I’m Back!

After a couple months of inactivity, I’ve decided to resurface in blog world.  I’m thinking of it as a bit of a New Year’s Resolution because I haven’t made any others.  Also, over the past few months, I’ve taken a job as a photo journalist.  Because I’ll be taking pictures and writing about other people, I might as well do it about myself, too.  Please note that I will probably not be editing these like I would a normal assignment, so if there are a few grammar mistakes, don’t judge me ;).

My new NPC Figure Prep begins Saturday, January 2, which is 12 weeks out from my first show on March 26.  I plan on competing in two shows after that, including a natural show on April 30.  Posts will hopefully be consistent, as will workout posts.  If you have stumbled upon this page and would like to give me feedback, don’t hesitate to comment or contact me at michelleworkoutparty@gmail.com.

Here is a recap of the last few months (during the hiatus)…

7 Weeks out:

michelle 1

3 Weeks out:

michelle 2

2 Weeks out:

michelle 3

3 Days out:

michelle 4

SHOW DAY:

michelle 5

I ended up placing 1st in my height category, but didn’t grab the Overall Title.  During the off season, I focused on my lower body and I’m hoping that the hard work will pay off when I begin to shred again. Since the show, I have not stopped doing IIFYM.  I ate a lot to put on mass, but of course, I put on bodyfat as well.  On average, I have been consuming roughly 2600 calories/day with 1-2 higher calorie days/week.  I will post my macros and training schedule as the days go on, and I will also be training myself, like last time. All these pictures were taken from my instagram, so if you’re interested in every part of this journey, follow me @michelleberhart.

Looking forward to beginning a new challenge! Happy New Year!

Michelle

 

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Transformation Tuesday

Everyone starts somewhere.  I have been lifting weights since my freshman year of high school (10+ years!) I’ve noticed that only when I start to diet that I notice my results begin to shine through.  In this sense of the word, “Diet” is PROPER NUTRITION. Not a juice cleanse or grapefruit diet, etc.  It means that you are fueling your body with everything it needs to be a well-oiled machine.  Over the past year especially, I have used my knowledge of nutrition and been able to transform my body.The pictures on the left are from exactly 11 months ago.  The pictures on the right are from today…

transform

transform 2

Posing has improved too 🙂 8.5 Weeks out!

I would also like to announce that I recently signed up for the Oxygen magazine ULTIMATE CHALLENGE #TeamErin.  The contest starts July 15 so I will keep posting on that.  It’s a 90 day challenge and I’m hoping the athlete in me will want to take my physique to the next level! The link for more info is here.

team erin

Have a good night 🙂

Michelle

Leg Day!

Happy Sunday! I am going to run through a leg workout I did on Friday… I can barely walk today so that proves it was successful 😉 I switched out of my regular routine, went a little heavier and I really noticed the difference.  If you do a “usual” leg workout (or any workout for that matter) make sure to switch up all the time.  The difference in gains is crazy!

leg extension

Squats: 15×95, 2x8x135, 3x5x155
Bulgarian split squats on smith 4x10eax50
Leg extensions 15@7,8,8,12@ 9
Single leg deadlift 15x25lb kb
Glute bridges 15x100lbs
Walking Lunges 4x25x45 bar
I included the weights I used to give you an idea of rep range/weight but also because I copied and pasted this from my phone 🙂
Have a great day and remember to make your leg day LEGenDArY
Michelle

PREP PARTY!

It’s apparent I haven’t posted in a while.  Oops.

Anyway, I’ve been training harder than I ever have and to me that only means one thing: I AM COMPETING IN ANOTHER SHOW! 

After careful consideration, I have chosen AUGUST 15 as the show date, which means it is 9 weeks, 4 days from today! I am going to use this blog to help keep my moral up, keep me motivated, and hopefully find some supporters along the way! Throughout the next 9.5 weeks I will share my workouts, diet recipes, pictures (lots of pictures), and pretty much everything. I have also decided to do this show without a coach.  This is to test my knowledge, experiment with my body, and really see how far I can push myself. Of course, I will have friends pushing me along the way training with me and helping me with my diet, etc.  But, heck, why not do it while I’m young!?  I had a friend take pictures today and those are below.  I am also posting my workout split and current macros!

9.5 weeks progress pic

 If you have insight, hook it up.  If you have questions, PLEASE ask.  If you just want to say hi, definitely do

WORKOUT SPLIT: 

workout split

For my DIET, I will be following an IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) Approach.  I have a pretty fast metabolism and I work out a lot so here is my breakdown FOR NOW (it will change as I get closer to the show)

2178kcal= 250c (~46%), 62f(~26%), 155p (~29%)

I am currently 5’8″ and 155lbs, 21% bodyfat

CURRENT GOALS: 

1. I am aiming to lose ~10lbs of fat (Stage weight- 145lbs) and lose +5% bodyfat. As long as I stay consistent with my diet and tweak as I go, I think I will be fine.

2. Bigger, leaner quads and legs.  Legs have always been my trouble spot.  It’s where I hold most of my fat and the least of my muscle. #Genetics.  During my last show, I did 2 hours of cardio a day. I am afraid that contributed to my lack of leg growth.  This time I am incorporating 2x 30 minute HIIT sessions a week (mostly treadmill work) and 1x 30-45 steady state cardio (going to try to do stairs more, incline walking, and a little running because I love it).  I am also doing legs twice a week and lots o’ booty!

3. Have fun!!! I had a great time my last prep, especially after seeing the end result.  However, I felt like I was always hungry and was always on the treadmill.  It’s not awesome.  I want this DIET/ WORKOUT PARTY to be a blast and I want to share that here!

I’ll be posting pics and workouts throughout the upcoming weeks.  I am also thinking about either making a new instagram account or adding this stuff to my personal account.  Any suggestions? I’m so freaking excited about this I can’t even begin to explain it (I guess I did above, but whatev)!!

Thanks for reading!!! 🙂

Michelle

“She’s pretty big…”

During the hour I spent at the gym today, 3 people commented on how “jacked,” etc. I was looking.

flex1

While my swole was definitely prominent thanks to various factors of water retention, I guess my “jacked-ness” was extra noticeable. The first person to say anything was a man who always says hi to me.  I could take his remark as a compliment. The second was another man who said I have been getting more muscular and segued his remark to ask if I was doing any more shows in the near future. I’m undecided. Maybe he was just trying to have a conversation? I don’t know, I didn’t think about it too seriously.

The third was the kicker. After I had finished my workout I was over by the trainers’ station using the computer and I started talking to another trainer and his potential client. The trainer said something to the woman along the lines of working out and looking like me. Rookie mistake. She just stared at me… So much judgement. He tried to defend me saying that I’m “not huge,” comparatively, and she answered, “…she’s pretty big.” A couple times. She told him she was just gonna go walk on the treadmill. LOL.

Okay here’s my feelings about all of this…
First of all, don’t get me wrong, I love when people compliment or comment on my progress. It means I’m doing something right!
BUT, lady, I can guarantee you will never, ever look “big” like me. Even remotely. Why? Because I have been lifting since I was 15. 10 years of muscle development to get this “big”. I have been on an intense lifting and workout schedule since I was 18 and started collegiate Division 1 track and field. My body has adapted and responded very well to that training. Not to mention my genetics allow me to build muscle pretty well.
Also, if you think that training with a trainer once a week will turn you into the hulk, you’re nuts. He will give you tips and teach you some exercises but doing a couple circuits is probably gonna help you tone up a bit, lean out, not hulk up. So unfortunately, no matter how good of a trainer he is, you’re not gonna be so lucky to be as “bulky” or “big” as I am, sorry to break that to you.
Finally, I hope you enjoy your leisurely walk on the treadmill (While it’s beautiful outside!? What!?) and I hope that burns the fat right up. I can guarantee you won’t get bulky there.

END RANT.

Sometimes it’s hard to receive feedback that may seem negative or unnecessary.  In this particular case, I think I was caught a little off guard. However, over the past year since I’ve been lifting 6x/week and doing some sort of cardio 5x/week I have received a lot more attention regarding my physique.  Mostly positive, but of course some negative.  I think when you don’t fall into the cookie-cutter image portrayed in the media people begin to feel uncomfortable or don’t know how to react.  I also think that people believe that three half hour sessions of cross training workouts and bicep curls  are going to turn them into Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Maybe not, but that’s the vibe this lady gave me.

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY is that the strong, fit female physique has become desirable amongst the younger female generation.  Visibly, a strong woman is present, one with self-discipline and pride.  The external image that is reflected in internally.  I like that shiz.

What do YOU think?

drake gymI LOVE DRAKE.

Michelle

Jumping on the IIFYM Bandwagon?!

Hello! Hope everyone had a great weekend! I spent my time in NYC walking around Times Square, eating food cart gyros, and experiencing the most on-point brunch I’ve ever brunched before (see below).

brunch

But now it’s time to get serious. Dun dun dunnnn. Summer is creeping up real fast and I’m excited to get consistent with my food intake and workout schedule.

I am officially ready to sign my life away to the world of IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). For those of you who’ve never heard of it, IIFYM is described as a “lifestyle” rather than a diet, ya-de-ya-da.  In a nutshell, you eat a certain amount of carbs, fats, and proteins (your macro nutrients) and adjust them your diet to fit these specific amounts. Sounds simple, right?  I used the IIFYM calculator on the website to calculate my own personalized macronutrient ratio and I’ll go from there.

I decided to increase my protein to 1g/lb of body weight.  Fat is at .35g/lb of bodyweight.  Carbohydrates will account for the rest of my intake.  I chose to “maintain” my bodyweight and then after 2 WEEKS, I will adjust and go from there! I will update my progress as the weeks pass :).

The great part about IIFYM, or flexible dieting, is that I could eat my delicious looking brunch (as pictured above) as long as I account for the carbs/fats/proteins I consumed. How exciting is that!?!? The important part is tracking your intake and not going overboard.  I’m also weird and I think of it as a game to see how perfect I can get the numbers to match my goals.

Do you do IIFYM?? If so, PLEASE lend me some tips or insight! I’d love to learn!

Have a great day!

Michelle