Stephanie Laboe

For the month of June I’d like to feature Ali Vanelli as our NBS member of the month! She is a dedicated member who is super strong too! If you’ve never met Ali, you’re missing out. She’s super nice and we love having her at NBS. 🙂

Here’s a little bit more from her:

“I started lifting after coming to watch my boyfriend (Scott Summers) lift in a powerlifting meet at NBS in November of 2013. It was awesome to watch and got me thinking “I could do this. I could totally do this!” So 2 and a half years later I’ve competed in 3 powerlifting meets and 2 strongman competitions. When I started I never would have imagined I could squat over 300lbs… well I squatted 410lbs (shameless bragging) at the last meet in April and it still baffles my mind that I did it!! I joined the startup of the women’s powerlifting team in January and I’ve had so much fun hanging out, laughing,crying in pain, and making gains with all the awesome ladies on the team!! NBS has been such an great place to train and make friends. I have always felt welcome and like part of a big family here. Love it and never giving it up!”

 

As you may or may not know Ms. Annie Gunshow does my programming. We’ve been working together for about 4 months and it’s going really well. We talked the other day about how everything is going and I told her how I think my shoulders are lagging and I wanted to try adding more frequency to see if they will respond. Since we’ve started I usually hit shoulders about 2x a week using mostly chest exercises to hit my front delts and maybe 1-2 exercises for mid and rear delts each day. I’ve seen some growth since we’ve started working together, but I really want to push the limits and see what happens if we up it. SO my new programming approach rolls out this week with 4 days of hitting shoulders. I’ll do one heavy shoulder exercise on leg and back day then hit them fully on chest/shoulder day and also have a day dedicated to shoulders only. I’ll be uploading videos along the way and updating you on how it goes! Let the gains begin!

 

Right now, I’m reading a book called “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, I’m only about a quarter of the way in, but so far I’m really enjoying the perspective he gives. I enjoy “self-help” books and particularly ones that are a bit more religious but I go in waves of the type of books I like to read. I figured I might start adding some book thoughts and take-aways to my blog about what I’m learning from the books I read so you can benefit from it as well. So far, the writer has mostly talked about the ego and everything that makes up our ego. How it latches on to possessions, title, money, lifestyles, physical appearance and forms what we think is our identity. How ego satisfaction is short-lived and always wants more. If you are trying to find yourself or your “identity” in things then you will never be satisfied– you will keep consuming, keep buying. If we aren’t aware of our ego then it can easily lead to us feeling superior to others for what we have, the experiences we’ve had, how strong we are, how much we know, etc.

I’m not posting about this because I think everyone needs an ego check but just to share with you some things I’ve found interesting so far in the book. We all have our take-aways from what we read, see, or experience but here are some of mine for you to contemplate. If you’ve read this book or read the quotes and want to share your thoughts on it, I’d love to hear about it!

“Many people don’t realize until they are on their deathbed and everything external falls away that no thing ever had anything to do with who they are. In the proximity of death, the whole concept of ownership stands revealed as ultimately meaningless. In the last moments of their life, they then also realize that while they were looking throughout their lives for a more complete sense of self, what they were really looking for, their Being, had actually always already been there, but had been largely obscured by their identification with things, which ultimately means identification with their mind.” 

I think about this a lot actually. Sure, having a nice house and the best gym outfit is great but is that what I’m going to think about when I’m about to die? Probably not, I assume I’m going to think about what I did with my life that was fulfilling and with purpose. Did I maintain good relationships with the people that are closest to me? Was I a genuinely caring person or did I burn a lot of bridges in my life? Did I fulfill my dreams and see all the places I wanted to see? Did I help people? What do you think you would think about in that moment?

“Renunciation of possessions, however, will not automatically free you of the ego. It will attempt to ensure its survival by finding something else to identify with, for example, a mental image of yourself as someone who has transcended all interest in material possessions and is therefore superior, is more spiritual than others.” 

“If you take away one kind of identification the ego will quickly find another.” 

This is interesting because this trap is so easy to fall into. Trying to be a better person by giving to the poor, volunteering, or whatever it may be but then having this feeling of being superior to those that don’t. That somehow we are better than others because we did something we thought was selfless or humble. The book talks about being aware of your ego and I think that is one of the best things we can do. We are all human and our thoughts can get the best of us sometimes, but being aware of those thoughts and trying to redirect them is a really good start.

“Complaining is one of the ego’s favorite strategies for strengthening itself. Every complaint is a little story the mind makes up that you completely believe in. Whether you complain aloud or only in thought makes no difference. Some egos that perhaps don’t have much else to identify with easily survive on complaining alone. When you are in the grip of such an ego, complaining, especially about other people, is habitual and, of course, unconscious, which means you don’t know what you’re doing. Applying negative mental labels to people, either to their face or more commonly when you speak about them to others or even just think about them, is often part of this pattern. Name-calling is the crudest form of such labeling and of the ego’s need to be right and triumph over others: “jerk, bastard, bitch” — all definitive pronouncements that you can’t argue with.” 

I see this a lot working in the fitness industry and I’ll admit to catching myself doing this quite often. Anytime you get a large group of people together we will always feed off of each other. If there is a lot of “ego” in those groups then name calling, judgments, and gossiping are going to be some of the main topic in conversation. This leads me into the next quote about non-reaction or just staying out of it.

“Non-reaction is not a weakness but strength. Another word for non-reaction is forgiveness. To forgive is to overlook, or rather to look through. You look through the ego to the sanity that is in every human being as his or her essence.”

I witnessed a perfect example of this just the other day. A person overheard another person say something about him/her behind their back to one of their friends and they practiced non-reaction. They later expressed that they didn’t want to involve themselves in that because they try to stay away from negativity in their life. This person realized immediately that the other person was simply feeding their ego to make themselves feel better or to look cool around their friends. If only we were all that good at practicing non-reaction or forgiveness!

“The thought forms of “me” and “mine”, of “more than,” of “I want,” “I need,” “I must have,” and of “not enough” pertain not to content but to the structure of the ego. The content is interchangeable. As long as you don’t recognize those thought forms within yourself, as long as they remain unconscious, you will believe in what they say; you will be condemned to acting out those unconscious thoughts, condemned to seeking and not finding– because when those thought forms operate, no possession, place, person, or condition will ever satisfy you. No content will satisfy you, as long as the egoic structure remains in place. No matter what you have or get, you won’t be happy. You will always be looking for something else that promises greater fulfillment, that promises to make your incomplete sense of self complete and fill that sense of lack you feel within.” 

This quote is similar to what I touched on earlier. Becoming aware of your ego and knowing that things won’t satisfy you. So what can we all take away from that?! Stop being such a douche and be nice to people and I will too! Along with other things.

 

I go out of town to visit family in Alabama often and over time I’ve had to learn how to adapt to training in other gyms. I am spoiled at NBS and when it comes to the equipment and training atmosphere, I have yet to train in a gym that compares. So, when I go out of town I have to make a few adjustments to my training to make sure I’m successful. It’s easy to put your training to the side for vacations, weekend getaways or work trips but let’s face it, doing that isn’t going to get you closer to your goals. Here are a few things I do when I know I have to leave town and I can’t carry NBS with me. Hopefully some of these will help you stay on track and train when on the go.

Have a plan

How easy is it to say you will pick it back up if you never even have a plan to begin with? Super easy! Using programming is a whole other article itself, which Bobby covered last month, but if you don’t have a plan then you can pretty much guarantee you aren’t going to do it. Plan your workouts ahead of time and make yourself do them. Google is an amazing thing and it will tell you what gyms are in the area you are visiting. Most websites will list hours, day pass prices, and have pictures of their equipment. If they don’t have that then simply call and ask if they have what you are looking for. Something like “Hey, do you have a squat rack with a barbell and a deadlift platform?” will work. Obviously, your questions will be different depending on your training, but you get the picture. Having a plan is your first step to being successful and not getting off track when it comes to training out of town.Screenshot_2016-05-09-07-41-36

Have a backup plan

Not all gyms are as awesome as NBS and some might not have all the equipment you need. If you’ve done your research and are still out of luck when it comes to specific equipment then have a backup plan. Look for some substitute exercises to do with standard equipment that you can find in almost every gym. No prowler? That’s okay, go outside and push your car. No GHR? Well, get someone to hold those feet down and do a Nordic hamstring curl. There are ways to mimic different movements, just do your research and plan ahead. If you can’t find some dumbbells and barbells then you aren’t in a gym! Also, if you can’t get to a gym at all then try doing a bodyweight workout. This isn’t ideal but something is better than nothing. Keep up your cardio routine too, that’s the easiest thing to do when out of town.

Rearrange your workouts

Another option is to rearrange your workouts so that you can use the equipment you need without making changes. This wouldn’t work for a full week of travel, but if you’re just going for two or three days then this works perfectly. Sometimes, if I’m heading out for the weekend and my Saturday consists of heavy deadlifts, anything involving bands or specialty equipment, I will move that workout and swap it with something more simple like an upper body day. This has been a great way for me to make time for friends/family while out of town because my upper body workouts are usually shorter and I don’t have to trade out exercises or equipment.  It also keeps me from having to carry my own chalk, bands, or worry about slamming weights in the gym.

Do what you can but don’t stress about it

If you do all the planning and make an effort but still can’t get any training in then don’t stress about it. Enjoy a walk outside, stretch or do some yoga.  You can still do some sort of activity to feel good and stay somewhat active. A couple days off won’t kill you but making your goals a priority is definitely a good habit to have. If you’re serious about your goals and training is a part of your life then you will find ways to keep it there when life happens. You wouldn’t just quit sleeping for a week if you couldn’t carry your bed with you everywhere right? No, you’d probably find a different bed that might not be as comfortable but does the job.

305565_4260247743310_1808972931_n

If you tend to struggle when you go out of town or away from your normal schedule then use some of these tips next time and try to stay on track. The more you do it and get used to making adjustments the easier it will be and you will find what works best for you. Don’t let traveling get in the way of what you really want. But, if you don’t REALLY want it then this isn’t the article for you!

 

When I was getting ready for my week long vacation I pretty much decided I wasn’t going to worry about my diet or training while I was gone. I was okay with it and felt no guilt because I had been training consistently without any significant amount of time off in over a year. It was time. A couple months before my vacation I started to loosen up on my diet and started trying to eat more mindfully. Instead of eating at specific times of day and weighing out everything I would eat when I was hungry and stop when I was full and have healthy things that I would really enjoy. I was still eating good amounts of protein and not overdoing it on carbs, but I was slowly trying to be more flexible. I enjoyed s’mores when I went camping with my niece and nephew and I didn’t measure out everything that went in my mouth. I was relaxed about it which set me up to be able to handle my vacation and not gain a ton of weight. During show prep and right after prep, this would have been impossible. Prepping for a show is difficult and can lead to serious binging and a negative relationship with food for some. I think I did pretty well in the process, but it can be hard to not live for your next cheat meal. I was sick of that mindset so that’s why I decided to allow myself some flexibility in the weeks leading up to vacation. I even stopped having huge cheat meals for a while because I didn’t really want them anymore after I stopped obsessing about them. I was able to maintain my weight doing this which was nice because I’ve been on a plan for so long it was scary to risk gaining weight by going off plan.

On vacation, I didn’t train (I went to the gym once but only did 2 or 3 things– so I don’t count it) and I ate whatever I wanted when I was hungry. We did walk a lot and we were active with volleyball and swimming everyday but there was no structured exercise. I ate burgers, donuts, fries, ice cream, subs, steak, cereal, bagels and a ton more and it was amazing. After all of that, I only gained about 2 pounds on vacation. I like to think it was because I gave myself some freedom before vacation to stabilize my weight by being mindful of what I was eating and how I felt eating it. I was able to stay in control on vacation and not binge the entire time because nothing was off limits anymore. By telling myself I could have what I wanted if I really wanted it, I no longer felt the need to go eat 6 pieces of pizza at once.

To me, there is a time and place for both approaches. The majority of the time I need to be on a strict plan because I find it easier in everyday life to prep my meals, eat for my training, and feel good about what I’m eating. It can stress me out more not having a set goal and a plan to get there. On the other hand, through time, prepping and measuring food and carrying meals with you everywhere you go can wear you out and lead to serious binging and derailing fast. It’s important to find what works for you to reach your goals but to stay sane at the same time. I’m all about my goals, but I also don’t want to wake up when I’m 95 years old and regret not living life a little more when the time was right. Yes, I plan to live that long.

It’s been two weeks since I returned from my much needed vacation and I can happily say I’m down 7 lbs. That’s the 2 I gained on vacation plus 5 more! I’m back to packing my meals and eating to support my training. I’m glad I took it easy for a few months; it got me mentally ready for the grind to lose some fat again.

At NBS we love our members, we wouldn’t be who we are without them. One thing we do each month to show our appreciation is choose a member that stands out to us and acknowledge them for their accomplishments and hard work. Stephanie Moe is a fairly new member but you’d think she has been here for years. When she joined, she dived right into everything that makes NBS great and is loving it. She trains with the women’s powerlifting team and she competed in the King of Spring meet where she won overall and gained an elite total.. at her first meet ever! Next time you see Stephanie, tell her she is awesome and to keep up the great work!

I asked her to tell me a little bit about her fitness journey and NBS, here’s what she said:

“I’ve been lifting for about two years now, but in just four months as a member of NBS, I’ve exponentially grown as a lifter and easily surpassed goals I had set for myself. Since joining NBS, I’ve trained with the women’s powerlifting team (shout out to some amazing ladies!) and competed in my first powerlifting meet. Competing in my first meet was the most incredible experience of my entire life! It was an honor to lift alongside the strongest men and women I’ve ever met. I’m already itching to compete again and hope to step my game up with the help of my team, coaches, and some sound nutritional guidance (thanks Annie!). The atmosphere at NBS Fitness is unlike any gym- every time I walk in the door, an employee, trainer, or fellow member is ready to answer questions, give advice, and push me past my limits. The determination of every single person at NBS is infectious. This availability of knowledge and constant support system has been invaluable to my lifting career. I am so grateful to be part of a community that truly wants to help each other get better. I can’t wait to see what is in store down the road for the NBS Fitness crew!”

13228036_1088378471218393_494031791_n

13140876_1088378474551726_16259988_n

13235031_1088378477885059_62809487_o

Taking a week off from training and coming back to a new program has caused me some serious soreness this week. Some people think they should take off from exercise when they are extremely sore but that only makes it worse! The only reason I’m able to walk is because I’ve forced myself to move and do some cardio in addition to my lifting this week. While on my honeymoon last week I managed to get one workout in the whole week. I took full advantage of the sunshine and sand and spent almost every minute in it. It did rain one day so my husband and I went to a Hulk Hogan gym near the beach. I kept it light since, you know, it was vacation and all but I enjoyed the experience. Especially when a random man came up and told me he would rather fight my husband over me. That was cool, not sure why he wanted to fight either of us but whatever. Even though I only lifted once while I was gone, we were pretty active all week with walking around a ton and we played several games of sand volleyball everyday. I was nervous about playing volleyball because I haven’t played in years but I wasn’t so bad once I got started! I didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted to because I’m really bad about that.. I barely had my phone on me while in Florida but that’s the way it should be right?! Here are a few though.

We got a yellow mustang convertible for our rental car which was awesome! Daniel let me drive a lot because he’s awesome too.

Snapchat-8732216633341931576

Then there was the Hulk gym we visited.

Snapchat-6662187872532737680Snapchat-8253650721251461649Screenshot_2016-05-09-07-41-36 (1)

 

The beaches were beautiful there and we also saw some gators! We went to Busch Gardens Theme park where we saw a few animals and rode some roller coasters!
Snapchat-3522759553114395536Snapchat-4263588315962184065

Snapchat-845986996929199572

Snapchat-4096016299328858138

 

 

I’m going on my belated honeymoon next week with my hubby and I couldn’t be more excited.. I’m so ready that I’ve literally been mentally checked out and in vacation mode all week. It’s all I can think about!!! Next week’s blog will hopefully be all the beach pictures but this week I wanted to share my progress since being a part of NBS.  Before I joined the NBS staff I was lost I guess you could say. I was a group instructor at several gyms, I did personal training and worked in the corporate wellness world but it wasn’t until I was a part of NBS that it all started to make sense. I’ve learned so much and made so much progress it’s crazy. All thanks to David for mentoring us and truly caring about his staff. Not only have I grown as a trainer but I’ve made physical gains too. If you follow me on social media then you might have seen some of these but my update pictures don’t usually make the internet LOL. What the hell though right? Everyone’s doing it so I should too……..

Anyway, here are some changes I’ve made within just the past two years.. most in the last year really.

I competed in my first Figure competition and made lots of changes during that whole process.

Photo_2015-10-22_02-26-45_PM

 

And since the show, I’ve put on a good amount of muscle. Below the left picture was about a month before my show, which was in October 2015, and the right was this month. Notice shoulder and hammie growth here. I’ve gained fat but I’m confident I’ll be at a wayyyyyy better starting point for my next show than I was last time.

Photo_2016-04-14_04-59-35_PM

 

All the while my bicep gains are also significant. NBS bathroom selfie game is strong too.

IMG_20160428_165020

I’ve made some nice strength gains as well. All my main lifts have improved in technique and in number and I can actually do unassisted pull-ups now. Since I’ve gained some muscle and fat, I weigh a lot more than I did 2 years. About 15 lbs heavier actually and I couldn’t do pull-ups when I was lighter but now I can! Here is a video from the other day, literally trying unassisted pull-ups for the first time in forever. This was my second set of three. I was really excited.

 

Some will think my changes are big and some will think they are small.. but I’m happy with how far I’ve come and it makes me excited about the potential I have to be even better. After the progress I’ve made in the last year and half,  I imagine where I’ll be in five years and that motivates me to keep working hard.

I recently started coaching the morning conditioning group every week and boy do they get after it. I’ve played around with different workouts with them and experimented on what works for them and what doesn’t. There is a fine line between pushing it hard and causing good change and pushing it so much that it interferes with your lifting. In this article I’m going to give some insight into what I’ve used with my group and what started to happen with each. My group lifts on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and does conditioning on Tuesday and Thursday so keep in mind they have no days off between sessions.

Same conditioning workout Tuesday and Thursday

For the first month or two we tried this approach.. kept it simple so they knew what to expect the following session. This approach might be okay for your average Joe or for someone who does a simple 20-30 minute workout but it turned out to not be the best approach for them. My group has an hour to get in and get after it so as you might imagine, that is a lot of time to get a lot of work done.

Here are some of the workouts we would do:

  • Prowler push intervals for 12 minutes followed by 100 swings and a one mile jog
  • Battle rope intervals for 10-15 minutes followed by farmer carries and a 15 minute walk
  • Inverted Ladder workouts with anything from goblet squats, swings, waiter walks, burpees, 1 arm push press, to push ups. Followed by a 10 minute AMRAP.

Like I mentioned before, I realized that they needed a change. They would come in on Thursday a little slower than Tuesday and started to burn out on Fridays. For someone who doesn’t lift as heavy or follows their conditioning day with accessories or an off day, maybe, but not if they need to be fresh to hit some numbers.

Different workout on Tuesday(harder) and Thursday(lighter) and repeat the next week, changing after two weeks

After realizing they couldn’t handle the intensity of the same workouts on Tuesday and Thursday, we switched it up to something heavier on Tuesdays and a little lighter on Thursdays. We would usually repeat the same two workouts the following week. Here are some examples:

Tuesday(harder):

  • Barbell complex (front squat, front squat grip reverse lunge, push press, RDL, bent over row) x4, 15 minutes steady state
  • Circuits like 400 m run followed by 3 rounds of 10 kb swings and 10 burpees and finish with another 400 m run — this one is brutal x3
  • Inverted ladders and AMRAPs
  • Heavy prowler push(forward or back) followed by 120 heavy KB swings

Thursday(lighter):

  • Battle rope intervals for 10-12 minutes followed by 2 mile jog or weighted walk. End with stretching.
  • Kettlebell swing intervals fro 10-15 minutes followed by 10-20 minutes steady state. Stretch or foam roll at the end.

This was better but they were squatting, benching and deadlifting in each session so the intensity of this might have even been a little higher than it needed to be to compliment what they were doing on weight days. When it was time for a new cycle in their programming, I decided to take it even further and try my next approach.12524048_1048531311855925_9133406142677170715_n

Four week cycles that compliment their lifting schedule 

In their last four week cycle they would squat with accessories on Mondays, bench with accessories on Wednesdays and deadlift with accessories on Fridays and each week they would decrease volume and increase intensity. With that, I decided to start them off a bit harder in the first week and decrease the intensity as the weeks went on to compliment their weight training.

For the most part I would pull from some of the examples above and mix and match but here are two examples of what they did the first week (more intense) and the last week (less intense).

Week 1:

  • HEAVY prowler push  ~20 yrds, backward prowler push ~20 yards, rest ~ 1:30 x 8, 2 mile weighted walk
  • Some sort of complex followed by steady state

Week 4:

  • Battle Ropes  20:40 x 12 minutes followed by 1 mile weighted sled pull and stretch
    • Banded KB swing intervals x 15 minutes followed by backward sled drag for 40 yards x 8 no stopping

This, as you might have guessed, was the best approach so far. It could have been the combination of the program change and the conditioning routine but the group was able to perform as needed on training days and push it in conditioning. Since their goals are to be strong and “in shape”, conditioning is an important part of that. We had to find a balance so they can perform in both areas without one suffering.

There are so many things you can do for conditioning and cardio but it’s important to keep all aspects in mind especially if you’re serious about lifting. Experiment a little and learn when to back off but also don’t use that as an excuse to not to get after it! Find ways to incorporate conditioning that you enjoy and that works for you. If it starts to interfere with your recovery and performance then you know something needs to change.

 

This week I want to touch on something that is super special and you won’t find in many gyms. Something that once you are a part of it, you don’t want to give it up. That something is the women we have at NBS. We have the best group of women you could ask for and we are continuing to grow in number and as friends.. Something about being around other women who are strong and want to build each other up just makes your heart feel all warm. In most gyms, women will scoff at each other and judge one another- don’t ask me why women are like that, but it happens and all you women know what I’m talking about. At NBS though, we realize that this iron life is so much better if we lift each other up and support each other in our journeys. Just the other night, I was with my bestie at the gym and before I knew it we were surrounded by about 3-4 more females.. all of which were helping each other load weights, get each other hyped up for their next lift and having small talk about their lifting ups and downs.

You don’t even have to know each other that well.. but you can pretty much guarantee that if there are a few females in the gym and you go to hit a big lift, they will probably yell at you, take your video, or help push you through it! Gym friendships are important for the weight lifting ladies.. we are already hard to find, so it’s important we stick together and support each other through it all. So here’s to ALL of the women at NBS and all the women who are not yet apart of it but will be one day. We welcome you at NBS and once you are apart of it, you won’t look back.

.Screenshot_2016-04-20-07-12-5620160420_070138 IMG_20160418_17594920160420_07134320160420_070212

Screenshot_2016-04-20-06-58-59  IMG_2581

You know one of the things that makes NBS so great? The members! Each month we like to choose a Member of the Month and let them tell you about what NBS means to them and why they love it so much.

For the month of April, I give you Tracy Curry!

Here is what he says:

“NBS fitness is the place to be! Since arriving there last summer I’ve learned so much from some of the best trainers I’ve met. NBS has helped me so much in learning how to unleash my full potential when the sets and reps get hard. Everyone pushing one another to crush weight in every set is a powerful thing. And striving for more to dig deep within myself to get to my goals. NBS is the best!”

A little over a year ago I decided I wanted to commit to doing my first Figure show. I decided on the Memphis Dexter Classic in October and worked with my nutrition coach, David, almost the whole year to get ready for it. I began to train more like a bodybuilder, diet harder, take posing lessons and the whole works. The process was as it should have been: hard, long, exhausting and rewarding at the same time. It was my first one so I wasn’t expecting much and I just wanted to get my feet wet in the sport to see if it was something I really wanted. I ended up placing 5th, but had the circumstances been any different I know I would not have placed at all. I wasn’t as lean as I needed to be and I was lacking in muscle development in some important areas. I’ve learned a lot since then and I’ve realized some things about myself and about how we rush everything these days. We rush to the store before it closes, we rush to get to bed on time only to wake up early to rush to work or get the kids ready, we rush through our workout because we can’t wait to get home to gobble our food down as quickly as possible. I’ve learned that rushing often doesn’t give you the same satisfaction as taking your time. Had I not decided to rush into my first show, I would have known that I should have taken more like 2 years to invest my time into preparing to compete in Figure. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you have to take the leap and just do it but you also have to be honest with yourself and realize where you stand and sometimes take a step back to take three forward.

12065681_10206430562935198_1470097060004885015_n

Getting ready for a show to me is kind of like marriage– you obviously have to really commit to it to do well in it. Also, you need to be damn sure it’s what you want before you put yourself through it because it’s a lot of work and not everyone is cut out for it. You have to nurture it, make time for it, give it attention and realize that the little things matter. If you aren’t ready then you sure as heck shouldn’t rush into it, and if you do rush you will most likely realize later that you should’ve taken more time and would’ve done it differently.

I recently had a talk with both of my coaches about where I stand and what my next step will be in this sport and I feel really good about what’s to come. At the beginning of this year I figured competing in one show a year would be good because that’s plenty of off season time and if I’m going to say I compete in Figure then I need to at least do ONE A YEAR, right?? Well, not exactly. I thought long and hard about it, put my pride aside and came back down to reality land. I need more time to get to a good off season point before I should compete again. So instead of rushing to compete this year, I’m working towards making some decent gains and possibly competing next Spring. If I want it to be good and I want it to be worth it then I need to nurture it, make time for it, and give it all the attention- FOR A WHILE. In the fitness industry we get caught up in wanting everything now. If I try this diet pill today then I will be ripped and ready for the beach in 1 month or I don’t want to spend a whole year just trying to build muscle when I could be getting lean and competing in 16 weeks. I want to be muscular AND lean all the time! Well it ain’t gonna happen, at least not if you want it to last.

No matter what your goals are, really decide what you want and invest in it. Just like marriage. Don’t take the easiest and quickest route to get there, you will be much more satisfied with your hard work and know you did your best if you take your time.

 

-Stephanie

I tend to be an all or nothing kind of person. I’m constantly trying to find balance in life with the things I do and it’s something I have to work at. For some people it’s never being motivated (see last week’s blog post) and for others it’s slowing down and learning how to relax. For me, if I take one sip of a dang monster energy drink then I’m going to drink like 3.. in one day. SO this week I decided to give them up completely (again) because I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t have balance with those damn things. I also decided to start drinking a gallon or more of water every day.. So I’m visiting the restroom quite a bit. Again, I’m working on the balance thing.

Having said all of that- this week’s blog is my training overview of the past month. I have to say it’s been a good month despite dieting a little harder to get ready for my honeymoon/vacation in May. Gunshow is constantly challenging me and I’m getting stronger! I’m finishing up the month with a little deload because I certainly don’t have any trouble balancing that.  Lots of videos ahead so feel free to skip around and only watch the ones you care to see.. if any!

There was the 2×4 @ 155 on bench which I thought was cool..

Until later in the month I hit 165 for 4

 

And then there were squats..

Followed by paused box squats which suck.. Thankful for my gym family to push me when I need it the most.

I’m already sick of the videos too so I’ll include one more………. Deadlift. My favorite!

That’s all for this month! I’ll have another monthly update on my training next month but I promise I won’t bore you with videos every week!

 

Blogs are for motivation right? I’m supposed to enter something super motivational and something that will inspire you to change your life and be awesome. Maybe.. but you might not find that here. I’ve honestly never blogged before and I’m really excited to start this blogging chapter of my life.. So here it goes!

You know what really gets me fired up is when someone says “I’m just not motivated”… maybe I should be a little more sensitive but I think of it like this: either you’re dedicated or you’re not. Motivation will come and go but you have to stick with the plan even when you’re not motivated if you want to reach your goals. Sure, there will be times in life when you need to take time off and that’s okay, but don’t let “motivation” be the limiting factor in reaching your goals. I get motivated like 2x a month.. small things motivate me. Like hitting a lift with ease or seeing more definition in my arms but I don’t wake up every day going “I CAN’T WAIT TO TRAIN!!”. Sometimes I do, but it’s not all the time. And you know what I do on the days that I don’t wake up like that? I think about my goals and why I do what I do.. I don’t have to feel super pumped about it but I get it done.

BUT when I am feeling pumped, I feed that shiz! This week I’m digging the song “Team” by Iggy Azalea.. maybe it’s lame and girly but who cares. I honestly don’t know what the song is even about but it fires me up!