Sundays are the greatest, aren’t they?


I am coming out of a CRAZY-fun, moderately busy week and headed into a BAT SHIT CRAZY week as I prepare for the competition.

Thank goodness it’s so beautiful around Boston!

IMG_5273My BFF, Matt from third grade (who I hadn’t seen in four years),  was in town and although I probably wasn’t as good as I could have been with my nutrition, it was fun to spend so much time with someone… it took my mind off of the fact that I am about to compete in my first ever NPC Bikini Competition.


And, full confession, I accidentally got drunk Sunday night. I took Matt to the Top of the Hub and had two drinks, well, almost two. Those two were enough to make me feel subpar on Monday.

However, I said from the beginning I am going to be my own coach and do this prep as SANELY as possible and honestly having a little more fun than usual felt good.

But then Monday Matt wanted to watch the Colts game….


Tuesday night he wanted to have dinner and drinks with his college friends….


Luckily there was no agenda Wednesday night but Thursday was still a long day.

You see, Thursday and Friday were low carb days which naturally makes time STOP.

What’s cool though, is I learned what happens to my body after a few low carb days followed by a high carb day.

After two low carb days, I woke up Saturday morning and had some oatmeal before Barry’s.

Immediately after eating the carbs from the oatmeal oatmeal I put on my suit to practice some posing everything POPPED…. not kidding, I now know exactly what I plan on doing before the show.


I wanted to take time to go over thoughts, questions and concerns I am having this FINAL week of my #BikiniPrep. As I sit here trying not to drive myself crazy wondering, “Did I actually do this?! Is it actually almost here?!” I want to share these with you before I do a full write up this week.

Here are the thoughts on my mind:

  1. I am not as hungry at night anymore… am I doing this right? Am I eating enough? Have I adapted to this specific deficit?
  2. What do I do if I feel bloated the day of?
  3. How do I stay full and look good/carbed-up throughout the competition day when I don’t compete until later?
  4. Will my butt look flat if Wednesday is my last heavy glute day?
  5. Will low-carb be bad for me?
  6. Can I get to 109 pounds by stage day? (that number has been my goal)
  7. Will I have time to get nails, lashes, hair and makeup done… oh and the tan?
  8. Will I get even leaner the following week when I am less stressed?
  9. What will I want to eat after the show/the day of the show? (I am thinking a cupcake before I go on stage?)
  10. How quickly until I deadlift 250 again?!?!?!?!?!

I will be publishing a more in depth article with what I have done in sum for this Bikini Contest this coming week.

Last night I fell asleep thinking about how truly awesome all of the articles on my “What I am Reading” list are this week! So many great reads this week! Check them out!

Then, to my astonishment, I woke up to find out that my article had been featured on the Personal Trainer Development Center’s Top Articles of the Week!

My #Daretoeat Group Coaching Program begins NEXT WEEK and the deadline to enter is TONIGHT.

Email me ( if you want to join the 8-Week #Daretoeat Program!

Training 1-Week out:

I kept my training basically the same– Deadlift, Bench and Squat days. I added in a shoulder circuit and did my hip thrust day as well. I took fewer videos this week (sorry). And thank goodness for Cyc!! I would be doing ZERO cardio (minus my one day a week of Barrys Bootcamp sprinting) if it wasn’t for Cyc!) Cya 4x per week has been my cardio– that, and walking to teach.

Sunday: rest + Cyc

Monday: Deadlifts day + Cyc

I have gotten so good at the “powerlifter lean” I keep forgetting that I am in the middle of a “workout.”

With lower calories I have less energy and I am truly taking the ultimate rest periods possible.

However, I am still lifting much heavier than anticipated. At 16-weeks out I was doing 215 for 4-5 reps for the first time. Last week I did three sets of three at 215, and I only ate 1100 calories.

After those I did 11 sets of 2 speed deadlifts again (like last week).

Then I did a circuit of 8 reps of 1.5 half RDLs, 20 hip extensions, and 12, 1.5 goblet squats.

Tuesday: Shoulders and a BODY BUILDING-style CIRCUIT?!?!! + Cyc

I was so exhausted from two late nights in a row I was not feeling up for benching. That, and I knew I wouldn’t have time to powerlifter lean in-between sets so I opted for my first ever (during this prep) attempt at a  body-builder style workout for shoulders biceps and triceps!

  • arnold press
  • seated reverse fly
  • single arm KB press


  • front raise
  • later raise
  • high row


  • bicep curl
  • tricep press
  • dips
  • high row

(The first two circuits were 4 rounds of 8 reps each exercise… the third was 20 reps of everything)

Wednesday: Bench

  • 3×3 heavy with 95 for one set and 90 for the other two (didn’t video it so here’s a clip of me 8-weeks out (the last time I bench 95 for sets of 3-5)


  • 4×6 moderately heavy bench press
  • 4 x 5-5-5-5 cluster push ups (offset right, offset L, diamond and WIDE)
  • 4 x 12 heavy machine rows


  • 3×8 narrow grip bench press
  • 3×12 chest fly
  • 3×10 bent over barbell row

Thursday: Front squats, hip thrusts, hypers

Matt and I hit the gym together. He benched and I did a mini-glute circuit. Then we laughed our way through a half-hearted ab circuit.

These were the only sets of abs I did all week. However after eating 2 cups of oatmeal in the photo below, I think I’ll be fine on competition day.


Again, I am beginning to really take on the whole “anti-body builder” persona the week before my competition.

I never train abs….I haven’t trained calves once (besides unracking the bar before I squat when it’s a little too high)…. I rarely do reps higher than 8.

Which brings me to a point I want to make note of– my extra glute training days have continued to accumulate and my glutes have grown another half inch.

And no I am no making this up.

Here was this week’s mid-posing video photo (I know the posing is not consistent, but…)


A few of my clients are on new programs from me. I have been implementing some of my own practices in their programs and I keep getting these, “I can’t walk”…. “Using the handicap stall”….”My quads are busting out of my jeans” texts…. #Glutesbygarrett coming your way in 2016!!!

Here are my before an after photos:


Friday: Squats and chin ups

I did not take any footage of these.

Okay, I lied, I tried to do a time-lapse of one of my three sets of 10 chin-ups however the camera fell and I did not feel like doing another set of ten.

I made it through all 6 sets of 6 with 135 pounds and then 3 sets of ten chin-ups.

Saturday: Barry’s Bootcamp Class

I did my usual Saturday morning Barry’s class with Nicole and sprinted my fastest spring at the END of the class thanks to a new mental trick…well, kind of new.

I have always been a big proponent of visualization. In fact as a little girl I would fall asleep picturing my gymnastics routines later to dream of cheerleading routines and pole-vaulting vaults.

Last week and the week before on every sprint I picture myself going through my poses for this competition.

I’m so deeply nervous for being on stage that when I start to visualize it, my min goes to another place.  I see myself on stage… I pretend to smile at the judges… I count out the seconds of each pose as I picture myself holding it with a smile…then BOOM before you know it it’s time to recover.

This week I am publishing an article about my final week of #bikiniprep and will be revealing some earlier posing videos…. they are hysterical!


This week I started off on the wrong foot (or maybe the right foot?) getting slightly drunk Sunday night.

The good news is that Monday I didn’t feel like eating much.

Tuesday through Friday I strived for 1,100 calories but ended up more around 1200. I know this because I was not very hungry most nights.

This week I have to keep calories low to fine tune these last few days.

How do I do this? I eat HELLA tilapia.

I have bene making “Fish bowls” of pan fried tilapia served NOT in it’s true form– all mashed upon a bowl with fat-free parmesan and hella spray butter. #sorrynotsorry #chemicals


I am taking Layne Norton’s advice this upcoming week and keeping the majority of my normal routine in place for “peak week” however, I am laddering down carbs from today through Thursday. Today (Sunday) is 75 grams, Monday is 50-60 grams, Tuesday is sub 50 and Wednesday will be around 30 ish, unless I feel terrible.

Then I will see how I feel Thursday and Friday.

This past week I probably averaged 70 grams of carbs a day.

Matt though me off with sleep because we were social later at night than usual for me. However when we went to eat I found things I could eat with ease.

Sunday at Top of the Hub he ordered the haddock and scallops and I ate a few bites.

Monday I ate at home before meeting him.

Tuesday night I got ahi tuna at Joe’s on Newbury and deviled eggs. I skipped most of the yolk and filling of the eggs and skipped the avocado on the tuna.

Thursday we got sushi and I ate 5 of the 8 pieces you see below. I had the miso soup an the salad. I wasn’t concerned with sodium and calories were very low.


This week it will be another experiment and I am just trying to get through each day 🙂

I’ve said this before and I will say it again… I would rather do this year round than cut for a powerlifting meet! More to come on why in my article this week.

What I am Reading:

  1. Best Foods for Weightloss via Authority Nutrition
  2. 5 Causes of Failure via Elite FTS
  3. Is Your Diet doing More Harm than Good via Girls Gone Strong
  4. How to Avoid Muscle Loss While Dieting via Tiger Fitness
  5. 20 Frustrated Fitness Thoughts via Bonvec Strength
  6. 10 Coaching Cues to Use in a Group Setting via Crossroads of Fitness
  7. Is training to failure worth it? via Eric Bach
  8. Lifting Speed: The biggest mistakes in training via Eric Bach
  9. 4 Ways to add variation without compromising integrity via Kevin Mullins
  10. 15 Incredibly Filling Foods via Authority Nutrition
  11. Excuse Me: Burpee Substitutions and Modifications via Jen Sinkler
  12. 5 Keys to Long-term Deadlift Progress via Eric Cressey
  13. Technique Fix Friday: 1-arm Row via Mobility101

Exercise Spotlight: Pistol Squat with Cable

I selected this exercise this week because I found it very helpful to maintain form in the challenging pistol squat exercise while adding additional glute pump work to the tail end of my training session.

The pistol squat is a tough exercise that requires strength, balance and good form.

It is not an ideal exercise to place at the end of your workout.

However, with the help of a TRX you can do these and groove the movement pattern when very much fatigued after deadlifting or squatting.

I did not have a TRX handy on Monday so I opted for a cable. The cool part about using a cable is that when you progress each week you can see how much assistance you add or subtract, rather. In example, last week I used 30 pounds of assistance.

Next week I may aim to get two of my three sets done with only 25 pounds of assistance.

Because you are using assistance, I would strive for higher rep ranges to grease the groove and gain muscle memory.

Try these 8 to 12 reps per leg at the end of your training 🙂 you won’t regret it! #bootygainz

Client Spotlight:

Lifting spotlight: Jordan crushes her first ever heavy Back Squats. Watch her as she does these for the first time ever with might I add a very significant amount of weight! Leading up to this point she had done heavy goblet,s front squats and been practiced back squats with the bar only last program cycle.

Taylor finishes her 12 week #Daretoeat Program

The photo below is where Taylor began day one of the #Daretoeat program and where she is today. She  when from 143 pounds to 132 pounds in 12 weeks!


It is important to know that Taylor started her journey on her own, prior to the #Daretoeat program. Below is where she was LAST JUNE before working with me at 151 pounds. She hired me to help her lose the final 11 pounds after losing the first 8 pounds on her own.

Truly amazing!


Meredith Explores the Vegan Lifestyle– here are her go-to recipes this week:

Meredith completed the 12 week #Daretoeat Program and lost about 9 pounds. Now she is a #Daretomove client, which means I write her training cycles monthly and check in with her on nutrition. She has recently been exploring a vegan lifestyle and my only request was that she maintain 30% protein– which can be very challenging as a vegan.



I asked her to send me some of her recipes so any of my vegan friends can see how she is maintaining  her deficit and hitting her protein metric to stay lean and get stronger.

Here are her Recipes and also her notes on “why” she chooses these:

“I have been trying to be vegan recently with two exceptions: 1) when I eat out, I focus on convenience and my macros (if there is nothing that fits that is vegan, I will eat meat); and 2) I’m using up food at
home that I have that is not vegan. Thus, this recipe is NOT vegan or even arguably vegetarian, since it has gelatin in it, but I just had the gelatin at home and wanted to add some different sources of protein into my diet.”

Carrot-Leek Soup:

3 small leeks, 90g (maybe 1 large? mine come from farm share so look very different from big ones)
5 carrots, or about 300g
2C vegetable broth
4T gelatin (I have

In saucepan, saute thinly sliced leeks on high heat with spray oil (I use coconut) to brown slightly, then lower heat. Cover, and chop carrots. I sliced the long way and then chopped. Add carrots to saucepan.

Prepare broth with bouillon cubes or pour boxed broth in can. Bring to a boil and simmer until carrots are desired consistency, for me it was probably 30 minutes. I usually let the gelatin “bloom” on a plate with a thin layer of water.

Sprinkle gelatin on the water slowly and if gelatin does not soak up water immediately, add more water or expand the surface (bigger plate).

After you have bloomed 4T of gelatin, add this mixture to the soup and stir. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for later.

When the soup comes out of the refrigerator, it will look like Jell-O, but just heat it up – it’s delicious! Half the soup isn’t usually quite enough for me but the whole thing is too much, so I have a bit as a snack and about 2/3 for a meal.

Calories: 309
Protein: 30g (37%)
Fat: 3g (8%)
Carbs: 44g (54%)

Mushroom Tofu Scramble:

“I’ve eaten this for breakfast instead of eggs almost every day for a
couple of weeks! It’s so delicious. Only complaint is that my
coworkers seem to have an adverse reaction to the smell that wafts
their way (have complained that something smells like Chinese food and
I even got a complaint that the office smelled like Bleach once..).
Regardless, I love it – and it does not taste like bleach, thank you.”

1 container mushrooms, whole, sliced at home smaller
6oz tofu, little less than 1/2 a block, sliced in bite sized pieces (I
like smaller so I can take more bites)
1/6C Quinoa Flakes (
Salt, to taste

Spray oil (I use coconut) to frying pan on medium heat and add
mushrooms. Cook until all mushrooms look slimy, 10 minutes or so,
stirring occasionally. Add salt to taste. Add tofu and scramble for a
few minutes so the tofu soaks up some mushroom flavor. There should be
water left in the pan from the mushrooms. Sprinkle quinoa flakes on
top of the whole thing – I try to use half of the 1/3C measuring cup
depending how much water there is in the pan. Scramble for about a
minute or so if you are going to store and reheat later (quinoa will
continue to soak up water in storage and when reheating), or a few
minutes if you are going to eat immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Calories: 186 (per serving)
Protein: 15g (34%)
Fat: 6.4g (31%)
Carbs: 16g (35%)



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