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Training Session: 10/16/13 (Back injury update)

17 Oct
Human back

Well fuck me sideways. This sucks.

For those of you who didn’t know, I injured my back two weeks ago.

Ya really.

I honestly don’t know what it is at this point. But I went from pulling mid-200s for my deficit deadlift sets, to barely being able to pull 135 off the floor. It’s very, very frustrating.

Two weeks ago, I did deficit deadlifts. The next day I was extremely sore, and needed to do heavy squats the day after…so I got some horse liniment and grit my teeth. I managed 260×4 with an extremely sore back. This was a VERY poor move on my part. I think that not only could I have possibly avoided injuring myself if I had lightened up and listened to my body, I could have also gotten a bigger PR…and have been able to go through with my max-out week.

So, I was pretty sore, and I just felt like I had over-taxed myself a bit. But during and after my down week, I noticed that the pain stayed with me and I had lost a LOT of strength in my lower back. Even after resting from squats and deadlifts for 1.5 weeks, I tried to pull 135 again on Monday and only managed 3 reps.

The pain is localized. Nothing shooting, burning, or tingling. It’s in my SI joint area, so lower spine/tailbone. It’s sore, and I do experience pain when there is any pressure.

I won’t know much until I can get an MRI. But because I’m in Canada and our healthcare sucks donkey balls, I won’t be able to get an appointment until at LEAST January, if not March.

All I can do for now is rest it and train around it until it clears up. Very discouraging, but I am trying to not let it get me down. Gotta stay focused and motivated. It’s not the end of the road, just a minor obstacle to get around.

Today’s lower body training…


10 minutes incline walking

Hip mobility drills x4

Single-leg Glute Bridges (between two benches) – 20×2 (per leg)

X-band walks – 10×3 (per side)

Banded Clam Shells – 15×2 (per side)

Foam rolling – glutes, lower back

Leg Press (leaning forward to take pressure off the lower back)

1pps x15

2pps x15

3pp x20x3

DB Walking Lunges

30’s x 20 steps x2

Cable Glute Kickbacks





Lying Leg Curl



Leg Extensions




Backwards Plate Sprints (like sled drags, only harder)

3 plates x 4 rounds

An Open Apology

8 Oct


Okay. There is something else I really want to say. It’s been long over-due, and somewhat difficult for me to outwardly express, but here it goes.

If for whatever reason I have negatively affected you in any capacity during my years as a blogger, I sincerely apologize. One of the biggest reasons for shutting down my first blog was that I realized it had a lot of negativity attached to it…emotional baggage, so to speak. It didn’t help that I was trying to revive something that had already died. I was rude, opinionated, harsh, and critical. And in the process, I lost a lot of good followers and caused many people to think critically of me. Even though that was opposite of my goal.

Of course, I am still opinionated. To say that you aren’t would be hypocritical, as it comes with being human. But I have been making an effort to relay my thoughts in a more positive way, as I want to be someone who brings others up rather than tearing them down.

It isn’t necessarily that I am afraid of offending others. It’s that I am concerned that I could potentially and perhaps indirectly be the cause of somebody’s depression, self-hate, or insecurity. I have never intended to be a bitch, or cause any hurt feelings. Please understand that, while I displayed a lot of outward confidence, I still battled with quite a bit of insecurity myself. I was young, passionate, and trying to find my place. And unfortunately I got a little over-zealous with the feedback I was receiving, and that’s what lead to my downfall.

I did draw attention. A lot of it was very positive. But a lot of it was also very negative. At first I brushed it off and labeled it as “hating”, because I didn’t know any better. And while I realize that no matter what you do you will receive negative feedback in some way or another, I really think I could have done things differently. I think I could have approached things more maturely. But I was too caught up in trying to make a name for myself that I let myself get carried away, and really didn’t give a very good first impression to a lot of people.

I am still young! Only 20 years of age. But a LOT can change in four years. My mentality and perspective on life has done almost a 180 from where I previously was. I have been through anxiety attack after anxiety attack, medication, depression, failings, being broke and barely getting by, tears, sweat, and loss of friendships. But in the past four years I have learned a lot about myself, my desires, and my passions. It’s shaping me into a stronger person inside and out.

So I am very sorry if I have ever hurt anyone during that period in my life. I know I still have a long way to go with developing my character, but I should say I have taken some good steps so far and the changes I have made have all been positive ones. The desire and effort is there. This blog was one way of me starting over completely from scratch.

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive to me in those times, and who has still supported me through all my changes. Thank you to everyone for the words of encouragement when I needed them the most, and for those who stuck by me even when everyone else walked away. Words can’t express how grateful I am to have developed the following that I have already. I feel very undeserving, yet very honored and appreciative.

I hope you will all continue to follow me in my journey, and if I can be of any help to you in some way, please feel free to send me a message any time. I don’t always have exactly the right words to say, but I am a FANTASTIC listener!!

Never settle for less. Improve always.

Wishing you all a wonderful week. ❤

ALIVE (and well!)

4 Sep

My goodness. That was quite the resting period.

Just a quick note for my subscribers to say that I am, in fact, still alive and kicking. Since my last post I have taken a little while off from posting, and social media in general to take some extra time for myself, and also due to the fact that I had a complete lack of time due to work.

To give an example…I have been previously working from 8:30 in the morning until around 4pm (took an hour and some to get to work). Trained until 7pm, and then headed home, which took an hour and a half…by the time I was home, I had to prep meals for two people, shower, and then leap into bed so that I got enough sleep to begin again the next day. This went on for quite some time, so blogging was a little out of the question.

Luckily, I have started at a new (actually old) job, and I am working far less hours which takes quite a bit of stress off my shoulders. I’ve been blessed with some extra time, so I will be able to get back to my regular blogging as usual.

Stupid life, getting in the way of my writing! *shakes fist*

I have a blog post coming up today, which is actually courtesy of a reader/fan whom I met in Detroit, and offered to lend me the use of his training videos for critique, namely his squat video. I mentioned awhile back that I would appreciate some “guinea pigs” to come forth and show off their technique so I could break it down for the other readers, in case they were facing similar issues. It helps having a video to refer to.

Anyway. Thanks for reading, and thanks to EVERYONE for the kind and thoughtful messages over the past few months. I don’t know where I would be without the support of you all. So whether you are a vocal follower or a silent stalker, once again, thank you.

This lady is up and running again.

Minus the running part. I hate cardio.


16 Jul


I do not know what drives me at times. I am compelled by a force which I cannot see.

My mind is hungry. My mouth is dry. I cannot visualize, meditate, or retain my anxiousness. I am tired. I am emotionally drained. My chest seems to weigh me down with every breath I take in.

This cannot get any easier.

For fucks sake. Sometimes I wonder if I have set my expectations too high. If I put myself under too much pressure to be great, and make myself believe I am worth more than I thought I was at the lowest point of my life 5 years ago. I look around me and I see success. I see people with the educational background needed to accomplish great things. The resources. The personality. And then I wonder if I was really cut out for that sort of thing. Success, that is.

The last couple of months haven’t been easy. So many different types of stress have been taking their toll on my mind and body. My training has regressed. My energy is low. I’m more spacey and forgetful than usual, and less excited to wake up in the morning.

But I believe it is during our most troubling times that we learn the most about ourselves. When we come to our absolute breaking point, we discover so much more than we previously knew of our hearts and minds. We see what really matters to us. What caused the break. We see our reactions, coping mechanisms, and outcomes. We develop a higher sense of self.

I am at that point in my life right now. Low. Not alone, but lonely. Many “friends” who I believed I could count on were simply not there for me. I’ve worked my ass off, with little to show for it. I’m exhausted from trying to smile and be positive all the time. All I want to do is sleep, and hope that soon I will drift back to normal; whatever that is.

To some I may seem overly-dramatic, or pessimistic. Whatever the case, you can never judge a book by its cover. You never know what someone may be going through. Which is why it is important to choose the kinder route in your interactions with others.. The things you say may be hurtful to somebody else, who may be going through a rough time in life.

Never underestimate another person’s hardships.

I do know that I am privileged just to be alive with a roof over my head, a man who loves me, and some food to eat. But it makes me no less susceptible to feeling defeated, or like I am losing my battles. It makes me no less immune to negativity and doubtfulness. I am only human.

But even though a break seems so far away, I know that it will come. I am so grateful and so blessed to have the few very caring people in my life right now that I do. It’s all about putting one foot in front of the other. I use no one as a crutch, but the extra hands come in handy when you’re having a hard time walking on your own. And life has definitely dealt me some hefty blows as of late.

“Never, never give in.” – Winston Churchill

I guess my ideas might never be worth a million dollars. I may never get around to writing a book like I have always wanted to, or become the best athlete in my field of all time. But I can be me, and I can do my best, and work my damndest to create a better future for myself and my family.

I can get up again and keep pushing, or I can stay on the ground. There is really no in-between at this point.

It’s okay to cry sometimes. It’s okay to be angry, and want more. But remember to follow a breakdown with a good course of positive action.

Wipe the tears. Put on your Batman bandaid. Keep on walking.

Or, you could uppercut Life in the nuts, Johnny Cage style.


Either way – think: “conquer”.

“…In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.” – William Henley

Animal Products (Holy Guacamole!)

26 Jun

Well, I have to say I am extremely overwhelmed and honored to be given such an amazing opportunity to work more with Brandon as well as get hooked up with so many great products.

This just in:


I feel like a little girl on Christmas morning!

And it’s a great feeling to be honest. Not just because it’s free stuff. But because I know that they are QUALITY products. I have worked for several supplement companies in the past and none of them really suited my fancy. I never quite believed enough in the product I was representing, and it didn’t feel right to have their name beside me due to my lack of enthusiasm towards what we had to offer.

Not to mention, it was just unfair to the companies to have someone on board who didn’t truly feel the same way about the products as they obviously did. Enthusiasm sells.

And while I’m pretty decent at faking enthusiasm, I would have had a much easier and more enjoyable time doing my job if I was confident in the product I was representing. (This goes for pretty much everything in life.)

I really believe in Animal products though, as everything I have tried from them has been of top notch quality. Yes, they are on the pricier side. But you get what you pay for. Would you rather buy Wal-Mart protein, or a good quality isolate?

You wouldn’t get a portrait of your mom tattooed on your body for the rest of your life that cost $50, would you?

Aw shit, son.

Aw shit, son.

It really just all depends on how much you value what you are putting into your body.

That being said, I’m so excited to get started with Animal and Brandon Lilly for the next 10 weeks. I’m thrilled to be able to represent Animal products for this short period of time along with the other 4 contest winners, because I really believe that along with Brandon’s program, all of this is going to get me some serious gains.

So. Thank you, Animal. You’re all fucking badass. I love it.

I hope that one day I will be good enough at my sport to be able to be brought on board by a company as amazing as Animal/Universal Nutrition. One can dream. For now, I will ogle over my short period of “sponsorship” and gorge out on all the awesome products that were sent to me.

Still can’t believe the generosity of this company!!

Side-note regarding nutrition: I mentioned that I would be eating fish again, and that is primarily what I eat in the first place (no eggs at the moment). But I am willing to make exceptions in cases such as this, as I will not put product to waste, and part of this program is using all the products and logging everything.

That being said, the chocolate flavor is unbelievable.



Excuse me while I go do my happy dance.

Getting Back On Track

5 Jun


Hello world.

Initially I was a little disappointed that I fell off of writing on this blog for the past couple weeks, but I have honestly really needed the time away to recollect my thoughts and focus my attention on some different things.

Cause you know, sometimes you gotta attend to life!

This week is a rest week for myself, and a much needed one at that. I’m excited for my competition this Saturday, but even more excited for my off-season. I can’t wait to see what kind of improvements I can make. My next competition will likely be in December of this year – I have committed myself to two competitions maximum per year at this point to give me sufficient time to improve between meets.

On an only somewhat related note, I’m addressing a recent message I received on my Facebook page (and it has been a popular one especially when I have posted progress pictures):

“Hi Christine!! I was just curious what your stats are? How tall are you?”

This reminded me that I hadn’t checked my measurements in quite some time. To be honest, I really don’t care to much anymore. But, it is one of the best ways of finding out whether or not you are making improvements (special gym lighting doesn’t count!)…so I guess I probably should. This is where I am at currently:


  • Weight: 129 lbs.
  • Height: 5’2″
  • Hips: 39”
  • Waist: 26”
  • Mid-leg: 20.5”
  • Upper leg: 23”
  • Arms: 11.75”
  • Calves: 14”

Just a bunch of random numbers to me! But there you go.

Anyway, getting right to the main point, I’d just like to mention a couple of topics I have in the works at the moment. The most popular requests are for bulking articles, stretching/mobility videos, more training how-to’s, and suchness. While some of these have been a little less frequent than I would like due to having demands in my “other” life right now, they will be coming. I do try as much as possible to make sure the material I am publicizing is as thorough as possible.

A couple of different mobility/stretching videos that will be coming up after my meet on the 10th:

–    Hip flexor opening
–    Rotator cuff mobility
–    Hamstring stretching

If you have any other requests for instructional videos and/or articles, feel free to voice your requests in the comments below. I am officially taking suggestions, and starting after my meet will be posting one article per week (with the other days being filled with mostly training/nutrition logging).

Thank you to everyone for your support! Can’t wait to crush some big lifts this weekend. 🙂

Nationals – 3 Weeks Out

22 May


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.


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.


  • 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.

Getting My Head Back in The Game

10 May


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Happy training.

Cube Week 7, Day 1

9 Apr

Yesterday’s training…max benching later today!!








Snatch-Grip Deadlifts (Mid-shin):


Squats (ATG!!)




Leg Press:


360x4x10 (bottomed out; switching between wide and narrow stance)


BW x 30



Good day. Deadlifts felt ridiculously easy. Can’t wait to see what I can pull in a few weeks 🙂