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Training Day: High Rep Pulling

Hello and Happy Friday! It’s been a very full week this week (as every week is a full week these days!), but as promised, here is last Friday’s exact High Rep Pulling Workout that corresponds with the Chin Up Drop Set post posted this past Monday :)

1a. TRX (Wide Elbow) Recline Pulls, 2 sets x 20 – 25
1b. Rear Dealt Flies, 2 sets x 12 – 15

2a. One Arm Row Trio, 1 set x 10 of each move (30 in total, per side) & 1 set x 8 of each move (24 in total, per side)

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3a. CHIN UP DROP SET, x 2 rounds
3b. Medicine Ball Rainbow Lunge, 2 sets x 45 seconds each

4a. Cardio / Conditioning: Jump Rope, (4) 2 minute Rounds with 1 minute rest. (12 minutes total)

5a. Metabolic Finisher: Farmer Walk Complex x 3 Rounds

So there you have it! The training day details for my High Rep Pulling Day. Check back soon as I’ll be sure to post the Farmer Walk Complex. This is a great “total body” but upper body dominant finisher. As you know from my last show prep, we sync upper body lifting days with upper body conditioning and lower body lifting days with lower body conditioning. We’ve started to incorporate this Farmer Walk protocol as we’ve run into a few upper body conditioning limitations due to my back injury. This complex however proves to be safe and effective for me! Check back soon, after a few rounds, it’s killer!

Today’s Lower Body Training

I haven’t dished out a full training day in a while.. so here goes! The following workout was today’s lower body training session. Enjoy!

Dynamic Warm Up

Power Work (fast twitch muscle fibers)

  • A warm up set of lateral bounds x 12 reps  (control and stick the landing)
  • Lateral Step Up Jumps (Note: standing to the side of the bench, left foot rests on the bench, right foot on the ground. Explode up with left food (foot on bench), land with right foot on bench, starting foot on floor…repeat)
    5 sets x 12 jumps (6 per side). Rest 30 seconds between sets

Strength Work

1a. Single Leg Squat, 1 warm up set (body weight x 8 per leg) followed by 3 sets x 8-12 reps per leg (Note: weight used - 20lb weight vest for added challenge)
1b. Bulgarian Split Squat, 1 warm up set (20 lb DB in each hand) followed by 3 sets x 8 per leg (Note: weight used - 20lb weight vest plus 30lb DB in each hand for working sets)

2a. Hip Thrust 3 sets x 12 – 15 reps per leg (Note: Arms above head holding on to Perform Better Jungle Gym or TRX, one foot on the bench, the other leg / knee pulled in towards chest). For more on the Hip Thrust check out my colleague, friend and the father of the Hip Thrust, Mr. Bret Contreras.
2b. Backwards Sled Pull  3 sets x 50 yards  (Note: Go heavy enough that it’s a challenge but can move smoothly. ie: weight used – 200lbs on the sled)

3a. Super Dog  2 sets x 25 reps per leg (Note: See Super Dog post for this exercise. A different variation we used today: Flex knee 90 degrees so foot is dorsiflexed in the air. Lift foot to sky- this should target glutes a bit more.)
3b. Sled Push 3 sets x 50 yards (weight used 250lbs on the sled)

There you have it… today’s full lower body workout.. Exercises, Sets, Reps and even weights used!

A Recent Update

Hello fellow athletes, trainers, coaches and fitness enthusiasts!

As you may have noticed, my blog posts have been a bit scarce once again since the last time I posted the Metabolic Leg Challenge. That is because my low back is a happy home to a nagging injury. It’s a moody injury because one day, I’m  up and running fine and the very next day, for no apparent reason, my back gives me grief!  The first “trauma” to my low back dates back to February 2008. I have since been through physical therapy and was back full speed from August 2009 through March 31st, 2010. On April 1st, I attempted a max lift on the trap bar deadlift. Nick strongly advised me not to, but being the competitive girl that I am, I wanted to know just how strong I measured up :) . Well, strong enough to lift 252 lbs for three reps.. and dumb enough to try 282 lbs and felt a tiny pop in my back.

I have been keeping a low profile to let the injury heal. This however has kept me from training hard and putting up new videos with great corresponding training info!! I just got an MRI yesterday and I’m waiting to see my doc for the results. The lesson I learned on this one is this: The benefit of knowing how heavy I can lift in the gym, is undeniably less than the benefit of staying healthy and safe. The risk was too high. Please keep this in mind the next time you feel like superman or superwoman before a big upcoming training season!!

That all said, I’m seeing a PT and I’m starting to feel much better. I am STILL moving forward with the next show season. It is still to be fully determined, but my diet is still in place and my intentions are to compete! I wanted to share with you the tid bits of information regarding diet and training…

I am extremely lucky to be working with a particular nutritionist. He is attentive, thorough, brilliant and supportive. As soon as I can let the secret out and share with you who he is.. I will! and I suggest anyone who is in need of a nutritionist, but don’t know one you can trust, check this guy out!!

Regarding my injury and diet situation, he says:

“the bottom line is that injury or otherwise, you need to eat properly; if not for the show in August than for one whenever you’re healed down the road.  And, the fact is that back pain shouldn’t prevent you from optimizing your intake.  So with that in mind, let’s go forward as planned and if we need to tweak things to go from pre-comp to maintenance b/c of an injury, we’ll do so. ”

We are in week two of dieting, May 1st however begins the official kickoff of pre-comp focus.

Nick is also in communication with my nutritionist, as they are working together to make the best programs possible.

The following are Nick‘s initial notes regarding training:

As far as Alli’s workout goes – I cannot give you any specific exercises as I need to wait on her MRI results. But, I can tell you about the general layout of each phase: 

Weekly Split
Mon – UB Push
Tues – Cardio, Active Recovery
Wed – LB Legs/Hips
Thurs – Cardio, Active Rest
Fri – UB Pull
Sat – Sprints, Boxing, Plyo’s, etc: (cross training)
Sun, Full Rest

Notes – Alli LOVES to run. So, to keep her happy (and sane) I put in some outdoor running days. However, she has some big toe arthritis that may hinder that as well. That remains to be determined?

We do core work as active recovery between sets. That’s why it’s not listed as “abs” above. We also do a metabolic finisher on Mon, wed and Fri. Again, for Alli’s sanity because she loves to feel exhausted at the end of a workout. If she doesn’t, the workout wasn’t good enough for her. Plus, metabolic finishers are great for her fat loss. 

Training Phases

Phase 1 – x5 weeks = Base strength training with weekly rep undulation and corresponding cardio/conditioning undulation

Unload 1 week

Phase 2 – x5 weeks = Keep muscle, emphasize metabolic conditioning

Unload 1 week

Phase 3 – x5 weeks = Show prep muscle training, more isolation work, drop sets, rest pause sets, work on posing routine, keep loosing fat


So there you have it! The reasons I have been less active on this blog, my most recent status, where I am in the diet and our bare bones outline for training!

This weekend Nick and I are traveling to Ocean City, Maryland where he is presenting at the AFPA Fitness Conference. I am very excited to get to the beach, see Nick present and hang out with my favorite mentor and presenter as well, Martin Rooney. You all have a great weekend and I’ll be back soon!!

Metabolic Leg Challenge

I’ve got a great strength and conditioning challenge to share with you all today that includes squats, lunges, plyometric jumps, sled drags and sprints. It’s sure to satisfy the best of those who (like me) desire a heart throbbing, wind sucking, leg crumbling, mental challenge to the finish line!

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The above circuit that you just watched was something Nick, of Performance University, designed a few years back. He used to hold P.T.A sessions once a month for high level clients which stood for Pain. Torture. and Agony! I am gearing up for my show training to begin on May 10th, but until then, we are still training hard and with a purpose. That session was purely to have fun, work hard and sync with my lower body day.


To complete this on your own, the following are the challenge parameters:

1. Super Legs Variation

  • 24 Squats (body weight or light weight added)
  • 24 Lunges (forward or reverse, body weight or light weight added)
  • 24 Split box jumps
  • 6 Plyometric jumps

2. Sled Drag 40 yards

3. Sprint 40 yards x 4

The above series is considered ONE round. Rest as needed between exercises, but complete one round in as little time as possible. Rest 3-5 minutes between full rounds. If you’ve never done any training like this before, begin with 1 to 2 rounds the first attempt. Eventually progress to three rounds. If you are more familiar with this metabolic training style, you could progress all the way up to five rounds. Due to the high intense nature of this type of training, I recommend only performing this type of workout for no more than 3-4 weeks at a time, 1 day per week.


Lastly, the song in my video is “Excuses” by The Jon Bailey Band, a very talented group from the Baltimore area. If you, like me, are always looking for great new music to train to, you can check them out on their website here.

Contrast Training – Upper Body Pull

Wow, here in Baltimore today we’re seeing winter at it’s finest. Just to give you all an idea, it is currently 17 degrees. It began snowing yesterday afternoon around 2pm and is forcasted to continue through this evening. We currently have 22 inches of snow and may see up to 30 inches! It’s the blizzard of 2010! Frankly, I could take or leave snow…I’m a beach girl ;) but it’s white, calm and gorgeous out there this morning.


As for training, it’s still deload week so perhaps for today’s activity, Nick and I will take advantage of mother nature and get out there for some snow shoveling, hiking around the city and maybe a snowball fight. We live in a pedestrian oriented town–should be a fun day!  If I’m feeling the extra urge to workout, we always have the airdyne bike at the house ;)  


If you’d like to check out one of our more traditional lower body deload workouts, check out Nick’s blog post here. He lays out the entire circuit, time, rounds, etc.


Lastly, to complete the Contrast Training series, below is an example of Contrast Training for an upper body PULL workout.

  • Chin ups (or pull ups) paired with speed rows using a JC Band. I would suggest about 8 seconds of band rows as fast as you can pull or a rep range of 8-12. (If 6-8 chin ups are easy for you, you can always add a weighted belt).

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Another exercise that I love to pair with Chin ups/Pull ups are explosive medicine ball slams. Check out Nick’s video example below starring John Rallo:

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