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.

Until next time…. I AM CANDICE MARIA

labrada app pic 1
1 Week Out to Competition Season 2015

In the final weeks leading up to my next competition, I decided to take on a personal challenge I found on 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!

Day 1 of #SquatEveryDay Challenge – April 15th 2015

“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!




Busy holiday shopping, cooking,  travel, and family time may not always leave time for a full out gym workout.

No jive turkey,  it can present a complex situation for your physique goals.

SOLUTION: My favorite go to work out,  I lovingly dubbed the name,  “A Complex Situation”


DISCLAIMER: This is not for the faint at heart or the non dedicated exercisers.

So what exactly is a “complex”: ‘one of the most advanced forms of sports training,it integrates strength training, plyometrics, and sport-specific movement. It consists of an intense strength exercise followed by or coupled with a plyometric exercise.'(Wikipedia)

Complex training focus: Explosive Power

Simply put: It’s plyo-strength training used mainly by speed and power athletes,  but you too can do it too and #OohKillEm! No Jive’s Done and you maintain a fit physique, even in the “off-season”:

Abs in the off-season - Complex Training

How you ask? The best part of this type of training is that it takes approximately 20 minutes or less to get a good burn going! “Complexes are a series of exercises done as one long circuit, without rest in between exercises.” ( Simple as that! QUICK & POWERFUL, 
like a speed and power athlete would perform! So, like in the throws of the championship game, stay in it, and finish strong!

Sprinting: Speed and Power - Complex training focus

The following complex training workout I designed, “A Complex Situation,” only takes 20 minutes if you’re diligent in staying in it until it’s over! That’s the key to the effectiveness of any complex training regimen,  sticking it out the entire time, no breaks, every round,all reps, and every set until it’s done! The amount of weight used, is up to your individual fitness level,   however because it incorporates upper and lower body movements at a fairly quick pace,  use your heaviest tolerable upper body lifting weight at the most, no jive turkey,  you try this with your max squatting weight, you won’t make it past round 1! Don’t be afraid to dial down until you get the movements right. The Form First Rule! Injury prevention!

A Complex Situation w/ Candice Maria

Also, as a side note, I have programmed the entire routine into the workouts database, so you can access the full workout template and log your progress if you are a member in the BodySpace community

Another benefit to complex training is the simplicity of not needing a lot of equipment. While a classic circuit will have you switching from station to station or machine to machine, a complex uses the same piece of equipment for each exercise for the entire workout. The equipment needed for this work out can be picked up at your local sporting goods store while you’re out holiday shopping. jive turkey you really have no excuses now!

No gym, No problem!

Why this method works? The beauty of
compound exercises! These are those exercises that use many muscle groups all at once. Thus, more muscle fibers are in action in one rep, vs in an isolation exercise. Training in this manner  increases the amount of calories your body needs to burn.

So before you grab a bite of that turkey dinner,  take 20 minutes and knock out this workout. Turn on your metabolic furnace before that bird hits your belly,  no jive turkey!