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How I Fuel My Workouts

Good morning Health & Fitness Enthusiasts!

 

Long time, no write (at some point that’s got to stop being my introduction lol)! Today, I am writing to tell you how I fuel my workouts and give you some tips and ideas on how to fuel yours. I am currently competing in the Ultimate Oxygen Challenge on Team Amanda, and let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy! But, I’m proud to say that I’ve stuck with it against ALL odds. And, if you’ve been keeping up with my blog (or atleast trying to), you’ve probably noticed that I don’t tend to stick with things. But, I am in the home stretch and I definitely want to win! If I do, I will be on the cover of Oxygen Magazine and possibly get sponsored by BSN which would be BEYOND awesome. So, I have to give every workout my absolute best to achieve the results I’m after and ultimately win the competition. Here is a breakdown of what fuels my workouts, from music to nutrition to supplements.

Pre-Workout

Whether I’m doing cardio, weights or both, I ALWAYS train with something in my stomach. I’m not a fan of fasted cardio. Why? Because food is your energy source and without it, your endurance and energy will dwindle. But with it, you will be able to lift heavier, run farther and persevere without falling asleep on the mat at the end of your workout.

What I eat before I workout, depends on what my workout will consist of. Before weight training, I usually have a Protein shake 30 min-1 hour before my weight lifting session. What kind of protein shake, you ask?

Here are my recommendations:

BSN Syntha-6 and Syntha-6 Isolate

syntha-6-lrgIf you’re anything like me, you’re extremely picky when it comes to protein shakes. I have tried tons of brands and flavors and I usually just down it like a shot to get it over with because I can’t stand the taste. Well, BSN has some amazing flavors and no aftertaste! My favorite is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, but they have everything from Peanut Butter Cookie to Strawberries and Creme to Vanilla Ice Cream*, so there’s something for everyone. Aside from taste, these protein shakes deliver between 22-25g of protein and only 2g of sugar per serving. If you are focusing on leaning out and cutting calories, the Syntha-6 Isolate has 150 calories per serving and only 1.5g of fat as opposed to 200 calories and 6g of fat.  For more info on these products and fun recipes, check out: http://www.gobsn.com/product/syntha6isolate.html

*Check back for a future post on healthy ice cream using the Vanilla Ice Cream Flavor protein powder:-)

Eat the Bear Uncaged 2.5 and 5.0

ETB UncagedFor added energy and a greater pump, take 1/2-full scoop of this pre-workout. Eat The Bear offers some of the cleanest supplements on the market, and with no sugar or calories in this pre-workout, it’s definitely a winner. If you’ve never taken a pre-workout before or if you’re sensitive to caffeine, I would recommend starting with 1/2 scoop and assessing your tolerance before increasing to a full scoop. Pre-workouts should be taken 30min-1 hour before you plan to workout. For more pre-workout supplements from Eat The Bear, check out: http://www.etbfit.com/pre-workout-energy/

 

L-Carnitine

Carnitine is a supplement that helps the body turn fat into energy, aka a natural fat burner. I like carnitine because it’s stimulant free and it helps me sweat more during my workouts. This is a great supplement for those who are sensitive to caffeine or who train at night.

 

BSN Hyper Shred

hyper shred

Since I am in Month 3 of my journey to winning the Ultimate Oxygen Challenge, I have added in an additional fat burner. I love this because it really helps me to focus on my workouts and that additional focus allows me to dig deep when I’m sore and tired to push through and finish what I started! **One important thing I do want to mention, is to not mix a pre-workout with a fat burner. If you have a high tolerance for caffeine, then by all means, do both, but if you’re like me and your skin gets tingly and you feel nauseous after too much caffeine, don’t do it! I LOVE coffee and there’s no way I’m giving up my morning cup of Joe for a supplement. So, if I’m going to take a pre-workout, I don’t take a fat burner, and vice versa. Listen to your body and do what’s best for you!**

 

During the Workout

Alright, you’ve taken your supplements and you’re at the gym about to start your workout. Now what? Here are a couple things that keep me going especially when the training gets tough!

BSN Amino X

amino xAmino X is a great blend of Amino acids that helps you to hold on to your muscle while dieting. If I am doing cardio and weights, I usually will drink Amino X during my cardio to give me a little extra energy and to preserve the muscle I’ve worked so hard to build! Blue RaZ is my favorite flavor because it tastes like Blue Cotton Candy, but again, there are several flavors to choose from, so choose the flavor that sounds the most appealing to you:-)

 

 

 

 

 

Glutamine

glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid that is great for recovery. And, with the intense training I’ve been doing, I need added help to recover from my workouts lol! This is the brand I use, but there are tons of brands that you can pick from. I like this one in particular because it’s unflavored, so I can stack it with my protein shake or Amino X. If I am doing cardio and weights, I’ll mix it with the Amino X and drink it during cardio. If I’m just doing weights, I’ll mix it with my protein shake after my workout.

 

 

 

 

Music

This is probably the most important supplement to my workouts lol! I LOVE music, and research actually shows that the right music motivates you to work harder in your workouts. I know that’s true for me. I like to use Spotify because for $9.99/mos I can stream and play tons of songs, follow other people’s playlists, and create playlists of my own. Here are my Top 3 Workout Songs Right Now*:

3. Vanity – Christina Aguilera

2. GDFR – Flo Rida feat Sage the Gemini

1. Let it Burn – Stic Man (He actually has a whole album called, “The Workout” with a lot of motivating tracks)

*More Workout Songs to Come in a Future Post

Post Workout

Alright, you’ve finished your workout. Now how do you refuel your muscles to aid in recovery and growth? 3 of the supplements I mentioned before, Amino X, Glutamine, and Protein Shakes are some of my go-to’s post workout. I’m not the type of person to drink 3 protein shakes a day. I LOVE to eat, and I believe that eating real food should be the foundation of any nutrition plan and supplements should be just that a supplement to healthy eating. So, when I drink my protein shake, depends on when I workout. If I workout first thing in the morning, I will have a protein shake with my fat burners. If I’m working out after breakfast, I’ll drink it after. Tailor it around your schedule.

Here are some whole food snacks I like to eat after I workout:

-Small apple with a tbsp of almond butter

-12 almonds and a serving of fruit (This depends on what kind of fruit I have in the house. Right now, it’s kiwi:-) )

-Zucchini “ice cream” (recipe to come in a later post)

-Protein cookie dough (recipe to come in a later post)

Well, I hope all of that helped and you now have more tools for what can give your workouts an extra boost! Tune in next week for some fun protein recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth:-)

 

 

posted by admin in Bikini Competition,Building Muscle,Diet,Exercise,Motivation,Weight Loss,Workouts and have No Comments

Five MUST-HAVES Before Competing in a Bikini Competition

Thinking about competing in a bikini or figure competition? Before you start creating your meal and workout plans, make sure you have thess 5 things:

1. Measuring spoons/cups 

3554measuring-cups

It is ESSENTIAL that you know how much you are eating when preparing for a bikini or figure competition. I like measuring my food so that I know exactly how much I am eating, but for those who do not (which is probably the majority, haha), just measure for 2-3 weeks. After that time, you should be able to eyeball how much a 1/2 c, 1 tbsp, etc is. You can also download this handy dandy guide to your computer to reference: http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/media/pdf/diet/portion-control-guide.pdf

2. Food/workout log

loseit

In addition to having measuring cups on hand (and possibly a food scale), you will need to log your workouts and food. This is very important, because you will want to know what your ratio of macronutrients is every day (i.e., how much protein you are eating in relation to carbs and healthy fats). I like to use LoseIt, which has an app for my phone that allows me to scan barcodes of foods and input recipes. My favorite part about it is that I receive badges for logging and working out consistently (among other things). Other food/workout logs that work well are Sparkpeople  and My Fitness Pal. Find the one that works best for you and keep track of what and how much you are eating, as well as what you are doing for your workouts: how much weight you are lifting, how many reps/sets, how much cardio and what that cardio is, etc.

3. Gym membership or home gym

gym

Eating right is more than 80% of the battle, but you will also need to workout in order to gain muscle and lose fat. And by workout, I don’t just mean doing hours of cardio and weight training with 3-5lb dumbbells for 20-50 reps-__- That’s not how you win a bikini/figure competition, or lose fat effectively for that matter. The common misconception among women is that lifting heavy weights will cause them to “bulk up.” That is a myth! Unless you are drinking testosterone for breakfast, you won’t naturally produce enough on your own to put on size like men do. Weights actually have the opposite effect on women. It is what causes us to lean out, sculpt out bodies, burn more calories at rest, and a whole slew of other things! But anyways, the point is that you need access to heavy weights whether it is from your home or at a local gym in order to train effectively.

4. Epsom salt

epsom-salt-bath

This is one of my staples. I take an Epsom salt bath every week to ease sore muscles. Just add 1-2 cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath and let the relaxation begin–your muscles will thank you:-)

 

 

 

 

5. Varying sources of motivation

yeshaira

Training for a competition is no easy task, and there are going to be days that you don’t want to wake up at 6:00am to do cardio or go lift weights after work. That is where extra motivation comes to the rescue. Here are just a few things that motivate me:

-I reward myself at the end of each week with something small that will keep me working towards my goal. Sometimes it is workout equipment, clothes, or dvds, other times it’s lingerie, a book (about health & fitness), or workout shoes. Something that you want and will look forward to getting, and will work towards for 7 days.

-Watching Youtube videos and reading articles about competing

-Attending a local competition

-Posting pictures on my wall and on my tablet (as the desktop/lockscreen background)

-Reminding myself of how good I will feel after my workout has ended

 

Remember that you should enjoy the process. Enjoy your workouts and healthy eating–make it fun! Before choosing to compete, really evaluate why you are doing this–you should be doing it for YOU. It shouldn’t be a chore to prepare for a competition, it should be challenging yet fun!

 

Until next time,

posted by admin in Bikini Competition,Motivation and have No Comments