Monthly Archives: August 2009

Bon Voyage Little Pinky

Welcome! I am filled with extra excitment today because my vacation has arrived! Nick and I are off to a WONDERFUL trip tomorrow which kicks off in Venice (Muscle) Beach, CA and continues with a 7 night cruise setting sail out of LA and down to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!

This week has been jam-packed in all areas! On top of all things, I also fractured my pinky on my left hand, but nothing to lose sleep over. In fact, makes me feel more determined to plow through any hicups that come into this season. Unfortunately, injuries are included in the nature of the beast while training for any sport!! Some require more caution and care than others, but it’s how we respond to them mentally that weighs equally or more. Are you going to let it sideline you or are you going to find ways to work around it and stay the course?

In the meantime, I am making sure my diet is tight, continuing with my cardio and finding various ways to continue challenging my muscles. Leg workouts since my left hand has become limited have consisted of more single leg work, higher volume exercises, wearing a weight vest for additional load and still the tried and trusted tire drags (wearing a harness of course). Upper body still remains a little trickier until I have better use of my left hand and grip, but it’s coming along quicker than expected and we can still get the job done and done well!!

Stay tuned for my return. For the past two weeks, Nick and I have been working on an undulating program to work all muscle fibers. After we return from our trip, I will be posting more regarding my actual workout program and individual sessions as I get further into the thick of FIT to FIGURE!

Have a great week and play with passion! Passion breeds enthusiasm and enthusiasm develops a positive energy. A positive energy attracts success!

A Cup of Joe Meets Protein

As we all know, lean protein should be the foundation of every meal. Many of us also drink protein shakes as part of our daily nutrition rituals. If you‘re not, you should at least be drinking a protein shake within a 30-40 minute window after each strength workout.

One of my favorite ways to start my day is to incorporate a serving of protein powder into my morning coffee. Now, I can’t attest that ALL protein powders dissolve well in the coffee, but American Whey (creamy vanilla flavor) is my favorite!

I often go to bed at night looking forward to this coffee drink in the morning:

  • 12-16 oz. of strong coffee!
  • 1 scoop of American Whey Creamy Vanilla protein powder
  • ¼ cup of soy milk
  • 1 packet of splenda

**Mixing Tip: I throw my scoop of protein powder and splenda in my coffee mug first, then add coffee and top with soy milk. I feel it mixes better this way.

Feel free to make modifications, but try it this if you haven’t yet! It’s a great way to jump start your morning with some caffeine and protein.

Happy Sliding

I suppose you could say, I am a conditioning junkie. I love workouts that require a lot of strength and conditioning which result in feeling as if I have nothing left in the tank.

Personal Growth

There are several characteristics an athlete must have at heart in order to succeed to their fullest potential. The ability to correctly respond to failure is one of them. Within these blogs, you will see me quote from a particular trainer and a particular book quite often. That trainer is Martin Rooney, one of my greatest mentors in this fitness and performance industry. Martin trains out of Fairlawn, NJ and works with a vast number of various athletes. He and I met a few years back when I attended one of his lectures. Martin talked a lot about the philosophies, attitude, characteristics and proper training it takes in order to reach your fullest potential. His book is called Train to Win and to this day it is still my favorite. If you have not read it, I STRONGLY suggest you look it up, purchase it and read it immediately. It has truly influenced me in so many ways.
 

 

One quote from the book talks about correctly responding to failure. “An athlete must be able to correctly respond to failure. Failure, or losing as it is seen in competition, is an essential event if growth and enhancement are ever to take place. Without having the ability to embrace and learn from past failures, the ability for an athlete to move forward will be severely limited.”I’m writing about this tonight to give you a little insight as to why I want to challenge myself so heavily for the top spot at this next show.
 

My first Figure show was the OCB Eastern Regional on May 2nd. It was by no means a failing event for me. In fact, I’d say I accomplished quite a lot. I changed my physique from day one of training, I embraced a new style of training and I became more educated about diet and supplements. Also throw into the mix, posing, buying a suit, finding shoes, setting up the tan, make up, etc. etc. The learning curve on a first show is HUGE. I would also expect that no matter how many shows you have under your belt, every show is a continuous learning curve to improve upon the last.

That is where this thought about growing from failure comes in.

During my training for my last show, I allowed myself three months exactly for preparation. I started training and dieting February 2nd with May 2nd as my finish line. I mentally sweated every moment of my training hoping that I would get my physique to a respectable level in order to compete. I started my figure training with an already muscular composition. My body was in excellent shape when it came to strength and conditioning, however it did not reflect that in body fat. I was not a chubby girl, but I was not anywhere near the level of leanness needed to get on stage.

I never aspired to be a Figure competitor, however I decided back in January to compete because I wanted a focus for my diet and training. I wanted a challenge and I needed to instill “the fear of the stage” in order to drive my commitment home. To me, I found it very challenging not knowing just how my body was going to respond in the time given and with the different variables including diet, training, stress, mentality, etc.

Those three months were long and hard. Understand the dedication, hard work, mental and physical challenges involved in this process. There were so many moments where tears streamed down my cheeks. I was frustrated with the diet, I didn’t like the results of my body fat pinch, I was injured, I had anxiety about the stage and being ready…you name it. Fortunately, I had fabulous support which helped me along the way. I also found a stronger mind set that I initially knew possible because every time I felt weak, I got stronger.

By May 2nd, I was proud because I had reached numbers that I was happy to walk on stage with. Was there room for improvement, absolutely, but my training time was up and I had given it my all for that era. I was also pleased because I was able to look back and see that I stayed the course completely for 3 months. Three months is not a long time, but when you eat, sleep and breathe something for that long and it becomes you. It becomes a long haul.

Long story short, the show came and went. It was a fun and memorable day, but I did not place all that well relative to my competition. That hurt at the time. As I looked back at Martin’s book, I re-read this section. It said… “Look at how athletic events are designed. There is usually going to be one winner, and in many cases, numerous losers. As athletes we find many ways to rationalize loss through a variety of reasons….the problem here lies that instead of really identifying the causes of the loss, we avoid it, and therefore, never grow from it…. There are an unlimited number of reasons why the loss could have occurred. The most difficult step for the athlete is to be critical of one’s own performance and how it could have been improved. This is an important place where growth as an athlete and person occur.”

So, as you can see, my determination stems from this lesson. I am determined to make no excuses. Whatever the reasons may be that I didn’t place better on May 2nd, this time around, I will make damn sure that I do. Do not misinterpret what I’m saying however. I did not “fail” at the accomplishment of the show, but in my personal expectations for the results. Those results may have been fair at the time, but it empowers me and acts as motivation to change and grow.

Day 1 of Round 2 complete.

FIT to FIGURE: Be a Visionary.

“The essence of training is the experience of training and what you learn about yourself through it. Training is about the process. You will get there and there is one simple thing to do it. Consistency.”
–Martin Rooney, Train to Win

Welcome and thanks for checking out this site. Over the next few months, I invite you to follow me as I journey my way from FIT to FIGURE. Throughout this blog, you can expect to be motivated, educated and simply entertained while following along during my training process.

I’m going to share with you a bit of past history and then fast forward to present day training. I plan to reveal to you my days of training including actual workouts, personal experiences, tips and progression. I also plan to provide you with my “favorites” from music to recipes to gear, highlights and exposure to other great trainers and websites, diet tips, posing practice, pictures, videos and more!

I am hungrier than ever to take on this challenge due to some time off from a low back injury coupled with the desire to take my recovered self to another level. I train with a passion and I’m excited as well to team up with my best friend, boyfriend and phenomenal trainer, Nick Tumminello.

I leave you with this thought today…A vision is a dream with a date attached. A visionary is someone who pursues a dream with a conviction. For me, that date is November 13th, 2009 and that dream is to be the OCB Yorton Cup National Figure Championships Overall Winner.

Are you a visionary?? What’s your dream and date attached??

Tune in regularly to live the experience of FIT to FIGURE with me, Alli McKee.