VIDEO: Tuesday's are Leg Days

In case you didn't know by now, on Tuesday's I teach a bootcamp class for my coworkers at lunch. We call it Leg Day, because it originated from one of my coworkers Carlos asking for a few leg exercises to switch up his routine, and it snowballed into lots wanting to join in! Now it's a staple and I love it.

I've realized I love teaching and inspiring others to push themselves and I feed off of all the awesome positive energy that transpires. Lately I've had lots of people (outside of my office) reaching out and asking for workouts, I wish I could help everyone individually (head to my online training tab if you're interested in customized plans!), but until then here is our leg day session from this week. Follow along with me for the first circuit and then I'm challenging you to complete four more, that's right I said FOUR! You got this!

For equipment this week we used a bar with 10lbs on each side, and a step platform with five risers on each side:

You can substitute the bar for dumbbells and the risers for anything elevated and sturdy, could be a chair, your stairs or a couch. I'll leave that up to you.   

Leg Day 10.20.15

10 Step-ups (each leg)

10 Step-ups w/ jump (each leg)

10 Deadlifts

10 Rows

10 Bicep curls

12 Curl&Press

Ready. Set. GO!

Let me know how it goes for you, and did you end up challenging yourself to five rounds?!

You're a rock star.

4 Weeks...What did I get myself into?

I have a tendency to jump into things without researching them or even fully thinking them through. It usually works for me in the end and I end up with some experiences I'd never take back but I do feel like I'm back there again. 

I'd actually never been to a bikini fitness competition until last weekend (five weeks out). One of the girls on Team Anthrofit was doing a "pre-show" (she's competiting with me in four weeks but wanted a little stage practice first), so a few of us road tripped down to the south shore to support Jenn.

Jenn is the brunette smokeshow right in the middle. She looked amazing and so comfortable on stage. When I get up there, I hope I have half the grace a poise she did. Well done lady!

So I'm sitting in this auditorium with my coach Johnny, two of my teammates, Ashely and Loren, and Jenn's BF Ryan and all the sudden it hits me like a ton of bricks. That's going to be me in five (now four) weeks. Excuse my language but I just had this..

OH SHIT

kind of moment. Know what I mean??

I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize it but actually standing on stage, in a bedazzled bikini, clear plastic heels, 14 shades of tan, and posing in front of judges, had never actually really settled with me. I've been so focused on the prep that the end result wasn't in the front of my mind. Like at all.

It was a good moment though. This challenge, this journey has never been about a stage and a bikini, it's been about the process and the challenge of it. It's been about testing myself physically and mentally. It's about picking a goal and sticking to it. Five months of intense training and strict eating guidelines, could I even do it??

I'm going to give myself a little pat on the back right now because I am doing it. I'm more than doing it I'm thriving in it and that's something I've never thought I'd be able to say.

I have truly enjoyed this process and learning about my body and what it's capable of. I'm not sure I would've been able to learn the same things if I hadn't decided to do this competition. The competition gave me a date to work towards, but in the end it taught me about a lifestyle and a new way to approach health and fitness. 

I've honestly gone back and forth about whether I'm actually going to step on stage, not because I don't think I'll be ready, but more because it's not really me. The posing, the stage, the bikini, that's not the part I've been excited about at all. But I keep going back to the fact, that it's one day and one more experience I'll have. I might totally hate it and that's OK. I also might love it and that's OK too. But it's a journey I started, I might as well finish it with the intended plan. 

So here's my progress at four weeks. I set PRs this week in my squats, got a little creative with my cooking, and met with a fabulous posing coach Geri to start figuring out what the heck I'm going to do when I'm actually on stage.


Thanks for all the love and support! I've realized what an isolating journey this can be and all of your encouraging words are so helpful and much needed.

"Challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful." - Joshua J. Marine.

Instagram(Inspirations).

I love Instagram. I'm on it all the time. Whether I'm shamelessly uploading gym selfies or browsing through posts at lunch, I love it all. What I love most about Instagram is the health and fitness community I've found. I often need an extra push to go to the gym, or a small reminder to stay on diet. That's what Instagram has been for me, an added tool to connect with like-minded people and stay on track!

I wanted to share a few of my favorite people/pages that I follow and you should follow too!


@katefit_

Meet Kate! She's wonderful. We connected back in the fall as we both went through the NASM training to be personal trainers simultaneously. Since then she has launched her own training business and website you can check out here! I really like her page because she posts quick workouts you can do at home, beginner yoga challenges and her adorable husky. 


@rawfigure

Meet Cathee! We actually met randomly at the gym (Equinox), I had seen her around for a few weeks and she absolutely crushes it. She's wonderful, extremely determined and traveled international to compete in figure competitions. It's great seeing her lovely, familiar face in the gym. I love her Instagram because her abs are insane (amazing motivation) and she often posts simple clean recipes that I love to help switch up my normal diet. She also introduced me to #BuffButter so God bless her for that! Check out her website here.


@emmakate_92

Meet Emma! I randomly found her but I really like her page because of her authenticity. She's currently in college studying accounting and training/prepping for NPC competitions. Knowing how hard it is to stay on track with a career, I can' imagine how much will power it must take to do it in college! She's so cute and not afraid to tell you about her crazy cravings and fights through them!! Plus I love all her Nike gear, duh. Her next show is in one week so good luck to you lady!!


@fitmissdani

Meet Dani! She's a college student at my alma mater, UNCW! She teaches several classes at the college gym (which I always thought was a cool job and wish I had done!). I love her page because like Emma, she does a great job of balancing the healthy life with the college life. My favorite though is she posts amazing and simple recipes that are so yum. Her sesame tofu recipe is bomb!


Then I of course wanted to share the pages of the girls on my Anthrofit Team! They are a constant source of support and inspiration!

@lorenpete1991 @ashley_hatcher @jcfitness4u @nicole_kulma @johnny_loreti


And don't forget to follow my page! @ebailey_fitness

"Cheat" Meals

I've had a lot of people reach out and ask me about "cheat" meals.

When do I get a "cheat" meal?

How much do I get to eat?

Is it just one meal or do I get a whole day?

I'm going to start and squash the entire term of a "cheat" meal. The term is quite commonly used and works for many, but I hate it. It makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong, something I should feel guilty about. But when I eat egg whites, Ezekiel bread, protein powder, plain chicken, brown rice, broccoli, and sweet potatoes for dayssssssss I sure don't feel guilty about chowing down on huevos rancheros at brunch, or dipping extra bread in my mussels sauce, or splitting a whole bottle of wine!

I earned it!! I've worked hard. I feel strong and healthy. And I'm feeding my body and my soul a little extra ice cream this week. I don't go crazy because I'm still on a strict diet plan and my coach would kill me, but I'm not going to feel guilty about treating myself.

I'm not cheating, I'm just living.

My treat meals have become extra special now that I'm on my strict diet and can't eat a cookie whenever I want (I really miss those days). So I've been quite selective about what I'm going to splurge on. Last Friday was the night before I was 12 weeks out, so the girls and I had a night out!

Coach told me I needed to eat more carbs....this is what he meant right?!

Coach told me I needed to eat more carbs....this is what he meant right?!

We started with pizza and beer at Regina's. No better way to do it!! Then went out and met the rest of the ladies for champagne and finally ended at a local bar with a live band and some Sam Adams. A wonderful night of celebration and treating before the real grind begins. 

Plus Friday was a leg day for me, so really I needed the extra carbs.

My point is regardless of this journey I'm on, I'm not depriving myself of things i love.

Donuts. Wine. Ice Cream. 

So I'm including a few of my other favorite treat moments as well. I have a weak spot for donuts, so these gourmet donuts from The Kitchen were heaven paired with the last of our red wine (just glad Ryan shares that same love too!).

It came with this raspberry (I think?) jelly that was  insane!

It came with this raspberry (I think?) jelly that was insane!

And finally...I live in the North End of Boston. It's also known as "little Italy" and is all too continent for a quick dinner out.

So back to the questions. It depends. It will always depend. So eat healthy, eat clean, and stop feeling guilty treating yourself. You aren't cheating, just treating. Think of it as food for the soul. 

"Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul." - Dorthy Day.

Part 1: The Diet.

When I was first thinking about doing a competition I kept looking for articles or blogs written by people who were going through the process. I wanted an inside look at what it was really like, not just pictures of the end result. That's what I want this to be, a window into the journey. My goal is for this blog to be that resource for you and hopefully help as some framework, discussing various components I'm juggling and how I'm handling (or struggling) with them. So to start the competition prep is comprised of two main parts, diet and exercise, and diet was the biggest question mark for me.

Part 1: Diet.

This is often the scariest part for people, which I completely understand (and it's honestly still scary to me). It takes time, thought, and some serious self control. But it's very doable, trust me. My diet plan started the beginning of January (convenient timing to be able to enjoy the holidays fully!) and has since slightly changed week by week. My trainer Johnny, helps with both my diet and workouts which makes life much easier. He creates a targeted meal plan for me each week and that's what I follow and can then plan my meals accordingly. As a whole the plan consists of five meals ranging from 250-400 calories each, hitting different macros (carbs, proteins, fats) at each meal.

I honestly really struggled with this the first couple weeks. Like I mentioned before, I've always eaten pretty healthy but never had to think about how many carbs I was having at breakfast, and wondering if I had fit in enough protein by dinner or make sure I planned my meals at convenient intervals so I was full all day. It's a lot to think about! MyFitnessPal definitely helped, it allowed me to enter my meals and track my numbers throughout the day. It's really just developing a plan, setting aside an afternoon to meal prep (my Sunday's), and then you're set for the week! I cook my breakfasts, lunches and most dinners for the week and can just heat them up when I'm hungry and it's impossible not to eat well (OK not totally impossible, but definitely helps!). Don't give yourself excuses!!

This week I'm at 2100 calories** which means extra carbs for me! I'm currently looking to intake 243 grams of carbs, 151 grams of protein, and 58 grams of fat each day for this week. That is one thing I really like about this diet plan, there's no crash dieting, or crazy supplements suggested. The point is just to "eat clean" which includes lean meats, unlimited amounts of greens, and whole grains. No one is limiting my coffee intake so I'm happy. I'm also a solid 16 weeks out so I still can drink wine and can incorporate "cheat meals" (which I will definitely be sharing...I take those seriously and I'm talking to you Regina's Pizzeria!).

I wanted to share just a few examples of some of my meals, they aren't super exciting and I'm almost already sick of chicken but a good base to start with!

A standard day for me looks kinda like this:

Breakfast 8AM

  • 3-4 egg whites (with salsa!)
  • 2 pieces of Ezekiel toast (I'm currently really into the cinnamon raisin)
  • LARGE coffee with almond milk

Snack 1, 10:30AM

  • Banana
  • or Ezekiel toast (again, it's really yum)
  • ...usually a second coffee

Lunch 1PM

  • 4 oz. grilled chicken
  • 1/2 cup steamed broccoli (or any other veg) 
  • 1/2 cup brown rice

Snack 2, 4PM (pre-workout)

  • Quest bar
  • or Ezekiel bread (with peanut butter)

Dinner 7:30PM (post-workout)

  • Broiled salmon (Whole foods has awesome fillets that are already seasoned!)
  • LOTS of veg (peppers, onions, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, you name it, I eat it!)

Dessert 9PM (my favorite part)

  • Casein protein shake (with almond milk, PB2, cinnamon and ice)...honestly it's a milkshake and I love it
  • or cottage cheese with blueberries (this usually feels more filling so if I'm still hungry or have already had a protein shake I usually opt for this)
  • *For dessert it's great to have a slow acting protein incorporated like casein so that it can fuel you all night and won't break down your muscles while you sleep...or so you don't wake up STARVING!

This is just what a typical week day looks for me, I get more adventurous on the weekend because I have more time to cook and try different recipes. Not as scary as you thought right?! This plan works for me, and helps me feel full, satisfied and energetic, ready to get after a workout at the gym!

I'd love to hear your thoughts or if you have any other recipes or ideas for me! 

 

**This is a targeted meal plan created specifically for me and my individual needs. This plan may not be right for you so please consult a professional before beginning any new diet plan.