HIFU Skin Tightening Treatment

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I won a free HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) skin tightening treatment from Shining Way Esthetics in December of 2018. Brenda Musia performed the treatment on me. Brenda is a fantastic esthetician and is doing quarterly facials on me going forward. My first one will be at the end of March of 2019, when I go back to do my “after” pictures from my HIFU treatment.

brenda musia

No one in their right mind would pass up an opportunity for a free treatment that boasts the benefits of collagen production and skin tightening. So, on Friday, December 28, 2018 I found myself at Shining Way Esthetics in Katy, TX to have the HIFU treatment done.

About HIFU

hifu machine

HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) uses ultrasound to penetrate deeply through the layers of skin to encourage collage production and tightening of the skin. It is also used for skin lifting and body contouring. It also reduces wrinkles, shrinks pores, improves skin tone, and can reduce fat deposits under the chin and on the neck. It is known as a non-invasive facelift.

This treatment can be used on other areas of the body, such as the décolletage, abdomen, triceps (bat-wings), thighs, and under the buttocks.

While there can be some immediate results (depending on the person), most of the result will occur over 3 to 7 months’ time. And the result can last up to two years, but certainly for at a year.

My Treatment

The treatment starts by using a numbing gel on the face. We did an all-over application at the beginning.

numbing cream

What I suggest is to do numbing gel on the first and or second sections, then when the treatment is happening on the first and or second section apply the numbing gel to the third and or fourth sections.

So the numbing gel will rotate around the face doing its job while the treatment occurs on the other parts of the face. This will prevent the numbing gel from wearing off by the time you get to the last sections.

Two all-over face treatments are performed at different intensities to reach different depths of the skin layers. You want the numbing gel to still be working by the time the treatment gets to the second round.

My total treatment time was about 2 hours. This was a new treatment for the spa and for Brenda, so she took her time during the treatment. The more she does it the more efficient she will get.

It feels like little electric pulses, zapping or tinkling sensation. Each person has different areas that may or may not be sensitive on their face. My sensitive area was my lower cheek and jaw area. I’m guessing that, that is the area of my face that needed it the most, because that was also the area of my face that had mild swelling and soreness for a few week after. I felt it in the shallow skin area on my forehead, but most of the other places were painless, with the numbing gel in play.

Once the numbing gel wore off, I felt much more of the electric pulses, but it wasn’t unbearable.

Once the treatment was completed, she cleaned me up, moisturized me and I was on my way! I had no redness left on my face and no visible swelling after the treatment.

In 3 months I am going back to Shining Way Esthetics to see Brenda to take “after” pictures. After that time I will update you on my results.

After Treatment

I was told not to use any hot water on my face for 24 hours.

I also thought that it would be a good idea to be very gentle with my face for the first 4 days after treatment. I used lukewarm water, a gentle cleanser, a calming toner, and moisturizers.

My favorite moisturizers of late are: Daytime – Andalou Naturals Probiotic +C Renewal Cream and Nighttime – Andalou Naturals Fruit Stem Cell Night Repair Cream.

I didn’t use anything scrubbing on my face, no cleaning brushes, no wash cloths, no exfoliators, nor glycolic acid or anything of the like.

I think I waited till day 5 before using Derma-E Vitamin A Glycolic Facial Scrub.

To help your face in rebuild collagen, I do suggest using hyaluronic acid. Once your face is clean, while still damp add the hyaluronic acid, then wait 30 seconds, and add your moisturizer last. This is something you can do all the time, not only after this treatment.

Check out my post on the best beauty brands to use, here.

Also, LED light therapy can help with acne, reduce fine lines and winkles, and build collagen. Here are a couple inexpensive options from Amazon. One and Two.

From the Inside Out

It wouldn’t be me writing to you unless I spoke to you about building your skin from the inside out. The best thing that I’ve done for my skin is take collagen peptides. I take unflavored collagen peptides in my coffee every morning. Vital Proteins also has flavored collagen options and collagen coffee creamers (Mocha, Vanilla, Gingerbread, Coconut).

unflavored collagen peptides

Vital Proteins developed specific products for beauty, check them out below.

Cheers to Collagen!!

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Another New Year

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I hope and pray that each of you reading this email will see another new year, to that end….another new day every day for 100 years. There is another New Year on the horizon (2019) and many people have the same internal and external conversations about what changes will be made in their life in the upcoming New Year.

Are you having the SAME conversation this year as you did last year and the year before? And the year before, and the year before….and so on? If so, let’s commit to this New Year being the last year for the SAME conversation. Because, this New Year will be the year that you stick to and accomplish your goals, so the next New Year (2020) you can make new goals and have new conversations.

Check out my post: Does a New Year = Change for you?. In this post, I discuss the importance of having an attachment to your “why”. While I still think this concept holds true, I think on a stronger level than that is that permanent change will only occur when what you are currently doing is more uncomfortable for you than the change is. There is a lot to be said for becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable; you will accomplish more and be more successful in general living your life uncomfortably.

I’ve heard it said that if your goals don’t scare you a little or a lot then they aren’t big enough. To wrap this up, living your life in your comfort zone will yield no positive change, everything will remain the same and then you will continue to have the SAME conversations year after year.

Keep in mind that any progress is better than not doing anything and any lasting positive change is better than striving for perfection.

get-what-you-always-got

Please also check out my posts: Do You Have GRIT? and Tips for Enjoying the Holidays. I think you will find these valuable in this conversation as well.

A Few of My Wins in 2018

I’ve created a habit of walking 30-60 minutes 3-5 days a week. Sometimes less, depending on the week, but I really put for the effort to hit 5 days per week.

And I’ve lifted weights more consistently this year than I have in the couple/few years prior, which has been awesome. I love feeling strong. I plan to continue with these habits for the rest of my life. I’m sure there will be ebbs and flows though.

I’ve come to terms with the skin that I’m in. I appreciate my body for what it is and keeping me alive. I let go of expectations around what “I’m supposed to do” when it comes to cooking.

In 2019

I want to up my water consumption. I’ve been slacking on this for a while. And I want to swim at least once a week.

What Success Looks Like

Recipe: Side Dish – One-pan Roasted Veggies

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It is officially fall in Texas (U.S.A) and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. When I think of fall and winter I think of roasted root veggies.

This dish is one of that I have been making the last four or five years for Thanksgiving Day. My family loved it so much the first year I made it they started requesting these veggies for Thanksgiving Day dinner every year. The best part is that it can be made the day before, cooled, and reheated the next day, which is the way I like to do it.

The recipe(ish) below can be customized to your tastes, I’ve provided optional additions and two different vinaigrette recipes to choose from.

Tools:

  • Chopping Board
  • Sharp Knife
  • Large Ziploc Bags
  • Large Sheet Pan
  • Foil and or Silpat
  • Large Portable Container

Ingredients:

 Seasonings, Herbs, and Oil (to taste)

  • Avocado Oil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dried Thyme
  • Dried Sage
  • Dried Rosemary
  • Optional: Red Pepper Flakes

 Root Veggies:

  • Brussels Spouts
  • Butter Nut Squash (pre-cut) or Sweet Potatoes or Yams
  • Parsnips

Optional Root Veggies:

  • Turnips
  • Radishes
  • Carrots

The thought process behind the add-ins below: bacon = saltiness, cranberries = sweetness/tartness, pecans = bitter/sweetness, roasted garlic = umami/richness. These flavor profiles combine with the vinaigrette of your choice, which includes a tart/tangy component of the vinegar and sweetness of the maple syrup, hits all the taste buds, it balances out so well.

Add-Ins After Roast, Before Serving (use some or all of these):

  • Pre-roasted Garlic Cloves (from olive bar)
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Pecans Halves (halved)
  • Pre-cook Crispy Bacon

Bacon Tip: Use ½ to 1 whole pkg of bacon. When still raw, pull a stack of 4 or 5 slices at a time, cut the bacon in ½ to 1 inch pieces with a very sharp knife. Once cut, put in the pan to fry to crispy-goodness. I like to add garlic powder to it when cooking.

At this point in the recipe(ish), I bet you are wondering where the recipe is…..?? Well, here is the thing….I do not know how many people you are cooking for. The more people you have the more veggies you’ll need, the less people you have the less veggies you’ll need. So, the amount of veggies you cook is up to you and how many guest you are serving.

Vinaigrette Option 1:

  • ¼ Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup of Maple Syrup (Grade B or Grade A)

Vinaigrette Option 2:

  • ¼ Cup of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs of Maple Syrup or Honey
  • 1 or 2 tsp of Dijon Mustard
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper

With the vinaigrette amounts, if you are making a whole bunch of veggies, you may have to double these recipes to get an adequate amount to have a good coverage and moistness.

Recipe Tips:

  1. The key to the recipe is to cut your veggies all the same size. I prefer to cut them between ½” and 1” cubes-ish shapes. This will allow them to all cook at the same rate and evenly.
  2. Use Ziploc bags to oil and season your veggies in. This allows for even distribution of oil and seasoning. Also, you can throw them away instead of cleaning a bowl (wasteful, yes; environmentally friendly, no; easy and fast, yes).

Directions:

I like an easy clean-up situation, so I suggest using heavy duty foil to cover the sheet pan, then I place a Silpat

on top to avoid aluminum from leaching into the food. But, if you just use foil, no biggie, use one layer of heavy duty first then a layer of non-stick foil on the top, for obvious reasons.

Pre-heat the oven to 375° or 400° depending on how hot your oven runs.

Cut your veggies. Place them in the Ziploc bag(s). Add your oil (enough to coat but not too much to look super oily), close the bags and mush around for even distribution. Yes, mush is a technical cooking term, right?! Open the bags and add the spices and herbs, re-close the bags, and shake and mush again to make sure the seasonings are evenly distributed.

Dump the Ziploc bags’ contents onto the pre-foiled and pre-lined sheet pan. Make sure the veggies are laying in one single layer.

Cook time will vary based on how many veggies you are using. Stir the veggies every 20 minutes. As you reach about 40 minutes of cook time, use a fork to check the softness of each veggie. When they become tender, if you have convection functionality, I suggest using that function to get a nice caramelization and crisp edges on the veggies. If you do not, which I do not, you can either continue to cook until they reach the desired caramelization or kick-up the temperature by 25 additional degrees to speed up the process. Continue to stir them every 15 minutes after they are soft.

If you find during the cooking and stirring process the veggies are getting dry, add pads of butter and stir in before putting it back in the oven.

butter_makes_everything_better

Once the veggies are soft yet caramelized and crisp around the edges, now is the time to pull them out of the oven. If you are making and eating the same day, then mix in the vinaigrette and your “add-ins” and serve.

Done. Eat. Enjoy.

If you are going to warm them up the next day, pull them out of the oven and place somewhere to cool down (I use a small fan to speed up the cooling process). Once cool dump the veggies in an air-tight container and place in the refrigerator. Then put your prepped add-ins and vinaigrette in the fridge to assemble the next day.

Done. Eat. Enjoy.

Roasted Root Veggies

I am….

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Rene Descartes, a French philosopher said (roughly translated) “I think therefore I am”. This concept is profound. It is even more profound when put in to action and practice.

What you think (aka: tell yourself) your brain believes to be true, even if it isn’t true. This is why the topic of negative self-talk is so big right now. The thing is, your brain doesn’t understand negatives. When you tell yourself “I don’t want to…..” that isn’t what your brain hears…..it hears “I want to….”. You need to Change the Conversation.

I Think Therefore I Am

The power behind a statement that starts with the words “I am…..” will change your life, either for the better or the worse. “I think therefore I am”….your brain believes what you tell it. So, tell it what you want it to believe.

Let’s Compare Statements

I am….fat.                        or          I am….lean and strong. I am….a fat burning machine.

I am….not enough.            or          I am….more than enough. I am….excelling and thriving.

I am….not worth it.            or          I am….a child of the one and only God and creator. I am worth it.

Words to Remove from your Thoughts and Vocabulary: Should, Can’t, Must and Mustn’t

Put it into Practice

Every single time you hear a negative thought in your head, counteract it with an affirming “I am….” statement. Repeat it as many times as you need to as often as you need to, to stop the negative thought process.

If there are specific things you want, even if you don’t believe it yet, tell yourself what you are (aka what you want to be). Do not use “I want” statements, use “I am” statements.

“I think therefore I am”. You are, you will be, what you think.

Get Comfortable with Uncomfortable

Do not let your thoughts and your limiting beliefs (not truths) hold you back from what you want to achieve. Growth doesn’t occur in your comfort zones; it occurs during times of being uncomfortable. If you are comfortable, you can be certain no growth is occurring and you are stagnate.

Comfort Zones

I struggle with limiting beliefs, I am doing the work required to remove those limitations from my thoughts. It is hard work. It is worth it work. What I’ve realized through this so far, is that my limiting beliefs are not true. They are excuses. They are rooted in fear.

From the above, in practice: “I am….the only person who can do what I can do the way I can do it. I am….clear and confident in my vision for my future. I am….a master of time management. I am….a voracious reader. I am….whole and can create whatever I desire.”

“I think therefore I am”

The Law of Action

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I’m pretty sure most people have heard of the Law of Attraction, in which one believes that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts that one can bring positive or negative things into their life.

That is not this…..

I’m talking about the law of ACTION. I don’t think it is actually a “law”, but it should be. The Law of Attraction relies on fate and a factor of intangibility. The law of Action relies on one choosing to take action and thus responsibility for the things in their life.

While I do recognize that there are many things that occur in life that we do not have control over, we still have control over how we take action when those things happen. And we have control over all the rest of the things.

In my opinion, there are too many people out there that truly believe that life just happens to them. Ignoring the fact that most of the time in most days their life is where it is and what it is because of the choices they make every day. With every choice there is a consequence, whether good or bad. One’s life is a compiling of all these choices and consequences.

The law of Action

If you do not like where your life is…..take Action. If you do not like what your life is…..take Action.

get-what-you-always-got

If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you will keep getting what you’ve always gotten.

The law of Action is this…..DO something different. DO SOMETHING different to yield a different result. How can you keep doing the same things you’ve always done and expect your life (or body or whatever) to be different? That’s insanity folks. [Insanity meaning: extreme foolishness or irrationality (thank you Google Dictionary)]

The Hard Part & The Best Part

Don’t go through your whole life not recognizing and realizing the power that is held with taking full responsibility for your life, choices, and actions. The difficult part of this statement is that means that the state of your life is your choice.

If you feel stagnate, it is because you are choosing not to do something. If you feel out of control, it is because you are choosing not to be disciplined. If you feel unhappy, it is because you are choosing to look at your life (day) with the wrong perspective. Do you see the trend here?

The best part of this, the freedom from “fate” lies with this recognition as well…..this means you can take Action and do something different to change your life into what you want it to be. This is not an easy thing….but it is a worth it thing. Please read my Do You Have GRIT? post.

I beg of you, do not sit back and passively wait for life to happen to you and live a reactive life. The actualization of your goals will not materialize by fate, because “you deserve it”. You deserve what you work for or not work for.

Live your life by the law of Action.

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The Muscle Stick

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I want to introduce to you my favorite recovery tool. I found it on Amazon about 3 months ago for $19.99 and it has been the best twenty-bucks I’ve spent in a long time!

If you have issues with sore muscles, stiffness, or knots in your muscles, I highly recommend this tool to you.

The Muscle Stick

FYI: I do not have any affiliation with this product or Amazon.

About the Product

I’ve been using it every day, if only for a few minutes and sometimes longer. I roll out my feet, legs, glutes, and arms without help. I occasionally will talk my husband into rolling out my back and glutes for me. It has done wonders for my forearms, shoulder caps, calves, quads, and hamstrings.

I think that my cellulite has decreased since using it regularly. Considering the roller helps with fascia manipulation and increased blood-flow, it makes since. So that’s a nice bonus.

If you decide to get one, please feel free to leave me a comment on this post and let me know how you like it.

Cheers to recovery and feeling good!

On-Going Lifting Commitment to Myself

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Now What?

I was thinking about posting all my workouts for a full year, but….I think it is time to move on….

After 8 months of this workout series I am feeling strong and capable. Soooooo now what? I’ve not decided yet if I am going to go back through all 6 programs again with heavier weight and different set and rep schemes or if I am going to design all new workout programs…..but either way….rest assured I’m keeping at it!

keep_keepin

What I’ve Learned

Life Happens

Life Happens frequently.

If I miss a workout for whatever reason it is, I know that it is my choice. I don’t beat myself up, I don’t “make up for it”, I don’t think twice about it…..because the Lord willing…..there is another day for a workout. And if the Lord isn’t willing…..well I’m in heaven and no longer need to lift weights anyway.

Consistancy

Consistency is the key to progression.

You are what you do over and over again.

Make Changes

Changing-up the routine/programming is important.

I change programs every 5 weeks, sometimes 4 weeks. The change keeps interest and engagement high as well as elicits new stimulus to the body to promote body changes and growth.

You can_t out-exercise a bad diet

What you put in your face matters more.

While weight training is important for health (bone density and hormonal response) and capability (muscle mass to get through life with ease), what you put in your face matters more. You can’t out exercise a poor diet. I could talk for a long time on this subject, so I’m going to leave it at that….for now.

Links to All the Programs in One Place

In the past 8 months I’ve completed the following workouts, linked to below. In each post I link to YouTube videos that will show you or teach you proper form for each movement.

Part 1 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Why lifting weights is important to me
  • Misconceptions women make about lifting weights
  • Things to-do
  • Lifting program weeks 1 – 5

Part 2 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • My workouts for weeks 6 – 10
  • Articles that discuss general guidelines about training and the menstrual cycle

Part 3 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • My workouts for weeks 11 – 15
  • Circuit Style
  • Rest Week & Life

Part 4 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Life Happens
  • Lifting program weeks 16 – 21
  • Full Body Workouts – Mostly Large Compound Lifts

Part 5 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Pyramid Sets/Reps
  • Back from Vacation

Part 6 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Still Super Sets
  • Drop Sets

Here are some of my other blog posts that discuss exercise.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.

Part 6 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

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I completed the following five workout programs with modifications each week on number of sets, reps, and or weight so that each workout continued to challenge my body to adapt (aka: change).

In each post I link to YouTube videos that will show you or teach you proper form for each movement.

Part 1 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Why lifting weights is important to me
  • Misconceptions women make about lifting weights
  • Things to-do
  • Lifting program weeks 1 – 5

Part 2 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • My workouts for weeks 6 – 10
  • Articles that discuss general guidelines about training and the menstrual cycle

Part 3 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • My workouts for weeks 11 – 15
  • Circuit Style
  • Rest Week & Life

Part 4 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Life Happens
  • Lifting program weeks 16 – 21
  • Full Body Workouts – Mostly Large Compound Lifts

Part 5 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Pyramid Sets/Reps
  • Back from Vacation

Drop Sets

Throughout the workouts for this past five week, I included drop sets. The drop set rep scheme I used was (6/12/20). What you do is pick a weight that you can lift for only 6 reps, then drop the weight to a weight that you can only lift for 12 reps, and lastly drop the weight again to a weight that you can only achieve 20 reps with.

If you can do any more reps than the designated rep range for each set, then your weight isn’t heavy enough. Most women underestimate how much weight they can actually lift. Don’t do that. This won’t work if you go to light on weight….out of fear! Error on the side of too heavy vs. too light. You can always drop down and start again.

The past 5 weeks of workouts (weeks 28 – 32) are listed below.

Week 28

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

Life Happens

Don’t beat yourself up for not making it to the gym when life happens. I got sick on Thursday this week and spent about 20 hours sleeping on Friday. All that rest really helped me get on the mend. It is Monday today and I still have symptoms, but I’m feeling better and have energy to get through the day. Hopefully, I feel well enough tomorrow to start Week 29.

Week 29

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • 3-Way Lunge (Front, Reverse, Curtsy) – Bodyweight
  • Arnold Press (6/12/20)
  • Smith Machine Squat – 2 Set @ 50 lbs +bar / 2 Set @ 70 lbs +bar
  • Inverted Row – Smith Machine
  • Hamstring Curl – 45 lbs
  • Triceps Press-ups – 10 lbs (8/6/4)
  • Front Raises – 10 lbs

Thursday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Assisted Pistol Squats – bodyweight
  • Straight Arm Lat Pull-Down
  • Single Leg Reverse Step-ups – Assisted Pull-up Machine
  • Assisted Pull-up
  • Wide Stance Squats – 55 lbs
  • Triceps Pushdowns (6/12/20) 
  • Overhead Palloff Press w/ Oblique Twist – 10 lb Cable

Week 30

Life Happens Frequently 

Wednesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Assisted Pistol Squats – bodyweight
  • Straight Arm Lat Pull-Down
  • Single Leg Reverse Step-ups – Assisted Pull-up Machine
  • Assisted Pull-up
  • Wide Stance Squats – 55 lbs
  • Triceps Pushdowns (6/12/20)
  • Overhead Palloff Press w/ Oblique Twist – 10 lb Cable
  • Stretch

Week 31

Tuesday – Full Body Workout

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Traditional Leg Press (110 lbs, 130 lbs, 140 lbs, 150 lbs) (4×10)
  • Inverted Row – Smith Machine – Bodyweight (4×10)
  • 3-Way Lunge (Front, Reverse, Curtsy) – Bodyweight (4×18)
  • Incline Push-ups – Bodyweight (4×10)

Thursday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Single Leg Reverse Step-ups – Assisted Pull-up Machine – 130 lbs
  • Assisted Pull-up
  • Wide Stance Squats – 60 lbs
  • Triceps Pushdowns
  • Seated Leg Extensions (varying toe positions) – 45 lbs

Week 32

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

Friday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Upright Row
  • 3-Way Lunge (Front, Reverse, Curtsy)
  • Front Raises – 10 lbs
  • Incline Push-ups – Bodyweight (4×10
  • Smith Machine Squat
  • Inverted Row – Smith Machine  
  • Hamstring Curl
  • Triceps Press-ups – (6/12/20)
  • Stretch

Here are some of my other blog posts that discuss exercise.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.

 

 

Part 5 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

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I completed the following four workout programs with modifications each week on number of sets, reps, and or weight so that each workout continued to challenge my body to adapt (aka: change).

In each post I link to YouTube videos that will show you or teach you proper form for each movement.

Part 1 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Why lifting weights is important to me
  • Misconceptions women make about lifting weights
  • Things to-do
  • Lifting program weeks 1 – 5

Part 2 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • My workouts for weeks 6 – 10
  • Articles that discuss general guidelines about training and the menstrual cycle

Part 3 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • My workouts for weeks 11 – 15
  • Circuit Style
  • Rest Week & Life

Part 4 of Lifting Weights / Resistance Training

  • Life Happens
  • Lifting program weeks 16 – 21
  • Full Body Workouts – Mostly Large Compound Lifts

The past 5 weeks of workouts (weeks 23 – 27), I threw in a day of Descending Pyramid Sets/Reps.

The benefit of descending pyramid training is that it builds strength and muscle, which is the name of the game for fat-loss, looking good, and feeling and being capable of making it through life (carrying groceries, not falling down, and if you do…being able to get back up again not injured).

Throwing in different styles of training also prevents plateaus, it switches-up the stimulus on your muscles and bones to allow for continued growth and positive change on the body.

Depending on where you are with your strength will determine how much weight you can handle through this pyramid style training. Some people use the same weight throughout the rep scheme, some folks start with heavy weight getting lighter as needed throughout the rep scheme, and some people start off with lighter weight with the most reps working their way heavier and heavier as the rep scheme progresses down to 1. I suggest you try all three weight schemes to see how your body responds.

This style is also combine with a super-set style to keep the heart-rate up the whole time; you can see via the color groupings below.

Week 23

This was my first lifting session back after vacation; I took my time and rested when I needed to. This was a nice change from my usual set/rep scheme. It was fun and I really enjoyed this workout. I felt really good afterwards. It was difficult and effective. I was quite sore the couple of days following this workout. I took some amino acids, foam rolled, and stretched to help with my soreness.

Saturday – Descending Pyramid Sets/Reps

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Forward Lunges (6 sets) – starting at 6 reps (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Hammer Curl (7 sets) – starting at 7 reps (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Goblet Squat (7 sets) – starting at 7 reps (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Overhead Press (7 sets) – starting at 7 reps (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Bulgarian Split Squat (4 sets) – starting at 4 reps (3, 2, 1)
  • Front Raise (4 sets) – starting at 4 reps (3, 2, 1)
  • Plank (5 sets) – starting at 30 seconds (reduce by 5 seconds each rep)
  • Push-ups (5 sets) – starting at 15 reps (10, 8, 5, 5)
  • Stretch

Week 24

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

Thursday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

Week 25

Saturday – Descending Pyramid Sets/Reps

  • 50 minute walk – Treadmill (getting in my steps)
  • Forward Lunges (6 sets) – starting at 6 reps (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Hammer Curl (7 sets) – starting at 7 reps (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Goblet Squat (7 sets) – starting at 7 reps (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Overhead Press (7 sets) – starting at 7 reps (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Bulgarian Split Squat (6 sets) – starting at 6 reps (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Front Raise (6 sets) – starting at 6 reps (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Plank (5 sets) – starting at 30 seconds (reduce by 5 seconds each rep)
  • Push-ups (5 sets) – starting at 5 reps (4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Stretch

Week 26

Friday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Wide-stance Squat – 50 lb dumbbell
  • Lat Pull-Downs – 50 lbs
  • Barbell Hip Thrusts – 50 lb barbell
  • Dips – 50 lbs
  • Traditional Leg Press – 100 lbs
  • Assisted Pull-Ups
  • Overhead Palloff Press w/ Oblique Twist – 10 lb Cable
  • Garhammer Raise – bodyweight

Sunday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Under-Hand Grip Bent Over Row – 40 lb barbell
  • Straight Leg Deadlift – 40 lb barbell
  • Bicep Curl – 30 lb barbell
  • Step-Ups
  • Overhead Press – 20 lb dumbells
  • Goblet Squat – 30 lb dumbbell
  • Overhead Triceps Press
  • Hand Walkouts

Week 27

Tuesday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

  • 10 minute warm-up – Revolving Stairs
  • Seated Leg Press – 120 lbs, 130 lbs, 140 lbs, 150 lbs
  • Seated Row w/ Short Bar – 40 lbs, 50 lbs
  • Single-Leg Foot Elevated Glute Bridge – Bodyweight
  • Bicep Curl – 30 lb, 40 lb barbells
  • Straight Leg Deadlift – 60 lb barbell
  • Triceps Pushdowns w/ Short Bar – 20 lbs
  • Single Leg Box Squats – bodyweight
  • Overhead Triceps Press – 10 lbs
  • Stretch

Thursday – Full Body Workout (4 Sets)

Here are some of my other blog posts that discuss exercise.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.

 

 

Sugar Struggle

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This topic is so big, it is difficult to know where to start and what to cover and not cover, as not to fall down the giant rabbit hole…..

The sugar struggle is real folks! We are living in the time in history in which we are surrounded by sugar. There is sugar in things that we don’t even realize there is sugar in. Having said that, if you are eating something out of a package, you are pretty safe to assume there is sugar in it….and probably added sugar in it.

Let me get one thing out of the way here….all food can be turned into glucose in the body. Yes, even fat. Yes, even protein. Yes, even salad. Given the correct circumstances….

But let’s get real….I’m not talking about real whole foods in this post. I’m talking about processed, man-made food-like products. The hyper palatable eatable food-ish products that keep us coming back for more. That make us “can’t eat just one”.

Video: Hyperpalatable Foods in Action

Sugar is the Devil

If you ask my closest friends what I say about sugar, they will tell you that I have been saying for many years “Sugar is the Devil”.

Because I know what sugar does to the body, I have an internal desire to not eat sugar or to not eat it very often or very much. I still go through times of eating way too much sugar; I get on that cycle of habit and training my body to want sugar at certain times. But guess what…I’m aware of it. My awareness allows me to identify why I’m eating sugar and then make the necessary life-style changes to reduce my sugar intake. Do I still eat some sugar? Yes.

The reason this works for me is because I tamed my sugar beast years ago. I balanced my blood sugar regulation. Got rid of my sugar cravings. I am able to moderate my sugar intake. Having said that….I am more of a salty kind of girl. I’ll take potato chips over cookies any day!

But guess what happens to those processed potato chips in my body? They turn to sugar (glucose) too.

Excess glucose in the body (sugar, carbohydrates) over a period of time (each person’s body is different) will create a metabolic state of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the first step towards the development of diabetes 2 and 3 (insulin resistance of the brain leading to Alzheimer’s). This is not a metabolic state you want your body to be in.

My Top Five Ways to Improve Your Body’s Ability to Process Sugar

(processed and natural sugars from all sources including carbohydrates)

  1. Sleep 7-9 hours per night (not getting enough sleep can cause temporary insulin resistance)
  2. Resistance Train/Lift Weights
  3. 4 to 6 100-yard or 30-second Sprints 1x to 2x per week
  4. Keep your Liver Healthy (cruciferous veggies, bitter greans, garlic, citrus, avocado, Beef Liver Capsules
  5. Throne Research – Berberine or Dr. Mercola Berberine

How-to Alter your Relationship with Sugar

Keeping it real: You have to want to make change. You have to want to be healthy more than you want to eat sugar laden food-like products. You are the only person responsible for what goes in your mouth. You have to take action.

Stop the Struggle

Below are a few programs I recommend to help you gain control of your sugar intake. You do not have to be perfect, but you have to be relentless.

Other Resources