Archive | May, 2013

Nationals – 3 Weeks Out

22 May

tumblr_mjxff87x1Q1r1wkeyo1_500

Man, this meet just really crept on me. Fast.

Already only three weeks out. That’s enough to give me a miniature heart attack. And also makes me excited, since I am really looking forward to my off-season training. Working with Brandon Lilly has been extremely rewarding, and I’m definitely looking forward to giving The Cube many more runs in the future.

I think after my meet though, I am going to take the full week following completely off, and then slowly build up my intensity/volume again. Once I feel like I’m nice and recovered, I think another run of Smolov is in the books.

*Gasp*

Yeah. Contrary to popular opinion, I actually loved running the full Smolov cycle last year, and have been anticipating another go at it. Plus, despite how it may look, my squat needs some pretty serious work.

Oh Lidia, you inspiring mofo.

Oh Lidia, you inspiring mofo.

Going to knock up my calories some more and see if I can get some more out of it. I have a feeling it will be easier this time around (well, in comparison) than last time. I have adapted myself to much higher levels of volume, especially when it comes to squats. Last time I hadn’t done a set of more than 5 reps in what seemed like a decade. But realistically, like two years.

But on a somewhat related note, I’ve been having a LOT of financial issues as of late, and won’t be embarking on any kind of extreme program unless I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will be able to afford to run it.

These sorts of things take a very good nutrition scheme. Something that I unfortunately do not have the pleasure of indulging in at this time. And especially with my more recent dietary changes, it’s crucial that I am getting enough nutrients, including extra omega 3’s.

Anyway, ramble ramble.

CLIFF NOTES:

  • Meet is in 3 weeks.
  • Having some penny problems, but I’m gonna give Life a punch in the throat and come out on top.
  • I am currently eating not-so-optimally.
  • Don’t worry – Gonna get jacked as fuck, bro.
Advertisements

Women vs. Women: When Will It End?

15 May

womenBoxing-682_866328a

And so begins another rant, prompted by stumbling upon day-to-day interractions between women on social media websites (not surprisingly). Distasteful ones, I might add.

What is it with women and wanting to put other women down?

Humans are comparative by nature. However, women are particularly insane in this regard.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a misogynist. I am just tired of the snarky comments and catty attitudes – most of which are stemming from a severe lack of self-confidence and an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. When you cannot or will not source the problem, the easiest solution is taking it out on something or somebody else; in this case, other women.

“Real women have curves! Skinny women look like bags of bones.”

“I love my curves – shove it, you skinny bitches!”

“Ew, are you kidding me? She’s so thin. I like having extra meat, I don’t want to look like a stick figure!”

Shut the fuck up.

I <3 Miranda Kerr. Even if she doesn't squat and deadlift.

I love Miranda Kerr. Even if she doesn’t squat or deadlift.

Every woman has said something like this. Either in relation to smaller women, or larger women. I am also guilty of this (hey, it would be wrong to say that I have never spoken negatively before) But all this kind of attitude does is boost your own ego, however temporarily, and makes you feel better by trying to make other people look worse than you.

This is terribly, terribly wrong. And selfish. And ironic. Seeing as by uplifting your curvy stature you are attempting to fight against negative outside influences (i.e. media pressure), yet your way of doing so is by doing precisely the same thing the media does, only reversed.

Stop to think about what you are actually saying when you define somebody as a “real” woman. What constitutes “real”?

Would you ever tell a woman who has had a double mastectomy that she is not a “real woman”? Would you ever tell a woman who could not have children that she was not a “real woman”?

No.

So why would you tell a slimmer woman that she is not a real woman?

Boobs are gone. Cancer = beat. Is she not a "real woman" anymore?

Boobs are gone. Cancer = beat. Is she not a “real woman” anymore?

You know what makes a woman “real”? Being born with a fucking vagina. If there is no penis between her legs when she is born, she is a real woman.

Get over yourself.

Lawd have mercy.

(Note: This is of course excluding the wide variety of intersex conditions that may occur at birth, though more rare of course – congenital adrenal hyperplasia, or androgen sensitivity syndrome for example. That is a different story for a different day though. You get the point.) 

Not everybody has the same genetic make-up. Some women are just naturally on the smaller side. This doesn’t make them any less of a woman. But it makes YOU less of a lady by trying to make her feel inadequate. Everyone has their own battles to fight. Why kick someone when they are already down?

No woman anywhere likes to be put down. Period. Fat, curvy, skinny, fit, what have you. No woman likes to be told that they are not a woman because they do not have certain attributes.

We always complain about the pressure of the media that we face on a daily basis. And I get it. Fashion magazines, music videos, celebrities, etc. all give off the impression that skinny is beautiful. The media tends to look down upon women of different weights and proportions, which is why a lot of women who have a little extra meat are fighting back.

But since when has encouraging other women to love and embrace their bodies been a case of telling other women that they are “twigs” and “not real women” ?

How can you honestly feel good about encouraging women to love themselves and embrace their shape if you are putting down others who have a different shape from yours?

This is the most retarded thing I have ever read.

This is the most retarded thing I have ever read.

Do you think that women who are slimmer don’t ever feel bad about their bodies? Do you not think that they need encouragement to love and embrace their bodies as well? How would it make you feel if you knew that the girl you called a “little boy” killed herself from all of the negativity she received in regards to her body shape, and from her low self-esteem?

Don’t act like that shit doesn’t happen.

We need to be more positive. There is enough outside negativity as is without us adding more fuel to the fire. It’s not just about teaching curvy women to embrace their frames. It’s about teaching ALL women EVERYWHERE to accept and appreciate their bodies, and not down-talk themselves.

We need to encourage women to be HEALTHY and to be free of mental and physical self-inflicted abuse. Not send out negative vibes. The media does a good enough job at that already, and when you say these things to these other women, you are doing EXACTLY the same thing as the “fat-shaming” media that you hate oh-so-much.

You cannot encourage self-love through degradation of others.

So stop it with all this “real women have curves” bullshit. There is no reason to be enemies with someone because they are different. Learning to be supportive of others is  how you will find your own peace.

Spread the love, yo.

body_ls

Getting My Head Back in The Game

10 May

tumblr_mjq0m2CUt21qjm9bpo1_500

Have you ever had a trait that could double up as a blessing and a curse?

I am an extremist. And at times I feel like it can either propel me forward because of having strong will to do things and not wanting to back down, and other times it can set me pretty far back, since I also have the ability to be an extreme cynic, or use all my energy in a negative fashion.

I take my training to the extreme. But I am also very hard on myself, and when something goes wrong, I do have the tendency to beat myself up about it for quite some time.

I need to be able to distinguish when it is and is not an appropriate situation to get worked up. If it’s for negative reasons it’s almost never good. Extremity needs to be had in limited dosages at the right times, or it can really get out of hand and take your eyes off the big picture.

Needless to say, I need to get my head straight again.

Even now, admittedly, I am in a bad mood. But rather than continuing to get worked up by it, I am going to focus my energy on different things. I have less than 5 weeks left until I am back on the platform again, and I will not let my negative side get the best of me.

The important thing to keep in mind, I think, is that no one is perfect. Everyone fucks up, and everyone has bad days. But if we always fell to pieces every time we fucked up or had a shittastic day, we would never get anywhere. You can’t win a race if you are crumpled on the ground, and you can’t take charge of your life by sitting on the couch and crying about different areas in which you went wrong.

Get up, get dressed, make yourself a cup of coffee, and own your fucking day.

That is all.

Strong Curves: A Review

6 May

strong_curves_cover-LASTI am a big advocate of women lifting heavy stuff.

Obviously.

It’s been a mission of mine for several years now to help inspire other women and teach them to empower themselves. We have it hard enough these days dealing with all these crazy expectations from outside sources of how to look, feel, act, and think – it’s time we did things for ourselves that made us feel like superheroes.

Now this might sound weird to some, but…striving for a stronger body is one of those things. And not for any reason other than to boost our own self-confidence. When we look good and feel good, we exude energy and a better spirit.

From a specifics standpoint, if anyone knows me well enough, they know that I am a huge advocate of glute training. And not only for the purpose of aesthetics, but also for strength gain and injury prevention.  Weak glutes can cause all sorts of back pain and knee pain. Strong glutes however, do not. They look great, and they perform great.

Stronger glutes = stronger athlete; regardless of sport.

I had first heard of Bret Contreras back in the day when I used to visit T-Nation regularly (well, the Figure Athlete portion anyway). I followed a lot of logs and read a lot of articles, much of which were from our favorite glute specialist – you guessed it – Bret Contreras!

Now let me tell you – I don’t know too many other people who are more dedicated to their research and the success of their clients and people around them as Bret. He is one hell of a great trainer, and is also quick and happy to help when needed. He has loads of free articles and resources available to the public at all times, and some great results with all of his clients to back up his research. If you are looking for a great rear, look no further – Bret is who you want to tune into.

Luckily for all of you, I found the most flattering picture of Bret Contreras for your viewing pleasure.

bc

Kellie Davis was a hot figure-competing-multi-tasking-super-hero-mom I had religiously followed on that site, and later on another women’s fitness site for awhile.  When I had seen later that she collaborated with Bret Contreras for some workouts and exercise demos, AND that they would be putting together a book in the future, I knew shit was GETTING REAL and it was going to be good.

And that’s when I was introduced to “Strong Curves”.

I will admit I am rather terrible and doing book reviews, and this is really the first one I have ever done in writing outside of school projects years ago. But I will do my best to give you a brief run-down on my views and some basics of what Strong Curves is all about.

kellie-davis

This book, at first glance, appears to be a book dedicated only to achieving aesthetic goals for your gluteus maximus. However, delving beyond the surface, you will find that Bret very thoroughly covers WHOLE body training, proper nutrition, female anatomy, strength gain, and WHY building a good set of glutes is important.

Yes, that means not only for the sake of looking hot in a bathing suit.

It is one thing to just say, “Pick up a barbell, you sloth!!” and it’s quite another to teach women how to feel strong and powerful, and teach them how to do all of the proper movements effectively and efficiently. Sometimes the will to train isn’t enough if the knowledge isn’t there.

There are several different training programs outlined, varying from beginner to advanced, as well as some bodyweight/home workout routines.  Every exercise is explained in detail, and demonstrated in HQ pictures by the beautiful Kellie Davis, making it far easier to grasp, especially for beginners who are not familiar with the certain exercises. And of course, if there is terminology you are not familiar with, a glossary is provided at the end. I approve.

There is an entire section dedicated to warming up and stretching, as well as several pages of sample training logs that you can photocopy/print to track your workouts. Especially for those of you who do not have a trainer, keeping track of your workouts is the absolute best way to ensure you are making progress, so I am glad they included this in there as well. Towards the end, Bret and Kellie discuss lifestyle and how you can find the time to fit your workouts into a busy schedule, handling outside negativity, and self-appreciation.

Bret does an excellent job throughout of breaking down topics in a way that is simple to understand, yet still packed full of juicy details and knowledge. There is something in this book for everyone, and even if you think you know all there is to know in this area, I am sure you will find things you didn’t know, or that will still make you think.

All in all, this book is very comprehensive and covers quite a lot of different topics. It isn’t simply a book with exercises, or someone telling you to get fit. It is a detailed, thorough guide for women (and men!) for developing fit, strong, healthy bodies. And of course, gaining confidence in the process. It’s a total win/win.

Plus, Kellie’s glutes are fab – can’t argue with that.

I highly recommend this book, and I am quite excited to see the turn-out for those who follow the programs drawn up in here, as well as simply seeing more women getting involved with weight training and experiencing the mental and physical benefits like I and so many others have!

Big thanks to Bret and Kellie for taking the time to write all this up. Truly a gem of a book!!

Oh, and here’s a better pic of Bret.

images

I now command you all to go out henceforth and build yourself some glutes!!

Happy training.

Yumminess: Coconut Banana Bread

1 May

hnnnnggghhh

hnnnnggghhh

Dense. Moist. Coconut-y. Vegan.

Sign me up!

I know people sometimes get put off when you mention a baking recipe that contains no eggs or butter. But even if you are not vegan… this recipe truly does not disappoint. Seeing as before making my switch to veganism I was quite well-versed in many different types of baked goods that contained eggs and dairy, I am being completely unbiased when I tell you it is worth your attention.

Fuck it. It’s just good. So how about you just make it and eat it. Okay?

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice OR cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup shortening (can use margarine as well)
  •  cup of brown sugar
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (I used vanilla almond milk; coconut milk works well too)
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2-3/4 cup shredded coconut
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Mix together the almond milk and vinegar in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Preaheat the oven at 350 degrees. Lightly grease a non-stick loaf/cake 9″x12″pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine together the flour, baking soda, salt and spice.
  4. In another bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the banana, vanilla, and milk/vinegar mixture.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Fold in the coconut and stir until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter in the pan and bake for about 35-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. (Large range because it REALLY depends on your oven!!)
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Then transfer the bread from the pan to a cooling rack and let it cool completely before slicing. (NOTE: this bread is the fucking best if it is left to sit overnight.)
  8. Eat entire loaf of banana bread in one sitting, and then repeat steps 1-7.

 

1222see-that-get-back-in-kitchen