StrengthAddicts.com Glute/Hamstring Training

So much fun! StrengthAddicts.com came to train with me at World Gym in Sheffield! Thank you so much, I had a great time!!

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Thank you so very much Christian Duque of StrengthAddicts.com for giving me the opportunity to share my story and some advice for competitors!! You can check out my interview here–> StrengthAddicts.com Blog

What are your Top 10 Tips for Competition Prep Happiness?

There is a unique challenge in competition prep. It tests you both mentally and physically and there is a fine line between giving it the appropriate attention/time it requires and letting it consume your every waking moment. My first prep absolutely became all consuming, every breath I took had something to do with competing. This past prep I was committed to finding a reasonable balance between prep, my family and work. Here are some survival tips that really helped me:

  • Decide how much time your reasonably need to train.
    Stick to this time limit and plan accordingly. Do not spend your training time socializing and dragging your gym sessions out unnecessarily.
  • Batch prepare you meals at the beginning of the week for the whole week.
    This avoids skipping meals because of time constraints or lack of desire to cook.
  • Invest in copious amounts of food storage containers, ice packs and a good lunch box.
    If you have appropriately prepared your meals at the beginning of the week, packing for a day out should not take longer than 15 minutes.
  • A 7 day, multiple daily dosing pill minder will be your best friend.
    While you are batch preparing your meals fill your supplement minder for the week as well.
  • Create a schedule.
    This should include meal, training, and supplement times. The structure will remove guesswork and the constant obsessing over “what is next”.
  • Remain social.
    Yes, it stinkaroonies to be around fun party food when you are prepping. However, what is worse is feeling completely isolated. Do I recommend going on all night benders, no, you need your sleep! There is no reason though that you cannot invite friends and family over to play board games, go to a park or go bowling.
  • Remember this was YOUR CHOICE.
    No one is forcing you to compete. There will be times when you are “hangry”, but learning to recognize your emotions will help you to accept them as part of the process and not take them out on everyone around you.
  • Enjoy the journey.
    This is supposed to be exciting and challenging, NOT a punishment. Contrary to what is often promoted, you do not need to be in constant misery hating life. Naturally there will be days that aren’t your favorite, but the majority of days should be a day of personal development.
  • Breathe.
    Yes, the contest is important and you’ve invested a significant amount of time, money and effort into your prep. However, remember that the contest is only a moment in time- IT DOES NOT DEFINE YOUR SELF WORTH, YOUR EFFORT OR YOUR PERSONAL PROGRESS.
  • Do not compare yourself to others.
    Social media is a great way to network. It is also a great way to send yourself into a tailspin of panic and despair while searching other competitors contest and progress pics. Do not compare yourself to another’s highlight reel. Your true competition is yourself, work to be an improved version of yourself each day and you will always step on stage a winner.

ATOMIC MUSCLE: Product Review

Atomic Muscle Product SamplesAs a card carrying “bro” (ok fine, we don’t actually have cards, but I do have an impressive set of calluses I carry with me at all times) I’ve tried my fair share of supplements. My husband and I both enjoy researching supplement science and discussing the like- my degree is in Biology and my Husband is a Resident Neurologist. It should come as no surprise that as bodybuilders we are creatures of habit. After purchasing a myriad of different products over the past two years we had found comfort in our supplement stack. We actually purchase everything for the year (yeah, it’s sort of like “Dooms Day Preppers”…) Recently I was presented with the incredible opportunity to try a supplement line and provide my thoughts. While I was excited, I was also hesitant. My training sessions are business meetings, I always go in prepared and I feared that I would jeopardize them by trying something different. After three record setting training sessions, I will forever more train fueled by Atomic Muscle.

In all sincerity I feel as though I found my secret weapon as I train towards my 2014 contest season. There is a difference in the Atomic Muscle line that truthfully stands apart from the rest. The adjective that seems to best describe how my Husband and I feel after using these products is “clean”. You simply feel like you are supplying your body with clean, high quality products. Atomic Muscle was kind enough to let me try several of their products and below you will find my reviews of what I have tried to this point . I encourage you to check out their product line (I have linked each product name). Read the ingredients and ratios, study the nutritional values; it sells itself.

ATOXIN Lemon Lime (preworkout)
Mixability: Instantly dissolved, no crunchy last sip
Taste: Reminiscent of Skittles (seriously, yum)
Effects: Clean consistent energy, no surge and crash, just steady good session

PR Stim Fruit Passion (preworkout)
Mixability: Instantly dissolved, no crunchy last sip
Taste: Again, reminiscent of Skittles or the red Starbursts
Effects: Even with 400mg of caffeine I did not experience jitters or anxiety. There was no surge and crash either. Just a clean focus and drive. I legitimately crushed some PR’s with this blend, holding true to it’s name. No seriously, here is a video of today…Third movement, fourth set of a neutral grip lat pulldown superset with a bent over cable row. I hit 150lbs for 12 and dropped to 90lbs for 10 before finishing the super!! Thank you PR STIM!!

Volumizing Swell Matrix
Mixability: Instantly dissolved
Taste: Same as PR Stim
Effects: Boulder shoulders. Seriously, as a figure gal I love a good pump on shoulder day, this product delivered. When my Husband tried it he was actually complimented that he looked even bigger than normal! (Yeah, you know that’s a total gym win.)

Chocolate Banana Casein
Mixability: Highly dissolvable, no clumping, no chunks on the bottom
Taste: Delightfully on point. I tried it both as a pudding and shake. As a shake it was not “slippery” like many caseins tend to be. I took it up a notch when I mixed it as a pudding and threw in a scoop of PB2, yeah, DELICIOUS.

100% Whey Chocolate
Mixability: Highly dissolvable, no clumping, no chunks on the bottom
Taste: Even when mixed with water it was a great chocolate flavor and surprisingly thick
Nutritional Data: This is the real win. NO FAT, LOW SODIUM, NO CARBS. Yes, you read that correctly.

I still have several more products to try, but was so pleased with the supplements that I wanted to share my thoughts. As I work my way through the rest of the line I will update!!

Sincerest thanks to ATOMIC MUSCLE and Andy P. Your incredible generosity has provided me with the opportunity to try products that I will be adding to my supplement stack that I now know will take my training and contest prep to the next level. Watch out, there is a big order coming your way….

Live Without Regret, Pursue Your Passion

eggsA hiccup of laughter escapes and then the tears flow. All I’m doing is standing in the grocery store grabbing the week’s fifteen dozen eggs, but it triggers a sweet memory from my most recent competition season. Over the past year I had eaten 4,380 egg whites (that’s not a typo!) I started and ended each day with six of these little protein gems; they represented both the start and close of another day committed to this lifestyle. One year ago and thousands of eggs prior I had stepped off stage from being in last call outs feeling crushed; this year I had stepped off stage from being in the middle of first call outs. Even as I write this, the hiccup laugh tears stream thinking back on the emotion of the moment.

Patience has never been my forte, in fact I would say “impatiently fickle” would best describe me. You can imagine the surprise to those closest to me when I decided to set a goal that required me to remain patient, persistent and dedicated for an entire year. Furthermore, there was no guarantee as to the outcome- I had no idea what my genetics were capable of and no clue who was going to show up for the contest. I had made the decision though and while I may be fickle, those things that do grab my attention are met with a level of passion worthy of a Nicholas Sparks novel. I spent an entire year focused on my goal, working towards it every day letting my passion fuel me; intent to step on stage again without regret.

All too often we find ourselves saying that we wish we would have started something sooner; we wish we would have tried, we wish we didn’t regret. A year sounds like an exorbitant amount of time, but in reality it isn’t all that long. While as a society we have trended towards instant gratification, we are also still programmed to plan, anticipate the future and set goals. We all have secret desires that we often disregard because of the time it will take, the dedication required or fear of the unknown. I challenge you to ask yourself though, which is worse…living with the regret of not knowing or spending your days living in passion? The days will pass regardless make them yours, make them worthwhile.