Jess's Spot

Enjoy the Journey - It is where you will spend most of your time. Posted on 2 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 2 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 1 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.

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 1 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 9 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


The Aftermath and negative energy! Posted on 29 Jun 11:05 , 0 comments

The day after the competition ( http://www.sportsfuel.org/blogs/jesss-spot/29535169-bodypower-deadlifts-tans-and-icecream ) I was lucky enough to help out at the strongman/woman competitions for the rest of the weekend, I got to rub shoulders with some of the best strongmen in the world (I don't want to name drop... Terry Hollands, Rob Frampton, Brian Shaw...) and watch some flipping strong women compete!
It really amazed me the amount of support and thought everyone put in, everyone was there to win  but they did their damnedest to ensure everyone tried their hardest. 
This was a really positive experience for me, not only did I get to meet some like minded individuals it helped my training partner spot my weakness's and being the extremely clever lady she is, she used this information to make me stronger and less likely to break, good news!
With the support of my every knowing partner Mr Rick I have tried to maintain a slightly healthy more lifter style diet with the occasional ice cream to make me stronger.
The constancy in my diet has been down to my use of mass attack juggarnaught to bring up my calories in the morning, it is an all in one lean mass gainer, containing protein, carbs from oats and barely, creatine, bcaa's and lots of other stuff to help me recover as best I can.
Drinking calories might not be optimal but it fits into my lifestyle as practically as possible, rick made me the same amount of calories in food one morning and I simply couldn't get it down!
What I have got better at is implementing a little more structure to my nutrition around my training.
I find that if I have not eaten well close to training it directly impacts on my training and leading to me having minimal gains and a pants session leaving me bummed out for the rest of the day! 
What I have noticed with my nutrition and training being more purposeful is the change to my body as I have said before I now slightly resemble someone who lifts, although I am small compared to my partner in crime Sarah and in everyday clothes I think I look pretty “average” to the passer by.
However stood in front of the mirror, to me, there is a massive difference to how I looked a year ago, I can see my lats and back growing, my biceps and triceps are bigger and I have serrates and the beginnings of a lower back christmas tress! I didn't even know what they were a year ago. 
As a result of this I have people asking me questions about the lifting and nutrition and I always say I am not qualified but I can say what has worked for me, though it may not work for you. People always seem disappointed like I have a secret drink that makes you stronger.
I often hear “ I don’t have time for the gym” but in the same conversation they tell me about the new series of breaking bad or games of thrones they have watched. No judgement, everyone has things in their life that makes them happy but what ever you do especially any sport do it with commitment and passion if you want to achieve anything worthwhile. 
I say this all the time to Sarah  that I would never dream of giving out any specific advice or training anyone, I will always send them to someone I think is more knowledgable.
Not everyone seems to think like this and unfortunately it is women I have seen suffer on more than one occasion, I have seen women being taught to squat in the most terrible ways and they just look confused at how uncomfortable the movement is.
If you want advice realise that any knowledge is attainable just be careful who you ask, for example choose someone who has years of training and living in it (this person may or may not look especially lean or big) not someone who has a piece of paper after a two day course( who could be shredded but not have a clue). 
Rant over, think I need to hit the gym to dispel all this negative energy 

Bodypower - Deadlifts, tans and icecream Posted on 25 May 11:16 , 0 comments

The competition:

Finally body power arrived in all it's very tanned skin showing glory.
I was nervous to say the least, staying quiet in the car as rick and Sarah chatted about everything fitness.
We got there in good time and did the dreaded weigh in, having weighed myself the day before at 66kg I had carbed up with epic pizza and Ben and Jerrys (if you call it functional then Rick and Sarah assure me it's not junk food)

I hit 70kg on the scale- lucky as the strongwoman comp was under 70s this is biggest I have been for a few years but strangely nearly the leanest. So I started the day feeling ready and heavy enough to move some weights multiple times.

People often say this and it has been my personal experience that strongman/woman is the friendliest sport out there, prehaps made more noticeable as it would be assumed to the outside person to be a very intense competitive sport.
most competitors help each other or cheer each other on, if you haven't got a piece of equipment someone will always lend it too you. Strongmen want to compete on an equal footing so the best wins. The ladies I competed against were fantastic, there was some newbies and veterans, all shouted and helped each other out.


I am probably a little bit too enthusiastic with my shouting, a way to deal with the nerves and not think about my performance.



For the first time I was actually happy with what I did at a comp, how I competed and how I pushed myself, I was nervous but buzzed off the atmosphere.
The team organising it did a fantastic job the only disappointing thing was the lack of interest from the general public, whilst the weights might not have been the heaviest it would be good for strong woman to have an audience and hopefully capture a few people interested in giving it a go.

I can second over all, one point from first! A result that I am very very pleased with! 



A new challenge and a new focus:

The focus for me now is a powerlifting comp in July, this means I have to raise the quality of my heavy lifts.
I will be happy to lift what I do in the gym but cleanly to get a green light. My gains have been steady and supported by the diet from rick and supplementation kindly provided by boditronics, my training has been intense as ever! Hopefully I can keep on making steady progress.

As someone competing I would recommend anyone to give it a go, it definitely made bodypower for me, an event that holds little interest for me as a member of the public as in terms of supplements I know what works for me and am not currently seeking any magic beans, redmist, intracell and mass ATTACK are plenty enough for me at the moment!

A special thank to Sarah who had to share a room with me and put up with my terrible lack of knowledge of pro athletes and embarrassing her on many occasions. Who are Neil Hill & Steve Cook anyway?



And of course to Mr foster who has been endlessly patiently supportive and loving over the past few weeks x


Perspective Posted on 5 May 08:26 , 0 comments

Its crazy how your perspective can change in such a short amount of time, In less than two years my perspective on a healthy body, my body has radically changed.
I feel like that's a positive thing as whilst I have never been a larger person ,my weight has fluctuated with life but I have never felt "fit" or "healthy".
I feel strong at the moment and I think my outward appearance is beginning to show that, I realised that whilst I am working out, people look, veins suddenly appear and my muscles seem to get pumped at the slightest encouragement.
I was working shoulders and looked at myself closely, do I want to look like this, will I be judged as being less feminine for retaining muscle and what would my family think? 
Well it took me a few days to really think about what I find important, life is short and lots of people look how they think they should, how they think society wants them to look, to be acceptable. 
Am I really bothered if people choose to judge me for what I choose to look like?
The fact is I judge people for what they look like, often because they have chosen not to look after themselves or have decided that they simply can't change because of this or that reason. 
I am working hard to drop these judgements and assumptions, something we all know we should do but often struggle with and I'm trying to just focus on my own choices.
Following on from one of my previous blogs though, I have found a training partner! Another lady who lifts much heavier and who looks like she lifts, so much so I look positively lacking in any muscle, it also helps that she is one of the top prep female prep coaches in the country, I won't name drop but I have never been more fired up for and focused on training.
What I found very beneficial in gaining this very small amount of muscle is recovery, rest days and lots of sleep. I have found that if i “overtrain” and do not get any type of rest days actually my growth seem limited as well as feeling completely knackered.
As I train late at night, after work I can sometimes feel quite wired from the gym, though I try to get a bath or shower in to help me to relax to aid sleep it doesn't always work. 
I have gone through stages of ‘borrowing’ without ricks knowledge many of his sleep aids as its been a continual issue for him, including the RC Signature series products and Ricks own concoction, While they all work, they leave me feeling a little drowsy in the morning and working with kids doesn't leave much room for a sleepy brain!
My training partner suggested taking ZMA supplements, I had no idea what they were but thought they were worth a go, Zinc Magnesium complex with Vitamin B6 which Boditronics very kindly provided me with.
So far its helped me have a nice sleep and wake up with refreshed rather than a groggy mess until 11am this means not so much sleepy brain for the children but also more gains for the jess! 
I am just over ten days out from body power and my current supplementation regime is as follows:
On waking - 1 Serving Boditronics Mass Attack Evo, 5g Creatine on rest days.
PreWorkout - 1 Serving RedMistv2
IntraWorkout - 1 Serving Intracell
PostWorkout - 1 Scoop Recover EX
PreBed - 1 Serving ZMA, 1 scoop Express whey in some low fat yogurt.