Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Finding What Works...

I don't know about you all, but I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about fitness and nutrition, I am no expert by any means, but I have learned a lot through my own experience and research. Yet I find myself second-guessing myself constantly. I ask one person something and I get one answer, I ask another person and I get a completely different answer, and it's kind of frustrating. One person tells me for bulking I should do high weights low reps, another tells me mid weights, lots of reps. How does one know what is the right thing to do?

That is the question I am asking myself. So, I just need to stick with something for a while, and if it's not working change it up. I started my bulking phase the first week of January and have been doing the heavy lifting low reps, no cardio. I decided that this week I will do Med weight, high reps, see how my body responds. Yesterday I did legs- I did 4-6 sets of everything for 15-20 reps, and holy cow, talk about your legs feeling like rubber. After I finished leg extensions I went over to do Dumbbell step-ups and when I went to step up, my leg acted like a spaghetti noodle, so I decided to rest for a minute before going further. Today is one of those days where when you squat to go to the bathroom, you go "ooh". But it's a good feeling.

Today I did chest, once again did med weights, high reps, and I def got a good workout in, I also decided that for the next couple weeks, I will do abs, mon, wed, fri, and do just a little bit of low intensity cardio at the end. Today I got on the bike for 10 minutes, and man did it feel good! I didn't realize that I really did kind of miss that cardio.

Sunday I went to meet with a trainer to look into having him train me for my competition. This guy was huge! He is a pro-body builder and his arms were about as big as my thighs. I could tell he def knew what he was doing and if I had him train me, I could be confident that I absolutely was the best I could be, but when it came to the price, I cringed. Def cannot afford $1600 for 16 weeks at this point in my life.

I went home that night and scoured the web, trying to find some trainers in central Iowa. I came up with one and immediately emailed him. I am set up to meet with him tomorrow night! His rates are much more in my price range. Under $500 for 16 weeks contest prep, which includes posing. I'm excited! I'm really hoping it works out. I would really like to have a trainer in person rather than correspond with someone online.

Now about my eating. This is something that mentally I'm struggling with. I've been told I need to, while bulking, try to stay around 2300 calories, while I'm able to do this, I am struggling with it mentally. Should I really be eating that much? What if that's too much and it's turning to fat instead of muscle. Especially as I see my stomach expand, my abs are hiding under the cushion that has developed. Ugh. I know it's temporary, but I still care a lot about what other people think even though I know it doesn't matter, and most people probably could care less.

One last thought. Toward the end of my workout today, a thought occurred to me. I truly LOVE working out. Seriously, it makes me happy, I get a joy from working out. There is nothing like it! I love taking care of my body! Even through the pain, it hurts so good! I will do a competition this fall, and at this point I don't know if I will continue competing after that or not, one step at a time. However, this I do know, I will never give up the gym, it is too much a part of my life, and I will never get enough! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mind Games

So right now as part of my training I am bulking. Some people might be like, sweet, that means you can eat whatever you want, not worry about it, just train heavy yadda yadda yadda. It's so much more than that for me. Don't get me wrong, I love the weights. There is nothing I like more than lifting heavy! I love how it makes me feel both physically and mentally. And while I see my strength going up and am seeing my shoulders broaden and my muscle, especially in my upper body increase, I also see a change in my stomach, and I don't like it, my once flat midsection, that had abs peeking through is now getting soft and pudgy. I am constantly feeling self-conscious, even at the gym when I first get there, though soon after i'm lost in my euphoric world of pumping iron. I'm worried that people are going to think, omg, look at Ami, she's gaining weight, she's getting fat, what happened to here, etc.... And I know I shouldn't care what other people think, but I do. This morning was no exception- Alarm went off, got out of bed, used the restroom, looked in the mirror, ugh, look away. Not liking what I see. Got to the gym, still feeling self conscious, making sure to not wear any tight workout clothes. It was back day today. When I'm in the gym, I'm focused, I don't really make conversation unless someone approaches me. But today, the day, when I just felt gross, was lifting away, lots of pulling motions, Lat pull downs, Cable rows, etc, etc... and on two different occasions, two guys that I had never talked to approached me and complimented me on my lifting heavy, and asked what I was training for. On this day, it was so what I needed to hear. I know that doing this bulking is necessary for me to get to the next level. It's part of the process. It isn't easy for me, and I know none of the training for this competition will be. The cutting will be hard! Harder than anything I've ever done. It's going to mentally push me past anything I have ever done. But it will make me stronger, it will make me a better person! I am committed, I am dedicated, I am strong! And I'm only just beginning!

Monday, January 23, 2012

This is just the Beginning!!!!!

For those of you who know me, my life revolves in the past year and a half around health and fitness. I will get into some of my history with my struggles and battles I have gone through in future posts to fill you all in, but for this post I want to tell you about right now.

In November, Justin-my husband- and I signed up as Distributers for Herbalife. This has been a complete change of lifestyle for my husband which I will get into at a later time as well. We have been so excited to get involved in this amazing company and have made some lifelong friends as well. 

As we got more involved with Herbalife and the vision they have, it made me realize some of my dreams, such as compete in a figure competition, become a certified personal trainer, and maybe down the road even be an Herbalife sponsored fitness model. Hey, why not dream big, right?

The thing about Herbalife that I was most excited about was the 24 line. As soon as I heard about it, my gym rat self's ears perked up. The more I heard about it the more excited I became. But I had to wait a little bit so we could get our core products and a little established in the business. 

Saturday my anticipation finally paid off! The FedEx man left these gold nuggets at my door! I basically tore into the box like a child on Christmas morning! So excited! I was going to take two days off as it was my rest day, but I was too excited. 

After going to Thrive to hang out and to drink a yummy shake and get online for a while, I attended a friends baby shower then headed straight to the gym where I quickly downed my Prepare and shook up my Prolong for during my workout. I was supposed to meet Justin and our friend Derek at the gym and I arrived about 15 minutes before them, and man, after downing that Prepare I was so pumped and ready to go, I called them 3 times wondering how long it was going to take them to get there. 

When they finally arrived I could barely keep still. Then I was in attack mode. Started with some abs, moved on to a circuit of sorts between back, biceps, shoulders, triceps. I just kind of followed Derek around the gym, as I had already completed my planned workouts for the day. And man did I feel good! I was lifting heavier, doing more sets, still doing low reps, but oh, i was just a michine, seriously, like the energizer bunny. I felt like I could just keep going and going. After about a two hour workout, we decided to call it quits, though I felt like I definately could have gone longer. Went home and fixed my Formula 1 Sport and Rebuild Strength shake. I added a Tablespoon of PB2 as well as about 1/3 banana and 1 t sugar-free chocolate pudding mix, and it was delicious!!!!

After doing a few things around the house, I showered and we got ready to go to dinner. Had some delicious food from Outback, since we had a gift card. I ordered the 6 oz sirloin with a side salad, no croutons, no cheese, their mustard vinaigrette on the side, and then a side of steamed green beans, no butter. It was delicious!

After driving around a bit, we drove home and all of a sudden, I felt like I had been hit by a truck! I sat on the couch and just relaxed, my whole body just worn out! I ended up dozing off and Justin woke me up and told me to come to bed. I made sure I took my Restore at that point. And when I woke up the next morning, normally I would have been in pain, but since I had taken the Restore, I felt about as good as new! I was just amazed!

Then next day, Sunday, was rest day and I was just kinda lazy, no workouts which makes me feel sluggish and lazy, but I know my body needed it.

This morning I was excited, LEGS!!!!! My very favorite body part to work! My legs have always been thick and muscular and I used to absolutely hate them, while I don't always like that they are thick, I do love the fact that they are strong. This week was the second week of a bulking workout that I've been doing and I was ready to push myself. On the way to the gym I guzzled my Prepare and as soon as I got to the gym I could feel my whole body just become ready! I was pumped! I started at the Leg Press! My favorite! Last week I had done 4 sets of 6 reps each at 490. I was like, huh, let's see if I can really push myself and do 600. And guess what! I did! I was stoked! Went on to do 4 sets. Then I moved over to the squat machine and ended up going from 360 to 450! Every single exercise I did I upped the weight, some more than others! I threw in some abs here and there and when it was time for me to get ready for work, I did not want to quit! I just felt like I could go and go and go!

While getting ready for work I sipped on my post workout shake, the Rebuild Strength and Formula 1 Sport and told a gal in the gym that gets ready with me how great I felt!

After just getting a taste of what these suplements are going to do, I cannot wait to see what a few weeks will do for me!

I plan to journal the coming months as I prepare for the competition. I want to include how I feel physically, the emotions I go through as well as some of my diet and training. It will not just be a tribute to Herbalife, but since that is going to be a huge portion of my success, it will be included along the way!

I'm excited to see what this year is going to bring! Follow along with me as I take this journey!