Contest Prep

SHOulder Stopper

contest prep update: current weight is at 141.8 this morning. I started at January 1st at 147!

breakfast this morning was a change because I took the day off, so had extra time to try making some French toast. it was AMAZING. simply 2 slices of plain Ezekiel bread (I honestly used sesame because that’s all I have.). I thawed it in the fridge over night, now that I think about – it not sure if that’s the best idea? because it comes frozen, but it tasted fine to me! so we won’t worry about that detail. I sprayed both slices with Pam Butter spray and soaked up the egg whites with cinnamon and vanilla. a cup of egg whites had a little excess but just enough! a little cinnamon to top it off and a drizzle of maple syrup. FANTASTIC. filling and delicious. 

last night I did my shoulder program. body building is HARD. especially when you’re used to 5 reps being a set and only doing 3 or 4 sets total. a fellow trainer at the gym, Terry, modified my program a little. I felt the pump!  body building is about sculpting the body. I’m excited to see more changes in my physique!

started with dumbell lateral raises, and lots of them. sets of 25 with light weight. I did maybe 7 or 8 sets. Terry helped explain the movement to isolate my delta best and a helpful tip he gave me was to feel the contraction both up and down. so keep a good pace and a constant contraction each reputation. made a huge difference!

second exercise was 100 face pulls on the lat pull down cable machine with the rope attachment. again keeping a good pace and feeling a constant contraction. 

next was seated dumbbell shoulder press.  these I came down a little further than I normally do and didn’t fully extend at the top. it’s not about doing full reps it’s about hitting the muscles correctly. I’m not completely sure how many reps or sets but probably 6 or 7 sets of 25-30 reps (with assistance.)  I started with 15s then dropped the last two sets to 10s. 

I did a variation of a rear delt row with a straight small bar. flat back completely parellel to the floor holding the bar with a wide grip and keeping elbows out while pulling the bar to your chin. 100 reps of these too. the last set was the best because I widened my grip and focused on keeping the elbows out as much as I could. feeling it today!

last exercise was about 6 or 7 sets of  seated front hammer raises 25 reps each. after that I was toast. 

there’s pros and cons to online coaches and one obvious con is that she can’t correct what I’m doing. so if you know someone with experience in bodybuilding let them show you some techniques and variations and see if that works for you. 

any suggestions, comments or advice is much appreciated!

Contest Prep, Recipes

Chocolate Protein Cupcakes

 I love that these “cupcakes” still fit in my macros but taste like a sweet treat!  it really helps curb the cravings and gives me something to look forward to. 

one thing prep is teaching me is how to get creative with my foods. I’ve really been enjoying trying new recipes and seeing what creation I can come up with using limited ingredients. all I can say is, thank god for cinnamon!

I made chocolate protein cupcakes for post workout last night. this is the second time I’ve tried making these and I’m still tweaking the recipe but it can only get better!  1 serving is 4 cupcakes so it’s also a great low cal/low carb treat if you split them up into four little servings instead of one big one. the only problem I run into is I eat them before my workout because they just taste so good! so I have to learn to resist or just wait to make them until I get home. oh well, I managed to save only one for my post workout yesterday but I have no regrets. 

Chocolate Protein Cupcakes

1 serving: 4 cakes = 318 calories 

1 small frozen banana

1 whole egg and 1 egg white

1 scoop of chocolate protein powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

a lot of cinnamon

sprinkle of salt

splash of almond milk

bake on 350F for 15 minutes

additional options: chocolate chips, cocoa powder, different flavored protein, peanut butter, nuts or anything else you may enjoy!


these turned out a little spongy so still playing around with that but over all deliciousness!  add a spread of peanut butter on top and die happily. 


January Favorites

Here it is!  My first post to my new blog feature – my Favorites of the month of January.  I am introducing this once a month to my blog to collect all of my new favorite things each month and share them with you!  ENJOY.

RECIPE:  Baked oats and egg white breakfast (sweet or savory)
my new breakfast addiction. check out the savory recipe here. I made chocolate baked oats too which was a half cup rolled oats soaked over night in 1 cup of egg whites. I added vanilla extract, cinnamon and a little dark cocoa powder (all to-taste.). I also put 1/4 tsp baking powder as well and in the morning I gave it a good shake. after spraying a shallow pan, I bake it on 350F for about 15-20 minutes.



I found this article super helpful with the difference between using baking powder and baking soda!  I always thought they were pretty much the same; but that is not the case!

Fiesta ranch mix from Aldi.
great find on my way through the checkout line! marked down to $0.59 a pack, I only bought two. but after using a package to flavoring my turkey burgers I’m going back for more!  a whole pack is 80 calories and 16 carbs, I made 5 burgers with it so it is additional carbs but roughly 3 each burger (3oz.) I cut up green onions as well and made lettuce bun burgers with rice and avocado.

EXERCISEcable bicep curls superset with push-ups has been a must in my arm-day routine. use the handle attachments and bring the cables to the top of the machine. hold a handle on each hand and flex your hand to your ear (cue: pinky to ear) for 10-15 reps and super set into 10 push-ups. try to go 5 rounds!


Go-To Album: Crisis by Alexisonfire.
I’ve been killing my cardio to this 5 days a week. the first song I heard from them was “Boiled Frogs” and was hooked. listen to that one first to see if it’s your kind of gym music.

IMG_4540I recently subscribed to Alan Thrall’s YouTube channel.
he has a great personality and is very knowledgeable about fitness and resistance training. he explains lifts and technique very well so if you’re having trouble with form he might be your guy.



I love the ATP Project Podcast!
a supplement company based out of Australia hosts a podcast that uses science to explain human reactions.  their products are also all natural. I highly recommend their products – check them out!




Chocolate Avocado Cookies


easy and delicious and they fit in my macros so it’s a guilt free sweet.

simply 100g of a ripe avocado (about 1 avocado)

1 whole egg

1 small banana (in place of the original recipies coconut sugar)

a half cup cocoa powder (I used .25 cup dark chocolate .25 regular)

1/2 tsp baking soda

and a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips to perfection!

get the complete recipe here!


Four Day Split

Cardio 20-25 min2-5 days a week.

Abs 1-2 times a week.
Day 1: legs (quad focus)

Back squats

Leg press

Walking lunges

Sumo squats

Leg extension

Day 2: back/bi

Warm up with assisted pull ups

Dumbbell flat bench press

Lat pull downs

Alternating hammer curls

Close grip cable row

EZ curl bar

Face pulls
Day 3: chest/tri

Chest press

Incline bench press

Assisted tricep dips

EZ curl bar front raises

Single cable pull downs

Chest flies

Day 4: legs (ham focus)


Good mornings

Kettlebell swings

Hamstring curls

Single leg cable kick backs

Take 1-2 days off a week. Give your body a rest!



Next Phase

It’s been a busy weekend and I’m excited to get back in the grove of posting more, and catching up on my blogging101 assignments.  What a great thing it has been for my blog and myself!

I wanted to quickly post an update on my eccentric training program.  This is the fourth full week of doing eccentric training for the power lifts and I’m feeling stronger already.  Today began the next phase of the program where i will be focusing on pauses in my lifts.  I incorporated the new phase into my deadlifts today.  I did light weight at 135 for a partial pull 4 sets of doubles.  The pins were set in the rack above my bar hitting about knee height.  Next time i do these i will stand on a couple pads because ideally I don’t want the bar to hit the pins at or above my knee.  We also had to rig the plates on the bar to sit out far enough not to hit the bottom of the rack.  Next week i will share pictures and videos.

So summary:

135x4x2 pulls against the pins (i used straps and this is only beneficial if you pull as fast and as hard as you can.  When some of the guys did this program they were literally lifting the squat rack because they were pulling so hard!)

Accessories stayed mostly the same keeping with more of a bodybuilding style with more sets and higher reps.

front squats 95x4x6

good mornings 95x4x15

reverse hyperextentions 4×10

single leg RDL 25x4x10 each

single banded hamstring curl minix4x15

pulled the sled for about 200 yards (3 plates)

rolled out by the ex wife

I felt good today and had some energy!  Feeling strong but already feeling sore in my back from those pulls.

comment if you have questions!  I’m looking forward to benching this week.

p.s. speaking of bench, i still need to strengthen my back (always trying to get stronger!) so Casey gave me a workout to add to my weekly program:

100 reps rear delt (examply pull aparts)

100 facepulls

100 rows

and 50 assisted pullups



Circle of Five [Prompt]

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If this is true, which five people would you like to spend your time with?
I find this prompt to be challenging because I originally read it incorrectly. I read it as “…which five people do you like to spend your time with?” So since I am mentally prepared for how I originally read the prompt, I’m going to roll with it! Funny how one little word can change the whole meaning to a question.

The five people I spend my most time with aren’t always in person. It’s almost always over the phone actually, through text or phone calls.

Number 1 on my list is my mother. She is my other half, quite literally. I talk to her every single day. She moved to Louisville, Kentucky in July 2014. Luckily I have family there and it is only a 6 hour drive but it’s still too far! She is my biggest supporter and is always encouraging. I wouldn’t be who I am without her influence. Sometimes we joke that we are the same person just at different points in life. It seems our lives run parallel to each other. We always have a similar situation going on, whether it is internal or external. I’m so grateful to have such a strong connection with someone, and even more grateful that person is my mom.

Number 2 is my best friend, Lexie, who I have the privilege of seeing all the time. We were friends in high school but lost touch when she went to college. When she graduated and started working I reached out to her, and the rest is history. We have so much fun together! She brings me out of my comfort zone and I feel like we could conquer the world when we are together. We spend so much time together I’m pretty sure we’ve started communicating in a different language. She lives life as if every day could be her last and I respect that about her so much. Our motto has become “If Not Now, When?” which has gotten us into a little trouble but also created some of my most fond memories. I consider her a sister and her parents and siblings my family as well. Everyone needs that kind of a friend! It means so much to me since I only have my immediate family in Pittsburgh and my extended family is mostly out of state. I attend all of their family gatherings and their exclusive annual Christmas party. I am so thankful for Alexis and to be a member of the Wilkerson family.
Number 3 is my best friend, Julie, who I don’t see nearly often enough. Julie is only an hour drive away but that seems to be on the other side of the world sometimes. But that doesn’t stop us from having an awesome friendship and not a day goes by when I don’t talk to her. We met only a few years ago through our boyfriends. I was dating someone at the time that played on the same baseball team as her long term boyfriend, Steve, and we had an instant connection. She is an amazing person inside and out and I know what we have will last a life time! I learn so much from her and her life experiences, and I know she will always be there for me. She has seen me at my worst and most embarrassing moments and has never judged me for any of them. Julie is someone I will always want to have in my life because she makes me a better person. Same goes to Steve. Their relationship is one that I want for myself one day.

Number 4 is my best friend, Alex, who I see less than Alexis but more than Julie. Alex is from Phoenix, Arizona and we met about 3 or 4 years ago when she got a job at the bank I work at. We ended up moving in together and living in an apartment for a little over a year. When the lease was up she wanted to be closer to her Pittsburgh family, and I wanted to be closer to mine so we both moved back home. I think it says a lot that we were able to remain good friends after living together! She no longer works at the bank but we still manage to see each other every other week or so. She is one of the funniest people I know! Alex has no filter and speaks her mind. She has taught me to stand up for myself and to not be so uptight. I look up to her and can count on her to be there for me when I’m having a meltdown, or when I need makeup and hair advice. When we lived together I didn’t know how to wear makeup, now I’m a pro thanks to her influence. I would still be clueless without her! Haha.

Last but not least number 5, who is a GROUP instead of an individual. I lift with a group 2 or 3 days a week. I started this routine about 6 months ago, this past August. It’s funny how I actually got involved in powerlifting with them. Lex and I were out in Southside (a popular spot in Pittsburgh) and ran into our friend from high school and her boyfriend, John. I knew John was into something, I originally thought he did Crossfit, but he had recently gotten into powerlifting as well. I told him I was new to training and would like to learn more about it so I had some background knowledge for future reference. We exchanged info and eventually I was able to make it up to the gym he lifted at. My original plan was to just go a couple times and see what it was about, but I just never stopped going. I love everything about it: the people, the environment, getting better and stronger, (but definitely not faster.) The group is so encouraging and knowledgeable, their presence is addicting. Every week I look forward to the gym and seeing them. The atmosphere is always charged and positive, everyone speaks their mind and we all pick on each other and I know at the end of the day I could count on any of them if I needed something.

I’m not one to say things I don’t mean. I don’t use the term “best friend” loosely. I feel so blessed to have these amazing people in my life and to be able to call them my best friends. I keep them in my life because they make me want to be better and they believe in me. Those are the kinds of people I want to surround myself with. I want people who influence me, have good morals, and are close with their family, truly CARE about not only themselves but for the well being of others. Family means a lot to me and is such an important aspect in my life. I love my biological family but I also love the family I have been able to create over the past few years. I look at my circle of five and it makes my heart happy. Those are the kinds of people everyone should have in their life.

(clockwise) top left: mom and me, lexie, Julie, alex

All comments are welcomed! I encourage you to use either the original prompt or to follow the one I tweaked. Please leave your link below if you chose to write about your Circle of Five!