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 kim@stronggirlfitness.com

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!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Music Motivation for December

I’ve been asked several times lately what my favorite workout songs are. So, my gift for you this holiday season is this list to make you sweat, pump iron, and finally just chill. Be warned these songs could make you work hard or possibly laugh…

Also, if you are looking for inspiration during the busy December days check out “My Gym Trainer” books which contain handy pullout workouts you can take to the gym! http://www.mytrainerfitness.com/index.html
These were developed by two local fit females Jill Coleman & LeAura Alderson. They’re amazing and will save you money in the gym. Stop making excuses and check it outJ
Sweat Mix:
Give it up to me-Shakira featuring Lil Wayne
Scream- Michael Jackson & Janet
Poison-Bell Biv Devoe
Feel it-DJ Feli Fell
Throw it on me-Timbaland
Lift Mix:
Broken, beaten, and scarred- Metallica
Go- Def Lepard
Till I collapse- Eminem & Nate Dogg
Remember the Name- Fort Minor
All the above-Maino featuring T-Pain
Bodies- Drowning Pool
Lord give me a sign-DMX
Killing in the name-Rage Against the Machine
Slowburn-Revelation Theory
Just another victim-Cypress Hill
Chill Mix:
You got me (Remix)-One Block Radius featuring Fabolous & Baby Bash
I just wanna love you-Jay-Z
Never gonna be alone-Nickleback
King of wishful thinking- Go West

Picture by Ariel Perez Photography

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Power-lifting Princess"

Published in Forsyth Woman Magazine November Edition:)

I am a strong woman. I’m not conceited, nor full of myself. I’m just stating the facts. I can lift heavy things, and pride myself in my super hero feats. Yet, I am struck by how much people assume that just because you are strong and muscular insinuates you’re a bad-ass. I’m actually far from it. I’ve never been in a bar fight or hair pulling cat brawl but, if you must know I’ve come close to it. A girl once accused me of pushing her at a party therefore inducing whiplash! I laugh when people ask me if I can beat someone up for them. Why would I do that? I’d be more likely to have a pushup contest or arm wrestling challenge then beat someone to a pulp. But looking tough does have its perks. No one will mess with you.
So it was no surprise that eventually I would channel some of this strength into an event. I decided at the ripe age of 27 to train for my first power-lifting meet. I met up with my record holding coach affectionately known as “The OX” with a little bit of nervous excitement at my upcoming challenge. Looks and names can be deceiving as he, along with the other power-lifting family took me under their wing to teach me not only how to bench, squat, and dead lift but to also find my inner strength to leave an unhappy marriage. The latter, they didn’t realize they were influencing.
So from the moment I stepped into the industrial park cement haven of chains and member built exercise apparatus’s I felt a since of belonging. I left my personal relationship woes at the door and instead my focus was on programming my body to handle heavy loads of steel. “The Iron”as referred to by author Henry Rollins really did become my friend. Rollins stated it perfectly; “The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.” It is ironic how an inanimate object can satisfy an emotional loss. It was a comfort I did not expect to find.
I learned to squat on a low box, petrified at first to drop my body below the parallel mark. How could these legs of mine support so much weight? But fear itself I realized, was the only thing stopping me. My body was beyond capable it was my mind that needed some work. I used my short, small hands to grip a loaded 250 lb. bar with my thumb and forefinger referred to as a “hook grip” and hoisted it off the ground in one smooth move. I bench pressed more than my own body weight and with each lift, each “rack it” command my coach yelled, I gathered my will and prepared my heart to break free of my crumbling marriage.
Over the course of nine months I built a solid foundation and understanding of power-lifting. I utilized chains, sleds, tires, wood boards and grew excited at my new style of training. Power-lifting protocol leaked over into my own personal training business, as I taught my clients unconventional exercises to empower their own workout routines. With my first meet approaching, I continued to deal with my relationship changes. The ink on my legal separation papers had dried, a new apartment furnished my single freedom, and I took it all in with a deep breath. I was ready to propel like a rocket into the unknown, fueled by a fire that wouldn’t die anytime soon.
Meet day was here. I pulled on my wrestler style black singlet, my new sparkly converse All Star sneakers, and excitedly weighed in and mentally prepared myself to lift. My good friend refers to me as “the power-lifting princess” because of my innocent blond haired, blue eyed look. I am very girly but once you get me around the weights I unleash this alter ego.
The meet itself can take all day because you have three different lifts with three attempts at each lift. I was on an adrenaline high. My coach had to continually remind me to sit down to conserve my energy. I had my friends and clients there to support me and was riding a surge of electricity describable only to those who’ve competed in this sport.
I warmed up as my coach chalked my legs and back to prepare me for my lifts. I walked out to my squat bar with my favorite song “Number One” pounding in my ears. The cool metal on my back was exhilarating. I made each lift and totaled 680lbs for my first meet. I heard my cheering section shouting my name but most importantly I heard my own voice loud and clear. “You did this, you ARE strong. Nothing in life can hold you back. Power-lifting injected a drive nothing else had ever done before.

Kimberly Coronel is the creator & owner of “Strong Girl Fitness Personal Training LLC”
“Unconventional Training for Fit, Fierce, Females” is her mantra and she thoroughly enjoys working with people of all fitness levels and backgrounds. Besides lifting heavy things she loves to travel, drink coffee, and spend quality time with friends and family.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"Inspiration, Motivation, Appreciation"

“Inspiration, Motivation, Appreciation”

There are days and weeks in our lives where you feel so overwhelmed and you feel like you need to pinch yourself to see if your dreaming or not. Well, these last couple weeks have been amazing.
I’ve had the chance to connect with some amazing women (and one tough guy) who I am proud to say are my clients. They have become strong and focused not only in their workouts but in their personal lives as well.
That is one of the benefits of exercise that not everyone expects. It makes since that physical strength would carry over and form a strong mind. I was able to elaborate on this theory while speaking to a group of students this week. I spoke from experience as I talked about finding my own inner strength from power-lifting. I lift heavy weight so I can deal with challenges that may come my way.
I look at the fit and motivated colleagues, training partners, and friends with admiration. We are in control of our health and fitness. I am so proud of each and every one of you! We need to be supportive, encouraging, and proactive in this lifelong fitness journey! I challenge you to be creative in your training and share your ideas.
Below I am sharing a client testimony I received from a very strong individual. This person exemplifies healthy living and has fun doing it.
"Although I danced modern for several years I could never say that I was “fit”. After an unfortunate injury to my arches in 2006 I was unable to continue dancing and my activity level plummeted. When I did start getting active again I was unwittingly chained to the same dull routine that was not getting me results. I began working out with Kim in hopes that this would shape me up into the tight, toned, and strong woman that I wanted to be. It did! I feel proud to walk across my college campus with a buff body and a ton of confidence. I love when people stare at Kim and I me when we beast it out because I hope we are helping them learn some new moves (like overhead presses with a tire). I receive compliments on a weekly basis about my new and improved figure and I know I couldn’t have done it without Kim. She is incredibly supportive and will push you to attain your goals. Whenever I have a question she is eager to give me answers. I have never felt so confident about the way I look, and that confidence extends into the rest of my life. Thanks Kim!"
Antoninia Whaples, AKA “Fit, Fierce, Female”

Check out my new tanks modeled by another fit woman Heather!:)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Buff Bride Part Two

Buff Bride Part Two:

And the butt busting bride- to- be workouts continue! Follow Brittany in her journey.

500 lunges, 100 pushups, biking intervals paired wih leg curl.....OUCH! I feel like my lower body may fall off any second, there will have to be a nap later today! Kim and I have really been working hard these past few weeks and I am starting to see some good results. We are training for the wedding and a December marathon so it is all very specific and right now we are actually trying to cut fat and muscle to get me a little lighter on the scales for running. But, this past month my stomach is finally beginning to get a little leaner and I have officially lost 4-5 lbs. Yes, yes I know it seems crazy for someone who is doing all of this plus training for a marathon to only lose 4lbs in 3 months but thats just the way it is going. Apparently, once you turn 25 your metabolism STOPS haha! Gone are the days of losing 8lbs in a week while eating doughnuts...sigh...I miss those days.

Anyway, I have begun to clean up my diet which seems to make a difference in my body and my energy level. I have actually reduced my dairy intake to near nothing and have been feeling the biggest difference from that change. Don't get me wrong though, I have my moments. This weekend was my birthday, and Monday afternoon while driving home from Pawleys Island, I was the girl stuck in traffic on 501 North eating leftover Confetti Cake out of a tupperware with a spoon (that I just happened to have in my consol) needless to say,it wasn't a proud moment, but it was yummy! haha! Of course this specific cake incident came after a weekend of sampling possible wedding cakes, which is possibly the best part of planning a wedding if you have a sweet tooth,obviously I do! I love cake but now must stay away till May!

So far, my marathon training is going great!! I am up to 16 miles on my long runs and am now able to hold a 8:45 pace comfortably on my shorter runs during the week, so I am well on my way! Distance running, I have found, is one of the most physically and mentally challenging activities I have ever done but it is also one of the most rewarding. I finally understand that "runners high." I officially entered Charlotte's ThunderRoad marathon on December 12th so there is no turning back now! I am giving my training for this my everything as it will be one of the last races I do as a single girl; and being a former swimmer for the University of Florida, racing has been a huge part of my single life. I'd love to qualify for Boston at this race so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Thats all for now, check back in next month for another bride- to- be update!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Motivation for Physique Competitor's

September is here. And with a glimpse of fall weather, crisp fresh air and stimulating outdoor workouts comes the other side of fitness. Many figure and bodybuilding competitor's are in the last stages of dieting preparation. I am so proud of all my friends who are working so hard to rock the stage! I look forward to Oct. 10th Natural Bodybuilding & Figure show in Highpoint Nc, as well as Oct. 17th NPC show in Charlotte, NC (Jay Cutler is the guest poser:) If you haven't been to a show, come check one out!
Below is a poem inspired by the hard work it takes to compete....
"Figure Athlete"

A tidal wave of water washes through the deeply etched abs days
Before the event
Not a carb in sight nor an ounce of fat left behind
The striated arms extend above the carefully tousled hair
Posed just right to place the
Peaked biceps in full view
The rounded curves sit solid on full, healthy hamstrings
Vascularity curses through the tight
Which draw the eye down the body in appreciative
The color of the skin looks like caramel syrup yet the only thing sweet in the
Mouth is the taste of chocolate protein powder feeding these
The crowd cheers in awe, the judges raise an eyebrow as the figurine
Makes the quarter turns
The light reflects off the bronzed beauty as she holds her mandatory pose
Months, weeks, days, of prep
Hours of sweat
Hundreds of meals
All in the name of competing
She waves to the applause, flashes one last smile, the feeling is
She exits the stage and exhales the last bit of adrenaline
She earns the title
“Figure Athlete”

Kim Coronel 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"Buff Bride Blog"

Follow this bride to be in her journey from "FIT to FIERCE"! 9 months to the big day. Each month she will chronicle her experience as we add definition and sculpt a body to compliment her gorgeous white dress.

Month One:
Month one of "project look amazing at my wedding" is complete and all I can say is I AM SO SORE! This month was probably one of the toughest months of training I have had since I swam in college. I have lunged, jumped and lifted myself crazy; but in then end I am already starting to see results. Kim really focused on my chest and back this month and it is actually beginning to look better. Each of our workouts has been extreemly challenging but different in order to keep my body guessing. Along with the weight lifiting I have begun training for a marathon in December, my last race as a single gal! The running is very challenging but is providing yet another weight loss tool for me, as well as a liberating experience. This month, I have begun to pay more attention to my nutrition; although, I will admit, it still needs a little work. I am a fitness trainer and yoga instructor myself , so I value nutrition and exercise but sometimes need someone to push me past my limits (in this case all my limits!). In the course of this past month,I have lost 3 pounds and am feeling stronger each session. Of course, that does not mean I don't end up rolling around in a puddle on my own sweat, while Kim stands beside me yelling for me to finish 50 pushups. Oh what are bridesmaids, best friends, and trainers for! I know I have a long way to go but I am well on my way, one month down 9 to go!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shake up your routine

Want to try an unconventional workout?

Here are a couple sample conditioning routines I've tried recently:

A great website that has video demonstrations and pictures of these exercises: http://www.elitefts.com/

Interval Conditioning

Warm up with 5 sled drags down a 100 yard dash. (add weight to the sled depending on your level, I use a 45 lb. plate on mine)

Prowler Push 5 trips (again add weight, I use two 25 lb. plates on mine)

50-60 Tire flips (rest briefly after 10 flips, then repeat)

Finish with 3x20 wood choppers or sledge hammer abs

(I learned about these techniques from the team at East Coast Barbell (Primal Strength & Conditioning in Kernersville, NC) Contact me for location if interested.

Strength & Conditioning Combo

Warm up with eliptical or sled drag 5-10 mins

100 tire flips (there are several different size tires, I use a 150 lb tire) rest as needed

Black strap pushups 3 sets to failure

Body weight dips 3 sets to failure

Pull ups (assisted with a band if needed) 3 sets to failure

Sandbag toss (grab a 25-50lb sandbag and toss from your chest as far as you can engaging your core) repeat 5 tosses 3 times resting after 5

Finish with hanging leg raises, wood choppers, plank hold (advanced add weight)

Hope this encourages you to explore other ways of training! Let me know what you think!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Kim’s “No Excuses” Workout
This is a fun workout to do with friends. I tried it out on an awesome group of women last week and they pushed it hard!!!
25-50 lbs rice, sand, or corn, chair, water
Warm Up:
Jumping Jacks
Jog in Place
Bodyweight Squats
Slow Pushups
(Repeat 2-3 times)
Circuit: 10-15 reps
· Chair squats holding 25-50lbs (Back straight, abs tight)
· Alternating lunges, bodyweight (advanced: sling rice over shoulder, take long strides, knee over ankle)
· Pushups (abs tight, chest to floor)
· Plank hold to failure (on forearms, back flat, abs contracted)
Outside street conditioning:
Find a marker, hold 50 lbs and walk as fast as you can to marker, drop weight down, 2 pushups on weight, 10 Mt. Climbers, pick up weight, walk back to starting point and repeat 5 times (work your way up to 10 trips)
Cool Down: Walk 5 minutes slowly to let your heart rate come back down. Do not stop abruptly!
Questions? Email me wholebody3@yahoo.com

Monday, June 8, 2009

My favorite protein shakes and bars

Many people ask what brands of protein supplements I like. Well, here they are!

Think Thin (I love that they have 20 grams of protein, no sugar and taste great! White Chocolate is so good)
Balance Carb Well Bars (Again I gravitate towards no sugar bars)
Pure Protein

Whey Protein:
Jay Robb (Sweetened with Stevia and mixes easily)
Isopure Cookies & Creme (Mix and freeze for a ice cream treat)
Designer Whey

Whole Foods Market carries many of these products. I also like buying from www.bodybuilding.com and they ship their products fast!

Strong Girl Fitness LLC is official

Welcome to Strong Girl Fitness Blog!

I am very excited to launch my personal training business.

"Unconventional Training for Fit, Fierce, Females"

I will post fun and innovative training techniques, words of wisdom and motivation as well as creative and easy food ideas. Also in the works is a fun line of fitness tanks guaranteed to generate lots of energy!

Please stay tuned for more updates!