Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lift For The Bikini!

  Happy 2012!!

For the New Year I figured I update my site to better reflect my training philosophy, so "Run for the Bikini" is now officially "Run (and Lift!) for the Bikini!" :D   I know it doesn't quite have the same ring to it, but I can't emphasis enough the effect lifting has on both changing your physique, improving athletic performance, and instilling confidence.  Those are the Big 3 things that keep me motivated to workout  (not in that order) so I'm sticking to it, like it or not :P

I've written in my recent posts about how I've been following the Jamie Eason LiveFit Trainer since September.  I finished the first round the day before Christmas, took that week off diet wise (I did still lift   daily) and started back at the beginning this past Monday.  I am adjusting things slightly this time to meet  my specific needs/goals, but for the most part I follow it as written.

    I've had AMAZING results with it and it helped me reach some goals that I was "so close, but yet so far" from achieving. 

     For 1, my pull-up/ chin-ups.  Early in the program I achieved my first 2 dead hang chin-ups, I can now proudly say I'm up to 3 dead hang chins, 1 glorious dead hang pull-up and I even did a chin-up with a 5lb KB on my foot. 

  So Freaking Gorgeous!!!   

~ Goal for 2012 : 20lb KB Pull-up/Chin-up.  For right now I'm going to work on increasing my number of non-weighted ones :)

    #2 THE HUGE, NEVER ENDING QUEST TO BREAK 20 MINUTES THAT I NEVER THOUGHT WOULD HAPPEN. 

     Even though I broke it twice, it still feels a little unreal to me, ESPECIALLY running 19 Flat.  

     The more shocking part of it is the training that led me to run that fast.  This is how cardio is laid out in the JE Trainer: Phase 1 (4 weeks) - NO Cardio, Whatsoever! (although I personally ran a few races) Phase 2 (4 weeks) - 3-4 times a week medium intensity cardio Phase 3 (4 weeks)- Sprints, 30 seconds on/ 30 seconds off for 30 minutes (I usually went at a 10.5- 11.2 pace for my on, jumped my feet to the sides and rested for the off).  

      I think what affected my race times the most was a combination of these 4 things: 
   1) Increased leg strength and also gaining upper body strength made me a stronger, faster runner.
   2) Losing exclusively body fat, you know how they say each lb of bf you lose takes a few seconds off your time, I know whole heartedly believe that.  And with this program I preserved all (and even added some) muscle while losing 10lbs (mostly fat, some water), as evident with my body fat % dropping from   23% to 16-17%
   3) SPRINTS!  Since speed has always been my weaker point, improving upon it had a huge impact on my performance.  In those weeks leading up to my 19 minute 5k, my running training was exclusively those 30 on/ 30 off sprints (with a short warm-up/ cool down), I did not do a single steady state run.  I don't recommend this to everyone looking to improve their 5k times, but as I said speed being my weakness this worked for me.  If you are the type of runner who has a lot of speed but lacks endurance this mort likely wont have the same results for you.  
   4) Phase 3 of the program includes plyometrics as active rest and a whole lot of jump roping.  This made my lifting in this phase as much of a cardio workout as a strength one.  It also improved my power and overall conditioning.

~ Goal for 2012: Sub-19 Baby (I'm ridiculously close to this but I have a feeling I'm going to go a little backwards before I PR again)

#3 It's January and I would feel perfectly confident if I had to wear a bikini tomorrow :)
   
     Honestly I've never had this kind of definition in my life, and I'm LOVING it!
This is a progress pic from beginning of December- 2 & 1/2 months into my first round of the trainer.

Taken 4 days ago, I gained a little bloat weight over the holiday week, but after this week of eating clean and lifting heavy I'm back to where I was when I finished the trainer on 12/23.

    This go around I am really looking to put on some lean muscle mass.  I ended my first round a few lbs under my goal weight which I don't mind, but I don't want to lose anymore weight.  I'm taking the "no cardio in Phase 1 rule" very seriously which is a little scary (for me), but at least its January so there isn't much racing going on.  And I'm amazed at how much clean food I have to eat to keep weight on, much less gain weight while lifting.  

~Goal for 2012: Continue to gain muscle and possibly. . . enter a bikini comp? Eeeek!

  Ohh and another thing I'm pretty darn proud of: Back Squatting #135 for multiple sets of 5 reps.  It's not all that heavy but it's 20+ lbs more than my bodyweight, so it makes me extremely giddy :)

~Goal for 2012 February/March 2012: Back Squating 155 for sets of 5, 165 for sets of 3, 175 1 RM

     If you incorporate resistance training/lifting into your workouts, how has it helped you achieve your goals?

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