Time to switch it up: New Training Split

I've been following the Figure Competition Secrets Training Program #2 by Karen Sessions. She suggests using each plan for 3-4 weeks before changing it up unless you prefer to stick with it for another round. Wouldn't you know it, but right on time at the four week mark I found myself bored. I've decided to change my training split and workouts to Program #3 before my boredom gets me in trouble. So here's the new split. Once again it's totally different than any other split I've ever used. (Sounds exciting.)

This plan is a 3 days on 1 day off schedule. This month is a little crazy with travel though so I may continue to with the 3 days on 1 day off 2 days on 1 day off I had going with Program #2 in order to ensure I'll get it all in.

Day One: Chest, Delts, Abs

Day Two: Hams, Glutes, Calves

Day Three: Triceps, Biceps, Abs

Day Four: Rest

Day Five: Back, Calves

Day Six: Quads, Glutes, Abs

Day Seven: Chest, Delts, Calves

Week 5: Progress Check

Here we are at week five. Definitely made some improvement and I'm very happy about that, although I must admit that part of me is still disappointed with the fact that I could be so much (one week, maybe one half % point of fat) further ahead. Nothing like a short foray off the wagon to get me to recommit these days. Can't wait to keep it movin'!


Weight: 126.6lbs

Body Fat: 20.9%

LBM: 100.1lbs

Fat Weight: 26.5lbs

Week 5:

Weight: 127.2lbs

Body Fat: 18.1%

LBM: 104.2lbs

Fat Weight: 23lbs

This week I'll change my macros back to 40/35/25 (P/C/F).

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Week 4 Results: Not the Best

Well here is the update for this weeks way in and fat check. Due to some major (but ultimately positive) stress this week, I have to admit, I returned to old habits instead of using my strength and determination to look to solve the problem and practice new habits. I had a cheat meal this week... and a binge meal. It's embarrassing but truthful and not unusual. I understand that the path to greatness and success is not a straight and narrow one, so I've recommitted and I'm ready for next weeks results to be AWESOME!



Body Fat: 20.9%

LBM: 100.1lbs

Fat: 26.5lbs

Week 3: 


Body Fat: 18.8%

LBM: 103.6lbs

Fat: 24.1lbs

Week 4:

Weight: 128.8lbs

Body Fat: 19.5%

LBM: 103.7lbs

Fat: 25.1lbs

As you can see my total body weight and body fat percentage both increased this week, as well as my hip circumference. This week I'll reduce my calories (and stay within them) and readjust my macro ratios to what they were at the Week 3 weigh-in (35/35/30) based on Karen Sessions e-book plan Figure Competition Secrets. My diet goals this week also include increasing my water intake and my veggie intake.

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Last time through: Back and Triceps

Today marks my fourth time through this workout. I love pairing these groups together!


Seated Rows 4 x 10-12

Chins 4 x 10-12

T-bar rows 4 x 10-12

Lat Pulls 4 x 10-12


Overhead DB extensions 4 x 10 -12

Tricep dips 4 x 10-12

Bent over tricep kickbacks 4 x 10-12

Push downs 3 x 20

Usually I warm up with some foam rolling and a 500m. row on the rower with low resistance.

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On Again, Off Again: My Relationship with the Food Wagon

 Well tomorrow is the week 4 weigh in, which means I'm officially at the start of the 12 week countdown to show time and all I can do is hope that my hop off the clean eating bandwagon didn't cancel out my extra effort this week in the gym. I'm excited and nervous and all the same stuff I feel months out from a contest. Something else I'm feeling is major STRESS. As with the nervousness, this stress is being induced by positive things in my life, but it's stress just the same and it's rockin' my boat.

 It's become increasingly obvious to me the pattern that I follow as stress comes around. It's not like I've been in denial about my past/present issues with self image and disordered eating habits, but the start of the BSN Challenge has been a time for me to really assess my habits in order to identify them to change them. I've overcome to disdain for my body and I wish I'd realized then that I was in great shape with the kind of bangin' physique I'm fighting to win back the healthy way, in the gym, and in the kitchen with persistence and determination. What I'm lacking is consistency with my eating.

  All this time I've been wondering what the trigger point was for my binge cycle. It used to be self hatred, to be honest. But with that fight won, I finally see that every slip- from a minor one like deciding to rely on measuring cups instead of using my food scale, to a major, full-throttle-freak-out cereal, chips, or candy binge- is all about stress avoidance. You see, in the past I've been the pessimist always waiting for the other shoe to drop. In my twenties am I actively choosing to change my attitude from negative to positive. My next mission is to learn not to avoid or deny my feelings of anxiety, but face them straight on, be honest about where they stem from and devise a realistic plan of attack for dealing with the problem rather than procrastinating. Procrastination leads to more stress, which leads to more anxiety, which leads to more "cravings" and deliberately "absentminded" eating!! Duh.

 I've spent a lot of time looking at magazine articles, searching blogs, and reading ingredients lists looking for methods of beating my food cravings when what I need is a lesson in how to relax and move through the fear. It's only holding me back.

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Week 3 Progress!!

Here week go:


Weight: 126.6lbs

Body Fat: 20.9%

LBM: 100.1lbs

Fat: 26.5lbs

Week 1:

Weight: 127.6lbs

Body Fat: 20.2%

LBM: 101.2lbs

Fat: 25.8lbs

Week 2:

Weight: 127.6lbs

Body Fat: 19.5%

LBM: 102.8lbs

Fat: 24.8lbs

Week 3;

Weight; 127.6lbs

Body Fat: 18.8%

LBM: 103.6lbs

Fat: 24lbs

Once again, no change in total body weight. Still I did manage to lose almost another percentage point in fat mass and I lost another 1/2 inch around my hips for a total of 1 inch off the hips and 1 inch off the waist in 3 weeks. I'm pretty satisfied with that. This week I will tweak my diet based on Karen Sessions e-book since I'm officially out of the 19-24% range. From here to my goal I'll work with my macros at: 40% Pro, 35% carbs, 25% fat. Any further diet tweaks in the following weeks will come in the form of lower calories. I'm glad to keep them nice and high though until I have to chop 'em down. Successful week indeed!

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4th time through.. Chest, Bi's, Abs, Cardio

Today marks the fourth week through this particular split and routine. Planning to stick with this for at least another 2 or 3 weeks before I decide what changes to make, either to the entire program including split, exercises, rep range, and/or weight or if I'll just stick with this for another 4 to six weeks and increasing the intensity. So far I'm enjoying it and seeing results. I'm getting stronger by the week and have seen both and increase in the size of my arms are more definition in my chest. Here's the routine.

Incline DB Chest Press 4 x 10-12

Chest Dips 4 x 10-12

Pec Deck 4 x 10-12

Push ups 1 x failure

 Narrow grip straight/ez bar curls 4 x 10-12

Wide grip straight/ez bar curls 4 x 10-12

Hammer Curls 4 x 10-12

Incline curls 4 x 10-12

Incline sit ups 3-4 x 20

Cable curl with twist 3-4 x  20

Today I split my 30 min. of cardio between the step mill and the treadmill.

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Week 2 Weigh In

Here we are again at another Tuesday morning weigh in. Here are the results fro week two:

Start (1/31)

Weight: 126.6

Body Fat: 20.9%

LBM: 100.1lbs

Fat: 26.5lbs


Weight: 127.6lbs

Body Fat: 20.2%

LBM: 101.8lbs

Fat: 25.8lbs


Weight: 127.6lbs

Body Fat: 19.5%

LMB: 102.7lbs

Fat: 24.9lbs

So again no weight loss but I do know that's not necessarily a problem (yet). I do have quite a few pounds to lose to reach my goal so I do expect quite a drop in overall body weight. It's only week two and I am have lost more than 1.5lbs in fat mass in that time so I'm on track there. My original goal was to cut  a total 9% body fat. So far I'm down 1.4%, which means on 7.6% to go. Already my mind is playing the number game in terms of the scale (girls!) but I'd call this another successful week. :)

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Glutes, Quads, and Abs! Yeah baby!!

I'm really feeling the effects of yesterdays workout and I am so so glad to have a rest day today. Its nice to know the soreness in my legs and buns today is proof I put the work in, which means I'll get the prize down the line. It's always worth it and this was a pretty enjoyable workout. 

Side Lunge 4 x 10-12

Reverse Hypers 4 x 10-12

Walking lunges 2 x failure

Squats 4 x 10- 12

Hack Squats 4 x 10-12

Leg Extensions 4x 10-12

Reverse Crunch 3-4 x 25

Plank Knee Tucks 3-4 x 25

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Todays workout Back, Triceps, Abs

Had a great workout today. Here's the routine I'm using for the first 4-8 weeks!

Seated Rows  4 x 10-12

Chins  4 x 10-12

T-bar Rows  4 x 10-12

Lat Pull Downs  4 x 10-12

DB Overheard Tricep Extensions  4 x 10-12

Bench Dips  4 x 10-12

Bent Over Tricep Kickbacks  4 x 10-12

Straight Bar Cable Pushdowns  3 x 20

Bench V- Ups  3-4 x 25

Hanging Knee Raises  3-4 x 25

I love this workout, although the T-bar rows are knew to me and I REALLY hate pulls ups/chins. Pull ups are hands down the most intimidating exercise I can think of. As a child I was a competitive gymnast and I used to push out reps in the teens and twenties with glee (never mind that I was also lifting maybe half my current adult weight). Now my heart races at the thought; my palms sweat, and suddenly its like its day one on the "boys side" of the gym. I'm looking around, paranoid and trying to figure out who's gonna' watch? Scoff? Be impressed? Whatever! They make me feel weak and I'm kickin' weaks ass this year. Pull ups it is. I'm gonna have the sexiest back ever!

  Also today I reassessed my form during the Bench v-ups and realized that when I use proper form I can't get nearly as many reps out. Automatic intensity upper. The hanging knee raises were also knew and also intimidating but I tried 'em and I love 'em. Here we go abs!

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FIrst Weigh In: Improved

So here we are at the end of our first diet week and start of our first week with the new training split. 


Weight: 126.6

Body Fat: 20.9%

LBM: 100.1lbs

Fat: 26.5lbs


Weight: 127.6

Body Fat: 20.2%

LBM: 101.8lbs

Fat: 25.8lbs

My weight did not decrease this week but my fat mass did, so overall I did improve and am happy with the progress. I wish I had been able to loose more fat but as they say, "slow and steady wins the race" so I'll work on being patient and persistent.

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My new training split. Loving it!!

 So with the start of my contest diet comes the start of a new training split to go along with it. I'm tend to stick with the same split most of the time (back,  bis, and delt, chest and tris, legs and (rarely) abs) and this is certainly a new approach for me. So far I'm enjoying it and I definitely expect to see change, especially in terms of my abs which are forever being neglected.  Check it out:

Monday: Chest, Biceps, Abs

Tuesday: Hams, Calves

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Back, Triceps, Abs

Friday: Delts, Calves

Saturday: Glutes, Quads, Abs

Sunday: Rest

Right now I'm working in sets of 4 with about 10-12 reps per set. I'm working to failure at the final rep and rest one minute between sets and exercises.

  This is the first time I have used the method of breaking up my leg training. Also I wonder if I shouldn't bring Glutes and Quads up to the beginning of the week?? I am excited about training chest and bis together and back and tris. I think this will allow me to better focus in and really challenge my arms by giving them individual attention without first exhausting them. I'm a big fan of my strong arms in general, but I lost some muscle in my time off and put on a nice little layer of fat this winter so to me they seem a little to small and all covered up. I'm looking forward to gaining some size, shape, and separation in the next few weeks. I used to keep chest and tris together and work chest first because the triceps put in work throughout the first part of the workout while they assist, which means that by the time its time to work tris I can do fewer exercises and fewer sets to finish them off. They same goes for pairing biceps with back days. ...But maybe I've just been cheating them.

  I expect the change in my abs to be INSANE. I absolutely do not plan ab days. I hate ab training, which is probably because mine are weak due to being under-trained and therefore deconditioned. I just really ab training, which is not excuse any longer with this plan! 3 days a week.. 3 to 4 sets of 25 reps!? Yeah.. I can't lie... I've been pretty freakin' sore this week. The only thing that keeps me doing it is the fact that I've been blessed with a pretty good set of abs despite the fact that they never get trained, so the thought of what they could actually look like 16 weeks from now? at 12%?? I'm in!

  My calves are another neglected body part. I think half of me is terrified that if I work them they'll get too big and manly. I'm sure this probably isn't likely but... still. I'll do it though. Maybe I'll even like it. 

 I'm starting off with cardio 3 times a week post resistance training with 20 min. treadmill walk/runs on an incline or the step mill. I'll increase my duration in increments of five minutes and increase the number of sessions as needed in the coming weeks.This is in addition to teaching my two 1hr cardio classes per week (Zumba and Cycle/Spin). I'm not counting my classes as cardio since they have been a regular part of my training up until this point and have allowed me to maintain (or increase) my fat mass so far.

 I'll report back later this week about training.

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Day One BSN Transformation Challenge

  Woo hoo! Today is day one of the B.S.N Hyper Shred Transformation Challenge. I'm so ready. When I found out about this contest I was so excited. I've already committed to my next contest day which is about 16 weeks out (May 26th), so this contest is a bonus in that now I've joined an entire community of people who can support me, teach me, encourage me, and keep me accountable. A little pressure never hurt right?

  I'm planning to us the e-book Figure Competition Secrets by Karen Sessions as my guide. I just downloaded it this week, read through it, picked a goal, a deadline, a my training program. I've already started and so far so good. I'm loving my new training split (which I'll list in a future blog). Its so much different than how I usually pair my body parts but I see the pros to doing it this way and I'm enjoying the change of pace. I'm now working in sets of four rather than three and attempting to bury my hatred for the step mill since I know what a difference it'll make in both calorie burning bang and leg shaping (which I need desperately). I do love to walk hills though, so I'm looking forward to adding more hikes and runs up Madonna Mt. which is near to my home here on the Central Coast of California. Also looking forward to sprints.

I think the timing of this challenge is perfect and I can't wait to see where I end up at the end of it!

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