Monday, July 14, 2008

A Fist Time Figure Athlete's Reflections

Defining Edge client, Renee Willis of Jarvis, competed in her first figure competition on July 12th in the IDFA Toronto Classic and placed 7th in the Novice and 6th in Masters just missing out on the Top 5. Below are her reflections submitted as part of an assignment for her university class that she missed in order to compete.

This weekend was truly an amazing weekend; it was a moment in my life that I will never forget.

It is hard to articulate this journey and the growth that has developed; my life is moving at such a rapid pace and each step is more exciting than the previous. There is much change happening within as I reflect and I open myself to view my life, and the future that is uniquely mine; some change bring forth sadness as it brings awareness of needed change.

The day in itself was truly culminating. The days of mental and physical preparation had its moment; I had my moment.

The day was everything…it was long…it was intense…it was fun….it was difficult…each moment was indeed everything.

The journey was not about that day, but that day carved out a journey that on the surface to many would be perceived as physique driven. The true process and the true journey is the transformation within; the means was the competition, but that process was merely the vehicle for something much bigger and more powerful.

Life is about opportunities and creating the most of every moment in your life; I have felt what that truly means and how that magnifies in every other aspect of my life. If I know what lights the fire within me, and what fills my cup, then I will present my best in every other avenue of my life, and to each relationship as my journey continually unfolds.


Thank you Renee for sharing your personal insights with us. I especially thank you for recognizing and teaching others that competing provides the opportunity for exponential growth.

Renee serves as a great role model for someone interested in competing in Fitness for the first time. She never has excuses as to why she can't. She is a wife, mother of 2 young boys, a student in Teacher's College in the US and can now add Figure Athlete to her list.

Renee is a model client - train immensely hard and follows nutrition and supplement protocols 100%. This has been evidenced by her lean mass gain of 8 pounds in only 8 weeks while losing 2.5% body fat during the same time frame. She was 5.9% body fat the week of her competition with NO fat burners, high calories, ample carbohydrates, nutrient dense foods and very little cardio (skipping only some mornings). However, that is not what makes her an ideal client in my books. More importantly, she looks for opportunities to be a better person throughout the process, mentally and physically and is as much a mentor for her me as her coach as I am for her. We learn from each other. I thank her for teaching me to have fun, laugh, be a little crazy time.

In Strength, Krista

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Simple Yet Effective Hockey Conditioning for Girls

Hi Krista,

(This question is from a 13 year old high level female hockey player who only has about 5 weeks left in her off season training and has no access to traditional gym equipment and machines).

I would like to know how to build my stamina and strength but I don't have any machines to use.

At this stage, including simple yet effective strength and conditioning movements to your workouts will be a great addition.

Here are some examples that require no equipment but build strength and power that carry over well to hockey.

Step up - Pushup - Squat Combo

Step ups onto the 2nd step or your stairs. Hands behind head "prisoner style". Step up onto 2nd step with all 1 leg (ie Left) for 15 reps. Then do the right leg for 15 reps. REST 30 seconds. I recommend you purchase a 3 or 4 different pairs of dumbells from 5 to 15 pounds and each workout, add weights to the step ups. Hold them at the sides of your obdy or at your shoulders. Each week, hold heavier dumbbells.

Then perform as many pushups as you can with good form. REST 30 seconds. Go for quality of reps rather than quantity. If you cannot perform very many full pushups (less than 10), then use a modified style with your knees bent and touch the ground. Once you are able to perform 30 modified pushups, you should be able to do more than 10 full pushups. You can also do as many full pushups as you can then drop down to modified style and complete the set to safe failure (form does not break severely).

Lastly, do 15 to 30 jump squats (squat down, jump up as high as you can). Each workout aim to add 2 to 5 additional squats. REST 2 minutes. You can also use the dumbbells for the jump squats.

Perform these 3 exerices 3 to 5 more times, in that same sequence (with the rest outlined).

Then do bike or skipping intervals for 20 minutes. Bike or skip hard for 30 to 60 seconds, then at a slow pace and low intensity for 1:30 to 2:00. Repeat these high / low intervals 5 to 8 times, then cooldown. Follow this up with your required stretches (lying hamstring, "figure four" hip stretch ect...).

If you would like to book a session with me to go through your sample hockey conditioning program (if you attend a gym or have access to standard gym equipment), let me know and we will arrange an ideal time.

If you would like to purchase a pack of training sessions for August to help prepare you for the season with some one-on-one personal training, then you can also let me know and arrange a regular schedule.