I wanted to update you all yesterday but ended up launching this article instead. In case you missed it, it was “Five Fat Loss Takeaways from Bikini-Prep.” Hope you find it helpful! hint: you don’t have to be a bikini competitor to read it.
Last week was a strong one for me in the gym and on Newbury street. I hit some big lifts and found some cute outfits.
I unexpectedly completed two very challenging cardio workouts Friday and Saturday. Check out the training section to get ideas for upper body workouts, lower body workouts and more!
On the nutrition side of things I have some exciting accomplishments to share and strategies I’ve been using post-bikini competition to refocus my diet, adapt to more vegetables and take my mind off of tracking calories so meticulously.
Finally, I am excited to share a guest piece at the end of this article as well as another client update 🙂
Wait! One more thing– there are some really great fitness reads this week–don’t skip them!
Tuesday: Titan barbell (fun workout)
For those of you who don’t know I am lucky enough to get to coach two of my personal training clients at a strong man gym in Medford, called Titan Barbell.
On days when I have time to train myself there, I consider it a luxury. To be surrounded by some of the strongest people in the country while lifting is emboldening.
I swear I lift more weight in this environment. Whether I am watching a guy throw kegs over his head, teeny tiny 5′ 2″ girls push-pressing circus dumbbells, watching men deadlift over 600 pounds or seeing the owner, Eric, squat 600 pounds on his “light” training day– it’s one of the most unique places I’ve ever trained. I love being there.
Last week I did the following quick circuit that left my abs sore til Friday:
- Front squat 125 pounds for 5
- single arm kettlebell press 6 reps/arm 20 kg bell
- 3-5 chin-ups with 20 pound kettlebell
- ab wheel roll out 10 reps
- 8 toes to the bar
It was quick, fun and challenging!
Wednesday: Bench day
I added in seated barbell presses for the first time and boy were they tough!
I did 4×4 bench presses at only 95 pounds (after doing 3×6 seated overhead barbell presses).
Then I hit:
- bent over neutral grip barbell row (old video shown below) 8 reps
- narrow chest press 8 reps (with dumbbells)
- paused push-ups with 25 pound plate on my back for 5 reps
- 12 chest flys
- 7 bodyweight dips on P bars.
- (three rounds)
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday Squat day + barry’s
I was amped to squat on Friday. My back felt good and I felt rested. I was ready to go heavy, too.
To my surprise I was able to hit 7 sets of 5 reps at 165.
I packed up my things after doing some heavy hip thrusts, frog pumps and glute bridges and headed to teach my new 9 a.m. total body class at Barry’s.
After class I felt super energized and decided to stay for Derek’s 10:15 a.m. total body class.
It was a fun, kickass workout full of all the sprints I dreamed of. At one point I thought I was going to throw up. I haven’t felt like that since I was a little kid at soccer practice.
It helped to be surrounded by friends in class as my boss Dustin Martin and colleague Christina Lodde, were both rocking double floor for ALL THE GAINZ.
Saturday: Conditioning Charity workout
I headed to The Club by George Foreman in Fort Point for a Charity workout with my friend Meg. She told me it would be fun but she didn’t tell me it would be so hard!!
My heart never stopped pounding.
My favorite parts of the workout included the four different boxing stations. My least favorite parts were all of the high knees, 180 hops, up downs and squat jumps– CARDIO!!!!! They kicked my booty!
It was a fun time for a great cause– kids cancer research.
It’s official…..I am 14 days free of spray butter!!!!
Many of you know I started using spray butter during my first bikini-prep and I kind of just stayed in the habit of using it. I truly grew to enjoy it. It was more of an obsession really.
Until the day it ran out.
In the past if I ran out, I freaked! Oh no! What to do!?!?
But this time I felt ready to give my body better ingredients.
I want to start adding in more nutritious foods to my diet. When calories drop low during prep, fruits, veggies and healthy fats are the first things to go!
Now that I have more room for slightly higher calories, I can work on better fuel for my metabolism.
I always knew in the back of my head that eating so many chemicals each day would not be sustainable forever.
And just like that I was done with spray butter.
Also, I am back to using real blueberry pancake syrup from Maine in my oatmeal, no more sugar-free syrup!
I am also loving getting my chest back, which always gets a tiny but smaller during the bikini prep.
In order to stay lean, but give myself a break from tracking I decided to stick with the breakfasts, lunches and snacks I love– without tracking them daily. I know they work by this point.
Then, for dinner I am intuitively eating.
I will not think, “Oh I have ___ calories left, so I should have ____” I am letting my body be the guide and so far the past 6 days, aside from Saturday, my body has guided me to the Whole Foods salad bar for fish and ALL THE VEGGIES.
If you are trying to transition out of tracking your calories permanently or just for a mental break, stay strong in your protein prioritizing habits and keep eating the same go-to lunches and breakfasts that have worked in the past– IF you enjoy them.
Then, go with your gut at dinner (pun intended). If you are craving tacos– have tacos. Eat slowly and make sure you don’t leave feeling 10 out of 10 fullness. Leave at a 6 or 7.
Here was my “progress” two-weeks post show update from last weekend.
What I’m reading:
- Is Cardio of Strength Better for Fat Loss? via the PTDC by Nick Tuminello
- Five Fat Loss Takeaways from Bikini-Prep via Crossroads of Fitness
- The Best Way to Build Lean Muscle via Thrillist by Tanner Baze
- How Insulin and Cortisol Affect Body Composition via Girls Gone Strong by Dr. Brooke Kalanick
- The Power of the Hip Hinge via Tony Gentilcore
- Row, Row, Row Your Back via Tony Gentilcore
- Why You Shouldn’t Exerciser to Lose Weight via Vox.com
Exercise of the week: Ab and shoulder exercise
Landmine rainbow press for anti-rotation work!
I hadn’t done these guys since February 2015 and filmed this for a client the other day. Upon filming I realized how challenging they are for the core.
Try these on an upper body day, performing 4 presses per side (8 total) trying your best to stay square to the front. You will feel your obliques brace.
Make sure to stand shoulder width apart, keep a neutral spine and exhale as you press!
Client Guest Article:
This piece was written by my former client and friend Krystina:
Facebook just told me that 8 years ago today I posted a status that read:
“Krystina is determined to be in “smalls” by june…”
Today, I have a lot of thoughts on that short statement. After having moved to Boston 1 year and 8 months prior to that day I found myself having gained about 23 pounds. There were a lot of reasons for it – some excuses and some legit. But, I won’t forget that feeling of being so extremely tired of carrying around the extra weight both physically and emotionally. I’d say this was the beginning of my transformation physically and emotionally, but mostly the latter.
Now, I don’t think I was “in smalls” by June and I don’t think that was my main concern. However, I do think that it gave me something to focus on other than the feelings I had inside of me. It gave me a “project” to work on without being told I couldn’t.
I began my journey to lose weight using in home workouts and Wii-Fit As silly as that sounds, I had to. I wasn’t “allowed” to go to the gym… or really do anything by myself that wasn’t grocery shopping or laundry for that matter. I started paying closer attention to what I put in my body, preparing meals, and running again. I had always enjoyed running, but it got lost. I tried my best to not to fall into dark habits, but wasn’t always successful. I committed to myself that I would workout 5 days a week as soon as I got home from work when he wasn’t home because this wasn’t for him and I was too embarrassed to let him see me.
Slowly and steadily the weight came off and by the end of the summer I was wearing “smalls”! I continued to lose what would be 25 lbs and many inches by Thanksgiving. None of my clothes fit me any more and I was feeling so much more confident. I started making an effort to try to spend time with the few friends I had here in Boston. It wasn’t about the weight itself, it was about the confidence I had gained to speak up and stand up for myself. It was knowing that I could do something for myself and that it was okay.
It gave me the strength to put myself first and say “This isn’t okay and it’s not my fault” when I was yelled at that Thanksgiving because the restaurant we were going to order dinner from wasn’t open. It gave me the strength to spend time with my friend that weekend before she moved to London even though I was asked 100 questions. It gave me the strength to spend that Sunday thinking about where my life was headed and talk to a friend. It gave me the strength to go back to bed that night after being awoken at midnight for a fight because he went into my phone because he was (always) suspicious and misconstrued a text message simply because it was to a guy.
It gave me the courage to let him walk out of my life because I knew for a long time that it needed to be done, I just didn’t have the audacity to do it. It allowed me to learn to love myself in a way I hadn’t felt in a very long time. And because of this love, I knew that he was missing out.
Since then I’ve fluctuated, but what hasn’t changed is the confidence and courage I gained from that experience. No longer will I allow someone to make me feel insignificant, inadequate, or afraid. At the end of the day no matter how much or how little of me there is physically, I am enough.
Client Update: Erin over 1 year later!
You may remember this sweet girl because after her Dare to Eat program she worked up to 215 pound deadlifts…..but Erin is still alive and well and STRONG AS HELL.
We were texting last night when she messaged me to share that her new Daretomove Crop Tops had arrived! She was very excited!
We spoke about her lifts and here is what she wrote to me; I am sharing because her response tells me I have achieved my mission: TO EMPOWER.
Quick backstory: Erin took all my spin classes at Miami of Ohio. She never lifted until Day 1 of her Dare to Eat program. After 12 weeks of lifting the Nutrition Program was complete, she was 14 pounds lighter and determined to keep getting stronger. For the next 7 months I wrote her strength training programs. Her last cycle was last fall. Here is her update to me, last night via text:
“I’m so glad pretty!!!!! I’m still LOVING it!!!! I have recently been adding in lots of glute accessory exercises like the frog pumps and weighted step ups and RDLs and MAN do I feel it! Ive also kind of recently fallen in love with training my back! It’s always been a challenge for me as Ive always tended to over compensate with my arms I think and then ended up not really working my back, so I’ve added in lots of single arm rows and cable pulls and bent over rows and I have LOVED that too!!! I try to train at least four times a week and it is the BEST stress reliever with school and work! LOVE how you post your workouts on your monthly updates because they inspire me when I go to plan my workouts for the week!!!!”
Then she sent me this 😉
“I am only empowered to do so because of YOU!!! You taught me SO MUCH girlie I cannot even put into words how grateful I will be..FOREVER..for everything you taught me! I am so grateful to always have you if I have questions too…it is such an amazing feeling trusting your coach and everything she’s taught you with your whole heart!”
Proud of you Erin <3