Interview with Jenny Montgomery, NPC Figure Competitor

20 Sep

The Stats:

Name: Jenny Montgomery
Age: 41
Height: 5′ 1″
Married Mother of 2 amazing kids!

Competition History and outcomes:

 NPC Big Cat Classic 2013

- 4th Novice

- 5th Figure A

- 4th Masters

 NPC Natural PA 2013

- 4th Masters

- 8th Figure A

NPC MidAtlantic Cup 2014

- 3rd Figure A

- 1st Masters

- Won Masters Overall

NPC Northcoast Championships 2014

- 1st Figure A

- 3rd Masters

NPC Elite Physique 2014

- 2nd Figure A

- 2nd Masters

NPC Great Lakes Championships 2014

- 1st Figure A

- 1st Masters

- Won Masters Overall

Social Media sites:

InstaGram: NPCJEN

Facebook: Jenny Montgomery NPC Competitor

jenn.montgomery.3@facebook.com

BodySpace: Fitjenn73

Google: jenmontgomery10@gmail.com

 

I had the privilege of meeting Jenny at a posing clinic last year that was run by her coach, Chuck Mauceri. I was just happy to be there and learning. I remember turning to Jenn and seeing how nervous she was learning the poses (I think we all were) but I also remember thinking, “Ummm Is this chick doing the Lakewood show like me? Because if she is, I should just go home right now because she looks awesome!”  I was very intimidated by her but I quickly realized she’s very down to earth and an overall cool chick. She was prepping for a show in Pittsburgh and ended up doing quite well from her competition history, as you can see above. She’s been on a roll ever since and is improving at each show, which is the goal, isn’t it?  She’s definitely got the gift.  Let’s get to know Jenny Montgomery!

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FFTF:  So, tell us how you got your start with transforming your body.  When did you start to take an interest in fitness?

I have always been athletic and participated in sports my whole life. I was getting close to turning 40 and after having 2 children (one out of the house and college age and the other now a pre-teen). I felt like it was finally my time to re-focus on my health. I had recently been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and was making significant changes to clean up my diet. I was working full time and in school after many years in nursing to obtain my Master’s Degree as an Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. After completing my Master’s Program I found myself 12 pounds over weight. The stress of working, school, no time to eat—-just eating plain old wrong had set in. So I joined a new gym thinking that would kick-start me in a new direction. I was feeling kinda lost until one Sunday I met a lady who was in her 60’s who was competing in Figure. She was one of the driving forces for me to compete. I began intense weight training and dieting – 3 years before ever competing.

FFTF:  What was your history like – Athletic? A yo-yo dieter? Casual workout person?

I played sports my whole life such as swimming, volleyball, softball, and hockey. I generally worked out 3-4 x/week but I did not have a trainer and I never really had a consistent diet. I was a full time nurse working long hours, so diet was always my biggest challenge.

Workin them legs!

Workin them legs!

I do not expect everyone to like the way I look or agree with my goals – however – what I do ask is you respect it.

FFTF:  Tell us about your first Figure competition – Highlights/low points?

First competition I was hooked!  Getting to see the look on my husband’s face the first time I stepped on stage was definitely a high!  Placing in all 3 categories my first time out was also a great high point.  No lows at all at the show – however, getting there had been quite a journey. I had been thru 2 other trainers prior to the one I am currently working with (who might I say is just amazing!!!). I was on the wrong diet, wrong plan and 12 weeks out of my first show was dumped by my previous trainer for his own personal reasons. Needless to say, after searching the NPC – came across Chuck Mauceri of Mauceri Private Fitness  and, well the rest is history as they say. I know that journey and finding Chuck was single handedly the best thing in a line of amazing things that were going to happen for me. And I believe the best is yet to come!

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I have the most amazing husband and children. they have been so supportive of me.

FFTF:  Did you find that people were supportive as you dieted for your transformation?  Did you encounter any resistance from people that you’d like to share or would you say overall everyone was supportive?

For the most part people were supportive but it was a learning curve. People always commented (and still do) on what I eat. Getting the stare when we go out to eat and everyone else orders food and I am eating what I brought. It really did not and does not bother me….. Yes, I am totally comfortable with eating cold chicken and green beans at 8 AM in a staff meeting – LOL!!! My husband and daughter embraced the diet changes in the house. We all learned together how to re-taste foods for what they really are without added sauces, fats, sugars, etc.  The entire family took part in eating clean and really helped with meal prep.

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Jenny’s Fridge at 8 weeks out from a competition. All business!

 FFTF:  What was your friends/family reaction when you told them you wanted to get on stage and take part in this competition?

Most people are supportive – however, I would be lying if I said I have not been the target of peoples opinion of what they think a healthy person/fit person should look like. I have been publicly ridiculed on social media – told that I am too muscular, not feminine, not what “most guys” look for or like in a woman and how could I think that looking this way is sexy….. I was actually called gross.  I have had people walk by me and comment on my muscles and say “that’s too much.” The first time I experience this – I was really hurt but it is always a matter of putting things into perspective. I do not expect everyone to like the way I look or agree with my goals – however – what I do ask is you respect it. Now I look at comments like that and laugh….. Whatever, it is their opinion and it is mind over matter. I don’t mind and they don’t matter!

Jenny with her biggest fan, her daughter.

Jenny with her biggest fan, her daughter.

 FFTF: What’s it like to be such a healthy role model for your children

I love the fact that I am a great role model for my kids – my daughter trains with me and is interested in competing in bikini when she’s old enough.

Jen and Chuck and his wife Tammy

Jen and Chuck and his wife Tammy

FFTF: What advice would you give to women reading this interview about competing and living a fit lifestyle?

I would say you’re never too old to get started! The fact that you’ve had children and your body is different is no excuse either. I compete in master figure and open classes with girls often 15-20 years younger then me and I’m totally cool with that. I’m still holding my own with them! Physical fitness and health is possible at any age. I  am the healthiest I’ve ever been in my 40s.

The best place to start is find a trainer who understands the female body – especially as you age and after having children. Let the expert assist you with diet and training. Moreover you have to be comfortable with the process as nothing great has ever been achieved overnight.

Competing was one of the first things that I had done for myself in a long time after raising a family but it’s very possible to balance your personal life with training and competing. I do it every day. It’s not always easy or fun but I’m committed to myself, the process and my goals.

FFTF:  What’s it like working with your Coach Chuck Mauceri?  Does he give you diet advice or workouts or both?

I really do not know if I can put into words the gratitude and thanks I have for him. Meeting him was likely one of the very best things that could have ever happened to me. From the first day I met him I was impressed and have been ever since. There is something to be said in finding a trainer that you know always has your best interest at heart and that is Chuck. He is truly an expert in the field, a mentor and a friend. Over the past year in working with him – I have changed my physique in ways I never thought was possible. He has taught me to believe in myself and trust the process. He pushes me hard and is one of my biggest cheerleaders. I know that he will help me to achieve my pro status. I have become very close with him and his amazing wife Tammy and their beautiful daughters. Chuck treats his MPF clients like family – putting together summer BBQ’s and celebratory gatherings. We all have become so close and often travel to each others shows – even when we are not competing but just to show support. This past month I had the opportunity to compete in the same shows with Chuck and it was another awesome experience – so fun to share the process together as a team. I am honored to be a member of the MPF Family.

chuckandjenThere is something to be said in finding a trainer that you know always has your best interest at heart and that is Chuck.

FFTF:  Any other interests outside the gym?

Very outdoors kinda girl and I love to cook and travel. I also love to read.

FFTF:  Speaking of food, what was your first meal after you got off stage?

Gluten Free Pizza!!!! and Potato Chips!!!

 

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Chuck treats his MPF clients like family – putting together summer BBQ’s and celebratory gatherings. We all have become so close and often travel to each others shows – even when we are not competing but just to show support.

FFTF:  Would you recommend competing to anyone or do you think it takes a certain type of individual to engage in this “strict” diet and workout regimen?

I would not recommend “anyone” to do this and I do believe that it takes a special person to stay as motivated, driven and focused in order to do well. The training is intense, the diet is even harder. This is just as much mental as it is physical. I was once told that it is one of the most selfish sports a person can do, and to a great extent that statement is true. Your world revolves around meal prep, eating and training. It is more than just a persons drive to do this but you have to have a strong support system. If the people around you are not supportive – chances are failure is more likely.

I have the most amazing husband and children. they have been so supportive of me. They tolerate my contest prep. My low carb days  and my “hangry” attitude. I know that they are so proud of me. Just ask my husband. He would tell you that he never thought in a million years I could get up on that stage – as insecure as I used to be! Now he is the one cheering the loudest and I look for him first as soon as I hit that stage. I love this man and after 19+ years together this sport has brought our relationship to another awesome level. He even trains with me – it is just awesome!!!

 FFTF:  What’s on your Goal list now? 

My goal is to finish out the season with the 2014 NPC PA Natural and 2014 NPC Central States. Since I have qualified for nationals – my plan is to compete in my first National Show next July 2015 at Masters National. My ultimate goal would be to obtain my Pro Card! :)

Definitely keep us updated on that cook book Jenny. And we are anxious to see you finish this season and see you ultimately get that pro card!!! Good luck and keep up your amazing work! Congratulations once again on going From Fit To Figure!

2014 NPC Northcoast Championships

2014 NPC Northcoast Championships

Did you like this interview? If some of those folks looked familiar in the pics, it’s because you may have seen them in the interview I did with Stefan Perri on the FFTP site. He’s another client of Chuck’s and you can find his interview here.

10 Backhanded Compliments People Give You When You’re Into Fitness

13 Sep

From Fit to Figure:

This is incredibly accurate. Yes to all that have been listed.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

1. “I don’t know how you find the time to work out. I’m always so busy!”

Wow. Talk about condescending. Like every other human, people who are into fitness have 24 hours a day which consists of multiple commitments from work to relationships to laundry. And the reality is fitness is something that you do, if you value it. It’s not about having the time; it’s about making the time.

2. “You look great but the muscular look is just not for me.”

This one is usually directed at girls and all I have to say is “what?!” I’ll try and design my body according to your wishes. NOT! Firstly, it’s REALLY hard for girls to get a bulky look – our hormones are just not into it. Secondly, “having muscles” is not the goal as much as being strong is. And strength is good for functional everyday…

View original 716 more words

36 Life Lessons

8 Sep

Tuesday is my birthday and I’ll be 36.  Since I’m big on numbers (and low on blog ideas) I thought I would babble share 36 things I’ve learned. But we are always learning aren’t we? I suppose we never stop until the day we take our last breath.  So here’s what I believe to be true. Some are funny, some are serious, some are fitness related, but most are not. All are very random.

1. When given the choice, I will always eat my calories instead of drinking them. Gimme a cheesecake over a Mojito any day of the week.

2. Cleveland is the best and the worst city to live in during football season.

3. Friends are temporary, family is forever. Treasure them while they are here. Don’t decline or ignore their calls and messages. One day you won’t hear their voice anymore and you’ll wish you had listened more.

4. Speaking of friends, let go of toxic relationships. The people that claim to be friends with you unfortunately will disappoint you and maybe even hurt you. Once or twice is understandable. But if they mock what you do, or don’t understand you or gossip about you or just plain bring you down? Time to say goodbye. And it’s okay.

5. Spend time alone. 10 minutes or 10 days or 10 weeks. Read alone. Go the movies alone. Have your morning coffee alone. Too many people spend so much time joined at the hip with someone (spouse, partner, kids, co-workers). How can you really get any downtime if someone is always in your ear? Oh and before I get accused of being Sad and Lonely Single Gal, alone does not equate lonely.

6. Weighing yourself on the scale everyday is a quick path to obsession with your body, and weight, and numbers. It’s not a representation of what’s on the inside. And if teenage girls (and boys) learned this from a very early age, it would save so many tears. And years of therapy. Seriously.

7. Don’t do things just so you can post about it on social media as a way to brag and boast. This is not to say all status updates and tweets and IG photos should be profound or inspirational or serious. But I always (TRY) to think before I tweet “Is this something anyone is even going to CARE about? Will it bring a smile to someone’s face? Will it make anyone think differently perhaps?” My point? Make it mean something. If you want to babble about mundane things, start a blog.

8. Creamy Peanut Butter trumps Crunchy Peanut Butter every day. Don’t even try and get me to like your crunchy crap. It’s basically WHOLE PEANUTS wrapped in Peanut Butter! What is the point???

9. You can live off PB and J on white bread for 18 years everyday for lunch and still be okay. I’m living proof.

10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I was afraid of raising my hand in class when I was in grade school. I don’t really know why or how it started, I just remember faking stomach aches more times than I should have at a young age. I was petrified of asking something stupid. I was afraid of being called on for answering any questions too! I should have asked more questions. I was a big coward and it really messed me up academically.

11. Be selective and picky about major purchases as well as relationships. I’m talking everything from a car to a husband. Do research. Read reviews. Choose…wisely.

12. Forgive those who do you wrong. And don’t hold it above their head. You may not forget very easily, but forgive people who don’t even forgive you.

13. Don’t wait for a certain age or time in your life to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Do it now. Why wait?

14. Money doesn’t buy happiness. I don’t know this for sure, however, since I have never had a lot of money. But I know it doesn’t buy happiness because I’m happy now and have been for quite some time. I’m probably the poorest I’ve ever been in my life…but I’m quite content. Weird!

15. People say don’t be afraid to fail. I think that’s true, but I don’t think you should ever AIM to fail. I think you can have miniature failures in order to be hugely successful. And by the way, what you think and define as successful, is probably way different than someone else’s definition. I’ve already had 3 mini successes in the past 24 hours. :)

16. If you say it, you become it. If you’re always telling yourself that you’re unhappy, or ugly, or fat, or angry, guess what? You ARE that person. You BECOME unhappy and fat and ugly. But if you wake up and say “I’m not thin now, but I’m going to be” or “I’m not super happy at this moment, but I’m not doing too bad.” I think people start to SEE that in you. I’ve seen it myself and I’ve been there myself. It’s a fact. There is power in the words you use to describe yourself. Use the good ones, stop saying the negative ones.

17. Social Media is a time suck. I’ve had a love/hate/love/love/hate/hate/love relationship with it for what seems like almost forever. On one hand, we can’t seem to live without it to get our news and stay in touch with people. On the other hand, it can really damage our REAL relationships. Someone posted recently: “If social media ceased to exist, how many people would lose their identity/their business?”  Food for thought.

18. Speaking of food, take time to learn how to cook 3 good dishes. 3 things that you cook REALLY WELL. They don’t have to be extravagant or something that would be found in Epicurious. Just something you do really well and that you are totally proud of. Then tweet it out. ;)

19. The DVR is the best invention of my lifetime.

20. The Smartphone is the second best.

21. When someone breaks your heart it’s the worst feeling in the world. But that feeling when you wake up knowing you have moved on and you are over them? Damn that feeling is so good. And then the feeling of being HAPPY for that person because you realize you were both meant to take different paths? That’s the BEST feeling!

22. There are no such things as coincidences; everything happens for a reason.

23. Don’t speed. Don’t text and speed. Don’t text and drive. Don’t drink and drive. Just don’t. If you’re tempted, picture the youngest relative you have crossing the street in front of you and not being able to stop in time. Sounds horrific doesn’t it? That’s the point.

24. Back to social media – If someone posts something you disagree with, you can either skip over it and ignore or it start to debate. If you’re going to debate, debate. Don’t ever mock someone or make them feel small by ridiculing what they are saying. I guess it goes back to #10. No one wants to feel stupid, so don’t do it. Take the high road. Every time.

25. Skinny jeans are the worst invention of all time and while every BODY is different, not every BODY should squeeze into those. I’m just sayin.

26. Try not to judge. You really don’t know what someone else is going through. Why are certain people just plain jerks? Who knows! But maybe they have issues that you can’t even begin to understand. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

27. Don’t knock it before you try it. I did this recently with golf. I hated it. I hated watching it. I thought it was stupid and boring and I couldn’t believe people got paid millions to play this silly game. Then I tried it. Then I started watching it. Then I started practicing. And now I love it. I still hate it, but I love it. And I appreciate it.

28. Don’t give gifts unwrapped. Presentation is everything. I’m a horrible gift wrapper so I resort to gift bags usually. Giving a gift as is says “I don’t really care.” Wrapped gift says: “This gift might not be too expensive, but at least I wrapped it in pretty paper to make it look expensive.”

29. If you ever want to feel old, watch re-runs of Law and Order when they had to call the precinct from a Pay Phone. And they refer to the internet as the World Wide Web. It’s…hilarious.

30. Speaking of Law and Order, you can never watch too many episodes of L&O. If there’s a marathon of that show on, settle in because you are going nowhere for hours!

31. Do your dream job. I’m a big believer in doing what you love. The best book I ever read was “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss.  I quit my job 6 months after reading it. I loved it so much I gave it to two other people, who quit their jobs less than a year later and are now totally happy as well.

32. Stop worrying about what people think of you. I did this mostly in my 20’s. It’s such a 20’s thing to do isn’t it? Care about what people think?! Nah. Not anymore.

33. Cursing is not an attractive quality. I have a hard time with this one but I notice how much I curse when I hear others curse and I think “Oh no, that doesn’t sound very good at all. Shit, is that what I sound like? Oh shit I just cursed!” Yep, it sounds bad. It doesn’t make us bad people, but, we should try and cut back, ya know?

34. Timing is everything. It can be the right time for you, but the wrong time for someone else. That’s just how it goes.

35. Write more. Real writing, like, by hand. And send them in the mail. Like the real mail. People love getting mail that isn’t junk. Don’t they?

36. Always hit the SAVE button when writing a long blog post. I had to re-write this all over again because I forgot I wasn’t logged in to my site. And my first reaction?  Laughed…a lot. Which is a great way to end this:

Laugh more. At everything!

The Struggle to Stay Fit

2 Sep
This week I have to share part of the homily my pastor spoke about just this past weekend as the INTRO to this post. I’m literally copying and pasting here as well as filling in the gaps so I sure hope this doesn’t constitute as plagiarism. ;)
From Struggle to Flight:
 
So there’s this family who have two cocoons which were about to hatch. They watched as the first one began to open and the butterfly inside squeezed very slowly and painfully through a tiny hole that it chewed at the end of the cocoon.
It was a struggle to emerge.
 
After lying exhausted for about 10 minutes, following the struggle and agony, the butterfly flew out the open window on its beautiful new wings.
Since it was so painful to see the butterfly struggle, the family decided to help the second butterfly so that it wouldn’t have to go through such an ordeal.
 
As the second one began to emerge, they carefully sliced open the cocoon with a razor blade, doing the equivalent of a C-section.  The second butterfly, however, never sprouted wings and in 10 minutes, instead of flying away, it quietly died.  The family asked a biologist friend to explain what happened and this is what he told them:
 
The difficult struggle to emerge from the small hole actually pushes liquids from deep inside the butterfly’s body cavity into tiny capillaries in the wings where they hardened to complete the healthy and beautiful adult butterfly. By preventing the struggle, they inadvertently harmed the butterfly.

 

Moral of the story? Without the struggle, there are no wings to fly.

As my pastor told this story in church this weekend, and went on to discuss why we must go through painful ordeals, I was thinking very hard about what to blog about this week. I immediately thought of the struggle of hunger while dieting and of course, the constant battle of dieting in general and all the messy stuff that it entails. Granted, there are worse problems and things we suffer through than just dieting, but that’s where my mind went first.

I’m currently struggling myself to diet but I’m maintaining my weight, which is a success in my book.

A few of my clients are having quite the difficult time lately and it’s my gut reaction to want to help them of course. When I can’t or when the right words of advice don’t come automatically, I feel like I’ve failed them. I start asking Why? Why can’t I just tell them one thing that they can use and be done with it? Why are they struggling so much and why doesn’t my advice do any good? What’s going on in their head that I can just turn off or turn on to make them follow their plan and get their act together??

And then I laugh and think, I might as well ask myself these same questions! Duh!

I don’t have an answer, really.  More of a theory I guess.

I remember that it’s a struggle for everyone. For every bodybuilding pro or fitness model out there who tweets and puts on Facebook how great they are doing, how many inches they are down, how they just had the best workout ever and here are the sweat stains to prove it…there are many more who AREN’T doing all that great, who DO struggle with their diet, and they actually DO share that information. And it’s awesome when they do because you realize it’s a constant battle for everyone.  Some have overcome after YEARS of binge eating or eating disorders or yo-yo dieting. Others STILL struggle to even maintain their weight. And some haven’t quite gotten back from rebounding after losing a large amount of weight due to bad coaching or losing it too fast.

What would be great is if there were more pro’s out there willing to share the “not so happy” experiences. There are a few I would recommend the next time you find yourself wallowing in self pity thinking “No one knows what this is like.” Because let me tell ya, there are many.

  • The first that comes to mind is Brooke Erickson. Simply put, she’s incredibly honest. She shares a lot. But not OFTEN. In other words, when she does post something, it’s well- thought out, it’s usually pretty short and to the point, and it’s relevant. She is competitor but she isn’t currently competing. She’s a coach, she’s a mom, and she’s a hard worker. I love everything she has to say because it’s from the heart and there’s no sugar coating.
  • Another is Jennifer Jewell Fitness.  She’s a big believer in the IIFYM diet which is fine (not my cup of tea anymore but if it works for you, awesome). But I like that she discusses body image and metabolism and keeps it real. She also shares alot of her clients stories which are always good to read for motivation.
  • I wouldn’t be a very good blogger if I didn’t mention my “boss” Roxie Beckles. This woman is pretty amazing in that she shares EVERYTHING about her journey to the stage. She has had a rough season to say the least and recently put it all out there, admitting that she did the #1 thing we tell all our clients: Listen to your body.  She didn’t listen and it mentally and physically drained her. She’s gotten back on her feet and she is persevering to the Olympia Stage (the grandaddy of all competitions) in just a few weeks.  I cannot wait to see how she does!

Closing thoughts? We all screw up. We all cheat on our diet. We all have the same conversation with ourselves: “I’ll do better this week. I’ll start my diet Monday. I’ll just do some extra cardio tomorrow.”

You’re gonna have to struggle temporarily in order to be successful. I think the key is the take that struggle, take those difficult moments, and learn from it. Suffer now in order to be great later. And later may be weeks, months or years from now, unfortunately.

But, what a moment you’ll have when you get to look back and see where you were…and what it took to get there.

What a story that will be!

I’m The Next YouTube Sensation

24 Aug

I like the exaggerated titles to my posts. It made you click on it….didn’t it?  ;)

So I FINALLY shot some workout/exercise demo videos this weekend. I will be posting those as soon as they are edited but I would like to post them all at once instead of only as they are done. My goal is to do about 40 total. We shall see…

In the meantime I asked my friend/camerman to shoot me discussing my long term goal.  After watching it a few times I have come to a few conclusions:

1. Filming yourself and watching it back, no matter what size you are, will always end with “Well the camera DOES add 10 pounds.”

2. I used to cringe watching myself on camera or listening to myself talk…I STILL do, but I must have a case of “I just don’t care what anyone thinks” or I’m just finally getting old enough to realize this is who I am because I am over it.  A few years ago I would NOT have posted anything like this.

3. The double thumbs-up at the end is so cheesy that I think it’s actually cute.

Enjoy!

You’re Doing it Wrong: 5 Mistakes You Make in the Gym

6 Aug

gymmistakes

I recently observed a woman about my age at the gym recently who has been doing the same “routine” every time I’ve seen her. She always seems to manage to get the bench next to me in the weight room. And she always seems to be doing similar exercises at the same time I’m doing them. But that’s where the similarities stop.

I would say this woman is probably following a Tracey Anderson-type of workout, perhaps from that blonde idiot (sorry, not sorry) herself or maybe out of a magazine. Who knows, all I know is this woman looks like she needs help. Why? She lifts nothing higher than 10lb dumbbells. When she goes to the machines, she tends to do almost all of them and puts the pin in the top (lightest) weight. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to her routine. The amount of reps is more than 20 because I literally lose count any time I attempt to count how many reps she’s doing.

I vowed to myself that if I see her one more time, which would be the third, I would go over and attempt to help her. Because maybe she just doesn’t know….

Here are 5 things that I think people do wrong at the gym. And if you think you’re doing some of these, maybe this will help you because maybe you just don’t know either!

 

  • You go in without a plan. I’m talking no plan whatsoever – no sheet of paper, no notes on your phone, no workout journal, nothing. WHY?  You travel from machine to machine. Going through the motions, staring off into space, probably making your grocery list in your head because you don’t have a plan when you go there either. You’re here to workout, put some EFFORT into it, will ya? Don’t be Mr. or Miss Random. Get in, do the work, and get out. Get an actual program from someone who knows your goals and is knowledgeable and someone you trust. Preferably a personal trainer. (Want online training? I do that now too and I’ll have videos coming soon. Click here for more information) Magazine workouts are sub par for those on a budget. If you have sworn off hiring a PT, you should invest in one or two really good BOOKS with programs that you can follow. Here are two that I’m reading right now: Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle and Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body. Obviously men wouldn’t purchase the latter recommendation although most ladies like a man with some a strong set of glutes on them. ;)  A couple other authors I really like are Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove. Rachel put out one of my favorite books: The Female Body Breakthrough and her hubby Alwyn wrote what I consider the bible for women lifters: The New Rules of Lifting for Women.

Not a woman and want some recommendations? Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle mentioned above is appropriate for everyone but another good one –  The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle is geared towards men.

  • You have a routine…but it’s been the same routine for over a year. While there’s nothing wrong with being consistent, all of us could use a little update to our current programs. It doesn’t even have to be anything drastic with regards to the changes you’re making. But if what you are currently doing isn’t quite getting the job done, it’s time to update your ancient program. At the very least, you should be changing up the amount of reps or at least adding a more challenging weight. Repeat after me – Change is Good! I trained a woman recently who was doing the same program her old personal trainer had her on…3 years prior. She complained that nothing was changing at all and she was bored. No wonder! I’d be bored too if I did the same exercises day in and day out 3 years in a row too! When you can’t remember the last time you changed up the exercises in your current regiment, it’s time for an overhaul.
  • You don’t lift at all. Why are you even reading this blog? ;)  Seriously though, time to stop thinking you don’t need to lift in order to see results because I promise you, you do. Cardio will only get you so far. And no one is saying you have to lift super heavy. The woman at the gym I referenced earlier lifts nothing heavier than 10lbs. Based on appearance alone, I feel like she is MUCH stronger than that! I feel like there’s a little lion in there and it needs to roar, ha! She doesn’t seem like she has an injury that she’s recovering  from, her range of motion was fine. Perhaps she’s worried about getting “bulky.” Perhaps she doesn’t think she is CAPABLE of lifting that heavy. You have to start somewhere! You don’t need to grunt and sound like you are in pain everytime you lift…but you should look like you’re putting forth some effort to get those weights up. This is the only way you will see change. You. Need. To. Lift. Even if it’s your own bodyweight.
  • You have no idea about pre and post workout nutrition. I don’t care if you’re going for fat loss or muscle gain or maintenance – Anyone who works out knows that the best snack is your PWO snack (Post WorkOut). This is the time when you can enjoy the benefits of working up a sweat and repair those muscles. EAT your Carbs! Drink your Protein Shake! This is the BEST time to eat. I make sure I eat within 30 minutes of finishing up my workout. When I was training for my competition it would not be unusual for me to be eating my snack the MOMENT I finished my last rep, walking out the door of the gym, scarfing down that Pop-Tart or fruit snacks like they were my last meal. It was glorious! As for pre-workout, some people can get away without eating anything and still getting a good lift on but at the very least, you need to ingest some BCAA’s so you have some energy.
  • You don’t know what tempo means. I was guilty of this as well. I would get a good pump going on at the gym and go home and it was fine. But once I started getting coaching from Erik at LBC, and he instructed me on tempo when lifting, it was a game changer for me. I finally started seeing significant change in my physique. I finally started feeling a little sore too, which wasn’t a bad thing. Most of all, I FELT the muscles in my body working. You not only have to visualize your muscles working, you have to slow everything down and concentrate on the motion. Only then do you really appreciate what a machine your body is truly capable of being. Stop being in a such a rush when you lift. It just looks plain silly. Like this poor fella.

 

Accountability for the Unaccountable

30 Jul

I bought myself an accountability partner today – A Jawbone UP.  It’s very similar to a Fitbit tracking device that you wear on your wrist.  This particular one was on sale and marked down significantly at Radio Shack, plus I had a coupon (that’s a sure fire way to get me to buy something, gotta have a coupon) for $10 off. A steal!

Today is day #1 with this little gadget. I bought the warranty too because I heard how easily these things can bend and break.

You would think since I’m somewhat anti-tracking when it comes to food that I would be against using this tool. But really, I’m anti-obsessive when it comes to tracking. I would hate for any of my clients to become a slave to numbers and tracking incessantly and worrying about each and every bite of food that they take.

So when I first started tracking my intake on this, I estimated for the most part. For example, I probably had more than a cup of greek yogurt. It was maybe more like 1 and a quarter. But I logged it as a cup. Big whoop.

I also put about a dozen craisins on my salad today. (Maybe it was more like 20, I have no idea). But I logged more than that. I also logged less cheese than I had on top of it. I would never sit there and measure each and every piece of food. Not unless I was planning on competing in the near future. For all intents and purposes, it’s fine to just estimate.

Now as for my biggest vice, peanut butter.  Yeah I was accurate with that one. :/  I mean, one tablespoon is considerably different than 3 tablespoons (don’t judge me, you know you love PB as much as I do!!).

As for activity, I know these things don’t track heart rate so it’s not really possible to get a good idea of how many calories I’m burning when I’m lifting or doing cardio but again, it’s nothing to be obsessed about. I’ll enter in my stuff and see what it spits out at me.

So here’s the biggest update since the beginning of this month: My measurements aren’t too terrible.  I say “aren’t too terrible” because I’m not about to cry looking at them. I didn’t pick the best day of the month for a female to be measuring herself (sorry TMI) so I’m taking that little bit into account. But, although this isn’t indicative of someone who has been dieting, it’s okay. Because I haven’t been dieting! HA! If I’m being 100% honest I really haven’t been cutting too many calories at all, so this isn’t a huge surprise to see. This is basically my Bulk Phase 2.0.

I didn’t even flinch at 4 INCHES gained in the stomach. I have to laugh…I mean, what can ya do?

IMG_1050

Can you guess what I’m happiest about in this? The HIPS/BUTTOCKS! 1 more inch! YEAAAAHHH!!!! :)

NOW, with my little Jawbone UP tracking tool, and a new goal of another photo shoot in the FALL, I think I should be able to lose a few inches. I think maybe finally I will start taking this seriously. I have definitely enjoyed my summer haven’t I? Ph well…moving on…yet again. At least this time I have a little buddy holding me accountable. Jawbone_Up_35536649_05

Putting the fork down…and getting up off the couch. Moving on!

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