Sunday, May 25, 2014

How to Get Lean and Gain Muscle - Written by a Regular Chick

How did you do it?

Since the day I posted this photo, I have received dozens of emails asking me how I did it. Well, it's tricky. If you keep up with my blog, I have went many different routes throughout my life. My first initial thought was to cut out carbs completely (WRONG) my second idea was to eat whatever I wanted as long as I stayed under 1500 calories a day (ALSO WRONG) and I have finally found what works for me.

Throughout my fitness journey I have had a lot of advice, tried a lot of different "diets" and a had many trials & errors throughout it all. Before you read this, understand that everyone has a different outlook on what works and what doesn't. THIS IS WHAT WORKS FOR ME. You ask, I tell. So far this is what I know, and I am still learning every day.

Before we get into what kinds of workouts I do, we need to discuss my diet. Because that is so much more important than what exercises I preform. 



When you are trying to gain muscle and burn fat, you need to first make sure that you are getting enough protein (and the right kinds). Eggs, dairy, and lean meats are a great, easy way to meet this goal. If you are a vegetarian like me, it will be a little more difficult, but it is always doable. I substitute meat with nuts, protein supplements, quinoa and beans.

Eat the right kinds of protein

How to calculate how much protein you need

There are many of these protein calculators available online, but I have provided below the link to the one I used as an example above.
CLICK HERE to calculate how much protein you need using this exact protein calculator


Beyond protein, it is important to provide your body with a sufficient amount of good carbohydrates to keep your muscles fueled. I've provided a chart below of the kinds of carbs you should be consuming on a daily basis.


Basically, steer clear of any processed foods. 

I have posted my thoughts on the free myfitnesspal app in a past blog, but I will repost this for your convenience. This app will help you calculate where you are now, and will show you what you need to do, caloric wise, to meet your own personal fitness goals. You can interact with other friends who are also working towards a better body and lifestyle on the app. It is very motivating! 

I think I have laid out most of what is important in the diet portion of this, so lets move on to what I do in the gym.


I should start by saying, that I do cardio for 20 minutes 3 times a week. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, this is the accurate amount to do if you are trying to gain lean muscle as well as lose body fat. I do the elliptical because it works your whole body, and it burns more calories than a treadmill.

But, lets get to the fun stuff! Below I have listed my current workout routine that I do on specific muscle targeting days, including example clips so you don't feel confused at the gym when starting up a new routine. PLEASE NOTE - these are the workouts that I do, everyone is different, so if some of these feel uncomfortable, you can find many more options at (Don't let the buff guys in these videos intimidate you!)
Arm day


Standing dumbbell reverse curl
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 10 lb dumbbells for this exercise)
Hammar curls
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 10 lb dumbbells for this exercise)

Dumbbell bicep curl
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 10 lb dumbbells for this exercise)


triceps pushdown
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 20 lb weight for this exercise)

Reverse grip triceps pushdown
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 20 lb weight for this exercise)

triceps pushdown rope attachment
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 17.5 lb weight for this exercise)
Leg Day

Hack squats
3 sets of 15 reps
(currently adding 90 lbs on this machine)

Wide stance leg press 
3 sets of 15 reps
(currently adding 140 lbs on this machine)

Seated calve raises

3 sets of 15 reps
(currently adding 25 lbs on this machine)

Thigh abductor & adductor
3 sets of 15 reps for BOTH abductor and adductor
(currently using 30 lb weight for these machines)

Romanian dead lift
3 sets of 15 reps
(currently adding 20 lbs to the bar for this exercise)

Back Day

Seated cable rows
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 20 lb weight on this machine) 

Wide-grip lat pull down
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 20 lb weight on this machine)

Close-grip front lat pull down

3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 20 lb weight on this machine)

One arm dumbbell row

3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 10 lb dumbbells of this exercise)

3 sets of 8-12 reps

I'm not currently doing abs, so I can't help you there.. yet. 
I do these on a weekly schedule as listed - 

Monday- Arms
Tuesday- Cardio
Wednesday- Back & Cardio
Thursday- Cardio
Friday- Rest day
Saturday- Legs
Sunday- Rest day
Eat clean - Every Day

If you have any questions, please let me know! I will now refer anyone who emails me to this blog because I won't have free time like this again for a while. GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Why Do Women Hate Each Other?

Have you ever wondered why, when you see a beautiful woman, your first thought is to point out any flaw you can find? Why do we constantly feel the need to put each other down? We bash the skinny models, and try (failing immensely) to glamorize body fat because the women who feel less-than-perfect are threatened by these women. We even go as far as declaring that unless you are a little hefty, you are not a "Real woman". (whatttttt?!?) Women have for generations had an unbearable urge to hate each other. Why is this?

Well, we are programmed to do this. Maybe not genetically--definitely not genetically--but psychologicaly programmed to do this. From the moment we are born, we are put in pink dresses and given Disney princesses as role models. We are encouraged to act "lady-like" and receive positive feedback when we try to look "pretty". We unnoticably tell little girls that they are "beautiful", when we tell little boys that they are "awesome".

It only progresses into adulthood when we start to focus on the media. The magazines tell us how to be more beautiful, what to buy to be more beautiful, and how to act to be seen as more beautiful.  The older we grow, the more that we feed off of that need for acceptance to hear that we are beautiful, because thats all we have ever been encouraged to be.

But what happens if the girl sitting at the bar is "more beautiful" than you? You become INSECURE. But you forget that she, just like you, is only doing what she has been taught to do since birth.. be beautiful. Maybe she's doing a better job at it, but you must realize that she too is pressured by the magazines and the constant strive for compliments and the feeling of acceptance.

So next time you see a beautiful woman, don't let your natural need to feel defensive take over. It isn't her fault. She might be dressed provocatively and she might be getting tons of negative attention from men, but it is what her and you both have been told to strive for. Smile at her, and realize that you and her are one in the same. Just two women trying to make it in a male dominated world.

We need to teach our daughters that they two are smart, and talented and have much more than just their beauty to offer to the world. We need to teach them that beauty lies within and no matter what happens, looks will fade. We need to encourage health rather than a perfect body. We need to encourage success rather than male attention. We need to encourage being a good person rather than being "lady-like". And lastly, we need to empower one another rather than resent one another.