Saturday, September 12, 2009

My latest fitness quest...the Versaclimber

Oh my gosh, I MUST find a Versaclimber to add to the gym. I have been looking for a new conditioning machine, as my body is so used to spinning that I'm slowly reaching the point of dimishing returns. Spinning will always be one of my favorite, challenging cardio modes, but when your body gets so used to a movement, it stops responding as well. Anyway, when I saw the Versaclimber, I knew that I had to have one! I've been on a fierce mission to find one for about 3 weeks. I've come close a few times, but still no cigar. I had a good lead come in on Friday afternoon, and I'll know on Monday if it leads to something concrete. Keep your fingers crossed!! Can you imagine doing Tabata intervals on this puppy followed by Prowler sprints?! Or, doing rounds of Versaclimber, swings, & snatches! Talk about one heck of a workout; the combinations are endless! I've only seen this machine in one gym in my life. I am taking a huge risk buying a machine that I've never personally used, but I know that this is what I need to keep pushing my fitness level. I did find someone selling a home model on Craigslist, and I drove down to San Antonio to try it out. It was brutal, and I loved it! I do know that I want a commercial model, but the home version was enough to give me a little taste and confirm my instinct. The testimonials on the Versaclimber website are incredible.

For those of you who don't know, here it is in action. Wheewwww!

Afterburn 16-week program

As you all know, I'm a big believer in keeping onesself educated, so I am always looking for material from respected industry experts like Anthony Dilugio, Alwyn Cosgrove, Rachel Cosgrove, Chad Waterbury, Joe DeFranco, Zach Even-Esh, and Craig Ballentyne. I've been in the fitness industry for over a decade, and I still love learning new things and getting new ideas.

I forgot to mention that I'm currently working on Alwyn Cosgrove's 16-week Afterburn program, in conjuction with Isabel De Los Rios' nutrition program. I've had Afterburn for a while now, but I wasn't dedicated enough to commit to a 16-week program. However, in the spirit of my last post about goals for the end of the year, I figured that completing Afterburn could be a good project for the last 4 months of the year. This is my first week, and my goodness the workouts were TOUGH! I thought that I'd breeze right through them just by reading the descriptions, that is until I realized the high rep range with heavy weights. My glutes and hammies have been sore all week - LOL. At any rate, the program is fun so far, squeezes alot of work in a short period of time, and there is enough variety to prevent boredom. It's broken down into four 4-week phases, which keeps the body guessing. I also have Alwyn's Afterburn II (12 weeks) and Warp Speed Fat Loss (4-weeks). I've done WSFL twice with good results, so I felt that I was ready for Afterburn.

I decided to use Isabel de los Rios' nutrition program entitled "The Diet Solution Program." I found out about Isabel's work from Craig Ballentyne. I bought Ballentyne's Turbulence Training program earlier this year to research, and I do incorporate some variance of the training style into my own personal workouts. At any rate, he endorsed Isabel, and I am actually quite pleased with her program thus far. I like it because it endorses a way of life-long way of eating and not a short-term diet. Of course she talks about modifying it for a specific event or time period, but the aim is so that you can achieve your nutritional goals in a healthy manner. I have been quite impressed by the literature and the done-for-you meal plans that she offers as part of the deluxe package. I'll keep you posted on how it's working, but so far, so good! I'm rarely hungry, and I've gotten back to the disciplined journaling that I followed when I was getting ready for shows. The old will power is back, and I'm excited to see it in action.

Here's to health!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The end of the summer

Well, summer is coming to a close; 4 months left in this year! I'm actually looking forward to it! I have alot planned for the fall. I'm furthering my education, and my ultimate goal is to get myself back in shape to compete next April! I'm striving to go back to figure, which will be a major task. However, my system has been through so much over the past 2 years, I may not achieve that goal. But, I am feeling strong and mentally focused, so I will get darn close. My goal for the end of this year is to lean out and have incredible end of year holidays!

What are you working on in the last 4 months of the year? How will you challenge yourself? What new goal have you set? Whatever you choose, the important thing is to choose one and work toward it every day until you get there. Don't give up! There will be days when you want to, but you just have to keep going. If you mess up, acknowledge it and keep going.

I was reflecting today on when I dropped 30 pounds for my figure competitions back in 2004. As much as I enjoy looking at the pictures of that particular goal, I really think back on the dedication and focus that it took to get there. For me, that was the most admirable part. It took over a year of strict dieting and hard training to make it to that stage,and it was a goal that I never thought I could attain. The ironic thing is that when I competed in figure, I placed horribly. However, placing wasn't the important thing to me. My focus was to get in the best shape of my life and enjoy showing it off on stage! That mission was definitely accomplished. Contrast that to when I competed in bodybuilding 2 years later. I placed first, but I felt like the challenge wasn't nearly as tough as getting ready for figure. I am so proud of my 1st place trophy, but I wanted that feeling of attaing a goal that was such a high bar to reach. My body has been through alot over the past 2 years, and I don't know if I'll ever get there again...but I'm finally ready to commit and say that I'm damn sure going to try!

Have a great rest of 2009!! I'll check-in periodically. I'm working with more clients, and simultaneously updating my ATX Fitness Underground blog, so I don't always have time to update my personal blog. I look forward to seeing what y'all are up to as well.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Flywheel Fitness

Austin has a new indoor rowing facility called Flywheel Fitness. I love to support other local fitness businesses. This facility is located in South Austin and is about 1000 sqft. I wanted to attend the "novice" class to make sure that I had proper rowing form, as I've never been taught professionally. Let me just say that I had a wonderful 45-minute workout.

I took the novice class with Sara (the owner). I had a wonderful time! Sara is an incredibly personable and knowledgeable instructor. She was very attentive and encouraging. She gave me several useful pointers on improving technique without being overwhelming. I highly recommend taking a class at Flywheel Fit. The facility is very clean and inviting, and the rowers are the absolute best (Concept 2). If you are in the Austin area, please suport this wonderful facility! I live in the Northwest part of the city and made the effort to go down south to welcome them into Austin. They just had their grand opening party this past Friday to celebrate one-month of being in business. Thank you, Sara! I had a great time!