Why hello Friday :-) we meet again! All I can say guys is get ready for a June full of excitement. I have been working a lot on getting myself to be MORE productive and really come out with brand new stuff with you guys so I am working on creating a more highly effective schedule to fit it all in. Honestly, life has gotten so chaotic for me my schedule is all over the place so it is time to reign that in!
So of course as you can see from the title of the post fatiguing your muscles...there are a variety of ways to do this right and wrong so I'm going to give you some tips to really get deeper into those muscles.
Muscle tissue, the building blocks for strength, lean body mass, and allows us to eat more food! Muscle tissue is very dense tissue and in order to properly fatigue them we need to break down the muscle to build it back up---BUT BETTER, and that doesn't mean working to failure (example: doing lat pull downs until you can't any more) on every exercise. Actually working out to failure every single time is actually detrimental to what we are trying to accomplish and can lead to over training...and I mean true failure not just I am fatigued for this set.
Technique 1) working to failure
Let's do a little defining too, fatigue: muscle fatigue is the decline of the ability of the muscles to continue working. Failure: the loss of ability to do another repetition due to lack of form and over all exhaustion. Now there is some controversy on the issue but 9 times out of 10 your LAST set of reps should be the only one you do to failure UNLESS you are working with someone who is trained and has a specific purpose in mind. Like for example, right now for my figure competition I need certain muscle groups to be more muscular than others and they happen to be larger muscle groups so I need to break them down deep into the tissue so I will perform more sets to failure. However if I were not training for a specific purpose this could be counterproductive. For someone just trying to increase their lean body mass these techniques are not always necessary.
Technique 2) Squeeze and stretch
This is one I think we all tend to think we do but unless you are actively paying attention to it you may be missing out!
So we have a few different muscle actions we are doing depending on what exercise and what muscle group, let's keep it simple and use the biceps. So in doing a biceps curl with weight we have concentric and eccentric movements (contracting and shortening the muscle and releases and lengthening the muscle). Now assuming you have the perfect form...and yes I will touch on that in just a little while...when you contract you really need to A) have the right weight and b)of course again right form then from there contract up and SQUEEZE and then lower down and STRETCH! What this does is it fatigues the muscle deeper and increases muscle break down so we can build stronger muscles.
Technique 3) goes hand in hand with technique 1 in many ways...super sets, giant sets, drop sets
These are all different ways to perform exercises to get deeper into the tissue and fatigue more muscle fibers...and the more fibers you fatigue the stronger you get (as long as you properly heal them...coming soon).
Drop set- typically performed at the end of the set. In essence, I would do as many reps as I could at a heavy weight and then the next set right after, without rest I would do the same exercise but drop the weight down about 10% and then continue until I couldn't do any more with that weight. Depending on your style, knowledge or trainer you may perform 3-5 drops or you may only perform 1.
Super set- performing multiple exercise back to back taking no rest other than the time it takes to prepare for the next exercise. This can be done with opposing muscle groups (biceps and triceps) or the same (chest press to chest fly etc). The whole goal is again to get deeper into the muscle and break down more fibers.
Giant set- similar to a super set but it typically has more to it...super sets are 2 exercises and giant sets can be anywhere from 3-5 depending on the work out, body part, and trainer. Ex: flat bench chest press, incline fly, knee tucks
Technique 4) varying your sets and reps...usually lifting for hypertrophy with 8-10? Mix it up and try 12-15 once in a while! Always doing 5 sets? Decrease the sets to 3 and lift for endurance. Your body won't be used to it and it is another great way to change things up and keep your body guessing!
There is no one size fits all method but hopefully now you will get a better understanding of muscle fatiguing to grow!
How often do you strength train?
Obviously there are a lot of parties, picnics, BBQ's, trips and God only knows what else this weekend. Most people feel memorial day is the "kick off" to summer. So of course there are going to be many temptations in front of you so I wanted to give you some tips and tricks that have helped me when I am out!
1) Plan ahead...this is crucial for me right now...basically my cooler is my purse. For the average person though this is not going to be ideal so eat a little something healthy before...I like to have some fruit with PB or nuts or some shakeology to curb my appetite. The key is not to show up famished, when you feel hungry anything will sound appetizing even if you are trying to be healthy!
2) Load up on water before and after. Let's face it there is going to be alcohol...and I think if you can avoid it great but for most people opting in for a drink is more likely. WATER WATER WATER Before and after!
3) Fill your plate up with mostly veggies then proteins then starches and fruits!
4) try "bites" of desserts rather than a whole heaping portion
5) Bring the healthy foods! And I don't mean just lettuce or dips...get creative!! I know Pinterest has a TON of themed foods you can make healthier!
6) Enjoy yourself...don't stress yourself out the entire weekend worrying about all of this!
7) Remember why we are celebrating!
There are so many more tips I could give you but honestly...make the right choices for YOUR Goals and if you want more 1:1 guidance let me know!
Why hello there and happy Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a great start...I know mine is! I am SOREEEEEEEEEE today and I take that as a good things...it's my muscles sayin' hey...we're changing!
Well, yesterday was the first day I began competition prep and I have to say I am really very excited to continue on this journey. I know it isn't for everyone and a lot of people think I am crazy but honestly super excited!
So why do I want to compete...I have heard this one a ton of times in the past few weeks since I decided I was going to actually go through with it. Well for me there are few reasons and yes of course I know it is going to be tough but I'd rather take the road less traveled and make some dreams become reality!
What division will I do?
Well you see people get the wrong impression of what competing really is. No I will not be looking like a sheman. No I will not be starving myself. My division will be figure like the lovely Nicole Wilkins (shown below)
Now for some women muscle is not appealing some people just don't see that as appealing and I get it. But I want to push myself further than I have ever gone before. I want to 100% commit and win! Yep I am going to place..no questions asked!
So again, why compete?
1) Ever since I was a little girl I had body issues...and not the type where you obsess over foods etc (no I did not have an eating disorder)...but I was a chubby kid and as I grew up I finally thinned out and I felt great in my suit. I was always active in different sports so the baby fat came off. But that was not to say I was still where I wanted to be. I always dreamed of looking like the models on the covers of the magazines and sure maybe that is unrealistic of letting the media have say over what we think and want but so be it. I was a kid. At any rate I went to college tried to stay active..I have always loved the idea of going to the gym...too bad I didn't at the time know what to do so I wasn't any closer, but I kept doing what I thought I had to do to get there. And then it happened...not the freshman 15 more like the love happy weight where you are just so happy all you 2 do is eat and stay together. The problem with this is at this point I was not being very active or exercising, I was not strong so what happened? I gained about 30 lbs! I tried to go lift with Mike but I just wasn't strong enough nor did I enjoy it. I felt stuck. We tried a lot of different programs...something that had helped me in the past (and honestly what taught me initially how to lift, was P90x) I loved Tony but I had done it so many times I just couldn't stay motivated. Then I found something else that helped me drop the weight a combo of ChaLean extreme and TurboFire. From there..I was lean and I was thin but I was still really lacking the muscle definition. Fast forward to now...I am a full time trainer and I love to lift and I finally have the tone I have always wanted. Took me long enough to figure that all out!! But I want to push myself further!! I could do the bikini division right now and I'd do just fine...all I'd need to do is lean down some more. But I REALLY want to push and build up some more muscle definition.
2) This is another big one...in this industry I feel that it is crucial to prove your work (yep going back to math class there) and one way to do that is to do it to yourself! Not only will this expand my client base but it will make me more marketable because obviously someone who can do that to themselves can do that to others.
3) I want to compete in a sport and be an athlete again! This is my time this is my new sport!
4) This may be one of the biggest ones...so my grandfather was always a bigger guy. Type II diabetes, heart problems, etc. And he wasn't that old. But he passed away my freshman year of college (well summer before my sophomore year) and he could have gotten better had he been healthy. There are so many days when I just wish I could talk to him. So I am doing this for him. I am going to make myself into what he couldn't. And I am going to make him proud by not learning from his mistakes and changing my future. As good as those sweets are...nothing is worth that.
oh and one other for fun...
5) TO PROVE THEM WRONG!
So that about sums it up...I cannot wait to share my progress with you as I continue! Be sure to stay tuned to my
Happy hump day fit friends!! I hope you are having a good week and that you had a nice weekend with family or otherwise!!!
Time just completely flies by it's amazing to me really. I never understood it as a kid and I remember thinking wow I hope this age goes fast...I couldn't stay in the present and think about the here and now! As I have gotten older I have realized the importance of it not only in our lives but really in our work outs too! Oh and side bar I have some exciting news to share at the end!!
So staying in the moment...sure it isn't a huge unknown concept and honestly I'd say it has far more to do with your mental health than your immediate physical health (although in the long run it does translate into that). Let's take yoga for instance...yoga is one of the biggest supporters of this and they actively advocate for it. I'm not sure about you but if I am twisting and turning and balancing the last thing I want to think about is my to do list! Not to mention if you are constantly thinking about stuff that needs to get done and what comes next you are missing out on the here and now!
Something else I have noticed if we are rushing and not focusing we rush and want to leave and our form tends to go down hill because we are just going through the motions of it all.
Instead go to the gym or class etc with purpose, block out the rest of the world and really focus on what you are doing right now. Your breath, are you in the correct form?, your surroundings. Take it all in and enjoy! Trust me your work outs/classes will get a lot easier!
why is this all important? A less cluttered and less stressful life not to mention more productive!! Do not check out!
How to stay in the moment:
1) turn off the cell phone
2) avoid tv
3) breathe through it
4) focus on what you are doing
As far as my big news...I am going to compete in November in my first figure show! I am sooooo excited and a little nervous but I know it will be worth it. Truthfully I have wanted to compete for so long so now I am just kind of putting it into action. I have gotten a coach and we will be starting soon as far as my diet, how my work outs should be, etc! then posing and swim suits to come! I haven't been this excited/determined for something in a while! I am the most excited to really dedicate myself and see the changes.
well I could pretty easily do a nice lean down and compete in bikini division in August but to be honest I really want to push myself further and add some mass and get out of my comfort level. I am really trying to push this lately!
What does that mean for you?
Also coming soon on here is there is going to be a direct section for you if you are interested in working with me either as your coach, trainer, nutritionist etc! And the "free stuff" is going to be increasing too!
Stay tuned to see what comes next!
Ahh Tuesday...technically this is my Monday for the week :-) It's just crazy how quickly time flies...I mean seriously A year ago I was just graduating Penn State and about to move somewhere brand new to make my dreams a reality.
Let's recap a little? Graduated May 5th, moved May 10th, started honing my business skills at Vocus June 1, and April 1st one year later I am a full time trainer...there were some fun things in between for sure but those were some HUGE victories for me career wise and I think sometimes I lose sight of those. Not to say it was always easy or fun for that matter...it took a lot but in the end chasing your dreams pays off! Hard work + dedication = key to success
At any rate, what I wanted to talk to you about today is really just the importance of being active. Of course we are all aware of why you need to work out but honestly your health, dream body, and over all well-being will be determined by what you do the other 23 hours of the day!
While it is crucial to get in that 30 min to hour (or more depending on the person) it is even more important to ensure the your other hours of the day are active! I do not mean that you need to be exercising all day every day but simply taking more steps, getting up more often, taking the stairs, parking your car further away and walking etc.
Sedentary individuals (people who take less than 10,000 steps a day--trust me I was shocked to find out I fit that category as well until I started tracking it) have a higher risk of:
some types of cancer
high blood pressure
and even early death.
How do you know if this is you?
Wear a pedometer or a fit bit- both of these track your steps for you.
How can you get more active if you sit all day? Get up once an hour to get some water, go to the restroom, coffee etc!
Make an effort to walk more whether it is parking further away, etc!
Have an active day!