Lil Miss Fitness Freak

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


Leave a comment

Citrulline Malate…Fitness Friday 38

My friends! It’s March can you believe it? Seems like it was just New Years and now we are three months in already and Spring is in close reaching distance. Guess that is what the internship/Masters application process does to you…makes time fly.

Sidenote: I saw robins yesterday! I was partially excited (cuz spring sign!) but more so concerned because this was after a full on 20-25 degree reduction in temperature in one day. Please don’t be baby-makin yet birdies!

fat-robin

I’d be making that face too if it was 16 one day then I woke up to -10.In fact, I probably did look like that yesterday…

So coming back to another active ingredient in pre-workouts and also BCAA’s, I have always really wondered what this guy was good for. I mean, my coach said it was a good thing and it provided benefits, but apparently I was too busy to think about educating myself on why. I don’t like that….

I always stand for the whole ‘know what and why you are putting something into your body” philosophy and I obviously didn’t follow through with that on this one.

Time to take a scientific looky at it to settle my conscience.

Citrulline Malate

What is it?

Citrulline malate is the quite simply the combination of citrulline and malate. Pretty obvious eh? Citrulline is an important component of the urea cycle, which is where urea is formed from ammonia in the liver. This conversion is important because ammonia is actually toxic in the body if it builds up, while urea is a bit less harmful. Malate, on the other hand, is an intermediate in the  Kreb’s cycle, which is the cycle that releases energy from our macronutrients through oxidizing acetyl CoA.

citric-acid-cycle-4-638

What does it do?

It has been used in the past as an aid to decrease muscle fatigue and increase functionality. Many studies have shown these effects, whether human or animal (I will present some of the human ones below), in addition to speculating other benefits such as higher clearance of ammonia from the blood post exercise, a possible role in lactate metabolism and some effect on acid-base balance. The mechanism behind all of this remains unknown at this point however.

So, although it has shown benefits for athletic performance, particularly with respect to a more efficiently functioning muscle , we don’t have a strong conclusions as to how it is doing it.

So, below I will highlight a few studies and provide their findings, conclusions and hypotheses regarding a potential mode of action.

Bendahan et al (2002). “CM ingestion resulted in a significant reduction in the sensation of fatigue, a 34% increase in the rate of oxidative ATP production during exercise, and a 20% increase in the rate of phosphocreatine recovery after exercise, indicating a larger contribution of oxidative ATP synthesis to energy production.” Their conclusion? The mechanism of CM’s action that reduces weakness and fatigue could be that it increases aerobic ATP production through providing more of the intermediates to replenish those that were lost more quickly than if you weren’t supplementing. [6g CM used]

Perez-Guisado et al (2010). Their study found that males athletes supplemented with CM saw more than 50% increases in the number of repetitions for barbell bench and a significant decrease in muscle fatigue 24 and 48 hours following the study’s training regime in a double blind, within subject study. In their research, they stated that studies have begin to speculate a role of ammonia in in “blocking cellular energy processes” and causing earlier fatigue. It has also been seen that it plays a role in NO reactions, which has been associated with recovery. Overall they concluded that the results from their study showed that one dose of CM helped with recovery and performance in high-intensity anaerobic activities with short rest times. [8g CM used]

Sureda et al (2010). They took subjects and had them cycle for ~137km with one difficult hill. All were given the same amount of food and fluid. They measured all variables (amino acids and all important exercise related metabolites) 3 hours prior to the race, 15 minutes following and 3 hours following. Overall, they found that the CM group showed a significant decease in the amount of the branched chain amino acids post race, which they said was due to the BCAAs being more effectively used for energy, than the control and higher arginine concentrations, which would contribute to many arginine derived metabolites such as nitrite, urea, creatinine and hormones like growth hormone that are beneficial for muscle growth and function. Finally, they also saw greater nitrogen availability in the CM group, which they stated could increase protein synthesis and protein concentrations in the muscle during exercise leading to better use of the amino acids (particularly the BCAAs). [6g CM used]

Overall, although I only highlighted a few interesting studies I found, I will say that the vast majority of studies I saw (which, I couldn’t have seen them all obviously…) showed significant improvements with its usage, so I have some confidence that it could provide a benefit to those who are looking (and can afford) to get a supplement that may actually do something useful and perhaps give a slight edge with recovery. Is it required to be a better athlete? Well no. Like all supplements, its not a magic powder that will give you huge energy bursts or make your recovery happen in 5 seconds. It is simply supplementing your routine and could provide some little bits of assistance and/or performance enhancements.

Happy Friday Friends!

-Chelsea


4 Comments

More Food = More Gains

Friends! Today has been a really great day thus far and to share that happiness with you I thought I would jump into the link up party

week-in-review-button-final

Lovely Link-up created by the wonderful Meghan 

…cuz I have been feeling and receiving all kinds of happy lately. Also the ‘list all your achievements’ theme is quite fitting this week.

1. I’m sorry I’m happy while everyone down south is angry AF still post election. But we won’t get into that because politics is just something you don’t touch.

kids

…Moving on….

2. My lifts…omg I amaze myself. The small increases I do with my coach every two weeks are lighting me up like a firecracker I kid you not. I started to wonder why I’m progressing so much faster strength wise now than I was with my previous coach. At that time I was getting much, MUCH larger increases compared to now and, yes, I was progressing, but not at this rate.

I thought about it hard and figured it’s probably having to do with the fact that my system is healing itself now. Back earlier in the year, it was overwhelmed being overfed and dealing with all the health problems (cough parasites..) and so I think that with those dealt with (I hope!) my body is now less stressed and less inflamed so perhaps now during this healing process it’s just going to get better and better.

So those PR’s…Excuse me while I grin like a crazy person…I’m just so happy about them!

~I squatted 4×3, 1×5 135lb back squats this past Friday. Thats up 1 whole set and 1 rep from last week. NOTE that this may small but its actually about 1.6x my bodyweight. My goal is 4×8 by Xmas. Getter!

~100lb DL this morning. DL have always been my weakest lift, so I was pretty damn proud of this lift, especially since I have felt stalled for a few weeks

~30lb DB shoulder presses this Saturday

~135lb Rack pull for 5

~135lb barbell hip thrusters.

~100lb barbell lunges for sets of 8

So yeah, excuse my pride face..

tina-fey-giving-herself-high-five

3. Started off my morning right today with news that I had gotten a 90% on my clinical midterm. Once again I was terrified to check because everyone else was spouting about how bad they felt they did. I need to learn to trust my gut.

4. On the topic of marks, 88% for Metabolism and another 90% in Nutrition Assessment ain’t too shabby either.

grades

5. I managed to finish a Clinical assignment in 1.5 hours on Saturday. Holler at that productivity.

6. I have been writing training plans for my housemate and she told me how thankful she was for them because she has never felt so good about herself.

Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 5.16.02 PM.png

Follow me at @lilmisscross!

Gym = more confidence in everything! Its not just about aesthetics.

7. This will be my 4th blog post this week!

8. I welcomed myself back into vlogging! I’m so happy to be back.

9. I have done the monkey work for my Master/Internship applications. Goals for the next two weeks is to crack down on those letters of intent/cover letters

10. Wrote a leg routine for two people at the gym and they absolutely loved it. I than so graciously received a Tims gift card, which was totally not needed or asked for but she insisted. So nice.

11. I made a peanutty version of these cookies and everyone loved them!

chia

12. I reconnected with a friend who moved away this year (Oh hey Cass if you’re reading this). It was so nice to hear from her and catch up!

13. One of my clients told me that he was so happy that he found me because I have helped him so much. Daaawww

14. Finally took my ass to Canadian Tire to get a spare key for my Dad. Than I got an even cooler key so my Dad gets the boring original…

img_9550

I swear I am an adult. Can I call it Mighty Mouse?

PS please ignore the U.G.L.Y callouses on my hands…gym problems.  

14. Three people have told me that I’m looking strong! I’m growing friends!

15. I left the gym on Friday feeling a sense of complete and utter bliss. I had trained my ass off that morning, hit my squat PR, trained both a client and my housemate and spent 1.5 hours trying to eat my post workout because everyone was chatting with me. I just feel like I’m supposed to be there. I’m supposed to help others and give information. It was a great feeling. Passion, I like you.

16. I forced my housemates to enter the Christmas season nice and early with me by putting these on their doors ;-).. Spread a lil love…

img_9549

Penguin for me (cuz I love them!), elephant for Em (cuz likewise) and a beautiful Xmas sweater for Rita because they didn’t have a turtle…(her nickname lol)

And with the spirit of Xmas now in our hearts, I will end it here. Overall a great week filled with a lot of great things. Heres to further growth and positivity my friends!

Thanks again to Meghan for giving me a platform to share my successes and happy moments of the week.

motivational-penguin

What is one success or happy moment you experienced this week?

-Chelsea


50 Comments

The Only Marvelous Thing Snow Can Do

 

 Sorry to the London folks who apparently like 3 feet of snow and were expected to be all bright eyed and bushy tailed in class this morning

#Fail. And I’m sorry but I LOL’ed pretty hard at this tweet.

So I decided to swing in on the Marvelous In My Monday linkup with a quicky lil post. Thanks to Katie for the linkup!

As much as I hate snow…and the cold in general…there are some Marvelous things about snow. In particular, what Marvelous things come with a snow day you ask?

1. Empty gyms are Marvelous

IMG_7175

Yeah, it was like 1/2 employees and 1/2 members this morning no joke.

Except when you need a spotter... You see, although I wouldn’t skip anyways, I see these days off as an even bigger push to go because, well, what else are ya gunna do when everything is slow and closed other then my school work?

Permission to hog the squat rack for my entire workout granted cuz not ones there to care. 😉

2. Pj’s all day

Ok that is nothing new for me. #NoShame.

3. Family dinners!

Sorry Patty…

Sat down with my housemates for a lovely family din-din with Millionaire Matchmaker

4. Get to do things you didn’t think you had time for.

You know how you justify not doing your work because you would have been in class anyways? Yeah.. I made my pesto. It’s a big job okee. 😀

5. Skip out on the busiest day of my school week.

Lab cancelled weeeooo.

6. I get to make new Vlogs and chatter with you all!

Dont let your mind win thumbnailClicky on the thumbnail for the video. 😀

NOTE! The intent of this video was for getting past that mental barrier not about never skipping a gym session. I’m one that rarely misses a day, but that’s me doing me. Please don’t feel like I’m trying to make people feel bad if they don’t do the same. This was just something I wanted to share with you all to show that everyone has days where they struggle and how I personally got past it. XO

Well there’s no snow day expected for tomorrow and a 5:30am alarm with my name on it so I gots to go. Hope you enjoyed something Marvelous of your own today. If you did, share it with me in the comments. 🙂

Happy Monday friends

-Chelsea


2 Comments

Back Attack Workout

Hey Friends!

Did you hit the gym today?

I did! 😀

Start your weekend mornins on a high note and hit some weights!

I even brought in some pronuts for everyone to nom on. They were supposed to be for a specific community member but unfortunately he couldn’t make it in. He will have to catch the next batch I bring in. In the meanwhile, I hope my fellow personal trainers enjoy the healthy peanut butter and banana protein donuts that are now sitting behind the desk.

20140215-115204.jpg

PB and Banana. Best combo or best combo?

Before I share my back workout with ya, check out this fuel:

20140215-115220.jpg

Anyone see the sprinkles?

In the Bowl:

Base: Cellucor COR-Fetti cake batter whey, gluten free oats, black chia seeds, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, water and cinnamon.

After letting it sit overnight in the fridge to soak, I cooked it up this morning with 1/4 cup of liquid egg whites, 60g of banana and 1/2 tsp of lucuma powder. I than topped it with 1/4 of a cookie dough Questbar (some baked pieces and some raw), 1 tsp of my homemade chunky peanut butter and 1 tsp of crack raw Artisana cashew butter.

So this lovely bowl was not only delicious but it also fueled my Saturday mornin back attack.

fitness background 2Here’s a few notes:

1. My “Main Lift” of the workout or my 5×5. I switch up my grips with pullups every time I go. This week was the angled handles and I used a 12.5 DB to add extra weight. 5 sets are done with about 5-6 reps + a Drop set. For the planks, I have a 45lb plate on my back and I hold it for 1:15 minutes 4x.

2. Rep Range: 4 sets of 6-7 reps + final Drop set. The rows were using a 35lb DB and going until failure (about 6 reps per side x4 times). Weighted mountain climbers are done 4x for 1 minute each. I have a 25lb plate on my back and my feet are elevated on a bench.

3. Rep Range: 4 sets of 7 reps + drop set at 95lbs. The inverted rows are done using the squat rack and I go until failure which is about 8 reps. Lastly, the knee ups are completed on the captains chair and I use a 15lb DB to do a set, then immediately do a drop set with a 10lb DB. I do this 4x with the final set having a third drop set with no weight.

4. Burn baby, burn! This is my final round and I call it my burn out as I try to go as quickly as possible. For a total of 3 sets, I aim for about 7-8 reps of my main exercise (the seated row), than run over to do as many pullups as possible (I get about 5 here, I’m tired!) and then finish off each round with weighted russian twists on the decline bench.  Similar to the weighted knee ups, I have two drop sets (set with 20lbs, than immediately do a set with 10lbs) in each round of russian twists, with a third drop set (no weight) on the final round.

That’s all for tonight friends and that’s TWO posts in one day. WHO AM I? 😛

Do you like doing drop sets? I love’em because I love to feel as if I am burning out every single last bit of that muscle.

-Chelsea


6 Comments

Fitness Friday #11…A Gymrat Was Born

Hey Friends,

On my last Fitness Friday post I got a request from a lovely reader named Lauren to do a post on what got me started in my fitness journey so I thought that instead of posting a bunch of workouts this week, I would share how I became Lil Miss Fitness Freak.

Super Mouse…

Mighty Mouse…

Hulkess…

Small and Mighty…

I have received a long list of nicknames over the 6+ years I have been training in the gym. Despite feeling as if I shouldn’t care about how others view me, I can take pride in the fact that my small stature (5 foot frame) has not held me back strength wise…and sometimes…it shocks people. Check out my PR’s I posted last week! So proud. 😀

These days, I know my way around a gym now and can confidently work my way through an intense session that I have created for myself …

BUT…

Contrary to how I may portray myself, I was not born in a gym. That said, just like everyone else, I had to start somewhere. I had to start off as a blank slate. I had to learn the foundation and techniques of lifting. I had to learn what my body could do. I have had to learn how to adjust exercises to ‘fit’ my stature.

I too was a newb at one point.

Okay so I wasn’t thaaaat bad.

All of these basic things I had to learn I can thank my dad for as he was the one who took the time to train with with his lil girl when I expressed the desire to step away from sports (I had gone through many and really never fell in love with any of them…exception was tennis!) and step into the gym to do some heavy lifting. I did try out a personal trainer for a bit, and although she was great, I still credit most of the foundation (technique and dos and don’ts of lifting) to my father.

Fit Tip 1: When first starting out, get someone with experience to show you the ropes. After you know some foundation, you can use other tools like youtube, magazines, etc to learn new exercises. It is very hard to start off with the latter as you need to have that mind body connection first (aka knowing what a basic lift should feel like, gaining that coordination, etc) or else your technique will suffer.

Yeah that’s right, I went into the gym knowing I wanted to LIFT. No cardio bunnies here. I tried cardio here and there and, well…

Enough said. You all agree with me. Cardio sucks and even today my mindset remains the same. So I just don’t do it. 😉

***Please, cardiovascular training is good for conditioning the heart, lungs and contributing to your overall level of fitness so don’t take this as me saying that no one should do it. Everyone should work those muscles in some way shape or form for good health. I bike my lil tuff almost everywhere I go so I then don’t do any isolated cardio training in the gym***

For me currently, cardio also gets in the way of my goals (weight and muscle gain) so that is another hindrance. Anywho, enough about that, back to the main post.

So the first day I walked into the gym with my dad I was super excited to get going. He showed me the ropes, starting with machines and cables (mostly the latter) and very quickly also got me lifting with dumbbells. Maybe my memory is just remembering my first experiences in a favourable light but I don’t ever remember having major coordination issues when I first started off with the dumbbells.

Fit Tip 2: Don’t be afraid of the weights ladies PLEASE! I will repeat this until I am blue in the face, you will not turn into a man. Weights make curves not bulk. Trust me, the things you would have to do to ‘bulk’…I digress.

The rest is history. I fell in love with training and slowly weaned myself off my dad’s routines by throwing in my own things until I was mostly working out solo, which is what I prefer today. Don’t get me wrong, having a partner definitely has it’s perks sometimes when you find someone with the same mindset and goals as you (spots, motivation, etc) but with my workouts these days, a partner would just slow me down.

For about a year, my dad and I would still go to the gym together but we were doing mostly separate workouts OR we would have a certain body part we would be doing together and then I would be doing supersets in between on my own (yes the superset queen was starting to emerge).

Then it was time for Lil Miss Fitness Freak to spread her wings and tackle the student gym all alone at McMaster where I was accepted to attend University. This gym, which was brand new and amazing, was the Pulse. Now, some people, especially females I find, are skeptical and sometimes even afraid to enter a busy gym to work out. This can sometimes lead to people ‘falling off the wagon’ so to speak because they say they are too uncomfortable working out with all the big guys who will just gawk at them.

So, what’s a lil 5 foot girl to do?

Stomp right into the mosh pit that was the weight floor (cardio bunnies upstairs) at 4:30pm (peak time) with confidence and do my thing. Getter done!

Fit Tip 3: Don’t enter a gym with the mindset that you are going to be judged. I mean let’s be honest here, mirror to wall ratio is like 1:1 suggesting that most people are focused on themselves the majority of the time when they are working out. It’s the truth. Unless you are uber loud (oh hey screamers), obnoxious, dangerous (swinging things around like a crazy person) or a girl in a sports bra and shortie short shorts, you are not the centre of attention.

Personally I find it sad when so many girls are just too intimidated to come downstairs (in the case of the Pulse) and hit the weights as they are so beneficial! I really wish sometimes I could take these girls under my lil arm and show them the ropes. Anyways, as I have alluded to, the reality is that there are not that many girls on the weight floor and because of this, I rounded up some additional nicknames as more and more people began to spot the tiny girl doing some heavy liftin.

Pink Towel Girl (I ‘claim’ machines with this towel as I do my super sets. Oh the infamous towel)

Girl always doing abs (Guilty. Yes you don’t have to do abs everyday. Yes, despite this, I choose to incorporate them in all my sessions cuz I’m crazy like that :-D)

More recently (past year or so) I have really taken my lifting to the next level. With the ultimate goal to put on some lean mass, I really wanted to see where my body could go strength wise and I will say that I’m definitely surprised and happy with how far I have come since I started back in first year (I have now been at the Mac gym for 4.5 years). My strength has sky rocketed this year (thanks extra food) and I couldn’t be more proud.

Once again though, my routines that have seen these results didn’t just appear out of nowhere. The training style I follow today is a compilation of tips and advice from a number of different people who I look up to. One person in particular who really pushed me to try out ‘power lifting’ or lifting to your maximum (IE failure…spotters required) was Jeff, a personal trainer and friend from my gym back at home. From a knowledge perspective, he knows his stuff! He experimented with his own workouts and came to a style of training that has led him to see great changes in his physique and overall mental and physical well being. Today, he has now moved on to bigger and better things but I can not thank him enough for his strong words of advice. He also got me hooked on Barleans fish oils, which is an added nutrition bonus 😉

He suggested that I try a 3 day split (full body each day) focusing on rep and weight ranges rather than isolating body parts. To explain further, he told me to try out one day of all 5×5 sets, then the next day would be 4×8 and the last day would be 3×12. This variety would ensure that you your body would be constantly challenged and not really able to adapt and thus plateau. Plus, it gives you some space for a variety of exercises so that no workout would be the same. So keeping your mentally stimulated.

Fit Tip 4: Ensure you have variety in your workouts. Don’t come in with the same routine every time. Not only will you get bored and not want to do it, but your body is smart and will adapt to it leaving you will no more room to grow and change.

I did this for a lil bit and definitely saw some good gains, BUT I missed my isolation workouts. Yes, I’m a person who just loves to burn out a muscle group completely. So with that, I bring you to my current training style that combines a lil bit of all three in a single workout. I know what you’re going to say…Volume much? Yeah, I like it. 😀

The 5×5 sets that I always start off with are my power aspect and a good gauge as to where my strength is at. These are always to start as they take a lot of energy and generally require longer rest breaks…oh and spotters. Always have a spotter when you are going to failure.

4×6-8 are my hypertrophy sets. I generally include 2 of these per workout. Still lifting to my max, but a bit lighter to reach for those could more repetitions. These types of rep ranges are supposedly the best for building strength, but I tend to like them because I can still lift heavy and it’s not like I’m doing a million reps (I get mentally exhausted..bored… after going over 12 :-P).

3×10-12 is always my last set of exercises. I like to call these my burnouts as this is when I will really pick up my pace and just get them done as quickly as possible to really fry that muscle group out. This leaves you nice and tired.

Fit Tip 5: Do what you love. If you like full body the best. Do that. Isolation your thing? Do that. As long as you are challenging your body and going in the direction of your goals, the types of workouts your choose are essentially limitless. You are the one who will be doing these routines so you better have a good time doing them.

So that how Lil Miss Fitness Freak came to be a gymrat. I knew from the beginning that weights were for me. Not cardio. I loved the way they make me feel strong and powerful. I wanted muscle. I wanted to build strength and push my body to the limits. I wanted to know how far I could take this lil frame.

Now today, here I am lifting as heavy as possible, making some great progress and gaining respect from other lifters around me. The confidence that weight lifting has given me in and outside the gym is amazing. This is an important part of my life and will continue to be that way for the rest of my time. It’s my lifestyle and I love it.

Learn what you love to do and go for it!

-Chelsea


2 Comments

Sweat Sesh Changes And Fitness Friday #9

Hey Friends!

LATE as per usual but hey, better late than never I always say 😉 hahah. So it’s been quite a while since I have done one of these posts but I’m going to jump in this week due to a recent request I got from a lovely follower of mine :-D. Sorry it took me FOREVER to write this but Kayla, if you are reading this post, it’s dedicated to you! 😀 As always, don’t forget to check out the page of the wonderful Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean for some more great workout inspiration.

Fitness Friday LogoBefore I show you how I sweat it out this week I wanted to share a few updates and current goals:

  • UPDATE 1: My workouts were getting waaaaayyyy too long, like I’m talking 2-2.5 hours of pure weight training. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the gym and could be there all day but after continuing to deal with some not so fun body (digestive, sleepiness, not gaining weight) issues lately I have determined that it may be my hormones that are out of whack. Specifically, I went to chat with the Director of Fitness at my current gym (at McMaster), who would have been my boss if he was staying for the next year (sadface), and he mentioned to me that I was borderline overtraining/over exhausting my body and that one potential contributing factor to my inability to put on weight is probably due to my cortisol levels and other stress hormones being way too high. His suggestion…Cut down that time woman! So, cutting I have been doing and I have to say that I have been pretty successful at making it through my routinesin my allotted time goal (1.5 hours or less). The way I see it right now is that I’m challenging myself to finish with a better and better time.
  • UPDATE 2: Still continuing to increase my nutrition calorie wise but I also started to feel as though that was not enough…it was time to take a hard look at my macro distribution as well. At this point I felt it was necessary to get some further assistance and went to see a wonderful RD, Gabrielle, who works with a friend of mine and my Dad’s, Mike. Mike is a trainer, professional bodybuilder (he has won many a trophies for competitions, including one he recently did last week!) and gym owner. I first spoke with him of my concerns and despite not being able to meet and chat with him yet for an assessment and checkup on my workouts, he set Gabrielle and myself up and we ended up meeting last week for my first nutrition assessment. We chatted about some important changes that I would have to make in order to this lil body to gain some lean mass. Yes, I said it, I HAVE to, at this point, gain some mass but I’m hoping to do it in such a way that I stay as ‘ripped’ as possible. Does that sound bad? This last piece is why I wanted to chat with a dietician that worked in the fitness industry rather than an everyday RD. Sooo. what changes would have to come about??
    1. The big one is that the proportion of my calories from carbs will go up, while those from protein would go down. WHY? The main answer is that I was taking in too much protein (180g/day for my body weight) and too little carbs for any gains to occur. Although I know (from strength gains in the gym) that my body LERVES carbs, I’m not really a huge fan of having a lot of them in my diet (oatmeal and sweet potatoes/squash are exceptions of course!). Yeah I’m a weird one. I just never have liked how heavy they feel and how much water they hold onto. Despite this negative aspect, like I mentioned, I have always had major boosts in the gym when I have increased carbs (doesn’t everyone?) and a lil bit more energy to keep me powering through my tough sessions. Furthermore, I have noticed on my restdays, when my fats are at their highest and carbs at their lowest (30C/40P/30F split), which is still not a traditional low carb day (can you believe some people have less than 50g of carbs per day on a competition diet?!?! CRAZY!), I look flat in terms of my muscle tone, despite feeling tighter, and I also tend to get hungrier throughout the day. What I also don’t like is that feeling of being a lil bit foggy mentally despite still having plenty of carbs during the day.  EVEN FURTHER my digestion went nuts a lil while ago and everyone thinks it’s because of my current macro split being a lil off…So with that all said, remember it’s always a learning curve and although higher fat/protein and low carbs work for some people (any keto or paleo followers out there?), apparently it just doesn’t work for me. I suppose I will just have to get over the slightly greater amount of liquids that I store on my lil body with the carb increase. :-/
    2. Water, water, water! This has always been a problem for me as I tend to feel nauseous with drinkin a lot of water at a time. I’m also one of those people who generally forgets to drink water, leaving my poor protein heavy body thoroughly dehydrated. This was a completely plausible contributing factor for my recent digestion issues as once I really honed in on taking my water bottle everywhere with me, I started to feel a lil bit better. So the first step is to track how much I actually take in, then slowly increase it to a normal and healthy amount.
    3. Possibly talk to a friend of Gabrielle (therapist) about my anxiety. I tend to hold a lot of my stress in, but recently it has been wearing me down and it’s taking it’s toll. Working two jobs with lil to no time for myself OR ANDRE (big problem) leaves a very tired and cranky Lil Miss Fitness Freak. Although the transition to two jobs is still fairly new, I do think it’s important that I learn better stress coping skills.

For my last update…and on a more positive note

  • UPDATE 3: I PASSED MY PT CERTIFICATION EXAM! 93%! AND I passed my PRACTICAL too! Woooo…. 😀 Now onto the real learning with actual clients… In fact, I actually had my first one yesterday morning. How did it go you ask? Well, although I think it could have gone better (Do I really sound like that when I’m explaining something?), she was quite happy with the session so I suppose that’s all that matters right? You are your own worst critic and now that the first session is done, I can simply improve from here.

OKAAAYY so that was a story and a half… sorry. Now that you are all updated on my crazy busy and changing life, lets move onto the focus on this post…FITNESS STUFF 😀 So instead of doing them all like I used to (cue 3 hours to write a blog post) I will share a few of my favs this week. One other new thing is that I have chosen not to share the weights that I personally use as I have come to the realization that my weights really mean nothing to someone who is simply looking for some workout inspiration. Experiment and find what weights challenge your own body instead of looking at what I lift.

Okay here they are, I picked three for this week as my post is already super long. I also jotted a few things about each, again to keep it short.

IMG_2405

  • Guess who finally is pushin 40’s on her own for flat bench. 5 reps this week WWOOOO must be those carbs 😉
  • Still working on getting those deadlifts to the big girls bars…if I can ever figure out a way to hold the bar without it slippin. I’m at the max small bar right now (75lbs) and it is definitely too light, hence the higher reps. Any suggestions for people with small hands?? Oh, and yes I have tried straps, still slips…

IMG_2406

  • Ahhhh pushing my own weight plus some for bench dips (two benches, feet on bench, not on floor!). 110lbs on my lap friends! Oh hey there :-D…oh and my tris always die after this 5×5 round as I end it off with a burnout dropset with 45lbs. Cue me falling off the bench every time. On the note of dips, I really wish my gym had dip bars that I could use. Sigh, the ones at my gym are angled outwards and even at the smallest point, it’s too wide and hurts my shoulders. Little people problems.
  • I found a cool new oblique exercise for ya! I call them oblique mountain climbers. Basically you just do normal mountains climbers but instead of bringing your knees to your chest, you are bend your knees and your legs come out to the sides and move up towards your ribs . Does that make sense? I threw in a picture of what I mean, kinda (the picture is of a spider pushup, which are still awesome btw, but the positioning of the legs is what I’m getting at). So picture this leg movement (continuously switching sides), with your feet on a bench and your hands on a bosu ball (or you could a regular ball with your elbows on the ball). Go for as long as you can ensuring that you are really bringing those knees close to the body to contract those obliques. This exercise really gives a nice burn on your sides especially when you have a 10lb plate on your back! 😀 I do mine for 1 minute.

  • I decided to do weightless chin ups this week to see how far I have come and wow 50 reps I did! Super proud of myself! Those weighted ones are really helping me to increase my strength. Hint hint, if you have ever plateaued in an exercise such as dips, chins, pullups, try adding some weight! BIG NOTE when I say plateaued I mean that you can do 10+ reps with proper form and are looking to push those boundaries. When you add the weight, yes your reps will decrease, but it will be challenging your muscles more and thus, when you go to do them without the weight again the next time, it should help you push past your previous rep range.

IMG_2402Oh how I love leg day (partial sarcasm there…). You see I basically murder my legs on this day because I’m super competitive with myself. I walk in knowing it’s gunna be tough despite only having a rough idea what I’m planning on doing that day. I don’t know what it is about legs that makes me go crazy, but I always leave the gym with a slight zombie face goin on because I have just completely drained myself. For this reason, my high carb day always falls on leg days because without the lil extra boost, that zombie face would remain on my face allll day..not to mention I’m a bottomless pit all day. EAT ALL THE THINGS!

  • My walking lunges are up to two 55lb dumbbells on my shoulders now! That’s 110 lbs on this lil 5’0 frame WOOT. Oh and because my spotter pushed me to do a set of 8 (per leg) last week, I decided that ALL of my sets with the 55’s would have to reach 8 reps…yeah that’s 4 sets of 8 (as I warm up with 50’s for my first working set). That competitive voice is strong I tell you, must be better and better.
  • I’m trying to do different squat variations every time I go rather than just doing your standard full squat. This week was wide stance, toes pointed outwards for the adductors to be hit a lil more (inner thighs). I have also done close feet and still need to test my skills at front squats. I have yet to try the last variation there because I’m a lil nervous about those. I think the fear stems from the fact that the barbell is in front and I feel like either it will slip or I won’t have to upper body strength to keep the bar in place. Thoughts?
  • My legs are sore for 2-3 days following every workout so I’m thinking that sooner than later I will need to invest in my own personal foam roller so that I can work out some kinks at home and not just after my workout.

Alrighty, that’s all I’ve got left in me for this post. Tell me, what do you like about these posts? What do you want to see more of? Do you like if I include random new exercises?

Clocking out for some Entourage re-runs with my babe and my nightly snacky.

Have a great night all,

-Chelsea

Never let the weights intimidate you….even if they are bigger than you.


2 Comments

It’s a Quicky…Fitness Friday

Fitness Friday LogoHey Friends,

Soooo.. Shredded Saturdays? Maybe that’s what I should call it as I keep missing the Friday deadline. I’m so sorry, I tried to rush to do it last night but ran out of time, so here it is a day late, but up nonetheless. I do in fact enjoy giving lil updates on the week’s events in the gym as it gives me some time to reflect on what I did and how my efforts were that week. So with that said, lets get started! Don’t forget to check out Lindsay’s Crossfit workouts over at The Lean Green Bean for more inspiration! Oh and a big congrats to here husband who, despite having shoulder surgery recently and having his arm in a sling, still faithfully attends all of his workouts and works up a good sweat. 😀

This week I started a lil something new that I wanted to share real quick. I made a brief mention of it in my “plan of action” I posted when I was discussing my recent goal of increasing my calories. This was the week that I started using BCAAs throughout my workouts. BCAAs, or branched chain amino acids, are part of the nine essential amino acids, or those that we need to obtain solely from our diet as they are not produced naturally in the body. Specifically, the 3 BCAAs, which include leucine, isoleucine and valine, are special because they have a unique branch off their main structure  The reason I am taking them is because they have been shown to help with muscle repair, endurance and protecting your hard earned muscle from being broken down (ie. catabolism). I’m hoping that they will help with not only muscle soreness (from the addition of the L-glutamine to the BCAA matrix) but also with preserving my muscle while I still work at making dietary increases.

The first kind that I tried was a brand from GNC called Mega BCAA. I picked these ones up because at the time I thought I really wanted capsules or tablets as the drink mixes I was a little wary of (artificial crap?). Well despite some good stats on them and being vegan (no gelatin, no diary, etc, etc), they are the biggest pills I have ever had to swallow and being someone who sucks at that task, these were gunna be a problem. I also didn’t do enough research before diving into this purchase and ended up not getting ones with the added L-glutamine which is for reducing muscle soreness (or DOMS) following your workout. Ugh 50 bucks down the drain. Fitness problems eh? I did use them for about 1/2 a week though so that’s like a dozen pills that I almost choked on to get down…..

Despite being a lil disappointed in my choice of BCAAs, I didn’t have the full intention of going out to look for something new (those things cost me my precious monnies!) until I ended up finding my way into a Popeyes on the hunt for more Questbars (my stash was runnin a lil low. I ain’t got no time for that!). After chatting with one of the sale reps I ended up picking up this guy:

Yes a drink mixer….As I mentioned, I was wary of these because of what else they may have added to them BUT was pleased to find out that this brand was actually pretty decent. They used beetroot for the colouring which means no weird dyes were added. There’s no sugar AND although sucralose was in fact present, it was at the bottom of the list (lower weight). Yes, I still don’t like that they use this because it can cause stomach issues for many people, but I can’t be mad at that because my Optimum Nutrition Casein that I enjoy every night has around the same amount of sucralose in it and, other than maybe a slight bloat from the casein, the sucralose doesn’t seem to give me problems. SOOOOO I picked this guy up to try out and guess what I like it! Not only does it have all of the good stuff my horsepills original pills have regarding the BCAA content but it also contains the L-glutamine that I should have made sure was included in my first purchase. PLUS it tastes like Kool-Aid. :-D.

So I have been enjoying one scoop in my water throughout my workout and things were going good until I started to get this really bloated, water-loaded, “feel like I need to pee ALL THE TIME” feeling a few days ago. I’m really hoping that it’s not this guy that is doing that (as it’s that time…sorry guys for the TMI) but because this is not normal (even for THAT time). I’m going to go back to my horsepills for a lil bit then bring the MuscleTech back in to test it out again. Wish me luck!

SOOO that was a lil supplement update, now onto the gym stuff!

Sunday was Back as per usual

Warmup: Weighted (35) situps on decline bench + reverse situps on decline bench x3= Superset

IMG_1604Sunday is always one of those days that I feel like I’m in the gym forever…why? Because I’m always chatting waaayyy too much! There is a small subset of people that train on the weekend mornings and, well, we like to catch up.  Oh well, it’s called lazy Sunday for a reason right? Anyways I up’ed the weight for not only my triangle pull downs (I’m at par with my body weight now) but also my isolateral pull downs! Those are always hard for me because my grip tends to give out first…sigh. Small hand problems.

Monday was Chest (calves as a secondary)

Warmup: Weighted (35) oblique situps on decline bench + weighted (20) russian twists on decline bench x3= Superset

IMG_1605This was the first day of the BCAAs in my water and I don’t know if it was a placebo effect but I felt like the energizer bunny in the gym. I had a really good session, pushed my heavy weights for a rep or two more and managed to up the weight for my dumbbell flies on flat bench. I even up’ed the weight on my oblique situps which I haven’t done in FOREVER. Felt good!

Wednesday was Shoulders and Delts

Warmup: Weighted (40) situps on decline bench + weighted (15) and non-weighted knee ups on the captions chair x3= Superset

IMG_1591Press day was back and I did pretty well despite being super tired. I had a bit of a rough start as my first spot was a lil rough but after that first one I was back to normal. I still seem to have to drop the weight on my overhead press whenever I start off with DB press, which is frustrating but I suppose it takes more energy out of me than I thought it did. Oh you gotta love training your weakest muscle group. Despite that constant occurrence, I up’ed the weight on my front upright rows and cable shoulder raises! Woo and yes, still loving those upright rows. 😀

Thursday was Leg demo day

Warmup: Weighted (35) oblique situps on decline bench + weighted (20) russian twists on decline bench (last set drop to 10lb) x3= Superset

IMG_1598Tiredness was a trend for me this week…opps..but that didn’t stop me from making some more progress. Although my lunges with the 50’s felt a lil heavier than normal, I still mamanged to keep my reps the same as normal PLUS I up’ed my barbell squats to 135. Those squats by the way are directly following those lunges (ie. superset) so I’m pretty happy with that! My leg press felt really good and so did the split squats, which burned so good last week that I wanted to bring them back this week. I’m still super sore from this workout despite supplementing with the L-glutamine. Good times.

Friday was Biceps and Triceps

Warmup: Weighted (35) situps on decline bench + bicycle crunches (30x each round) on mat x3= Superset

IMG_1603Never underestimate the power of a classic ab exercise. I did those bicycles crunches for the first time last week and they are tough! Try’em out again and see what I mean. Bi’s and tri’s are getting stronger with me isolating them it seems. For triceps, I got in an extra rep or two per set of weighted dips, up’ed the weight on my bar dips aaannd got more tricep pushups this week. For biceps, my superset of hammer curls was bumped to 7 reps with the 17.5! Again, like I said last week, this is a big thing for me. Happy camper! 😀

Favourite exercise to do?

Strongest muscle group? Weakest one?

Keep sweatin’

-Chelsea

What I felt like doing when I first got into the gym most of the days this week..