Friday, September 5, 2014

Blog Forward Challenge 2014 by ZonePerfect #3 and GIVEAWAY!

It's September, and I have no idea where August went. Actually, that's not entirely true, since August was filled with finals, final papers, and studying for National Boards Part II. That's one way to make a month fly by in a chaotic mess of studying, stress, and not much else. Well, studying, stress, food, and working out, because there's always room for food and the gym. So, let's check up on those ZonePerfect Blog Forward New Year's Resolutions, shall we?

1) My first resolution was to bring healthy snacks to school and not waste money on gnarly, overpriced cafeteria snacks or vending machine junk food. Still doing well there, with lots of almonds, fruit, vegetables and hummus, and jerky coming to the library with me for study time, and ZonePerfect bars (usually cookie dough, if I can find them) getting used for pre-workout (and sometimes mid-workout) snacks, since peri-workout nutrition has gotten pushed to the forefront these past couple months (but more on that later).

2) My second resolution was to excel in 5th trimester. Well, that finished quite a while ago, and I pulled off a 3.60, and I made the new goal in my last Blog Forward post of rocking 6th trimester. Went Beast Mode on 6th tri, and just finished that with a 3.78 for my third consecutive trimester on Dean's List! Onward to 7th tri!

3) Well this is where it falls apart a little...well, not really, depending on your definition of falls apart versus changed. I started marathon training, but I was having problems really getting into it. Don't get me wrong, I was diligently logging my 90+ mile weeks, but something just wasn't flowing. Combine that with a few setbacks here and there, and I just don't think it's in my best interest to race a marathon this fall. Ultimately, I decided to go back to the gym. So, what now? Well, not long after aborting marathon training, my lifting buddy came to me with the idea of getting into a figure competition for 2015. Hmm...interesting. What is figure, you ask? Well, a picture says a million words:

Not that I have any shot of looking anything like Nicole Wilkins in a year...but this picture gives you an idea of the different divisions, and hey, there's nothing wrong with aspiring to get as close as my genetics will allow, right? Plus this picture also gives you a chance to look at Dana Linn Bailey's shoulders...holy crap! I actually think my personality fits Physique more than Figure, but I'm an ectomorph and I've been a runner for 15 years, so let's be realistic here. A year ago, I probably had less muscle than the Bikini girls, and a lot of the more jacked Bikini girls are still bigger than I am!

So, I'm currently bulking and lifting like a madwoman, hence the emphasis on peri-workout nutrition for gains. (Bulking = eating at a surplus and trying to put on muscle. If anyone tells you that you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, give them an odd look and walk away quickly, considering that gaining muscle requires eating at a surplus, and losing fat, aka cutting, requires eating at a deficit. While recomps are technically possible, progress is generally much slower than doing bulking and cutting cycles. Plus, muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so more muscle means more calories burned just as a product of basal metabolism). Remember last time I checked in, I reported that I was benching 100lbs, deadlifting 185lbs, and squatting 155lbs? Well, my deadlift 1RM (1 rep max) is now two plates (225lbs), and my overhead press is at 75lbs! I haven't tried to max out on bench or squat lately, but I squat 155lbs for 4 sets of 10, and I dumbbell bench 40s for 4 sets of 10 (dumbbell bench is easier to push yourself on than barbell bench if you don't have a spotter, plus I really need to work on symmetry, and this way my left arm has to stop slacking off. Can't use as much weight with dumbbells though). My lats and glutes are lagging though (still have a runner butt), which is a bit problematic since judges 1) really like that glute-ham tie-in, and 2) like the V-taper, which is formed by big lats and a tiny waist, neither of which I am genetically predisposed to. Really, I don't even like the Iggy Azalea/Kim Kardashian bubble-butt look (sorry, Sir Mix-a-Lot), but whatever, I guess I can deal with it. Bat-wing lats on the other hand? Those are cool, I'll take them. So more squats, deads, and pull-ups for me.

Getting bigger, but I'm still no DLB.

4) My fourth goal concerned more chiropractic certifications. I dropped the ball on getting my second A.R.T. certification, since they're expensive and all of the seminars fell at inconvenient times of the year. However, I earned my Nimmo soft tissue trigger point technique certification, and also completed the first module of ConnecTx instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization.

Life takes us strange places sometimes. If you told me a year ago that I'd be prepping for a 2015 bodybuilding competition, I'm not sure that I ever would have stopped laughing. And if you told me I'd be purposely trying to gain weight, I probably would have laughed even more. I'd consider it a successful year thus far though, and it's not over yet. Relentless forward progress.

Finally, I have another giveaway for your, courtesy of ZonePerfect! This one is a box of well-being essentials, including a tumbler, pedometer, lip balm, hair ties, hand sanitizer, a box of ZonePerfect bars, and a coupon for more ZonePerfect bars! Contest ends 9/12 at 12:00am Eastern Time. Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Full disclosure: I was provided a box of ZonePerfect bars free of charge as part of this program. I am not, however, actually affiliated with ZonePerfect, and am allowed to speak positively or negatively about the product, so like in all of my reviews, any opinions expressed are mine and based on my experience, and do not reflect the opinions of ZonePerfect or anyone else.


  1. I have been a little slack with reaching my goals.

  2. My goals have been going pretty good. I got off track for a week but now I am back and doing well.

    1. Great to hear! That's the's easy to get off-track and we all do it, but it's the people who don't get derailled permanently that are successful!

  3. not the best... I was on track to do my 3rd local 10k, but then my Chron's went into overdrive and I had to stop to deal with the medical stuff... Hoping it settles soon so I can get back into regular running again :)

  4. Rock on, young lady!

    My #1 goal was to burn off the 15-20 lb I added to my gut last winter. I kinda slacked off after the Army Ten-Miler in October, thanks to a terrible winter, a broken treadmill and an underactive thyroid. Oh, and just plain laziness. After a new job and a move to south Florida, I got my rear back in gear with regular distance running, strength and core work, and I'm down from 178 a few months ago to 164 this morning. All from exercise. No fad diets, just (mostly) sensible eating. Even covered 11.5 miles LSD yesterday morning, which I think ain't too shabby for a geezer who'll be 63 next week.


    1. That's great, Bruce! Life happens, but good for you for getting back at it. 14 pounds is a huuuge drop too!


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