Personal Life

I’ve been MIA for awhile.  To be honest I ran out of topics to talk about, plus with the Holidays, being sick, and work I had been busy for a good bit and not able to lift.

Currently I am dealing with health… and it’s a struggle.
So just a heads up this is going to get personal.

I started lifting like 3 years ago? Come  July 30th.
In the past 2 years I have noticed my health declining, getting sick more and more frequently, and worsening within the past year.  I mean I get sick every 3 weeks pretty much.  I take my vitamins, last year my doctor prescribed me prenatals for this issue I mentioned.
Yesterday I went to the doctors again because I’m sick again, randomly have some sort of infection and I have been a mess.  Coughing, sneezing, non-stop runny nose, that was all brought on after I worked a Monster Jam event.  Actually started during the event from all the dirt inhalation that was kicked up.
So I was given several meds to help cure this which have already really worked within 24 hours, and I mentioned again my health struggles… He had me do a hemoglobin blood test.  Whenever I’m sick it’s always something upstairs.  Head colds, coughing, sneezing, congestion, sore throats, strep, etc.   I guess that is a sign of low hemoglobin and can cause that.  Looking at blood work from last year the lowest ‘healthy’ level for someone of my sex and age is 12, and mine came back 11.5 last year.  I’m still waiting for my current results but regardless in my next appointment it will be a continued discussion.

Secondly, last year I did my routine pap smear and it came back abnormal.  My entire life my health has been normal, and average… I never had anything come back bad except for some messed up hormones from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  No big deal.  So that terrified me but my doctor insisted I wait and it should go away within the year on its own.
My routine pap came back abnormal again this year, I stumbled upon my results on my health cares online portal and I haven’t received the results by mail yet…nor have I received a call from my doctor.  I’m patiently waiting but I’ll most likely give them a call soon to get the ball rolling on this.  They brushed off doing a colposcopy last year but I’m going to make it a have-to this year.  My immune system is weak for some reason undiscovered yet so I do not depend on my immune system to kick whatever is wrong with me in fears of those abnormal cells turning cancerous or any form of worse.  I’m also not going to back off until I have answers and a fix for my immune system.  I’m sick of being sick, I’m young, I’m active, I wash my hands, I wash myself lol, I’m a healthy individual…so why is my body failing me?  😦
Whenever I do get the colposcopy done it will be another week that I am out of the gym, solely because it is a biopsy and needs to heal, can bleed and not heal up with activity apparently (was all discussed last year.)   I have no family history to base this off of either, I only know of my moms side of the family and hers were quite secretive, no one talked about anything.  So really leaves me in the dark here.  I just know I’m not in this to play the waiting game….

As for fitness goes,  due to having an ongoing hip flexor issue I’ve come to the conclusion I probably have an anterior pelvic tilt.  Getting sick has gotten in the way of my ability to try to work on strengthening my unablanced muscles and working on my posture and everything, but that is something I will be working on and fixing over the next several months.  It seems that this problem more than likely explains my issues with my hip, my lower back, hamstrings, and glutes.  So I look forward to fixing this up and strengthening my weak points.

Advertisements

Clean Chicken Pineapple Recipe

This is something I decided to try today and it turned out really good.

WHAT YOU NEED:
– Paprika
– McCormick Caribbean Jerk Perfect Pinch
– Pepper
– Pure Pineapple Juice
– Pineapple Chunks
– Chicken Breast
– Crock Pot

I’m no cook but this came out yummy and honestly the crock pot is now my favorite way to cook chicken.  Just trying to spear the breast trying to pull it out, it just fell apart.  So good.
I just poured some of the pineapple juice in the crock pot, pending on how much chicken I put in.  I personally placed 3 chicken breasts in the mix, then plopped pineapple chunks in.  Put a decent amount of Caribbean Jerk seasoning, Paprika and a small amount of pepper.  Let it cook and sit for 6 hours and when it was all done the chicken just fell apart and was delicious with some tang and spice.
I’m definitely not a cook by any means, this just sounded good and i tried it out.  Haven’t been eating clean at all lately but this just turned that back around lol.  Always need new flavors!

Progress? Frogress

This is going to be an out-there blog post.  It’s going to deal with handling progress, or visually lack there of, and personal feelings.
So i’ve struggled and slowwwwlllyyy been able to up weights for most of my fitness journey.  About 3 months ago or 4? now I hit 114lbs on the scale.  A mix of muscle and some added ‘fluff.’  I’m not fat by any means however my body fat percentage is higher than it used to be for sure.  I was stuck at 105lbs last year for most of the year and struggled so hard.  Now, at 114lbs I find myself continuously progressing, getting stronger, hitting higher weights.  I know my diet isn’t clean and it’s honestly quite very dirty…  Something I need to work on but man why is bad food so good.
I’m currently feeling ‘thick.’   I feel like i’m in an ugly stage of you-probably-can’t-tell-I-work-out and i’m-not-attractively-skinny.  (Attractively as in like… lean.  Picture fitness models in a healthy lean stage, not competing.)
I’m torn between should I lose weight or stay in this sweet spot where i’m bulking, but feel bad about myself because I don’t like how I look.

If you guys don’t follow me on Instagram at all, I recently hit a 175lb squat.  There’s a video posted up one at 175lbs, and one at 165lbs.  There was a 20lb PR hit that same night.  My previous PR was 155.  I will say (and this should be obvious to anyone that truly knowworking out and weight training.)  the 175 is sloppy.  I’m shaky, you can tell i’m hesitant and afraid, and I could not hit depth.  My 165 is fine.  But 175 was definitely sloppy, I didn’t feel I had the proper strength in my lower back to go at least 90 degrees, so I didn’t because it didn’t feel stable or safe for me to.  I’ll push myself real hard and wanna lift as heavy as I possibly can, but I will never do anything I don’t feel is safe and may cause injury to myself.  I know a lot of people push themselves but I listen to my body 110000% and will never do anything to jeopardize my progress rate lol.  I’m impatient enough as it is.  My instagram is linked to my blog, but if you need a link its instagram.com/chelseaxlynntm
I actually have a bit of a temper and have a 0 tolerance for bullshit.  So soon after my 175lb video was posted some dimwit commented on it saying that’s not even a textbook squat (solely because I didn’t hit 90degree depth) and complaining about my spotters way of spotting.  lol….checked out his page and hes laying in bed with a dumbbell next to himself kissing it.  lol.  Wat.

Justin was primarily trying to get me to hit depth but I wasn’t about it lol.  But I know him enough to know he would never let me get hurt and obviously I trust him that he wouldn’t let me fall.  What you can’t see due to the time limits, is I wait until he gets his ass over and positioned before I really step back in the first place off the rack lol.  175 is HEAVY.  Keep in mind i’m shy of 5’2″, I have a 23″ waist, and I currently weigh 114… I started weight lifting at 94lbs and I wasn’t even anorexic, I was skinny fat at that weight.

^ Too much justifying but then again some people still need to be educated lol…  I don’t exactly consider myself a powerlifter because the true definition is: “is a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift.”  But I do like to hit my absolute MAX on everything I work out now a days.  I find more enjoyment in my lifting whenever I go for PRs and going as heavy as I can go.  I don’t do them in threes… I always do at least once and just listen to my body from there.

I’d also like to shout out Justin’s pre-workout called Muscle Man.  It has 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and is currently selling for $35.97 with prime shipping.  I’ve only used it twice, but both times I hit a new PR and it ‘woke me up.’  My current pre-workout doesn’t do that.  On the night I hit 165 then 175, I did not want to work out.  Mentally I did, but physically I just wasn’t even there.  Some how 115 was feeling really heavy and after some of the pre workout and another set of squats, I was ready and felt ‘safe’ to go heavier.  Not sure if that was all mental but i’d like to think it was this pre-workout because usually that never happens.  When weight feels heavy it usually stays feeling heavy.

Just sharing with you all my current progress and dilemmas.  I’ve been in kind of a rut lately with not having that drive to go work out.  It could be a mix of lack of drive and also my mattress has been hurting my back… got a new mattress pad and already used it for one night but we’ll see if it keeps improving.  Also having some personal life crap going on that is nothing short of a mess fest.

Anyway, Goodnight everyone and hope you’re all doing well and staying safe!

New MUST-HAVE Gym Accessories That I Love!!

Fire Team Fit Lifting Belt and Rip Toned Wrist Straps!!  Must haves for any lifter especially as you go heavier in weight and start feeling the pressure!img_0758riptoned

First I’m going to go over the Fire Team Fit Lifting Belt.
Currently retailing on Amazon anywhere from $16-$28.  Prices vary on size and color.
This is the first time I have ever used or purchased a belt and i’m amazed and immediately fell in love with it.  Day 1 using it the very first time I hit a new PR.  I primarily got this belt because I could feel as I was getting heavier in squats I was feeling back twinks from the weight… the weight was causing my form in my back to lean too far forward or back.  I’m not quite sure which, but ever since I’ve been using the belt I have 0 back pains and no problems whatsoever.  Since purchasing and using this belt I have gone up about 10-20lbs in my squats.  It helps me feel extremely secure and safe, allowing me to go heavier without being afraid as I do work out by myself.
Not to mention it is comfy and the sizing is 100% correct.  I purchased the XXS, which they call their ‘youth’ size.  I have a 23-24in waist and the XXS is advertised as (26″=29″ around navel.)   If you scroll up you can see the front overlapping a little because I am small…but the belt still works and I don’t even notice or feel any discomfort from that.  I also feel it is the perfect width and size for me since I always see some monstrous ones and i’m tiny haha.
Another reason to support Fire Team Fit is because they are a Veteran owned and operated small business.  I love supporting small businesses especially those who are military, ex-military, or the like.

Now the Rip Toned Lifting Wrist Straps.
Currently retailing for $9.97 on Amazon, varying colors as well but all the same price.
(Wish I got the camo!! I don’t think they had that when I purchased these 😦  )
The reason why these stuck out to me was because of the price, the claim that they are cotton padded, and all of the positive reviews, especially how positive out of over 2K reviews.
Another awesome thing with these is the first time when using them I hit a new PR with deadlifts!  They allow me to have amazing grip so I don’t get cut short on my reps due to losing grip at all.  These are comfortable and haven’t bothered me at all which is a nice bonus.  They are also pretty long straps, I believe this is the full dimension: (LxW) 23 1/4” X 1 1/2”

However the length doesn’t bother me or hinder anything despite being small and having smaller hands so that shouldn’t be a worry at all.  They also have a lifetime replacement warranty!  They come with a bag with a snap if you’d like to carry your straps that way but personally I just added them into my gym bag and didn’t want to worry about any additional extra-bags lol.

I really can’t say anymore great things about either of these brands.  I’m happy with my purchases and they’ve dramatically improved my performance and my growth.  Highly recommend!  Must-have gym accessories for a low cost.

REAL Results

So funny enough the other night I got SO mad, frustrated, stressed and upset (all part of the journey) due to feeling like my body doesn’t change, my glutes don’t grow, etc etc.  To be fair naturally i’m really hard on myself.  Soooo I started sifting through pictures that I have from any time along my journey to compare to a recent picture in mostly the same stance and form.  I came across this one and i’m genuinely surprised.  Sometimes growth and advancement isn’t just something you can see from one side or one angle.  Surely we want everything to GROW but not everything is as simple as just getting bigger.  Lifting parts up, growing, shrinking, is all part of the process.  They also don’t all happen at once.
FullSizeRender-5

This is a 6 month glute progress.  From other pictures from the side I don’t really see a size difference but from the back you can certainly see a difference.  I think this picture helps show what i’ve been saying about building a good base layer and then things will build from there.  My glutes have lifted and part of building a bubble butt is lifting the butt up first.

Sometimes I google progress photos to see the natural progression of body changes and I have two things to say about that.  1)  A LOT of photoshopped pictures.  Make sure to see the source they’re coming from (a lot are people trying to sell fitness plans)  2)  Time is either not pointed out between the photos or someones trying to say the progress happened in only a few weeks.  There’s something weird where people who I guess don’t like to put the work in, will horribly photoshop pictures of themselves whether it just be a body part or what have you and then try to brag about it and give advice…   Typically I wouldn’t be so blunt in regards to someone but 1- this doesn’t out anyone however you could reverse image search and 2- people shouldn’t lie and give BS advice.  Put the work in or admit you don’t and be honest.

ics03r    ^  I came across this while good image searching… it linked to a reddit post.  First pic: Wearing a long dress from what I can tell.  Second pic:  Photoshopped underbutt and butt… what gives it away if you can’t tell: no ones body is wavering by pixels…. not to mention no ones underbutt and leg is shaped like that.  The only reason why in the first pic its like a long C is because she’s wearing a dress and not pants like in the 2nd.  You gotta be skeptical unfortunately.  People are lying thieves and people who don’t know what to look out for can be scammed.

My picture in the blue crops is 6 months progress after already a progress of about a year and 4-5 months.  To be honest like most people I didn’t know what I was doing when I first started and neglected learning and acknowledging I was messing up.  I had no trainer (I’ve never had a trainer and still have learning to do.  Learning never ends) so of course I had a rocky long beginning.  But I’m here now and things are changing.

Here is the ONLY pic of my butt I could find before I ever started lifting:
2014 VS 2016
IMG_7699
FullSizeRender

I think i’m wearing loose yoga pants here but you get my drift… lmao.  I honestly never paid mind to my lower body before lifting and deleted any pictures.  It wasn’t that I was ‘fat’, I considered myself unfit skinny fat with body fat concentrations in unwanted areas due to genetics.

Gym Attire To Stay Away From/Advice

Recently I’ve been having to get rid of a lot of clothes, most being athletic wear.

1)  Stay away from Hollister/Abercrombie gym apparel.  They aren’t an activewear brand and in my experience their fabric used is quite thick and heavy.  It’s not breathable and actually makes sweating and all the heat your body produces unbearable.

2)  This one is a hit and miss, make sure you take a look at the entire piece.  I’ve enjoyed the one pair of Calvin Klein activewear i’ve gotten, but one thing I noticed after wearing is that the crotch area is a mesh material.  Great in theory due to air flow and such however I noticed that if I wasn’t wearing any underwear you can see skin… not like all out and what but still a strange piece.

3)  Kyodan is a hit and miss.  Their sizes aren’t true to size, however their tops are.  But as far as bottoms go unless you have the room to size down, you really should size down.  But I also feel like they stretch out throughout your work out.  Their XS is too big for me at this point, and it just gets worse with wear.  They’re one of the main brands you can find in Tjmaxx.
4)  Athleta, I don’t have much experience with them to be honest.  Just a pair of tights I got since I had a gift card.  Originally the piece was great but over time and little wear, whenever I’d get sweaty I’d start having a bunch of fabric fuzz all over my hands and it’d spread if I touched anything too.  Pretty much a nightmare problem in my opinion because out of everything in the world that shouldn’t happen… especially for a brand that’s competing with Lululemon.  I had to go through an ordeal because I didn’t have a receipt, and I didn’t like things they had in the store… and two things that I tried on had one of these problems each: 1) Minimally see-thru, if I bend over: Totally see thru.  (was a blue ombre tight)  2) Completely constrictive and uncomfortable around my calf.  Not the type of experience I want with a brand.

5)  Not brand specific but at least up top if you’re a weight trainer, do yourself a favor and DO NOT buy anything that feels snug one bit.  Because you will out grow it and hate yourself.  Size up if you really want it and you’ll thank yourself for that later on!!  (Purchased a Lululemon scuba hoodie in houndstooth and now it’s too tight on me D:, discontinued print.  I LOVED IT SO MUCH)

6)  Watch out for colors, busy prints.  Typically with these whenever you actually put them on the coloring fades because they get stretched out and you can see some skin coloring sneaking in.  Some of these can also be see-thru with squats.  This problem isn’t brand specific but something that is common with these type of styles.  All-colored pants also, unless it’s a thick material can be see-thru so always do a bend over check in the dressing room if you can.
Weight training is such a slow and lengthy process to get to your ‘dream body,’ naturally.  Personally I can get burnt out sometimes as people do with any thing and I reward myself when accomplishments and such are met by shopping.  Having little goals along the way, not just the huge end goal is good for you especially when it comes to sticking with it and not getting too discouraged because you WILL definitely get discouraged a lot along the way.  ❤

Mind-Muscle Connection, What does that even mean?!

Sometime after I first got into weight training I started hearing about mind-muscle connection especially when pertaining to the glutes.  To be honest I always thought it was a crock of shit and mentally I was like WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN!?
You remember back in like 2007?  When everyone was doing that side ‘grr’ face thing?  (I have no idea what made that popular or who influenced it) But I could never do it.  I just have no control over those nerves in my face and so I related that to my muscles too.  If I can’t feel the muscle how am I supposed to be able to mentally target it and yada yada?!

So fast forward to now and I realize how underestimated the mind-mucsle connection is.
I’ve been doing a lot of things wrong with lifting, believe me I never got into this thinking I KNEW things, or even this blog.  It’s not supposed to be like ‘hey listen to me I know things.’  That’s not me at all.  I just want to share my experiences and what i’ve learned.

Over the past several months, and particularly these past 2-3 months i’ve put a heavy emphasis on training my glutes.  I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can and one truth of it all is everyone is different.  What works for some doesn’t work for everyone, so apply that to your training too.

If you have a hard time in growing your glutes like I do, one thing to take note of is building a good base layer of muscle will help you with that.  This past month my glute muscles have truly grown, replacing some of the fat that’s all up in there.  Causing me to be able to flex and everything unlike i’ve ever been able to before.  Making it easier for me to contract my glutes, and think about how i’m using them with my workouts.
There is no 1 work-out that’s going to give you an amazing ass.  It’s not a one trick pony.  It’s all the tricks, and our genetics play a part in it as well.

Whenever you’re doing squats, deadlifts, or any workout that should utilize your glutes in anyway, you have to mentally think about your glutes.  Say you’re squatting, as you’re coming up think: PULL WITH MY GLUTES.  LIFT WITH MY GLUTES.  LAY OFF THE QUADS, KEEP MY WEIGHT IN MY HEELS, PULL THAT ASS UP.   If you have to drop weight to really train and strengthen your buttox then do it, because it will be worth it and then you’ll be able to hit that ass more as you go up in weight again.

If you’re doing bulgarian squats or lunges, contract your glutes with your movements.  If you’re doing step-ups, put your weight in your heel as you push yourself up.  Like you’re pushing down instead of just lifting yourself up.

Squat Variations:

This is something I have neglected for a long time.  Truth is because like I said we are all different.  We are designed different, our bones, how our bodies are built.  Look at how people walk.  Some people walk with their feet straight.  Some people walk with their feet going outwards like \   /.   I’m someone who has a very straight walk, and our bone structure is the cause of this.  So when I first started I was getting into sumo squats because I really wanted an ass (it’s been two years, you see how clueless i’ve been? LOL)  I ended up stopping those completely because I developed a pain coming from my ankle straight up my leg from doing this workout.  Now the reason because of this was due to watch all of these people on youtube and such doing sumo squats online with a very wide stance and their feet super outwards, more than just \ /.  Obviously none of that works for me.  I’m 5’2″, my ankles are not going to be cool with holding up weight and having my feet so angled outward.  My version of sumo is a lot more tame than others because I am a short shit and my bone structure.

Here are three squat variations, Narrow, Standard, and Sumo <-Video Link.   I found this woman on instagram: _Brooklynfit
I found her recently on Instagram, she’s adorable & informative.

I recommended those Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit’s in my previous post because I also attribute those to my growing glute connection.  They have literally forced me to put my weight in my heel forcing me to really build up my glutes.
To anyone who may be new as well, when people are saying put all your weight in your heel they’re really saying put most of your weight in your heel but also on the middle/arch portion of your feet.  Putting all of your weight into just your heel will cause you to topple over especially with workouts that require more balance that isn’t quite achieved yet.

If anyone is interested I’ll follow up with a post of the workouts that really work my glutes and how I train them.  Also want to follow up by saying try to keep your reps in a 10-15 range.  Previously I’ve been guilty of keeping my reps low but you actually want them to be a bit higher in order to truly build and grow.

Over these past two weeks I’ve gone from 110-112lbs.  Not even excess body fat… i’m just on a complete bulking phase right now.  It’s scary, this is the heaviest I’ve been in a long time.  I started lifting at only 94lbs.  This time last year I was stuck at 105lbs for over half a year, and here I am continuously adding muscle.  But in a way that i’m still comfortable with my body and I know i’m not just getting fat lol.  For me personally hitting triple digits has scared me since I originally hit 100lbs in 5th grade.  But here I am… the healthiest, strongest and fittest I have ever been.  With no desire to starve myself or blow chunks down the toilet…  🙂