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A Fitness Model's Confession

May 13, 2015 3 min read

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how often, how long, and what my workouts are like. It's not an easy question to answer as it changes dramatically throughout the year depending if I'm "on season" or not, working towards something or just enjoying the other pleasures of life.
[caption id="attachment_257" align="alignright" width="300"]I wish I looked and felt like this all the time. But it just ain't real nor sustainable. I wish I looked and felt like this all the time. But it just ain't real nor sustainable.[/caption] I'm usually most focused and driven when I have a competition or shoot coming up. There's nothing like being seen in tiny-tinies by hordes of people to motivate one to eat less noodles and do more burpees. When I'm in the zone, I typically will workout 6 days a week following a bodybuilding-style split program. I personally like to spilt like this: Legs and glutes one day, chest and shoulder the next, followed by back and arms then a rest day. Repeat. And I'll lift heavy, striving for personal best records. I'll throw some abs and cardio in there somewhere too when I feel like it- I don't always do much of either. And I never workout more than an hour a day. This comes as a shock to some but I think doing more is potentially counter productive. During these times my diet will also be hardcore - all my calories and macros counted, everything eaten is for a reason and nothing out of place. I'll put a great emphasis on sleep so I can go hard the next day in the gym. It's all very routine and very, very taxing. Sometimes I crash and burn and question why I put myself through this. In other words training like this is all-consuming. My social life suffers terribly. But I stick with it because when I reach my goal I feel utterly amazing. There is pleasure and satisfaction in working hard like a dog at something and coming out victorious. And the victory is more than just a skin deep. I believe that sort of mental training and dedication lends itself to other areas of your life.
But when I don't particularly have a goal I'm working towards my workouts are a lot more freewheeling. I'll do more functional training sort of things, go to more fun classes, try new things. Because I'm an addict and I need my endorphin fix I'll still probably work out about 5 times a week. It's probably a lot easier for me to work out this frequently than the average person because I work in a gym and fitness is my life.  Overall the intensity will be less. I won't beat myself up if I take an extra day off or don't squat my personal best.
And my diet also will also be more free ranging. I won't shy away from cocktails with the girls and I'll eat that cookie. This by far is the healthier, more reasonable way to do things.  I'm heavier but happier. My weight stays pretty stable throughout the year because I always eat well, and I'm always very active, even when I'm not in the gym. I'm that person who takes the stairs right beside the escalators. [caption id="attachment_264" align="aligncenter" width="225"]The day after Christmas. The day after Christmas.[/caption]
I guess what I want to get through is that I don't always look like my best photos -- and the same is true for every other fitness model and physique competitor out there.  Looking that great is huge sacrifice. You've got to really want it and you have to be in the position to take it.
That said, I think I still look great at my heavier weight. I have boobs! But I partially lost my abs. From a physiological point of view, it amuses me to see how my body transforms even it's not for "the better".
And so much more than looking OK, good or better I've learnt that feeling fantastic in your body is where it's at. Yes, I had to learn that. For me that means feeling energetic, limber and being able to do everyday activities --like chasing the bus and heaving my own luggage up the stairs -- with ease.
Right now, I'm having a lot of fun and spending more energy on seeing friends, reading and writing posts like this.
Traineredith.comBR1

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