Tag Archive | "fitness"

AMP: Marc Megna's 8-Week Aesthetics Meets Performance Trainer Phase 2, Day 19

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Today’s full-body workout is going to hit your lower body a little harder than previous days on the AMP program. We turn up the heat with sumo deadlifts and split squats. I want you to feel the reps and enjoy the challenge. Your legs can handle it, I promise.

The first movement of today’s workout is the sumo deadlift, which involves a wider stance and is easier on the lower back than the conventional deadlift. Still, you want to focus on driving the hips forward and keeping the bar close to your body as the weight comes up. Some folks find the sumo position to be more comfortable than a regular stance. Even if you prefer a regular stance, it’s always helpful for your performance to make your body do new things.

Both the half-kneeling cable row and rear-foot-elevated split squat are designed to challenge your core and stability. If you’ve never done either, it’s best to go with a slightly lower weight and then build up as you get better at the movements.


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Tons of people are using them everyday with great results.

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AMP: Marc Megna's 8-Week Aesthetics Meets Performance Trainer Phase 2, Day 19

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AMP: Marc Megna's 8-Week Aesthetics Meets Performance Trainer Phase 2, Day 18

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This one will be more familiar than the previous cardio session. You’re back at it with low-intensity, steady-state cardio for 48 minutes. Start jamming out to your favorite playlist and use this time to burn some calories, deliver blood and nutrients to your sore muscles, and clear your head. Steady-state cardio has numerous benefits, and it’s great for active recovery.

  • Jogging-Treadmill Jogging-Treadmill Cardio Of Choice
    48 minutes at 130-150 heart beats per minute


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coach Marc Megna shouldn’t be living his dreams. But

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Tons of people are using them everyday with great results.

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AMP: Marc Megna's 8-Week Aesthetics Meets Performance Trainer Phase 2, Day 18

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Bodybuilding.com Announces Exclusive 2014 Olympia Webcast

Press Release—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Bodybuilding.com Announces Exclusive 2014 Olympia Webcast

Boise, ID – August 28, 2014 - Bodybuilding.com, the Internet’s most-visited fitness website and largest online retailer of nutritional supplements, will offer a free worldwide webcast of the 2014 Olympia Weekend, presented by BSN, MuscleTech, and Dymatize Nutrition.

This year marks the historic 50th anniversary of Joe Weider’s Olympia Weekend, and is a must-see event for all fans of physique competition. Thanks to Bodybuilding.com, everyone can tune in—for free! Our live HD webcast, as well as post-event VOD (video-on-demand) replays, will stream in the Bodybuilding.com Webcast Player (available soon), the Bodybuilding.com Livestream Channel, the Livestream Roku channel for those watching on big-screen TVs, and the Livestream mobile app*.

Bodybuilding.com’s live webcast will stream the IFBB pro events on Friday night and Saturday night (September 19th and 20th) from The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, beginning at 6:30 p.m. PDT (9:30 p.m. EDT) both nights. The Friday night webcast segment will feature the Mr. Olympia judging round, and the finals for the beautifully fit women of the Bikini, Fitness, and Ms. Olympia competitions.

2014 Olympia Weekend Webcast player (available soon)

The Saturday night webcast segment concludes the pro competitions with the finals for the women’s Figure division, the men’s 212 Showdown, and the main event—the Mr. Olympia finals. Reigning 3-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath will battle to defend his title against fierce challengers (and champions in their own right), including Kai Greene, Dexter Jackson, Branch Warren, Dennis Wolf, Shawn Rhoden, Victor Martinez, just to name a few!

The webcast also features plenty of expert pre-show discussion and post-show analysis and athlete interviews, and also includes the annual Webcast Fan’s Choice Award, where fans get to vote for their favorite athlete. The presentation of the 2014 Bodybuilding.com Supplement Awards winners will also be viewable via webcast. The annual Supplement Awards continue to set the standard for recognition of the best products and brands in the fitness and supplement industry.

Each live segment kicks off with an insightful pre-show discussion hosted by veteran sports broadcaster Dave Farra (SyFy, Fox Sports, NBC), who will also provide play-by-play coverage of the competition. Farra will be joined by a panel of leading experts including Larry Pepe (Fox Sports), one of the most trusted voices in bodybuilding.

Top female physique competitors Felicia Romero and Kathleen Tesori will provide valuable insight into the women’s figure, fitness, bikini and Ms. Olympia competitions.

Stay tuned for details and more 2014 Olympia Weekend coverage available soon at Bodybuilding.com!

*Kindle Fire Users may need to download the Android Livestream app from the 1Mobile Market (because it’s not currently offered in the Amazon App Store).

Athlete Q&A

QAshley Kaltwasser:
After taking 10th at the 2013 Arnold Classic, you’ve been winning pretty consistently. What changed? Your mentality? Your training?

After taking 10th in 2013 at the Arnold, I took a close look at myself to see what I needed to improve upon. I then worked on minor details and polished up my overall package.

We’d also like to know if you’re putting any pressure on yourself to win again. Like, how competitive are you?

Yes, there is much more pressure on me this year. At last year’s Olympia, I wanted to place in the top ten. Now, I want to make history by being the first woman to be a repeat Olympia champion. I am a super competitive person. As long as I can remember, I was always super competitive in any sport I participated in.

QIris Kyle:
What keeps you coming back show after show? What else do you hope to achieve in the fitness industry?

Being in a sport that does not compensate you a third what is deserved obviously must have other great benefits and reasons to remain apart of it, not to mention being the pinnacle of the sport itself. Two reasons, really: first, I’m passionate and love my sport, and secondly, inspiring others to stay healthy and to reach for the unattainable—never settling or accepting defeat, knowing dreams don’t have deadlines.

Do you feel like it’s time to let someone else take the spotlight or is there even a “retirement age” for a sport like this?

Age is only a number, and being a part of an individual sport indicates that it is obviously all about you as an individual—and until I feel my drive, motivation, and God’s gift of spirit and talent has vanished, only then will my days expire.

QNicole Wilkins:
Your physique looked absolutely amazing last year at the Olympia—better than it ever has. Can a person improve from that? If so, what specifically are you trying to improve?

Well, my goal this year is to match my previous conditioning. However, I would like:

  • my lats to be slightly wider
  • my waist to be a little smaller
  • my glutes to be a bit rounder
  • a tighter glute/hamstring tie-in
  • my calves to be slightly bigger

[Editor's Note: Best of luck, ladies!]

About Bodybuilding.com

Bodybuilding.com helps more than 10 million people every month achieve their health, fitness, and appearance goals by offering over 13,000+ health and fitness supplements and accessories. They also offer more than 35,000 pages of FREE information, including 20,000+ articles and videos, expert online trainers, and new content added daily!

For more information:
Contact: Allison Kim
Email: allison.kim@bodybuilding.com
Phone: 208.377.3326

###


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3 Healthy Between-Meal Snack Recipes

It’s the start of the week. You’ve done your research and have a line-up of healthy meal ideas all ready to go. You’re feeling pumped to tackle this diet stuff and—once and for all—achieve your fitness and bodyweight goals.

But, have you forgotten to include healthy between-meal snacks? Far too often, people only perfect their three main meals each day. Come snack time, they’re left opting for vending machine fare or whatever they can find at the local convenience store or. Worse yet, they swing by a local greasy spoon for a drive-thru visit. If they skip snacking entirely, they miss their calorie and macronutrient target.

Don’t let this happen to you. Plan ahead so that you have some smart snack ideas on hand! To help get you started, here are a few great between-meal options that you can use for each point in the day.

1 Mid-Morning Munchies

You ate a balanced breakfast and were feeling great for the first half of the morning. But now it’s 10:30 a.m. and your 6 a.m. meal is starting to wear off. What do you reach for?

Rather than making the common mistake of grabbing a sugar-loaded coffee, grab this favorite of Cellucor athlete and strongman Colton Leonard: protein peanut butter balls. His recipe below provides the perfect mix of protein and slow-digesting carbohydrates, which is the requirement of any between-meal snack he eats.

“These protein peanut butter balls are a great way to get extra healthy calories in throughout the day if building lean mass is your goal,” says Leonard.

Protein Peanut Butter Balls

  1. Mix all ingredients together, and roll into 1-2 inch balls.
  2. Sprinkle extra oats or crushed almonds over tops of the rolled protein balls.
  3. Place in fridge for several hours, or overnight.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 serving
Recipe Yields: 3 serving

Amount per serving

Calories 420

Total Fat23g

Total Carbs31g

Protein29g

Protein Peanut Butter Balls PDF (68.9 KB)

2 Mid-Afternoon Fuel

With lunch now well behind you, you’re heading into an afternoon meeting and can feel your blood sugar levels plummeting. There’s nothing like that mid-afternoon low to make it nearly impossible to stay focused on the task at hand. And, if you choose the wrong snack at this time, your low will turn into a slump and you’ll be ready for your mid-day siesta.

Choose wisely and you can get around this. “My all-time favorite between-meal snack is cottage cheese and watermelon,” says Cellucor athlete and bodybuilder Calum Von Moger. To change things up, he’ll occasionally swap the watermelon out for freeze-dried fruit.

This snack is ideal because it doesn’t hit you with a load of carbs, which will just make you sleepy. Instead, it gives you a few carbohydrates from the watermelon and some very slow-digesting protein from the cottage cheese to keep you going until dinner.

Cottage Cheese and Watermelon

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 serving
Recipe Yields: 1 serving

Amount per serving

Calories 316

Total Fat8g

Total Carbs27g

Protein37g

Cottage Cheese and Watermelon PDF (68.3 KB)

3 Pre-Bed Snacking

Perhaps the hardest time of the day to control your cravings is right before you go to bed. Many people get caught up in the late-night munchies, which leads them to mindlessly plow through bags of chips, boxes of cookies, or a little more ice cream than they had planned to eat.

Staying in control of your diet is essential at this time, especially because you’re about to be sedentary for eight or more hours while you sleep. Choose wisely and you can fuel your body, helping it complete the important repair processes needed for you to wake up the next day feeling strong and energized.

However, don’t think you have to fight your sweet cravings and nosh on chicken breast and broccoli. If you plan ahead and learn some smart recipes, you can please both your taste buds and body.

“I’m a self-proclaimed dessert monster,” says Cellucor athlete and WBFF Fitness Pro Jen Jewell. “I’m always on the lookout for delicious and simple ways to have my protein treats while keeping my abs.” As such, she has perfected the recipe to achieve this goal—her Protein Cookie Delight.

Protein Cookie Delight

  1. Place berries in a bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Once finished, mash with a fork.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to create the batter. Make sure to stir thoroughly so all ingredients are evenly mixed.
  3. Place 2-3 tablespoons of batter onto a plate to form each cookie, then place in microwave for 45-60 seconds.
  4. Remove, let cool for a minute or two and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 serving
Recipe Yields: 2 servings

Amount per serving

Calories 262

Total Fat2.5g

Total Carbs29g

Protein31g

Protein Cookie Delight PDF (69.3 KB)


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3 Healthy Between-Meal Snack Recipes

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AMP: Marc Megna's 8-Week Aesthetics Meets Performance Trainer Phase 2, Day 16

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The first of three cardio sessions this week will train your alactic-aerobic energy system and demand a lot of effort from your legs, heart, and lungs. Alactic-aerobic training is designed to improve your endurance during intense activities by increasing the density of mitochondria in your fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Find a cardio machine—or maybe even an outside track— and go as hard as you can for 10 seconds. After the work interval, you’ll rest for 50 seconds. You’ll do the whole thing 15 more times. I know it seems like a lot of sets, but when it’s all said and done you will do less than 3 minutes of actual work.

Because you have such a long rest period, you need to make sure that you’re going as hard as possible for those 10 seconds. Sprint your ass off!

AMP
Watch The Video – 01:34

  • Jogging-Treadmill Jogging-Treadmill Cardio Of Choice
    16 sets: 10 seconds of work followed by 50 seconds of recovery


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AMP: Marc Megna's 8-Week Aesthetics Meets Performance Trainer Phase 2, Day 16

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The Ultimate 30-Day Beginner's Guide To Fitness Day 29

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Short-term workout success is great—and pretty common. Success over the longer term is far rarer, and major reason why is that people struggle to set specific, measurable, and attainable goals. Not just achieve them, but set them!

Sounds crazy, right? You may think you know what your goal is—to be better, fitter, and healthier—but Kathleen explains in today’s video why that’s not enough.

Ultimate 30 Day Beginners Guide To Fitness:
Watch The Video – 02:42


Day 29 Challenge

  • Read about goal setting and set a fitness goal. Then publish it on your BodySpace page.
  • If you’re up for it, perform a sprint workout to keep your motivation strong!


Master Your Motivation

Over the last 15 years, Bodybuilding.com has published dozens of articles that go through the ins and outs of effective fitness goal setting. One of the most popular and successful methods, as Kathleen indicated, is the SMART method. In this approach, your goal needs to be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

  • Specific: “Get fit” won’t cut it here. “Lose 10 percent of my body fat” or “add 15 pounds to my bench press,” on the other hand, both qualify.

  • Measurable: Numbers are great—and they don’t need to be high-pressure performance or body composition goals. Simply nail the goal of “perform three half-hour weight-training workouts per week for the next month,” and we can guarantee you’ll be in a better place!

  • Achievable: Fitness social media is fantastic, because everyone is so open and honest about their goals. But everyone also has different experience levels, time, and money. Make sure your dreams match up with your resources so you don’t end up frustrated.

  • Realistic: Big dreams are great in fitness, but they’re made of smaller, realistic plans. Start where you are and move forward in steps.

  • Timely: Give yourself a timeline like an event, a vacation, or a date to work toward. The days of “someday” are behind you!

Sprint to the Finish

If you’ve got plenty of energy today and want another challenge, head to the track and try this classic sprint workout!

  • Sprint 400 m, walk 100 m
  • Sprint 300 m, walk 200 m
  • Sprint 200 m, walk 300 m
  • Sprint 100 m

Check out these articles on motivation and goal-setting. Then head to your BodySpace goals page and make yours official!

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The Ultimate 30-Day Beginner's Guide To Fitness Day 29

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AMP: Marc Megna's 8-Week Aesthetics Meets Performance Trainer Phase 2, Day 15

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In Phase One, you worked your entire body in the weight room three days per week, and you trained your cardiovascular system twice per week. You built a solid foundation, and now it’s time to apply what you’ve learned and increase the intensity of your workouts. You’ll be doing three full-body workouts and three cardio workouts each week.

Today, you’re back in the gym for full-body training, but you’ll be doing a whole new set of exercises. If you’re not familiar with these exercises, be sure to check out the Exercise Database entry next to each movement below and practice the movements with lighter weights first. There’s little benefit to using a huge amount of weight if you’re not doing it correctly.

The nutrition habit I want you to adopt for this phase is to eat one fruit or vegetable serving with each meal. This doesn’t mean that you get to drop the habit you created in the first phase. You will still eat every 2-4 hours, and you will still eat 5 meals per day. But for the next two weeks, you will also add some green to your plate.

Put your fuel to good use and smash some weight in the gym.


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Tons of people are using them everyday with great results.

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AMP: Marc Megna's 8-Week Aesthetics Meets Performance Trainer Phase 2, Day 15

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AMP: Marc Megna's 8-Week Aesthetics Meets Performance Trainer Phase 1, Day 12

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By now, you should have a consistent workout schedule nailed down. Although you don’t have to work out at the exact same time every day, you should have already dedicated a specific time to train for the next six weeks. Scheduling and preparation are the keys to consistency.

Having your workout penciled on your calendar also means you’ll have fewer excuses to skip the gym. Pack your gym bag before you go to work and put it in your car. Have pre-workout snacks ready to go as well, so you’re not tempted to forego the gym and hit up happy hour with your coworkers. Fitness requires dedication, and you’ve got to do what’s necessary!


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coach Marc Megna shouldn’t be living his dreams. But

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AMP: Marc Megna's 8-Week Aesthetics Meets Performance Trainer Phase 1, Day 12

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How Arnold Built His Legs And Abs

If you’ve ever done a grueling leg workout—lots of heavy sets of all the most challenging thigh movements—you know it takes several days to recover. Even walking up a flight of stairs can be test of iron will. But for one professional bodybuilder whom we know as The Austrian Oak, the task was made three times as difficult as he completed his high-volume leg workout on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. A monster front-and-rear-thigh crusher that included up to 46 sets—not counting calves and abs, which were also done in the same workout—that would cripple mere mortals.

Today, many would consider Arnold’s approach bordering on—if not spilling considerably over—the threshold of overtraining, but legs weren’t his strongest suit, and his 6’2″ frame made building leg mass more difficult. Who could argue with this take-no-prisoners approach that earned Arnold seven Mr. Olympia titles and acclaim as the best bodybuilder of all time?

In this exclusive third installment examining Arnold’s training and techniques, we’ll focus on his thigh and ab workouts.

ARNOLD’S THIGH WORKOUT

Arnold wasn’t renowned for building massive quads and hams the way competitors like Tom Platz were, but he developed extremely cut and well-proportioned front and rear thighs. Because he was tall and long-limbed, Arnold was always going to face an uphill battle when aiming to build overall leg mass. Ultimately it was his dogged determination that enabled him to bring his legs up just enough to balance the strengths in his upper body: his arms, chest and shoulders.

Here are some keys to his success:

Arnold’s Advanced Training Split

Day Body Parts Trained
a.m. p.m.
1 Chest, back Legs, abs
2 Shoulders, arms Rest
3 Chest, back Legs, abs
4 Shoulders, arms Rest
5 Chest, back Legs, abs
6 Shoulders, arms Rest
7 Rest Rest
  • After warming up the quads with leg extensions, Arnold went right into squats, which he favored as a mass-builder. “The squat increases the power, spring and speed of the legs,” he said. “It increases the size of the thigh. When practiced with heavy breathing it permanently expands the rib cage … With these multiple benefits the squat goes on record as being the best all-around exercise.”
  • Arnold started squatting back in Austria in a ritual worth noting. “I’d go into the forest with my friends and do squats for three straight hours—more than 50 sets—just to shock the muscles into responding. In that kind of atmosphere, there was no room for anything but 100 percent effort. All out and insane.”
  • When squatting, he found that different foot positions worked different areas of the thighs. “With my feet farther apart and toes pointed out, I feel the squat on the insides of my thighs. The position of the feet largely determines which part of the thigh is most affected.” That’s one reason Arnold also liked to use various squat machines, both vertical and horizontal. They allowed him to alternate foot placement.
  • Machine squats also had a unique advantage. Here, Arnold could use a shortened range of motion. Going about three-fourths of the way down to a quarter of the way from the top—a technique he called tension squats— allowed him to induce an incredible burn without having to balance the weight.
  • While Arnold’s routine had direct hamstrings exercises as well, it would be a mistake to think the hammies weren’t also working hard during many of those basic squat and leg-press movements. By controlling the speed of the descent, the hamstrings are contracting while the quad muscles lengthen. Deep squats also work the hams to a greater degree.
  • If The Oak had any one fault when he came to America in 1968, it was that his calves were conspicuously undersized. He realized calves grow fairly slowly because of their high proportion of slow-twitch muscle fibers. “They are used to handling your bodyweight for 10-15 hours daily,” he noted. He tackled them with very heavy weights and super high intensity.
  • To bring attention to his weakness, Arnold famously cut the lower legs off his sweatpants, thus exposing his calves to ridicule around the gym. Later, he said, “I knew if I exposed only my better body parts—my arms, chest, or delts—all I’d get from my peers would be wonderful comments, and I’d soon forget about my horrid lower legs. So I continued to wear the cutaway sweatpants that invited ego-bruising pain … and it worked.”

“I knew if I exposed only my better body parts—my arms, chest, or delts—all I’d get from my peers would be wonderful comments, and I’d soon forget about my horrid lower legs. So I continued to wear the cutaway sweatpants that invited ego-bruising pain … and it worked.”

ARNOLD’S AB WORKOUT

Arnold’s approach to ab training was fairly simple. He had a few favorite moves that he did for fairly high reps. Then again, when you think how hard he trained his core with his thrice-weekly leg and back workouts, you’d figure he probably didn’t even need to train his abs at all.

Training Volume

Muscle Group Low-Volume Workout High-Volume Workout
Thighs 16-20 sets 20-26 sets
Hamstrings 12-16 sets 16-20 sets
Calves 10 sets 15 sets
Abs 3 exercises 4-6 exercises

Arnold was one of the few big men in the history of professional bodybuilding to sport a 34-inch waist in competition shape. His midsection served to accentuate the massiveness of his upper torso while enhancing the aesthetic appeal. While not as ripped to shreds as those displayed today, Arnold’s deeply etched six-pack was noteworthy for the exaggerated taper it added to his physique. This was aided, of course, by his wide shoulders and broad back. To refine his midsection, Arnold would focus on high reps, aiming to hit nothing fewer than 25 per set, and often going for 10 minutes continuously on some movements.

References
  • Muscle & Fitness, July 1997: Arnold Talks Training.
  • Schwarzenegger, A. & Dobbins, B. (1999). The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. Simon and Shuster: USA.



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How Arnold Built His Legs And Abs

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Body Transformation: Laura Carson Hits The Stage At 46

Why I decided to transform

My journey started a little over one year ago.

I struggled with weight my whole life. In my teen years, I was sickly thin, as I suffered from anorexia. After a brief marriage at 21, I met my current husband, Chip. He helped me overcome my issues with food and taught me how to work out with weights. After we married and we had our child, I started to struggle with my weight as it slowly started to pile on.

I shifted my workouts to more and more cardio and tried every diet out there, even exercising myself to death. However, if I lost weight, it was only temporary. I got caught up in the “fat free” and “sugar free” dieting. I worked out 6 days a week for more than an hour a day, primarily focused on cardio. I had also been an aerobics instructor and ran many races including a half-marathon.

I usually rewarded myself with food because of the time I put in at the gym. I was never happy with my body, considered myself a “big girl,” but I desperately wanted to be lean.

In July 2013, I decided to break the cycle. I was surrounded by females at the gym that were going through their own transformations and competing in fitness competitions. Having reached my breaking point, I was inspired by them to make a change.

I started my journey on July 8, 2013, weighing 160 pounds and wearing a size 10 with my body fat at approximately 30 percent.

Before

After

AGE 45 / HEIGHT 5’6″ / BODY FAT 30%

AGE 46 / HEIGHT 5’6″ / BODY FAT 12.8%

Post To Fitboard

How I accomplished my goals

Three months into my journey, I watched friends compete in a local fitness competition. Again, I was inspired, so I decided I was going to compete as well. I set a goal to compete in a regional competition in May 2014. I signed with an online coach who introduced me to macro-based nutrition and a monthly workout rotation that included a 5-day split routine, one full-body day and a rest day.

And so it began. I had a lot of work to do.

My workouts always took place in the early am. I worked out for 90-120 minutes a day, including 30 minutes of cardio six days a week. I did some meal prep on Sundays and then supplemented with additional preparation each night. As a software executive, I often had to travel for work, which presented several challenges. However, I developed a “travel approach,” which included using local gyms via day passes and bringing my own food with me.

I also learned how to request cleaner food at restaurants—even when they were not on the menu—or work with event chefs to meet my dietary needs. Slowly but surely the weight started to come off. I was very committed to both the nutrition and the exercises.

“I have gained a lot of self-confidence due to the transformation, which has affected both my personal and professional life.”

Ten months since I started, I stepped on the stage at Fitness America 2014 in Hartford, Connecticut in the Masters Bikini and Model divisions. The day of the show I weighed 122 pounds—37 pounds lighter than where I started! My body fat was around 10 percent. It was a great experience, but it also provided me an opportunity to rethink my goals.

Two weeks after the show, I decided I really wanted to compete in the Figure division and in a different federation. I signed with a new, local coach (Bodies by Megan – Megan Provencher) and started phase two of my journey. I am now in the building phase and planning to compete in the Figure division in the summer 2015.

The transformation on the inside was actually much greater than the transformation on the outside. I have gained a lot of self-confidence due to the transformation, which has affected both my personal and professional life.

In my career, I am much more confident when presenting in front of people and engaging with new people. The transformation definitely helped this extreme introvert evolve into an extrovert.

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Supplements that helped me through the journey

Diet plan that guided my transformation

I totally overhauled my nutrition. Before, my nutrition was very carb-centric on the wrong carbs; contained too much sugar and included diet soda. It also had limited water intake and frequent binges because I was not eating enough or at regular intervals.

My nutrition now includes macro-based, clean eating spread across six meals a day. I try to drink one gallon of water a day. I eliminated dairy from my diet, and I have one refeed meal per week. I still eat out for pleasure and business. For pleasure, I have a short list of restaurants that we go to since I have their menu memorized and I know they will prepare the food as I like.

Today my macros and calories are 2200 (give or take depending on lift days):

Carbs: 200 grams
Fat: 50 grams
Protein: 200 grams

Training regimen that kept me on track

Initially my workout schedule was Monday through Saturday with a rest day on Sunday.

My workouts changed every 4 weeks. I focused on higher reps (12-15) and giant sets. Now I am doing heavier weights (8-12 reps) and I have reduced my cardio to 4 times a week for 20 minutes while continuing to reduce it further.

My cardio typically includes a boxing session one time a week and HIIT the other days via treadmill sprints, battle ropes or functional training.

  • Jogging-Treadmill Jogging-Treadmill Cardio
    30 min

What aspect challenged me the most

I have always been athletic, but when I got control of my nutrition and started really lifting properly it all clicked for me. Of course, seeing results helped fuel my passion as well.

“There was no way I was going to stand on that stage and not look like I earned the right to be there.”

Now, I actually look forward to going to the gym (at 4:30am, mind you) and making gains. I learned so many tips and tricks along the way that I decided to create a “blog” on Facebook via a page called 40SomethingFitness. I hope to inspire others as I was inspired.

One of the catalysts for change was another woman at my gym. Cindi went through her own transformation, and as I saw her transform, I wanted the same for myself. Once I committed to the change, I motivated myself. I am very driven in all aspects of my life.

As soon as I decided to do the competition, I started telling people so I would not be able to change my mind. Knowing I was getting up on a stage drove me every day. There was no way I was going to stand on that stage and not look like I earned the right to be there.

I also experienced injury during my training. I tore my meniscus on top of an already torn ACL. I sought out physical therapy to strengthen the supporting muscles. I do need to practice caution when doing deep squats, and ultimately, will need meniscus surgery.

Until then, I continue to push through and make sure I get the rest I need when I am feeling the pain. The moral of the story is to work with what you got and realize there is always a way if you want something bad enough.

What are your future fitness plans

I plan to compete in the Figure division in the summer of 2015.

Suggestions for aspiring transformers

Actually, two tips:

The visual diary I kept was a critical part of my program. I kept two: one with my starting picture and then my new weekly check-in picture so I could see progress from the start. The second one was a comparison from week-to-week.

“The moral of the story is to work with what you got and realize there is always a way if you want something bad enough.”

My second tip is to be patient. There were so many times I got frustrated that I was not seeing progress fast enough. But I learned to be patient and trust the process. I also learned to not rely on the scale.

I would go 3-4 weeks without stepping on a scale and inevitably, I would feel amazing when I did step on it because there was progress.

How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals

As I started to learn about bodybuilding, I relied on Bodybuilding.com to educate myself. The articles on the site provide endless information, and I use it to find new exercises—particularly abdominal exercises, which are my favorite.

I looked at Bodybuilding.com and other sites for images of female physiques that I aspired to look like. I kept those pictures on my laptop and iPhone. I also kept a running visual portfolio of my before and current pictures so I could see my progress, which I found very inspiring.

Laura’s Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. “O.P.P” by Naughty by Nature
  2. “I Feel Free” by Bliss n Esso
  3. “Am I Wrong” by Nico and Vinz
  4. “Sweet Nothing” by Calvin Harris
  5. “Waves” by Mr. Probz

Thanks

  • Chip Carson – my husband, best friend, chef and workout partner. I could not have done it without him. He was instrumental in my journey – supporting me every way possible but especially with my food prep.
  • HotFitChicks – a group we formed at the gym filled with amazing woman that inspire and support each other.
  • Megan Provencher/Bodies by Megan – My current coach and someone that truly gets me. She has spent a lot of time educating me on how to build muscle. Her patience and support post competition and starting the building phase has been amazing.
  • Janelle Nicolo/BodyAmbition – Thank you for getting me started and competition ready including nutrition, posing and workouts.
  • Best Fitness Nashua NH – I love this gym -6 days a week – and all the people in it especially the early AM crew.
  • Eric Snyder/EAS Photography – For taking amazing pre-competition pictures that gave me the boost I needed to believe in.

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About The Author

Have you made a dramatic change either by gaining muscle of by losing all the weight you have been hoping for?

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Body Transformation: Laura Carson Hits The Stage At 46

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