Train With Me

Expectations (8)

Intensity: Overall intensity this week is a whopping 4/10. Not my best week but I did finish strong. Not very sore this week from my workouts but moving into more volume next week for some progressive overload which should increase my intensity. I also got in my three cardio sessions and running in the slushy snow definitely increases the intensity of my runs.

Motivation: This week started out very draggy. I had to draggg myself to workout and dragggg myself to run in the morning, but I did it, and it wasn’t pretty, until about mid week where I found my stride and finished the week off strong!

Lessons: This week I wanted to talk about expectations and how it can affect our mindset, motivation, and mental health. It is a lesson that I learned this week after a “not so healthy” weekend.

Over the weekend although I was able to get all my workouts and cardio in, I’ll admit I probably had a little bit too much to drink… and a little too much pizza and chips lol. But here I was expecting myself to not feel the guilt or feel it in my training sessions the following days to come. I naively expected that if I stuck true to my training I wouldn’t feel the affects from the poor nutritional choices. I was sadly mistaken and my training was definitely affected for days following.

I realize that in life as much as we strive to live a healthy lifestyle majority of the time, we need to live and enjoy our social life as well. I used to fight with the idea of being 100% healthy, sticking strictly to my health goals, being super lean, and never drinking alcohol again kind of life versus throwing it all away on weekends or social events eating what I want and drinking like a fish. I never thought it was possible to balance the two and have it all.

Over the years of doing research, of working on my self and committing to self growth, and of course experimenting with both kind of lifestyles, I’ve made the conclusion that you can have it all which is great news!

My ongoing journey

What you can’t have is the expectation that you are always going to feel 100%. You can’t expect that you will never have a mental health hurdle no matter what decision you make. Because when you decide to take the healthy route, you’re going to miss the social bond. When you take the social route you may feel like complete shit from overindulging. Even when you find a good balance, you may not be able to find it every time.

You also can’t expect to have the best training session every time regardless of what kind of decision you make. But what you can commit to, is showing up for yourself. You can show up and give it your best effort and even when the training doesn’t go well as you hoped, be proud that you showed up!

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle you are always going to have mental work to do. When we don’t work on the mental stuff such as lack of confidence, guilt, shame, worry or fear, we suffer and this has everything to do with the way we train, exercise, eat, and take care of ourselves.

Some of the things that I do to work on mental warfare are:

  1. Meditate
  2. Read personal development books (and take each with a grain of salt)
  3. Read and learn about inspiring and motivational individuals
  4. Journal
  5. Self reflect
  6. Practice awareness
  7. Listen to podcasts
  8. Surround myself with an environment for growth

Let me remind you that self growth is a never ending journey. Figuring out what kind of lifestyle works best for you and gives you good mental health is also a non linear journey. Keep working on the mental stuff and it will elevate your training and fitness goals so much more.

And when it comes to expectations, you can always face your fitness and lifestyle goals with a good attitude and your best effort, but be gentle with yourself when things don’t go as planned. Don’t give up on yourself because you totally got this!

Do you struggle between a healthy and a more social life? How do you try and balance the two? How can you tip the scale to becoming a more confident individual? Think of how all this can affect your training in a positive way!

I want you all to come up with a list of ways that you can continue to work on your mental health and positive self talk and by all means use my list for ideas:)



Train With Me

Justification –7

Intensity: Let me tell you about this week… my level of sore is 10/10. Not because I pushed way too hard but probably because I got the opportunity to snowboard all day. I was lucky enough to get in on The Blue Mountains opening day (since pandemic rules). Last time I went snowboarding was not only a year ago but I literally trained my muscles for it by doing tons of wall sits and balance work on a bosu ball. I still religiously workout but not specifically to snowboard so boy was I ever in for a treat lol.

Opportunities happen, life happens, events pop up, so how does this effect our training and workouts? We adapt. We don’t throw them out the window. Consistency is the key my friends!

That’s why this week I want to talk specifically about justification and bargaining as we ALL do it!

Do any of these questions sound familiar?

  1. I worked so hard yesterday, today I will skip this workout I planned to do.
  2. I worked hard today I am going to a couple extra cookies to treat myself.
  3. You know what? I’m feeling really tired today, I am just going to do two workouts tomorrow.
  4. I could workout, or I could just continue to watch TV and shut my brain off of the guilt that keeps coming in.

What ways have you specifically bargained with yourself about working out, exercising, or eating?

I don’t believe that bargaining or justification is always a bad thing. In some cases yes, it definitely sets us back but in other cases it can be reasonable. What you have to make sure when justifying something to yourself, is that you will come out on top, and that it’s not going to put you back into old unwanted patterns.

Part of growth and self development, a lot of what I talk about in this blog, is changing the way we used to do things to better our future selves. It’s about breaking patterns that don’t serve us and squashing old damaging habits. So when your bargaining with yourself, ask, is the outcome going to benefit my future self?

A good example of an effective bargain may be:

I planned to workout my lower body today, but I am having knee pain, therefore instead I will train upper body and give my knee time to rest. This bargain shows you are listening to your body and your pain but also sticking to the commitment to workout.

An example of a not so effective bargain may be:

I am going to eat this second dessert before giving myself time to feel full because I want to, then tomorrow I am going to work “double” as hard in my workouts. This can be a damaging bargain as you are not listening to your body, giving into cravings and justifying the second dessert, along with putting added pressure on yourself to workout “double” as hard when “double” is not a measurable tool to track your success.

A good way to bargain and justify an action is to have a set plan in place to come back on track. So if a curve ball gets thrown at your week, your unable to do the workout you committed to, there is a tempting potluck at work, or your suffering an injury. Right when you notice the curveball, make a plan of action.

Example plan of action:

  1. Tempting potluck at work – I am going to enjoy this potluck with my coworkers but here is my plan: I am going to make sure 30% of my plate is protein, I am going to enjoy the other 70%. I am going to swap dinner tonight with something lighter (grilled chicken salad rather than chicken alfredo).
  2. I am unable to do my workout today as I got a call from a friend who really needs me to come over. Plan: Get up early tomorrow and squeeze my workout in before work (remind myself how good it will feel to get it done).

It’s not easy to stay committed and consistent, for anyone, including me. Planning can really help, always expect setbacks or “curveballs”, and find ways to flex your resilient muscle. You are only one day, one workout, one meal, away from getting back on track to succeeding, changing for the better, and growing in the right direction.

Motivation: Due to this long day snowboarding I had on Tuesday which I am beyond grateful for getting to do, do you think I really wanted to drag my sore ass out for a run the next morning? haha Definitely not.

Last week I talked about recovery. One of my methods for recovery of a sore muscle is light cardio. So this was my bargain: If I just start, get my shoes on, my gear on, get outside and just start running, I don’t have to push myself super hard today and just run to recover, that’s it. So that’s what I did. It loosened me up and although I’m still sore it kept my cardio on track.

What I didn’t do was workout the day after snowboarding because of another one of my recovery principles to give your muscles 48 hours to recover. So I am feeling quite good about balancing and replanning this weeks training to a fun unexpected turn of events. It’s all about prioritizing your health goals and making it work and fit into your life.

It’s also about keeping those promises to yourself.

Keep yourself your number one priority!


Train With Me

Week 6 – Worked itttt

Well I definitely kept my integrity on “working it” over this last week. Week 6, when I used to body build, was always a de-load week which was a week to take things light and help your body recover. I think de-load weeks are very important when lifting heavy weight and body building.

I chose not to program in a de-load week for my specific training program as my focus is not to build muscle but to improve my muscular endurance. The way I program this is, starting week 1 and 2 out light, progress week 3 and 4 in volume, and further progress the last two weeks to be the most volume and crank up the intensity. That being said intensity this last week was through the roof!

I’ve been putting in the work to get my splits back:)

Intensity: This last week I was feeling good, body wise. I felt recovered from a few set backs in the last couple weeks so I went hard, focused on form, and kept that grit and drive in my workouts. I used my setbacks as fuel. I can say honestly my overall intensity this week was a solid 9 out and 10 and I am proud of that!

Motivation: There was only 1 workout in particular where I lacked a little motivation to get it done. I just reminded myself of how it would feel afterwards to have accomplished a good solid workout and also how good it would feel to move my body. That is usually my trick for motivation:

“Think of that feeling after when you’re all done, and you worked hard. To me there is no greater feeling”

Lessons: With the intensity so high I was quite sore and heavy all week so the big lesson this week was recovery! I lined my workouts up back to back alternating upper and lower body throughout the beginning of the week so I knew that when I finished them I would need some time to recover. I planned a great recovery day (after a night shift) to rest, recover, no stretching, no walking the dogs, nothing. It was almost like my reward for working so hard, what better way to reward myself than to just get cozy and sleep and cuddle my dogs:)

I’ve had to listen to my body in many incidents where I’ve been overly sore. Here is a list of things to remember:

  1. Try to associate the sore muscle to what exercise you did. This will help your training game in the future. It is always good to know what exercises really work for targeting a certain muscle for you. With this information you can choose this exercise in the future or opposite, say you didn’t intend to work that muscle and you want to stay away from building in that area.
  2. Make sure that what you’re feeling is a sore muscle and not pain. If it tips more to the pain side of things than maybe you need to back off that exercise or dial it back.
  3. Never stretch a sore muscle. Stretching although very beneficial for many reasons is essentially a strain on your muscle. It should be used as a tool and used properly with proper timing. You could do some light dynamic stretching of a sore muscle to loosen it up but avoid a long held static stretch of any sore muscle.
  4. Light cardio can help ease soreness as it aids in circulation. A light jog although being hard to get going, has helped ease my sore muscles up a bit. It’s the stationary sitting positions that really stiffen you up.
  5. Above all else rest is the key. You do not want to try to workout a muscle that hasn’t had time to fully recover yet. Muscles need about 48 hours to recover from a lift session. Recovery is JUST as important as the lifting itself.
  6. Nutrition – I haven’t spoken a lot about nutrition yet in this blog series but hope to incorporate it more in the future. When it comes to recovery adequate protein is important. Complex carbohydrates can aid protein in the muscle repair process as well. And of course adequate water intake is always important for literally everything.

I have my new 6 week program all panned out and ready to go! I always get excited to switch things up. With my goal being to compete in a triathlon and to improve my muscular endurance and build more joint and connective tissue strength, I will continue with my 6 month periodized plan for accomplishing this goal.

This will be macrocycle 2 of 5 (6 weeks in length) consisting of:

  1. 5 resistance training workouts per week alternating upper and lower body.
  2. Increasing my cardio to 3 runs per week, increasing my distance on 1 of the 3 runs.
  3. At least 1 full day off from both to recover.

The program that I follow is made for me based of my experience as an athlete and is based off of my intended goals. Please remember that everyone is different, has different goals, and different body types etc.

Don’t just blindly follow a workout plan because it works for someone else. Pick exercises and workouts you enjoy. Having a plan created by a trainer is best if you have a specific goal in mind. Don’t kill yourself or exhaust yourself to meet extremely high expectations right off the bat. This exercise thing always takes practice and patience. Work your way up to where you want to be at. It’s all about the small wins!

Most importantly celebrate yourself when you accomplish little wins! Celebrating can also look like many different things, here is another list of ways you can celebrate your small daily accomplishments:

  1. Sleep! (my favourite)
  2. Hang out with a friend and celebrate together
  3. Treat yourself to a healthy gourmet meal
  4. Book yourself a massage

What are some other healthy ways you can think of to celebrate yourself?

How has your training been going? I want to hear from you! Do you give yourself enough time to rest? What strategies do you use to ease up sore muscles?

If you are interested in an individualized workout, nutrition, and wellness plan, I am currently taking on clients, feel free to DM or e-mail me

If you’re interested in joining my monthly newsletter consisting of meditation tips, recipe, and workout of the month, again DM or e-mail me

Have a great week everyone!


Train With Me

Week 5 – Resilience

Welcome to week 5 of my train with me blog series. Hope you’re enjoying the content so far and feeling inspired to crush your own training goals!

Intensity: This week started off rough. I took day 1 off to catch up on sleep and proceeded to have digestion issues the following two days. I don’t let excuses hold me back from staying consistent with my training so I am proud to have completed my workouts as planned for. That being said I got them done and that was it, intensity wasn’t there, soreness wasn’t there the days following. Luckily I picked it up the second half of the week and had a couple great workouts. Overall intensity was a whopping 3/10 for the week in general.

I am finding as my workouts are progressing with the intention of training muscular endurance that my resistance training is feeling more like cardio than it use to. I rarely use to get my heart rate up and my sweat on while lifting but this is starting to change. This is natural as my goals have shifted. Here is a complex way of explaining the difference between muscle growth (hypertrophy).

  1. Myofibrillar hypertrophy- focuses on increased myofibril size or the density of the cell. This type of training increases muscle mass and strength and happens with 2-6 reps at RPE 8-9.
  2. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy- focuses on increased muscle glycogen storage and the volume of the cell. When training this, the volume of fluid in the muscle cell increases with little increase in muscular strength causing cells to swell/pump. This happens with 12-15 reps with RPE 6-7.

The best way to achieve any goal that you may have whether that be to be able to do pushups, to run 5 miles, to squat your body weight, to lose a certain percentage of weight etc, it is best to consult someone who has the scientific knowledge to create a plan for you. If this isn’t an option then do your own research, but don’t just do something that someone else is doing that is working for THEM. It is best to set intentional goals with a sound intentional plan to achieve success for YOU.

Motivation: Due to the rough start this week it obviously made it challenging to really motivate myself to train. But what I reminded myself when I didn’t feel like training was again that something is better than nothing. If I just committed to first getting my workout gear on, it would lead to warming up. If I started warming up I would naturally start the workout nice and easy. Even if I just did my warm up I would have been proud that I started but in the back of my head I knew I would do more. This has been two rough weeks in a row, let me tell you, I am ready to kill it in week six.

Lessons: We are always going to hit road blocks with training. The important thing is how we come back from the road blocks. Over time I’ve found with myself although things set me back, I’ve become more and more resilient in bouncing back. Here are some strategies I’ve learned to practice:

  1. Re-evaluate the goal – what is it that you set out to achieve? Remind yourself of that goal and keep it in the back of your mind when you train.
  2. Reestablish your why – What is your why? Why do you train? Why do you choose to live a healthy lifestyle? Who are you doing it for? Why is it important to you? Re-establish your why.
  3. Remember where you’ve come from. Think back to where you used to be and see all you have accomplished so far. With all you have accomplished in the past just think of how much more or further you can push yourself to grow.
  4. Think with a growth mindset. There is no going back, there is no staying where you are at. You must move forward, you must choose to better yourself everyday, it’s a journey!

So with all that is gone on over the last two weeks, I am fired up. Week five I did increase overall volume of my workouts but I am just not satisfied with how it has felt. Week six will be the last week of this macrocycle so I want to finish big. One of the strategies I use in training is changing up my exercises every six weeks so while working on a new program this week I want to get the most out of this initial program which I not only have enjoyed, but have felt some amazing growth with as well.

How do you bounce back from set backs? What fires you up and gets you motivated? How do you reset and refocus on the goal? What can you do starting today to help achieve your future goals?