Saturday, August 30, 2008

End of Off-Season

August 30, 2008 BioSig: 6% BF, 129 lbs lean mass, 137 lbs

January 27, 2008 BioSig: 11.2% BF, 125 lbs lean mass, 141.2 lbs

Stronger Online

This weekend marks the last weekend of my "off-season" (1st pic) and Tuesday will be the start of the Fall competition season as I aim for London OPA Open Contest November 15th to go through the qualification process in the IFBB regular stream. I am 11 weeks out.

It shows 6% body fat but the last place I hold on in the glutes/hips, this is not a true reflection of my actual BF%. Again, in this sport the Biosignature is a useful tracking and assessment tool but you must use it to see opportunities to get leaner, naturally rather than actually trying to see if you are lean enough to be on stage.

The best way to know if you are contest ready, is to pose in front of mirrors, friends, family and also take pictures / video often. Your judges and audience does not come up to you and do calipers on you... it is about how you look from their eyes.

I like the #'s and like tweaking with nutrition, supplement, training and recovery protocols to change my correlations, skinfolds and percentages. That is my "thing". I also look at the sum of skinfolds and compare to my last contest season. I would like to get down to about 35 mm sum of skinfolds. I also want my calves and quad readings even lower than last season (Spring 2008).

My measurments should come up as I often grow into my contests, rather than get smaller, but we'll see. Every contest phase is different.

I am aiming to weigh about 127-130 lbs but leaner than last season in the lower body. I am also going to imnprove my posing.

I have printed a picture of me pre-contest from April 2008 when I had my best contest physique (UFE Spring Bash) and posted it on the fridge to remind myself how crappy I need to look in order to know I am almost there. Crazy isn't it?!

I have included a picture of me 11 weeks out from my Spring 2008 season when I was new to the sport. My Biosig stats at that time were 141 lbs at 11.3% with 125 lbs lean mass. So it shows you how much fat I store on my legs / butt as to the average eye, they two pictures would look about the same BF%. This also shows that it is not always about the number but how you look.

So join me on the countdown to Level 1 OPA steam... just the beginning of course!


"I Can't" by Tracy Catlin, DE Client

After eight weeks of training and mental endurance training, along with healthy doses of glutamine and glycine, I survived my first 50k biking event: Pedalfest, Wichita, KS. It wasn't without it's bumps and almost one big hiccup, however, especially when I became sick two days before the adventure.

There was a lesson to be learned here. I became sick on Friday--you know--it's that little tickle in the back of the throat and then a few sneezes. The few sneezes turned into a hacking cough by Saturday and by Saturday night, I had developed a low-grade fever of 99.7 degrees. What timing! Eight weeks of training and now this? Sunday morning, the day of Pedalfest, I went downstairs at around 6 a.m. to get some water and Dale the Husband comes down, too. Instead of doing anything else, I have to sit. Holding my head in my hands, I told him, "I don't think I can do this." Then things start going a little gray and fuzzy with the room suddenly turning slantways. I asked Dale if he could get me some ice water, and I head to the couch in the family room to lie down. I fainted before I had the ice water and he had to put some cold wash cloths on me. Later, I asked him what happened because my knee hurt. He fixed me some toast and half a bagel and some ice water and I felt better. That, and some Dayquil, too. I was up half an hour later, and he looked at me funny as I packed up my food to go to my bike ride.

"I can't let this go," I said. "I have to do this. I've worked so hard."

He thought I was crazy, but he really wasn't surprised. Afterall, my word for Dictionary Day at the school where I teach was "tenacious."

The second half of the bike trip and on one of the long stretches of Butler Road, which happens to be farm country of beautiful fields, streams and chestnut colored horses, I was riding alone. The road and I had a few discussions. My bike and I had a few words, and my legs and I were at battle. I wanted to see the Pedalfest truck so that I could wave him down. I had promised my husband that if I started to feel bad that I'd pull the support truck over to give me a ride back. On Butler Rd., the truck passed me twice. I thought about it; my legs burned so badly and the next stop wasn't for miles.

The truck came along again, and I looked him right in the eyes. A quiver shot up through my fatigued shoulders. I could have stopped him and said, "I can't do this anymore, please take me back."

How bad did I really feel to give it up?

There wouldn't have been shame in it; afterall, I had ridden over 20 miles which wasn't bad for a first timer. But I didn't. I waved and watched a bit as he drove on past. I don't think I'd really give up--"I can't" isn't in my vocabulary. But when my lungs were burning and my legs were cramping, I could understand why a person would want to give up when things became difficult. The thought is--how can we ease the pain when learning or doing something new? We don't give up. We don't make it easier, but we shake it out, we rest, we stretch, we carb-load, we sing funny songs on Butler Rd that make us laugh out loud; we pray that the fat tires suddenly turn into easy-to-turn skinny ones, and we do the things that we need to do to make us carry on for the rest of the way. But we don't give up. Anyone can do that. And I certainly wasn't just anyone anymore.

I did it--all 31.07 miles/50K of me, nature and the road--my time was horrible, but I don't care about that. I care about my legs, about what I had done and my transformation. I care about making it through when I could have given in when things got rough. I didn't. I pedaled through. I earned every carb I ate--which happened to be pizza. I hadn't had any bread for eight weeks.

Dealing with what we deal with on an individual level isn't any different than a first-timer on a bike. We still have to get from point A to point B. It can be a tough road, but we get there, and it's the journey that we endure that shapes us. It's what we do to get the "I can't" out of our vocabulary and get our ass on the bike that makes us who we are.



We are ultra proud of you. You have now joined an elite and somewhat small percentage of the population that pushes ahead regardless of what is going on physuically or mentally. You accomplished the goal and THAT is what matters. You know my motto "Aspire. Act. Acheive!"

Now you can move forward and take that experience with you. You have reached the next level on the personal betterment journey. Again, real proud!


My Best Pancake Recipe Yet!

I have been playing with the base "healthy pancake" recipe for years and I think I have found my best version to date!

Give it a go and see if YOU think it is Da Bomb too.

1 container egg whites (500 ml)
2-3 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned ED Smith or Organic)
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup organic yogurt (thick; not the runny stuff on top)
2 cups dry oats (quick cook)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Blend until pancake batter consistency; if it is too runny, add more oats; if it is too thick, add more egg whites.

Cook over preheated non-stick skillet until bubbles appear on top, flip.

I like to serve with a dollop of pumpkin puree, yogurt and maple syrup. Here I have a bit of ground beef and side baby Romaine lettuce.

If you are quite lean already or aiming to put on size, eat 3-5. If you are losing fat/weight, eat 2-3.

My kids even love these and they are great for left overs or as a replacement for bread with their peanut butter and jam.



Saturday, August 9, 2008

3 Reasons to go to Montreal in September:

1) I will be there
2) John Berardi PhD of Precision Nutrition will be there
3) Both JB and I will both be there!

2008 VinkoFest Sept 27th

And I have SOOOO much to say. What else is new. I will do my very best to package it into an informative hour full of nuggets. It is ALL about the nuggets.

As an added bonus, JB will do a 1 hour QU & A at the end. One more reason!

Other great names in the industry - Christian Thibaudeau, Karsten Jansen and Dave Barr - will be there too. There's 3 more reasons!!

Price is $200 if you pre-register.

See you then!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Krista's 35th Birthday Celebration - Hard Core Style!

Krista’s Birthday Training Bash

The Power of 8 - LEGS

Order –Exercise SetsxReps Tempo Rest
A1 – Front Squat 8x3 Cluster 4010 0:10 / 2:00
A2 – Rack Good Morning 8x3 Cluster 4010 0:10 / 2:00
B1 – Leg Extension 3x8 2011 1:00
B2 – Hamstring Curl 3x8 3010 1:00
C1 – Front Squat 1x16 2010 0
C2 – Hamstring Curl 1x16 2010 0
C3 – Leg Extension 1x16 2010 0
C4 – DB Romanian DL 1x16 2010 0

If anyone cares to celebrate my birthday with me... or even if you don't and just want a kick ass workout... then give this a go anytime tomorrow.

It is my 35th birthday tomorrow and it is the 8th day of the 8th month, 2008. And hey, 3 + 5 = 8!

So rather than an 8 x 8 workout, which is kinda boring and repetitive, I decided that reps or sets must be 8, equal 8 or be a multiple of 8, but I would combine strength, hypertrophy and lactate into one workout.

Cluster - this means you do a single rep at around 90% of your 1RM (85% for less experienced trainees... up to 95% for you elite kinda crazy nuts) and do 1 rep, 8 times to equal your set of 8. Rerack the bar and rest 10 seconds between each rep.

Then let us eat cake! This workout is carb-worthy. I think Angel Food cake is appropriate PW ... it's low fat isn't it? How about angle food cake, blueberries or strawberries and a protein shake (I highly recommend Dymatize Elite vanilla).


Never Give Up on YOU

An Ongoing Success Story from a Distance Client

I’ve always had this All-or-Nothing attitude from as far back as I can remember. It’s an ingrained part of my personality. Usually, I side with the “All” part, giving whatever task at hand everything I can give without giving up. Generally, however, once I’m done with something, I am DONE. And I was about to be done with someone very important: me.

Done as in tired of working very hard on fitness goals with no results. But I had no idea that once I clicked on my Send key with the email I had just written, that I was about to spark an engine, sending me on a journey that I never thought possible.

This time, I had pushed myself to exhaustion and probably adrenal fatigue—or pretty close to it—in pursuit of my goals. The problem came because I didn’t know I was doing it to myself. The articles I was reading told me if I wasn’t losing the fat, then I needed to increase the expenditure. Okay, good enough. It came to the point where I was double-booking myself: up early for weight training and cardio after work. Then after that, I was doing mom-duty, kitchen duty, wife duty, and then grading papers. There was one time (and one time only) that I worked out for eleven days in a row. I was certainly burning up the calories, but not the fat off my body.

I was doing all of this without putting anything back into my tank. Taking time off was not an option for me—another throwback from growing up. If I just lay around, then I was being lazy and not contributing … ahh, I can tell that that’s another entry for another time!

I sought my doctor’s opinion, and she said I was as healthy as a horse. I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t losing the fat, for I had plenty to lose.

The doctor suggested I lower my calories and exercise more. I lowered calories to 1400 – 1600 a day, and I changed all of my workouts to first thing in the morning—45 minutes of weights and another 20 – 30 of cardio. Despite doing what my doctor told me to do, the weight hung on—I even started gaining. I’d read forums where women were working through a three week plateau. How jealous was I? I had been on a plateau for 18 months! This stuck-ness and the other unknown things going on in my body, mind and most definitely my down-trodden spirit made me face myself:

I could no longer face another day doing this on my own.

My resolve strengthened through my sleepless night, and honestly, I should have sent the email then. I sent the message to the Someone-who-needed-to-kick-my-butt and set me straight. My All-or-Nothing was getting one last chance. Could I make this happen, or was I destined for the “Nothing” part of my attitude?

I wish I had sent Krista Schaus the email a year ago. She has truly changed my life.

Paperwork filled out—my Biosignature came back, and the results showed that I had been in a state of yeast overgrowth. Add in a side of parasites, and we’ve got a party going on.

Symptoms of the Yeast Within include:
Sexual dysfunction
Depression or mood swings
Joint pain or swelling
Run-down feeling
Muscle aches
Digestive pain
Short attention span
Hand pain
Knee and hip pain
Menstrual pain
Shortness of breath
Food allergies
Memory problems
Brain fog
Yeast infections

And those are just a few… and I had most of those on this list.

I had never heard of yeast overgrowth, but I knew that it was overtaking me and I needed to fight back. The more research I did on it, the more I learned that the “modern” medical community doesn’t seem to recognize candidiasis as a legitimate issue and that a lot more people than they realize may be suffering from a yeast overgrowth.

The best part is that I committed to a totally revamped nutrition plan the first day of my period and on a Friday. Girls know what I mean about that first part, but doing a new diet on a Friday before I could have had my bad ol’ comfortable carbs was something no clear-thinking person may have done. I had gotten into a habit of eating mostly clean on the weekends, but would have my 1-2 meals of what I call my dirty carbs. Sometimes I’d have a third meal of dirt. All of this unclean eating for a very long time kept the yeast growing and my worst symptoms were fatigue and brain fog. I had tried to combat both of those things with massive amounts of caffeine—which ironically, just made things worse. I was tired of what was happening to me and I needed to start now, so I did. I was the one in control, not the yeast and certainly not the calendar.

I told Krista that I’d do whatever she told me to do. And I have. I took scheduled time off—loads of it. I worked out twice a week and started training for a longer bike ride. No cheats and no free meals for six weeks so far. The first two weeks were absolute hell. I had every craving imaginable and I worked through them. HOW I worked through them was just balled up fists stubbornness that I was blessed with, and for the first time I could use that quirky disposition to my advantage. I’ve followed the nutrition plan, the workouts and the supplement timing, and I’m rewarded with a 2% body fat loss (from 21.7% to 19.7%) and I’ve gained three pounds of lean mass, plus I’m down a clothing size. I’m pretty proud of myself for this and am happy that I finally have an answer to what was going on inside of me that no one could see. I am; however, a work in progress. There is more to be done.

An Anti-Yeast Diet: Taming the Monster
- I could eat any meats
- Veggies with every meal
- Healthy fats, but butter in small quantities was okay, too
- Cinnamon throughout the day (yeast does not grow in a cinnamon-y environment)
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Nut butters (no peanuts or peanut butter)
- No dairy
- No condiments (which meant mayo, mustard, ketchup, nothing with vinegar, etc.)
- Replace table salt with sea salt
- 30+ of fiber each day to give the yeast something to bind to and escape
- 3 liters of water per day
- 3 meals w/meat and 2 snacks w/whey protein

After three weeks of this plan, all of my symptoms disappeared or diminished greatly. I had gained a lot of energy back—I still struggle with that, but I am sleeping better and have a lot of crazy dreams in the process thanks to the helpfulness of ZMA. My recovery methods are my favorite part of this journey, especially the Epsom salt baths and the ionized foot baths. Oh, and massage—definitely that. Must schedule another one.

Email to Krista: All of my life it's been the mantra of "calories in/calories out" and a "calorie is just a calorie." This journey has so disproven that! My daily calories have steadily increased from 1600 calories to now 2300 calories. The jump was gradual, and I am so amazed every time I see that number shining back at me. It has been at least twenty years (not kidding!) since I've had a steady diet that "high" in calories that weren't on a free-meal day. The great part is that I don't wake up bloated and icky anymore. I definitely don't believe in "calories in/out" anymore. It's more like nutrients in--and used.

My body is responding very well to it and to the nutrition. I'm sticking to it, although these past few days with PMS, I've had to dig in my nails and hang on for dear life! I made some homemade almond butter and that helps with those cravings.


What I Have Learned
• I will get there, but slow and steady will keep me there
• Less really is More. My body is loving me for backing off, giving it time to heal and has rewarded me with less of me to love.
• Pumpkin seeds rock! Slightly roasted in olive oil and salted with sea salt is my new popcorn. Okay, it’s better than popcorn.
• Cinnamon on beef is very, very good.
• When the diet is in place, that’s when supplements are truly worth the money.
• Recovery Methods RULE. Deep breathing, ionized foot baths, all of those—they have to be in place. Krista was/is working on my cortisol levels through this, as well. I don’t have to be in kick ass mode ALL of the time.
• I’m on a journey for life. This isn’t just about aesthetics or fitting into smaller clothes, but it’s about being glad that I’m waking up and looking forward to the day. I like having energy again, especially when everyone else is pooped out.
• Speaking of poop, one can tell a lot from those.
I’m not finished yet. I have more fat to lose and a 50K Pedalfest bike event to finish (I will), and I have more healing to do. Thank God for Krista, or else I’d be at the tail end of my all-or-nothing by now. I trust her, and I know she’ll get me through to the end.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

BioSig Accurate BodyFat%? - Krista Tackles Your QU's

QU - My biosignature report says I am 13.7% but I look and feel more like 18% in my opinion. Is it accurate?

Biosignature Modulation (BioSig) is a very useful tool in helping identify areas that can be manipulated in order to improve body composition quickly and effectively. I have found in my experience that it is most useful for indicating hormone imbalances, carb tolerance and sugar management along with some other interesting stuff such as yeast, organ health ect...

However if you are a lower body fat gal (I am ... used to be, before I came upon Biosignature anyways), then the actual BF% will not be as accurate as only 4 of the 12 skinfold sites are on the lower body and only two of those four are where women tend to store fat - glutes, hams, thighs, hips ect... That is why in the assessors world, the actual BF is not the most significant data to take into consideration. Biosignature assessors are interested in seeing a decrease in the sum of skinfolds and for correlations to improve..

Also, the less lean one is, the less accurate the body fat percentage will be. I have found the most accurate body fat compositions are with lean male athletes. However, the correlations remain accurate. Where the inaccuracies will be is body fat (lower than actual) and lean mass (higher than actual) in fatter subjects or those with proportionally a significant amount of lower body fat or body fat in atypical locations such as mid back or glute med area

I also stress caution when using bioelectrical impedance scales such as Tania – they appear very inaccurate in females and many males also. I have found them to be on average 10% too high for female and 5% too high for males. For women, I find a combination of the Tania and Biosignature body fat % divided in half is quite accurate. So if a Biosignature says I am 12% and Tania says I am 19%, then I am likely around 15-16%.

Also, keep in mind different people look different at the same body fat %. You may very well be 14% but it does not look great on you because you store alot in one or two areas and / or your muscular development is lacking or you do not have great symmetry or your posture is poor. Many variables.

I have seen women on stage in bodybuilding at 5% and 12% and they look almost the same from the audiences' eyes.

To conclude, one thing I do know for certain is that Biosignature Modulation works. I can show you countless case studies to support that statement. Charles Poliquin could show you thousands more. I have had incredible results with clients who have been to numerous specialists and industry professionals who could not take away the obstacles holding them back from achieving their body fat, health or performance goals. Biosignature has. They did not care about their body fat % - they did care about the results... how you look, feel, perform.

Thank you for the discussion. I hope this helps clarify things for you.

In Strength,