Starting Over After A Training Layoff: One Year Later

I just realized that it’s been one year since I returned to training after my surgeries.  Wow. Returning to strength training wasn’t a seamless sort of thing. No “Bam, it’s time to lift heavy again.” After four months without heavy lifting, it took weeks just to feel comfortable in the gym again. Then I had to regain enough flexibility and neuromuscular control to lift heavier – much longer than I thought, actually. Coming back was a slow process. My upper body changed fundamentally after having my bilateral prophylactic mastectomy with {Read More…}

How To Tell If You’re Losing Fat or Muscle

You hop on the scale and it’s down – YES! But slow down, mama. How can you be sure you lost FAT and not MUSCLE? If you’re thinking, “Who cares? The scale went down!” then we need to talk. You really don’t want to lose muscle while you’re cutting calories. Muscle is metabolically active tissue and can make you a fat-burning machine. If we don’t use it, we DO lose it. Plus muscle is just beautiful, you know? It shapes and sculpts your body and helps {Read More…}

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

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…}

How Can I Get Defined Abs Without “The Pooch?” Q&A With Suzanne

Does the fact that I’ve been strength training for over 15 years make me an expert? Not a chance. I could’ve been training the wrong way all those years, and many people do. You can even be under the tutelage of a personal trainer and look the same year in and year out (although that might be your doing outside the gym). However, due to my hard work, education, mentors, and coaching experience, I continue to produce results for both my clients and myself. I’m a {Read More…}

Why Comparing Ourselves is a Losing Game

Today continues my series that gives you a peek into what it’s like to have a preventative double mastectomy with reconstruction and how my lessons learned apply to everyday life. In the early weeks after my mastectomy, I was nauseous, dizzy, and in pain, unable to put any weight on my arms or even take a walk without help. There were long drains coming out of my armpits that kept me in constant discomfort, and I could barely dress myself due to limited chest and shoulder {Read More…}

How to Build More Arm and Shoulder Muscle Definition: A Woman’s Guide

There’s nothing like sculpted arms and shoulders to make you feel sexy and fit. And let’s face it, muscle definition can make you stand out from the crowd. How many people really have the persistence and commitment to make standout muscle definition happen? Not many. If you’ve been training awhile and still haven’t attained the look you want, it’s time to look back at old photos. They tell the whole story of how you’ve been training, how you’ve been eating, and what your {Read More…}