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chickwholifts

Because strong is the new pretty.

Month

September 2015

Brief(ish) Update

I sent my progress pictures to my trainer last night, including my current weight, waist circumference, and how I’m doing with my training. I am very happy to report that he is very happy with my progress since I lost 4.5″ off my waist in about 2 weeks. My nice dress slacks that I wear for professional presentations definitely don’t fit anymore; I’ll have to have the waist and thighs taken in, but I’m debating with myself on whether or not I should since I’m going to continue to change in size and shape over the next few months. Keith reassured me that I’m still on track to compete this fall, and he asked if I had picked a show (even though we discussed the November 14th show previously). It sounds like he has doubts about me being ready in time, which surprisingly is driving me to be even more disciplined with my diet, water intake, and work outs. He also wants me to add an “anti-catabolic” supplement to my daily routine, and recommended I take the one sold by IDLife ($50). AdvoCare sells a similar product with ALMOST identical ingredients for $25 (for distributors). Anti-catabolics are used to prevent the breakdown of newly formed muscle while you’re attempting to lose weight. It’s a complex of magnesium, potassium, and multiple L conformation amino acids used in muscle building. Considering Keith wants me to add about 10 lbs of muscle over the course of the next year, I’d say this product would be a good investment.

Unfortunately, with the school workload I’ve had the past few weeks my sleep patterns are all wonky. Last night I got 3 hours of sleep; tonight will probably be similar because I have an exam tomorrow evening. With all of this lack of sleep, I am leaving myself more susceptible to fatigue and possible injury. Speaking of which…

Yesterday was my usual chest day and I started out with incline bench with dumbbells (30s) and on my fourth set third rep about halfway up my left hand began to rotate backwards so that my elbow was out in front of me. I knew there was no getting it back under control without hurting myself so I stopped and let the dumbbell down the best I could without causing excessive pain. I listened to my body, and I was able to finish the rest of my workout without too much pain or discomfort. My shoulder just felt off for a while. Today, it kind of aches, not going to lie. It ached through my back workout, as well. Yes, I know shoulders are very sensitive joints, even more so than knees. I’m usually very careful with chest work outs, but I don’t think I had my shoulder blades pinched back hard enough to reduce the use of my shoulders when I was lifting. I think I’ve decided to take tomorrow (arms day) off from lifting to rest my shoulder and de-stress before my exam. As for Thursday, my leg day will have to be short because I have a working interview beginning at 1 pm.

I feel like I haven’t stopped moving for the past four weeks. Today, all of my meals ALL OF THEM) came with me in my gorgeous, monstrous new 6 Pack Bag so that I wouldn’t have to run back and forth between school and class to eat and stress myself out even further. You get the idea. It’s a vicious cycle.

Here’s my moment of bravery: I’m including my progress pics (eep!). Be proud of whatever progress you’ve made, no matter how little! It’s always bigger than you think, I promise!

Weeks 1, 3, 5, and 7 from left to right.
Weeks 1, 3, 5, and 7 from left to right.

IMG_8458 IMG_8459 IMG_8460

I’ve repeatedly had to tighten my swim suit to accommodate changes. I’m looking forward to greater improvements over the next 7+ weeks!

Happy lifting!

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Just In Case You Were Wondering…

This is how much I calf raise.

410 not including the sled (I would assume it's 45 lbs, but I don't have proof).
410 not including the sled (I would assume it’s 45 lbs, but I don’t have proof).

Yes, I really want big calves. Mostly to balance out how big my quads and hams are. I just wanted to brag 😀

Happy lifting!

My Womanhood

I know, it’s a strange title, but it’s very accurate for the time being. When I first read “First Call Out” by Amanda Larson, I took some of her more personal advice with a grain of salt. For example, Larson goes into detail about some of the “side-effects” you may feel with training for bodybuilding competitions such as: Food obsessions, extreme hunger/tiredness, irritability, and social isolation. Another note she mentions is the feeling that you’re losing your femininity with your weight and body fat loss. She was right.

Larson gives in-depth advice on competition federations, competition suits, diets, trainers, etc.
Larson gives in-depth advice on competition federations, competition suits, diets, trainers, etc.

For those of you that haven’t known me since grade school and are following my progress, I’ve been “well-endowed” up top since about 7th or 8th grade. I’ve been a 32DDD since I was 15 years old, and that has never changed. I was even remeasured at the Victoria’s Secret in San Marcos the first week of August and purchased several bras, all 32DDDs. Just not, not even 20 minutes ago, I put on one of those new bras only to discover that it actually covers far more than it should. I’ve gone down at least one cup size, if not two.

I had convinced myself upon beginning this journey that I had more than enough “room” to spare. I think I was wrong. Now, I’m terrified that by the time I hit the stage, I won’t have ANYTHING up top; my feminine look and curves will be completely gone. This scares me to a point that I didn’t think was possible. All these years I would have killed to have a smaller chest, but now that I have it I hate it. I don’t want to be “that girl with the implants”. I’m serious. I’ve been accused of having implants before, and it didn’t go well for that person.

In short, I’m forced to watch as my womanhood dissipates. I’m going to try to embrace these changes with a positive outlook: My bras will be cheaper and cuter now- they won’t look like they’re going to eat my soul every time I pull them out of the drawer (Heather knows what I’m talking about).

Breaking Point

I didn’t think it was humanly possible, but I’m currently running on 3 hours of sleep and the 5 Hour Energy I drank at 7:30 am… Which means I’m just running on my nap last night. It’s the third week of classes and I am exceedingly overwhelmed with homework, to do lists, and looking for employment. I’ve barely managed to survive up until this point, and I’m still making it to my work outs twice a day (it’s a miracle, I know). However, my ability to resist sweets and treats is rapidly declining. I think this is directly proportionate to the amount of sleep I’m getting each night. I just have to keep reminding myself that my next cheat meal is Friday night when I finally get to go on a date with my man when he comes to visit me. And no, it’s not pancakes for once! *GASP!*

I am starting to notice my body’s changing fat composition now; my arms are definitely leaner, my veins are standing out more on my forearms, my legs have new dips and dimples they didn’t use to have, my triceps are leaner, my biceps are surprisingly bigger, my back is leaner, and my butt just hurts. A lot.

My leg work out on Thursday was relatively mild compared to previous leg day work outs. As you well know, I usually go HARD on Thursdays and softer on Sundays. This past week it was the opposite. Here’s what I did:

  • Box squats- began with 155 lbs for 8 reps and worked up to 200 lbs for 5-6 reps and managed to complete 3-5 sets (I went until I didn’t think I could get another set out)
  • Standing calf raises- 155 lbs 6×20
  • Seated calf raises- 155 lbs as many reps and sets as possible (probably 5×12-15)
  • Seated calf raise for right calf only- 55 lbs 5×12-15 (my right calf has far less mass and definition than my left which is why it gets extra work now)
  • Seated hamstring curls- 75 lbs 8×8-10
  • Barbell hip thrusts- 60 lbs 6×10
  • Walking lunges- 60 lbs 4×20 steps
  • Stiff leg deadlift- 125 lbs 6×8-10

I’m still stiff and it’s freaking Tuesday, people! I need to use my foam roller; I was bad and didn’t stretch post-work out like I should have. Monday (National Chest Day) killed my shoulders, which isn’t a good thing. This means that I didn’t have my scapulas (shoulder blades) pinched together hard enough to prevent the use of my deltoids rather than my pectoral muscles. This occasionally happens to me, but it is definitely preventable. Don’t ruin your shoulders because of improper form!!! Just saying.

Today was back, as usual. I feel like I did a ton of lat work, but I didn’t get a chance to do deadlift. I’m okay with this since last week I made a new PR! I squeezed out a single solid rep at 235 lbs on deadlift last week! This is 5 lbs short of twice my body weight (which is incredible for those that don’t understand this monumental occasion). When my equine reproduction professor heard me discussing this with my classmates, her jaw dropped and she stared bug eyed at me in disbelief. Just because I/you am/are small doesn’t mean you can’t lift heavy! I love surprising people with my strength.

Anyways, I’m probably going to be pulling more all-nighters this semester than any other semester in my past because of my work load at the current moment. I have 3 presentations, 2 exams, a research review article, a lab report, and a mountain of reading to tackle within the next week. Yes, I said WEEK. I’ve already had to skip one day of riding. Let’s see how much I get done tonight before I decide whether or not I’ll be riding tomorrow at all. Sad face.

Happy lifting!

AdvoCare Distributor

I’ve been struggling to afford my training plan and I’m anticipating a $2,000 minimum splurge here in the next few weeks to pay for all my competition necessities (swim suit(s), tanning, hair and make up products, etc.) on top of my continued insane food costs. With my school schedule, riding, volunteer work, and other obligations my time for a part-time job is pretty limited. I’ve been applying to veterinary clinics all over the College Station area, and so far no luck. I don’t have much time to start saving up money, so the sooner I gain employment the better.

Which is why I decided to become an AdvoCare distributor. I’ve used their product, Spark, and I helped keep me awake without the jittery feeling and caffeine withdrawals. Consider it the “gateway” product haha. I’m interested in distributing the Performance Elite product line to help those I know that are following my journey and are interested in improving in the weight room. I’ve always been very skeptical of distributor companies like this and new products in general; however, I lost all skepticism after learning about the panel of scientists, researchers, doctors, kinesiologists, etc. that test and develop these products. Also, AdvoCare pays a third party company to test all of the AdvoCare products to make sure they are all banned substance-free so that athletes of all kinds can take them safely and without fear.

For the many of you who are interested in weight loss, the 24-day challenge has shown INCREDIBLE results for so many AdvoCare distributors and users alike! I spoke with a group of distributors tonight that all had taken the 24-day challenge and lost weight, lost inches, and even increased lean muscle mass. If this interests you already, it’s $188 for the entire package; it comes with two phases: a cleanse phase (I know cleanse is a scary word) and a nutrition phase. It also comes with a booklet that outlines the complete plan from start to finish on a daily basis. For more information, don’t hesitate to ask!

I hope to earn enough money distributing these products to not only afford my upcoming competition, but also to test more of these products myself so that I can better recommend the products to people that ask about them.

Here is the link to my microsite: https://www.advocare.com/150922033/Store/ . This is where you can order products from me! Also, if you order enough products over time and refer my business to your friends and family, YOU can earn income along with me! Crazy, right?!

I’m super excited to get started, so help a girl out! 😀

Happy lifting!

Oh, The Temptation

I spent the past weekend in Katy (as usual), and I was thrust into not just one but TWO social occasions where the temptation of food not in my diet was overwhelming. Friday night, I attended a dinner with some family friends. I brought my meal like a good little lifter, but the dang salty Tostito’s scoops crumbs were too irresistible (I snagged maybe 5 or 6). My boyfriend did his best to keep my hands out of the chip bowl, but his efforts were futile. At dinner, there was mango pico de gallo with avocado chunks mixed in; I felt that it was a justifiable addition to my salmon… Until I ate the whole bowl of it :(. I know, I’m despicable. I should be ashamed of myself… But it gets worse.

Saturday afternoon, I was pretty bummed out because of the yucky weather and I was in severe pain (I’ll explain later). John suckered me into going with him and his dad to Whataburger to get him lunch. Their fries are ridiculously delicious. John felt sorry for me so he gave me three to get me through the day. That makes slip up #3. Saturday night, we attended the A&M vs. ASU game at NRG Stadium to watch my Aggies BTHO ASU (WHOOP!!!), and we got to watch from a suite. Everyone had delicious food in front of them… Except me. I had pecans and water. John had a BBQ plate with baked beans, potato salad, BBQ chicken and brisket! Not gonna lie, I stole a few nibblets off his plate, but he totally let me. How is this even fair?! Ugh. And of course anyone who has ever been inside NRG Stadium understands the smell when you first walk in, The Nutty Bavarian. The pecans from The Nutty Bavarian are my cocaine that I get once a year during rodeo season. They are the most wonderful things! So, I decided it was a brilliant idea to get some to top my pancakes on Tuesday for my cheat meal! I snuck three that night I think. John just couldn’t stop me then (he wasn’t watching me close enough).

Mine. My Nutty Bavarian pecans. All mine.
Mine. My Nutty Bavarian pecans. All mine.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve been good, I promise. I’m looking forward to destroying another stack of pancakes Tuesday night as my cheat meal. I’m making two batches to be safe, topping some (if not all) of them in Nutella and syrup, and then the ultimate topping of the Nutty Bavarian pecans! I may make my progress null in one single meal haha. Oops!

So, on to why I was so sore on Saturday. I received an email from my trainer that I needed to start doing 300-400 ab roll outs (using the wheel) each week. That comes down to 50-60/day 7 days a week. Like an overzealous newb, I jumped into it going for 60 reps on Thursday and 60 reps on Friday. By Saturday, sitting up on my own or anything resembling turning, laughing, coughing, or sneezing was quite possibly the worst abdominal pain I have ever experienced and I’ve had gastroenteritis. I know abdominal pain. I tried my best to keep going with the roll outs on Saturday, but my brain was overriding my body’s movements because of the pain I felt when I started to move out. I was back at it today, completing all 60 reps. I’ll have to stretch tonight before I go to bed and again when I wake up to make sure I don’t get that sore again. I have to take more progress pictures tonight, as well. So much to do! AH!

John and I had the gym to ourselves on Saturday for little while. It was great!
John and I had the gym to ourselves on Saturday for little while. It was great!

I hope school and work is going well for everyone! Happy Labor Day and…

Happy lifting!

Let the Countdown Begin!

I went to Katy this past weekend as a last ditch attempt to have a little vacation before starting school again, and I got to see my trainer on Sunday. He was VERY happy with my progress thus far, saying, “You look harder”, which is Keith-speak for, “You’re leaner”. I’ve lost about a pound so far, and I need to be losing half a pound a week; I think with my combined method of weight training, losing weight faster will be difficult because I’m still building muscle. He also suggested that I focus more on building my hamstrings up. I know they’re lacking which is why I have split my two leg days into quad-specific and ham-specific days. I touch on my hamstrings a little on Thursdays with a greater focus on my quads, and then Sunday I focus on my hamstrings with a little quad work. This may seem like I’m over-doing it, but to get the legs and but it’s what I have to do. I have to be careful not to make my calves too much bigger; they barely fit in my jeans and riding pants as it is, unfortunately.

So, now the big announcement…. I’M COMPETING NOVEMBER 14, 2015 AT THE NPC LACKLAND CLASSIC IN SAN ANTONIO, TX!!!!!! This is the show Keith has picked for me, and I couldn’t be happier! The only people that know so far are my boyfriend and my roommates, and now YOU! Seventy-four days and counting!!!

School has been incredibly stressful already and it’s only Day 2. I’ve been able to keep up with my eating and work out schedule, barely, so far. People give me weird looks walking around with a cooler in my hand. I forgot my fork at home today, so I had to eat my egg whites and spinach with my fingers… I felt (and probably looked) like a total weirdo. I’m so tired, I don’t know how I’ll survive the rest of the semester like this, but I’m damn sure going to try!

I’m still on the same diet, but I’ve made a change in my supplements. When I signed up to work with Keith, I had to take a personal nutrition assessment which identified what I could be lacking in my diet based on energy levels, sleep quality, etc. I used www.idlife.com/BONAFitness for this assessment, and was given the following recommendations (all descriptions provided by IDLife):

  • Basic AM: Basic AM is a multivitamin mineral formula which provides complete nutritional support with full range of water-soluble vitamins (B-vitamins, vitamin C) and minerals (including magnesium, calcium and zinc), utilizing chronotherapeutic dosing providing the right nutrient at the right time of day. ID Nutrition has also included the more advanced Co-Enzyme forms of Folate ( as 5-Methyl Folate) and Vitamin B12 (as Methylcobalamin) to enhance solubility and cellular uptake.
  • Spirulina Complex: The Spirulina Complex is a unique combination of the biologically active component of Green Tea and the Super Food, Spirulina. Spirulina is a species of green algae that grows in fresh water and is a rich source of chlorophyll, antioxidants and phytonutrients. It provides high levels of Zinc & Vitamin C, and the natural blue protein Phycocyanin. The major carotenoids are beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, cryptoxanthis, and lycopene. The addition of the EGCG component of Green Tea magnifies the antioxidant activity of The Complex by a multiple of 100 times that of Vitamin C in providing added protection of cells and DNA from free radical damage.
  • Anti-Oxidant: The new and improved Antioxidant Plus formula provides a unique free radical protective net of powerful antioxidants such as C0Q 10, Alpha Lipoic Acid (the Universal Antioxidant), Vitamin C and the exceptional liver detoxifiers’ selenium and N-Acetylcysteine (NAC). New studies on Tocotrienols demonstrate additional cardio support resulting from improved cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and reduced atherosclerosis yielding smaller Cardiovascular Disease risk. In diabetics, the antioxidant effect of N-Acetylcysteine has been shown to help protect the eyes from retinal damage (retinopathy) and the Tocotrienols decreasing blood glucose levels and tendency toward abdominal obesity. These additional antioxidants are added to compliment the body’s own defense mechanisms by maintaining cellular health and slowing cell aging
  • Basic PM: Basic PM is a multivitamin mineral formula which provides complete nutritional support with full range of fat-soluble vitamins, (vitamin A and D) and minerals (including magnesium, calcium, zinc and trace minerals), utilizing chronotherapeutic dosing providing the right nutrient at the right time of day. ID Nutrition has also included the Co-Enzyme forms of Folate ( as 5-Methyl Folate) and Vitamin B12 (as Methylcobalamin) to enhance solubility and cellular uptake.
  • Omega-3 Complex: The Omega-3 Complex provides a natural source of the essential fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega-3 fatty acids play many important roles throughout the body; cardiovascular maintenance, anti-inflammatory agents; triglyceride control;skin health; and healthy joint and mental function.
  • Osteo Advance: Designed to support healthy bones, OsteoAdvance provides calcium and other essential ingredients for healthy bone growth and density. In addition to calcium, that plays a significant role in reducing the rate of bone loss or bone thinning and promotes bone strength, Vitamins D and K2 helps your body absorb Calcium and supports healthy bone growth. Strontium, Magnesium, Manganese and Boron are complimentary minerals involved in bone formation and/or support bone density.
  • Probiotic: Probiotic Complete is a combination of 10 active “friendly” probiotic bacteria strains and has been designed to support gastrointestinal health and improve digestion and immune system function. The active bacterial strains include L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, L. reuteri, L. fermentum, L. salivarius, B. bifidum, B.longum, B. breve, B. infantis and S. thermophilus.
  • Vitamin D 1000: Vitamin D3, also known as “the sunshine vitamin,” enables the body to retain calcium and phosphorus. It is also essential to bone formation and aids in the absorption of vitamin A. It boosts the immune system and helps maintain efficient blood clotting and a normal heartbeat. The human body can produce vitamin D in the skin, using a chemical reaction that requires sun light (specifically ultraviolet radiation from sunlight.) Studies show significant deficiencies in our Vitamin D levels as we age and can also be caused limited exposure due to use of sunscreen.

These supplements come in daily packets organized by meal in a dispensary box! It’s neat!

This is the box they come in.
This is the box they come in.
These are the individual packets, labeled with the meals I have to take them with and what they contain.
These are the individual packets, labeled with the meals I have to take them with and what they contain.

I’ll continue to try to keep you up-to-date with all that’s going on and my progress as much as possible. With school starting and my job searching and my work out schedule, it’s really difficult to find some down time. So, I apologize in advance for my busy-ness!

Happy lifting!

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