Friday, May 7, 2010

Mermaid Muscles...How To Grow Fins While Dieting For A Show

Being that I am 9 weeks out from the stage and I want to see faster results I decided to add in more fish to my diet because I tend to digest it better. The downside is that I am extremely hungry! I go grocery shopping on the hunt for some light flaky fish preferably wild, not farm raised. Cod, sole, haddock oh my! Cooking it brings such a nice smell into my little apartment as it reminds me nostalgically of Pike Place fish market back home in Seattle. I love to open up my fish container at 8:30am each morning in my office and scarf it down in between clients.
I’ve also resorted to buying three lbs of fresh broccoli florets from Chef Smart and see how fast I can plow through its fibrous spears. Three pounds in two days to be exact!
The end result of this broccoli bonanza and fishy madness? Hopefully I will see faster fat loss and possibly blossom into a beautiful muscle mermaid at the same time, so be on the lookout for my fins…

Friday, April 23, 2010

"Team Animal" Takes on an Adventure Race Hardcore Style

Last weekend I had the opportunity to participate in an outdoor adventure race at Hanging Rock State Park. The course was a secret but we knew to expect hiking, biking, canoeing, and many obstacles.
I eagerly signed up my boyfriend Josh and I and looked forward to fresh air, lots of cardio and a chance to navigate the great outdoors….did I mention that I am dieting for a bodybuilding show too?
I am four weeks into my training and diet and I have been very successful in my ketogenic diet which involves protein, lots of greens, healthy fats but no starchy carbohydrates.
So the crazy side of me thought, why not try to do this endurance race on no carbs? After all I would be burning fat and getting closer to my stage worthy physique goal.The morning of the race Josh and I arrived bright and early to a large group of participants. We named ourselves “Team Animal” proudly wearing our shirts. I tore mine up a little to scare the competitors! Josh looked at me skeptically as we checked out our course map. I realized then that neither one of us was good at reading maps. Oh well! Off we went my belly full of chicken and green beans while everyone else chowed down on granola bars and simple carbs.
The hills climbed endlessly, each step burned through my glycogen depleted quads. I hoped that warming up would make it less tiring but I was wrong. You know that feeling you get when you do the last few reps of leg extensions? That screaming lactic acid fire that permeates through each muscle fiber? That was me. But, I kept on as we finally got to the biking portion of the course, no relief there. More hills, more EPOC accumulation (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption) Metabolic Effect training nonstop! Mentally, I wanted to cry, scream, and stomp my feet in frustration but the rational side kept me focused and Josh stayed by my side the whole time battling his own aches and pains.
By this point we were about four hours into the course. The canoeing was next and we were told it was around one hour long. By the time we jumped out of our canoe which was full of water thanks to crashing into a rapid, we put on our soaked shoes and hoped the end was near. At this point I ripped open a nice packet of tuna and ate every morsel of it! Hopefully, there weren’t any bears nearby…
Seven hours later, almost thirty miles of terrain covered (minus the shortcuts we attempted to take) we crawled into the finish area cheered on by our fellow survivors.
Our bodies were thrashed with fatigue, I was laughing deliriously, and relief washed over us for the challenge we finished. So, as the race food of sandwiches, chips, granola, and candy was devoured by others I happily dug into my next meal of chicken, green beans plus an apple as visions of posing on stage confidently flashed through my head. Endurance athlete by day, bodybuilding animal by night…roaarrrrr!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Step Up To Me...The Making Of A MMA Champion!

Five weeks ago I was presented with a challenge I refused to turn down: train an amateur MMA fighter for an important title fight to win a long coveted belt.
Josh Leonard, 26 has a 6-1 record and a very solid cardiovascular base; eating, breathing, and practicing 5-6 days a week. Utilizing not only his purple belt Jui-Jitsu moves and Muay Tai stand up, he also weight trains regularly to create a more muscular physique than other fighters. He has a great fighting family to help him prepare in all areas of his sport.
He maintains an ultra clean diet regime which allows him to hold a weight near 170lbs. This diet focus's on clean carbs like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and fruit, as well as quality proteins found in chicken, ground turkey, whey, and plenty of natural peanut butter. With this strong athletic foundation already, I was thrilled to be able to take this fighter and propel him into a crazy conditioning program three days a week incorporating Metabolic Effect training protocol.
Tuesdays were reserved for the 20lb weighted vest workout where we spiked his heart rate using explosive movements such as burpee’s and jump squats. My personal favorite plyometric sequence was: squat jump, grasp the pull-up bar, do a pull-up, then ab raise, jump back down, burpee to push-up, then repeat. We followed this pretty intense cycle with a series of suicide sprints.
All of our workouts were short, intense, and no more than 35 mins. On Thursdays we trained at my powerlifting gym East Coast Barbell and did a combination of tire flips, heavy prowler pushes, sledge hammer abs, resisted band sprints, and more weighted vest followed by heavy chain ab work. This is not your normal Nautilus workout! Saturdays we trained outside on stadiums, (again using plyometric’s and bodyweight movements). Sundays were critical for recovery and I made sure he did just that!
The big fight came on March 13th in Lenoir, NC promote through Elite Championship Cage fighting. The venue was crowded and Josh made his entrance with the song “Enemy” by Sevendust. His team of guys Shawn, Chris, and Brian cornered him for the fight. It lasted less than two rounds and he won with a TKO ref stoppage. Josh came away with the belt in a battle he truly had prepared for both physically and mentally.
As his conditioning coach I was extremely proud and impressed by how the hard work paid off. Josh may have uttered some words off profanity towards me during these few weeks but he kept his focus on the belt and succeeded! Stay tuned as his makes his Pro debut later this year and seeks out a sponsorship.

Commentary of the fight:

Fighting Resources:
Eight Points Muay Thai in Clemmons, Chris Clodfelter & Crystal Parrish
Kim Coronel, CPT & Unconventional Training Coach
Cutting Edge Metabolic Training
Outfitting and Educating the Strongest Athletes in the World
(the best place to buy your prowler)
Joe Hurst Jiu-Jitsu, Concord

Thursday, February 25, 2010

4 Weeks Out Until USAPL Battle on the Border

4 Weeks Out Until Meet …Feeling Feisty
So the last two weeks have been extremely encouraging as I’ve trained each Friday with my coach using several techniques that are new to my body. Basically, I’m trying to push the limits of my CNS and gain power from the use of banded squats and banded deadlifts. I did come across a slight problem when I lost my grip warming up with a deadlift and smashed my big toe. Nonetheless, I’m healing fast and and I’ve been getting stronger each week. I will try out some openers this week and hope to train the following week in Columbus while I’m there for The Arnold Expo.

Here is a sample of what I’ve done the past couple Friday nights:
Overspeed low box squat vs green band 135lbs 5x3
Speed Bench Press 115lbs 8x2
Max Effort Deadlift off blocks 185, 225, 275lbs 3x5

Swiss Bar ½ squat 3RM 245lbs
#3 board press 3 RM 200lbs
Rack Pull 3RM 315lbs
Rev Hypers 3x12
Eagle Abs

Thursdays are always my fun conditioning workout usually with the prowler, sled, tire, plyos and whatever else we come up with. Cardio during the rest of the week is stair mill intervals and treadmill.
After this meet I am contemplating dieting down for my first bodybuilding show. I have put on so much muscle that I am curious to see what I would look like ripped up. I have a great supportive group of friends and training partners that would back me up 100%. Any thoughts or feedback on this possibility?:)
There are several shows coming up locally including the Natural Atlantic Coast in High Point. I have several friends competing in figure this year and there is always the possibility of the Yorton Cup in D.C. Time to make a decision and dive in!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Creating Your Own Personal Legend

Creating Your Own Personal Legend
Recently while sitting down and chatting with a local journalist I was asked a very good question. “What is the number one thing that attracts you to powerlifting?” I took a moment to ponder that but almost immediately blurted out this. “If I can have 225lbs on my back, pull 300lbs off the ground with my small thumbs using a hook grip or push a heavy bar off my chest, then why wouldn’t I have the strength to deal with all the curve balls that life throws at me?”

I believe internal strength can be built from a combination of factors and I’ve taken to “the iron” as a means to make me the best I can in all areas of my life. So now with less than ten weeks until my big meet I have incorporated multiple protocols into my training split. I’m using minibands to strengthen my explosive speed as well as heavy Mechanical Ox work (squat and deadlift machine). I also take into account mental exercises to anticipate the lifts I want to achieve. All of the steps that lead up to the lift are crucial: the hand and foot placing, breathing, arch, abdominal pressure, and perfect technique. It is a lot to think about and the most crucial element to perfect execution will be the ability NOT to think about the steps once the time comes. It will all flow naturally.

Adaptation to my central nervous system has been very interesting to watch. My strength levels have dramatically increased each week and I’m a firm believer in recovery! I only train three days not including my normal cardio. I supplement consistently with glutamine and pre/post workout drink which includes BCAA’s and Creatine. I feel great and sleep well which is a large part of the puzzle often overlooked by many.

I’m also reading “The Alchemist” which was recommended by Jay Parr creator of Boone Bar natural energy bar, one of my supplement sponsors. The book talks about discovering your own Personal Legend, something that you have always wanted to accomplish since you were young. I’m confident that I am in pursuit of my own Personal Legend. Thousands of reps attempted, hundreds of pounds lifted, all for the satisfaction of succeeding in the sport of powerlifting and the sport of life!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"5 Inch Heels, Buns of Steel and Pink Leg Warmers"

“5 Inch Heels, Buns of Steel and Pink Leg Warmers”
I was born a lil muscle head. My parents still brag about my cute pink leg warmers I wore when I first started walking. And according to my mom “I never had stick legs like all the other girls." I always had those round muscular calves even as a kid. My favorite pastime was dancing after dinner and doing Jane Fonda records (this is before VHS videos were popular; those were the days) and then I graduated to “Buns of Steel”, “Cher Fitness” and the “Cindy Crawford” workouts. My cousin Jennifer would come over to hang out with me and the next thing she knows she’s sweating away as Cindy’s famous trainer Radu is barking out orders to “squeeze your glutes." What can I say? I loved to feel the burn!
So, let’s fast forward to 2007. I had just moved from the lush green mountains of Washington State to North Carolina. I was adjusting and working at an all-natural grocery store. I busied myself along the side of my eco-conscious, diverse new work family learning about the importance of organic living. At the same time I worked in this healthy environment I was eager to step up my game, so to speak, and do something incredibly focused. I had always worked out and had a decent amount of muscle and my eating habits were good so I embraced the ultimate challenge: do a figure competition in nine weeks. Figure competitions are a cross between bodybuilding and a beauty pageant. Women are expected to carry some muscle. You glide across the stage in 5-inch clear heels, glistening with a golden painted-on tan and stand before judges who critique your muscle tone, symmetry, conditioning and presentation. A small percentage of the population participates in these shows because it is a 24/7 process. You eat, sleep, and train for that one moment to showcase your physique. But I was determined to do one.
The body is meant to be nourished. It thrives on readily available unprocessed fuel. I thought healthy eating would be enough to drop weight and stay lean. What does eating clean entail? For starters it means no cheating! No chips and salsa with friends at night, no glass of wine on the weekends, much less dessert. Clean eating means consuming a balanced ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat every three hours to maximize fat burning. Gone were the days of sampling various foods at work and having seconds. Discipline and hours of food prep now consumed my existence as my mouth began to water at the thought of my upcoming meal of tuna and oatmeal.
I became immune to outside influences as I imagined standing on stage in a bikini with lights glaring down at my physique. One bite of fried chicken could add an unflattering blob of fat to my behind. Coworkers laughed at my protein pancakes which I consumed daily in between stocking orders at my retail job. Once your body becomes regulated it processes food consistently and expects it every couple of hours. Going long periods of time forces the body to hold on to fat because it thinks it is starving thus conserving fuel. The most significant change I noticed was the taste of food was stronger and I learned to cook with herbs and spices and not salt. Pure natural food has a flavor that is not normally appreciated in the typical American diet laden with salt, grease and rich fats. Now, don’t get me wrong --- I did crave forbidden foods such as cheesy pizza or other rich dishes. But, the fantasy is much better than the actual act. Once I was allowed these non-diet foods I didn't enjoy the flavor as much as I expected. I craved my protein shakes and roasted broccoli. How ironic? The name of the game is mental and once you program your mind you can really accomplish anything. It is a lot stronger than we give credit.
I competed in my figure show in Charleston, SC as nervous as can be. I worked so hard and when I walked on stage an unbelievable satisfaction made every cardio session and hundreds of egg white omelets worth it. I won 2nd place in my division and along the way met some incredible competitors who have become great friends of mine. These women are amazing, disciplined, and true figure athletes. Since 2007 I’ve competed in a couple of shows but have found my true calling in power-lifting. My new stage is my strength platform that I mount confidently to lift heavy weight. No longer am I wearing 5-inch heels and painting on my tan; instead I lace up my sparkly Converse All-Star sneakers and chalk up my hands. I've experienced two different sports, both as equally regimented and accelerating.
We all have our true passion, an event, a goal, a task that makes us complete. Mine is lifting the iron. What is yours?
Kimberly Marie Coronel is a certified personal trainer, amateur powerlifter, and fitness entrepreneur. Contact

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Journey To Compete 2010 USAPL Meet

2009 has been a very successful and promising year. My personal training business has grown rapidly and I’ve competed in one figure show and two power lifting meets. The most recent was an IPA meet in October where I did the push/pull division and dead lifted 307lbs and benched 180lbs. I was extremely pleased with my numbers and post meet took about a month off from heavy lifting and put some energy into refocusing and planning. It didn’t take long for me to get the itch to compete again. So I thought it would be fun to chronicle my journey to my next big meet in March. I have big hopes for big numbers and I am determined to do it. You want to know how a Strong Girl train’s, supplements and eats’? Wait no longer….

Squat 250lbs
Bench 200lbs
Dead lift 325lbs
148lb weight class 100% Raw

15 weeks out:
I’m nervous about lifting heavy again since I hadn’t really squatted for six months and my last dead lift was in October. So, my rationale is to ease into it the first week and then dive in the following week when my coach has my new program. I’m also going home for 9 days during Christmas so I will be training at the local gym. I’ve been supplementing with Cytonox/Cytocell by Cytogenix (thanks to Malcolm for letting me try theseJ) pre and post workout to enhance recovery. I use glutamine, fish oil, B-Complex, multi, and drink at least a gallon of water a day. As far as nutrition, I’ve been trying to resist holiday temptation and maintain until January when I will go into a consistent keto diet where I will gradually lose some body fat. My goal is to drop a weight class for this next meet. Get stronger and leaner is possible! Below is some sample workouts from the last two weeks. My coach Chris “Ox” Mason (East Coast Barbell) is wonderful and knows exactly how I respond to training.

Week One (easing back into it…)

95lbsx15 warm -up

Glute Ham Raises

w/ blue miniband
Leg Curls
30mins incline tread
10% incline

#2 Bench
Rock & Roll (Tri's)
3 sets
Lateral raises
3 sets
Spud Abs w/straps
4 sets

#3 East Coast Barbell with coach

Speed Bench
Speed DL w/mini's
95lbx1 with blue minibands
*accommodating resistance
First time trying this, very difficult for me but about halfway through I finally started to lock out and utilize my glutes to follow through which has been my weakness.
Glute Ham Raises w/mini
10/4 sets

Conditioning Workout w/Josh my fighter friend
5 prowler pushes with 90 lbs
50 tire flips
5 sled pulls
plyo pushups
5 sprints
box jumps

Workout #2 w/Josh
Timed 2 min rounds
step ups
sledge hammer abs
resisted sprints with partner
plyo pushups w/medicine ball
medicine ball throw/catch

Week #2 (Home visiting in WA)
Speed squats 135x3
M-E Bench 140x5
M-E Bench 185x5
Wood chops
Leg Curls (no glute ham raise at this gym)
20 mins step mill intervals

I’d love to hear comments and questions about my blog as I progress throughout this training cycle!