Categories
FitbyTiana

Absence

One of my former bosses used to always say to people he had not seen in a while, “you are conspicuous by your absence”

And, no… I have not published a blog entry in a few months… partly because I am working on restructuring the format, reworking the content I present, and also I’ve been doing a lot of writing/saving entries… just have not felt the push to post anything.

I also have been thinking about my own image/portrayal… How do I want to be received? How do I want to be remembered? I have a lot of experiences to share, views on things related to life and fitness more specifically… yet, I do not feel this drive to shove my views down the throats of my social media followers and blog subscribers.

I have been posting less, sharing less, taking less photos, talking less… spending more time reading, reflecting, learning, and of course, exercising.  You see, while I know I am completely transparent, honest, and express myself freely… I also realize that not every thought needs to be expressed exactly at the moment in which I think it. Maybe I’m analyzing too much… but the more nonsense I see being put out into the world, particularly on social media… the more inclined I am to remain quiet and focused on the things that truly bring me joy, happiness, a sense of fulfillment.

So have no fear… I have not disappeared… I have not gone anywhere, except the Jersey Shore for 2 days at the very end of the summer (that was the first and only time I felt sand in between my toes in 2015)… Just rethinking EVERYTHING!

~ Namaste

Categories
life

Validation

The path you walk is yours to walk alone…. while it would be nice for your friends and family to offer support and encouragement, they do not NEED to agree with you 100% of the time or even understand why you do what you do.   You are the one living your life and it is up to you to make the most of it.  For years, I tried to live a life that I hoped my family and peers would approve of… no, be in awe of… and the thought of being successful revolved around how many zeros were in my annual salary… WRONG!   Guess what… I decided in 2012 to change my life… and while I wound up taking a HUGE pay cut, I am much happier… It was a big risk to shift gears into Personal Training from working in Corporate America as a Property Manager for nearly a decade (total nerd with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering)… But my passion for LIFE kept pushing me in this direction.  Here’s a side note, I still have the admiration and awe of my parents and friends, because I had the courage to take the leap.

Many times, it is best to move in silence, and let the outcome speak for itself… I believe following your passion is a good starting point, but make sure you plan a few steps and can pay your bills… Then…

let it go!

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Categories
life

Service

We don’t have bad days

We smile and are courteous to our clients even on the worst of the worst possible days.

We stand on our feet all day long.

We shovel food in our mouths like animals, most of the time cold, out of a tupperware, and usually just standing in the locker room because there is little time for eating.  Most of us live on protein shakes.

We service clients that want to train early in the morning as well as late at night, many times on the same day.

We scramble to do things like grocery shopping and laundry in between appointments on our “light” days, which could be any given day of the week, but most definitely not Saturday (which is when all the weekend warriors want to train).

We work hard to maintain a professional tone throughout our sessions, even when clients tell us very personal things like stories about their spouse, kids, work, etc.

We generally work hard to accommodate our clients’ needs.

We drink a lot of coffee and/or tea to remain alert and focused for our clients.

We do get tired at times.  We are human too.  We like to workout also and love our private time to do that, even when you interrupt us on our own time.

We want you to succeed and accomplish your goals.

We often become emotionally invested in your journey.

We appreciate your “thank yous” and loyalty.

Be nice to your trainer.

Categories
life

Reflect

There is one day left in the year 2014… by the time you read this, there may be even less than 24 hours… I’m not going to go into cliché bits about “looking back” or establishing new goals for 2015… I mean, come on… you’ve heard it all before.  Truth is, if your goals have anything to do with getting in shape for an event such as a mud race or Powerlifting meet or just trying to get lean for yourself… why would you wait until 2015?  Hopefully, you’ve already started!  There are no rules as to when to start a new goal.  There is no right time.  The time is now, no wait… the time might have just passed… but now is the moment you realized it and can get going!

oh… hang on… so, before we go racing off to the sporting goods store to get a pair of weightlifting shoes and chalk for that meet you entered…. or placing the order for that rhinestone-encrusted bikini for next spring’s bodybuilding show….

HOW DID YOU DO IN 2014?

If you feel brave, leave a  comment below telling me what your goal(s) for 2014 consisted of and how you did.

Ok, I’ll go first… My goals for 2014 were the following:

1. Master Olympic Lifts – Started learning various lifts and by April, I made a hard left and got into Powerlifting.  I entered and won my very first Powerlifting meet in July.  Great experience.  Can’t wait to do another one next year.

2. Improve Cardiovascular Endurance – Made noticeable/measurable improvements so that can be marked off as COMPLETED!

3. Earn Nutrition Certification – Still in the process of studying.  I did not receive my course book and materials until the 2nd Quarter of the year, so I did have a slight disadvantage.  Plan is to complete this certification by the end of January 2015.

So, I was honest…. Are you honest with yourself?  I really would love to hear from you… you can leave comments in the comment section below or find me on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/FitbyTiana

And before we say Goodbye to 2014…. I would like to wish you all a very

Happy New Year!

Categories
training

Weight Training Rep Range

I would like to briefly explain my thought process behind a desired repetition range of an exercise/workout program.  If you are relatively new to weight training, you may find this helpful.

In your workout routine, for a specific exercise, the program calls for 4 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.  Before you even select a weight, think about what weights you have used for said exercise in the past.  Now, in a perfect comfortable world, you should be able to complete 4 sets of 10 repetitions with this weight.  But the idea here is to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.  The only way to grow is getting to that uncomfortable, challenging place, where you are going to struggle, grit your teeth, bite your tongue, possibly yell out loud and might need help.

My approach is as such… select a weight that starts to get difficult for you around the 6th rep, is very difficult at the 7th rep, and the remaining reps might not even be completed without a spot.  Of course you want to complete the number of sets listed in the workout, but you should be challenging yourself, which is what resistance training is all about, right?

If you are a beginner, you might want to hire a trainer to help you understand this concept and to push you accordingly, until you get accustomed to doing it on your own.

Try this mental approach the next time you’re in the gym.  Push yourself just a little further than you feel comfortable with… I bet you can complete the task at hand… DO IT!

Categories
training

Client DOs & DON’Ts in Personal Training

I recently wrote a short piece about things your Trainer SHOULD be doing… Now I put together a quick DOs & DON’Ts for all you fabulous people who work with a Personal Trainer.

DOs

  • Be prepared to workout
  • Have on proper footwear
  • Bring a bottle of water
  • Leave your phone in the locker
  • Ask questions if you are unsure of an exercise or expectation
  • Be honest with your trainer – if the exercise or the weight selected was too easy, tell your trainer.
  • Be patient if your trainer is new and gathering data, getting familiar with you.

DON’Ts

  • Do not start off a relationship with your new trainer by listing off various things you will not do… Please note I said “WILL NOT” not “CANNOT” do.  Big difference here.
  • Do not cancel your session last-minute and expect the trainer not to charge you.  Most trainers/gyms have a 24-hour cancellation policy.
  • Do not complain the entire session.
  • Do not constantly compare your new trainer to an old trainer or compare your current abilities to when you were in your prime (30 years ago).
  • Do not show up to your sessions with the pungent odor of alcohol oozing from your pores or the smell of greasy fast food on your breath.  NOT CUTE.
  • Do not even think about wearing  flip-flops or Crocs to train.
  • Do not wear ear buds with your phone or mp3 player during your session.  You need to hear your trainer’s cues at all times.
Categories
life

Solo

Being alone is not the worst feeling. In my opinion, what’s worse is being in a relationship with someone, yet feeling all alone.

It hurts when you are giving someone your all….. And getting little in return. You put this person on a pedestal, usually without him or her earning it… You’re super hopeful… You hold your breathe, you keep your fingers crossed….  And then end up sad when he/she disappoints.

Why does this happen?  What is it about this person delivering mediocrity that you continue accepting and allow to persist?  You’re not happy currently.  You’re holding on to what “might” be… what “could” be… but what currently exists doesn’t even bring you a forced smile.

Constant excuses….

“I’m stressed out.
I’m tired all the time.
I need to do X or I need to go here/there.”

You’re not a priority in this person’s life, not by any means.  Everything comes before you and you have allowed it to be that way.

Know your worth and stand up for yourself.

When someone goes back on his/her word, call that person out on it.  Speak up about how it makes you feel.  Explain that you’re unhappy.  Easier said than done, especially if you don’t have a lot of opportunity to spend time together and the last thing you want to do is fight…

Do people deserve second chances?  Sometimes… yes.  But never ignore your instincts.  Never ignore what your gut is telling you.

At some point in time “POTENTIAL” is not enough.

Categories
training

Team

I train every Thursday night with a group of people from all walks of life, various ages, different ethnic backgrounds, and all sorts of experiences, battle scars, injuries, and stories that could leave one speechless.  When we join together at the gym, this shift happens, and we are all there to help each other, push each other, and keep improving.  All we see are lifters helping lifters, working hard to get better.

Check out this video to get a taste of what Adrenalin Powerlifting is all about.  I’ve been with the team for 13 weeks and what I have done in that short time is outstanding.  I have surprised myself many times over… Thanks to Steve Adams for creating this video.

Categories
training

Power… Powerlifting

13 weeks ago, I decided to do something new.  A challenge… one I felt I needed in order to get over a huge mental, emotional and physical hump.

After the last Figure competition I did in November, my body was shot.  Adrenal fatigue settled in over the weeks leading up to the holidays.  It started with slight weight gain, insomnia, then exhaustion during the day, then loss of appetite, followed by slurred speech, stuttering, short-term memory loss, extremely dry skin, and severe water retention around my joints.  I was a walking mass of miserable-ness, working at a new gym, trying to build my business, all the while, I could barely piece sentences together because my brain had checked out.  It was like watching a movie.  I knew what was happening, yet, I couldn’t stop it.  Training became near impossible…. For starters, there was no way I was going to be able to lift anything considerable because I was falling asleep standing up… I also had no desire.  All I wanted to do for weeks at a time was lay down and sleep.  Not fun.

In April, I decided that the only way I was going to get myself out of this slump was by pushing myself.  I started going to a different gym, surrounded myself with new people, started training a different way… and after a few days (literally), I decided to take on this new challenge.  So I committed to training for this Powerlifting meet.  Having 17 years of weight training under my belt, the strength foundation I have is solid.  It’s all been a matter of learning technique, not backing down from heavy weight, and pushing myself beyond mental limits.

I’ve been criticized by many people, including some that were outright rude to my face or on my social media posts, telling me things like, “Oh, I guess you don’t want to try to lose weight anymore”… or “Stick with what you’re good at, you don’t want to be manly”… or “You’re gonna get a thick neck and waist and start looking like a man”… Nice supporters, huh?  Little do they know the private battle I deal with day in and day out… How every single day when it is time to  leave my house, getting dressed is a huge ordeal because I have no clue what clothes fit and what doesn’t.  How even now, since I’ve lost over 10 pounds during this prep, I still have moments when I see my reflection and it stings.

Figure competitors typically fluctuate in weight at least 10 pounds… some 15 and some even more than that (which I personally thing is not healthy)… but it is common.  I know what my personal goals are and quite frankly, it’s no one’s business!

What is great about these past 13 weeks for me is that I have shut a lot of people up.  The weights I throw around speak for themselves.  The incredible progress I have made in such a short time is outstanding and I am very proud of myself.  No, I’m not ripped up with striations in my shoulders or lower abs…. Guess what? I really don’t care…. Most women my age and size can’t touch me when it comes to strength and that is something that is not going away anytime soon.

I did this all while treating my body, working with a doctor, a nutritionist, my chiropractor and several friends to get myself back on track… For the first 45 days of this prep, I was on a detox and could not have anything with caffeine or stimulants in it. I also was on a restricted diet, eliminating foods that cause inflammation… and yet still, throwing around weights with the boys that had jaws on the floor.  The interesting part is, I don’t want to go back where I once was… been there, done that… I’m ready for new places, new discoveries, and a new comfortable happy place.

Powerlifting may not be the end all, be all for me, but it certainly will remain my training style for a long time to come.  I have incredible support behind me NOW and for the first time, I’m not too concerned about my abs showing or the tiny bit of fat on the back of my legs showing…. What a world of difference from Figure Shows!

As the meet draws closer, it’s in 3 days, I am remaining calm and focused on what I need to do.  It is so exciting to do something for the very first time.  I know this entry is rather long, but I’ve got a lot to say! Thanks for your time and I will be posting a Post-Meet Blog reflecting on the experience.

Thank You so much for your support!

Categories
FitbyTiana

Support

Yesterday was a huge day for one of my Figure clients.  She graced the stage in her blinged-out custom-made bikini and high heels and strutted her chiseled and stunning body  for hundreds to see in her first competition of the season, Atlantic States.  It is perhaps the biggest Regional Level show in the Northeast each year.  I heard there were approximately 450 competitors that participated in the event.  For me, the day was very special for many reasons.  For starters, I was there to provide support for my client, who trained with me for 7 months in preparation for the event.  Secondly, I did the very same show 5 years ago and did very well.  But the most special part of the day, for me, besides what took place on stage, I was reminded how incredibly important it is to have a reliable support system.

I’m sure many of you that compete are nodding your head right now and either smiling because you are fortunate to have great supporters  in your corner…. or maybe you’re sighing and slumping down in your seat because at some point someone let you down or you feel kinda lonely on your pursuit.

My client’s family was at the show from start to finish.  Her younger brother was up before 5 am to drive her to my house to finish up her tan and do her makeup, then he drove her into the city and stayed by her side the entire day.  He spent the extra $50 and got himself a backstage pass just so he could be there for her.  When her parents got there, they saved seats for me and her brother so we could watch together.  It was 4 hours from the time the show started until she actually got onstage.  Of course we all grabbed food together before finals and more people joined the party at the night show.  I appreciated that so much.  I love how close the family is and the number of hours they put in to see her onstage for less than 5 minutes, wow!

It reminded me of when I competed in Team Universe 2009.  My performance and placing was nothing to brag about, but what made that show my absolute favorite was that both my mom, dad, boyfriend at the time and my two best friends were in the audience for finals.  We all went to dinner together and I kept getting really quiet and just stared at everyone at the table.  My parents split when I was young and I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw them sit next to each other at a table.   They were all there for ME.  I felt important and it was great.

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