One + Four = Life | Feb 2016 (Part 2)

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Welcome to another One + Four = Life posts! Honestly, the last half of the month was a little uneventful. Still a good couple of weeks, though I have been sick with either a mild cold or allergies. Never sure which one anymore.

Hope you enjoy the glimpse into my life…

me

 

Went to the spinal care doctor because I’ve been having back pain since November. This was my awesome getup before the x-ray (which revealed nothing abnormal). I swear these are 7-XL and made for someone 8 feet tall. I felt like a real-life hobbit. Laughing about the gown was the best part of that 3 hour trip. Yes, 3 hours. In a hospital. Lame city…..

 

 

Saw The Witch on Sunday. Don’t worry, no spoilers on the plot! Honestly, this is a total Redbox experience, not that I feel ripped off going to the theater. It was just not quite worth theater prices. I was confused by the beginning and the family being banned from their community (??) and a lot of the film was slow moving. The creepy parts were really creepy, just needed to be more fast-paced and creepy all the way through. Overall, just okay, but it got us out of the house.

savannah

 

It’s the little things in life….. Here’s our little girl, Savannah, being super cute as always. We flipped the covers over her head and she was peaking out. After our extensive Star Wars viewing over the last month, we instantly joked that she was secretly a Syth Lord.

Seriously, though, that face!!! Cute!!!

 

Switched up my workouts the last few weeks, doing new combinations (especially for lower body) and different moves. Oh… my…. god…. I swear my glutes and hams are sore EVERY… SINGLE… DAY. So I basically feel like this –>

 

 

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My Workout Schedule – Check Meowt!

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Some people are curious as to others’ workout schedules (I know I am!) and I’ve been asked about mine. So here it is… My current training schedule.

What does YOUR schedule look like? What’s your favorite/least favorite body part to work?

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WORKOUT SCHEDULE

Sunday: Hamstrings, Calves & Back (all heavy weight)

Monday: Shoulders & Chest (heavy), Bicep & Tricep (medium)

Tuesday: Quadriceps & Calves (heavy)

Wednesday: Back, Chest, Shoulders, Bicep & Tricep (medium)

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Calves (medium-heavy)

Saturday: Shoulders (medium-heavy), Bicep & Tricep (heavy)

My Journey to the Stage ‘aka’ Scared Sh**less – Entry 6: Getting Harder

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May 9 – Today is the 4 week mark to the competition. The weeks will go by both fast and slow. Today also marks the first full week of my revised, 2x per day training sessions full of increased volume and cardio. It’s a hellish fun ride that has already been trying my sanity.

sanity

It’s sounds easy when you think it through and looks easy on paper. Touché!

I started this “Journey to the Stage” so I could have a catalog of the steps taken to reach my goal. I could fill it with fluff and make it seem like the easiest. But that wouldn’t be honest. The reality is, while it’s fun and I enjoy the intensity, it has been getting harder. Both physically and mentally. And there’s 4 more weeks to go.

Some things I’m starting to struggle with right now:

1) With the increased training, comes increased hunger. Part of that is having to cut down on my veggies the last few weeks (sad…) because I’ve been feeling extremely bloated lately. For now, I’ve been eating more rice for my carbs, which I like, but it doesn’t sustain my hunger quite as long as eating a ton of veggies. The other part is that I’m burning extra calories while eating the same amount of food as before. Sometimes it’s difficult to concentrate on other things because all I can think about is my next meal. I’m still lucky though because my meal plan seems more flexible than most competitor’s diets. After all, I’m still having protein cookies or shakes every night 🙂

2) Maintaining my sanity is another challenge. I’m not very patient by nature and even less so right now. Having a hurried schedule makes for very impatient moments. With everyone. It’s an effort some days to not snap. Serenity now! 😀

3) I can already tell that these 2x day training sessions are going to be brutal and wear me down, both mentally and physically. That’s never pretty and I’m not looking forward to it.

4) Paranoia has been creeping up the last few weeks, even more so now. This being my first comp, I don’t know how hard I need to push myself, and when, to get my body where it needs to be. There will be mistakes and learning lessons but I’m getting paranoid that my body won’t be where it should come comp day.

I’m thankful that the hubs is doing this competition with me AND that he’s already been through this before, so he gets the mood swings and the fear/worries that come along with it all. Just need to keep the positivity, motivation and hard work flowing!

The Top 10 “Staples” for Transforming My Physique

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There has been a progression to my workouts, mindset and goals over the last 12 years. The biggest progression to my physique has been over the last 2 years. And I’m happy with it all, though I always strive to learn more, be more and improve. For me, fitness doesn’t have an “end”.

Here are the Top 10 “Staples” in my workouts that have really helped transform my physique.

squats1. Squats. I’m not talking about the barely going parallel crap either. I’m talking the below 90 degree, ass to the grass squats that make you work. Best overall leg movement, in my opinion. Plus, I feel like a super BOSS when the heavy weight goes on!

lats2. Lat Pull downs. I love these! So many variations, big results. This move has really helped shape my back and gives more of a nice “V” shape to my midsection.

3. Straight legs. These are easier on my knees than deadlifts and can be done with a regular weighted bar or the Smith machine. I prefer the Smith machine followed by dumbbells.

4. Hamstring curls. I like doing all of the machines possible for curls – laying down, sitting, upright. If there’s a good machine for hams, I’ll find it.

Next is the trifecta for building boulder shoulders: press, raise and flye… 🙂

boulders

5. Shoulder press. I alternate between the squat rack, straight bars and sitting to do presses. My shoulders have really taken off by incorporating these moves and I love it!

6. Shoulder raises. Again, variation is key. I love doing shoulder raises. As a bonus, they help build up my traps as well. Score!

7. Rear delt flyes. My favorite move for the rear delt is on the double cable row. I will do a ba-zillion sets on the cables because it’s one of my favorite moves.

lat row

8. Low cable rows. I’ll use the same double cable row for lats or the single lat row cable. Both are great but, for isolation, I’ll use the one with double handles, do one lat at a time and really squeeze those muscles during my set.

9. Tricep push/pull downs. My triceps are still a work in progress but have gotten much more defined by incorporating a variation of moves and high/low reps. I love doing push downs and pull downs versus overhead movements, due to some elbow injuries.

10. Bicep curls. Biceps are another work in progress but I love doing rope curls. I can go heavier, which makes me feel like Hercules 🙂 and it’s a little easier on my elbows and forearms than regular curls, though I do those too. Variety!

absI always love feedback and new ideas, so comment below…   What are YOUR favorite moves? What’s really helped ignite YOUR progress?  Happy Lifting! 😀

 

Lovin’ My New Gym Kicks!

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Every year between December and March, marks the migration period to new gym shoes. This is a love/hate relationship, one that I look forward to and dread at the same time. I’m not a fan of shoe shopping (shocking for a girl, I know!) and I’m not a fan of spending a lot of money on shoes. Sounds like a lose/lose situation right? But I love it! I love the feeling of a fresh start with new workout shoes. The extra cushiony feel of the shoe, before it starts to wear down over the next year. My feet love it, too! And I love investing in good, quality shoes that help me succeed at my #1 passion: fitness!

Here are my new gym kicks – the Mizuno Wave Rider. My new love. This is the updated version of the shoe I purchased last winter. Love the shoe and LOVE the color! *sigh* I’ve been breaking them in all week and loving it! And did I mention that I love them? 🙂

Mizuno Wave Rider