Aside

TGIF

5 Apr

Is it Friday already?! Not sure how that happened, but amped for my shoulder and bi workout this evening 😀

Earlier this week, I took a two-day trip to Harrisburg, PA for a conference. I found the closest gym and hit it both days I was there. On Tuesday, I decided to work out before I took the trip back home and it was quite the experience! It was glorious leg day, and people were admiring and watching me workout (I’m not trying to sound like an asshole, but they were haha). People were asking me what I do and complimenting my strength, this has never happened to me before, but it happened 3 times during this workout! I felt so refreshed and encouraged after this, it was a great way to kick off my journey to conquering my mini-goals.

As far as the mini-goals go, this is what I have accomplished this week:

I’ve completed HIIT twice already this week, and I’m going to complete my third this evening. CHECK.

Updating blog (yaaay!!). CHECK.

Diet, back on track! Protein, protein, protein!  CHECK.

Measurements scheduled for Saturday. CHECK.

It feels so refreshing to refocus on these mini-goals. I’m excited to see the changes that are going to take place within these next 12 weeks,

I was finally able to see my mentor/friend/coach 🙂 this week, it has been over a month since we have seen each other (conflicting schedules, being busy, etc.). It was great to catch up! She said that as of now, I am right where I need to be and to keep doing what I am doing. My goal is still gain, Gain, GAIN!! I need as much muscle as I can get before leaning out. Although, I have to be honest, I cannot wait to lean out and start to see more defined muscle :D. It’s exciting, because I feel so much stronger than I was two months ago, and I am. It’s amazing how much our bodies can change in as little as two months, time to keep rockin and rollin 😀

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

-Brit

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Annnd it’s been a month….

30 Mar

So, in my world, it feels as though my last blog update was a week ago. Buuut nooo, it’s been A MONTH!! I did not anticipate the eruption of craziness that has occurred over the last month, but I guess that is life, right? My school work has been taking up the majority of my time. It seems as though I am still trying to catch up from the last trip we took back to Ohio. For some reason, I was put really far behind because of that trip. I’m caught up as of now, so yay!

Anyway, enough of that non-sense, lets talk competition prep! Despite the nutty schedule, I’ve still be sticking like a champ to my training routine. Bi’s and Quads are getting hit twice a split, making incredible gains, and they are feeling GREAT. My squat has increased from 180-190lbs to 225lbs, my leg press has gone from 360lbs to 540lbs. I officially did my FIRST CHIN UP today!! XD Bi’s are getting stronger and are starting to have a nice peak 🙂 Besides the strength gains, I am starting to notice that I can see my muscles developing more. No, I don’t look like Dana Linn Bailey, yet 😉 But I’m on my way!

So now for confession time. I have not been doing ANY cardio for the past month. I haven’t had the time to go to the gym twice a day and I don’t want to cut into my lifting time. Kinda disappointed in myself, HOWEVER, it isn’t detrimental. I’m just hopping right back into the saddle, so to speak 🙂 

Tonight I have been working on my mini-goals for the next three months (from April 1st – July 1st). I needed something to refresh and refocus my attention. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

– Complete HIIT 3-4 times a week (primary focus is still lean gains)

– Weekly measurements/pics

– ***Update Blog EVERY WEEK***

– Complete my first pull-up!!

– Follow fighter diet EVERY DAY (confession: diet hasn’t been up to the par that it needs to be at this point. No, I haven’t been eating cookies and doughnuts! But I need to ensure I am getting adequate macros, ESPECIALLY protein). 

– To rock AND pull off my nike pros and sports bra in the gym!!

I’m making a calendar to keep me focused on the daily and am making some motivational posters to plaster all around the apartment. DLB is probably going to be on my fridge, in the bathroom, in my room, and the office…haha! 

So, that is where I am at as of now 🙂

-Brit

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It has been far too long!

27 Feb

So it has been too long since I have posted here! Life has been super busy lately, but here I am 🙂

Last weekend, Mike and I travelled back home to Ohio and competed in a powerlifting competition. It was the first time I had done anything like it and it was a blast! It was a great excuse to go see our friends and family, and I found it super inspiring to be around people who are as passionate about lifting as we are! The competition was composed of 3 lifts: squat, bench, and deadlift. I had an overall goal of 500lbs and I ended up getting 510lbs! Made me really happy that I surpassed my goal 😀 Now, go back next year and get close to 800lbs? Challenge accepted!

As far as competition prep goes, so far so good! Completed the first 6 week cycle of training and started a new 6 day spilt routine just this Monday. I will do this routine for another 6 weeks, then it will be time to reassess and modify accordingly. For this cycle, biceps and quads are being focused on. My triceps are developing nicely, but my biceps need some work. Also, my quads need to be strengthened and developed more. Therefore, bi’s and quads are getting worked twice in the 6 day cycle. The goal is to help develop my slow and fast twitch muscle fibers, so I’m mixing and alternating heavy weight/low reps with lighter weight/high reps. Up to this point, my body weight has dropped down about 4-5lbs and is pretty consistently staying where it is at (makes me happy!). I’ve lost a total of 7” though, yay!! Body weight staying steady and losing inches equals lean mass gains!! I am currently cycling off of creatine for 2 weeks, and then I will get back on it. Creatine can be hard on your kidneys when taken over long periods of time, so the cycling on and off gives them a break. Also, it is good to keep your body surprised and guessing about what’s next 🙂

That is all I have for now, but I will do a much better job at keeping everyone updated!

 

-Brit

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Inspirational Blogger Award

17 Feb

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Rules for this award:

  • Display the award logo on your blog
  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • State 7 things about yourself
  • Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them
  • Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Well, I wanted to kick this off by giving a shout out to mamaisfit.wordpress.com! She is super inspiring and if she can do what she does, I don’t want to hear any excuses from anyone!! 

  1. I am training for my first NPC bikini competition, set for September 7th 😀
  2. The gym is my sanctuary, the place where all troubles melt away, and I love it!
  3. I love wearing my workout clothes (probably because it means I am going to the gym) and am an absolute gym shoe whore.
  4. I am the proud mamma of two mini doxies ❤ love my boys
  5. Am a full time grad student and will have my Master’s degree in December! YaY!!
  6. Insight: understanding that obtaining the results you want is about the culmination of your mind, body, and diet. Those abs are made in your head, at the gym, and in the kitchen 
  7. Life aspirations:  obtain my LISW licensure, become a therapist for military vets, be a perpetual competitior/gym rat/inspiration, get married to the love of my life and bff (we will officially have been together for 6 years in April), and be a MILF when I’m officially a mamma 😉

My Nominations (I only have 10 for right now, don’t hate me!!):

http://mamaisfit.wordpress.com

http://phoenixfitlife.wordpress.com

http://moonfitness.net

http://fitkrysta.wordpress.com

http://drstaceynaito.wordpress.com

http://mrsmurphyslawoffitness.wordpress.com

http://liftingmyspirits.wordpress.com

http://faithironsweatchalk.wordpress.com

http://squatsforbreakfast.wordpress.com

http://roundtoravishing.wordpress.com

Week 4: Happy Monday!

4 Feb

Ok, time is flying by because I cannot believe it’s been 4 weeks already! Things are going well, finally getting into the groove. I find myself automatically waking up at 6:15 now, my body is like “let’s hit this cardio!“. Yet strangely enough, its like my body knows my off days simply because I don’t automatically wake up early on those days…hmm.

So as far as numbers go, my weight is identical to last week (muscle, baby!) but I have lost a total of 5 1/4″ at this point!! I am still making fantastic gains, I benched 105 lbs. yesterday!! You have no idea how much this excites me 😀 

After some research and talking things over with my mentor, we are changing up my training a bit. I have been doing 40 mins of endurance cardio in the morning then lifting and HITT in the evening (I initially started this way because I considered doing a show in June, but since I chose a show in September it gives me a little bit more time to work on building the best me I can be!). However, this is now a crucial muscle building stage for me, we are changing my routine to HITT in the morning then lifting in the evening, knocking out endurance cardio for now. Why? Essentially, completing cardio and lifting at the same time is counterproductive to building muscle (so is completing long cardio sessions). It sends mixed signals to your brain, it thinks “build” then “wait, burn?!”. In this phase right now, my goal is to build muscle so that when it comes time for me to cut in the next few months I actually have something underneath it all. So to condense some nerdy information and findings, it has been found that conducting endurance training after resistance training has an effect on the hypertrophic (aka muscle building) stimulus of the resistance training. However, conducting endurance training before resistance training induces a break on the hypertrophic response (not producing optimal building!). It is optimal to conduct these sessions (endurance and resistance/strength trainingseparately, if you cannot do that, end with the training that has the upmost importance to you and your goals. 

It will be interesting to see how these tweaks to my training routine have an effect on me, only time will tell! 🙂

-Brit

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Things That Really Grind My Gears…

2 Feb

Ok, I’ve heard so many of these lately that I felt the need to clarify some of the “old wives tales” and mistruths out there. You may have heard these before and some may classify them as “common sense” (such a horrid “way of knowing”, thank you statistics):

1. “Muscle weighs more than fat”

So, we all have heard this one before. You’ve been working hard, faithfully working out and making changes to your diet. You may have initially dropped a few pounds, but overall the scale isn’t moving. So your friends console you by telling you “don’t worry, it’s because muscle weighs more than fat!”. I cannot express how much this irritates me!! Why? Allow me to explain. If you have 5 pounds of muscle and 5 pounds of fat, you overall have 5 pounds of each substance. Each is 5 pounds. The difference lies in the density not the weight. In other words, 5 pounds of muscle is denser than 5 pounds of fat, therefore it takes up less space. When your body is building muscle and burning fat, the weight exchange may be the same, however, you will notice that you are losing inches (muscle takes up less space, remember!). This is also one of the many reasons that the scale is NOT and accurate reflection of your progress. It is certainly a tool that can be used to help gage your progress, but take its reports with a grain of salt. Taking your measurements and a body fat caliber is a more accurate way to track your progress. 

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2. “You are eating way too much protein!”

This is one that I hear from the ladies quite often. Girls, protein is not the enemy! Protein is essential for growth and repair (muscles, as well as, our hair and nails!) and is a major component within our cells. It provides our body with 10-15% of its dietary energy.

While veggies and fruits all have their place in our diets, they do not contain the protein necessary for not only building lean mass but also for daily functioning. Allow me to get all nerdy on you. Protein is made up of amnio acids. There are 22 amnio acids, 8 are vital because the body does not made them on their own. Food that contains these 8 amnio acids are known as “complete protein foods”, these are meat and dairy products. Although they are all known as complete proteins, each of these foods is made up of different combination of these amnio acids. This is why it is important to get a variety of these foods (examples: egg whites, low-fat cottage cheese, turkey, chicken, greek yogurt, ground beef, skim milk, salmon, etc.). Protein from plant or grain sources are not considered a complete protein food because they lack the 8 essential amnio acids we talked about.

How much do you need to eat? Well, that all depends on your lifestyle and your goals. When trying to put on that sexy muscle, like me, a general rule of thumb is 1.5-2.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight. Your lean body weight is found by this formula: total body weight – (total body weight x body fat percentage). You can then multiply the suggested grams of protein by your lean body weight to yield your daily protein intake. When all is said and done, I consume 185 grams of protein a day! It is exactly what my body needs to feed its lean mass 🙂 Muscle food!

3. “I don’t lift weights because I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder

Oh boy, this is probably one of my favorites! Firstly ladies, in order to look like a body builder you would not just be lifting weights. There are the carefully planned supplements, diet, coaching, years of hard work and dedication. Not to mention, us women do not naturally have the testosterone levels necessary to build that kind of muscle. If only it were that easy to put on muscle!

With that being said, adding weight training to your routine has MULTIPLE benefits including, but not limited to:

– Muscular growth (lean, sexy, firm muscles ladies!)

– Reduction of body fat (muscles help to raise your metabolism, in other words, you burn more calories on a daily basis)

– Increases bone density

– Improves posture

– Aids in balancing hormones (reduction in depression and anxiety)

– Helps improve immune system

I could go on, but you get the general idea. Not only does it have the added health benefits, but the feeling of self-confidence and satisfaction that goes along with it is indescribable! Do it for yourself 🙂

That is all I have for right now, I hope that this has helped provide some knowledge and insight into some of these mistruths. There is a lot of “broscience” out there that can be misleading, but knowledge is power (lame quote, buuuut so true). Educate yourself through good resources (not your best friend’s brother’s uncle that goes to the gym sometimes). There are a multitude of resources out there that can help you in your journey, you just have to find them 🙂 

-Brit

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Sources:

Hanson, J. (2005) “Natural Body Building”

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/strength-training/HQ01710

 

Week 2 Progress Update

26 Jan

At the start of this week I added some new supplements into my routine, and HOLY MAMA, I can tell the difference already. Just as I suspected, I added 3 lbs back on this week, but I expected it since I am taking creatine. The exciting part is that I took my measurements and although I gained 3 lbs, my numbers overall went down. Weight increasing and measurements decreasing equals increase in LEAN MASS (or increase in gravitational pull…but I’m opting for the latter)!! Although I do need to account for the fact that creatine holds water in your muscles, so there’s that too. I’m not super focused on the numbers, but they help me to gage my progress to better help tweak my routine for maximum benefit.

I’m feeling leaner, energetic, and stronger. My enthusiasm for working out combined with the supplements is leading to some great results 🙂 Today was back and bi, the start of my 5-day split. The gains I have made in the last week are ridiculous. I hit all new highs in pretty much each exercise. I had to increase the weight because it just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I am working hard for those darn pull ups! At this point, I can get about half way there. I know it will just be a matter of a couple weeks before I’m cranking them out!

As far as nutrition goes, I have a nutritional sin to confess. I definitely indulged in some grapes last night 😦 That is a contest diet sin and I felt SO GUILTY this morning. It was only a cup and a half, but they have SO MUCH sugar, I was flying high for a bit last night! My body has been SERIOUSLY craving carbs and sugar, and I know it’s because my body is trying desperately to resist eliminating fat. I gave in last night, but no more of that! I’m working way too hard to not be giving my body what it really needs, as opposed to its wants. I’m trying to find some more ways in which I can utilize wheat bran, anyone have any suggestions? My diet calls for A LOT of it, so I need some ideas…I will post whatever I find 🙂

Well, I’m off to the grocery and am going to spend the rest of the day prepping my food for the week! 

-Brit

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