Thursday, January 29, 2009

Making it feel real...

5:00am has become the magic least it is three days a week now! Tuesday: posing session, Wednesday: cardio class, and Friday: cardio class, strength training, and measurements. Truly, one of the hardest things about training is getting up that stinkin' early for me especially when it's three degrees outside!! Who wants to get out of their warm cozy bed into a frrrrreeeeeezing car...NOT ME!! It's those kinds of mornings where my dedication and willpower HAVE to kick into overdrive. Sure, I'm fine and ready to go when I'm actually at the studio but, man oh man, it's tough!

This past Tuesday marked our first 5am posing session. It was the first time all of the competitors have been together....a huge group! It was great to see the new faces. Many filled with overwhelmed expressions but that's to be expected at this period. I knew EXACTLY how they felt since it was only last year I was in that very spot of confusion. "It gets easier," as I repeated myself to several different girls only to be met by apprehensive responses. Trust me, it really does. If you've never seen a figure show before, learning how to pose correctly while making it appear effortless is sooooo EXTREMELY difficult. The walk must be smooth yet display a touch of your personality. The transitions between front to side to back poses must be seamless while keeping every muscle from head to toe flexed. It's not one of those things where you can just "wing it" and hope for the best. Like anything, it takes practice practice practice.

NANBF holds a comparison round where the girls from each category and height class walk out on stage together. They are then judged on front, side, and back poses. There is also a "relaxed" pose for when the judges are deciding who to compare and what not. But don't be fooled, the relaxed pose is just as hard as the other poses!! The girls can be on stage for as little as five minutes to thirty minutes all depending on how many participants are involved and comparisons the judges are making. After the line up round, the next segment is the T-walk presentation which I'll mention later. We only focused on the four basic poses in the first session. Oh, and if trying to remember how get into those poses correctly wasn't enough, try to do it in five inch heels!

Jessica and I are the two veterans out of the group and demonstrated all of the poses for the girls. Putting on a suit wasn't as horrible as I imagined; it actually made me excited. Wearing a suit always makes everything more "real." It's funny how natural all of the poses came back to me(took me awhile to do them correctly last year..hell, I flubbed my back pose the first time ON stage)...kind of like riding a bike. Unfortunately, Jessica and I were the only ones wearing one that morning. Michelle and Kristie wanted to hold off until they had enough suits for everyone. They will be buying a few new ones at the Arnold Classics in the beginning of March. Kristie asked me what color I preferred this year and wanting to be completely different from last year, I'm leaning towards red. Can't wait to see what she can come up with!! I'm not required to attend every posing session until really six weeks before show but I think I might just go here and there to help the girls in anyway I can.

Enough for tonight..sweet dreams. I'll list my shoulder work out tomorrow for ya!

Til next time,

Friday, January 23, 2009

Workin' and sweatin'

Hey friends!

Sorry for the tiny hiatus....this week turned out to be a little stressful! Happy Friday, not quite the official weekend for me but oh so close. So measurements this morning were pretty uneventful. My results were more of a trickle this week; not nearly as drastic as the week before but I can't always have huge gains (or I should say losses) every week. I'm continuing the same nutrition ratio and cardio schedule as the last couple of weeks. Kendra's cardio sessions are pretty awesome! Waking up at 5am will NEVER be easy for me but it sure feels good afterwards. Call me crazy, but I love getting soaked shirt sweaty...getting to that point just solidifies all my hard work and the feeling of that tiny accomplishment is so worth it. I'm adding on a Wednesday morning cardio session next week to ramp things up. Hopefully I can drop a couple of pounds doing so.

Next week's a BIG week. It's the 12 week mark...we'll be getting our show suits Tuesday morning (you guessed it at 5am!) at our first posing session. Since I'm familiar with the poses and T-walks, I won't have to attend until the beginning of March again. The idea of getting into a teeny tiny suit is a little definitely humbles me since I'll see exactly what I need to work on.

Tonight my friend, Chris, and I are going with Allison and her husband Craig to the AVP (I'm guessing it's American Volleyball Professionals) pro beach tournament at the Sprint Center complimentary of my best friend Shane. I'm an avid volleyball player and fan so I'm super excited to see some great play tonight! Pictures to come. :)

I'll leave you with my chest and back work outs from Tuesday and Wednesday. I forgot my journal at home when I did my shoulders and arms work out so I'll post those next week! Have a great week!!

170g protein
100g fib. carb
100g starch carb

30 min. 3 days/week.

8.0---6.5---6.5---Sub scapular
17.58%---13.69%---13.11%---BF %
24.96---19.43---18.61---BF lbs.
....-5.52...-.81...Change in BF from previous week
117.03---122.57---123.39---Lean muscle mass

Jan. 20th, Tues. CHEST
Incline bench with barbell
95x10, 135x10, 155x4, 135x6

Flat chest flye with dumb bells
60x10, 80x7, 80x8, 90x6

40x10, 50x6, 50x8

Freemotion low flye
40x10, 50x5, 35x12, 35x12

Jan. 21, Wed. BACK
Seated row
90x10, 115x8, 125x6, 90x9

Lat pull down on machine
75x10, 90x10, 105x8, 105x8

Hyper extensions
Bodyx12, 25x12, 35x10, 35x10

Rhomboid crunch
45x10, 60x10, 80x10, 90x10

Til next time,

Monday, January 19, 2009

Leg Day...

Happy MLK day friends,

One week closer to goal...13 weeks and counting! My nutrition ratios are the same as last week but I suspect they will change next week. Mondays are always the hardest day in terms of working out since I'm technically still "on weekend" mode. Compared to everything else to consider when training, gym sessions are the easiest part of the pie! Cardio is a different story for me but I'll get to that later.

One of the most important things for strength training is a great work out buddy. People simply think a good work out buddy is a person that can lift close to the same weight as you and be present in case you need help. In my experience, there is sooo much more involved in finding the perfect work out partner for efficiency and maximum's harder than you think!! Aside from holding each other accountable to sessions and "spotting," they need to push you to your threshold physically but, more importantly, there HAS to be a psychological trust involved. A trust and understanding of how far and precisely how much the other person can endure...especially on weak days. I've found that person in Greg...he has been the absolute best work out partner! With his personal training experience and medical background, he has taken me to a whole different training level during the off season. I'd like to think I've pushed him just as hard and chuckle every time we get comments from any of his former clients. "It's good to actually see someone else making you work so hard," one of them said as he was struggling on his last reps of rear delt flyes and red in the face....ya gotta love it! haha. Even though we lift different amounts of weight, we do exactly the same routine and exercises. I personally don't believe in "girl exercises" (let's-try-to-balance-this-while-pushing-that-while-standing-on-your-head kind of thing) and laugh when I see those movements featured in an article or magazine. Men and women aren't very different so why try to complicate it?

We work out six days a week (Monday to Saturday) focusing on a specific body part each day starting with legs. I incorporate a cardio session immediately after my strength training three days a week generally Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I also add an abdominal routine after my non cardio days. This is week three (of six) of the hypertrophy (the phase of actual muscle building lifting heavy enough weight to do three-four sets between six and ten reps) cycle. This was my leg work out routine today:

Hack Squat machine
--90x10, 115x8, 115x8, 115x8

Hamstring movement on Calf raise machine

Leg Press on machine
--450x10, 540x8, 630x8

Box Squat with barbell
--45x10, 95x10, 135x8, 185x8

Calf Raises on machine
--70x15, 90x15, 110x15
----raises on leg press machine
------270x10, 270x10, 270x10

Til tomorrow!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

End of week 14

Good snowy morning people!! It's just powder so don't worry. :)

Kendra, one of the TF trainers, said it perfectly this morning in our cardio session...."There will ALWAYS be someone prettier, more muscular or stronger than you but just deal with it, move on, and work harder!" Damn straight I'm gasping for air after a series of long jump exercises. Fitness and a healthy lifestyle is beyond what anyone else thinks of's about you! It's about pushing yourself to the limit and sometimes even beyond what you ever imagined...and at the end of the day, being happy with who you are. Hard work pays certainly did for me this week...

The end of week 14 has gone. I'm a little fanatic about weighing myself so I was a little disappointed that I remained the same weight but dropped drastically in my measurements. Kristie was pleasantly surprised with my results and it's exactly where she wants me to be. The first couple of weeks of training are always just about getting back into the groove of things and experimenting with nutrition and work outs until we hit the week 12 mark. That's when it's really down to business. This week I dropped 5.52 lbs. of body fat lowering it to 13.69%. It's all about the nutrition I tell ya!! Maintaining my weight but lowering BF means that I did not lose any muscle mass which is always a good thing.

From the full body photo, I still have a ways to go (I hate seeing myself in pictures!) but last week was a good solid step on the right path. Also wanna leave you with a few extra photos from this morning's session. Have a fun and safe weekend!!

Pec 4.0---1.0
Sub Scapular 8.0--- 6.5
Bicep 4.0--- 2.5
Tricep 6.5--- 4.0
Kidney 19.0--- 17.0
Suprailic 15.0--- 10.0
Abdominal 19.---15.0
Quads 11.0--- 11.0
Calf 6.0--- 5.0
Total 92.5--- 72.0
BW 142--- 142
Body Fat% 17.58%--- 13.69%
lbs. in BF 24.96--- 19.43
Change in BF lbs. -5.52
Lean mass 117.03--- 122.57

always love,

p.s. CONGRATS to Kristie on her engagement last week!!!!!! :D

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Aids

You can guess what I'm going to talk about just by my photos above right? :) But more importantly on my mind right now...six degrees outside...are you kidding me?! I don't know about you but I've been half frozen all day long. It's funny how weather effects my workouts as I'm sure it does yours also. I just finished at the gym and so ready for a HOT shower! But first, I'm going to try to make this a fairly short and quick entry tonight.
Like I mentioned yesterday, food is the number one fundamental component to transforming a physique. Only then will the addition of supplements be effective to a diet in maximizing the results but always remember they NEVER REPLACE proper nutrition. Last year, I got to a point where I felt like I hit a wall with my workouts but with the aid of supplements, I was able to continue progressing on a higher level. I'll also say that these supplements are not cheap!! I actually have not started taking any this year since I just now was able to buy all of them. I plan to start the beginning of next week. All my supplements are either vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or other dense nutrients that aid the body on a cellular level for growth. These are my core supplements...a few more will be added next month (such as a thermogenic) that I'll mention later. You can imagine the chemistry of the body is always a complicated thing to explain...I don't even know if I can elaborate very well but here's my best attempt.

Multi-vitamin : one of the most important vitamins you can take! It ensures that you receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals your body needs for proper efficiency.

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) 800mg: It is proven to build muscle, reduce body fat, and induce an optimum cellular environment for improved health.

CoQ-10 (Coenzyme Q-10 ) 50mg: Plays a very important role in the production of energy throughout the body. Helps the body convert food into energy in the form of ATP (the energy of your muscle cells) and is also an awesome antioxidant and fat burner.

Lecithin 2400 mg: The most important health benefit of lecithin is its role in the breakdown of fats in the body. On a cellular level, Lecithin aids in regulating the flow of nutrients and waste materials in and out of the cell. It has also been seen to prevent the build-up of fats and bad cholesterol in the walls of the heart, the arteries and the veins, and thus enhancing cardiovascular health.

Fish Oil 1000 mg: Natural source of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids. Contributes to healthy heart functions and joint flexibility as well as supporting brain, nerve, and visual function. Improves hair, skin, and nails.

BCAA (branched chain amino acids) 1mg: Considered the building blocks of amino acids. Aids the body from building and repairing tissues (especially in muscles,) to producing chemicals that enable our brains to function optimally.

Glutamine 5mg: The body relies on glutamine as cellular fuel for the immune system. Scientific studies suggest that glutamine can minimize the breakdown of muscle tissue and improve protein metabolism.

Off to the shower for me!!

Always love,
p.s. The cheapest supplement websites that I've found so far:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The best supplement out there

Hi folks, happy tuesday!! :)

Before I start in, Heather had commented and asked yesterday: "I'm guessing you do additional workouts throughout the week at your own gym? Do you work each muscle group one day a week or more often?" Besides TF, I work out six days a week at 24 hr. Fitness mostly at Shawnee Mission Parkway. I do focus on a single muscle group each day and now have added about 30 minutes of cardio into the mix. By doing just a body part a day allows me to really hit it hard and devote my complete attention to that one specific area. I also try to incorporate an ab workout three days a's one of my weakest muscle areas right now. I will get more into detail about my workouts a little later and will also post my actual workouts starting next week! Thanks Heather!! :)

Soooooo, people are always wanting a magic pill or supplement. We live in a society that wants a quick fix to see immediate results. I don't know if there is such a thing as over night results but I DO believe there is a perfect supplement to reach all the fitness goals you desire and could ever imagine. Wanna know what it is?! It's called food!! Nutrition is the NUMBER ONE foundation above anything makes up 85% (10% in strength training and 5% genetics, thanks mom and dad!) of desired results. With that being said, a big part of my training is focused on the combination, calculations, and timing of every meal.

At TF, we go by a food guide called The Parillo Performance Food Composition Guide ( has been very helpful not only on nutrition but overall fitness) food bible as you could call it. It is broken up to catagories: lean proteins (ie. chicken breast, turkey breast, fish,) starchy carbohydrates (ie. corn, carrots, sweet potatoes brown rice,) and fibrous carbohydrates (ie. broccoli, zuchinni, squash, green beans.) The proper combination and measurement of these three is the key to reaching my goals. Everything is weighed on a food scale by grams. I'm very familiar with all the foods I'm allowed. Towards the end of the last show, I could eyeball my portions out but now, with different measurements, I'm weighing all my food once again. Right now, planning and making sure I always have available food is the biggest concern. Portions are divided into five small meals with the last meal no later than 8pm. I can not have: bread, pasta, fruit, or dairy. My freebies are sugar free jello, rice cakes, and diet soda.

This is what Kristie has determined I'm allowed for this past week:

170g Protein
200g total Carbs
100g Fibrous
100g Starchy
broken into five meals:
34g Pro
20g Fib
20 Starch
I try to switch up the variety of food so I don't get too bored with anything....sample of this weeks foods below. This week, the oven has turned into my best friend. I've used it to bake chicken, fish, and roasted an assortment of zuchinni, squash, and other veggies. I don't think my roommates have seen me in the kitchen so much!! Boiled eggs and oatmeal are my favorites to start my mornings. Protein shakes are a HUGE part of my daily intake. I try to drink at least two a day to supplement them as my snacks. From the photo, I like to carry a variety of different flavors. Some of my favorites: Multi-Pro Whey in chocolate belgium, BSN Dessert in banana cream pudding, BSN Syntha-6 in mochaccino, and Lean Body in chocolate ice cream.

I know my blogs are a little long winded right now but I promise they will taper off. :) There's just so much I want to say without being too overwhelming. Hope you understand. I'll "see ya" tomorrow friends!


Monday, January 12, 2009

AHHHHH, body fat!!

Body fat: do you REALLLLLY want to know what yours is? It's one of those things that you're curious about but never really sure if you want to know right?? Me too. Its one of those kinds of "ignorance is bliss" things. Definitely not the case in my instance though...body fat is one of the most important things to consider. It sux but very true. Most gyms offer to calculate your body fat if you ask but I've found that the majority of them use a four point (measured at the abdomen, shoulder blade, bicep, and tricep) skin fold caliper body test. These calculations gives a person a rough idea of their body fat but not as accurate as the nine point exam that is also available. The nine point exam not only determines body fat more precisely but determines how much body fat to lean muscle mass a person has. My goal for this show to is to be around 120-125 lbs. with 2-3% body fat. At 5'8" with a medium build, that weight is haaaaard for me to maintain....too skinny for everyday living but not for competition. Since I placed so high at last year's show, I will only be eligible to compete in the open tall division...although I'm going to ask Kristie if I can be in the middle height class too since I'm on the clusp of both. I should tell you that the overall winner of the open division earns her pro card where she then will be able to compete in shows for prize money. I told you I was setting my standards high this year!! :) I'll be posting my body fat chart each week for you to view.

I'm about a week behind in telling you about my training progress (due to my slowness in developing this blog) but hopefully will be all caught up by the end of this week. My first official training day with Twin Fitness (TF) was last Tuesday, Jan. 6th. I was wide eyed and bushy tailed at 6am...with the help of a couple cups of black coffee and splenda! EARLY workouts: one of the things I'm going to have to readjust to since I prefer late afternoon or late evening work outs. I orginally was going to attend every Tuesday mornings but found out that my friends Allison and Jessica were in the Friday morning harm; no foul on switching days for me. TF also added intense cardio classes that I'll be attending so from now until show time, I'll be at there every Friday mornings from 5am-7am...doing cardio class from 5-6am and strength and measurements at 6-7am.

It was soooo nice to see Kristie and some of the old faces that I saw last year. It brought back great memories and made me pumped up about this year's training. Allison isn't training for show but she will be working out again at TF the end of this month. Jessica, a competitor that I grew close to last year, has been working out there for a couple of months now. Jessica and I are veterans this year with over 20 competitors...a huge group of girls; more than last year!! Many of them are beginners just as I was last year...I'm VERY excited to share my knowledge and help anywhere I can.

Getting my first set of measurements made me just a tad nervous. I knew I had maintained, if not increased, my muscle mass on the off season but didn't know just how much. I always feel more out of shape then I really am but Kristie was happy with my starting measurements. If she's happy, I'm happy. :) My shoulders are more rounded and my legs are more muscular this time. I'm starting at 142 lbs with 17% BF with 15 weeks to go. I'll be right on track with my goal if I can lose a pound and percent body fat a week....a very reasonable goal. I'm going to try to take a full body photo every Friday and list my measurements. The numbers might not mean anything right now but they will after a few weeks of comparison. No photo for last week but definitely will have one this week!!

Til tomorrow,

Pec: 4.0
Sub scapular (under the shoulder blade): 8.0
Bicep: 4.0
Tricep: 6.5
Kidney: 19.0
Suprailic (above the waistline): 15.0
Abdominal: 19.0
Quadriceps: 11.0
Medial Calf: 6.0
TOTAL: 92.5
Body Weight: 142.0
Total/BW: .651
Total BW x 27=BF%: 17.58%
BF% x BF= BF lbs.: 24.96
BW-BF lbs= lean mass lbs.: 117.03

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What exactly is a figure competitor?

It's inevitable that I get asked this question right after I tell someone what I do as a hobby. There's really no short answer to the question and I'm always very careful to use the word "bodybuilder" in fear of getting a wide eyed oh-my-gosh expession. I don't blame people because the thought of men flexing their gigantic muscles and slathered up in several layers of self tanner and oil is not exactly the most appealing picture to me either. The bodybuilding industry has been around for decades (even before Arnold Schwarzenegger) while the figure division only started around 2003....naturally the two are very much alike since one stems from the other.
Figure is similiar to bodybuilding but unlike bodybuilding which is judged on a person's muscle mass, figure is based solely on muscle tone and symmetry...more of a "softer" side of the extreme muscle look. It's easier to see the difference in a photo.

NPC bodybuilder Isabelle Turelle and one of my favorite figure competitors Alicia Marie

I've also realized that there are as many fitness associations as there are acronymns for the military! NANBF, NPC, AFAA, WNBF, IFBB, and the list goes on and on. I've learned that not all organizations are the same...regulations wise. Either associations allow certain supplement use or they not as stringent on drug testing. I'm very adamnent on only competing in shows that are strict on drug testing and follow a zero drug tolerance. At the end of the day, I want my hard work to show through...not what kind of supplements I can take to look good. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying any of them are bad....there's just a preference for everyone.
The Southern States Classic in Liberty, MO sponsored by NANBF (North American National Bodybuilding Federation) is taking place on April 17th this year. That gives me 15 weeks to prepare. Technically, I already officially started training last Monday and I'll be posting my first measurements tomorrow for ya!!
Til next time,

Friday, January 9, 2009

Starting from the beginning...

Hi Friends!

I'm sooooo happy you're going to be with me on this year's journey to the NANBF Southern States Classic figure show. This whole blog process is still very new to me so please be patient while I iron out the kinks. As a lot of you already know, I'm not the most technically savvy person but you gotta love me for trying right? :) So my life in figure competitions and training....where do I even begin?! Before mentioning the present, I think it would only be wise to tell you where my journey started and how it's led me to be where I am today.

In August 2007, after moving back to KC from living in San Francisco for about seven months, I was honestly a little lost in life. Grieving a break up and trying to once again find my niche in KC took it's toll on me not only emotionally but very much physically. I craved stability and was itching to find something that would ressurect focus in my life. In walked Allison.

Before I had moved away, my friend Allison who I play volleyball with, had told me about her process of training for a figure competiton. I didn't know exactly what a figure show was but from the moment I saw her competition photos, I knew it was something I wanted to do. I told her I wanted to train for the next show with her. Never mind I was at my heavist weight and worst shape in my life. I'm sure you're thinking I was crazy (trust me, I got A LOT of are-you-out-of-your-mind looks when telling people) about setting a challenge so unrealistic. Maybe I was since I was so naive to the actual process, but my new goal brought back excitement and drive within me.

Allison trained with a small studio called Twin Fitness ( in Overland Park, KS. Owned by identical twin sisters (duh, hence the name) that train people from all walks of life but specialize in training girls for figure/fitness competitions. Both were nationally ranked competitors but have since retired and now have trained hundreds of girls for shows. They have brought home more than 25 first place trophies and more than 75 top five finishes. On average, Twin Fitness places over 85% of their competitors, at every show....clearly they know what they're doing!

My first meeting was on Dec. 5th, 2007 with Kristie Harbaugh, one of the the twins. We discussed my goals and she took my measurements. She was honest and said it was going to be a long road but she could get me there. I had total faith in her....and so it started. With a very strict nutrition plan and working out six days a week for sometimes three hours a day, I finally got there on April 18th, 2008. I won't go into my whole transformation but I dropped a total of 42 lbs. and 21% bodyfat. At show time, I weighed in at 120 lbs with 4.3% body fat and took 3rd place in the beginners and novice tall class. It was easily one of my proudest accomplishments thus far. I'll post some photos below as soon as I figure out HOW. ;)

So here we are today...clearly a completely different person from just a year ago. I've learned so many different things that I can't wait to share and discuss with you!! I've continued to work out just as hard in the off season and have gained more muscle mass. I'm hoping it will help me appear more proportional this time around on stage. I know that my physical changes wont be that drastic this time around but that doesn't mean I haven't set my goals any lower. New year and show only calls for another great goal: To place first at show!! :D And so it begins....

always love,

Twin Fitness girls

My trainer Kristie

Keisa, one of my work out buddies

With my trophies

Twin Fitness stole the show