Hello fellow friends and fitness fanatics!

What a lovely September week it was!

I for one was incredibly stoked to pull out some fall(ish) clothes this week….. but yet I still wore summer dresses a few times?

I think Mother Nature is confused.

If you know me well, you know I love a good fall sweater 🙂


In fact, yesterday I went to a street fair in Southie with my friend Candace and we got matching sweaters. I call them “grandma sweaters” because they are cozy and loosely knit.

At the street fair we also had the pleasure of meeting Jack Sparrow and his accent was lovely.


This week was very tough for me mentally and physically, but nothing I couldn’t handle with my “Slow down, cool down, reset” strategy I spoke with my newsletter about.

If you haven’t signed up for the #Daretomove Motivator and you LOVE reading random, funny, motivating, stories sign-up now on the side bar!

This week marked 9-Weeks out from my first ever NPC Bikini Contest and moving forward it’s GAME TIME.

I’ve made it halfway!

Read on to learn more about my training, nutrition, what I am reading and see some amazing client PRs!


Sunday: rest + taught Cyc

Monday: Upper body (no videos) and a 30 minute run.

Monday was such a gorgeous day. I needed to get outside and be by the water. With an insane tailwind, I ran faster than ever (for about 30 minutes) and then walked home at a leisurely pace. My mood changed 180 degrees after that hour spent outside.


If you are like me and run basically NEVER (the last time I ran that wasn’t a *sprint* was in May) I like to read this article before I go:  “6 Tips for the Occasional Runner,”  for tips on how to attack a run when you haven’t pounded pavement in a while.

And, while we are on the topic of running, here is a great (old) article, “Runners, Listen Up! Move Laterally,” I wrote about the importance of moving laterally for runners.

If this interests you, you will love the video of the “inside look” at Barry’s Bootcamp down below.

Tuesday: Front squats, push-presses and pull-ups

I did not go super heavy with squats because believe it or not I was still sore from #ALLtheSQUATS I did on Saturday of the previous week.

I hit a PR on my push-presses! I hadn’t gone over 3 reps at 95 pounds since February when I was push pressing more often.

Then I did moderately loaded front squats at 115 pounds:

This was not the heaviest day ever but it felt good to move. I was surprisingly not very sore form my upper body day on Monday which allowed me to get some heavier push-presses in.

Wednesday: rest + Taught Cyc

Thursday: Deadlifts and booty work

I had not deadlifted since Labor Day weekend (when I not only did 225 for 3, but also speed deadlifts).

Following Labor Day Weekend I simply did the lighter parts of my deadlift program, like RDLs, leg press, squat jumps etc, but no heavy deadlifts.

This week I was ready to GO!!!! I spent all day Wednesday daydreaming about deadlifting.

I did three sets of three at 215, and then did 9 sets of 2 speed deadlifts with 195 at Titan Barbell.

After these I was able to do:

  • step back lunges 4×10/leg
  • narrow grip chins 3×8
  • heavy barbell hip thrusts 4×8
  • unweighted high box step-ups 10/leg
  • heavy kettlebell swings 4×15

……… and then I crawled home.

Friday: rest


I recently began following Heidi Powell on Instagram because a few friends who follow her told me she was prepping for her first ever Bikini Contest. I saw an instagram from her on Friday that included ALL of my favorite things:

  • handstand push-ups
  • handstand walks
  • fun chin-up variations
  • back hip circles (gymnastics bar move)

and more.

I was inspired and feeling rested so I headed to Titan Barbell on a mission to do the following:

  • Bench 4×5 heavy
  • 6 sets of ONE chin-up with the 20kg bell
  • moderate squats (135 for sets of 10)
  • handstand walks (4 rounds of 2×40 steps)
  • kettlebell cleans
  • swings


What ended up happening was a HUGE PR! After 4 singles with the 20 kg kettlebell and 4 sets of 5 reps at 95 pounds benching, I decided for the FIRST TIME EVER to pull the 24 kg kettlebell!

I had a hard time getting a good video and therefore did the chin-up THREE TIMES to get a good video (none are great) but here they are:

Then I ended up doing:

  • weighted push-ups (with a plate)
  • narrow grip chins with slow eccentric
  • 3×10 back squat
  • 4 rounds of 2×40 handstand walking steps
  • SHELCs and swings


This week was good, but not great. I decreased the amount of Quest bars I had, but did not cut them out completely.

I ended up eating a lot of cereal this week because I ran out of my usual gluten free oats I eat in the morning.

Then I got even more creative two nights this week and had this AMAZING combo:

Powdered Peanut Butter and Fluff? Who would've thought! either 80 calories for one serving, or 160 for double! When you double the serving it's 16 grams of protein.

Powdered Peanut Butter and Fluff? Who would’ve thought! either 80 calories for one serving, or 160 for double! When you double the serving it’s 16 grams of protein.

This is what I did with my extra 20% of calories I had left over a couple evenings when I wanted something sweet.

Sometimes you just gotta make it fit!

I was able to average 1400 cals/day as usual until FRIDAY. I was so exhausted and frustrated with myself from lack of sleep that I decided to give myself a “break” Friday and Saturday.

The break included have roughly 300 calories more than usual and freeing myself from methodically tracking for two days (Gasp!)

I started having some feelings of stress and self-doubt and realized I was feeling *exactly* how I said I wanted to avoid feeling throughout this process.

A good friend of mine (who is also considering competing) gave me some great advice, “You are only human.”

It was important for me to chill out, eat some extra calories and move on.

I will say the most interesting thing I have noticed at this halfway point int he #prep,  is that I really haven’t been crazing ANYTHING.

I attribute my lack of cravings to three things:

  1. Subconsciously I know that if/when I crave something, I will figure out a way to have it. Nothing is truly “off limits.”
  2. I am such a routine person I seek the same foods everyday and they are all meals I look forward too because I love them so much!
  3. I have still been social and around restaurants, the only difference for me is knowing that in the short-term, my portions must be smaller.

Here are my updated progress photos:


I really noticed some #bootygainz this week, so I had to document:


This coming week will mark 8-Weeks out and I am READY! Bring it ON!!!

What I am Reading:

  1. Confession time via Fitness Pollentator
  2. Six Ways to Simply Your Coaching for Better Results via Eric Cressey
  3. The Quest for the Perfect Swing… And Whether There Even Is Such a Thing via Strong First
  4. Make Your Ab Workout 5 Times Harder (Give or Take) via Dean Somerset
  5. Animal Proteins vs. Plant Proteins: Which is Better via Healthy Eating Science
  6. 4 Sleep Strategies for Athletes via T-Nation
  7. Flexible dieting trend leaves room for doughnuts via CBS News
  8. 34 Things Learned from 20 Years of Lifting Part I via Dean Somerset
  9. Strength Training Will Get You Far… Even through a Half-Marathon via Strong First
  10. Effective Warm-Ups to Improve your Squat, Bench and Deadlift Numbers via Ryan Wood Training

Exercise Spotlight: Inside look at Barry’s Bootcamp

This week instead of giving you one exercise to learn about, discover and try I want to give you an inside look at just a few things that go on inside Barry’s Bootcamp Boston.

Last week I had three different clients leave and ask me if I know Steve Bergeron of Amp Fitness because “I coach like him,” and because, “I felt like I was doing a kettlebell class without the bells.”

And, I figured a few of my Strong First friends would appreciate the Strong First Principles (see article I wrote in May about applying these in the Class Pass crowd) in the group exercise setting.

These were all small snapshots from a Hardcore Abs class, featuring lateral shuffling, offset squats to overhead marching, Palof Presses, and  dynamic mode sprints!

I am the 5 a.m. instructor so if you are ever in Boston and can’t sleep or you are an early riser, catch me at 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday!

Client Spotlight(s):

I want to share a quick testimonial with you from my friend, web-deisgner and #AMERICANNINJAWARRIOR Jordan.

Before I share the testimonial it is important to note her results in the 12-Week #Daretoeat Program:

  • lost 3.5 cm from her thighs
  • INCREASED her arms 1 cm
  • lost 2.5 cm from her waist
  • increased her weight 2 pounds

She looks amazing, but what is even more crazy is that she was able to achieve a new chin-up PR of 8 Chins!!!!!

She jokes with me that one of her training days feels like training for the show, American Ninja Warrior.

She told me how she has to get totally psyched before she goes to the gym but it’s the MOST empowering feel ever.

When we started she could only do ONE chin-up, now look at her go!

Here is Jordan’s side of the story:

I have to start by saying that Garrett is an absolute joy to work with. She is positive, thoughtful, knowledgable, and has a very sincere desire to help you reach your goals. 
After recently completing the 12 Week Program focusing on both strength and nutrition, I am super excited to share how happy I am with my entire experience. Through following the program Garrett designed for me, I have finished the initial 12 weeks feeling more energetic, happier, healthier, and a heck of a lot stronger than when I started just a few short months ago. To give you my favorite strength benchmark as an example, I was able to do one unassisted chin up at the outset of working with Garrett. I can now do eight!
I also experienced a very welcome change in body composition along with the stellar strength gains. Though I began the program being in relatively good shape, I still lost 2.5 cm off of my waist and a striking 3.5 cm off of my thighs. I’m much more muscular and compact now, and am more athletically ready for anything.
The nutrition programming was absolutely crucial for my progress as well. Garrett really opened my eyes to nutrition strategies that are totally doable and, most importantly for the long-run, sustainable. 
I highly recommend Garrett for anyone looking to gain muscle, lose fat, and get stronger. She definitely has the tools to get you where you want to go. I’m still working with Garrett on an ongoing basis and cannot wait to see what else we can accomplish together! Thanks for everything G!
My LONG-TIME client and friend Erin sent me a new update this week: her ABS!!
Erin abs
Erin has been a #Daretomove member for four months now, simply working on increasing her numbers in the gym following her 12-Week #Daretoeat Program wherein she lost 13 pounds.
Not only has she maintained the weight loss, she is leaning out by the second.
Also, THIS:
Erin’s push-presses look incredibly strong, BEAUTIFUL and EASY.
Nice work, Erin!


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