Happy Sunday!

I am sitting here eating tilapia and mentally preparing to have have a fun lower body training session with my friend and co-trainer Chris.

Here’s a throwback photo of us a couple summers ago in the lululemon window!

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There are several things I am *very* excited about this coming week!

And it’s good to have these things as we enter a week focused on being thankful, right?

Here’s what I am thankful for an excited about this coming week:

  • I am pumped to see my brothers at home in Indiana
  • I am thankful that Jess McDougall of Jess McDougall Creative reached out to me a couple months ago about doing a photoshoot post-bikini competition. I will be working with her tomorrow!
  • I will be competing in a USAPL powerlifting meet January 31st in Chicago.
  • I am thankful that my group nutrition clients are KILLING IT!!!
  • I am excited about an article I will be publishing this week about strength training programs!
  • There are less than 30 days until I am here (Snowmass Colorado):

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While there are man more things I could go on about (like the amazing dinner my cousin made last night) I want to tell you more about last week’s training, nutrition and client updates!

Read on to find out more!

#Daretomove

Training:

Monday: Deadlifts and lower body

Whatever few changes I made to my new program last week affected my glutes for three days. I was still sore Thursday.

Here’s what I did:

  • 3×3 sumo deadlifts with 220 (heaviest 3×3 I’ve done in 16 weeks)
  • Speed DL 10×2 with 195
  • 1.5 RDLs, with reverse lunges and lateral band walks with some tricky pulsing and glute bridges
  • SLDL with a Barbell and low, banded jumping jacks with a squat pulse for 20 seconds

Tuesday: Short Upper Body Circuit before Cyc

This was oddly challenging. I suggest giving it a go when you have about 15 minutes MAX and want to do something affective

  • 5 bodyweight chin ups
  • 5 single arm K presses (heavy AF)
  • 5-8 push-ups (chest to floor)

Wednesday: Bench + squat at Amp Fitness

My friend Lindsay, the first lady of Amp Fitness in Boston, asked me if I wanted to come lift with her and grab some food last Wednesday.

I haven’t trained with anyone in a while and it sounded like a blast.

Lindsay was having a light day in preparation for testing her 1RMs on Saturday.

We both squatted and benched.

I did 11 sets of 5 with 145 and I benched normal and narrow grip for 3×6 and 3×8.

Lindsay has been working on taking her grip wider in order to keep her lats retracted more easily and her elbows below/in line with her wrists.

On my final set I tried this technique and it made the bar path so much shorter! I have mixed feelings about it since I only tried it once. However, I will definitely try this strategy again this week.

Thursday: REST 

I planned to do the 23 minute cardio session I sent out to the #Daretomove Motivator but felt too tired to get it done.

My active rest was teaching three Barry’s classes and walking 40 minutes to teach.

If you want the workout or other free workouts sign-up for the #Daretomove Motivator on the side bar!

Friday: Hip Thursts, and fun stuff

I was able to get a session in at Titan barbell so naturally I had to hip thrust.

I decided to see how heavy I could go for sets of 5.

I managed to do 5×5 with 225# and did these with 7 sets of 1 heavy, weighted chin up with the 20kg bell.

After those I did the following QUICK circuit:

  • 4×5 heavy front squats
  • 4×5 heavy push presses
  • 4×5 chin up to shoot throughs (see below)

Saturday: Barry’s Bootcamp

Things to note: running .2 distance in dynamic mode is surprisingly tough.

Five sets of 30 second sprints are not easy. I can hold a plank for 2 minutes! Also I very much enjoyed doing reverse flys from a single-leg hinge position.

Nutrition:

After the bikini competition I think most people assume that the competitor just kicks their feet up and starts eating like a linebacker.

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And while I surely can eat like an O-lineman it’s very *unhealthy* to return to eating whatever, whenever, post competition.

I learned the hard way after a short term cut for a powerlifting meet that returning to eating a lot of food and unhealthy food can make you feel very yucky.

However, it is even more crucial to watch caloric intake after a bikini contest because your metabolism has adjusted to a lower calorie intake for WEEKS and can and will gain weight very quickly if you add in a ton of calories right away.

Therefore most people call the post bikini prep the “reverse diet.” Essentially, you go back up the ladder of the calories you tapered down for 16 weeks.

It takes a lot of will power to do this because you have nothing out in front of you (like being almost naked in front of judges) to motivate you to keep the diet tight.

I woke up about 113 to 115 pounds all week, which is pretty good. I want to stay here for a while.

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I ate a whole lot of tilapia this week.

I ate my usual egg beaters and oats with sugar-free syrup; I had a ton of Protein shakes with spinach and I added my favorite deli meat back in! Woo!

I also ate some steak tips with my friend Lindsay and BOY were they rich and delicious!

I also had some amazing chicken and heavy-ish risotto last night with my cousins for a 33rd birthday party. I also had cake. I didn’t eat too too much more than I should have but it was nice to knowingly go over my calories (slightly) and not worry too much about it.

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What I am Reading:

  1. The missing piece for coaches and trainers via Todd Bumgardner
  2. 4 Keys to fat loss beyond eat less, move more via Girls Gone Strong
  3. 4 Myths about female glute training via T-Nation
  4. The real value in continuing education via Elite FTS
  5. Total Fitness: Don’t Forget Calisthenics via Kevin Mullins Fitness
  6. Can you gain weight in a calorie deficit? via Shredded by Science
  7. The sticking Point in the Squat: what causes it and what to do about it via Strength Theory.com
  8. 3 Barbell Hip Thrust Coaching Cues via Eric Cressey

Client Spotlight(s):

Morgan’s 10 week Progress Update:

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When Morgan came to me she wanted to hit the ground running. She had been a cheerleader growing up but hadn’t lifted weights and really wanted to learn how to get stronger. Since day 1 of her program she has been strength training three days a week.

When she first got her program she asked a ZILLION questions and I absolutely loved it. She sent me numerous videos of her training and like me, the single leg hip thrust has taken her a lot of time to figure out. It was tough for her to actually feel her glutes. I had the same problem figuring out how to get mine to fire.

Morgan’s progress is very evident as she is down about 10 pounds. I could not be more impressed with her commitment to the program! Nice job, Morgan!

Sara’s lifts:

Like Morgan, Sara wanted to start lifting heavy. She is a senior in college and has not let the fun aspect of partying senior year inhibit her training at all. This coming week we are going to have her work on squatting to a box. As she has begun lifting heavier she cut her depth short. However I am so damn impressed with how fearlessly she put weight on the bar I have to show you her squats!

Sara also KILLED it on bench this week. We are going to have her take her grip slightly wider this coming week. See below where she reps 85 pounds like it’s nothin’!

Erin’s new Sumo DL PR:

My friend and longtime client Erin sent me this two days ago and I about had a heart attack! She hasn’t been able to DL for a few weeks and was feeling frustrated. However, she came back with some crazy strength and PRed by 5 pounds this week. She is about 115 pounds and she deadlifted 205 this week!

Go, Erin!

Meredith FIRST ever Deadlifts:

Last week I showed you Mere’s squats. This week I want to high light her first ever deadlifts! This is a BIG deal! The first ones are over with now we can hone in on form and I am sure she will be lifting even heavier very soon! I am so proud of her! Go, Mere!!

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