No Shortcuts to Fitness
When it comes to training, keep it simple, train heavy and hard, and stick to the basics if you want to see results
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I don’t like to do anything by halves, and for that reason I split my body into six training days. Doing so, I can really give all my focus to each and every muscle group without having to train for marathon lengths of time.
My favourite time of day to train is in the morning, after I drop the kids off at school and before I do anything else. I find that by making my training a priority and doing it before anything else, it gets done. When I am dieting for a contest, it’s even more important to train while my energy levels are still high right after breakfast when there are more carbs in my body than any other time of day. I like to use Nutratech products, particularly Thermojet prewokout, and especially right before cardio because it gives me a great energy boost and helps with workout intensity. For my style of training to work, or any style in my opinion, you really have to push yourself. I believe that pushing yourself to train hard even when you don’t want to is what makes the difference between a good and an amazing athlete.
I am pretty fit and don’t really need a lot of rest in between sets but I always take as much time as I need to make every set count, that way I get maximum results from every set. Don’t try to rest for only 30 seconds just because someone else does. Take the time you need in order to give it 100% on the next set and you will find that over time as your get fitter you will also be able to take less rest between sets. To give you an Idea of my tempo, when I train with my husband (who is nowhere near as fit I am), I do sets of abs or hip flexion because I get bored waiting for my turn. Because of my level of conditioning, I can pump out higher volume in a shorter span of time, and as a contest draws closer, the only thing that increases is the length of time I train for.
So how did I make these changes? Obviously diet plays a huge role in any program, and I do adhere to a strcit diet; however, I believe the adjustments I’ve made in my training are ultimately responsible for these changes. Firstly, I would start my day doing cardio on an empty stomach. Although this is nothing new for me when I’m getting ready for a show, what I’ve learned is that there is cardio and then there is CARDIO! And this time I wasn’t mucking around! I would start with 35 minutes on a treadmill set to about a 30% incline. I know most treadmills don’t even go this high, and neither did mine, so my husband put some wood underneath the front of it to make it even higher! I would lunge on the treadmill for 35 gruelling minutes and following that I would do another 35 minutes of cardio on the elliptical trainer set to a high resistance and on the longest stride possible. This was tough, and by the end of my 70 minute session I was absolutely shattered.
After breakfast was weight training, and because I wanted to make my lower body a priority, I trained glutes hamstrings and quads twice a week instead of just once. My routine consisted of squats, stiff-legged deadlifts, lying leg curls, leg press (with my feet positioned high and wide) and barbell lunges or walking lunges. I would do 4 sets of each exercise and finish the workout on the hip flexion machine – this machine is by far the most effective to really zone in on the glute-ham tie-in. I would do this exercise for 5-10 minutes per side, which works out to well over 500 reps!
Lastly before bed, I would do my 70 minute cardio session again. This really worked well for me and I was very proud of the results. I would have liked to offer helpful tips to get in shape without having to work as hard, but the more I learn about this sport, the more I realize that there aren’t any short cuts. You get out only as much as what you put in.