Planning Out My 2015 Prep Training #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Today marks the final 2 weeks of my bulk. Even though I have been saying this for weeks, I seriously can NOT wait to start prep. This past week my nutrition has been up and down. I had a couple of days where I had a hard time staying under on my bulking calories and a couple of days where I had a hard time hitting them.

I am super happy that I have been hitting PR’s and going beyond the goals I had set for myself. At the beginning of this bulk, I told my hubs that I wanted to be able to squat 225lbs, deadlift 225lbs, and bench 135lbs before I started prep. Squats I am there, deadlifts I surpassed to 245lbs and both on my 5th working set. I am going to start with 135lbs on bench next week, just to see if I can push one out. Hubs will be on vacation, so I have the pleasure of training with him and having a spotter and I can’t wait!!! Typically only get one day a week in the gym with him, so I certainly cherish the times he can come more often.

I have been changing my training ever so slowly, to get IT converted over for prep. Not a lot will change, more just the speed and weight, with some added exercises. Everything has been a learning experience. It seems just when I think I know what I am doing, I figure out a better process. Then I do a lot of thinking.  Things like…”Well what if I had started this sooner, I would be so much further.” Then I come back to reality and know that everything has happened for a reason. I was suppose to learn it this way. Everyone is on a different journey. I love those that share theirs, not so I can compare myself to them, but so I can learn more. I am entering this prep with a whole new view on losing fat and competing. Everything I thought I knew last year has been thrown out the window. I know the mistakes I made and have a better knowledge of how to do things. Not having a coach has forced me to learn and evolve in this sport.

As promised I am sharing my prep training with you. This is the beginning of my training. My prep will be 6 months long, for 2 reasons. One, I did gain quite a bit of weight during my 10 month bulk. Two, I do not want to lose too much muscle trying to lose fat too fast. I also want to be able to keep my calories as high as possible. I will share my nutrition with you too in the following weeks. Both my training and diet will change as I get closer to competition. Here is what I will be starting with training wise on May 1st…

2015 Prep Training

Note: Less rest between sets and #x# is how many reps x how many sets

Monday ~ Speed Squats 8×5 135 lbs
Pendlay Bent Over Rows 8×5 95 lbs
Seated Barbell Delt Press 8×5 65 lbs
Meadow Rows 10×5 25 lbs
T-Bar Delt Press 10×5 10 lbs
Standing Lat Pushdown 10×5 80 lbs
Rope Variations 20 secs / 60 secs 5 rounds – treadmill or stepmill LISS 45 mins – Jump rope 20 mins

Tuesday ~ Family Hike

Wednesday ~ Bench Press 8×5 95 lbs
Front Squats 8×5 95 lbs
Back Squats 8×5 135 lbs
Deadlifts 8×5 135 lbs 2 max sets 225 lbs for reps
Pull Thrus 10×5 110 lbs
Superset W/N High Leg Press 5×3 405 lbs
Rope Variations 20 secs / 60 secs 5 rounds – treadmill or stepmill LISS 45 mins – Jump rope 20 mins

Thursday ~ Barbell Preacher Curls 10×5 40 lbs
Hammer Preacher Curls 8×5 15 lbs
Barbell Front Delt Raise 8×5 30 lbs
Double Bounce Seated Dumbbell Delt Press 8×5 25 lbs
Dumbbell Back Shrugs 10×5 30 lbs
Superset O/U One Hand Cable Tricep Pull Down 8×5 30 lbs
Underhand Pull Up’s 8×5
Tricep Pushdown Machine 10×5 135 lbs
Delt Lateral Raise Machine 10×5 50 lbs

Friday ~ Speed Squats 8×5 135 lbs
Pendlay Bent Over Rows 8×5 95 lbs
Seated Barbell Delt Press 8×5 65 lbs
Meadow Rows 10×5 25 lbs
T-Bar Delt Press 10×5 10 lbs
Standing Lat PushDown 10×5 80 lbs
Rope Variations 20 secs / 60 secs 5 rounds – treadmill or stepmill LISS 45 mins – Jump rope 20 mins

I have it set up, so I can pick what cardio I want to do. I am blessed that my gym has many options. I may also decide to do sled pulls instead of what I have listed. All depends on how I am feeling and time restraints. The gym daycare only allows 90 mins, so I will have to make sure I have the time to do cardio there. If not it will be late night LISS at my apartment gym or rope jumps with Zoe at the playground. I choose LISS instead of HIIT, because I am not a fan of running. Especially, when I am heavy. I get bad shin splints and I find my body reacts well to LISS (Low Intensity Steady State Cardio) Everyone is different and some prefer HIIT. All I know is that I have a plan to get started ;-) and I am excited to get started! 2015 is going to be a big year for me. I have HUGE goals and I have every intention on achieving them!

Do you plan out your training ahead of time? What is your preferred cardio? Do you have a HUGE goal for 2015?

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!!

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Work, Recover, Grow, Repeat… #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Like most, I train hard day in and day out for 4 days a week. I typically have one full rest day and two very active rest days. Being sore is pretty common for me, it’s common for most athletes. How you treat your post workout recovery is just as important as you treat your training.

PicsArt_1428865302670

Work, Recover, Grow, Repeat is a common phrase in my home. Work hard in the gym, take time to Recover so you can Grow, then Repeat the process. Recovery doesn’t just happen on rest days, it is daily.

~ Stay Hydrated. Hydration is a very important part of recovery. It is something that should be done before training, during training,as well as after. Hydration keeps your body and muscles functioning at properly. Sports drinks are often used when an athlete’s training is strenuous. I drink Saturn Supplement’s K-Pump Hydrate during my training. Saturn’s K-PUMP is the ideal Pre and During Workout Muscle Pumping / Strength-Endurance Energy Formula! Packed full of Performance Enhancing Activators, Muscle-Building Amino Acids, Mental Focus Actives, and Body Trimming Energizers. It has a high glycemic dextrose blend with caffeine, glutamine, vitamins, minerals, as well as electrolytes.

K-Pump

Post workout hydration, I use Saturn’s Recharge 15 MinuteRecharge is the most powerful and satisfying Post Workout formula available. No other post workout formula out performs the unique blend of powerful active-agents that Recharge 15-Minute provides. It’s quick-absorbing, immediate-acting and long-lasting Recharge 15-Minute formula contains all the necessary means to jump-start your system with the utmost revolutionary matrix of nutrients including Karbo-Lyn®, ProtaLyn®, GlutaZorb® PowerForce Matrix, BCAA (Instantized), Glutamine (100% Stable Concentrate), and Nitric Oxide. It is a powerful formula, that can be used pre, during, and post workout.

Recharge 15-Minute

~ Foam Rolling/Stretching. My muscles get tight post workout, so to help them recover I usually do sessions of yoga with Zoe. Yoga helps with softening the muscles back up and keeping us flexible.

Foam rolling I have a love/hate relationship with ha ha ha. It hurts, but in the end it is helpful with DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness. Foam rolling, also known as myofascial release, helps to break down contracted muscles and improve blood circulation. All will help you train harder, look better, and reduce injury.

~ Hot & Cold Therapy. My fave way to do this is an ice bath and hot bath. You can also use ice packs and heating pads. I like the full body experience ha ha ha . With an ice bath your blood vessels constrict which decreases blood flow and metabolic activity. When you get out of the bath and your body starts to warms back up, the vessels open up which increases blood flow to helps flush the body of byproducts caused from cellular breakdown (a result of exercise). Heat therapy or hot bath. This is actually more my fave than the ice bath, for obvious reasons ha ha ha. With heat therapy you are increasing circulation and blood flow. This will aid with soreness, flexibility, as well as help you relax. Alternating hot and cold therapy is great for injuries too.

~Rest. By rest, I mean sleep. Sleep is important for overall health, but very important for muscle growth. When you enter a deep sleep, this is when your body naturally produces the most growth hormone. It is also the key time that your muscles repair themselves.

~Protein. Protein is very important in your road to post workout recovery. It aids in repairing torn/damaged muscle fibers, promotes training-induced adaptations in muscle fibers, and replenishes depleted energy stores. Protein powders are very popular post workout and for good reason. They contain amino acids that aid in repairing and building muscle. Saturn Supplements Smart Whey is a wise choice ;-) mainly because it has a revolutionary Ion-Exchange manufacturing process produces a protein supplement that is 90 to 95% protein by volume. This purity makes whey isolate the most digestible protein available and is virtually fat and cholesterol free. It is by far the most desirable protein source to athletes. Each 35 gram serving provides you with 32 grams of pure digestible lactose-free protein enriched with L-glutamine and branched-chain amino acids. No other protein formula provides you with as much pure protein per serving!
Saturn’s Pharma-Engineered Vitamin and Mineral Complex provides the body with not only the calcium, needed for muscle contraction and relaxation, but key elements necessary for biochemical reactions that take place throughout intensive training-nutrients that are not only vital to good health, but are required for massive gains. denying your body the proper protein post workout, would be counter productive to say the least.
Smart Whey

Make sure your recovery is taking as much precedence as your training and you will see and feel much better results!

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References   http://www.livestrong.com/article/113446-benefits-hot-cold-therapy/   http://www.athleteinme.com/ArticleView.aspx?id=358  http://www.mensfitness.com/training/the-6-best-ways-to-recover-from-your-workout  http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/how-to-use-heat-and-cold-to-treat-athletic-injuries
 

It’s Monday! Let’s get AWESOME! #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Am I the only one who gets excited about Monday!?!?!?

Just under 3 weeks left of my growing season. The excitement has just been growing and growing, hopefully my muscles too ha ha ha. I have been changing my training just a little each week, to get me ready for my prep. (My prep training will be posted soon) I am still hitting PR’s and lifting as heavy as possible. Last week was a HUGE week for me. I finally hit 225lb on my squats. It was my 5th working set, so the realization that I could actually go higher had me smiling so big all week. My hubs was as excited as I was! It was a great training day!!! I am excited to get back in the gym today and see how many reps I can push out this week! Let’s get this Monday started with a little Lady Swole Monday. If you don’t know, it is hosted by my girl Hope “Smallwonder” Trask . She has been a phenomenal mentor for me over the past 3 years.  She is running a little competition on her Facebook page with LSM, so be sure to check it out! 3 weeks left to enter ;-)

Let’s power through this week strong!

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What’s The Buzz About PUMPD’4? #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

One of the most popular supplements people buy is Pre-workout.

“Up to 70% of adolescents and young adults have reported using at least one nutritional supplement and high energy drinks are among the most popular.”
(Alves and Lima, 2009)

All for good reason. Intense training can be mentally and physically draining. When you train like this day in and day out for 4-6 days a week, sometimes twice a day, it starts to wear on you. Sometimes your body/mind just needs that extra push. Drinking pre-workout prior to a training session can benefit you by giving you the extra focus, drive, energy, and pump to help you explode through your workouts!

I personally use Saturn Supplements Pumpd’4 Performance It has an amazing Power Blend that is zero calories, yes you read that right ZERO calories!!!! What it does have, is all the ingredients to give you that surge of energizing fuel.

PUMPD'4 Performance

Caffeine~ Energy, Focus, and Performance Boosting. As well as Fat Burning. It raises your alertness and focus by stimulating your central nervous system. It has a mild fat burning effect. People tend to not realize how hard they are working and can have increased strength.

Taurine~ Oxidative Stress Fighter. Another amino acid that increases insulin sensitivity and decreases oxidative stress. Also said to help burn fat in overweight individuals.

Citruline, Arginine Malate~Blood Flow Optimizer. Citruline actually converts to Arginine. An amino that protects your body from blood acidity, which is what keeps your body from getting fatigued during intense training sessions. The greatest benefit is it’s ability to remove endotoxins, such as lactic acid, which are some of the main causes of fatigue. It is also essential for for Nitric Oxide synthesis. This causes vasodialation, or widening of your blood vessels. This increases your blood flow which  equates to spectacular muscle pumps while you train.

Agmatine Sulfate~ Nitric Oxide Pump King! Just as the Citruline Malate, Agmatine Sulfate is also very vasodialating. It is well known in the industry to be the Nitric Oxide King. On top of that benefit, it is also very anabolic. It increases your insulin, which in turn reduces the circulating blood sugar and distributes more amino acids straight to your muscles. This equates to more lean body mass gains.

Theobromine~ Alert and Focused. Theobromine is related to caffeine, but a milder stimulant. It is found in cocoa. We all love chocolate right ha ha ha ;-) In addition to being a stimulant, it also dilates blood vessels and increases nitric oxide production. This also has benefits for cutting weight, as it is a natural diuretic and mood enhancer.

You can see why PUMPD’4 is the most extreme Pre-Workout formula available. Powered by a proven source of pump-force agents, PUMPD’4 provides the body with a surge of energizing fuel. Each serving contains the perfect ratio of Agmatine Sulfate, Nitric Oxide, L-Citrulline and L-Taurine and is combined with Caffeine and other supporting energy-actives, making this the most intense pre-workout formula available. Pumpd’4 is 100% NON-GMO, containing NO Genetically Modified Organisms. PUMPD’4 fuels the body with specific key agents to help maintain a “Pumped” physique throughout your workout. This fast and effective formula is ideal for taking just prior to training/exercise, as well as when needing to revive your fuel while during your training. Perfect for individuals who desire a quick and easy way to ingest energizing pump-agents to enhance the overall effectiveness of your training.

PUMPD'4 Performance

It is important to note, that to keep your pre-workout effective, it is important to cycle your use. I typically will use my pre-workout for 6-8 weeks, then take 2-3 weeks off. This allows your body to re-sensitize itself to the ingredients again, so you will feel the supercharged effects.

Don’t forget to use code 25YEARS at check-out, so you can take advantage of the 25% off your total order!!!!

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references:http://www.mrsupplement.com.au/theobromine-supplements-bodybuilding  http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/iforce-nutrition/agmatine-sulfate.html  http://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/pre-workout   http://www.nutritionexpress.com/article+index/authors/jeff+s+volek+phd+rd/showarticle.aspx?id=1320
 

Morning Sunshine! Happy Monday! #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Good morning Sunshine! Are you ready to start the week!?!?

Image result for motivation monday

We had a phenomenal Easter! The morning started with a family breakfast, watching Zoe open her Easter basket, Egg hunting, discussing why we celebrate Easter, then an all day hike in the mountains. We didn’t realize the hike we chose still had snow, but it was fine, because it was like 69 degrees out and Zoe was excited about seeing snow ha ha ha

Donut Falls 1

Donut Falls 2

The final 4 weeks of this bulk will be epic! Knowing that Easter would be the last hurrah, so to speak, of this bulk. I decided to not log food and just enjoy the day with my family. Today, back on track and ready to smash it in the gym with some pr’s!!!! Let’s kick the week off right with some Lady Swole Monday ;-)

Hope you all are as ready as I am to conquer the week!!!

Build With The Power Of The Universe<
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New Month, New Goals…Time To Finish #SaturnStrong @SaturnMuscle

And just like that, it’s April!!!!

I am pumped to get through this month!!! I have big goals and this month I am going to try to push myself even harder (if that’s even possible ha ha ha) Let’s set some goals ;-)

Goal One~ Make this month EPIC! Today marks the beginning of the final four weeks of this bulk. I am excited to push myself into more PR’s and see what my body is capable of! I need to aim to improve as much as I possibly can in a short amount of time.

Goal Two~ Plan out prep training. As I stated in last month’s recap, I have a basic idea of how my training is going to start. What I need to do, is get it all in writing. I religiously take my notebook to the gym. Not just so I can remember my training, but also track my progress as far as how much weight I am lifting, and to make notes of mood, form, etc. Writing things out, allows me to see my progress as I go. I have been doing this since I started lifting. 

Goal Three~ Plan out my prep diet. Just as I need to get my training in writing, I also need to get my diet. Just as I did last year, I will be taking my prep slow. I will have to adjust as I go. My body is different than it was last year, so I have no clue how it will respond, but I do know exactly how to do it this year! Slow and steady will be the goal. I want to retain as much muscle as I can. 

Goal Four~ Strike a pose. Posing practice is a main goal every month. I am slowly getting better ha ha. Muscle memory will play in on this big time. This month I will aim to do it without using the mirror. I find that is typically when I have issues. I need to nail the poses by feel, not by sight. Grace, poise, and natural looking…

Goal Five~ Start making small contest need purchases. Financially, it will be easier on us if I start buying what I need a little at a time. Luckily, this year I don’t need a ton. Make-up and hair items, crystals for my suit, clasps and hooks for my suit, back stage outfit, suit adhesive, jewelry, and flip flops. I am pretty frugal and always research the best deals, so it should be pretty easy to accomplish this with minimal invested. Everything else I need such as tanning and contest fees won’t be needed till closer to contest time. 

Goal Six~ Hair, make-up and nails. I have narrowed down exactly what I want. Now to make final decisions and plan my exact look. Everything will be spot on this year! No last minute changes.

Goal Seven~ Business Plan. Last month, this goal fell by the wayside. Not this month! I know it will take a while to reach the goal, so just as I do all my big goals, small steps to accomplish it! First step was the idea, next step is the plan…

Goal Eight~ Keep Zoe on track. Another goal I tend to make every month. Zoe has goals and dreams that like mine, are bigger than life! I aim to guide her, to teach her, to show her how to reach them! No matter what she wants, I will be there to help her achieve it!!!

As I always say, set small goals to reach your big ones. Last year my big goal was to just get to the stage. This year, it’s to WIN! I will not settle and I will not quit! I learned from last year and am ready!

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Failure Is Part Of The Success Process March Goals Recap #PoweredBysaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Wow! April already???

March went by pretty fast for me. So far this year, has been quite different for us. Not only because we are in a state we have never lived in before, but also getting use to our surroundings, climate, people, etc. We are told typically that Utah is much colder and has more snow in the winter, but we were blessed to basically go right into spring ha ha ha. It’s pretty amazing to me, that we can go from spring like weather in the foothills/valley to winter and snow up in the mountains. I have to say, I quite love it! With that being said, hiking has become a normal family fun activity once a week. Instead of hitting the gym on Tuesdays, we head out for adventure!

March’s goals have been hit or miss with me. As much as I would love to say I nailed each and every one of them, this is a month where that did not happen. I never get upset when I don’t achieve my goals. I sit down reassess why, then start again the next month. Here is how March went for me….

Goal 1~ Make It Count. I did great with this goal. Training is never the hard part for me. I enjoy my me time in the gym and I am very focused on my goal of winning this year! I refuse to take short cuts and refuse to take breaks. i tackle my training with full focus, energy, and I work hard. I don’t leave till I’m done. I feel the past 4 weeks have definitely been utilized to the best of my abilities. I do see growth and improvements.

Goal 2~ Game Plan My Prep Training. This goal has been half done ha ha. I have sat down with the hubs and discussed the best route for my training. I have not put anything into writing yet, so nothing is set in stone quite yet. I have a better idea how I will approach this prep, but I need to write it out and iron out any issues in the training. 

Goal 3~ Plan My Diet Approach. Like my training, I have sat down and talked about it ha ha, but nothing has been put in writing. I know exactly what my approach will be this year. I know what mistakes I made last prep and have a much better idea of how to achieve a much better physique this year. I just need to get it all in writing, so I don’t veer off the path ;-) 

Goal 4~ Strike A Pose. My posing game is actually spot on! I have spent the past 4 weeks breaking down how I pose and figuring out how to present the best in my physique. I have finally figured out how to not only spread my lats effectively, but how to best present them from the front and back. It truly looks so much easier than it is ha ha ha. I am so sore from training most nights, that getting into a pose and holding it, is almost torture. I know it needs to be done. My posing has evolved quite a bit from last year. I know I still have some improving to do, but you can guarantee, that when I step up on stage again, my posing will not be in question!

Goal 5~ Start My Suit. Surprisingly enough ha ha I actually did this! My suit is completely sewed. It is not complete, but certainly close. It still needs clasps, hooks, and to be bejeweled. All of which I will wait to start. I want to make sure the suit is going to fit correctly when I get closer to competition. I am so much bigger than I will be then, so it is really hard to judge. I am ecstatic that I do have it sewed though!!!! Turned out so much better than I had imagined!

Goal 6~ Make-up And Hair. This too, I have been on top of. I have so many screen shots on my phone of what I want ha ha ha. Instagram and Pinterest are amazing for this!!! Everything is planned. I have even started purchasing the odds and ends that I will need to complete my look.  Much more time and effort into looking the part this year. 

Goal 7~ Business Planning. This is one that did not get accomplished this month. My suit took a lot of my time. I was pretty stressed, because I didn’t think I could pull it off. I don’t have a ton of down time and what I did have, I spent on my suit. Business planning still needs to be done and will be reassessed into next month’s goals. I’m not in any rush with it all at this point anyway, due to start up costs. I still want to get the ball rolling though ;-) 

Goal 8~ Challenging Lesson Plans. Zoe’s lessons have been quite challenging, at least in my eyes for a 4 year old ha ha, but Zoe seems to catch on really quick. Her math skills are out of this world and she is doing really well with reading and spelling too. Seems I still need to step it up a bit. Either way, I am super proud of her!!! 

Overall, I still see March as a winning month! April’s goals will be bigger and better. Always strive to be the best you can! Failure is part of success!!!!

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Joint Injuries: Causes & Prevention #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

With weight training, your body needs to working at it’s peak in order for you to have the results you want. Joint injuries are the most common injury in bodybuilding. When you have a joint injury, lifting heavy seems almost impossible.

Joint pain can cause set backs in one’s goals. The best way to prevent injuries is to know how they are caused.

~ Not leaving your ego at the door. What I mean by this, is that some people walk into the weight room thinking they need to lift as heavy as the person next to them. I see it everyday in my gym. It happens with men and women. If you are lifting TOO heavy for your body, chances are your technique/form is off too. Once that happens, it is only a matter of time before an injury occurs. I am not saying don’t lift heavy. I am saying that if the load starts to compromise your form, you need to lighten it up till your body is ready.

~ Lack of proper nutrition. Nutrition is the basis of keeping healthy and reaching your goals. Some tend to shortcut their diet, thinking they can reach their goals just through training. If you are not fueling your body with the proper amount micronutrients and macronutrients, such as Carbs/Fiber, Fats, and Protein, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. As well as, delaying your progress and risking injury. Work as hard in the kitchen as you do in the gym.

~ Muscle strength increasing faster than joint strength. I am Pro nitric oxide boosters and creatine. I utilize both in my training. Both are known to increase muscle strength. This is a GREAT thing. Keeping that in mind, it is also important to know that even though your muscle strength has increased quickly, your joint strength has not. Be sensible when training. I have a system when I decide to I move up in weight, once I can max my reps on my heaviest set, I will add 5-10 lbs. When I know I can PR a lift. I make sure it is on my last set and I do minimal reps. Working up to heavier lifts is important, because you have trained your joints along with your muscles, so they can handle the weight.

~ Lack of proper rest/recovery. Listen to your body. It will tell you what you need.  Make sure you are getting a full night’s sleep. Your body spends itself mending and recovering while you rest. Sleep is essential in not only having better progress, but in reducing injury. So is having rest days. Some only take one a week, I prefer two. I take the weekends off. Saturday I am usually sore and by Sunday I am fully recovered and ready to start my week of training again. Not everyone likes two days in a row, so do what feels best to you.

Now that we know how injuries occur, let’s talk about how to prevent them. Setting up training guidelines will help keep you injury free.

~ The right training routine. Personally I switch up my routine depending where I am as far as off season and prep. During off season I utilize more sets with low reps 3-5 per set, longer rest between sets. During my prep I will do less sets with higher reps 10-15 reps per set, less rest between sets. I typically never train longer than 60 mins. My leg day does tend to run a bit longer, but I believe that going too much over that is overkill.

~ Proper execution/technique. Like I said before, leave your ego at the door. If you are jerking your body to lift a weight, lower the weight. For example a common issue I see with the basic dumbbell curl. I see individuals jerking their arms and bodies trying to get the weight up. The movement should be fluid, smooth, and controlled. If it isn’t you are at risk of a wrist injury, or worse. Another example is bench press. Many tend to hyper-extend their wrists, or they don’t keep their shoulder blades together, or don’t keep their elbows in tight to the body. All put you at risk for wrist, elbow, or shoulder injury. If you do lift without a coach or trainer, take the time to research the proper form of each lift.

~ Sufficient calories, especially when dieting. Make sure you are eating enough to fuel your body. This is mainly to those who are in a calorie deficit. Not sure where the magic number 1200 calories came from, but for most, that is too low. There are many calculators online to find out what is a healthy deficit for you. We are all on a learning curve, so be sure to do your research. I had a reader last year talk to me about TDEE or Total Daily Energy Expenditure. I didn’t know what this meant or how it affected my calories. I researched and learned. There is nothing wrong with learning. ;-) It is part of the process. I personally use the calculator on IIFYM.com , but like I stated, there are many online calculators to help you figure it all out.

Supplementation is a huge part of keeping your joints protected. They are essential to insure your body will operate at maximum efficiency.

~ MicroNutrients. When you lack in micronutrients, your body suffers as a whole. Keeping your body fueled with premium fuel is important to your function. Vitamins and minerals convert in your body to promote muscle building, fat loss, high energy levels, as well as controlling all of the vial functions of the brain. Without them, your body will not run properly. Which can affect not only your joint health, but your overall health. Multi-Vitamins are perfect for making sure you are covering all of your micro-nutrient bases. My personal choice is Saturn Supplement’s One Source. It’s the absolute strongest Vitamin & Mineral Pack on the market. You cannot always be sure of getting all the nutrients you need from food, and Saturn’s One-Source Pack is designed to enrich your body with a complete dietary supplement-perfect for everyday taking. Each Freshness-Assured packet provides the best that natural vitamins and minerals have to offer. I love them, because they are grab and go, no sorting necessary.

One-Source

~ Amino Acids. They have many amazing effects on our bodies and our health. Certain ones, boost more benefits for your cartilage, muscle tissue, and prevent from joint damage. For example, Methionine, Arginine, and Alanine. Aminos are important for everyone! I use Saturn Supplement’s Amino Pump 50000 I have used several other brands in the past. I have been using Saturn’s formula for two years now and can definitely say I could see and feel a difference in quality from other brands. Saturn’s Amino Pump 50000 is an easy-to-digest soluble concentrated amino-protein formula enriched with a powerful ratio of BCAA’s, Nitric Oxide and a full spectrum of Pharma-Engineered predigested amino acids that can be quickly and efficiently utilized by the body. The ultimate way to build solid muscle is to have a constant intake of powerful, pumping amino acids, and that’s exactly what Amino Pump 50000 does for you. Each serving provides your body with an impressive nitrogen retention source of amino acid protein which helps you to achieve maximum muscle growth and protein synthesis while improving the time of muscle tissue recuperation. Amino Pump 50000 may be mixed with water or your favorite protein shake or juice. Saturn’s Amino Pump 50000 can help you enhance the overall muscle protein needed for building a healthy and muscular physique.

Amino Pump 50000

~ Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM Reduce inflammation, reduce muscle spasms, enhance blood flow, maintain fluid and flexibility in the joints, develop and renew cartilage, and supports muscles and tendons in the body. Saturn Supplement’s Joint Matrix has all 3 plus extra ingredients such as, L-Hisidine. This is another amino that decreases inflammation and prevents muscle aches, pains, and injuries. Saturn’s Joint Matrix is the ultimate in joint and ligament nutritional support in an easy to swallow single tablet form. This advanced formula provides your body with virtually every important joint and ligament aid known to date. This special formula is formulated in a natural base containing several micro-nutrients and vitamins.Maximum Support Formula to help rebuild, regenerate and maintain collagen and fluids in joints and cartilage. Made with Shark Cartilage, Green Lipped Sea Mussel and Boron for added nutritional support to joints and ligaments!

Joint Matrix

Training is beneficial to your health in so many ways. Keeping your body functioning properly while you train is essential to reaching your goals, whether they be fat loss, muscle growth, toning, or all of the above. Train Strong, Train Smart, and Train Hard!!!

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References: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug-chondroitin_glucosamine_and_methylsulfonylmethane/article_em.htm   http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/md88.htm   http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/fit-5-joint-pain-weakness

 

Muscle Motivation Monday

Happy Monday. New day, new week, let’s smash some goals!!!!

I officially have just 5 weeks left of my bulk. I want to keep the momentum going strong! Some tend to drudge through the end of their bulk. I will say it is harder, at least for me. I am so excited about starting prep, that mind wanders. I start thinking too far ahead. Some days, when talking with me, you would think my competition was in 5 weeks ha ha ha. I am staying focused and staying on the path. No short cuts, no easy way out. Just hard work, heavy lifting, and gains!!!!

Let’s get pumped up for the week! As always, I will start with some Lady Swole Monday ;-)

Let’s get out there and conquer the week!

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Just 5 Weeks Left…Bulking Check In #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Bulking Check In…. 5 Weeks left!!!!

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This week has been awesome! Like every lady in this sport, I go through highs and lows when bulking. It’s really weird. When I first start my journey in 2010, I was always looking in the mirror wondering how long till I lost the fat. Now I look in the mirror and wonder how long till I can grow muscle. It is hard not to develop a complex on either side of the spectrum. I certainly want to be healthy physically and mentally.

This is why progress pics are so very important! I am able to look at myself more realistically. I snapped a photo of my back early this week to compare progress from this time last year. Granted, I was in contest prep back then, but you can really see the growth difference!!! Weight difference is pretty big too. In the bottom photo I was around 125 lbs, top pic I am at 162 lbs

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Strong Lifts 5 x 5 has been really good to me ;-) Not only have I grown physically, but in strength as well!!! Back Squats are at 200 lbs on my 5th working set, Bench is 115 lb, Deadlift 225 lbs, and Barbell Seated Shoulder Press is 85 lbs. Huge difference from when I started!!!

The next 5 weeks will be full of focus and goals. I would like to reach certain weight amounts on all my lifts before my official prep starts. I know after about 4 weeks of prep, my lifts will suffer a bit from being in a calorie deficit. If I can keep them as high as possible now, I am hoping to retain more muscle during my cut. To be honest, I have never been more excited to start cutting calories ha ha ha. I plan on beating the person I brought to the stage last year, by a landslide.

Posing practice has been a struggle for me this off season. Not so much doing it, but trying to find the right pose to show off my work. It is much harder than it looks. Nicole Wilkins  has so many videos, which make learning a bit easier. She has poise and is so graceful and natural moving from pose to pose. This is my goal to achieve, before hitting the stage again in October.

Over all I feel pretty awesome. Going in the final weeks of my bulk, I am sure will be an emotional roller coaster, but I am happy to take the ride!!!!

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The Great Protein Debate…How Much Is Enough? #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

We all know that protein is essential for muscle growth as well as weight loss. In talking with a few people over the weekend, the proper amount of protein came up in discussion. Seems some think that no one should eat more than 25-30 grams in one sitting.

This is actually far from the truth. Your body is an amazing thing! As the protein travels through the small intestine, your body regulates how fast the protein moves, to ensure that it is absorbing all of the available amino acids. Your body doesn’t just discard what it can’t use right away. It holds on to it to fuel your body later.

I found this study conducted by the Human Nutrition Research Center. It had 16 young women eat 79% of the day’s protein (about 54 grams) in one meal or four meals over the course of 14 days. Researchers found no difference between the groups in terms of protein synthesis or degradation.

Do people require different amounts of protein? Absolutely! Not everyone has the same activity level. Different activity levels have different requirements.

Sedentary Person: .4 grams per lb

Recreational Exerciser (adult): .5 -.75 grams per lb

Competitive Athlete (adult) .6 – 1.0 grams per lb

Teenage Athlete: .8 – 1.0 grams per lb

Dieting Athlete (reduced calories): .8 -1.0 grams per lb

Dr.  Donald Layman, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of Illinois stated that most people would benefit from eating more than the 56g recommended daily intake. In his studies, he found most on average eat about 40g a day. WOW! To me that is really low, but makes sense. Most people I know eat 2-3 times a day and eat the bulk of their protein at dinner. With that being said, most are missing out from the essential amino acids. Not all proteins we eat, have the 22 aminos that our body requires. Especially if you are only eating a couple of times a day. Protein Powder Supplements Like Saturn Supplement’s Nitrox-Pro and Smart Whey are full of those amino acids and make hitting your protein goals much easier!!!

Nitrox-Pro

Protein powders aren’t just for bodybuilders. They are great for everyone! With fast absorbing quality whey protein, like what Saturn Supplements provides in Nitrox-Pro and Smart Whey, you not only get your daily amount, but also all the amino acids. Dr. Jeffrey Volek, Ph.D., R.D., a nutrition and exercise researcher at the University of Connecticut, stated this about quality protein powders “It appears in your bloodstream 15 minutes after you consume it” That is good stuff! Fast absorbing means better protein synthases, which equates to building lean muscle mass.

Smart Whey

High quality concentrated protein is an essential macro nutrient in everyone’s diet. Many that are deficient, could benefit greatly from adding it to their daily consumption. I usually recommend those who tend to skip breakfast, to add a shake in the morning. You will see so many differences. Energy levels go up, curbs hunger which lowers your fat, helps prevent diabetes and heart disease, and gives you gorgeous hair skin and nails. It’s a no brainer in my book ;-)

Saturn Supplements is still running their 25th year anniversary sale!!!! Just enter code 25YEARS to get 25% off your total order. Shipping is a flat rate no matter how large your order is and once you spend over $75 you get a free gift!!!

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References: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10867039       http://www.muscleforlife.com/the-truth-about-protein-absorption-how-often-you-should-eat-protein-to-build-muscle/     http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/guide-to-protein/printer.php   http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/protein.htm    
 

No Negative Monday! #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

It’s no negative Monday! I find that so many people have a very negative view towards Monday. That changes TODAY!

Monday is a new start to a new week. A day to assess new goals and conquer your dreams! I won’t take this life laying down and certainly am not going to look at a day I was blessed to wake up and chase my dreams, in a negative light. ;-) NO NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ALLOWED!!!

As always let’s kick this week off with a little Lady Swole Monday…

Let’s get out there and make progress!

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Bulking Check In Less Than 6 Weeks Left #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

It’s time for a check in…..

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The past couple of weeks have been interesting to say the least. As I told on my last check in, I have been busy trying to figure out this whole making my own suit idea. The steps in my head seemed easy. I had taken the time to research what I wanted and watched videos on how to execute it. In the end, it turned out to be a huge project that seemed to consume me and my dining room table ha ha ha ha. It left me thinking….

I redid the pattern 4 times for the bottoms and twice for the top.

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Thank God for my hubby who took time out of his busy schedule to help me draw it the way I envisioned. I ended up making 4 different bottoms, before I was finally satisfied. I also had started a top, but quickly realized that it wasn’t going to work.

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My first pair of bottoms, I pulled the elastic too tight, second pair came out too big, third pair too small, and finally last pair was just right ;-)

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The top was easier to do as was the strap. Overall, I am very happy with how it turned out and am very grateful to be done with it!!!  It still needs connectors and crystals, but the hardest part is over. Thankfully I purchased 2 yards of fabric, because I knew that I would probably mess something up ha ha I used most of it ;-) So far we have put around $35 into the suit, so extremely happy about that!  Having this extra project on my plate did make training a bit harder, but it was all worth it in the end. I can now say, that not only am I self made, but so is my suit!

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Tuesday, instead of hitting the gym for a short session of biceps and delts, we had a family fun day hiking. It was about 5 miles. It was pretty rocky terrain in some spots. Definitely a great heart pumping hike. We all had a blast. Beautiful views and wonderful company.

hike 1

The beginning of the hike

You can see the trail carved into the mountain

You can see the trail carved into the mountain

It took us to a gorgeous lake.

It took us to a gorgeous lake.

hike 5

We continued further up the mountain in search of a waterfall, but never found it.

hike 4

We did find a small cave, some bear tracks, and cougar tracks. glad we never ran into either animal ha ha ha

You might be wondering why I was okay with taking off a day of training? Well, hiking up a mountain is no easy feat With a 30lb backpack in tow I certainly still put work in. And technically I did not miss any training, I added my normal Tuesday training to my other short day. We decided that this will be a regular thing, so now Thursdays will consist of Biceps, Triceps, Delts, and Lats. It works out well, because now we can have a more active family fun day and instead of having 2 short days in the gym I have 4 long days, which I enjoy better ;-) Training is going great! I have just under 6 weeks left of my bulk. I feel like I am growing more. Now that my suit is done, I am even more excited to peel these layers off and see what I have built!!! Still haven’t taken any measurements, but my weight has gone up. I am currently sitting at 167.8 lbs I feel great about this! I can see some of what I have built, so very proud to carry the extra weight right now. PR’s are steadily happening, which also gets me excited! My most proud one as of late, is I finally was able to pull  225lb deadlift on my 5th working set for 3 reps. HUGE for me!!! Before we left Springfield, Missouri I was struggling to pull 195 for 1 and still keep my form. So with getting bigger, I am most definitely getting stronger. I am comfortable in my skin and happy at this stage, which is a new feeling for me.

Excuse the booty ha ha  I didn't realize I was out there till after I took the pics ha ha ha

Excuse the booty ha ha I didn’t realize I was out there till after I took the pics ha ha ha

Posing is still a little wonky. For whatever reason, my right arm likes to go out further than my left. Posing is still something I am working hard on! Going to keep pushing the envelope over the next 6 weeks and see where it takes me. I have never been so excited to start cutting calories in my life ha ha ha. Prep will be a slow process, but I plan on enjoying it every step of the way!

Have you ever planned a big project? How did it turn out? Do you have family fun days? Do you hike? Does gaining or losing weight make you uncomfortable?

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!!!

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Tips To Get That Summer Body Ready Now!!! #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Summer is right around the corner….

Some spend the winter getting ready, while others scramble at the last minute. If you are typically the latter, no worries, because there is still hope!!! Here are some tips to get you started….

Figure Your Nutrition Plan Out~ I personally do flexible dieting, but research what works best for you. Fact is, losing fat is a matter of calorie deficit, not what you do or don’t eat.

Work It Out~ There is a misconception when it comes to working out. Some think that you have to be in the gym for 3+ hours 6 days a week. This couldn’t be further from the truth. To get  tight body I recommend weight training for 30-45 mins a day, 3-5 days a week, depending on your goals. There are a ton of training programs that you can just Google. I started with plans on Bodybuilding.com they literally have hundreds to print and take to the gym with you. Ladies, don’t be afraid to pick up some heavy weights. If you want that tight toned body, there has to be some muscle there ;-)

Get Your Supplement Stack Right~ I only use and trust Saturn Supplements. They have been a trusted source in the industry for over 25 years. If you have shopped for supplements, you know that there are literally hundreds of companies out there. Many have just popped up out of nowhere in the past couple of years. There has been a ton of controversy over some of the more popular brands as of late (CLICK HERE TO READ MORE). It can be a confusing situation. This is my Lean Mean stack of choice ;-)

Nitrox ProIn my opinion, Saturn’s best protein powder! Nitrox-Pro is the perfect source of dietary performance nutrition.More than a Hi-Protein Lean Meal-Replacement, Nitrox-Pro provides your body with all the latest advancements in protein absorption, breakdown and utilization, allowing greater support for creating muscle mass and strength. In conjunction with our Ultra-Efficient Isolate Protein we have added Myo-Vasogen, our proprietary Arginine-Lysine based complex creating the ultimate muscle / vaso – nitric booster. Nitrox-Pro is 100% Non-GMO, containing ZERO Genetically Modified Organisms, and is Lactose & Gluten-Free. So what you are getting is a 41 gram protein serving in addition to Nitric boosted amino acids. This is hands down a high quality lean formula! Best bang for your buck, since you get a 5lb tub. This is 50 servings of 41 grams of protein!!!! You truly can’t beat it!

Nitrox-Pro

Aminos Pump 50000~ Part of their new Hyperion Series, this is an easy-to-digest soluble concentrated amino-protein formula enriched with a powerful ratio of BCAA’s, Nitric Oxide and a full spectrum of Pharma-Engineered predigested amino acids that can be quickly and efficiently utilized by the body. The ultimate way to build solid muscle is to have a constant intake of powerful, pumping amino acids, and that’s exactly what Amino Pump 50000 does for you. Each serving provides your body with an impressive nitrogen retention source of amino acid protein which helps you to achieve maximum muscle growth and protein synthesis while improving the time of muscle tissue recuperation. Amino Pump 50000 may be mixed with water or your favorite protein shake or juice. Saturn’s Amino Pump 50000 can help you enhance the overall muscle protein needed for building a healthy and muscular physique. I drink this before, during, and after my training.

Amino Pump 50000

K-Pump HydrateThis gem is also part of their new Hyperion Series. This is the ideal Pre-Workout Muscle Pumping / Strength-Endurance Energy Formula! Packed full of Performance Enhancing Activators, Muscle-Building Amino Acids, Mental Focus Actives, and Body Trimming Energizers, K-Pump contains the means to deliver! To enhance the overall effectiveness of our Pump & Endurance Drink, K-Pump is formulated with an impressive burst of muscle-building protein, enriched with amino acids. Calorie Burning, Muscle Building, Nutrient Replenishment, Performance Powerhouse – K-Pump makes the perfect addition to any strength and health program. I combine this with the Aminos Pump 50000 in my water bottle before I hit the gym. It is like my sweet power punch. Providing me with plenty of energy, hydration, pump, and focus to get me through my grueling training sessions.

K-Pump

One Source Multi-VitaminThe absolute strongest Vitamin & Mineral Pack on the market, Saturn’s One-Source delivers! You cannot always be sure of getting all the nutrients you need from food, and Saturn’s One-Source Pack is designed to enrich your body with a complete dietary supplement-perfect for everyday taking. Each Freshness-Assured packet provides the best that natural vitamins and minerals have to offer. All of your micro-nutrient needs from A-Z. All packaged in individual sanitary packets, so no sorting and no worries, just grab and go.

One-Source

Creatine Silk~ Saturn’s revolutionary Creatine Silk provides the body with the most technologically advanced powder form available. Our Micro-Screened Ultra-Fine powder provides a smooth and instant dissolve for maximum delivery. Each serving offers a pure, premium grade of Micronized Elemental Creatine Monohydrate, known for its role in health and fitness.
You will notice a qualitatively difference when you open each package of Creatine Silk. It’s silky-smooth texture mimics the grade of materials found in Saturn’s Buffered-Creatine. Enhanced refinement of powder with enhanced method of delivery! This is what you can expect from Saturn’s Creatine Silk – an absolute mass building formula for athletes and everyday fitness. Build lean muscle,have energy, and mental focus. It’s a no brainer that this is an important part of my stack!

Creatine Silk

Lipo-Ex~ This is an Ultra-Pure synergistic complex designed to enhance the body’s natural power to utilize, energize and metabolize. Our formula provides your body with all the necessary means to maximize energy and burning force.Each serving provides your body with a premium blend of the most advanced power-charged ingredients which take on an immediate effect. We have made the addition of several supporting minerals to further enhance the effectiveness of this formula. This thermogentic provides a ton of energy with no crash, but be prepared to sweat. Your energy/power level goes through the roof and you can train harder, longer, and more effective. I would definitely call this my not so secret weapon ;-)

LIPO-EX

Amazing products from a trusted company! The only products I use!!!

Get yours today! They are still running the Anniversary special, use code 25YEARS to get 25% off your total order. they also have flat rate shipping, no matter how large your order, the shipping rate is always $6.95, and with orders over $75 you always get a free gift!!!

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Merry Monday & Happy New Week ;-) #PoweredBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

Merry Monday…..

I am pretty pumped this week! I have less than 7 weeks left of this bulk. Feeling strong and awesome! There was a local show over the weekend. Although I wasn’t able to make it, I did follow all the action on social media. Pretty exciting and definitely motivating!!!! The figure division here is fierce!!! I am so excited to start my prep and compete with these phenomenal ladies. I also spent the weekend working on my suit. I am happy to say that my bottoms are made, and half my top is done. I ran out of elastic ha ha, so to the store today to get that and finish my sewing. Then on to designing and stoning my suit. Gah it’s all coming together…. Can it be October yet ha ha ha

Okay, as excited as I am to compete, I am still in my off season. Focusing on my current training is very important. This last week I added some extra shoulder and lat exercises as well as up’ed the weight on quite a few of my lifts. I really want to grow as much as possible before I start cutting. It’s Monday and I am so ready to make this week epic!!! As always, let’s kick it off with some Lady Swole Monday….

Let’s make this week count!

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