in the morning so that I’d be better prepared for a shit storm. It didn’t turn out to be as bad as I thought, but to say it was stressful would be an understatement. A 12 hour Monday is a lot to take in when you still have four more days in the week! Oh well, hopefully I got the hard stuff out of the way.

This little girl definitely helped cheer things up. Isn’t she the cutest?

Even still, I was able to get in a pretty good back/biceps/abs workout. I threw in the abs just because. I rarely do abs (usually only when someone tricks me into it) but thought it would be good to start doing them here and there. 😀 I use and engage my abs during basically every exercise I do, which is why I don’t typically do specific exercises for them, but it certainly is something I should do more of!

This was short and sweet, just the way I like it. I SOOO prefer to do supersets and work my ass off for 30-40 minutes as opposed to longer workouts with long rest periods. Of course, when I’m lifting heavier, I need the longer rests, but if I’m doing slightly higher reps, screw the rest time! I’m too impatient! Here’s what I did:

Back/Bis/Ab Workout

Superset #1: (bw=bodyweight)

Chin Ups:

Set 1 – bw x 5, Set 2 – bw x 4, Set 3 – bw x 4

Hanging Leg Raise

Set 1 – bw x 12, Set 2 – bw x 12, Set 3 – bw x 12

Superset #2:

Lat Pulldown (double pulley)

Set 1 – 35 x 15, Set 2 – 35 x 15, Set 3 – 35 x 15

EZ Bar Curl

Set 1 – 40 x 12, Set 2 – 40 x 12, Set 3 – 40 x 10

Superset #3:

One Arm Cable Row (using seated row cable)

Set 1 – 25 x 15, Set 2 – 25 x 15, Set 3 – 25 x 15

DB Hammer Curl

Set 1 – 15 x 15, Set 2 – 17.5 x 10, Set 3 – 17.5 x 10

Finisher:

Opposite Hand to Foot Full Sit Ups

Set 1- bw x 20, Set 2 – bw x 20

This workout was good! The chin ups always get me. I was surprised that I did 5 in a row! I haven’t done them in a few weeks and was worried I wouldn’t be able to do them at all. 😀

pull up pic

(Me doing pull ups a few months ago)

I’m planning on hitting legs today, and specifically deadlifting. I feel like I’ve been focusing on squats a TON lately (because I’m trying to get better at them) and I’ve neglected the deadlifts a bit.

I just have to say, while I’ve been squatting for years, a few months ago I decided to focus on going heavier with better form. I always shied away from heavy squats because I wasn’t good at them, and many moons ago, I sort of injured my back by going too heavy too soon. I was new to lifting and just didn’t give myself ample time to work up to heavier weights. It kind of freaked me out a bit and so I just kept my weights fairly light and never went too heavy throughout the years. I wanted to start working on heavier weights and really just decided to start from the beginning. I started with the weight I was comfortable with and just practiced. Each time I’d do squats, I’d add a little bit more weight. I wouldn’t go any heavier until I was hitting below parallel and in good form. Once I mastered that weight, I’d up the weights just a touch more. I’ve been doing this for the last few months and HOLY COW my butt has lifted! I started noticing it a few weeks ago and it’s pretty awesome. I’m able to go heavier than I have in years, I squat below parallel, and my butt is looking amazing. Who’da thought?

The moral of the story? SQUAT. HEAVY. A LOT.

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Anyways, that’s all I’ve got. I’m getting ready to crack away at Tuesday’s to-do list and then get my legs-a-movin’! Have a wonderful Tuesday friends!

A New Journey

I haven’t posted on this blog in quite some time. I’m almost positive I don’t have any readers anymore! But that’s okay, a lot has changed since I used this blog, but I think I’d like to bring it back….

At the time that this blog was a daily part of my life, I was single, competing in bikini competitions, living in Arizona and going to school. Now? I live in beautiful, sunny Santa Monica. I still work out daily, but don’t compete (and don’t do nearly as much work out volume as I used to). I’m not the petite thing I was back in 2009. I am a sound engineer and work out of a few different recording studios in Los Angeles and Hollywood. I still work part time at a gym doing operational duties. Life has definitely changed for me, but I’m happy and loving it.

Competing was fun for me, but it wasn’t good for my brain. It took me over two years to get my brain back to a semi-normal state, and I would say that I am about 75% of the way there now. It has been extremely tough, taken a lot out of me, and been a huge fight, but I finally feel almost  like a normal person again. I’ll go into some details some other time.

Anyways, for those of you that still have this blog in their news feeds, maybe you’ll stick around for some more. Since I gave up the dieting long, long ago, I am about 20 pounds heavier than I was when I was competing. Not terrible, but not where I’m totally comfortable either. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with my body. For the first time in 3 years, I am at peace with my body and embrace it. With that said, I’d like to find a place somewhere in between where I was and where I am. I have been able to maintain this weight within 5 pounds for the last year and a half. I finally feel ready to do it for all of the right reasons and not because I hate myself. Because yes, as soon as I gained 5 pounds post-competition, I hated myself. For 2-3 years I hated myself. Sad, really, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come along.

My workouts over the last year or so have been pretty random. I work out about 5-6 days per week, but I don’t have a strict regimen of lifting and cardio on the daily like I used to ( which was about an hour of lifting + an hour of intense cardio and sometimes a boxing class to boot). Some days will be a run by the beach, a tough bleacher/stair workout, some days will be lifting, some days will be just cardio at the gym, sometimes a combination. I try to go hiking with my boyfriend when I can as well. I still like to push myself, but I prefer the shorter workouts as opposed to the 2-3 hours I was putting in before.

I’d love for you all to follow along if you feel like it, but I really just want to document my journey again. It’s fun to look back and see what you’ve accomplished. Life is much, much busier these days, so it won’t be quite as easy to fit it all in, but if I’ve got time for Facebook and Twitter, I’ve got time for cooking, working out and prepping food too.

My goal is to drop about 15 pounds and get my abs back. I want to keep my bubble butt. 😉

Here’s my plan: After reading Janetha’s blog about Jamie Eason’s Live Fit plan, I’ve decided to give it a go. Never in my life have I followed a “plan”. Even when competing, I kind of just did my own thing. That’s just my personality, but I’m bored and want to spice it up and actually work on losing some extra weight I don’t want. Maintenance has been great as I’ve gotten back normal hunger cues and such, but I feel ready to push harder.

Help push me along or even better, join me and we can do it together! I’ll post daily details of what I’m doing and how I’m feeling.

Take care friends!

(Photo below of me at a studio in North Hollywood last month)

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Tabata and Running…and then I got all preachy.

Buenos Tardes amigos!

Today has been somewhat crazy, and the next few will be even more-so! This wedding is really starting to stress me out, and it’s not even mine!

I went to my (almost) final fitting for my dress and finally got shoes for the wedding. I just need to finish up my speech, and the rest should fall into place! I have to go back one more time on Friday because she is making a few slight alterations, but it’s basically ready.

Today’s workout was pretty killer. I was sweating up a storm! I started out on a jog around the neighborhood I’m house sitting in. It is a really nice, overcast day here, so the conditions were great. I set out for 5 miles and was just going to call it a day after that. About 2 miles into the run, I decided that although I was enjoying myself and the time was flying, I wanted to push myself harder. My pace was pretty fast, but I was starting to mentally check out and get my brain set on doing something more intense. I finished up 3 miles and came inside to do a Tabata style workout.

Tabata is a style of training that involves 8 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. You need an interval timer to do it, but luckily I found this handy tool online. Makes it easy when I just have to listen for a bell!

My tabata exercises included:

-Mountain climbers

-Squats

-Pushups(holy hell.)

-Bicycle Twists

I actually wanted to do more, but I’ve been having some lower back issues the past few days and started to feel it a little bit. I’d rather be smart and do less, than do more and be out for a long period of time!

It’s funny, I think that females, or maybe everyone, tends to work the body parts they don’t like much more than any others. I have ALWAYS worked my legs like crazy, not to mention, I love leg workouts. Combined with all of the cardio activities that I do, my legs have some crazy endurance. The squat rounds really didn’t phase me. Next time I will definitely add weights. The mountain climbers were tough but not terrible, the bicycle twists weren’t so bad, but the push ups? Murderous. I work my upper body A LOT, but it has always been my weak point. If you saw the way my body is made up, it would make total sense. I actually have a decent amount of upper body muscle, but it is all self made. Prior to my working out days, they were stick arms. My lower body is very athletically proportioned. Although I’m carrying around a few extra pounds these days, I have very muscular glutes and hamstrings. My quads are also pretty muscular, but it isn’t as noticeable as the backside.

Random thoughts: I skyped with the man(funny to call him that because he’s about as mature as an 8 year old. But who am I to talk, so am I.) who got me started in the fitness world. He’s currently in New Zealand working on his PhD and we haven’t talked in a few months. We talked about when I first started working out at his gym, and how I’ve changed over the years both physically and mentally, specifically towards my views on strength and conditioning. It’s just still crazy to me that I walked into Lifts almost 4 years ago just thinking I’d start working out a little bit. Little did I know that my entire LIFE would be completely changed. Even though my weight has fluctuated through the years (if I was a yo-yo I’d definitely be a Bumblebee) my perspective on life has constantly been getting better and better. My parents were never big exercisers, other than my mom having a short stint with the gym. It still amazes me that I played sports my entire life, when the other 5 members of my family sat on their ass (my older brother actually was a swimmer/mountain biker but everyone else was a sit-on-their-asser). My grandparents were very active and involved with sports though, so maybe that’s where I got it. My dad started working out about a year and a half ago. Over the last 6 months he has told me that the best gift and greatest lesson I have ever taught him is how much exercise can change your life. He doesn’t realize that him telling me that is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given by him. It feels good to help someone. Exercise doesn’t just change your body and health, it transforms your mind. There is NOTHING, N.O.T.H.I.N.G in this world that can do for your mind what exercise can do. Yes, one workout gives you endorphins, but long-term continuous exercise makes you believe in yourself, instills confidence in you, and really gives you a drive that you may have never had before. I would assume that the happiest people on the planet are those that exercise regularly, whether that means they live in a walkable city and walk everywhere, or whether they spend hours in the gym, exercise has the ability to change you and bring out the best in you.

Okay, I’ll stop with my preaching, but I just can’t begin to describe how wonderful exercise has been to me. It’s a gift and a privilege to be able to work out as lightly or as fiercely as I want to each day. I am continuously thankful for that, regardless of being 15% body fat or 25%.

Open, Shut

Yello!

Hope everyone’s having a good Monday. Today has been and will continue to be a very long day.

It started this morning at 3am when my alarm clock went off, reminding me that I had to be at work in exactly one hour. Lovely.

I got to the gym, opened it up and then it was cardio time!(My boss lets me work out when I open in the morning. Sweet deal if you ask me!)

I did 50 minutes on the Stepmill at level 10. It.kicked.my.ass. I was burnin’!!! “T! T!”(Along Came Polly anyone???)

After I ate my breakfast (egg whites and oats) it was time for Chest and Abs.

Let me just say, there’s not many workouts that are less exciting than Chest and Abs. Sorry, just something about working my pecs doesn’t get me stoked 😀

Afterwards I met with my coach and weight dropped a little, some inches dropped and things are smooth sailing. I feel really good and am only 10.5 WEEKS OUT!!!! Crazy soon. I’m getting nervous about all the details now. Posing, nails, hair, makeup, hotels, tanning etc.

I also have a photo shoot scheduled for the end of June, so it’s one more thing to be excited about! Same GREAT photographer as last time. He rocks 🙂

Anyways, I’m now at work AGAIN closing the gym haha. I am covering for someone. Gotta love opening the gym at 4am and closing it at 9pm. I told you I live in the gym….

Supplement Talk Part 1

Hey guys! Happy Star Wars Day!! Haha, i heard that on the radio today. I’ve never actually seen Star Wars, but I’m celebrating anyways. Join me? 😉

I get a lot of questions from friends, fellow gym members, and readers about supplements. Most of the questions involve the NEED to take certain supplements. Without them, you couldn’t possibly get the results that you want, right? Well, no. Not at all, actually.

Supplements are just that: supplements. Let’s break it down:

sup·ple·ment (spl-mnt)

n. 1. Something added to complete a thing, make up for a deficiency, or extend or strengthen the whole.
A supplement is something used in ADDITION to the most important pieces of your program. It is the icing on the cake, not the batter.
 
There are literally THOUSANDS MILLIONS of different supplements. Natural supplements, artificial supplements, plant and fruit extracts, vitamins, minerals, food derivatives, YOU NAME IT. I guarantee that for any thing you can think of, someone has made a “necessary” supplement to help, treat, cure, fix, screw up blah blah blah you get the point.
The amount of supplements on the market are enough to make you dizzy. I should know, I could open up a store with the amount of supplements in my kitchen, b ut that’s beside the point. The true point is that first of all, we don’t know the safety of most of these supplements. Very few studies are done on supplements and the FDA does not regulate them, so you can pretty much put anything in a bottle and say what you want about it. There are quality supplements and there are definitely things that can help you acheive your goals, but they are NOT NECESSARY.
What is necessary?
A clean diet(diet meaning the way you eat, not a “diet”), an active lifestyle(activity level is different for every single individual based on goals, age, desires, health etc. ) and a healthy mind. That one is probably the most important piece. The rest of it follows when your mind is in a good place.
The next time someone tells you that you HAVE to take a certain supplement in order to acheive your next goal, come back to this post. Like I said, supplements CAN help and sometimes it is the boost that pushes you forward a little bit, but without a solid foundation, those supplements aren’t going to do a thing. Set your foundation, then you can start peaking into the supplement world, but until then. EAT  CLEAN AND WORK HARD 🙂