Eating to lose weight ( It’s not a trick)

I’ve seen the topic of fat loss posted on a lot recently, but more specifically regarding fat cells. I think this is defiantly a topic that’s important to educate oneself in. The most noteworthy point being that dieting does not change the number of someone’s fat cells so much as reduce the size.  Your total number of fat cells seems to be a combination of genetic predisposition and determined in childhood. So yes, it is in fact true that getting lean and staying lean is somewhat  more difficult for adults who were overweight in their youth. While keeping this in mind with regards to dieting this is why starving yourself and living off diet coke and salad doesn’t work. The less you eat, your fat cells learn to converse energy more efficiently, but don’t reduce in number. So each time you diet, it gets more difficult for your body to respond, which a common problem seen in competitors or chronic dieter. Recently an old work college messaged me about creating him a diet plan, based on his workout regime, goals and schedule I put together what I would consider a moderate fat loss diet utilizing carb cycling. As with all my clients I told him to check in daily the first week and we’d adjust from there. Day one the first text I got was “there’s so much food, I feel full and my energy is great”! To lost people this would seem counterintuitive to a fat loss program. It’s really Important to keep in mind that if you lower your caloric Input too low too soon your metabolism will slow down drastically which only sabotages your weight loss attempts. In addition, this will harm your ability to build and retain muscle, which as we know only helps to increase your fat burning capabilities. My best advice is to lower your calories as little as possible and see how your body reacts and adjust over time. Methods I personally like to utilize are playing with my carb rotation. I recently with from a 4 high 3 low to a 3 high 3 low as I’m approaching my show date. This allows me to have carbs throughout the week, never doing more than a day, keeping me nice and full and energy levels high. This also staves off the insomnia, zombie like demeanour and what I like to call “diet brain” that comes with carb depletion. It’s all about utilizing your energy systems effectively and keeping up your workout intensity. And common, what’s the point if you can’t keep crushing those workouts, right?!

Your fitbetch,
JP xox

Crushing weights and goals

I hope all you beautiful people of the Internet had a lovely weekend and are currently enjoying, what I consider my favorite day of the week, Sunday. As of yesterday I am officially 10 weeks out from the Ontario Provincial Championships and for once, feeling on point. I had the opportunity Friday to not only to check in with my coach but to also crush a workout him and his training partner. There’s nothing like loud metal, big dudes and heavy weights to get this girl going. The pump was unreal and both watching my body transform and having my coach observe (and impressed) was a great experience for further developing my training. With this prep we’re focusing on lots of heavy lifts, compound movements, drops sets and super sets. This is what personally works for me. Some people prefer a metabolic approach with lots of added cardio, and anything in between sets to keep the heart rate up (jump rope, calisthenics, etc). As I’ve discussed before, there are a lot of weighs to cut weight, and my prefers way is through increased effort and muscle mass. I’m fully aware that not everybody’s body works this way. This is why I advocate programming! As an athlete, or any serious gym goer, your body will constantly change and adapt.  What worked once may not work again, as you are not the same person you were last year, or even six months ago. I highly recommend never staying on one diet or one program (combination of sets, reps, tempo, weight that you execute) for more than 4-6 weeks. It also helps with continuously reevaluation your goals. Once you finish one set of programming you know better know what works for your what doesn’t, what you like, what you dislike, and most importantly, where you want to go next. Often when my coach asks me this questions, what’s our direction, I frequently divert to him. “I don’t know! You tell me what I need”! But truthfully we do this for ourselves, so it’s a good exercise to constantly be evaluation what you want, but more importantly, why you want it. Sticking to a 4-6 week plan is also more manageable mentally. I’ve currently been dieting 4 weeks, and while sometimes I freak out in my head, it’s reassurance to know that it’s only a few more weeks and I’ll have the opportunity for a refuel or to make the changes to get me where I need to be if I’m not on tract. For my sanity this is a huge weight lifted. I for instance doubted my progress, but turns out I’m ahead of schedule and I am pleased to say will be enjoying am extremely large deliciously cheesy, bacon filled burger this week! Not because my body necessarily needs it, but for sanity I’ve earned it, which makes the next 10 weeks not seem so bad. To me this is a testament to trusting the progress. Stay focus, make obtainable goals, and crush that shit like its light weight baby

Your fitbetch,
JP xox

Beauty Sleep

Often I see a lot of competitors who get up early for cardio, then work all day, hit the gym then hit up another job or a cardio session. I’m all for putting in work, but where do we find balance between doing what we need to achieve our goals and burning ourselves out. Too much physical stress results in elevate cortisol, and catabolism. Not enough sleep leads to insuffiemt growth hormone levels and inadequate recovery. So how do we make the most of our day and still respect our bodies? Human growth hormone, known as HGH is released secretion during early sleep which is typically when the deepest sleep cycles occur. Research states that up to 60%-70% of our daily levels occur during this period of time. Another important factor with sleep, especially for those looking to gain, or at least preserve muscle mass, and who wouldn’t want that, is lowered energy consumption. This is a biological mechanism for resource conservation. The average bodybuilder eats 5-6 meals a day, that would substantially increase if we did not get enough sleep. Eating multiple meals throughout the day assists growth, and sleep helps to ensure that food is used to replace energy and rebuild muscle, this is why I personally like to have 35g of casein and 10g of glutamine pre bed. Casein, a slow release protein ensure a positive nitrogen balance and help spare muscle tissue from wasting. This particular protein is released over an 8 hour period. Ideal for the average sleep cycle. As for glutamine, this amino can help prevent muscle wasting, which normally occurs due to a lack of Amin acids during a faster period. Fasting can also result in increased cortisol secretions and inflammation if not countered with bcaas. Glutamine helps maintain a positive nitrogen balance and helps to promote repair. So yes ladies, when someone tries to wake you at at an ungodly hour, tell them you do in fact need your beauty sleep. Muscles are beautiful, right?

Your fitbetch,
JP xox

Keep moving forward

Hello lovely readers of the internet. I often get asked how do I stay motivated to do what I do. Honestly, I do it because I love it, that’s my motivation. When it stops bringing positivity into my life I will no longer do it. But as of lately I have been struggling. I still of course love the gym, but with prep comes a lot of mind games. I feel flat and small, my energy levels aren’t as high, I’m no longer focussing on upping my weights (which I love), and I look in the mirror every day and think “Am I shredded yet”? Luckily that’s why we surround ourselves with positive people. Gym members tell me every day I’m looking leaner, but I just can’t see it myself, so I just trust in the process. In scenarios like this it’s important to focus on long term goals. I like to remind myself, every day I’m everything day, each little action counts. Cumulatively they build up to your masterpiece. This is also why having a coach is extremely helpful. One particular thing I like to do regularly is reevaluate and write down my goals. I’ve always been a very goal oriented personal and I personally finally doing this one a weekly basis is more obtainable and rewarding. Yes, you have to look toward thinking term, but then establish small resonance steps. This can apply to almost anything. Dieting, dating, job goals, you name it. My lovely B bought me a chalkboard as a fist once, this chalkboard is purposely placed in between my bed and my door in my little hobbit hole. Every morning I see it, and every time I leave or rerun my nook it is there. I have my countdown placed at the top (just under 12 weeks) and then my goals for the week. One of the things I often write is “one goal per day”. I find I can personally become complacent with routine, and reminding myself to achieve one new thing daily weeks me moving forward. Life is funny in the sense that things tend to come and go in waves. Weather you call it karma, faith, luck or coincidence, this is a reminder to do something to keep yourself moving forward. All actions, or lack there of create a momentum, so you ultimately chose the direction of day, week, month and life with simple decisions daily. So today I’m not giving you advice on training, dieting, stress, I, simply providing you with the little reminder that I constantly give myself, keep moving forward. Any purposeful action, in any aspect of your life will give you the control you need to stay on track.

Your fitbetch,
JP xox

I’m back betches!

Hello lovely readers! Sorry for a brief delay in my normally prolific writing. I’ve been occupied in a whirlwind of life changes, which seems to be the theme of 2015. I won’t divulge too much at this moment, but I am happy to state that I am into week 3 of prep and all my accordance are still alive, and I’ve yet cheat on my fast, or passive aggressively shoulder check strangers on the street. With the theme of change today lets talk a little about the importance of changing up programming. A lot of people will go to the gym and start into a routine, initially getting sore, seeing gains, and then nothing, they spend another year doing the same thing. This is called a plateau. The best way to avoid this is by mixing it up.
As we’ve discussed before, cause learning is fun right, muscle fibres respond to repetition and load, and increased training causes the quantity of exercised muscle fiber to increase exponentially, this is why we always see the most gains initially, and why you’re always hella sore after trying something new. In order to make further gains, greater workout intensity is required with heavier loads and more repetition.Therefor, I’m lay term, the reasons we hit a plateau is because our bodies are capable of amazing things, so at first, sometimes is a struggle, but our body them adapts. But without struggle or adversity there is no gains. So here is my advice to you, you don’t have to overhaul your whole workout. I have some exercises I literally do all year round. It’s just a matter of playing with the variable. You can change your temp, your set rep range, use pre fatigue, even switch up the angle. All theses things will force your body to readjust and shock your system, creating the need for your body to build new strength and muscle!  Other fun and easy tricks are adding bands or changes to play with different times under tension. As a chain deloads you lose tension, the further you bench you create more gravitational pull against the chain. In addition, bring a friend! Having a spot is a great way to get that last 10% or utile for reps. Better yet, make a new friend of find an excuse to talk to the hot guy at your gym 😉

Your fitbetch,
JP xox

Two monkeys are always better than one

The importance of rest. This weekend, for pretty much the first time in as long as I can remember, I took a day of from lifting. Mind you, I didn’t sit at home either, I still went to the gym to do conditioning work, but it’s important to give your body the break it needs to grow and repair, especially when dieting. Now, I normally train in a cycle that’s one body part per day, so technically, there’s a full week before I train that body part, or at least 3-4 days. Your muscles may individually be resting, but your energy systems that fuel them are not when you repeatedly crush the gym on a daily basis. Your central nervous system must itself have rest days free from the gruelling demands of weight training as well. If the nervous system doesn’t get that rest you’ll compromise your immune system over time, as well as your energy levels and ability to recover. It’s also important to keep your joints in mind, the shoulder girdle is utilized in any overhead motion, as well as pushing and pulling. So while each of these three areas are usually trained on three separate days, the shoulder is continuously utilized. So what is a gymaholic to do? Well, active rest or conditioning days are a great way to give your body a little R & R while still getting your sweat fix. You can utilize your off days to work on conditioning, cardio, mobility or flexibility. I like to use mine on Sunday’s and refer to them as “fuck around” days, cause Im a lady like that. I play around with things I’d consider “fun”, cause I’m weird like that, and that aren’t in my normal programming, but won’t compromise my future workouts. This weekend I did prowler sprints, false grip pull ups, TRX squat jumps, rows, and ab work among some other stuff. It’s fun to try something new. Be silly, work on your hand stand, just sit and sauna. I love to monkey around and see what my body is capable off. It’s a challenge, without the stress of worrying about failure. Often with lifting there is a huge psychological component. If we fail at a lift, or feel weak, or plateau we often become upset. If I have a weak day I’m furious with myself and frustrated. Rest days can also be a great psychological reprise to give your ego a break. I even like to bring my best friend B for accountability, that way, I can’t wuss out and go lift weights. And two monkeys are always better than one 😉

Your fitbetch,
JP xoxo