Happy Tuesday!

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are warm!

Need a little motivation this week?

Checkout this article I posted yesterday about self-trust!

I am working on cutting weight this week for my powerlifting meet on Sunday.


I cannot believe it is already here!

A year ago yesterday I competed in my first powerlifting meet in the RPS federation.


I wrote these articles about the experience:

Here’s where I came out last year after only powerlifting a mere three months prior to the meet:

Deadlift: 215

Bench: 105

Squat: 155

On the deadlift I was nervous and didn’t get 225 off the floor.

On the bench I actually did 107 but I racked the bar before the judges said “rack” so they counted it as a miss.

On the squat I actually did 170, but the judges said I didn’t go low enough so they only gave me 1 white light and I needed two to get it.

Newbie mistakes!


Flash forward and after an entire year of powerlifting, here’s what I’ve hit in training:

Deadlift: 250

Bench: 110

Squat: 200

Here’s what I want at the meet this weekend:

Deadlift: 265

Bench: 115

Squat: 200-205

The meet is on Sunday at B&W gym in Chicago. I am excited!!!

Last week training went really well. The bodyweight on the other hand is a different story. I cannot break 118-119!!!!


Read on to learn more about my training last week, the articles I am reading, more about my bikini prep (I am actually 12-weeks out!), and some sweet client updates!

Cheers to the last week in January!


Monday: Squats and deadlift work

This was a huge day for me.

First of all, I *always* deadlift on Mondays… it’s no wonder my deadlift is my best lift and most confident lift– I always do it when I am fresh and feeling great at the start of the week.

However, it was crunch time and I really wanted to see if I could have a solid squat day under my belt before the meet.

The past five Fridays I’ve felt wiped out and exhausted and have barely hit the numbers I wanted to hit.

On Monday I started of slow, 155 felt heavy.

However, I pushed myself to hit 185 for a single and it felt great. My friend AJ told me he was there if I needed a spot. As soon as he offered, I took him up on it and he was like “game on.”

He spotted me on 195 and it was fast.


AJ looked at me and goes, “You’re doing 200. Take a break, walk a lap, rest a few. We’re going again.”

And just like that I got 200. I am so happy to have it under my belt going into this meet because I have had my eyes on 200 for a very long time.

After the two heavy singles and a few warm-up sets of 3, I did some paused deadlifts with my stance 4 inches wider than usual.

I only did 3 sets of 3 paused, and then I when to regular pulls from the bottom of the lift with 215 in a *very wide stance.*

After those I did some heavy reverse lunges and RDLs and called it a day.

Tuesday: Bench day

Similar to the strategy I took with the squat, I changed my bench day so that it didn’t fall on the day after I front squat and push-press with glute pump work.

I went for 105 for two reps and it felt so easy I did two sets.

Then I went for a single at 110 and it felt fast!

I hit some weighted chins after, per usual.

Tuesday night I did a fun kettlebell workout at Redline Fight Sports in Cambridge with my friend Phil! I learned a few new ab exercises and mobility drills! Woo for learning new things!!!


Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Rest (taught three Barry’s classes)

Friday: lunges, front squats, light bench work and rows.

Friday was a big hodgepodge of pump work. The squat rack was taken so my plan to do some light squats failed and I did light sets of bench instead.

Then I did speed deadlifts with 205 for 6 sets of 2 and then 185 for 6 sets of 2.

I added in barbell hip-bridges with 205 and dear lord! Those are hard.

I also filmed several videos for my online clients!!

Saturday: “rest” 

I taught two Barry’s classes and a Cyc class!

Sunday: Glute work– last heavy day!

I have been striving to barbell hip-thrust 300 pounds for quite a while.

On Sunday, after I did 4×4 push press, 4×4 front squat, and 4×6 chin-ups I started working my way up on the hip-thrust.

In the following circuit I managed to do a total of 54 chin-ups.

  • barbell hip-thrust (5)
  • banded glute bridged (30)
  • chin-ups (6)

Here was my all-time PR in the hip thrust:


Last week I did as I planned and stayed lower calorie, which was relatively easy since I omitted most quest bars (still had some) and ate more rice cakes.

I didn’t go as low as I had hoped, but it wasn’t bad.

On Friday I volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club in Boston and taught a “Simon Says Fitness” activity to tons of little kids which lead me to do more burpees in one night than I’ve done all year.

I was definitely more hungry on Saturday.

If I was solely focused on bikini prep right now, I would be *right* where I want to be with my weight and body.


However, I want to compete in a lower bodyweight category so I have to really watch it this week.

With less activity, (not really lifting anymore) and only teaching two Cyc classes it should be fairly easy.

So far I am not hangry either; I hope that more rest will help me lose some scale weight by Sunday. I really do not want to fast on Saturday.

This week I am doing more shakes and fish, no rice cakes and today was my last day of oatmeal!!!


What I’m Reading:

  1. Cellulite, Stretch Marks and a “Love Your Body” Challenge via Girls Gone Strong
  2. How Often Should You Train? via Smoot Fitness
  3. The Four Causes of Skinny Fat via Strength Sensei
  4. An Expert Approach to Mastering Bodyweight Training via StrongFirst
  5. Why you must not stretch hyper mobile clients via The PTDC
  6. Stretching is dead: a better method via T-Nation
  7. You do not need to run to stay fit via Pop Sugar
  8. Self-trust is a must via Crossroads of Fitness
  9. How to become a luckier person overnight via Rapitude.com
  10. The Hard Truth About Your Weight Loss via Kevin Mullins Fitness

Client Spotlight(s):

My Mom is a badass.

This morning she sent me her new bench press PR: 115 pounds!!!  Go, Mom!!!

Meredith’s first time deadlifting with her belt!

She absolutely crushed 165 pounds! It’s gonna be a BIG year for Meredith!

Ashley’s Human Squat Rack + Bridal Testimony:

Ashley began lifting with me during her first 12-week #daretoeat Program. She lost 15 pounds.

Read on to learn more about her story and then check out her most recent lifting video!

In June I was super frustrated with my body. I went from tiptop marathon shape, to moving to Chicago and becoming consumed with work and basically stationary, to meeting my fiancé and gaining some “happy weight” ?, to finally trying on wedding gowns for the first time. 

When I picked my gown the attendant took my measurements and I was horrified at what she was writing down on the paper before me. 

This was not how I wanted to be as a bride.  

I was adamant on ordering the gown size I wanted to be, not what the numbers were saying to. After my mother telling me alterations were everything with a wedding gown and that I was being ridiculous (prime bridezilla moment right there haha) I took her advice and ordered the size the measurements said to in the hopes serious alternations would need to be made. 

From this point on I was determined; Mostly pissed at myself for not noticing the changes in my body earlier on. 

I worked hard with the #daretoeat program from July through early September. Below is the progress I saw. After the 12 week program, I lost a total of 15 pounds and lots and lots of inches. I was finally excited to put on my dress, rather than dreading it. 

155 lbs to 130 lbs

Top left was starting; bottom right was ending in the 12 week program. 


I then had my first dress fitting and was very pleased that 2″ from each side in my waist and hips would need to be taken in from my dress. I was super happy with how it fit (with the alterations that needed to be made). I was now determined to have “Kelly Ripa arms” ?.

(First fitting in November–photo removed for obvious reasons )

I have been working hard to continue my efforts with the group program and lift 3x a week: two heavy sessions and one lighter session with a focus on exercises using my own body weight. 

Thanks to working with Garrett I find that if I aim to have 40% of my calories be from protein sources I will continue to get leaner. That is what we have found works best.

I don’t know the last time I felt this lean. I feel energized and am sleeping better! 

I had my second fitting over Christmas and was super pleased that my arms were even more toned than the above photo and additional alterations were needed to fit my new physique. I don’t have a photo of myself in my dress at my second fitting (my mom has been forbidding photos from here on out haha) but below are my arms to date!



I think being a bride forces us to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be a Barbie model in a dress. Over the past months I have realized  the number doesn’t matter: I want to look strong, defined, lean and glowing on my wedding day, but most importantly I want to look like the best me that I can be. 

I couldn’t be more grateful for the support and assistance Garrett has given me over the last months! 




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