Friday, September 30, 2011

Hydrostatic Bodyfat Testing


2.5% what? Bodyfat. Do I look like I am at 2.5%? No, I don't think so, but this picture was taken on Wednesday morning after I got back from the gym and that's what my bodyfat was at the time. On Tuesday I had hydrostatic bodyfat testing and I came out to be at 2.5%

How does it all work? I did it last year, and it is quite interesting to go through, even if I feel like I am going to die in the process.

Odd that I would pay for such a thing but I do.

Mike pulls his mobile testing truck up at the gym, folds down the metal stairs and sets up shop. He will be there all day long.

Tuesday afternoon I walked up the stairs and greeted him. I said I was his next appointment and I was ready!

I told him that I did it last year so I was familiar with the process and I took off my clothes (I had a swimsuit on) and stood on his scale.

118 pounds. Damn! My weight had dropped a couple days prior, and this was not good, I didn't want to drop anymore. But, as I said yesterday, it is a very fine balancing act and at the end, things can get sticky.

Below you see Mike standing by the tank explaining to me again what to do. I will sit on the edge and then swing my feet over and dangle them in the water. He then takes a reading after a minute, not sure what it is. The water is warm, 90 degrees and smells slightly of chlorine.

He says "You getting ready for a competition?" "Yes" I tell him, "4 days away." "Bodybuilding?" he asks. "No, I am competing in Figure, but at 118 pounds may just be too hard for that now."

"You are lean. I can tell just by looking at you now." he says.

I am told to get in, lay down, stomach down, resting on my forearms so my head is above the water. We will run through the actual measurement process three times to get an average reading.

Mike lays a heavy weight belt on my lower hips to hold me down. I have become a very tiny person. I will take a deep breath and exhale slowly, then another deep breath, exhale fast and when he tells me, plunge under water and keep pushing all the air out of my lungs, I will sink as I do this. He will keep shouting at me to continue blowing out my air and I must not stop.

 He said I have to keep pushing the air out, while I am under water, till no more bubbles are escaping. I feel like I shall die, I need air, I want to come up but I was instructed not to until I hear him pound on the side of the stainless steel tank. I push the air out from my abdomen as he instructed, keep pushing!, keep pushing!. Crap, It's like giving birth all over again! I start to panic a little then Mike finally pounds on the side. I come shooting up like a fish being chased by a shark, gasping for air.

 He says "You ok?" "Yes" I tell him, "I am fine". pant, pant, pant......

We do the same thing a second time, and then a third. OK, I have had enough "fun" for the day, send me home dammit!

Mike tosses me a big towel and I dry off as he works on his computer. It has stored my data from last time, we can compare everything. 

"You are low." Mike says. "In fact, I have never tested a woman lower than this, and only one man lower. You are at 2.5%."

'That has to be a mistake!" I tell him. "There is no way I am that low. I get to 4%, I know that, but 2.5%, wouldn't I be dead or something? What is the margin for error?"

"1%, so if this is as off as it can be, you are at 3.5%, or you could be lower couldn't you? You probably don't have a lot of energy lately and don't feel super good either."

He has hit the nail on the head, very low energy and I waver in and out of "feeling good" but I have been able to successfully function I think. At least I have been working full time, and training three times a day...

I explain to him that when competing it is so easy to develop body dysmorphia, even for a while. You stare at yourself for so long, critiquing all the time, it is hard to see what you really look like. My family and friends get so tired of me walking up to them and saying "Do I look skinny? Do I look fat? Are my shoulders flat? Is my stomach pudgy?"  You honestly cannot tell on your own, or your mind plays games on you and you see something that doesn't really exist. 

He nods and understands. We chat a bit about sports and bodyfat and athletes. 

Here is the report, I have 2.5% bodyfat percentage and I weigh 118 pounds so...

I have 3.05 pounds of fat on my entire body. I think that is how much my head weighs.....My lean mass is 114.95 pounds.

My percentage from last year is below, and I have slightly more lean mass over last year with 4% less bodyfat. But last year I did this 22 days prior to a competition, and I dropped more weight afterward, I suspect some lean mass too. This means I did indeed gain lean mass, to be able to lose that much more fat and still have a lean mass increase is great, although I need to shoot for more lean mass after this.

I realize that it is rather unusual to have bodyfat so low, especially for a woman. And it still doesn't look that low to me, but it is what it is. I very well may be marked down in the competition for being too low, "too hard" but there really isn't much I can do now. 

I remember one other time my body was like a train without brakes, running out of control, the same thing happened to me and Kim advised me to "EAT MORE STARCH!" so that's what I am doing now. I ate when I got home, I ate again, and again. Starches at every meal, beef, bread, peanut butter too. Right before bed I had a chicken breast and 4 ounces of sweet potato, unheard of previously at bed time!

I woke up at 2:00 a.m and ate starch. At 4:00 a.m. I ate my cream of rice and chicken and a sandwich.

I have halted the loss I hope, lets' see how I look in the next few days! 

You can find out where Mike will be next, he may be coming to your gym! Check out his site BodyFatTest

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Final Prep for Competition

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There is much to do, but I have it down to a science. When I started it was all trial and error. I used the checklist that Huong gave me, things I found online, advise from others. I could never have gotten here without all of the help and research.

I own my prep now, I am as successful as I have made myself. Although every competition brings jitters, I am comfortable with what I do. I don't have a coach, or a Figure coach to look at me and tell me what to eat, what to train, what to pack and do. I do it alone. I always think of the saying "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime"

Many gals feel the need for one, and power to them if that works. I don't want one, I get a sense of satisfaction knowing that I am the body I made myself, for myself, and not for others. I don't train so I can be successful at Figure, I train because I like to and the competition is a way to connect with a lot of other hard training women and keep me on my toes. A challenge. 

I have my diet slightly altered the last week, Kim Porterfield taught me how. I stop shakes and egg whites and I play with proteins and carbs ever so slightly. Every body is different, so what works for me may not work for someone else. It takes trial and error. You need to learn by ingesting foods and then looking at the slight changes in your body about 40 minutes later, all the way to the following couple days.

Kim first had me do this by setting my alarm at 3:10 am, take pictures, eat, go back to sleep, get up at 4:00 am, take pictures, train shoulders, take pictures...and study them. whew!

So this means I don't have a shake when I get up at o.darkness, I have a mixture of cream of rice and chopped chicken, like baby food.  I have the same thing (but twice as much cream of rice) for breakfast.

Protein is adjusted down near the end to shuttle the carbs directly to the muscles, then at the very end, Friday night I will eat a dinner designed to fill me out. A steak, plain baked potato (pepper and lemon) and a slice of homemade cheesecake. I will have the same thing for breakfast the next day.

Of course, that's if everything looks the way it should leading up to Friday. It is a fine balancing act.  Anything can change in a matter of days, seriously. It can go well and it can go sour, very, very sour.

I don't take diuretics, those are the most dangerous thing you can take, worse than any anabolic steroid or drug, screw up with diuretics and you die. No silly trophy, sword or pro-card is worth it in my opinion.

I take Thursday and Friday off from work, Thursday I will prepare all the food I need to bring to my hotel. It is simple: chicken breast, flank steak, brown rice, sweet potato, plain vegetables, asparagus if I can find it- the stores haven't had any lately.  I package it all up in serving portions and pack a lot of water too. I will bring some magazines or books in case I am alone in my hotel room bored. I will make cheesecake with a shortbread crust.

I load up my suitcase with sheets for the hotel (the tan can make a mess), my clothes, makeup and snacks for backstage. That is rice cakes, peanut butter, honey, granola, raw nuts. Baby wipes for the hands, that honey and peanut butter gets everywhere and the tanning solution is disgusting. I will also pack some dark chocolates caramels, bananas, Doritos and any other treat that sounds tempting at the moment. 

In the afternoon I will have a manicure and pedicure, french nails. I dislike the fake ones and used to use the glue on for the competitions, no longer. It's me and I have short nails, but they will be nicely groomed.

First thing Friday morning I have a hair cut. I will have my hair blown out so all I need to do is clip it back in my rhinestone clip. It will be long and flowing, but the bangs still add some dimension to my face. I don't care for the stiff "up do" look, too fussy. 

The athlete briefing and registration takes place in the host hotel on Friday evening at 6:30 for the Figure and Bikini. This is great as it used to be in the morning when they weighed in all the men, everything would get delayed and behind and just cause the event to go over.  At some point in the afternoon or evening I get my spray tan, also at the host hotel. 

I will leave a checklist for David- things to make sure are at home when I get there! This may change but currently the list is this:

Pinot Noir
a skirt steak
sliced sourdough bread (I will have a hot skirt steak sandwich with wine when I get home about midnight or so)
fixings for David's Famous Ramos Fizz in the morning 
The knowledge that he needs to go to Fleur de Cocoa to get some pastries Sunday morning as soon as they open. I am thinking some plain croissant to go with the fig jam I made.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Korean Bath House

I am a person steeped in rituals. Oh not the weird kind, but I suppose a lot of people would find this one weird, in fact, I know those out there who are a bit more conservative certainly will.

Saturday morning I went to the Korean Bath house, and the actual name of the business is Lawrence Health Center. I go here a week prior to every competition. Why? It is important to exfoliate very thoroughly so the spray tan goes on even and looks good. All that dead nasty skin needs to come off! 

The bath house has a cold spa, hot spa (waaaaay to hot for me), warm spa, dry sauna, steam sauna, therapy room, relaxation room, beauty salon and small eating and resting area outside the locker rooms.

Men and women come here to bathe and socialize. Good, clean, healthy fun. You start off by paying your fee. You can come for the day, as long as you like for only $20.00; or you can do what I do and pay for Full Body Care for $80.00, this lasts 1 hour and 10 minutes. The brochure say this about the Full Body Care:

Full Body Care is the combination service of Scrub and Massage, this service is provided in the spa area, it's most highly recommended service in our spa.

Body scrub methods are imported skills from Korea, it's exfoliation service. Body scrub treatment sterilizes and removes dead flaky skin leaving you fresh, clean, smooth skin. It's totally provide relaxed and revitalized feelings.

Acupressure Massage is method of applies pressure to certain meridian points on the body that relieve tension and relaxing tight muscles and body pains. It's traditional art of Asian deep tissue massage.

After paying my fee I was handed three small hand towels, a toothbrush and a robe and locker key, off I go to the women's section. I leave my shoes in the cubby, I wore flip flops no one will take them.

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I find my locker and a woman comes to take my ticket showing I paid for a service.  Everything is sparkling clean, everyone is barefoot (well, naked actually) and the floors are smooth and clean. I trot off to the bathroom first, they have crocs by the doors to wear in the toilet area.

Then to the communal bathing room where I stash my little towels and robe in a cubby and start in on the process. There are standing western style showers , three of them. Then a whole row of small stools and hand held shower heads with mirrors in front. Most of the women plop down on a stool and start scrubbing and cleaning and chatting the whole time. They scrub themselves, they scrub each other.

I use the standing shower and clean well, washing my hair with their products. The soap is a big round green ball, smells strong to me.

A big sign says "Keep Quiet" and everyone is laughing, shouting and having fun, no one whispers or pays attention to the sign. You need to talk loudly to be heard over the splashing of the water in the cold spa, a huge waterfall is constantly pounding down a shower of icy cold water.

I won't be enjoying this long, I really don't want to stay in the steam and lose water right now, so I am quick. I weighed myself just before leaving the locker room, I will weigh myself after I am done, it needs to be the same.

I float in the warm spa a while, then into the steam room. I love this steam room, it is huge and the walls are covered in big boulders. It has wormwood on the grate so the scent is heady in the room.

Back out to the bathroom one last time and as I walk through the lounge an older Korean woman lets out a loud gasp and brings her hands to her face. It is Sue! I always ask for Sue but was told she wasn't working today. I walk over and she is holding her hand out to me with a smile on her face. She doesn't speak very much English, but that has never been a problem for us. I explain I asked for her and she said she works Sundays through Thursdays now. She asks if I am having a scrub and a competition. I tell her yes I am having one and a competition in a  week, she smiles and says something to her friend. We say goodbye, I have to go. 

I enter back into the bathing area and then my acuma (Korean for Auntie) comes out in her black lace panties and bra and leads me to the massage table. There are three tables, this is no private matter. Anyone who is not comfortable being naked should not come here, or maybe if you want to get over this ridiculous fear you should!

I lay face down and she scoops buckets of very hot water out of a big garbage pail and splashes it over me, she will continue to do this throughout. She starts scrubbing my entire body with two rough mitts. The dead skin pills up brown and waxy all over my body, thank goodness she splashes that hot water on me to get rid of it all. 

She picks up my hand and places it on my stomach, "feel soft?" she asks? It does, I run my hand up and down my body, it feels wonderful.

On my side, she scrubs every inch, the only area not touched is the labia, everything else is scrubbed thoroughly. On my back, she scrubs my abdomen, my breasts, my underarms, my inner thighs.  On my other side, legs get pushed and moved so she can get everywhere.

I think my favorite part is the scrubbing of my neck. I know that sounds odd, but to have my head pushed to one side and my neck and under my chin completely scrubbed just feels fabulous.

After she has scrubbed all my skin, she rinses me off and then scrubs again, this time with soap. Then she stands me up and says how healthy I look now. I understand that skin to Korean women is like weight to American women. The Korean women want clear, smooth, soft skin, the Americans want to be painfully thin. 

I rinse again and am handed a small towel to dry off with. Then back on the table where she applies a mask to my face. Now hot baby oil is liberally poured all over, she starts the massage. Again I am flipped and flopped all over the table.  She works an especially long time on my upper back area, it is tense. My calves are really tight too, and she massages my glutes and lower back with her forearm, it feels so good.

Finally she washes my hair and massages my face a bit more.  Stands me up, hands me the shower nozzle to rinse again and sends me on my way. 

I go to my robe and get a $20.00 tip for Huong, she did a great job. Although I prefer Sue as she is very rough and thorough, Huong left my skin less red which is probably better for the competition. 

I would do this every week if I could afford it. And every time I do this I say I will go to the little market next door and buy some of the exfoliation gloves so I can do it myself, but I always forget.

A great discovery as I drove out here was I say Dosai Place! My friend Devarshi always has pictures of himself eating Dosa on Facebook, It looks so good. I want to go after my competition and bring the Coopster. 

The don't have a website, but here is their information:

Lawrence Health Center
3545 El Camino Real Santa Clara CA 95051
(408) 243-1177
Open 7 days a week 9:00 am to 10:00 pm (last entry is at 8:30 pm)
Closed only on Thanksgiving and Christmas

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One Week Out

One week from today (when the pictures were taken on Saturday), I will be on stage competing at the San Francisco.

I am pleased, but nervous too. I cannot see the trees through the forest. I know I look great, my shoulders are huge and round, the way I like them. My bodyfat is low, Roy checked it again on Friday and it has all dropped, except the damn knees! We gotta figure out what that all means.

Actually my delts really just now rounded out, it's Roys dedication to tracking the rate of the inclines and weights and reps, and the time under tension. 

My weight has been holding steady at 119, and that is good I don't want to lose any more, but I don't want to gain, I need to eat just enough starches to stay full so my muscles look healthy and I don't look like a skinny cardio queen.

I am pleased with the abs, I have never been one to get a six pack, but at 50, I think they look pretty darn good!

See the shoulders? Nice huh? I can see I am smiling, a real smile, I am happy I have gotten to this point, it is quite a bit of work you know.

The back- broad and well developed, and the glutes look good. The tan, all I need is the tan!

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Morning Motivation

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My competition is 5 days away, and I want to give credit to all of my hard working friends out there, those competing with me, and those competing against themselves as they work hard to improve every single day.

I don't see it as an end, but a start. A start of a new chapter. How long or short this chapter will be is unknown to me.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
 Theodore Roosevelt 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Celebrating after the Competition

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I look forward to the weeks after a competition, I can eat and drink like a regular person. I am dreaming of it now, even during the daytime. You have heard the saying "When you want something so badly you can taste it"? I am tasting a lot right my head.

Tradition has it that David and I go to the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Market on the Saturday following a competition. We get there early and have fish tacos and red wine out in the sun, sitting at the waters edge. We go to Mijita, a wonderful little restaurant. 

We then wander around the farmers market and buy oysters, meats, cheeses, breads, vegetables and fruits. We stop and have a glass of REAL champagne at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant and watch all the tourists walk by.

Then lunch at the Zuni Cafe, further in the city. 

But not this time, tradition is about to be broken, David is busy. In fact, David is busy every Saturday until the last weekend in October. I am on my own.

I was making reservations and discovered that David and Cooper will be attending a lacrosse game in San Francisco on the 8th, Harvard is playing Denver. It should be an exciting game. The game is at 3:00 so they need to leave early to go to their favorite Irish pup and eat fish and chips, then get a good seat.

The following Saturday they have a  car race, Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV where they will drive around the track or something like that.

Then the next Saturday he has to work.

He looked at me when I started complaining and said "Kristy - the whole world doesn't stop when you are finally ready to eat!"

It was a slap in the face, the words stung. But he was right. David has been waiting a long time for me to be ready, now I need to wait for him. I guess the shoe is on the other foot now huh?

So another saying we have all heard: "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"

I made lunch reservations for ONE on Saturday the 8th. Yes all by myself. I am having lunch at McCormick and Schmicks restaurant. I have never been there and hear they have stunning food. I will order a glass of champagne and then a glass of red wine to go with lunch. Pursuing the menu, I am thinking I might enjoy the tenderloin steak sandwich on Navajo fry bread with garlic aioli. Or, if I am not super hungry I might start with the ahi tuna tartare then the Caesar salad, you see, I can have whatever I please!

Then, I have made a reservation at Tova Day Spa located in the Fairmont Hotel (where the restaurant is too), for a day at the spa. My day will include a 50 minute Swedish massage, then a 40 minute rejuvenation facial, followed by a 15 minute hand and foot pomegranate scrub. I will have access to the lounge, sauna, steam room, whirlpool, slippers and plush robe and two-hour valet parking! (Gotta love Living Social where I grabbed this great package!)

If I were male there could only be one thing you could add to make me say I have died and gone to heaven.

Then I shall hit the store and make something fabulous for dinner, the boys will be hungry when they get home from the lacrosse game and I am sure I will have a mean hunger brewing yet again.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

San Pedro Market Square

On Saturday we went on a little outing. Me, David and Stacy. I am a foodie at heart, always have been and always will be. Just because I diet half the year doesn't diminish that at all, I still eat great, tasty, healthy, low calorie foods most of the time.

I am a firm believer that you can eat healthy food that tastes great too. One of the most exciting part of competing is dreaming about all of the wonderful foods I can eat and prepare afterward!

So I decided we would go check out the soft opening of the new San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose. They say it will be alive with restaurants, food stalls, vendors, markets, bars, and music.

First stop ? Vino Vino, a wine bar that has varietals kegged and for sale by the glass . Here is David giving us a lesson on the local wines (above).

Next was to Pizza Bocca Lupo . David said it was great- but not as good as mine, seriously! This pizza cooked in 2 minutes, it was a very, very hot pizza oven. But this style is meant to be eaten with a knife and fork, it is a thin crust but soft. Mine is very thin and crispy crust.

Personally I cannot wait to go when I can try it. I was happy with my chicken breast, brussels sprouts and sweet potato.

We sat out in the warm sun listening to a great band, and there was yet another bar set up outside in front of the Peralta Adobe, a real European atmosphere! It reminded me of all the times I have spent at a public square with my brother in his home city of Barcelona, Spain.
Then it was out back where San Jose Eats operated by Moveable Feast, was gathering.  Several mobile food trucks all lined up serving all sorts of gourmet dishesHere is a list of the trucks there on Saturday:

An the Go
Eat on Monday
O Mi Ninja

  Here David and Stacy are waiting for a Heritage Berkshire pork taco from

The Peruvian truck had some dishes that sounded wonderful, and the gourmet Vietnamese truck too. In fact, they all had something I would love to try.

If you live in San Jose, sign up to receive updates from the market. Their grand opening will be in late October, once all the tenants are in and open. Although it is small, I am envisioning a great place to spend some time.
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Diet and Cooking

Ironically, when you are dieting and prepping for a competition, you tend to spend a huge amount of time cooking! It is important to have the food you need and want, ready at all times.

The more I diet, the more I find myself standing in the kitchen cooking, chopping, slicing, measuring, weighing, and packaging.

Friday I hit the store for my usual foods I would get ready for the upcoming week. I usually buy boneless, skinless chicken breast, although it is much more expensive, when you cook 8 pounds at a time, it is easier to get it in that form.

But the breasts with skin and bones was on sale for such a good price, I had to buy it. I ended up with 20 pounds of chicken!

I baked it as usual, and then pulled it all off the bone.  I had forgotten how much better it was like this! The breasts that are already skinned and boned get so dried out when they bake.

Then I had a huge pile of bones. I hate to waste anything so I decided to make stock. First the trick is to roast the bones in a very hot oven, here they are after they have been roasted.

David then deglazed the pan with water and white wine, scraping up all the stuck on bits.

Here it is simmering away, it smelled wonderful! We let the liquid cool, then poured it over the roasted bones.  Into the refrigerator for the night. 

In the morning we went to buy chicken feet, they make the best stock, but the store had none. So necks and backs was the order of the day.  We added the chicken parts to the roasted bones and liquid, added an onion, celery, bay leaf, fresh thyme and some carrots.

It all simmered together all day long, filling the house with a wonderful chicken scent (even though I eat a lot of chicken, it still smelled great).

Now, it is strained and back in the refrigerator where it will stay the night. Tomorrow I will skim the fat off and then package it into freezer containers.

I hope there is some left after my competition! I want to make some french onion soup with cheese and bread!!!!

And a nice glass of red wine too.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Olympia

It would make sense that I watched the Olympia wouldn't it? The decisions the judges make determine the "look" of Figure for the upcoming year. Yes, it changes. You see they may want a "harder" look over a "softer" look sometimes or vice versa. 

What does that mean? "Hard" is tight muscularity, less bodyfat; while "soft" is not quite as tight looking, not as muscular and higher bodyfat. 

Personally, I don't care what the judges want or what they are looking for, I will not change the look I want. This is for me not them.

I like hard. Hard, tight, very muscular. Leave the soft to the bikini gals I say. That's the definition of "soft". 

Did you see the difference between the Figure gals and the Bikini? Striking in my opinion.

I still don't understand how they plan to make the Women's Physique division work, they only offer it in the Nationals. To compete in the Nationals you need to qualify at a local show. So if you qualify in a show for Figure, you would have to really pack it on to compete in Women's Physique since your qualification lasts only one to two years depending on the show.

Or do they award the harder more muscular women hoping they will want to move up to Women's Physique?

Well I looked online and what did I find out? No more Women's Bodybuilding! But the Womens' Physique will be at the local level in 2012.

Here is a link to John Lindsay Productions, the promoter or many of the shows in California. You can see the shows and schedules for yourself. 

Now, you can even see all of the rules and regulations, so you understand just what the judges are looking for. Of course, it is still very political and very subjective.

Now I need to think this all out. I may want to try my hand at this! It really is a sport for older women, I mean 30 and up. Leave the bikini to the young gals, they are not typically as successful in Figure or Bodybuilding, you need time to develop muscle.

This also means I may have to train more with Roy. Sometimes, it's not just wisdom that comes with age!

And now a video that I found hilarious. This was posted in a closed group I belong to on Facebook called Sisterhood of Iron, over 2000 women strong (literally).

We have all seen Sex In The City right? Well this is Flex and The City. I talk a lot about the "skinny" look and how unattractive I find it, well seems like I am not the only one who thinks this! Check out these women! Email subscribers will need to navigate directly to the blog to view the video.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday's cardio

Have I said I don't particularly care for cardio? I think so, maybe once or twice. I have found that changing things up can keep it more interesting.

I can lift weights the same old way for ages and never get bored, although I understand it is not advised, so I change things every three weeks.  My point is weight training doesn't bore me at all, cardio does.

All of us, no matter who we are and how advanced we are, can learn from other people. We can also use refreshers, it's easy to get in a rut and forget things we used to enjoy or do a while back.

I once attended a Phat Camp with Jen Hendershott, loved it!  Two and a half days of training, I learned so many new things to keep it all interesting, she does a lot of cardio! I still have all of the exercises on my torn and tattered paper as a reminder.

If Jen comes round here again I will sign up and maybe drag Stacy with me!

The other night I watched a DVD called "The Sport of Figure" and it featured Ava Cowan. She showed several exercises that she likes to use, and it reminded me of several I had forgotten. 

What I did come away with was HIIT on a bike. I used to "spin" quite a bit and stopped when I started training with SC. My main goal has always been to add muscle, I am a naturally lean person, adding muscle is not real easy for me. When I would take a spinning class he used to get in my face and say "You want to get big or you want to get small?! Pick one!"

What he meant was I was just burning up my calories on that spin bike, calories and hard earned muscle. I don't spin any longer.

But doing 20 minutes of HIIT is different, a lot different than an hour of spinning. HIIT has been proven to burn fat and spare the muscle.

According to Jonathan Ross, American Council on Exercise personal trainer of the year and author of Abs Revealed; 8 to 12 minutes of intense intervals can burn as many calories as 25 to 30 minutes of constant moderate-exertion exercise. He says: "Pick your favorite cardio machine and do one minute at a high intensity (at least a 7 or 8 on a scale of 1, with 10 being all-out effort) followed by rest or a vary low intensity (2 or 3 on the same scale) for one minute."

So what have I been doing? 5 minutes warm up  and then 20 minutes of one minute intervals, fast as I can for a minute, then recovery for a minute. Over and over until I can't go on.

It's not too difficult if that is all I am doing, like a morning when all I do is cardio because I will meet Roy in the evening. So I did it again on Friday morning. But I tried it on Saturday after my leg day...failure! I could only go 10 minutes, I was spent.

I am not concerned, If I really worked my legs hard I shouldn't be able to do this. So I finished off on the treadmill at a 15% incline.

So Sunday I trained back and I trained hard. I took it outside again, the cool air kept me going. I was able to do the 20 minutes, then an additional 20 on the stairmill. Lots of men on the courts, but they all had their shirts on!

Monday after work? Me and the bike!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2 Weeks Out

I'm done. I don't mean "quitting", I mean I am there, just where I want to be, I am ready. I have been at 120 pounds for the last several days and am holding, that's where I thought I might land. Anything less and I might start to look too stringy.

I do need to tell you about a great new feature to the "Blogger" software. Just click on the first picture, and it will expand to the entire screen. The it will show thumbnails down at the bottom so you can click through and see all the pictures one right after another! You do need to be reading in blogger, not in the email link though.

The glutes came in, but won't look their best until they are all "painted" dark brown with the tan, then everything looks better!

Back is good, nice and wide with a good V taper. No back fat. Again, the tan makes the cuts show much better, you see, dark skin absorbs light, white skin reflects it, that's why bodybuilders all get the really dark, fake tan!

The shoulders look good, Roy has been doing a good job don't you think? 

Today I dropped creatine out of my daily supplement regime, creatine makes you hold water in the muscle cells, I don't want any extra water any longer. Things should start to tighten up next week.

See the roundness of the delts? The stomach has flattened and tightened up too.  When I was training today (Sunday), Anthony came up to ask me about deficit deadlifts, what did I think? We talked and he looked at me and says "Your competition next week? Your'e looking pretty ripped up!"

2 weeks left, then a whole new exciting chapter begins! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Favorite Healthy Recipe (Fitness Blog World post)

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Monday I usually write a motivational blog but I am changing that a bit today. I belong to Fitness Blog World, a group of writers who write about fitness, and once every few weeks we all write about the same thing.

It's a Flash Mob Blog!

Today our topic is: Share your favourite healthy / clean recipe that uses 5 ingredients or less!

I have so many, but this is definitely one of them. 

Salmon wrapped in fig leaves with tomato basil salsa vinaigrette

Salmon fillets, skinned
Heirloom tomatoes
Fresh basil
Vinaigrette with olive oil and red wine vinegar (homemade)

I like to BBQ this but it can be baked, poached or pan fried. It is so good at the end of summer when the tomatoes are ripe and juicy and full of tart acid. The fresh basil is found in most gardens and compliments the richness of the salmon.

Prepare the Salsa. finely chop 1/3 cup shallots, 3 large tomatoes and combine. Add chopped, fresh basil, about 1/2 cup (loosely packed). Make a vinaigrette (2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar plus salt and pepper), add this to the tomato and basil salsa. Mix gently and allow to rest while you prepare the salmon.

Salt and pepper the salmon and wrap it in fresh fig leaves. Now I happen to have two fig trees in my backyard, and if you don't, you can cook the salmon any way you like! If you want to grill it, you can place it skin side down on a piece of foil (cut just slightly larger than the fish), cook in a covered grill until done, the skin will stick to the foil! So this way is easy, no skinning needed.

Fig leaves will impart a coconut scent and flavor, try it if you can.

Grill the salmon until it is almost done. It should still be red in the center, barely warmed or it will be over cooked. This will vary depending on the thickness of the fish, but it can be anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes per side. Press on the fish, it will be firm and yield slightly when done.

Plate the salmon, spoon the salsa vinaigrette on top. This can be eaten alone as a low carb meal or you can add additional vegetables or some starch.

Please take some time to visit Fitness Blog World, where you will find 21 writers all sharing their favorite clean recipe using only 5 ingredients. The official post time is Monday at 8:00 pm, so don't fret if you don't see it early in the day!

Happy eating!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Diana Nyad

A woman with guts, or probably more appropriately balls. 

Diana Nyad, is 62 and is a long distance swimmer. This summer many people watched with anticipation as she struck out to become the first person to swim the Florida Straits without the aid of a shark cage.

Diana spent the evening eating, hydrating and meeting with members of her support team ahead of the 103- mile (166 kilometer) swim from Havana to the Florida Keys before her night departure. 

She would be accompanied by 45 people on five boats during the trip, which was expected to take 60 hours.

Special equipment would surround her with an electric current that she wouldn't notice, but would keep most sharks at bay.

Below is a video interview with Diana, after she had to abandon her quest. (email readers will need to navigate directly to the blog to view the video).

She worked so long for this, and failed. It must have been a horrible blow for her, and to hear the last words she utters sends chills up my spine.

What an amazing woman. A 62 year old woman. I will think about her every time I feel like stopping my training.