Category Archives: athletic body

#MPOWERment Playlist #48

Again, for those who have followed my blog on the other site in the past, these #MPOWERment playlists are like the artist formerly known as Prince in that these are playlists formerly known as Melisscious’ Delicious Discography 😉 As per usual, you have your warmup and cooldown jams.

Plug in or Play it Loud and Go Get it!

1. Punjabi MC feat Jay Z and Pharrell – Beware of the Boyz

2. Die Mannequin – Sucker Punch

3. Fito Blanko feat Fat Joe and Sophia Del Carmen – Take Over

4. Calvin Harris and R3Hab – Burnin

5. Jessie J feat 2 Chainz – Burnin’ Up

6. Travis Barker feat Busta Rhymes, Lil Jon, Yelawolf & Twista – Let’s Go

7. Fergie – A Little Party Never Hurt Nobody

8. Showtek – We Like to Party

9. Shaggy Mohambi Faydee Costi – Habibi

10. Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud

THE Strength, Performance, Fat Loss and Health Tool

Even if I was the inventor of this piece of equipment, I would still never tell you it was the only training tool you will ever need to reach your goals (although I do feel it could be ;D) Yes, you could only use it and excel at superhuman levels but I prefer to look at things in a complimentary fashion vs an either or.

The barbell. Definitely my favorite piece of equipment and whether you are a newbie or a seasoned vet, the barbell is hands down one of the best tools for any and all goals.

Barbell training is a great way to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time. There are a ton of exercises you can do that will hit just about every muscle in your body, from the superficial to the stabilizers and if you move the bar at a faster pace, you will work your heart muscle pretty darn effectively too!

Want to be faster, have a firm round booty, jump higher, throw powerful punches, be able to LIVE a long life, not be on a medication timeline, look great nekked from head to toe etcetera etcetera (did I spell that right :p) ? You can do some of the following barbell exercises:

Back Squatsdownload

Deadlifts images

Push Press images (1)

Rows download (1)

Angled Barbell Press

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Glute Bridge

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I could seriously go on forever on not only the variations of these particular exercises, but the countless other exercises and ways to use barbells for any training goal. Maybe these are not fancy new age moves, (and I could show you some in person if you’d like and have some training behind you) but these basics just freaking work. The entertainment exercises are great for just that as well as for advanced peeps.

With even just the above exercises you are going to build fat burning, performance enhancing muscle mass and strength from head to toe, literally.

With the above, you will be preventing a whole host of diseases (and while I guess I am not really supposed to say this but you will most certainly treat or fix some you may already have) and other misfortunes that come from NOT training.

More work done in less time with barbell training no matter your goal, your age or your training background, sounds pretty kick ass to me!

The Not-So-Sexy Side of Sexy Results

Stop lying to yourself if you keep saying, “Pfft I don’t train to look good that’s for narcissistic shallow people. I train for performance. I train movements not muscles”, and on it goes. You lie and we all do sometimes. GET OVER IT! WE ALL WANT TO LOOK SEXY. When did that become a bad thing anyways?

Sexy is subjective and goes hella far beyond the exterior physical crap but don’t deny yourself that you do want to look a certain way or you will never get the results you actually do want. Looking, feeling and “being good” is ideal absolutely, but the first step in recognizing what your true heart desires most will help you to stop wasting precious time, money and energy on things not serving you.

It is an unfortunate truth that first impressions, ahem, how you look, will get you farther faster (faster being the key word because I promise you that part does not sustain anything!) so instead of poo-pooing things that might not be trendy right now, embrace what truly needs to be done to get the results you want. You want to feel better, look better, have more and better sex, feel energized, succeed faster in getting your foot in the door? I thought so.download (1)

The not-so-sexy side of sexy results means that a. you need to train with your real goal in mind or the one that best serves your entire life, b. you need to train with intensity, c. oh yes you need to body build (see below as to why this is deemed the not-so-sexy side).

Did I freak you out there ladies thinking that you are going to get manly and huge (ha! good luck with that!) and guys did I make you think you will get immobile with a distended belly and more veins on your forearms than on your ummm you know 😉 No that is not what body building is. What you are thinking of is the sport of UNNATURAL bodybuilding and that, at least to me and many like me, is not so sexy. Do not get me wrong there is nothing wrong with what you like as that person or as the likee of that person, it is just not for me physically just as I am not for everyone either lol.

By the way ladies, for over a decade I have been trying to put on and more importantly hold onto muscle (I did a lot of activity and feeding for refuel and recovery sufficiently is tough with that) and believe me it is not as easy as you believe it to be. Read that again…I actually try to gain size in certain areas so you who doesn’t want size, don’t worry about it!

So you want the sexy side now right? Well that is going to mean a few things. You will need to drop your endless cardio, bootcamp training and huff-puff, sweat it all out, ouch my joints hurt type of workouts and you will need to eat. There is a place for those types of workouts and temporarily “not eating”  aka the kids call it intermittent fasting these days :p but right now no.

If you have been slaving away for months doing those types of things and you are only softer and more miserable, let it go, change your mindset to gaining vs losing and tax your muscles other than your heart muscle. Lifting weights in the 6-12 rep range is a great range to play in while also gaining some strength. Rest a little between sets.  Oh and p.s. most of those people you see who only do those types of activities did not build themselves that way. Truestory that there is more to those stories.

Focus on the rep range above, compound movements like deadlifts, squats, rows and presses until your muscles burn, eat a lot of food with protein being a big factor and some level of rest is required. Women tend to be able to take and get better results with more volume (closer to the higher end of the rep range) and men with more intensity less volume although this varies on body types, genetics etc.

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Every body is different but those are some pretty solid guidelines to go with for results. Is this post a sexy post? No, but sometimes truth is not so sexy and fancy “add ons” and crazy ish is not what will get you sexy sustainable results. You still need to train hard no matter what you do, but choose wisely on what you do and keep the add-ons as add-ons.

Ass to Grass Squats, Hybrid Half Squats and You

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In terms of many things, on a grand scheme level, there are not necessarily any rights or wrongs, just different approaches. This is within reason of course, but for the most part it stands to be pretty legit. I have decided to use the squat as a way to highlight this today. My goal is to help you consider if what’s hot right now is what works for YOU and your goals in the safest, most effective, time-efficient manner.

Many might also tell you that to do any type of squat that doesn’t break parallel is a waste, a joke. No, no that is not true. In fact, these can actually help you progress, depending on what your goals are. The important thing to know though, is that they are not the ONLY way you should be squatting or the only thing you should be doing. On either end of the spectrum of ATG or half squats, vary things over time for ultimate progress.

The trend of ass-to-the-grass squats quickly came and to be honest seems to already be fizzling out, or at least balancing out. The case for this is probably because most people are not equipped for that and have either gotten injured or not made progress as quickly as they would with other methods. That doesn’t mean that type of squat is wrong, it just means that for some it may not be right 😉

Yes, it is cool and impressive to be able to do that under high loads if your greater trochanter is a certain size and sits a certain way in your joint socket, your pelvic tilt is perfectly managed, tendon/ligament strength or recoil ability, Q-angle, ankle and hip mobility, flexibilty yet stability in the right areas, proper reciprocal inhibition, sufficient core strength…are you getting the picture here? It is “cool” but is it the best way to reach your goals in the safest, most efficient manner or are there far too many things that are getting in the way of you just getting a better butt, building metabolism boosting muscle, and pretty much being healthier and adding to your already jacked up levels of awesome?

If you want to have the goal to be able to squat A-T-G, wicked cool! By no means is there anything wrong with that, BUTT (<—- see what I did there lol) if you just want to make progress in terms of disease prevention, health, performance, aesthetics or otherwise, you do not NEED to do these to make great strides and in fact, incorporating some half squats aka hybrid deadlift/squat/goodmornings into your program might just be what you need to literally leap and power forward in your goals.

If you are looking for ways to mix up your training to develop more power and shape and you have beaten the regular squats into the ground but cannot safely go ATG, try the hybrid half squats between reps or your normal squats. For example, if you are doing 5 sets of 6-8 reps try this:

-First 2 reps are regular, slow and controlled, followed by 3 powerfully exerted half squats, followed by the remainder as regular slow and controlled reps.

The moral of the story is, kids don’t do drugs, friends don’t let friends wear puffy paint sweaters, and don’t try to fit square pegs into round holes. Seriously though, What I am trying to say here is that there are many ways to reach your goals. Try not to look at things so black or white and that you must do xyz or you will never get there. We are all different and just because a particular exercise or whatever else is not working for you, it does not mean there is anything wrong with you or that things are hopeless. Just keep plugging away to find your fit.

-To perform this hybrid half squat, if you are performing a high bar squat, lower the bar so it rests across your upper back. Create tension throughout your entire body,especially your butt and upper back and bracing your abs. With a slight bend in your knees, shoot your hips back so you are angled at about 45 degrees. On the way up, power your hips up and forward while being sure to catch a quarter in your butt cheeks at the top but not hyperextending your lower back. Basically, it is somewhat of a deadlift but with the bar on your back.

Also, if you would like to learn more about the benefits of “partial movements” or want to just check on if I am BS’ing you 😉 read more here: http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Fulltext/2014/11000/The_Efficacy_of_Incorporating_Partial_Squats_in.2.aspx

Training Playlist #46 aka Melisscious’ Delicious Discography

I realize that some of you may not appreciate the cleverosity (yes I STILL make up words 😉 ) of what Melisscious’ Delicious Discography means so I have added to the title. Exciting news huh…yes you now can leave the edge of your seat.

Since November is also known as Movember, I figure I will delight your earballs and eyedrums with a manly post, whatever that means (insert BS stereotype here :p). So here is your playlist and whatever you do, smashy smash it!  ;D

1. 50 Cent – Animal Ambition

2. Motionless in White – Creatures

3. Limp Bizkit feat Lil Wayne- Ready to Go

4. Korn – Wicked

5. Nailbomb – 24 hour Bullshit

6. Sepultera – Refuse Resist

7. Chimaira – Power Trip

8. Busta Rhymes – Gimme Some More

9. Swollen Members feat Nelly Furtado – Breathe

10. Everlast – What it’s Like

 

 

 

Nutrition, Body Composition and Health Demo Recap

This past Saturday I was a guest at Southside Muay Thai. Not only was EVERYONE there so helpful in getting me set up (yeah they even jumped to help me bring my stuff in from the car without my even asking…thank you so much!) and beyond encouraging, but the fact that I over went by almost 2 hours there says a lot about their interest and dedication to their goals.

I didn’t realize they had a pad class followed by an instructional type of class back to back on Saturday so I will definitely be coming out for that when time permits (that was a hard lesson to learn lol)! Pad work (and sparring) are 2 of my faves 🙂 . It was nice to meet many new people as well as some that I have only met through social media. It was even more of a blessing to have such a good turn out and reception by all.

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Aside from the giveaway and goodie bags, I also set up their own “packages” with their anthropometrics (body composition, height, weight, measurements etc) to help them see and get started on where they are. Information sheets and site links were also given as well as my dropping as many knowledge bombs as were inquired upon lol. That is one of my favourite things too. Doing what I can to educate and empower people, in many ways, excites the bejeez outta me and I look forward to the opportunities to come, which I will post about when completely solidified.

Again I wanted to thank Lebert Fitness, Supplement Source and Southside Muay Thai members and guests, for an exceptional experience.

 

p.s. re-branding and other things are coming so stay tuned 🙂

 

Macho Muscle, Mean People Suck aka Mental Health, Muay Thai and Me

I legit have not had the opportunity to sit and put something decent together in terms of a training, health, fitness article for you here so this is what you get for now, sorry!  Some random stuff I have been up to this month and have upcoming this month:

I have been a huge fan of Iron Radio and more so Dr. Lonnie Lowery and Phil Stevens for years now. We conversed a few times via the net but I finally got to meet Dr. Lowery and he was just as groovy and by groovy I mean he will blow your mind with his knowledge bombs AND his guns 😉

Anyhoo…I was asked to come on to the show and ramble (ok so that wasn’t exactly the projected outcome but Lonnie is aware of my gnat-like attention span so they managed me quite well). Here it is and be sure to subscribe to the cast, donate if you like to support all things awesome whaaaat and just enjoy the amazeballs that is their site:

NEXT UP…

This coming weekend, Saturday October 25th from 11am to 1pm I will be providing members and guests of Southside Muay Thai some info, goodies and the chance to win some Lebert Equalizers and Stretch Straps. Honestly these people are not only extremely skilled, they are good peeps so please come out to say hello, try some classes or just stare eerily in the windows in admiration…whatever works for you lol.

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and then we have the T.A.M.I. Summit happening November 6th from 8am to 3pm. I think it might be one of the biggest honours to be asked to be an ambassador for Kid’s Help Phone at this event and am beyond grateful that such an amazing group of people, such an incredible organization, would entrust upon me to be one of the ambassadors at this summit 🙂

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There are some other cool things on the horizon but for this month, this is enough I think. Hope to see you out!

Melisscious Delicious Discography #44 maybe !??

Hello and welcome back to my monthly playlist and “fitness can I get a witness” post. I aim to deliver you with some hellish workouts to add some yeah to your day and the tune-age to help you bust a nut…wait, I mean…no that IS what I mean (I kid I kid and btw that is Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and feel free to Google him lol)

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Don’t worry, I will still be interspersing my easier to comprehend posts on health, fitness and everything in between, but this Melisscious’ Delicious Discography will allow for my inner teeny-bopper (lol who says that:P) to come through….wooh, and she gets hangry (hungry and angry) if she is not kept nourished.

Alright so let’s get started with the playlist and be sure to check the time saving, no excuses, unleash your awesome workout below 🙂

1. (Warm it up to…) Drake –  0 to100

2. Shihad – Think You’re So Free

3. Royal Blood – Figure It Out

4. Bif Naked – Love Myself Today

and your cool down jam to roll out and stretch out to…

5. Outkast – The Whole World

My apologies that it the playlists have been cut in half but it takes far too much time to always be doing 10. Warmup with some jump rope and mobility/movement patters. This workout is something you can add to make you stronger and faster and leaner. Little to no rest between supersets. Repeat this sequence 3-5 times depending on your fitness level.

1a. Deadlifts 4-6 reps

1b. Concept 2 Rows Power Pulls for 40 seconds

Rest 30-60 seconds

2a. Reverse Lunge to Punch Press 8-10 each side

2b. Inchworm to Diverbomber Pushups for 40 seconds

Rest 30-60 seconds

3a. Hip Bridge Alternating DB Presses 6-8 reps

3b. 180 Point Pivots for 40 seconds

Rest 30-60 seconds

4a. Bent-Over Row to Stand 10-12 reps

4b. Tight Body DB Uppercuts for 40 seconds

Quit Arguing

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If you are passionately involved in the health, fitness and performance field, which clearly you are if you are reading this, you no doubt have come across some argumentative aspects on various training modalities. I want to shed some light on two of the most popularly argued protocols/modalities. Thinking one is horrible or being best is not only absurd and a waste of energy, but it may be holding you and your clients back from progressing.

Let me first start with the popular “muscle confusion” form of training and Crossfit. I put these two together because many stake them with several commonalities, similarities that will prove my point of neither being “bad” per se as many will adamantly argue. First of all, Crossfit is a SPORT and secondly, along with the term muscle confusion, is a marketing term for a concept of pretty much “random activity” by definition of what has been accepted as majority. This does not mean that that is true because a lot of the coaches actually do have great ways of tracking and have methods to their “madness”. I will say this, neither concept was invented anytime recently as athletic forms of various training and cross training in general has been around for decades. So don’t argue that. The sport is new(er).

The somewhat randomness is not necessarily a bad thing if your goals are to simply lose some fat, gain some conditioning and if you are a newbie, potentially gain some lean mass. Or is you are advanced, you can get jacked too due to the high loads and volume. Is there a rhyme of reason for doing 30 snatches at high speed with no rest followed by kip-ups and 50 box jumps? No, unless you are training for the sport of Crossfit. That is where I believe people lose sight of things.  Is it bad to confuse your muscles each time you train with different movements and modalities like lifts with HIIT? No, absolutely not unless you are training for a particular sport and need to have the proper movement patterns and nervous system adaptations. Will your joints and nervous system pay for things later? Yeah probably but if you go in knowing that and are willing to stake that claim, that’s your decision. Live and let live.

There are actually some similarities between conjugate and contrast training as well as undulating periodization to these two highly ridiculed forms of training. In fact, the somewhat “randomness” of these types of activities can actually be more helpful to many who have hit  a fat loss plateau or have several years of training under their belts.  You must have a good coach as well as be gradually introduced to these methods but in terms of fat loss, efficiency is something you do not want and to become efficient, you must have repeat behaviors. You also want to keep these to shorter not longer and more frequent bouts unless it is solely your job to do this.

Next up is another two concepts that often has trainers or trainees confused or arguing. The debate of slow and moderate cardio versus balls to the walls HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio or HIRT (high intensity resistance training circuits) for goal attainment is one that I’m sure will not die anytime soon.  If you are looking for performance enhancement, fat loss and muscle retention, HIIT and HIRT seem to be the surefire winner. Does this mean that slow or moderate cardio should be demolished? Absolutely not. If you or your clients have joint issues, injuries or an already stressful lifestyle plus hit the weights with good intensity, further adding to the already high levels of stress with HIIT/HIRT can make them feel rundown, sick and even make them lose muscle and gain fat over time. Some people just cannot get the physiological response safely with certain types of activities.

Slow to moderate cardio work is a great tool for not only burning off some calories, because they DO ultimately count in terms of fat loss, but it also serves as a mental stimulator and a form of movement meditation for some, as well as it helping your clients to recover from their training. Neither form of cardio should be relied on solely or dismissed as they can greatly compliment each other.

There are so many methods of training, schools of thought that many will waste time arguing on. Having an open mind to various protocols and seeing them for what they are as well as the potential within the methods, will greatly enhance your ability to help your clients and yourself.  If you are looking to improve at a sport, you will want to become efficient in movements, neurological and physiological aspects, but if you are looking to just have some fun with training to be healthy, fit and maybe shed some fat, you will want to be inefficient.

While I firmly believe in getting the basics down first, I am not here to dictate to you my opinions on your best ways to achieve goals and outcomes. I am just here to shed some light and make you think for yourself in an industry so filled with those wanting to lessen critical thinking for their own agendas. The main thing is to prevent injuries and to help make people better in their lives. This means finding the methods and modalities your clients enjoy and respond well to even if it goes against what some may say.

When it comes down to it, you want to continually educate yourself on all sides of an argument in terms of training methods. Don’t fall into the trap that you need to have yourself or your clients doing it all because it is the hot thing right now. There are far too many factors involved and it is supposed to be about making people better at life isn’t it? (Again, we are talking non-sport specific as that is a whole other game).

You must also remember that these are your clients so who should really be dictating your goals, programs and outcomes? You and your client that’s who! Find the fit for them based on what their lives, needs and bodies can do and handle, yourself included. Do what makes you and/or your peeps happy, healthy and feeling good. Don’t tell them, educate them. Help lead them. To that there is not argument.

 

 

 

Butts and Guts Workout

Sometimes in order to get comfortable in your own skin, you have to first get really uncomfortable in your own skin! This is a (ahem) fun workout that you can do with a partner, no gym required. Things are always more fun with a buddy and you are doing each other a huge favour by helping one another to be healthy, fit and achieve your goals.

This workout can either be done on its own or as, what I like to call, a post lifting FUN-ISH TO FINISH (finishers schminishers lol) yeaaah these are the ish ;D

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This workout is designed to help shape your booty as well as your mind. Tap into that aggressor within and be gutsy in pushing yourself, each other. The first 2 rounds will serve as your warmup as you grease your grooves and get your muscles, nervous system and cardio warmed up. After that though, start bringing that A game 😉 45 seconds each exercise with 15 seconds to catch your breath or transition. 4-6 rounds with 60 seconds rest in between rounds.

Partner High-Five Power Squat Hops – facing each other, squat down and touch the ground than pop up into a jump squat and high five your partner. Squat and touch you right hand to your left foot, pop up and high five your right hand to your partners opposite hand. Switch sides and repeat for time.

Partner Pushup Punches – face each other in a pushup position. You both do a push up than as you come up, reach out to the opposite side and lightly punch your partner in the face (lol just kidding!) tap your partners hand.

Lateral Lunge to Crossover Smack – face each other with feet shoulder-width apart. You will both step to the side (lateral lunge) but in opposite directions. As you push off, come back to stand and high five (smack) your partners hand like tag teaming in wrestling lol and you immediately switch to lunge the other way. Repeat for time.

Jab-Cross Sprawl – face each other in a strong athletic stance. Partner 1 will hold their hands out front while partner 2 hits their hands with a 1-2 jab-cross combo than sprawls our (like a burpee without the pushup). As soon as partner 2 gets back to their feet, partner 2 holds out their hands while partner 1 hits the hands than the ground.

Leap Frogs to Inchworm to Pushup – just like when you were a kid, one person is curled on the ground while the other will (with wide legs) leap over. When the frog lands, he/she will inchworm walkout, perform a pushup, than be the ball on the ground for their partner.

Partner One-Legged Squats –I actually found a picture similar to what I want so here you go. Don’t try to go too deep or you may find too much strain on your knees. untitled

Boom and a Woooooh! There you go. A fun yet challenging addition to your days to bring you a sweet butt and test your guts.

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 (if you want to know exactly how to do these, a program or if you are are in the GTA and need that partner to push you, hit me up!)