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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:-)

 

 

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Meet Rachel Cammon

Though a few days late, I would like to introduce to you Rachel Cammon as well as share how training is going. So without further ado,

Introducing Rachel Cammon

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Rachel Cammon, like the other women I’ve spotlighted, is amazing! She works for Ascend Pharmaceuticals in Colorado, so she spends a lot of time traveling to meet with different doctors. So, how exactly does she find time to train as an IFBB Pro?? Skill. She placed 1st in the very first FIGURE competition she ever did–amazing. Then, went on to place 2nd in a Colorado State competition and won 1st in her class in her 1st National show in Vegas. Unbelievable! Her and India Paulino (another amazing IFBB pro you will meet soon) have the quickest rises to the tops that I’ve stumbled upon and it’s so inspirational. It motivates me because I can do it too! I have faith in myself, I’ve been working hard, and this has been an especially good week. I’ve found what works for me both diet and exercise wise & I’m sticking with it. 6 weeks to go! Eeeeeekkkk!

Until next time…

Sources:

www.rachelcammon.com

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Meet Angelique Millis

Before I introduce you to my Desktop Star of the Week, I wanted to share my progress! Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to go to Jillian Michael’s Maximize Your Life tour and boy, is she amazing! She’s been my favorite trainer since the first time I saw her on Biggest Loser, but as I’ve gotten to know her (through her books & tv shows, lol), I’ve learned that she’s so much more than an awesome trainer! She not only inspired me to become a trainer 2 years ago, but also her book Unlimited and her work with Danni has helped me tremendously in my journey to supreme health! I’ve learned that I have to address the mental issues before I can achieve my goals. It has been tough, but after seeing her in person,everything I read has been solidified and this week so far has been awesome! As I write, I’m actually at Ruby Tuesday enjoying a night out with myself as a reward for my hardwork thus far:-) But enough about me! Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for!

Introducing Angelique Millis…

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Angelique Millis is my Desktop Star of the week because her story is similar to mine. She gained weight her freshmen year–40 pounds to be exact–and decided to do something about it! It’s uplifting to see someone where you were get to where you want to me. She is presently a bikini competitor, author, fitness profresssional and life coach. She’s written an ebook, The Fit Success Lifestyle Program, several articles, and has even created her own workout entitled, Fit in 30. I chose her this week in particular because at the end of this week, if I stay consistent with my diet and training, I will earn her ebook! I’m looking forward to it, because I KNOW that I can do it.

Until next week…

posted by admin in Building Muscle,Diet,Emotional Eating,Exercise,Overeating,Overweight,Weight Loss,Workouts and have No Comments

Meet Marzia Prince!

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Less than 10 weeks until my 1st bikini competition & training has been going great! My suit & heels came last week, as well as a Posing DVD I ordered. I also went to a competition last Saturday–boy, was that exciting! I feel highly motivated & confident that I can crush the competition, so long as I stay consistent:-) For anyone who’s looking to compete, I highly recommend going to a competition or two first before you decide. It’ll give you an idea of what the judges are looking for and you’ll be able to see what the compeition will be like. All this has been so motivating to me during this journey, as well as this IFBB bikini professional, personal trainer, and fitness model, Marzia Prince!

Marzia Prince caught my eye not only because she’s drop dead gorgeous, but because she’s a vegan bikini competitor! I have spent lots of time researching nuttition and the health benefits of eating a plant-based, nutrient dense diet. To find someone who is vegan and has gone pro is so inspiring! She has occassional treat meals, so she’s vegan about 90-95% of the time, which is exactly where I want to be soon! I am not yet vegan, but I do plan to slowly move into that direction:-)

Other things that are awesome about Marzia Prince are her love for fitness, her desire to help others, and how highly motivated she is. In addition to holding a personal trainer certification, she is also a certified nutitionist and life coach. As I complete my last 2 days of her sample workout plan*, I thought it would be fitting to spotlight her. So meet Marzia Prince, my desktop Star of the Week!

Until next week,

*Find the sample workout plan I followed for the last 3 weeks here as well as other info about Marzia Prince & a sample vegan meal plan: http://www.simplyshredded.com/ifbb-bikini-pro-and-fitness-model-marzia-prince-talks-with-simplyshredded-com.html

posted by admin in Building Muscle,Diet,Exercise,Uncategorized,Weight Loss,Workouts and have Comment (1)

Meet Alissa Carpio

aliimage

As I prepare for my first bikini competition this June, I’ve decided to spotlight some amazing competitors I’ve encoutered on my journey to optimum health. Not only will I write a blog about them, but I will also put their photos as my desktop and lock screen backgrounds! I’ve chosen these men/women because of their inspiring stories and how I’ve identifed with them. So sit back, and enjoy this short piece on Alissa Carpio, NASM Certified personal trainer, mother, competition coach, and NPC figure & fitness competitor.

Alissa Carpio became interested in weight lifting while in the Army. One of her friends shared what he knew about bodybuilding with her and after seeing female bodybuilders in the back of  a muscle magazine, she was hooked. She spent hours every day researching competition diets, training, and any other information she could get her hands on. Two years later she competed in her first competition on June 14, 2003 and placed 3rd. She’s been on a roll until giving birth to her son in October 2009, and I’m sure she’ll be back at it soon!

I stumbled upon Alissa on bodybuilding.com on which she has written an amazing article entitled, “Figure it Out.” It breaks down what you need to be doing 12-8 weeks out, 8-4 weeks out, and 4 weeks-competition day. It talks about everything from diet and training, to suits, shoes, and tanning. Check it out here: http:// www.bodybuilding.com/fun/alissa29.htm

I am inspired by her drive and ability to place in her first show! I’m also drawn to her because she is a fellow Christian and NASM certified personal trainer. The article she wrote has been extremely helpful to me and for that she is my Desktop Star of the Week!

As for me, I have spent the last week figuring out my diet, mainly what my macronutrient ratio should be each day. After reading several articles and crunching a few numbers, I’ve determined that I need 144g of protein, 144g of carbs, and 31g fat each day! So far, so good. I went grocery shopping yesterday, so I’m prepared. I have to admit that last week I let the carb lover inside of me do the shopping, and that made my diet high carb/high fat and not nearly enough protein. I’m proud of myself for standing in that grocery store yesterday and saying, “No” to the foods I wanted and “Yes” to the foods I need! I’ll be attending a fitness competition tomorrow to see what it’s like before I send in my application on Monday, so I’ll let you know what I thought:-)

Until then…

 

Sources:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/alissa29.htm

http://www.alissacarpio.blogspot.com

http://www.hardfitness.com/profiles/alissacarpio

http://www.alissacarpiofitness.com

 

 

 

posted by admin in Building Muscle,Diet,Exercise and have No Comments

Checking In

We’re nearly halfway through the second month of the year. How are you coming towards reaching your health and fitness goals? Did you set a New Year’s Resolution to get in shape? Do you have a goal to run a couple races this year? What about a goal to be more active? Whatever your New Year’s Resolution was this year, DON’T GIVE UP ON IT! Here are some tips on how to keep going strong towards reaching your goals anytime of year:

1.       Find an accountability partner or support group.

It’s always easier and more fun to work towards a goal when you have someone cheering you on. Tell people about your goals and ask for their support. You need people to encourage you along this journey, whether you’re trying to lose weight, get more active, or just eat better. It’s important that the people in your life know what you’re working towards so they can help you get there.

2.      Write down your goals.

Write them in a place that you will see them every day. I have sticky notes all around my condo with words to motivate me to keep pushing towards my goals. I’m also working on making a wall of affirmations with quotes to inspire me, and I have a couple collages of pictures to motivate me to keep pushing. You want to constantly remind yourself of what your goals are, so you won’t lose focus or motivation to reach them.

3.      Stay positive!

Remember, when you are losing weight the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. You may be making healthy eating choices and working out consistently for a couple weeks, and yet you still see the same number on the scale. DON’T PANIC! That’s completely normal, because once you start building muscle, your body frame could very well be changing, even though your weight is staying the same. Use other forms of measurements, such as body fat testing and circumference measurements. Also, always look at the glass as half full, not half empty. Yes, we are in the month of February, which means there are 10 more months left this year. But, if you look at it that way, you’ll never reach your goal because you’ll always be focused on how long you have to go instead of how far you’ve come. Take it one day at a time and praise yourself for every accomplishment you make, no matter how small. That is how you will be successful and that is what  will keep you motivated.

 

 

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Don’t Quit: Tips for Busting through that Workout Rut

“Don’t quit when the tide is lowest,

For it’s just about to turn;

Don’t quit over doubts and questions,

For there’s something you may learn.

Don’t quit when the night is darkest,

For it’s just a while ‘til dawn;

Don’t quit when you’ve run the farthest,

For the race is almost won.

Don’t quit when the hill is steepest,

For your goal is almost nigh;

Don’t quit, for you’re not a failure

Until you fail to try.”

-Jill Wolf

I know weight loss is hard. I’ve definitely been where you are now. Tired of working out, tired of eating right, tired of stepping on the scale and seeing no significant changes. It’s important during those moments to remember how far you’ve come. Remember my video about being positive? Positive self talk and positive affirmations are definitely a must on these days. Here’s a couple tips for how you can motivate yourself when your motivation is seriously lacking.

Create a list of accomplishments.

Write down goals that you have achieved so far. Then, whenever you’re feeling unmotivated take it out and read it out loud to yourself. I know that always puts a smile on my face:-)

Take a day off.

Overtraining can definitely discourage you from working out. It can cause injury as well as cause you to lose your love for working out. My crazyness is why I grew tired of working out. I burned myself out by spending hours upon hours in the gym. I am now learning to workout smarter not harder, using my time more effectively and finding the joy again. So, it’s okay to take a day off once a week, or have a couple active recovery days. You don’t have to go hard everyday. So long as your eating is in order, taking a break from the gym won’t stifle your progress.

-Reward yourself.

It’s always fun to have something to look forward to when you reach a certain goal. Of course these should NOT be food-related, and it’s better to reward yourself with things that will encourage you to continue on your path to healthy living. For example, a couple years ago when I ran 3.0 miles for the first time, I bought myself a new pair of running shoes. And as I was jogging around the track, huffing and puffing and contemplating giving up, I kept thinking about the shoes. “Do it for the shoes.” And I did!

Have fun!

Remember that the bulk of your training should be things that you enjoy. Don’t spend all your workouts doing exercises that you hate. What kind of motivation is that to hit the gym? Design your fitness regimen around the things that you enjoy to do. My favorites are kickboxing, dancing, and cycling. Also, since I’m not a big fan of running, I’ll take my workouts outside. Running outside is so much more enjoyable for me than running laps around a track, and the gorgeous landscape motivates me to workout more than a stuffy gym.

 

So, take these tips forward to motivate you to stick with the healthy lifestyle you are creating for yourself. “Don’t quit when you’ve run the farthest, for the race is almost won.”

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Happy Father’s Day!

Since today is Father’s Day, I thought I’d do a special entry just for the men:-) So, today I want to talk about bulking up. So many men want to gain muscle weight, but they are unsure of how to do it. Well here are some tips for increasing your muscle size in a healthy way!

Just as when trying to lose weight, you have to be conscious of what you are eating. Because your goal is to gain muscle weight, you’ll need to increase the amount of protein and healthy fats in your diet, and lower the amount of carbohydrates you are eating. Muscles are made of protein and therefore increasing the amount of protein you are consuming is  important for speedy muscle repair after a tough workout.

Here are examples of proteins you should be eating:

-Whey protein powder

-Egg whites

-Chicken

-Turkey

-Peanut butter

-Fish (salmon, trout, tuna (not tuna salad, unless made with fat free mayo), tilapia, sardines, etc.)

-Lean red meats (You can have steak, beef, etc, but limit your intake. The majority of your protein should be chicken, turkey, and fish.)

The purpose of lowering your carbohydrate intake is because excess carbohydrates are stored as fat in your body. (More information about good vs. bad carbs coming in the next entry!)

Here are some good carbs for you to snack on:

-raw oats                                             -greens                                                -papaya                                -tomato juice

-apples                                                 -cabbage                                             -peaches                             -watermelon

-apricots                                              -spinach                                               -pears                                 -brown rice

-banana                                               -romaine lettuce/mixed greens -peas                                   -whole wheat

-carrots                                                -kidney beans                                   -pineapple                          bread

-cherries                                              -kiwi                                                      -plums                                 -sweet potato

-corn or whole wheat tortillas    -lentils                                                  -pumpkin                           -yogurt

-grapes                                                 -skim milk                                            -soybeans

-grapefruit/ grapefruit juice        -oranges                                              -strawberries

Healthy Fats:

-Almonds (also very high in protein)     -Sunflower seeds

-Walnuts                                                              -Flaxseed

-Hazelnuts                                                          -Olive oil

-Pecans                                                                -Canola Oil

-Peanuts

-Cashews

As for your workout plan, you should make sure that you include cardio in your training regimen. Cardio alongside weight training will help lower your body fat percentage. And, make sure you allow each muscle group you work adequate amount of rest in between workouts. Here’s an example of a strength training program that may work for you.

Monday: Lats, Biceps, Quadriceps, & Upper Abs

Tuesday: Chest, Triceps, Hamstrings, &  Obliques

Wednesday: Lower Back, Shoulders, Gluteus Maximus, Lower Abs

Thursday: Lats, Biceps, Quadriceps, & Upper Abs

Friday: Chest, Triceps, Hamstrings, &  Obliques

Saturday: Lower Back, Shoulders, Gluteus Maximus, Lower Abs

Sunday: Rest

Cardio can either be done in the morning, and strength training done at night, or you can do both in one session. However, if you do them in one session, do the strength training first, since muscle gain in your focus. That way, you won’t fatigue out halfway through your workout.

Happy weight gain! And feel free to email me with any questions:-)

 

 

posted by admin in Building Muscle,Weight Gain and have Comments (4)