Whether it’s growth, fat loss, a competition or health, define what your goals are. Set dates and backwards plan to that date. Map out your strategy to get there and refer back to it often. Write it down with all of your reasons to achieve your goal so you can remember why it’s important to you. Keep moving towards that goal. We all have roadblocks, set backs and hardships, you can't let those define you. Let what you do to overcome them define you. I have to say, whenever I have something standing in my way, it makes me fight that much harder to beat the odds, even though the easiest thing to do would be to quit.
Log your weight, body fat, your nutrition, calories and macro’s, lifting days, body parts trained and Cardio. This will not only keep you on track, help you stay organized and in control of your goals. This will show you that you are always improving, Always getting stronger, and when you see your self-stalling out, Help you push harder to break those plateaus. It will help you strategize what you should do differently, and what’s working for you.
Every single person I know has the motivation, everyone wants to look like a Greek god or goddess. What's Lacking is discipline. When you don't feel up for lifting, DO IT ANYWAY. Chances are once you’re at the gym you will feel up to it. Never talk yourself out of it. When that little devil sits on your shoulder and tells you your too tired or sore from the day before or lack of sleep... Brush him off and tie up those Nike's. Get your butt in gear and do what needs to be done.
EDUCATE YOURSELF!! I lost 100 lbs on my own; I was in bodybuilding forums, reading books and magazines, following sites like cutandjacked.com. There is a world of information out there, don't hold yourself back by playing dumb. Look to people who have been there. When you find something that will work for you.. Stick to it. Give it time to work before you conclude that it doesn't work.
Hire a trainer, put your money where your mouth is. I am a trainer and I have hired trainers to keep me on track. Weekly pictures, check-in’s and stats are important to keep you on track! Chances are you wont miss your cardio and go grab some Ice cream when you have to send a picture to your Guru in a couple days!
You are the only one who can reach your goals.... sure support is great... But don't rely on it... It may not always be there. Don't rely on a gym partner they might get sick.... Hold yourself accountable to getting it done; you need to be your own support in the gym and at home with your nutrition. This is your responsibility and no one else's, don’t expect others to conform.
Nutrition and Training needs to be planned and prepared. When you walk into the gym KNOW what you are doing and execute the plan. Know what you are doing for the week, How many cardio sessions your doing, body parts trained Etc... Knowing ahead what must be done will eliminate procrastination.
Prepare your meals in advance... I cook in bulk and reheat... I make 10 lbs of chicken and 5 lbs of fish and store those in containers, I make Rice and yams ahead of time... and keep those in separate containers, and the only thing I do not prepare ahead of time is veggies its sooooo simple and keeps me on track!
Envision what you will do when you reach your goals. Fitness is all about the journey. Its so much fun! Enjoy it! Even the worst days are rewarding. Keep yourself motivated with new supplements to try out, New shoes to wear... new lifts to explore, new recipes. Keep it fresh!
This is when your body does magic! Make Sure Your Resting up!!
This is not torture... If you feel like it is.... Find a new hobby!!
Tarna's Fan Page: facebook.com/pages/Tarna-Alderman-NPC-Bodybuilder
Getting ripped is not about suddenly transforming the look of your muscles by doing high repetition isolation work. That is so ineffective and won't overload your muscles like the exercises that train several muscle groups simultaneously. What do you think burns more fat: pedaling on a Mini-stepper or running in deep sand? The latter option, right. Same idea about choosing the right exercises. Do not spend sets on a peck deck machine when you can do dumbbell presses where you need to balance the weight. Balancing the weight recruits more muscle fibers than letting some dumb machine do half the work for you.
Always always ALWAYS measure up oils. Do not ever pour it on a salad. When you order a salad at a restaurant, never get the dressing, croutons or what have you. Corn is also not a good food for leaning out: it's a grain and fast carb too.
Eat to control your hunger. You can make your oatmeal double sized but no extra calories by adding whole flaxseed or psyllium husk. *Do it like this: Cook the oatmeal according to the package. Then stir, add 3- 5 tablespoons of whole flaxseed or 1 tablespoon of psyllium husk. Stir. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. The fiber in the seeds bind with the oats/brans and you get a better serving.
Want to burn more calories? Add one set more on each exercise. If you add six different exercises that will yield six more minutes tops. In one week that might be 30 minutes more training which burns more calories for you.
Make it boring to eat. Take your bowl or plate and sit where there is no TV, no magazine, nothing - look at the food, be present. You will find out that you will get full faster than if you eat while watching Seinfeld.
Checkout Paulines website at: FighterDiet.com
Are you an on-the-go mother? Are you the 12-hour workday businesswoman? Do you want to get into shape without joining a gym? Do you love the outdoors? Do you want that rockin’ body that everyone dreams of? Perfect! This article is for you! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person is working nearly 9 hours per day. Add on chores, kids and the all-important “me” time, there’s barely enough time to sleep let alone workout. Don’t fret though, I have a solution that is creative, will save you time, can be done outside your house and definitely isn’t the “norm”!.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to go to a gym or spa to get into shape. There are millions of people that workout at home. It’s easy and effective. All you need is 30 minutes, a little creativity, and the mindset to get into the best shape of your life, all from the privacy of your own yard or nearby park. To get quick results, take your workout outside.
A study from California Pacific Orthopedic and Sports Medicine found that outdoor exercisers lost an average of 7.43 pounds and 6.17 percent body fat in 8 weeks. This is because outdoors, your internal body temperature rises, due to the inclines, declines, and terrain. The more difficult the setting the more body’s metabolism rises, causing a boost in calories burned and body fat lost. Also, according to the University of Essex in England, working out outdoors can improve your mood and your self-esteem.
But before getting started, make sure you do a dynamic warm-up to get the blood pumping and tendons and ligaments loose. Depending on skill level, start with 20 jumping jacks, 20 body-weight squats, and 20 walking lunges. Remember this is to be done outside, so make sure your watching your step so you don’t sprain an ankle or a knee. Once the warm-up is over and you have started to break a sweat and the blood is pumping, it’s time for your outdoor workout.
Now you are going to need one important household item; 2 gallon jugs full of water. These will come into play as added resistance! To set the stage for your workout, you will be performing 6 exercises, 10 repetitions each, completed as many times in 20 minutes. Not only effective but convenient and quick!
You will be performing a squat into a shoulder press, utilizing the 2-gallon jugs. Each jug weighs 8 pounds and will be placed on the top of the shoulders, elbows out and hands on the handles. You will squat to a 90-degree angle and press the jugs over head, making a window and sticking your head through it. This will focus on the hips, thighs, butt and shoulder area.
You will need park bench or picnic table. Sit on a bench and place your hands on either side of your hips. Bend your elbows, bringing upper arms to parallel, then return to starting position. Your focus here is the triceps and core.
You will need a bench. Stand in front of the bench and place either leg up on it, shoe lace down. Keep other leg on the ground straight with a slight bend in the knee. Now hold a stick in your hands and bend at the hips till shoulders are parallel to the ground. This exercise focuses on the hamstrings and glutes.
You will need a park bench or picnic table for this. Stand in front of the bench and bend the knees slightly. Use arms for momentum and jump onto the bench, feet flat and knees slightly bent. Return to ground softly and smoothly. This focuses on the legs and the core.
Drop down and place hands in the grass and toes on the sidewalk. Lower your body down till your chest hits the ground and rise until elbows are locked. For more core activation, place a broomstick or stick on your back (from head to toe) and makes sure it doesn’t fall. This will engage the obliques and inner core muscles as well as working the chest and triceps.
The last exercise you will need a tree branch or monkey bars. Make sure branch is strong enough if you decide to use this option! Wrap hands around branch or bars and extend arms so you are hanging. Keep body straight and then bend at the hips raising your feet till the body makes an “L.” Make sure not to bounce but to keep everything in line and activate the core muscles.
And lastly for an added cardio bonus, break out your jump rope! What better way to get cardio in outdoors than to jump rope? This exercise is just like riding a bike, once you learn you will be able to pick up anytime ☺
In closing, working out outdoors can be convenient, fun, gratifying and can give you the results you have always been looking for, all within the privacy of your own back yard or local park. You don’t need a gym to look your best, just a few household items, your backyard or a park, and a little inspiration and perspiration. Here is to the best body of your life, as I always say, “Love Your Body.”
Written by: Aundrea Annin, NASM-CPT
It is said, “The only constant in life, is change.” The fitness realm is no different, especially for women. Women’s fitness has progressed from step aerobics and “Sweatin’ to the Oldies,” in the 80’s, to Nautilus equipment in the 90’s, to hot yoga and kettlebell training in the 2000’s. From leggings and fully clothed to the sports bra and showing off the “six pack,” women and fitness have changed and changed immensely. Today’s woman is not afraid of picking up a kettlebell, flipping a tire, or wielding a sledge hammer.
Years ago, most women would join a gym and only perform cardiovascular exercises such as biking or running on a treadmill. Although great for the heart, this alone does not create the lean, sculpted bodies women are wanting and displaying today. It was always thought that women should not lift weights because it would make them bulky and look like a man. Physiology-wise we know this to be impossible, however the stigma remained and most women would shy away from anything that weighed over 5 lbs.
The traditional routines would consist of high repetitions, usually 3 or 4 sets with 30-60 second rest periods. Cardio usually would precede strength training. Group fitness classes such as Body Pump or “15 minute abs” would have mostly female attendance. In some clubs you would have “Women’s Only,” areas, full of selectorized equipment and cardio.
Now, we have a collection of the fitness population that is not afraid of strength training and performing functional, dynamic movements…myself being one. We have women not only competing in the Crossfit games but in some cases out performing their male counterparts. Whether it be kettlebell swings for time, muscle ups, or flipping tires, women are competing and winning on an equal playing field to the opposite sex. Women are now doing what the guys do and in some instances, maybe better. This also is being shown on one of the most watched tv shows about weight loss…this being 'the Biggest Loser'. They have now started to incorporate ropes, prowlers, boxing, and my favorite, box jumps.
Results! From kettlebells to chains on squat bars to pushing the prowler or my personal favorite flipping the 200 lbs tractor truck tire, these non-traditional exercise examples are creating fast results. The intensity and variety of these types of exercises challenge the body and achieve great results by provoking neurologic and hormonal adaptations across all metabolic pathways. To make a long story short, your body is constantly challenged in a nontraditional way; burning body fat, building muscle, and giving you the body of your dreams.
• Battling ropes - one the most effective methods of interval training. Battling ropes are one of the more effective ways of developing muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular conditioning and hand and arm speed. Interval training has shown to be one of the best ways of building strength and shedding body fat.
• Kettlebells - KBs are an efficient way to build strength and endurance for the entire body. Conditioning the body and challenging metabolic pathways to shed body fat and build muscle in a short amount of time.
• Prowler - The prowler is one of the best ways to sculpt the hips and thighs. Pushing weight as fast as you can, whether for time or for reps, will exhaust you and make you want to throw up. However, it will help you keep it interesting and get results fast. This being my personal favorite way to kick butt!
Through the years, fitness has progressed from the dark ages of nautilus equipment and step aerobics to more nontraditional ways of working out including pushing the prowler. More and more women have been pushing the envelope and working out in a non-traditional way and getting non-traditional results. Change is good, especially when it is great change for the body. As I always say, “Love Your Body.”
CutAndJacked.com contributing writer: Aundrea Annin - NASM CPT
The latest division added a few years ago to NPC/IFBB has taken like wildfire. Ladies love the fact that they can come in looking fit and toned without the need for bulk. A good healthy lifestyle and attention to diet will help you get this look which can be easily attainable naturally and held most of the year realistically!
This division opens the door to a more mainstream physique with a lesser budget. The bikinis are much more ‘beach style’ and less extravagant and because there is no need for a routine all you need to master is a nice smooth walk in some sexy high heels. This division is very budget friendly and perfect for the ladies who do not want to get at muscular as fitness or figure women. With this type of body you can fit the training and proper meal regimen into your day because it is what most healthy lifestyles should look like in general.
Posing is not standard so you get some flexibility in the poses you choose for front and back stance. Smooth transitions are crucial when walking, standing, posing and shifting into the next pose.
The key is fluid movement which comes with practice in front of the mirror in the heels and bikini. The one thing you want to work on is a signature stand facing the judges and then a back view stance which is slightly different. Learn to step and turn smoothly to eliminate extra stepping, practice the step turn.
You will want to work toward a long lean muscle type so the type of workouts you do will depend on what cycle of training you are in relative to contest day and your fitness level at that time. I have found that in general crossfit type circuit work is excellent to help with fat loss, tone and conditioning toward the longer lean muscle bellies. Keep flexible so that length shows and train through full range of motion.
I like to use combo exercises so that you get in multiple muscle groups and tweak out the fat burning because you use compound muscle combinations. Do not fear muscle gains, it is very difficult to build so you will not get huge!
These exercises (video examples below) help peak your frame so that your shoulders and legs accent a smaller waist.
Work for higher reps or timed reps, muscular endurance is typical of the bikini body.
I would look for a show that is 6-12 months away depending on your conditioning at the moment, then plan toward that show giving you time to look into it more, attend one maybe. You can get familiar with the division, the photos of contests showing the body types placing top 10. This also gives you time to fully budget things out, food, tan, entry, suits, you name it.
For bikini the beauty aspect is looked at so you want to have fabulous hair which you can do yourself back stage or come ready done, shows can start very early so unless you have a hair person who can come very early, be ready to be self sufficient. Nails, tan and details need attention.
Balance your meals keep carbs clean, proteins lean. Do not fear protein drinks they can add to your nutrients without making you feel too full. Greek no fat yogurt is also a great alternative for those who do not like protein drinks. Check out my tuna stuffed avocado for a great meal idea.
Water is a key factor for your lean appearance and amazing skin, 2 liters per day at minimum up to 2 gallons. Do not cut out fats; eat the right ones, nuts, avocado, fish, olives and olive oil as well as flax, hemp and blends of these.
For bikinis I like to refer my clients to posingwear.com, Amy can make up great bikini division suits for an affordable cost. If you like an edgy suit you can also check out some of the sinful brand suits from affliction which are stunning.
Written By Linda Cusmano
Let me start by saying this: There are a ton of tips and tricks out there on how to achieve your “best” physique. But when all’s said and done, how do you know which ones to listen to? How do you know which ones will put you on the straight and narrow to your “best” you?
News flash. You don’t.
It’s like finding a man or that perfect little black dress. It’s not always what looks good on paper — you have to try a bunch on before you find the one that fits you just right. There’s no steadfast plan. No secret method. It all comes down to old school trial and error. Like that man or that dress, no one exercise will work for every woman’s body because we’re all built differently; therefore, we’re all going to respond differently.
It took me a long time to understand that patience is key in building your “best” body. I know plenty of people who threw their weights in frustration and quit when they didn’t see gains from what they thought they should be doing. Or what they thought was “best” based on someone else’s routine. So my intention is not to dictate what you should be doing, but to break you out from that line of thinking and give you some new ideas and moves to try on for size.
For a lot of us ladies, the backside is a tough area to tackle. Having always had more of an ample posterior, I’m constantly looking for new ways to target and strengthen the glutes. They’re comprised of the Gluteus Maximus, Medius, and Minimus, with the Maximus being the largest of the three. In order to hit all of those, squats and hip thrusts are great choices to add into your training repertoire.
When working the butt, using enough weight is critical. I used to think low weight/repping my face off was the way to go. But I’ve seen the most gains after adding more weight into my sets, so it’s something to consider.
Starting with squats. They target your hips and thighs, in addition to your glutes, so you get a lot of bang for your buck. You can do them on a Smith machine for more control, a squat rack, or by holding dumbbells to each side or on your shoulders. Whatever you choose, keep your back straight and your weight evenly distributed through your feet and heels. Drop your butt down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, without letting your knees go past your toes. Keep those glutes tight throughout the movement.
Onto hip thrusts. A good friend of mine showed me this move, and I fell in love with it right away. A variation of butt bridges, which are done completely on the floor, hip thrusts have you sitting on the ground with your shoulder blades against a flat bench. With your feet flat on the floor, have a straight bar or loaded barbell ready to go. Place it over the top of your thighs, and roll it up so it’s just at your hips. Then, power through your feet and drive your hips straight up, squeeze and hold for five seconds before bringing your hips back down. Again, squeeze those glutes the entire move to really make them work for it.
My recommendation is to mix up your quad/ham/adductor exercises, so you’re always challenging your thighs. A good overall burner is the lunge and they have a ton of variations: to the front, side or back, and with either a barbell across your shoulders or holding dumbbells. If you really want to bring the pain, try walking lunges. (Hold some dumbbells while taking wide steps across the gym.) Rule of thumb for whichever you choose…don’t hyperextend your knees. Make sure they don’t go past your toes.
For hitting those abductors and adductors, I like dumbbell plie squats. Keep your stance wide and hold/dangle a dumbbell between your legs. Lower yourself, like a squat, as far as you can comfortably drop, and push back up with the weight in your heels. And just to reiterate…don’t be afraid to grab a heavy dumbbell. Your inner thighs will hate me, and then thank me for it.
Now to hit those hams. I love some heavy stiff-leg deadlifts and standing single-leg hamstring curls. My tip would be to compound set those. Try running 4 sets, and go for 10-12 reps. On the deads, keep your legs stiff and your back straight. For the curls, point your toes for max contraction.
The typical ab adage is that they’re “made in the kitchen, not in the gym.” And there’s a ton of truth to that. But since I’m gearing this article toward training, I’ll give you my picks for a few good stomach smashers.
Know this going in: I train abs every workout. Few will tell you to do that, since abs are just like any other muscle that needs rest. But I follow my own advice and do what works for me.
Let’s start with weighted stability ball crunches. These really target the upper abs. Hold a dumbbell (make sure it’s a decent amount of weight to provide resistance) at the top of the chest and lay back on a stability ball with your shoulder blades. Crunch up by bending at the hips, keeping the back as flat as you can and pulling your abs tight. Be sure you’re only bending at the waist…no movement from the shoulders. It should be very controlled and focused.
Another good option is an incline push sit-up. Grab a weight plate and lay back on an incline bench. Hold the plate out in front of you, keep your arms straight and crunch, pushing up with the weight. Take note: you’ll definitely feel this one.
Moving on to obliques. Try dumbbell twists. Sit on the floor, knees bent, holding a dumbbell in front of you. Lift your feet off the ground a few inches, and twist the dumbbell side to side. Keep your body facing forward as you twist, as opposed to jerking your upper body back and forth.
And perhaps the most difficult part of the abs, the part we all love to hate...the nether ab region. A super-intense lower move is the hanging leg raise. You can hang from an abs chair or, if you have arm slings, clip them to a pull-up bar and stick your arms through each sling.
With your ankles together and your legs hanging straight down, bend your knees and bring them up toward your chest. Lower your legs to starting position, keeping your abs tight. Just be conscious of form here and keep the rocking under control, because your body will want to roll forward.
Another good one is the incline leg hip raise. These don’t look so hard at first, but trust me. They are. Lay back on an incline board and grab onto the top handle or feet pads. Keep your ankles together, and roll yourself up, raising your knees to your chest by flexing at the hips. Then roll back down into starting position. Keep your feet neutral, but not using them to lead the movement. Keep all of the pull from your middle.
And now, my favorite. The delts. Having full, round shoulders is boss in my book. They make you look a little broader up top, which makes things like your waist look smaller. To make sure you build them up from all angles, you need to hit them from the front, sides and rear.
So, try compound setting three exercises. For front, do seated dumbbell military presses. (You can do them one arm at a time, or both at the same time.) Next, go into dumbbell lateral raises. Bend a little at the waist when doing them. And finish with cable one-arm rear lat raises. For these, stand next to a low pulley with a stirrup or D-handle attachment. Slightly bend over with a bit of a bend in your knees, and pull the attachment out to the side, raising your arm until your elbow is up around your shoulder. Keep the move slow and controlled on both the way up and down.
While some of these tips may lead you to your “best,” remember…the name of the game is trying new things to see how they work for you. Challenge yourself. Don’t get sucked into promises or “shoulds”. Get out there and define your own “best” you.
written by Heather Leff