Name: Amanda Gano
Why I Got Started
When I was 19 almost 20, my husband and I had a miscarriage of our first child. I was living a lazy unhealthy lifestyle of fast food, smoking, drinking and being sedentary. I was 192 pounds and a size 18 and pushing a 20 pretty hard.
I didn't take care of myself in any way. I didn't feel good enough about myself to wear makeup, do my hair or dress like I cared about how I looked. I had become a stranger to myself. I was fighting depression and that increased with the loss of the baby. I felt that the reason I miscarried was because of my weight and lifestyle. I have always been a picky eater which made eating fast food so easy.
I began my weight loss with going to Curves for 30 minutes per day and staying very active during all aspects of the workout and doing my version of the Atkins diet. Doing this I initially lost 30 pounds in 4-to-5 months ... over the course of the next year I yo-yo dieted and lost a great deal of weight going to the gym and being a cardio queen and eating a small amount of food. I shrank down to a size 00 at 112 pounds . This wasn't sustainable due to the unhealthy way I was losing the weight. I eventually gained it all back because I didn't know what healthy eating was.
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I Was Living A Very Lazy Unhealthy Lifestyle Of Fast Food,
Smoking, Drinking And Being Sedentary.
How I Did It
I began my lifestyle change after running across a few different bodybuilding/fitness websites and decided to put it all out there and embarrass myself with my pictures. I wanted guidance and help. I had never lifted weights before and didn't really know how to work out. I hadn't ever had to work out before.
I was always an athlete growing up but after high school I stopped playing sports and the weight crept up on my quickly. I was approached by a gentleman who told me about another site and a trainer name Jen Heath that could help me reach the goals I was looking to achieve. I contacted her and she offered her help and guidance to acquire the physical accomplishments that I had set out for myself. We began a training relationship online and she taught me about nutrition and different exercises to reach my potential. I trained with Jen for a little over 6 months and saw wonderful changes in my body. I built muscle like no tomorrow.
I set my sites on doing a figure competition and began to prep for the competition. 8 week from the competition I found out I was pregnant. I was shocked as up until this point I had fertility problems and had endured a miscarriage and three years of medications trying to conceive. I went from 158 pounds of muscle to 194 pounds after giving birth to my son in November 2008. In July of 2009 I picked up an old hobby and started playing softball for an adult league in the area and lost about 20 pounds during the season. I wasn't really trying to lose weight but I was dropping it.
I realized I was so pressed for time that the easiest thing for me to eat was healthy items like turkey burgers for dinner or chicken breast. I decided if I could lose 20 pounds during softball season I could lose even more if I returned to the gym. So in the midst of going to college, raising my son, working full time I went back to the gym and over the course of the next year I lost 40 more pounds and leaned out more than I ever thought was possible.
I utilized the information that Jen had given me during our time training together and then analyzed the way my body reacted to eating certain foods and cut out the foods that didn't work for my body, and utilized the things that my body reacted well with. I play softball 2-to-3 times a week from spring till fall and then lift weights 4 times per week, sometimes 5. I eat a carb cycling diet with med/high carbs one day then the following day I eat low impact or no carbs with lots of protein.
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I Went Back To The Gym And Over The Course Of The Next Year I Lost 40 More Lbs And Leaned Out More Than I Ever Thought Was Possible.
Low Carb Day:
- 1 Atkins Bar
- 1 handful of Nuts
- 1 scoop Protein Drink
Med/high carb Day:
- 1 cup Kashi Go Lean Cereal
- 1 Atkins Bar
- 1 scoop Protein Drink
I usually do 2 to 3 days of softball per week in addition to my gym workout.
Day 1: Legs
- Wide Stance Squats: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Walking Lunges: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Romanian Deadlifts: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Stiff-Legged Deadlifts: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Leg Curls: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 15 reps (3 toes in, 3 toes out, 3 toes forward)
- Lunges: 3 sets of 15 reps
- 20 minutes of HIIT Sprints
Day 2: Back/Shoulders
- Front Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 12-15
- Side Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 12-15
- Upright Rows: 3 sets of 12-15
- Bent Over Rows: 3 sets of 12-15
- Lateral Pulldowns: 3 sets of 12-15
- Pull-ups (Wide Grip): 3 sets of 12-15
- Good Mornings: 3 sets of 12-15
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Biceps/Triceps
- Preacher Curls: 3 sets of 12-14
- Alternating Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets of 12-14
- Decline Skull Crushers: 3 sets of 12-14
- Tricep Extension With Pulley: 3 sets of 12-14
- Cable Curl: 3 sets of 12-14
- Close-Grip Bench: 3 sets of 12-14
- 20 minutes of HIIT or 30 minutes on the Step mill at level 10-12
Day 5: Chest/Hamstrings/Abs
- Hanging Leg Raises: 3 sets of 15 reps front, 3 sets of 15 reps
- Lying Leg Curls: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Side Bridge: 2 min. front, 2 min. each side
- V-ups: 3 sets of 20 reps
- Bench Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Cable crossovers: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Dumbbell Push Press: 3 sets of 15 reps
Day 6: Rest/Cardio
Day 7: Rest/Cardio
Suggestions for Others
- Be consistent (training and diet)
- Choose a diet and exercise routine that you can live with. If you can't do it regularly you can't make a lifestyle change.
- Use measurements rather than the scale. It can be discouraging, especially to women, to see that the scale doesn't change. However, muscle weighs more than fat; therefore, measurements are a more dependable way of charting progress.
- Keep a journal, until you have a great understanding of what foods work well to meet your caloric and macro needs.
- Don't compare your body to anyone else's. We all carry and distribute weight differently. So just because you weight 150 pounds doesn't mean you are overweight or out of shape if you are size 6 and carry a lot of muscle.
- Include family and fun into your workouts, the less monotonous the more likely you are to burn more calories and come back for more.
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