Eyes on the Prize (Part 1): A Plan for Muscle Growth and Fat Loss

Before and After

There’s really no question in my mind that by this winter, I will have rebuilt substantial muscle in my shoulders, arms, back, and legs. (Chest is another matter – right now I’m just teaching my pectorals to function in a different position after my bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction.) By this time next year, I’ll be back to where I was, if not much sooner. I can’t see into the future, but these are my goals. Now that I’m back to hardcore {Read More…}

I’m Not So “Strong” – I Just Got F*cking Goals, See?

I Got F*cking Goals, See?

Not counting a couple of interruptions due to a car accident and the birth of my daughter, I’ve been lifting weights for over 15 years. Weightlifting’s been my mama, spanking my ass one day and wiping my tears the next. But four months off is not gonna kill me. It’s been two weeks since my exchange surgery and I’m on fire, taking one-mile walks and doing bodyweight squats. And today I’m doing split squats. For 10 weeks I had awesome, immovable jugs installed in my chest to stretch my skin to a smooth shine and {Read More…}

How I Learned to Love the End Goal

Learning to love the process, not just the successes | Workout Nirvana

During the last six weeks I’ve had just enough energy to take care of my clients, focus on my family, and heal from my preventative double mastectomy with reconstruction. Today, I’m starting a series of posts that will give you a peek into what it’s like to undergo this big life event, because in so many ways, these lessons apply to everyone, every day. I began planning my big surgery when I realized my life in the future would look a lot {Read More…}

Is Training for Aesthetics a “Good” Goal?

Is Training for Aesthetics a "Good" Goal? | Workout Nirvana

Lately I’ve noticed that while it seems ok for guys to work towards bigger biceps and quads, if a woman train for aesthetics it’s a “slippery slope” of self-loathing and failure. I  call this training-for-aesthetics shaming, which raises the ire of those more concerned with body acceptance than body sculpting. It also wrankles people who believe you should only train to increase performance or functional movement. After I wrote this post I took the longest pee of my life; obviously I feel passionate about the issue because this entire {Read More…}

In-Person Small Group Training is Badass

Small group training | Workout Nirvana

Thirty reps of bicep curls in slo-mo to the time of a great workout song. I see you in that big-box gym in that big-azz class. Back when I used to take “body pump” type strength training classes, I loved the regular class time with a knowledgeable instructor. I felt motivated to get my workouts in and saw pretty good results for awhile. But there were also problems… The high repetitions were wreaking havoc with my joints. I stopped getting stronger because the workouts didn’t change {Read More…}

Two Missing Pieces of Your Weight Loss Attempts

Two Missing PIeces of Your Weight Loss Attempts

It’s not so easy to change habits, even when we want it bad. Our brains are habituated into automatic behaviors. This “sleepwalking” behavior happens without any awareness whatsoever. We’re programmed for routine – it allows our brains room to think of other things. Yet when we become aware that we need to change our binge eating, late-night snacking, or couch behavior habit, we think of sacrifice and deprivation. And if even if we do manage to make changes for awhile, our persistence often falters and we end {Read More…}