Hey everyone! Since this is my first time prepping for a 'legit' photo shoot, I figured I would share with you my peak week plan. Keep in mind, I've done some research about how to approach a peak week and I've modified what I've learned to reflect what I think my body needs - so this may not work for everyone. Heck, it may not even work for me! But with this sport/industry you have to be willing to invest in a lot of trial and error. So if nothing else, I will learn. Here it is!

Training
Monday - 20 mins fasted AM HIIT (bike) + PM arms
Tuesday - 20 mins fasted AM HIIT (bike) + PM shoulders
Wednesday - 20 mins fasted AM HIIT (bike)
Thursday - 20 mins fasted AM HIIT (bike) + Hams/Back
Friday - 20 mins fasted AM HIIT (bike) + Chest/Abs
Saturday - Photo Shoot Day - OFF
Sunday - I'm still going to workout to hit Quads/Calves

Diet
A few of the basic rules: No added salt, no sweetener, no sugar, no dairy and no packaged foods. Water will begin at 4 liters per day from Monday - Thursday and then deplete to 2 liters a day on Friday, and Saturday morning I will only sip on water with BCAA's in it. 

Meals: Monday - Thursday 
Meal 1:
1 glass of green tea
2 whole eggs + 100g egg whites scrambled with oregano and garlic powder
30g Oatmeal with allspice & cinnamon 
1 liter of water (during an post workout)
2 calcium chews 
2 vitamins (ActiveX)

Meal 2:
1/2 scoop Gaspari Myofusion
1 cup black coffee
20g cashews (unsalted, natural)

Meal 3:
30g of spinach (measured raw, then cooked)
3oz of BBQ chicken (seasoned with oregano & garlic powder)
1 Hard Boiled Egg

Meal 4:
1 scoop Gaspari Myofusion 
1/2 a Whole Wheat English Muffin 
1 Cup Green Tea

Meal 5 - Pre Workout:
1 scoop Gaspari SuperPump250

Meal 6 - Post Workout:
1 scoop Gaspari Myofusion 
15g of oatmeal 

Meal 7:
2.5oz of BBQ chicken (seasoned with oregano & garlic powder)
30g of spinach (measured raw, then cooked)
1 tsp olive oil
50g of raw cucumber

Meal 8
100g plain egg whites (spices to season)  

Meals: Friday 
On Friday, the meals will be the same, except meals 7 and 8 will both change to 3oz of BBQ Chicken +100g of sweet potato - with meal 8 including 3oz of red wine (to aid with vascularity the next    morning).

Meals: Saturday (day of shoot)
Upon waking I will ingest is 3oz of BBQ chicken and 100g sweet potato and 5-15 mins before taking photos I will eat a Kit Kat Chunky Bar to fill out my muscles. After the shoot I will have a protein    shake and some Peanut butter and from that point on the day in unplanned as I am going out with    some friends to celebrate my birthday, the end of my cut and the kick off of my build phase! YAY!

Other
Some of the other tasks I will be doing to prep for this week as as follows:
  • Waxing Eyebrows - early in week
  • Dying Hair (just for touch up) - early in week
  • Exfoliating entire body - Thursday night
  • Applying self tanner (natural looking colour) - Thursday night 
  • Manicure/Pedicure (clear polish) - early in week
  • Applying preparation H to my stomach, wrapping it in plastic wrap and sitting in the sauna to tighten loose skin -Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night's
 
Lately, things have been kind of all over the place for me - mentally speaking. With my physical change and with all of the amazing opportunities that have been coming my way, I am more driven than ever. But with that intense focus and drive also comes a lot of self-reflection.

I find myself spending a lot of time thinking these days. Thinking about life – what I want from it, where I want to go and who I want to become. But sometimes, thinking so existentially can be exhausting.

Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s really important for people to have moments like this in their lives. These moments better us as individuals, causing us to step back and think about how we can improve ourselves, and the lives we’re living.

But often, it’s easy to get sucked into over-thinking, and what we need is something that can derail our train of thoughts; something that will temporarily reset our brain, preventing us from mentally drowning ourselves.

For me, my escape is training.

When I lace up and head to the gym I’m usually still thinking about whatever it is that’s preoccupying me that day. Once I arrive, I put my headphones in my ears and step onto the treadmill for my warm up – this is when I begin to let things go.

I try to zone out.  I focus on the music and usually picture myself somewhere else. I’m ether on the beach, in a 2-piece suit and enjoying the sun, or I’m accepting my trophy on stage from my first figure competition. Whatever it is, it’s a great feeling – a happy feeling.

Usually, by the time I’m done my warm up, my earlier thoughts have left me. I’m now in the moment, focusing on lifting, breathing and improving my form.

It’s funny because I never used to be aware of how therapeutic a good workout could be. In the beginning it was all about the physical results. But today, it’s all about self-improvement – physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

Imagine if there was something that you could dump all of your thoughts, stress and worries into. – even if it were just for little while. You’d come home from a long day at work or school, and just peel off your mental layers – instantly feeling lighter and free. 

Now, of coarse, at some point you’d have to take back your deposit and deal with the thoughts face on. But think about how healing it would be to have a chance to step back, a chance to just let go and breathe – that’s my gym time.

I strongly believe that whether it’s in, or out of the gym, everyone needs his or her “me time”. It’s during that time that we can clear our heads and begin thinking more objectively, without spiraling into the land of over-thinking.

Without taking time to shed, the sometimes overbearing, weight of life, you could find that you have sentenced yourself to burden.  Like the Greek god Atlas, you too could find yourself standing in one spot for eternity, bearing the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Luckily for us, unlike dear Atlas, we have a choice. Drop the mental baggage and free yourself every once and awhile. You may find your thoughts become a whole lot clearer.

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