Friday, March 25, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Chickens.

Hey sunshines, happy spring!! (Even though there are three days of snow in this week's forecast..!) Depsite the title, I am far from a spring chicken today! ha.  So, I'm just making a quick, pointless post because I probably won't be updating for a bit because I'm broken and gimped again!

That 'torn stomach muscle' from last month (and the last five years..) is back, but I know it is not a torn muscle and I'll be going back to the hospital/GI specialist tomorrow. I feel like an episode of stomach scans came out blood work was awesome..the doctor told me I was healthier than he was..I don't have any other what the cripes is wrong with me?!

I've been in bed since last night, wasn't able to go to Steve's roomate's birthday/St. Patty's party last night, no gym or fun times outside's just debilitating, frustrating and tear-inducing pain! And I hate being in bed all day..I like to be out and about doing stuff, especially when it's nice out :(
Ok, enough whining..

Instead, pictures!

Today's lunch. Egg white omelet with spinach, onions and feta. Why don't I make these more often? Adding feta to this made it off the charts delicious.

Fortunately I was able to get up and limp to the fresh produce place and then to the grocery store this afternoon and walk around like a hunched old lady grasping the carraige for dear life. Apples, grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, cinnamon almonds, fresh basil, lots of veggies, chicken boobs, egg whites and I grabbed some coconut milk for the first time. Can you believe I've never had it before?

Spaghetti squash with chicken, feta, delicioso marinara, baked tomatoes and green beans. Surprisingly filling dinner!

This is what I just filled my belly with for tonight's dinner. Basically a veggie plate with italian basil chiken, spinach and Annie's honey mustard dressing for happy dippins'!

I treated myself to a manicure yesterday afternoon. Haven't done that in years. I needed one so badly, my nails were a serious wreck from winter! It felt so good to treat myself, definitely need to do this more often!

Silly "progess" pics from after Friday's lazy cardio workout. Sorry for the serious face! Yeah I'm the douche-head taking pictures in the locker room.

Dessert from St. Patty's day! Home made frozen yogurt. I didn't forget about the ice cream recipes I promised, I just have one more I want to experiment with when I'm feeling up to it!! :) 

I'm off to lay around some more :( and hopefully experiment with coconut milk later! Any suggestions??
Along with the ice cream recipes, I've been letting Steve wear my BodyMedia for fun, so I'll post about that too..dude cranks out some serious freakin' calories!

Today's motivation;

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day!

I'm sitting in my kitchen with Pandora's Irish Pub station jammin' with tonight's corned beef boiling behind me on the stove. It smells soo good!! I also just bought an ice cream maker, so I'm making green ice cream for dessert. Then Steve and I are going to The Old Dublin to hang out. I come from a long line of Connells and McDermotts, so we've always gotten real into St. Patty's Day..but since my grandma and my ma are both gone, it's up to me to carry the tradition strong :)

Since I have nothing else relevent to post here's today's
Blarney-Stone-Bustin' Chest/Back workout;
3 sets of each! (I shoot for heavy enough for atleast 6 reps, but no more than 8 without upping the weight.)
  • Pull-ups (60lbs assistance) supersetted with push-ups (amrap)
  • One arm dumb bell rows - 6-7 @ 40lb/arm
  • Chest press (w/dumb bells) - 6@ 70lbs
  • Chest flyes - 6@ 60lbs
  • Incline press (w/dumb bells) - 6@ 60lbs
  • Face pulls - 6-7 @ 90lbs
  • Low cable row - 8 @ 80lbs, 6-7 @ 80lbs
  • Wide lat-pulldown - 6 @ 80lbs

Ok, I'm done ;). Enjoy your day guys, be safe! xoxo
(P.S. I've been experimenting with the ice cream maker so I'll be posting up some protein ice cream recipes soon!)

Monday, March 14, 2011

McSweat and Dirt's Commandments of Lifting.

See what I did there? I'm all geared up for St. Patty's Day, it's like Christmas for me! ..and seeing Dropkick Murphy at the casino last night really got me into overdrive! (Can ya tell I'm Irish?)

The show last night was awesome, I was so happy to see Against Me, I hadn't seen them in a good five years and they've always been one of my favorite bands. After all those years they still played hard. all their glory...Dropkick!

I spent like half the show trying to get a good picture of the banjo player (I secretly wish I could play the banjo...) should see how many blurry banjo pictures are on my camera.

This was at the end. The singer came onto the floor and walked around the arena singing "Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced."  I tried getting Steve to put me on his shoulders and plow through the crowd. He wasn't as keen on this idea as I was.

So, today thank god I am on Spring Break (insert frat boy noises here) and don't have any clients today because I feel like a 90 year old who got hit by an 18 wheeler.  Going through a heavy chest and back workout and then going to a six hour concert (and walking around the casino!) makes you feel elderly I guess.  Man, I'm getting old :( Back in the day (oh god, hear how I'm talking now?!..) I'd get up and do it all over again like it was nothin'!
Oh yeah and the woman who searched my bag at the door wasn't pleased about all the tupperware in my purse.  Apparantly food's not allowed. But she let it slide!

Just for kicks, I compiled my Commandments of Lifting.
Try and contain your excitement..

  • Thou shall train thy body, not thy ego or thy gender. (You don’t need to train differently just because you sit down to pee!)
  • Thou shall not be afraid of failure, thou shall be afraid of failing to try.
  • Thou shall accept and learn to love that “comfort and ease are not often associated with progress and accomplishment in any endeavor” (-Mark Rippetoe)
  • Thou shall focus on feeling confident and strong and not a number on the scale.
  • Thou shall not give up and not make excuses. Have a plan, keep a journal, hold yourself accountable. Always stay focused and remember that nothing happens overnight. One day at a time!
  • Thou shall breathe.
  • Thou shall respect fellow lifters. Respect other people's space, don't hog equipment, don't be rude, let others work in between your sets if needed, offer to spot someone if they may need it, throw someone a pat on the back, we're all in this together!
  • Thou shall worship the iron.
  • Thou shall use progression.
  • Thou shall do what works for you, not for someone else. Billy biceps got ripped eating six bowls of lucky charms and a package of hot dogs for breakfast and never takes rests days. Tina triceps hasn't eaten a carb in eight years and is built like a linebacker. Does that mean doing these exact same things will work for you? Probably not, all our bodies are different!
  • Thou shall not ever attempt to spot reduce!
  • Thou shall keep it under an hour. If your work-out lasts longer than this, you're most likely either overdoing it or spending too much time resting/socializing.
  • Thou shall get plenty of sleep.
  • Thou shall properly fuel thy muscles. A bag of doritos isn't going to fuel your workout the way something like a banana with nut butter will. It's okay to eat crap, just not all the time.
  • Thou shall practice good form..or STOP.
  • Thou shall build machines, not use them. There are definitely exceptions to this, but your workout should be focused around free weights and barbells in order to get maximum results..I mean is there always going to be a machine helping you to move your arms and legs in your daily life? No, so why train with one?
  • Thou shall work thy entire body. I'm talking to your, Mr. Pizza slice ;)
  • Thou shall use basic, multi-joint movments. Squats, presses, deadlifts, pull-downs and rows..oh my!
Which one(s) are you most guilty of breaking?? For me it's getting enough sleep and daylight savings time is not going to help me with that either! I felt like sometimes there wasn't enough time in they day before we lost an hour..

Feel free add to the list in the comments! Serious and non-serious commandments accepted :)
I also wanted to thank everyone for their protein powder suggestions in my last post! I'm going to have to try a couple of them out, especially ON's cake batter :)

I also wanted to address the 3% body fat drop, since a couple people brought it up. Yes, I agree it's pretty drastic for sure! I'm sure it's not 100% accurate but it's as accurate as it can boss tests it every time (it's supposed to be done by the same person) first thing in the morning at work using snazzy electronic calipers. I also switched up my routine (upped most weights too) and made a couple big food changes, which I guess had more of an effect on it than I would have thought!
I just don't want anyone to think I did anything crazy like sawed off a hunk of my booty or something, ya know? I'll just have to see what my % comes out to be next week to tell if the last measurement was for real or not, because I was honestly a bit shocked too.

I'm off to drag myself to the garage to fix my daily driver Jeep. Oh joy! Enjoy the rest of your Monday!


(I think she's doing a turkish get-up, holy cow!)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Magical Powder.

Protein powder and bodybuilders go together like..ya know...peas and carrots..milk and cookies..flies on poop..and there are so many great uses for it besides shakes to boost your protein intake. Protein pancakes are my personal favorite, but it can also be used to make sludge, fudge, ice cream, muffins/cakes, proatmeal..the list goes on depending on how creative ya want to get.  Finding the right protein powder can be a bit overwhelming if you have no idea where to start.  I've only tried a handful of different whey powders and I wanted to share my thoughts on them with you guys.

(Heads up:I'm a vanilla kind of gal, nothing against chocolate, I just always use vanilla powder because it's easier to make different kinds of shakes and things with)

1) Jay Robb Vanilla Whey Protein;
(Jay Robb's brand was my 'training wheels' aka the first I ever tried)
Jay Robb's Whey Protein is made from the finest natural ingredients available and delivers 25 grams of first class protein, 0-fat, 0-cholesterol, 0-sugars, and only 1 gram of carbohydrate per 30 gram serving. Only cold-processed cross-flow microfiltered whey protein isolate is used as the protein source and this material comes from farm-raised, pasture-grazed, grass-fed cows not treated with the synthetic bovine growth hormone rBGH.
Mixability: In terms of mixing in shakes made in the blender I'd give it a 9/10, but adding it to just milk or in oatmeal was awful, didn't mix well at all!
Taste/Texture: 9/10 Same as above, in shakes it was delicious and added a nice vanilla flavor but when adding it to oatmeal or other things it got slimy and chunky and did not taste good.
Overall: 25 g for 110 calories is awesome and I love that it's made with stevia and not artificial crap. I'd highly recommend Jay Robb brand if you are just planning on making shakes :)

2) Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey, Vanilla Ice Cream;

Whey Protein Isolates are 90% pure protein by weight. They are the purest and most expensive form of whey protein that exists. That’s why they are the first ingredients you read on the 100% Whey Gold Standard label. By using Whey Protein Isolates as our primary protein source, we’re able to pack 24 grams of the purest, muscle-building protein per serving, with a lot less of the fat, cholesterol, lactose, and other stuff that you can do without. There’s no question this is the standard by which other whey proteins are measured.
Mixability: 10/10, smooth, no chunks, no complaints!
Taste/Texture: This stuff even smells great. Not slimey or chalky. I'd love to try the cookies and cream flavor. Check out to see all the other flavors. (Cake batter and rocky road, anyone?)
Overall: 1 scoop is 120 calories and 24g protein. I highly recommend this stuff! I've never heard anything negative about, but the only issue I have with it is that it contains artificial sweetener.

3) Designer Whey French Vanilla

Designer Whey Protein Powder in All Natural French Vanilla has been shown to help hard training athletes reduce body fat when combined with a diet and resistance training program. The secret? Added L-Glutamine to keep muscles fueled. Even better, B vitamins and fast digesting full-spectrum whey peptides help your muscles recover quickly after a hard workout so they're ready for more tomorrow.
Mixability: 10/10, no problems mixing this stuff. This powder was more coarse than the others, but that didn't turn out to be an issue!
Taste/Texture: This is where I had problems. This has no taste whatsoever..which is great if you want flavor-free powder, but I don't. I had to add spoonfuls of vanilla extract and 3 packets of stevia to get just a little taste out of this.
Overall: Dislike. I couldn't even finish the carton of this. 1 scoop has 100 calories and 18g of protein, which isn't bad..but lower than the others. I bought Designer Whey because I was on a serious hunt for powders without artificial sweetener/crap in them, there are only a few and DW is one of 'em. I mean this stuff is perfect if you want tasteless powder, but I like a nice vanilla-y, creamy shake! I'm curious how the other flavors taste though.

4) Nature's Best Isopure Zero Carb, Creamy Vanilla;

(This is the powder that I'm currently using.)
The elite protein elixir. 50 grams of 100% whey protein isolate. 1g of fat, no lactose, and glutamine enriched but with zero carbs. Also sweetened with apartame free Sucralose, the only zero calorie sweetener made from sugar.
Mixability: 10/10, no problems here!
Taste/Texture: Love it, great vanilla flavor and it really is 'creamy.' Makes a nice shake.
Overall: I highly recommend this brand. Although I'm not too keen on the sucralose..I could have sworn it didn't use sucralose when I bought it but I guess I overlooked that!

Well that's that. What protein brand do you guys use? ..and if you have any suggestion for brands that don't use the artificial stuff let me know! (I am okay with stevia-sweetened stuff though.)

Anyways, I'm having a pretty good day so far.  I had 2 clients this morning and both told me multiple times that I kicked their ass and that it made 'em feel good (such a compliment! haha).  I really love my job, I couldn't imagine doing anything else!  It's just so tough starting out and building up a solid base of clients.

Today is also bodyfat Friday.  Last week I was 24%..this week...DRUMROLL PLEASE...20.8%!
I'm shooting for anywhere from 14-17%, my boss tells me I'll have a six pack for sure by then..that cracked me up, I've never had any sort of ab in my life.
I really whooped ass with my new routine this week though and my food has been right on point..
I want to share my new routine though:

3 days on, 1 day of only cardio, 3 days on, 1 day off;
So it goes like this:
Day 1- Legs,
2- Chest/Back
4-Cardio (light)
5- Legs
6- Chest/Back
7- Shoulders/Bis/Tris
8- OFF
(I also do 20 minutes of light cardio after lifting too. And no, it's not my idea of a good time!)

This is a simple, but heavy 6 rep routine, so it's really pushed me to up weights and really progress with strength gains.  The one I'm most excited about is my chest press, which went up 10lbs immediately (I also wrenched my neck lifting without a spotter..), and flyes which I went from using two 25lb DBs to two 30s. I had really plateaued with my chest for a while so I'm stoked.

What I really want to throw out there is that I'm 2lbs heavier on the scale despite losing a hunk of bodyfat...just another reason to disregard the scale! (and lift heavy!) :)

Since I haven't posted food in a while here's a couple things from the past week:
(WARNING! This is not a food blog, my food ain't pretty, I suck at taking pictures and I'm still eating off my Valentine's Day themed plates..)

Italian style ground turkey w/green peppers and onion on top of spinach and baked tomatoes.

Sweet potato mashed w/vanilla almond milk and topped with almond butter.
I bring this to class as a snack. Yeah I'm the wierd girl.

Chicken and eggplant parm layered with baked tomatoes.

I've blabbed enough for now! Hope everyone has an awesome weekend if I don't update by then..Steve and I are headed to the casino Sunday night for a Dropkick Murphys/Against Me concert and I'm excited the temperature is going to be in the 50s! (Oh New England...)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Keep on keepin' on!

Whoops! I kind of fell off the planet, sorry! So feel free to nominate me for the worst blog updater award before I have to nominate myself!

Anyways, last week was a busy, exhausting week...the falling asleep in class kind of exhausting (yeah, my HVAC teacher talks for two hours about refrigerent, no joke..!) but needless to say lots happened.

 Crossfit! something that will knock your ego right on its ass and slam it into the ground with a hammer. In otherwords, awesome.

This is Crossfit Cheshire, which I highly recommend to anyone in Connecticut.  I attended 3 one hour long one-on-one training sessions with a coach called 'On-Ramp Sessions' in order to learn the fundamental crossfit movements (mostly olympic lifts). The majority of the sessions were spent warming up and learning proper form and then I was given a workout.

Day 1;
Warm up:
500m row,10 air squats, 10 push-ups, 10 crunches, 10 pull-ups.
Workout: (8 minutes)
10 deadlifts, 15 pullups, 15 ring pushups (hard!), 20 medicine ball cleans (also pretty hard!), 15 sumo deadlifts w/high pull.

Day 2;
Warm up:
100 reps of jump rope, 10 medicine ball wall throws (I'm short so I had one hell of a time getting a 20lb ball up that high onto the wall!), 10 medicine ball slams, 20 russian twists w/20lb ball.
Workout: (8 minutes)
5 back squats, 5 ring pulls, 5 back squats, 5 ring dips.
5 front squats, 5 ring pulls, 5 front squats, 5 ring dips.
5 overhead squats, 5 ring pulls, 5 overhead squats, 5 ring dips.

Day 3;
Warm up:
500m row, 15 kettlebell swings, kettlebell turkish get-ups, 30 kettlebell figure 8s (15 foward/15 back)
Workout: (7 minutes, 40 seconds)
I don't remember this one exactly but it involved overhead presses, push presses and push jerks..with medicine ball cleans in between and walking lunges.

All in all it was a BLAST and I was pretty sore afterwards. I learned a ton from the three sessions, I loved learning front and overhead squats and all the presses..I'd never done them before. I also learned a lot of technique, which will help me at work with clients and in my own workouts. Sumo deadlifts are my new favorite form of deadlifting and I finally understand those shirts that say, "Your workout is my warm-up." yeeooww!

In between crossfitting, I tried out a new "activity"...boxing..or bullshit boxing as I call it. (I know nearly nothing about boxing/how to properly hit so it's just me going to town on the bag). At night Steve and I tend to zone out infront of the television and it gets boring and...I don't like sitting on my ass for hours, so we're constantly looking for stuff to do at night since its still freezing outside.

Me being a dingleberry and hammin' it up.
The punching bag had been laying around Steve's basement for ages and I finally forced him to hang it up. While he was hanging the D-ring I decided to be a monkey and climb on up the bucket to try a "D-ring Pull-Up"...

SUCCESS!  One step closer to a full, dead-hang, wide grip pull-up..some day..

So I decided not to join crossfit for the time being..although I do highly recommend it for anyone trying to improve their performance and challenge themselves. It just doesn't fit with my goals right now and I need the money to fix my trucks instead.  So I'm back to my normal lifting routine and the week I took off a couple weeks ago did wonders for me strength wise (broke through a couple plateaus!), although my bodyfat shot up a full percent (ohh setbacks..) last week from only working out 3 days doing crossfit. Bummer, but extra motivation for this week, right? I do plan on officially joining crossfit over the summer though.

Other Good Stuff! The get well present I bought myself when I tore my muscle finally arrived! haha.

Boob shot. Anyone else buy themselves gifts? I do it a little too often ;)

I finally added this stuff to my nut butter stash. Oh my goodness it tastes like reese's peanut butter cup peanut butter! Love it.

That's all the rambling time I have for now, I have to go write up a workout for my next client.  I enjoy working Tuesday and Thursday nights because our studio does a Bodypump class and it just brings lots of good energy :). Coming up I'm going to do some protein powder reviews and write a bit about machines vs. free weights. Steve also requested that I add more 'dirt' if there's anything automotive related that anyone wants me to write about I'd be more than happy to, just give me a shout :) or maybe he can just do a guest post? hm...

Since today was a leg day, I leave ya with this for some motivation:


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Anaerobic Fun and Videos.

Hi guys! Hope you're all enjoying the end of the weekend :) I'm proscrastinating like a freakin' champ over here, I have tons of homework to do, but blogging wins.

Yesterday was the day I've been waiting to come for quite some time. I woke up with a firecracker lit under my butt and said to myself, "I want to join Crossfit today. No really, I do." So, I trucked on over to Crossfit Cheshire.  I start 1 of 3 one-on-one on-ramp training sessions tomorrow afternoon and I'm unbelievably excited. Bye-bye gym, it's time to get beast on a totally different level! It ain't cheap so I'm only going to be joining for a month at a time..

I can't wait to get in on that...and the rope climbing.  I want to be able to shimmy up them ropes like a little gorilla. (I say gorilla because monkeys bug me out). 

I officially haven't lifted in a week though. After the doctor told me no lifting for a few days I decided to just turn it into a whole rest week since I haven't take one in a while.  My torn muscle is feeling better though, but the painkillers are a different story..I swear they are sleeping pills they make me so drowsy.  Oh well, I'll take drowsy over excruciating pain any day!


On to the good stuff! VIDEOS. I wanted to share some of my favorite "plyometric-style" moves to do and to train people with.  3 min breaks of plyos in between weight training exercises are much more beneficial and less than boring than just throwing a client on the awful treadmill for 3 mins.

Plyometrics are an anaerobic activity that uses explosive movements (hopping, bounding, jumping, etc) to develop muscular power by rapidly shortening and lengthening the muscle.  Anaerobic activities are fueled by adenosine triphosphate and creatine phosphate (which are stored in your muscles) as opposed to using oxygen like aerobic activities do (ex. dreaded long, steady state cardio).  Weight lifting is also anaerobic.

It is very easy to rely on aerobic activities to lose fat/weight, but many people don't understand they are also losing muscle, strength and power.  With anaerobic exercises you are increasing muscle strength and power, decreasing body fat and improving cardiovascular function.  Anaerobics also spike your metabolism longer than aerobics and take less time to complete.
Like I've said before, in order to change your physique you need to push your body past it's limits and out of your comfort zone.  Strolling on the treadmill vs. sprints..which one do you think is going to be more beneficial?

1) These are long jumps with a backwards shuffle.  These are actually really fun to do, in my opinion anyways, haha.  Launch yourself forward over a step, swing your arms for extra momentum and land on the balls of your feet, controlling your bodyweight. Then shuffle back and repeat.  These are usually done for one minute.

2) I'm not really sure what to call these, I refer to them as Squat Hops though. Start straddling the step and then hop up onto it and back down, but as soon as your feet touch the floor again immediaely pop yourself back up again (in a style similar to box jumps).

3) Next are toe taps, better known as 'The Can-Can' by Steve.. Simply just tap your toes on the edge of the step.  These are usually done for a minute.

4) Last but not least, my new favorite, JUMP ROPE (although my skills are lacking!)  According to my bodymedia, when I jump rope I am torching 7 calories per minute. Jumping rope is brutal. In the video I was doing alternating one-legged hops, but I usually do 30 secs/one leg.

Pick up a jump rope and you'll never need another elliptical machine again.
And just for kicks one more video that Steveo, my love behind the crappy cell phone camera decided to record as I was just goofing around doing some curls...360 view! hahah..

I apologize for the low quality of the videos and for my goofy looking-ness ;).  I'll have more videos next time I post though!

Soo, can someone please teach this girl how to make Kale chips without burning the house down?! They are so simple to make, but I'm such a mess in the kitchen that they turn out tasting like an ashtray! Kale fail...Maybe I'll just stick to my boiled veggies?

In other news, my bodyfat has dropped another .7% and so far I have lost 1lb of fat and gained 1lb of muscle! I have never been so disciplined in my entire life and it is awesome (most of the time..)

Motivation for the week:

I'm off to get make another kitchen disaster aka eggplant and chicken "lasagna". Watch. Out. Later gators :)