Tag Archive | "life"


Getting to know Silvia Kramska

Getting to know Silvia Kramska

Think owning your own business takes grit? Multiply that by two, add the gruelling training demanded by fitness competitions and you have an idea of life for Silvia Kramska, founder ofOpen to Play clean protein and Real Food Organic Nutrition. A qualified nutritionist and strength and conditioning coach, Kramska shares her formula for keeping a balance amid apparent chaos.

I have always been part of an active environment centred on wellness. I started to play tennis when I was five years old and continued to play professionally until I was 17. I lost my way health-wise for a while after that, so when I moved to Melbourne I promised myself that I would work in an area that truly makes me happy.

My Open To Play protein business came about when I was prepping for my first fitness competition; I couldn’t find a clean, simple and healthy protein anywhere. I figured there must be other people struggling with the same issue and so I decided to create my own.

I’m proud to say that Open To Play proteins are now one of the cleanest products on the market. The products are designed to be a healthy addition to anyone’s diet – they’re all natural, have only three pure ingredients (including grass-fed whey), and are lactose and gluten free. 

I wanted to make sure the proteins were suitable for anyone no matter their age, gender or activity level. Natural protein can supplement your regular diet, assist in your recovery after exercise and can help support growth and repair of your muscles.

My everyday nutrition is very balanced. I love to start my day with lemon water and I place a lot of focus on the quality of the foods that are going into my body. I eat organically wherever possible and I don’t eat gluten or processed sugars.

I do enjoy my pancakes once a week, on the weekends. I think it’s important that your daily nutrition isn’t causing you stress and to accept that you won’t get it perfect every day.

My current training regimen reflects my off-season preparation and I am focusing on growing my upper body for competition. I am doing heavy upper-body sessions three times per week, and three leg sessions per week focusing on glute development. 

I like to incorporate at least two HIIT sessions per week into my training program depending on my energy levels. I always make sure I listen to my body and rest when I need it. 

I manage stress by soaking in a magnesium salt bath every single night. I also love taking time out to just relax at home, or head to the beach during summer with a good book. 

I wake up early every day because I like to get a training session in while everyone else is still in bed. I then head over to my café and help to set it up for the day, get my team motivated and post on my social media accounts. After work I will normally fit in another gym session and in the evening I make time for family and friends. 

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Getting to know Silvia Kramska

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collette mcshane

5 minutes with The HIIT Mum

Pocket rocket and mother-of-one Colette McShane, aka. @TheHIITMum, is a fitness force to be reckoned with. Here, we chat to her about supplementation, passion and just getting stuff done.

I love helping others achieve good health because there is nothing more satisfying than seeing people achieve what they never thought possible. I love making a difference in people’s lives – a lot of parents write to me to say they are getting fitter and healthier, making it easier for them to play with their children.

I always kick the day off with a big, healthy breakfast as it sets the tone for the rest of my day. I make a yummy omelette, frittata or poached eggs with lots of vegetables. Lunch and dinner is anything from stirfry to healthy curries or Mexican-style wraps – again, with lots of vegies and lean proteins.

I snack on the Healthy Way range from Chemist Warehouse, as it’s accessible, varied and forever expanding. I love their vegie chips, all their nuts (I am walnut and almond crazy) and the trail mixes for snacking during the day. 

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5 minutes with The HIIT Mum

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Being Brooke Stacey

Being Brooke Stacey We chat to February 2017 cover model Brooke Stacey about all things about self, body and fitness love.

On self-love

Self-love is so HUGE! It can start at a young age and grow with you or it could have never been established and you have to find it and create it. At the end of the day we all want to be loved and feel good about ourselves. It is so easy to compare our weaknesses to someone else’s strengths and feel bad about our self. The key to self-love in my opinion is to maximise our own potential by strengthening our weaknesses, and embracing, sharing and nourishing our strengths. When you realise and own that there is only one you and no one can replace that, you can also delight in the gifts you are given to share with the world. When you love yourself, it is a positive cyclical reaction and will be seen in everything you do and will be felt by everyone you touch.

On body love

Body love can be so tough for women. Our bodies go through so much in our lifetime between puberty to childbearing years to post-menopausal years. It is so important to put your health first throughout your life, to embrace and pull through all of these challenging times in our lives. When you take control over your health, you feel better about yourself physically as well as mentally and spiritually. When you feel good about yourself, and have a positive body image of yourself you can perform all tasks with greater ability. I think it is important to control the controllables and maximise your own potential to be the best you. After you do that, you can’t help but love all of the gifts and differences we all have and share at the same time.

Excerpt from:

Being Brooke Stacey

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Why Do I Need An Activity Tracker?

There is no escaping fitness bands nowadays, from TV ads to appearing on your friend’s wrist, they’ve fast becoming a mainstay in the UK. There’s such a range of bands and purposes that you’ll probably be able to find one for any niche (want a tracker to stop you from slouching?

Yep, that exists. Want to see how hard you can kick a ball? Yes, sir.), but at the core of almost every device out there is the ability to track steps, calories and sleep.

They’re not the most sexy of subjects, but they’re three of the most crucial to our health

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Why Do I Need An Activity Tracker?

Posted in Diets, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments Off on Why Do I Need An Activity Tracker?

Sarah Storey’s cycling tips

Dame Sarah Storey DBE, 11 time Paralympic Gold Medallist and four-time Gold Medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, shares her wisdom

If like H&F’s Emma Wall you have signed up to the London to Brighton Bike Ride to raise funds for The British Heart Foundation, these Olympic-worthy race tips will be invaluable.

Sarah says:

1. Get comfy! Saddle and bike comfort is very important as you will be pedalling for at least four hours to complete the ride. You need a good pair of shorts with a padded support and also need to make sure the balance of your weight on the bike between the handlebars, saddle and pedals is right. A good local bike shop will help you with all these things and ask them about buying “chamois cream” for your shorts, which is very important on long rides.

2. Pace yourself. This is important with your preparation for the event and the event itself. Gradually build up your miles on the bike during your preparation phase. During the ride itself remember this is not a race. You will finish strongly if you go a bit easier than you think you need to at the start.

3. Fuel correctly. Eating and drinking are both of the upmost important during a ride of this length and you may need to practice doing this on the bike. If not whilst moving, then remember to take plenty of short breaks to get the food and fluid inside you. Drinking before you a thirsty is very important and eating something small every half hour will stop you getting hunger pangs or worse still running out of energy altogether.

4. Always wear a helmet and do all your practice and preparation rides using the helmet too. It might well save your life one day.

5. Enjoy it! This is the most important part for whenever you get out on a bike. Enjoy the feeling of freedom, the fresh air and the beautiful English countryside.

Keep up to date with H&F’s fitness challenges with our fantastic subscription offer – 3 issues for £1!  

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Sarah Storey’s cycling tips

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2 Stories Of Survival: How Fitness Saved Morgan Wehmer And Elizabeth Aguilera

When it comes to diseases, lots of syllables often make for a scary diagnosis.

Take melanoma, for instance. Elizabeth Aguilera has it and, according to her doctors, always will. Every two months she meets with a specialist to look for spots on her skin, have them tested, and determine whether to have another surgery. At the tender age of 24, she’s had four already, to remove seven cancerous patches of skin from her stomach 2, leg 3, and hip 2.

“I check myself all the time,” says Elizabeth, a spokesmodel for Oh Yeah! Nutrition. “As long as I keep consistent, and go every two months for the rest of my life, I will be fine. If it advances to a stage 3, or 4, it will get into my lymph nodes and organs. I just have to monitor it.”

Take anorexia–not a disease, but a disorder. Morgan Wehmer, Elizabeth’s sister, has wrestled that dietary demon and lived to tell. She was bullied in high school and took extreme dietary measures because she felt like it was the only thing she could control.

The sisters deal with their dilemmas, with their syllables. They lift each other in hard times. That is what families do.


Treatment and surgery are intense, and a body needs rest. Elizabeth strives to put in max effort in the weight room, but with regular treatment and surgery, she’s not always able to. She has to be careful, patient, and confident. Each day presents a challenge.

Elizabeth’s efforts inspire her younger sister, Morgan, “On her most horrible days, she’d post the most inspirational things,” says Morgan. “The things that upset her the most, she’d turn into positives for other people. And it was therapeutic for her. It gives me strength should I ever want to complain, give up, or slack off. She’s my other half. How can I slack if Liz would go 110 percent?”

“The sisters deal with their dilemmas, with their syllables. They lift each other in hard times. That is what families do.”

Even before her diagnosis was delivered, Elizabeth was fit, but with her life in the balance, she has taken it to a new level. She took the stage in 2013–in part to mark a check on her bucket list–and finished fourth. But her doctors asked her to take a break in 2014. Her goal to turn pro remains unfulfilled.

That bucket list was lengthy but the sisters have shortened it in the past six months. They worked as models and did photo shoots. Liz has asked photographers not to “edit out” her scars. She wants people to see them. They are markers of his past, and she wants people to know that cancer survivors can still be models.


Morgan Wehmer was suffering from anorexia. She is a tall girl, with long arms and legs, so when she dwindled her body weight down to 113 pounds, she simply looked ill.

In high school, she seemed like a regular kid. She was heavily involved in extracurricular activities, had a boyfriend, and was an athlete. She loved organized dance and sang in the choir. She played softball and ran track. She got good grades and never got into trouble. She was a good kid.

But, high school brought unforeseen torment for Morgan. She was bullied by older, taller, more athletic girls, who called her names. They’d walk behind her and shout “slut” to terrorize young Morgan. That was her first significant freshman experience. “That’s not what you want to happen in that foreign land,” Morgan says. “Girls … there’s never a reason. Girls can just be so, so mean. [Elizabeth] would get into fights with them and protect me.”

The bullying continued for years. Morgan tried to bury the jabs and insults, but their effects manifested in other ways. She and Elizabeth, tight as toddlers, grew apart as they fought through adolescence. When Morgan needed protecting, Liz had her back in the school hallways. When she wasn’t around, the taunts intensified.

When the pressures of dating, studies, incessant bullying, and self-image worries left Morgan reeling, she took control of the one thing she could: food. She started to cut back calories, skipped meals, and found excuses to avoid the dinner table.

“Stop fighting yourself and start fighting for yourself.”

“There was faulty thinking before, and after,” Morgan says. “I feel like I am talking about a different person now. Food was the only thing I could control, but I over controlled it.”

Elizabeth was one of the first people to notice the changes in Morgan. She fought off the mean girls, but anorexia was a more elusive and subtle foe. “Everyone was worried about her,” Liz says. “She was in denial about it.”


Morgan stewed in her own torment, her thoughts growing more and more negative. Her family broached the subject to little avail. It strained the family, and Morgan saw it. She says something changed in her psyche.

“All of my thoughts about food and what I needed to eat to keep me going…all of that was faulty,” Morgan says. “When I realized I was looking at things in horrible ways, there was this light switch. I can never go back to that.”

What is Anorexia?

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by a person’s intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat. People who suffer from the disorder may practice unhealthy behaviors such as extreme calorie restriction, only eating specific foods, or skipping meals frequently. Treatment includes counseling, nutritional rehab and training, and various support therapies.

She began to research nutrition and very slowly gained her weight back. It took two years, and it’s still an ongoing struggle. She wants more muscle. Morgan’s research produced some unplanned results. She fell in love with the study of nutrition and decided to pursue dietetics as a profession, before switching to another health-conscious field, nursing.

“I wanted to do it the right way, the healthy way,” Morgan says. “I ate a lot of healthy foods, basically double what I am eating now. I was doubling up on carbs and healthy fats, along with working out. I used machines, free weights, and bodyweight exercises. I wanted to build muscle, and it took time.”

While Morgan was flipping the script on her education, Elizabeth learned she had melanoma. Thus began an endless series of exams, scans, surgeries, biopsies, and doctor visits. She took monthly flights to Jacksonville for treatment, then flew back to school for coursework, determined to graduate.

“Looking at Morgan now, it’s hard to tell that she was anorexic.”

“I can’t even fathom how I’d feel about having a constant unknown diagnosis,” Morgan says of her sister’s plight. “As these spots appear, she has to get them cultured and then wait weeks for results.”

To make matters worse, Elizabeth’s husband was deployed overseas as a member of the U.S. Navy. She graduated college during his absence and underwent treatment while he was stationed in Japan. Their separation further alienated the struggling older sister, but she had Morgan to lean on. It’s not that their roles reversed. Morgan didn’t become a “big sister.” They simply grew closer, and each time one faltered, the other offered support.

“Everything is about your attitude and fighting for what you want in life,” Elizabeth says. “I wanted to start my life, and [melanoma] put me on hold. It gave me time to start doing more things. I sat down, wrote down things I wanted to do.”


Looking at Morgan now, it’s hard to tell that she was anorexic. If you don’t notice Elizabeth’s scars and ask her about it, you might not know that she has recurring skin cancer. Just imagine what all the other lifters are going through. How many battle confidence or body-image issues? Who is sick? Who is mentally ill? You can hide a lot of pain under your gym clothes.

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer. Cancerous growths develop when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells triggers mutations. Skin cells multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. Causes include ultraviolet radiation from sunshine and tanning beds. Melanoma kills an estimated 9,000 people per year in the United States alone.

Morgan suffered from the mental anguish of anorexia for two years before she started to pull out of it. Even then it took two more years before she felt “over” it. It’s hard to talk about. Subjects like this aren’t exactly locker-room chatter. “It’s sensitive subject matter to talk about, but it’s happening a lot more than people think,” Morgan says. “It’s something that needs to be addressed.”

Magazines and infomercials boast about fat-loss techniques, playing on image fears. Fitness and nutrition make headlines, but profound subjects like disease, disorder, and death get overlooked by our mainstream social conscience. “A lot of people talk about weight loss, which is great, but at the same time there are problems that people don’t talk about every day,” Elizabeth says. “People are still battling disease every day, but it’s good to see that there are people getting through these things.”


The distance between a healthy lifestyle and a debilitating one is not as great as you might think. A doctor’s diagnosis or a bully’s attack can change everything.

The support of a sister, a brother, a friend, or even a stranger can help reverse a slide. “[Morgan] came out of it, graduated high school with honors, and she had a greater sense of health and well being,” Elizabeth says. “It changed her life and her career. Everything she went through happened for a reason. It made her who she is today.”

To work on the items on their bucket list, the lifter sisters created a website, a Facebook page, and spread their message via social media. They use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, BodySpace, and their website to reach people all over the globe, and not just to people with cancer or eating disorders. They’re out to help anyone who asks.


  1. www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma
  2. www.cancer.org/research/cancerfactsstatistics/cancerfactsfigures2013/index
  3. www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/
  4. seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/melan.html

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2 Stories Of Survival: How Fitness Saved Morgan Wehmer And Elizabeth Aguilera

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight lossComments Off on 2 Stories Of Survival: How Fitness Saved Morgan Wehmer And Elizabeth Aguilera


Muscle Manifesto: 5 Principles Of The Lifting Life

In the world of iron, there are no achievements that comes without great sacrifice and exertion. It takes the deepest kind of commitment, self-knowledge, and hard work to wholeheartedly pursue peak fitness, supreme athletic performance, and to transform the human physique into an arresting sculpture hewn in adamantine muscle. Pursuing your iron goals can be the most gratifying experience you have, but it can also be a lonely business.

“You’re born alone, you often train alone, you go onstage to compete alone, and you die alone,” says Twinlab Fuel Team Militia member Ronnie Milo, an accomplished bodybuilding competitor.

But Milo and his thousands of peers in the Militia around the globe also believe to their rock-hard cores that “alone time” is no excuse to become isolated. They know they can achieve more together, as long as they are united by the right ideals. Strong principles, they know, transcend any specific goals or geography and can make anyone, anywhere better and more capable to move any weight.

These are the five principles making up the Fuel Team Militia Manifesto. They’re not for the flighty or smug. They’re for strong men and women who want to be as strong as they look, and live as strong as they lift.

Meet the Militia

Ronnie Milo

Sales rep, Twinlab
Athletic Goal:
Competitive bodybuilder

“I want to be proportionate, work on my weak spots, and make sure I give 100 percent in the gym.”

Jason Wheat

Firefighter, Florida
Athletic Goal:
Powerlifter, coming back from pec injury

“My goal is to compete in powerlifting again.”

Chris Thompson

Occupation: VP of Sports Nutrition, Twinlab
Athletic Goal:
Ripped physique

“I just want to be as strong, hard, and lean as I can be.”

1 Together, Stronger

The Militia is dedicated to bringing together competitive athletes, powerlifters, meatheads, newbies, and physique junkies of all ages from all backgrounds and walks of life. No matter where or how you train, they believe that you can benefit from being in a supportive, inclusive community dedicated to training at the highest level.

“The Fuel Team Militia is for everyone who is dedicated to getting stronger, being better at what they do, or is interested in the fit lifestyle,” says powerlifter and Militia Field General Jason Wheat. “We get together as a group to do gym invasions; we inspire each other, cheer for each other, and motivate each other toward our goals.”

“We get together as a group to do gym invasions; we inspire each other, cheer for each other, and motivate each other toward our goals.”

When Militia members hold a gym invasion, it’s about strong lifters joining together to push each other to their limits. That could mean helping a teenager new to training hit his or her first 135-pound squat, or cheering on beasts like Milo and Wheat as they squat so many plates that you need a calculator to do the math.

The only thing that matters: Each guy gives his everything to push himself and his brothers, every rep, every set, every time they step into the gym.

2 No Ego

Every lifter was once a beginner. To get better, faster in your training it helps to draw on the wisdom, knowledge, and experience of guys who have been banging iron for years. But when you don’t even know what you don’t know about training, it can be intimidating as hell to work up the nerve to ask someone bigger and stronger than you to take time out of their training routine to help you out. The Militia firmly believes in breaking down these walls.

“There’s a stereotype that guys who like to train are just big, dumb, and egotistical,” says Militia member Chris Thompson. “We want to change the way the world looks at guys like us and create a paradigm shift so that the biggest, baddest guys in the gym will also be the coolest, most helpful, and encouraging guys in the gym.”

To get better and faster in your training it helps to draw on the wisdom, knowledge, and experience of guys who have been banging iron for years.

To do that, Militia members like Thompson, Milo, and Wheat go out of the way to be a resource for other people in the gym, whatever experience level, size, or shape they might be.

“It’s a ‘pay it forward’ kind of deal,” says Milo. “I had older, more experienced guys help me out when I was younger, and in the Militia we feel it’s really important that we be there for other guys, too. I make a point of saying hello to everybody at the gym and making people feel comfortable asking questions.”

3 Sacrifice Is Mandatory

“If it was easy to be huge or have six-pack abs, then everyone would be huge with six-pack abs.”

While the Militia welcomes people training toward any goal from anywhere on the spectrum of strength and fitness, sacrifice is mandatory. Without it, Militia members know, nothing great can be achieved at any level of training.

“If it was easy to be huge or have six-pack abs, then everyone would be huge with six-pack abs,” says Wheat. “I don’t always want to get up at 6 in the morning to do fasted cardio, but sometimes that’s what you have to do to get the results that you want.”

Wheat works on a search and rescue squad based out of a firehouse, and like everyone else, temptations abound at work for him in the form of sweets and treats. “When you have Girl Scout cookies in front of you, you have to think about not letting your Militia brothers down and eat chicken and broccoli instead,” he says.

All those cliches you’ve heard about how results taste better than any treat are popular for a reason: They’re true. Refuse to sacrifice and you sacrifice your chance to be great.

4 Commit to Consistency

Sacrifice goes hand-in-hand with another Militia guiding principle: consistency. “The key to success is consistency,” says Thompson. “Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes consistent. Perfect practice makes perfect. Being a Militia member means you strive to get closer to perfect practice through consistency, and you help your Militia brothers to be consistent, too. You see a kid squatting with poor form and help him do it right and help him get on the right path.”

Being in the Militia means being a teacher and a leader for your fellow members, but just as importantly, for anyone else you encounter in the weight room or in your life. Put another way, it means living how you lift, embodying consistency and dedication to greatness in how you carry yourself, how you interact with others at the gym, the training you do, and in your diet, too, no matter how tough it might be.

Being in the Militia means being a teacher and a leader for your fellow members, but just as importantly, for anyone else you encounter in the weight room or in your life.

Thompson’s job as a Twinlab executive means he frequently travels for meeting and business. But even on the road, he sticks to the same macros at every meal—45 grams of clean protein, 40 grams of carbs from fruits or vegetables, and 17 grams of healthy fats. When he’s hungry or has to do fasted cardio, he’ll reach for a packet of Pro Series MVP Fuel to stay sharp.

It’s a routine Milo knows well, too. “People think I just train and sleep all day,” he says, “but I have a job in sales, and I’m in planes, cars, or face-to-face with accounts. We do what we need to do.” For him, that often includes packing a day’s worth of meals in his car and eating in parking lots between appointments. It means booking hotels near grocery stores on the road so he has access to healthy, clean food.

“There have been times when I’ve made cream of rice using a hotel room coffee maker,” he admits. It’s a total commitment to consistency, but once you make it and accept it, it stops being a challenge and becomes a simple expression of your lifestyle.

5 Compete and Encourage

Milo and Wheat recently made a two-hour road trip from their home base in Orlando to Jacksonville for a gym invasion with other Militia members. “We had 18 guys there training together,” says Wheat. “We were mixing it up, pushing each other. One of the guys there was 140 pounds when he started training with the Militia—now he’s 160 pounds.”

At the end of the workout, Milo and Wheat and other members took turns deadlifting, and when 405 was loaded on the bar, their 160-pound friend stepped up and said he wanted a shot at it. “He’d never pulled 405 before,” says Milo. “But we told him to visualize lifting it, to picture himself doing it.”

He stepped to the bar, pulled—and locked it out. “We were giving him so much encouragement, the whole gym came over and started cheering for him,” says Wheat. “And then he picked it up again and pulled one more rep.”

Competition doesn’t have to happen on a stage, and it doesn’t need a medal to legitimize it. This slender lifter was competing with the iron, with the athletes around him, and most importantly, with every former version of himself who had ever set foot in that weight room. The competition never stops, because there are always bigger mountains of iron to move.

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Muscle Manifesto: 5 Principles Of The Lifting Life

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Fitness 360: Samantha Ann Leete, Leete's Fitness Feats

One of the many things that make Samantha Ann Leete such an inspirational athlete is her realistic, balanced approach to health and fitness. She has a full-time job, coaches cheerleading, participates in bikini competitions, and makes appearances at fitness expos. She’s a busy girl! Sometimes, fitness has to come second on her priority list—and that’s OK. Samantha has learned how to balance her life and her schedule.

Samantha has also become an expert at maintaining a positive attitude despite having a hectic life. She loves fitness, enjoys her workouts, and feels healthy and happy about her diet. It is this positivity—along with a fantastic body— that earned her first place at the 2013 BodySpace Spokesmodel Contest. She’d be the first person to tell you that fitness doesn’t just belong to an elite group of people, it belongs to everybody. As she says, “If I can do it, anyone can!”

If you have a busy life and are looking for ways to implement a healthier lifestyle into your schedule, check out Samantha’s plan. You’ll learn how to make workouts, healthy nutrition, and supplementation work for your hectic day.

Samantha Ann Leete Fitness 360
Watch The Video – 13:58

Samantha Leete's Training Program

Samantha Leete’s Training Program

Samantha likes to work out with various training techniques so her regimen never gets boring. Get the details of her fun, bikini-body program right here!

Samantha Leete's Nutrition Program

Samantha Leete’s Nutrition Program

Just because your food is healthy doesn’t mean it has to taste bland! Samantha knows how to get the best taste and nutrition out of her meals. Check out her nutrition philosophy.

Samantha Leete's Supplement Program

Samantha Leete’s Supplement Program

Learn how basic supplementation helped Samantha transform her body and turned her from being a supp skeptic into a protein shaker!

Athlete For Life

Samantha was an active kid. If she wasn’t running around the track or playing soccer or volleyball, you could find her with the dance team or cheerleading squad. She continued her active lifestyle at Weber State University, where she danced and cheered for two years. But, like many ex-college athletes, Samantha didn’t maintain her activity level. “Once I stopped cheering at college, I noticed my body was changing,” she says. “I wasn’t as healthy as I [once] was and I went through a period that was unhealthy and unhappy.”

In order to turn her life around, Samantha had to find new athletic goals for herself. “I met some girls at Weber who were training for a bikini competition. That’s where I was introduced to the world of bodybuilding.”

Samantha knew her life and body were not going in positive directions, so she plucked up some courage and signed up for a bikini competition. “I needed something I could do on my own. Something that would keep me fit for a life, not just for a short period of time,” she says.

“‘I fell in love with training, making healthier choices, the entire lifestyle.'”

Although she had played sports, Samantha hadn’t spent much time in the gym. “I had never lifted weights before,” she explains. Like any good student, Samantha did some research and found Bodybuilding.com. After that, she was hooked. “I fell in love with training, making healthier choices, the entire lifestyle,” she says.

“Through the obstacles that I’ve overcome, I learned a valuable lesson. When things got tough in my life, I thought I was being responsible and unselfish by not taking the time for physical fitness. Now I know better.” Her choices to stay fit have had positive impacts on every other aspect of her life. Samantha has more energy, is happier, feels more accomplished, and is mentally stronger.

Success Doesn’t Come Easy

Although she’s been successful in her fit life, Samantha has had to make a lot of sacrifices and live with a hectic schedule. “I’ve had to work around multiple full-time jobs, the IRS, coaching, cheerleading at multiple places, working swing, working days, going to school, and all the other things we all deal with on a daily basis.”

Samantha’s dedication to commit to fitness, no matter what, is an inspirational feat. “Sometimes I have to do my cardio at lunch. So I’ll run up and down the stairs in my building or run around outside.”

“Samantha’s dedication to commit to fitness, no matter what, is an inspirational feat.”

As much as she loves fitness, Samantha knows how to balance. “I’d be lying if I told you fitness [always] comes first in my life,” she says. “We all have those ‘life happens’ moments when other obligations take priority over the gym. I want to help people realize that just because they can’t go 100 percent all day every day, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try!”

Samantha knows full well that life can get in the way. “I’ve never been able to plan out my month and stick to it. I’ve had to shift workouts, get them in at odd times, and sometimes improvise meals and workouts depending on where I am and what I’m doing.”

It’s no easy task to live fit, but Samantha just keeps going. “It would be awesome if we could all be full-time athletes and never miss a workout, but that’s just not a reality.” With her status as a BodySpace Spokesmodel, she’ll certainly have a bigger platform to should those great words of advice.

More to Share

What do you like most about being a BodySpace Spokesmodel? Why?

I love being able to share my perspective. I spent almost two years thinking about making a “lifestyle” change but not acting on it because I was scared. I love sharing my experiences with others and then watching them incorporate my advice and successfully make changes.

I want women to be the best version of themselves. We all have strengths and weaknesses. What makes us unique is what makes us beautiful!

I also love being able to share supplements! When I first started focusing on living a healthier lifestyle, I knew nothing about supplements. I didn’t even think they worked. Once I started trying different kinds, different brands, and different flavors, I quickly learned what works and what’s crap. I love recommending products and explaining how they can help people achieve their goals.

What would you tell a person who wants to look like you? What’s the first piece of advice you’d give her?

My first piece of advice would be to not want to look like me. Society has trained us to compare ourselves to others. Usually, it just leaves us feeling inadequate and sad. I want women to be the best version of themselves. We all have strengths and weaknesses. What makes us unique is what makes us beautiful!

If you are trying to build your best self, the first thing you must do is choose a goal. Once you’ve chosen a goal, structure a plan for that goal around your schedule and the tools you have available to you. The best plan is one you can tackle and stick to for a long time. Super quick transformations are impressive, but they’re usually difficult to maintain. Slow and steady wins the race!

Recommended For You


Brandan Fokken doesn’t just practice being fit for a few months out of the year. He’s dedicated his entire life to fitness and is now reaping enormous benefits. Read his inspiring story!


Sara’s once all-consuming fitness program left her running ragged and almost killed her enthusiasm for exercise. Learn how she revamped her routine and found a healthy medium.


Carl Roberts won our 2012 Military Transformation Challenge, and now he is a personal trainer, helping to propel his clients forward with their fitness.

About The Author

Cassie Smith is a writer/editor for Bodybuilding.com and former professor & college athlete. Find out more about her right here.

Link – 

Fitness 360: Samantha Ann Leete, Leete's Fitness Feats

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Lying Leg Curls

Leg Slayer: Rich Gaspari's Transformational Leg Day

The first cover I did for “Iron Man” magazine was in 1988 as the hero, Hercules incarnate. My last cover shoot was the April 1992 edition—or so I thought. I never dreamed I would be featured on a cover 20 years later. I think I felt like a 20-year-old kid again when I got the October 2011 issue in the mail with me—now 48 years old—on the cover. And I looked pretty good, I have to admit. How in the world did this come about?

I was inducted into the Muscle Beach Hall of Fame Memorial Day weekend, 2011. While I was there, I ran into John Balik, the owner of “Iron Man.” We caught up a little and then he asked me if I would ever consider appearing on a cover again.

“I’d love to,” I said quickly.

“Good,” he said, “we have an opening and the photo shoot is on July 15. Can you be ready?”

My mind started doing the math as quick as I could. That would give me 52 days to prepare for a photo shoot. Could I do it? At age 48?

“You bet I can,” I answered. That’s how I’ve always been. Accept the challenge and figure out how to get it done later.

A New Motivation

I hadn’t competed in a bodybuilding competition for nearly two decades. I was still highly involved in the sport through my nutritional supplement company, Gaspari Nutrition, attending competitions, and sponsoring professional athletes, but my body wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

“I wanted to get myself into the best shape of my life—not only for my age, but for any age.”

I wasn’t in bad shape, but with my work being done from behind a desk and loads of corporate travel, I felt soft. But what was bugging me even more was that I felt a little hypocritical. Here I was, the CEO of a company that emphasizes fitness and maximizing one’s physicality, and I wasn’t practicing what I preached.

If I was going to challenge my customers and fans to believe that mediocrity was not acceptable and to reach for their best, then I knew I needed to throw down the same challenge for myself.

Now everyone knows a 48-year-old man can’t compete, right? Some of my best friends let me know it. Of course that wasn’t the first time I’d heard, “You can’t do it.” In truth, I didn’t have any real plans to compete again, but I did feel a burning desire to work out like I was going to be in the Mr. Olympia contest.

I wanted to get myself into the best shape of my life—not only for my age, but for any age. And one thing you should know about me: I am a competitive person. Failure wasn’t an option.

Do It For You

I mentioned up front that I was still in good shape. You have to be if you own a nutritional supplement company. People would tell me I looked good. But a lot of people would add, “Not like you used to look, but good.”

So I knew I had serious work to do to be ready. I was eating four meals per day—I had to ratchet that up to seven immediately. I was training four days per week—that increased to five. No way was I going to miss any training opportunity.

“Don’t forget the one person you are with 24 hours every day—the one you see in the mirror each morning.”

That’s the mechanics of what I did. But what drove me? Was it to promote my company? Sure. But we were growing nicely already. Nothing as crazy as what I did was necessary! Was it to avoid embarrassing myself on a magazine cover with nothing but posing shorts on? I don’t think so. But who knows? Pride can be a great motivator.

I thought back to the last “Rocky” movie that came out in 2006, “Rocky Balboa.” There’s a scene where Rocky is asked why he’s making a comeback and he says, “I still have the fire in my belly. I’m doing it for me.” I like that. And that is my real reason. I did this program for me.

There may be a lot of thoughts and motivations swirling around in your head. Maybe you’re trying to get someone to notice you. Maybe you want to show your parents what you can accomplish. I’ve been there, too. But let me say to you right now: Do it for you, for your own personal sense of accomplishment.

I’m a people-pleaser. You may be too. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with it. But don’t forget the one person you are with 24 hours every day—the one you see in the mirror each morning. And here’s a little secret you probably already know: When you please yourself, you are usually more pleasing to people around you. It’s almost impossible to impress yourself and not impress others. If you want to take better care of the important people in your life, start by taking better care of yourself.

Recommit yourself to your program. Hit the gym with a passion today. Don’t do it for Rich Gaspari or anyone else. Do it for you. Impress yourself!

The Program

Excerpted from “51 Days: No Excuses,” by Rich Gaspari, coming March 14, 2014, from Dunham Books. Preorder your copy now!

About The Author

Check out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.

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Leg Slayer: Rich Gaspari's Transformational Leg Day

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, UncategorizedComments Off on Leg Slayer: Rich Gaspari's Transformational Leg Day

<div id="DPG" webReader="14.3751135332"><h5 class="c8"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/built-by-science-day-40.html">Back</a> | <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/built-by-science-six-week-muscle-building-trainer.html">Main</a> | <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/built-by-science-day-42.html">Next</a></h5><p>Go ahead, take a glance in the mirror. Flex, pose, and take pride in your fit physique. I know you've worked hard for it. It's time to celebrate your accomplishments with a final session of intense arms and abs training.</p><p>Think of your body as a whole—your core should be involved in every single arm movement you do today, from biceps curls to triceps extensions. Use your entire body to generate maximum power and push through the final workout of Built by Science.</p><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul class="defined"><li class="rowBgColor c9"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('close-grip-barbell-bench-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/23/Male/t/23_1.jpg" alt="Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('close-grip-barbell-bench-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/23/Male/t/23_2.jpg" alt="Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('close-grip-barbell-bench-press')">Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press</a></strong><br />3-4 sets of 6 reps<br />Tempo: 2-0-1. Rest: 120 seconds</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c9"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('dumbbell-one-arm-triceps-extension')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/324/Male/t/324_1.jpg" alt="Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('dumbbell-one-arm-triceps-extension')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/324/Male/t/324_2.jpg" alt="Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('dumbbell-one-arm-triceps-extension')">Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension</a></strong><br />3-4 sets of 8 reps<br />Tempo: 2-0-1. Rest: 60-90 seconds</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c9"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/169/Male/t/169_1.jpg" alt="Barbell Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/169/Male/t/169_2.jpg" alt="Barbell Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-curl')">Barbell Curl</a></strong><br />3-4 sets of 6 reps<br />Tempo: 2-0-1. Rest: 90-120 seconds</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c9"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('reverse-barbell-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/9/Male/t/9_1.jpg" alt="Reverse Barbell Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('reverse-barbell-curl')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/9/Male/t/9_2.jpg" alt="Reverse Barbell Curl" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('reverse-barbell-curl')">Reverse Barbell Curl</a></strong> (Using EZ-Bar)<br />3-4 sets of 8 reps<br />Tempo: 2-0-1. Rest: 60-90 seconds</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c9"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('suspended-fallout')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/2723/Male/t/2723_1.jpg" alt="Suspended Fallout" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('suspended-fallout')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/2723/Male/t/2723_2.jpg" alt="Suspended Fallout" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('suspended-fallout')">TRX Fallout</a></strong><br />2-3 sets of 10 reps<br />Tempo: 3-0-1. Rest: 60-90 seconds</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c9"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('pallof-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/2713/Male/t/2713_1.jpg" alt="Pallof Press" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('pallof-press')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/2713/Male/t/2713_2.jpg" alt="Pallof Press" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('pallof-press')">Pallof Press</a> (kneeling)</strong><br />2-3 sets of 30 seconds<br />Rest: 60-90 seconds</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c9"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('dead-bug')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/2733/Male/t/2733_1.jpg" alt="Dead Bug" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('dead-bug')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/2733/Male/t/2733_2.jpg" alt="Dead Bug" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('dead-bug')">Dead Bug</a></strong><br />2-3 sets of 10 reps<br />Tempo: 3-0-1. Rest: 60-90 seconds</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c9"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('kettlebell-windmill')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/533/Male/t/533_1.jpg" alt="Kettlebell Windmill" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('kettlebell-windmill')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/533/Male/t/533_2.jpg" alt="Kettlebell Windmill" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('kettlebell-windmill')">Kettlebell Windmill</a></strong><br />2-3 sets of 8 reps<br />Tempo: 2-0-1. Rest: 60-90 seconds</span></li>
</ul></div><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/cellucor/built-by-science-30-day-stack.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/builtbyscience_stack_banner.jpg" width="560" height="144" border="0" class="c11"/></a><h5 class="c8"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/built-by-science-day-40.html">Back</a> | <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/built-by-science-six-week-muscle-building-trainer.html">Main</a> | <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/built-by-science-day-42.html">Next</a></h5><br class="c12"/></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="39.8434782609"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="8.55555555556"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/mike-robertson.html">Mike Robertson, C.S.C.S.</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/mike-robertson.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Mike Robertson, CSCS, has helped people from all walks of life achieve their strength, physique and performance-related goals. Learn more.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/mike-robertson.html"><img src="images/2013/writer-mike-robertson-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/mike-robertson.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>

Built By Science Daily Trainer: Day 41, Arms And Abs

Back | Main | Next

Go ahead, take a glance in the mirror. Flex, pose, and take pride in your fit physique. I know you’ve worked hard for it. It’s time to celebrate your accomplishments with a final session of intense arms and abs training.

Think of your body as a whole—your core should be involved in every single arm movement you do today, from biceps curls to triceps extensions. Use your entire body to generate maximum power and push through the final workout of Built by Science.

Back | Main | Next

About The Author

Mike Robertson, CSCS, has helped people from all walks of life achieve their strength, physique and performance-related goals. Learn more.

Originally posted here: 

Built By Science Daily Trainer: Day 41, Arms And Abs

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