Thursday, July 7, 2011

Indecisive.

Oh Em Gee.
I have 58 days until the 2011 GNC IFBB North American Championships.
Cue panic attack…

This is not good, and I’m debating postponing my first attempt at Women’s Physique.
I know, I know, not cool.. I mean really, this is possibly the only time I’ll ever be this close to a Pro Card, so why not, right?

Wrong.

I am not ready, and I am beginning to have my doubts as to being ready in 8 weeks.
I’m too small to make my WP debut in 8 weeks; I weighed in at 114lb last night, 6lbs short of my goal weight for June 30.  I need to gain muscle mass, and it’s not happening as quickly as I had hoped.  I don’t know what to do… I really don’t want to spend a small fortune (at the very least this one will run about $300) on a show if I know I have no chance – I’ve done that enough as it is.  I could wait until next year, when WP is in all NPC shows; that gives me more time to grow before I have to cut down again, but that also takes away the aspect of doing a National Level Show without pre-qualifying.

FML.

Have you had to make an impossible decision lately? How did you do it?
I feel  like I’m in an endless battle with myself and I don’t know what to do…

I need to make a decision ASAP though, if I’m doing the show I need to get my diet in order for 8 weeks out, and I need to fill out my application and make hotel arrangements.  And I need to pick a song for my routine, and maybe order a new suit.
I’m not going to lie, I’m not ready to give up peanut butter and oatmeal and fruit and other assorted delicacies again, I’ve only been off season for 2 ½ months.. It’s just not fair!

What delicacy (or delicacies) could you not bear to give up? And would you for the sake of looking “good” on stage?

OK, thank you for letting me get that off my chest!
I know I’m missing some workouts.. A less-than-impressive Leg Day on Tuesday and Shoulders from last night.. I’ll get them on here ASAP, I promise!

Have a beautiful day fellow bloggers!
And give me your 2 cents on this… I’m completely at a loss.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I've been neglecting you..

Happy Tuesday fellow Bloggers!
I cannot believe its already Tuesday – and my last post was FRIDAY. Bad Blogger…

I hope everyone enjoyed their respective holidays!  Do me a favor; let me know how you spent your long weekend.
I spent mine at the gym and playing outside with Babe - on boat rides and (trying) to play tennis and taking walks and hanging out at the beach and going on a run.  And yesterday, I got sick! Boo.  But otherwise, I had a very enjoyable weekend.

I think summer time is the WORST time for blogging – life tends to get in the way.
Anyone agree?

I did get 3 good gym sessions in (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), and a run (Saturday), and a well needed rest day (Monday).  Let’s recap, shall we?

Friday was Leg Day!

Lunges (4 sets): 55lb for 40 (20 each leg), 60lb for 30, 65lb for 26, 60lb for 24, 55lb for 30
Calf Raises (4 sets): 150lb for 15 (toes out), 170lb for 12 (neutral), 150lb for 15 (toes in), 170lb for 15 (neutral)
Superset; Hip Adductor & Abductor
Adductor (4 sets): 90lb for 15, 90lb for 15, 90lb for 12, 90lb for 12
Abductor (4 sets): 70lb for 12, 70lb for 12, 70lb for 10, 50lb for 15
Superset; Machine Leg Press & Machine Calf Raises
Leg Press (5 sets): 150lb for 12, 130lb for 15, 150lb for 12, 130lb for 10 straight to 110lb for 10 (no rest)
Calf Raise (3 sets): 190lb for 12 (toes out), 170lb for 12 (toes in), 190lb for 12 (neutral)
Burn-Out (NO Rest): One Leg Quad Extensions (6 sets): 30lb for 24 (12 each leg), 10lb for 24, 10lb for 24, 30lb (both legs) for 6, 10lb (singles) for 12, 30lb (both legs) for 6
In & Out Squats to failure: 85lb for 20

Saturday I ran in the morning.. 2.6 miles in 29 minutes!  (ok, I walked some of it.. But I’m still darn proud!)
Afternoon was Shoulder Day!

Warm-Up; Single Arm T’s & L’s (4 sets): 10lb DB’s for 60 (15 each), 15lb DBs for 40, 12lb DBs for 48, 10lb DB for 60
Dumbbell Military Press (4 sets): 30lb DBs for 8, 25lb DBs for 10, 20lb DBs for 15, 25lb DBs for 10
Superset; Plate Shrugs & Front Raise
Shrugs (4 sets): 45lb plates for 12, 45’s for 10, 45’s for 10, 35’s for 12
Front Raises (3 sets):  30lb for 12, 25lb for 15, 25lb for 12
Superset; Upright Rows & Rear Delt Dumbbell Fly
Rows (4 sets): 55lb for 15, 55lb for 12, 55lb for 10, 55lb for 12
Fly (4 sets):  15lb DBs for 10, 12lb DBs for 15, 12lb DBs for 10, 10lb DBs for 15
Arnold Press (4 sets): 25lb DBs for 9, 20lb DBs for 12, 20lb DBs for 10, 15lb DBs for 15
1 Arm Lateral Raises (3 sets): 15lb for 12 (each arm), 10lb for 15, 10lb for 12
Hold 2 – 10lb DBs in “T” position for 10 seconds.

And finally, Sunday was Chest & Back day!  I never used to do these 2 together, but lately I seem to be combining them more frequently.  I’ll split them up again someday!

Superset; Bench Press & Wide Grip Pulldowns
Bench (4 sets): 65lb for 15, 85lb for 8, 85lb for 8, 75lb for 10
Pulldowns (4 sets): 4 for 15, 6 for 10, 5 for 12, 4 for 15 (behind head)
*Again, no idea what those numbers stand for…
Superset; Incline Dumbbell Press & T-Bar Rows
Press (4 sets): 30lb DBs for 8, 25lb DBs for 12, 25lb DBs for 12, 25lb DBs for 12
T-Bar (4 sets): 70lb for 8, 60lb for 12, 60lb for 12, 60lb for 12
Superset; (Machine) Dual Rows & Machine Fly
Row (4 sets): 90lb for 12, 90lb for 12, 70lb for 15, 70lb for 12
Fly (3 sets): 75lb for 8, 62.5lb for 10, 50lb for 12

Monday was a rest day – and it was definitely needed!  I woke up sick, which is usually a sign that I’m overtrained.  My body knows when it needs a break, and isn’t very subtle about it!

That’s all I have today.. Hopefully I’ll get to play in the kitchen sometime soon so I can get out some new recipes!

Have a fantastic Tuesday!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

OMG, I compete in 64 days.

Happy Friday!!
(…and Happy Canada Day, yay!!)

I wanted to share something with all of you that I read on Tessa’s Blog (Amazing Asset); she wrote today about negative self-talk and never believing that you are truly “good enough”.  I want you all to go read what she wrote because it is amazing, and I think it applies to more of us than you may think.

Myself, for example?  I spend more time beating myself up and stressing over the negatives than I feel anyone should.
I am constantly reminding myself of the exact number of days until my next show (9 weeks and 1 day); I tell myself over and over that there’s no way I can be ready in time. I have too much muscle to gain, and too much fat to shed.
I go to the gym, and tell myself that I need to be lifting bigger weights, with more reps and sets.  I need to run after I lift, maybe before too, and probably first thing every morning on an empty stomach.
I need to go back to counting calories, and my pre contest diet needs to start, yesterday.  No chocolate, no PB, cut the carbs, NO alcohol, double protein, drop sodium, etc…
I get to the show, and I look around at the other girls (Look at them - they trained harder, they dieted longer, they stuck with it – they didn’t cry, they didn’t complain – LOOK at them, now look at yourself.  You should just pack up and go home now).
In the “real worldI know I’m not fatnowhere near it – but in competition world, I very well may be.  I could be too lean as well, or too muscular; I may not be the perfect shade of orange-ish brown and my smile may not be perfect.  I could come in too flat, or I could be spilling over.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being on stage and am truly proud of myself – but I also believe that competing is what formed all of these negativities in me.  It is such a good feeling to be in a show, to meet other girls that know exactly how you feel because they’re hungry, and tired, and sore right there with you.  And then you get out there on that stage, under the lights, and you bare it all – you show those judges, and the audience, exactly what you’re worked so hard to build – but mostly, you show yourself what you can do, and you’re proud.  And then you wait… And every single show I’ve done, at every single call out, I don’t hear my name.  I’ve never heard my name.  I’ve never made top 5 and the only time I made top 10 was when there were less than 10 girls in my class.  All the pride you felt is gone, and you’re left to hear why you aren’t good enough.

I need to start focusing on the positive – I need to be as happy with myself in last place as I would be in first.  I need to find the fun in it again, and that’s what I’m trying to do.  I’m learning how to love myself, and I want all of you to do the same.

You are good enough.  You are perfect.  No one can compare to you, because no one else is anything like you.  Please believe that.

Now that I got that off my chest, I’ll share my Shoulder workout from last night.
Enjoy!

Warm Up: Superset; Arnold Press & Rotator Cuff
Arnold (4 sets): 15lb DBs for 15, 25lb DBs for 8, 20lb DBs for 12, 15lb DBs for 15
Rotator (3 sets): 12lb for 15 (each arm), 15lb for 15, 12lb for 15
Superset; Plate Shrugs & Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly
Shrugs (4 sets): 45lb for 12, 45lb for 12, 35lb for 12, 35lb for 12
DB Fly (3 sets): 12lb DBs for 15, 12lb for 12, 12lb for 12
Superset; Dumbbell Military Press & Cable Crossovers
Press (4 sets): 30lb DBs for 6, 25lb DBs for 10, 20lb DBs for 10 (no rest) straight to 15lb DBs for 15
Crossovers (2 sets): 20lb for 15, 20lb for 15
Dumbbell T’s & L’s (4 sets): 12lb DBs for 48 (12 T, 12 L), 12lb DBs for 40 (10 each), 10lb DBs for 48 (12 each), 5lb DBs for 80 (20 each) *Hold last T for 5 sec.
Upright Rows (Cable): 65lb for 12, 55lb for 12, 50lb for 12
Superset; Rear Delt Fly (Machine) & Static T (5 T’s, hold on last rep)
Fly (4 sets): 40lb for 12, 30lb for 15, 30lb for 12, 30lb for 12
T’s (4 sets): 12lb DBs 5 reps - held for 5 sec, 10lb DBs 5 reps – held for 10, 10lb DBs 5 reps – held for 10, 10lb DBs 5 reps – held for 10

P.S. My Supplement Page will be up today too!
Stay tuned =)

I hope you all have a fantastic Friday, and a wonderful weekend!
And enjoy the holiday! (Whichever you celebrate).

What are your weekend plans?

What is your favorite thing about YOU?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Welcome to the Gun Show

Hello and Happy Thursday to all 15 of my loyal followers!
Yes, that’s right – 15! And a huge thanks to Christina and her Fro-Yo post for the awesome shout out!
=)

First and foremost, I am in LOVE… with microwave “brownies”.
I know I’ve posted them a million times, but look how pretty mine was today:

In the mix?
½ cup liquid egg whites
1 scoop VPX SRO Chocolate
Dark Chocolate Stevia (find it here)
½ OZ (1/2 square) Unsweetened Bakers Chocolate
1/8 teaspoon baking powder

Mix it all up, pop it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.  It’ll puff up and look gigantic, then it’ll deflate and taste amazing!

Today seems extra long.. Possibly because I’m a day closer to a 3 day weekend and I’m already in party mode!  Not only is Saturday our town’s 4th of July Celebration, it is also my baby sister’s birthday!! She’s hanging out on the boat with babe and I all day, and she’s a party-girl, so I’m assuming there will be LOTS of Jell-o shots (they’re her favorite).
By the way, this is my sister, and she’s awesome (and a RUNNER, gasp).  She’s my partner in crime for my very first 5k and I’m super excited!
No, she doesn't really smoke! Rob gave her this shirt...



That being said, time for my workout stats!

Last night was Arms (aka all time favorite lifting day).  I was scheduled to lift shoulders, but my back is still acting up (including my traps & rear delts) so I decided to play it safe.  I’m not complaining though – I LOVE lifting armsWhyBecause they look like this when I’m done..
Please note the seriousness of my face HAH. 

I lifted for 45-ish minutes, and then I ran! 

Superset; Dumbbell Curls and Tricep Rope Extensions
Curls (4 sets): 20lb DBs for 30 (15 each arm), 20lb DBs for 26, 15lb DBs for 34, 20lb DBs for 24
Extensions (4 sets): 45lb for 15, 55lb for 15, 55lb for 15, 50lb for 15
Tri-Set; Cable Curls, Tricep Push-ups, Dumbbell Hammer Curls
*Let me explain this one first, it’s a bit confusing…
I did a total (3) sets cable curls, (5) sets tricep push-ups, and (3) sets hammer curls.. The routine looked like this:
Cable (45lb for 20), tricep (+35lb plate for 12), hammer (15lb DBs for 30 – 15 each arm), tricep (+35lb for 9), cable (55lb for 15), tricep (+25lb for 10), hammer (15lb DBs for 40), tricep (+25lb for 10), cable (50lb for 15), tricep (Bodyweight only for 15), hammer (15lb DBs for 30)
Skullcrushers (on Decline Bench) (3 sets): 55lb for 10, 50lb for 15, 50lb for 15
EZ Bar Curls (Burnouts, no rest) (4 sets): 50lb for 15, 45lb for 12, 40lb for 12, 35lb for 15

Treadmill: 20 minutes = 2.06 miles… I think I jumped into this running thing a bit too quickly; I have bad ankles  to begin with, and they were slightly sore last night (pre-run), after 15 minutes of a fairly decent pace, I had to suck it up and walk the last 5 minutes.  I still managed to get in 2 miles though, so I guess I’m satisfied.
All business.


*Please, anyone and everyone:
If you are interested in (or already do) weight training and have any questions on what I mean in these workouts (or anything else, for that matter), shoot me an email!
Nbly07@hotmail.com
I’d love to hear from you!!

That’s all for now, but stay tuned…

Some of you have been asking, so I’m going to tell ;-)
I’m working on a page listing all of the supplements I take (with pictures, of course).  This includes my protein powders of choice, and will probably include some random foods (like my favorite PB of all time) and maybe even the brand of hair dye I LOVE.

Have a beautiful day bloggers!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Protein Junkie

Happy Hump Day!
…OK, I’ve never actually said that before, and now that it’s out of my system, let’s hope I never say it again!

I hope you are all having a lovely week, and for those of us in the States, I hope you are thoroughly excited for the 4th – I know I am! The 4th is my favorite holiday, it has been since I was little – I think its just the feeling around it: Summer, fireworks, food, drinks, etc…
Oh, AND I get the day off work! But it’s mostly for the fireworks, I LOVE fireworks.  And even though I work for an explosives contractor, I still can’t get any cool ones for myself.  Boo.

What are your weekend plans?
Babe and I are (hopefully) going to be in the boat parade! And hell, I may even have a beer.  Probably not, but I’ll consider it.  For those of you who don’t know – the last time I had any alcohol was the past New Year’s Eve, and then I had to quit for show prep.  I’m not against drinking (in fact, I love it), but you can’t drink during show prep, and I just haven’t felt the need yet this off season.

More importantly, however, was my breakfast this morning.  That’s right; I had my very first oats in a jar!  Why I didn’t do this sooner, I have no idea, because it was heaven in my mouth!  I have vowed to recycle all future empty jars of PB (and almond butter) by using them as a home for my oats.  I’m debating posting it everytime though – if you knew how many jars of PB I go through on a normal basis, it may scare you!  I apologize for the oats lack of oats in the picture; I had no time to snap a picture as I was inhaling them.
 
Notice the background of that picture, my kitchen table is covered in puzzle pieces!  Why you ask? Because babe and I got the bright idea to buy a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, and if I ever finish the stupid thing, I will immediately proceed to burn it!  Notice I say “I”, that is because babe wants nothing to do with it now that its out of the box, he would rather eat mass quantities of chips/candy/etc… right next to me while I do all the work.
Men.
And yes, that does say GLOW IN THE DARK =)

And of course, last night was Leg night!  It started off pretty well, but near the end I got this horrid pain in my lower back (I have scoliosis and a slew of other back problems).  I think it’s from going so heavy on back Monday, but whatever the reason, I am not about to injure myself over a few sets, so I bailed on the end of my leg workout.  It was supposed to consist of a few more sets of step-ups & low back extensions, followed by lunges and MAYBE some light squats.  Instead, I hopped on a bike and did 3.3 miles in 15 minutes.  Not too shabby.

The whole workout took about an hour, all business today!

Superset; In & Out Squats and Seated Calf Raises
Squats (5 sets): 105lb for 20 (10 in, 10 out), 155lb for 12, 155lb for 10, 135lb for 14, 115lb for 20
Calves (4 sets): 45lb for 15, 70lb for 12, 60lb for 15, 50lb for 15
Superset; Hamstring Curls & Quad Extensions (*) there will be a side note on this below
Hamstring (4 sets): 100lb for 12, 100lb for 12, 100lb for 10, 90lb for 12
Quad (5 sets): 80lb for 12, 70lb for 12, 70lb for 10, 60lb for 12 straight to 50lb for 10 (no rest)
Superset; Machine Calf Raises & Machine Leg Press *Both were done on the Leg Press Machine, & I have no idea what the sled weighs, so weight is + sled (I’m guessing 100lb, but I could be wrong).
Calves (3 sets): +120lb for 15 (all 3 sets)
Press (4 sets): +70lb for 12, +70lb for 12, +70lb for 10, +50lb for 15
Superset; Low Back Extensions & Dumbbell Step Ups
Back: one set of 12 holding a 15lb DB
Step Up: one set of 30 (15 each leg) holding 2 12lb DBs
This is where I bailed due to back pain…

Bike; Varied resistance, 15 minutes = 3.3 miles.

(*) If you noticed in my last leg post, I did these with FAR less weight.  Why? Because for some unknown reason, the machines are weighted differently at each gym (also note, there are 2 YMCA’s where we live, and we use both).  I don’t get it.
Has this ever happened to you?

*Note to Self: Decent workout today, with the back pain ordeal its hard to focus on much.  Take it easy on the back – do some yoga and lay off squats/dead lifts for a week.  No sense in getting a bad back out of the deal.


...And on a sidenote, I had to share this with you!
THIS, ladies & gentlemen, is what Rob’s side of the sink in the bathroom looks like.
Note the Capri Sun, he's addicted.

I suppose I’m not the only protein junkie in the house.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My life is NOT boring.

Hello my lovely bloggers!

I am so sorry I haven’t been able to post this sooner! But you should be totally excited for this post; as a brief summary, you will get: Not one, but TWO homemade fro-yo recipes, 3 work-outs, a story about an accidental run (and a non-accidental run), LOTS of pictures, and my new favorite hair color.

Enjoy!

First and most importantly, I love fro-yo so much it’s ridiculous.  The only problem?  There are ZERO fro-yo places within a 50 mile radius of where I live.  So, I did what I had to do, and I made my own fro-yo (granted, I didn’t have any fun toppings – like gummy bears and m&m’s) but I think it turned out pretty good! Side note, the second recipe is the better of the 2 – if your preference is sweeter!

Fro-Yo Recipe #1
¼ cup Greek Yogurt
1 scoop chocolate PB protein powder (I used Myofusion)
1 tablespoon natural PB
Dark-Chocolate flavored stevia
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Mix everything together and freeze for 45 minutes – take it out, stir everything & freeze for 20 minutes.  Eat, savor, take pictures, and send to Christina.

Fro-Yo Recipe #2
1 4oz container Fiber One French vanilla yogurt
1 scoop Casein protein powder (I used double chocolate – you can substitute any protein powder though)
1 T (more or less depending on consistency of protein powder) water
Same directions as the first recipe:
Mix everything together and freeze for 45 minutes – take it out, stir everything & freeze for 20 minutes.  Eat, savor, take pictures, and send to Christina.

Both were delicious!

Next are the workouts:
Friday was shoulders and a 15 minute treadmill run, Saturday was a record speed leg day & accidental run day, Sunday was rest day from the gym and non-accidental run day, and yesterday was chest/back.

Friday: Shoulders

Warm-Up; L’s & T’s (3 sets)
12lb DB’s for 16 (8 reps L’s, 8 reps T’s), 15lb DBs for 16, 15lb DB’s for 16
Arnold Press (2 sets): 15lb DBs for 15, 25lb DBs for 8
Superset; Plate Shrugs & Military Press
Shrugs (4sets): 45lb plates for 12, 45lb for 12, 45lb for 10, 35lb for 12
Press (4 sets): 30lb DBs for 7, 30lb for 6, 25lb for 10, 20lb for 15
Superset; Upright Rows & Front Raises
Rows (3 sets): 65lb for 12, 65lb for 12, 65lb for 10
Raises (3 sets): 25lb for 12 (all 3 sets)
*Note: These are done holding a DB with both hands in the center.
Rear Delt Fly (Burnouts – no rest): 12lb DB’s for 15, 12lb for 12, 10lb for 12

Treadmill: Varied incline & speed; 15 minutes for 1.56 miles

Saturday: Fastest Leg Day Ever

…Seriously, I got to the gym around 2 to find out they closed at 3 – factor in changing and clean-up, my workout lasted a total 30 minutes, and my legs haven’t burned like that in a long time.

Lunges (6 forward, 4 reverse) (4 sets):
55lb for 40 (24 forward, 16 reverse), 65lb for 30, 60lb for 30, 55lb for 40
In & Out Squats (Free bar) (3 sets):
115lb for 12, 95lb for 16, 95lb for 12
Low Back Extensions (3 sets): 110lb for 12, 90lb for 15, 90lb for 15
Superset; Quad Extensions & Hamstring Curls
Quads (4 sets): 50lb for 12, 50lb for 12, 50lb for 12, 30lb for 15
Hamstring (3 sets): 70lb for 10, 50lb for 15, 70lb for 10
Machine Leg Press (Burnouts) (4 sets – no rest): 150lb for 10, 130lb for 10, 110lb for 10, 90lb for 20
Sunday I ran/walked/hiked – all in the same trip, I live in the woods, it wasn’t really by choice!
2 miles in 20 minutes.

Monday: Chest/Back
Lasted about an hour.

Superset; WideGrip Pulldowns & Smith Machine Bench Press
Pulldowns (5 sets): 70lb for 12, 90lb for 7, 80lb for 10, 70lb for 12, 60lb for 15
Bench Press (4 sets): 85lb for 10, 105lb for 4, 95lb for 7, 85lb for 10
Superset; Weighted Dips & Low Cable Rows
Dips (5 sets): +25lb for 8, +20lb for 8, +15lb for 10, +10lb for 12, bodyweight for 15
Rows (5 sets): 90lb for 12, 100lb for 8, 90lb for 12, 90lb for 12, 80lb for 12
Superset; Incline Dumbbell Press & Close Grip Pulldowns
Incline (4 sets): 25lb DBs for 12, 25lb DBs for 10, 20lb DBs for 12, 20lb DBs for 10
Pulldowns (4 sets): 80lb for 10, 70lb for 10, 60lb for 12, 60lb for 12
Dumbbell Pullovers (3 sets): 25lb for 15, 25lb for 15, 20lb for 15

And boy do I have a story for you!
Sadie, our beautiful (and BAD) Great Pyrenees/Lab mix is an escape artist.  I kid you not, she is a pro at slipping her collar, sneaking out doors, chewing through leashes, etc… But most recently, her favorite method of escape is by jumping off the back deck.  Not to worry, its really not all that high, but it is mildly annoying!  We got her from the humane society about a year ago, she was a stray, and now I see why!

Anyway, she jumped off the deck first thing Saturday morning, and instead of taking the usual lap around the block, she decided to take a run – and I had to run the entire time behind her so I wouldn’t lose sight of her!  I don’t know how far we made it before she was ready to come home (you know when she’s ready – she gets on the ground and crawls to you) – all I know is I was legitimately running for the better part of 45 minutes, through woods and road and a football field, in this:
If you look carefully, you can see all 3 bad dogs behind me!

And these:

Let me tell you, NOT the way I prefer to dress for a run.  And on an empty stomach none-the-less (I never train/lift/run on an empty stomach), by the time we made it home, I was starving!

Oh, and, I dyed my hair Sunday!

One more, for good measure.

You will quickly find that this is a bit of a problem I have, and I change it (drastically) every4 or so weeks.
That’s all I have today!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I've been bad..

Hello fellow bloggers!

I know, I took the weekend off, again..
Bad blogger!
...But, I have more bad news.  This is pretty much all today's post is amounting to.  I'm having computer issues at the moment :(

BUT tomorrow I promise you will get workouts, the story of my accidental run (and my not-so-accidental run), an awesome fro-yo recipe, and more pictures than you'll know what to do with!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend, and an even lovelier Monday!
And I will be back, in full force, first thing tomorrow!

Friday, June 24, 2011

She's back!

It’s Friday!!
Have I mentioned lately how much I love weekends?  Because I do, oh so much.

Last night I got my mojo back, for lack of a better phrase.
Yes, that’s right, I went to the gym and I lifted weights, and I felt good about it!  I did a killer Back/Chest workout that took all of about an hour (I used my Isolator, and putting that thing on takes up more time than I’d like).  And then, something amazing happened… I ran, again!  That is the third time this week, and it was glorious.  Granted, it was only 15 minutes (gimme a break, I did lift prior), and it was on a treadmill (I much prefer being outdoors), but it did the trick!  I felt wonderful after I was finished and preceded to shower off my sweat-soaked self.

Here’s my workout from last night, if you’re interested:

Superset; Close Grip Pulldowns & Dips (Bodyweight only)
Pulldowns (4 sets): 70lb for 15, 90lb for 10, 80lb for 10, 70lb for 12
Dips (3 sets): 15, 15, 12
Superset; Dumbbell Bench Press and One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
DB Press (4 sets): 30lb DB’s for 10 – all 5 reps
DB Rows (3 sets): 35lb DB’s for 12 – all 3 reps
Superset; Wide-Grip Pulldowns & Machine Cable Fly
Pulldowns (5 sets) : 70lb for 12, 70lb for 12, 60lb for 15, 60lb for 12, 60lb for 12
Fly (4 sets): 60lb for 15, 70lb for 10, 60lb for 12, 60lb for 12
Isolator Sets:
Low Rows; one set - 50lb 15 reps
Cable Crossovers (3 sets – no rest): 20lb for 16, 25lb for 12, 20lb for 12
One-Arms Lat Pulldowns (2 sets – no rest): 20lb for 15, 20lb for 12

Treadmill: 15 minutes, interval speed (Avg. 6) & inclines (0, 3 first 10 minutes; 15 last 5)
1.4 miles

*Note to Self: Use the Isolator more, seriously.  Isolate and Grow.
Go heavier on chest, and don’t skip incline presses, or pullovers.  The running needs work too, stop focusing on the incline and start focusing on distance.

Then, babe and I went out for dinner at my very favorite authentic Italian restaurant.  We are both part Italian, and red sauce is our weakness!  I tried to take a picture, but the lighting there is ridiculously dim (there are candles on the tables and I’ve actually had to use them to read the menu!).  I got Grilled Chicken Tuscany and a side salad.  I have absolutely no idea what the nutrition info is and I am OK with that.
That may not seem huge to you, but it’s a leap of faith for me – previously it was rare that we go there for dinner, even though its my favorite.  It’s a family owned place that (unlike corporate chains) doesn’t have nutrition facts available.  Before, I would  insist on going somewhere that I can come home and look up the facts on what I ate – if I’m going to treat myself, I want to know exactly what went in my body.  If you read yesterday’s post, I am trying to overcome my calorie OCD, and last night was a great accomplishment.

Anyway..
At the restaurant, I saw a girlfriend of mine who has recently started working out and she informed me that she wants to compete with me! And voila, my motivation to do these next 3 shows is immediately back, just like that!  I am going to take her to a show in a few weeks just to watch (believe it or not, I’ve never actually watched a show, I am always in it!) so this will be super exciting!  She’s going to start lifting with babe and I, when our schedules allow, and hopefully this fall she will be ready to do one of the 3 I have scheduled!  I think next season may be a more realistic goal (i.e. March 2012), but she doesn’t want to wait that long – and I don’t blame her.

OH. EM. GEE.

I am so excited!!  I can’t even stand it.  It feels good to be motivated again!
I went home and watched some videos if my hero, DLB, and that just made me even more excited.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m backkk!!

P.S.
After reading about all of you and your undying love of fro-yo, I got a massive craving.  Unfortunately, there are absolutely NO fro-yo spots within a 50 mile radius of me (I promise, I’ve searched).
After pouting quite a bit, I decided to take action.  That’s right – tonight I will be making my OWN fro-yo out of Greek Yogurt, peanut butter, and probably some protein powder.  I’ve found a couple recipes online, that I will tweak until perfect – and then, I will send Christina a picture of me eating my delicious creation, and I will share the recipe with all of you!

Be excited, I know I am!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

YOU did this to me.

Hello to all 7 of my loyal followers, don't think I don't notice!
...And my sincerest apologies at missing yesterday - life gets in the way sometimes.

I have a confession to make:
I skipped the gym yesterday, thats twice this week! And honestly, I feel good about it.  I think my body is tired of the hell I put it through, and went on strike.  Instead, I played on the boat with babe, and took Molly to explore the water (she was terrified). And went for a run with Sadie.

And... This is where the title comes into play.
Thanks to all of you and your passion for running, and living a far more exciting life than I - I have begun to dabble in running!
Yes, I said it, and I want to thank all of you (even those beautiful runners that I stalk endlessly, but who don't follow me, ehem).  I am even signing up for a 5K this summer! I know, not quite as impressive as the rest of you, but hey, for a girl that NEVER runs, I think a 5K is a good place to start!

Don't get me wrong, my passion is still in weights (and probably always will be), but I'm starting to see the FUN in fitness again - before it was like a job, where a day off (none the less TWO days off) was taboo.  Where I felt awful after skipping a workout and religiously recorded calories (which, by the way, I have vowed to quit).

I want to be happy AND healthy - like all of you!

So that's the plan - stay tuned!
=)

Oh AND, if you're on FB, add me - you are helping to change my life, we should probably be friends!
http://www.facebook.com/nbly

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I LOVE Food.

I hope you are totally excited for this post.

Why, you ask?
First and foremost, I forgot to post my weekend workouts yesterday – so you get all 3 today!  And secondly, I took last night off from the gym, and spent the evening baking, so you get some recipes too!
See how good I am to you?

Let’s start with workouts, shall we?

Friday: Back/Chest
Just under an hour in length

Superset; Bench Press & Cable Pulldowns (Close Grip)
BP (6 sets): 65lb for 20 reps, 95 for 5, 100 for 5, 115 for 3, 95 for 5, 65 for 15
Pulldowns (5 sets): 70lb for 15 reps, 90 for 8, 80 for 12, 80 for 10, 70 for 12
Superset; Low Rows & Weighted Dips
Rows (5 sets): 80lb for 10 reps, 70lb for 15, 80lb for 12, 80lb for 10, 70lb for 15
Dips (4 sets): Added 25lb (this is strapped to my waist, fun) for 6 reps, +15lb for 10, +10lb for 9, Bodyweight (no added weight) for 12
Superset; Incline DB Chest Press & Wide Grip Pulldowns
Incline (4 sets): 30lb dumbbells for 8 reps, 25lb DBs for 10, 20lb DBs for 12, 20lb DBs for 12
Pulldowns (4 sets): 70lb for 12, 60lb for 12, 50lb for 15, 50lb for 12 (last set was behind the head)
Machine Fly Burnouts(no rest): 20lb for 20, 50lb for 15, 40lb for 15
Renegade Rows to Failure:
1 set with Push-Ups, 12lb DBs 10 reps
1 set without Push-Ups, 12lb DBs 10 reps

*Shoot for 135lb Bench next time for 3 reps – would be awesome to get that to 185 for 6 by the end of July! Dips should be a lot better – last offseason +25lb for 10-12 was standard.  NEED TO GET MOTIVATED AGAIN!

Saturday: Attempted Legs, became Arm Day
Just under an hour in length

Superset; Squats & Bicep Curls
Squats (5 sets): 115lb for 12 sets, 165lb for 8, 165lb for 8, 145lb for 10, 135lb for 10
Curls (5 sets): 15lb DBs for 15 sets, 20lb DBs for 15, 20lb DBs for 12, 20lb DBs for 20 immediately followed by 15lb DBs for 15
Superset; Weighted Tricep Bench Dips & DB Hammer Curls
Bench Dips (4 sets): These are done between 2 benches, with a plate weight on my lap.  +35lb for 5, +25lb for 10, +25lb for 10, Bodyweight for 12
Hammer Curls (4 sets): 15lb DBs for 15, 20lb for 12, 20lb for 12, 15lb for 30
Burnout Superset (NO REST); Tricep Rope Extension & Cable Curls *These are done on the cable machine that I talked about before – the one that’s numbered and I have no idea what the numbers mean…
Tricep (3 sets): 3 for 15 reps, 4 for 12, 3 for 15
Curls (3 sets): 3 for 15 reps, 4 for 12, 3 for 15

*WTF? I don’t even want to comment on this workout.  First of all – bailing on legs after a set of squats? Boo. Secondly; those bench dips? What happened there? Last season, it was +45lb for 15, for like a million sets. Sometimes I’d get crazy and through an extra 10 on.  Get your head in the game.

Sunday: Cardio/Abs/Misc.
I think this was under an hour, don’t quote me though..

Treadmill: Interval Running (various inclines and speeds): 2.06 miles in 25 minutes.
*To all my runner friends: I told you I can’t run!
Abs were random… Hanging leg lifts, lying leg lifts, crunches, planks, side crunches, etc… And they were done randomly, in between other sets.  That’s how I always do abs though.  I train them 3-4 days a week, usually every other day, whenever they seem fitting.
Superset; Hip Adductor & Abductor
Adductor (3 sets): 90lb for 15 reps (all 3 sets).
Abductor (2 sets): 70lb for 15 (both sets).
Superset; Calf Raises & Low Back Extensions
Calves (4 sets): 150lb – toes out – 12 reps, 150lb – neutral – 15, 150lb – in – 15, 150lb – neutral – 15
Extensions (3 sets): 90lb for 15, 110lb for 12, 90lb for 15

*I don’t even know what to say about this one.  I’ve been in an off mood for almost 2 weeks now – I just can’t motivate myself, and this day speaks on that.  At the risk of being repetitive: GET MOTIVATED.

Let me digress for a moment, I feel like I haven’t been telling you everything
As a competitor (and just as a female in general) I have a lot of unnecessary stress.  Lately I think that’s been hitting me harder than usual, especially after having a less than desirable competition season earlier this year.  I’m stuck with a very difficult decision about next season for a couple of reasons:
  • The show I am planning on for September is a PRO LEVEL SHOW.  This basically means that to get there, you have to pre-qualify by winning regional and national shows.  With the introduction of a new division, however, comes the once in a lifetime chance at competing in a Pro show without pre-qualifying.  This is because, as a brand new division, no one is pre-qualified, so it becomes open.
  • That being said, I’d be silly NOT to do this show – I may never be this close to a Pro Card again!  
  • At the same time though, my body is tired.  I’ve only had a little over 2 months to enjoy my off-season before jumping back in to show prep, and my body is not very happy about that…
  • My body wants a longer break, I want to enjoy my summer, and Rob wants to be able to take me out for dinner and ice cream (which can’t happen during prep).


And that’s where I’m at – battling between a once in a lifetime opportunity and my sanity, health, and happiness.

Anyway…

I took last night off from the gym because, like I said, I just haven’t been feeling it.  Instead of lifting, I played in the kitchen!  I finally made those Chocolate PB Cookies, with some variation, and I made some awesome No-Bake Protein Cookie Creations (for lack of a better name).  But that’s not all – I made beautiful stuffed Portabella Mushrooms for dinner (and they’re vegetarian).
Enjoy!

First are the Chocolate PB Cookies (you can find the original recipe here):
  • I added an extra 2 T of dark chocolate powder, and some dark chocolate stevia – I was in a chocolate kinda mood!
  • And they took way longer than 10 minutes – more like 20..

I made a total of 11 cookies (odd number, I know…).
Stats are as follows:
60 Calories
2.5g Fat, 6g Carbs, 3.75g Fiber, 6.25g Protein, 70 Sodium

 6 were actually made like cookies, see:
(Remind me to take pictures BEFORE I eat one!)

And 4 were made as mini muffins (I made a batch of my favorite PB Mini Muffins too):

And one was eaten rawI am a sucker for cookie dough!

Next were these beauties:
No-Bake Protein Cookie Creations
4 scoops protein powder
2/3 cup flax meal
4 tablespoons PB2 + 2 tablespoons water (or 4 T Natural Peanut Butter)
¼ cup water
Stevia, cinnamon, vanilla extract, chocolate powder, etc… to flavor (I used a couple drops of French Vanilla Stevia)
I put mine into the bottom of giant muffin tins, I recommend using muffin papers, or wax paper, or something that will allow individual portions and will not stick – these buggers are STICKY!
Put them in the fridge overnight, or the freezer for an hour or so (if you’re desperate for one ASAP).
Using my variations, and dividing into 6, the stats are as follows:
122 Calories
4.5g Fat, 5.25g Carbs, 4.25g Fiber, 18g Protein, 72 Sodium

And finally, the stuffed mushrooms:

I filled each cap with 1/3 c SmartGround Veggie Crumbles, some diced tomatoes, a few spinach leaves, and 1 teaspoon Vegetarian substitute Parmesan Cheese.
I sprinkled some garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, and parsley on a piece of foil, and then I set the mushrooms on top of the spices, drizzled on some balsamic vinegar and sprinkled the top with the same spices.  I baked them at 350 for 20 minutes.

YUM!

Monday, June 20, 2011

11 Weeks & Counting..

Hello friends!!

I’m playing catch up today (yet again), I really need to stop taking weekends off from blogging.. This Monday morning game of catch up gets old, fast!

From what I’ve been reading on all of your blogs – everyone seems to have enjoyed their weekend and I’m happy to say that I did too!  As expected, there was plenty of cleaning/grocery shopping, boat day, gym time, Father’s Day festivities, and even a movie night! With all of the running around, I didn’t spend much time in the kitchen, so I apologize for the lack of recipes.  I do however have my workouts from Friday-Sunday which included a Back/Chest Day Friday, an attempted Leg day that turned into Arm day, and Cardio/Abs/Misc. Day (these are VERY rare, but it was fun!)  These will come in a later post; I have to find the paper I scribbled them on…

And of course, Saturday was measurement day (11 weeks out, eeek!)… Stats are as follows:
Weight: 115
Body Fat: 12.7%
Waist: 26in
Thigh: 20.25in
Hips: 34in
Calf: 13.5in
Chest: 32in
Shoulders: 37in
Neck: 11in
Bicep: 11.5in
Forearm: 9.5in

Not thrilled with the numbers, honestly… I snapped some progress pictures in the locker room – my abs are finally starting to come back (they’ve been hiding under a layer of fat/water since my off season started, but they’ve assured me they didn’t go far).




These are my LEAST favorite lifting shorts, for the record.
I decided to take some after I was all done up too, I think its a vast improvement.




And that’s where I’m at today..
Sorry this is so brief, I’m fighting off a sinus infection with massive quantities of allergy pills and am in some sort of drug-induced stupor.  Fun, fun.  So much for never getting sick!!

P.S. Yesterday was my weekly cheat day, and I stuffed myself full of peanut butter & chocolate.  YUM!!
Do you have scheduled ‘cheat meals’ or do you just eat as you please all the time?

And what is your FAVORITE indulgence?
 Mine is peanut butter, hands down.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Are YOU Afraid of the Dark?!

Hello and Happy Friday fellow Bloggers!
I don’t know about you – but I am SO glad its finally Friday!

What about you? Do Fridays make you super happy? Do you (like me) work a Monday-Friday job and get free weekends?

Hmmm..
What to do this weekend?
I know there will be plenty of adventures outside (like boat rides and dog walks and maybe a round of golf?!) and gym time, and the Fathers Day extravaganza with my daddy and Rob’s dad.  Oh and cleaning the house, and grocery shopping..
Phew! I’m tired already!!

Anyway, I just have to tell you what happened last night…
I got home from work and found that we had no electricity.  Why?

That’s why.

So babe and I decided to take the night off the gym and have a date night – aka lets go out to eat since we can’t do much in the dark…

We went to Red Lobster, and I got some grilled tilapia with a double portion of broccoli (as usual), then we walked around the mall for a bit.. Then we went home and still had no electricity…

I woke up this morning to no electricity, and had to get ready for work by candlelight.. Then I actually had to drive to the grocery store for lunch & snacks for work, because no electricity means we lost EVERYTHING in the fridge.
BOO!

So, despite a semi-terrible morning, I made out with some pretty nice eats for today: Breakfast was the usual oatmeal, protein powder, and cinnamon (I had to make it on the stove – no microwave – for the first time in years!), AM snack was 6 OZ Raspberries & 2 100 calorie packs of Dark chocolate almonds..

Lunch: Tuna & Sprouts wrap, HUGE mixed green salad with a whole 10 oz package of cherry tomatoes, topped with red wine vinegar =)

PM snack will be the usual oatmeal, protein powder, & PB2 (this is my favorite pre-workout meal), followed by my post-workout shake, and we’ll see what happens for dinner (crossing my fingers that we have electricity!!).

Since I skipped the gym last night, I will be making up for it tonight with a killer chest/back routine! Stay tuned =)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hi, my name is Nicole, and sometimes I talk to myself.

Happy Thursday (aka one more day to Friday)!

Isn’t that a shame? I need to stop “living for the weekends” and start looking forward to everyday. Except Monday, I don’t know anyone that looks forward to Monday!

Last night, I changed plans and lifted legs paired with some deadlifts.  Babe talked me into lifting at the YMCA across town, which is almost always packed full of “puffy boys” (as we call them), its also 20 minutes out of the way, which tends to shorten the workout window.  They have much better equipment though, and its bigger than the YMCA closer to home; all-in-all, a short but effective workout.  I think the whole thing took 45ish minutes, start to finish.
And I’m starting something new with this… I’m adding a note to self after my workout summary.  Thoughts, room for improvements, etc…
Maybe it will help me get my head in the game if I yell at myself a little from time to time.

Do you ever talk to yourself?

Warm Up: In & Out Squats.  2 sets; 95lbs 20 reps
Squats (below parallel); 4 sets. 115lb for 12 reps, 135 for 8, 115 for 12, 95 for 15
Deadlifts; 3 sets. 115lb for 8 reps, 115 for 5, 95 for 12
Machine Calf Raises; 3 sets. 170lb – toes pointed out – 15 reps, 170lb – toes neutral – 15 reps, 150lb – toes pointed in – 13 reps
Superset: Hip Adductor & Hip Abductor; 3 sets each
Adductor: 90lb for 15 reps, 90 for 15, 90 for 12
Abductor: 70lb for 15, 70 for 15, 70 for 12
Machine Calf Raises; 3 sets. 150lb – toes pointed in – 15 reps, 150lb – toes neutral – 15 reps, 150lb – toes pointed out – 13 reps
Machine Leg Press; Drop Sets (no rest).
130lb for 15 reps, 110 for 12, 90 for 12, 70 for 12, 90 for 12, 110 for 10, 70 for 15
*Note to self: Obviously should’ve started those leg presses with a higher weight, drop sets should never take that long to burn out. Get used to parallel, and kill it next time – 135 for 8 as a max set is beyond lame.  And while we’re at it, everything needs more weight, and an extra set (or 3).


Wanna see my lifting ensemble?
Yes, thats my gallon on the bench =)

Don’t I look sexy in my bandana?! I can’t lift without it… Honestly, forgetting that baby is as bad as forgetting socks or a sports bra! And let’s not even talk about lifting without gloves!
Never. Going. To . Happen.

Have you ever found an old journal, or an old website (I used to be on Xanga in high school – its always a good laugh to look at that thing!), or even better – and old workout journal?!
I found this baby yesterday – its like gold!  Everything from my last show prep is in here! From 11/13/2010 to 3/4/2011 – that’s nearly 4 months of weights, sets, reps, cardio, supplements, and nutrition – I mean EVERYTHING! I am so excited!
P.S. that notebook is where the name of my Blog was born!! See..

Maybe tonight I’ll lift Chest… Unless of course I talk myself out of it and lift arms (can you tell I hate lifting Chest?!); seeing as those are the only options I have for today, I may combine the 2. Or I’ll cave and just do Chest like a good little girl.
Ughhh…
Decisions, decisions.