Welcome to this week’s edition of the Crossroads of Fitness Weekly Update!

I am so thankful to have had a wonderful weekend in Chicago celebrating my best friends birthday, teaching fitness classes and seeing old friends.


I hadn’t been back to Chicago in over a year!

On Friday I was able to teach two Shred415 classes, lift some heavy weights, film a tutorial and checkout this awesome restaurant called Aviary.


I picked up a great shoulder stability and mobility drill from my long time friend and former coach Ryan Steenrod at Rebell Conditioning on Friday. Make sure to check out the video below in the Exercise Spotlight.

Last week marked 5-weeks out from my NPC Bikini Competition and I felt like things started to look tighter last week for the first time in a while!


I hope you had an awesome weekend!! Stay tuned for an article on women and chin-up training frequency this week!


Monday: chest and glutes and Cyc

Monday was another day of un-powerlifter like training. I benched three sets of ten reps and boy did it feel weird!

I did this circuit:

  • Bench 3×10
  • Single arm chest press 3×10
  • low grip machine row 3×12
  • lateral band walks 15 stepseacwh direction
  • weighted hypers 3×20

I had little time and wanted to get a lot done. I woke up super sore Tuesday.

I also taught two Cyc classes and had one of my star riders take both with me! It was fun to have her in class twice 🙂 Go, Allison!


Tuesday: Light Deadlifts and biceps and Cyc

Tuesday was a day I didn’t plan to train but ended up having a little time to do some deadlifts.

My belt is getting extremely loose on me and so here is how I tried to make it tighter:

I only did three reps at 215 and then felt so tired I opted to work form and glute activation with banded deadlifts for 5 sets of 5. I am truly growing fond of these!!!

Wednesday: Glute work and complexes and Cyc

Tuesday was a long day because I was up late with my parents at a Lexus event in Boston (they came in from out of town). It was so nice to see them I skipped my normal 9 pm bedtime!

Dad and Step-mom April

Dad and Step-mom April

I began my training Wednesday a.m.with the intent of getting hip thrusts in and not much else but I ended up having a very intense full body workout including hip thrusts, front squats, push presses, chin-ups, bicep curls and kettlebell complexes.

In between heavy hip thrusts, front squats and lateral band walks (yes I did them two days in a row) I did neutral grip rows.

I finished with this kettlebell complex: 8 single arm overhead pressed to 8 racked, offset never lunges to 8 push presses. Talk about a shoulder burn!

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Shred class + Deadlifts and Gymnastics

On Friday I met an old friend and client at Shred415 for the 5 a.m. class. We sprinted, did .25 mile challenges and some booty work and shoulder work in Jen Beckers class! It felt amazing to be back in the studio where I spent so many hours!!!


After taking class I taught two Shred415 classes at the Old Town location! It was a blast. In between classes I went to play with my long time friend Ryan who co-owns Rebell Strength and Conditioning.

We deadlifted together, did some fun parallel bar work, chin-ups and squats.

We also did some deadlifts for 4-3-2-2 reps, and I was happy to get two sets of 2 at 225 beltless. See my final set below:

Check out the Exercise Spotlight to see what new stability drill Ryan taught me!

Saturday: Rest and Taught

I was overjoyed to se familiar faces and friends in my classes Saturday morning! My friend Molly from Miami took my class as well as a girl from my hometown! It felt so good to be back in the midwest!


I also had to play in the park on a walk with my BFF Karly, I tried a back-hip-circle (an old gymnastics moe) for the first time since I was 10 years old, check it out:


Before I hit the road I had two higher calorie days this week. I did the high calorie days on Tuesday and Wednesday at the 30 days-out marker. For high calorie foods I had weird things– Quest bars and sugar-free twizzlers. For some reason those were the things I was craving.

For those of you who know me well, you know that I used to travel a LOT (78 flights in 7 months of 2014). Now I travel less frequently and it kind of throws me off when I do.

If you rarely travel and feel slight anxiety beforehand, check out an article I wrote that discusses how to stay on track, what to pack and more to stay in control of your diet!

——————–> Nutrition Tips for the Occasional Traveler



Before the trip I prepped 7 servings of gluten-free oats, packed protein powder, pre-workout, 5 Quest bars and shaker cups. I ate almost all the oats and three of the quest bars.

I didn’t plan on eating pizza while in Chicago, however, Friday night my girlfriends and I ordered in from my all time favorite pizza place called Mista’s Pizza.

I had been on my feet for over three hours, lifted heavy and taught two classes and taken a Shred415 classes so I figured it would be alright.

I got my regular order of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free thin crust, heart smart pizza and it was everything I ever wanted 🙂

I am really pumped because I came back to Boston at a bodyweight of 114 and I am ready to put the pedal to the metal. FOUR WEEKS OUT starts today and I am SO glad it’s rapidly approaching. I am better with short term timelines!

This week I am dropping my calories lower and will stay in this lower range for the next two weeks. At the end of next week I will re-evaulate and see what it will take to get leaner and put on the final touches as the competition approaches!

What I am Reading:

  1. The True Benefits and Risks of Caffeine via Bach Performance
  2. Mistakes Skinny Guys Make When Trying to Gain Weight via Bonvec Strength
  3. Body Dysmorphia via Sohee Fit
  4. 3 Reasons Why You Are Not Getting Better at Lifting Heavy Things via Tony Gentilcore
  5. Rules for Successful Low Carb Diets via T-Nation
  6. Top 12 Biggests Myths about Weight Loss via Authority Nutrition
  7. 3 Reasons Why Beginner Powerlifters Train Frequently via Eric Cressey

Exercise Spotlight: Half-Kneeling Shoulder Circles

On Friday Ryan was doing bent-over-rows, good mornings and this interesting exercises after his deadlifts. I asked him to show me how to do the weird shoulder move I saw him perform. It looked challenging!

Ryan is all about breathing and health movements. He is the kind of coach that will make you stronger, but the entire time you are getting stronger you don’t realize it because you are SHOCKEd at how great you feel. The mobility drills at Rebell and the education is top notch.

This drill is increbily taxing on the abs and make me feel really strong through my shoulders. I have good shoulder mobility and health shoulders so this drill works well.

Try it after watching the video– sets of 10-15 circles. Try and go both directions when you circle:

One more thing!

This week at Barry’s we did a squat, lunge, good morning complex with dumbbells. I want to share it with you so you can see how you can modify the good morning in order to do it in a group setting, without barbells.

Check it out!



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