Weight: 114 Lbs.
Weight: 117 Lbs.
How I Did It
I have always wanted to join a gym. I wanted to feel stronger and healthier and although I was already "thin", I didn't like my body. I wanted more tone and muscle. After having 4 children I craved that long, muscular and lean look.
I did not get much encouragement from other women. They said I didn't need the gym because I was already thin. I believe thin people are discriminated against. Just because I was thin, didn't mean I liked myself in a bikini. So, I joined in April with my teen daughter Alicia.
I began with cardio and full body workouts until November. I started buying muscle magazines and saw the women in there. I love the look of the figure women! While they are not the huge bodybuilding women of the 70's and 80's, they are in great shape with lean muscle mass. They are also attractive and that's part of the appeal.
Women believe that if they work out, they will begin to look like men. This is not true and I am holding onto my feminine side easily. My daughter quit the gym in November. I am naturally a shy person, so to walk in there by myself was a difficult thing! Especially seeing as I had split up my workouts into specific areas and had to now go where all the men are to do my workout.
It took a lot of guts, but after awhile I didn't care who was next to me or near me. Often times I am the only woman in the weight room and I am comfortable, like it's a second home.
I have a goal to compete in my first contests in April of this year. The first is a "bikini' due to the fact that my legs are not yet holding enough muscle for figure. The second is a figure competition, but hopefully the added 3 weeks will help me get the look I am going for. I can also compete in Masters and Open as I am over 35, this gives me more than one chance to place in a division.
My diet - I am currently going for high protein, low carbs. Of course I cut out junk food and fast foods. No sweets, which is easy, because I was never a sweet fan anyway.
- Breakfast: double protein shake.
- Snack: boiled egg or cottage cheese.
- Lunch: 2 plain turkey burgers or 1 can of tuna mixed with cottage cheese.
- Snack: boiled egg and another double shake.
- Dinner: I try to go for meat and vegetables, staying away from fats and starches.
- Snack: another double protein shake.
I also will eat some oatmeal or cereal.
I have taken Lipo 6, Hydroxycut Hardcore and Nitrix. The Nitrix is a favorite of mine. I cannot attest to the fat burners because I didn't know my body fat until this week. I use creatine and have stopped using glutamine because it counteracts with the Nitrix. The only other thing I take are multi vitamin, vit's C,D,E and glucosamine.
I do eat a couple of the kids fries now and then. I read your body can be satisfied with a small amount of fat and I think a taste can't hurt.
Sample Training Routine
* Most of my moves are 12-15 reps for 3 sets.
Day 1: Legs
- Leg press: 270
- Squats: 300
- Donkey kick cables: 60
- Curls: 85 (my ham hurts on the left, was doing 70)
- Extensions: 110
- Seated calf raises: 105
- Inner thighs: 200
- Outer thighs: 120
- Hack machine: about 300
- V hack: about 300
Donkey calf raises; I can do the whole stack, but had complications the last time I did it. Lower back is included in this day because it hits the glutes and hamstrings. I deadlift 105 and use the Roman chair.
Day 2 : Chest, and tri's
My weights are varied and I am using machines mostly. Some dumbbells/barbells for triceps though. I use a fly machine forward and back for chest and back, 70 pounds right now.
I can bench about 120-140 on a machine, but I have no spotter for the smith machine and I recently benched 105 there.
I use cables with a V attachment for tris.
There are new chest machines and my weights are not high, but I am willing to try them all.
Day 3: Bi's & Forearms
- Preacher curls: 40
- Standing curls: 50
- Freearms (preacher): 30 new to me, I'm a wuss
- Behind the back forearm curls: 40 lbs
- Dumbbells (curls): 15 per arm ...wuss
Pulley's used for my bi's and shoulders a bit too - I use a few machines. Hammerstrength; which do each arm individual. I take 15 lbs dumbbells to the preacher bench and curl for my wrist and forearms.
Day 4: Abs and lats
- I do a lot of incline situps on this day of course. As many as possible, with 25 lbs on my chest.
- Side bends with 25 lbs in my arms.
- I do a lot of leg raises and have recently added 5-pound dumbbell between my feet to target the lower abs.
- Cable crunches: 70 lbs.
- Side bends on cables: 90lbs
- Ab crunch machine: 90
- Lats: I use cables and lat pull downs at 80 lbs.
Day 5: Shoulders & Upper Back
- Keep my heart pounding and move on.
- Pyramid and add weigh as I go.
- Start high reps with lower weights to warm-up and increase weights my second pass around the gym.
My favorite day of all - I use barbells, dumbells and machines. My weights on shoulders is not high, but I do many reps. I use the pectoral flye in reverse. There are several hammerstength machines that target the upper back and shoulders well.
With the barbell I do bent over rows at 50 lbs. I use dumbbells (10 bs-20 lbs and raise my arms up to the front and out to my sides to shoulder level. These are super effective. The cables give me the same exercises, but with higher weights.
Shoulder press on smith machine: about 60-80 lbs.
In a NUTSHELL, most of my moves are 12-15 reps for 3 sets. In my shorter workouts and even some of my longer, I make 2 passes (rotations) at each. I do not rest a lot between sets.
I like to ...
I recently added 3 extra days of cardio for 20 minutes on my lunch hour.
I hope to continue going to the gym as much as possible and enter as many contests as I can. I'd like to work at becoming a fitness model in the future. I think other mothers need to know that having children doesn't mean you have to dress or look a certain way. There is no need to put on sweat pants and hide yourself!
I'd like to portray a more realistic goal for women. I am not the A-typical swimsuit model at 5'10" with breast implants. Not everyone wants to look like that. There are too many super skinny women in magazines and it creates an unreal image for young women and girls.
It took me awhile to not want to be the 98 waif I was 2 years ago. To get on a scale at 124 pounds and to remember being afraid to wear a bikini when I weighed a less muscular 126 is huge for me. I didn't go out and get plastic surgery to reach my goals. This is hard work and sometimes it hurts, but when you like what you see in the mirror, it's all worth it.
No one tells you that you are going to gain weight in the first few months. Perhaps you go with a friend and they quit and you end up quitting because of that? Do not quit! I have a profile here on BodySpace.com that has all my stats and history. I use my Bodyblog like a diary and I have "met" a lot of great people.
|BODYSPACE: STRENGTH IN NUMBERS|
I post before and after photos so I can see the changes I have made. These things are helpful. I encourage anyone who reads this to start a profile of their own and start feeling better about themselves.