Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"


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From Confidence To Word Vomit..

Hey Friends!

Hope you had a great Saturday. Mine was jam packed but all fun times. As I mentioned yesterday, today was the GNC Pro SuperShow in Toronto so my lovely Dad came down to pick me up from Guelph and drop me off at the Convention Centre for me to run around my lil playground.

Now before you call me a spoiled brat, note that I was totally willing to Greyhound it down there but my Dad doesn’t like me taking the bus alone. Lolz, Daddy’s lil girl. I was so thankful for him doing this though and he just wandered into the Eaton Centre and did what he does best…Shopped. 

First though, of course, a lift had to happen so a sleepy me (haven’t been sleeping the best lately, heat? allergies? Dunno) headed to hit shoulders (my fav!) and then head off to the Expo.

I was seeing a bunch of my friends from back at McMaster so of course I had to bring a lil something something..

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Flourless peanut butter banana muffins a la Averie Cooks with a few Chelsea tweaks. 

I was notorious for my baked goodies at the gym so obviously I had to show them that I still baked. Showing my love.

They loved them btw, great job Averie! 

So yeah, when you first walk in its all fake tanner, bikinis and buff guys wandering around and it’s so busy that it can get slightly overwhelming.

Us shorties are always in danger of being trampled. Legit. 

I managed to make my way through to find Andrew and he happened to be with someone I often saw shop at GoodnessMe! back in Hamilton. Small world eh? Anyways Pierre and Andrew have actually teamed up to create their own business which is totally cool.

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They had been waiting like an hour in line to meet Sadik, or 2nd runner up Mr. Olympia, and my lil tushie then snuck right in with them to also have some small talk and take some snaps.

Timing on point.

Sadik is quite a real guy. So not what you expect from someone so huge in the bodybuilding world. Great guy and very inspirational.

After that, and after a few calls, bad directions and getting lost, I finally found Daniel, who was a fellow personal trainer at Mac.

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And we proceeded to also get a lil snaphappy at the bodybuilding.com Photo Booth. Do you even flex?

Dan is such a sweetheart and so it was super nice to catch up and see what he was up to.

….

I then found myself wandering away and finding myself in line for Miss Buff Bunny..

I waited a whole 40ish minutes (and that was at the end of the day!) to finally arrive up to her and that’s where my confident self basically turned into a rambling fangirl….

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So embarrassing.

You know how you don’t really think of something as a big deal and you know what you’re gunna say but then you open your mouth and…

word vomit

Ugh.

I wanted to tell her why she was an inspiration to me and now it’s all a blur of pointless **it in and amongst a few “you’re my inspiration” type stuff.

But hey, she thought I was cute and she said my quads were poppin so it could have been worse right…

Right….?

Anyways, she inspires me in several ways and it would be nice if she could read this more scripted version instead of the garbles I said to her earlier.

~She’s tiny, like myself, but EATS! She eats to grow and she shows that she actually eats quite a bit. It’s none of this chicken and rice crap that I see so many female YouTubers sporting even when they aren’t on prep. This really helps me mentally because I have this weird irrational sense that I’m doing something wrong when I’m over here eating more then people larger then me. I have mentioned this before but this is why comparison is a total mind ef.

She’s five inches taller then me, lifts and eats 400 cals less then me. WTH?

Case in point, DONT COMPARE TO ANYONE ELSE BUT YOU!

I need to take this point to heart. Heidi even said this. Take it as a positive that you can eat so much. You body is telling you that you need it, not just to grow but even just to maintain. Fuel that rabbit metabolism girl!

~She lifts heavy. I have mentioned this before, but this is actually motivating always because there still aren’t that many girls, let alone, ones sitting nicely at 5 feet tall, that actually lift to grow. You know how proud I was when I hit that 135 back squat? Pumped!

Lastly, she’s real. She’s down to earth and actually the sweetest person ever. She was like:

Oh you’re such a cutie. I love how tiny you are.

Plus she dealt with my blabbering self with a smile.

Heidi, you are the real MVP!

So yeah, today was fun, but despite my lovely car nap, I’m drained so I will cut this off here so I can go stuff my face one last time for the day and hit the pillow.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend friends!

-Chelsea

 

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Friday Fitness Questions Numba 2

Hey Friends!

So I want to keep this thing going so here’s coming atcha with the second instalment of fitness related questions for ya’ll

In true Chelsea fashion it seems, this post is comin’ in a day late… 

I didn’t get any suggestions for last week, so I’m going to post about something random. Since it’s spring-ish weather as of lately and that means that people go nuts and pull out their summer clothing because they get too excited..

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Lets do one about legs shall we?

So here we go.

What are some of the best legs exercises for strength OTHER THEN squats?

Oh the mighty squat. It gets all the love and attention when it comes to the leg and booty gainz, and for good reason. It utilizes a huge number of lower body muscle groups including the quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, and the gluteus maximus (Gullett, 2009). Additionally, it also uses muscles around the ankle joints, your core and the many muscles of your lower back as well. Overall, it is quite the king for sure.

 Despite it’s overall practically and supreme benefits, there are some other important lifts when it comes to a strong lower body that deserve some loving too. With regards to muscle activation, there are a number of alternatives that ring very close, and if not, at par with squats.

We all hate them. Admit it

Lunges.

See too many people doing heavy weighted lunges? Nope. Shall I dare even go into how many guys I have seen do lunges at all…Maybe my hands worth.

Why?

Because they hurt. Many people would actually rather suffer through gruelling squats then to do a lunge. Unfortunately, by avoiding the suffering, you are also avoiding all dem gainz. Here’s some research:

Keogh (1999). This study talked about the performance benefits of adding lunges into your lower body training as they help to work on single leg movements (which can help detect imbalances, improve ankle, hip and knee flexibility and improve overall balance) in addition to having the added benefit of being able to work in more then just one single field. Different lunge variations enable you to work in the lateral and horizontal planes, where as squats are simply lateral movements.

Farrokhi et al (2008). Similar to squats, different variations of the lunge may help to activate slightly different areas. Therefore, you can use variety to your advantage to infiltrate different areas as you need them.

Statsny (2015). There is even research to suggest that the way you hold the dumbbell in your hand during various lunge variations can affect muscle activation. Specifically they looked at the effects of ipsilateral (holding a dumbbell on the other side of the lunging leg) and contralateral (holding the dumbbell on the same side as the lunging leg) on muscle activation during both walking lunges and split squats.

So looking to try some out? Here are some variations to check out.

Walking Lunges

Stationary Lunges

Split Squats

Front-loaded Lunges (hits the quads more)

Movin on…

Another big man on campus is the…

Deadlift.

Known for it’s utility in strengthening you’re entire backside, this lift is a strong contender for anyones training routine.

Fischer (2012). This provides a great overview of the lift, variations, muscle activation and why it should be incorporated in everyones training regime.

Robbins (2011). This study found did not find any significant differences in muscle activation between the deadlift and the back squat, showing how comparable they are with respect to which muscle groups you’re stimulating. I’m assuming this was the conventional deadlift, as it was not specifically mentioned the particular variation. 

Deadlift Variations:

Conventional Deadlift (bar touches the ground following each rep)

Romanian Deadlift (bar never touches the ground, more glute/ham focus)

Stiff Legged.

Sumo Deadlift (glute focus).

Note that the sumo DL is the new cool kid on the block. This was a adopted by powerlifters but now it seems that everyone is trying this version out. There are some thoughts that this is easier on the hips and feels better for many people.

Heres a great article showing some of the variations.

One exercise that is often overlooked (maybe because of how it is done..) but deserves more attention is the:

Hip Thruster.

These guys are known for building that booty up.

Contreras (2011). Brett summaries many aspects of the barbell hip thrust for you in a very easy way. Some of the benefits of the hip thrust include full gluteal activation and they also help to prevent hamstring injuries by building up those glue muscles to help the hamstrings out during hip extension movements. This exercise builds up the strength in the glutes due to having a greater range of motion at the hip then things like squats.

Eckert (2014). Evidence to support the utility in gluteal strengthening exercises such as these for athletes requiring the use of hip extension including sprinters, basketball, powerlifting, etc

If you have weak glutes this exercise is great for you. In addition, it does help to work your lower back as well so even unloaded bridge exercises (mimic the basic movement) can help be therapeutic for those with back pain.

So there are the three big compound (multi-joint) movements that I think everyone should include in their routines to help build those leggies. Of course, I’m not saying to ignore squats, as you definitely should do them as well because they are talked about the most for good reason, but I just wanted to note those other big lifts that some may shy away from or not be aware of to the same extent.

Also, just because something isn’t a compound lift per say, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it’s place. Accessory work (often those exercises that recruit less muscle groups, but may hit one or two more directly and help with other lifts) can help not only build up those larger lifts and make you progress faster, but they are also something to include for balance, aesthetics and overall development.

Some of my favourite accessory movements include:

Leg press (different foot positions) –> I consider this an assistance lift, many may use this instead of squats if they have issues squatting. 

Glute Kickbacks–> Don’t limit yourself to just straight behind you. Also try kicking back at 45 degrees. 

Hamstring Curls

Single-leg Leg Extension –> Great for burning out the quads (do drop sets!)

…and my newest favourite…

Vertical or Inverted Leg Press w/ a Pulse using the Smith Machine. 

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This is the basic inverted leg press movement. Add the thrust at the end for the added glute burn! 

So good! It not only acts as a wide stance leg press but the vertical position really activates the glutes and hamstrings because you can get your legs really close to the chest (it forces a better range of motion). The additional pulse is like adding a hip thrust component for even more glute action. PLUS you feel this in the lower abdominal region because of the upward thrust.

So there ya go. Strong legs means you have to put in the work. Suffer a lil bit with these tough (physically and mentally) lifts and gain all of the benefits.

Hope this was helpful!

-Chelsea

 


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Suga’ Built Quads

Hey Friends!

So I’m just typing up this post waiting for my ‘Every Leg Day Friday Ice Cream’ cheat meal to crash my lil body into a suga coma. I had to travel alllll the way to Guelph to pick up my digestive enzymes (annoying lil things are disappearing from stores for some reason and so I have to drive 30 minutes to now pick them up now that I’m with my parents at home -_-) from GoodnessMe!.

It definitely wasn’t all bad though as I got to snag a date with a McMaster friend of mine who now lives in Guelph, Gabriella, and she indulged my typical Thai+ Baskin Robbins cheat meal with me.

Perils of Praline + Gold Medal Ribbon

Perils of Praline + Gold Medal Ribbon

This shop didn’t have Salted Caramel (sob) but they had a new to me flavour…

Perils of Praline (bottom). Vanilla Frozen Yogurt with Pralined Pecans, Chocolate Cookie Pieces, and Caramel Ribbon throughout.

It was super nomz (so much caramel!) BUT it melted so fast because it was frozen yogurt I guess and you know how I feel about soft serve. MUST BE FROZEN! But it had so much caramel in it. I got a lil bit nervous because it had cookie bits in it (gluten + dairy..?) hopefully I don’t regret that decision tomorrow morning but I’m trying to put that out of my mind.

On the top was..

Gold Medal Ribbon. Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Cream with a Caramel Ribbon

I have to say that this flavour is meh for me. It’s too chocolate-y for my liking (ie. plain). I get it more for the caramel and it never has enough. I also like my bits and bites of stuff in my ice cream, ya feelz?

I shoulda stuck with my plan to get added caramel sauce (did you know they have peanut butter and caramel sauces you can add to your ice cream?!?) but I chickened out to be honest.

Challenge failed.

Wait…Reframe. Will try again next week.

I always pray that a different Baskin Robbins will have the flavour I have been lusting for …

Made With Snickers. Why am I not eating it yet you ask?

BECAUSE YOU NEVER HAVE IT!

Sigh…

Anyways, this post wasn’t supposed to be a review of ice cream, I came to actually share with you the Death By Legs legs workout that makes up the morning of my cheat day.

It is my quad focused leg day (my hams/glutes is Monday) and while both leg days really take it out of me due to the size of the muscle groups being worked, hello zombie all day + need a nap + cannot stop hanger, quad day seems to be worse.

So what better day for ice cream eh? Especially when ice cream is still such a guilt-triggered thing for me so I need a ‘reason’ to focus on at the moment still.

#StraightToTheQuads. #EatToGrow.

Anywho, brace yourselves but don’t be afraid. Take it at your own pace if you wanna try it out (which I would love to hear how you like it!) and don’t give up 🙂

Have I mentioned I like volume and crawling out of the gym when I’m done?

Leg Day, July 31st.

Core Warm-up Superset (do back to back).

  1. Oblique Mountain Climbers with feet elevated and hands on Bosu Ball. Added 35lb plate on my back and would ‘climb’ for a minutes. 4 total sets + held plank for extra 30 seonds for the last set.
  2. Weighted (35lbs) Situps. I sit on the lat pull down machine for this one. You get a greater range of motion on the down. 3 total sets + double drop set (25lbs)(no weight) for last set.

This is the idea of the OBLIQUE Mountain Climber, mountain climbers with knees out to the side BUT I have the ball the other way around (round part on the ground for greater instability) and hold onto it with my hands. I have a plate on my back (35lbs) and my feet are elevated on a bench behind me rather then being on the floor. Go with with a level you’re ready for.

Working Super Set 1

  1. Squat Dropset. 5 working sets of 115lbs with an immediate drop to 105lbs.

I warmed up with the bar first, then did one set of 105lbs. I also finished with a final set of just 105lbs again. Total number of weighted sets = 7.

2. Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlifts. I used 30lb dumbbells and did 5 total sets. Go to failure and go as low as you can with proper form to feel the stretch in your hamstrings.

Check out the workout video and description on this one on bodybuilding.com. Take care to keep the chest up, shoulders rolled back (don’t slouch them forward!) and reach reach down. Pull back up using the hamstrings and glutes. Lastly, don’t swing up and hyperextend your back backwards. You don’t need to have your back bending backwards to feel this exercise.

Core Super Set 2

  1. Leg Raises with 5lbs with drop set to Knee Ups with that 5lbs on the Captains Chair. 4 Total Sets
  2. TRX Oblique Tucks

Working Super Set 2

  1. Front Squats. 95lbs to failure. 5 Total Sets, final set was a drop set to 75lbs.
  2. Laying Hamstring Curl. 4 Total sets with final double drop set.

Working Super Set 3

  1. Leg Press (feet together). 5 total sets with final drop set.
  2. Walking Dumbbell Lunges with a 35lb dumbbell on each shoulder

For the lunges I have been focusing on trying to not pause between lunges. Instead, just keep pushing up and walking constantly. It’s harder, but worth it.

Working Super Set 4

  1. Isolateral Quad Extension. 4 Total Sets with triple final drop set.
  2. Goblet Squats with a 55lb dumbbell and a drop set with a 25lbs plate with raise onto the toes. 3 total sets with a final drop set of 10 jumping or ‘pop’ squats. <- trust me just those 10 are hard after all of that.

For the goblet squats, I stand on the assisted pull up machine stand so that I can hold the dumbbell by my hips rather then up on my chest as my arms get too tired with the weight I want to use before my legs tire. Go all the way down ladies for that booty boost! Immediately after you do the goblet, grab you plate and do more squats until failure once again.

Final Burn Out Set

1 final set of dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlifts ‘run the rack’ style. This means that you start with one weight and go to failure then pick up the next weight down and do the same. The idea is to go for the rest of the rack or just a massive drop set, but I managed 3 rounds.

35lbs -> 30lbs -> 25lbs

Done and I’m dead to the foam roller.

I hope you enjoy guys and post any questions you have!

Yes I know there is a lot of hamstring work here too for a quad focused day. I like supersets and I don’t want to kill my main (or first lift) by supersetting with a second quad exercise so I try to keep the 1st exercise to more quad focus and heavier while the second is the quad+ham or ham/glute exercise for in between.

-Chelsea


6 Comments

All You Need Is A Body

Hey Friends!

Thanks so much for all of your awesome comments on my post yesterday! Just give me a lil bit to be able to respond to all 51 of them.

No, can never have too much, but like I said, it’s just going to take me a day or two to get back to you all as I like to make sure I respond to comments individually if possible.

As it’s Friday, which is fitness day in the blogosphere (with the Lean Green Bean) and I had a few comments related to fitness, I just wanted to share something I saw on Facebook the other day that I think is actually really useful for those looking for body weight exercises that you can do anywhere. Even better is that you can create your own circuit using a bunch of these and do that a few times for a good lil sweat sesh.

Screen shot 2015-01-02 at 9.12.49 PMI hope you can all find this useful. Be mindful though that because he is doing them quickly that his form shows some breakdown in some of the exercises, so be aware of your own form when or if you attempt them. Form before time peeps.

One example is the first exercise, which I love doing by the way. He was doing mountain climbers and had quite a large amount of rounding in his back. This can cause you to shift forward and place a lot of pressure on your shoulders, not to mention the ol’ turtle shell is not the best position for your back to be in and can lead to tightness at the very least. Take care in keeping your butt down, but also trying to maintain a straight line between your shoulders and your hips rather than having a round there. Obviously it will not be perfect because you are moving and bringing the knees into the chest, but don’t let it be excessive.

Enjoy your night friends!

-Chelsea


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Merry Christmas…Sending A Ho Ho Ho-Lotta Love

Hey Friends!

Quickly dropping in to wish you an amazing Christmas and I hope you have tons of fun, laughter and good times with your loved ones. I will certainly be enjoying my time today as my parents and I host Christmas for my Dad’s side of the famjam. For now, I’m off to wake up the parentals and the poochie so we can start our morning with pressies before getting a motor’in on our busy day ahead.

Before I go though, I wanted to post this lil numba I made up for those who perhaps have a second and want to work up a good sweat.

Slide1This is a reps for time type of circuit meaning that you are looking to do each round as quickly as you can while still maintaining proper form (no cheating guys!). There is a lot of traveling/movement in this one which is why I called it the reindeer circuit. Those guys have quite the distance to go on Christmas Eve so lets join them on their journey, even if it’s not around the world.

For those stairs I want full sets of stairs (if you are in a bungalow and only have 1/2 flights, double the numba I put there), where each round includes both up and down a flight. You can run, jog or walk it’s up to you, but push yourself and see how fast you can do them…just no tripping up the stairs and breaking something. Christmas is for celebration not hospital visits. Mmmkay?

For the pushups, do as many full as you can, then drop to the knees for the rest. Take breaks as you need to but do the full 20 before moving on. For the lunges, 1 rep would include a lunge with both legs and I want those back legs to get LOW. No half lunges here my friends. For the mountain climbers, ensure those knees are being brought right into the chest but ensure to keep that butt down. Lastly, for the wall sits, make sure your quads are parallel to the ground (meaning that your legs should make a perfect right angle with the wall and the floor). No resting your hands on your legs as that makes it easier and just remember to breathe.

Have some fun with it, play some Christmas music and let me know if anyone tries it out!

Have an amazing Christmas friends and remember, EAT! Do not starve yourselves all day for your dinner or you will binge. Eat normally and choose your indulgences at dinner. You don’t need to go ham on the food. Balance is key.

-Chelsea


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Workout Split Vlog + Leg Workout Example

Happy Thursday friends!

Can you believe that this time next week we will be celebrating Christmas??

So exciting! What are you plans?

As I mentioned in the video, I had just come back home from my leg workout (2 hours of legs to be exact….#Exhausted) so I decided to tackle Andrea’s question regarding my split.

I had a few disruptions during the video so I hope it still explains everything okay, but if you need more clarification, don’t be shy to ask in the comments!

Click on the picture for the link up to my YouTube as usual

Photo on 2014-12-18 at 13.34 #4Also, I mentioned I would link up a picture or demo of those weighted “press up situps” I believe so here that is. Oh how I love bodybuilding.com. Click on the picture for the full instructions and video demo by Jamie Eason.

Press Sit-Up

The only difference is that I use a plate and bring it back over my head before coming back to press it back up.

Happy “almost Friday” for all of you still working or grinding out those last exams.

-Chelsea


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Leg Workout- Feb 27th

Hey Friends,

Quick lil workout post for ya. Here’s some leggie inspiration from my workout this past Thursday and let me tell you it was a brutal one! I must have been out of my mind to superset heavy goblet squats with my 5×5 lunge set. Ouch. Still hurtin today from that one (2nd day syndrome). As a matter of fact, last night while I was trying to simply relax on the couch with my snack I couldn’t lean on my left side fully because my glute (aka butt) was so tight. Apparently I need my own personal foam roller. Anyone wanna help a lil one out on that one? Ha. 😀

Leg workoutBurn’em out I tell ya!

Weights:

Round 1: Lookin for 5-6 reps for the main lift (ie. the lunges).

Lunges: 125lbs total (1 60lb DB and 1 65lb DB). Yup still going strong on that mixed weight combo. Yeah, I get weird looks and I’m okay with that. Warmup for lunges is using 30lb DBs and drop set is using 35lb DBs.  Goblet Squat: 50lb DB. Leg Raises: 10lb DB with a 7.5lb DB drop set for each one

Round 2: Lookin for 7-8 reps (hypertrophy range) for the main lift (the squat)

Back Squat: started with 135lbs, made it to 145 lbs for 7 solid reps. Mountain climbers: 25lb plate on my back and my feet are elevated, hands are on bosu and I ‘climb’ for a minute for each set.

Round 3: Same as round 2, about 7-8 reps for main lift (leg press)

Leg Press: 270lbs + sled. Cable glute kickbacks: 27.5 (kgs?).

Round 4. The Burnout! Go as fast as you can through these two. Burnin out the quads first on the leg extension (with final drop set) and finishin off with the hams. About 8 reps are hit for the leg extension for each round.

Leg Extension: 145lbs with 115lb drop set. Wall sits: 3 45lb plates + a 35lb plate (170lbs) on my lap and held for roughly 1 minutes each.

Comments.

Shoutout to Dean for trying to kill me helpin me out with my wall sits (putting the weights on my lap + removing them). By taking them off one by one you are definitely pushing me that lil bit harder. 😉 #JelloLegs #CantStandUp

By doing the goblet squats in between my lunges I did notice that my rep range for the lunges suffered a wee bit. I only got 5 whereas I might be able to push through to 7 normally. No pain no gain right?

Do you like leg day?

Do you push to your maximum?

-Chelsea