NANCYANNE55   91,771
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Lessons Learned and Still Applied From my Cutting Diet

Friday, May 21, 2010

So as many know, I completed my cutting diet just over 2 weeks ago. I'm surprised to say that my eating now more resembles the cutting diet than it does the way I ate BEFORE the cutting diet, which was really not that bad.

Here are some valuable things I learned that I thought I'd share:

- I cook ahead. This is something I told my coach I didn't want to do in the start. I'd rather just cook what I was going to for that day. But it didn't take me long to figure out that it took just about the same amount of time to make a big pot of brown rice as a small one. Last night my daughter and I had sweet potatoes for dinner. I threw extra into the oven and then tossed it into the fridge when the meal was over. I don't set aside a time on the weekends to cook for the week like a lot of people do, but now when I do cook something I can use for meals later on, I'll make extra.

- I have started to eat more "real" food and less protein powder and protein bars, which are convenient but leave me hungrier than whole foods.

- I eat a great, big breakfast. Before breakfast was maybe a small bowl of whole-grain cereal with raisins and a cup of milk. Now it's slow-cook oatmeal with natural peanut butter stirred in, a whole egg with several (usually 5) egg whites, and often a piece of fruit. This helps me to not be as hungry the rest of the day and really fuels me well for my usually up-coming weight lifting session. Breakfast is usually now my biggest meal of the day.

- I eat fish now, voluntarily. It's not my favorite, but I don't despise it anymore. My favorite is Tilapia. Well, my REAL favorite is halibut, but at eighteen bucks a pound, that ain't happenin'! Maybe one day soon I'll work up the nerve to try salmon again......

- Before I go to bed I have a scoop of casein powder, in milk if my daily calories allow it, or water if they don't. My coach had me doing this to give my body something to gnaw on other than muscle while I slept. I'd rather like my muscles and endeavor to keep them, so I've kept it up.

- I usually drink at least a gallon of water a day. I can't remember if I started this on the cutting diet or if it just kinda came along with the cutting territory, but I find my body does a lot better with plenty of plain old water coursing through it. I am not as likely to binge, have fewer cravings, and feel less lethargic when I drink this much. My complexion is the clearest it's been since I was about eleven, and I often wonder if the water is a lot of the reason why.

- I don't eat as many carbs in the evening as I used to. I won't go into the specifics because this blog is long enough, but I prefer to get my starchier carbs early in the day, when they can be burned off by fueling me through my activities.

I hope that you picked up a thing or two here that you can implement into your own diet to help you along on your journey to fitness. As always, I love getting your comments and feed back, so please don't hesitate to respond!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STYLELADY1 6/2/2010 8:00AM

    Thanks for sharing this!

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LUCY419 5/26/2010 5:51PM

    That could be my problem.. eating carbs later in the day may be why my weight has come off slowly with the last few pounds, my question is what do i eat in the evening? being most fruits and veggies have carbs, and i only eat fish,chicken,beans,whole grains and nuts.. mostly a whole foods diet!
Thanks for your info.. i drink protein shakes before and after my workouts, i'll be add it at bedtime also!
One more question what do you think of carb cycling, and do you?
Hugs... lucy

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TIME2BELEAVE 5/25/2010 6:55PM

    Hi,

Thanks for the information. Just wondering, when you cut your evening carbs down or out, have you noticed a better drop on the scale? I've been considering doing this at dinner time but some how I feel so deprived and I don't want to have that feeling because I want this to be something I can continually stick with for the long haul.

Thanks!!

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MASONK 5/25/2010 4:09PM

    Great info as always thanks for sharing.

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MISTYMOVIN 5/25/2010 3:17PM

    Great tips. Right now I only have a scoop of protein powder in my post-workout smoothie, but I may try adding a scoop to my nightly glass of milk too. I try to make sure I have some protein before bed. Do you use Whey? Or I'd read Casein is better pre-bedtime for the slower breakdown. Not sure if it makes enough of a difference to justify investing in multiple protein powders. I saw a nice Avocado shake in M&F Hers this month I may try.

Water, water, water is my mantra. The only other thing I drink is milk, 2 cups of coffee a day and an occasional unsweet tea.
emoticon

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KRISTINARAINES 5/25/2010 12:24PM

  The big breakfast is soooo important! I just started this too and I don't find myself starving by lunch time! It really works!!

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_FITMAMA 5/23/2010 6:18PM

    Thanks for sharing! I pretty much do all this myself, except for the fish! Can't do seafood.... at all!


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DS9KIE 5/22/2010 11:49PM

    emoticon blog

I will try to eat a little more at breakfast

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ALIMESSA 5/22/2010 3:23AM

    I love your blogs...so informative and helpful...I've even put a link to your SparkPage on my new team page, Team Popeye, hoping that they, too, can benefit from your willingness to share your knowledge!

Thank you! And, as always,
Stay Strong!!

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KOOZIE1 5/21/2010 8:12PM

    I have to say that you REALLY are incredibly thoughtful to take the time to write this, and other blogs! You sharing you knowledge is by far the nicest thing I have seen today......... and perhaps the entire week. It is selfless and kind. Cheers to you! Give yourself a hug and a smile. You are helping so many!

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BEKAH_IS_FIT 5/21/2010 7:33PM

    Great blog! Keep it up! I'm learning lots! Thank you!

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WREN67 5/21/2010 5:58PM

    Words to live by - seriously. I can see myself trending this way (and it is wonderful!). I don't miss the iced tea at all. I've been on water almost exclusively! since we spoke.

Thank you - I'm learning! (Now, if only I can get to the store where I buy my fish...maybe this weekend)

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Products I Have Found Useful

Monday, May 10, 2010

Along the way there have been products I have found particularly useful in my quest for fitness. In case it might help others, here are some of them:

- LaBrada Lean Body Gold Bars. I order them from vitadigest.com www.vitadigest.com/leanbody-bar-pean
ut.html
. You can buy them at GNC, but vitadigest is the lowest price I have found. The more you order, the cheaper shipping is. At 330 calories a piece I cut these bars in half, but they are a great balance of carbs, protein, and fat. And they taste like a candy bar! Caramel Peanut is my favorite. (I had a recommendation for another bar here, but the company raised the price so high for the minimal bulk discount that I now feel like the LaBrada bars are the best value.)

- The book Sculpting Her Body Perfect by Brad Schoenfeld. This is my favorite female exercise book. He has very good plans explained for both starting and advancing in your weight lifting efforts, as well as demonstrations of the exercises and a DVD of the execution of many of them, as well.

- Kari Anderson's "Curl" DVD. 20-mintues of GREAT ab work! By and far my favorite ab DVD.

- HERS Magazine, by Muscle and Fitness. This is my favorite women's fitness magazine. It's not fluffy! This is the real deal of how to get fit and stay that way.

- Oxygen Magazine. Also non-fluffy, a close second to HERS. It'd be my first recommendation, were it not for it's unabashed plugging of Tosca Reno's (the wife of the Oxygen Publisher, Robert Kennedy) Eat Clean Diet books.

- Now you're gonna laugh, but Clean Eating Magazine by- you guessed it- Robert Kennedy Publishing. I like the magazine better than her book. Seems somehow more adaptable to real life to me than her actual eating plan in the book.

The three above magazines are the only fitness/food magazines I subscribe to. The rest are just too fluffy for me.

- Banana Boats' Summer Color self-tanner in Deep Dark Color. See me getting darker in my cutting diet pics? It's this self-tanner. You can get it at WalMart for about $6 a tube. I like it- didn't turn me orange! But a warning- If you apply it frequently like I did (about every day for a week or so, then every other day for several weeks) it starts having patches that don't stick so good anymore and starts looking silly. And then you have to go through the molting process to get it off, which isn't pretty at all.... But it was a great tanner for it's purposes! I'd recommend using it once a day, after exfoliating in the shower, for 3 days (if you want to get that dark) and then cut down to once every third day or so to avoid this.

- Natures Own Sandwich Rounds. I think Orowheat makes an almost identical product. At one Weight Watchers point (100 cals, 5g fiber, 1g fat) per, these make a fantastic sandwich.

- GNC Whey Protein Powder. It's more cost-effective than many of the protein powders out there, and I think taste better than most. If you have the GNC Gold card you can purchase their products through the 8th of every month, I believe it is, for a 20% discount. For me, the price of the card has more than paid off.

- Moving Comfort Women's Fiona Bra ( www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AP3SEY
/ref=oss_product
) This sports bra keeps my girls in check and if I get too hot I can strip down to just it on top in the gym without looking frumpy or like I am wearing my lingerie. I don't bother buying any other, since I am fairly big-busted and positively hate bounce.

- Aussie Sprunch Spray. Works as both a styling product in wet hair and a hairspray. I just toss a full-size bottle of this in my gym bag and it lasts quite a while.

- David Greenwalt's book "The Leanness Lifestyle". This book has a very sound plan for true fitness a lifestyle, not just a temporary fix. I see it is sold on Amazon.com. Although I parted ways with David Greenwalt when I tried his Leanness Lifestyle University on-line (he wasn't quite as gentle as I prefer a coach to be), his book is my fitness bible to this day, and I refer to it often. I actually combined his macro-nutrient suggestion (emphasising more protein than I had been eating) with Weight Watchers point system and accountability for very good results.

I'd love to hear of any products you have found beneficial. I always love finding new things that help me along in my journey!

Of course, the most important tool in reaching fitness is your own determination and focus. Keep reminding yourself that you are worth it- because you are!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LORENVER 3/21/2011 5:06PM

    I found Schoenfeld's book at the library and can't wait to read it. Thank you for the product recommendations!

Loren

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HARISHABAD 6/2/2010 10:49PM

    Great list!

I also love Rachel Cosgrove's book.

emoticon

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BEKAH_IS_FIT 5/31/2010 11:15AM

    Thanks for the added info!

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NOW2DAY 5/30/2010 9:56PM

    Thanks for the info.

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MARIEFIYA 5/28/2010 12:40AM

    Thanks for the great tips on all of those products.

I have that bra too, and I am absolutely in love with it. Thanks for posting the website too. It is actually cheaper at amazon than the department store that I purchased mine at. I wear a 38 DDD bra so I get this in a 36 DD to hold the girls down. It does awesome!

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TWALKER0475 5/27/2010 8:11PM

    Thanks for sharing! I may check out a few of the products you mentioned!

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IAMFIRMIN 5/22/2010 6:29AM

    TRY ONFITNESS MAGAZINE.. ITS MUCH BETTER..
OXYGEN IS SELLING TOSCA.. it gets old and repetitive..

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_FITMAMA 5/20/2010 8:52AM

    Great blog!

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BEKAH_IS_FIT 5/16/2010 10:00AM

    Thanks for sharing! I share your sentiment about some of the fitness magazines - too fluffy! I'm going to check our HERS.

BTW - I'd love to get some "girls". I was just thinking about it yesterday. I might send you an email.

Have a great day!

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MISTYMOVIN 5/13/2010 3:58PM

    Thanks for all the info. I'd actually been thinking about subscribing to Hers. I get Fitness currently (cause it was dirt cheap) and it's waaay too fluffy. If I wanted fashion advice, I'd read a fashion magazine.

I'm also going to order Sculpting Her Body Perfect. I love having more material to read and reference.

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BECCA103 5/12/2010 8:27PM

    Which GNC Whey Protein Powder do you use? They have lots of different ones. THanks Becca ;~)

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MASONK 5/12/2010 2:07PM

    This is very helpful. Thank you for sharing.

Kathy

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KRISTINARAINES 5/12/2010 12:05PM

  Thanks for the info! I love to hear what works for other people! I had never even heard of Hers magazine! I just subscribed!! Thanks again!!

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SLEEPYDEAN 5/11/2010 7:51PM

    Great idea for a blog. I always love hearing what fellow Sparkers have to say about products before I buy them (I think it is a bit more reliable than just the general Amazon.com reviews).

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WESTCOASTGIRL1 5/11/2010 7:14PM

    Thanks for sharing. :)

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LYNNDE 5/11/2010 6:19AM

    Awesome list, thank you for sharing....Those are also my thtree fabe magazines too, but in reverse order. emoticon

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ORCHIDLADY56 5/10/2010 5:09PM

    My three favorites on magazines as well! I like Hers the best, but wish it would come out monthly rather than bi-monthly!

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ISEULTE 5/10/2010 4:25PM

    I love your list, and have to second your endorsement of Moving Comfort's Fiona sports bra. As a distance runner, I can strongly recommend it.

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SUZBFIT 5/10/2010 2:28PM

    Great list...thanks!!

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ADRIENNE29 5/10/2010 1:16PM

    great suggestions! I agree with your magazine choices!

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NEWNARAYAN 5/10/2010 1:13PM

    always appreciate your blogs, thanks! emoticon

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STEPHINTEXAS 5/10/2010 1:08PM

    Thank you. I will check some of these products out.

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ARMSPORTS 5/10/2010 12:57PM

    This is a good list. You might want to check out a company called trueprotein.com. I have no affiliation with this company, but they have a lot of great products, they are cheap, and you can create your own supplements by combining ingredients. How cool is that!

Just wish I could find a company that sold "motivation" for those days when it just isn't quite there!

Thanks for the list and keep up the good work. You look great!

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FLEXCHEF 5/10/2010 12:56PM

    Dont forget about a friend for support when you need to make that once in a great while break down phone call just to have someone listen. We all need support. Great blog Nancy and I have a little strength back but still down. You know I am still here for you.

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ETORRES88 5/10/2010 12:51PM

    This is helpful. thanks,

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Weights Vs. Aerobics

Saturday, May 08, 2010

As time has gone on, I've come to understand that weight bearing exercise is more important than aerobic exercise.

Let me say it another way: If I have to make a choice between lifting weights and doing aerobic activity, I'll choose the weight lifting. Every time.

Surprised?

I didn't always feel this way. I used to think the opposite was true. I believed the heart was the most important muscle in the body (still do), and that the best way to condition it was through aerobic activity. I don't feel like that anymore.

Here are some reasons why:

- Weight lifting shapes your body like aerobics can't. Ever seen a body that is aerobically fit but not muscularly fit? It's missing shape and, in the case of women, usually curve. You can actually CHANGE the overall line of your body by adding muscle. All aerobics does to your body shape, at best, is make is a smaller, less-fat version of itself. I've never been able to add pleasing lines to my body with aerobic activity the way I have been able to with weight lifting. Through weight lifting I've been able to build my naturally-very-slight-shoulders up and tighten my abs, which has helped to give me a more hour-glassed shape and therefore make my hips look more balanced.

Therefore, muscle tone makes men look more masculine and women look more feminine.

- Muscle burns more calories at rest, so when you have more muscle on your body, your resting metabolism (how many calories you burn just to keep your body alive) rises. Additionally, the calorie burn from the actual weight-lifting exercises themselves can continue for up to 24 hours. On the other hand, aerobic activity burns calories while you are doing it, but that calorie-burning effect stops very quickly after the activity stops. So it's a better calorie-burning-investment over all to build muscle.

In a nutshell, weight bearing activities are more effective at helping you shed fat than aerobic activity.

-Weight bearing activities are more practical because they make you stronger for doing daily activities. You can't gain strength to lift heavy grocery bags or help someone build a fence with aerobic activity. I'm willing to bet that no one is going to ask you to run away from something any time soon. But help them lift a TV? That just might happen!

- Weight lifting makes bones stronger, therefore enabling you to be less prone to injury as you age. This is especially important for women, who tend to lose bone density much more rapidly than men, but is still a significant benefit for both sexes. In case you are wondering how this happens, the muscles are attached to ligaments that are attached to the bones. When the ligaments tug on the bone, the body reacts by making the bone stronger to be able to withstand the pulling. The more and heavier you lift, the more dense the bone becomes, therefore the less prone you are to bone breakage.

Pretty cool, huh?

- It is my personal believe that if you are really working out hard doing weight-bearing activity, it can very well become aerobic. Particularly if you add aerobic intervals, like sprints on the elliptical or bicycle or step-ups on a bench, between weight lifting sets. Besides that, have you ever seen someone who is weight lifting huffing and puffing? That's because they are using oxygen! And the word "aerobic" means "With oxygen". 'Nuff said.

I could go on, but the thing I want people to take home here is that if given a choice, lifting weights is more important to your healthy functioning over the long-haul than aerobic activity. Do I want you to stop aerobic activity? NO! It's still important, but weight lifting needs to be at the top of your priority list.

If your not sure if you have time to do both weight lifting and aerobic activity on the same day, take the time you need to do your toning/weight bearing first. Then with whatever time you have left, do your aerobic activity.

Likewise, if you don't enjoy weight lifting as much, do it first, so that it's over and done with and you don't have time to talk yourself out of it.

Trust me: The more muscle, the better!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BREEVES3 5/14/2010 4:40PM

    Very well said. I've just started lifting weights, in addition to the walking/running that I've been doing. I can tell that I like it already.

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MAZZMLANI 5/13/2010 6:57PM

    thanks for the perspective!

I find my biggest conflict this way is weight loss vs. inch loss. (I'm currently working with the P90X model - which is alternating heavy weight lifting with cardio 6 days a week. I just finished my first round and am really happy with the results.) I still have it in my head that dropping weight is the most important thing, even though I am starting to see changes in my body that I really enjoy. it's just that the pounds are not coming off, and the changes are happening MUCH more slowly than they have in the past so I get impatient... but nothing seems to beat the way my body is more sculpted now than ever, so I guess I'm stickin' with it! :)

thanks again for the advice on prioritizing!

peace
Mazz<
BR>


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TSANTEZ 5/12/2010 11:26AM

    Interesting I have been doing the complet opposite. I do way more cardio than weight lifting. However PERCJESTER suggest a good book "Men's Health Power Training". Whatever you are doing it works because you look good. Thanks for the post.

T

Comment edited on: 5/12/2010 11:27:18 AM

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DREMARGRL 5/10/2010 6:56AM

    WELL SAID, NANCY....I think the only thing that stops some women is the "time" they think it takes, but as you said, if you make lifting a priority, you may just have the time. Whatever you are doing to workout, it does take dedication and consistency. Keep up the good work. You are looking great. Because you are in such good shape, I'm sure your recovery from surgery will be swift. XO MaryAnn emoticon

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WREN67 5/9/2010 2:32AM

    Good or not, I much prefer weight lifting...but sure am happy that it's so good for me!

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SCHWARTZHUND 5/8/2010 10:46PM

    I agree with this wholeheartedly. Cardio doesn't do much for your resting metabolic rate, nor does it get anyone "ripped." I see it as a necessary evil that is required for me to pass my semi-annual PT tests.

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Palms up, thumbs back!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sometimes I get compliments on my posture. I do try to keep my spine in proper alignment, not only because it takes pressure off of my skeleton, but also because it makes me look thinner and more confident. Who doesn't want that?

So what is proper skeletal alignment? Glad you asked!

I have a little exercise for you- one that has come in handy and keeps me in check. And you can do it while you are sitting here reading my seldom-read blog. Ready? (This is so simple, it'll make you laugh!):

First of all, skooch forward a little, so that your back isn't in contact with the back of your chair anymore. Bend your elbows in front of your body, holding your arms at a 90-degree angle- like you are sitting in an arm chair. Now, turn your palms face up. Lastly, pull your thumbs back towards your body.

What did you do? Surprised? Yep! You sat right up strait, didn't you? THAT's proper spinal alignment, and the position you should be trying to achieve all the time.

It works equally well standing, also.

If you can do this little posture-check several times a day, sooner or later you will start to hold yourself in proper alignment naturally. Slouching will feel unnatural, and your body will thank you.

This, combined with conscientiously holding your stomach muscles in will help strengthen your core better than any ab exercise I can recommend.

This is also, coincidentally, the "proper alignment" and "neutral spine" people are talking about when they refer to exercising.

Let me know what you think!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCHNAUZERGIRL 5/5/2010 12:35PM

    Awesome! Thank you, I definitely have a slouching problem. Practicing proper posture as I type :)

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WREN67 5/5/2010 7:56AM

    I'm going to share this with the kids...they know how to sit straight, but that doesn't mean that they do it...

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RAEVENSWING 5/4/2010 8:33PM

    Worked for me! I give myself a posture check several times a day.
Thanks, 1 more tool in my arsenal.

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MARLIMOO 5/4/2010 2:46PM

    Nice- will give it a try.

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NYCFA1 5/4/2010 12:52PM

    Cool! Thanks! I'm going to try to remember to do this thru out the day. emoticon

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Lift, Even if You are Overweight!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

If you are overweight with no intention of reducing your calories and therefore losing weight, you are at an advantage for gaining muscle over those who are restricting their calories.

Yes, you read that right.

Let me rephrase: People who eat too many calories and lift weights have an easier time putting on muscle than those who are lifting and eating to lose weight.

You can't build a very big house on a wooded lot if you use only the wood from some of the existing trees on the property to build and ship the remaining wood to someone else. You can build a much BIGGER house by keeping your existing trees and bringing in additional lumber.

In the same manner, it's very hard for the body to build muscle while you are taking calories AWAY from it. So someone who is overeating and lifting weights is probably going to put on muscle at a faster rate than someone who is trying to gain muscle while reducing calories.

Doesn't sound quite fair, does it?

But here is the deal, you can build SOME muscle if you are losing weight, and the good news is that you will actually be able to SEE it as your weight comes down. While the overweight person who is lifting the same weight as the thinner person is more than likely putting on muscle quicker than the thinner person, they probably won't realize it since it's covered by fat.

Case in point:

I was lifting weights heavily when I was at my biggest, which was here:


And the fact is that I was in the process of using my excess calories I was overeating to build the muscle I eventually uncovered here:



Was I as healthy in the first photo? No! But at least I was doing something more with my calories from overeating than simply putting on a lot of fat.

And this explains why I was never in as big a clothing size as my weight said I should be: I was more solid under all that fat than even I realized.

Now, I still have a ways to go. My backside is NOT where I want it to be. My next goal is to build up those legs and glutes and make them something splendiferous. But in the meantime? In the meantime I'm very proud of the muscle I've worked so hard to build, and that I kept up the lifting, even when I felt like my body was almost past the point of improvement. I didn't know it then, but I was helping my future self out.

My point, of course, is that it's advantageous for even the obese to lift weights. The worst that will happen is that they'll put some of those excess calories to good use building something besides more fat. Never mind the other myriad of health benefits that come from lifting weights, to include improved balance and maneuverability, as well as stronger bones.

And the best that can happen is that one day they will gain the frame of mind to lose the weight, and what they uncover might surprise them.

It sure did me!

So if you are overweight and aren't lifting, START! As I like to say: Lift heavy, lift hard, and lift often. You never know how much you may appreciate your efforts in the future.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CACTUS-WREN 5/6/2010 12:06AM

    Wait a minute - let me get this straight - I may have some muscle under all this fat? I've just started lifting - I'm not interested in competition-type muscles but nicely defined ones. This is good info - thank you!! emoticon

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WREN67 5/4/2010 11:41AM

    I love lifting so much more than cardio. Kind of limited in what I have at home, but I'm determined to do all I can and more!!

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FUNKYMONKEY302 5/3/2010 1:42PM

  Thanks for the info! I don't think I have ever heard that before. I definitely need to be lifting more than I am so thanks for the motivation!

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REDEMILY 5/2/2010 12:51PM

    I think this is really important for people to remember. I lift regularly because I find that I love that "good sore" plus I have an athletic build that can build muscle... I hope that more people read this and take your advice!

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GOLDBERG73 5/2/2010 10:31AM

    Thanks for the info! emoticon

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ETORRES88 5/1/2010 11:34PM

    How much do you lift? How did you start? What is your regime like? You look amazing!!

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HARISHABAD 5/1/2010 10:58PM

    Great point!

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