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chickwholifts

Because strong is the new pretty.

Month

August 2015

What My Diet Looks Like

So, I know I’ve mentioned before what my carb cycling diet consists of, but I took some pictures to show you guys and girls what a typical “up day” looks like.

Breakfast on this particular up day comes out to 200 calories, 24 g of carbs, 25 g of protein, and 0.4 g of fat. It consists of strawberries, sweet potato, egg whites, and spinach.

The sweet potato is missing from this picture. It was still in the oven.
The sweet potato is missing from this picture. It was still in the oven.

My morning and afternoon snacks are the same and consist of a whey protein shake made with unsweetened almond milk, Quaker oats, and frozen cherries. The totals for these meals are as follows: 444 calories, 43 g of carbs, 29 g of protein, and 8 g of fat. I love my snacks on these days! It curbs my sweet tooth cravings!

There's a few more cherries in this one than normal. My bad.
There’s a few more cherries in this one than normal. My bad.

Lunch is sweet potato, chicken breast, egg whites, and spinach. Totals are 200 calories, 19 g of carbs, 27 g of protein, and 2 g of fat.

Lunch
Lunch

Dinner is the same as lunch, minus the egg whites. Here are the totals: 194 calories, 37 g of carbs, 22 g of protein, and 3 g of fat.

Dinner: Chicken, sweet potato, and spinach.
Dinner: Chicken, sweet potato, and spinach.

I’m allowed to use condiments that have 2 g of sugar or less per serving. I prefer to cook down my spinach in the microwave for 30-45 seconds and use Newman’s Own Family Italian Recipe salad dressing.

Comment with any questions you may have! I’ll post a down day diet soon!

Happy lifting!

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My Progress

Ever since “the incident” (refer to the PSA post for details), I’ve been even more dedicated to my training and eating regimen. I’ve been seeing minor yet significant changes in my body already which has been incredibly uplifting. Without all the dairy in my diet, I’m WAY less bloated than I have been in the past. Turns out I wasn’t as fat as I thought I was! YAY! My triceps are standing out more, too.

I’ve been increasing the intensity of my work outs gradually over the past week. Here’s what Tuesday’s back day looked like:

  • Deadlift 155 lbs 1×8, 175 lbs 1×5, 205 lbs 1×3 and repeat going down in weight
  • Trap cable rows 100 lbs 6×8-10
  • Shrugs (on deadlift machine) 175 lbs 6×10-12
  • Lat pull downs 80 lbs 6×5-8
  • Seated rows 120 lbs 6×5-8

I could have sworn that I did more exercises than this, but I’m having a brain fart. Here is what Wednesday’s arms day looked like:

  • Hammer curls 30 lbs in each hand 6×12-16
  • Tricep overhead extensions 45 lbs 6×8
  • Cable curls w/ tricep pull downs 6×8-10 superset
  • Dips (suspended w/o assistance) 6×5
  • Plate holds 45 lbs 6×30 sec w/ 30 sec breaks

My triceps were KILLING me the next day! I struggle to make my biceps ever hurt, but I’ll jump to the 35 lb dumbbells for hammer curls this week and see how that feels. I’ll add in chin-ups to back day (along with pull-ups); they usually make my lower biceps and forearms ache.

Ooooh, Thursday was leg day! I focused on quad work that day. Here’s what I conquered:

  • Back squats 95 lbs 1×8, 105 lbs, 1×5, 115 lbs 1×5, 125 lbs 1×3 repeat in reverse order
  • Standing calf raises 135 lbs 4×20
  • Seated calf raises 125 lbs 6×10-12
  • Hip abductors 70 lbs 6×10
  • Hamstring curls 90 lbs 2×8, 100 lbs 2×8
  • Leg extensions 110 lbs 6×8

Walking was interesting Thursday hahaha. Friday and Saturday I completed my early morning cardio as usual. Today, I destroyed my hamstrings with the following routine:

  • Front squats 95 lbs 1×5, 105 lbs 1×5, 115 lbs 1×5, 125 lbs 1×3
  • Standing calf raises 155 lbs 4×20
  • Seated calf raises 135 lbs 6×10-12
  • Single-leg leg press (w/ calf raises in between) 6×8 each leg
  • Hip abductors 70 lbs 6×8-10
  • Hamstring curls 100 lbs 6×8
  • Seated hamstring curls 60 lbs 6×8
  • Walking lunges w/ 60 lb bar 4×20 steps

I’m going to be so incredibly sore tomorrow! I’m not looking forward to it at all haha, but that’s what I get, right? I ordered a foam roller from Amazon today in anticipation for the pain that is to come. Thank God for Amazon Prime two-day shipping! Also, if you lift and don’t have a foam roller, I highly suggest investing in one. I bought mine off Amazon for a little over $10, but if you’re in a hurry and have the money to spare you can purchase one for around $35 at Academy. I’m notorious for getting massive knots in my muscles from lifting and not stretching like I should; foam rollers massage the knotted tissue and help break up knots, also referred to as trigger points, in muscle tissue and underlying cartilaginous tissue for continued muscle growth. If you choose to pick up foam rolling, do NOT roll  your joints! Just FYI.

Happy lifting!

PSA

I’m hopping on my soapbox so bear with me.

I received a message earlier this evening from a concerned “friend”. I say “friend” because she and I don’t know each other very well on a personal level. All the message included was a link to the National Eating Disorders website (https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/orthorexia-nervosa) addressing orthorexia nervosa (as you can see in the link). According to this website, orthorexia nervosa is a disorder for people that are obsessed with eating healthfully and the quality of the food they consume. I’m pretty sure the killer stack of pancakes I destroyed this morning for my cheat meal is proof I do not have this disorder. However, for those of you that need me to further explain and/or justify my conclusion continue reading.

7 pancakes total. I ate 80% of the stack smothered in syrup.
7 pancakes total. I ate 80% of the stack smothered in syrup.

Based on what I read about this disorder, I do not spend endless hours preparing and scheduling high quality meals. I am eating a HEALTHY, NORMAL diet that consists of adequate calories from “clean” food. I prefer “non-organic” food to “organic” labeled food simply because I don’t want to be “that person”. However, my trainer prefers that I eat organic (I have no idea why, but he’s my trainer so I don’t argue with him). I define “clean eating” as not stuffing my face with fried food, fast food, alcohol, etc. I don’t look down on people that don’t eat the way I do; that’s silly. Why would I expect everyone else in the world to eat the way I eat? I’m eating this way for a purpose: To compete. Just because you think I eat too healthy doesn’t mean you get to diagnose me with a mental disorder! Did your mother not teach you any manners?!

Sorry, I got a little heated there. To make matters worse, the girl deleted me as a friend on Facebook. She. Deleted. Me. Yup. That’s how that went. I get judged for my lifestyle and suddenly I’m the jerk.

Yes, I’m going to get LEANER and seem skinnier and build lots of muscle, but that does NOT mean I’m mentally ill. I only want supportive and positive people in my corner throughout this process. My boyfriend and my trainer understand what I’m going to go through completely from start to finish, and I can promise you that they will help me and tell me if they think I may have a problem. In summary, don’t be an ignorant a**hole, and don’t EVER suggest that I have an eating or body image disorder!

*end rant*

Happy lifting! (AND EATING!)

Sunday Funday!

I managed to survive the journey to Katy and back with my car in one piece and running smoothly! WHOOP! Aggies whoop, we don’t “cheer”. DUH! Anywhosit, I prepped all my meals Friday before I left and oh my goodness… My kitchen… You just have to see it for yourself.

During the process
During the process
The final product. A lot of work for a little bit of food, right?
The final product. A lot of work for a little bit of food, right?

Saturday evening, my boyfriend’s family and I celebrated his mother’s birthday, and it was only natural that we had an ice cream cake to end the night. Yes, I managed to resist it (okay, so I stole a tiny bit of icing, but that’s it I swear!). I stuck to my morning cardio on Saturday while I was there. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet with my trainer, but he did just email me asking how my first week went. Shhhhh! He doesn’t know about the icing!

I came back this afternoon and tackled my “mini” leg day from 4 PM To 5:45 PM. Here’s what I took on:

  • Front squats 95 lbs 1×5, 105 lbs 1×5, 115 lbs 1×5, 125 lbs 1×2 and repeat in reverse
  • Standing calf raises 155 lbs 4×20
  • Seated calf raises 125 lbs 6×15
  • Hip abductors 70 lbs 6×10
  • Hamstring curls 90 lbs 2×8, 100 lbs 2×8
  • Walking lunges 60 lbs 4 laps for 20 steps each

I’ve been trying to cram in as much hamstring work as possible during the week because that’s where I think I’m lacking most. I’m definitely going to be feeling it by Tuesday; I’m still feeling Thursday’s work out!

I’ve been stressing out about picking a show and practicing my posing routine and getting a show suit, etc. I practiced posing and walking in my competition heels for 20 minutes earlier tonight. I’m not used to wearing heels frequently, so I’ve got to get in the hang of walking and posing in them comfortably so by the time I get on stage slipping or tripping will be the farthest thing from my mind.

I need to work on glutes, I know, and my stomach will get flatter with time (hopefully).
I need to work on glutes, I know, and my stomach will get flatter with time (hopefully).

I’m super excited to start seeing changes. I know I’m only a week into the diet and cardio plan, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be excited, right? My man has it in his head that I’m already looking slimmer. He’s so full of it, I know, but I still love him to pieces!

Let me know how your leg day went!

Happy lifting!

Weekend Worries

I’m about to embark on a journey… A journey to Katy. Yeah, it’s only 80-something miles from College Station, but that’s not what I’m worried about. It is my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday weekend and I KNOW we will be going out to dinner at some point. Why does this worry me? I can’t eat anything that’s not in my diet plan, remember? So, I have to pack a few days worth of meals and pray that I don’t offend anyone by not eating when we go out.

I think the risk of offending someone is the hardest for me to deal with. My boyfriend’s family is very laid back and difficult to offend, but I’m not taking any chances. Saturday and Sunday are down days, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to pack what I’ll need… Except the Almond Breeze. I have no idea how I’m going to make that work. I’m thinking packing a few in my shaker bottles? Any suggestions?

I’ve been chatting with a friend that has competed in figure competitions; maybe she can help. She’s been encouraging me to get a professional photographer for photo shoots (which I know a lot of competitors do). She tells me it gave her the extra push to get into the shape and fitness level she needed for competition. I’m thinking I’ll wait until after my first competition to see how I do before I anticipate doing photo shoots of any kind. I just want to focus on the competition prep for now.

Hopefully while I’m in Katy I’ll get to meet with my trainer again and possibly pick out a show (fingers crossed). I’ve been practicing walking in my competition shoes occasionally so I learn not to fall on my face on stage. I’m really looking forward to finally getting my suit! I’m thinking a cerulean or sky blue color. What do you think?

I’m a little sore after yesterday’s work out, mostly in my glutes and calves so far. I’m prepared for the full on “swagger” walk to set in; you know, the crippled looking walk that only comes post leg day? Yeah, that one! I guess I should call it more of a waddle.

Share your thoughts and experiences if you’ve ever had the honor of gracing the stage!

Happy lifting!

Psssst! It’s Leg Day!

Let me just start by saying today was a complete s**t storm. I’m not kidding. God and Mother Nature are in cahoots with one another trying to make me crack, and they’re succeeding. So, I apologize in advance for the incessant whining that is to ensue in the coming paragraphs.

It all really began yesterday when I had to bring my car to the dealership because of a nagging check engine light that comes on and turns off at will. At first, I was told that it would be done by the end of the day yesterday; I soon received a call that they would need it until the next day (today). Alright, no biggy. Do what you gotta do. All was fine until I woke up this morning… late… for a doctor’s appointment that I scheduled in May. Yes, MAY. There’s nothing I could’ve done anyways because my care wasn’t ready until long after my scheduled appointment. NOW, that appointment is scheduled for OCTOBER. This appointment was so important to me because I was going to have my parathyroid hormone levels tested. I’ve told my doctor before that I’m worried I may have hypothyroidism. This would explain my PCOS diagnosis, my brittle hair and nails, constant lack of energy, and awful sleeping patterns. Seriously, I can sleep 8-10 hours, wake up and have breakfast, then sleep another 2-4 hours. Ridiculous, right? I know. I hibernate.

So, I get my car back around noon, make it to the gym for cardio, and by 2 pm the check engine light is back on. I just about lost my mind. We (*cough cough my dad*) have already spent close to $800 at two different mechanic shops to fix this problem! I brought the car back to the dealership after rapidly showering and eating. The rep at the dealership clears the code and the light goes off. I go back to the gym for legs, make it to the barn, aaaaand as I’m leaving… SURPRISE! The freaking light is back on! Of course, after cardio tomorrow morning I’m bringing my car back to the dealership and putting on my best “get this s**t fixed now” face. I’m tired of missing workouts and having to cancel my volunteer hours at the shelter because no one can fix a Honda.

SO! Now that THAT’S out of the way, I can talk about my workout and diet for today! My diet today consisted of sweet potato, spinach (how could it not include spinach, right?), egg whites, chicken, strawberries, cherries, oatmeal, and protein shakes. The cherries were my favorite part, honestly. I finally got something sweet! YAY!

Lunch: Sweet potato, spinach, chicken, egg whites
Lunch: Sweet potato, spinach, chicken, egg whites
Dinner: Chicken, sweet potato, and spinach.
Dinner: Chicken, sweet potato, and spinach.

My snacks were oatmeal, frozen cherries, and a protein shake. I put the cherries in the oatmeal  to sweeten it up, and it was surprisingly delicious. Try it!

Okay, I gotta stop talking about food because I’m getting hungry again. For leg day, I did the following:

  • Single-leg leg press 135 lbs 6×8 with calf raises in between
  • Seated calf raises 125 lbs 6×10
  • Hip abductors 70 lbs 6×10
  • Hamstring curls 90 lbs 4×8
  • Leg extensions 110 lbs 4×8
  • Seated calf raises 115 lbs 6×10
  • Back squats 105 lbs 4×5

Getting through squats was almost impossible. It was between squats and walking lunges at the end. I don’t thing I would’ve finished walking lunges, honestly. My calves are already sore, and the rest of my legs are catching up. I even went riding after my work out, and I was regretting my life choices getting out of the car hahaha.

Comment with your favorite leg day exercise! Which do you hate the most? Would you choose walking lunges or squats?

Happy lifting!

Supplements

Recently, a friend of mine asked me what supplements I take, so I figured I’d share my experience with supplements.

I am currently taking digestive enzymes, B-100 complex, CLA, L-carnitine, and C4 Pre-Workout by Cellucor. I know this seems like a lot, but trust me I’ve taken more than this. There was a point that I had to take 9 tablets/capsules per meal. I was taking glucosamine chondroitin tablets, BCAAs, and multivitamins on top of what is listed above. My stomach didn’t handle that very well, honestly. I’m not sure if other supplement crazy people have experienced similar issues or not, but I learned my lesson.

Let me delve into WHY I take each of these supplements. The digestive enzymes support healthy digestion so that my body can more efficiently and quickly absorb and use the nutrients that the enzymes break the food I consume down into.

Mega B-100
Mega B-100

The B-100 complex is a personal choice; I have very brittle nails and regularly low energy. These tablets help my nails grow longer, faster, and stronger. I can’t actually tell a difference in my energy level with or without the B-100, but I can definitely tell a difference in my nails.

CLA from Vitamin World
CLA from Vitamin World

My conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and L-carnitine work best together. L-carnitine is naturally produced by the body for brain and heart function and energy; CLA is commonly found in red meat and dairy (so, vegetarians and vegans are missing out!), and when used in conjunction with fish oil it induces an anti-inflammatory response in the gastrointestinal systems of pigs. However, the effects of CLA in the human body are debatable in comparison to their effects in animals.

C4 by Cellucor
C4 by Cellucor

Ahhhh, C4. My baby! I cycle through periods of pre-workout fanaticism and indifference. Out of all the brands of pre-workout I’ve tried, C4 by Cellucor is BY FAR my favorite! Warning: It makes me insanely itchy if I take 1-2 scoops more than 10 minutes before my workout because of the beta alanine in it. I’m not 100% positive, but I’m pretty sure it has a similar affect on most people. I get a great pump out of it though! My MAIN purpose for taking C4 (or any pre-workout for that matter) is to increase my blood pressure prior to lifting. I’ve experienced some interesting and concerning brief loss of sight in my right right eye, possibly associated with my already low blood pressure. Usually when I go to the doctor, my BP is about 110-115/70-75; for those of you that don’t know, normal is 120/80. It is with high hopes that my pre-workout will prevent any more of these occurrences. C4 does contain caffeine and creatine nitrate. *Hops on soapbox*: Creatine and creatine nitrate is dangerous if you have medical conditions; however, if you take the supplement as directed either by the directions for use OR your doctor, the likelihood of injury is greatly decreased. Just don’t be stupid with your supplements, ok? *steps off soapbox*

If you have any questions about other supplements I’ve taken or my experiences with other supplements, leave a comment!

Happy lifting!

So, This Diet Thing…

It’s tricky to say the least. I went through a giant tub of spinach in two days… TWO! How is that even possible?

The way my diet works is it is a carb cycling diet; I have three “down days” and one “up day”. Every tenth day, I get a cheat meal. I have two types of down day plans (one has chicken as the main protein, the other calls for beef flank and salmon), two types of up day plans. The chicken down day totals 1200 calories and 47 g carbohydrates. The beef down day totals to 1400 calories and 25 g carbohydrates.

The up days are like carb shockers. They have similar primary protein sources as the down days. So, the chicken up day totals 1300 calories and 147 g carbs; the beef up day totals 1430 calories and 122 g carbs. Protein values between the four plans are similar; however, the down days tend to have protein totals slightly higher than the up days.

As for my cardio plan, I’m doing cardio 6 days a week first thing in the morning (so, 6 AM) as I have to keep my cardio work separate from my weight training when at all possible, according to my trainer. Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays I get a choice between rolling stairs and the treadmill. Tuesdays I can choose between interval treadmill work and interval rolling stair work. Wednesdays I have even more choices! I get to choose between rolling stairs, arc trainer, and the stair master for a target heart rate of 148-149. Fridays I am required to do ladder sprints on the elliptical OR work at a 2% incline on the treadmill. I work for 32 minutes each day; every week, I increase the duration by 2 minutes. This plan will last 8-12 weeks. I drink my Almond Breeze and whey protein shake before I head to the gym for cardio. I hate feeling like I look like the typical “cardio bunny” because I’ve always identified as a meathead, but… gotta do whatcha gotta do, right?

Unfortunately, today has been pretty rough. I’ve been experiencing frequent car trouble, so I brought it to the local Honda dealership for some work this morning, only to find out the mechanic that SHOULD HAVE fixed it in San Marcos screwed me out of $400; yeah, Dad wasn’t too happy about that one. I managed to squeeze in my cardio as usual before I dropped it off, but seeing as I no longer have any form of transportation I could not make it back to the gym for my arm work out (womp womp womp). My car SHOULD be back in working order tomorrow (fingers crossed); being stuck at home has been insanely depressing. I miss the gym! The weights are like a siren’s call! On the bright side, tomorrow is leg day! MY FAVORITE DAY!

Leave a comment below if you have any questions!

Happy lifting!

Running On Fumes

Sorry it’s been so long since my last update! Tuesday morning I got the call from my big brother that his little girl was being born in San Antonio. I’m a first time aunt! My baby niece and her mom are both doing well at home. So, I spent Tuesday through Thursday in San Antonio. Or at least, that was my original plan. Thursday, heading to San Marcos with my mom to hit up the infamous outlet malls, my car decided to start dying and spitting black smoke; this is not normal for a Honda Accord, just in case y’all didn’t know. Four hundred dollars and 24 hours later, I’m on the road to Katy to spend a weekend with my swole mate.

My little nugget
My little nugget

So, essentially I missed my workouts Tuesday through Friday! Ah! I have so much catching up to do! Saturday afternoon, I hit the gym in Katy with my man to work on back and arms. He is training for strongman competitions, so I occasionally get to do the weird lifts with him, like farmer’s carry and the yoke. Sunday, I trained legs. HARD. I had noodles for legs leaving the gym. On the bright side, I FINALLY got my cardio and nutrition plan from my trainer! WHEEEEE!!!! As of today, I have officially begun.

Can you tell which one I carried? hahaha
Can you tell which one I carried? hahaha

IMG_7787

I’m required to do cardio 6 days a week, completely separate from my weight training and preferably first thing in the morning. I’m on a carbohydrate cycling plan, drinking 131 ounces of water per day, and I don’t get to touch alcohol for 21 days, which is actually easier than avoiding sweets for me; I have the worst sweet tooth on the face of the planet! According to my nutrition plan, I have to eat every 2.5-3 hours, with approximately 7 meals and snacks total throughout the day. Oh, and I can’t eat within two hours of going to bed… which is why I’m up right now typing all of this (and ignoring the unfolded laundry on my bed).

I began my day with 6 am cardio, personal chores and eating until 11:30 am, volunteering at the Bryan Animal Center/Shelter from 12 to 3 pm, weight training from 4 to 5:15 pm (chest day!), dinner at home, and I actually got to ride 7:30 to 9 pm. I’ve been moving non-stop all day! I’m exhausted!

Tomorrow is back day, which means deadlift! Maybe I’ll hit 220 again. What’s your favorite back day exercise? What do you want to improve most- weight lifted or the definition of your back?

Happy lifting!

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