It’s Easy for You… You’re Fit.


“It’s easy for you”… it wasn’t always.

I have ran into this comment a few times recently… some version of “it’s easier for you… you are fit… you like this stuff… you aren’t out of shape.”  I am not put off by it at all… but it always gives me pause.  Perception is a funny thing. Most of my “friends” on social media and followers of my blog are aware of my struggle with weight, and my eventual progress with losing it for good… However, it has come to my attention that I have made quite a few new friends that don’t know my story, and therefore- have quite a skewed perception on my level of health-nutty-ness (there are crazies out there that think I don’t like candy y’all!).  They just know that I am now a kettlebell fiending, obstacle course racing, lover of all foods whole and clean.  But it wasn’t always that way.  Just 3 years ago I was an obese (220lbs on a 5’9 frame), smoking, metabolically damaged, completely out-of-shape, unconditioned, uncomfortable, weak and unhappy woman.

I have previously outlined my history of how I got fat, what I did right with food, and exercise to eventually lose the weight.  And while I have adjusted my food to follow more of a Whole30 food plan, and I now have earned my RKC Instructor certification… The highlight reel still holds true:  good, whole, clean foods and lifting heavy things will get you big results.  Now- 3 years after that Drivers License picture up there… I have started a career as an Personal Trainer and I get to run Obstacle Course Races in all kinds of awesome places.  But the most important is that I am now happy in my own skin, I recognize myself in pictures again, I am no longer a smoker, and I am definitely NOT a weak woman.

3 years ago- to this very month I was searching too, looking all over for answers. And I can tell you with absolute certainty, the answer is YES. YES YOU CAN DO THIS. It comes down to consistent, daily, sustainable, and realistic changes. There will absolutely be hard days that leave you challenged to stay on your food plan, and there will be extraordinarily sore days after working hard for your goals… BUT YOU CAN DO IT. You don’t have to wait for a silly arbitrary resolution to get started… GO. NOW. Start today!  Even a small change like tossing your soda for a water will put you one step ahead for tomorrow.

I would be honored to be part of your journey as you transform your life. Whether you are a mom looking to drop weight and get strong; an athlete that is looking to improve his strength and conditioning; or a weekend warrior needing to train for the next obstacle racing season… I would be honored to work with you as your personal trainer. I work out of Maximum Body Training in Cartersville GA, and I am RKC certified. I offer kettlebell classes, small-group, and private training.  I want to be on your team.  Feel free to contact me anytime for more details: 770-773-5987 or check out my profile at Dragon Door.


Weightlifting Day: 01/02/13

Finally! Back to regularly scheduled programming for my training and nutrition! I will offer some commentary on that tomorrow, but for now- here is today’s weightlifting workout:

1. Bench Press

  • 70lbs x 12 reps
  • 75lbs x 10 reps
  • 80lbs x 8 reps
  • 92lbs x 7 reps

2. Hip Thrust

  • 92lbs x 12 (had to stop early in the set- hip padding went sideways *ouch*)
  • 92lbs x 20
  • 92lbs x 20

3. Tricep Extensions

  • 15lbs x 10
  • 15lbs x 15
  • 15lbs x 20

4. Deadlift

  • 92lbs x 10
  • 92lbs x 15
  • 92lbs x 15
  • 92lbs x 15

5. A new finisher complex, inspired by Survival of the Fittest… (here’s video of it)  It consists of the following (22lb dumbbells in each hand):
5 high pulls
5 front squats
5 lateral lunges
5 push presses
5 bent over rows

And it finished me!  See you tomorrow!


Weightlifting Day: 12/30/12

This guy asked to borrow my warm-up weights...

This guy asked to borrow my warm-up weights…

I have attempted Front Squats quite a few times on my own- and they always seem to elude me, and I switch back over to my trusty back squats.  But I really do want to get these in to my repertoire.  I had Mr. S here with me again today- so I challenged him to help me get these damn things under my belt- correctly. Here’s a great little video on how to do them, and what a few of the common mistakes are. (Disclaimer: I don’t know what is up with the dude doing the intro, but whatevs… the tutorial is good).

Click Here for Front Squat Video.

So, I found out from that video that my wrist and elbow flexibility were the villains in my previous failed attempts.  I will keep working on my flexibility in those areas so that I can perform these bad boys one day with a “finger tip grip”. However, until then- I will work around it with the cross over grip.  The main reason that I wanted to learn these and start performing them regularly is for the ab recruitment that this type of loaded squat requires.  The dude in the video mentions it (“your abs will be sore”), but if you watch the chick- she is *really* straight up and down to keep that weight balanced.  That posture in this squat requires a crazy amount of core strength.  And since I HATE crunches, I am always looking for complex lifts that hammer at my core.  (Yet another reason Kettlebells are freaking fabulous).  So watch that video a few times, let your spotter watch it, discuss where your known weaknesses are so that (s)he can point it out to you.

So today, I obviously spent a good bit of time on the Front Squat.  I kept my “max weight” for the day pretty low and non-challenging so that I could really concentrate on everything from my toes to my neck 🙂  Here’s the entire session:

Warm up: Jump rope for 1 minute

1. Front Squat:

  • 10lbs x 8 reps
  • 30lbs x 10 reps
  • 52lbs x 8 reps
  • 62lbs x 6 reps
  • 62lbs x 6 reps
  • 62lbs x 8 reps

2. Push-ups (goal was to perform 35 total, and I made it!). I took like a 1 minute breather between each set.

  • set of 8
  • set of 10
  • set of 8
  • set of 9

3. Deadlifts (82 lbs for all)

  • set of 12
  • set of 12
  • set of 10
  • set of 10
  • set of 8

Cool: 1 minute of jumping rope.

I had planned on getting some tricep work in- but I just ran out of time.  Ah well….

See you next time,

Weightlifting Day: 12/22/12


Thanks to the busy-ness of the holidays and having family visiting, Mr S and I ended up working out later than usual- and had to make it quick. We were still able to make it challenging- and the change of time and tempo was honestly refreshing! With no further adieu (as you are likely busy too!) here is today’s workout:

-3 Turkish Get-ups (each side) with 25# kettlebell.
-87# Deadlifts: 3 sets of 8 reps.
-82# Bench Press: set of 6, set of 8, and a set of 12 (thanks to Mr S on coaching me on for record reps on the last set! Love him!)
-82# Squats: 2 sets of 8, 1 set of 10.
-12# barbell flies: 3 sets of 10
-25# KB Windmills: 3 sets of 10 on each side (killer!)

DONE! And back to our regularly scheduled baking, wrapping, and visiting!

Next time,

Weightlifting Day: 12/16/12

Weightlifting Day! Yea!
Mr. S had to run errands before we hit the road- so I couldn’t go real heavy… Boo!
Since I couldn’t go too heavy I decided to regress all of the weight down and go for slightly higher reps and more sets. I usually do 4 sets for 6-8 reps with more challenging weight. Today my goal was at least 5 sets- 6 if I could muster it up, and more than 8 reps each set- aiming for 10 if I could get it.
– 95lb Deadlifts: 6 sets of 10 (omg!)
– 20lb (each hand) Bent Over Dumbbell Rows: 6 sets of 10
– 65lb Squats: 4 sets of 10, 5th set was 12- woot!
– 65lb Standing Military Presses: 1st set was 10, then 4 sets of 6.

I was starting to come apart (meaning I felt my form wanting to deteriorate) on the standing military presses. 65lbs is my max weight so far on those- so I just went for sets of 6 (which were still hard, thank you very much- lol) after that first monster set of 10.

See you next time!

Weightlifting Day: 12/12/12


Here’s todays workout:

Little warm-up with jumping jacks, then got to work:

100lb Dead Lift: 3 sets of 6, and 1 set of 12
65lb Standing Military Press: 4 sets of 6 (that extra five pounds was KILLER)
100lb Hip Thrust: 3 sets of 10, and 1 set of 16
Tricep dips: 3 sets of 12, 1 set of 16
Push-up (regulation style): 3 sets of 6

Total time working out from warm up till the end: 36 minutes (all breaks included) 🙂

Next time!

Weightlifting Day: 12/8/12

Whoop!!! Mr. S was home to be my squat rack and spotter! I wanted to go real heavy since he was here- and do exercises that I can’t do when he is at work (for safety reasons).  So I broke from my normal Nia Shanks schedule and did the following:

Barbell Back Squat:

Barbell Deadlift:

  • 75 for 12
  • 85 for 10
  • 90 for 8
  • 95 for 6

Barbell Bench Press:

  • 75 for 12
  • 85 for 10
  • 90 for 8
  • 95 for 4

Standing one Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension

  • 7lbs for 12 reps – 3 sets of these on each arm

Dumbbell Flyes

  • 7lbs for 12 reps – 3 sets of these on each arm

Then we ran up and down the neighbrohood for like 5 minutes.  I made two PR’s today! Very happy with that 🙂