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Renaissance Woman

What are your fitness goals?

Are they to be the strongest? Or the fastest? Or even just the best looking?

Or what if your fitness goal isn’t necessarily to be the best in one thing but to be great at everything?

That is my goal. I want to be a fitness renaissance woman. Actually, I want to be a renaissance woman in life, but that is a story for another post.

What is a fitness renaissance woman?

It is a woman who can partake in any physical activity and do it half-way decently even her first time. It is a woman who is willing to try any fitness related activity at least once. It is a woman who can lift heavy weights, sprint quickly, go on a long jog, play a game of basketball, go paddle boarding or even just go for a leisurely hike.

It is a woman who trains for life and looks amazing while doing it!

I am that woman. I train to be that woman. I encourage others to be that person!

That is why I can’t stick to a purely powerlifting or bodybuilding/fitness modeling workout program.

Each is too narrow in what it makes you good at. A strict powerlifting program will make you super strong, but will totally ignore the cardio part of being in shape. It won’t make you an awesome sprinter or make you able to go for long jogs outside just because the weather is nice.

The same sort of thing goes for a bodybuilding workout. The main goal of a bodybuilding workout routine is to make you look good. You won’t necessarily get super strong or develop strength in other areas of fitness, but you will look good.

Is it worth it to do these programs and really only be great at one thing?

Why not do a program that can make you strong, fast and look good all at once?

Maybe it’s because I’ve set narrow goals and achieved them only to realize there is so much more out there that I want to experience. So why not experiment and try everything I can!?!

That is why I lift heavy, sprint often, go for long bike rides (and even jogs…preferably outside since I don’t like running very much), do some boxing and even some gymnastics!

And guess what, doing that made me strong enough to win a powerlifting competition EVEN though I didn’t do a strict traditional powerlifting program.

This program made Candy powerful enough and in great enough cardio shape to row a 2k in 7:33 even though we never actually rowed any 2ks over the last two months.

This program allows me to feel like not only can I do any physical activity that someone asks me to do, but it also makes me look pretty freaking good!

I’m not saying I look like a fitness model, but I look strong and lean.

So why spend time on a strict program that makes you super good at only one thing?

Why not do a program that makes you great at everything so that you can take on every physical challenge life throws at you AND look good while doing it!?!

Be a fitness renaissance person! Be a Man Biceper!

Here is another weekly workout to help make you awesome at everything! 🙂

“I thought it was a man writing this…”

I submitted my Primal powerlifting success story to Mark’s Daily Apple because of Ryan’s encouragement. And yesterday the story was posted on Mark’s site.

I honestly wasn’t sure how people would respond and was a bit nervous to have my story somewhere other than Man Bicep. I thought people would think it was cool or a bit different from the usual success story, but I never thought people would assume I was a man.

Actually I am very amused by how many people first assumed it was a man’s story until they saw the pictures.

It made me think about how conditioned we are to believe that men lift heavy weights, but women don’t.

I mean people even just assumed I spelled “fiance” wrong instead of thinking that I was a woman…and honestly I can’t blame them.

We all view life through a lens – a lens which is developed based on our own experiences and the influence of mainstream media.

And let’s face it, most women don’t lift heavy. And most mainstream media tells us that women shouldn’t even want to lift heavy unless they want to bulk up.

Most media sources tell women to avoid super low reps so that they aren’t training for hypertrophy (to make their muscles bigger). Instead they are supposed to stick with higher reps and use “challenging” weights.

While yes, there are some outlets out there that are trying to change this female phobia of heavy weights, things are changing slowly…very slowly.

I still train women who don’t want to lift too heavy because they don’t want to get bulky. Of course I slowly trick them into lifting heavy, but at first they really refuse.

I even had one client tell me she was getting bulky from doing too many push ups…from her knees!!! WHAT!?!

I try telling them that there is no way that they will bulk up. I even tell them that I’ve tried and it just isn’t possible, but they don’t believe me. Too many mainstream media sources telling them something different.

I’m just hoping more women who lift heavy come forward and share their stories and pictures so that people stop assuming that any story about a heavy lifter is about a man!

Join the Man Bicep movement ladies! Flex those biceps. Invade the weight room floor. And look sexy while doing it!

MA/RI State Championship Best Lifter – Women’s Raw

My starting deadlift was over twice my bodyweight!

It has been a very long day today. We got up at 5 a.m. to drive to Rhode Island for my first powerlifting championship. The even ran started at 9 a.m. and wrapped up around 6 p.m.

It was one of those mentally and physically exhausting days that just make you so happy to finally be home cuddled under a warm blanket on the couch.

Tomorrow, I will write more about my experience but for now…I just want to brag because I’m really proud of myself for committing to something I wasn’t fully comfortable doing…my first powerlifting competition.

And guess what!?!

The risk paid off!

Weighing in at 118lbs, I won the 123 weight class and Best Overall Lifter for the Women’s Raw Division!

Anyway, more tomorrow!

Tabata ’cause I’m tired!?!

So yesterday Candy, Brian and I did some power lifts. We did deadlifts, power cleans, snatches and dumbbell split jerks. It was actually very successful except I was sad I didn’t manage to deadlift 270.

Today – my body is destroyed. My legs are tired. My back is tired and knotted. My shoulders are sore and bruised (bruised because I can’t keep the weights from bouncing on my shoulders when I do dumbbell split jerks). EVERYTHING IS WORN OUT haha.

Since I felt tired but still wanted to work out, I decided I wouldn’t do any heavy lifting today. Since my chest is still tired from Monday and my shoulders are tired from Monday and Tuesday, I figured I would do legs and abs and some cardio. I also kind of wanted to do a circuit so I figured what the heck….Candy and I will do a tabata workout!

Uhm yea…a tabata workout isn’t the best idea when you are tired. Tabata workouts mean that you do different exercises and you do 8 sets of 20 seconds work with 10 seconds break.

Ok so this is just one of the exercises we did…I definitely didn’t jump that high though haha

We decided to do Tabata for each of the exercises below (So 8 sets of each exercise…we completed all 8 rounds before moving on to the next exercise):

Bodyweight squats
Teapots with 25lbs (Standing up you lean to the side working your oblique.)
Burpees (BLEEEEEH)
Floor wipers (Lay on your back. hold a weighted bar above your chest like at the top of a bench press. Keep the bar still as you raise and lower straight legs. Alternate bringing your legs to the right and left sides. Don’t touch your legs to the floor during the 20 seconds.)
Split squat jumps (These may have been worse than burpees today!)
Upper crunch with 25lbs
Squat jumps
Mountain climbers

40 minutes…

I don’t know which was worse…The tabata or the power lifts…I guess at least I won’t have bruises from the workout today! And if I have to do cardio…well tabata workouts are my kind of cardio!


Everyone wants a quick fix. The diet miracle that will make them trim and beautiful – a magic exercise pill that will do all the work for them. Shoot I would love a quick fix that gave me superman strength and six-pack abs! I mean, who wouldn’t!

But unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. We have to struggle and battle. It costs us sweat and even tears to achieve the bodies we desire – which honestly is why most people fall short. It is easier to give up on finding a solution; it is easier to not stick with a plan than to battle day in and day out.

But is it really easier to give up? Are we really happen when we don’t achieve our goals? I’m not!

Always trying to find a better, EASIER way to achieve my goals has led me over the last few years to experiment with both my diet and exercise regime.

I’ve tried P90x. I’ve tried Insanity. I’ve done power lifting and bodybuilding workouts. I’ve tried those routines in women’s magazines.

I’ve tried low-fat diets. I’ve tried eating whatever I want (which was fun until my pants started to not fit because I’d gained 10lbs). I’ve tried portion control and eating everything in moderation.

I’ve experimented to find out what works best for ME. Because let’s face it…Everything I’ve listed above works for someone…yes even the eating whatever they want works for some lucky SOB.

Only by trying out lots of different things have I found one solution, one plan that I feel I can stick to for the rest of my life.

For me that one eating plan is my own take on Primal and enforcing the 80/20 rule. 80-90% of the time I maintain a Primal diet – a healthy diet. But then there is that 10-20% of the time when I just freaking want a huge slice of pizza – and I eat it! For me, giving in and cheating every once in a while is fun and worth it. I’ve found a good balance of eating healthy and cheating that allows me to easily maintain my diet. I’ve also found that for me Primal works. It is a LIFESTYLE I can maintain for the long run. It isn’t some crash diet.

The exercise plan that works best for me is VARIETY. You may think that isn’t a plan, but it is. I like to vary up what I do. I always do some form of heavy lifting each week (I have a hard time gaining muscle and keeping it on), but I also love to do crossfit style workouts, spinning and yoga (when I find the time to). Ok so maybe even more than variety I like a challenge and lifting heavy, heavy weights….like the guy on the Planet Fitness commercial that “Picks things up and puts them down!” haha

Anyway, to sum up my ramblings…The message of my blog is about more than lifting heavy weights…it is about experimenting to find what works for you. It is about not fearing something new and different. It is about taking risks. And for most women, the fitness “risk” they should be taking is trying out lifting. Most women fear it will make them huge so they never give lifting a chance. Just try lifting for 60 days. Let me know what you think then….

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