Category Archives: Workouts

I’m an Author! OMG!!!

Holy cow!! This happened!!!  Check that off the bucket list!

This book as been in the planning stages since 2013.  I’m glad I didn’t write it back then.  The period from 2015 to 2017 was intense with respect to staying on track and struggling with the mental game.  There were lessons to be learned and my ego needed to be beat up a bit to learn them.

My perspective on how to sustain a “fit life” is more balanced now.  I tried to get all of that into this book so it will become a handbook for “how not to quit” along with some practical tips about eating and such.

When I finished teaching in June, I made a plan to write this book in 30 days.  Took a few weeks longer.  But hey!  It’s up now!  Yay!!!

My inner math nerd did my very best to go live with the book on Amazon on August 18 at 8:18 am.  Yes.  That’s 8/18/18 at 8:18 am (if you write your dates like we do here in the states).  Hahahaha!

While I wait for Amazon to set up the “Inside this Book” feature, I thought I’d share the intro with you here.  These are images of the actual pages in the book.  (Pause the slideshow to read.  Maybe increase the zoom on browser, too.)



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I’d like to thank my husband, Paul, for helping me with the cover.  (If you remember – there was a banner behind me on stage with a picture of a guy in board shorts. Check out Paul’s self-imposed 77-day boot camp adventure here.)


Next step – get the Kindle version up.  That shouldn’t take long.  Just need to check on the formatting to make sure it looks good as an ebook.

Eventually – Audible.  That may take a bit longer.  I learned I can do that as a self-publishing author.   Yay!   I want to narrate and edit it myself, so I need to watch some tutorials about how to do that.

If you want to purchase the paperback book on Amazon, you’ll get it speedy quick!

If you want a signed copy, that will take longer because you’re getting that from me.  I’m waiting for my copies to arrive, then I’ll write in your copy, then mail it off.  Limited supplies on that option, so click here.  If you get a order form, there are still some left!

When the copies I ordered arrived, I will be randomly drawing a name or two from the mailing list and sending off a free copy.  If you’re not on my mailing list but would like to be, you can join us over here.

If you would like me to be your Accountability Coach or Nutrition Consultant, click here for more information.



Filed under Books, Faith, Life, Nutrition, Organization Tips, Weight Loss, Workouts

My Current Workout Split

Since the end of November, I’ve followed this split:

Day 1: Lower Body Strength

Day 2: Upper Body Strength

Day 3: Rest

Day  4: Lower Body Hypertrophy

Day 5: Chest/Back Hypertrophy

Day 6: Shoulders/Arms Hypertrophy

Each body part is worked twice a week.  The the first workout is heavy with low reps.  The second one is lighter with the rep ranges in the 8-12 area.  I rotate squats and dead lifts so I don’t do them both during the same workout.  Some weeks, I just skip the deads.  I love them, but my back takes a long time to recover, so when I do deads, it’s like a third back workout in one week.  Rest is really important to recover.

I am seeing strength gains in my upper body.  Lower body is a little frustrating.  Last week, a left quad pull from last winter started acting up.  Really??  I’m assuming the last few weeks when the stress was kind of high hasn’t helped.  I’m pretty good at adding more weight to a set, but I’m also scared of getting hurt again.  I am not sure if setting lifting goals will help me or make me reckless.  Mind games I play with myself.  Ugh.

I plan on doing this split for at least another month and then take some progress pictures.  I’m seeing a little progress in my workout log so let’s hope it shows up in the pictures.

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Filed under My Lifting Log, Workouts

Results of 4 Weeks of German Volume Training

The last lift of week 4 was yesterday.  I’m not sure how to analyze results, but I believe it’s been a good month.  I use an app on my iPad called Gym Buddy.  Found that it will make graphs and charts.  I like graphs and charts.


My scale weight is up about 4 pounds.  The articles online told me I should expect to gain (paraphrasing) “a serious amount of lean mass…up to 5 pounds of muscle”.  Maybe for a guy, but I don’t gain muscle that fast.  But I feel solid; not leaner, just more solid.  Diana, my massage therapist, says my muscles are more dense.  The DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) has been off the charts (Hahaha! More CHARTS!  Pun-intended). I know soreness is not a necessary evil for progress, but I also know how I felt during the strongman training – and I gained muscle and bone during that time.  So I like that pain.   I also know from two years of DXA scans that I don’t gain muscle without gaining about 4 times more fat, so out of the 4 pounds gained, I could not expect to have gained more than a pound of muscle.  I’m guessing more like 1/2 pound or less.

For background info on GVT, check out my blog after the first week.   There were four workouts each week.  Each one worked opposing muscle groups and there was one compound exercise for each muscle group.  Those big exercises had 10 sets x 10 reps, if I could do 10 reps.  After those 20 sets, I did 6 sets of assistance exercises.

Chest and Upper Back: total volume increased by 5,670 pounds.

20131102-180534.jpg  20131102-180607.jpg

Legs (I never did the abs part separately. Squats are an ab exercise, right?): total volume increased 11,730 pounds.

20131102-180544.jpg  20131102-180613.jpg

Seems pretty obvious that the first week was too light.  Not sure what happened on Week 3.  Maybe I forgot to log something?

Shoulders & Lats: total volume increased only 225 pounds.  Delts are my weakest part.  And the big, compound exercise for lats is assisted pull ups.  One of the guys at the gym told me after I finished 10 sets of them, most only 7 or 8 reps, that he was impressed that I would try to do any kind of pull up 100 times.  Week 4 of this workout was tough.  Progress stalled.

20131102-180551.jpg  20131102-180619.jpg

Biceps & Triceps: total volume increased 2,575 pounds.  It took a couple weeks to find the right triceps exercise.  Dips are recommended, but they really hurt my shoulder.  By week 3, I just went back to my old favorite – EZ Bar Skull Crushers.

20131102-180557.jpg  20131102-180650.jpg

So what’s next?  I’m going to deload for a couple of weeks.  And then I will either do another cycle of GVT.  This was fun.


Filed under Bodybuilding Journal, German Volume Training, My Lifting Log, Workouts

Today’s Workout

Week 2 of strong woman training began today.  After one week, I feel like I got hit by a car.  Wow.  This is hard.

Today was a Monday, so that meant it was a heavy day.  Monday is supposed to be 90% of my max lift, but I’ve decided to just go for it and lift as much as I can.  The rest of the week is based on what I do on Monday.  On Thursday’s, I will lift 70% of  my max, and on Saturday’s, I’ll lift 50-60% of my max.  The next Monday, I’m going to bump the weights up again.  I am pleased with how much more I was able to do today as opposed to a week ago.  That’s just a change in attitude.  I was more afraid that week.

I’m supposed to do assistance work on the days in between.  Last week, I barely did anything.  I needed the rest.  I think that will be the case tomorrow, too.  I’ve been sitting or laying down most of the time since this workout.  Again – a car must have hit me.  Wow.

This is what I did today…

7/15/13  Log Press (max wt last week = 65 lbs, two sets)
10:22:34 AM  50 x 3
10:23:28 AM  60 x 3
10:28:49 AM  70 x 2.5
10:32:19 AM  70 x 2  Couldn’t press the third rep again – drop the weight
10:39:05 AM  65 x 3

7/15/13  One Arm Press (max wt last week = 35 lbs, 1 set)
10:39:15 AM  25 x 3
10:43:33 AM  35 x 3  2 on right side
10:43:38 AM  35 x 3  2.5 on right side. Got my elbow sleeve
10:47:06 AM  35 x 3

I did another set with the 35’s, but forgot to record it.  Five sets total.
7/15/13  Farmer’s Walk (max wt last week = 60 lbs, 1 set)
11:04:18 AM  85 x 40  Used the proper Farmer’s Carry weights outside. Wrapped my wrists, too.
11:06:31 AM  85 x 50
11:09:34 AM  85 x 50
11:13:51 AM  85 x 50  Tried to pick up 115s. Decided I will need my belt since 230 lbs is actually a heavier weight than I’ve ever picked up off the ground before. Something to look forward to trying next week.
11:17:53 AM  85 x 50

I was only supposed to do three sets of this, but I forgot and did five sets.
7/15/13  Tire Flips (I used the next biggest tire.  There were three about the same size.  The first one I tried to work with I couldn’t grip because the treads were flat against the ground.  After about 5 minutes messing around with it, a guy showed me the one I ended up using.  Guessing the weight.  The guys who work at the gym don’t know for sure.   Since the last one was about 300, I’m hoping this was the 400 lb tire I’m supposed to be able to flip at the competition.  The one bigger than this one is really big.  Scary big.)
11:53:09 AM  400 x 5
11:53:19 AM  400 x 5
11:56:44 AM  400 x 5

The "little" one weighs 400 pounds.

The “little” one weighs 400 pounds.  The tire on the left is taller than me.

7/15/13  Keg Carry (Same keg I used last week.  It’s the lightest one there.  I didn’t try to place it on the platform.  I need some coaching for how to do that when the weight is this heavy.)
12:00:53 PM  125 x 40 steps
12:06:57 PM  125 x 40
12:07:02 PM  125 x 40
12:09:10 PM  125 x 40
12:11:54 PM  125 x 40

I’m supposed to do 15 keg carries.  I couldn’t do that.  Workout was already almost two hours long at this point.

The smallest keg to play with is the one with the blue tape on the top - 125 lbs, I'm told.

The smallest keg to play with is the one with the blue tape on the top – 125 lbs, I’m told.

7/15/13  Sled Pull
12:28:36 PM  145 x 2 (one “rep” is about 20 yards – down and back is 2 reps)
12:32:27 PM  185 x 2
12:36:09 PM  235 x 2

235 pound on that sled.

235 pound on that sled.

Both upper arms are bruised from the tire flips.  My legs are bruised and scraped from the keg carries.  I almost whacked my chin twice during the log press.  This is a rough workout.  But it’s challenging me and I believe it will produce results that are consistent with my goals for off season – build muscle, speed up my metabolism, and stay lean.  It’s been three weeks since my show and I have only gained my water weight back, even though I’m eating more.  Perfect.  Much better than last year.


I get very dirty when I play outside.

I am beat.  Beat up and tired.  I’m heading to bed.  So sore that sleep might be tough – this might be an Advil PM night.

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Filed under My Lifting Log, Strong Woman Training, Workouts

Videos of Workouts this Week

I thought it might be a time saver to do make videos instead of writing.  But my videos have been boring.  Just me talking to my iPhone.  Last week, I got an iPad mini  and bought the iMovie app.  Pretty nifty little app.  I wanted to have the capability of using multiple clips so I could make more videos of my actual workouts.  These are the first two videos I made with my new tech toy.

I was in my home office doing the voice over for this one and I needed to be quiet.  That’s why I sound like I’m doing commentary at a golf match.


Did bleachers this morning – 30 minutes.  Back and forth the entire set of bleachers a few times.  Big steps up the seats and quick steps up the stairs.  I wasn’t moving very fast.  I think I should have been playing a faster song.  I did download the William Tell Overture after we saw the Lone Ranger movie the other day.  I should have played that.  I would have galloped up those stairs.  Hahahaha!


Filed under Cardio, My Lifting Log, Strong Woman Training, Videos, Workouts

Am I a Strong Woman?


I’ve decided to start my off season by training for a strong woman competition. For my 50th birthday last year, I pulled my husband’s 4-Runner. It was really fun. That’s when I first started thinking about strong woman competitions. Since I’m not going to compete in a bodybuilding show again until next summer at the earliest (considering a two year break to put some energy into neglected aspects of life and to try and catch my competition in size), I thought it might be fun to change the training up a little bit just to see what I can do.  I’m a little concerned that I have not done enough to improve my functional strength – just in case there is a zombie apocalypse, I can’t pose them to death.

Yesterday, Coach gave me a new training program using the events I’d most likely be doing if I do the competition I’m considering at the end of September. I’m not gonna lie. I’m intimidated. There are some things that don’t concern me too much, but there’s a couple that scare the crap out of me. Reflecting on it, in order to do this I’m going to have to deal with the mental barriers I have about lifting heavy stuff over my head. My right shoulder has never been strong. I have been rehabbing it for my entire lifting experience. It’s stronger now than it’s ever been, but I have learned to protect it this whole time. My legs have always been strong, so when I pulled my hip flexor last November, I lost strength, but I didn’t develop the same mental barrier about pushing it because I knew I had strength in my in my legs from before.  It just hurts when I push it.  I’m not as afraid to try.  But while I’m probably strong enough to handle heavier weight for chest or shoulder work, I don’t when I’m alone.  I always opt for more reps or more sets instead.  When Coach hands me heavier weight than I think I can handle, I put up a fight.  No confidence.

And starting a new training program, with brand new activities, taps into my insecurities about looking stupid and silly.  Especially at my gym where every third person is a badass lifter.

So the proper way to approach this would be to grow a pair (figuratively). My focus and mental attitude will need to be stronger. I will not get hurt. I will probably look stupid, but I don’t care. The more time I spend lifting “logs”and kegs, the better.

Coach is not sure I can be ready to compete in 10 weeks. We decided I would do this training for four weeks, then decide what to do. Bodybuilding is still my passion, but I am excited to see what happens to my physique as I push it in a different way.

My workouts on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays will be these exercises…

  • Log press
  • One arm press
  • Farmers carry
  • Tire flips
  • Sled pulls

This video shows a woman doing most of these, plus some others.

On three of the other days, I’ll do my bodybuilding, assistance exercises and cardio, but with less intensity.  Recovery is a priority.

The competition I’m considering has two weight classes for women – below 145 lbs and above 145 lbs. My weight seems to have stabilized at 140, and I have to eat to keep it from dropping. (Yeah, that’s a new development since the show). If I make it a goal to get stronger while staying in the smaller weight class, that seems like an interesting way to start my off season.  I won’t let myself overeat just because I’m doing “strong woman” stuff.  It’s not necessary for me to gain too much.  If I gain muscle, it will only be about 0.25 to 0.5 pounds a month at most.  No reason to do what some other people do and bulk.  My body does what it does.

Uh huh, I know what you might be thinking – muscle needs calorie surplus. But I’m not tracking calories or macros right now, so I have no idea if I’m in surplus or deficit.  I’m eating what I feel I need when I need it. Pretty much following the same pattern I’ve been on for a long time.  I have good energy and weight is stable.  I eat more when my brain knows I need it – like after 5 sets of dead lifts.  🙂

I will keep you posted – either here or on the Facebook page.   Any prayers for bravery you’d be willing to send would be much appreciated.

(Please excuse typos.  I’m tried to catch them all.  The “L” key on my laptop is being difficult, the show nails are still on my fingers and I kind of hate them now, and I think I need new glasses.  I have walked into our hanging birdcage at least once a day for the last week.)


Filed under Competing, Life, Workouts

Bleachers – Video Blog

Made this video after my bleacher workout this morning. I love bleachers!


Filed under Bodybuilding Journal, Videos, Weight Loss, Workouts