Tag Archives: muscle workout

How to Increase Your Pull-Up Game

Pull-ups can be one of the most difficult exercises–especially for adult-aged women. It’s also funny and frustrating that they are also one of the most simple exercises out there. If you’ve been following us on our summer fitness journey, you know that one of my summer goals is to do four pull-ups in a row. Right now, I’m at two. However, I’m doing grueling workouts (still feeling it everywhere) in order to get to that goal. Do the exercises below to increase your pull-up game (if you’re brand new to pull-ups, we have something for you too!). Remember that we’re going for strength here so keep the number of reps low

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A Review of Neila Ray Workouts

Now this may be a review and critique of Neila Ray’s workouts, but I want to in no way de-value her workouts. I think what she is doing is great. She is a graphic designer that puts workouts into a friendly and accessible way. I love when people get other people to workout. The action to help other strive for health should always be appreciated. That being said, I wanted to give you how I felt about eight of her workouts, how they treated me, and just a basic review.

Neila Ray likes to put workouts into themes. The ones that my friend, Jamie, sent me are pretty much Superhero workouts with the exception of Jedi and Stormtrooper. I did these eight workouts as a workout challenge, doing one after the other. I didn’t exactly see how the exercises related to their respective superheroes, but I was game to try it. All of them did not require weights which is great for people who don’t have a gym or home gym. Again, I never want to diminish people trying workouts, I am simply giving my own take.

Day 1: Flash

I have no knowledge about the superhero, Flash, so I cannot comment on how the exercises relate to him. But I am assuming it has something to do with speed. This was surprisingly one of the toughest workouts of all eight. The high knees with the other exercises was a difficult combination and definitely left me gasping for more air and sweating. For me, un-weighted squats almost have no effect on me since I’m used to squatting 95lbs or so. A little repetitive with pushup/plank position.

Day 2: Jedi

Now those of you who know me personally, know that I am a Star Wars geek. So obviously I was especially interested in this workout and doubly critical, as well. I enjoyed the added balance into the mix as well as the woodchoppers like swinging a lightsaber. This definitely wasn’t one of the toughest, but it was probably one of the most interesting and unique as most others are repetitive. Don’t worry, Hungry and I are coming out with our own line of these workouts as we see fit (ha-ha). I’m not sure if the Force was with this one.

Day 3: Batman

Lots of core in this one, which I wasn’t too upset about. I was feeling pretty sick the night I did this (can you say caffeine overdose?),  but I was proud of myself when I pushed until the very end of all sets. Again, not feeling normal squats. This was definitely one of the more enjoyable workouts. During this challenge, I really missed my normal heavy strength training. Repetitive circuit after circuit was getting to me! I definitely approve of this one, though. I can see how Batman needs to have a strong core as he doesn’t have any real superpowers, but there certainly could’ve been some tweaks to this.

Day 4: Thor

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In the middle of a push-up

I’m a huge fan of Thor. Thor always reminds me of Chris, in a way. This was an extremely repetitive workout. I’m a fan of supersetting exercises, but usually using different muscle groups so those muscle groups don’t get overused and thus not trained to their full extent. I was not feeling the pushup/plank position over and over. I definitely don’t see how this relates to Thor, the superhero character. It was a good workout, shoulders and arms felt it, but not my favorite at all.

Day 5: Spider-Man

Boy do I hate plank jumps. Again, not the most fun, but an effective workout. The only one I connected to Spider-Man, were obviously the Spider-Man push-ups, and perhaps the climbers and plank jumps. This was another repetitive workout. What I don’t quite understand is how she decides how many sets there are. Some of the hard workouts have 10 sets while others have 7. Shrug.

Day 6: Stormtrooper

Ohhhh Stormtroopers. An accurate workout would be target training, amirite? I honestly have no clue how this connects in anyway to the Stormtrooper. But that aside, let’s continue to the workout. This was absolutely one of the easier ones, much better for beginner fitness participants. I enjoyed doing the kicking, but Stormtroopers never really have to kick. Otherwise, it were pretty similar exercises to the other workouts, with that repetition of the plank position over and over.

Day 7: Arrow

No idea who Arrow is, Chris suggested it may be “Green Arrow.” So I will cut to the chase and just review the workout. An embarrassing slight fear of mine is box jumps. I do them, yes, but I don’t like them. I need to train more with them to get over my fear. This was a great, tough workout. Probably the most advanced since it had box jumps and pull-ups. My rear delts and back were sore the next day. I didn’t enjoy it, but it was a great workout.

Day 8: Wolverine

Didn’t really see how this related, except for perhaps all the jumping stuff and raised leg push-ups for raw strength. This one actually wasn’t too hard. Again, by this point I was kind of sick of these workouts. As you can see, she heavily recycles all her exercises. It was a good workout, but there are many things I would do differently. But I always go all the way.

Before I summarize, I want to underline once more that you should try these workouts! Even if they weren’t my favorite, I love that she’s making fitness and working out more accessible to the public. It’s so important to hook people however you can into improving their health. I definitely raise my glass to Neila Ray. All in all, her workouts were simply too repetitive for me. I missed weighted exercises and was sick of all her plank-styled moves. I think it could be better shaken up with different exercises in a different order. You will absolutely see themed workouts homemade from yours truly (with hopefully our graphic designer, Mandy, who designs our logos and more) based on superheroes and others we know and love. The thought excites me. I love accepting and dominating workout challenges. Try these workouts to stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Kitties on a bed

Kitties on a bed

September Goodies: Articles Worth Reading

Through my work, I do a lot of research into health, fitness, nutrition, and other similar articles. It’s good to stay on top of your game in the industry and it’s always important to know everything you can. These articles are really great in relaying a wealth of information and I thought that many of you would appreciate these reads as they have valuable stuff in them!

"Always"...stay hungry and fit for knowledge!

“Always”…stay hungry and fit for knowledge!

For the graceful “agers”…

“How to Get Super Fit at Any Age

On certain eating fads…

“How to Really Eat like a Hunter-Gatherer: Why the Paleo Diet is Half-Baked”

For the fitness buffs…

“Strength Vs Toned: The Truth about Gender-Specific Workouts”

“Ask Well: Eating Before Exercise”

“Doubling the Daily Allowance of Protein Intake with Diet and Exercise Protects Muscle Loss”

“How Does Heat Affect Fat-Burning?”

“10 Ab Training Mistakes You Need to Stop Making”

“Stay Cool, Stay Thin?”

Surprising fitness facts…

“Watermelon Juice Relieves Post-Exercise Muscle Soreness”

“Why A.C.L. Injuries Sideline So Many Athletes”

“How Exercise Can Help Us Learn”

New, cool fitness gadgets…

“Pocket-Sized Sensor Gives Instant Fat Burning Updates”

Recipes worth trying…

“Homemade Vegan ‘Honeycomb'”

“Baked Tomato Bruschetta”

“Almond-Crisped Peaches”

Chris with an awesome Mexican post-workout feast meal

Chris with an awesome Mexican post-workout feast meal

Hope you enjoy these articles, I sure did! Let me know which ones you like the best! Use these articles to stay…hungry and fit! 

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Never Compare to Others in the Gym

Never ever compare yourself to others in the gym. Heck, don’t compare yourself to others in other parts of life, too! I have always had trouble with this. I’m a competitive person and also a critical person. I’m very tough on myself and expect the best. This can be a deadly combination if you let your focus stray outside yourself. It can initiate a viscous self-hate cycle where you never achieve anything you want to and always harp on yourself for doing something wrong or being weak. Don’t do this. 

Creep shot of Chris' back from last night's workout...spoiler: he's not doing a back exercise

Creep shot of Chris’ back from last night’s workout…spoiler: he’s not doing a back exercise

I typically workout with men…as in Chris and some of our friends. This makes it doubly important not to compare yourself to who you may be working out with. I’m not saying to not draw inspiration or motivation from others–that is most important! It is great to have a partner who works hard and keeps you working hard as well. However, if it comes to a point where you’re comparing your strength, body composition, or speed to that person, it can get rather unhealthy. Even past unhealthy–dangerous. If I tried to compete with Chris on any strength exercise, tried to match his squat, I’d be snapped like a twig from the weight.

Triceps shot from a recent workout

Triceps shot from a recent workout

It’s important to understand your strengths and limitations before you barge into a workout. Are you ready for that heavy weight? Are you reaching too high? You need to re-evaluate why you’re working out and what you’re working out to. Write down your goals and write a healthy, safe way to get there. Sure, I want to get back into lifting heavy, but I’m not going to jump into huge weight right away. That’s a ticket to injury. I may be comparing myself to other strong-lifters and wanting to go farther faster, but I am me, and this is where I’m at right now. I’ve taken long steps to realizing this and saying this to myself. Understand who and where you are and understand how you can go forward.

Back shots, before and after

Back shots, before and after

If I compared myself to all the expert climbers in Boulder, I’d feel absolutely down in the dumps, angry and disappointed. However, I’ve only been climbing for months compared to them. Why on Earth would I compare myself to them? If you let yourself get caught up in the emotion of envy and self-hate, you aren’t going anywhere with your fitness goals. I remember a time when several workouts have been ruined by my bad attitude of comparing to others and my mood goes to the sharks.

Leg shot from a workout a little bit ago

Leg shot from a workout a little bit ago

Learn from this. Don’t compare to others around you. Compare to yourself. What did you do yesterday? What can you do today? Challenge yourself. Work hard. Train with a purpose and never, ever give up. Stay focused on yourself to stay hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

double head kitty pic

double head kitty pic

Intro to the Barstarzz

You may have seem them walking through the streets or parks using public structures as equipment for training. You might have been walking through the subway and seen one of their videos at that sketchy shop that sells everything from candy to underwear. Or you probably saw their crazy videos on YouTube and told yourself you would never be able to do what they were doing.

The Barstarzz is an international team of individuals that use creative calisthenics in order to stay in shape mastering their own body weight while building a natural looking but ripped aesthetic. I remember watching my first “ghetto workout” years and years ago when YouTube first started. It might have even been before that when I saw Hannibal for King hanging on monkey bars in the New York City playgrounds with his 8-pack and bulging muscles for minutes at a time. But he wasn’t just hanging there… he was doing pull ups, chin ups, muscle ups, dips, push ups, levers and every other body weight exercise under the sun. It was inspiring.

Eventually when I started going to the school in the Bronx, I found myself at the same parks in the bad parts of town, playing basketball, sprinting around the track and hitting up the monkey bars or any other piece of round metal that I could. It was tough being 6′ tall because many of the bars were much shorter in those playgrounds but I had to get creative and learn to contort my body. When I started at about 155-160 pounds it was easy to hold myself up with the strength I developed from sports but at that point I had never lifted weights enough to make an impact.

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About three years later of serious training in the pool and the weight room for D1 swimming, I was the same height but packed on 65-70 pounds, topping out at 225 pounds. Even though my body fat percentage never increased (I entered school at about 9% and when I hit 225 I was actually about 6%, but usually in the 8-12% range during the regular season) it became so hard to manipulate and control all that weight on those bars with my long arms. Nevertheless, I always kept body weight exercises in my workouts. (That mostly included a lot of core work, swimming obviously, pull ups, dips, and push ups.) It was hard to focus on a single type of workout as I trained how I wanted but also how I needed to as well.

Now that’s not an issue and I have been watching more videos of the Barstarzz online. The movement has grown to an international level and guys that weren’t known years ago are know representatives of the group. I am subscribed to the group on YouTube and follow some of them on Instagram. As the movement has grown and more people are participating, their workouts and exercises have become more creative and inspiring.

And THAT is the reason why this article is being written! Not because I want to share my background of controlling my own body weight on a small scale, more so because I want to share the Barstarzz and what they do with anyone who is not familiar with them. I want to share it with you all because they are inspiring. They inspire individuals that can’t afford to pay for memberships to gyms and supplements. They inspire people who walk by them on the street. They can inspire everyone. There are Barstarzz followers out there that are sentenced to a life in a wheelchair, but the idea of creative calisthenics allows most of the population the opportunity to exercise, stay in shape, create a great aesthetic, and do all of that in a way that fits their needs and lifestyle. If you check out their YouTube page, you will see some great stories about who they have helped.

The greatest aspect of the Barstarzz is the support within their community. A lot of bodybuilders love to put other people down to make themselves feel better, powerlifters in different weight classes sometimes look down on the smaller and weaker guy, athletes come in all levels from amateur to professionals, but the Barstarzz truly want to see every first timer with a great attitude learn to muscle up and human flag one day. They travel the globe and United States running clinics to help get everyone started. And they actually stress technique in order to prevent injury and properly perform the movements. Crossfit is a great form of exercise but there are so many “bad coaches” (there are for everything, but Crossfit can be very dangerous) out there that the risk of injury is high. From my experience, I find the Barstarzz to be different, but they are just the face of this movement. People have been working out creatively using nothing but their own bodies and some tree branches or bars for hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands of years.

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So look up these masters of creative calisthenics, get some ideas and SAFELY stop by a local park with some good bars in order to see where you hang. Make sure to bring a friend for safety reasons and also because it’s always more fun with someone else! Hungry and Fit approves of the Barstarzz and their workouts as a great way to stay… hungry and fit!

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Gym Reviews: Ironhouse Gym (Mason City, IA)

This product is a result of the work of the worker and not the place they are working. A true talent can create without any tools or resources because they make everything work by themselves. But some nice equipment and a great working environment can really help maximize those results sometimes! In Northern Iowa, about two hours from Des Moines and Minneapolis, lies Mason City, the home of the Music Man. It’s a large town with a small population but it has one of the best gyms in the country that no one knows about. Welcome to Ironhouse Gym.

Outside of the building

Outside of the building

It is what you would expect due to the name. A small building made of sheet metal that absorbs the extreme temperatures and weather conditions of Northern Iowa, but you would never know that while inside because of the great temperature control. I’m not one who cares how hot or cold it is where I workout but it’s nice for other people who have those needs. Another major perk is that the facility is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you’re a member and you have a keycard, then you can key in whenever you want. This is the kind of place I would love to have to myself at 2:00 a.m. although all of our workouts were mid-morning. The three days we were there it certainly wasn’t busy during those normally peak times, but it wasn’t empty either. All kinds of people were working out, but no one that unnecessarily threw weights and stacks around. They actually are pretty strict with behavior, which I can appreciate. If you’re deadlifting twice your body weight and need to drop it, okay I get it. Lately however, guys at our gym in Boulder (big guys) have been tossing the 35s on flat chest press like they were lifting 140s. Oh well.

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Speaking of equipment, Ironhouse has it all. I don’t want to tell you what they have because it’s like a spoiler in a good story. However, I will say that the dumbbells do not go very heavy. I think the heaviest were in the 120-140 lb range. I would expect up to 200 in such a great place but that’s fine! There are plenty of other ways to get your heavy lift on here. Full and half racks, roman chairs, captain chairs, wide chest press, elevated stand for back exercises, standing shrug machine, tons of plate loaded stuff, lots of cable and stack based machines, every bench you need, places for pullups and dips, tons of cardio equipment, and more and more and more.

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I was like a kid in a candy shop. I wanted to do something on every machine because no place in Boulder has anything like this. The only gym I have found in Colorado that can compare so far is Armbrust Pro Gym where Phil Heath trains. The amount of cable based machines with stacks is ridiculous. They have nearly 5 machines just for triceps in that section alone. It’s absurd and everything is this bright firehouse red, which is awesome. I want to go back!

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The dressing rooms are modest and the lockers are on the floor. There are no showers but who needs those anyway. There is also a supplement and apparel store attached to the gym that is open during normal business hours. They have great deals on great supplements and I bought this awesome tank the second that I saw it. They also have an honor-based mini-store in the gym itself for when the store is closed. If you need a pre, intra, or post workout you can grab it out of the mini-fridge and throw some cash in the cash box if you’re an honest man or woman. You can buy belts, lifting straps and other gear too if you need it. They have everything you NEED and a ton of stuff you WANT.

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We did a push day, lower body day, and a pull day while we were there and it was a blast. Check out the website or leave a comment if you have any questions but if you need the best gym in Northern Iowa and maybe even a greater area around that, Ironhouse Gym in Mason City, Iowa is your place. Bring one to Boulder! Bring one everywhere! Very nice employees, awesome facilities, great products, and the best equipment makes Ironhouse Gym an easy place to help you stay hungry and fit!

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5 Ways to Stay Focused on Your Goals

If you’re one of our followers, you know I’m going through contest prep right now. It’s been a 6-week contest of cutting fat and building lean muscle, trying to create a “transformation.” Since my willpower week, the clean eating has been a cinch. Well, except when I went to Iowa for family reunion and had ice cream on a daily basis. After that vacation, it was hard to get myself as motivated as I was beforehand. I still followed a good eating plan and exercise routine but I wasn’t as into it, so I’d fall into some bad habits–mostly, it’s picking at food I shouldn’t have. We all sometimes have trouble staying focused on our goals and here are some tips to stay on track

1. Set your phone background to something motivational. I know what I want and I know how I can get it. But there’s always the gap of emotion, laziness, and impulse. This is a way to bridge that gap. Take a photo that inspires you, could be a picture of a physique you want or a place you want to get to. Whatever your goal is. Email it to your phone and set it as your background so that every time you look at it (and we all know our phones are with us 24/7). I even went and added some text to mine to remind me of my bad habit and stop my hand from snatching a little piece of something.

HOPE solo inspiration

A great motivator for me

2. Go back to the first image, post, “thing” that started you on this path. We all become inspired to complete a goal, one way or another. For me, for this goal, I was inspired by the contest page. Chris showed me the contest and he thought I could do well, maybe even win. I never thought I could win (okay maybe before I saw all the rest of the people joining), but his confidence in me and my imagination of what I could  transform my body into. It was a chance to test my willpower, to see how hard I could work. I look at that page and I feel those same feelings and I become inspired again.

3. Imagine yourself at the end. This is a huge one for me. I can feel tired after a day’s work, I can feel lazy, and make up some excuse of why I shouldn’t go 100% that day. But all it takes for me is to imagine myself at my completion, imagine what I can become, and that inspiration pops right up again. If your goal is to save enough money for a vacation to Greece, imagine yourself on the beach. If your goal is to lose those x number of pounds, imagine what you will look like, what you will feel like. I always like to imagine how strong I will become, mind, body, and spirit.

Actually developing some abs

Actually developing some abs

4. Set a schedule on your calendar. Whether you have a smart phone or a hard calendar (we have both), plan the days of your week. I used to do this a lot during college when I set up training sessions with my friends. And for this last week of the contest, I am scheduling my workouts each day. You don’t have to schedule all the way down to what exercises you’re going to do, but a general plan. Maybe back and biceps with a little cardio on Monday, Yoga and HIIT training on Tuesday, and so forth. Put it into your calendar (it’d be great if you could do reminders and alerts with your smart phone if you have one) and put the times too. Make what you want a priority, and that means making solid time for yourself.

Set a date!

Set a date!

5. Track your results. Whether that means calculating body fat percentage or watching your savings account go up, TRACK IT. Maybe you don’t see a difference (though you probably will), keep reality-based checkpoints that you can measure with. I hadn’t measured for a while and I finally did, finding that I had lost 2% body fat. It’s a great re-motivator if you feel like you’re hitting a plateau or sliding away. Find some way to track your results and goal, no matter what it is.

Seeing progress

Seeing progress

Those are 5 simple things you can do anywhere, anyhow. If you feel yourself sliding, try one of these tricks. They are sure-fire to keep you hungry and fit! 

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Kitties from the other side of the window

Kitties from the other side of the window

Building Muscle & Losing Fat (Myths of Fitness)

Myths of Fitness might not be the greatest name for this series but it’s all we have for now. The whole reason that I made up such a boring and vague name comes from my immediate desire to spread this information. Now, I am sure that we have said this before, but it IS possible to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. Here I will explain it shortly without getting into detail about the scientific and specific aspects that are better explained through some links below. This is a better explanation for people who want to know the truth and those links provide the better explanations for those who want to know the reasons that make it true.

Hittin da gym in Iowa

Hittin da gym in Iowa

First and most importantly, you as an individual need to figure out what your goal is! The reason why I have a general problem with P90X, Insanity, Total Immersion Swimming, and other similar programs that are products you need to pay for is because they act like these programs are the solution to everyone’s needs. This obviously is not the case since all individuals interested in getting in better shape are different anatomically, physiologically, psychologically, etc. Basically, everyone is physically and mentally different from everyone else. So you need a program that caters specifically to your needs. While I have many problems with those products the one reason why I do like their popularity is that they are helping get people off of the couch. (Just be careful that once you get off the couch you don’t get hurt because it’s in the nature of some of those programs to accidentally let that happen.) But my rants about those products, triathlons, obstacle races, and Crossfit will come at another time. (It will be a “the good, the bad, and the ugly.”)

Going back to how I started the last paragraph… what is your goal? If you want to be massive then your goal is hypertrophy and mass gain. If you want to be super lean then you’re on the other side of the spectrum. If you want to maintain your appearance, it’s another different story. Professional bodybuilders, pro athletes, endurance athletes, martial artists, dancers, professional eaters, and everyone else on this planet should take different approaches to reaching their goals and this is where we come back to that myth of not being able to build muscle and lose fat at the same time.

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If you focus on one goal (I struggle with this) then it is typically easier to achieve. Or at least you can achieve it quicker. Bodybuilders go through a bulking cycle where they pack on extra mass and fat in order to help their muscles go through hypertrophy. Once they have achieved their desired size in terms of specific muscle groups, they continue to exercise rigorously while cutting. While they are in a cutting cycle, they will lower their body fat and mass significantly while maintaining a significant amount of their hypertrophic progress in their muscles. That is the end result of what you see when you watch the Olympia or the Arnold Classic. I won’t go into significant detail about their diet and supplementation other than the fact that they try to eat more calories while bulking and a caloric deficit while cutting. This is the optimal way to maximize gains in a mere aesthetic manner.

However, if you are more interested in building “functional” muscles (don’t take me using functional literally. Every workout leads to the growth of functional muscle. Some would argue that some forms are more “functional” or useful than others) then you should consider find what program suits you best. Everyone can be classified as a mesomorph, ectomorph, or endomorph. (See our old glossary of fitness terms for an explanation.) In order to find the perfect mix of macronutrients and exercise in order to build muscle and lose fat you need to go through something called… trial and error. I cannot be convinced that there is a single “adonis ratio” that calculates every person’s needs equally. We are all far too different. You can hire “coaches” to help you and guide you but be careful and make sure they have your best interests in mind. You might hear of a coach telling a client to eat under 20 grams of fat a day. Please do not listen to them. You need fat to control hormone production and for hundreds of other functions. But that is another post we’ll talk about at another time.

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Bottom Line: You can build more muscle if you are just trying to build muscle. You need the excess calories and other factors to help you gain mass. You can cut more fat is you are just trying to cut fat. You need the caloric deficit and other factors to help lose fat. However, if you are interested in doing both at the same time… you can. Obviously it isn’t possible to maintain a caloric surplus and deficit at the same time but for beginners, overweight individuals, and exceptional people it is more likely to be able to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Also, depending on your macronutrients, you can “build muscle” (in various ways, not mass necessarily) while on a slight caloric deficit or a caloric balance. You won’t build quite as much muscle or lose quite as much fat, but you can still be efficient and help reach YOUR goals. Don’t listen to anyone else since you have YOUR goals and it is YOUR body. My goal right now… be happy in life. If I want ice cream then I’m having ice cream. And you should do the same because happiness is a key factor in staying hungry and fit.

Gettin' some Frisbee Golf on

Gettin’ some Frisbee Golf on

Here are two great links to two great individuals that I look up to in the scientific side of the fitness industry. Jim Stoppani provides individuals with hundreds of phenomenal workout programs… many for free. Congratulations to Dr. Layne Norton in the birth of his son. Best of luck to your family.

http://www.cutandjacked.com/CutAndJacked-Ask-Dr-Layne-Norton

http://www.jimstoppani.com/home/questions/187

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Ultimate Chest Workout – Machine Militia Meetup

Last Thursday morning, after sleeping about zero hours for two nights in a row, amidst an absurdly busy 70-hour work week, I “woke up” at 4:30 a.m. in order to travel down to Wheat Ridge, Colorado in order to meet an expert in the fitness industry. Marc “The Machine” Lobliner of Tigerfitness.com and iSatori (A Golden, CO based supplement company) was hosting a meet up at Armbrust Pro Gym.

Armbrust Pro Gym in Wheat Ridge is the home of Phil Heath and many other professional bodybuilders, including Alina Pope. Let me start by thanking Armbrust for letting us all work out that morning. It was the best weight lifting and strength training facility I have seen in Colorado and one of the best in the country. If you ever have the opportunity, stop by for a workout. I hope to return in the future. It isn’t too far from Boulder. It is clean, well-organized, well-run and the equipment is legitimately top of the line.

David Sandler, iSatori’s Director of Science and Education, was accompanied by some other iSatori representatives. I would like to thank him and the company as well for helping put this together. I left early so I’m not sure what happened at the end of the workout and I have not yet finished watching the YouTube videos of the event. David has put together some great natural products and I might even sell some of their products in the future. They stand apart from competition in the industry by offering more natural supplements. I think they could be extremely popular in Boulder, Santa Monica and other health-conscious cities. I will keep you all informed on my relationship with them.

The real reason I decided to wake up so early and train chest for a second time in 72 hours was because of Marc. Tigerfitness is one of my favorite online supplement and fitness equipment stores. They offer products you cannot find anywhere else, including Marc’s own “Machine” Whey and Drop Factor. Fit is currently using that same whey in her week long Spartacus challenge. Marc is the CMO of Tigerfitness, a pro heavyweight bodybuilder, the CEO of his own supplement company, and the vice president of the ANBF. Here are three of the reasons I dragged myself down there.

The protein I'm using

1. I wanted Marc to write Fit a motivating note in one of his books. He did it without a second thought and I appreciate that greatly. Whether it’s helping her or not, I think she was happy that I got it done so it had to have been beneficial in some way. It reads: “Alana, winning contests is not a game. ML

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2. I wanted to introduce Hungry & Fit to Marc and his 60,000 plus subscribers and fans online. I tried a cheap plug while they were filming me doing cable flyes and asked him jokingly if it would make it onto YouTube. He said of course. I thought it wouldn’t happen but Marc seems to be a brutally honest person and sure enough… it made it. Hopefully this will help spread the word about what we are doing here. Although we are not aspiring professional bodybuilders we are all in a similar industry.

3. Tying into the last point, I wanted to ask Marc about professional physique competitions. While I have no interest in becoming a professional bodybuilder, I am interested in earning a pro card in natural physique competitions. I asked him what organization I should involve myself with and as I expected he answered the ANBF. Unfortunately, the majority of their events are on the East Coast, but if I ever return home there will be plenty to do. I can always travel as well, if I feel I am ready to compete and win, of course.

Basically, we all met up and split into groups. You can see this all on his YouTube video by following the link below. I recommend subscribing to his channel for great information about anything related to fitness. He knows his stuff, obviously. He’s also a very honest family man and although the language isn’t always G-rated, I don’t mind. The substance is worth it and it’s entertaining.

Marc and I

Marc and I

Despite training chest on Tuesday and being extremely sore and in recovery mode, I pushed myself relatively hard. Although I wasn’t putting up 365 for reps like in 2010/2011 I was proud to push 245 on the incline, despite a spot from Marc that gave me a ton of help. Marc said that he got the workout from the great Dorian Yates while they trained in Australia. Once again, see the video for the workout. Otherwise here is a quick summary of what I did.

Incline Bench 3 sets working up, one main set to failure

Flat Chest Press Machine (looked like a transformer) – 2 sets to failure

Incline Dumbbell Flyes2 sets to failure

Cable Flyes – 2 sets to failure

Then I left to make it to work right on time. Not a minute early. I believe they threw in some biceps after. I hope I didn’t miss any free giveaways but I can always buy another blender bottle or t-shirt. Still would have loved to stay until the end but life is life and work is work. All in all I am very grateful to all the parties involved for the opportunity and remember, staying hungry and fit IS NOT A GAME!

The link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ8v0zfkquk&feature=c4-overview&list=UUzzYnZ8GIzfB1Vr3hk2Nj9Q

Oh, please ignore the comment section below the video. YouTube viewers are known to “talk” quite a bit and it doesn’t bother me one bit. I have seen that problem grow ever since I joined YouTube the year it was introduced. There is an unfortunate lack of support and positivity in that community.

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Fit is Entering a Contest

Some of you may have heard of BodyBuilding.com. No, I am not trying to become a body builder (though, that is what all of us do when we exercise or even eat–building our bodies in different ways), but I am trying to win a contest, and more importantly, show myself up. This is to prove myself that I can always be better than what I am and that I can use willpower to achieve whatever I want. I am entering the Strong to the Cor Challenge sponsored by Cellucor (a popular supplement company).

Buff chicas

It is a contest for already fit people (though I’ve seen some men with 27% body fat…not exactly “fit” for men) to get extremely fit. This means cutting down fat and building up muscle. If you know me already, I’m fit, but there’s always room for improvement. I want to get stronger, faster, and more capable. I have Hungry as my coach and I could ask for no better as he knows me best and also happens to live with me.

Me during a pull workout a few months ago

There’s a $10,000 1st place grand prize (in additional to like 2k worth of supplements and products) with some 2nd and 3rd place prizes too. And it’s 10k to both a female and a male. But that’s not why I’m doing it. I don’t think I’ll actually win the grand prize in the face of all the other females who are doing it–especially those starting with 27% body fat and able to get such a larger transformation. I’m doing this, like I said, to prove to myself that I can push myself farther than I ever have before and really see what my body can do.

Recent arms workout

Recent arms workout

It’s a 6-week transformation, ending in early August. Tomorrow, I truly start. For the past 10 days, I did a cleanse to prime the body and now it’s ready to kick butt. So today was my in-between day, eating whatever I wanted to savor it all up. Pancakes for breakfast, big cheesy burrito for lunch, and pizza and ice cream for dinner. I had been off dairy for 10 days so today was a goooood day. Tomorrow, I start a week of 4 water protein shakes a day, doing what the cast from Spartacus did to get lean and ripped. It’s probably going to be one the hardest tests of my willpower yet. But, I’m excited for it. It will be a week of hell, but I believe I can do it if I set my mind to it.

photo 3 (3)

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So support me! I know that sometimes the killer workouts and nutritional plan are gonna make me want to quit, but I want to see how far I can go. Here is my BodySpace, I’ll try to be updating as much as possible. After watching Man of Steel, I’d love to be paid to workout every day and prime my body to become a superhero, but we can’t have it all, right? So with you guys supporting me and Chris there for me every step, I believe I can get far. Let’s do this! Time to be hungry and fit! 

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria found herself in a doll house in the house we're sitting at

Nymeria found herself in a doll house in the house we’re sitting at