Personal Health Intiative Training

Posts tagged ‘fitness’

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When all else fails, go back to the basics

Back to the basics

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German Body Composition: My Thoughts

It’s always a good idea to change up your training regimen every now and then because your body adjusts to a routine after a while and eventually it stops responding. Also, you just get bored of doing the same thing every day. If you plan to train for life, you have to find ways to make your workouts exciting. So in an effort to keep things exciting, I decided to try a new type of training called German Body Composition training for four weeks.

This training parameter originated in Germany of course but was made famous by Charles Poliquin, and is based on the German Volume training program. In German Volume training, the goal is to lift lighter weights, about 60% of your max, 10 reps for 10 sets. So ultimately, you are increasing the volume of your work. When you take a look at any GVT program, it is easy to be skeptical. It LOOKS too simple. Bodybuilders are used to doing a certain number of reps for 3-5 sets. But, let me tell you that it is tough! I was sore for days because of the workload. I also needed more recovery time during the week. I trained for 3 days in a 5 day period…so, 2 days on, 1 day on, 1 day off, etc…. My program was a little different because I added auxiliary work at the end of the workout and I still did cardio throughout the week. That is why the version I did is called German Body Composition training, because your main goal is still fat loss. With GVC training, the sole focus is muscle building.

If you are going to try GBC or GV training, stick to your basic lifts like squats, bench press, and dumbbell curls. You are only doing 3 or 4 exercises in one session. If you want, add auxiliary work such as ab exercises, or dumbbell rows for 3 sets of 10-12 reps. You will be so worn out by the end that you can’t do much more than that. Just think about it…you are doing 100 reps of an exercise in one session!! That is a lot. Here is an example of one of my workouts:

Leg Day

Squats: 10×10

Superset with

Lying Hamstring Curls: 10×10

Cable Leg Pull Ins (Abs) 3×10-12

Superset with

Seated Calf Raises 3×10-12

Needless to say my glutes were sore for a while.

Results

After my four weeks of high volume training, I feel stronger in the gym. I have more energy while still keeping my carbohydrate intake relatively moderate which keeps me lean. I also have more strength in my cardio training. I attend spin class regularly and have noticed that I have a little bit more endurance during the class. I also have more endurance on the treadmill and running outside.

So, if you want a change, or if you just want to challenge yourself, give GBC of GVT training a shot.

Your Fitness Goals Are A Reflection of You!!

Are your fitness goals a reflection of what you really want to do? Too many people make the mistake of doing something just because everyone else is doing it. Your friend decides to go on a 10 day cleanse and only drink their food, so you give a shot. Everyone is trying Crossfit so it must be for you, right? People are jumping on the Paleo band wagon, so that means low carb and no bread is the way to go, correct? Wrong. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you have to do what works for you. If you do something without your heart being in it, or because someone else wants you to, you will surely fail. You might actually complete the task, but you have to ask yourself will you be happy.

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If you are like me, you need a goal to keep you going. I have to have something in the forefront that makes me get up and train and eat a balanced diet. Right now, my goal is to encourage other women and to be an example of living healthy and being happy. It is not about a number on a scale, or getting shredded for a competition. It is about challenging myself to reach limits that I did not know were possible. Bodybuilding is a part of that, lifting weights is a part of that, spin class, yoga, running…and the list goes on. I decide what I want to do, when I want to do it, and when the time is right. Who knows what my next journey will be, but I am sure that it will be done in my time and with passion.

So just remember that you need to think in terms of your LIFE…not just for the short term. How can you live this way for life? I have tried many ways, and I will share with you what works for me.

  • Having friends who are active and encourage and support my lifestyle.
  • Reading and researching the areas that I have an interest in. Don’t just go blindly into a training and eating plan until you know what you will be facing. 
  • Keeping everything in perspective. Life is too short to worry over every little thing. If I have an off day, I just get back on it. Yes, sometimes my whole week is off!! But, I never give up. If I fall off the wagon, I eventually get back on.
  • Sharing my struggles with others. People need to know they are not alone in this journey.
  • Flexible eating. My plan is to live a LONG life. I am not going to live it without eating cake! If I want it, I eat it in moderation and add it into my macros. Food should not be thought of in terms of good or bad. Think about food in terms of meeting your fitness goals and you will have a healthier relationship with food. 
  • I have stopped comparing myself to others. This becomes very hard when you do bodybuilding competitions. You are judged subjectively and can’t help but see how you compare to the others on stage. Comparing yourself to others can lead to depression. I had to realize that I have a unique body that is a result of my genetics, and my lifestyle. I have to work with what I have, and if it’s good enough for God, it’s good enough for me!

Learn to love yourself enough to strive for health and you will be just fine. When you live healthy, and do what is true to your heart, you feel better!

“You are so busy being YOU that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.”  —John Green

In Between

I heard a message this morning that really made me think. We get so caught up in our daily lives and trying to get the dream job, dream house, dream car, and even the dream body, that we don’t enjoy the process. I have thought about this in regards to my prep for this next show and also my career. Of course, I have big goals and positions that I would like to see myself in.  Ultimately, I want to make a career of teaching others how to make healthy lifestyle changes, not just temporary changes for a show or an event. But, I realized that I am getting so caught up in reaching the end or dreading the beginning, that I am not truly enjoying the journey.

For the next 10 weeks until my next competition, I have a plan to enjoy the journey more. Here it is outlined step-by-step.

  • Share my experience in more details by writing in this blog
  • Record training sessions of myself and my clients
  • Implement a new training style for the first six weeks (German Volume Training…more on this in a separate post)
  • Read more literature on nutrition and competition training
  • Take my cardio outside on nice days, walking outside, or running at the lake
  • Include yoga back into my routine once a week
  • Include meditation
  • Pray for more patience and strength to enjoy each day

 

Don’t ever get so consumed with the FINAL result that you forget to enjoy what it takes to get there. If you enjoy the process, the task will be less arduous and stressful in your everyday life. If you want to lose 20 lbs in 3 months, don’t just think about that last day of the 3rd month, think about what you are doing to get there. What will your workout plan involve? What new and creative exercises can you add to your regimen, and what types of creative meals can you plan. How will you be a positive influence to those around you while you are pursuing your goal? Yes, it will be hard and yes, you may slip and fall….but just keep going and please enjoy the ride!!!

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”-Greg Anderson

 

 

 

Sharing

I consider myself to be more of an introverted type of person in certain situations. I only share certain parts of my life with a small group of people. Some of this comes from previous experiences with criticism and negative comments about what I am doing from other people. However; recently I have found that the more I share what I am doing with bodybuilding, nutrition, and general fitness, the more successful I am. Yes, there are some who could care less, criticize or look to see you fail, but that is a very small percentage of people. You will be surprised at who you can inspire if you just share what you are doing. This does not mean being egotistical or judgmental of others. It only means to be proud of who you are, what you do, and the accomplishments you have made. 

I received a compliment in the gym today and it made me feel good. To know people recognize you are working hard and appreciate it, is a very good feeling.

7 weeks to go!

Murphy’s Law

3rd day in and I’m hanging tough! I still have plenty of energy but cravings come every now and then. My strategies to combat the sugar cravings include drinking tea, chewing gum, and drinking water. After about 2 weeks, they get better and the body adjusts. The human body adapts very well to many environments and you can control much more than you think you can. I always get offered food when I can’t have it. Lol…it seems to be inevitable. I think the universe is testing me to make sure I am committed to my goal. Yesterday I came home to a sweet potato pie sitting on the stove, today I was offered a chocolate cupcake, and I even won Staff of the Month at work! Guess what the reward was? A free meal!!! Go figure! Just when I can’t have it, the goodies rear their ugly heads. Thankfully this is my 4th prep so I have A LOT of self-control.

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You know the old Murphy’s law rule. If anything can go wrong it will. Now I am not saying that anything is going wrong, but whenever you are faced with a challenge, you will have to withstand obstacles. These obstacles are not going to be ordinary. If you are reaching for an extraordinary goal, you will face extraordinary obstacles. I was asked today if I could just eat the frosting off of the cupcake…just a little! Of course I declined, and eating frosting is certainly such a simple thing to people who do not compete. However; for me, it makes a huge difference. Little things become big things and one taste of sweet can turn into a whole bunch of sweets! I will stick with my tea and gum for now. But I did request a whole cake to be made for me to eat on March 24th! And yes, I might eat the whole thing. 🙂

If being a natural bodybuilder was an easy task then I am sure more people would do it. But, it is not easy, it is a lifestyle that requires discipline and commitment for a specific amount of time. As with any goal, the good news is that if you just stick with it, fight through the obstacles and continue to find strategies to finish the task, you will be just fine. Being comfortable is not they way to live. You need to get uncomfortable sometimes if you ever want to accomplish great things!

The Value of Real Food

One benefit of tracking your calories online is seeing not only the calories and macronutrients (fat, carbs, protein) that you are eating, but also the amount of vitamins and other nutrients you are consuming on a daily basis. I took a look at my food log today which gives me a grade for the day. If I get close to the proper amount of vitamins and minerals and stay within my calorie range, I receive and “A.” If I am far off, the grade goes down. I did pretty good today but while I was looking at my log, I couldn’t help but notice that I was closer to the recommended amount of fiber as well as potassium (which is really high). I ate more vegetables today than I have and I ate REAL food. I did have one granola bar and saw that it basically had no nutrients in it whatsoever….even though it is marketed as a healthy snack. Yes, it is better than a bag of potato chips but it would be far better to make your own granola than to buy a processed bar.

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Even if you are not trying to lose weight, tracking your macros can help to ensure that you get all of the nutrients you need from food. You will be surprised at the difference small changes can make. To help transition to eating more whole foods here are some tips:

  • Cut up veggies and fruits in advance so they are easy to grab
  • Make your own “mix”…nuts and berries, dark chocolate, toasted oats and berries/nuts, anything you want to mix together
  • Make your own protein bars: Example 2 cups of instant oats, 1/4 cup of nut butter, 3-4 scoops of protein powder…mix together and place in a pan. Put the mix in the freezer and voila…you have homemade protein bars!

It is not hard to eat real food. It just requires a little preparation and creativity so you don’t get bored.

Forget restriction, deprivation, and forbidden…just eat a good variety of healthy foods and make it fun. This approach will ensure healthy eating for a lifetime…not just a temporary diet. Have your processed foods in moderation.

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