I’m officially writing to you as a 26 year-old (gasp!) And I will say, last Friday was quite possibly the best birthday I’ve ever had. Wait, no, it WAS the best birthday I’ve ever had.
Despite waking up at 2:45 a.m. to pack and catch a 5 a.m. flight, I made it to Chicago *with* some Boston friends to meet up with my college friends. Friday night we all managed to stay out til 2 a.m. CT. So apparently I still have my youth 😉
One of the highlights of my birthday weekend was taking a Barry’s Bootcamp class with my bosses/mentors from Boston taught by one of my former mentors in Chicago. Cole Cruz’s class was so hard, but tolerable thanks to having my Boston friends class. If you haven’t taken Cole’s class in Chicago– go book your spot ASAP!
In today’s update you will learn about how Week Two of my powerlifting prep went, find a review of protein bars I tried last week, enjoy a synopsis of how I balance going out guilt-free and then you’ll catch some awesome fitness reads!
Quick update: The next #Daretoeat group program begins January 8th, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to pre-enroll!
Overall Week Two of training went really well. I did more cardio than planned because Barry’ Bootcamp is just too much fun. However, I did all my powerlifts before doing three Barry’s classes in a row. Read on!
Monday: Deadlifts + Barry’s Arms and Abs
The plan for Monday was 4×6 with 220. I had no clue how it would go and to my surprise it went very well. See below for my final set of 6.
Final set ? of 4×6 today at 220. I'm 10 weeks away from my next meet where I will compete in the 52kg bodyweight class, and aim to pull 300 pounds. Last year I did 275, and never performed sets of 6 at 220 for this much volume. Basically training is off to a great start. Weighed in at 125.5 today so in 10'weeks I'll be right where I wanna be. This set felt like a 64 count hold in @johnnyrockedit 's #Cycfitness class ??? #daretomove #usapl #strength #daretolift #powerlifting
After Deadlifts I did:
1)barbell glute bridge 3×12
1b) frog pumps 3×16
1c) hypers 3×20
1d) 3×7 chin-ups bodyweight
Derek’s Arms and Abs class to get in some sprints. It was a fun time 🙂 If you haven’t taken his class, get there!!!
Tuesday: Front squat + 7 a.m. Cyc
Quick workout, but made legit progress on weights:
1a)push-press with 85 pounds for 4×6
1b) Front squat 7×3 at 115
2a) weighted chin-ups 4×1 at 35 pounds
Wednesday: Bench + fun + noon Cyc class
For some reason he gym was PACKED last Wednesday and I was on time crunch so I went for a PR in the dumbbell bench press:
1)dumbbell bench press 4 sets: 2 sets of 3 reps with 45s (shown below) and 2 sets with 40s) 4 reps
2a) chest press to pec fly (add a leg drop 8 reps) shown at end of video above^
2b) pec fly machine, 8 reps overhand grip, then 8 sec pause then 8 reps neutral grip (4 sets)
2c) lat pull down 8 reps 100 pounds, then underhand grip with slow eccentric 85 pounds, 2×8 and 2×6
3a) two back-handsprings
3b) AMRAP of donkey kick to handstand
Thursday: Back squat day + Barry’s Bootcamp with Emily Southworth, aka Embo!
I wanted to get these in before traveling. They went well:
1)4×8 reps at 160 pounds
2a) paused back squat at 135 for 6 reps
2b) frog pumps for 20
2c) 4-4-4-4 (low straight leg lift, moderate back side kick, then repeat) Shown below:
Embo’s abs class was fun because we did a TON of side shuffling and I had my colleagues Chris, Durk and Kelly to run with me!
Friday: Barry’s Bootcamp with Cole
Saturday: Barry’s Bootcamp with Jason
During this class I went very easy on the running portion and light on the weights. I met a really nice Chicago trainer named Andrew — take his class! Also, my college friends, Molly and Audrey, got to do their first ever class and became obsessed!!
As noted in last week’s CROF Weekly Update, I began an elimination diet last week. I wasn’t upset or worried about it at all. I simply knew that I had to make some adjustments–cutting out ALL the Quest products and other protein bars I love was one of them. Since I’m often on-the-go, I had to try and find some new bars that didn’t have any polyols in them. I also had to cut out mushrooms, avocado, cauliflower and some fruits I don’t typically eat. For today’s nutrition update I will start with ranking the new bars I tried from best to worst, noting one pro and one con. See below.
The Core Pro Bar was my favorite, probably because it tasted like a cookie and cake dipped in chocolate. Pro: taste and texture. Con: 270 cals and 14 grams of fat…. (I typically don’t go over 200 cals with protein bars).
The Go Macro Bar was a bit chewy but not bad. It too, was higher calorie and fat than I’d like. The peanut butter flavor was better than the cashew butter flavor I tried. Pro: rich taste Con: Cashew butter wasn’t very sweet.
The Hemp Bar has great nutrients as hemp is the only food with all amino acids. Pro: taste salty but is actually low in sodium Con: Not very sweet and I love sweet. Also high calorie /fat for a TINY bar.
The Pro Bar Meal was incredibly delicious but all of the chocolate chips and gooey-ness of it made me feel like I was eating a desert and it didn’t fill me up. Pro: great taste Con: 370 cals and not super filling as an actual meal. I’d prefer Amy’s gluten-free, dairy-free Lasagna for 340 cals.
The Luna Protein Bar was a blast fromt he past. I used to eat these before Quest bars were around. I didn’t like the taste. it taste very fake and it bothered me that I’m trying to eliminate things from my diet yet this had three times the amount of ingredients that quest bars have. Anyways, Pro: only 170 cals Con: don’t love the taste, is kind of a small bar.
Overall, I’d probably only buy the first two bars in a pinch. My true loves are Quest Bars, No Cow Bars, and Oh Yeah One Bars. I’m repeating the polyols again this week because I had mushroom Saturday night and generally speaking didn’t feel much better last week without erythritol (which was the polyol I realized I consume most frequently). Next week I’ll probably add the bars back in, unless I have an epiphany this week!
On going out and keeping my wasteline:
People ask me about this often, especially because 1) I wrote about how I drank alcohol during both of my bikini preps and did well and 2) it was a 2016 goal of mine to be more social and that typically involves drinking/ social eating.
First of all, if you haven’t read any of the “100 Fat Loss Tips for Summer” series, see below!
- Part I: 25 tips for eating outside your own kitchen via the sit-down restaurant experience
- Part II: 25 Fat loss tips for eating sushi and staying on track
- Part III: 25 tips to stay on track at parties
- Part IV: 25 Tips for traveling
After reading these, you most likely have a good idea of my mindset about traveling while keeping an eye on my macros. Generally speaking, I have three basic rules:
- Stay hydrated
- Plan ahead if you can
- eat protein and whole foods (grab them when you see them and keep them on your person so you have healthy options).
- pack protein bars or your own oats and protein powder so you can control at least ONE meal when you travel
- Review menus before you show up to dinner
- Do something active
- Check out a local workout studio you can’t go to at home
- walk as much as you can
- at the very least, do morning stretching after sitting on planes, trains etc.
The two biggest things that allow me to eat and drink socially (in my opinion) are that I do it sparingly and enjoy it thoroughly when I do. Two, I have a very consistent training schedule which has helped me build a LOT of strength and muscle increases metabolic rate. Basically, I can eat more than most girls at 5’2″ and not gain weight.
If you have any questions about nutrition or are interested in the Dare to Eat program, email me at email@example.com
What I’m Reading:
- Goodbye, 25! via Crossroads of Fitness
- Glutes, Glutes…and More Glutes! Via Meghan Callaway Fitness
- When the scale sucks: 7 better ways to know your nutrition plan is working via Precision Nutrition
- Technique Tuesday: Improve your goblet squat position via Bonvec Strength
- 5 Strategies for coping with injuries: the power approach via Chelsey Musante
- Hotel Workouts to lose fat and stay jacked via Bach Performance
Exercise Spotlight: block stretching
Wanted to share the video with you below because it is one way I help myself get into some deeper stretches when I don’t have assistance or I don’t have a foam roller handy. Try these on a high block at your gym or even on a chair, the back of your couch or the main part of your couch if you have to!
Block stretching, inspired by the block stretching we used to do in gymnastics, except back then we had coaches in front of us and behind us pushing us lower and further. Important note: while on your back, squeeze your glute of the leg that is hanging OFF the bench, it will cause you to roll slightly but further opens your hip flexor. Gotta love a good stretch!! #staymobile #daretomove
Client Spotlight: Meg pulls 205 pounds for 2 reps!
She never knew she’d be able to deadlift 200 pounds, but now here she is pulling 205 pounds for 2 reps and making it look easy!!! WOWZA!! Go, Meg!!