Help? Advice? Serious Answers only please :)

So this post is really going to be about my experience with a certain thing that has appeared on my body with my lifting journey that has befuddled me, so i’m searching for someone who can help me and tell me what it is or why, and how to fix it. ¬†So feel free to ignore this post and click away ūüôā

As i’ve stated numerous times I have this blog to share my experiences, and that i’m not a professional by any means. ¬†I am 5’1.5″, before I started out I weighed 95lbs. ¬†Which is low, yes, however for my size, and my height, it was healthy and perfectly fine for me. ¬†I was skinny-fat, and not anorexic. ¬†skinnyfat
Like so ^.  This was me anywhere from 93-95lbs, prior to lifting.

So currently (haven’t weighed myself in a few weeks, been sick and such) i’m weighing around 113-118lbs. ¬† It fluctuates a lot. ¬† At this point i’ve been lifting for about 2 years and 5 months. ¬†I’ve put on muscle mass for sure, however i’ve never ‘leaned’ down, and i’ve been very lax with my eating for bulking purposes and my bodies response. ¬† BUT. ¬†Over my period of lifting I somehow and somewhere along the way developed lines under my butt, on the back of my legs. ¬†They truly look like ‘fat’ lines like you’d see down there on over weight women. ¬†They are far worse on one leg than the other, I have maybe 3 lines on one leg and then 6 or more on the other. ¬†I find it incredibly embarrassing and I don’t wear cute shorts, or even shorts at all if I can help it. ¬†I’m 24, this is the time of my life where I should be wearing shorts let alone with how much work and time I have put into my body!!

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^ This is what they are. ¬†This is what they look like. ¬†This is why I do legs 3x a week with a heavy emphasis especially on the glutes and hamstrings. ¬†I’ve tried to fix this on my own, thinking there was a muscle imbalance that could be causing this or something, (because I didn’t have them prior to lifting), and my glutes have improved, and lifted, and my hams have grown and my quads have grown, even increased cardio, and alas…. nothing showed improvement. ¬†I am putting myself out here to find answers and find what the hell I need to do to get rid of these… I’m embarrassed, and feel gross in my own skin and this is what really makes me feel like giving it all up and quitting because I feel like i’m getting no where. ¬†Am I just ‘too’ fat? ¬†Like what is this D:

Adding to the area, I also have a ‘bulge’ of fat under my glutes. ¬†img_2690It puffs out like this whenever i’m standing straight, which I also find embarrassing and this makes me think it’s just due to being ‘fat’. ¬†Am i’m really not, I have a lil extra fluff but i’m not fat… And making myself very lean while trying to grow just would be¬†counter productive…. ¬†If anyone can help, please give advice.

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 ūüė¶ ¬†)
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‚ÄĚ X 1 1/2‚ÄĚ

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.

Best Place(s) For Affordable Activewear!

Hey Guys!

Sorry for another lull, I was just out of town for 2 weeks for work and I really thought I’d have time for working out, and keeping up with this. ¬†But surprise, our attendance must’ve increased by 25% compared to last year and longggg work days.

Let’s get on with the blog!

Something that ALWAYS helps motivate me when I find myself losing drive, is shopping for more activewear.  Whether it be just clothes, gym accessories, shoes, etc.  It helps me stay driven.
My NUMBER 1 place to shop for activewear for the cheap, is TjMaxx! ¬†The in-store selection is always MUCH better than their online, and it’s the same company as Marshalls, and Home Goods. ¬†That’s where I have found my Lululemon dupes like I have mentioned in an older post, I’ve also seen a few items from Athleta in my local TjMaxx store! ¬†Their selection has gotten insanely better within these past 6 months! ¬†Just the other day I went to the store¬†and found this: ¬†FullSizeRender-1¬†This is the Under Armour Women’s Fly Fast 1/2 Zip, currently retailing for $50+. ¬†I got it, along with the all black version for $29.99/each. ¬†Here they are on Amazon.com¬†I believe on the Under Armour website they’re about $52 right now. ¬†$42-$53 on the Under armour website. ¬†I also purchased this:¬†IMG_1522(My shirt and socks matched hahaha) ¬†I’m not quite sure the name of this pullover since it is an older style but I remember eyeing it on Nike.com when it was on clearance, but it was still $40 then. ¬†I just knew it was a deal when I got it! ¬†Not to mention it’s super soft, and I found out while wearing it today there’s a secret pouch compartment in the kangaroo pocket thing lol.

Another on a whim are these bottoms by Pink Lotus: ¬†FullSizeRender-2¬†They are so incredibly soft, I even tried to find the exact style and pair online but to no avail. ¬†They’d be a nice material to work out in as well however as you can see i’m short, and i’m not going to ruin them hahah. ¬†I found these on clearance for only $12, and i’m in love with them.

Aside from TJMaxx lets all admit we have guilty pleasures. ¬†I like Lululemon for instance because of the quality and comfort/style. ¬†I’ve recently fallen in love with their In The Flow crops and their Free To Be sports bras.

Really good apps for finding GREAT deals on expensive activewear such as lulu:  Mercari, and Poshmark.  Mercari tends to be the place to find THE BEST deals, simply because unlike Poshmark and Ebay their charges to list are a lot lower.

These are a pair of the In The Flow crops.  What I love about them:  Very thick and soft material.  Also, NO PANTY LINES.  I got these for only $50 brand new, with tags on Mercari.  These never went on sale because of the high demand of the color and they retail for $88.    I also got another coral pair for $40 on the same app!

This is the Free To Be bra that I was talking about. ¬†It’s incredibly comfortable, hell I wore it out as a normal bra hahaha. ¬†They retail for $42 and I purchased one for $26, however that was through a Facebook Lululemon group (another great resource to find good deals.) ¬†Also be sure to lurk on Ebay! ¬†Great deals pop up there every once in awhile, you have to be smart about your search terms because sellers can be very generic especially if they don’t know the names of what they’re selling. ¬†An item I had been searching for, for a long time but didn’t even know who they were by, I finally found them this week!

Have you all seen this image? ¬†pants¬† I first saw this when Lauren Conrad posted up an article using this image on her blog. ¬† Fell in love with them but never found out anything about them. ¬†Turns out they’re the Lululemon Top Speed Crop, a style that has since been retired or they just aren’t currently making them. ¬† Unfortunately any of these listed online are close to retail pricing because of which I assume.

I wanted to share with you guys some great ways to save money, and find other alternatives to things that you truly want but don’t have the money to be going out and buying at retail!

Fitness Resolutions: Advice

It’s come to the end of 2015, or it has already ended for some of you internationally. ¬†To be honest I absolutely hate and dread New Years. ¬†It has always equated to nothing in my eyes. ¬†Just another excuse for people to party, drink, make bad decisions and lie to themselves.

Nothing changes, just a single digit.  Just like how age is just a number.  

We all know how the gyms become packed come the near year, and if you’re a regular some of you may have already noticed an¬†influx in November right before Thanksgiving. ¬†(You can’t lose the weight/look different for any holiday if you start a few weeks, let alone a few days prior to. ¬†Sorry.)

But lets talk about this resolution nonsense. ¬†In my honest opinion, if you view it as a resolution, it isn’t going to work. ¬†You aren’t going to stick with it, it’s not something of worth to commit¬†yourself to. ¬†What I mean is, a resolution, a new year, a big change means what to that? ¬†Nothing. ¬†Change for the things that matter, not because a number changed. ¬†Changing for a legitimate reason gives you a lot more motivation to stick with it and hold yourself to it. ¬†When I started and decided to make myself stick with it 100%, my mentality was: ¬†“Okay, this is going to suck. ¬†I’m going to get tired and there’s going to be days I want nothing to do with it and there’s going to be days I love it. ¬†But the days that I don’t want to go and do go, those are the days that total up. ¬†Those are the days that are going to equal change. ¬†I’m sick of looking this way and feeling this way. ¬†Not loving my body, not feeling comfortable in my body, and wanting to cover it all up because I feel fat. ¬†I don’t want to live like that anymore. ¬†The only one who can make this change is me, this is my body and i’m responsible for it. ¬†I’m the reason I feel this way in the first place.”

It’s a huge change, why I recommend starting with home workouts and sticking to those first. ¬†Train yourself to commit, and feel yourself grow out of your own bodyweight strengths. ¬†You’ll feel and notice yourself getting stronger. ¬†Once you’ve committed go big. ¬†Only you limit yourself. ¬†ALWAYS¬†keep learning and trying new things. ¬†ALWAYS¬†try to go heavier, higher. ¬†Don’t limit yourself. ¬†Don’t hold yourself back. ¬†Fitness is a very big¬†mental game. ¬†You’re just holding yourself back.
Always do these changes for yourself, and no one but yourself. ¬†There’s plenty of reasons why I started, and you can too. ¬†Some people are harsh and mean, and I truly believe that is because they aren’t happy, and when they make insults about another’s appearance they clearly aren’t happy with themselves. ¬†Lacking confidence, and trying to bring another down. ¬†Don’t be that hideous person. ¬†If you aren’t happy with things you can change, get off your ass and get working. ¬†Being a hurtful individual gets you no where but pity.

What’s in my gym bag?

Use:  Padded Lifting Gloves
Schiek Platinum Womens Lifting Gloves Right now they are $29.95 on Amazon with Prime.
schiek
Mini Review: ¬†They come with a 1-year warranty. ¬†I’ve washed them in the washer with absolutely no wear. ¬†They are gel-padded and I’ve had no damage or leakage. ¬†Easily has grips at the top of the fingers to easily pull off your sweaty hands.

Use: Strong wrist support, Textured and slightly padded, grip-gloves. For Deadlifts.
Fit Active Sports Grip Lifting Gloves   $29.95 on Amazon with Prime.
fas
Mini Review: ¬†I like these specifically for deadlifts because it’s open on the outside of my hand allowing upmost mobility, all the while shielding a good portion of my fingers, and all of my palms (especially callus building areas), along with the option of wrapping it very tight around my wrists. ¬†I have very small dainty wrists so I feel like this protects them when lifting heavy.. ¬†On the palm side they have added padding around each finger where calluses mostly form, and all of it is textured allowing for a better grip. ¬†With these I am able to lift heavier than with my Schiek gloves-these slide and fall lower on my fingers due to no textured grip.

Use: Squatting while crab-walk side to side, staying in the squat form using weights.  Spri Braided Lateral Resistor Ultra Heavy.  $24.45 on Amazon, with Prime.
spriMini Review: ¬†If you weight train Ultra Heavy resistance is the way to go. ¬†When I purchased these and read the comments originally a lot of people were saying a lower resistance was ‘too hard’, I do not find that to be the case if you’re already used to weight training. ¬† I like these, but then I don’t. ¬†They get the job done, I just wish I could spread my legs further apart with them as I crab-walked. ¬†But they do keep everything tight without having much of a stretch.

Use: Cable Abductors, Cable Adductors, Cable Kickbacks.
Fitteroy Ankle Straps with Neoprene $19.99 for the pair on Amazon, with Prime.
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I have a review up on these already on my blog, feel free to search fitteroy and they should pop up! ¬†Update: I’ve used these for like a year now and still no wear.

Use: Cushion for Squatting. ¬†I find without this bar pad the weight just feels heavier overall, and thus harder to squat. ¬†I’m a small person in general so maybe that’s the reason.
CAP Barbell Pad $8.99 on Amazon with Prime.
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I believe I already have a review up on here about this pad, feel free to search to find it.  Update:  Been over a year or about a year now since using this- still no wear and works and looks good as new!

And gym accessories:
1) My LG Tone Plus Bluetooth
IMG_5345 2) A very new addition since Christmas.
My Atlas Wearables Wristband.
What it is: It’s THE fitness tracker for weight trainers.
I just got a big firmware update on it after my workout today (something I should’ve done before), and I just received this. ¬†I’m going to give it some time before reviewing it. ¬†But one thing I want to add is that this is a freshly released product, that is ever growing and ever changing. ¬†It takes a lot of data to transform this sensor on your wrist to read your body movements, so firmware is constantly being updated and workouts are constantly being refined and added. ¬†It’s not a 100% has-everything-product yet, but it will be.
Screen Shot 2015-12-26 at 10.49.30 PM

TRX Suspension Training Home Gym Review

Hey Guys!

If you follow me on Instagram you saw around Black Friday I got the TRX! ¬†It’s been something that i’ve been wanting low-key for a few months, and I finally got it! ¬†My biggest reason for wanting this product was for ab workouts.

I like variety, and unique.  Those are the workouts that keep me going.

Surprisingly for me, they also worked my bum/under bum area as well seeing as I was sore the next few days there too.  This is a very versatile product and although the workouts look easy, they are A LOT harder than they look!

As a kid I used to get my thrill on Friday nights doing gymnastics at a local gym, I get to re-live those feelings with the TRX.  Something about being suspended and using a cable system lol.

It’s very easy to use and very easy to set up. ¬†I’ll admit I did have some difficulty originally trying to figure out how to lengthen the cables and shorten them, and how to use the door stopper, but lil youtube snippits¬†fixed that and made me feel like an idiot for not knowing how haha.

There is so much versatility with this product, and can be used for all your muscle groups.  I have not had any issues with supporting my weight, or the door opening on me, so on and so forth.  Another thing to note, if the cables ever wear and tear, you can buy replacement parts.  If you are using this on hard wood flooring, I recommend purchasing a mat because hard wood flooring + knees does not feel good haha.

The best part:  right now on their website they are having a 20% off everything sale.  So head on over to https://www.trxtraining.com/ add your product, enter promo code LEAN for 20% off!  (This thing is never on sale, Black Friday was the best price I had seen on it ever.  This is the next best thing.)

UPDATE: ON A VERY LIMITED TIME SALE RIGHT NOW ON AMAZON!  Only $129.95 with Prime as well!    Usually is $189.95 and rarely on sale! 

LG Electronics Tone+ Stereo Bluetooth Headset Review

So if you follow me on Instagram, or frequently see the pictures from my page posted up on here, these might look pretty familiar to you! ¬†These are the headsets I use in the gym. ¬†I’ve been using them for a year now, come Christmas ūüôā

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Now I want to let you know, since purchasing this pair I believe they have come out with a newer version. ¬†I am reviewing the Tone+, the newer versions are listed here (From newest to oldest). ¬†I can’t speak for the others, just this pair ūüôā

First and foremost: I love these.  They are so easy and out of the way!

PROS:
– Wireless
– Light Weight
– Easy To Clean
– Sweat Proof
– Can be wrapped under/with my sports bra strap to stay in place when stretching
РInexpensive.  Got these for like $40-$50 from Amazon.com
– Lasting quite well, No problems!
РLong Battery life.  I workout about 6 days a week at least an hour long, have to charge maybe every 1.5-2 weeks.
– Very flexible.

CONS:
– If you’re into a lot of dubstep or the like, music with a lot of bass, these don’t handle that type of audio all too well. ¬†It sounds off.

I’ve only had connection issues twice, 1- was from a software update glitch from Apple. ¬†Somehow the update screwed up the bluetooth ability. ¬†And the 2nd- Failure to ever turn my phone off lol. ¬†After I restarted everything was fine.

Prior to I always worked out with a corded headset, this is just so much better and out of the way! I love the color options too! ¬†Personally i’m not a huge fan of earbud headsets, to me they always tend to be big and/or pretty tough, just not comfortable for my ears. ¬†But this pair doesn’t bother me at all. ¬†It isn’t firm, so it comfortably sits in your ear. ¬†I get questions about these quite a bit in the gym, All you need to do is turn your bluetooth settings on, turn the headset on, pick the decide to connect to- and it connects. ¬†After initially connecting for the first time, whenever you turn your bluetooth settings on, along with the headset, it connects within a second.