Hello! How are you? (insert Adele voice)

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I am doing well after my first ever peak week followed by my first ever NPC Bikini Competition!

It all happened! It’s over!

I learned a lot! I placed second in my division!

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More importantly, I had fun and felt like I was a part of an anthropology class studying another culture.

The day in and of itself was a whirlwind of stress, anxiety, highs of being on stage, laughs and eye brow raises.

Read on to find out more about how I approached training and nutrition during peak week and why I think I peaked early!

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Also, midst competing in a Bikini Competition I had some stellar client updates this week and I launched the first ever Crossroads of Fitness Group Coaching Program!

So far this week the group is killing it!! They are all discussing their strategies with one another and sharing tidbits about their training as they all are following a 3-day/week strength  training program!

Progress updates to come!

If you want to hear more about the silly events of the competition day, read this article 🙂

I will be posting my stage photos as soon as I receive them 🙂

#Daretoeat!

Training:

Monday: last lower body day + Cyc Fitness in the evening

I decided that I would do one last lower body day on Monday. It would give me time to recover before the show and not have a sore or tight back.

I was (surprisingly) able to pull 215 for three sets of three. Boy were these hard!

If you haven’t followed the #bikiniprep journey, I was training with 215 at the beginning of the prep and hit a personal record of 250 deadlift 6-weeks out from the bikini competition.

Finishing at 215 was a huge win for me!

After the 3×3 I did 10 sets of 2 speed deadlifts per usual with 185. Then I did banded deadlifts shown below.

After deadlifts were done I completed some random tricep exercises, walking lunges, lateral band walks and 20 minutes of cardio on the stair master with my friend AJ.

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Tuesday: Chest and Back + Cyc Fitness

I wanted to give weighted chins a go one last time.

I walked into the gym and did these first.

I was able to get three quick sets of three chin-ups with the 30 lb kettle bell without a struggle.

Then it was on to bench.

I did 3 sets of 5 heavy followed by narrow grip bench super set with heavy rows and cluster push ups.

After the short, effective workout was complete I taught a 45 minute Cyc class.

Wednesday: Cyc + Shoulders + Sprints

On Wednesday I was dead after teaching the 5 a.m. class.

I went home to try and sleep… no luck.

I went back to teach my 8 a.m. a little early and did the following upper body pump circuit:

  • 8 single arm KB presses (moderately heavy bell)
  • reverse flys seated
  • bicep curls
  • tricep dips

Then I finished with these modified dead bugs. You are on your back bracing your abs like the dead bug, however you drop both legs and do a pull over at the same time.

That evening I was so motivated by being able to see my abs and see 109 pounds on the scale that I went back to the gym and did some sprints and more lateral raises, high rows, bicep curls and single-leg hip thrusts, and L holds– see below:

After the mini-pump, I did eight 30 second sprints at a moderate speed.

Thursday I woke up again at 109 pounds

Thursday: last mini-pump + taught three Barry’s classes

I went to the gym and aside from some strict barbell overhead presses I did bodyweight exercises with the TRX and hypers.

Friday: Chin-Ups and Squats

I felt very tired and crappy on Friday so I omitted hip thrusts and simply did 5 sets of 5 squats (much easier than 15 sets of 5!!!!) at 135 pounds and three sets of 10 chin-ups.

I had a few moments to do more bicep curls as well. As I have come to lean out more it makes training interesting because you can see the muscles more defined during training.

Saturday: COMPETITION 

My workout was getting makeup done, standing in heals and posing!

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Sunday: Barry’s Bootcamp Partner Workout!!

Chris and Kelly covered the FULL Body on Saturday and I was so exhausted! It was fun class! Huge thanks to my friend Aaron for being a kickass partner. Thank goodness he can sprint at a 12.5 longer than I can!!!

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Nutrition:

My goal was to approach nutrition the same way I have been the entire prep with the exception of decreasing water and having some more carbs before the show day.

Therefore I eat relatively low-carb Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after having a higher carb days Saturday-Monday.

I looked and felt amazing on Wednesday and Thursday. In fact not only could I see my abs for the third time in my life (the first time was three weeks out) but I felt polished and ready to go.

Here is a raw photos taken Thursday:

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I laddered my carbs down from 150 grams Saturday, to about 55-60 on Wednesday and Thursday.

Here’s where I went wrong: water and changing things!!!!

I should have simple stayed consistent with what I was doing but the nerves made me overthink EVERYTHING.

I had two gallons of water Thursday and cut it to one gallon Friday.

That gallon was one gallon too many to have before I decided to have carbs that evening.

Before the carb-y dinner things looked great!

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On Friday night I went out to dinner with my Mom and had one glass of wine (first one since August–and unfortunately it wasn’t that great!!!) one vodka water and a *generous* portion of sweet potatoes and shrimp cocktail.

At first my Mom and I thought it worked because I came home and practiced posing with her at 11 p.m. and my muscles were full and defined! I felt great!

PS: she is a great coach!!! She helped me find my correct back pose that night (did I mention I do a lot of things last minute??!!)

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However, I woke up the next morning and weighed 113. I was heavier. I was holding onto the gallon of water and the salt had not helped.

Abs on Monday vs. abs on show day…

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Long story short I felt subpar and was very nervous about going on stage.

I ate cod instead of my usual oatmeal and pre workout per usual (little did I know I should not have had so much water that morning).

At the show I ate an entire thing of rice cakes, a Quest bar, more cod, Swedish fish and Vodka….

…did I mention I am a nervous eater? I pig out when I am stressed or nervous.

Again, read this article to find out more about the vodka and Swedish Fish. It wasn’t really my intention to eat the candy but in a rush I grabbed them and while bored backstage I ate them 😉

Nevertheless, I learned what I need to do leading up to the event so next time I can better prepare! I really want to do another show so that I can attempt the peak weak again!

What I am Reading:

  1. Vodka, Swedish Fish and suppositories: my first bikini competition via Crossroads of Fitness
  2. 21 Random Thoughts about Bodybuilding, Strength and Self-Love via Crossroads of Fitness
  3. Train Movements First and Muscle Second via T-Nation by Eric Bach
  4. How to be a good coach via The PTDC by Dan John
  5. Technique Fix Friday: Week 5 Deadbug via Mobility 101
  6. Push-Ups, Face Pulls and Shrugs via T-Nation
  7. Are Physical Therapists better than Strength Coaches via The PTDC
  8. One Weird Trick to Improve Exercise Technique Instantly: Proprioceptive Stimulus via Dean Somerset
  9. Why You’re Not Making Progress and What You Can Do About It via Girls Gone Strong
  10. Quieting the Noise in Your Life via Rebell Strength by Ryan Steenrod

Exercise Spotlight: single-leg deadlift with a barbell

I love single leg deadlifts using one kettlebell to specifically focus on hamstring’s range of motion and flute work. However, I recently started adding in barbell SL-DLs because I feel my lats more.

Doing the single-leg deadlift using a barbell allows you to add a greater load, test grip strength and get more time with the barbell.

I sincerely love working with kettlebells however in order to continue to groove the pattern of the single-leg deadlift with a greater challenge the barbell is very helpful.

Tips: make sure you spot something on the floor or low on the wall in front of you. I like to pick a spot about 10 feet in front of my  planted leg because it helps me keep a neutral spine.

You should feel your lats engage. Pretend you have some expensive jewelry in your armpits and keep squeeze your arms in your sides so that the bar stays very close to you.

Try it in this circuit:

  • 6 SLDL/ leg (add a rep each week for four weeks)
  • 6 reverse lunges with a barbell on your back or two dumbbell (add a rep each week)
  • lateral band walks (10 steps each direction, add 2 more steps each week)
  • low band jumping jacks: maintain a low squat position, pulse 10 times and then do 10 low jacks

Client Spotlight:

Denise loses 7.5 pounds in 12 weeks:

Denise proress

If you read last week’s CROF Weekly Update you learned that my client Taylor lost about 14 pounds working with me and that she had sent her Mom, her mom’s BF Phil, her sister-in-law Erin and her sister Brittan to work with me.

The whole family is crushing it!

Denise specifically has been on a mission since day one. She hasn’t missed a daily check in and she strength trains three days a week with her boyfriend Phil and their trainer.

In 12 weeks Denise has lost 7.5 pounds, and inch and a half around her waist, an inch and a half around her hips and one inch from each thigh!

The cool part is that Denise and her daughters have learned how to lose weight sustainably and also enjoy the fun parts of life 🙂

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My Friday morning wouldn’t be the same without the 7:15 a.m. check-in calls with Denise in Phil. They hold each other accountable and they stay committed. Sometimes I have to remind them to eat more carbs! Stay tuned for Phil’s progress story! He is in week 10 and so far has gone from 208 pounds to 198 pounds in 10 weeks! Go Denise and Go Phil!!!!

Johnny* gets creative to lose 20 *more* pounds.

My client Johnny* (name changed for anonymity) has been more motivated than ever after realizing last week that he has lost 19.5 pounds.

He sent me this text and I chuckled! I love his dedication!!!

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He started at 252 and is currently at 233!!! Go, Johnny! #Roadto200

Meredith’s Back Squats!!!

Meredith has been training intensly since last summer. This new strength cycle includes the back squat for the first time. She attacked her lift with confidence! #daretomove

Watch her squats below! Go, Meredith! Her first Deadlift PR will be on next week’s edition of the CROF Weekly Update!

Rachel’s SINGLE-LEG squat to box:

Rachel is a good friend and a highly motivated chick. She has been CRUSHING kettlebell workouts the past 3 and a half weeks and sending me updates.

See her single leg squat below!

Here’s what she wrote about it on instagram:

 slice o humble pie moment ? I haven’t always focused on ALL parts of training like I should. Quads and other highly developed muscles have a tendency to compensate for muscles that SHOULD be worked during some functional training exercises. This leads to some maj strugglage of single leg squats to box. Don’t be afraid to start somewhere – no matter where that somewhere is. The only way you can go is up. Add these to supplement your workouts ???? props to my girl @_daretomove for challenging me to these bad boys #glutesbtgarrett “

#Daretomove!!!

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