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

Injury Prevention. Calm the EF down.

Happy Flex Friday Party People!!

As I sit here on a bag of ice, I will start with a disclaimer: nobody is safe from injuries.  Sometimes, I think I’m superwoman. Like forreal I think I can do anything.  I can’t.  But a reality check like this one is necessary every once in a while.

Anyway, over the past nine months or so I’ve stepped up my lifting and workout game tremendously.  I work out 5-6x/week usually 2x/day (AM lift, PM cardio for time and fueling purposes) and to be honest, I work at two fitness centers so when I have a break, working out is the clear choice in activity.

So this past week’s workouts were as follows:

Monday–  AM Shoulders/ PM HIIT

Tuesday– AM Legs/ PM steady state cardio

Wednesday– AM Back and Bis/PM steady state cardio

Thursday– AM Chest, Tris/ PM Sprints

Well, today is Friday and it’s blank. 

Why? Well, note how it says “sprints” on Thursday PM. Two days after leg day. I didn’t even think about it.

In case you’ve been uninformed of the weather in the northeast this winter, living in New York (or anywhere near it) has been miserable for the past 5 months.  I’ve been performing all of my HIIT work on the treadmill or just straight up skipping it because sprinting outside on a snowy track in below-freezing temperatures isn’t my idea of a Workout Party.  Anyway, Thursday was SUNNY AND OVER 60 DEGREES. Being a track and field athlete from middle school through college, I was so excited for a track workout. And good weather.  OMG.  Like probably more excited than I should have been, but whatever.

So I walk down to the track (about half a mile) and did a normal workout for me- 8x100m, so walk the curve, sprint the straight.  I could fly.  All my splits were :14-:16 and for repeats, that’s pretty great for me.  My twice a week leg workouts were paying off. Until #8, obviously.  I had about 20 meters to go, almost done, and POP! You see this happen to sprinters at meets all the time, the hamstring goes at the very end of their 55m dash and they grip their leg and fall to the ground in agony.  That didn’t happen to me. Thankfully.  But after hobbling the last couple strides, I realized I effed up.  I wobble-walked the half mile back to my building (which so amazingly comes fully staffed with athletic trainers) and it was clear I strained my hamstring. The trainer gave me a bag of ice and told me to take it easy for a few days.  Superwoman doesn’t “take it easy” so that’s when I realized I was definitely not her.

Long story short, I got lucky.  It wasn’t a BAD injury, I mean it wasn’t good, but it definitely wasn’t bad.  I was also lucky to have an athletic trainer check me out almost immediately.  But nonetheless, I effed up.

Like I stated earlier, I’ve been stepping up my workout game for almost a year now which means bigger, tighter muscles. Also, the weather has sucked so that means I wasn’t doing all-out-sprints like I do in the spring and summer.  AND, a :30-:45 “sprint” on the treadmill is tough, but an all-out 100m dash blows it out of the water.  I took a bite bigger than I could chew.

Stretching

So YOU. Yes, you. Before you go out Usain Bolting all over the track, help yourself out and make an effort to prevent possible future injuries…

1. Warming up- Like duh.  Everyone’s body is different but apparently a half mile walk wasn’t enough of a warmup for me.  And 60 degrees may have been a little too cold for my muscles. Who knows, but a warmup is a good idea.

2. Be mindful of your workouts that week-  I should have realized that the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) after my leg workout two days prior would have had an effect on my sprints.  But you live and you learn.  If your body is sore or tight from a workout, you don’t have to hit the same muscle groups immediately after.

3. Ease yourself into it. It’s okay.  I have to remember that explosive work like sprints uses fast twitch muscle fibers that haven’t been activated in that way for a while.  If you’re starting a new kind of workout, or re-starting it after an extended period of time off, don’t think you can be 100% the first time you do it, intense stuff takes practice.

4. Stretch. I definitely don’t do enough of this.  I love my foam roller but it hurts.  Like a lot.  From here on out, I vow to cut down my PM cardio on leg days down and replace it with 30 minutes of dynamic and static stretching and foam rolling.  Hopefully this will help me in the future.

5. Rest. If your body feels like it needs some rest, it probably does.

So in conclusion, don’t try to be a superhero or an Olympic athlete.  Unless you are one.  Then you do you, boo. Be mindful of your body and take all preventative measures so that this kind of stuff doesn’t happen to you.  It’s all good in the hood but missing my second leg workout this week was a bummer.  On the bright side, my arms are gonna look so sick next week ;).  Have a happy and healthy (and injury-free) weekend!

Michelle

High Intensity Fun!

Doesn’t this title sound invigorating? Maybe I’m just really enthusiastic and the word “intensity” gets me excited.  Regardless, I want to talk about HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).jumping track

Throughout high school and college, I ran track and field and competed as a long and triple jumper.  In college, our off-season program would consist of different sprinting routines (either uphill, 100m, 200m) 2-3x/ week.  Those days would be accompanied by a weight lifting session and other other days were either recovery days or days spent completely off.  We never ran long distances and our workouts never lasted longer than a half hour.  I WAS IN HELLA GOOD SHAPE.

After doing long duration cardio from training for my first figure show (I’ll post about this sometime in the near future) and from half marathon training, I forgot how amazing sprinting felt… Not to mention how efficient and time saving it was.

Recently, I’ve been doing a great deal of research on HIIT and while opinions may be mixed on the duration and intensity level of the sprint, it is without a doubt the most effective cardio workout you can do. WHY? So glad you asked…

1. HIIT allows you do metabolize fat all day 

-Similar to the after burn of lifting weights, you will still be burning calories after you complete your workout session.

2. It saves you time

-I am DRIPPING  after 20 minutes of HIIT… Walking on the treadmill for a full hour doesn’t even give me that level of sweat satisfaction.

3. You keep more muscle!

-You’ve worked hard for the muscles you have! Excessive cardio can break down muscle tissue due to long duration repetitive movements.  HIIT minimizes muscle loss while maximizing fat loss.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out this podcast by Layne Norton, he knows his stuff!

WORKOUT PARTY TIME!

I tell all my clients looking to build muscle and burn fat to do intervals.  Although they hate me when we make our way over to the treadmill, they know they get in a good workout every time! Interested in interval training? Download the Interval Timer App (it’s free!).  You can set up how many intervals you want to do and the duration of the low/high intensity.  ALSO, you can close the app and listen to music and it will beep every time you have to change the intensity! (I am in no way affiliated with this app I just think it’s awesome)

interval timer

I recommend starting off with a 5:00 walking warmup followed by a HIGH intensity duration of :30 and a LOW intensity duration of 1:00-2:00.  It really depends on your fitness level and your speed but :30 should be difficult.  Repeat as many times as you see fit.  I recommend starting off x6 and increase the intensity or decrease rest each week.  Play around with it and see how your body reacts to weekly changes.  You can do this on a stationary bike, treadmill, on a track…it’s up to you!

Do you do intervals? If you do, how often do you incorporate them into your weekly workout routine? Any suggestions for workouts? Any interesting articles? If you’ve never tried them, give ’em a go and let me know what you think!

Have a great day!

Michelle

Circuit Training

abs again

I am ALWAYS switching up workouts.  Whether it be for myself or for my clients, I love playing around with different techniques and seeing how my body (or my clients’ bodies) react to it.  Recently, I’ve put together a 3-week circuit training program for myself to give my body a break from heavy lifting and hopefully shed some fat in the process. Here’s my week-by-week breakdown:

DAY 1- CIRCUIT TRAINING

DAY 2- HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Cardio

DAY 3- Active Rest

DAY 4- CIRCUIT TRAINING

DAY 5- HEAVY LIFTING (Leg day)

DAY 6- HIIT Cardio

DAY 7- Full Rest/ Recovery Day

This breakdown helps to kick my metabolism into high gear! By incorporating two rest days throughout the week, I can allow my muscles to recover after tough workouts and high intensity exercises.  Also, I’m keeping my carbs relatively low except on my first Circuit Day (Day 1) and Leg Day (Day 5), mimicking a carb-cycling diet plan.

An example circuit is as follows:

EACH EXERCISE: 3 ROUNDS X10-15

1. Squat to Shoulder Press

2. Battle Ropes

3. Pushups

4. Mountain Climbers

5. Lunges in place

6. Jump Squats

7. Dips

8. Jumping Jacks with weights

9. Pullups

10. Burpees

REST 1 MINUTE (Or however long you need)

– I generally like to alternate between strength/resistance exercises and cardio based exercises. So if you are particular to certain exercises that weren’t mentioned above you can always swap em out or add em.  You can also add/subtract reps and sets depending on your fitness level.

Let me know what you think, but this is a fun little program to get you til the end of the month. I guarantee you’ll be sweating!

Michelle