Welcome to the latest of CROF’s weekly updates!

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!!!

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Personal updates:

This week CROF published a piece on how to walk on your hands. You might think this seems kind of odd or far fetched, but it really isn’t!

If you want to learn how to do it, all you need is strong motivation, time, practice and the right programming.

Check out these articles for how-to:

10 Simple steps to to master the freestanding handstand

How to walk on your hands: three simple steps

This weekend has been amazing so far! I am proud to say that I crushed the Barbecue circuit.

I made meat trays, fruit platters and even a beautiful cake (see nutrition section) and had a blast while doing so.

Making rounds meant lots of standing, talking and walking. I definitely got my cardio in!

Training:

This week I officially began training for my powerlifting meet in October.

Jordan is doing my programming and it has been awesome this week already! Aside from four heavy days of lifting, Cyc Fitness opened and I began teaching this week! Classses were killer and I can’t wait to teach more!

Sunday: Rest Day. Active recovery activity: eating Puccinis pizza with my mom and walking three miles with my lil sis from Alpha Phi, Natalie.

Monday: Lower Body + deadlifts at Force Barbell

At Force they have everything in kilos. At 6 am. my brain was a bit foggy so I am not positive on what exactly my numbers were. I ascertain i did two sets of five at 207 and the third set at 195.

After deadlifts I did back squats, RDLs, reverse lunges and hip thrusts (unweighted).

I was sore until Wednesday!

Tuesday: taught Cyc at 7 am.

If you want to come ride with me a Cyc in Boston, sign up here.

Wednesday: Upper body by Syatt Fitness.

  • Slow eccentric chin ups
  • Heavy chest press
  • OH presse clusters, bicep curls and heavy rows.

It was the quickest workout I have done in a while and yet I was sore through Friday.

Thursday: Cyc Fitness + Barry’s Bootcamp with Brian and I taught three classes…. Woo!

barrysclaire

My friend Claire, from Cyc Fitness came to my class on Thursday night!

Friday: Lower Body day by Syatt Fitness

I was at Titan Barbell and noticed that the “women under 120[pounds]” category had records I could most defintely break.

Since I was already squatting for heavy sets of 8, I figured I would do one heavy single squat after 3×8 @ 135 to get the record on the board.

I decided to go for it at 155 although my PR is 170.

Saturday: Upper Body day two by Syatt Fitness + Cyc Fitness

bench press with 4 second eccentric

Bench press with bent over rows

weighted chin up clusters and kettlebells presses

I was so lucky to meet one of the veteran riders from Cyc Austin, who was in town and took my 4th of July ride.

susan

Gotta love a good sweaty pic!

Nutrition:

All week I stayed on point with nutrition fully knowing that I would indulge on the weekend.

Staying on track meant:

  • eating the same lunch I love everyday: egg white salad with chicken and spinach
  • having my shake for breakfast every day
  • having one quest bar on days I teach
  • making my snacks protein-packed
  • Snack #1 this week was an apple with PB2 and protein stirred together
  • Snack #2 was turkey and mushrooms or small piece of tilapia and broccoli

Friday I had an unusual snack: Quest Bar cereal! I follow the directions from this article and although it looks bad, it was the best part of my week (aside from the cake below).

Qcereal

Indulging this weekend didn’t mean going off track however because of how active I was.

Calorie wise it wasn’t much of a surplus, but as far as what I ate when “indulging” it was much different.

On Friday night I got sushi with friends from NYC. I indulged by having two cocktails; I ate my usual order.

The only negative that came from sushi night was a slight headache from the alcohol.

On Saturday I walked 30 minutes to David Barton’s Gym to lift before I taught Cyc. I also walked home. Therefore the slight surplus of calories I ate on Sunday were very much in line with what I needed after over an hour of walking, 45 minutes of teaching and 40 minutes of lifting.

How exactly did I indulge you ask?

Well, first of all I had a blast eating the most watermelon I have ever consumed!

Not only did I buy a HUGE watermelon to slice and bring to parties, I bought a pre-sliced, two pound container to snack on while we prepped food and cake for the party.

While shopping for the parties prosciutto sounded very delicious and I actually prepped this fully intended to indulge in cheese and meat. However I ended up indulging more on cake then cheese and meat. I only had a slice of prosciutto.

While shopping for the parties prosciutto sounded very delicious and I actually prepped this fully intended to indulge in cheese and meat. However I ended up indulging more on cake then cheese and meat. I only had a slice of prosciutto.

 

At the first party we went to I arrived semi-content after having watermelon and boiled chicken at home.

After a few hours I was lucky to find amazing grilled chicken and black bean-edamame salad that filled me up and tasted amazing.

Because I was full from healthy, substantial food and only had room to have a small bite of a cookie at the first party.

But that isn’t indulging.

I didn’t indulge until the second party where I fully planned to eat my own gluten-free cake I brought there.

It was the best cake I’ve had in 2015.

cakecakecaek

My cousin also had amazing cucumber, chickpea, avocado, corn and tomato salad and pulled boiled barbecue chicken I wanted to try.

The surplus I ate came from snacking on things simply because they looked yummy, not because I was hungry. I had a bite of ice cream (my cousin-in-law wanted me to try it), the salad and chicken and cake.

This morning I got up and took photos for accountability and to remind myself of the goal and to get back on track. (Also, I love my new bathing suit top).

progressjuly5

What I am Reading:

 

1. Mobility Monday: Improve your Pistol Squat via Skill of Strength

2. Six Steps to  Unassisted Pull-Up via Rob King Fitness

3. The Coaching Grey Zone: When to Simply Shut Up via Dean Somerset

4. Fat No Longer the Focus of New U.S. Dietary Guidelines via Everydayhealth.com

5. Morning Rituals to become Unstoppable via Bach Performance

6. Hypertrophy via Strength and Conditioning Research

7. The Short Person’s Guide to Fat loss via Syatt Fitness

8. Six Habits of Successful Long Term Dieters by Eric Bach via Adam Pine

9. Ten Reasons you Can’t Lose Weight with IIFYM via Icecream Gal

10. How Much Work are you Actually Doing via Eric Cressey

11. 12 Graphs that show why people get fat via Authority Nutrition

12. Gym Psychology via Adam Pine

13. Tutorial Tuesday: Elbow Position During Squats via BONVEC Strength

14. Workout Nutrition is a scam via Bayesian Bodybuilding

15. Is Muscle Soreness Good for You? via Syatt Fitness

Exercise of the week: Barbell Hip Thrust

This week was the first week of Syatt Fitness training and therefore the first official week of hip thrusts on a program. For the past few months I have hip thrusted with a barbell at least one time per week. However, now with the goal of bigger glutes in mind I had to do heavy hip thrusts for sets of eight this week.

My first attempt was 145 pounds and the second and third sets I used 165 pounds.

Expert tip(s): It is tough to get set up perfectly It take a lot of wiggling a around to get locked in. I try and make sure your upper back is on the bench a low down as possible. You don’t want your shoulders on the bench, more along the scapular area. Drive through your heals and use your GLUTES, not your hamstrings. Make sure you use a pad or a yoga mat like I am in the video. Unfortunately I didn’t use a thick enough mat and ended up with bruised hip bones.

Use the Hip Thruster by Bret Contreras if possible and if using a bench, make sure your back is situated comfortably.

Client Spotlight: Ellen

Ellen

 

My client Ellen and I go way back to our fun years of college in Oxford, OH at Miami University.

She came to me 12 weeks ago seeking help with nutrition.

She lost 14 pounds in twelve weeks.

Ellen lost the weight amidst three bachelorette parties, two weddings and a family vacation.

I’m not kidding you.

She is an inspiration! And she isn’t done working on her nutrition yet. I couldn’t be more proud of her. I look forward to our weekly calls and always notice a mindset improvement more than the number on the scale. She truly took this program seriously and learned more than I can describe in this update.

She began at 164 is currently 152 and hopes to drop down to the 130s in time.

I want you to hear her side of the story:

As I complete my 12 week program and reflect I can’t even believe how much I have learned and how much healthier I now feel.  Initially, just getting started on the program and reaching out to Garrett was half the battle.  I realized that before I could even begin, I had to make the choice to truly make this a lifestyle change.  I had to WANT this change for myself. I can honestly say that I embraced this change and that as time goes on, I want it even more as I continue to have more and more success.

When I first started the program, I was so worried about how I would know what to eat and if I would I have to stop eating everything that I enjoy because that would be the absolute WORST.  I soon realized this was far from the truth, and in actuality, I would start to enjoy and crave other foods that were far better for me. I started to try foods that I had never before considered, and I became more creative about how I would prepare food. Having done this, I have undoubtedly begun to have this love affair with food.  I now realize how amazing food can truly be and as a result, I enjoy my food a millions times more because I actually appreciate and savor the food that I am putting in my mouth.

I’ll admit, it was definitely not easy making these lifestyle changes. I have had to learn to make sacrifices, but not once have I felt deprived. I have learned, with the guidance of Garrett, that it is all about a balance and planning. I learned that you don’t have to completely stop eating foods that you love, but you have to understand that there has to be some give and take, and that there have to be restrictions.  I will never forget her telling me that people say they don’t want to do something where they have to restrict themselves, but that is total bull sh*t because in life there have to be restrictions. Through all of this, I have learned that you can still eat what you love, but it takes planning out your day in order to know exactly where your calories are going for the day, before it ever even begins. 

For example, wine and pizza are truly weaknesses of mine and when I first started this program, I was very worried about having to cut these favorites out of my diet entirely.

wine and pizza

 

I knew that type of sacrifice would have been an unrealistic and unattainable goal.  However, with the help of Garrett, I have learned how to make a few changes here and there in order to fit some of my favorite things into my diet.

I even remember her telling me once, that if I wanted to have pizza, have pizza, but while doing so I should be mindful of how that would fit into my calories and protein for that day because it is all about planning.

Of course, this does not mean that I will sit down and eat a whole pizza or have a whole bottle of wine.

That was where I had to learn to restrict myself.  I had to learn that by having that extra glass of wine that I didn’t necessarily need, I could possibly exceed my calories for the day and therefore affect my deficit.

I had to exhibit self-control even when I was amongst friends that continued to drink.  And at one point it all clicked.

lightbulb

I realized that by having that extra glass of wine, or extra piece of pizza that I didn’t need, I was ultimately hurting myself in the end.  And like Kate Moss once said, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”  It may sound crazy, but when I look in the mirror now or at pictures and I’m proud of what I see, I know I have worked for this and I am certainly not going to let anything take it away from me. That is why a lot of this program is all about how badly you want it, and whether or not you have the willpower to create your own success and follow the plan that has been created for you.

Finally, one of the greatest challenges that I faced throughout the program was my fear of stepping on the scale. I was absolutely petrified every morning of the number that would appear.  There were so many days early on that I would let the number on the scale dictate my mood, but honestly with Garrett’s guidance, I have learned that there are so many factors that can affect that number. For example, whether or not I ate too much salt the previous day or if it’s that special time of the month, or even if I worked out really hard the day before – each of these situations can be a contributing factor to the digits on that scale.  I had to learn that the number on the scale is ever changing but as long as I was consistently dropping weight over time – that was what mattered to me.

scale

 

And actually, how I felt mattered even more, which is when I realized this was what should dictate my mood.  I now feel comfortable when I step on the scale because I am aware of the many, many factors that can affect that number but overall, I know I am the one in control of the number on the scale.

enjoyingparties

I feel so much healthier and happier because of the success I have had with this program and I couldn’t have succeeded without the help of Garrett.  She is truly an amazing coach. She has taught me to approach my body and my diet so much differently and I feel thankful to have ever made that first step to reach out to her.  I am thrilled about my success thus far but I undoubtedly have a very long way to go to get to where I want to be. For one of the first times in my life, I feel like my ideal body weight is attainable because of all of the tools that I now have in my tool box.

 

 

 

 

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