Monthly Archives: January 2013

Summary of Training: Week 2

My second week of structured training went pretty much the same as my first but with a few changes. I’m definitely finding that I’m able to memorize all the exercises that I’m supposed to do each day. However, I did have to change the order of the exercises only because the machines that I am supposed to be using for each exercise are not always available to me in that specific order. My trainer said that as long as I get the reps in, I should be good although it is preferred that I do them in the order in which she said. But, if that’s not possible, I understand that I have to be adaptable and flexible as opposed to stressing out about the order in which those exercises are done.

I like the program. However, because I also have to train for running I sometimes have to modify the amount of exercises that I do per day in order to fit a run in. After all, this is an experiment for me more than anything. I try not to do any weights on days when I do my long runs. Usually, Sunday morning is my favorite time for a longer run. The reason I like Sunday mornings is because I want to condition my body for best performance on a Sunday. It is because most of the time, races are on Sundays. I want to get used to getting up slightly earlier on a Sunday while at the same time having enough energy to get through the long run, consume enough calories to prevent muscle depletion and then go to my posing/walking session.

Monday:
Medicine Ball Pushups 15×4
Ball DB 1 Arm Chest Press 20×4 (on each arm)
Cable Overhead Pull 20×4
Alternating up/down Plank 15×4
Ball Chest Fly 20×4
Triceps Kickbacks 20×4
Medicine Ball Burpees 15×4
Cable Shuffle Chest Press 15×4

After that I finished a 20 min run on the treadmill at about 6:45 min per mile.

Tuesday: I rested. It’s good to have one or maybe 2 days of rest in the week.

Wednesday:
Bulgarian Lunge with DB 15×4 (on each leg)
Bar Sumo Squat 20×4
Smith Machine Close Squat 20×4
Pop Squats 50×4
Medicine Ball Alternating Hop Throwdown 20×4
Bar Curtsees 20×4 (on each leg)
DB Calf Raise 25×4 (on each leg)
Bar Glute Bridge 20×4

I have also added the following exercises to the above workout, even though I know that I was supposed to do them the following day:
Push Ups 15×4
Seated Shoulder Press 15×4
Alternating Plank Band Shoulder Press 16×4
TRX Tuck/Pike 12×4

Thursday:
Kettlebell Upright Row 15×4
Cable Rope High Pull 20×4
Side Plank Side Raise 12×4 (on each side)
T Pulls on Bosu 15×4

DB Alternating Plank 15×4
TRX Side Plank 4×40 (sec on each side)
Bench Jack Knife 15×4
Mt Climbers 50×4
Turkish Sit-up 12×4 (on each side)
Spell my full name while holding the plank position on the ball 4 times
Cable Oblique Twist 15×4 (on each side)
Straight Arm Plank “X” 20×4

I also did a 15 minute run on the treadmill at a faster pace.

Friday:
Low Cable Squat Row 15×4
Bosu 21′s 21×4
Lat Pull Down Close 15×4
Alternating Plank Row 16×4
Assisted Pull-up 15×4
Jump Chin Ups 10×4
High Cable Arm Pulldown 15×4 (on each arm)

In addition to the workout above I ran for 45 minutes at a challenging pace.

Saturday: Had another rest day and did some stretching and some walking practice in my heels for the competition.

Sunday: I ran 12km at a comfortable pace. I also practiced my posing and walking with Tamara, my trainer.
PosePractice

Above is a completely untouched photo of my side pose. I’m wearing clothes from Public Myth (for those of you who asked where I got my shorts from). Yeah, I know, my hair isn’t done and I’m not wearing any make-up..hahaha. But, this is where I post progress pictures 😉 We’re not entirely sure of the type of posing that will be asked for during this competition so I might as well just learn it all.

Below is just a shot of me goofing off in the gym. I can actually balance myself on one foot in those shoes now, which is a huge step compared to the first week, where I thought walking in them was a challenge and my feet ached after half hour of wearing them. This photo has not been retouched either.

randompose
I will continue to do my 5 day split routine, even though due to my own schedule and equipment availability I have to modify it slightly combining two days into one if I have to. I don’t like to do that, but I think that if I have enough energy and keep feeling good, then I am doing OK. I will keep you all updated.

My BCRPA Personal Training Certificate Arrived

Hey guys!

I am really excited to say that my BCRPA Personal Training Certificate just arrived in the mail today. 🙂

bcrpa

I wrote the test in early December of 2012 because I wanted to finish the requirements for personal training at around the same time that I finished my Bachelor of Commerce Degree. It definitely feels great to be done with school (for now).

However, just because I’m done with school, does not mean I’m done learning. I will forever treasure and cherish any learning opportunity that I have because I am extremely passionate about the subjects of fitness and business. Since it is my passion, I am ready to give it my all.

I am looking forward to helping people achieve their fitness goals and revolutionize their lives. My ultimate goal is to help people live their fitness dreams. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing people happy, healthy and positive. I am on a mission to instill healthy lifestyles into everyone.

Fitness isn’t just a job for me, it’s something that’s near and dear to my heart. Optimal fitness isn’t just something that very few people achieve, it is within all of us. If you’re already there, great! If you’re not quite there yet,trust me, you can get there too!

I also want to say a HUGE thank you to all of you who are reading my blog so far and following my journey in the fitness industry. Your support and feedback means a lot to me.

I LOVE research and questions, so please, send those my way and there is a good chance that I will cover them on my blog in future posts.

Yours in good health,
Yana

Summary of Training: Week 1

Hey guys,

My first week of structured training has been both challenging and fun. I don’t honestly feel that committing to working out is a challenge for me, but the diet part of it is a challenge. What you eat, how much you eat and when you eat is different when you are preparing for a fitness competition vs. when you are training for a marathon. Seeing as I’m doing both, my goal is to maintain and shape my muscle as well as run. To maintain muscle mass, I have to make sure that the energy that I use on my runs comes from healthy food and not muscle. It’s also important to take in enough protein.

All in all, I think that I had a successful week of training, especially given the fact that I learned quite a few new exercises.

Monday:
Medicine Ball Pushups 15×4
Ball DB 1 Arm Chest Press 20×4 (on each arm)
Cable Overhead Pull 20×4 
Alternating up/down Plank 15×4 
Ball Chest Fly 20×4
Triceps Kickbacks 20×4
Medicine Ball Burpees 15×4
Cable Shuffle Chest Press 15×4

After I finished the above exercises, I did 12 min on the treadmill at average pace of 6:33 min per mile.

 Tuesday: I rested.

Wednesday:
Bulgarian Lunge with DB 15×4 (on each leg) 
Bar Sumo Squat 20×4
Smith Machine Close Squat 20×4 
Pop Squats 50×4
Medicine Ball Alternating Hop Throwdown 20×4 
Bar Curtsees 20×4 (on each leg) 
DB Calf Raise 25×4 (on each leg)
Bar Glute Bridge 20×4

After I completed the above workout, I did 15 minutes on the treadmill at an average pace of 6:29 min per mile

Thursday:
Push Ups 15×4
Seated Shoulder Press 15×4
Alternating Plank Band Shoulder Press 16×4
TRX Tuck/Pike 12×4
Kettlebell Upright Row 15×4
Cable Rope High Pull 20×4
Side Plank Side Raise 12×4 (on each side)
T Pulls on Bosu 15×4

Friday:
DB Alternating Plank 15×4
TRX Side Plank 4×40 (sec on each side)
Bench Jack Knife 15×4
Mt Climbers 50×4
Turkish Sit-up 12×4 (on each side)
Spell my full name while holding the plank position on the ball 4 times
Cable Oblique Twist 15×4 (on each side)
Straight Arm PLank “X” 20×4

I ran 8.5 km prior to completing the workout on Friday.

Saturday:
Low Cable Squat Row 15×4
Bosu 21’s 21×4
Lat Pull Down Close 15×4
Alternating Plank Row 16×4
Assisted Pull-up 15×4
Jump Chin Ups 10×4
High Cable Arm Pulldown 15×4 (on each arm)

 Sunday: Ran 14km at a very comfortable pace. I think that Sundays will be days when I will try to fit in slightly longer runs than usual. I also practiced walking and posing for the competition with my trainer Tamara Hambly on Sunday. Tamara Hambly was the one who designed my contest prep weight workout. I designed myself my marathon training plan, keeping in mind that my longest run will be 2 weeks after the fitness competition and 4 weeks before the marathon.

Please note: this workout is moderate to advanced. If you are not familiar with the exercises, please do not attempt them without the help of a trainer. Also, if you are training for distance, increase your mileage by no more than 10-12% per week to start with.

 

 

From Marathon Runner to Fitness Competitor and Back?

At the beginning of 2013, I set myself some goals, two of which were to compete in a fitness competition (or two) and run another marathon (or two). Of course, I’ve never competed in a fitness competition before, but I figured that this will be the year that I try something new and push myself outside the comfort zone. As far as marathons go, yes, I’ve ran one, you can read about it here. When it comes to running, my goal is always to PR or place in the top 3 in my age group.

So, I’m 9 weeks out from the fitness competition on March 23rd  (yes, that means no birthday cake for me this year) and 15 weeks out from the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 5th. This means that between the competition and the marathon, I have 6 weeks.  (I have other things planned as well, but I wanted to keep this post short.)

Now, this is an experiment for me.

I fully understand that both training and nutrition are completely different for fitness contest preparation and for marathon running. However, since I virtually didn’t lose any muscle mass while training for my marathon back in 2012 (which was proven by body composition tests before and after), I figure that maybe there is a way for me to maintain my muscle mass and at the same time train for both.

YHAbsAbove: photo by IMS FotoGrafix and clothing by Public Myth. I’m seeing some progress in the ab area.

I believe can still do my longer runs while at the same time training for my fitness contest as long as I eat enough calories from the right sources to maintain muscle mass and not gain any fat. Now, I will not be doing my longest run until about 4 weeks out from the marathon (after the competition), after which time I will gradually begin my taper and focus on speed work. My longest run will be between 36 and 39km. I created myself a training plan for the marathon and I will probably get a distance running coach as well. I will also begin complex carb-loading about two weeks prior to the marathon, which is especially important.

3smallAbove: clothing-Public Myth.

To prepare for my fitness competition, I’m currently working with experienced personal trainer and fitness competitor Tamara Hambly who created a body-shaping workout for me. The workout is different from what I used to do and is challenging at the same time. I’ve learned so much from Tamara already and I’ve only been doing her program for 1 week!

I’m both excited and a little bit nervous about this new fitness adventure of mine. I know one thing is for sure-I will work hard and I will give it my best. I mean, if it was easy, then everyone would be doing it. Hard is what makes it great 🙂

HAPPY TRAINING!

How I Recovered from My Injury

In the past few blog posts, you have seen me mention my foot injury many times. That’s because I feel that it was a significant turning point in my life and dealing with that injury taught me a lot about training.

Back in 2008, I was over-training and running in improper running shoes. These two factors were the causes of my foot injury. I was not following proper training techniques and I did not think that running 15km in cheap running shoes would be a problem. So, there I was doing my 15k run, running as fast as I could and all of a sudden, I felt a sharp pain in my arch. I also had Achilles Tendinitis (which is an overuse injury to the tendon that attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone).  Believing that it was no problem, I continued the run. I did not listen to my body at the time and thought that the soreness would go away the next day.

Unfortunately for me, it didn’t. A week later, it went away, so I went for another run and it got worse. It got to the point where I would feel a sharp pain in my arch, Achilles Tendon and heel every time I ran. Little did I know that it would be almost four years until I did any racing again. Those years were the most depressing years for me. I was out of shape and felt very sad.

Even though I wasn’t running for quite a while, deep down I knew that one day I would resume running because my love for the sport is so strong. So, about 2 years after my initial injury and about 35 lbs above my desired weight for my height (I was just under 150 lbs), I decided to get back into fitness and doing what I love…yes, I lost the weight and came back stronger and faster than ever before.

So how did I manage to do this?

To begin my recovery process, I started out with using the Elliptical Trainer and AMT. Both of these cardio machines are great for recovery because they are easier on the joints than running. If you are not a swimmer, like me, then these machines are a fantastic option for you. Swimming, however, is also a good way to recover from running injuries while at the same time maintaining your cardiovascular fitness.

In case you’re wondering what an AMT Machine looks like, check out the photo below. The best part about the AMT is that it works your whole body without putting pressure on your lower body joints. You can also adjust the resistance for a more intense workout. It takes me about 45 minutes on this machine to burn just a little over 700 calories. A 700 calorie per day deficit is quite a bit and over time will result in gradual weight loss.

AMT Precor

For about 4 months straight (that’s after nearly 3 years of not doing much exercise at all), I worked out for 45 minutes to 1 hour on the Elliptical Trainer or AMT 3-4 times a week and did 1 short run per week. Short run being anywhere between 5-10km. For the next 4 months after that, I replaced one of the cardio machine sessions with an additional run, so I was doing 2 runs a week, in addition to the Elliptical Training and AMT.

I also lifted weights in order to strengthen the muscles and improve muscle balance around all my joints to help avoid future injuries. I started to really notice physiological changes after about 12 weeks since I started exercising consistently.

In addition to weight training and cardio, I was stretching all the major muscle groups to help avoid injury due to muscle tightness. Since the re-start of my training routine, my goal is and always will be to get through it uninjured.

Gradually, my body started adapting to longer distances again. I increased my weekly mileage by no more than 10% each week. I also made sure to take a couple of days off from running if I thought I was feeling pain. However, when I was not running, I was focusing on the other forms of cardio, mentioned earlier in this post. I would say that it took about 6 months for me to be comfortable with the marathon distance after I started running more regularly.

It is also in the midst of my recovery from the injury that I decided to take up personal training. I found that the personal training courses were highly useful in teaching me how to properly perform exercises so that I don’t get re-injured. Another reason I took up personal training is because I want to help other people minimize the risk of injuries while exercising. My goal as a trainer is to help people reach their fitness goals without having to deal with painful setbacks like I had. People have every right to reach their fitness goals safely and effectively and I want to be there for them.

 So, in summary, what are some of the keys to avoiding injuries and successfully recovering from them?

First, to avoid injuries, it’s important to choose the right running shoes for your feet even if that means paying a little bit more money.

Second, listening to your body is also critical. If you feel the bad kind of pain, stop what you are doing and do something else.

Third, take the time to learn how to properly perform the exercises (watch your form, stride, posture, etc) and how to progressively overload your body as it adapts.

Fourth, while you are recovering, pay close attention to how your body feels and don’t get discouraged if it takes you a while before you return to your pre-injury fitness level.

Please note: recovery varies from injury to injury. If you get injured, it is best that you see a doctor prior to starting or restarting any exercise program.

 

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