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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pneumonia, 💔 & Rant

What a way to start off a fitness competition prep blog.
I'm not even going to count this as my first post for that series.  
I'm just gonna put this in as a rant
I'm sitting here in bed with pneumonia, hoping I'll be better by Monday because I have one gym that needs me, a second location that's going to be on the go, competition prep to begin after 'post anorexia' and 2 Untrained major knee reconstructions in the past 3 years ..... yet here I sit weak and sick and of course that seems to be when the pain and anger from poisoned blood, Halloween heartaches, cowardly lion liars and dying Divas seem to hit me the most.

This past three years and I guess the sum of my life has me now in a place where it's me myself and I riding solo till I die.  I tried to trust again one last time and that got blown out of the water, I'm done.  When you let things in and they make a fool out of you, there's a last time at some point.  If blood can try to kill you, who do you trust?  But I guess that's common if you go right back to the days of the Bible where blood was killing blood for riches.  Pretty pathetic what people kill for nowadays - throw their own mother under the bus, their own sister under the bus, will throw anybody under the bus, sometimes it seems like the criminals have more code of ethic than some of these supposed God-fearing good people.

You try so hard to see for the good and then  just keep seeing the coward, the liar, the pervert, the hypocrite…, it's really sad especially when you're so sure there's more, you can't just keep trusting to just keep getting betrayed right?  And  if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck right?  Painful to be wrong about.

Don't you hate it when you're sick?   I feel like such a crybaby lol. 

Well I'm gonna keep it real.  And today for me this is what's real ;)))

I'm working on my mind and my heart for such a long time now, I'm working on improving that and personal growth.  I don't like being the person that writes all that crap I just wrote and I will keep working on refocus to positivity, I've had some really good days there ….. now to stay there longer.

I find it the bulk of my work to refocus when I  keep feeling the pain from the past creep up because it's never going to allow me to move forward, it really is like shackles and it really is 'you in control' me in control of my thoughts, emotions, feelings and my mind.  
Pain needs to be forgotten, left back and at this point the forgiving and forgetting part ….. I don't seem to so far and don't know I can ever do that but amnesia is a good way to go for me ;)))

  Wishing ill on others,  even if I'm justified for, good stuff isn't going to come if that's where my heads at and it's going to poison the already awesome stuff that's happening and I've seen that on days when I'm really wobbling out, it starts to affect the good stuff because I'm so unable to focus anywhere other than pain.  Just like the law of attraction… It Just keeps bringing more circumstances and rendezvous's and situations that cause pain.  Besides - poison money from death begets same - I might actually feel sorry for some of those people because you can't do such evil shit and not have evil in your life from it.

  If you feel like a victim you bring more stuff that's going to make you feel like a victim, you just keep attracting it.  I need to get onto the victor side of the stick.  When I've been there I've seen the positive results come easy and effortlessly exactly what I want in better detail than I could've imagined.

In the end it's not the others that are getting poisoned it's me poisoning myself, they don't deserve my energy or thought because they didn't value me, my gifts, my sacrifices, my love my compassion, my loyalty, my forgiveness, my trust… none of it was valued. 

 I guess the anger comes from having even offered that to those who didn't deserve it but took it willingly yet never recognized it or appreciated it.   I'm sure there's a bunch of you who are actually reading this right now saying yup been there done that…. I know I'm not the only one and that's probably why am open enough to share this.

If I can keep focused on the positive things in my life I know they will flourish and bring more positivity, some of this other crap the creeps in my head every once in a while and obviously when I'm weak and sick LOL
just ends up attracting more crap affecting on to the positive stuff that's been happening and I can't give that kind of power to poison.   It's my job to stop introducing the poison because the poison isn't there anymore it's my mind keeps bringing it back.

So rant over!! 
Moving forward, time to start looking at how to treat a girl who's an experienced competitor client at my age, coming in with poor rehabilitation on 2 knee reconstructs on same knee, a ton of atrophy, malnourishment and a shrunken stomach that's got a worse temper than any bitchy woman I've ever met.

There's been very little working out for the last three years, my body does not only need to come back for stage quality physique but fitness performance because I don't just do the 'stand up and look pretty categories'… I do fitness baby  ;)))
  If it was an easy category then they would have 2 hundred girls entering just like bikini lol.

So when I'm feeling better I'll start my fitness, prep blog and let you know how I'm going to attack this girl client, what kind of foods, what kind of training, she has some very specific needs that are quite unique ;)))
Ha ha I've always been unique but I'm definitely not doing a typical comp prep.  
And that's how I refocus to some positive.  I look forward to accomplishing these goals and feeling strong and titanium again.  
This is one area I'm really confident in.  I know I can achieve what I want, it's an excellent place to focus because there's no wobble or resistance really.  I do have work to do but I also know what my body will do for me that's why I can already see it done, let me tell you it's amaaaaaaazing!!  Lol 
Enough emo shit - time to heal up n go lift some mf weights!!! 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Awaken The Athlete Fitness Competition 2016

Fitness Business
This week my posts slowed a bit because I have been busy progressing ahead with my studio transitioning it into a fresh new flow.
I have not forgotten the BB workout and I promise it will be posted, but gimme a few days to catch my tail!  LOL  I will try to post it next week with some recipes too!!

BodyCo East Van
On the home front, my gym is coming along and now I am looking at a second location in my hood which was always my goal since I first became a trainer.  Of course I would love to have one in LA too but hey, one step at time.  Owning a studio is all about business, not fitness or personal training so there has been a few bits of learning involved with me having only been a mobile independent trainer now since I began in 1994.
I only had me to worry about, now I have others to lead which is alike wrangling children at times.  LOL
I am so excited and will be looking at the East Van location next week.  You know I will post more once I am sure about the direction I will take with this but it seems a go and my business partner is pretty reliable.

I hope those of you following have been able to make some adjustments to fitness and nutrition at least, and the keeners well you would have been well into things by now with some results to show for it!!

My Fitness Update
I am happy to say my body is filling in better with the training, even so its been twice per week short hits of weights as outlined in the beginning of this series with 2-3 30-45 min spin sessions, varied in intensity.  Some days I went hard and other days I did less intense spin work.

I am hungry again, more often and can eat, more and more often.  That’s huge.  There is improvement in my tummy issues and there will be more, its not quite where I would like it.  Its taking time to properly process food again but after 3 years of abuse I can't expect a turn around in just days or weeks.

Water intake has been a total fail!  Back at it!!!!  I have not implemented supplements yet until the eating is in better consistency.  I still have days I am ruled by the tummy and days I can eat more like a competitor in the off season which is my goal.

Soon I am looking at pre comp prep.  I have 5 months to get it together to hit stage for Provincials beginning of July.
My focus is mainly going to be inner function and getting the lower body back to par.  Upper body is ok and fills in fast but the knee surgery atrophy takes a bit more work due to the coupling of conditioning that if not needed could be more focused time and strength toward size and sculpt rather than the rehab component.

My weight has finally hit 120 again, its been a couple years now since I saw that and its still low so I am still working on it.  I am quite lean so that won't be an issue pre comp, its more about filling in for me and symmetry now.  Being able to eat what I need at the frequency I need is the biggest component that needs focus, without that I will not look like I need for comp and could not perform as needed.

In one of the next posts I am going to bring up the subject of IBS, an elusive problem that has been misdiagnosed for years now and has finally been recognized with more attention.  I have been researching the FODMAP Diet and will talk more about that as well.  IBS sufferers do not follow the same issues or causes but there is a general overall feel for how this all works which I plan to get into.

Awaken the Competitor
Nationals will be here this year so I am very interested in getting first place and overall at the BC level which will give me a lifetime by into Nationals going forward.  This means I can do Nationals anytime I choose without pre qualifying.  That flexibility is my desire so that I can focus on local Nationals for the next few years without the hassle of travel to other parts of Canada especially East.  I do not like going East and the competition experience is much nicer when in your hometown with all the convenience making the registration and competition day easier on you with all the things you already have to balance and worry about.  Little details from color, to water retention and timing is all easier without travel, hotel and those little discomforts compared to being at home.  So here we go!

I was going to run this blog series for 12 weeks and am only halfway through.  Considering I am going to be competing in 5 months for BCs and mid Aug for Nationals, the prepping for this is going forward into March.  I am going to start my comp prep journey into a series itself in the Fitness area of my blog which means I will be ending this series Awaken The Athlete with this last post today.  I hope you follow along and join me for this journey and new series.

That’s is for now folks, have an amazing weekend, and all those Vancouverites, I'M BACK IN DA HOOD and ready to take on some new clients who are ready for some serious results!  I will be available in the North Vancouver Deep Cove studio as well as some days in Vancouver, East Van, Downtown area.  If you are outlying like Burnaby I am still within close reach and look forward to meeting you.  ;)))  Contact me if you wish to set up a consultation, if you are seeking training and nutrition locally or online and I will be happy to connect.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Awaken The Athlete TRX Workout

Suspension training has excellent advantages and is a plus to mix into your training.  Aside the convenience, it trains you in ways that hit your body differerntly than other forms of exercise.  Its helpful to those seeking more body lift strength, balance, core, agility ......
I will show you a workout using the TRX and some video clips to help.  Later I will be posting a full length follow along video of this on youtube.
Start with the basic 2 sets of 10 and work up to higher reps, added weight like ankle weights and creative twists to futher challenge and sculpt the body.

Bridged Ham Curl

  • Keep the belly button into the lower back.
  • Keep hips parallel to the floor.
  • Use arms to help stabilize.

TRX Pushup

  • Tight Core, belly button into lower back,
  • Keep wrists in line with shoulders, 90 degree elbow bend, no more.
  • Adjust your angle according to your fitness level, deeper incline is harder.


  • Like the other exercises, tight core.  
  • Your goal is to get hips over shoulders but work up to it.
  • Control the lowering into plank.

Lat Lift

  • Core tight, 
  • Reach and touch, then return using extreme control.
  • Watch your speed.
  • Adjust your angle by your fitness level, more incline is harder.

Tri Dip

  • Keep the elbows close to the body and facing back.
  • Try to drop to a 90 degree bend in elbows and knees but only if your shoulders allow, work up to it or if you have shoulder issues do partials.
  • Legs out if you are at a higher fitness level.  On a ball is another step up.

One Leg Take Off

  • Learn balance before you take off, start with out leaping a few times to test it out and get the arm coordination.
  • Core must be tight for this or you wobble all over.  This is advanced.
  • This is almost like an assisted single leg squat jump, with very little assitance lol
  • Use arms to help and drive up with chest, use knee up to help momentum.

Check out for your own TRX workout, full pics and workout cards, super affordable program that you click and buy, then get in your email within a day or 2.  Follow and enjoy the results.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Awaken The Athlete At Home DB Workout

Here is the AT Home Dumbbell Workout I promised.  I have short clips for you, a full video workout of this which you can follow along will be posted later on my youtube but for now you get some short clips to work with and learn from.

This workout is compact and efficient, combining muscle groups and exercises into a flow.
If you want to fat burn then do light weight, high reps and circuit this with a set per exercise then rest and repeat.

If you are going heavier for gains then do straight sets with rest between sets.

Start off with light dumbbells or none if you are a beginner, just so you can learn the exercise form.
You may not get full ranges at first but work up to that and especially keep it light in this case.   If you have, use a mirror to watch your form and correct.

Each picture will have the tips I want you to pay attention to.  The clip will show you a few reps in full.

DB Front Squat to overhead tricep press

  • Sit back, knees over ankles, drive up with chest, raise arms to tricep press keeping elbows over shoulder joints.  Retrurn and repeat.

Walk out to DB Row

  • Keep belly button pressed into the lower back, push through shoulders, try not to shift hips while changing arms.

Partial DB Curl to Side Delt

  • Keep elbows in front of hips, on hips for curl and forward of hips during lateral raise.  Take curl half way to a 90 degree bend in elbow then do lateral raise and return.

Knees and Toes Weighted Crunch

  • When you reach for toes you crunch but when you reach for knees you lift up higher to lower back.  Use control when you return, each one is half a rep, knees toes one, knees toes two.... use the weight to your advantage but don't throw or use much momentum.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Awaken The Athlete Change It Up

When is it time to Change It Up?
We should all be pretty much 80% on by now, getting workouts out in, tweaking the eating habits and some of you may be finding its time for some variety or a change up, others who eased in a bit more slowly will be hitting that point soon.  Exercise and attention to your food intake should be in your awareness now to some degree becoming habit and part of your lifestyle.

This week I am going to throw out a few cool workouts to show you some variety and choices you have both outside and inside the gym.  Tomorrow I am going to show you what you can do at home with minimal, affordable equipment.  This week I will also post a full TRX workout as well as a Barbell workout for you old skool hard cores!

As I had discussed briefly and very simply, plateaus are part of the game in fitness and health.  It shows you are progressing, with the body responding and adapting to the demands.  Nothing to be frustrated over even so you may feel stagnant at that moment, the key is that up to now you were gaining results and its time to implement further changes so that your body knows to get out of the maintain stage its in now and change again.  Celebrate this!

Nutrition for me has been some days on and other days whatever I can get down.  But along the way over the next few weeks I will show you some really cool foods, delicious fit recipes and more ideas you can add to your repertoire.  Most people are looking for healthy, affordable, fast, simple and lean menu options so I will focus on that and share more in that vein.

Not only do we need to change things up for ourselves physically but also mentally.  Most people, even the most complacent who can do the same program forever….. Get bored.  Stimulating the mind with some new shifts every few months continues your momentum forward.  It kills some of the sabotage avenues that can occur when your eating and exercise is left with no direction.

I like the TRX because its popular and trendy so people will use it and get motivated with it.  It can be used anywhere and was created for that.  You can go camping, be on a movie set working, at home or gym when you use this.  It’s a great add to your program and helps you work up to strong body weight exercises that you may be trying to master.  The suspension part is something you cannot get in most traditional exercise options.

Barbells are just plain fun, attractive to many and has been used to gain fitness results since the beginning of time.  Many feel motivated using barbells because it looks and feels strong, you attain joint conditioning that is fast and obvious.  Its also an old skool feel for those who grew up on the old Weider and Olympic or York 'at home' iron gyms.  You 80s kids will recognize these names, I bet you see it at yard sales all the time!  LOL

Bands, mats, balls and small dumbbells along with the popular Bosu can give you all you need if you are an 'at home' exerciser.  This is the only choice for many and it works.  I started my first 2 years at home before I felt comfortable to workout in a gym.  I got amazing gains and a competition body.

The body does not discriminate, you challenge it right and the results will come, its all about the science and knowing your body, not the toys.

Are you ready to try a few new things this week and maybe shock the body with a change up or active rest?  If you do my 3 workouts this week that would be like an active rest especially if its different than what you have been doing.  Are you game?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Awaken The Athlete Food Prep

(This cute tank top by Legare Wear has hand crafted art done by Cindy Legare)

Food prep is very helpful and I fully encourage it for most of your busy typical days.  You can be simple about it or full out like a competitor, whatever works with your personality.  For some cooking and eating is a pain and needs to be simple and easy, others love to cook and try new things with no issues taking time to shop and prep while enjoying the whole process as stress relieving alike a hobby.
I fall between both of these depending on mood and my life at the moment, my days etc.

There are many theories on food containers and storage.  
Whatever your preference is, that is fine.
I use a variety of items.  I have Pyrex containers with lids when I need to rewarm certain meals in the microwave and for longer term storage.  Zip baggies are fine for short term freezing, plastic types  of containers I will use for short term freezer or fridge.

I personally do not do per meal packaging, 6 containers per day weighed out etc.  Even during contest prep I don't go that far.  That is fine for those it works for and I admire that, very cool.  I cook up batches and weigh portions as I go or need and don't weigh unless a pre comp and even then, you get to know by eye - at least I do.  Maybe I pack a meal to bring if I am going to be out and need it on hand but mostly I am able to be a bit more flexible with my set up and availabilities around me.  Even if I were on comp diet, sushi is readily available to me, sashimi of good quality close by all my areas.  I have more than enough choices, not just sushi.

I have prepped on one day for the week, but I have to work with the dictatorship of my tummy issues so its day by day at times, that means keeping what I may think will fly on hand and other times having to go get something at the time according to what I can get down.

For most of us, and if you can and are okay with spending money for foods eating out, you can find a lot of really healthy options, cooked clean, or raw foods available as you go about your day.  For those who prefer to get fresh foods and make it themselves, it is much more affordable at times and you are guaranteed to know what you are eating, you made it.  You have full control over what you like, how it tastes and all aspects of the meals.  I prefer that aspect alone but do have my go to eat outs as well.

Some of the handiest things to make a bulk amount of and keep on hand in the freezer are:

  • Protein balls, meat, poultry, fish, legume.
  • Grilled chicken servings
  • Braised fish (I eat mine over the day or 2 after its cooked and usually use fresh or buy fresh, freeze then defrost some to cook as I need.  I prefer not to eat it after its cooked, frozen then defrosted to eat)
  • Roasted chopped yams
  • Roasted chopped root veggies
  • Oat and protein type bars homemade
  • Made Fresh banana peanut butter pops , kept in freezer as treat.  Can add a few chocolate chips.
  • Frozen chopped fruits and berries for smoothies
  • Frozen yogurt and peanut butter pods for smoothies

Some fresh produce and other items that are healthy and last longer in the fridge which are also great choices:

  • Green Apples
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Pears
  • Lesser ripe Tomato and Cukes
  • Melon
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Oats
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower (other cruciferous veggies)
  • Celery

These are all baseline and can be used in many ways especially if you want to keep it simple and lower maintenance, many can be grab and go.  You can build on these with any fresh items you choose that you feel like that day but if you are in a rush, you have what you need to get by.

Again in keeping things general, a goal I would set for your food macro break downs is half the plate (so to speak) is plant foods.  The other half is protein/fat/starch.  That breakdown can vary but another general would be 1/4 protein, 1/8 fat and 1/8 starch but these can vary between you according to your goals and preferences, if you eat higher fat meats then you get more fats in that section anyways.  I like higher fats intakes and lean toward lower starch for the most part, I have my carb starch days too.  I try to keep protein high but for me that is always something I need to pay attention to or I get too little.  Plants I lean toward fruit… I have to pay attention to getting in the veggies ;)))

If I use them the right ways, the ways that make me drool, then no problem but I don’t always go the effort so it is something I have to pay attention to.

Be honest about your taste buds and tendencies and work those considerations into your eating habits and fitness focused nutrition plan.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Awaken The Athlete Push Plateaus

Push Past Plateau
If you have been following this blog series so far and you started playing with your latest program you have been trying it for the past few weeks, adjusting it as you figure out what's fitting and what needs tweaking to fit better.
What happens once you have been doing this for a month or 2, you got some shifts in your body and feel the results but then it starts to slow down or stall?  You are getting bored with the program and the body seems to have mastered it, feeling too simple?
Any of these factors tell you that its time to refresh things.  You want to continue to encourage results so its time to make a change or a few, that will shock the body a little bit.  I would not suggest completing changing it to extreme.  Not at this point anyway.

The direction you want to go in is to make one of these changes progressively every time you hit a plateau, at least for the first few months.  I would only pick one each time and maybe try a different change each time rather than just upping the weight for example, each time a plateau hits yet keeping all else the same.  Weight shifts can happen along the way subtly as part of the norm but can also be used to push past plateau in creative ways as well.

Ways to Beat the Plateau Syndrome

I make changes monthly, to get ahead of the plateau and I know I usually hit it 3-4 weeks in, small ones.
So I plan to change things each month.  Some of the ways to keep it fresh are to:

  • Add a few exercises you don't normally do and switch them out for some of the ones you are doing now.
  • Change the style, if you are doing straight sets, try super sets, pyramids, ascending, descending, drop sets, giant sets, super slow……the list is extensive.
  • If you usually do higher reps, go for lower reps with more weight or visa versa.  Even just a week or 2.
  • If you don't have exercise combos in your plan maybe throw in a few of those.  That’s where moves are pulled into one, like a deadlift, clean to overhead press.
  • Do an active rest week every 4th week where you do anything you don't normally do and do not do the usual program.  If you never swim, run, do that instead or try boxing that week, anything that’s a shift.
  • If you have been diligent and training on point, consistently, 4-5 days per week then take 5 days completely off of exercise.  You can hike or walk but nothing intense or formal.  Some people need this to push past a plateau.

Do not confuse this with lacking in results.  Plateau is a phase, if you feel you lack in results in general then you need to look at other factors starting with sleep and diet.

I did not forget about the meal prep post, its next.  Running a small studio with group classes is definitely keeping me busy wearing my owner/manager hat ;)))