Here We Go IMPROVEMENT SEASON!
With 5 shows under my belt for the 2013 competition season, it was definitely time to take a little breather and make a plan for the improvements I want to make to my physique, career and personal life. I am one person who doesn't really believe in offseason. To me, offseason sounds like an excuse to throw all of your hard work out the window and eat jars of peanut butter and fluff, causing your formerly svelte and rock hard physique to look like well, peanut butter and fluff. Improvement season, on the other hand, is a time for taking advantage of the extra NUTRITIOUS and VALUABLE calories and food, along with a normal amount of cardio to make improvements to your physique. There is really no possible way to put on muscle when you are dieting, being that your calories and food are on the lower side, and if you are anything like me you have to do copious amounts of cardio for your ass to remotely come down. My body was under a lot of stress this year and I have one of those physiques that is strongly affected by cortisol, so on a personal level I definitely need to work on controlling my stress levels and dealing with adversity in a calm, cool, and collected manner. (Anyone that knows me knows that my fiery little spitfire temper is far from calm, cool, or collected, but hey I mean well....) I also need to do a better job of giving myself rest and days off, because that's one thing I am horrible with. Rest is so important for muscle growth and recovery, whether you are a bodybuilder, runner, swimmer, or football player. My goal is to hit up yoga at least once per week and attempt to take some down time every day just to empty my brain of too many racing thoughts. Easier said than done, but hey I am not the first person, nor will I be the last to try and de-stress and learn how to cope with life. In terms of my physique, this year I definitely brought up my upper body, but the problem still remains in the conditioning of my lower half. I have glutes for days and I just put on muscle so easily in my legs, but when it comes to dialing them in for show time, we have not been able to get the hardness and detail that is necessary to be on the pro stage. These women are the best of the best, and anything less than 125% is just not good enough. This sport isn't easy. Its difficult to get up on stage half naked and strut your stuff in front of a judging panel that is basically looking for what is wrong with you. Don't get me wrong, this is what we all signed up for. They will tell you your strengths, but you better believe they are going to tell you your weaknesses and flaws also. I need to add some more muscle to my back, hamstrings, triceps, abs, and lateral calves. In terms of my training, I will be switching things up and doing more volume training, along with some pretty intense track workouts to whittle down these wheels. I am lucky enough to be working this improvement season with Shelby Starnes for my nutrition and guidance. I am very excited to see how we will change my physique and improve my package for the 2014 season. I am also extremely fortunate to be able to train with a former NFL lineman, Joe Maese, and our goals are to focus on conditioning workouts and getting stronger. He really pushes me and is such a positive influence on my every day life. Sometimes it is just nice for someone to remind you that you are working hard and doing alright, plus he doesn't let me back down from that iron, which I LOVE! :-) In terms of my career, I am a personal trainer and online coach. With this downtime, it allows me take on some more clients, being that when I am in contest mode, I have to pick and choose very carefully who I work with. It gives me an opportunity to spend a little more time with my clients, being that I am very hands on. I will be at the Olympia with Gaspari Nutrition and am looking especially forward to the Inaugural WPD Olympia Showdown, along with the battles that will be up on that stage; I always get goosebumps when I am at the O, its just one of those experiences that is just amazing!! I hope you all had a great summer, and are ready to close it down with one more bang this weekend, then its back to school and back to the grind for most. Remember to work hard and train your heart out, but don't forget to play hard and smile.