Monday, December 28, 2009

Bring on the New Year!

Here it is again. That time of the year where people make their resolution to lose weight or get into shape or both. I LOVE this time of the year. Why? Because when you live a healthy lifestyle EVERY day, you don't have to stress about gaining weight over the holidays and then try to frantically lose it when January rolls around. In fact, I am coming into January with the goal of another Figure competition in April. This means that I will lean out and look fantastic going into the summer. I'm excited to begin back with my trainer in a few weeks and have her kick my rear into high gear. I didn't eat perfect over the holidays, but I did that on purpose so that I am ready to buckle down now. I'm ready. Bring it. Those of you with competitions this year know exactly what I am talking about. Good luck to you in your training and share your workouts & diets with us. We are here to keep each other motivated. Happy New Year and Go Figure!! Stephanie

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bicep Exercise

I came across this article, the wording is "tailored" toward the boys, but works for us girls too!!

The Top Two Bodybuilding Exercises For Biceps- Neglect These And You’ll Have Wimpy Biceps Forever
by fitness on December 3, 2009

Nearly all guys that spend any amount of time at all in the weight room would like well developed and muscled bi’s. You can show them off in a t-shirt and they cause you to appear strong. There are so many Muscle Building Exercises for arms that the majority of guys do way too many and simply over train their biceps entirely. This is often why nearly all guys can never make their arms get bigger. In a world where people assume that more is better I can tell you that the rule will not apply with bodybuilding and biceps work. Too many muscle building exercises and sets and your biceps will not be able to recover in between workouts plus they will never get bigger. To make your arms grow all you really need is 2 bodybuilding exercises. These two Muscle Building Exercises can make your arms pop if you employ them together.

Shut Grip Reverse Chin Ups

The 1st of the muscle building exercises that you have to use to grow big bi’s is the close grip reverse chin up. Yes, this is simply a pull up along with a reverse grip plus your hands only about 6 to eight inches spaced out. Anytime you are doing an exercise where you physically have to move your body through space your muscles adapt quicker because it is a functional strength exercise. That is why exercises like squats, deadlifts, chin ups, plus dips are so valuable at gaining muscle mass. Do four sets of six to 8 reps of reverse chin ups. Pull your body up as quick as you can and lower yourself down slower along with a count of about 2 seconds. Rest about two minutes in between sets and then do another set. If you are able do more than just six to eight reps it is time to add some resistance. You’ll need one of those belts with a chain around it to strap weights on. If you do not have 1 of these you can cross your feet and place a tiny dumbbell hanging from them. Or get a cable and tie a 5 to ten pound plate around your waist. Add just enough resistance so that you are hitting the six to eight rep range.

Standing Bicep Barbell Curls

This isn’t fancy at all, simply a straight or cambered curl bar with some weights on the end. The perfect bodybuilding exercises are generally the easiest movements with free weights. Strict form is the necessary part of a barbell curl if you want them to make you grow. Keep your back straight together with your elbows fixed to your sides. Don’t use momentum to get the weight started up. If you need to swing the weight up then check your ego plus lower the weights. You want your biceps to be burning at the finish of the set instead of your lower back and delts. Do four sets of this for 6 to eight reps. Don’t forget that the form is actually the key here since you are looking for max biceps stimulation. Once you get to 6 or seven really strict reps you can cheat on 1 to get to number eight but that’s it. Don’t raise the bar until the reps are all strict.

Increase the Resistance

Don’t let the simplicity of this muscle building routine fool you. If you stick to this for six weeks your arms can get bigger but you need to make sure you’re consistently increasing the weight plus the number of reps you perform. If you are doing the actual same quantity of work every time your body will have no reason to respond with new gains in new muscle mass. Push it harder each workout plus watch those biceps bulge up with these 2 bodybuilding exercises!

Website Finishing

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. I have been working hard on getting my website, up and running and caught up in the craziness that the holidays bring. I'm really excited about my website and my goal is to offer tips for those newbies getting ready for a competition as well as have those more experienced folks chime in with their advice, opinions as well. I will also begin to document my workouts, diet, etc. to keep me on track! I will begin back with my trainer, Diana Chaloux the first week of January. I'm excited to get back into a schedule with her. Diana provides my diet as well as pushes me harder than I would push myself twice/week. If you haven't heard of her, check out her site at: She is a WBFF Pro and just placed 2nd this last September. Oh and she's also a really cool chick on top of having amazing abs. :) I find more cool chicks through the FigureSorority. I love that there are so many of us out there just trying to get better at what we do while promoting and helping each other at the same time. So cool. On top of it all, we get to be role models for what a beautiful, healthy female should look like. How inspiring!!

So right now, I am working on building muscle, which is really hard for me. I am long and built like an endurance runner, so I have cut my cardio way down (very tough for me to do) and added higher weights as well as creatine to my diet. I can see a definite difference. Muscle is so beautiful isn't it? My daily diet currently is not super-strict, but not that far off from the clean season. Since I am "off season" for a few more weeks, I am still enjoying some guilty pleasures but that will all go away here soon and I will be ready.

Much love to you all and happy holidays. I love hearing from the Figure Girls, so chime in anytime! Rock the Girl Power and Go Figure!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Power in Numbers

Do you work out w/people or alone? I go in phases and it really depends on the day. When I ran distance, I loved having my running friends along with me to pass the time and catch up on our lives. Training in the gym, hitting weights is a little different. Most people want to get in and get out and not stand around and chat. However, I have recently teamed up with a few other friends that are gearing up for an April competition as well. What I am finding is that we push each other harder than when I train alone and we run some crazy cardio too. We each bring new things to the table as far as ways to train or mix up the cardio. I LOVE that! I also cherish the friendship that develops between people with similar goals. We are different, yet the same. Our goal is to be the best we can be! That doesn't suck. How many sedentary people can say they hang out with people that push them as hard as they can? It's really a bummer that more people don't get what we do. Having training partners is not a new concept, however it is a refresher to try new things and venture outside of your comfort zone. Take the headphones off and try it. Have a great day! Rock the Girl Power & Go Figure!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Figure Only

A weight has been lifted. Ha! Literally. To people that lift weights, that phrase takes on a whole new meaning. After a lot of feedback from my trainer, husband, supporters and myself :), I have decided to drop the marathon training during the off-season. The marathon completely contradicts what I want to do for my April figure competition. I had to decide which one I wanted more. I couldn't do both. The truth is, I love my physique from weights and proper diet. I don't get that same physique from running 18 mile training runs. Yes, I was able to eat more and be less strict with my diet, but that just makes me look like a skinny fat girl. I don't want to ever look like that again. I like looking strong and toned. I like my hamstrings and abs and shoulders and biceps. Training for a figure event is hard. Very hard. It is a 24/7/365 commitment as I have stated before. That is why I have created my site (look for it in December) so we have a place to go and seek advice and stay on track. For all of you that are training and love your muscles keep it up! We are sexy! Have a great day! Rock the Girl Power & Go Figure!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

When Doubt Creeps In

The mind is a powerful thing. It can talk you into doing things and talk you out of doing things. Today I am in a struggle with my mind. As athletes we struggle with mind over matter all day long. Actually, if you are a figure athlete or a bodybuilder, you struggle with mind over matter 24/7/365! As I have said before, I am in the "off season" for my figure training. I still hit the gym 6 days/week, but my diet isn't insane right now so I decided to train for a marathon. The diet is different and the workouts are different. The two definitely contradict each other. I am a runner by nature. I absolutely love to run and run far. I would much rather do a 1/2-marathon over a 5k. Sounds weird, but it is true. I love to run far and get into a groove and just fly. This morning I woke up with extreme self-doubt about my personal goal of qualifying for Boston in January, 2010. Even though I am the fastest I have ever been (thanks to all of my figure training, which has made me stronger and the intervals that have made me faster)I am questioning my ability to hit my goal. Wow. It doesn't happen to me often, but it does and it is happening to me right now. When I was training for my first figure competition, I had several waves of self-doubt. Can I get lean enough? Am I too old? Will I come in last? I overcame all of those doubts and finished strong. It is not unfamiliar territory for athletes, it is just how do you overcome it? Today I am struggling with dropping my marathon training and hitting it hard in the gym instead to set me up for a strong April competition. What if I drop the marathon training when I could have qualified?? Tell me how you overcome the negative thoughts when they enter your mind. I'll keep you posted on what I decide. Right now, I need to head to the gym for a leg and plyo work-out. Rock the Girl Power & Go Figure!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is there anyone out there that loves track workouts? By the definition of track workouts, I mean hard, all-out, lung-burning pace, repeat after repeat. I don't like them but they are a necessary evil for training for a marathon and/or for blasting fat off in preparation for a figure competition. In my case, that would be both. Since my immediate goal is to qualify for Boston in Jan. 2010, the track workouts are 7x800m repeats that cannot be missed. Today the alarm went off at 4:50 am and there was snow falling. It was dark, cold and wet. Normally to casually run in that is not a big deal, but running a fast clip on the track is slippery when wet & icy. So, I have to take it indoors over lunch. I'm not a fan. I'm either going to have to do the repeats on a treadmill or on a indoor running track that would require 6.5 laps for just one, 800m repeat. I'm pretty sure I would rather someone hammer wood planks under my fingernails. I will let you know which one I decide to do. Either way, I'm not excited. On another note, I got word last night that a wonderful uncle of mine was in ICU for a heart attack. He is in his 60's. One of his arteries was/is 100% blocked. This is a blessing in disguise. Call your dad, uncle, brother, husband and ask them to schedule a check-up with their doctor. You can just never be too sure. Everyone make it a great day and do something active. Even if you just go for a quick stroll in the snow. How beautiful. Rock the Girl Power & Go Figure!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

This morning, when my alarm went off at 4:50 am, I remembered why I do not like training for a winter marathon. Our winter, so far, has been mild in Kansas, but today it has arrived. Dark, cold, sleet and my training schedule says 6 miles. It does not care what the weather is like. Luckily I have my good running friends to meet me and hold me accountable. It's true what they say about training with a friend/friends. You are twice as more likely to get your hiney out of bed on a cold winter morning if you know there are three other people standing (and a dog!) out there waiting for you. It really wasn't too bad though, once we got started. Oh! I came across this timely article today too in regard to the "Runner High". Ahhhh yes. Many people ask me if there really is one. My answer? Call a buddy, set a time to meet and get out there and see for yourself :) Report back to me on what you find out. Rock the Girl Power & Go Figure!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

18 miles yesterday. The biggest challenge of marathon training is to not break down all the muscle that I have built for competition. Since I am in the off-season, I figured I could train to do a January marathon then pick back up in figure training for an April show. This means I will have to beef up my protein intake to maintain what I have. The biggest difference between training for a marathon and training for a Figure show? I get to eat carbs and also have my glass of wine! Enjoy it while it lasts sister, come January, it's back on with the competition diet. That is a good seguay into this article that hit my inbox today, "What Is My Ideal Weight?" Ceck it out. Have a great day & do something physical! Rock the Girl Power & Go Figure!!! Stephanie

Friday, November 13, 2009

So many changes going on! My site is a few weeks out from being ready to launch and learning the whole social media world that involves Twitter, FB, Blogging, etc. is a daunting task. In the process I am training for a marathon in January where I WILL qualify for Boston at the age of 42. All while being a career woman, wife and mother of 4. One of my running girlfriends told me yesterday that I love chaos in my world. I think she is right. In fact, I found a quote that relates to me: "If everything is under control, you are going too slow." --Mario Andretti (1940-) Hmmm...yes. I might get a shirt made that says that and wear it during the marathon. Speaking of which, I will be getting an 18-mile run in later today. Tell me how you Figure girls do it because I know there are a lot of you out there that manage just as much in your world. Rock the Girl Power and Go Figure!