I don't know http://amandapalmer.net/. I have never heard of her band. But I stumbled across this video as per usual when I am hunting the internet visiting my favorite websites. http://ted.com is one of them and this "art of asking" title caught my attention. Minutes prior I had asked a few friends on Facebook to "like" http://facebook.com/labenderprobikini. Back in the day, this would seem like a very vain thing to ask. "Why should I like/follow you, who are you?" Most people say "Oh I don't even pay attention to that stuff" First off, I don't believe you. And second, in this day and age social media is making a big difference in this world and it is beautiful-- embrace it! You will find fields of positivity and passion out there... Who wouldn't want more of that in their lives? Whatever you look for is what you will find. Social media is there to connect us and human nature thrives on feeling connected.
This video is so awesome because Amanda illustrates what I mean perfectly. The reason she is so successful is because she does a great job at making people feel connected- to her, her art, and to each other. When you find that and FEEL it, there's no stopping it. I just posted a quote (http://instagram.com/rachaellabender) that Maya Angelou said that sums it up quite nicely "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel" I encourage all of you to go out there and make someone smile- it's always a win-win
Thanks for reading and connecting with me!!
Well it is safe to say I am completely exhausted after the long weekend in Columbus. It was more fun than I could have ever imagined. Three days of high energy- you don't even realize until the day is over how exhausted you are. The energy in the expo is high and you can't help but feed off of everyone! Everyone is so happy and energetic that you can't help but have a permanent smile on your face But I will cut u if u try to cut the line!
Only kidding. I just loove me some Bon Qui Qui whenever I can get it
There are some awesome people at bodybuilding.com. Everyone's story is so unique and there is something to learn from everyone. It is so motivating! Also to see how bodybuilding.com has evolved over the years is incredible. They really are doing something right and I'm incredibly honored to be able to have the privilege of working with them.
Now that the show is over and the hype is dying down, the "hangover" is setting in. I'm starting to reflect on all the conversations I had with the athletes. All I can say is, from the bottom of my heart- I am grateful.
You can find pictures as well as a few videos on my http://www.facebook.com/labenderprobikini and http://www.instagram.com/rachaellabender
Thanks for reading.. xo
Another great day with Bodybuilding.com in the books! It was SO busy (no surprise there) and SO much fun. Although we didn't get as much face time with the fans today, as we were trying to get the lines moving as quickly as possible, I did get to meet and chat with a few people I knew through various social media outlets. It's such a cool experience to meet them face to face That's what makes all of this worth it- to meet YOU! So PLEASE introduce yourselves if we chat on the reg
I had a chance to check out the rest of the expo today and visit some friends at other booths- Muscle Milk, BSN, Quest, and Metabolic Nutrition. I also stopped at the Rouge booth to see if I could get in a CrossFit workout before they closed but I JUST missed them.
Got in a little cardio before dinner. Ordered a salad from a pizza place.. who knew?! 1. That pizza places had good salads and 2. That they deliver to hotel rooms! Never hurts to ask
Here are a few of the pics from the expo (you can find all of them on my Facebook page at facebook.com/labenderprobikini)
Thanks for reading! xoxo
What a day!! It was so much fun meeting all the Bodybuilding.com fans. The line was about 2 hours long for most of the day so THANK YOU to everyone who stuck it out with us! We appreciate every single one of you! I hope everyone got plenty of supplements. One guy told me he gets 4 bags of goodies every year and it lasts him the WHOLE year! Awesommme. I hope everyone got to meet their favorite fitness models too
I was doing "line control" today for a while and noticed a man who was people watching and taking notes. His name tag said Sports Illustrated on it so I inquired.. The next thing I know, he's doing a full on interview with me! So watch out for the next issue! He said if I'm lucky I'll get a quote in it lol. Lucky me huh
Went for a run outside tonight in the COLD! It felt good to get all the energy out of me... Well guys, it's time for me to go to bed so until next time! Have a great night! Dream big xoxo
My training consists of a lot of HIIT workouts. Today my training partner and I went to our usual park in Phoenix to do some sprints and plyometrics. At the park we utilize the soccer field, the basketball court, the sand pit (where the swings are), and the dreaded "mountain" (about a 150 meter steep hill). So this is what we did!
1. 2 warm up laps around the soccer field
2. Right side shuffles down the field and sprint back. Left side shuffles, sprint back. Back pedal (run backwards), sprint back. 1 Mountain. Repeat this sequence twice with no rest.
3. 8 short hill sprints with no rest in between.
Then we went over to the sand pit and basketball court area and did the following routine 3 times with a 30 sec rest between sets:
1. 20 box jumps- just found a step up from the sand pit area we could use to simulate a plyo box.
2. Lunges down half the court followed by squat jumps down the rest of the half. Down and back.
3. Sprint the length of the basketball court down and back. Rest 30 sec.
Repeat this sequence 3 times.
Then we finished off with 2 laps around the entire park (which I think is about 1 mile)
Both of us felt pretty exhausted before our park workout. But we busted it out anyways. Without either of us saying anything, we could both tell that we didn't feel on our A game. She asked me why we both felt slow today and I just said "Because some days are going to be slower than others. But you just have to try your best no matter what. You're not always going to be your strongest everyday, and that's okay."
We still got in a great 50 min HIIT workout! Was it the best workout we've ever done? No. But we still did the best we could today and that's all that matters. I can tell you, this was the first workout all month that hasn't felt like "OMG I am dead, that was our hardest workout ever!" So I think we're doing pretty good
Hey guys! Just wanted to post an interview I did with CutAndJacked! Hope ya like!
You can also check it out on their site---> http://www.cutandjacked.com/CutAndJacked-Interview-Rachael-Labender
How and when did you get started with training?
I took a weights class in high school and fell in love with lifting weights! I continued to do what I knew in the gym as well as purchasing tons of infomercial exercise DVDs (what's up Billy Blanks!) until my sophomore year in college when I saw a friend getting amazing results from her trainer. So I decided to go to that gym (BYB Fitness) and sign up! Seeing competition and modeling pictures of clients on the walls inspired me to start prepping for my first bikini show in July 2010. I've been training and competing ever since!
How do you stay motivated?
What types of cardio have worked best for you?
HIIT! It's the only kind I enjoy and it works the best. Steady state works, but I hate it by itself. I only do it after I train. I like to run outside whenever I'm not training... Hiking, track drills, trails. I also like to dance around my room lol.
Do you have a favourite healthy recipe? If so what is it?
Any variation of a protein pancake because it's easy and awesome! Lately my favorite is 4 whites, 1/2 cup wheat bran, stevia, cinnamon, and (the best part) topped with PB2 and sugar free syrup. I cook it fritatta style because I suck at flipping.
What does your diet consist of?
It varies, but right now it's..
Cry! Lol just jokin.. I try to get my mind to stop thinking about it by reading or something. When that doesn't work, I can get pretty creative in the kitchen. There's nothing a little stevia and cinnamon can't fix
That is such a hard one because there are SO many I love! But if I had to choose 3 they would be... Squat variations, pullups (specifically, to "in da club", and burpees.
Do you listen to music whilst you train? If so what’s on your playlist right now?
Music is a must! I'm always freshening up my ipod with new music. It gets me excited to do werk! I love anything with a great beat. Right now my jam is Snapbacks and Tattoos.
Right now I train 3-4 times a week with my trainer and we do high reps and mostly plyos. Emphasizing glutes and hams always.. Sometimes we throw a little WOD action in there which I LOVE because the time pressure makes me go nuts. Whatever we do, it's always HIIT style to keep me burning fat... Reps go until I cry. Rest is enough to grab a sip of water. Then I'll do about 45min post cardio. When I'm not training with him I will do sprints at the track or go hiking. I usually take Sundays completely off. When I'm prepping for a show I add in morning cardio everyday before breakfast.
What are you most proud of (inside or outside the gym)?
I'm most proud of my independence and ambition. I am definitely a go-getter! My most proud accomplishment in this industry is winning my pro card at my very first show at the 2010 USAs and seeing my trainer freak out in the audience.. Very surreal and amazing moment in my life! Also, representing Bodybuilding.com and CytoSport as a sponsored athlete is such an honor. I am blessed to be a part of their teams so early in my career!
Yeah... life! Stress and dealing with it in the wrong ways a.k.a stopping caring about my diet and training because I have so many other things going on. Then all of a sudden, boom you're ten pounds heavier than you want to be. THAT is an obstacle in and of itself in your mind. Never ever give up!
How do you measure your progress (scale, mirror, performance)?
I always go by the mirror and performance. If I went by the scale I would have a heart attack lol.
Who are your favourite, athletes or fitness models?
Pauline Nordin for her diet, discipline, knowledge, and hilariousness. My new fave is celebrity trainer Ashley Conrad because I feel like we have the same training principles and style.
What supplements would you use/recommend if any?
Whey isolate, fish oil, multi, vitamin c, vitamin d3 + calcium, antioxidants, and probiotics.
What 3 tips would you give to any woman wanting to get a feminine, CutandJacked physique like yours?
Be patient, set a meaningful goal so deep that your heart feels it everyday, and surround yourself with love.
Ok so I HAVE to post the workout I just did because it literally makes your booty shake without your consent.. Earthquake! Haha if you can't tell I LOVE a good glutes n hams workout
You will be doing each exercise one after the other in the form of a circuit. To boost fat blasting power, after each circuit run on the treadmill for 5 min. You will do this circuit/run 4 times and finish off with 30min of post cardio (I did 15min walking on a very slight incline and then 15min on the elliptical)
Notice that the first 2 circuits are exactly the same and the last 2 are slightly different. The point of that was to shock my muscles a little and also to tend to my self diagnosed ADD
First I will explain what every exercise is and how to do it, then I'll give you the workout. I will start off by saying that with every exercise you ever do, your knees should never go beyond your toes, back should be straight, and chest should be tall. Always have good posture! I know most of you know that, but as a trainer I have to say it!
Single leg deadlifts- Performed on the smith machine while standing on a bench. Doing this on the Smith is to help you stabilize and really target the glutes. Stand on one leg keeping your hip directly over your ankle (your hip will want lean out to the side, don't let it!) On your working leg, keep your knee slightly bent and stretch as far to the floor as you can while keeping your back straight, shoulders back, and your chest tall. Drive though your heel and activate your hamstring to stand back up straight.
Out and in squat jumps- Jump from a sumo squat to a feet together squat. Every time you are "out" is 1 rep. Keep your back straight, chest high, get low on every "out" and keep your weight on your heels.
Leg press- Put your feet on the platform keeping your knees in line with your ankles. Drive through your heels to ensure glute activation. In this workout you will be doing partial reps (go all the way down and halfway up).
Single leg press- Same positioning of feet, only reduce the weight and use 1 leg at a time. This time you will be doing full range reps.
Single leg squats- Looks like a lunge but your back foot is on a bench. Straight back, chest tall, knee directly above ankle, and weight on your front heel. Try to get your front leg parallel to the floor on every rep. The deeper range, the more you target the glute.
Hip abduction machine- Self explanatory.. I like to lean slightly forward on this one.
I always like to warm up with a 5 min walk on treadmill to contemplate and set my intent for the workout. I also did 30 sumo squat jumps to warm up my legs and hips.
Single leg deadlift- 20 in circuit 1 to get a feel for the movement. Increase the weight and do 10 on the 2nd circuit
Out and in squat jumps-30
Leg press half reps- 20
Single leg press- 10
Hip abduction- 30
Circuit 3- Booty should be shaking involuntarily after this circuit!
Single leg deadlift- 10
Out and in squat jumps- 30 **This time add in a plyo box with 2 risers. Your "in" jump will land on top of the box.
Leg press half reps- 20
Single leg press- 10
Hip abduction- 30
Circuit 4 -TOAST
Single leg squats- 20
Out and ins w/box-30
Single leg press- 10 (notice the change of order)
Leg press half reps- 20 (um ouch)
Hip abduction- 30 (last set!! YES)
Yes you still have to do your 5 min run before you start your 30min cardio. I find it helpful to save your favorite song on your iPod for this last push! Use the 30min post cardio to feel like a total badass and facebook me on how you feel! www.facebook.com/LabenderProbikini
Thanks for reading! Have a great day and train hard!!
Hello! Happy Holidays! It's getting chilly outside and I don't know about you but I LOVE this time of year! Christmas music has been playing non stop in my car since Thanksgiving (maybe even on the iPod at the gym) And yes, I have been watching my favorite movie Elf as much as possible. Santaaaa! I KNOW HIM! Haha ok, anyway, I just wanted to update everyone with what I'm up to!
The first show of the year is 10 weeks away and I'm so excited because it's here in Phoenix! What a great way to start the year with a competition right here in my hood After talking with my trainer, our goals with this show are to come in a little softer and with less muscle density. So prepping for this show will be unlike any other; it's strictly cardio, sprints, and newly added yoga. So basically I took out training and added in yoga. Sounds nice and easy but this is actually very hard for me! Without intense training with my trainer, it is hard to get in "show mode". I've gotten so used to doing the same routine and now that it's altered, it's changed my mentality like crazy! But what's life without a little challenge right? So I am on my own for this show- no trainer in my ear! I am really testing my abilities as an athlete and a personal trainer myself for being show ready. I have to hold myself accountable and keep myself motivated everyday. Kinda scary but that's how you get stronger as an athlete and a professional, so I'm excited.
It's hard to accept that I will be ready for the show without my regular training.. I think it's because I love it so much! But I have to stay disciplined and not even look at a dumbbell for a looong time. I have a lot of muscle for a bikini competitor and it's important I don't get too muscular, which is easy for my body type and can make me look shorter than I already am (5'2). So I'm focusing on just keeping up with conditioning through cardio and sprints and getting elongated muscles through yoga.
Yoga is something I've always wanted to get in to so I made it part of my show prep. My goals with that are to elongate my muscles, and improve my flexibility and mental strength. I found a great studio near my place with some amazing instructors. If you start seeing lots of wisdom-ish quotes on my facebook page, then you know I probably just got out of yoga lol!
My diet is per usual- 6 small clean meals a day consisting of mostly veggies, complex carbs earlier in the day, and lean proteins. I have noticed that healthy fats don't work well for me so I supplement with fish oil. This weekend will be a challenge- I am visiting my home town in Seattle for Christmas! Hello temptation! My family is fully aware that I am prepping and they are super supportive so I am thankful for that I will give myself some leeway on Christmas day but that's it!
So that's it folks! Like I said, this show prep is NOTHING like I've ever done before and I'll be sure to keep you guys posted with how I'm doing. Thanks for reading and happy holidays!
Hey folks! Tis the season and Muscle Milk has your back with their seasonal Eggnog flavor! Leave it to me to come up with a tasty recipe- Enjoy!
Muscle Milk Eggnog Frappe
Combine in a blender:
2 scoops Muscle Milk Eggnog protein powder
1/2 cup brewed cold coffee (substitute with water if you don't like coffee)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
6 ice cubes
Dash of nutmeg and cinnamon
I also tried it with 2 tbsp of pumpkin puree and it was AMAZING!
Get your hands on this delicious flavor at bodybuilding.com! http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/cs/milk.html
I've never posted a workout before, so I figured it's about time! My favorite days at the gym are glutes n hams days. It's the toughest area for women to get tight so it's important to work em hard! Here's what I did the other day, make sure to use weights that are challenging enough to where the last couple reps are almost impossible. The rest periods between sets are short-- intensity is important for the best results, push yourself! Also, proper form is vital here- never let your knees go over your toes in any movement, keep your butt back, and always push through your heels. Enjoy!
Warm-up- 50 walking lunges (25 each leg)
Set 1- 3x
Single leg hack leg-press w/foot on top of the platform - 12 reps followed by double leg- 12 full reps followed by 20 half reps (bottom to mid range)
SS 1 min. jump squats
Hip abductor 4x30 (15sec rest between sets)
Set 3- 3x
Leg curl x 12
SS body weight single leg squat x20 each leg
Set 4- 3x
Box jumps w/ hands on head x25
SS barbell straight leg deadlift x30
Hip abductors 4x30 (15sec rest between sets)
Finish with 30min fast walk on the tredmill- high incline and no hands!
Hopefully that makes sense lol.. And hopefully you get some sore buns of steel like I did from this Train hard!!
What is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?
I ask this question to a lot of people and had it up on Facebook and Twitter the other day. It’s always fun to see what people’s responses are and 99% of the time it’s about responsibility. The FIRST thing that enters most people’s mind in the morning is what they have to do that day, and hurry hurry hurry to get it done. Hello stressful/anxiety/not so fun day. Not to say that you automatically will have a bad day if you go straight into your responsibility thoughts, but you're probably not reaching your full potential of a great day if you do!
While it is great to be a responsible person and all, why not take a second in the morning, Peter Pan yourself a little, and “think happy thoughts”? You have all day to think about what your next step is going to be. Why not use YOUR morning, first thing, and think about something random that makes you happy? You would be surprised the effect it will have on the rest of your day.
To jump start your brain, try leaving something around your bed that makes you happy so that when you open your eyes, boom there it is. Personally, I have a daily calendar on my nightstand with motivational quotes on each page. Reading those FIRST thing when I wake up in the morning helps me reflect on life for a few minutes, be thankful for everything I have, and then I’m excited to get out of bed and tackle the day! All the lemons life throws are caught, and made into lemonade! Bob Marley’s, “Don’t Worry be Happy” is the theme song for the day! You get the idea
I challenge you all to make an effort when you wake up tomorrow morning to think happy thoughts and reflect a little bit on all the great things life has given you. It can take as little as 5 minutes if you want! As your day goes on, you will start to notice that everything you have to do becomes everything you get to do. Your perspective switches gear and all of a sudden you’re having more good days than bad.
Having a great day is pretty simple. Starting it off right is just the beginning, but I promise it will make a huge difference!
Thanks for reading, have a great day!
For some reason, I've seen a lot of rah-rah about abs lately. All of it is very general information for the mainstream audience claiming to give you the "ultimate guide to 6 pack abs" where you do a series of different ab exercises. While those exercises have their place in any workout regimen, don't be fooled into thinking that the perfect ab routine is gonna get them poppin. The one constant that I 100% agree with (which is not always advertised) is that abs are made in the kitchen!! Let me give you the scoop on what MY body needs to SEE six-pack abs:
I have been well on my way dieting and training for the Phoenix Pro, August 27th, seeing my abs pop a little more every day. It was awesome! During a week where we went heavy, my trainer and I decided to add a SMIDGEN of extra oatmeal to my lunch (post workout meal) so I could restore glycogen and build muscle. After 3 days of this, goodbye lines in abs It is crazy how even a small amount of carbs made such a difference in my midsection (especially when I had been on very low carbs for the past 2 weeks). It's not like I completely lost definition, but it definitely smoothed me out. However, it did fill out my shoulders and made my workouts better (which was the point).
The reason I'm sharing this is because I want you all to know that abs are pesky little things (unless you are an ectomorph) that take a lot of discipline to bring out. For me, they take lots of depletion (carb AND sodium cutting) to really bring out definition. Yes, I would love to see them everyday, but I have to be realistic. No one wants to be depleted for too long, it's not efficient! The recipe that works for MY body to really bring out a six pack is this- asparagus and tilapia. Boom. Yeah it sucks, but that's what works for me! And let me tell you, when on stage or at a photo shoot, the last thing I care about is my diet. I want to look my BEST no matter what it takes. And when you have a stubborn body like myself, asparagus and tilapia is what it takes! Of course, it is not a long term diet, it is only for about a week. I am hoping, and very certain, that the more my body matures and the more muscle I put on, the less depletion it will take to maintain a lean physique. But for now? Depletion it is!
As always, feel free to post comments/questions! I love to chat