Today’s update is going to be full of client success stories!
I feel bad that I haven’t posted my fat loss article series, yet, however, the biggest thing that helps drive my productivity each week is always focusing on “going where the passion is.”
To be honest, my passion and focus has been 100% on my book when I’m not training, eating or coaching.
Even the maintenance man in my building asked me how my book is coming along today.
I am all in!
Aside from writing and editing Dare To Move, I’ve been getting my head in the game as I am now 14 days out from my NPC Natural Indiana bikini competition. More about my nutrition in the “Nutrition” section– something to do with cupcakes you DO NOT want to miss!
Tuesday night I was thankful that my BFF from third grade took some time away from work on a business trip to train with me. We did an awesome full-body workout you can find in the “Training” section.
After lifting we went to Trident and had breakfast for dinner. (You can eat out on a diet).
Last night I got a LIFE CHANGING massage. And seriously, after having massages in fancy hotels and resorts in Berlin, Maui, Aspen, and Chicago…. Jose at Bliss gave me the best MUD-FILLED (you don’t want to know), extreme-sports massage I’ve ever had. He also re-aligned my hips and taught me how to do it myself at home!
On a personal note, I am very proud of my dad, who was nominated for the Time Magazine’s Dealer of the Year Award.
While he did not win, he is number one in my heart! Go Dad! Here is a cool caricature they made for him and a photo of him in Vegas at the NADA event.
I am beginning today’s update with Client Spotlight(s) because they are just TOO good!
Here is one of my clients who began her fat loss journey on her own last fall. On January 1st she reached out to me and began the #Daretoeat Program. The photo on the left is her January 1st “before” photo. On the right is last week’s update. She has lost 18 pounds on the Dare to Eat Program and 23 pounds total!
It is important to note that this badass lady lifts heavy at least three times a week. She does cardio when she feels good. She would like to share three reasons why this journey has been different than any other time she has lost weight:
- Having a coach to stay accountable has kept me on track.
- Having my best friend going through the Dare to Eat program with me has been helpful so we can talk to each other about it every day.
- Having a food scale has changed my life!!
Molly’s 11 pound progress check-in:
Molly also began the Dare to Eat program in January. She is working diligently on exercising less, and trusting the process.
She was able to take a fun vacation with her parents to LA and have some treats and still lose 11 total pounds by this morning’s check-in.
But she’s not done yet… Molly his working closely with her BFF (also a Dare to Eat client) until her deadline of September…. slow and steady wins the race!
11 pounds down and ___ to go?! Could not be more proud of you, Molls!
Ashley’s second cycle:
You may remember Ashley from last fall! She kicked ass and lost several inches from July to October.
However, she wasn’t ready to stop! She kept her fitness up, worked on getting strong and maintained her progress through the holidays.
More motivated than ever on January 1st, she reached out to begin new cycle, but with a different approach. You see, calorie counting was getting the best of her mentally, so we switched to a meal program where she came up with certain meals, (some very specific to doctor’s orders regarding PCOS she was recently diagnosed with) I approved them and she set photos for accountability.
I am inspired by her self-awareness and mental toughness. She knows what works for her and how to work with her own strengths and weaknesses. She also kicks hurdles in the face and lifts the heaviest weights in class…. at 5 a.m., btw!!!
My mornings at Barry’s wouldn’t be the same without this girl and I am so darn proud of her! Way to go Ashley!!!
Lauren’s Bikini Transformation:
Lauren sent me a message late last night, and when I woke up to read it, I almost freaked out! I worried she was going to tell me she wasn’t competing…
However, what she wrote (shown below) literally hits the nail on the head of WHY I compete and how this can be an empowering experience. Read below, check out her progress and then read more about why I took her on and encouraged her to compete with only 8 weeks to prepare.
“Hey Gare. Something happened earlier and I wanted to share. Let me preface this by saying, I have always wanted to do a bikini competition because I wanted to get in top notch shape and challenge myself physically etc. I never once thought about the emotional and psychology aspect of it.
I’ve never been overweight and I’ve always prioritized my fitness so I didn’t think this whole process would be mentally or emotionally life changing in any way- just physically challenging.
Ok so here’s the story… In 7th grade I remember trying on jeans and not understanding why all of the other girls butts looked so cute and I looked like a string bean ??. I figured mine would eventually show up. 8th grade came and went, no butt. Then high school. Still no curves whatsoever. “How could I ever feel feminine or sexy?” I thought. I’ve also never been “athletic” by society’s standards because I didn’t play sports and don’t have any coordination ?. I blamed all my problems on my genes and in college finally thought, “well this is the way I am, so I better learn to love it.”
While I did learn to love the me at all stages, something happened today. I was shopping and took a pair of jeans into the dressing room. For the first time in my life, I looked into the mirror and even by the ridiculously high standards I’ve set for myself, I thought I looked good, like really good, in JEANS! I felt feminine and sexy and ATHLETIC!
I flashed back to the 7th grade me (whose jeans experience I honestly hadn’t thought about in years) and thought how proud she would be ?. I stood there and cried. How dumb, I know. But I took this package God gave me and I myself, by pure discipline and determination, built it into something I truly thought I could never have. It was such an empowering moment to know I have the strength to control the way that I am. I just wanted to say thank you. I really never expected any part of this process to be emotional, but I can’t explain the way I felt today.
For the first time in the training, I looked in the mirror and honestly believed that regardless of what happens in two weeks, I’ve already won.
I am the best version of myself I’ve ever seen, and it isn’t because of genes or luck, it is because I have worked day in and day out to create a body I’ve only dreamed of having. Thank you for motivating me and guiding me to get here. My gratitude is immeasurable.”
Her progress from 8 weeks out to 4 weeks out (no filters):
I am not showing you her most recent progress because I want you to be shocked when she and I step on stage together in 14 days.
This girls has followed her #Daretomove programming to a T, hit her numbers daily and enjoyed the ride. She is so strong!
The reason why I took her on as a client 8 weeks out from a competition date was because she had a very healthy relationship with food and a very consistent lifting schedule.
For about a year she has been lifting, just not the “Dare to Move” programming way.
Lauren has very healthy habits and had little body fat. Because she had consistency in the gym, I knew that all we needed to do was tweak her nutrition and get her lifting heavier for heavy sets of 5 to 8 reps to begin. Her glute and hamstring transformation is insane. She is a beautiful girl inside and out and I cannot wait to compete with her in two weeks! She has been my biggest source of motivation. I don’t think I could have done with prep without her.
Way to go Fingers!!!!
Thanks to Time Hop, I was able to see this 8-week transformation I posted a year ago of my good friend Kendall.
Naturally, I texted her the photo and here’s what she sent back, one year later.
Kendall is working on getting certifications so she too, can help others find a healthy lifestyle!
To read more about her transformation you can go to my “consulting” tab and read more!
Michaela’s 12-week Journey:
This confident, badass, strong-as-hell when has lost 11 pounds in the past 12 weeks. She is continuing on in another 12 week cycle with a priority on strength training.
She does hard-core, Mixed Martial Arts three times a week with a coach and is working on adding in some more strength training this month.
She is as consistent as the sun with her check-ins, and really her every-day meals. Like me, she starts off her day with 1/2 cup of oats; she mixes hers with protein powder. She loves boar’s head deli meat too!
What I love the most is how confidently she stands, 11 pounds lighter and several inches down. She’s doing this for her and nobody else and she motivates me daily.
Keep it up, Michaela!!!!
This week I stuck to my same ‘ole routine of egg beaters, oats and sugar-free pancake syrup with spray butter. It is so routine, I don’t even feel like it’s a diet.
However, I programmed my own calories way to low (1200 daily with a refeed) and Friday night I hit a wall.
I felt exhausted; I was almost too hungry to even feel hungry… I just didn’t feel right.
And, after greeting my evening class by saying “good morning” to everyone I took a look at my own spreadsheet. I realized I had configured my numbers the same way as Fingers’ numbers (who weighs 5 pounds less than me) for a total of 9,100 calories for the week. When, in actuality I needed more around 10,125.
Friday night I ate an additional 1,025 calories and woke up feeling so much better! I also looked and felt a lot leaner too!
This week will definitely be lower, but that is because it’s a temporary challenge to get ready for the stage! I am SO excited to compete with a friend, too!
Check a side-by-side of us posing! The video of me on the left was taken at the 5 weeks-out marker, and Finger’s is shown 3 weeks-out! They were the only two videos that paired well together 🙂
Here we have a video of me taken at #5weeksout and @chicken_fingerz at #3weeksout. I cannot tell you how fun it has been to go through this process with a friend. Technically I am "coach" but she has been my biggest source of motivation this time around. Read on to find out some interesting facts about our prep! – @chicken_fingerz just started doing cardio this week, 3 weeks out. My only source of cardio has been walking and the #CycFitness classes I teach (I keep my heart rate low so I can speak/coach). I began "prepping" February 1st, about 9.5 weeks out, after my last #powerlifting meet. I am 5'2" and currently weigh 118. Last time I prepped I was 115 pounds-ish at #3weeksout. Fingers is 110, and about 5'4." Her *epic* transformation will be on the CROF Update this weekend. She decided to compete with me 8 weeks out!! Talk about sending it!! She called me up, asked for help and said, "let's do this!!" – We compete in Indianapolis on April 16th. The next 16 days will be very intense for both of us, but we are having so much fun! Getting on stage together will be worth it!!! #friendshelpingfriends #senditin2016 #daretomove #CROF #teamCROF #nodeadliftsnodate #daretoeat #flexfriday
A few days ago I found gluten-free cupcake mix in my cabinet and, needing more carbs added into my day, I decided to mix one serving size of the cupcake mix (150 calories) with 1/2 cup of egg beaters and put it in the microwave.
For the record, I thought it tasted only HALF as good as 110 calories of Salted Carmel Quest protein powder mixed with 1/2 cup of egg whites, #PROTEINfortheWIN.
Read on to see a little bit of last week’s training!
I am on that “see the chiropractor every other day” schedule in order to get by until April is over. I am no longer in very severe pain. I simply feel a little “off” and my back is constantly locked up. I’ve been rolling more and lifting less heavy loads.
Read on to catch some of my workouts from last week!
Sunday: rest/ travel home from Florida
Tuesday: Lift with Matt
Call us vain, but Matt focused on chest and I focused on glutes during the following circuits we modified for ourselves.
In 9th grade he wore a back brace and I went to the chiropractor 4 times a week for herniated disks so at this point, we are both happy to be healthy enough to train whatever the heck we want to train.
Try this QUICK fun set of circuits below:
Circuit 1 (four rounds):
- 8 goblet squats with a kettlebell
- 3-3-3 one and a half push-ups
Circuit 2 (three rounds):
- bench press 5 reps (for Matt) Hypers for me 22 reps
- kettlebell pull-overs with a bent leg drop, 10 reps
- alternating sumo rows (5 per arm)
Circuit 3 (three rounds):
- 8 RDLs into heavy carries with same dumbbells 100 steps
- 20 jumping lunges
- 8 1/2 kneeling single arm kettlebell presses
- 10 tricep push downs
Circuit 4 (three rounds):
- 3-3-3 chin-ups
- 10 ball slams
- 20 crawling steps
Thursday: Heavy Chin-upsDeadlifts and booty work
I hit 3 sets of 2 heavy chin-ups with the 40 lb kettlebell. (video on instagram)
Then I did 3×8 trap-bar deadlifts, resting 90 seconds between sets.
Then it was onto banded hip extensions, front squats and a frog HOLDs. (looks awkward).
Check out Instagram for my curtsey lunge with a lateral-lift finisher!
Friday: Chad’s class double Floor + Cyc 45
Saturday: booty pump work+ chins
Try this circuit:
- 5x 20 modified “belt squats” (video here)
- 3-3-3-3: 3 single leg pistols to 3 medial hops, then switch legs (video here)
- 3×7 weighted chins. I went light and used a 7.5 pound DB.
- 6 snatches to 6 burpees per arm! (Lauren Finger’s FAVE).
What I’m reading:
- There’s Always Room for Growth; Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset via Sohee Lee
- 9 reasons losing body fat sucks via Anyman Fitness by Nick Smoot
- 6 Unconventionally simple exercises via Tony Gentilcore
- Irradiation: How Your Fist Can Instantly Make you Stronger via Muscle and Strength by Travis Pollen
- How’s Your Rack Pull via Todd Bumgardner
Exercise Spotlight: ab wheel roll-out with a pause
Here’s why my abs are currently on FIRE… from yesterday!
Don’t think this happened overnight, however. I once failed HARDCORE at these… like face-plant to the floor kind of fail!
If you are proficient in ab wheel roll outs, try adding a pause to increase the difficulty.
If you are a beginner, try these long-lever planks first, and add on time each week!
The longer lever plank is shown at the end of the video below:
Lift of the Week:
Carol’s Turkish Get Up!
Carol is using a 20-pound kettlebell here!
She has come a long way and is strong as hell. She chest presses 30 pounds dumbbells!
However, the TGU is her favorite exercise because she took six months nailing each part of the movement (roll-to-elbow, hip bridges, reverse lunges, sweep throughs, and windmills) and when I told her they all added up to one big exercise, she was astounded!
This was her warm-up set, and we worked on having her lock her elbow out for the following reps. Unfortunately I ran out of room to film those ones!
Way to go, Carol!