Tag Archives: strength training

Meet My Team

7 Feb

I’m ten weeks out! I still feel more nervous than anything. I guess because I feel so far from where I want to be. But, I am starting to see changes so, trying to focus on that.

The most common question I’ve been getting lately is how I can do all this with a back injury. The simple answer is, with a great team. I’m fortunate to be in a position that allows me to have a full team of people behind me. Not just my hubby and family and friends but people who are experts in their fields.

My coach: Jill Vadala– She’s the one who makes sure I don’t look like an idiot on stage. Diet questions, meal plan, supplements, bikinis, everything in between

My trainer: Mike Brooks @ Sport & Health– He keeps my workouts changing and within the limitations from my physical therapist. Also deals with my insecurities and keeps me pushing forward.

Physical therapist: Patriot Sports Medicine- They’re awesome and Kayla has dealt with more exercise questions and texts than she probably bargained for! All while correcting my form and making sure I stay within my limits to strengthen my back, not injure it further. She’s my exercise voice of reason.

Dietitian: Rebecca Mohning- She makes sure the competition meal plan still allows for proper recovery and falls within my metabolic needs. She’s my nutrition voice of reason.

Not much of a secret. I’m doing everything I can to follow a dream without risking further injury. It’s an intense training and meal plan but I have a team of people making sure I stay on the healthy side of the extreme while in prep time. The farther into this I get, the more people I meet. I try to learn what I can from advice offered and make sure that my prep is working for me- both physically and mentally.

Let me be clear. I am not suggesting that in order to compete you need all of that. Plenty of people compete all the time on their own or with one of the four. This is just what hubby and I decided would work best for me (and for us as a couple, he gets peace of mind).

Lunges for Legs

28 Jan

First of all, a little competition update. I’ve found a coach and we decided that for this season I do not have the muscle mass for the figure class but I’m not giving up! I will be competing in the bikini class on April 25. Which means I’m already at 12 weeks out! After my momentary freak out of realizing how close it is, I am now very excited!

leg day

That being said, slight shift in how I’m working out and today was leg day! I haven’t done this many lunges in months. I can’t add in weight on moving lunges yet– have to focus on keeping my core tight a bit longer and get my pain under control– but you can easily add weights to any of the lunge movements.

Warm-up:

10 Walk out push-ups

5 Walk out spidermans

Workout:

  • 2 x walking lunges, run back (lunge down the court one way, run back)
  • 2 x lateral squat walks
  • 2 x grapevines
  • 2 x backward lunges, backwards run back

Superset (3x):

  • 12 squat to ball toss
  • 12 straight leg deadlift with hammer curl

Superset (3x):

  • Walking Lunge to scale (I’ll try to get a video up soon)
  • Walking lunge to balance
  • 20 calf raises

Superset (3x):

  • 12 hamstring bridges
  • 20 core exercises (I alternated in three of my diff. physical therapy exercises, if you’re doing the workout just add in an ab exercise)

Off to a doctor appointment and physical therapy for the day. Hope you are having an awesome week!

Big Announcement

26 Jan

Any readers who have been following since the start (First of all, thank you!) know that when I first started blogging etc. my intent was to compete in a figure competition. Due to life changes, injuries and multiple moves that goal slowly faded away.

I am so excited to announce that after much debate and some soul searching I have decided to compete in my first figure competition! I have decided to compete within NPC but have not selected the specific competition yet, I will also be working with a coach and continue working with the trainer at my gym in order to be as prepared as possible and ensure I am preparing in the healthiest way possible.

I know this is going to come with A LOT of ups and downs so any advice and encouragement will be appreciated. More than anything I hope you continue to follow along through it all.

Sunday Shoulders

25 Jan

It has been too long since I did a straight shoulder and ab workout. After a lazy morning with hubby and the pups, I hit the gym for this overdue workout. Inspired in part by the Jamie Eason LiveFit workout here’s the workout I ended up with:

Plank warm-up

3 x 12

Seated Dumbbell Press

3 x 12

Front Lateral Raise

Superset:

  • 12 Lateral to Front Raise (I didn’t alternate like the video shows, just out-front-down)
  • 20 Straight-Leg Deadlift to Upright Row

3 x 10

Incline Situp with Twist

3 x 12

Lateral Shoulder Raise

3 x 12

Arnold Press

20 Crunches

20 Leg Marches

20 V-ups (Don’t let your feet hit the floor in between reps)

3 x 10

Handstand push-ups

I ended with my physical therapy hamstring and glute exercises for today. The whole workout (including PT) took me right at an hour.

ST 8 Quote

Scott Traczyk Photography

I gave in…

22 Jan

The past few months I feel like I’ve been stuck in cycles where I get back into my workouts and eating well and then re-stress my back and, in an attempt to recover, cut too far back on workouts. Today, I made the decision to hire a trainer. I have high hopes that he’ll be able to work with me to push hard when I’m feeling good but not sacrifice workouts when my back is flared up if I don’t have to. So, at the very least, once a week I’ll be paying someone to kick my butt and watch my form. Form is always key but especially with an injury, I think that extra set of eyes will take away some of my fear of new workouts.

I’m also toying with the idea of trying to compete or, at least, update all of my fitness pictures so it will be great to have a resource to help me reach whatever goal I choose.

Now you know my reasons for hiring a trainer, what about you? Have you ever worked with a trainer? If so, what made you hire them? If not, do you have any specific reason why not?

work out

Don’t Forget the Biceps

21 Jan

Yesterday was another great day. Had coffee with a friend, went to physical therapy and cleaned downstairs (upstairs is scheduled for tomorrow). Plus I had a great biceps and back workout that I am definitely feeling today. I increased my weight on the biceps and did a few other exercises I haven’t done in some time.

Biceps and Back Workout:

3 x 12

  • TRX rows
  • Bicep curls

3 x 12

  • Lat Pull-downs

3 x 12

  •  Cable rows

3 x 12

  • Incline bicep curls

3 x 8

  • Assisted pull-ups

I admit when I was at the gym there was another girl there (also lifting arms) and I noticed I was mentally comparing myself to her. As usual, in my head, she was winning. When I got home I came across this picture posted from Oxygen, it was too perfect to not share. Excellent reminder that you are your fiercest competition.

oxygen

Tank Top Triceps

19 Jan

I hope some of you got to enjoy today to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. One of my favorite MLK quotes (especially as it applies to fitness) is, “If you can’t fly then run, If you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” It’s so applicable to really any obstacle or goal you may be facing! Aside from the fact that in comparison with his goals and obstacles… I really have no excuses.

MLK quoteAnyway, I worked today so took the day off from the gym but I had a great arm workout yesterday I wanted to share. Really hits triceps and make sure to only rest about 45-60 sec between super/great sets. The workout took me 28 min, almost exactly.

3 x 12

  • Tricep push-ups on BOSU
  • Dumbbell row to tricep kickback
  • Chest Press

3 x

  • 20 Skull crushers
  • 15 Tricep dips

1 x 20

Then I finished with my core physical therapy exercises. Hope you all have an awesome week!

Gym Time

13 Jan

Today was a great day. I slept in to make up for the lack of sleep the past couple days, made a delicious breakfast (okay, it was just scrambled eggs and fruit) and then started my day with a massage. My knots and back have gotten so bad that I’ve been waking up with headaches more often than not… It’s not good when a massage therapist is impressed with your knots.

After that I came home and finished some emails and things around the house before heading the gym. There was almost no one there (which really surprised me given the time of year) and I could do all my super-sets basically back to back. I had one of the best leg workouts I’ve had in awhile.

Leg Day Always Pays OffI used more machines than I have been because they’re a bit easier on my back. Here’s what the workout looked like…

3 sets:

  • 12 single leg deadlifts/leg
  • 30 lateral hop overs

3 sets:

  • 12 leg press
  • 20 calf press
  • 20 squats (body weight)

3 sets:

  • 12 leg extensions
  • 12 hamstring curls

2 sets:

The whole thing took about 45 minutes and then I stretched out.

I also tried Quest Nutrition Bars for the first time today. I’d had a bite of one of my co-workers a while back and finally decided to try it for myself. I tried the apple pie, the flavor was good but the texture was a little gritty. I’ve been told to try it warmed up so that’s going to be my next attempt with the cinnamon roll. Have you tried them? Do you have a different favorite protein bar?

photo 2I was not paid or compensated in any way for this post, my review of Quest Bars is solely my own opinion.

New Years’ Reflection

6 Jan

I’m torn today. You see, I didn’t specifically make a New Years Resolution for fitness this year. I made other resolutions, mainly to get better at staying in touch with friends spread around the world. I want to be clear though, that doesn’t mean I don’t have fitness goals. It does mean I didn’t wait until New Years Eve to make those goals, and it certainly means I don’t want it to take all of 2015 to accomplish my current goals.

To me, I want a lifetime of continuous goals and resolutions. I can say I want to be healthier in 2015 but, what does that even mean? I want to eat healthier, sure. I want to work out more, always. But none of those have a real measurement of success. I think that’s why I don’t like New Years Fitness Resolutions. They tend to be so broad that they’re almost impossible to track or so specific that it shouldn’t take you all year to accomplish, then what?

It seems to be taken as a given that people won’t maintain their resolutions, in large part because resolutions are made in lists and in such broad terms. So here’s my challenge to you. Make your fitness goals but set a timeline and a measurement of success. Then when you accomplish those goals, add on new ones. Keep moving forward, even into 2016. Don’t stop just because you make awesome progress into this year’s resolution. Certainly don’t give up when March comes around and you aren’t a completely new person. Long-term fitness has to be a lifestyle choice, and that doesn’t go away when next NYE rolls around.

Be Inspired Every Day

Be Inspired Every Day

In the spirit of my workout goals mentioned in my November post, I have been adding weight lifting back into my workouts. I’ve been having some issues getting my physical therapy covered so it’s been slower progress than I was hoping but I’m starting to find a happy balance between my PT exercises and other workout styles. I’ve been writing down my workouts but not making the time to post them (Which reminds me, one of my other goals is to post twice a week.)

Today was leg day at the gym…

Warmed up with PT exercises and planks

2 x Walking lunges (down and back length of the gym)

2 x side shuffles (down and back length of the gym)

2 x walking lunges to backward run (lunge down, backwards run back)

2 x 20 squats

3 x 12 single leg deadlifts (I had to switch to normal straight leg deadlifts because of my back but shoot for the single leg)

3 x Super-set:

  • 12 quad pull-ins on medicine ball
  • 12 hamstring curls on medicine ball

We finished with stretching and some core work.

November progress

12 Nov

I have not been in a gym in… let’s just say awhile. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working out. I have been doing T25 workouts and Yoga Meltdown and just trying to be active every day. It has taken some time but I’m learning that finding new workouts doesn’t mean I’ve “quit”. I’m just finding options that work better for where my life is right now. I can’t spend an hour and half in the gym 3-4 days a week and maintain my other priorities. I CAN however do 30-45 minute workouts 5 days a week and free up the other hour. I know this is something I’ve written about before but, it’s one of those things I have to keep reminding myself of. Changing your workouts to fit your lifestyle is not a failure, in fact, it’s the opposite. It’s finding a way around your obstacles.

Hopefully, really really hopefully, at some point this winter I won’t have to be going to physical therapy once a week which will free up a lot of my schedule and I’ll be able to get back into strength training. My long term goal is to strength train twice a week and stick with my 30 minute workouts the other 3 days. Don’t get me wrong, these workouts do a lot of body weight training which is great… it’s just not quite the same for us gym rats.

What changes have you had to make to maintain a healthy lifestyle with changing life priorities?

Scott Traczyk  Photography

Scott Traczyk Photography