For the female competitors out there, here are some resources I love!
Custom suits by Merry Christine. This girl does amazing work. If you can afford her, Merry will not let you down. Her suits arrive with a perfect fit and are a work of art. She is also very friendly and easy to deal with; always promptly answering your emails.
Need help finding those high, clear shoes at a good price? Try www.electriqueboutique.com. They have a great selection at reasonable prices and if you happen to live in the Dallas Metroplex area, they have several stores in town.
While MAC cosmetics are great and popular for competition, I love the coverage and consistency of foundations by Cinema Secrets. Their foundations are made for stage and television so they are very opaque, easy to apply and also inexpensive. Their makeup also works wonderfully for photo shoots and quite frankly, even everyday wear. It's simply beautiful. You can visit them at www.cinemasecrets.com.
Here's a trick I learned for keeping that beautiful suit stuck where it belongs while on stage; Tuffner Pre-Tape Spray. It is not the easiest thing to find, but it works like a dream and will not mess up your competition tan or your suit!
Speaking of competition tans, I personally like Jan Tana. It has come out consistently dark and even for me.
My favorite workout apparel has to be from the Nike Goddess line. Their fabric is roomy and comfortable and will keep moisture away from your body. They have contemporary styling and consistently nice products. It also holds up well to the many visits in the washing machine it will go through. For shoes I love www.nikeid.com.
I admit that I just can't get enough personalized shoes to match my outfits. I love that you can design your own running and training shoes and they arrive very quickly. Even if you decide that you don't like the design you came up with once you see them, you can still return them. How great is that?
Moving on to training aids, there are several things that definitely make my favorites list! Available on bodybuilding.com, I love RD Millennium Straps! These straps have allowed me to lift far more weight than I could have without them by not fatiguing the forearms. What an amazing invention! I like Schiek gloves for their construction and ease of taking off.
Because we fitness fanatics are always drinking a lot of water, I love the water jugs in the gallon size! When I finish the gallon, I know I've drunk my day's allotment.
Polar Heart Rate Monitors
Also making my favorites list are Polar Heart rate monitors. Being able to monitor your heart rate during exercise can be very helpful and the higher end models will also tell you how many calories you've expended and the percentage of fat you have burned.
They are so much more accurate than what you see displayed on the cardio machines. Seeing what you've accomplished in figures at the end of your workout can be very motivating!
Lastly, my favorite training aid, of course, is having a personal trainer. I have written an entire article on the benefits of having a personal trainer that you can read on bodybuilding.com.
And of course, the multitude of nutritional guidance available from all of the writers on bodybuilding.com is an incredible resource that can keep you reading forever! So many people that have tried different things have put their successes online to help us all out. There is nutrition advice available for just about every situation you can think.
Foods on my favorites list include oats, fish, flax oil and Lana's Egg Whites. My favorite type of oats are stone-ground pinhead. Guilt-free desserts include my crustless pumpkin pie and sugar free jello.
Motivation And Inspiration
We can all benefit from some motivational guidance and inspiration. My favorites include the Goal Genie which will display goals you have created on your computer screen at set intervals for you to meditate on during the day. The repetitive nature of viewing your goals can be very effective in achieving them. I also enjoy hypnosis CDs by Steve G. Jones.
Listening to these CDs when falling asleep will put you in a restful environment while your subconscious focuses on positive thoughts. My favorite motivational books so far have been Supercharged by Peter Siegel and Psychocybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, M.D. They can help keep you inspired to be all that you are capable of.
For those of you whose worst vice, like me, is coffee, my absolute favorite source is Baltimore Coffee. They have a large range of high quality coffees available and they roast it especially for you once you place your order.
It is shipped immediately in vacuum packed bags with your name on it and the roasting date. The quality of their beans and the incredible freshness is like no other! There is a link to them available on my website if you would like to share in this wonderful experience.
After a hard day of training, I love the product line of Kiehl's for instant relief and pampering. They make several hand treatments which work very well on calluses and they are very soothing after your hands get roughed up lifting weight bars. They also make a muscle soak which is heavenly. (Available at www.kiehls.com or Saks and Neiman Marcus).
I am not very interested in mainstream entertainment, but my favorite movie that I would highly recommend has got to be Supersize Me! The true documentary of one man's journey of eating nothing but McDonald's for 30 days is highly informative and still very funny. Even the soundtrack will keep you laughing! I also recommend the last book I read, Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser.
While most of you already know the hazards of eating fast food, this book describes much more than just the perils of eating junk food. Included are the surprising negative business practices behind the fast food industry and the origins of fast food in America.
My favorite source for supplements? Bodybuilding.com, of course! They have everything you could ever want at the lowest prices and they offer amazing top-notch service! My favorite supplements are Whey Gourmet protein powder, creatine and glutamine.
I hope you've enjoyed my first annual favorites list. You've just been reading from my favorite source of fitness reading; Bodybuilding.com!