New Goals

Now that my photo shoot is over and I’m somewhat settling back into life in the United States (although I am currently awaiting yet another big transition in life), I think it’s time I set some new goals for myself.  I think it’s very important for me to continue setting goals so that I can map out a plan for myself to stick to.  I can’t just wander aimlessly through a diet and training program.  I need a solid plan with a final goal.  Unfortunately, I’m horrible at setting concrete and measurable goals in regards to my body.  I don’t care how much I weigh and I don’t know how many inches I want to add or lose in certain places.  I like to just work with what I see in the mirror.  Numbers are irrelevant to me unless they are calories.

So what are my goals?  Well, I’ve decided that I want to build my shoulders and glutes a little bit more.  I really like broad, nicely capped shoulders.  I think they are an immediate signal to strangers that you put extra work into your physique.  And regarding the glutes, who doesn’t want an amazing badunk-a-dunk?  I notice that whenever I diet down my butt gets a little bit flat, so the only cure for that is more muscle!

These goals are going to require a surplus in calories and some extra heavy lifting.  Thus, I’m going to have to say bye-bye to abs for a while.  It’s really hard to willingly give something up that you worked so hard for.  During this mini-bulk/recomp I’ll probably put on a little bit of fat, but that’s the price I’ll have to pay for more muscle.  Once I’m happy with the amount of muscle I’ve put on or I’m fed up with the amount of fat I’ve added, I’ll cut again.  At least I’ll have more calories to work with during the holidays and any extra flub will be hidden under cozy winter clothes.  I plan on taking it slow because I’m a bit paranoid about putting on fat (in case you couldn’t tell).  I’ve never been a “skinny” girl so I want to keep any fat gain under control.  It’s so easy to put on but it’s so hard to strip off.

Wish me luck!  It’s not the training and extra eating that will be difficult.  It’s the psychological response I’ll have to putting on weight and not knowing exactly if it’s muscle, fat, water, or whatnot. Good luck to you all in meeting your goals!  And if you don’t have any you better go ahead and set some!  Otherwise, you’ll just be spinning your wheels forever and ever.  Trust me…I know.

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Getting Outside

Recently, my husband and I have been taking our Wednesday workouts outside of the  gym and moving them to a nearby park.  We’ve really been enjoying them!  He and I normally devote our Wednesday training to some sort of cardio, so it’s essentially a mid-week rest day from weight lifting.

As you know by now, I prefer to do high-intensity interval training instead of steady state cardio.  It’s more fun, it takes less time, and is really more of a bang for your buck!  We’ll usually do sprints followed by a push-up complex, sit-ups, maybe jumping jacks supersetted with mountain climbers, or anything that really works our muscles and gets our heart rates up.

What makes going to the park better than doing all of these things in the gym?  Well, sprints are always more challenging when you do them outside.  Instead of having a machine propel you (as you would on a treadmill), you have to use your own strength to propel yourself when you sprint outdoors.  Outdoor sprints are GREAT for your leg and glute strength!  And to get even more out of your sprints, try hill sprints!  If you have a steep hill nearby, try sprinting up that sucker and take a slow walk back down.  Do that 8+ times and you’re good to go!

Still don’t believe in the benefits of sprints over long-distance cardio?  Have you ever examined the difference between a marathon runner vs. a sprinter?

I don’t know about you, but I sure prefer the physique on the right.  Sprinters usually have lower body fat percentages and much more lean muscle tissue than long distance runners.  And did I mention that they have THE BEST glutes?!

Since I’ve decided to do a photo shoot this August, I have added a 6th day of training.  So on Saturday I took my training to the park for the second time this week.  This time I did a ‘metabolic complex’ designed by one of my favorite coaches who goes by the moniker ‘Wet Wolf.’  Here’s a video of the complex.  It’s definitely very challenging but a fun way to mix up your cardio.

Sideways Bear Crawls x 8

Super Burpees x 8

Roll-Over to Stand-Up x 8

Inch Worms x 8

Do this complex at least 5 times through and add 1 more set each week to keep challenging yourself.

Below are some shots my husband took of me during my workout in the park yesterday.

Bear Crawls

Inch Worms

What else is fun about training in the park?  There’s dogs, squirrels, birds, and new people (who will probably stare at you like you have 3 heads).  There’s really a lot going on!  Plus, it’s nice to experience the elements…rain, sunshine, grass, wind, and who doesn’t enjoy rolling around in cigarette butts and bird poop?! Haha!  But seriously, it is fun to get a little dirty sometimes!  So when you decide that you’re bored with your 30 minute jog on the treadmill, take your workout to the park and mix it up!