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Please Note: I am not a doctor.
Please consult a physician
prior to attempting any of
the example workout routines
showcased in this blog.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Contest Prep – Day #5 Christmas Eve Arms

This morning was completely off-schedule. I slept through all 3 alarms for morning cardio. I had orientation at human resources at 9am and woke up at 8:39a. NICE Ashley. I don’t have time to make anything so I grab my shaker and head out the door. I sleep in my gym clothes to make it easier in the morning, but today I guess I am going to orientation extremely casual (yet comfy!). On the way there I’m trying to get in meal #1. Luckily it’s just protein powder and almond butter. Unfortunately I only had a little bit of water left to mix and entire cup with. (Can you say chunky?!) But it had to be done.

I make it to orientation on time and I brought in meals #2 & #3. I didn’t know how long orientation would be but I wanted to be prepared. After an hour I was done (when they say it’s fast track orientation, they aren’t kidding!) I was so tired that I came home and just passed out. I would wake up for each meal of course.

Around 5pm I went to work arms and since every gym I’m a member of closed early I just went to the park for TRX arms. I structured the whole workout with compound movements so I can just zip through and added in some plyos for conditioning. It was a nice change of pace and scenery to lift outdoors and definitely broke up the routine.

The rest of the night was spent lounging around just waiting for my next meal. Tomorrow is Christmas and I will be doing some HIIT out of tradition. I’ve always done a 5mile 5am run on Christmas back home in Boston (it’s always snowing and very peaceful to just pound the pavement) but will switch over to some sort of HIIT. I still haven’t decided.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Contest Prep – Day #4 HIIT & Delts

Woke up at 5am for HIIT cardio. Must have been one of those mornings, because I woke up super early but was dragging a little while getting ready and eating meal #1. I had to keep reminding myself why I was doing this and getting myself hyped up. I headed over to the gym and was stuck behind the world’s slowest driver. (Of course on a day like today!) But when you live in Florida it comes with the territory. Horrible slow drivers are everywhere like cleatchasers at a NFL Meet & Greet event.

Finally got to the gym and just annihilated a 33min stairmaster session with a step-rate of 100-130. People were coming up to me like, “Geez where’s the fire?” and other comments. I’ve quickly learned that you’re probably doing your cardio right if you have people making comments or staring with that face that you know means they are thinking, “Huh, that’s probably what I should be doing…if I had the motivation.” After the gym I came home to prep all my meals for the day. I don’t go into work until 1pm so that’s convenient. After meal prepping I went in to work early to lift. (The benefit of having on-site employee fitness center)

Today is shoulders so I wanted to really isolate the delts without the traps taking over. (Seems to happen a lot for me and then I develop these crazy big traps)

I used lighter weight and through in a bunch of glute building exercised in between. So today is only day #4 of ‘official’ meal prep and training but I was super excited to see the striations in my shoulder coming through; talk about motivating! That really kicked my drive into gear to finish the rest of my workout and go to work energized.

The rest of the work day I went through all my meals pretty well. My co-workers were apparently keeping track of how many times I went to the bathroom and filled up my water jug. (Thanks guys, do you ever work?) . I had some trouble finishing some of the food but did my best. I’m going to bed early tonight because I have New Employee Orientation tomorrow and don’t want to be late. (Just in case contest prep isn’t hard enough I’m switching FT jobs also. Bring it on)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Contest Prep - Day #3 Leg Day

Man I passed out so hard last night. You would think after on a ‘Rest Day’ you’d have all this energy saved up. Especially for someone like me who never takes a day off. A day without exercise makes me feel gross like I haven’t showered in a week. But not last night. I passed out and was asleep for about 9 of the greatest hours ever. I’m sure it had to do with taking that crazy bootcamp class Saturday morning. My body was exhausted. I ate my first few meals and am still adjusting to having zero carbs in the AM. Today was legs so I will upped my pre-workout just a little bit. I’m not sure it helped because after the 1st few exercises I felt like it was my 1st time in the gym. WTF?! I thought last night’s refeed would have me so pumped and extra energized. HAHA, nope. Rather than waste energy freaking out I just powered through and got it done. No Excuses!

The rest of the day was pretty smooth, just kept drinking water whenever I felt hungry. I had some trouble with my 2nd to last meal. I just couldn’t finish it, not sure why. The feeling was weird; kind of like late Thanksgiving night; like you’ve had so much food you can’t have another bite. I waited a little, but just couldn’t finish. Of course since I woke up so late I had to stay up later to be sure to get all my meals in. Unfortunately I have to wake up super early tomorrow, so I pushed my last meal up by an hour. I’m not sure if it was the sushi from Saturday night or just the moment, but I really wasn’t in the mood for fish. Luckily I added some spicy brown mustard to mask the flavor. All in all, today was a good day. I smashed legs and stayed on my meal plan. Thinking positive and getting some shut-eye.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Contest Prep - Day #2 Rest Day & a Refeed

Woke up at really late. I planned to go to a 9am bootcamp right near the condo. I drank my 1st meal (protein powder), ate my TB of peanut butter and scooted out the door. (Side Note: There is nothing grosser than tasting/feeling your peanut butter come back up during high intensity exercise. Thanks Coach!)
I pulled up for this bootcamp and was super nervous. I always drove by the place and saw a huge crowd of people just working doing everything imaginable with a live DJ and everything. So I figured I should definitely give it a try; especially because I’m getting a little bored with the stairmaster. I mean really, I’m climbing to nowhere and each time I have to go faster.

75 of the most intense minutes of my life later, bootcamp was finished. I felt like a million bucks and 12 cents all at the same time. What an awesome group of people! There were so many exercises and variety it is impossible to get bored. Drank some BCAAs and headed home for meal #2. Luckily today was an Off Day, a Re-Feed night AND date night. (Woo Hoo) The rest of the day was spent doing errands etc. I was told to add some extra carbs to Meal #4 (yay!) so that was exciting. I was really looking forward to date night/sushi night. One of my fellow performers was in town so I planned to swing by and see her after sushi.

When we went to dinner, it was funny. I wasn’t able to go ham on too much food. I got really full really quickly. I had a few Cali rolls, Avocado Rolls, Veggie Roll & Dragon Roll. After that we headed over to Universal’s City Walk to see my girl do her thing. I had such a blast walking around taking pictures with the Hard Rock sign (Shoutout to my SHRT girls!) which reminded me of my days as a Hard Rock girl. Snapped a photo in front of that huge rotating globe thing and then went over to see the performance. What a perfect night! The only thing that made it better was seeing my future dream car parked 4 spaces over from my car. White Maserati Quattroporte ! She was an older model 4 door, so not quite my Gran Turismo, but hey I’m not complaining.
After my impromptu Maserati photo-shoot I headed home for yet another meal. (This girl likes to eat!) Meal #6 was chicken & rice with a little extra rice.

What a night. Should be super fueled for leg day tomorrow with all these carbs!

Friday, December 20, 2013

NEW BEGINNINGS: Prep Has Begun - Day #1

As I am writing this my stomach is growling; A LOT! I am so hungry right now. It's making me super cranky too. I just want to EAT! I had a killer back workout earlier but I ran out of meals so now I'm stuck. It's about 11pm and I've been laying here hungry since 9pm.

Back up a bit:
As of late Thursday night I have officially decided to prepare for a bikini competition. This isn't your typical competition that you see here on the beaches or at your local Hooters. This is a full on proper diet, workout regimen, be selfish and get your life in order kind of competition. The bikini division in a bodybuilding show seems to have gotten really big in the past few years. This will be my first competition EVER. But this is not my first attempt at it. I attempted to hire a prep coach in 2011. It was awful, I physically gagged to force down the food. He lined me up for posing practice on my 1st day (24% BF approximately) alongside figure girls 1 day out from their show (8% BF approximately) and berated me for not knowing how to pose. (Dude that's why I paid you!?) Long story short 42 days into it I was completely screwed and out some $1k and messed up my metabolism.

This time around I have had the chance to research and gain some really great knowledge and insight from Dr. Layne Norton. For those who don't know him, he's a genuis in regards to science, fitness, nutrition and the entire industry of fitness/sports performance. This man is changing the entire industry one well-informed and published research journal/paper at a time.

So here I am all set with my meal plan and approximately 14 weeks out. I am wanting to compete because it is the next step up for someone like me. I have a type A personality and I am an over achiever when it comes to pushing myself to new goals/challenges. After all, I've ran 5 marathons, 4 half marathons, fallen off a race-horse, survived multiple teenage break-ups and moved 1386 miles away from home all by myself. What's some silly little competition? (every competitor reading this is probably smirking right now)

Truth be told, I know it's going to be super hard. I spoke to a girl at her 1st show (Tampa Pro 2013) and she was doing Figure (she placed 1st btw) division. She told me that she has done triathlons and ultramarathons but training for the show was the hardest thing she has ever done. Well, that's encouraging. I've already been dealing with a lot of horse-shit. Competitors are telling me I'm too big or I need to do this or I need to eat that. It's been very emotional and super confusing. One thing is clear, when it comes to fitness, "Everyone's an expert."

People are going to judge no matter what, but in this niche how crap are they critical. I hadn't even started and people were giving me the analysis of my physique. (Thanks, but are you even a judge?!?!) It's a very different "sport" because there really is no clear winner. When I run my races, I know I'm faster than another runner because the clock is proof. So it's a documented proof that I am the winner. This won't be the case for a show. I'm going to take the approach of that being an exciting factor rather than a negative. I could go on for a while about how people's comments and opionions can really wreck you, but I won't. (Just think high school days with the 'super cool kids'. Ughhhhh)

So Since I had such a hard time trying to find information about competing, what it was like, what's to know, who to talk to, what to research, when to know if people are giving advice or something else, etc. I will be updating this throughout my entire Contest Prep to document the changes, suffering (unlikely), emotional battles and everything else that revolves around contest prep.

At the end of the day I'm stepping on stage for me and me alone. That's the motivation. Update: Still super hungry but going to down another 24oz of water and call it a night. I will be participating in a bootcamp class at VIP tomorrow morning. Should be interesting. Plus the sooner I fall asleep, the sooner it'll be time to eat again :)