Well, it’s been 8-weeks since I checked in with you all, and the F45 8-Week Challenge has officially wrapped! In celebration, I met up with everyone for kickball in the park yesterday. It was such a beautiful day and we couldn’t have had more fun! I will brag about our team winning because let me tell you, it was a hell of a game and we earned bragging rights! What made the day even greater, my 8-week challenge team won as well!! My team brought it throughout this challenge! Every single person that participated felt they had made great improvements in their fitness, and gained a better understanding of nutrition, so win-win!

Personally, I feel I met some goals with this challenge as well. I challenged myself, in the beginning, to make it a point to work out more alongside my teammates, as opposed to getting my workout in solo before or after coaching. This approach not only helped me build better personal relationships with my teammates, but with all of the gym members. Another bonus, all of the extra intensity brought to each workout because of contagious energy from my mates, I dropped a few LB’s as well. Another successful F45 Challenge!

Hey guys! The F45 8-Week Challenge is back! Our gym decided to shake things up this time around and create challenge teams, so I volunteered to lead one of the teams, which should be a great deal of fun!

Since coming back from vacation (a good two months now), my workouts have been on point. Clarissa and I are still smashing CrossFit Metcons, following program, and hitting up several F45 sessions each week. My back pain and elbow pain still flare up a good bit, so weights at times are kept a bit lower, but the intensity is always there. While my nutrition has been fairly clean, the weekends have been quite the free for all, so leading this team is great motivation to maybe dial it in a bit more, and attend more classes alongside my team members.

Monday began day 1. While this 8-weeks isn’t all about weight loss for me, I want to share with you all where I  am currently in terms of body fat and aesthetics.

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Progress photos Day 1

I am currently sitting at 19.7% body fat. Tell the old me these numbers and I might just have a mini-meltdown; however, nowadays I am not so much caught up in the “totals.” While I do have a little layer of cushion going on, I still feel good. I look in the mirror and I am absolutely okay with what I see. We are only halfway through summer though, so if leaning out a bit more over the next 8-weeks is the reward of leading a team, I can handle shedding a couple of lbs.

The F45 Challenge offers an incredible meal plan with calorie suggestions; however, I will continue with what I know works best for me. Not a whole lot will change with my diet. I am using this challenge as more of a platform to build greater relationships, but it does help create more mindful eating patterns for yourself when those around you are being a bit more strict.

Below I have given a rundown of what a typical day for me regarding nutrition looks like. My breakfast is fairly consistent right now: shredded potatoes mixed with riced cauliflower and bell peppers, a side of egg beaters topped with avocado and hot sauce, and a green smoothie.
For my smoothie, I use almond milk, yogurt, spinach, and Super Greens (usually whatever I have on hand, or add in extra leafy greens) on non-training days, and opt for coconut water instead of almond milk on non-training days. The challenge calls for no caffeine the first 2-weeks, but for me, cutting back to 1 cup with breakfast is great progress!

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Lunch is typically 1-2 vegetables mixed with a starchier carb, a lean protein source, and a healthy fat.

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Dinner is usually determined by lunch. If I have fish for lunch then I will skip the salmon and opt for eggs or edamame. If I have potatoes for lunch I will have rice instead (or vise versa), and fats almost always come from oil for sautéing.

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As for snacks, I have 1-2 green smoothies a day. I have one with breakfast and another scattered throughout the day that includes protein powder. If it’s a training day, I will include BCAA’s, coconut water, and tropical fruit.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to stop in. I invite you to subscribe and follow along throughout my wellness journey.

Hey guys! Here we are wrapping up week 4 of the F-45 Global Challenge!

I am currently sitting in the airport in Columbus, Ohio waiting to get back to Las Vegas. I have been in Ohio since Tuesday afternoon working with my fit fam, Gorilla Wear at the Arnold Sports Expo. While it was an absolute blast, I am more than ready to get back to my little doodle man (and of course my main man).

Tuesday began with meeting up with the team to get settled into our hotel. They originally had us an apartment rented for the week so we could all hang out together, but we were informed Monday morning that the apartment had an unexpected pipe burst, so we were relocated to the Hilton, downtown. The Hilton is one of the host hotels for the Expo so it actually worked out pretty well. The main thing that had us all a little aggravated was the fact we no longer had a kitchen to meal prep, which left us eating out every. single. meal. The breakfast buffet was actually re-vamped to cater to the Arnold and competitors so there was plenty of variety: eggs, egg whites, boiled eggs, steel-cut oats, greek yogurt, fresh fruit, nuts, potatoes, and grilled veggies. We began every morning with a group meet up at the buffet before heading to the venue. During the day we were all so busy that we didn’t have time to think about food. We kept a cooler on hand jam-packed with fruit, protein bars, sandwiches, and protein drinks for those quick few minutes throughout the day that we could squeeze something in, but for the most part, we saved our feast for the evening. We ended up eating at the same restaurant every evening (with the exception of one night). The restaurant was literally right next door to the venue, so it was perfect for our raging late-night appetites. The menu was pretty limited for a vegetarian diet, but they did have a veggie burger that was pretty scrumptious. This ended up being my go-to four out of five days. While yes, it was good, almost anything after a ten-hour day would have sufficed. I will say however, they had a Scottish Ale that surpassed just about any beer that I have ever had. By evening two, everyone at our table had tried it and made it part of their regular order. Is beer considered acceptable on the challenge menu?! Um, no. No, it is not. But after an eight to ten-hour fast each and every day and working my booty to the bone, I drank that beer along with my black bean burger without a single trace of guilt.

Expo days are insane, intense, exhausting and motivating all at the same time. It is so inspiring to be surrounded by like-minded individuals that share the same passions and desires. We had several Gorilla Wear athletes that made appearances: Erko Jun, Felice Herrig, and William Bonac .

While all three were super warm and welcoming to everyone that came to the meetups, Erko, has a presence that cannot be dismissed. He is an extremely funny guy, and after a couple of days, I have to say that I am a total Erko Jun fan!

 

I got to meet a handful of people that I had only interacted with through social media. Meeting Jordan Edwards was a huge highlight for me this weekend. I have followed her for the last couple of years and always flip to her Instagram when needing a good ab workout. I was walking from the restroom back to our booth and recognized her and her boyfriend, Steve walking towards my direction. I went up and introduced myself, and she just wrapped her arms around me and squeezed me big. She was (genuinely) so sweet. We spoke briefly about the industry, and of course, had to grab a quick pic to document my fan-girl moment. 

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I met the hilarious Jen Heward, aka @hunnybunsfit while roaming around and while we did get a selfie, her eyes were closed and I looked a mess after a 10 hour day, so we’ll just leave that one in the mysterious cloud. I caught glimpses of several influencers that I admire and just being in the same venue sharing the same passions is enough for me. I didn’t have time (nor the patience) to stand in line to meet anyone.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I am sitting in CHM airport. I have to share with you all that I am sitting in the general food court and Jessica Arevalo is sitting to the right of me, and Bradley Martyn to my left. So on that note, I am going to hit pause on this entry, perhaps go say hello, make my way to my gate, and I will pick back up with you guys once back in Vegas.

Fast forward another week and here we are….Let’s catch up!
I made it back to Vegas this past Monday night around midnight, and had to be up at 5am to coach a couple of early classes Tuesday morning.

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Luckily I was off Wednesday because I began feeling like total poop! The last time I flew (which was the last time I went to Bama to visit family), was the last time I got sick. All of the recirculated germy air is absolutely repulsive to think about, so I always double up on the vitamins and nutrients before flying. I did great with my micronutrient intake before flying out but working long hours at the expo and minimal rest, I fell victim to the reclaimed plane pathogens (blah, so disgusting). Anyways, so now that I have been back almost a week, walks with Jack have been my only form of cardio.

 

It’s now Sunday morning and I am finishing coffee number two with hopes that I will muster up some sort of energy to head into the garage for a shoulder workout. If not a lifting session, at least some yoga to get the blood flowing.

Needless to say that, week five of the F45 Challenge has not been so great, but here’s to week six!

 

Hey Fam! Happy Saturday! I wrapped up week number three of the F45 8-Week Challenge this morning with an EPIC Series Obstacle Race!

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Our gym was invited to set up a tent for the day so, of course, I jumped at the chance to get in on the action! This obstacle course was unlike any I have ever completed before in the sense there was minimal running, no water, and no mud! In total, it was just over two miles long making certain that each obstacle was back to back. It made for a short- yet super intense course and I loved it!

Most of the obstacles I was somewhat familiar with or had completed one similar in past races; however, when I came upon the keg carry, the kegs were filled with water instead of the usual sand, so to say it was demanding on the core is an understatement! It was a blast and a great (almost) midway point in the F45 challenge.

 

Fast forward to this afternoon, Wesley and I took the doodle to Floyd Lamb Park. It was finally back to a beautiful and sunny 48 degrees after two weeks of nothing but wind, rain, and snow (hello, we live in Vegas).

Dudes- aka doodle, jack, poodle butt (the list goes on), absolutely loves going to the park. He is a playful pup with loads of energy, so to keep him from testing our patience, we make sure he gets lots of play in during our downtime. Our morning strolls have just recently turned into morning jogs. Jack ran his first mile earlier this week at a 12-minute pace!

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As for this week’s menu, food prep was in full effect. This was my second-week preparing zoodles for lunch- they make for quick easy meals and I can eat a ton of them without a heaping amount of calories. I usually sauté them in a sprinkle of olive oil along with cherry tomatoes and chickpeas.


Was everything 100% on track this week? No, it wasn’t perfect. I skipped a day of workouts that were programmed because I just simply couldn’t seem to find my motivation and today’s post-race meal was a vegetarian burger with a side of sweet potato fries. I’m not beating myself up over it, it’s just the way it goes sometimes.

I have yet to get on the scale, take measurements, or progress photos since day 1 of the challenge. I will track this progress at the halfway mark which will be the end of next week, week 4.

Cheers to an incredible week ahead at…..The Arnold 2019!!!

Well, y’all, I haven’t done so well keeping up with blogging this new year like I had hoped, but I am excited to share my newest series with you all, “F45’s 8-Week Challenge.”

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We are now coming to the end of week two, so let me catch you all up.
Beginning week one I had my body composition broken down using the In-Body Test. This service was offered by our F-45 gym as part of the challenge; however, your girl here had not had her pedicure and was not about to get barefoot and show off these half-painted, runner’s toes! Instead, I made an appointment on the military base and had it completed the next morning. I weighed in at 131.8 pounds with a body fat of 20%. When competing, my off-season body fat would usually sit around 17-18%. Although it was a bit higher than what I expected, I’m not terribly disappointed seeing as I haven’t tracked or logged nutrition consistently in over a year.

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My goal throughout the next eight weeks is to attend at a minimum, three F-45 classes while still incorporating three to four days of Olympic Weightlifting and/or Power Lifting and squeezing in at least 15 to 20 minutes a day of yoga and mobility. I typically coach three to four days a week, so I usually go in before coaching and complete the day’s workout. This allows me to get my workout in and heart rate up which in return, gives me plenty of energy for coaching (also allowing me to burn another 200-300 for each class coached as well).

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The challenge gives guidelines to support members during the 8-week Challenge. The F45 nutrition team provides weekly meal plans with mainstream and vegetarian recipes specific to male and female body compositions. These nutritional guidelines are what you will traditionally see with any “healthy eating” meal plan prescription: lean proteins, whole grains, low-glycemic fruits and vegetables, no sugar, and no alcohol. The F-45 8-Week Challenge isn’t a magic pill or prescription. It is an approach to “challenge” each individual to put forth their best effort to reach personal goals.

 

An observation within myself since the challenge began is cardio improvement. If you aren’t familiar with F-45, the HIIT training is incredibly intense! We do a lot of agility training and explosive movements with extremely short rest periods. Only two weeks into the challenge and I am seeing great improvements in my speed and recovery rates (a tighter waist and glutes are just an added bonus).

As for my menu, not a lot has changed. I typically stick to healthy eating habits all year round (with the exception of my weekly pizza and beer indulgence on Friday evenings). Last week (week 1 of the challenge), I had midterms for school and didn’t adhere 100% to my schedule. I always keep it real with you guys, so I have to report my slip-ups as well. I missed a day of training and the same evening, indulged in a bit of late-night snacking due to excessive studying. You know what though, it’s okay! Just like I tell my clients and fellow challengers, “one slip up is not detrimental to your progress, just like one workout doesn’t make you fit”. It’s all about consistency and getting back to the grind.

Having said that, week two has been, LIT!!
This morning’s workout (deemed Hollywood) is our longest workout of the week. On Saturdays, our F-45 classes are 60 minutes long, rather than a typical 45-minute class. We also have a DJ that comes in and keeps the energy high and the class hyped. You can’t even begin to imagine the flow of energy without the experience first hand! We weren’t able to get in a workout before coaching this morning, so instead, we hung around after class and got it done.

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Hang around over the next few weeks and see what the challenge brings!!