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Asian-Style Omelette With Salmon

Asian-Style-Salmon-Omelette

I spied an “Asian Fritatta” recipe in this month’s Delicious Magazine and I didn’t have the required Mirin on hand, but I decided to make some substitutions and additions and I absolutely LOVED this meal! It was really exceptionally yummy, and very, very protein dense. This is a totally low-carb and gluten-free recipe. I hope you like it as much as I did – it’s definitely being added as one of my go-to staple healthy meals.

Strong Bodies Asian Style Omelette
1 organic whole eggs
1/2 cup of egg whites
1.5 tbspns sushi vinegar
1/2 tbspn low sodium soy sauce
1 small onion, finely chopped (mine was the size of a golf ball)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbspn sesame oil
cracked black pepper to taste
2 stalks green onions
small handful of fresh coriander (that’s Cilantro fo the North Americans reading, hehe)
75g smoked salmon or trout

1. Use a large, non-stick pan and put it on a medium to high heat with the sesame oil in it. Let it get hot, put some black pepper into the oil, then the garlic and onion. Turn the heat down and let it fry off til its just translucent, but not browned.

2. In the meantime, place the eggs, egg whites, sushi vinegar, soy sauce and another dash of black pepper into a bowl and beat it til its nice and frothy. Pour the mixture into the pan and turn the heat all the way up for a minute or two. Put the lid on the pan.

3. While the omelettes cooking, slice the green onions long ways and cut them into approximately 1 inch stalks. Roughly chop the coriander. Check the omelette now. It’s probably nicely browned on the bottom and 70% cooked through. Turn the heat down, but let it keep cooking with the lid on. You might want to lift the edges a little and let the uncooked egg mixture seep down into the pan, but try not to break it up too much when you do that. It’s not the end of the world, but it just won’t be an omelette anymore if it gets too messy, it’ll be scrambled eggs, hehe.

4. You should have everything mostly chopped and ready to go. If you have some cucumbers, that might be a nice side dish, maybe some baby spinach leaves too? I didn’t do any of that, but it might be nice! Unpack your salmon, measure out your serving size – I had 75g of  salmon in the picture since that was what was left in an open packet I had in the fridge, no other reason. If you’re dieting strictly, you’ll want to measure so you can hit your target calories and macros. Now, with a spatula, gently lift one side of your omelette and fold it over. I like doing that so you can see the nicely browned bottom. Slide it onto your plate. Pile the salmon on top with the finely sliced stalks of green onions and roughly chopped coriander, and voila! A really yummy Asian inspired omelette. Buon appetito!

Servings: 1
Approximate Calories: 455
Protein: 41g
Carbs: 10g
Fat: 25g
Fiber: 1g

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The Skinny on Dietary Fat

I love Peanut Butter!

On a hot summers day in New York City, I opened my cupboard and reached for the peanut butter jar and my roommate exclaimed in exasperation, “I have never seen anyone eat so much peanut butter and lose so much weight! What the hell?! I don’t get it!”…

I chuckled to myself, because whilst summer is definitely the season to be watching your figure and dieting strictly:

1) fat does not make you fat.

2) peanut butter (the other love of my life, after the barbell, haha), with its high fat content, fiber and protein is very satiating and in actuality A GREAT DIET FOOD in moderation. I won’t be hungry after a tablespoon of peanut butter, or one of its cousins I am very fond of, like almond or cashew butter.

3) Making sure you still eat the things you love, within a calorie deficit, is the key to adherence to your diet. Have I mentioned how much I love peanut butter? I love it. I really, really do love it! Ha!

4) The primary factor in any weight loss or fat loss program is ADHERENCE TO YOUR DIET and remaining in a calorie deficit.

Of course, I’m not suggesting you shovel soup spoons full of peanut butter into your mouth  at every meal in order to lose weight. Nope.

What I am suggesting is that you make it a priority to include healthy fats in your diet – fats that come from whole foods and natural sources like nuts and nut butters, avocados, olive oil, wild caught salmon and other wild caught and sustainable fish, flaxseeds, eggs, grass-fed beef, coconuts, etc.

Avocados - Super Food

Fats help slow digestion, enabling slower release of sugars into the blood as well as aiding in nutrient absorption; and help with satiety (i.e: helping you feel full). In addition to this, fats are fundamental to the functioning of your body on the cellular level as every cell membrane in your body is made of fat. Healthy fats from natural sources, especially Omega-3s, help keep this membrane soft and malleable – necessary for cell division and regeneration.

Fats are also crucial to joint health and function, help in avoiding joint pain, fundamental to hormone production, as well as brain and heart function. They also keep your eyes, skin and hair moist, supple and healthy. Women often find that when they attempt to eliminate fat from their diet, their hair is limp and breaks easily and their skin loses its pallor and they are often subject to breakouts.

Salmon for  Strong Bodies

Here are a few more sources and reading materials that may help you understand that importance of dietary fat and how you can healthfully incorporate them into your daily nutrition plan:

* The Harvard School of Public Health – Fats & Cholesterol.

*The Harvard school of Public Health – Healthy Fat Q  & A with the Experts.

* Web MD – Good Fats, Bad Fats – The Truth About Omega-3.

* ABC News – Managing Arthritis With Diet & Exercise.

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My Love/Hate Relationship With Running

OK, OK… it’s been more of a just hate-hate relationship. But I do it anyway and… *whispers*… sometimes I even like it!

Do you have to run to be fit? No.

You can jump rope for cardio, you can ride a bike, you can rollerblade, you can do metcons, you can walk. You don’t have to run if you really don’t want to. Running is not the holy grail of fitness like some people make it out to be.

Then why do I run? Well, endurance running or even jogging, has been a mental and physical challenge for me of epic proprortions for me throughout my life. I would call it a battle. I have battled with running all my life.  And when I wage a battle, I want to win.

if-you-see-me-running-call-the-police

I think it’s important to push the boundaries of your comfort zone and challenge yourself in as many ways as possible and practicable. I always feel like jogging or running kicks my butt. Even now when I feel that I’m reasonably good at it, I’m always puffed out and sweating heavily at the end. That feels good. I like that feeling. That feeling makes me feel alive!

In addition to that, every successful running session I complete is a win against a personal childhood bogeyman of sorts, and you just can’t beat that for making you feel great, each and every time.

As a child, I was diagnosed with asthma and given a puffer. Then the puffer was mysteriously taken away, but I always struggled with any running based activity. I developed a huge aversion to doing it – it was associated with extreme physical struggle, shame, embarrassment. The teachers would always make us run around the school and I would always fall behnd and my lungs would burn and I’d get an unbearable stitch and struggle to catch my breath and inevitably have to stop and… I’d be last again. I grew up thinking it was just something I couldn’t do. I grew up thinking I wasn’t sporty, that I was terrible at sport. Pretty much everyone I know these days would be astonished to hear anything like that being said about me, because its so contradictory to everything I am and everything I’m about, but yes. I really believed that and so did most people around me, until I got to high school and dabbled in soccer and basketball… and found I was actually REALLY GOOD at sport. I was a natural at both those sports and always one of the most valuable players on any team I played with.

FML Running! ARGH!

But I still hated running if it wasn’t up and down the soccer field or basketball court, and I did realise at this point it was more of a mental block than a real physical incapability. Or so I thought. I just didn’t know what to do about it, because every time I tried to “just run”, my lungs would burn, I would huff and puff, my legs felt like lead and sooner or later, I would have to stop, no matter how “determined” I was to just push through. I never lasted more than a few minutes at best. It was disheartening, to say the least.

Over the years, I tried taking up running again and again. My ex-husband tried to get me to run with him. His approach was to get all Marine Corp drill instructor on me, which I would resent since it lacked any finesse and did not account for the fact that it was really actually the hardest possible physical activity for me. I really was trying my hardest AND… I didn’t give a flying fuck about being as tough as a Marine. So yeah, FAIL. I tried following the Couch to 5k a few times and while I DID get to a 5k pace within a 30 minute run time (an arbitrary personal goal), every single minute, no… second was HARD and a test of mental and physical grit… and running never really got any easier on that program for me, I was just determined to do the damn thing no matter what – which is’t always the smartest or most awesome or admirable thing, regardless of what many fitness-y douches and pseudo-experts  will try to tell you. Once I got to my 30 minutes of solid, torturous running… I always dropped the program like a hot potato. I can’t impress upon you enough how every second totally SUCKED and physically hurt, and by this time I was reasonably fit and quite used to pushing through things I may not have been very good at initially, but just building my skills and focusing and following a program and get steadily better. I did get steadily better at running, but my progress was slower than outlined and while my endurance improved, every second was still a physical ordeal. You just can’t make yourself continue with something that feels that awful, and in my opinion, if it feels that bad something is wrong and you shouldn’t force it. I am a huge advocate of listening to your body. Always listen to your body.

The real turning point for me was about two years ago when I adopted a gluten-free diet. I was working as a personal trainer in New York City and I got another bug up my ass about being more “well-rounded” in my fitness. I mean, I always lift. Never in my life am I ever not lifting or needing to be motivated to move some heavy ass weights around. Sometimes I might be taking  dance or gymnastics classes, or martial arts classes… but I’m always, always, always lifting weights. So, at this time in 2011, I decided I should be more well-rounded and I somehow decided that meant I was gonna take another stab at “that damn running thing” and this time, I wasn’t going to stop doing it when I got to 30 minutes. I was gonna grit my teeth and go to my happy place and think happy thoughts while I ran week in and week out. Because I needed to be well-rounded and I hated that running was still this bogey-man activity for me. Maybe this time it would be different. Maybe I was just being a whiney bitch before? These are the things I was thinking. I mean, sure there is a lot of ego there too, I just really hate admitting that there is something I’m not god at or cut out for and that maybe I just can’t do it, especially anything physical. In my mind I need to be good at everything and tough enough for anything. It’s a conceit, certainly, but it makes me tenacious too. It’s a mentality that’s helped keep me fit and ever fitter and stronger, year after year.

To my surprise, this time, running, my deep-seated childhood nemesis and bogey-man of all bogey-men… was not that bad. Not even from the first run. I mean, sure, you take up a physical activity that you don’t normally do and its not a piece of cake. You aren’t adapted to it, it’s going to take an effort, but this wasn’t the lung burning, huffing puffing torture that I remembered from my previous attempts at making running a part of my routine. It took a little effort to continue and wasn’t easy, but it didn’t feel terrible like it had in the past. I got to 30 minutes within about 2 weeks instead of 6 – 8 weeks like I had in the past. I was astounded… and pleased. I even kind of liked some of my runs. It was a revelation.

What I believe was the catalyst for the big change in my running abilities was my now gluten-free diet. It’s one of the many profound and fundamental changes i’ve noticed in the way my body works and just one of the break-throughs I’ve made since eliminating wheat from my diet. I believe it’s probably connected with inflammation somehow inhibiting lung capacity, but of course, it’s hard to tell and hard to prove exactly what and how going gluten-free has helped my body to perform better. I’m working on something I’m calling My Gluten-Free Manifesto that I plan to publish on the site in a few weeks. Going gluten-free has been an enormous breakthrough for me in numerous ways.

How I Think I Look When I RunAnd I’ve been running ever since. Happily ever after!

I don’t love it. I love lifting. I love plyometrics. I don’t love running. But sometimes I really enjoy my runs.I find I strangely love running in humidity and I love running up hill – those have usually been my most memorable runs. I’ve always loved sprinting, whether on a track, up a hill or on a treadmill. No ones ever had to twist my arm to get some interval training or HIIT done.

I always get a lot of satisfaction out of completing a run because it was such an achilles heel for me pretty much my entire life – and such a source of embarrassment in childhood, always being puffed out first, always with a painful stitch and searing lungs – and now suddenly, it isn’t hard anymore and I didn’t give up and I conquered it. There is a lot of satisfaction in that.

So now that I run once or twice a week, do I think everyone should run? Nah. Do it if you like it. Do it if you don’t like it, but you get a kick out of it in some way, because you like the way it makes you feel, because you want to build your cardiovascular abilities, because you don’t need anything but your running shoes to get out there and get something physical done and work up a sweat for a few k’s. But this is my running story and this is why this die hard weightlifter does a steady state run once or twice a week.

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Shrimp & Egg White Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki Noodles are a dieter’s dream! Most brands contain about 40 calories per packet, and most of those calories come from fiber. Our bodies don’t use fibre for energy, instead fibre helps regulate our digestive tract, among many other benefits. I really love making shirataki noodle stir fries as described below. The recipe below comes out to about 535 calories, 58g protein, 21g carbs (6 fibre) and 23g fat. I usually eat it in 2 serves. Feel free to experiment!

IMG_20130320_113558

Ingredients:
1 packet Shirataki Noodles
1 tbspn of sesame or coconut oil
2 tbspns fish sauce
1 tbspn low sodium soy sauce
1 knob of fresh ginger, finely chopped (about an inch long)
2 cloves of garlic crushed or diced
Birds eye chilli’s to taste (optional, I put in 2 or 3 diced because I like everything SPICY AS F*CK)
A handful of fresh Coriander (cilantro en America!)
1 egg or ¼ cup of egg whites (you can adjust the eggs or egg whites as you see fit – if you want the noodles to be more protein dense, use more egg whites)
200g shrimp (you can also sub in any other seafood or meat if you like)
½ a red capsicum and ½ a green capsicum (capsicum = bell pepper. You can use whatever vegetables you like, this is just what I happened to have in my fridge last night)
½ a medium – large sized onion sliced (whole onion if it’s a small one).
Pinch of cracked black pepper.
½ a lime.

  1. I have a tea kettle, so I like to boil some water and pour it over some drained and rinsed shirataki noodles and put a lid on the plate and leave them for a few minutes. An alternative is to rinse them, put them in a plate covered in water and microwave them for a minute or two. Shirataki noodles come packed in water and honestly, the water smells. It’s kind of gross. So you have to rinse them and then precook them a bit depending on your preference. I don’t like to overcook them because I don’t like soggy noodles that break apart easily.
  2. Use a large fry pan or wok and put it the oil in it on the highest heat. Put the black pepper in. Once the pan is really hot, put in the onion, ginger and capsicums and turn the heat all the way down and put the lid on. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Then put in the fish oil and soy sauce. Let it simmer together for at least a minute on that low heat.
  3. Put the shrimp in the pan, turn the heat up to medium – high. Crush the two cloves of garlic into the pan now. If you aren’t a huge garlic fan like me, you can use one clove or you can just dice the garlic instead of crushing it, which will make it more subtle and less pungent. I like pungent garlicky things. So I crush mine. Anyway, you want to cook the shrimp so that they just barely turn orange, but are still slightly translucent. Then we’re going to take them out and set them aside til the end so they don’t get overcooked and gross. Follow the same protocol if you’re using other seafood. If you’re using meat, you can put the meat in now and just leave it in.
  4. Now put in the noodles you’ve prepared from Step 1. They should be drained. Make sure they’re covered by all the sauce in the pan and let them simmer for about a minute before you put your eggs and/or egg whites in. Right before you put your eggs/egg whites in, turn the heat all the way up. Put the eggs/egg whites in and don’t mix for about 20 – 30 seconds. Then start slowly mixing it into the noodles. It has a much better consistency this way, you’ll have chunks of egg in your noodles. If you mix too much and too soon, it amalgamates with the sauces and you get no chunks! Which you may prefer, but I like my chunks! Hehe.
  5. Put the shrimp back in. Cook it just enough so that the shrimp are less translucent orange and more solid orange and white, but not too much. You shouldn’t need more than 2 – 3 minutes, tops. Add the chopped coriander. Add the chillis if you’re using those. squeeze in the fresh lime juice. Mix. Voila! Enjoy!!!
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Pushing Through The Not-So-Stellar Days

No one is a rock star every day in the gym.

Sometimes, we’re weak that day and we miss lifts.

Sometimes, we didn’t sleep well or we had a stressful, tiring day outside of the gym and it makes it hard to do what we set out to do inside the gym.

Sometimes, there’s a twit doing his 8th set of curls in the squat rack and you are frustrated with waiting and your motivation is slipping away by the minute.

It could be any other number of things, really.

First, have you been training hard for more than 4 weeks? I define hard training as training with maximum intensity, 5 – 7 days a week for more than 4 weeks. If you have been doing so for more than 6 weeks, you should absolutely schedule a deload week. A deload week is one where you scale it all back to give your body adequate rest and recovery. You can’t just beat yourself to a pulp week in and week out and expect good results and endless progress and gains. It doesn’t work that way.

So if you’ve earned a rest, take it!

Second, if deloading does’t apply to you, you have to re-assess. Are you being too hard on yourself? Are you really trying your best? Could it be that today is a day you do exercises or work on body parts that you don’t like training? Be honest with yourself. No, really. If it’s one or both of the latter two, suck it up buttercup!!! We all have exercises we might dislike, or that we might feel that we aren’t good at, but that just means that you have to do them more.

Get out of your comfort zone. Get really good at the things you might do poorly now.

When I first started working out regularly (about 10 years ago!), I hated doing any upper body work. I didn’t dislike the way my upperbody looked, so to my infantile training mind of the time, that meant I didn’t need to do anything. Sometimes I did lat pulldowns, and I liked tricep exercises, but anything involving a curl or an overhead press felt like hell to me! Even with the lightest weights.

Once I realised how important it was to train your body evenly (should be a blog post of its own), my answer to push through all these exercises I truly hated was to tell myself I loved them and I was great at them.

Sounds wanky, but guess what? It’s not wanky at all. It works. If you repeatedly tell yourself something, you start to believe it and it sort of comes true. These days, I still hate bicep curls, but I LOVE any and all kinds of overhead pressing. Dumb bells, barbells, push presses, strict military presses, snatches and thrusters and everything in between. My bicep curl is not too shabby either, for a chick that never “trains”  biceps, haha!

So if your workout is sucking because your attitude sucks, adjust your attitude. Tell yourself you are going to do it and you’re going to love it and you’re great at it. Greatness lies outside the borders of your comfort zone and the best bodies and the greatest athletes are built with mental discipline.

And sometimes we just have to fake it til we make it.

Third, sometimes shit happens and you have a shitty workout. There could be a number of reasons for it or no reason at all. Push through it as best you can, get some sleep and get in the gym the next day and hit it hard. Being resilient also means taking the bad days in your stride, not beating yourself up too much or over analyzing (paralyzing!) yourself. So maybe this workout sucked, but in the grand scheme of things you’re killing it. And lapping everyone on the couch. Remember that!

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Strong Bodies No Excuses Workout #2

The no excuses workouts are designed to be done anywhere, at anytime with no equipment! So you have no excuse not to get going and get on with it.

This workout is designed for the intermediate to advanced trainee. So you can follow it to a “t” if you’re reasonably well conditioned and you’ve been training for more than a year. You need a strong core to get this through one as rx’ed and good strength-endurance in the lower body.

Strong Bodies No Excuses Workout #2:

Complete 20 reps of the following exercises on the first round, and on subsequent rounds do 15, 10 and then 5 reps for the fourth and final round. Take about 1 minute rest in between rounds.

1. Burpees
2. Renegade Hip Bridge
3. Push Ups
4. Alternating Forward Lunges
5. Pop Squats

You should also time yourself and try to beat your time to increase the intensity after you’ve done this workout a few weeks in a row. Enjoy!

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The One About How You Can’t Copy Some Random Fitness Model’s Diet & Training Plan

To my long lost trainer Zvez,

Hey lady! New York misses you!  I have a question. I remember when I trained with you, you always told me to keep my calories at about 1700, and you were adamant that I needed to eat “enough”. I got great results and felt like I learned a lot about how to eat healthy and live a balanced lifestyle, but now I’m confused.

Lately, I’ve been reading all these fitness magazines and the sample diets these girls provide has their calories at about 1200, 1300 or 1400 max?!! Some of these girls carry a lot of muscle too and do tons of cardio. I don’t get it. A lot of the things I’m reading are exactly what you told me NOT to do. 1200 calorie diets, double cardio sessions (you always said no more than an hour max!). I’m in great shape now, but not ripped. Is this what I have to do to get ripped and look like a fitness model? You know I always wanted to look like that Zuzanna chick from the youtube videos! I miss my kick ass Aussie trainer, xxx.

– Bethany, New York City, NY.

Hi Bethany! I miss you too! Come to Sydney for a workout, hehe. I’m not kidding!

You know I will always tell you the cold hard truth and the cold hard truth is that eating 1200 calories comprised of nothing but chicken and broccoli and double cardio sessions might be one way to look like a fitness model. Temporarily.

What inevitably happens to people who try to starve themselves lean is that they hit a wall. Hours of cardio a day and eating nothing but chicken and broccoli will make you a neurotic, batty mess with no social life. Even if in theory you could grit your teeth and push through  a protocol like this, day in and day out for the rest of your life (which is called an eating disorder), eventually you will get sick, you will get injured and your metabolism, which is designed to keep you healthy, alive and thriving – will shut down. Because you’re starving your body and beating it to a pulp. Your body thinks it’s dying. Having your metabolism shut down on your because you exercise too much and don’t eat enough is not cute. You will be very, very sick if this happens to you. And you won’t look lean and cute with ripped abs if you get to this point, trust me. I’m not scaremongering, this is a very real outcome and consequence and you can find yourself fatter than you ever imagined and on a cocktail of thyroid meds for the rest of your life if you insist upon this road.

When these cookie cutter diet and workout plans are provided in magazines and online (!), you can never, ever take those things on face value. Everyone is different, we each have different genetics, different body chemistry, different activity history and different assets and challenges to getting into the best shape of our lives. So even if we assume that the diet and exercise plans provided actually ARE what your favourite celebrity/competitor/fitness model follows, it’s probably NOT going to work for you the same way that it works for them. This is for a variety of reasons, but primarily:

1) You have to look at each individual’s personal stats… if your favourite fitness model is 118lbs (53.6kg) and eating about 1300 – 1400 cals to drop a few body fat percentage points? That’s not too low for someone of her size as long as her diet is balanced, meaning, carbohydrates ARE included. FYI, using Bethany as an example, she is a tall drink of water at 5’11 and weights about 150lbs (68kg). 1300 calories would be way too low for her.

2) Her goals are different to yours. A fitness model who stays in shape year round and may need to diet for a few weeks to tighten up for a photoshoot is very different to someone who is sedentary and needs to lose 20kg and just get active each day. You can’t take her diet and apply to yourself and then wonder why you don’t look like her or why you aren’t getting any result at all. And whatever you do, it has to be sustainable and something you can do long-term. If it’s so restrictive that you won’t be able to do it for more than a month before you quit your plan in frustration and can’t look at another piece of broccoli again in your life, then you were just spinning your wheels and may have just set yourself way back. It has to be something sustainable for great results you will keep.

Sadly for people who look up to them and follow them, some fitness models and celebrities and people in general with enviable physiques have such great bodies in SPITE of what they do, NOT because of what they do!

Read that again! It is so important!

Some people have great results in spite of what they do, not because of what they do!

What that means is that they hit the genetic jackpot and they would look amazing no matter what. Some of these people look even better with a tiny fraction of the effort that you or I put in. Sometimes they do the goofiest things that make no scientific sense whatsoever, but everyone jumps on the bandwagon because they all want to look like this person. Then articles get written and printed about what their diet plan is and what it is they do for those great abs or great ass or great legs or whatever it is they’re famous for, but the protocol doesn’t work for you or me, because we didn’t have that exceptional base to begin with!

So this is why it is crucial to take everything you read in the fitness magazines with a huge grain of salt. We haven’t even touched on the topics of pharmaceutical help to achieve certain looks and also, cosmetic surgery. The fitness industry is just as bad as the fashion industry in providing unattainable and unrealistic images for us normal people to aspire to, often in extraordinary frustration.

This is why it’s so important to educate ourselves, ask questions and to always be discerning when choosing who our role models will be and who we will choose to listen to. Sometimes the plethora of information available can be overwhelming. I suggest you apply the principles of critical thinking and common sense to all that you do, but especially where your health and your body are involved.

You can achieve a fitness model’s physique in a healthy manner. However, it means making health and fitness a lifestyle, not just dieting and training and racing to achieve “a look” in the shortest possible amount of time.

It’s not a look, it’s a lifestyle.

We can all make great changes by being consistent for 3 – 6 months (note: consistent, NOT extreme). But it also has to be said that, jackpot genetics aside, it takes YEARS to build an extraordinary, eye-popping physique. It takes YEARS to really, fundamentally CHANGE and develop your body. A lot of these fitness models are lifelong athletes. They haven’t been at it for 6 months or a year, but over many, many years of sports and performance based training. That is not said to discourage anybody, no, in fact I hope it inspires you. This is the kind of stuff that inspires me. This is one of the main reasons I push performance based goals on my clients and on this blog. When your body adapts to stimuli and gets faster, stronger, more agile… it changes. It looks different. It looks better. It looks more and more awesome every day! That’s the stuff results are made of!

Again, it’s not a look, it’s a lifestyle.

You have to look at the long term view.

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My Love Letter To The Deadlift

Deadlift, oh how I love you. Let me count the ways!

Never was there an exercise so singularly simple, brutish and ever so effective.

Few things in life feel as profoundly primal as loading as much weight as possible onto an Olympic barbell, locking your hands around it  and lifting the sum total until you’re standing completely upright.

Lather, rinse, repeat. (Optional)

I Love Deadlifts!

If I had to pick one and only one exercise I was allowed to do forever more, I would always choose you, my darling Deadlift. All others pale in comparison.

It hurts my heart to think that for my first 3 years of lifting, I sorely overlooked and neglected you. I fooled around, dilly dallying with your Romanian cousin at lighter loads and I thought that was satisfying all my needs, but it wasn’t! It wasn’t!

Don’t get me wrong, the Romanian is cool, and all, but we just never had that chemistry, that kismet that you and I have together from the moment we met. You know what I’m talking about.

I love how you make me stronger all over.

I love what you do for my posterior chain, you back me up baby!

I love how through you, I’m better and stronger at all other physical activities that I do. You’re like the pair of shoes that match with everything!

In short Deadlift, I love you. You’re the greatest.

Love, Zvez.

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Why Would I Want To Be Strong?

Why shouldn’t you be strong?!!

I am always baffled by this statement from female trainees. It’s usually accompanied by a perturbed expression, and the tone is rather rhetorical, as if I couldn’t possibly have a worthwhile answer.

Well, the answer is why shouldn’t you be strong?

Why should you be LESS physical capable than what is possible? Why should being weaker, inferior, half assed, LESSER be what you think you should be?

A lot of women are brainwashed into believing that being strong means you’re going to look big and “bulky”, as if being strong is unfeminine, undesirable and will make you “gross” in some intangible, but very fatalistic  way. That being strong is manly and therefore you will be manly if you’re strong. Who said being strong and AWESOME is only for men? Who made up that rule? Fuck that rule!  

Some of the most beautiful and downright sexy women I know are also the STRONGEST women I know. They have firm toned legs, bouncy rounded asses, lean tiny waists accentuated by rounded shoulders, broad lats and a dancer’s perfect posture.

BEING STRONG IS HOT!

ImageNathalia Melo, current Miss Bikini Olympia… you can’t get a body like this without being STRONG and athletic.

The best thing about being strong is how easy it makes everything that is physical. You never need help doing anything. You’re never tired walking up the stairs. You run faster. Your body is more efficient. Every day tasks are effortless. You never have lower back pain. You can carry all the groceries from the boot of the car in one go. While all your friends moan about how they’re really feeling their encroaching age, you think to yourself, “I feel better than I ever have” and “I feel better and better with every year”… don’t get older, get stronger, get better!

Being strong is a beautiful thing, inside and out.

Get it, girls!

ImageMarilyn Monroe lifts weights!