Shoulders & Arms Sculpting Circuit

Shoulders & Arms Sculpting Circuit

3 sets of Side Lateral Raise Dropsets

4 weights of 10 reps each

15lb Dbs for 10 reps
12lb DBs for 10 reps
10lb DBs for 10 reps
8lb DBs for 10 reps
= 1 set

4 sets:
20 Upright Rows
10 Front Raises

3 sets:
15 Bicep Curls
15 Shoulder Press

3 sets:
15 Straight Bar Bicep Curls
15 Overhead Tricep Extensions



Post-Competition... What Do I Do Now??

Post-Competition… What Do I Do Now??

Congratulations! You have spent the last 12 weeks (or more) – that’s 84 days / 2,016 hours / 120,960 minutes –  preparing for your competition. You put in the work and got on that stage and accomplished your goal!

You have finally adapted to your continuous routine of — waking up to your morning alarm before the crack of dawn, going to do cardio, eating, chugging water, going to work, eating, going to train, chugging water, eating, going home to meal prep, chugging water, eating, going to sleep, and then repeating it all over again. Every thought, every rep, every waking moment has been dedicated to one and only one thing – bringing your best physique possible to that stage…

When the show day comes and goes…. Afterward it can feel like you were just let out of prison or some type of intense military boot camp training… you’re completely lost with your new found freedom because your routine is suddenly broken!

So now what?! You’ve been so focused on achieving THAT PERFECT STAGE PHYSIQUE while tracking your progress and counting down the days… that now you aren’t quite sure what to do next.

Let me just say…. That this feeling is totally normal and I’ve been there MANY times. Personally, it took me a very long time to find “balance” after competing. I would feel so deprived leading up to my first few shows that I would obsess about what I was going to eat as soon as it was over during my whole contest prep. During my contest prep, my mind was like a war zone, it’s like I would never get to eat junk food again so I would stock up on it little by little, and then eat it ALL within a few days after my show was over. When you do that right after a show, that’s when the weight starts piling on because your body is super receptive and will soak up everything you put in it… if you keep filling it with junk. This post-show window can either be used to your advantage to gain great lean muscle OR is can be used to your demise. I have done both several times.

For that reason, I want to share a few tips on getting back to normal life without the huge weight gain so that no one has to struggle like I did in the beginning.

Reverse Diet

The last thing you want to do have intense “dieting” is to follow another diet, right?! But don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be super strict, unless you want it to be. Some girls are super lenient with this process (I’m one of those girls lol) and some still follow a plan to a T. If you’ve only competed a couple times, then ask your coach to help with an off season plan. “Reverse dieting” is really just a fancy way of saying – increase your calories gradually week by week so that you don’t shock your body by going from a 100% strict diet to complete chaos. Don’t feel like you can’t still have a few treats here and there, but as long as you aren’t bingeing, you’ll still be fine.

– Have your couple cheat meals the day after the show and then get right back on a plan – not necessarily your diet that you were just on because you’re definitely sick of that by now, but something different that you can easily follow for a little while and not be hungry.

– Eat what you want – IN MODERATION and within reason – that’s the key, moderation. No reason you should feel deprived on a diet.

– Realize that food will always be there! You can enjoy treats here and there without going overboard and can easily still stay within 8 lbs or so (good pounds, not all fat) of your contest weight.

Gradually Decrease Cardio

Again, you don’t want to go from doing an hour of cardio every day to no cardio at all. You want to gradually decrease your cardio as you gradually increase your calories for the best results IF you would like to stay semi-lean and not gain a lot of unnecessary fat. A competition prep coach should be knowledgeable around this process.

– After you take a few days off, keep your weight training in… if you’re an athlete, then you love weight training anyway and want to keep doing it, maybe just cut it back slightly.

Following these guidelines will mean you won’t have to deprive yourself constantly or do hours of cardio to get an excess amount of weight off when it’s showtime again. You can also make more progress during your contest preps because instead of ONLY focusing on getting that fat off, you can also focus on building muscle, eating tons of clean foods to fuel your body and really shaping your physique in the process, which is what you want.

So don’t be so hard on yourself! Enjoy your treats but also enjoy your good clean meals and spice them up so you don’t feel like you are deprived. You can still look fit in the off-season without stressing it!

WiserFit Tips when Traveling

WiserFit Tips when Traveling

Staying healthy while traveling doesn’t have to be stressful. A little planning can go a long way when you’re on the road. It really comes down to just simply being prepared for what you may or may not encounter along the way. Here are some  guidelines that can really help. Most of them will save you money too! 😉

  • Bring your own snacks

Snacks at airports are so overpriced anyway. And if you already have snacks with you, you won’t have to try to find healthy snacks or end up buying unhealthy snacks because that’s all that’s available. Examples: Almonds, mixed nuts, fruit, protein bars, popcorn, protein powder, individual packs of peanut butter, etc

  • Go to the Grocery Store at your destination

Go get a few groceries if at all possible so you don’t have to eat out for every meal. Get the basics –  like water, oatmeal, greek yogurt, fresh fruit, etc to have on hand so that you don’t have to go to the breakfast buffet every day – avoids temptation for extra calories and also saves you time and money. Plus you’ll never have to skip breakfast if you oversleep because you’ll have food.

  • Eating Out

Restaurants usually give you over twice the recommended portion for what a typical meal should be. You can actually take advantage of this by turning it into 2 meals. Ask for a To-Go Box with your meal, before you start eating. Portion out half the meal into your box to go with you for later. Then set it aside to take with you, and eat the other half of your meal on your plate. If you’re still hungry an hour later, then eat the other half, but chances are – you won’t be hungry again for another 2-3 hours.

  • Drink TONS of WATER

Drink even more than normal! Being hydrated will help you feel better while traveling, but also will help keep you away from sugary sodas or other cravings.

  • Stay Active

Even if you only have time for a 20 minute walk or workout first thing in the morning – get up a few minutes early to start your day off right, it’s worth it! If there’s no gym, do exercises in your room.

  • Don’t let yourself get hungry

THAT’s when you’ll have the tendency to overeat. Keep eating small portions throughout the day and don’t go too many hours without eating.

  • Get plenty of sleep

We all make bad decisions when we are tired or hungry! Always try to get a full night’s rest.

The Most Neglected Aspect of Fitness . . . SLEEP

The Most Neglected Aspect of Fitness . . . SLEEP

That’s it? Yes, it sounds like common sense, but why does it seem to be the most disregarded aspects of health these days?

People always want to know,

“What can I take for more energy?” or “What supplements can help my focus and energy throughout the day, I’m so tired all the time!”

My first question to them is always “well… how much sleep are you getting on average per night?” It seems like an obvious correlation, right? If you are tired, it means you need sleep. But apparently, it’s not so obvious because we live in an increasingly fast-paced world . The answer I get is always get is “Oh gosh maybe 5-6 hours a night… if I’m lucky.”

There’s your answer, SLEEP is what you can take for more energy.

Supplements are GREAT when you miss maybe one, or even a couple full nights of good quality rest. They’ll get you through a couple days until you can get caught up, but it’s not a quick fix and definitely not a way of life. There is no substitute for a good night’s rest.

Another thing to consider is that some people need more sleep than others, and everyone is different. Some can function just fine on an average of 6-7 hours a night (without naps), and other people need up to 9 or more to be fully functional. So the “8 hour rule” is just a general rule of thumb really because everyone is different and you will have to find out what is necessary for your body. Since most everyone works a 40-hr work week, and napping usually isn’t an option, getting the sleep you need at night is essential for optimal health and function.

From my own personal experience – if I don’t get more than 7 hours a night, you can just count me out for that day, but really closer to 8 is even better for me. If I’m in contest prep, I feel best with over 8 hours. If I’m not in prep, I still need over 7 to feel my best.

In my early stages of competing, I always thought that it was just a lack of caloric intake or overworking myself in the gym as to why I was so tired and drained at work all day, but in all actuality, those may have been contributing factors but it was primarily a lack of sleep that contributed to my zombie-like feeling throughout each day.

I know most of the population has trouble sleeping, so here are a few things that can help, outside of the typical tips usually advised.

  1.  Don’t fight it – just go to bed. When you first start getting drowsy and your eye lids start to droop, just let yourself go to bed. People usually try to fight it off so they can get one last thing done, and that one last thing usually ends up being over an hour later… let your body fall asleep when it wants to and then you can wake up refreshed to finish whatever tasks you need to.
  2.  Don’t eat a heavy meal right before bed. You want your body to wind down and rest, not still be working 100mph to digest and/or burn the food you just ate before laying down.
  3.  Don’t lay in bed, GET UP. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes or so, then don’t just lay there in bed staring at the ceiling, or worse – playing on your phone. Get up, go read or watch TV on the couch for a few minutes until you feel like you can try to fall asleep again. You want to keep your bed associated with sleep – so if you lay in bed doing other things like watching TV, playing on social media or scrolling through Pinterest, your body and mind won’t associate your bed with sleep only. You can still do all those things, just do them somewhere else – on the couch in the living room, in a chair in your room, etc.
  4. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, and PRAY. When I start feeling anxious about everything I have to do or start worrying about upcoming potential problems, I either read a plan in my Bible App, read an insightful book,  or just pray… REALLY pray – it eases my mind by reminding me of the big picture of life and resets my perspective. Half the time I fall asleep before I even get to the “amen.”
  5. Other Helpful Remedies to Take Before Bed

Magnesium or ZMA

Chamomile Tea

Any Other “Sleepy Time” Teas


Do I Contribute to an Eating Disorder?

Do I Contribute to an Eating Disorder?

A few weeks ago in the gym, an older man that I really don’t know or have ever spoken to very loudly made the comment to me, “Wow! If you lose any more weight, you’re gonna just blow away!”

He apparently thought it was funny since he was laughing obnoxiously while he said it. I was a little taken aback by the random comment and with a bewildered look on my face all I could say was, “Uhh no… I’m actually slowly increasing my weight this month since I’m done competing for the season…” and just turned around to continue training my client.

First of all, you would think that any man with common sense would know not to comment on a woman’s weight, especially not one that you don’t even know on a personal level.

Second of all, someone making the comment to another person that they are too “skinny” is the same exact thing as calling someone who is overweight “fat.” It is just rude and unnecessary. Also, a few days prior to this, I read a post by a friend dealing with the exact same issue. In short, this friend worked her butt off for a few months and lost a lot of weight to get ready for her upcoming wedding! Instead of her friends being encouraging and supportive of her, they made comments that she looked like she was anorexic. Again, not sure what would make someone think this is an acceptable comment to make to someone else, but that’s what was said.

I came across an article in FitnessRX magazine talking about eating disorders in general, some possible causes, and several other factors dealing with eating disorders. Neither I, nor my friend have eating disorders; however, comments like the ones stated can contribute to many people’s eating issues and body image issues in the first place so I wanted to summarize a few points made in the article. I don’t want to take credit for someone else’s writing so I blocked off the summary of the article because most of it is from the magazine, and I just re-worded a few things.


Ways that you may be contributing to another’s eating disorder, even unintentionally:

Praising or glorifying another’s appearance based on body size or attractiveness

Talking negatively about our bodies

Making fun of another person’s eating habits or food choices

Criticizing our own eating

Considering a person’s weight important

Assuming that a large person wants or needs to lose weight

Assuming that a small person needs to gain weight

Showing excessive concerns (positive or negative) about someone’s weight or shape

Practice Positive Thinking:

Focus on how your body FEELS, instead of only how it looks

Use positive affirmations to learn to talk positively about yourself

Surround yourself with positive, healthy people of all shapes and sizes

Treat your body well

Eat a large variety of healthy foods

Treat yourself occasionally without feeling guilty about it

Positive thinking affects how you LOOK and feel. Compliment yourself daily. Stress and negative thinking can have a greater impact on the way you look more than the food you actually eat. Those who care about you will care much more about what you do and who you are than how you look.


These are good reminders to live by in general. This almost seems contradictory, as a personal trainer, since I can’t always stick to all of these… after all, it IS my job to help people become healthy IF they desire to do so. Sometimes it involves their weight and sometimes it doesn’t. Someone in danger of becoming diabetic, absolutely knows that they need to lose weight so that would be something they would discuss with me – but not something I would approach them with. The desire to be healthy and to make a change has to be there before I can do anything to help someone.

So in conclusion, thinking before you comment on someone else’s body can really go a long wayFood for thought, no pun intended.

Setting Goals

Setting Goals

How can you really achieve anything without setting a GOAL first? Healthy life changes don’t just happen by accident, they are planned for – sometimes extensively sometimes minimally – but there is still an intention there with a goal in place.

If you don’t have a REASON to choose the vegetables over the fries, to go to the gym instead of happy hour, to go on a walk instead of watch tv…. then WHY would you? Your REASON has to be something very important to you and you have to know your why.

Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to get stronger? Why do you want to be able to move better?

Usually the answer will be in some form of “better quality of life” – but with your own specific reason. Focus on your “why” and then set a goal for yourself to get started.

Steps to Help with Goal-Setting:

  1. Be realistic

Maybe your goal is to lose 30 pounds. That’s great, but don’t expect to lose all 30lbs in 1 month. Set small incremental goals to meet your overall goal so that you can stay encouraged by achieving little victories along the way. For example, your goal could be to lose 2-3lbs per week = 30lbs total over 10 weeks or 3 months. That way you can hold yourself accountable on a weekly basis with a realistic timeframe.

  1. Set a plan & WRITE IT DOWN

A goal is just a dream if you have no plan in place to accomplish it. i.e., if you want to buy a new house, car, etc as quickly as possible then put together a budget that allows you to save the extra money necessary to do so without putting yourself in debt. Reaching your fitness goals is the same way! How will you lose that 2-3 pounds per week? How many times can you commit to going on a walk or going to the gym each week? What other health strategies will you incorporate that will aid you to reaching your goal?

  1. Be consistent & hold yourself accountable

Consistently sticking to your plan is the only way to accomplish your goal. Everyone gets off track here and there and no one is perfect, but don’t let that detour your whole plan. Any time you think of veering off track to eat that second bowl of ice cream or skipping the gym, go back to your “WHY”! Why did you start this journey to be a healthier version of yourself? Is it still important to you?  Have the confidence in yourself to follow through.

  1. Don’t let anyone discourage you.

If you want it, then go get it. Only the people without your motivation and determination will be the ones trying to bring you down. Surround yourself with positive, outgoing people just like you and you’ll be surprised at how far you can go!

Glute & Hamstring focused Leg Workout!

Glute & Hamstring focused Leg Workout!

All you need is a kettlebell or a dumbbell… and a timer!

Some of the exercises you can do with or without weight – based on your ability.

1 full minute on each exercise x 4 rounds

  • Alternating Stationary Lunges
  • Pop Squats
  • Sumo Squats
  • Curtsy Lunges
  • KB Stiff-leg Deadlifts
  • KB Swings *squeeze at the top!
  • Glute Bridges (elevated)
  • Donkey Kicks (30 sec each leg)
  • Rest 60 seconds

This takes 35 minutes to do 4 times!

Love doing these types of circuits anytime, but especially if I can’t make it to the gym… or if I just don’t want to go to the gym. You can always get a workout in no matter where you are! Always try to find a way instead of finding an excuse.

Shoulder & Arms Sculpting Workout

Shoulder & Arms Sculpting Workout

3 sets of Side Lateral Raise Dropsets

4 weights of 10 reps each


  • 15lb Dbs for 10 reps
  • 12lb DBs for 10 reps
  • 10lb DBs for 10 reps
  • 8lb DBs for 10 reps

= 1 set

4 sets:

  • 20 Upright Rows
  • 10 Front Raises

3 sets:

  • 15 Bicep Curls
  • 15 Shoulder Press

3 sets:

  • 15 Straight Bar Bicep Curls
  • 15 Overhead Tricep Extensions