Before & After | Bender Fitness Lean Muscle Building Challenge

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lean body back3This past weekend I completed the Bender Fitness 4 Week Lean Muscle Building Challenge. I really wasn’t expecting much in just 28 days. I mean, I am a realistic person. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the progress concerning my physique in just 4 weeks!lean body front3

The upper back portion of my body looks tighter, my lower back looks the same. My arms have slight definition and look broader. My legs are definitely leaner and stronger. Best of all, my stomach is shows just a little bit more definition and my “love handles” are a little less pronounced. Overall, I am quite happy with my four weeks of progress.lean body side3

This concludes the second phase of my 90 Day Lean Body Building Plan. The last portion concludes with the 21 Day Challenge. Alas I did not make my DietBet goal, but I’m ok with that. I lost two pounds and probably some inches (I did not track the inches “doh”) My overall goal this year is to obtain a leaner body, not lose lots of weight. I will do more comparison photos at the end of the challenge. On a totally separate note, I’m definitely tan! Gotta love Florida!

The 21 Day Total Fit Challenge

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No, I’m not talking about the 21 day fix. MrShutUpandTrain is a personal trainer to many celebreties, and once a year he shares a 21 day challenge for free! The challenge includes workouts as well as meal suggestions. 

I have been waiting for the announcement, and it’s here. The challenge begins this Sunday and is for 3 weeks. It’s right on time because I finish the Melissa Bender Lean Body Challenge this Saturday and was trying to decide what to do next. I will post pics next week of my Bender Fitness before and after, but in the mean time I am geeked for this total body fitness challenge.

The woman pictured lost 12 lbs and several inches in just 21 days! Photo from Facebook

What about this challenge appeals to me most?
The challenge is actually completely free! There are no shakes, supplements, etc to buy. Its a combo of clean eating and great exercise. All you have to do is sign up here, and you will receive emails with grocery lists and links to the workouts. Check out the website for more details and then join us! Like I said it’s a completely free challenge, so why not? 

I will be sure to post my results, continue with #whatiatemonday on instagram and I will of course share on social media outlets along the way. It’s time to Shut Up and Train!

*All photos are from the Mr. Shut Up and Train Facebook page

Week In Review | June 8th to June 14th

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The heat and humidity are in full effect which means slower runs. The temperatures here in Florida are quite high, so I have slowed my runs down by a minute or more, but the length has not decreased. garmin

I have upped my base run to 4 miles, which I probably should have done awhile ago. I ran 5 days out of this week and spent six mornings out of the week working through week 3 of Melissa Bender’s 30 day Lean Muscle Building challenge. I logged 22 miles this week including a trail race!oak hammock

The race was full of roots, humidity and fast runners (of which does not include me). My BGR #solesistas joined me and kept the 4.6 miles entertaining.  The next trail race I have signed up for is next month at 4.5 miles and I hope to finish in under an hour. I am adjusting to the humidity, but it’s a slow process, none the less I am hoping that I will have adjusted by then.
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I am still in maintenance mode until I begin training for my next marathon late next month. I’ve been eating my homemade protein bar as pre-running fuel. This weeks menu was quite delightful. I always enjoy a sweet potato based breakfast bowl, and with good meal prep, its an easy morning meal to prepare. My favorite meal this week has been my snack which was 1/2 cup Vanilla Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup Goji Agave Granola and 1/4 cup blueberries. yogurt granolaTrader Joe’s Nonfat Vanilla Greek Yogurt is such a treat. It is high in sugars, but considering the other meals in my day I’m not concerned. Next week’s meal plan will post tomorrow.

 

Meal Prep 2 | Morefitme

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Another week and a new meal prep video. Instead of cooking meals, I like to prepare ingredients to make putting meals together simple during the week. I like cooking fresh meals each day, so I pretty much always cook dinner, with the exception of bean or curried dishes as they taste better once they sit for a day. This week’s menu is as follows:Meal Planner

 

I added my list of groceries and headed to the store. Once home, I made a list of what I needed to prep for a quick and organized Sunday. I filmed my meal prep, video is below:

Cooking Tips

  • Leave chicken to brine for at least an hour, but no more than 2.5 hours
  • Frequently check roasting vegetables, flavor is lost if overcooked
  • For eggs, I heat water with eggs until it boils, then turn off and let sit covered for 13 minutes
  • I freeze extra rice in two portions in Ziplock bags

Recipes
Banana Nut Oatmeal (link will be active tomorrow)

Chicken Brine
1/2 c Salt
1/2 c Sugar
1 tblsp Pepper
3 tblsp Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb Seasoning
3 Cloves Garlic
2 Quarts Water

1. Dissolve sugar and salt in water
2. Marinate chicken in brine for no more than 2 hours and 30 minutes
3. Remove chicken from brine and cook as desired

Protein Bars
5 tblsp Creamy Peanut Butter
2 c Rolled Oats
1/2 c Almond milk
4 Servings Protein Powder

1. Mix ingredients thoroughly
2. Flatten mixture on parchment paper
3. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for one hour
4. Once set, divide bars and store

 

Dietbet | Before

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The Dietbet Summer Slim Down Challenge that I am participating in officially began yesterday. I am of course shooting for a more lean physique. That means that I am eating clean with no cheat days. Plus I am  completing the Bender Fitness 30 Day Lean Muscle Building program in the mornings and running 6 days a week (usually in the evenings).  I had to take starting photos for submission, so this is what my body looks like after 30 days of Bender Fitness:IMG_0906 IMG_0909 IMG_0913

I see a little mid section definition and my legs are more toned/shapely. I am really excited to complete this next 30 days because the change in my physique is pretty great in just 30 days! After photos will post in 30 days time. Also, I will post meal prep videos and a menu weekly.

Current Fitness Routine | Strength and Cardio

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As race season ended, I immediately began to think about spring training. I am running a marathon again in November, along with a few Half Marathons along the way. This means that I need to stay in training shape this Spring and Summer. Plus I want to get more strength training in to reach my goal of a leaner physique this year.

Lean and Fit

Along those lines, about a month ago I began to wake up 45 minutes earlier each day to get in a short strength training workout from Melissa Bender of benderfitness.com. I love her workouts as they are short, intense and effective workouts that are meant to be accomplished at home. This means that my home gym  has expanded just a little (more on that in another post). I will finish one of her 30 day challenges this Sunday, take a week to focus solely on core and then I will hit another 30 day challenge to push into summer. These challenges keep me active 5 or 6 mornings a week, which means that I save my running for the evenings.

I am currently in the second week of the Hal Higdon Spring Training program (Intermediate level). I particularly like his schedule because it includes tempo runs, strength training, speed play and long runs. Basically everything I need to stay in shape until I begin Fall training. I am still racing over the summer, but nothing over 6 miles. The Florida heat and humidity is already serious!

 

I signed up for a DietBet challenge, and I plan to post pics of my before and after as well as nutrition along the way. As always, you can see photos of my training on my Instagram (Missmusic12) and through the hashtag #morfitme.