Marathon Training: Generic Plans Vs A Whole Body Approach Pt. 1

Personalized Marathon Training

As the saying goes, “Marathon training is a cruel mistress”, why else does every marathoner feel the need to tell you about their training regardless if you have asked our not?

It’s a lot of time, effort and sweat equity put into one day, months away, where you will test your mettle on the road…

Which is why you need to be cautious with which marathon training plan you choose!

You need to choose a plan that will work best for you; a plan that will fit within your time constraints but also work with your body and how you as an individual respond to training. However, sometimes it’s hard to tell which plan will work best, especially if you are unsure what to look for!

Take the plan below for instance: Continue reading “Marathon Training: Generic Plans Vs A Whole Body Approach Pt. 1”

Getting started – it’s the only thing that matters

Getting Started - it's the only thing that matters

Getting started on something is usually the hardest part. I believe it’s the only thing that matters!

I actually wrote a similar version of this article about a year and a half ago but just realized I never got around to publishing it…

I apologize because I feel I prevented a learning opportunity for you.

I’m writing about it again now because I had a new realization about this concept the other day. I even did a Snapchat rant about it.

Continue reading “Getting started – it’s the only thing that matters”

Why I Stopped Being A Personal Trainer

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Why I stopped 1-on-1 personal training.

I’ve been thinking about what I’m doing in Mexico with Fitmix25 and what I’m doing with AnthroPhysique. I’ve dedicated my life to these two systems because I deeply believe in their benefits for someone’s health and fitness.

I’ve been thinking about why my belief so strong and what truly is the benefit of these systems?

It comes down to something that happened to me 9 years ago in early 2007. Continue reading “Why I Stopped Being A Personal Trainer”

Do you have vague goals or measurable goals?

Running a marathon is a measurable goal.

When I ask people for their goals, I oftentimes get vague responses. Most commonly, people tell me that they want to lose weight or build muscle.

Let’s start with the “losing weight” response and let’s first change the terminology.

What we’re really talking about here is losing body fat, right? You can lose weight by simply dehydrating yourself, but I realize that what people mean by “lose weight” is actually that they want to “lose fat.” – if your goal is to simply lose fat, how do know when you’ve attained that goal? Continue reading “Do you have vague goals or measurable goals?”

As an Athlete: What Do I Do When I Retire From Sports?

Nicole athlete picture - pole vault

There are millions of post collegiate and post professional athletes out there who are venturing into the “Normal” world as we would like to call it. Your day changes and does not revolve around practice and meet schedules anymore, you no longer have to plan everything in your life around your training. Some people might look at this and think that sounds great, but for many former athletes this creates a lot of anxiety!

I myself have finally stopped pole vaulting – after trying my best to just meet my potential for the last 3 years as a post collegiate athlete and after an illness took a lot of my capability away (physically and mostly mentally) adding real life into the mix on top of all that with a Masters program (That I am proud to be finishing up) Jobs (I had and still have 3) It was the best and most stressful times of my life.

what do i do when i retire from sports

This Article Without the Game written by Lexi Panepinto really sums up this major life event. I encourage you all to read it!

Personally I struggle a lot now – trying to find my place, “who I am now that I am not the pole vaulter? What defines me?”. I have broken down a lot; in and out of the gym and on my final days of practice. I wish I let a lot of the pressure go during my final season so I was able to enjoy it more but I still have my moments where I break down because I am not that athlete anymore. Even though there is still so much to come in life, you can seem lost in the moment and this moment can last a long time.

My advice to all who are going through this or about to enter into this is try your hardest to enjoy your last “hoorah”. If you do not you will look back on it in a negative way and always feel like you did not give your last shot your best. If you are already past your last season and struggling to move on, look at the highlights! Who have you become because of this sport? What did you gain from it? Friends, lessons, motivation, courage? Regardless of how your last meet, game, practice, or whatever it may be ended, end it with pride, happiness, and passion that will never leave. Find your next goals. There is always something more that can be just as fulfilling and exciting.

Nicole athlete picture - pole vault

Luckily I have very supportive people by my side who are cheering me on in my next adventure. Find what motivates you – for me: that is my family, nutrition, and fitness. Having my family grown with my husband to be, growing my knowledge in nutrition and pursuing my doctorate, and increasing my fitness both as a hobby and as part of my career. As much as I miss pole vault and I always will I am excited for this next adventure. Just one step at a time!


Building A Better Booty: Coach Shelby’s Quest For Glutes

Building A Better Booty 3

Is there anything better than a well developed set of glutes aka: Booty?

Hm.. perhaps some gorgeous back muscles but one thing at a time!

My obsession with glutes started in my early twenties. I had a classically flat bum. Don’t get me wrong, it was small but it was most definitely flat.
And I hated it (along with this picture!)

Building Better Glutes 1

So I set about to change it! I squatted, deadlifted and lunged for a good three years; and while my glutes did develop, the results weren’t exactly what I was hoping for… “Womp womp”

So the next two years I spent truly trying to grow my booty. Again, changes happened but not many, I am very hamstring dominant and without proper focus they take over all the work my glutes should be doing.

Slowly but surely I started to get pissed off!

Then I got pregnant – Having to scale back my workouts a bit I decided to spend the majority of my time working all the tiny muscle groups I normally neglected in my regular workouts (preferring to train the core lifts).

So I then delved into glute research; I read a total of 387 articles on glutes, glute programming and how to achieve a roundly backside shape. and finally, finally! I realized where I was going wrong:

My glutes were failing to contract fully and for me personally they respond better to high volume than heavy weight.

Well… OK…

So back to the studio. I began training glutes six days per week for 20-30min each day. I used a range of exercises to target all functions of the glutes (hip extension, hip hyper extension, hip transverse abduction, hip abduction, hip external rotation) and in a variety of repetition ranges.

Building Better Glutes 2

The most important part for me was ensuring I really felt my glutes working, specifically in hip hyperextension.

The fun thing about the glutes is you can work them in low loads with really high volume without causing damage. So that’s what I did.. for six months.

The results:

I put two inches on my glutes and changed their entire shape. While my pants fit around my waist I cannot get them over my butt. Thankfully, I no longer have a small booty!

Building Better Glutes 3

To top it all off, now that I understand their contraction I’ve been able to put some much needed numbers onto my core lifts. It’s been a win all around!

So here’s the thing:

Some people have great glute genetics, while others can contract their glutes on a whim and therefore have an easier time developing a roundly shape.

Then there are people like me who have poor glute genetics (read: flat bum!) and struggle to contract the glutes properly.

If this is you, you’ll have your work cut out for you.

BUT, a nice ass is definitely possible (with the right amount of work!).

There are three things it takes to build your glutes (or any muscle for that matter):

* Metabolic stress (that oh so lovely “pump” feeling)

* Mechanical tension (activating your muscles through a full range of motion)

* Muscle damage (feeling sore the next day)

If you’re missing one of the three your results will be a bit lack luster.

And what many females fail to realize is that putting muscle onto your glutes is a good thing. In order to have a “nice butt” you need to have muscle back there. The perk of this muscle is that stronger glutes help alleviate low back pain, protect the knees and are a great supplement to your bigger lifts (squat and deadlift).

So if you’ve been training in the hopes of having a nicer butt for some time with no luck, give me a shout. No one should have to suffer with a flat booty 😉