Sometimes Life Sucks- Monday Motivation 4/29

Sometimes life sucks.  I am not talking about the Facebook statuses or tweets that complain about something stupid and are followed by FML (F my life–for those of you not sure what it means).  I don’t hate many things, but that is one thing I do hate.  FML..really?  Is your life really that bad because you left your umbrella home on a rainy day, or your cable is down so now you can’t watch your favorite tv show?  Most of the FML posts are after something trivial that these individuals are more than able to get over in less than 24 hours.  I know people have said it’s a joke and not to be taken seriously, but if you are willing to post it, then it’s still a reflection of who you are.

But this is not what I am talking about when I say life can suck.  Someone I know just lost her husband to cancer this past weekend, who also was best friends with my best friend.  He felt sick so went to the doctors and they told him the cancer was back and he had days to 2 weeks to live.

Imagine getting that news?  I know that Sunday I was in church reflecting on my life and how I would feel if someone told me I had two weeks to live.  I wondered if I would continue to work or quit, if I would eat whatever I wanted or continue feeding my body clean foods, or would I only care about making sure I had all of my loved ones close by?

My second thought was, would I be content with how I have lived my life so far?  I thought back to my past and was satisfied with most of my choices (and learned from my stupid choices), I was happy with my swimming career and the effort I put in the achieve my goals, and am happy with my determination to find my passion in life.

My third and final thought was if I would be content with how I am directing my life.  Being only 25, I don’t know what my future will hold career wise, but I know that I am content with my strive towards doing what I love.  Instead of settling for a job because it’s a “smart” choice, I continue to fight for what I love and I know I won’t stop.

What about you?  Are you satisfied with your life choices, or have you settled in life?  Are you in a career because it provides an income and you don’t hate it that much or do you actually enjoy it?  Are you making choices because of external pressure, or are you making choices that truly make you happy?

There is a time for all of us to leave this Earth, and sometimes life is cut short due to reasons only God knows, but the important thing for all of us to take away from these heart aches and tragedies outside of the great memories our loved one left behind, is are we living the life we were meant to live?  Are we using the gifts God has given us to make a difference in people’s lives?  Are our choices making us happy so in turn we can make others happy as well?

Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a step back from our hectic lifes and reflect on where we’ve been, where we currently are, and where we are trying to go.  Life is precious and time is not promised.  So today, take some time and really question your purpose in life and where you are in your journey.

Please send a prayer for this family as they struggle through a very difficult time.

Pinterest and Leg Blaster Workout

outdoor showerPinterest.  Now there are some great things about Pinterest such as pictures of my future shower (yes I am a fan of outdoor showers), DIY crafts I will most likely never do, and recipes I save in order to try later (after I clean them up).

Then there are the reasons I try to avoid it.  First of all, people pin all of these delicious recipes that should be illegal to even view during dieting–also why I avoid the food network channel during contest prep.


But my biggest thing against Pinterest are the pictures of girls with descent bodies with phrases posted below along the lines of “best ab exercises to get a 6-pack” or “bootylicious workout”, and then once you click on the link, it provides some fluffy exercises that will most likely never produce the look you are going for because the exercises lack intensity and demand on the neurons!  See pic below as a fine example of what I am talking about:

butt workout

But, as I am looking for the example to post in my blog of how Pinterest workouts may lead many astray, I also ran into quite a few good examples of what would give you a 6-pack and nice glutes, assuming you are eating clean and are at a bodyfat percentage where your hard work would be revealed.  So I guess all is not lost, you must simply know how to filter through the bad to find the good!

But since I talked about lagging muscles (my glutes) earlier this week, and was recently asked for my leg workout, I will provide you with an example of what I would do on a leg  day, no chair required.  Before I start though, here are a few things to consider:

1. Muscles are developed by everything you do.  Mine have been developed throughout my years of swimming, lifting, and conditioning from high school through my college career.  Since then, my training has changed pretty much every year depending on my focus and fitness goals, but I have never stopped training.  Last year I did a lot more bodybuilding type workouts, where as this year I have been doing more functional lifting with specific programming for my squats/deadlifts.  Since I have already built a good muscular base, I mainly focusing now on gaining more strength and working on my weaknesses.  I also dabble in Crossfit as well.  So with that being said, I do not do many traditional leg workouts anymore (once you see me on stage next, you will have a better current muscle mass would embarrass the muscle mass I had last year).

2.  You need to define your goal.  My goal for this year is to excel in figure.  Since I have quite the muscle mass in my quads, I have not been doing too much extra leg exercises outside of my squats, deadlifts, butt exercises, and whatever I do in Crossfit.  But if you want to add to your current muscle mass, you will need to spend more time in the gym working on it!

3. Intensity, duration, and volume all factor into muscle size and strength.  My first focus is on my level of intensity.  If I start plateauing even though I have been consistently lifting heavy, then I may switch up my auxiliary lifts, perform more exercises, or switch from low reps to higher reps for more time under tension.

4.  What you eat plays a role in muscle gain.  The number one reason women struggle to put on muscle mass is because they do not consume enough protein. Individuals who weight train regularly should be eating at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Without further ado, here is a sample leg workout:

Warm-up (5-10 min): I include full range of motion movements (squats, lunges, dynamic stretches, military pushups) as well as some movements to get my heart rate up slightly (squat jumps/lunge jumps/jumping jacks).  I also include a few rounds of ab and lower back exercises (V-ups and supermans are a combo I tend to use) to warm up my core muscles since your core helps provide stability for squats and deadlifts.

1. Back squats or Front squats: 3 x 5

–You can program your squats in many different ways with weight staying the same for all sets/weight decreasing each set, but there is one constant: Your sets do not start until you warm-up to the weight that you are going to use.  If you are increasing your weight for each new set, you didn’t start heavy enough.  Your starting weight should also increase each week 🙂

2. RDL or Clean/Snatch grip Deadlift: 3 x 5

–Same role applies as the one above!

3. Superset:

  • Stationary barbell lunges- 4 x 8 each leg
  • Step-ups- 4 x 10 each leg

4. Superset:

  • Hip Thrusts- 4 x 10
  • Curtsy lunges- 4 x 8 each leg

5. Tripleset:

  • Cable kick backs- 3 x 10 each leg
  • Monster Walks- 3 x 10 each direction
  • squat jumps- 3 x max

If you are unsure of how to do certain exercises, use Youtube.  With the exception of monster walks (which requires a band) and squat jumps, all exercises require weight!  Try to go as heavy as you can while still completing the reps!

Workout finisher–(for those of you who want to be a B.A…)

Treadmill Hill Sprints

5 min warm-up (3.2mph at 12% grade)

5 x through:

  •  30 second sprint at 12% grade (sprint starts when you hit your top speed)
  • 1 minute @3.0mph at 12% grade

5 min cool down

Enjoy and let me know if you give it a try…have a great weekend!

Train hard 🙂