May body progress

Fitterstrongerbetter body

Dear readers,

You have no idea how happy I am to finally see some definite changes in my shoulders. The past few weeks I have been focusing on strengthening my upper body when weightlifting and it’s coming along nicely. My lats and deltoids are getting more defined (and stronger).

The definition that is developing in the top of my abs has also been a recent change and I feel alongside targeted training, my change of protein and increasing intake has been helping exponentially.

Another positive from drinking Sci-MX regularly I’ve noticed is that I have a lot more energy; I’m not suffering with cravings, moodswings or lethargy since I’ve started having a minimum 2 servings per day.

Yesterday was my last weights day of the week and it was a gentle one because I still had DOMS from Monday.

Upright rows 10kg – 25 reps in 5 sets of 5.
Bicep curl 10kg (5kg each hand) – 15 reps in 3 sets of 5
Hammer curl 10kg (” “) – 15 reps in 3 sets of 5
Side lat raise to overhead press, 5kg – 3 reps, 2.5kg – 5 reps

And that was enough for me to end the training session on. After a nice relaxing long weekend in Wales (with an Insanity work out if I get the exercise itch), I will be back to kicking my own ass on Tuesday!

Tense abs

Yesterday I was asked by Dan what area I wanted to work on to which I replied “my core” … Oh boy. I didn’t feel the burn too much at the end of my session but the DOMS is pretty bad today so I must’ve done something good!

Dan set me 8 minutes and 8 types of crunches; 1 type with as many reps in 1 minute, no break before the next.

I accomplished the following:
Basic crunches – 14
Cross over crunches right side – 10
Cross over crunches left side – 12
Clam – 13
Sliding crunches – 16
Bicycle crunches – 12
Plank – 50 seconds before I gave out
Raised legs crunches – 20

After a breather and a stretch I then did 12 weighted crunches with a 2.5kg disc.

I then wanted to do a little bit on my thighs as I’ve been focusing so much purely on my upper body so I did 30 squats at 12.5kg – 15 normal squats, 15 wide-legged squats. I’ve not varied my squats at all as of late so I felt the burn then!

Tomorrow is our last weights day before we go visit Dan’s family in Wales so we’ll be doing Insanity towards the end of the week down there. I’ve been doing a lot of weight-based training so it’ll be good to do some intense cardio to make sure my heart’s still happy. ;)

I’m hoping to repeat this workout sometime in the near future to see if I can beat my reps, or if I find them easier, to gauge how my core has been progressing.

Hope my fellow Brits had a good bank holiday weekend!

My hearty quinoa and black pepper bean burgers

vegan quinoa bean burger

On Sunday after a lovely day in the country, Dan was suffering quite a bit with what appears to be hayfever so I wanted to cook him something wholesome to cheer him up.

These vegetarian burgers were a complete experiment but they turned out beautifully so I thought I’d share my recipe for others to try. Sorry for the poor quality photo, it was taken really quickly on my phone as I did not have the patience to go find my camera before I devoured my meal. :D

It made four burgers in the end and I saved one to have for lunch the next day.

Ingredients
1 can mixed pulses in water (drained, rinsed thoroughly and shaken a fair bit to get excess water out)
1 cup quinoa cooked and thoroughly drained (bulgur wheat or a mix of both would work well too)
2 cups approx of brown bread crumbs
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 egg, whisked (or egg replacement if you’re vegan)
As much/as little black pepper as you like (I think a dab of basil or oregano would have worked nicely also)
Wholemeal flour as needed for the mixture

How to cook quinoa bean burgers
1 - Put the quinoa to cook based on the package instructions, do not overcook as keeping them a little al dente adds to the texture.

2 - Cook the mixed pulses very lightly just to soften them up to make it easier.

3 - Mix cooked quinoa, beans and breadcrumbs together with the whisked egg and mash thoroughly, at this stage the mixture will be too runny so add flour as you see fit to get a mixture that is a bit doughy

4 - add red onion and any seasoning (at this point I also added 1 tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce for flavour)

5 - using your hands, form four patties from the mixture, they should feel heavy like they will hold their shape when you’re frying them. Add a dusting of flour on either side.

6 - shallow fry until golden and hot throughout (I used bran oil for my frying which is a great alternative to olive oil)

Enjoy these healthy, meat-free burgers with sweet potato chips and/or your favourite green veg.

Dig Deeper

Since Dan and I have been lifting together as of late, he noticed that I’m recovering a bit too easily from our work outs. Admittedly, without realising, I had reached a bit of a plateau where I wasn’t increasing my weight and thus not challenging my body.

Today is the first day I’ve been pushed to the point where I had muscle fatigue and had to finish earlier than planned and I can actually feel the tops of my shoulders and biceps ache. Dan’s reassured me that your biceps are muscles you can really fatigue without damaging them (within reason obviously) and he also told me he could see some definition as I was doing my reps which is all kinds of awesome. Make room noodle arms, we’ve finally got some muscles coming in!

Bicep curls (EZ bar) 12.5kg – 20 reps in 5/10/5 sets
Upright row 12.5kg – 20 reps in 4 sets of 5
Military press 12.5kg – 13 reps and then I had to quit because my arms just did not want to cooperate.

I’m somewhat scared that if I don’t have DOMS tomorrow that he’ll just increase my weights for the next time, haha. It’s awesome having someone knowledgeable to work out with even if he does kick my butt if I back-chat. :)

I’m having the weekend off as it is a busy one and next week I will definitely be incorporating Insanity work outs into my work out week alongside the weights.

Have a good weekend, guys and girls.

Low weight, high reps.

Hi all,

My life has been so hectic as of late I feel like my feet have barely touched the ground. Dan’s moved a lot of his stuff over so he’s officially living with me which is really exciting. We’ve been busy clearing space in my house, looking after my mum who’s still resting her foot after an operation and in between all that I’m trying to get some crochet commissions and digital art done!

On Wednesday we did weights and after a discussion Dan and I had about a girl on TV who was slim but had bulky arms. It was clear she worked out but I couldn’t understand why she had big arms but no muscle definition, to which Dan explained to me that some people prefer to build mass rather than size and definition. He recommended low weights but high reps for me so that’s what I did.

Bicep curls 5kg, 15 reps – 2 rounds
Upright row 10kg, 10 reps – 3 rounds
Military press 12.5kg, 10 reps – 1 round
Military press 10kg, 10 reps – 2 rounds
Tricep extensions 2.5kg, 15 reps – 2 rounds

I’ve also swapped my protein intake to Sci-MX Ultragen Whey Protein and I gotta say, I’m already impressed. The two flavours I’ve tried have both been delicious but I went with strawberry and I’m now having it every day as a mid-morning snack and before bed (to stop me eating a lot before I sleep) and after training. Now I’m actually on genuine protein I’m excited to see what progress I can make with a properly fuelled body.

Yesterday was a rest day so today at some point we’ll be back at the weights again. I’ve admittedly not done any Insanity work outs for three weeks or so but once things have calmed down in my house I’m sure I’ll be balancing my lifting with some ass-kicking cardio.

Hope everyone’s had a great work out week!

Yesterday’s weights

So, Dan really put me through my paces yesterday! With his fitness instructor qualification, it was really great to train with him for the first time so I could have someone knowledgeable help me work on my form. He’s also given me ways forward to strengthen my upper body so I can actually do push ups (my absolute nemesis). It helped so much having him there showing me correct form and I didn’t lift that much weight-wise but I feel like for the first time I actually utilised the muscles as they are supposed to be.

I’ve also had some tester sachets of scimix protein shakes to try out and I’m officially in love, particularly with the strawberry flavoured one. They’ve brought out a new powder which I can’t remember the name of but it is geared towards muscle definition and toning rather than bulk so I can’t wait to buy a big tub when I can afford it! I recently found out that the company I bought my supposed gold standard powder from is being done for counterfeit products so I can’t help but wonder how beneficial it’ll be once I’m on genuine high quality protein.

Tomorrow I’ll be doing weights again because on Thursday we’ll be back in Wales so I will only be able to do Insanity or running. I’m still buzzing about being able to use weights at home and I’m excited about finally being able to build my upper body like I’ve always wanted to.

Hope everyone’s well and had a good kick-start to their workout week!

Back from a WP vacation!

Hi guys,

As you can see, I’m back from a little blogging holiday. My tattoo healed great and I’ve been so busy this past week I haven’t had time to update FSB, my bad. My mum’s had an op on her foot so I’ve been rushed off my feet keeping the house spick and span while she’s resting up. This week has been a running week as a way of keeping my dogs entertained so I’ve done a 3km which I forgot to time (d’oh!) and a 2.5km in 34 minutes. When I was running several times a week I’d be doing 5km in 35 minutes, so although I’ve been keeping cardio up in the form of Insanity, I’m still well and truly lagging behind my former running self! My one dog, Atreyu, absolutely adores running so he kept up fine considering we’re both really out of practise but my other dog has never been enthusiastic. In the past he’s just leant against his collar and refused but this week he’s been really good and followed me, albeit not very fast.

If I’ve got time tomorrow, Dan and I will be weightlifting and I’ll also hopefully post my healthy fruit muffin recipe – well, if I can remember it!