August Goals #BiggerBetterStonger #NeverSettle

I am excited to start a new month. New month = New goals!!!!

I have a big job ahead of me as far as building more muscle. I want to make sure I take full advantage of all the time I have. I have acquired a lot of knowledge over the past year and am excited to put it all towards my training to see what changes I can make! Let’s get to setting these monthly goals ;-)

1. Starting my bulk. Seems simple enough, but I will have to continue monitoring my macros to make sure I don’t go overboard like last time. My first bulk, I had no clue what I was doing. I certainly did not diet up slowly. I rushed right into eating a ton of food with no real guidelines at all. The end result was minimal muscle growth and a ton of fat. It was certainly a learning experience ;-) This time around I have a much better plan and more knowledge on how to maximize my gains.

2. Is to make sure I am training as hard and heavy as possible. With this being said, I want to be a stickler about proper form. Moving up in weight without staying in proper form is flat out dangerous and dumb. Safety first!!!!! I stick to the saying, “Leave your ego at the door.” There is no need to be stupid with lifts. An injury will cost me more time out of the gym. Safety first is always the motto.

3. Even though I do want to make sure I don’t go overboard this time with my bulk, I also want to make sure I take time to just enjoy myself and not worry so much about hitting the mark every single day. Basically just allowing myself a day or two in the month to not closely track every morsel. Flexible dieting is about moderation. Now that I am in the offseason, I want to make sure that I don’t overly obsess everyday. I know it’s not healthy for me. I know that I can get quite obsessed with my diet and training. I really need to learn to relax and just be. After all, this is the time of year to enjoy all the goodies ha ha ha

4. August will be a semi stressful month. Josh is trying for another promotion. It is a big step for him and our family. Like me, he sets big goals for himself. He has a huge goal of moving to a certain level on the corporate ladder before his big 30th birthday. If this promotion happens, then he will be that much closer! What does this mean for me???? It means I need to be as supportive as possible. I want to keep him boosted up no matter what happens. I believe in my husband and know that the sky is the limit for him!!! I just need to make sure he knows that too ;-)

5. To keep Zoe on track with her monthly goals. She did an amazing job last month with her own goal list! We sat down last night and wrote up her goals as I wrote up my own. She seems to understand the purpose of making goals, although she does try to set some unattainable ones. Hard to explain to a 4 year old that she can’t grow wings and fly ha ha ha We want her to learn to push herself. To try to accomplish small goals to reach large ones. Example being one of her goals is to learn to read and write 3 more words this month. This goal will get her one step closer to reading her favorite books. She also has a goal of earning as many Zoe bucks as possible ha ha she is doing much better behavior wise. Part of that is because Josh and I have been working on out patience. Something we both lack and know we need to work on. We started a 280 day Bible study devoted just to that!

Every month is an opportunity to design and build the life you want. Take advantage of the time you have here to achieve your dreams ;-)

 

Hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!!

Built By Saturn Supplements


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Build With The Power Of the Universe

 

July Is Over It’s Time For A Goal Check In!

I am always excited to see how well I did in keeping my goals for the month ;-)

This month is no exception. Let’s get right into it…

Goal 1 was to continue my reverse dieting. This has been an awesome experience for me. At first I was having issues with hunger and to be honest food envy. Watching everyone that competed around the same time as me get to veg out on all the goodies that I couldn’t possibly fit into my macros was frustrating. I kept thinking to myself, why am I still doing this? My show is over I am technically in the off season. How much weight can I possibly gain? Etc, etc, etc… Needless to say I am proud of myself for defeating those thoughts. I have not ballooned up like so many of my friends. I am at a point where I am not hungry anymore and can eat freely without worrying about gaining a ton of weight. I feel that my metabolism is running properly. In fact better than it was pre-contest! I am starting to feel fluffy ha ha ha, but all in all am very comfortable in my skin and am excited to start growing again!!!!

Goal 2 was to lift heavier in the gym. I focused hard on having at least one PR per day each week. This was a success as well! I have surprised myself as well as Josh ha ha ha. It is crazy how much stronger I am this off season than last. My deadlift is up to 215lbs on my 5th working set. This is HUGE for me!!! My dumbbell curls are up to 40lbs on my 4th working set. Squats are up to 165lbs on my 4th working set. Leg press has gotten up to 585lbs on my 5th working set. I am pretty proud of these numbers, because I have earned them! I plan on getting heavier and pushing myself as hard as possible to grow!!!!

Goal 3 was to continue implementing Farmer Walks twice a week. This I have also been doing. I did drop the weight from 70lbs to 52.5lbs. Mainly because my gym moved the heavier kettlebells and I have no clue as to where ha ha. The 52.5lbs are just as difficult for me to carry. Once I am able to carry them one lap without dropping, I will add another lap to my drills. I do enjoy them and feel that I am benefiting greatly. My grip has improved ten fold as well as my overall strength. I won’t lie though, they make my forearms burn in the worst way and I lay on the floor afterwards feeling like they are going to explode ha ha ha ha

Goal 4 was to keep Zoe motivated in learning more and staying active in her lesson plans. Implementing her own monthly goals has helped this greatly! She is always wanting to learn and is constantly staying on top of her goal list. She too rocked this month’s goals. I am very proud of her accomplishments!!! One of her goals was to learn to read and write 5 words this month and she did amazing! She actually learned more than 5. She has only been working with 3 letter words with me. I was sitting with her while she played Tangled on her LeapPad and noticed she was reading and spelling 4 letter words. I was like whoa!!!! When did you learn those??? ha ha ha I am super proud of her!!!! Reading is something I love to do and I believe it is so important to encourage children to escape into their own imagination through reading.

How did you fare this month accomplishing your goals? New goals will be posted tomorrow. I am excited to start a new month and see how much more we can accomplish!!!!

Built By Saturn Supplements

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Build With The Power Of The Universe

 

Week 7 #ReverseDieting Check In & My Back Training @SaturnMuscle

weekly check in

I am not sure  going into week 7  if I am still in maintenance, or if I have officially started bulking ha ha. The reason I am not sure is because my weight has fluctuated so much in the past week .  Last Friday I was at 129.2, Monday my weight was 124.8 when I had weigh in yesterday it was 128.8 Shark week had me screwed up. I had horrible cramps and migraines this month, so was taking Ibuprofen which makes me irregular and I had a few alcoholic beverages this week which can also make me maintain water. Either way I am fine with it ;-) Still happy with progress and moving along slowly.I suppose I will know for sure next week.

Calories this week are 2098 so up 100 from last week. Now that I am closer to bulking I am going to start moving up my protein slowly. This week Protein is 137g, Carbs 230g, Fat 70g I am enjoying all the food!!!!

Here are my stats from last week to this….

Weight  126.8 to 128.8

Waist  26 1/4 to 26 3/4

Stomach  28 1/2 to 29

Thighs  L 18 1/2  R 18 1/2 Same

Calves L 13 R 13 Same

Rump  34 to 34 1/2

Arms  L 12 R 12 to L 12 1/2 R 12 1/2

Chest/Lats 36 1/4 to 36 1/2

Calipers/LBM  15.8/105  to 16.5/106

I am definitely feeling fluffy and not seeing my abs as much this week ;-)

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With that being said, I am also ready to start growing!!!

As promised, here is my current Back Training. I train back once a week on Monday and am typically sore from back training for about 3 days.

I start with Deadlifts. I do 1 warm up set and 4 heavy working sets of 2-8 reps I was pumped this week, because I finally PR’d at 215 for 3 reps I focus on form overall with these. If your form is off, you can injure yourself so making sure my back doesn’t roll is very important!

 

4 heavy sets 3-8 of Underhand barbell bent over rows. I go slow, so I can concentrate on squeezing my lats.

4 Sets 4-10 Wide grip cable rows. These too go slow so I can get a good pump.

Followed by 4 sets 4-10 Close Grip Cable Rows Same as last, go slow and concentrate on the upper and middle back

Wide Grip T-bar rows are up next. I do 4 heavy sets 4-10 No matter what lift I am doing I am shooting to get at least 4 reps with proper form, I move up in weight the following week.

Hammer Strength rows. I love these, because I always feel strong on this machine ;-) 4 set 4-10

Next I either do wide grip machine lat pull downs or Parallel bar lat pull downs Both obviously work my lats, but each hits them just a bit differently. I change it up depending on my mood ha ha ha 4 sets 4-10 reps

On the machine, it is hard to deviate from your positioning. It is a strict movement and much more stabilized than cable pull downs.

With these I focus on squeezing my lower lats. I pull my elbows into my body, pulling with my back not my arms.

Then I finish up with Kneeling High Pulley Rows. These also focus on lats 4 sets 4-10 reps

One of the things I was told by the judges, was to work on my lats. Getting the wider lats will make my waist appear smaller. I want to develop my back as a whole, but concentrating mostly on every aspect of my lats is my main focus. I am ready to grow wings ;-)

Hope you all enjoy the training! Have a fabulously fit day xoxo

Built By Saturn Supplements


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Build With The Power Of The Universe 

 

Oh Happy Monday!!!!

Happy Monday!!!!!

My shark week this month really had me messed up. I was a little late. I was late last month too. I assume it is because of the calorie difference and leptin level changes. I knew I was still going to start, because I had all the normal symptoms. I still get the what if’s running through my head though ha ha. Mainly what would my plan be as far as my goals go? Would I change them, or just keep going. Josh and I talked about it and we both agreed, that nothing would change. I don’t plan on competing till at the earliest next fall, so even if we were expecting, it wouldn’t change anything ;-) Shark week does have me an emotional mess lately. I freak out about my weight, feel horrible about myself when I know I look fine, and overall just feel exhausted and cranky.

I am very happy, because I am finally feeling like myself again!!!! Josh’s schedule is changing, so he will be able to train more with me this week. That also has me very happy!!! We love our date day trainings!!!!!

Let’s get this motivational Monday started shall we…..

As always Lady Swole Monday

Let’s make today the strong start you need to make this week phenomenal!!! Stay tuned, because each week I will be posting my current training days. This week will be Back training.

Built By Saturn Supplements

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My Muscle Building Swole Stack @SaturnMuscle #BuiltBySaturnSupplements

I get so many messages about what supplements I take, why I take them, and when do I take them. Here is my Muscle Building Swole Stack ;-) *All opinions of the products are honest and my own*

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I start every morning with my One Source Multivitamins

“The 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”

I love these, because they are all in one convenient packet. Just grab and go. No need to have a case or anything. All my micro-nutrients are good to go!

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Also pictured is my end of the night fave ;-) My HGH Night Time Release

Saturn’s HGH Night Release Formula is designed to naturally support the body’s ability. This nutritionally enriched formula provides a maximum strength nighttime release with super-charged Free Form Amino Acids and Colostrum.This formula is being used successfully by bodybuilders throughout the world for it’s multi-leveled strength benefits.”

I have been telling you all the multi benefits of this supplements for a few weeks now. I still feel the same about them! I absolutely love them and do feel that I am benefiting greatly!

Benefits listed on Bodybuilding.com

“It’s produced by the anterior pituitary gland under the stimulation of the Hypothalamus (like LH, the testosterone precursor). The effects on our system are tremendous:

  • HGH promotes and increases the synthesis of new protein tissues, such as in muscle recovery or repair. This is the way new muscle is built.

  • Recent research suggests its involvement in the metabolism of body-fat and its conversion to energy sources. Tests were conducted in obese people and medical use in treating obesity was proven beyond a doubt. Pro’s have used GH as a way of maintaining and increasing lean mass while dieting for years.

  • It improves the sleeping pattern, makes for less unintended awakenings and betters REM-stage sleep.

  • HGH produces more energy

  • It may improve sexual performance

  • It builds stronger bones

  • Improves the quality and duration of heart and kidneys”

Back to my morning regimen ;-)

I leave shortly after breakfast for the gym, so when I take my vitamins, I am also chugging my first 24 ounces of water. In that first 24 ounces, you will find a scoop of my favorite pre-workout PUMPD’4 Performance

PUPMD’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 also combined with Caffeine and other 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 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.”

I was so excited for the release of this formula! I LOVE it!!! It revs me up first thing in the morning. Gives me a great pump and NO jitters. That is probably one of the first questions I get about this product. I do not get jittery at all.

Now to go along with my Pre-Workout I make what I call my Training Power Punch. I always take an extra 24 ounce bottle with me to train. It is filled with the best muscle pumping, hydrating, amino acid supplements on the market!!!

I add K-Pump, PUMP Protect, and Aminos 50000

 Saturn’s K-Pump is the ideal Pre-Workout Muscle Pumping/Strength-Endurance Energy Formula! Packed full of Performance 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 and Endurance Drink, K-Pump is formulated with an impressive burst of muscle building protein, enriched with amino acids. Calorie burning, muscle building, nutrient replenishing, performance powerhouse. K-Pump makes the perfect addition to any strength and health program. “

Pump Protect is the most extreme Intra/Mid Workout formula available. Powered by a proven source of Pump & protect agents. Pump Protect provides the means required to help you achieve and maintain your muscular physique while during the most critical phase of training-during the process. During the Intra/Mid phase of training, the body needs instant replenishment of key nutrients and growth optimizers in order to maximize muscle potential, both volume and size. Each serving of Pump Protect provides the most concentrated matrix of build and pump agents. Karbolyn®, AminoZorb®, Agmatine Sulfate, L-Glutamine, Nitric Oxide, and Instant Enzymatic patent pending BCAA 2:1:1 muscle fortification comprises the power behind this amazing and highly beneficial formula. No other formula matches it’s strength! 100% Caffeine Free and NON GMO”

Ultra Concentrated Amino Acid Protein Enhancer Predigested Building Blocks/Exercise Booster with Nitric Oxide/BCAA’s Saturn’s New 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-Enineered predigested amino acids that can be quickly and effciently utilized by the body. The ulitmate way to build solid muscle is to a constant intake of powerful, pumping amino acids, and that is 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.”

I have tried each one of these supplements separately. I have been taking K-Pump for well over a year during my training and it has become a staple. I started researching the benefits of Amino Acids during training, which made me start adding the Aminos Pump 50000. Adding the PUMP Protect has taken my training to the next level! My training is hard. There is little to no down time and I lift heavy as I can, so it is nice to have a drink that helps me focus, as well as keeps me fueled through the whole training session.

I also make a coffee creamer  with my Aminos Pump 50000, for my evening cup of coffee. I mix 3 scoops with my sweetener, a dash of cinnamon, and cold water till it is creamy. Then I add it to my coffee. It is heaven and I love the benefits!!!

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My protein of choice right now is Pro 4100 Hydrolyzed 

PRO 4100 is the most extreme Hydrolyzed Whey Protein formula available. The perfect source of nutrition consisting of premium Whey Hydrolyzed Isolate Protein enriched with Branch Chained Amino Acids and L-Glutamine. This pure source of protein yields the highest percentage of true protein. Each serving provides your body with the purest, cleanest and most easily digested source of protein available The purity of hydrolyzed whey protein yields ultra fast absorption the key to maximizing post workout and competition replenishment. In addition, we have enhanced the overall effectiveness of this formula with our Full Spectrum Vitamin/Mineral/Electrolyte cocktail. PRO 4100 is also NON GMO”

I love this protein! The flavor is amazing!!!

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Last but certainly not least, is Zoe’s Children’s Yummy Vites

Making sure that Zoe is getting all of her micro-nutrients is just as important, if not more important than me getting mine! I love these and so does Zoe! No artificial colors or flavors and she loves that they are gummy bears!!!

Saturn’s Children’s Yummy-Vites formula is designed to provide children with a natural source of daily multivitamin nutrition. Each serving is packed full of the most important daily nutrients including Vitamins & Minerals A, C, D, E, and Zinc, Saturn’s Children’s Yummy Vites are naturally sourced in both color and flavor and are the most delicious tasting gummy bears available! Yummy Vites are perfect for everyday taking in addition to regular food intake.”

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I trust these products! They are hands down the best quality I have had the opportunity to take and if you have been following me, you know I have tried many different lines! I am proud to say I am Built By Saturn Supplements!!!

Built By Saturn Supplements


Saturn Supplements - Vitamins & Supplements

Build With The Power Of The Universe

 

Weekly Check In #BuiltBySaturnSupplements @SaturnMuscle

weekly check in

On Monday night Josh surprised Zoe and I with a night at the ballpark. We went to a Springfield Cardinals AA baseball game. I decided that, since I am 6 weeks into my reverse dieting, it would be safe to just enjoy myself and not be so strict on my macros and just have fun with my family. We had a blast!!!! Zoe probably had the most fun ;-)

zoe at the game

Along with binge night ha ha it is also Shark Week. Hormones and extra food can never be a good mix ha ha ha

Yesterday I was back on plan, but needless to say, I obviously knew that my check in yesterday was going to be a bit wonky ;-) This is what I am looking at for Week 6 of my reverse dieting. Macros from Last week to this week…

     Calories     1918  to  1998

      Carbs    190g  to  210g

  Protein  132g  to  132g

  Fat    70g  to  70g

  Fiber   30-35g   to 30-35g

I did check my weight before my family night binge ;-) I was at 125.6 Monday evening before we left for the game.

Weight   124.6  to 126.8

Waist   26   to   26 1/4

Stomach   28 1/2   to   28 1/2

Thighs  L 18 1/4  R 18 1/4   to  L 18 1/2  R  18 1/2

Calves  L 13 R 13  to  L 13  R 13

Rump  34 1/2  to  34

Arms  L 12  R 12  to  L 12  R 12

Chest/Lats   36  to 36 1/4

Slight differences from last week as far as measurements go, but could be placement or water retention. I still feel as if I haven’t gone past maintenance yet. I do know that my bulk is coming soon though ;-)

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Overall, still feeling great and very strong! I am still hitting PR’s which is huge for me!!!!

Hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!! xoxo

Built By Saturn Supplements


Saturn Supplements - Vitamins & Supplements

Build With The Power Of The Universe

 

YES! It’s Monday!!!!!

Happy Monday!!!!

I am so excited for this week!!!! I finally am over 200g of carbs a day feeling great!Reverse dieting is going phenomenal! I will go into all of that when I post my weekly check in ;-)

What has me more excited is this… Saturday night I was winding down to go to sleep and of course checking my FB. I came across a video That Kristy over at Ready in 5 Weeks posted, about Occlusion training. Kristy has been a HUGE inspiration to me since I came across her blog last year. She is actually the one who turned me on to Flexible Dieting and Dr Layne Norton.  I watched this video and immediately started researching more about this form of training.

I am definitely going to start implementing the this form of training. I currently do not have my own wraps. I have been using Josh’s. His leg wraps will do great when I do my quads, hammies, and calves. I will however have to get my own, so I can cut them down to do my arms. I love trying out new training techniques, as well as pushing myself to the limits. This off season is all about making as much improvements and muscle growth as possible! Here is a link to another helpful website that Kristy posted for me yesterday ;-) Blood Restriction Training with Jeremy Loenneke

Needless to say, I am pumped to get this week’s training started!!!

As always, I like to kick things off with Lady Swole Monday ;-)

lsm15

Gonna make the most out of every training this week! I hope you do the same!!!!!

Built By Saturn Supplement


Saturn Supplements - Vitamins & Supplements

Build With The Power Of the Universe

 

Weekly Check In & HGH Night Release Supplement Update @SaturnMuscle

It’s time for my weekly check in!

weekly check in

Even though I know the changes are very slight week to week, it is important to monitor progress closely when reverse dieting. I make sure that I am watching my weight, measurements, and photos closely. Just doing one or the other is never enough. Being a female means that the scale fluctuates too much to be the main indicator. Personally my weight will go up and down 3-5lbs on a daily basis. Hormones, water intake, sodium, etc all play a factor in your weight.

This week I feel really strong! I have been hitting at least one PR on every body part each week. I currently am still not past maintenance calories, which is a great thing! My metabolism is running great. I am still hopeful to get between 2200-2500 kcals before I start gaining again. I said last week I was just going to up 50 kcals each week, but decided that I need to go up a bit more 15-25g carbs each week is what I am doing. I went up 15g this week. My body is doing well with the transition.

I wait till Tuesday to do my weight in, measurements, and photos. This gives my body two days to adjust completely to the new macros. With the higher carbs my muscles are much fuller. I will admit, I went over on all my macros Monday night. We found the new Limeade Oreos at the store, so I had to try one ;-) Ha ha ha They are awesome by the way!

Below is the changes in my macros from last week to this week….

                                                                  Last Week                                                                  This Week

                  Calories                                1858                                                                              1918

                     Carbs                                    175g                                                                              190g

                     Protein                                132g                                                                              132g

                     Fat                                         70g                                                                                70g

                     Fiber                                   25-30g                                                                         30-35g

Going into week 5 I am so excited that I have almost hit the 200g mark on carbs! My weight is stable. It went from 124.2 last week to 124.6 this week, so not a huge change. My measurements are a bit different…

                                                                 Last Week                                                                    This Week

                 Waist                                      26 1/4                                                                            26

                 Stomach                                29 1/4                                                                           28 1/2  (Odd since I feel so fluffy ha ha)

                 Rump                                      34 1/2                                                                           34 1/2

                 Thighs                                    L18 1/4   R18 1/4                                                     L18 1/4  R18 1/4

                  Arms                                      L12 1/4  R12 1/4                                                      L12      R12

                 Calves                                     L13      R 13                                                                  L13      R13

                 Chest/Lats                            35 3/4                                                                           36

                 Calipers/LBM                     15.8/104                                                                      15.4/104

I thought it was weird that my measurements were down a bit in my waist and stomach. I feel that even in my pics I look more fluffy than last week, but with my weight staying stable with it, I am taking it as I am still below maintenance. I am definitely not mad about it ha ha.

PicsArt_1405428727602

PicsArt_1405429124094Seeing some minor improvements in my traps, lats, delts, quads, and glutes. I am excited to really grow this season! I had told you a couple of weeks ago that I started a new supplement. The HGH Night Release by Saturn Supplements 

hGH Night Release

Nighttime release with super-charged Free Form AminoAcids and Colostrum. This formula is being used successfully by bodybuilders throughout the world for its multi-leveled strength benefits

I am really excited about this product! I have been sleeping like a baby, which is huge for me!!! We all know that sleep is an important factor to muscle growth. As I explained before, HGH or Human Growth Hormones are produced naturally in every person. It is what causes growth spurts in children, regulates muscle and bone growth, metabolism, and heart function. It is a very anabolic hormone.Women produce more than men, which is weird since men grow muscle easier than we do. Fact is they have much more testosterone than we do ;-) Which is why we do not bulk up easily, even with heavy lifting.

The aminos in the HGH Night Release help boost my HGH levels. With my sleep improving, it’s going to be a huge game changer in my future muscle growth! Aminos are important to muscle growth. Their Free form Amino Blasting Complex combined with, L-Ornithine Muscle blaster, and Colustrum immune response. Make your body a muscle building power house while you sleep. I believe this is going to be a Building Force in my supplement stack!!! Definitely a product worth checking out!!! I will for sure be keeping you all updated on my progress with this product. Check out all their phenomenal supplements by clicking the link below.

Hope you all have a fabulously fit day xoxo

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Some Days Being A Mother Is So Challenging…

Being a mother has been the biggest blessing I could have ever dreamed! I cherish every moment of everyday, even the not so wonderful ones ha ha.

I will say, raising Zoe is the most challenging thing I have ever experienced! She is the most wonderful little girl! Bright, charismatic, spunky, independent, out spoken, strong, funny, I could go on and on. Her strong willed nature, also makes her quite hard headed.

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We keep things structured for her, but as an only child, she is still quite spoiled ha ha. Certain things we do not set limits. Like her style. If she wants to wear mismatched boots and fairy wings to the store, then she does. I don’t see anything wrong with a child expressing themselves.

sassy

She does really well with our lesson plans. Always is very eager to learn. One of her goals this month is to learn to spell, read, and write 5 words. She has been doing so awesome with reading!!! She has the desire to be the best at whatever she does. I am extremely proud of her go for it attitude! ABCmouse has been phenomenal for her. She is more engaged in learning. She loves computer time and excels at whatever lesson they throw at her. It is also easy to write up her daily lessons to coincide with what she is learning on there. If anything, it has made my planning easier!!! While shopping the other night, Josh saw a basic math workbook, so we decided to go ahead and let her take a spin with practicing her addition. So far, so great! She’s caught on super fast! Target had this wipe-able workbook for just a dollar. In our opinion it is never to early to learn anything!!! She has been running around the house adding up everything ha!

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As well as she does academically, she does have a weakness. Zoe by far has one of the worst tempers I have EVER seen. This goes back to her being spoiled and an only child. Josh and I have babied her and we do say yes more than we do say no. When she was a baby, she was so head strong she would hold her breath till she passed out. Sometimes she did this 6+ times a day!!!  1-2yrs old, we chalked up her attitude to her age and frustrations with communicating. She bangged her head on the floor or walls. At 3yrs old, it was terrible 2′s/3′s. She has a tendency to bite her own arm when she mad.Well, now she is 4 and we are running out of excuses, outside of her being a redhead ha ha ha. In all seriousness, we know there is an issue and decided we need to address it and do it quickly before it escalates any further. We started having her do her own workouts like yoga and little circuit training things. That helped some. She loves being active and we love her being active! It certainly has helped with some of the issues.

I talked with many friends as well as some of the daycare staff at the gym. Some of the suggestions had me giggling. One was that Josh and I should just have one or two more kids, then she won’t be so spoiled. Um, yeah….probably not an option we are game for ha ha ha ha. One girl told me to just let her be, that it is awesome she stands her ground. Hmmmm…. yeah not gonna happen ha ha She is NOT going to stand her ground when I am asking her to do something or in some cases NOT do something. Take away everything she has. We tried the take away toys route, she just forgets we took them and doesn’t care much, so that was out. We have actually tried many things to get her under control, all without success. Grounding her from TV or the computer does work pretty well, but can interfere with lessons. The computer is something we uses daily now for her education and I do use the television as well.  One thing we have learned is sitting down with her after she is calm and talking it out. She can be very dramatic, but usually very expressive and open to telling us how she feels and why. From talking with her, we have addressed one issue is that growing up to be a big girl scares her. She always says I just want to be little. To be honest we just want her to be little too xoxo

I think growing up can be very intimidating. We always made comments when getting her to try new things like “Don’t you want to be a big girl?” “Big girls do this” etc We realize now that those comments may not have been a good idea. I think as parents we get so excited that she is big enough to do new things and we can’t wait for her to experience them and we forget to allow her to make her own choices. She may not be ready to try some things and just wants to make the decision for herself. We need to learn to back off and not pressure her so much.

We know this is only part of the attitude that we get from her, but the other half is we both break when she throws fits and we give in too easy. That has been put to a stop. Over the past couple of days we decided to implement a new behavior system. She now has a behavior chart. The objective is to earn 3 stars in one day. One in the morning, afternoon, and evening. She earns these by behaving properly, doing her chores, lesson time, following rules etc.

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First day she only got 2 stars, then lost it in the evening. Threw a kicking and screaming fit over something silly. We stayed strong and just sent her to bed. 2nd day we noticed she caught herself before she totally lost it. She made it the whole day without throwing a MAJOR tantrum. She did get angry and mouth off a bit, but not like she normally did. This is progress!!! Even though her behavior was not where we want it yet, I want her to see that with good behavior comes reward.

The agreement we have with her is that for every 3 star day she gets a “Zoe Buck” which is = to $1

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When we have our normal family days, she is accustomed to getting whatever she throws a fit for in the store. This is stopping!!!!! She now only gets something she earns. We decided the best route for her is to take her to a dollar store like DollarTree or anyplace that only sells things for $1. She can take her “Zoe Bucks” and spend them on her own. No “Zoe Bucks” means no goodies. She seems to get it and likes the idea of getting to shop on her own at the dollar store. We figure it is also another good way to teach math as well as the importance of saving. Granted I am sure learning to save will have to come later ;-)

We are both hopeful that this will be a game changer in her behavior. I will definitely be keeping you all up to date on it!!!

Do your kids throw fits? What do you do to get them to calm down and listen?

Hope you all have a fabulously fit day!! xoxo

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Time To Kick This Week Off Right!!!!

Happy Monday!!!

Rest days seem to be harder to take when I am not in contest prep! I have so much more energy and drive now. Crazy what boosting your calories will do ha ha. I am so motivated to start building. Today is date day back training with my honey and you can bet I am gonna hit the weights hard and strive for PR’s!!!

It’s Monday and I am more than ready to make the most of this week!!!! As always let’s kick it off with Lady Swole Monday

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There are people that will find every excuse in the book to not achieve their goals. No time, I’m too tired, It’s too hot/cold, etc Those are just ways to make themselves feel better because they didn’t want it bad enough. If you truly want something, you will find a way to get it done! No try, no maybe, you just do it!!!!  If you have the desire and drive to achieve your dreams, there is NO stopping you!!! Get up, get yourself motivated, and make it happen ;-) No one can stand in your way as long as YOU know that you can do it!

Happy Monday! I hope you all have a fabulously fit day xoxo

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Why “Clean” Eating Wasn’t For Me

I had a friend ask me what I have against “clean” eating. In all honesty, I have nothing against it. Just isn’t for me. When I started my journey in 2010 I was all for clean eating. I researched everything and scoured food labels. I was trying my hardest to make sure we weren’t eating chemicals and additives.

What ended up happening in my case, was that I started to obsess about everything we bought. Grocery shopping became more of a hassle as well as more expensive. I wasn’t losing weight STILL, which was confusing and frustrating to me. I was constantly being told “Eat clean and you will see results!” This led to beating myself up mentally and a boarder line Eating disorder.

My husband and I talked about it and realized that there needed to be a better balance. So from clean eating, I went to just eating healthy, but I was still not going to eat what I considered junk. That mentality was just set in. I had changed the definition for my family’s version of “Clean” eating. To us, it was just eating healthy foods. They didn’t have to be organic or what some label as clean. At this point I was still not weighting out my food, or tracking macros. A friend mentioned that it may be the reason I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. When I started tracking my foods, I was all over the place. I wasn’t using a scale, usually just measuring cups/spoons and eyeballing portions. I did begin to see some changes, but nothing drastic. My husband suggested I start weighing everything out. Now that was a game changer ;-) Results were happening!!!! I was excited! Until I plateaued. I couldn’t figure things out. I just knew that there was something I was missing. Mind you at this point I had been dieting on and off for over 2 years. I was frustrated, because I really wanted to enjoy the little things in life like cake and ice cream. It was hard for me. I didn’t want to tell Zoe that certain foods were bad per say. Obviously, I didn’t want her to start having a bad relationship with food too! I continued the healthier eating and weighing out and tracking calories and macros. Results were better, but still not on point. That was more of a knowing what my macros needed to be than what I was actually eating.

It wasn’t till August or September of last year that I realized IIFYM was an actual diet. I had seen pictures/memes and facebook comments. I had always thought it was just an inside bodybuilding/fitness joke where people would just say “If it fits your macros” as a funny way of excusing a cheat.

A few people I follow and respect started posting about Flexible dieting. I was like REALLY!?!? Is this for real??? Naturally, as I do everything, I started researching. I came across Dr. Layne Norton and his vast collection of YouTube videos and I was intrigued to say the least. For me, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was just starting my cut and was ready for a change. I was, however, apprehensive to say the least. Eating a diet that included junk food, didn’t seem like the best idea. After doing more research, I realized quickly that Flexible Dieting isn’t all junk food and that there was a science behind the madness.

The results I was seeing from my friends were mind blowing. The photos of the foods they were eating, even more so! Letting go of the original mind set I had in the beginning of my journey was a hard adjustment, so you can only imagine how hard it was for me at first to incorporate foods I haven’t eaten guilt free in years. It was at this point, that I realized how much of a mental battle my dieting has truly been, not to mention how dysfunctional my mindset about food was.

Flexible dieting has freed me from the “Good food, Bad food” mentality. I eat healthy 80% of the day. Healthy as in veggies, lean meats, etc. I no longer have cheats. I just eat what I want everyday. I suppose I am still obsessed to an extent as far as weighing out my foods, but it is less of an issue than the whole “Clean” eating fiasco ha ha. It is nice to be able to enjoy snacks/meals with my husband and daughter. Especially when we go places like the Zoo, theme parks, fairs, or just shopping. I am a happier person overall and feel that my lifestyle has a good balance now.

It was so difficult in the beginning of my journey to have balance. Everything was always either good or bad. There was never a middle ground. Obviously, I know IIFYM isn’t for everyone. My husband actually has a hard time with it. He is an all or nothing kind of person ;-) For example, if there is a package of Oreos and he can only fit one in his macros, you can guarantee that he will eat 5+ cookies ha ha ha Needless to say, when he diets he tends to stick with what most in the industry call “Bro Foods” Ex. Rice, chicken, veggies etc and he will schedule himself cheat meals instead of eating the goodies all the time ;-)

He has his way, I have mine ha ha ha It is definitely still a disciplined way of life, but for me IIFYM works and it works well!

I know many worry about the effects of eating things like chips, cookies, and poptarts. I worry more about depriving myself of being happy and teaching my daughter to have issues with food. She understands why I weigh out my foods. We explained that mommy has certain goals to obtain and I eat exact amounts of certain foods to grow my body in the direction of my goals. The fact that we can still bake cupcakes together and I can actually sit and enjoy them with her while seeing results, assures me that I am on the right track. Leading a lifestyle that is sustainable is much more important to me than just a diet that will make me lean and deprived.

Hope you all have a fabulously fit day xoxo

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So….I Offended Quite A Few People….

So at the beginning of the week I posted about MLM businesses that make promises they can’t necessarily keep. This post came about after I saw 6 separate ladies, whom do not know each other or are even involved in the same companies, post on Facebook that they were doing some “Quick Fix” nonsense 21 day, 3 day, 30 day whatever it all was and they didn’t see the results they had believed they would. They were seriously bashing themselves. Tearing themselves down because they believe the lack of results was their fault!

What was more messed up, to me anyway, was the fact that everyone of them posted immediately after how awesome their company is. Call me crazy, but any company, diet, products, wrap, etc that has enough hold on you to make you feel as if you aren’t good enough because you didn’t reach the results it promised or that you thought it promised, can’t be that great! I actually came under attack via email, Facebook messaging, etc. Apparently my opinion offended several who are affiliated with these companies. Fact is I don’t care! Just as you are entitled to promote them, I am entitled to not like them.

opinion

This isn’t a post about tearing apart what others support. Another fact is I am all for anything that gets people to eat better, be more active, lead a healthier lifestyle, and love themselves. Let’s face it, we are all on the same journey. That is why we follow each other on social media right? My issue with these companies is that people believe that they need the detoxes/cleanses,Or that they will lose an amazing amount of weight in 21 days. There is no quick fix You probably will lose 10lbs the first time you do a 21/30 day program. If you are drinking more water and your calories go into a deficit, then yeah anyone would lose that amount of weight, but what happens after the 21 days??? You plateau? You gain it back? If you are not leading a lifestyle that is realistic, will it continue to show you results?  Probably not.

Most of the people who have contacted me this week have been with Beachbody. Since those are the ones who want to send mean emails and nasty comments I will address my issues with that company mainly, but my feelings for the other companies are pretty much the same across the board. I personally am not a fan of any MLM companies. Reason being is in my opinion, they are set up like pyramid schemes. Every one of them say they are not and each one has it’s own definition for why it’s not, but plain and simple they are! I actually saw a Beachbody coach post this and it is NOT the definition of pyramid scheme, but it’s what they are convincing others. Sorry for the small screen shot ;-)

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This is the actual definition of a pyramid scheme via Google

pyr·a·mid scheme
noun
  1. a form of investment (illegal in the US and elsewhere) in which each paying participant recruits two further participants, with returns being given to early participants using money contributed by later ones.
    Being that you recruit a “Team” of coaches and you make a return on what they sell and who they recruit. Based on what they do again,  in my opinion they are no better than a pyramid scheme.

I think there are great aspects of Beachbody, as well as some of the other companies. I also feel there are some misleading factors. Workout dvd’s and motivational anything is awesome in my book. I also don’t have a problem with supplements. Obviously, I am sponsored by a supplement company and I do use them. I use them to supplement my nutrition, so I am not lacking in my micro nutrients and sometimes my macro nutrients. My problem with some of these other companies is that their “coaches” are selling people on the idea that they drink a shake and they lose weight, or that just drinking a shake for a meal is a healthy replacement to eating real food. This is far from the truth! Not only that, but can actually be harmful for you!!! Yes I drink protein shakes, but I will choose to eat a meal over drinking a shake anytime! If I am low on protein for the day, then yes I will add some to my meal or drink. SUPPLEMENT… see how that works? These people paid money to become “coaches” basically they have taken a workshop that explains the products and how they can grow their “business” They are not nutritionists or certified trainers. Most have very little knowledge about nutrition or training at all!!! Yet, they are the ones who many are seeking answers from…..

Here is a list of current MLM companies that are marketing shakes. You can find this exact list for every single company. I have no idea why the protein amount isn’t listed on these, but it’s whatever. The healthiest “meal replacement” shakes in my opinion is the Advocare or Isagenix ones. At least they have a realistic amount of macros/calories. I mean seriously who only eat a 90 or even 70 calorie meal???

So they set people up to starve themselves. That’s healthy right? One person who was tearing herself down, was doing the 3-day refresh by Beachbody. I watched her posts for 3 days. To be perfectly clear, I do NOT know what the nutrition plan they have with this is. What I do know is that the meals she was posting over the 3 day period all looked to be 100 calories or less. Her post at the end was self defeated, depressed, and to be honest I felt horrible for her. She didn’t achieve the results she thought she would and blamed herself, even though she had publicly kept herself accountable. Others obviously felt the same as I did. She had all kinds of people trying to boost her back up in the comments. She is actually one of the people who was upset with my post. She was much nicer about it than the others, but upset nonetheless. And still blamed herself in the end. The page with the 3-day refresh diet on their website, which by the way is $70, blatantly states results may vary (which is obvious), but that testimonials have used more than one or extended use of products. How many is extended? Unless you have kidney or liver failure, why do youeven need a refresh or cleanse anyway???

Again, I am not wanting to bash anyone’s methods of losing weight or getting fit. We all know that there are several healthy ways to go about it and that everyone has their own goals and is on their own journey. I am just a promoter of leading a realistic lifestyle with healthy balance. I also am a firm believer in research. Find out what is healthy and what is true. You can lose the weight on your own without spending hundreds of dollars. Weight loss is calorie deficit, plain and simple. It isn’t a claim, it has been proven.  Science backs it up.

If your plan has you hating yourself, then it might be time to rethink it. Your goal to a healthier you, should include loving yourself. I especially stress this when you have little eyes watching you ;-) Your children learn what they live. If mom or dad is constantly tearing themselves down, you can bet your child is hearing/watching this and doing it to themselves. Self hate is a learned behavior. I learned it from my mom, but I will be damned if Zoe will learn it from me!!!

 

If you enjoy those shakes, then by all means buy/sell them. I certainly am not knocking that. But, don’t pretend that those products got you where you are. Fact is, your diet and activity level did. The shakes may have aided, but are not the whole picture. You may be called a “coach” with the company, but don’t lead others to believe that you are something you are not.

Hope this doesn’t make the nasty messages worse ha ha ha, but opens a few eyes. My goal is always to educate not tear down anyone’s dreams.

Of course I am going to continue to support my sponsor as they do me! Note, I do not make money from this company. I do receive supplements. I believe in Saturn Supplements and their products. I have used these and supported these products since December of 2012, well before there was any talk or even thought of sponsorship ;-) I would never promote any product I didn’t believe in, nor make claims that I didn’t support. I am sure many of you feel the same way about the products you sell. I plain and simple support the products, because they are what I use and what I love. I believe in honest and real companies and Saturn Supplements is just that! No smoke no mirrors….

Hope you all have a fabulously fit day xoxo

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Reverse Dieting Check In #Week4 #SaturnStrong @SaturnMuscle

I am so ready for my weekly check in!

Last week I was a bit worried, because my weight was up .4lbs Not because I am scared of gaining weight, but because I don’t want it to happen so soon. I truly am hoping my maintenance is much much higher than where I am currently. I want to take this process as slow as possible. I suspect that my weight was up, because I was retaining water from my cycle which I now dub shark week ha ha ha ;-) Someone else in one of my Facebook groups called it that and I thought what a hilariously perfect name!!!

Typically my weight fluctuates 2-5lbs that week, so it makes total sense.

I am now 5 weeks post contest and into my 4th week of reverse dieting. My contest macros were… 1494kcals, 112 carbs,  132 protein, 58 fat, with fiber between 25-35g I am so happy to say that I am currently standing at 1858kcals, 175 carbs, 132 protein, 70 fat, and fiber still at 25-35. Believe it or not, my weight has gone down a bit since I started! My first week my recorded weight was 124.8. I should have taken measurements, but with all the chaos from family in town and Zoe’s birthday I didn’t :-/ This is where I stand this week….

Weight: 124.2

Waist: 26 1/4

Stomach: 29 1/4

Rump: 34 1/2

Thighs: L 18 1/2 R 18 1/2

Arms: L 12 1/4 R 12

Calves: L 13 R 13

Chest/Lats: 35 3/4

Caliper reading at 15.8 with LBM 104

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As excited as I am to start growing, the plan is and has been to get my metabolism working at optimum performance. I feel at this point I am definitely on the right track. I will continue to inch up my kcals/carbs slowly.

My training has also been going phenomenal! We have tweaked my training again and have been making small changes each week to make sure that I am progressing the way I need to. I am putting the most focus on Back, Delts, and Legs. Those are my hardest training days. Biceps, Triceps, Chest, and Abs I am still working hard, but since those are not my weak points they can be doubled up on their training days.

I mentioned that I have added Farmer Walks as my form of cardio. I am LOVING them!!! They not only are whooping my booty, but I have noticed a huge difference in my grip strength as well as endurance. This is important, because it affects a lot of my heavier lifts, such as deadlifts. I am pretty proud that I was able to pull 195lbs for 5 reps on my 4th working set this week!!!! I am going for 200+lbs next week!!!! I am sure the extra calories helps too ;-)

I am enjoying the reverse dieting process. Staying patient and doing a slow increase has been very beneficial and worth it to me. Some have asked how long I will bulk for? At this time, I can’t say for sure since I don’t know when I will actually get to start my bulking calories. I am sure it will start soon, but again hopefully not TOO soon. ;-) I will probably bulk until next summer. Josh and I have discussed when I will do my next show and we both think it will be best for me to do a fall show in 2015. This will give me more than enough time to grow as well as cut back down. I need to gain as much muscle in this time period as I can and being that I am still fairly new to lifting this is the prime time to pack on as much muscle as possible! For every year you train properly and hard, you can cut the amount of muscle growth in half. Newbies get the best muscle gains. Women naturally have a hard time gaining anyway, so I really need to maximize this time as much as I can!!!

I am hoping to get closer 2500kcals before I hit maintenance, so fingers crossed!!! This would be probably another 8-12 weeks. Even when I get to maintenance, I will continue to inch those calories up slowly into my bulking process. Although it seems to take forever, the process is working and I do trust it!

Hope this answers some questions and I do thank you for continuing to join me as I venture further into this journey!!!!

Have a fabulously fit day and as always, be sure to show my sponsor some love ;-) They are still running an unbelievable sale on all of their products for the 25th anniversary of Saturn Supplement!

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Monday or “My Day”

Finally it’s MONDAY or “My Day”

I hope you all had a fabulous 4th!!! Josh works retail, so weekends are not usually family days. He was able to get away from work early on Friday so we could enjoy the fireworks together. It was just a lovely evening.

I hit the apartment gym for a makeshift chest/ab session, but it was sub par to what I am use to. Made the weekend seem so long!!!! I am more than ready to get into the gym today and train back with my hubby. He pushes me to go harder, which is really what I need right now!!!

Let’s get motivated to kick this week off right! As always here is last week’s Lady Swole Monday ;-)

lsm13

Let’s kick it into high gear and really smash this week’s goals!!! Hope you all have an amazing day!!! xoxo

Be sure to check out my sponsor! They have a ton of new and amazing products!!!

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Women & Gaining Muscle.What I Have Learned Since My Last Bulk….

Hope everyone had an awesome Independence Day!

I spent the day at the pool relaxing with Zoe. My gym’s daycare was closed for the holiday, so had to move my chest/ab training to late last night, after the fireworks of course ;-) I have goals, so the holiday is no excuse to skip the gym.

I had someone ask about my training and if it has changed dramatically since last year. I have to say it really has!!! I use to think that women and men train the same for the same results, I have learned this is not true entirely.

Women should absolutely lift heavy and do the same lifts as men. Squats, deadlifts, bench press, etc are all detrimental to muscle growth. What I have learned is women’s body respond better to little rest between sets, rather than the longer rests men tend to take. The intensity of your training is very important. Most men even take too long to rest. Unless you are power lifting, 60-90 seconds is more than enough time to rest and much more effective for muscle hypertrophy.

To determine how long you need to rest during your workout, follow the guidelines below:

Goal: Muscular Endurance 
Reps: 12-20
Rest time: 30-45 seconds

Goal: Muscular Hypertrophy
Reps: 6-12
Rest time: 60-90 seconds

Goal: Muscular Strength
Reps: 3-5
Rest time: 2-4 minutes

Goal: Muscular Power
Reps: 1-3
Rest time: 3-5 minutes

Don’t think that this time is only meant for complete rest. Make use of these extra minutes by foam rolling tight muscles, working opposing muscle groups, or refining and focusing your technique for the next set.

My goal in this off season is to take full advantage of every opportunity to grow as much muscle as possible. As a woman I know this is a very difficult task. Especially since this is my 2nd year truly lifting the right way. The first year a woman lifts is the one she grows the most. Muscle growth has many factors. Ex. age, genetics, proper training, how long you have been lifting, calorie intake, etc. I am taking on calories slowly. At this point I have not hit my maintenance yet, which is a great thing! I am going up to 1856 kcals on Sunday. As much as I want to grow, I also want my metabolism to be working at optimal performance. As I always say, it is all a learning process.

I truly wish I knew last year what I know now. I feel that I really could have grown more. Great thing is I am learning and improving!!!! I know better this year than to jump from a cut into a bulk. Taking it slow is the best way to optimize muscle growth with little fat. It also allows my metabolism to adjust to taking on more calories again. Last year I just jumped blindly into eating in surplus. I was tracking my macros, but had no idea really what ratio was the best for muscle gains. I gained way more fat than muscle. I know fat gain is part of the process, but this year I want to do this the right way!

I am researching as much as possible. Surprisingly enough, what I have found so far is mostly directed towards men. It is hard to find articles about women and bodybuilding, unless it is one that is just squashing the myths that ladies won’t get bulky. Kind of frustrating. I am blessed to know several in the industry who are willing to answer questions. YouTube has been huge for me this year! I wish they had better captioning though. I have been using my headphones to try to hear better and obviously reading lips, but man some people do not enunciate their words ha ha ha ha. Definitely makes video watching a longer process ha ha ha.

As I am going into week 4 of my reverse dieting, I am feeling more confident, strong, and determined. My training is so much more intense. My body is definitely feeling the difference! I will continue to keep researching and sharing what I have learned, as well as updating my progress!

Hope you all have a fabulously fit weekend!

*Reference Http://www.MensFitness.com

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