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Upper body TRX workout

 

As a professional physique competitor and trainer, I rely on resistance training to build and shape my clients’ physiques. I use the TRX suspension trainer often as a warmup and/or finisher. During our Quarantine time, I’ve used my suspension trainer more often than usual in my workouts.  This upper body and core workout was really challenging!  I did 3-4 sets of each exercise with rep ranges varying from 8-12.

Building width and depth in my back is a priority in my training.  I started with pulls in a variety of angles to target different areas of my back.

  • Pull ups – upper back and lats
  • Inverted pull-up neutral grip – mid back
  • Inverted pull-up reverse grip – lower lats
  • Reverse fly – rear delts and upper back

Next, I moved to pushing movements and arms

  • Chest press – chest and front delts
  • Triceps extension
  • Biceps curl
  • Y- raises – mid and rear shoulders

Finally, these core exercises required not only core stabilization but shoulders and arms as well!

  • Plank to pushup
  • Pike ups
  • Tuck ups
  • Oblique crunch
  • Mountain climber

I bought my TRX Suspension Trainer at https://store.trxtraining.com/products/trx-home-gym/

There are many tools that help you do efficient and effective workouts from anywhere!  Creating programs that set my clients up for success is my priority.  Home workouts are the no-excuses way to stay active in the convenience of your own home.

Stay healthy, Friends!

Aging Younger While Pursuing Fitness Goals

I recently celebrated another birthday! As I reflect on memories, accomplishments and future goals, the concept of “aging” has been on my mind.  What does “act your age” even mean? There are days when I wake up and think, “I’m getting older and aches and pains are part of that.” Or, one I heard about seven years ago right before my 40th birthday, “you’re getting older, you should really start slowing down.”  What! Wait…. Screeching nails on the chalkboard!   This is where the story changes….

What if growing older is really in our minds?

One of my favorite quotes is by George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” EXACTLY!  This is the mindset shift that I live by.  Thanks Mr. Shaw! So how do we stay in the game?

Set new goals.

Some of my most exciting goals have been set and accomplished in my forties! International travel, earning my IFBB Pro Card, competing at the Olympia and truly understanding the direction and focus of my fitness business are just a few.  Had I settled for “slowing down”,  I wouldn’t have taken action on any of my most meaningful personal and business goals.  I think the keyword is ACTION.  Is it risky? Sure it is!  But, standing still and hesitating to take the leap can leave us with a lifetime of unresolved “what-if’s”.

Be kind to your body.

The reality of our physical bodies aging is inevitable.  We’ve begun wearing the “tread on our tires” so to speak, so we must reconsider how we treat our bodies in pursuit of our goals.  Recovery, sleep, and healthy eating have become more of a necessity than a luxury for me.  I want to train my body at a high level for many years to come.  I enjoy it and it’s an important part of my life.  To improve longevity, I use a variety of training techniques and nutrition strategies to maximize my time in the gym without wrecking my health and joints.  Find new ways to challenge your body and keep it interesting!

Renew your mind.

Feeding my mind with positive messages, time in prayer, and surrounding myself with positive people has helped me have more enthusiasm for life and the optimism in setting new goals.  I can honestly say my mind and my thoughts are more youthful than they were ten years ago.  Recently, travel has become a new passion of mine that has taught me the importance of unplugging to recharge. Life certainly hasn’t spared me from curveballs and stressors, but keeping my focus and actions in the direction of things I enjoy most, create excitement in new adventures in the future!

Here’s to many more years of playing and growing younger!

Each of the programs I create for my clients is designed with his/her specific goals and lifestyle in mind. I take a personal approach to help clients set new goals and create effective strategies for achieving them. For more information, contact me through my personal training page.

 

 

Prime Fitness Lateral Raise

The Prime Fitness Lateral Raise has been a game-changer in my training. Shoulder day has always been one of my favorite days in the gym. I seek out variety in angles and range of motion to effectively work the entire shoulder. I have long arms so traditional dumbbell lateral raises often caused stress to my elbows; especially when increasing weight. I was particularly interested in incorporating the Prime Fitness Lateral Raise into my workouts to see if it could be the solution to this challenge.

The ability to adjust the peak resistance through the range of motion was key. The Smart Cam settings allow the user to work the muscle in the shortened position (2), medial position (1), and lengthened position (3). This gives the ability to recruit more muscle fibers which ultimately improves strength and muscle development. To start, adjust the cam where you are naturally weakest; the end of the motion (2). Move to the medial position (1) and finish where you’re naturally stronger; the beginning of the motion (3). Depending on the weight I’m using, I do 8-10 reps in each setting. Use setting 1 if you’re working these into a circuit or just want to hit medial delts in a traditional manner. I prefer to lean forward into the pad and slide my hips back slightly.

I have been able to increase strength in my medial delts without stressing my elbows. When returning to dumbbell lateral raises, the strength increase has been noticeable with correct muscle recruitment and reduced trap engagement. A win-win for anyone wanting to develop round shoulders and less trap use!

Got motivation?

I often get asked where I find motivation to get my workouts in and eat healthy.  Sometimes it’s the little things like my room key from Olympia that I turned into a magnet on my refrigerator which holds special notes from my daughter.  Most days, I’ve got my game face on and I’m ready crush it!  But, the truth is, some days I’m simply not motivated.  I have to make the decision to stay up late to prepare my food, schedule in time for a workout and actually do it!  The act of movement and starting the action puts me in a better mindset and once I get going I feel more energized.  There will never be a perfect time to start and you’ll never feel ready.  But, when you put the wheels in motion, it does get easier!  Some of the best workouts I’ve had are when I didn’t overthink or plan, I simply jumped in, did a mental reset and BAM… felt amazing!!  A few things I do the night before to launch my day for success:

  1.  Plan what I’m wearing to the gym. Socks, undies, shoes, all of it!  This leaves no room for procrastination and trying to pick out your outfit.
  2. Pack food, supplements, protein, water, etc. so that it’s ready to grab and go when you head out the door.
  3. Headphones charged and in gym bag!
  4. Pack an extra set of clothes for post-workout.
  5. Game-plan for the workout.  Muscle group(s) & cardio.  I don’t get to detailed with this, but I do have a workout focus or goal everyday.

YOU are worth it!  Taking time for yourself is not selfish.  Plug into audio books, music, inspiring friends who motivate you, and before you know it…  one day you’ll look back and wonder why it took you so long to get started!

Keep in touch!  Share what motivates you and tag me on social media @vicki_fit!

Stand out

Stand out
Competition season is upon us and progress photos are starting to flood our newsfeed.  It’s easy to get distracted and start to doubt our progress when we see others making faster progress or sharing their insane fasted cardio updates.  Whether you’re new to the NPC stage or a veteran in the IFBB, the road to stage-ready looks different for everyone.  It’s important to identify your individual style.  What makes you unique and special from head to toe?  Suit style, color, makeup, hair..  all important variables in stage preparation, but don’t forget to show your personality! Craft your posing style to highlight your strengths and mask your weaknesses.   Achieving a flawless physique is in the eye of the beholder and your presentation, NOT the actual absence of flaws.  The work may be done in the gym, but how you present your physique is what can set you apart.  If you haven’t practiced your posing, it will show.  Take the time, even if it’s 15 minute a day, to practice your posing and how you will transition between poses.  Smile!  You’ve dieted and trained for months if not years, so celebrate the moment!  If you are having fun on and off the stage, it makes the journey one of the most rewarding times of your life!

Resolution Reset

Resolution Reset

We’re one month into the new year!  We started the new year with big goals and ambitions for finally sticking with our health and fitness goals. Life happens, we get distracted and before you know it, those goals can slip away if we don’t recommit to our action plans.  Good news!  It’s never too late to get back on track!  After all, meaningful and realistic health and fitness goals are meant to improve the quality of our lives forever, not just for a spring break get-away.

If you’ve slipped away from your plan, recommit and rejuvenate your mindset!  If you haven’t been 100% on your plan, you have NOT failed.  Stop the negative self-talk from spiraling into disappointment.  Sure, sticking with your plan at 100% will yield faster results, but if you’ve doing 90% better than you were yesterday, you’re off to a great start!

Your health is your #1 priority!  Saying it and actually committing to the behaviors and habits that make it priority are two different things.  God willing we get to wake up each day and make decisions that impact the course of our day.  Taking time to eat healthy and exercise is not selfish!  Treat your body well so you can show up as the best version of YOU!

Instead of focusing on what you CAN’T eat, focus on what you GET to eat.  No one wants to feel deprived, so let go of what does not serve your goal.  Focus on what you can add to your diet like more healthy fats and protein.

Think of your workouts as shaping your body, not just loosing weight.  Weight training is the ultimate anti-aging activity we can do for ourselves.  Make your gym time consistent, safe and challenging!  Set short term goals that set you up for success in reaching your long-term goals!

Find a supportive tribe who helps keep you accountable and inspired.  If you’re not finding that support at home, there are plenty of groups focused on similar goals.  Find a trainer who inspires and motivates you!  We all started somewhere and no one is meant to do this alone.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.