Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Past Week and a Half of Yoga Challenge Photos!

This post has a week and a half worth of photos because I wasn't able to post them last week and the challenge has been on hold since Friday due to my back injury.

I miss doing daily poses horribly but there's only so much I can do right now and I need to make sure I focus on recovering my back!

Here are the poses in order of doing them:

Day Six August Yoga Challenge - Sky Archer/Reverse Triangle Pose

Day Seven August Yoga Challenge - Standing Split Pose

Day Eight August Yoga Challenge - Revolved Half Moon Pose using yoga blocks.

Day Nine August Yoga Challenge - Intense Side Stretch Pose 

Day Ten August Yoga Challenge - Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose

Day Eleven August Yoga Challenge - Side Lunge Pose

Day Twelve August Yoga Challenge - Revolved Low Lunge Pose

Day Thirteen August Yoga Challenge - Half Split Pose

Day Fourteen August Yoga Challenge - Thread the Needle Pose

Day Fifteen August Yoga Challenge - Extended Puppy Pose

Day Sixteen August Yoga Challenge - Side Plank Pose

Saturday, August 18, 2018

My NASM Personal Trainer Journey - The NASM Personal Fitness Workshop

Welcome back to my (almost) weekly blog posts on my journey to becoming a personal trainer and what comes after. Today I'm going to talk about the NASM Personal Fitness Workshop that I took last Sunday.


The first thing I'll say about the workshop was that it was incredible and I learned so much more than I expected too so if you have a chance, definitely take it! Mine was included as part of my entire NASM package so the cost of the workshop was rolled into the cost of the entire program.

This workshop will help you prepare for the certification exam if you take it before you're certified because it goes over everything we learned during the test preparation and it will also really help you cement your knowledge and give you 0.8 CEU's toward your required continuing education credits if you take it after you pass.

Personally, I was told by NASM to wait and take it after I pass in order to get the credits but it turned out that several of the participants were told to take it before they took the exam in order to help them prepare for the exam better so I guess it works either way. It would have definitely helped me prepare but I was glad to take it after because it allowed me to focus on everything I was learning instead of freaking out over how much I would have to know to pass.

First thing's first though; the workshop I took was in Chestnut Hill, MA so I got to spend a weekend staying with some great friends since they lived about 25 minutes away from there which simplified my life a lot! There are many other locations offered but in the 4-6 months of workshops there were only two in Mass and the next closest one was NYC so if you plan to attend one of these, definitely check ahead of time so you can get the one closest to you!

Let me just tell you guys, the gym at Chestnut Hill where the workshop was held was the most amazing gym I've ever stepped foot it. You could probably fit two of my gyms just into their upstairs workout area and they had an entire Pilates studio, numerous rooms for other activities (like the one we were training in), a whirlpool and sauna, huge locker rooms with towels for everyone and probably a lot more things I didn't get to see. It was incredible!

Anyway, back to the workshop. One of my biggest (dumb) fears about this workshop was that I would be the biggest person there and while I don't think I was (I was one of three and no one of us were huge or anything), there were definitely a lot of younger, super-in-shape women and one guy. I also wasn't the oldest one there which was cool. Everyone was really warm and accepting though and I didn't feel too badly out of place but there were twinges of it at the back of my mind because that's just how my brain works.

The instructor was also fine with me not being able to participate in some of the workouts due to my back so that was really good. And, speaking of the instructor, he was incredible! He bought to life everything I learned during my guided study and really had it make sense to us plus he was funny and just really at the top of his game! 

The workshop went on from about 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (registration was at 7:30) with an hour off for lunch and we definitely made great use of time and probably could have learned a lot more if there was more time but he covered everything important. I'm just going to summarize the actual workshop because I don't remember the whole thing step by step.

We started with introductions and ice breakers and then worked on Overhead Squat Assessment with the instructor explaining it to us using the projector as well as examples from people in the group. We were then broken up into pairs and did the overhead squat assessment on each other. I did learn that I have several compensations that I didn't realize I had including one that doesn't normally show up on the squat assessment paperwork. My feet turn out slightly, my knees definitely turn in and my left hip leans into my body (that's the uncommon one) so I have some serious work to do on those areas!

It really helped me to see how a professional performed this assessment instead of just reading about it and watching videos of it and also helped being able to ask him questions as we went along.

We then went over the NASM workout model and how to create workouts and programming based on what we learned during the assessments and based on how NASM recommends setting them up. The biggest thing I enjoyed out of that was learning self myofascial release or foam rolling. That was the thing I wanted to learn the most hands on because reading about it and watching videos is one thing but doing it is another so I was thrilled that we got to do that.

The instructor walked us though all the different forms of flexibility including foam rolling, static stretching and active and dynamic stretched and I have to tell you guys, during the standing calf stretch he had me turn my foot inward since my feet turned out during the assessment and just that one tiny, half inch twist of my foot changed the entire stretch for me! By the end of the stretching I was feeling like I'd just completed a whole workout so it was really great!

Outside of flexibility we also focused on warming-up, core and speed/agility and quickness in phases 1, 2 and 5 which were all be built around what we saw in the assessments. I was able to practice the phase 1 portions but had to sit out most of phase 2 and 5 (although I tried the first half of phase 2) because my back was just done by then. But I was able to practice "training" my partner in phase 2 which gave me some great ideas on how to keep someone motivated during the workout when they're tired and want to stop but it's not done yet.

I also came to understand that there's far more to warming-up then walking on the treadmill for 10 minutes. NASM recommends foam rolling the spots that need it, then things like planks and then some dynamic movements like using heavy ropes. The instructor said he never warms anyone up just by using the treadmill so it gave me some good ideas for future warms-ups!

The second half of the workshop was more focused resistance training concepts for all three phases and on group exercises and learning from those. Unfortunately I had to sit that workout out but being able to observe and see how he got the workouts going and encouraged the participants helped me a lot. 

We also went over a lot of smaller things: how to keep the workout from getting boring, how to modify movements for people with issues and progress and regress exercises depending on who your client is, how to make money as a trainer, how to program for clients depending on their age, ability, health and goals... things like that. 

By the end of the workshop I felt a lot more confident in my hands-on knowledge and in my ability to actually train someone and write programming and especially on how to do assessments and create a workout based on what those show me.

I'm probably missing a lot of details here but it was a week ago and my brain's been a little fuzzy the last day and half (see my previous blog post for details) but it was a fantastic workshop and I'm SO glad I went! I definitely want to attend more if possible because it really helped cement the book knowledge I had into actual hands-on knowledge. I know they offer a CES (the program I'm starting now) workshop as well but I haven't been able to find any locations near me for that one.

I do highly, highly recommend it though and at the end you end up with another nifty certificate (I think I'm going to need a certificate wall pretty soon lol) and a lot of knowledge.


Next week I'll probably write about choosing liability insurance and starting the CES program so please keep checking back!

Friday, August 17, 2018

It's Been a Long Day...


I'm just going to sum things up here because I'm tired and my brain is a little "off."

Last night my body started doing that weird jerking thing where you're mostly asleep but suddenly your whole body seizes up and jerks and then the whole thing starts again every few minutes. It usually happens either when I've messed up my meds or my sodium is tanking.

I got up to get some Advil because usually that makes it stop and by the time I was in the living room I knew I was going to fall because I lost all concept of balance and I was lightheaded but not dizzy? I don't know how to explain it but, once again, normally it happens when my sodium is crashing.

Anyway, by the time I realized I was falling I was already half way to the floor. I'm not exactly sure how I landed but the bridge of nose is bruised and red so I guess I hit something with it on my way down?

Then it took me another ten minutes at least to sort of crawl from where the Advil was to the couch where I had to lay down to keep from falling again, then to the bathroom where I had to lay on the floor to keep from falling again and then finally back to my bedroom where I just went back to bed.

Should I have gone to bed? No. I should have woken Charles up and gone to the ER but like I said, my brain is "off" right now and I obviously wasn't thinking clearly.

When I got up this morning my back was in horrible pain. I must have thrown it out again when I fell because it hurt horribly the same way it does when I throw it out. It hadn't hurt that badly in at least a year, if not more, but I thought I was okay outside of my back so I went to work. 

Once at work, I started feeling like I was going to fall again and the lightheadedness came back to I finally called my doctor who sent me to the ER which is where I spent most of my day and the most shocking thing was that it's NOT my sodium. That came out of left field for me because it's always my sodium being low when this happens!

Anyway, I ended up with 2 bags of fluids, a CT scan, having multiple vials of blood taken and now I wait for an MRI (probably on Monday) because I still couldn't walk a straight line well after the fluids, was still tipping to the left side and was a little slow with my language. They even talked about a possibility of a small stroke or something going on in my cerebellum but I'm really going to hope that's not it.

So now I'm home while I wait for the MRI but if any of those symptoms come back or if anything new happens or if my head hurts badly enough to need some Advil I have to go right back to the ER.

In the meantime I'm putting heat on my back and there's no more yoga pose challenges or anything else for now until it's at least a little better.

I'll keep you all updated as I learn more.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Thursday Weigh-In - August 16th - Week Two Strict Keto


Well, this was not the number I expected to see this morning and, honestly, I'm disappointed because when I got on the scale on Monday it was a whole lot lower than today's number.

I mean, yeah, it's a loss and any loss of good but that's just not what I was expecting. I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out why it skyrocketed back up and all I could come up with was that over the weekend that I was gone I didn't have any ChocZero bark at all and once I came home and added it back into my diet, the numbers jumped.

I'm going to not have any again at all this coming week and see what happens with the scale because I'm not sure what else to change.

Other than that everything else remains the same for now: strict keto, back to the gym asap, and counting, weighing and measuring my food.

And I definitely want to get back to 10,000 steps a day again. I just need to get up and do it!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Workout Plans, Programming and Obsessions

So, let's talk workout plans. I've been going back and forth on workout plans for a while now planning, replanning, deciding, starting, changing my mind, restarting again and back to planning. Sometimes it feels like my brain is trapped on a constantly running hamster wheel and just won't stop long enough to let me take in a deep breath.

Luckily, yesterday evening I went to a "sip'n'stretch" at DGBodyworks which was mostly relaxing foam rolling and gentle yoga and it was amazing. Not only was my body relaxed but my mind actually stopped whirling and running and calmed down which allowed me to realize a few things.

I love programming workouts and I enjoy it a lot but it's one thing to program for real/hypothetical clients and another programming for myself. I have no problems working on it other others. I don't obsess and I get it done.

But when I program for myself I go off the rails. I become hyper-focused and so intent on getting every last detail perfect that I lose sight of the big picture and just kind of flounder. I don't know why there's a such a big difference but I decided yesterday, after my mind calmed, that I'm going to step back from programing for myself.

I'm going to restart the Lauren Gleisberg gym weight training workout one but this time I will be sure to modify a lot more (I'm looking at you incline bench pushup which threw my back out last time) and, when I have time, add extra moves like some pilates.

Once my brain was much calmer it occurred to me that I don't have to follow the workout to a T. Maybe I can't do a deadlift with my back right now. Does that mean I need to toss the whole workout out the window and look for something new? No! It means I modify or replace that move and do what I can do. It's that simple and there's no reason to make it any harder.

So that's my plan right. The workout is ready to go, I know what and how to modify the things that need it and I love her workouts so this should work out well as long as I'm careful and actually stick to this!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Thursday Weigh-In - August 9th - Week One Strict Keto


Yes! Down 2.6 lbs this week, back in the 160's and feeling a ton better mentally and physically!

Today is Day 6 on track and the insane hunger is finally quieting down, the carb cravings are slowly getting better and my headache/migraine is pretty much gone! Now I have to lose 11.8 lbs to get back to my lowest June weight but I know I can do it, it'll just take a couple of months.

I did decide to try out the Isopure protein powder one last time with the digestive enzymes but by the end of day 2 I felt so awful that I stopped the whole experiment.

Warning... TMI ahead...Not only was the bloating awful but the acid reflux, about an hour after having the shake, was so bad I could actually feel it coming up my throat and into my mouth :O on top of that my headache reached migraine proportions and I just felt miserable. I didn't have one yesterday and by late yesterday afternoon the headache was almost gone, the bloating went away overnight and no acid reflux at all!

So, that's it for the Isopure, which is a shame because it's delicious and provides a ton of protein, but it seems like every time I try it my reaction to it gets worse and worse so I'm sticking to the Atkins shakes for when I need a protein shake and working on getting real foods in for protein when I can.

I'm still nursing my back and that's improving too but definitely still twinging. This Sunday I have a NASM workshop in Boston so I want it to be better by then because there's a 90 minute group workout at the end but I spoke with NASM just in case and they said if my back gives me issues I can sit it out and still take notes or something.

I'm also thinking about doing 10,000 steps a day again but that will probably kick in next week after I'm home from Boston as well as returning to the gym!

I think that's all I have for now but I'm thrilled to be back on track again!!