My personal reflections and views on competition and experiences in competing. One thing people must realize about my sport and the potential of being successful, or “going pro” in this industry is that it’s all subjective to the opinions of a few people, the panel of judges one person stands in front of, who they are affiliated with, and what influence that affiliation carries.
The up’s and down’s of competition life! Competing is not all glitz and glam, and giggles, it’s rough, especially when you don’t have support or people who truly believe in you enough to be in the midst of the climb with you. This video is very emotional and contains some rough language, sorry not sorry, watch with caution
So, May 15th concluded my participation in the Squat Every Day bodybuilding challenge. I was asked by a fellow member of the bodybuilding community how my personal experience was. My thoughts and reflections are as follows:
I liked it, it was very empowering for me actually. Recovery was good up until my final days when my quads started screaming bloody murder, and effecting my energy levels for the rest of my lifts, still trying to give them breaks but it’s hard because you use your quads for everything, just basic everyday walking around uses your quads, I experienced a lot of fatigue in my last week of it and had to up my calories which sucked being so close to a competition, but overall I accomplished my goal of having much more definition in my quads! Now to get back to goal weight before next weekend and I’m good to go!
I will be hitting the stage for the following next three weekends, yes I said 3! So my training routine has changed simply because certain muscle groups require more detailed emphasis, while others need more rest leading up to competition day in order to ensure every muscle displays well. The following videos are simply just a small glimpse into how my daily squatting activity went. I alternated light and heavy squatting days, primarily to allow time for my muscles to recover.
So would I do it all over again, sure will. It was very empowering, to get up everyday and before I did any other component of that day’s workout, I hit the squat rack. It definitely trained my mental focus. The kind of focus one needs to be laser sharp ready for the day they hit the stage. I almost felt lost going into the gym the first few days afterwards and not doing it. Either way, lift heavy and lift often, and squat everyday.
In the final weeks leading up to my next competition, I decided to take on a personal challenge I found on bodybuilding.com by the founder of MusclePharm nutrition, Cory Gregory, called “Squat Every Day”. My legs have always been my most stubborn asset as a figure competitor, so taking on this challenge initially became my way of pushing my own limits and discovering how much I can transform my lower half for the day I step back on stage, but in reality has so much more meaning to me than just sheer exercise.
The following is an overview of the launch of my first week in this 4-week long challenge. Stay tuned for part 2, and in the meantime get off your butt and get under the bar and #SQUATEVERYDAY!
“Don’t be upset by the results you don’t get, from the work you didn’t do” ~ Unknown
I still put up fairly light weight compared to most, but I am pushing my limits with every day I get under the rack. Like any other career or art form, whether it be your job, your yoga practice or some other form of performance art, bodybuilding is an art and a practice, that requires time and consistent effort. It’s a lifestyle, my lifestyle. I get up everyday driven by a need to be better than I was yesterday, better than I was last year, the last time I stepped on stage. I am driven by the capacity to push my body to new limits and never settle for societal limitations on my abilities. For me, squatting is more than just an exercise, it’s life coaching. It teaches you, that like in life, you put yourself under the bar, under the stresses and struggles of this world, and it will knock you down, but only the strong, get back up, time and time again! So I squat every day, not just to build the strongest most ripped legs possible, but because everyday life throws hatred, disrespect, and all walks of drama at me, and because I am strong mentally, I GET BACK UP anyway! That’s why I #SQUATEVERYDAY, it reminds me that despite when circumstances may knock me on my ass, and I hit rock bottom, just how strong I truly am.
My current daily squat progression is as follows: Full Barbell Squat
65 x 10
95 x 10
115 x 10
135 x 5-10
155 x 5
175 x 5
So until next time…..Keep getting under the Rack, Keep SQUATTING and Keep getting Back Up every damn day!
Last but not least, the most recent app added to my super saver mobile app collection and the final app I will review in this series is the ibotta rebate app.
Save before, during and after you shop. Online or in store, ibotta alerts you to new rebates at stores nearby, and stores that you shop at the most.
Even your favorite online shopping retailers offer rebates from time to time that can be redeemed through the app.
So how exactly does ibotta work?
Simply check the app for available rebates, shop online or in store with your favorite retailers, submit proof of purchase or link a loyalty card and instantly cash is added to your ibotta account to cash out on later.
To redeem your cash, just link a PayPal or Venmo account or choose a gift card from one of the supported retailers to cash out your rebates from past purchases.
Just keep in mind that your ibotta rebate balance must be a minimum of $10 to cash out.
Another fun way to earn extra cash through the app is through brand bonuses…
…and getting friends involved through the ibotta teamwork program.
This concludes my Super Saver Mobile App review series and overview of my 2015 quest to find additional ways to save extra cash along the way.
So this is one of my true favorites because it “pays” me to work out, track in my food journal, and even eat the never ending amounts of veggies I eat as a figure competitor….lol! Now don’t get it twisted, these are activities I do regardless of compensation, and no the few dollars a week aren’t busting my piggy bank, but it’s nice to see my commitment to my lifestyle not only reward me physically and mentally, but also financially overtime.
So here’s how it works: Commit, Meet, and Reap! Just that simple!
Three commitment levels to choose from:
The gym pact. Commit to a regular exercise routine. I deactivated my Facebook account earlier this year, and if I can count all of the times, myself and those in my friends list “checked-in” at a gym, and/or took a selfie or two to post with that “check-in” before leaving the gym over the past year or so, we’d all be rolling in some serious spare change right now. That’s just how easy the Gym Pact is! Gives a whole new outlook on the art and lifestyle of being a “gym rat”! We’re pretty darn savvy! #BOOM! 😉
Hit the gym, check in on the app, workout a minimum 30 minutes, track what you did and snap a pic (ie. A postworkout Selfie) and it’s done! You just earned money towards your Pact! To think people are still out there doing this same nonsense (checking in on apps like Facebook and Instagram) for free “LIKES”!
Another plus, for my adventurous fit fam is that this process can also work for my pavement pounding, road warriors out there. The app syncs with some of the most common fitness tracking apps, so even if you do a none gym workout and hit the great outdoors instead, you’re still covered! Just be sure the GPS setting is on, you do your activity for a minimum of 30 minutes, and you’re all set! Talk about yet another savvy fitness junkie! #ChaChing!
This is a big one for helping people initiate the formation of healthy lifestyle habits of being conscious of their daily food choices, and honestly the easiest to complete. It’s great for those who are simply wanting to learn how to count and keep track of their calories each day. The food log Pact! Log a minimum of 1200 kcal/day or 3 meals and a snack, in your myfitnesspal app, and it automatically syncs to your pact!
Like the gym pact, how many times have you scrolled through the news feed of your social media apps and saw the never ending posts of what your contacts ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Oh boy if they only knew that if any of those pics involve them eating fruits and/or vegetables they could earn spare change instead of just “free likes and comments” !? I bet that news feed would drastically clear out…lol! Now we enter the third and final Pact of the PactApp, the Veggie Pact
Imagine getting paid just for submitting pictures just like this. There is one catch though, other PactApp users, the “Pact community,” must vote for your food pic, judging whether “yes or no” you actually ate or are eating a fruit or vegetable in your pic, so make it obvious as to what you are eating in your food selfies or food porn…as it’s so commonly hash tagged in social media these days.
So go ahead and give it a go, you only lose when you don’t keep your Pact each week, but have everything to gain when you do, physically and financially!