Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 is coming to an end

It's been quite a while since I've blogged, but I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge and reflect on 2008. Wow, it's been an incredible year, with blessings in abundance. I did alot of learning, traveling, growing, and healing (still a work in progress). I'm looking forward to a healthy, prosperous 2009, full of exciting new opportunities! I just got back from a strength & conditioning workshop in New Jersey, and I'm amped to start putting what I've learned into practice!

I had a pleasure meeting new friends, forming new relationships, and fine tuning existing ones :-)

Be safe and have fun saying goodbye to 2008 and hello to 2009!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Back to CATZ...

Well, it's getting chilly here in Austin. Yesterday was an incredibly full workout day. In the morning, I went to UT at 7AM for a body composition & calorie consumption analysis; I was thoroughly depressed afterwards - LOL. That's all I will say about that...LOL

When I got home, I registered for Joe DeFranco & Zach Even Esh's seminar being held in December. I've been waiting for the seminar to open for registration all week. Registration & sign-up opened at 10AM EST yesterday and was limited to only 20 participants. The event sold out in less than 45 mins! Luckily, I got on the roster :-). It was also very reasonably priced for 2 days. I am so amped!! I've been wanting to meet Joe D and Zach for a long time. I was considering going up to each of their gyms seperately over the Christmas holidays, so, Christmas came early for me :-) BUT, I realized immediately, that I am going to have to improve my conditioning & endurance by leaps and bounds between now and early December. That sparked the beginning of my long workout day :-D.

I did 25 mins of Cathe (High Step Challenge) at lunch time. Then, I decided to go back to CATZ to focus on improved conditioning; I would like to keep it up 2x/week from now until next April or May. I am also considering picking up martial arts. I love keeping things challenging and different. I was so nervous to return to CATZ, but it was like going back home. The coaching staff is top notch and everyone is so friendly. I am so passionate about the training model that I would like to become a coach there. I've always wanted to be a coach there ever since I stepped in their doors in 2007. I want to pass my CSCS exam first, though, and then I should be good to go. I said a little prayer before I went to class asking the Almighty to please not let me pass out or cramp up in front of all these folks. Surprisingly, I did much better than I thought! It was a really killer workout, and I was able to hold out thorough most of it. We did a drill with fire hoses (gosh are they heavy) that reminded me of Ropes Gone Wild. It was a partner drill where the person at the other end wrapped the hose around their waist and the other person was seated on the ground and pulling them in; each person had 40 seconds to pull the entire rope in. It was tough since the person on the end was providing an anchored (but walking) resistance. Working at CATZ will help me improve in my abilities as both an athlete and strength & conditioning coach.

Lastly, I got lucky b/c my masseuse offered me a free stretching session, which I used last night. We spent about 45 minutes just doing partner stretches, and I felt GREAT! My shoulders and hamstrings are always very tight. We focused mainly on shoulders/traps/rhomboids, but we did a few hamstring stretches as well. Let me tell you - my body FINALLY loosened up. We agreed to do an hour of full body stretching techniques and follow it up with my usual 90 minute sports massage next time. I actually had a sports massage earlier this week. I ended the night with a soak in the hot tub & sauna, and finally went to see "W." with my family. It was a LONG, but great day!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Train, Train, Train

Well, I've decided not to compete this year. I've had way too many (albeit good) distractions and not enough time to train or diet properly. Soooooo...time to develop a new game plan. I'm going to do the first show in 2009 (March). In the mean time, I want to spend the rest of 2008 getting back into my kettlebell practice and focusing on improved overall metabolic conditioning. I will continue coaching Spinning classes 2x/week, which I love. I'll also continue to train with Jerry 2x/week doing traditional weight training, but my focus will be to get in 4 days of kettlebell or conditioning work per week, plus cardio. I might try Alwyn's Afterburn program, as I really enjoyed his Warp Speed Fat Loss program; I haven't really decided yet. I'm getting my groove back in many different avenues, and am ready to focus on my personal development. I'm happier and not putting as much emphasis on competing, which was beginning to stress me out and take away the joy of lifting.

Hope that everyone's doing well!! Keep training hard. I'll get back to more regular blog updates this month :-) Thanks to all of my friends for your well wishes and encouragement.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tues, 9/23/08 - Intense Cardio

I taught a great spin class tonight. I also had a chance to ride (last week we were full, and I had to give up the instructor bike). I pushed myself so hard during a sprint sequence, and I got off the bike to check on a student, that I had a really hard time getting my heart rate down. I definitely hit anaerobic today, and that doesn't happen very often!

I'm going to start teaching spin 2x/week permanently now, and I'm amped about that! In addition, we're still doing bootcamps and 1x1 training, so my schedule is becoming full. I love helping people reach their goals.

Have a great week, and train hard!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Workout Updates

I've been slackin on my updates :-) I've been writing them in my journal and been too lazy to post them here.

Wed, 9/3 - Off
Thurs, 9/4 - Spinning (Endurance)
Fri, 9/5 - Shoulders & Arms w/ Jerry
Sat, 9/6 - Off
Sun, 9/7 - Sports Massage
Mon, 9/8 - Off
Tues, 9/9 - Spinning (Interval) & Weights
Wed, 9/10 - Off
Thur, 9/11 - Spinning (Interval - we went for 75 mins tonight)
Fri, 9/12 - Legs (PM) & cardio (AM)
Sat, 9/13 - Chest & Cardio
Sun, 9/14 - Back & Cardio & Abs

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Probably an off day

I'll be going to a wake tonight, out of town, so I doubt that I'll be able to squeeze my workout in. Depending on how late we get back, I might try to squeeze in a short cardio session at the very least.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

AM Cardio, PM Spin & Lifting

8:40-9:00AM - Elliptical (20 mins)
6:30-7:15PM - Spinning - Strength (taught a great class...was working very hard during the ride)
8:30-8:55PM - Did walking lunges (15#) & abs from Cathe Butts & Guts DVD

Monday, September 01, 2008

Awesome chest/back workout

Today's workout was incredibly effective & efficient; trained this morning since today was a holiday. We did circuits composed of different machines/bars/grips than we usually use. It was a good shock to my system, and my body responded well. I still have get my cardio in, but I'm feeling really lazy - LOL.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


So, I got the best text message every from my brother Anthony C. on Thursday night letting me know that Jen B was coming to Houston for the weekend! Unfortunately, I already had several appointments on Friday & Saturday, so I wasn't able to meet up with them for a workout. BUT, I was able to get there on Sunday morning for brunch. We packed up the little one (Max) and drove to Houston early in the morn. We met up at Anthony's house, and I finally had a chance to see the beauty that is Lawrence Park and the 2 monstrous tires. WOWZA!!! I was starting to regret having worn a dress in an attempt to look presentable. I wanted to start flipping that mother - but I decided to behave :-)

Anthony & his wife were so hospitable. Jen B was just as awesome and beautiful as I thought she would be. There was alot of talk about kettlebells, training, Punch gym, and other funny stuff. Anthony always keeps us laughing; love that guy! And Mrs. Anthony is sooo cute and sweet; they are a good balance. Yesterday was like a dream; all I could think about on the way home was how lucky I felt to have met up with great friends and enjoyed a lovely meal...all with people whom I met on the AoS forums. Life is beautiful and knowing that there are people out there who share the same passions as yourself makes it that much more fulfilling.

Rock on Anthony C & Jen B!! Originally I didn't have any plans for Labor Day, so I'm glad that I stayed in TX and got out to H-town for a few hours.

Thanks for everything, Anthony C!! Make sure to let me know the next time someone from the forums comes to Houston; I'll come down again (this time to workout -- and eat of course)!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday, 8/29/2008

Lately, I've been taking a little longer lunch hour and training with Jerry on Fridays. Today we worked legs. I felt really strong, much better than yesterday. Jerry told me to stop doing sprints b/c they can make my legs bigger (given my genetics). So, just keep it basic for the next 10 weeks or so - lunges, curls, extensions, calves. He also told me to start hitting it really hard with abdominal training (no added weight, just alot of conditioning & consistency..since I haven't been consistent with abs as of late). It's time to get serious or go home...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thurs, 8/28 - Strength Work

I was really tired today. Getting to & from my workout with Jerry was took me an hour to get there and an hour and a 15 mins to get back. We actually trained earlier in the day b/c I wanted to avoid traffic; that theory was destroyed. LOL. Anyway, we worked Chest & Back. I was so tired that we only made it through about 25 mins (2 circuits, 3 rounds each.) We usually do 3 circuits, 3-4 rounds each. It was a good workout, even though it was short.

Anyway, I made it home and was mad as heck. I got some food, did some work, and went to bed early.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wed, Aug 27, 2008

9:30-10AM Cardio: 30 minutes bike, incorporating 20/10 tabata sprints at the 15 minute mark, 8 times.
7:45-8:30PM: Strength training with Jerry (shoulders/arms)
I'm starting to increase my activity level and become more consistent with my nutrition.

Tues, Aug 26, 2008

Great cardio workout today...
10:30-11AM - Elliptical
7-7:45PM - Spin Class (endurance) - taught & rode
Was going to do abs, lunges, and arms after class/eating, but was too tired.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tues, 8/19/2008

Kept it simple and just got 20 mins in on the bike. Had alot to do, so I figured 20 minutes of hard cycling was better than 0 minutes of nothing. LOL.

Monday, 8/18/2008

Leg workout with Jerry followed by 30 mins on the bike. I was zonked after all of that last night :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday morning Bootcamp

We decided to host a free bootcamp session this morning. We didn't advertise it well; mostly we were just planning to do our own workout and thought we should open it up to others. Jay invited some of his co-workers, but they didn't show up. So, it wound up being Jay, me, and my best friend. We had a BLAST!! Worked out for about 2 hours and FINALLY used the PROWLER!!! ow ow ow :-)

We did a mix of football drills, cone drills, medicine ball tosses, sprints, rope work, prowler work, and conditioning stations. We used the prowler as the finisher. Here are a couple of pictures and a video of us getting the job D-O-N-E!! We met some people at the end of the session who wanted to use the prowler. WE invited them out to the next workout.

Rope pulls & undulations

Prowler Sprints

Friday, Aug 15, 2008 - Upper Body Circuit

I was still pretty exhausted from the night before. I decided to take the afternoon off work, but I got a workout in with Jerry over lunch. We did an upper body circuit. We were supposed to train twice on Friday (legs in the afternoon), but I was too tired. I slept instead. I had a great chat with Cheryl later in the evening and then went to bed around 11ish.

Thurs, Aug 14, 2008

I was exhausted!!! I stayed up almost all night finishing a deliverable for work the night before (put in about 18 hour work day). At any rate, I still taught spinning class on Thurdsay night and ROCKED IT!! We did a crits class, very high intensity. The participants loved it - they said they'd never worked so hard in spin class before. That's the Fitgirl touch :-) Tired and all!!! I was going to lift weights afterwards, but I was done! I came home, got something to eat, and then went to bed. I slept like a rock.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My leg is still hurting...

Damn it if my leg isn't still hurting from softball last Friday. I have a hideous bruise on my leg, and it's so sensitive to the touch. I should probably go get it checked out, but I won't. Work is pretty aggressive right now. Jerry had to cancel our training session tonight, so I'll hit arms on my own. I've been working to get my diet back in focus because I did horribly during my business travel. It feels good to be back at home and eating on schedule.

I'll update this post with whatever I wind up actually doing tonight. I am looking forward to a kick a** workout. I'm breaking down my body parts a bit more granularly this week. I'll plan to hit arms tonight, chest/back & teach spin tomorrow, legs on Friday, bike ride & shoulders on Saturday. Fingers crossed that I'll execute as planned :-)

Have a great day. Go Team USA!!! China was absolutely beautiful to watch in the men's gymnastics trials 2 nights ago; I was totally blown away by their beautiful display of athleticism. Our US men did great too - bronze is an amazing finish!! I missed last night's trials....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Early AM Cardio on Monday

Yesterday I just did 50 mins on the elliptical first thing in the morning due to a full work day. I didn't get any activity in today (Tues), so I'll count this as a day off.

I also had a chance to chat with Cheryl on Sunday night; it was a good opportunity to encourage each other. Also spoke to Yvette & Tamara :-) It's great to have girlfriends!!

Hope everyone is well!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Chest, Back, & Softball

Yesterday I worked chest & back with Jerry at lunch time, then played softball in the evening. I made a game saving catch out in left field, but I did get hit with the ball later in the game pretty darn hard. there's a nice shiner of a bruise on the front of my lower leg, and it is quite painful. The one thing Jerry said to me was "Yes, you can play softball, but don't get hurt!"...and what do I do?? LOL. I should be okay in a few days, though. Our team ultimately lost the game, but we had alot of fun anyway!

What are you plans for this beautiful Saturday? I was going to go on the bike ride of DT Austin, but I'm not sure if my bruised leg will last then entire 2 hours. In addition, I didn't make it to the bike shop yesterday for a tune up and tire inspection, as I ran over something sharp in the road when I was out last Sunday; my tires also felt a little flat then, so I wanted to get them pumped up before the ride. Oh well. I plan to stop by there this morning when they open and then get a short ride before my 1PM massage appt. I decided to go to the massage school - 90 minute massage for $25!! I know they are students, but could be a way to help get these kinks worked out more regularly.

Have a great day!!

New Art of Strength Products have arrived!

There are a couple of new AoS products that arrived this week, which I have been anticipating for some time. I just wanted to share the news for those who weren't yet aware. I am of fan of ALL AoS products, and they never, ever disappoint. I can't wait to get the Santa Monica DVD and post about my adventures; same with the Ropes Gone Wild DVD. Head over to the AOS Store to take a look. Here are the 2 that I am most anxious about, and ladies, the new Diva Bell has been unleashed. I am sooo pumped for the pre-sale of the latest AoS follow-along DVD - AoS Santa Monica. I bought it immediately. Here is a glorious description of what is to come:

Art of Strength: Santa Monica DVD

All new DVD from AOS pre-order now. The day is almost at hand, the much anticipated release of Art of Strengths latest training DVD. Entitled Art of Strength Santa Monica, it was shot, as the name suggests, in Santa Monica, California at the famed and fitness mecca Muscle Beach.

Mixing traditional kettlebell routines with Art of Strength’s new Authentic Strength workouts this DVD is a definite can’t miss. Using everything from kettlebells, to Bulldog Dumbbells and Barbells to Ropes Gone Wild this DVD has everything you could ever want. So you don’t have our barbells and dumbbells? Well don’t worry, each exercise offers alternate versions with traditional kettlebell routines in their place.

This DVD is completely programmable allowing you to select the level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) as well as the amount of rest between sets.

Shipping in mid September, this DVD includes a bonus disc featuring Ropes Gone Wild stepping you through all the basic routines with heart pumping cardio blasting workouts.

So you get a fully programmable DVD from the leader in kettlebell training focusing on kettlebell training and Authentic Fitness with the bonus disc containing all the Ropes Gone Wild routines and workouts!!

Not sure what Authentic Fitness is? Authentic Fitness is a style of training that brings “fit” back to fitness. When looking fit and being fit was one in the same. First introduced in our articles “What Have We Done Wrong”, Authentic Fitness brings back many of the forgotten lifts and routines of old and focuses on making your body fit as a complete entity. There is a pre-order price discount, so make sure to check out the AOS Online Store for more details!

Ropes Gone Wild DVD

In addition, the Ropes Gone Wild Tutorial DVD is finally here --- whoohooo! After long last the new Ropes Gone Wild DVD has arrived. Shot on location at Santa Monica’s Muscle Beach bringing revolutionary “authentic” fitness back to its birthplace. This training DVD will teach you everything you need to know to become proficient with our Ropes Gone Wild brand of exercise. Learn how it feels to have your heart rate reach near maximum in under 60 seconds. This DVD is a can’t miss for anyone interested in alternative forms of cardio. check out the AOS Online Store for more details! This DVD is currently shipped free with any RGW purchase.

The DIVA Bell

Not only is the Diva Bell "pretty in pink," purchasing one also helps benefit the fight against breast cancer. A portion of each Diva Bell sale will be donated to the fight against breast cancer research.

The Diva Bells have been a staple at our Art of Strength/Punch Kettlebell Gym headquarters. Used as our very own R&D center, our patrons have come accustomed to seeing new products moving in and out of the facility but never has one garnered more attention and accolades than the Diva Bell. What we thought would become a favorite of a few of the female clientele has turned into a must have for my entire female client base.

So what makes it such a sought after kettlebell? First of all, it's loadable. Like its predecessor, the Bulldog Kettlebell, you choose the weight you want it to have. Starting at 7 pounds empty the loadable kettlebell will reach a max weight of 22 pounds when fully loaded with steel shot, giving the user plenty of freedom to vary their workouts without having to purchase multiple kettlebells. Comparing the Diva to its predecessor one of the first thing's you'll notice is one of its greatest advantages; its smaller size. With a diameter of only 6" (as opposed the its 8" diameter brother) the bell lends itself perfectly to the smaller frame of a female. Many of our female patrons felt its bigger brother, the Bulldog Kettlebell, was a bit too cumbersome for them to use effectively during their workouts - the Diva's smaller design fixed all that.

I know what you're thinking, why the name Diva - it doesn't exactly fit with our standard nomenclature, with products such as The Bulldog Kettlebell, Bandit's Loop and Outlaw Ropes to name a few. Well, we were searching for a name that conveyed strength and perseverance as well as toughness without losing the feminine connotation that we were looking for. Diva came to mind and made perfect sense. Translated from Italian, Diva means goddess and at its origins was usually reserved for those women with rare and outstanding talents. I don't think I'd be wrong in saying that most of you women out there felt you contained some kind of rare and outstanding talent as a kettlebell athlete. A sport that at first appearances seems to be geared more towards males than females. I know that not to be true as most of my more fit and dedicated clients all seem to be females - but that's a separate matter entirely.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Love this...

Courtsey of Alwyn Cosgrove....long live MJ

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Taught my first Spin class tonight...

Well, tonight was my big night. I know that I've been talking about going back to teach Spin for the past few months. Well, I finally taught my first class tonight. I was so nervous and doubtful of myself, but as soon as I got in front of the people, introduced myself 1x1, I was on fire! It was a tough class, and I had energy coming from everywhere. The class said that they worked hard, that I pushed them hard, and that they couldn't wait for next time!! I even had other ppl in the gym coming up to me saying "I can't wait to take your class!" I was able to ride for a good portion of the class (did some teaching off the bike), and incorporated quite a few sprints into the workout (for personal reasons - lol). At any rate, I feel like I still got it! WHOOHOOO...My best friend told me that you never fall short of the things that you're passionate about, and she was RIGHT! I can't wait until next week. I think that I will probably bump up my teaching to 2x/week (my old spin routine).

I'm mixing music for my next class already :-) I wanted to be a DJ so mixing music is my favorite part of class prep.


Monday, 8/4/08

Tonight I did a leg workout with Jerry. We worked hard. I'm cycling my cardio to pyramid up, so today was a strength training only day. Jerry and I had a long talk about my progress. He said that my musles are strong and full, so it's time to start cutting up and getting my body harder for show time. This is where training gets "fun" - LOL! I'm excited about what I'm going to look like this year. He also wants me to start adding sprint workouts in a couple times of week. We are targeting to drop about 30 pounds for the show, which is pretty typical for me. Here we go....let the journey begin!!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Beautiful Weekend

Gosh, it has been an absolutely beautiful weekend! Yesterday, I did shoulder & arms - P90X style. I also went downtown to Lance Armstrong's bike shop (Mellow Johnny's) to purchase and install a bike computer. My next investment will be a trunk rack for my car b/c I'm getting tired of loading my bike in and out of my trunk, but I'll give it a few weeks before I do that.

I've also been busily shopping and preparing food for my Punch Nutrition diet. It always is an adjustment following a new diet plan, but this one has been pretty smooth. I really want to ride my bike today, so I am going to go out a little later this afternoon. It will be mad hot outside, but I just want to get out there, feel the sun on me and the wind in my face. Today is a cardio-only day, so I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to hit a flat road loop, and will strive to complete 7-10 miles.

I actually waited too late to ride and also got a flat tire; so I was able to put in 5.54 miles in about 25 mins. I was on a real road today, conquering new territory :-). I almost fell again, though, trying to unclip at a stop ontop of a hill. I recovered, though - LOL. Once I patch my tire, I plan to ride in the Austin Cycling Association tour of downtown & picnic this Saturday. It should be fun!

Have a lovely day!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friend for Punch

Gosh, I totally forgot to mention that I finally have a friend for Punch :-) I brought home a beautiful, 12-week old Yorkie puppy, whom we named "Max." He is doing well, and I love him so much already. We are working on house breaking him, but he already came to us knowing how to use the potty pads. He is very sweet and friendly, all 2.9 pounds of him - LOL! I'll post pictures later.

Tonight I went to the Veloway with one of my best friends from home. She is here on business. We went on a nice bike ride and then went to Whole Foods for some shopping (I had to get some things on my Punch Nutrition list). Anyway, it's great to have a little piece of home here. She is definitely my close friend for life. Tomorrow I might take her to Bikram Yoga after work, and then we'll get massages.

Hope that you're having a great day!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hit the road after 1 week off

Last week I didn't get out on my bike at all (due to the rain and not feeling well), and I was really itching to do so. Yesterday was goreous, so I got out for a 31 minute ride yesterday evening. I did the ride without my cycling shoes, and boy was it slightly awkward; I certainly wasn't expecting that reaction. The headwinds were kind of heavy, but I feel like I got a good workout in. I did 6 miles of mainly flat terrain (had one small hill as part of the course). I practiced getting comfortale shifting gears and pumping it out in 100 degree weather. I can't believe that the reverse duatholon is 24 miles with a 3-mile run in the middle...aye! I am still going to train for it, though. I think it will be a rewarding experience. I'm planning to go on a group ride this weekend through downtown and by campus. One of my best friends is coming to town, and I'll take her to the Veloway for a ride.

Until then,


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Monday's Workout - 1/2 Marsh

Well, I decided to start running training in the hopes of completing a duathalon. I am taking the next 4 weeks to do prep work for half marathon training. It should help condition me for the 3 mile run that is part of my 12 mi-bike/3-mi run/12 mi bike duathlon at the end of October. This will be interesting, as it will be the weekend just before the 2 shows that I want to do. Let's see if I can stick with it; I'll have to see if it adversely impacts my training & competition prep.

1 mile warm-up
2 mile 1/2 marsh on hills (run hard up hill, recover on downhill and straightaways)
1 mile cool-down & stretching
workout time: 1 hour, 10 mins

I really need to work on my endurance. As I've stated previously, I am not a runner and would prefer not to be. I am not conditioned for running, and I don't know how to run properly. However, I've always wanted to complete a multi-sport event, and I figure that a backwards duatholon (with 2 bike legs & 1 run leg) is more doable than 1 bike leg and 2 run legs; definitely a better option for me than anything that includes swimming. Anyway, I can only go up from here. I don't think that I'll ever form a lifelong love or desire to run, but I would like to improve and tolerate it. I did better than I expected during the workout, though!

Taking on Punch Nutrition

I decided to work with Bonnie to design a Punch Nutrition competition prep-diet for me. I am looking foward to working with Bonnie, as she has an extensive knowledge of not only nutrition, but nutrition as it relates to competition preparation and general health & wellness. We should get started later this week (i.e. Saturday or so). I'll let you know how I'm progressing.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Feeling slightly better

My workout was really slow, but I feel good that I finally did something for the week. I felt weak and had very little energy. Honestly, I've been feeling like I have a mild case of food poisoning, which is entirely possible. The good news is that I was able to eat something substantial for dinner tonight ,and my stomach seems to be settling down. We'll see what the rest of the week brings.

Been a slow week

Gosh, I just have not been with it this week at all. I've been feeling so sluggish & lethargic. I ate some leftover food earlier in the week that I probably waited too long to eat. I've had some tummy aches for the past couple of days and have just been too tired to even workout.

I'm meeting with Jerry today to see if I can make it through a workout. I haven't been eating much since Monday night either. Trying to eat basic things like fruit, salads, and water. That's about it...I want my energy back! I pull out my stuff to workout every day, and I can't go through with it. We'll see how today's workout goes :-)

Have a great day! I hope to be back to my normal self tomorrow and catch up on my workouts.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Made Newport my Own

Anthony's recent Minute of Strength inspired me to make Newport my own, and boy, I kicked my own butt! I did Rounds 1-3 and round 5 of Newport yesterday evening with the following modifications:
Warm-Up: Swings, Snatches, Ropes, TGU, Windmill, Halos
Round 1: Cossack Stretch/Squat Thrust-snatch/bicycle
Round 2: Squat & Press (used mix of KB & Sandbag)/One arm swing/Double Leg Raise & Ropes Gone Wild
Round 3: 2H Swing (used Outlaw Rope) / Hot potato/ Ropes Gone Wild
Round 5: Side snatch/OH Lunge - DONE.

I took all of my things out to the track: 40' rope, outlaw rope, 2-12kg kettlebells, 1-8kg kettlebell, mat (which was a workout by itself). It's been a few months since I used my ropes, and I'd forgotten how taxing they can be. They felt so heavy on my shoulders. I really was only making it through about 15 seconds per consecutive iteration.

Man, I was wiped out. It took me about 30 mins to get through it all. I couldn't do anymore. :-) I think the heat made me tired faster, and the workout was just grueling. I'll try Newport again (regular) during the week, along with Weber's Extreme KB Cardio Workout.

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Got my hair did

Tonight I visited my hair dresser and got my hair done. I wasn't able to workout before heading over there, and I definitely don't want to ruin it now. So, today is officially my off day from training. I really like the style, very simple & classy. I'll hit it hard tomorrow (with a smile).

Have a lovely evening y'all.

UPDATE: Actually, after reading that Anthony C. did his infamous "W" workout after vomiting earlier today, I felt like a major slacker. So, I at least walked to the store, bought 2 gallons of water, and carried them back; it was about a .7 mile walk. It was a nice walk and good to move around after sitting all day.

Wednesday - Family Time

The nephews came over last night, so instead of working out, I spent time with them. Nothing new to post...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, 7/15 - Just Strength Training

Last night I did a pretty challenging upper body circuit with my trainer. My shoulders were a little sore from the snatches in Newport the day before. So, that was the extent of my workout. I was going to do Firepower, but ran out of time. I also was going to go to Yoga class, but was too hungry after my training session. My dedicated stretching sessions are not working out - lol. I need to get back in there soon, though.

Have a great day! I'll post today's workout later....

Monday, July 14, 2008

Finally Conquered AoS Newport!!!

Man, tonight was my night! I reattemped Newport again. The rain was coming, so I worked out in the garage tonight. I think that being out of the sun had something to do with it. Anyway, I made it through the entire workout, INCLUDING the 5-minute snatch test (a first for me!). I used my new 8kg Lifeline KB for most of the workout. I took some short breaks during a few of the rounds, but for the most part, I followed along pretty well. The most significant break was during the Punch Matrix/plank round; I skipped the middle set of the combo and did not go back to repeat it. I did bump up the weight on the swing (12kg)/hot potato (8kg) round, snatch (12 kg)/oh lunge (8kg), and the h2h clean (12kg)/dragon lunge round. For the snatch test, I backed down to the 8kg. I was dripping sweat (of course), and I got a great conditioning workout tonight.

I went back and did some interesting analysis as I wrote this post. I was curious as to how many times I've really done Newport & Providence, especially since I felt I was the best conditioned when I trained in the summer of 2006. Interestingly enough, the answer is not that much! I've only done Newport a total of 8 times from June 2006 until the present; 11 times for Providence. Granted, I was doing KB work about 2x/week (either via a DVD workout or something on my own), working with my trainer 3x/week to get ready for a show, and dieting clean, but this is still quite interesting. My theory is that if I increase the frequency of my KB workouts to 5x/week and keep a clean diet, imagine what the result will be! I think I will try that experiment in my off-season, starting in November, with some extra cardio and stretching added in. The proof is in the pudding - kettlebell training is remarkably effective for me. If I increase my training frequency and practice more regularly, it will propel me to incredible levels of fitness, conditioning, and body composition.

Reflect, train hard, and ROCK ON! (Gosh, I'm glad that I keep detailed training journals. I have all of my workouts dated back to 2002 written down. I picked up the habit of workout journaling in college when I first learned weight lifting. Now they've invented blogging and I'm hooked :-) ).

BTW - I really liked the feel of the Lifeline kettlebell. It was similiar in construction to Dragon Door & Ader. The handles weren't as slick as either DD or Ader. I liked the size of the "bulb" of the bell, as well as the thickness and feel of the handle overall. Not to mention, I thought the 8kg was so adorable :-) Almost makes me feel like a wimp for using it as my primary tool on Newport - LOL! Seriously, Newport is meant to be executed with a lighter KB, but I would still like to graduate to doing that workout with a 12kg one day.

Punch Matrix

While doing Newport today, I realized that I needed some work on the Punch Matrix and to revisit the form & intention of the exercise. I went back and watched an old AoS video clip where Anthony discussed how & why he created the matrix and gave some variations on the exercise. I'm looking forward to trying it with the kettlebells. In case you haven't seen it, here it is:

Weekend Recap

Saturday: On Saturday, I tried to do Newport out at the track, but it was wicked hot. So, I decided to go for a nice walk in the evening when it cooled off. I walked about 4.5 miles, and made sure that the route included some nice hills. I took long, deliberate strides, squeezing my glutes along the way. I enjoyed the scenic hill country view and got a good night's sleep once I got home. I started my walk around dusk and got back home just after the sun set.

Sunday: I took Sunday off and used it as a day of rest and restoration.

Today, it's Newport (finally) and then training with Jerry. I'll let you know how I make out with Newport, and I'll be using my new Lifeline Kettlebell. WHOOHOO!

Be fit!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Take time to notice the little things

Originally, I wrote this post as a simple entry on my workout today. However, after visiting the Punch forums and posting on there about goal setting, it dawned on me that I've finally reached one of the goals that I have been stressing about for the past 14 months. I achieved it when I stopped stressing out about it and just enjoyed the hard work. I've been back in my normal clothes size for about the past 7 weeks, am still losing inches, and getting closer to my "competition prep" size. I am getting back to my normal workout schedule of 5-6 days per week of activity. Although the numbers on the scale still aren't anywhere close to "normal," my body is back there. I'm feeling happier. I am loving the fact that it's summer time, and I'm able to get back to my focus on training. I feel alot like my friend Anthony described on his blog a few days ago about feeling proud of himself for working out 4 days in a row, getting closer to his normal 5. Changing jobs at work has been the turning point for me. All of the extraordinary stress that I felt has dissipated, and I am enjoying learning something new professionally. Most importantly, I'm enjoying the journey - the feeling of hard work, the joy of accomplishing goals, the pride of honoring the commitment to myself. Today has been a great day, and even though I still have a long way to go before I reach my goal of stepping on the competition stage again, I'm using this moment to sit back, smile, and be proud of myself, to love myself, to respect the hard work and dedication. Now, back to my original post :-)

7:40PM - 8:15PM - Nice, easy bike ride after work. The weather was nice, sun was going down so it wasn't quite as hot, so I rode around the neighborhoods and enjoyed the scenery. I was going to do Newport afterwards, but I just want to relax. Have a nice evening! Maybe I'll do Newport in the morning and then hit a yoga class :-).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A workout and a finisher

I'm going to append this finisher (courtsey of Crossfit Philly) to one of my workouts this week/weekend.
1 Swing
1 Burpee
2 Swings
2 Burpees

Ladder up to 10 Swings,10 burpees in under 5 Minutes. Kicka$$!!

Already feeling alot better

That yoga class last night did wonders! Although still tight, I do feel my muscles and joints are noticeably less tense. I'd planned on working out tonight, but a friend stopped by and needed my help with something. Our meeting lasted longer than I'd expected and I still have work to finish in order to prep for some meetings tomorrow. Soooo, no workout today. I do plan to get in some cardio and yoga tomorrow, though, to compensate.

Have a great evening!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Bike Ride and Bikram Yoga

5:30-6:30PM - Tonight, I rode my bike for 50 minutes on the road. I burned about 500 calories and explored a closeby neighborhood. I wanted to ride longer, but I was in a rush to get home and shower/change for Bikram Yoga. I wore my cycling shoes and didn't fall off my bike today :-) I also was able to relatively comfortably navigate through traffic without getting too scared. I was in a neighborhood that was deep in the canyons, so I encountered some major hills on my journey today. They were so steep that at parts, I had to dismount my bike and walk it until I reached a point where I felt comfortable getting back on. My fear is that I'll have to climb some steep hill, will be wearing my cycling shoes, will not generate enough force to turn the wheels, and fall over. Not to mention that I've mostly been riding on flats to get used to my bike, and this was my first real venture into hilly territory. I'll build up to it slowly :-)

7:00-8:30PM - I went to Bikram Yoga class tonight, and I am so glad that I did. My body and muscles are really tight. It's been about a year since I did Bikram, so my body isn't really used to it anymore. I'm going to try to get 3-4 sessions in per week for the next month, in addition to the rest of my training. I am horrible about doing any type of dedicated stretching on my own, and it's starting to catch up with me. I usually stretch after I workout, but I really need to get better about devoting sessions (45-60 mins) strictly to stretching. My body will thank me for it one day, and I know it will do wonders for the stress I endure throughout the day (and the long hours hunched over a computer). Overall, I had a nice workout. I'm looking forward to tomrrow, and I'm definitely going to sleep well.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Today's workout

Well, poor Jerry has a kidney infection, so I doubt we'll train together this week. That isn't such a bad thing because I'm still really sore. I did a 60 minute cycling class (endurance) followed by 25 minutes of high grade incline walking this evening after work. I think that I might take a Bikram class tomorrow night to help alleviate some of this soreness. I also plan to get in 2 days of KB training this week since I'm on my own :-)

Have a good one!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Keith Weber's Extreme KB Cardio

My trainer was sick today, so I was left to train on my own (no worries). The "Extreme Kettlebell Cardio" DVD by Keith Weber arrived today, so I decided to give it a try. I am actually really sore from Newport and softball, so I decided to only do a portion of the workout. I struggled through it - LOL. All I kept thinking was "man, I am really deconditioned with my KB training." It almost felt like taking baby steps all over again. However, I'm confident that in a few weeks, I'll be readjusted to my KBs; after all, it has been since January that I really consistently trained with them. Anyway, I digress....

Keith's DVD is nicely put together. I really like how he emphasizes left side first, as this is my non-dominant side. He also had a nice flow to the combinations, and it was definitely an intense workout. Dividing into 6 distinct workouts allows for a great deal of flexibility to either do all 6 routines in a single workout session or to allow you to mix and match or do one each day. Today I did the manmaker, part of the swing workout, and part of the core workout. This is an endurance based, follow-along workout that can be most paralleled (IMO) to AoS Newport. I'll have fun alternating between this workout and Newport. Keith has a different style than Anthony, but he is a good, motivating instructor.

For more information on this DVD, check out

I followed up my workout with some dedicated stretching and then did some housework. I hope that I'm not quite as sore tomorrow. I plan to do an endurance spin class and maybe some running (ugh!). I'm toying with the idea of doing a reverse Duathlon in October (12 mile bike, 3 mile run, 12 mile bike). To me this is a much better option than run-bike-run :-) I despise running, but I really want to participate in a multi-sport event, and I figure I can tolerate a mixture of running & biking. Since I'm not a good swimmer, triathlons are out of the question. I'm also considering doing the Livestrong ride in Austin in October. All this in addition to 3 shows...a tad risky, but you only live once :-)

Sleep well, and I'll check in tomorrow.


Kettlebells have gone mainstream...(and not for the good of the sport)

Sorry for the long title, but I was just shaking my head "tisk tisk" when I saw this video & infomercial for kettlenetics on youtube today. As KBs increase in popularity, we will see more and more poorly produced and downright dangerous instructors/videos/etc. It will put KBs in a poor light...Make sure that you are training with CERTIFIED kettlebell instructors and do your research on the instructor. None of these exercises profiled in this video are worthwhile...i have no comments...just "tisk tisk". As you train and continue in your pursuit of kettlebell greatness, try to stay true to form and true to the principles that we have been taught by the masters (any RKC or AOS Certified instructor; Crossfit instructors; American Federation of Kettlebell Lifting instructors are all good places to start...or work with someone who is training for one of these certifications)

Your thoughts/reactions?? They are killing me!! Make it stop!!

Can you do this?

Jason C. Brown of Kettlebell Athletics/Combat Sports Conditioning/Crossfit Philly often trains Lamont Lister, a pro fighter in the Philly area. Can you do this for 4 rounds??!! I actually visited Jason over Christmas and requested that he put me through one of Lamont's workouts for my birthday present. I barely survived; it was awesome :-)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Softball after 13 years!!!

I went with Jay to his work team's softball practice today. I played with the team just to get some exercise in, to enjoy the fun of athletic teamwork, and to meet some new people. I haven't played softball since high school, so I was a little nervous initially. I had a great time, but I played well also! Our team mates kept calling me an all-star - LOL. I felt great after 2 hours of practice and wanted to do some snatches (had my KB with me); the rest of the team seemed to lose focus and tire after about an hour. They all want me to play on the team moving forward. It was a great feeling! I've never considered myself to be a great sports athlete, but it did feel GREAT being part of a team again. I'm looking forward to practicing with them again next week.

Hope your Sunday is going well. I have a major suntan after today. I think that my sunblock is making my skin tan faster as opposed to blocking the sun rays :-)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Just Chilled after all on July 4

Well, today I just chilled after all. I cleaned up the house a bit, but didn't do any exercise. I decided to just be easy. I did divert from my diet, though :-( I really wanted a hot dog...dang that Johnsonville Brauts commercial!! LOL!

So, I'm going to hit it hard tomorrow and get my diet back on track. Everything in moderation....

Make it a great one!

"Go world"

I absolutely love these 2 commercials narrated by Morgan Freeman. Be inspired! Go World!

A World View of the Olympics

Kerri Strug - I vividly remember this moment

What Kettlebell Brands do you own?

I've tried a number of kettlebells on the market. My personal arsenal has the following bells & brands:
  • 1 x 9kg Power Systems
  • 1 x 12kg Power Systems (gave this one away)
  • 2 x 12kg Dragon Door
  • 1x12kg AOS (with a kettlebell buddy)
  • 1 x 16kg Ader
  • 1 x 16kg Perform Better
  • 1 x 16kg AOS (I sold this one)
  • 1 x 20kg Ader
  • 1 x 8kg Lifeline
  • 1x 24kg Lifeline
  • I've also tried a Go Fit bell at Target/Academy and a Muscle Driver bell at Play It Again Sports.
Now, please note that my comments/reviews are only my personal opinion and reflect my individual experiences with different kettlebell brands. This is just me writing out loud my thoughts/preferences in a bell. Your experiences will be different than mine; thanks in advance for letting me express my thoughts and opinions. My advice is to try different brands and find the best one that works for you; it may be a combination of different brands that is your ultimate fit.

Power Systems: These two kettlebells (9kg & 12kg) were my first two and least favorite bells. I bought them in Dec 2005 when I was just starting out with kettlebells. Power Systems was one of the cheapest on the market and had relatively reasonable shipping. Overall, these bells are not molded smoothly and have very wide handles. It's a rough bell. However, for me, these bells served their initial purpose, which was to test the waters out with kettlebells. I found a cost effective solution to trying the sport, and decided to upgrade to better bells as I got more serious with my training. I still use my 9kg (yes, Power Systems sells a 9kg and not an 8kg bell, with weight being marked in pounds on the bell). I have since given my 12kg Power Systems bell to a friend who wanted to learn kettlebells. I didn't experience better kettlebells until June 2006 when I trained at Punch Gym in Rhode Island and attended a KB workshop with Lisa Shaffer in Dallas, TX. When I tried the Go Fit bells at Target (also sold at Academy, Dicks, Sports Authority), they were quite similar in construction and handle width to Power Systems, which is why I suspect they can sell them so cheaply.
Ader: I bought 2 Ader kettlebells (16kg, 20kg) in June 2006 when I took a workshop by Lisa Shaffer. I really like the shape of the Ader, the size of the handle and the overall feel. I was told that they were very similar in construction to Dragon Door kettlebells, which I think is very true. I love my Ader kettlebells and would purchase them again in the future.
Dragon Door: DD is often known as the "big daddy" of kettlebells and for good reason. I have two 12-kg DD bells, and I have been very pleased with them. The Ader kettlebells are very similar in shape and construction. The DD bell's handle seems to fit my hand the best and the overall bell has a smooth exterior finish (at times can feel slick). I would purchase DD bells again, even though they are the most expensive. However, I would likely be frugal and content stocking my gym with Ader kettlebells as well.
Perform Better: I currently own one Perform Better kettlebell (16kg). The bulbous portion and base felt a bit small to me. I had a difficult time doing Renegade Rows with the PB bell, as the base felt small and unstable to me. It could have been difficult because I paired it with a different brand 16kg to execute the Renegade Row. I do think that I think that I will try again after removing the rubber base from the bell . Muscle driver bells reminded me of PB bells. I also did not go with the vinyl covered bell b/c I was afraid that the vinyl would just be slippery, especially since my hands and forearms sweat quite a bit when I'm working out. I bought my PB bell when PB was having their fall sale, so the price (and shipping) were reasonable.
Lifeline: When adding another bell to my collection, I was torn about adding another Ader or trying Lifeline. When I was at a workshop in 2007 with Lisa Shaffer & Mike Mahler, some of the participants had Lifeline bells and others had Ader. Although I didn't try the Lifeline bells first hand during the workshop, I did look closely at the bells construction; they reminded me quite a bit of DD. Anyway, I eventually added both a 9kg and 24kg Lifeline to my collection.  I really like the feel of the Lifeline kettlebell. It is similiar in construction to Dragon Door & Ader. The handles weren't as slick as either DD or Ader. I liked the size of the "bulb" of the bell, as well as the thickness and feel of the handle overall. I am very pleased with my smaller Lifeline bell and the 24kg bell.  I will definitely add another Lifeline bell to my collection, either another 24kg or a 28kg. The price point of Lifeline was very reasonable, and so was the shipping.
AOS: I usually love everything that AOS makes. When I attended the AOS KB Certification in June 2009, I tried the AOS bells (of course) and loved them.  When I needed a few new bells for the gym due to more having clients, I ordered three AOS bells (9kg, 12kg, and 16kg, along with a buddy).  However, when I received them, I was kind of disappointed.  The bells had gone through a redesign from the ones I used during the certification class. Instead of being unfinished, they had been powder coated with a silver finish.  It's just an aesthetic thing, but I don't like it. I was also disappointed with the 16kg bell particularly. The handle was so thick compared to my other bells. Neither myself nor my clients liked that bell, so I sold it.  I only kept the two smaller bells so that I could use them with the KB Buddy. I did find it useful when helping some of my female clients transition from the 12kg to the 16kg bell for their snatches/cleans and from the 9kg to the 12kg; it provided a good incremental step.  The handles on the smaller bells seemd okay, but the heavier bell was disappointing.  I'm not sure if the AOS bells are still this way (i.e. slightly thicker than average handles), but I probably won't buy them again.

My hamstrings are so sore

Oh my goodness....My hammies are so sore from Newport yesterday. I knew this was going to happen because my hamstrings & glutes were getting tight during the workout. I tried to do some preventive maintenance by doing a little extra stretching last night and sat in the sauna to let the heat penetrate my muscles. It could always be worse :-) My abs are also a little sore since I did the original AoS Newport DVD that has 1-min ab exercised appended to each exercise round. Crazy as it may sound, I couldn't wait to wake up today to go back to the track and do something new. I even bought a new 8kg kettlebell to continue Newport moving forward; this is something that I've been wanting to do for quite some time, as I despise my Power Systems 8kg kettlebell. I decided to try a Lifeline kettlebell this time. I'm going to post another entry on the different brands of kettlebells that I have. I'll post later about my workout for today. I had a good, long sleep today, so I'm going to be slow getting started for my workout.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

AoS Newport Revisited....My Tribute to Anthony C.

Wow, it's been a minute since I've pulled out my kettlebells and the AoS Newport workout. It was tough, but I loved every minute of it! Considering I haven't used my bells in months and Newport in even longer, I was happy that I made it through the whole workout! I took breaks along the way and did not complete the entire duration of each round, but I did it! I was sweating like crazy, and it brought me back to my intense love of kettlebell training. I was really proud of myself for squeezing the snatch test in at the end. It is 5-mins, and I finished 3-mins. I achieved a personal best record for myself, not only for continuous time, but for amazing form as well. Even though I was dog tired, I felt a rhythm doing the snatches that I've never felt before! It was so invigorating, and doing the snatches 5L/5R was really a good way to keep my momentum and flow going. I did an awesome job! I wish that I could've video taped myself while I was doing the snatch test (maybe not some other parts of the workout, though :-) ). I'm really looking forward to doing Newport again; I'll either do it on Saturday or Sunday. To me, this DVD is AoS at its finest.

As a reminder for those reading my blog, for Newport, Anthony suggests "When choosing the right kettlebell for the job, women, regardless of fitness level should start with an 8-kilo bell; men should start with a 16-kilo bell." I couldn't support this statement more! The focus of Newport is on conditioning and muscular endurance, which is counter productive when using the same sized bell used for strength gains. I remember when I first got this DVD I didn't have an 8kg bell, so I used my 12kg bell; I remember vividly how difficult that was. Maybe one day I'll progress to a 12kg bell for Newport, but for now I'll stick with my 8kg bell for this specific workout.

Earlier today, I went back to revisit my training logs from the summer of 2006, when I felt that my conditioning level was at its best. I did a mix of Newport, Providence, various HOC combinations, and just alot of conditioning activity. I've decided that I'm going to bring that back. It was a good example of how I trained (getting ready for a show) and still managed to get my conditioning drills in.

Overall, I'm feeling really good, liking my appearance, and excited about the challenge of continuing the journey. To me, the best reward in life is the feeling of hard work and accomplishing a goal. I love working out, especially in the summer!! It's a great time to reflect and revisit.

Tomorrow, I'll take a long bike ride or spinning class, and do Mike Davies' Cardio Survivor 2 as my metabolic finisher. I might through in Firepower or one of the Clinic DVD workouts.

Have a GREAT July 4th weekend!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Some Evening Recreational Riding

So far this week, I've done quite a bit of recreational riding on Black Magic. I've been using her before my strength workouts. I've been taking J's nephews out bike riding for about an hour each night. This helps me get used to my bike and gets them some exercise and bonding time with me. We've been having a great time.

This morning, I participated in an ACA hosted ride of 1.5 hours. It was mostly flat terrain, and I used my clipless pedals successfully (no falls)!! I got used to starting/stopping, successfully traversing intersections/stop signs, and learned more about proper gear shifting. It was a productive (and fun) time. I took the morning off work to allow for this excursion.

Here's my training so far this week:

Mon, 6/30:
5:30PM - Bike with nephews (45 mins)
7:30PM - Chest & Shoulder workout with Jerry

Tues, 7/1:

I was pretty tired, so I didn't strength train.
7:00PM - Bike with nephews (60 mins)

Wed, 7/2:
9-10:30AM - ACA Ride (90 mins)
6:35-7:00PM - ride around my surrounding neighborhood (sans nephews; worked up a good sweat; tried to mix flat & rolling terrain)
7:45-8:15 - back & arm circuit with my trainer
10:15-11PM - Ab Ripper X & Stretching

I also ordered the Extreme KB Cardio workout by Ken Weber, and I will plan to do that when it arrives. Tomorrow will be a leg workout with Jerry, and tonight was back & arms.

Train hard!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Meet Black Magic....

Soooo, I finally got my road bike on Thursday from the wonderful folks at Bicycle Sport Shop. I love it, and I've named her "Black Magic." But, damn it if I didn't fall off that bi*ch TWICE already!! LOL! I had clipless pedals installed since I am comfortable using my cycling shoes on my indoor spinning bike, and I'd used them on my rental road bike a few weeks back. I thought that I'd gotten over the "newbie" adjustment period since I did well on my rental bike. Well, I was WRONG! I fell the first time trying to stop/clip-out; my reaction time was good, but my foot wouldn't disengage from the cleat. I went down to the Veloway on Saturday to practice and get used to my bike in a controlled environment. I also took a Cycling Safety class on Friday night, sponsored by the Austin Cycling Association and the League of American Bicyclists. Anyway, I'm used to falling on my bike now, so I can only improve from here. I'm contemplating doing the Lance Armstrong Foundation's Race for the Cure ride in Austin in late October; it will depend on how much practice I can get in this summer.

We had a great weekend! Our nephews came over and spent the weekend with us. We had alot of fun, though it was a bit exhausting at times. Anyway, I'm looking forward to putting some more miles on Black Magic this week. I'll post some pictures of my new pride & joy!

Black Magic - she isn't exactly purple and white, but I still love her!

Wicked Seat

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good News

I have some excellent news. Jerry (my trainer) said that since I am leaning out nicely, I can add 1 day of kettlebell workouts to my regimen, light weight only. Soooo, that means that I can finally bust out AoS NEWPORT and Firepower again, and my rope conditioning as well. I am so pumped! I'm going to do Newport this week as a tribute to my brother from another mother - Anthony C. I know that it's going to kick my butt, and I can't wait! My first show is officially 12 weeks away, so it's time to get SERIOUS and FOCUSED. I can do it!!!

I'm also going to get a real road bike this week sometime so that I can start riding outside. I am hooked!! The only caveat - I must have a PURPLE bike with white handle bars :-)

On a completely random note, I just noticed how much my home gym has changed since the picture posted on the right hand side. We added some more stuff to it, so I'll have to take some more pictures and repost. It's come such a long way; I love my little workout space!

Today is a beautiful day! ENJOY IT!!!

Urban Assault Ride - Austin, TX

We participated in the Urban Assault Ride in Austin this past weekend. It was ALOT of fun and my first time on a road bike in forever. We completed in 4 hours and 15 mins. It was a team based event, in which we had to make it to 8 mandatory checkpoints around downtown Austin and 4 mystery checkpoints. We had to map our own routes, and complete challenges at each checkpoint.

We made it to all 8 of the mandatory checkpoints and 1:4 mystery checkpoints. I actually got a flat tire while we were in route to our final checkpoint, which (of course) was also the farthest away from the starting line! I "broke down" around Dean Keeton and I-35; the race starting point was at Runtex on Riverside. We proceeded to walk and push our bikes for about 10 blocks. We found a nice family at the last checkpoint who loaded our bikes onto their truck and gave us a ride back to the starting point. We also had a swimming challenge in the lake; I did horribly at that one! Swimming in the open water lake really freaked me out, and I couldn't do it!! I tried, though :-) We also were interviewed by KXAN news; we never saw the newscast, so we aren't sure if we made the final cut or not!

I can't wait until next year. I also discovered that the bike I bought didn't really fit me right; it was evident after riding it for so long. So, my mission this week is to get fitted for a proper road bike. I'll go to the kind folks at Bicycle Sport Shop; I rented a road bike from them in early May and rode on the Veloway in Austin. They were the most professional, friendly staff I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with. If I'm going to invest in good, quality bike, I'm definitely going to them!

Here are a few pictures from the event...look for the UAR coming to a city near you. There were so many people there, and it was a great event for families too. And there really are bikes, big wheels, beer, and burritos at the finish line!

Me at the beginning of the race....

The starting line

Me trying to ride a tricycle for 2-year olds (yes, this was an obstacle)

The death of my bike...

The final challenge - a big wheel and a slip & slide!! AWESOME!

Monday, June 02, 2008


WOW - I am so glad that I went to WSSC! This was my first time attending in over 6 years of teaching. I've had conflicts every year until this year, and I finally had my chance to attend. It was sooooo invigorating! I was a cycling fanatic. I tried not to overdo it. I worked hard, but I think that I succeeded in NOT overtraining. I was so tempted to attend the last day of the conference on Sunday, but that would've put me over the limit.

Day 1 - Friday, May 30, 2008
My agenda was as follows:
7-8:30AM - Pure & True Endurance: A Level Up
9-10:30AM - Stage Savvy: Becoming a Superior Spinning Instructor
1-2:30PM - Crits: Speed, Power, and Mental Toughness
4:30-5:30PM - Feel the Road: Resistance Loading and Unloading

On Friday morning, I took a 90 minute endurance ride. Later that afternoon, I rode for an hour doing a ride that simulated crits. Finally, that evening, I did a ride simulating various terrains; though the ride was scheduled for an hour, I only did 30 mins.

I also did some shopping in the spinning store and picked up a new (much needed) heart rate monitor, some new cycling shoes (also much needed), and 2 cycling jerseys. The shopping was alot of fun, and I got things that I really needed.

Day 2 - Saturday, May 31, 2008
My agenda was as follows:
7-8AM: Face Your Fears
11AM-12PM: Train Like an Ironman
3-4:30PM: Involve the Students
5-6PM: Two by Two

I slightly overslept this ride and was feeling exhausted from the day before. So, I simply observed the early morning session. I knew that I needed to save my energy for the 11-12 "Ironman" ride. I enjoyed a nice breakfast and did some walking around downtown in between sessions. Boy, am I glad I did!! That ride was just AWESOME! We simulated the Ironman bike portion in Lake Placid, NY. I observed my 3-4:30PM session because I wanted to be rested for the 5-6 ride in which my friend and master spinning instructor asked me to ride with her on stage in front of the group. Boy - that was such a RUSH!! I was so pumped up with energy that I could've rode for another hour at the end of the day!

Sunday, June 1
We celebrated my brother's 27th birthday and visited some old friends from MD. My brother and I went on a boat tour. It was a nice opportunity for some brother-sister time for us.

It was a great weekend!! I'm a little tired today from the flight, but am looking forward to getting back on track with Alwyn Cosgrove & Mike Russell's Warp Speed Fat Loss program. I wasn't able to eat the way I wanted to while I was at WSSC, so I'm looking forward to getting my routine back in place.

BTW - I am so glad that Anthony C and Jen B came to visit me in cyberspace and gave their new blog addressess. I've missed my kettlebell friends terribly, and I'm glad that we've all been able to reconnect.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fitgirl-Atx is back....

I haven't blogged in a LONG time, but I've been training hard and am getting ready for 2 shows later this year - one in August and one in October. I've been training very hard (working with my trainer). My diet is coming along; some days I'm better at following it than others. Consistency is key, so I know that I'll get where I need to be for the stage in time. The unfortunate downside of getting ready for a show is that I haven't trained with my bells since February/March timeframe. I do want to start incorporating AoS Newport into my conditioning routine starting in mid-June (once per week on Saturdays). I have a bad habit of overtraining because I like to do something challenging every day, so I'm trying hard NOT to overdo it.

I'm having a good time and my body is changing right before my eyes. Even though the scale hasn't changed a lot (about 6 pounds), my body composition is awesome. My shoulders, arms, and legs are coming out very nicely! I'm also trying some new workouts/diet from Alwyn Cosgrove for a month to shock my system. I tried a Krav Maga class on Monday night, and it was awesome. I was nervous about going since I haven't done any group conditioning work in ages, but I discovered that my endurance & conditioning are still really good. Class was a great confidence booster. It was at that class that I realized for the first time just how good I am looking. My shoulders and arms were showing nice definition, and I'm very pleased with my legs. My legs are big, but they have a very pretty shape and my musculature is starting to show nicely. I'm going to WSSC (FINALLY) next weekend and am going to have an absolute blast! It will be good to brush up on my spinning technique to bring into my classes.

I'll post some pictures soon and updates on my progress.

Until then, rock on friends.... :-)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oh my aching quads!

So I'm getting myself ready for a show in Austin in August and at least 1 more later in the year. I started working with my coach last week. We had an intense leg circuit on Friday and today I can hardly walk - lol! Oh, the joy of training hard and hitting the body in a different way. I have a feeling that I'm going to look really good come competition time. We have about 5.5 months to get ready, so plenty of time. I'll keep yall posted on how my progress is coming along; I'm anxious to see where we are in 4 weeks time.

Hope everybody's been doing well! I've been out of town the past few weekends for family events & some business related travel. When things calm down some, I'll post more often.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

It's a brighter day.....

Well, I can safely say that the funk I was in a few weeks back is officially over (and I deleted my funky post to completely eradicate bad thoughts from my mind). I realized that it was all negativity that was getting to me. I had to face facts that I haven't been training or eating as strictly as I should. I have my head on straight and my mind is totally focused. I'm not going to get on the scale for a while; it's pointless. I'll let my body composition changes denote my progress. I also realized that I am not fat. I'm strong and muscular, but far from fat! I was working out the other day and noticed muscles popping out every where. I just had to open my eyes and see for myself - notice the beautiful changes in my physique as opposed to listening to the hurtful comments of someone else. Am I exactly where I want to be? Not yet, but I'm getting there. One of the most difficult things for me about being a competitor is that you train and diet for so long, get down to a weight & size that aren't exactly normal for you, and then I have a hard time readjusting to the "normal" me.

Competition will soon come again...later this year as a matter of fact. I'll start working with my coach again in about a month. And I am confident that when he sees me, he will be very pleased with my progress. I haven't lost an ounce of muscle and even added in places where I was deficient. Yes, a little fat has been added in the process; it's only natural. When I start my competition diet (oh joy) it will all come off quickly. I just need to step back and love me for who I am -- and today is that day.

My advice to those of you struggling with self-image issues, which we ALL do from time to time, is to not let anyone else ROB you of your joy. Find at least 2 good things to say about yourself each day and embrace them. Really dig deep and identify whether or not you are working as hard as you should be or are as dedicated as you need to be. If there is something that is not balanced, then change it - that simple. I'm going to actually post some PICTURES in a few days...sort of my progress report today.

Guess what else -- I actually am working on conquering ANOTHER nemisis of guessed it -- running! I joined a beginner's running group, and I did really well on the first day! I'm going to give it a month and we'll see how I do. I enjoy and welcome the challenge. I am always excited to conquer my fears.

Lastly, I want to thank all of the wonderful friends who reached out to me when I was feeling blue. Your comments made all of the difference! Love you guys alot!!

Make it a great one! Now, I'm off to the gym!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Excuses - stop making them...and just work hard

Thanks to Jen B & Dave Whitley for the commercial. Really makes you think about your own excuses and if you let them get the best of you or if you keep moving forward. We hope it's the latter....

Improved Conditioning

In my fitness conditioning and training, I have two arch nemeses - running and jumping rope. I would prefer for not a soul to ever see me do either, but I will tolerate jumping rope with others. I will not run in front of other people, though. It's one thing that I feel I am so horrible at that it's just an embarrassment for me. I'm pretty sure it goes back to high school, but it still bothers me.

Anyway, I decided to take on jump roping the other night. I wanted to try an old 15-min jump rope routine that used to kill me (Ropesport's "Beginner" jumprope workout DVD). Well, surprisingly enough, I breezed right through it. Not only did I breeze right through it, but I also tacked on 10 minutes of the advanced routine AND the Crossfit "Annie" workout immediately afterwards. The "Annie" workout is as follows: For time - 50-40-30-20-10 of double unders & situps. Since I can't do double unders yet, I just did jump rope revolutions for the prescribed amount. I got a new speed rope and that made a big difference; I used to use a weighted jump rope for Ropesport work. Anyway, I really attribute my kettlebell training to my improved conditioning. I haven't jumped rope since Sept 2006, and I thought I was going to be spent after the fact. It feels great to be in good shape.

The other good news is that my weight is dropping quickly! In 4 weeks, I've lost 6.1 pounds. I suspect I will keep dropping quickly since I've stopped taking BC. This trend will probably continue until I get back down to my normal weight, then it will plateau. I'm feeling good and 2008 is starting off nicely!

I came down with a bad cold (fever, chills, lack of appetite) over the weekend, so I didn't train Friday-Sunday, and I definitely won't train today. I'm still feeling pretty badly, so I'm just going to focus on getting my energy back up. I just wanted to take a minute to share the good news!