The Four Steps to Building Muscle

One the great things that has happened in the past decade is that weightlifting has become a lot more commonplace for both men and women. Women in particular are becoming a lot more confident in lifting weights thanks to social media efforts. The one problem I find with this weightlifting movement however is that probably 90% of gym lifters do not lift with proper form or know the basic principles on how to build muscle.

As a certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist, it’s important for me to educate my clients not only on how to get them to their goals but to also cut through the BS of information that is out there on how to build muscle. Today’s post will highlight four necessary steps to building muscle, the smart way.
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My Story & the Lack of Authenticity in the Fitness Industry

I first got heavily interested in weightlifting back in college for the sole purpose of attaining the “perfect physique.” I watched probably hundreds of Youtube videos on a myriad of different exercises just so I could feel more confident going to the gym alone and navigating the men-dominated weight room. I would practice exercises at home and even film myself to check my mobility in different areas. I loved the way weightlifting made me look and feel. Unfortunately, this was also at a time when I struggled tremendously with my self-esteem.

As a college girl, it was hard for me to mentally live up to the type of pressure to be physically beautiful. College for me focused a lot on the superficial. What was everyone going to wear to that party? Do I need to get a new outfit before I go out tonight? That girl has so much expensive makeup – maybe I should get that same kind too? That girl looks really in shape – maybe I should do what she does to work out? I developed disordered eating patterns and even binge-eating disorder that lasted for almost 5 years.
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Glute Training: The Basics

In today’s post, I will touch on the basics behind how to train your glutes effectively. I will discuss why we must train our glutes, basic anatomy, and demonstrate and describe 5 basic exercises you can do to strengthen all parts of the glutes for optimal development and strength.

The research I’ve included on this post comes from one of most knowledgeable coaches in the field, Bret Contreras.

So what’s so great about glutes, anyway?!

Your glutes are surprisingly the largest muscle in your body. Without going into too much of the scientific details, your glutes are responsible for several different functions: extension, abduction, external rotation, and internal rotation. Therefore, all essential glute exercises will fall under one of these functions.
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Intuitive Eating: Part II

Last week I discussed what intuitive eating is and how to become more mindful of your eating patterns. This post will summarize the first 3 principles of the main 10 principles of intuitive eating from the book, Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole and how they can lead you to making more intuitive eating choices of your own.

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The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

From the book, Intuitive Eating, 10 principles are established and addressed. They are:

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality.
  2. Honor your Hunger
  3. Make Peace with Food
  4. Challenge the Food Police
  5. Respect your Fullness
  6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
  7. Honor Your Feelings without Using Food
  8. Respect your Body
  9. Exercise – Feel the Difference
  10. Honor your Health

In today’s post, I will discuss the first 3 principles.
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Intuitive Eating: Part I

How many times have you heard, “If I can just be perfect all week with my diet, I can have a cheat meal on Saturday?” Maybe you’ve said this to yourself, heard a coworker in the hallway or a friend who stopped over. It sounds like the perfect plan, right? Eating perfectly throughout the week and splurging during one meal over the weekend. What a great way to lose weight! If only you could be perfect, right?

Unfortunately, the reality is that many and most people who embark on a way of eating such as the one above end up failing by the evening of the first couple days. Why? Because most of us do not do well with restrictions. We do not do well when we reward good “eating” behavior with food. Think about it. How many meals do you eat a day? Most eat 3-4. Multiply that by the number of days Monday-Friday. Overall, that comes out to be 15-20 meals we consume before Saturday ever hits.
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Intro & Welcome

Back when I was in high school, I embarked on the beginning of my fitness journey. I was lucky enough to have received a gym membership from my parents to a great gym in a small town in Florida where I grew up. From attending group fitness classes to using different pieces of cardio equipment to weightlifting, I did it all.

In college, I began to take more of an interest in weightlifting and began watching and reading dozens of Bodybuilding.com articles and videos, spending hours on YouTube researching exercises, and learning to eat healthier. I majored in Food Science and Human Nutrition with a specialization in Dietetics in the hopes of one day becoming a registered dietitian.
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