Favorite Exercise of the Week – Pistol Squat

I have developed a certain fondness for the Pistol Squat!

I really love how minimalist this exercise is. The pistol squat can be done virtually anywhere! Not only that, but I love the burn, the soreness, and the muscle this move creates in my legs. You don’t need a squat rack to get beautiful gams and a lifted butt. This exercise is guaranteed to leave you feeling sore, satisfied, and stronger after much practice and refinement.

Give it a shot this week!

While you’re at it, check out this article from Bodybuilding.com that breaks down all the variations of the Pistol Squat. These are NOT easy, I will tell you that! Don’t be disheartened though, doing a perfect pistol squat one day is an excellent goal 🙂

~Jess

First Week Back in the Gym!

Hey Guys,

I feel like I’ve been a little M.I.A this week. The workplace was a definite MADHOUSE all week and I’ve been trying to find a healthy balance between working out and coming home, sitting on the couch watching TV, eating endless amounts of food….. Good news, I’ve eaten almost all the sugar out of the house so next week should look much MUCH better as far as my diet is concerned.

POST COMP

1 Week Transformation, post comp shape is deflating!

I’ve been eating really well at work this week, even though I haven’t gotten into the groove of hitting my macros accurately. I had delicious sweet BBQ Chicken or Steak salad for me at lunch. One day I had an apple and split a Theo chocolate bar with Lazaro. The chocolate craving has been STRONG this week…. yesterday morning explained all of that though. I’m going to be very blunt here….. for 5 months of my training my period completely stopped, so having it back is an utter relief!

KAT

New workout buddy, Katniss!

The gym has been pretty great this week too! I have a new workout partner who I’m trying to catch up to speed. She’s keeping up really REALLY well, I’m actually very impressed. Her name is Kat and we work together, we were friends long before she got a job with me at Microsoft. This week we started the 4 week Erin Stern training program. Successfully completed the first week with a couple workouts left for this weekend.

I really enjoy the structure of the training plan, but to be honest I’ve been modifying exercises to increase resistance/difficulty or increasing reps, adding drop sets, etc. I haven’t been wearing my Polar watch this week so I haven’t been able to calculate my calorie expenditure. Next week I will start wearing it again to see how hard I’m working and determine if I should re-write some workouts, workout longer, etc. It felt really great to be back! I’ve been so embarrassed to talk to anyone because of my weight gain. I keep thinking to myself, “They are gonna be so disappointed in me. They saw me a week ago and I looked so cut, and NOW I look soft everywhere.”

You know what though? I truly enjoy sporting a softer figure. Of course I have goals and areas of improvement, but I’m so happy to be back on track to living a normal life and finding a healthy balance. I can indulge when I want, I have choices, I have freedom. Some times I still can’t believe I can say ‘Yes’ to anything I want to eat. Haha, I think I’ve gone a little overboard with saying ‘Yes’ these past few weeks, but I’m working on self control and moderation. With that being said, if you have a myfitnesspal account, you should DEFINITELY add me and hold me accountable! You’ll notice I’ve been extremely inconsistent, too embarrassed to admit to the internet world I’ve eaten 3 boxes of Girl Scout cookies this week…. YIKES! Next week marks a fresh start, and don’t worry, I won’t be saying ‘Next week….’ at the end of next week 😉

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I can’t wait to get back into full swing. I definitely felt MUCH stronger this week, I put those extra calories from last week to good use. I was happy with my squatting weight. Even though I was able to increase my weight, I’m still too embarrassed to tell you how much 🙂 I have a couple goals I want to share with you guys so you can hold me accountable!

1) Complete the 4 Week Erin Stern Training Program – I will be using my body space as a guide for this training plan, however, body space isn’t very ‘user friendly’ so I won’t be tracking my workouts on their site. I will try to share my workouts as often as possible throughout the week! Please, please, please hold me accountable as much as possible, my readers truly motivate me to work harder every day! Without my readers, follower, and supporters I feel I wouldn’t have done half as well as I did during my competition training. You guys have been the best 🙂

DRESS

The lil’ black dress EVERY girl needs, I plan on rockin’ this one for my birthday

2) Lose Weight by my BirthdayREAD THE REST! I really hate the way that goal is worded. I don’t believe in losing weight, I believe in burning fat, building muscle, and changing body composition. I also really don’t enjoy setting specific dead lines for such goals, especially when the deadline is CRAZY soon…. but my birthday is in 4 weeks, and I would like to shed some post comp fluff, show off the muscle that I KNOW is hiding underneath so I can rock a cute black cocktail dress, look good, and go dancing with friends 🙂

3) CONSISTENTLY HIT MY MACROS! – I felt and looked my best when I was following IIFYM early in my competition prep. I was hitting my numbers consistently, allowing myself more calories overall, building muscle AND leaning out like crazy! I became miserable when I thought I needed to completely eliminate Quest Bars and nut butters, the 2 things that honestly kept me sane during the early stages of my prep. I didn’t understand why I needed to eliminate certain foods if I was accurately hitting my macros. This time I’m gonna train and eat how I want. IIFYM is so flexible, there’s no reason to binge or be miserable if you’re following this meal plan.

4) Begin running outdoors this Summer – The sun is beginning to come out more often than not, so I need to take advantage of the good weather and get back out there hitting the ground running. Is it sad that running up 5 flights of stairs at work leaves me completely winded? I feel like my cardiovascular capacity has decreased considerably. I’m my happiest outdoors running, I need to get back on it! Mapmyrun app and I are gonna be best fran’s again 🙂

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So excited, the trail looks amazing!

5) Register for Summer Blast Half Marathon at Redmond Watershed (Saturday, August 23rd, 2014) – YIPPEE! Local half marathon that only costs $41 if I register before July 25th! I marked the event on my calendar and it appears that weekend is clear, and if I begin training at the beginning of June after my 4 Week Trainer program is finished, I will have a sufficient 12 week training time period. Way too perfect….. destiny is telling me I need to register. Hello carbs! Hello bagels, cream cheese, and pastaaaaa!

6) Continue my Zuzka workout videos – I stopped doing my Zuzka workout videos as often during competition prep, but I miss them so much! I felt like her videos challenged not only my lean tissue development, but my cardiovascular strength as well. Her videos are so fun, quick, effective, and can be done at home if I’m truly too lazy to take the bus into Bellevue and drag my ass into the gym. I love how lean my legs get from all the burpees, jump squats, and every form of lunge she makes me do. Her exercises target EVERY muscle of the body. Even my arms and back get lean! Not to mention her abs are killer and she sure knows how to set mine on fire.

Whewwww! Those are my goals thus far! Quite a few of them, but a really great start 🙂 So excited for this summer….. it’s gonna be phenomenal!

~Jess

Bodybuilding.com – Erin Stern Elite Body 4 Week Daily Fitness Trainer Day 1

 

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Bodybuilding.com – Erin Stern Elite Body 4 Week Daily Fitness Trainer Day 1.

 

Next goal!

I’m gonna take advantage of my Bodybuilding.com profile and take on a new challenge. Next Monday I’m gonna start the Erin Stern 4 week trainer program to reset my body.

I’m really excited to start eating better, flush out my system from all the crap I’ve consumed over the course of 7 days, get back in the gym and shock my body with some new muscle building workouts, and build a healthier stronger body. This week has been extremely rough on my body as well as my mind. Putting on 14 pounds post competition has really wrecked havoc on my mental well being as well as physical well being. I broke a lot of ‘Post Comp Rules’ and it’s only my fault.

#1. I headed straight to the salt and junk! – I had every intention to ‘Reverse Diet’…. that idea went out the window this week!

#2. I weighed myself a few days after competition. – BIG NO NO! Of course I will put on weight after the competition, in fact, I weighed more than when I started training for Emerald Cup!

I’m excited to say the least! I will keep you guys updated with my progress and let you know how the program goes!

~Jess