Jess's Spot

Enjoy the Journey - It is where you will spend most of your time. Posted on 02 Feb 15:38 , 0 comments

Well,
Turning 29...that's fun and does not make you think about the future at all...


Okay, it's definitely an eye opener, whilst I realise I am not old I am definitely not "young or
adolescent" anymore. Reflecting on how I lift and look now makes me feel proud though I have
days of going "bloody hell"(I am pretty sure this is normal in the vast majority of the female population - not just the lifters)

But I'm enjoying the journey

A journey I think that will change as I change, I meet lots of fitness people at all different stages of their journey's when I am in gym and the shop, lots of these people are at the start of their fitness journey.

Unfortunately unless you are a genetic master everything takes time, many of these people will say they want to achieve (insert photo of incredible physic - often a fitness model of other athlete here)

Rome was not built in a day. (I know - cliché but true)

It takes more then three months to be a bodybuilder/power lifter/strong person.

Enjoy the journey as it lasts for years and the destination (if your goal is to compete) may well only be a single day.

 


Enjoy the Journey - It is where you will spend most of your time. Posted on 02 Feb 15:38 , 0 comments

Well,
Turning 29...that's fun and does not make you think about the future at all...


Okay, it's definitely an eye opener, whilst I realise I am not old I am definitely not "young or
adolescent" anymore. Reflecting on how I lift and look now makes me feel proud though I have
days of going "bloody hell"(I am pretty sure this is normal in the vast majority of the female population - not just the lifters)

But I'm enjoying the journey

A journey I think that will change as I change, I meet lots of fitness people at all different stages of their journey's when I am in gym and the shop, lots of these people are at the start of their fitness journey.

Unfortunately unless you are a genetic master everything takes time, many of these people will say they want to achieve (insert photo of incredible physic - often a fitness model of other athlete here)

Rome was not built in a day. (I know - cliché but true)

It takes more then three months to be a bodybuilder/power lifter/strong person.

Enjoy the journey as it lasts for years and the destination (if your goal is to compete) may well only be a single day.

 


Strongwoman and strength training - fuel your journey Posted on 01 Dec 10:05 , 0 comments


Good day! I hope all are experiencing many gains and enjoying the lifting.

I am very happy as I managed to move a 200kg yoke for twenty metres, though this is mixed with sadness as the event itself was not recorded due to equipment failure.

I could not even lift 160 a year ago and it is not something I have had much experience with.

I have to attribute this to both my training Sarah partner along with the knowledge of my life partner Rick, via osmosis I have become aware of the importance of eating to fuel my body. 

Which leads me to...
Carbs.... Apparently this is a bad word!?

However it's carbs that's are your body preferred energy source and have helped me lift heavy so they can't be that bad for you - there is of course an argument against very sedentary people having high carb diets, but if your training for performance they must be an integral comment of your diet.

Whilst I understand that you body can indeed run off fats from a keto style diet - I have no time for the days of foggy brain until your body switches to using fats for fuel.

Carbs baby, are my fuel of choice,  I have had some people at work (who are interested in lifting) ask me how I have energy enough to train - bear in mind these are educated people.

They often state they don't like sugar "as it is bad". I agree in vast quantities sugar will be bad for your health but when timed properly can help your body to perform effectively in fitness tasks. 

Stop listening to woman's mags they say " eat less be healthier" screw that - eat whole foods when you can more often and fuel that machine you are using - I do however massively struggle to fit whole foods into my diet, often getting only three small meals a day, when training this is simply not enough for me, especially as if i try to increase the portion sizes I get issues with bloating.

So I cheat, I use supplements like carb powders, protein shakes ( http://www.sportsfuel.org/collections/weight-gainers/products/boditronics-mass-attack-heavyweight )  and bcaa's this does not make me a man, these are not mysterious compounds that when mixed together will turn you into a she hulk!

These are nutrients that fuel the basic building blocks of your body, help your body recover and increase your effective workouts, simply packaged in a form that makes my life easier at the moment due to my ever increasingly hectic schedule!

Stop being scared people and look into how to support your body not starve it.


Progression is about more than the mirror Posted on 28 Oct 11:05 , 0 comments

I noticed something the other day, working with children I try to focus on positives from the day, be that work, behaviour or good thinking. What I didn't realise is what I was doing, I was complimenting boys on what they were doing more often and complimenting girls on what they looked like as they came through the classroom door. 

In my defence... I have no defence, a product of my environment. I have tried to rectify this, why do I focus on how a girl looks as a positive to start the day. I took a look at my fb, Instagram account and realised that any picture/ video of me lifting heavy- with good technique or not has not got as many likes or interest as a picture of me doing nothing, just stood maybe flexing a small bicep. 

Whilst I enjoy sharing my progression, not just in strength but physical changes too it makes my stomach churn that the way I look is more valued by general people than that the fact I can shift some heavyish weight.   Perhaps this is a reflection of what is deemed acceptable by society, change the way you look to a point that is cool but do something different like lift heavy, not so cool. 

Maybe I have too much time to think but I would like to think that I am not only trying to improve my physical abilities but also my inner self, that is to say be a better version of me using something I enjoy to motivate that. 

I will try and compliment different positives for the children in my class and I will try to recognise and remain on the path I want to travel and not be fooled into a sense of self through vapid anonymous encouragement aka the social media opinion.

Limitations Posted on 28 Sep 14:08 , 0 comments

Well, the six weeks is over and I am back at work! woohoo...
 
So success in my bulking, feeling good and hitting just over 75kgs, this has been done with good whole foods, Mass Attack Heavyweight and Juggernaut and of course the cookie dough ice cream timed perfectly around my workout and sometimes for breakfast.
Thinking about the competitions coming up and how far my strength has developed over the last 8 months since training again,  thanks to a great training partner and a bit more focus on what I want to do it seems to be coming together.
I do regret that it has taken this long to get to where I am - I don't mean what I have achieved or the job I have but how comfortable I feel just being myself and deciding what I want from life. We had a chat in the shop about what we would tell our younger selves. 
I had a long think and I would say don’t limit your self, don’t feel limited to what other people expect from you or the way they want to lead their lives. For years I tried to fix in a box for my “friends”, I let myself down doing this and I realised at the end of the day you are the only one who can make yourself happy in what ever way that means.
Also it helps to lift heavy, I may not be the strongest but I dam well enjoy it and will carry on until I don't anymore. 

All about the numbers  Posted on 15 Sep 10:15 , 0 comments

In strength its all about numbers so I can mark my progress of what I can now lift compared to what I was able to lift, pretty simple and keeps any head wobbles to a minimum.
Though Wwhilst relaxing in the shop I was talking to a friend about taking progress pictures, it’s hard to know how different  you have look without having something to compare. I hadn't realised I looked any different compared to when I started.
This is something I would suggest anyone to do even non bodybuilders, though maybe not feel the desire to show everyday progress via instagram.
Lets be honest guys one day will not show a great deal of difference unless you are shredded to the high heavens & I am pretty sure may lead to deflation of ego and damage to progress.
People that I haven't seen in a while stated I looked Buff, as previously stated I have been called butch whilst on a night out recently. I take this  (being called Buff) as a compliment and I am sure it was meant as one. My perspective has changed and working in Ricks shop day to day has left me to be exposed to a wide variety of people all of whom are at different stages of a journey of they're choosing. I have the upmost respect for these people who have a goal and are trying to take the steps to achieve this goal.
What does happen often and is frustrating is the reaction that at the start of the journey the amount of misinformation or little knowledge that people have which will hinder their progress to their goals.
I think this is a form of naivety, people (especially with bodybuidling) will often say they want to be like Kai Green or Dana Linn Bailey or even the size of my partner (who isn't particularly big, but is still the product of a good amount of years work).
Its unrealistic and is likely to turn them off when they don't see immediate results, It’s easier if you're chasing numbers but even that can be pie in sky sometimes!  It takes years to build any sort of muscle mass for someone who has not trained before, genetics and nutrition have an enormous effect, please don't take a photo telling me you're an athlete or competitor when you have just started your journey, it belittles the achievement of those who have reached a level of achievement by partaking in competitions or have take years to build their size.
This leads on to a strange discussion and one I want to be clear on as it is just my opinion, I am a sponsored athlete, it feels strange to say, intact its something that I tend not to talk about.
Luckily the company that had decided to sponsor me have products that I have been using for a long time and which really work well with my training and have increased my performance in training and competitions. The ethos of the company is something that fits well into my own perspective of how things should be, being a good quality product that is reasonable priced. 
I am lucky to be sponsored but did not seek it out and I certainly would have not dared to seek it out before actually competition and reaching some of my own goals. 
Have a goal, start a journey but appreciate the hard work you will have to put in to reach it not just take semi naked photos and expect people to be wowed.
Respect yourself so others can too.
And just for irony... here is my latest progress photo.

Britains disabled strongman 2015 Posted on 02 Sep 10:42 , 0 comments

Recently I had the honour of attending Britain's strongest disabled man man in the Northwood stadium.
This event was run by Gary Clarke who also participated! It was fantastic watching these men battle it out for the title. They all poured every ounce of effort into each event and despite different  and sometimes difficult circumstances performed brilliantly. I was able to be amongst the competitors and watched as they supported each other and cheered yeah other on. 
The competition was run well and the legend that is Magnus Ver Magnusson was reffing for the day.
To say I was excited was an understatement, I remember watching clips of his performances and just being in awe.
However like at body power I tend to embarrass myself in any situation invovling and famous person, Mr Magnusson had asked us to help sell his T shirts during the competition as he was busy reffing. Very happy to do so but had to keep the money in a bucket as we didn't have anything else to use. Upon his arrival back to the stand he enquired “what is this” (imagine an icelandic accent) pointing at said bucket. Not realising he probably was trying to find out where the money was being kept i replied rather unknowingly in a sarcastic tone  “a bucket”. he did not look impressed and proceeded to walk off to carry on reffing. I turned around and Sarah ( my partner in crime for the day) was wetting herself as my idiocy strikes again... O joy, at least he may remember who I am, though probably not kindly. 
Please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-mvFELrtps for the legend that is Magnusson. 
One thing I was surprised to see was the lack of nutrition occurring during the event, it was the first of its kind in the UK but a lot of the competitors were old hats at competing. Don't get me wrong there were sweets and flapjacks galore but very little uptake. 
This has been the biggest change in my competitions, using different nutrition to fuel my lifts and improve my performance. I will alway maintain intracell ( http://www.sportsfuel.org/products/boditronics-intracell-amino-explosion?variant=1114425665 ) is essential to improving not just my performance in competitions but during workouts and even during the workday.  
During the competition I mentioned that my partner was a nutritionist to a gentlemen, at a later point whilst drinking a lucazade I was asked if I am allowed to drink it due to it having sugar. I understand that the general publics view of sugar is very negative, but as we were training I was getting carbs in to improve my gym session.
Nutirtion is key in all sports but especially in strength and bodybuilding and basic understanding of this seems to be missing or misconstrued from information from the internet.
Personally I either discuss with my partner or use academic articles online, avoiding sites that anyone can write information on and definitely try to research around anything someone tells me is “good advice”.

ME WOMAN  Posted on 29 Aug 06:57 , 0 comments

 

The joy of joys for the six week holidays, I have spent a few weeks completing work and also working in Rick’s supplement shop ‘Strom’. They say a change is as good as a rest!

 

Well, my body seems to agree, alongside the different training programme developed by the awesome Sarah ‘Showtime’ Whitney, and eating all the pizza (my nutrition left the building a few weeks ago, I am definitely not advocating eating crap) but due to the amount I train and going “vagina to the wall” with it (female version of ‘balls to the wall’?) I have managed to put on size that is mostly muscle (said with all the fingers and toes crossed).  

 

Now I have recovered my brain and can actually function like a normal adult I will be getting back on plan, and if I can resist the ever tempting cookie dough ice-cream… I will try….I may attempt to actually lean up. Who knows, stranger things do happen!

 

I have blogged about how I look previously- it’s started to feel like I'm a bit obsessive but I feel the need to share this story.  As I have said I am carrying a little bit of mass, some of it fat (around the stomach) and some of it muscle. I can live with this as I am lifting better now than I have been. What I found incredulous and to occur for the first time in a non-lifting environment is another woman telling me ( and a friend who I was out with) “ Oh yeah I noticed you come in (into a local club) and thought you looked butch”.

 

Can I just say… What the hell? And thank you! 

 

Firstly, What the hell! Mainly for implying that the way I have chosen to look and worked hard to look is in any way manly or unattractive and that somehow you have the right to comment and put your negativity onto me. 

 

Secondly… Why thank you for noticing my gains. I am proud of my little biceps, traps, quads and ice cream tummy. I have worked hard for them all and they have in turn helped me recognise I can do what I want and be who I want. I am worthwhile because I try. 

 

Now being the ever so polite English person I refrained from saying what I thought of the woman, I merely left her presence. I will use the cathartic energies of the gym to release the frustration and anger I have and increase my gain-age. 

 

You say Butch. I say I know what I want. 


Powerlifting! Posted on 01 Aug 10:32 , 0 comments

So I had my first federation powerlifting comp organised by the Tania George and the GPC. The comp was called “no dumbelles”, a glorious pun for a female only lifting competition. I have done a few push and pulls, which have been conducted to a powerlifting standard of lifting but not a whole day, especially with the strict regulations in place.

Luckily I had filled my pro stack with many goodies including my Boditronics RedMist - Intracell and Recover EX

 

It was a great day and a fantastic experience, I love strong women and I think that is what I will always want to compete in but seeing the amazing quality of the lifting from the different ladies I want to incorporate that into my lifting.  So I can lift 170 from the floor, now I want to learn how to do it cleanly. Unfortunately I didn’t get the numbers that reflect my actual strength in the competition due to bad habits I have picked up over the years. I try and see this as a positive, a new challenge, not just chasing the numbers but also chasing the quality. 

 What struck me about strong women and powerlifting is the support given from other competitors, support workers and even other coaches! People were offering me equipment, food, drink and more importantly tips. I didn’t go to the comp to win as I knew I didn’t have the technique to reflect my strength… yet… so it was a relaxed day for me. Other ladies did an amazing job, a lady I met a few years ago got numerous British records and is competing in the worlds competition in a few short months. She is bear strong and a normal everyday lady!

Its good to be a part of these competitions and recognise that actually there are women like Tania George who are pushing women’s strength to be recognised and encouraging it to be picked up by the normal everyday lady.

 Though lifting weights should come with a warning- lifting leads to numerous side effects; confidence, knowledge, connections, a way to deal with stress, experience and happiness that can seep into your everyday life. 

You have been warned.


Can I have it all please and can you make it a bit easier? Posted on 09 Jul 10:16 , 0 comments

I am sure that my parents didn't have as hectic a life as I seem to, at least not from my perspective as a six year old.

Since when has life gotten so busy? I don't seem to even have time for the simple things like saying hello to my neighbour! I love training and I mostly enjoy teaching - the first year is so hard that new stats show most NQTs don't make it past five years due to burnout, this crazy balance of work and life just seems so dam hard. 

So with all the plates spinning precariously over my head all of the time I have had many cringe worthy moments as some threaten to hit the floor.

I am not performing the best as work and work is so busy I don't get time to eat as regularly as I should for training, something I'm only really starting to appreciate the importance of now my training is really starting to progress, but I do have some time for myself, with a new training regime I am only training four nights and at work I have a priority list so I can sometimes lure myself into a false sense of actually achieving some progress through the list and take a night off every now and then.

I get asked at work"how do you have the energy to train" the answer is often I don't!

Mentally drained from my job sometimes I just want to go to bed. However not only do I have an awesome training partner I wouldn't want to let down, going to the gym is the only way I cope with my job.

Lifting weights, be it heavy or for reps depending on the program is just plain cathartic. Do I look or sound like a douche sometimes? certainly! do I care when cardio monkeys giggle at us? hell no! They have their sanctuary and I have mine, mine just comes with strength gains and a massive confidence boost.  

All in all I have to say a massive thank you to the boditronics crew as without their products like red mist I can honestly say a lot more plates would have been smashed over the last few months