Tag Archives: muscle poppin weight droppin

The secret to change and why you’re focusing on the wrong thing

I looked in the mirror this morning and noticed that the lower part of my back was missing a distinctive roll (okay, section of body fat) that I’ve had for YEARS. I mean this particular roll has been with me through two half marathons, a super Spartan Race and my kettlebell certification – and stubbornly been refusing to leave my body for y-e-a-r-s.

Unlike many things that leave our lives, this is one thing I’m not at all sad to see it go!

It’s sometimes hard to appreciate small successes when all you want to see are major results – but it’s really the small changes that add up to the big changes. It’s time we stop being hard on ourselves and put an end to ignoring the small wins!

When it comes to seeing results in many areas of my life, I’ve realised nothing worth having or sustaining comes easy. From your career to your relationships to your level of fitness – everything worth having takes time. When I get frustrated and feel like I should already have everything I’m working so hard for right now – my Dad always brings me back to reality and teases me by saying, “you have to put your time in Amanda – you aren’t going to be a  CEO overnight.” He’s right and I’ve realized that this advice also transfers over to my fitness goals.

IMG_2495IMG_2493(Current shots.. something I NEVER share on my blog.. but I need to start celbrating my successes and not just talking about them!)

Instead of focusing on the scale or on my waistline – I focus on my strength gains as a way to measure my success. Sure, it’s frustrating when my pants aren’t getting any looser after I’ve been eating clean for months and I literally work out 6-days a week… but when I can push press 2-24kg kettlebells overhead (something I’ve never been able to do) – that’s a small, but mega, success to me!

When I can do 20 burpees without stopping where as I only used to be able to do 10-12… that’s a major success.

It’s so important to give credit to the small wins. The pyramids weren’t built in one day, multi-million dollar companies didn’t reach success overnight, and fitness models don’t look like this:

Camille-Leblanc-Bazinet(Crossfit competitor, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet)

in 90-days. They put in many hours of relentless training and hard work. They don’t “cheat” on their clean diets or need to indulge in alcohol every weekend because they “had a hard week.” They are dedicated, disciplined and consistent in every aspect of their lives.

People ask me why I’m doing a 90-day challenge? I’m “already fit” and “already eat strictly” and I’d have to agree with some of that – but we are all a work in progress and I have goals I haven’t reached yet. You need to make change to see change. Whether your goal is to cut fast-food from your diet, stop eating that little bit of chocolate every day, to lose 10 pounds or to lose 100 pounds – everyone needs to start somewhere. That somewhere is making a consistent change that you haven’t made before – and sticking to it!

And while you think someone who has 10 pounds they want to lose has it “easier” than the person who wants to lose 100 pounds – you are wrong. Change and success might be measured differently by different people – but all come down to making lasting changes that you can stick to – and keep building on those new changes.


No matter where you are right now, choose some kind of change – even just a small change – that you can implement in your life and trust the process.

Some suggestions on how to keep yourself accountable to your goals:

  • Make it public – if you tell all your friends, family and even strangers, you will be more apt to stick to your plan.
  • Write out your plan – from a vision board, to blogging, to writing it down – make sure you have your plan in clear view on a daily basis.


  • Find a partner in crime – find a friend, family member or co-worker who you can do a challenge with. It will cause you both to be more accountable and add a little bit friendly competition – which always conjurers up motivation!
  • Follow a plan – there are SO many places to find help and plans. From free workouts, to structured diet plans to professionals to help quit addictions – there is always someone out there who has just experiences the exact same struggle you currently face. Go find out how they did it!
  • Stop self-doubting – the biggest obstacle most of us face is ourselves. Let’s face it – that little voice inside your head that tells you not to get out of bed in the morning or to skip that workout you planned to go to – is your highest barrier for success. Don’t listen to it!

If you create a plan, trust the process and stay focused, I guarantee you will see a change. Commit yourself to making change and remember to celebrate the small changes, because you might as well enjoy the process, it will make reaching your goals that much richer.

Need motivation to get you out of bed in the morning? Here’s what I use:

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Filed under 90-Day Challenge, Positive Reinforcement

90-day Challenge: workout plan

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the type of workouts I do so I thought I’d share my full workout plan and explain the workout I did tonight in detail.

For the 90-day challenge I’m planning to do the following:

Weeks 1-4: 6 workouks a week

  • 3-4 metabolic strength and conditioning classes with my friends over at Element Athletic
  • 2-3 strength/body building workouts

So far this week has looked like:

  • Sunday: Upper body workout
  • Monday: off
  • Tuesday: EA class
  • Wednesday: EA class
  • Thursday: EA class
  • Friday: Lower body workout
  • Saturday: EA class

After a month of this routine, I will assess how my body is reacting and decide if I want to mix up my routine more (I may add a few swims a week) or just keep my workouts varible.

To give you an idea of the type of kickass workouts we do at Element, they look something like this.

Crazy, right? I know – and I freaking love it!

Last night however I went to the gym and cracked out a lower body workout. When focusing on the lower body, I make sure to do exersices that target the five main lower body muscle groups: glutes, calves, hamstrings, adductors and quads. I also throw in abs during or at the end!

Ttonight’s workout looked a little something like this:

  • Leg presses (glutes, quads) – 4 sets
    • 2 x 12 at 180 lbs
    • 2 x 12 at 230 lbs
  • Superset: Stiff-legged deadlift (hamstrings) + double handed swings (all lower body muscle groups) – 4 sets
    • Instead of a barbell I used two 20kg KBs
    • Supersets are when do one exercise, followed immediately by a second exercies
  • Superset: Calf raises (calves) + lying leg raises (abs) – 3 sets
    • I used 2 x 20 kg KBs instead of a bar
  • Double kettlebell front squats (glutes, quads) – 4 sets
    • 2 x 20 kg KBs
    • 5-7 reps per set
  • Backward and forward alternating lunges (quads) – 4 sets
    • 12 backward reps with one 20 kg KB racked on my right side – then the same on the left
    • 12 forward reps with KB bottoms up x 2

I finished off with 2 rounds of:

It felt good and since I haven’t done a weight training lower body workout in awhile, and as predicted, I’m a little sore this morning. Which is wicked :)

I plan to share more workouts as this challenge progresses, please let me know if you have any questions about the above workout!

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Filed under Personal Records