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