Leg and glute exercises brought to you by the hunks of the internet

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The number of women who have come to me asking for the best leg building, ass lifting workouts is asstronomical – see what I did there?

Not only do I love leg day, leg day has learned to love me back. Hallelujah!
These exercises are great for beginners, pros or anyone in between. Photo’s provided to make sure you get it right the first time round. Oh, and did I mention photo’s of hunks helping you shape them legs and booty? ghaahgheh – Happy Friday bitches.

These will make it difficult to sit down 2-3 days after – FAIR WARNING.

Stiff leg deadlift
I don’t care what anyone says, FORM IS EVERYTHING HERE. You want to make sure you’re targeting your hamstrings and not letting your lower back take the haul of the weight you’re lifting. Start light, work on your form and kill those lifts. If the olympic bar is too intimidating at first, dry this will dumbbells instead. Everyone starts somewhere.
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Proper Deadlift form starts with the weight on the floor. Pull the bar until you’ve locked your hips and knees. Return it to the floor by moving your hips back first and then bending your knees. Rest a second between reps and repeat.

Squats
Once again form police over here – keep it light, work on proper form and feel those legs burn! Try goblet squats as well to change it up.
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Goblet squats – you can use a kettlebell or a single dumbbell here – a good alternative if you’re not ready for the squat rack just yet.
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Weighted lunges – look at this hunk, lunge your way into my heart. You also can use two dumbbells here if you’re uncomfortable with the bar.

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Weighted Pelvic thrust – oh yeah, he’s going places.
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Bench Step-ups –  be careful with these, make sure you’re pushing with your upper leg and not with your foot off the ground. Take it from this hunk, he knows whats up. *insert winking emoji here*

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Lying Hamstring Curls – I’m running out of things to say so. Ass. Oh and make sure to squeeze at the top, duh.

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Leg Extensions – I wonder how much this guy’s tan was, and where I can get one. Crispy.

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Donkey Kick Backs with Cable – do you know how hard it was to find an image of a hunk doing these? I’m doing this for YOU. Keep it lightweight enough so you won’t pull from your back!

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Leg Press – Now first off I’d like to brag that I can press more than this dude easily. He obviously doesn’t do leg day very often! There are lots of variations of leg press that can target different areas. You do you boo.

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Rope Pull Through – can be a tad awkward doing these, but just own it. You’re on a mission to build an ass shelf.

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Pistol Squats (with bench) – these are always fun, work your way to not using a bench as a fall back. PS we can call this one grainy hunk, sorry for the shitty image.

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Feet Elevated Hip Thrust – Yes I have already posted hip thrusts – BUT – these will also target your glutes in a different manner. I usually prop both feet up on the bench at once. But give it a go and see what suites you! By the way, whoever wears white to the gym, you’re a psychopath.

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Use these exercises in whatever way fits your workout, and don’t forget about the hunks.

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Have a great weekend everyone,

xo
Karly
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The 4 biggest problems in fitness culture today

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I’ve got a bone to pick here. Let me begin by saying, anybody with half a brain can look through Instagram, flip through Snap Chat, and press the “like” button on Facebook can see just what a booming business the fitness industry has become over the last 5+ years.

For anyone first stepping foot into this world, it’s a confusing and scary place. I’ve been there. All of us have.

Over the last 4 years, here are my 4 biggest problems I’ve encountered with today’s fitness culture:

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1.) Narcissism, insecurities and social media

Well my friends, a lot of different specifics come into play here. For one we live in a culture of narcissism, now don’t get me wrong, if you got it flaunt it, that’s cool. But how much is too much? Where do we draw the line of self-absorbed? Where do we let ourselves be ourselves without filters, lighting, and waiting on those likes to roll in?

I myself can easily admit I was insecure, and turned to social media for support. We are all human and most importantly we all make mistakes.

Looking for support from a fitness community is one thing, the other dark side of the spectrum is looking for constant attention to appease your insecurities is just digging yourself a deeper hole into lack of self-confidence, depression, and loneliness.

It doesn’t help that our day and age are addicted to social media. Plain and simple.
Put the phone down and go for a run for the love of god. This is what I do to get my head out of “what’s the next best fat loss secret” bull shit streaming through my feed.

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2.) Pain and suffering = results

I don’t know how many times I’ve come across examples of people working out for 2-3 hours a day plus 30-45 minutes of cardio, eating less than a grazing new born calf.

Pushing yourself to the brink of exhausted death to get results is quite possibly the stupidest idea I’ve ever come across. To have someone tell me this is balance because they’re allowed to eat a donut one day a week is absurd.

I get it, different goals, different training. That doesn’t mean you need to be miserable and zombified into a lifeless, starving, sweating lump of uselessness.

Any coach who encourages a client that almost all foods aside from tilapia and asparagus are bad is not going to lead you on a path of a healthy relationship with fitness. (Just an FYI)

Hear me out, having sore legs the day after leg day, that’s normal fam! Making yourself feel like you’re about to pass out from a ridiculously long unnecessary work out? not cool.

Being able to have a life outside of achieving a six pack is completely possible. Find what works for you, not what a cookie-cutter program tells you to do to lose 20lbs in two weeks.
News flash, you need rest to grow and perform better. You want that piece of pizza? Fuck yes, feed your soul and keep yourself curbed from binge cycles. You prefer a salad? ain’t no judgement here, do what makes YOU feel the best.

Bye Felicia.

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3.) Creating unrealistic expectations

We all have seen women and men on social media with photos of their chiselled abs year round. As great as it is to create goals for ourselves building off of these photos, let’s get real. A lot of these people are showing you the highlight reel of their peek point during their day, you know, waking up in the morning looking lean AF. Why not take a snap of that tight core? Once again, most of these photos are HIGHLIGHT REELS, you’re not seeing the other 100 photos they flipped through to pick the best one, add some contrast, crop and a hint of airbrush.

A lot of your fitness idols use photoshop. Sorry to drop that bombshell, but when you’re advertising for big brands, or even branding yourself, that’s the big ticket word BRANDING. Not everyone uses photoshop, but a lot do. They are trying to catch your eye by creating the “perfect” idea of what you would want your body to look like. #goals amaright? Think of it this way, you’re scrolling through a feed and you see a picture for 1-2 seconds and you like it. Did you really even give your brain a chance to observe this photo? No. Some advice, take a good hard look at these people and really think to yourself. Don’t get caught up in that crap.

There are many athletes who are year round tight, however this has taken them a number of years to achieve. They found what works for their body and you too can one day be there, if you wish.

What we need to realize is that social media is like a fogged mirror. You can only see what is in front of you. Don’t think for a second that someone’s fitness post isn’t well plotted out prior to sending it out to the million followers base they have rolling. #fitfam

Fitness shouldn’t brainwash you to believe you need to achieving a certain look, weight or category; Fitness should be more focused on making progress in the sense of achieving strength and performance. I can’t begin to explain how excited I was to pull a 285lb dead lift for the first time, or the time I had hit my personal record for pace with running a certain distance. I wasn’t worried about the scale, or how many inches wide my waist was. I just wanted to work on my power, aka a “non-scale victory”.

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4.) Do this – Don’t do that 

Ever watch Dr. Oz? Better take that raspberry ketone or you might die 5 years earlier.. or some shit.

Do eat broccoli, don’t eat white rice. Don’t lift heavy, or you’ll get too big. Don’t mix cardio on days you lift. Do cardio on days you lift. Stand on your head; touch your finger to your nose. Sing the alphabet backwards. Who the fuck knows where to start?

In all honesty, start with where you feel comfortable. I found the best way to find my balance was test the waters with different approaches to programs, diets, and workouts. Read the shit out of everything. If you absolutely hate something you’re trying out then move on, find something that makes you feel like you’re progressing in YOUR own manner.

In conclusion…

It is all based on what your goals are at the end of the day. Personally slow and steady wins the race in my eyes. Get your metabolism in check, find what works for you, keep upping them macros, eat your greens, eat your donuts, do your squats and make the world spin you bad ass bitch! Do your research. Test the waters. Fuck what anybody else thinks, it’s your life, your body and you make the rules. Ask yourself why you are planning to step foot into the fitness world, set smart goals, realistic expectations and most importantly do your own thing.

Don’t concentrate on what everyone else is doing, you’ve got your own story to make.

xo
Karly

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My first competition – unfiltered

Well fitfam, here goes nothing. Are you ready for some fun fiction from fact?
Here’s the raw tale of prepping for my first competition.Fair warning, this will be long winded, I curse a lot and I’m not going to hold back from the nitty gritty.

July 13th 2013

I woke up, a day like any other day. Stand in front of the mirror and look at myself.  Up and down, the one over. I’ve always had an immense hatred for the way my body looked, felt. At this point I wasn’t much aware of my mental state as it never really occurred to me that my mind was the real culprit of hatred for my existence.

I scrolled through Instagram, and stopped on a fitness post I stumbled upon. This was your average “progress” picture you see every day. Left photo was an overweight, depressed and sad woman. To the right the same woman, -100lbs, 2 months after the date listed on the left photo. “She looks amazing” I
thought to myself.

By now most of you know about my struggles with my eating disorder over the years. The morning I saw that image it sparked inspiration so strongly inside of me. I wanted to end my disorder; I wanted to lose weight the right way. The healthy way.

I skimmed through hashtags on Instagram (#fitness – #fitfam – #progress – #weightlossstory etc.) looking at different online coaches, their clients progress pictures they posted, the timeline between their progress photos. I was looking for a needle in a haystack practically. The right coach.

After bouncing over a few Instagram accounts I landed on one that blew me out of the water. The amount of progress photos, Instagram followers, and a promise of seeing results in a short time line.Sold. I sent them an e-mail within seconds and eagerly awaited their reply to take me on as a client. I paid my fees, sent in my current photos, and felt the excitement of getting started a new lease on life for myself.

Soon I had my meal plans for the next four weeks, my workouts, and a list of do’s and don’ts.Prepping my meals like that for the first time was an overwhelming experience. But once all my Tupperware containers were packed I was over the moon to start.

Weeks went by; I was determined to make this count. I paid money for this program; I need to make it count! I lost a total of over 15lbs in four weeks.

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165lbs – 150lbs

I made such great progress, I was so proud of myself; I haven’t felt so in control of my body ever.
I decided to stick to it and continue to hit my goal of 130lbs.

Soon I was sponsored by #YMYFIT my coaches Al and Denise encouraged me to try out competing in bikini. I signed up and got to training my ass off (literally speaking).
I became obsessed, not in a good manner.

I refused to touch sugar or processed fat in any sense; I was still purging food on my cheat days because I didn’t want to fall back in my progress. God forbid I ever miss a work out. I worked out 7 days a week, sometimes up to 2-3 times a day. I was turning into an absolute addict.

Please note this had nothing to do with my coaches encouraging me to proceed in this manner. This was of my own discretion. I was naïve to how much I was truly hurting myself by over doing things completely.

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The months went by, I became sick 1.5 months out from my first competition. I wasn’t going to let me being sick stop me from my goals. I pushed harder than I ever have. Fighting a fever, coughing disgusting fluids out from my lungs. I still worked out 3-4 hours a day, eating less than what I was burning up.

Pneumonia had finally struck me, I couldn’t move, barely breathing normally, dripping sweat while sitting still. This was the sickest I had ever been in my entire life. 2 weeks off completely from the gym, I ate barely anything. I woke up one morning, sick as a dog and weighed myself. Little to my surprise.. 130lbs. I hit my goal weight.

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Looking at this photo now makes me almost as ill as I was that day. The fact that I was so sick, I threw on a bikini to take this selfie to show how proud I was to have hit this stupid fucking number. This – people – is what body distortion and eating disorders looks like.
Not only was I physically sick, but mentally. CLEARLY.

Surprisingly I somehow recovered from pneumonia and continued on my path to walking the stage. More 3-4 hours of working out a day, running without eating, stuffing my throat with bits of spinach and boiled chicken. All the fucking egg whites – yeck.

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sooooooo fucking happy – insert eye roll here

My weight continued to drop with the endless amounts of cardio and non-existent diet I was pursuing so religiously. 127lbs, 125lbs, 120lbs, 115lbs… I weighed less than I did when I was in grade 7. So proud of myself.

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Look at that rib cage! You go Glenn co-co! 

Don’t get me wrong. I have the upmost respect for competitors and all they do in order to get their stage package ready. In saying this the way I went about my prep was completely and entirely irresponsible. Advice that I was given was “the worse you feel the better you look” – uhhhhhhh, what the fuck. BYE FELIPE.

The big day was finally here. Time to do my thing and show off what I worked so hard for.
I had brownies and oreos within reaching distance for as soon as I got off that stage. I think I was looking more forward to cookies than anything else in all honesty.

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Dreaming of stuffing my goddamn face. 

I placed 14th – I was just happy to be able to down a bottle of water and dip into the good shit. Rewarding experience, absolutely. But I went into this competition with the wrong frame of mind.


I had one bite of that burger and nearly died. I later went home and ate a tub of watermelon and passed out smelling like a tanning salon that had a baby with a sweaty pig.

Was it worth it? Yes – but only because of the valuable lessons it taught me about how fucked up my mind really was towards my body.

Would you do it again? Absolutely – but only taking the appropriate approach to dieting down and exercising like a normal human being.

I made a lot of amazing friends, connections and learning curves. All of them have made me the person I am today one way or another.

My advice to first time competitors:

– Do your proper research on which association to compete in
– Prepare yourself to pull your financial riches out of your ass
– Always listen to your body, if you’re not feeling well, back the fuck down
– EAT PROPERLY – don’t starve yourself for the love of god
– Have the proper mind set and reasons to compete
– Have fun and enjoy the ride

Have a great week lovelies.

xo
Karly

Macro friendly recipes – pick and prep your week!

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After the long weekend I’m sure everyone has partaken in lots of alcohol and food in large quantities – so why not post some macro/diet friendly recipes for your short week ahead?

Working with macros over the last couple years I’ve become accustom to knowing roughly what calories, fats, proteins, and carbs are in most foods. This has certainly helped me along with my intuitive eating to feel a bit more balanced.

If you ask me I’m personally a huge fan of both sweet and savory. Why should a diet be boring tilapia and asparagus 24/7 – 7 days a week? I’d rather throw myself off a cliff then revert back to those days.

I’ve broken up categories into my favourite personal recipes I’ve come up with along with some of my favourite macro friendly recipes I’ve found and tried over the years. Prep your week in a fun and flavorful way!

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Breakfast:
Holy Grail Protein Pancakes
Protein Waffles
Protein Mug Cake
Overnight Birthday Cake Batter Protein Oats
Egg White Breakfast Muffins
Low Carb Breakfast Burrito

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Lunch/Dinner:
Spicy Tuna Bowl
Turkey Chili
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
Zucchini Beef Skillet
Zucchini Lasagna Boats
Cilantro and Lime Salmon
Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos
Chicken Parmesan
Chicken Pad Thai
Kung Pao Chicken Stir Fry
Greek Feta Turkey Burgers
Cauliflower Pizza
Portabella Pizza Cups

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Sides:
Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes
Baked Balsamic Asparagus
Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese
Cauliflower Risotto
Zucchini Fries
Zucchini Bread Sticks

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Savory Snacks:
Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Tomato Tuna Melt
Zucchini Hummus
Zucchini Fries
Baked Beet Chips

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Sweet Snacks and Desserts:
Protein Cookie Dough
Birthday Cake Protein Cookies
Birthday Cake Protein Blondies
Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies
Smores Protein Fluff (I substitute the skim milk for 1 cup Greek Yogurt)
Protein Blackbean Brownies
Oreo Protein Donut
Zucchini Bread

Some great websites if you’re looking for more variety:
http://www.rippedrecipes.com/
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/healthy-recipe-database.html

Happy eating!!

xo
Karly