Today is a great day.

Today I feel so sure about a recent conclusion I have come to….

….perhaps I should share it with you.


I have decided to stay in Boston for another year.

I was waiting for a sign–something to tell me what to do.

Go back to Chicago (I do miss it a lot)?

Stay here with the awesome fitness studios I love so much #Cycfitness #Barrysbootcamp #TitanBarbell #DavidBarton’sGym?

Do I stay? Do I go? Do I go somewhere random like Denver?

The thing is, home is where you make it.

I am choosing to stay here in Boston.

And, I am THRILLED to stay here.

I love what I do everyday; I love the people I’ve met here and I love that I’ve made this city my own. I have a big to-do list in 2016 and Boston is the best place for me to do it!



Anyways, last week was very key in my strength training. I went incredibly heavy (I actually surprised myself) on the deadlift and let the other lifts stay at maintenance,  just grooving the patterns again.

I actually skipped my official bench day last week and did a “dumbbell only” workout for a couple reasons:

1) I didn’t want to go super heavy because I did that the week prior

2) I didn’t want to walk to the gym so I stayed in my home gym. Check out how I had a heavy “powerlifter” workout with heavy dumbbells only.

Last week I also found my new NPC bikini for my meet in April and in May!! I am so excited!!!

I want it to get here like tomorrow.

However, it should arrive at the 13-weeks out marker. I am currently sitting 14 weeks out and last week was 15 weeks out.

Last fall I ordered my pretty, peachy-pink suit in 15 weeks out and took my first photo in the suit 13 weeks out. I plan to rock this suit for the first time next week! (hopefully it comes!!!)


Over the weekend I had fun taking Kelly’s Barry’s class double floor before I taught the 9:45 class. It was a fun morning!!! She killed me on the push-ups. My chest may or may not still be sore. I had 42 people in the room working so passionately they gave me chills mid-class.


Later that day some of the #CycFam came over to my place to hangout and I stayed up past midnight (OMG!!)


My weight is doing funky things, which make some nervous for the powerlifting weigh-ins…. but I am going to trust the process and just keep pushing. If I seem h-angry next week, I probably am.

I have some awesome client progress stories to share at the end so don’t miss them!

Read on to see how last week’s training went, what I am doing for nutrition.



Monday: DEADLIFTS Heavy AF

Monday I was ready to go ALL OUT. I rested the previous Saturday and not lifted anything heavy (relatively speaking) on Sunday.

I ended up doing a set of 5 at 225 pounds so fast and easily that I went up to 235 for 3×3. Never have I ever done that!

Here were the 5 fast at 225:

After 3×3 at 235 I did 6 sets of 2 speed deadlifts with 215 every 30 seconds.

Then I did some single-leg deadlifts with 100 pounds, lateral band walks and weighted step-ups.

The final circuit was 6 snatches per arm with the 16 kg kettlebell,  heavy single chin-ups with the 20kg kettlebell, and med-ball slams.

Tuesday: Push-press, front squat, chin-up day

When the squat rack was busy I did my first set of front squats and push presses as a complex (for fun) to see if I could clean 85 pounds. I never practice cleans.

Here was my best shot:

Afterward I did front squats 4×3 with 125 pounds, push press 4×3 at 95 and sets of 6 bodyweight chin-ups.

Wednesday: At-home dumbbell upper body workout

I started with heavy chest press: 40 pound dumbbells Woo!

Then I hit heavy 3-point rows, single-arm chest press, alternating sumo rows.

I did the following circuit:

  • 5 sets of 8 hanging leg raises
  • 5 sets of 10 push ups
  • 3 sets of 8 lat pull downs
  • 3×3-2-2 heavy dumbbell push press

I was feeling extra energetic so I did the following conditioning afterward:


  • 15 med ball slams (shown on instagram)
  • 30 lateral hops
  • 10 box jumps

Then I power walked for 30 minutes.

Thursday: Embo’s Barry’s Hardcore Abs class- Double Floor

Friday: heavy triples, doubles and singles.

I wanted to squat heavy but my body was tired.

I hit 3×3 at 165, 2×2 at 175 and three singles at 180.

I was thankful to have a nice girl spot me at Titan Barbell when I went for 185 for one single. I filmed the single at 180.

Afterward I did some paused squats 3×8 at 135 and called it a day.

Saturday: Barry’s Double Floor + back flip burpees

My friend Katie challenged me to this trick– I was excited to give it a go! Next time I want to do 5!

Sunday: CycLean + Rest


I have been trying my best to watch my calories despite my activity level. However for some reason my weight is just hanging onto 120 pounds! Craziness, I know. I think I need to sleep more and it will come down.

I wanted to take photos for you all to see what my “off-season” looks like. This is me eating normal lifting heavy and prioritizing heavy lifts and carbs.

Below you will see a photo of me 7 days AFTER my first bikini competition (on the left) and a photo taken 8 days ago (I totally forgot to post this) 8 weeks after the photo on the left. The difference here is about 8 pounds on the scale.


As you can see I carry my weight in my chest and abdomen.

I am going to call the photo on the right my “before” photo for this new bikini prep I am currently in.

This week, as mentioned, is 14 weeks out from my competition in Indiana!!! However, despite the fact that I am 16-weeks out, my main focus has been training for the powerlifting meet I have next weekend January 31st.

I feel pretty darn awesome in both photos; these are shown simply to demonstrate that I do not walk around shredded all year round, and in fact I am thankful to be a bit fuller right now because I have crushed some PRs in the gym this week, thanks to a bit more size on my body. (The PRs will be shown next week).

On tap this week, as I cut weight for the meet I am eating oats, few quest bars, turkey and protein shakes, pretty boring but all things I love!!!!!

I am going to add in more veggies and fruits after the meet. Right now I do not have a ton of room for them in my diet.

What I am reading:

  1. How to quit the all or nothing approach + how to eat moderately via JillFit
  2. No Deadlifts, No Date: A 1-on-1 with Garrett Nicole Wood via Kevin Mullins
  3. Beauty is a feeling via Crossroads of Fitness
  4. When do Strength and Conditioning Certifications Really Matter? Eric Cressey
  5. Teaching the Hip Hinge: Most things Trainers Don’t Think About via Todd Bumgardner
  6. Standing Tall: How Powerlifting Builds Mad Confidence via Jen Sinkler
  7. Barbell, Bourbon and Bieber: Meet Kevin Mullins via Crossroads of Fitness

Client Spotlight(s):

Meet Kelly:

Kelly has been working with me for roughly 8 weeks. She has lost 8 pounds. But what’s more crazy is that she looks as though she has lost 18– check out her progress photos below.


On our last phone call Kelly asked me, “Is there anything I can do to make this more difficult?”

I wondered why she would want to make it harder?

The thing is, to her it feels natural, it feel sustainable and it is realistic. She was worried she was doing something wrong because it feel so easy!

This week it is Kelly’s birthday and she WILL be having cake and most likely a cocktail.

Losing fat is a process, it is a commitment and it takes TIME (like I always say). Planning to fit in little indulgences now and then make the process enjoyable, sustainable and *easier.*

It doesn’ have to feel hard to work.

Way to go Kelly!!! This girl is only beginning….I can’t wait to see all that she accomplishes

Meet Sara:

You already know Sara if you read the CROF Weekly Updates regularly.

Sara is best know for her sets of 3, heavy squats at 185 pounds. She also lost 8 pounds in her last 12 week #Daretoeat Program.

See below. Add “Deadlifts 205 with ease” to her resume.

Go Sara!!!

Meet Meredith:

You may know Meredith for squatting 125, for losing 11 pounds in 12 weeks or from her first ever deadlifts in a CROF Weekly Update about two months ago.

Here she is PRing last Friday at 155 pounds!

I got a text from her last Friday asking if PRs on deadlifts meant she could skip work!  🙂

Go, Mere!!!




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