Feature Friday: Jen Piccolo

Jen Piccolo 2

First name: Jen
Last name: Piccolo
City: Wolcott
State: Connecticut
Age: 23
Height: 5’3″
Weight: I choose not to share my weight on any of my social media platforms. I’m a big advocate of self love and not letting the scale determine your worth. I want to inspire people, young girls especially, to focus on the healthy, not the skinny.

Follow Her:
Twitter: @JenTheFitFoodie
Instagram: @JenTheFitFoodie
Youtube: Youtube.com/IAmJenPiccolo
Website: www.JenTheFitFoodie.Blogspot.com

Jen Piccolo 1

When did you start working out?:
I started working out in 2009, right after I graduated high school. That’s when I decided to make a lifestyle change and start living healthier.

How many days a week do you work out?:
I workout 6 days a week. I have 1 active rest day where I typically practice yoga or go for a hike.

How long is your average workout?:
My workouts range from 45-60 minutes.

Favorite muscles to exercise:
I love to exercise my arms! I’m actually really proud of them. When I was at my heaviest weight I absolutely hated my arms. I would never wear anything that was sleeveless or showed anything more than my forearm. Now my arms are my favorite body part! They have definition to them now and I definitely have a lot more upper body strength. I do various arm exercises utilizing light weights and high repetitions.

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
Two words. Leg Day. haha. I’d say its a love/hate relationship.

Jen Piccolo 3

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
I would like to lose more body fat and continue to improve my strength while building lean muscle.

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
I absolutely love Daniel and Kelly who run FitnessBlender.com. They provide free at home workouts for every fitness level. They advocate clean eating and exercise. They do not use supplements or endorse any products, which I think is awesome. Their main goal is to show you that all you need to change your body is a clean diet and exercise.

I also really admire Karena and Katrina who run ToneItUp.com. They upload free workouts to their youtube channel and post weekly workout schedules for you to follow. They also offer a nutrition plan!

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
I have actually been following celebrity trainer, Chris Powell’s, carb cycling plan. I eat 5 meals a day and alternate between low and high carb days. I typically stick to lean meats, tons of fresh veggies, and healthy fats. I do my best to choose things that are minimally processed. I have one treat meal a week… and it’s always Mexican food! My absolute favorite!

Jen Piccolo 4

You have made a huge transformation in the past few years. How long did it take and how much weight did you lose?:
I have lost 70 pounds. It took me a little bit over a year to lose the weight. Since I lost the initial 70 pounds I have just been working on building lean muscle and dropping more fat.

Do you think diet or exercise played a bigger role in your weight loss journey?:
Although both play a huge part in living a healthy lifestyle, I would say diet played a bigger role. I’m a firm believer that you can’t out exercise a bad diet. I’m actually proof of that. I was a competitive dancer growing up. It was a great form of exercise. However, I had a poor diet and large calorie intake so I was always overweight.

What is one thing you wish you knew at the beginning of your transformation?:
I wish I knew more about “clean eating”. When I first started losing weight I did it by counting calories. It would have been a lot easier for me to just cut out the processed garbage and focus on eating nutritious foods!

How did/do you stay motivated?:
When Im not feeling motivated I look at old pictures of myself. By doing so I can really see how much I have changed. I realize how much I enjoy living a healthy lifestyle. I love feeling healthy, strong, and confident; I want to keep it that way!

Jen Piccolo 5

What is your favorite cheat meal?:
As I already mentioned, Mexican food! I love fajitas and beef burritos. And churros. I really love churros.

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:
I always love HIIT workouts (High Intensity Interval Training). They are quick, effective, and perfect when you’re short on time.

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
My tip would be to stay consistent. Make small changes over time and stay consistent with them. Integrate them into your lifestyle. Don’t change your diet so drastically or you’ll never stick to it.

Do you have any other things you would like to say?(Comments, suggestions, etc)?:
I have lost 70 pounds without a gym! You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership to get fit. There are so many great platforms to obtain free workout plans. Utilize whats already out there and invest in some free weights!

Did you like this week’s Feature Friday, Jen Piccolo? Would you or someone you know liked to be featured? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com for questions, comments, or ideas for other topics.

Raised Shoulder Pushups

Raised Shoulder Pushup: Step 1

Raised Shoulder Pushup: Step 2

Once you have mastered the regular Shoulder Pushup, it is now time to increase the difficulty. These Raised Shoulder Pushups are the second step in the progression toward achieving handstand pushups. This exercise will help activate and strengthen the muscles in your back, shoulders, arms and core that you need to perform the more difficult handstand pushup.

To Perform Raised Shoulder Pushups:
1. While facing the forward, start by putting your hand on the ground and legs up on a raised surface behind you(bench or table).
2. Straighten your legs and straighten your back to create and ‘L’ Shape with your body. You will need to activate your core to hold this position.
3. Bend at the elbows and lower so your head is just above the floor.
4. Push back up to straighten your arms and return to the ‘L’ position.
5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for the allotted amount of reps.

TIPS:
1. If you have not tried regular shoulder pushups prior to this exercise, please Click Here to see how to perform a shoulder pushup.
2. Keep your back and legs straight to activate your shoulders, core and lats correctly.
3. Really use your core to keep the ‘L” shape in your body. Do not let your hips droop.
4. The tall the surface the harder the exercise is, so try starting with something that is only a few inches off the ground first and then work your way up to a taller surface such as a table.
5. Keep your neck in line with your spine. Don’t lift your head to look at the floor. That will cause unnecessary tension.

Have you tried Raised Shoulder Pushups? Are you working on getting handstand pushups? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, stories, or ideas for other topics.

Feature Friday: Ryan Young

Ryan Young 1

First name: Ryan
Last name: Young
City: Los Angeles
State: California (Originally from outside Chicago, IL)
Age: 34
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 170lbs
Profession: Model and Actor

Follow Him:
Twitter: @RYoung25
Instagram: @ryyoung
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ryyoungLA

How long have you been modeling for?::
I started in the mid/late nineties while growing up in Chicago. but it really took off once I moved to LA around 2000.

What agencies are you signed to?
I’m blessed to work with such great people at LA Models/LAM2 in Los Angeles, Spot 6 Management in Toronto and Brand in Orange County. Lately I’ve been looking to expand and reach further markets.

Ryan Young 2

When did you start working out?:
Fitness has always been a part of my life. Growing up I played soccer, baseball and volleyball. My first summer job was lifeguarding so I became a great swimmer then too. I was fortunate to grow up in a family that placed an emphasis on excelling in all areas of life, fitness being one of them.

How many days a week do you work out?:
I’m active seven days a week. I know, I know… I’m suppose to take a day or two off and rest but I find it hard to sit and relax! Six of seven days I’m lifting and running; the other ends up being lighter with maybe a hike, a shorter run, a spin class, an ocean swim, something.

How long is your average workout?:
My average workout is usually an hour and a half. I’ll hit at least a couple body parts, throw in some abs and do some stretching. I should come clean and let you know, I do split my day up with workout sessions. I’ll lift in the am and then run in the early evening, or I’ll switch it up. Either way, my day isn’t complete until I get both sessions in. Yeah, its a bit of an addiction at this point.

Ryan Young 3

Favorite muscles to exercise:
Favorite muscle to exercise, abs. Or legs. Its a satisfying feeling putting in the effort and seeing results from both of these muscle groups fairly quickly.

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
Not necessarily my least favorite, but definitely least worked, would be my back simply because I rarely see it. Vain but true! Lately I’ve been trying to change this and concentrate on it more because its been neglected.

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
I’m constantly setting new goals; they give me a sense of what to work toward. Its part of why I love running so much. There usually isn’t a time I’m not registered to compete in a race. At the moment, I’m training for marathons in Reykjavik, Chicago and Long Beach. Then I’m set to run across the state of California in January… the short way, west to east. Along with all this running my goal is to keep on the small amount of mass that I do have. Finding the right balance is constantly in the back of my head.

Ryan Young 4

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
I’m constantly picking up inspiration from a variety of places. I’m that guy who while running will look at the faces of other runners and wonder what their stories are. I’ll be out along the beach and find inspiration in nature. Or I’ll be reading piece of news and be blown away by some small act of courage. Other athletes, small miracles of nature, music can all be inspirations to me. Its hard for me to separate what’s a “fitness inspiration” and what inspires, motivates me in general. I see it all as one. I believe how and what we choose to see in the world is reflected in our choices and therefore our fitness.



Do you have any other people you look up to?:
I do! At the moment I’ve been consuming everything I can about the great Indian runner from the 50s and 60s, Milkha Singh known as The Flying Sikh. His story of loss, tragedy, the power to over-come odds, and give back in charity inspires me greatly. Last year an awesome film called “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” was released about his life story. I highly recommend it, athlete or not.

Ryan Young 5

What supplements do you take or recommend?:
These days I swear by C-8 MCT oil added to coffee or foods I’m already eating. Just a small amount goes a long way in providing an energy boost, increased focus and greater endurance. I make myself whey protein shakes after each lift or run and take daily potassium and magnesium supplements.

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
I eat healthy but don’t have a set, strict diet. I allow myself to make daily choices and occasionally give in to my sweet tooth. Any given day, I’ll have a couple shakes with protein, chocolate almond milk, bananas, a variety of berries and maybe some peanut butter. Salads and lots of chicken and turkey are always on the menu.

I know that you are also a runner. How often do you runner each week? And how many miles?::
Usually I run 6 days a week, sometimes 5. Total mileage varies. Because of the run I’m doing in January, almost 270 total miles over ten days, I’ve been approaching my training a bit differently than as I normally would. I’ve been setting a distance to achieve and doing the same mileage for five days, taking a day of rest (or two) and then upping the mileage and repeating. Averaging out my total miles since the beginning of the year I’m at about 42 miles a week; lately, with more increased training I’m in the mid 50 range.

Ryan Young 6

Can you explain more about your “Race across California?”::
This coming January I’ll be taking part in the Race Across USA marathon challenge. Along the way runners will be raising awareness on the benefits of health and fitness to children. I’ll be running the California state portion running from the ocean, Huntington Beach to the CA/AZ border, (just under 270 total miles) before passing off the run to other runners who will carry it across Arizona, and then another group through New Mexico, then Texas and so on until the race reaches the White House. All the while, there is a core team of runners who will complete the full run across the country; I’ll just be keeping them company in California! Part of my involvement is to raise funds to support the sponsoring charity, The 100 Mile Club. This organization has over 700 chapters in elementary schools across the country and encourages kids to pledge to run 100 miles per school year. While pursuing their goal, the pledging kids earn small incentives to continue on along with learning the values of goal-setting and a lifestyle of making healthy choices. If anyone reading feels inclined to donate and be a part of my journey please take a look at my site http://www.imathlete.com/donate/RyanYoung . I appreciate it!

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
I see health and fitness not in terms of dieting or exercising to get that “summer body,” but rather in terms of practicing wellness through our daily choices. Its deciding to live a life consuming good foods and training. Achieving fitness goals, I believe, requires a change in our thinking and habits so that any positive results we see become long-lasting. Making these choices that at first might feel like sacrifices; giving up those sugary foods we love, going out for drinks or skipping a workout we just don’t feel like doing, but with a true commitment to ourselves, along with the answer to “why am I pursuing this goal?”, these sacrifices become just another way of life. So I guess that’s my humble advice: achieving fitness goals requires a change in mindset from what was to what is possible.

Do you have any other things you would like to say?(Comments, suggestions, etc)?:
Yes, make sure to get plenty of sleep too! It does a body good.

Did you like this week’s Feature Friday, Ryan Young? Would you or someone you know liked to be featured? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com for questions, comments, or ideas for other topics.

Shoulder Pushups

Shoulder Pushup: Step 1

Shoulder Pushup: Step 2

This is the first step in the progression toward achieving Handstand Pushups. To achieve a Handstand Pushup, you must have great shoulder, back, and tricep strength, but also a good core strength to maintain your balance while on your hands. Shoulder Pushups are an excellent way to start strengthening these muscles.

To Perform Shoulder Pushups:
1. Start in a Normal Pushup Plank Position
2. Walk your hands back and lift your hips toward the ceiling to create an upside down ‘V’ position with your body. Keep your legs and back as straight as possible and stay up on your toes.
3. Bend at the elbows and lower so your head is just above the floor.
4. Push back up to return to the V position.
5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for the allotted amount of reps.

TIPS:
1. Keeping your back and legs straight will help engage the proper muscles during this exercise. Most of the work should be done by your shoulders, however you will also feel your lats activating if done correctly.
2. Focus on keeping your hips up toward the ceiling. Don’t let them droop!
3. Keep your neck in line with your spine. Don’t lift your head to look at the floor. That will cause unnecessary tension.
4. Try doing 3 sets of 10 reps at first and build your way up to 3 sets of 20 reps. Once you can do 3 sets of 20 reps, increase the difficulty by trying Elevated Shoulder Pushups (Put your legs on a bench or table).

Have you tried Shoulder Pushups? Are you working on getting handstand pushups? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, stories, or ideas for other topics.

Feature Friday: Felipe Camargo

Feature Friday: Felipe Camargo 1

First name: Felipe
Last name: Camargo
City: São Paulo
Country: Brazil
Age: 22
Height: 173cm (5’8″)
Weight: 70kg (154lbs)
Profession: Marketing Analyst

Follow Him:
Instagram: @fecamargo
Facebook: /fitfecamargo

When did you start working out?:
I started working out when I was 15 years old.

How many days a week do you work out?:
6 – 7 times a week.

Feature Friday: Felipe Camargo 2

How long is your average workout?:
My normal workout is about 1 hour, but 1 hour and half with cardio.

Favorite muscles to exercise:
Chest and biceps

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
Legs

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
I would like to prepare for Men’s physique competitions. For me, that means more muscular quality and increasing my weight.

Feature Friday: Felipe Camargo 3

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
Arnold, Jeff Seid, Collin Wayne, Bryant Wood.

What supplements do you take or recommend?:
Supplements are very important for an intense workout routine. I take whey protein isolate, glutamine, MCT, BCAA, chrome, vit C, B, D. But it’s not news that the most important thing in your routine is the DIET.

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
I eat most of the basics. I eat chicken or meat for protein and sweet potatoes or brown rice for carbs. Right now I want to gain weight, so I have 7 meals a day that have a total of about 300g of carbs and 180g of protein.

Feature Friday: Felipe Camargo 4

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:
Not really, each body part needs a different type of stimulation. What you really need to do is push every workout to the limit, always give your best, and train like it is your last workout.

What fitness goals would you like to achieve in the future?:
I want to truly be an inspiration for everyone that has fitness goals. I want to be like the ones who inspire me today.

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
Focus on your goals. Find a good professional to help you get where you want to be. Learn as much as you can with them and never give up on this.

Did you like this week’s Feature Friday, Felipe Camargo? Would you or someone you know liked to be featured? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com for questions, comments, or ideas for other topics.

Feature Friday: Tyler Martin

Tyler Martin 1

First name: Tyler
Last name: Martin
City: Austin
State: Texas (Originally from Dallas, Texas)
Age: 24
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 185 -190 on a good day 😉
Profession: Cheer Coach

Follow Him:
Twitter: @Topmodelmartin
Instagram: @Tyler_Martini

Are you signed to any agencies?
As of right now, I’m not signed with any agencies, but I am open to the idea.

When did you start working out?:
Around 2-3 years ago.

How many days a week do you work out?:
6 days a week.

Tyler Martin 2

How long is your average workout?:
Between a hour and a hour and a half.

Favorite muscles to exercise:
Legs and glutes.

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
Biceps.

Favorite cheat meal:
Pizza and Wings and cinnamon rolls (any thing unhealthy).

What sports have you done?:
I’ve done gymnastics for 16 years and cheerleading for 6 years.

When did you start Gymnastics?:
When I about 4 years old.

Favorite tumbling pass:
Any double flipping passes like double backs, double lays, full in back outs.

When did you start Cheerleading?:
My freshman year of college by complete accident. Growing up I was never interested in cheer and I never thought I would do it. At one of my gymnastics meets I got scouted and they offered me a scholarship, so I had to take the it.

Tyler Martin 3

What teams have you cheered on?:
Spirit of Texas and Navarro College.

What is one of your biggest accomplishments you have achieved with cheerleading?:
Grand National Collegiate Champion, 3 time National Champion, 2nd at Worlds… multiple times.. unfortunately.

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
I would like to start competing in men’s physique and at some point go pro.

Do you have any fitness inspirations or people you look up to?:
My old trainer who basically taught me everything when it comes to weight lifting and eating right, Charles Chester who is a pro competitor. My other inspiration would be my dad because he’s annoyingly talented at everything.

What supplements do you take or recommend?:
I take factor 9 human growth stimulator which and P6 testosterone booster which I see huge effects by the end of my cycles.

Tyler Martin 4

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
I just started eating 2lbs of clean meats throughout the day with a serving of healthy carbs and greens with each serving of meat. When I wake up, I also take 6 shots of egg whites straight from the eggs which is actually not bad tasting at all.

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
Get on the right eating plan and be consistent! As hard as it may be, meeting your goals is hugely affected by what your putting in to your body.




Did you like this week’s Feature Friday, Tyler Martin? Would you or someone you know like to be featured? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com for questions, comments, or ideas for other topics.

Feature Friday: Ash Crawford

Ash1

First name: Ash
Last name: Crawford
City: Boston
Country:  (Originally from Byron Bay, Australia)
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 185lbs
Profession: Actor/Model/Entrepreneur

Follow Him:

TikToK: @AshRCrawford https://tiktok.com/@ashrcrawford
Instagram: @AshRCrawford
Facebook: www.facebook.com/theashcrawford

Are you signed to any agencies? If so what agencies?
Print & Commercial: Daniel Hoff Agency
Manager: Me2Management

Ash3

When did you start working out?:
Growing up in Byron Bay, Australia I was active in all sports; soccer, cricket, surfing. I excelled at golf most. After high school in Australia I was recruited to go University in Texas on a D1 Golf scholarship. It was there that I began a strength and conditioning regime with the athletic department– much more rigorous than I had ever imagined. After I stopped playing golf competitively, I started working out with friends who were in the fitness industry. Since then I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of fitness and diets. I’ve found that keto works best for me and I’ve been doing that for the past few years.

How many days a week do you work out?:
5 days a week.

How long is your average workout?:
About 90 minutes

Ash2

Favorite muscles to exercise:
I like holistic, dynamic exercises like muscle-ups

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
Cardio, is that a muscle?

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
To be proportionate and healthy.

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
Steve Cook. He’s an absolute legend. Not only is he shredded, he is a great human. Check him out.

What supplements do you take or recommend?:
Coffee. That’s a supplement right?

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
Heaps of vegetables and lean meats. I try to have very minimal gluten and dairy in my diet. Keep sugars to around 50g per day also. Sodium you have to watch doesn’t creep above 2000mg per day either. Drink heaps of water. If you’re eating “clean” that’s great. But you get the biggest changes and results from consistently hitting your macros each day within 5-10g grams. Without that, you’ll plateau.

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:
I really like all kinds of different training. Functional fitness is key for me. Can I be a better human? I do weightlifting, CrossFit and also a lot of Tabata Songs workouts like this one  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF0uWCiKs30

Ash4

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
Decide what you want to do and what you want to change specifically. Be clear why you even want to change what you’re already doing. Once you decide if your goals are to lose body fat, to gain muscle, or to be able to compete in your given interest, you will approach your diet and training differently.

Do you have a website for people to visit to check out more information on you and your career?:
I’ve recently started a nitro coffee/tea and lifestyle company called Quivr. We make true cold nitro with no added anything. It’s the best out there and seeing the reaction from people has been really cool. I think everyone is sick of food and drinks that are full of bullshit. www.drinkquivr.com

You can find us on Instagram @drinkquivr instagram.com/drinkquivr

Do you have any other things you would like to say?(Comments, suggestions, etc)?:
The biggest tool that’s helped me over the years is tracking my strain and recover using WHOOP. If you know about them, then you know. If not, join me here – https://glnk.io/ovrz/ash-crawford 

Please reach out to me on IG if you’d like to collaborate in anyway. I’m happy to help anyway I can. See you out there!

Did you like this week’s Feature Friday, Ash Crawford? Would you or someone you know liked to be featured? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com for questions, comments, or ideas for other topics.

Feature Friday: Cassandra Fiorella aka ‘PetiteFi’

PetiteFi1

First name: Cassandra aka ‘PetiteFi’

Last name: Fiorella

City: Denver

State: Colorado

Age: 26

Height: 5’4”

Weight: I rarely get on a scale and have not been on one in a decent while, but I would guess around 130 – 135lbs

Profession: General Trouble Maker/Blogger/Health Enthusiast/Crossfitter/Trainer

Follow Her:
Twitter: @OhHeyItsFi
Instagram: PetiteFi
Blog/Website URL: One is coming soon!

When did you start working out?:

I grew up an active child – playing sports, climbing trees, biking, running, jumping around. “Fitness” in the sense of movement and life- has been a part of my world since day 1. However, my journey into fitness in the traditional sense of the word began around the time I turned 21. It was at that time, after a long stint of years spent partying, that I realized it was time to change my direction and head down a new path in life.

PetiteFi2

How many days a week do you work out?:

This is very much season and schedule dependent, but I prefer to hit the gym 5 to 6 days a week. I’d say I average 4 a week throughout the year although even on the days I don’t make it into the gym, I still remain relatively active either through biking (my main mode of transportation) or hiking, running, walking. This is simply a way of life for me, not some necessary evil or chore I feel I must do.

How long is your average workout?:

Crossfit WOD classes are scheduled for an hour at a time however the actual workouts themselves average around 12 to 20 minutes. The rest of the hour is spent warming up, going over technique and mobilizing/stretching. Some days I perform additional “accessory” work generally in the form of technique work focused around particular weaknesses of mine. I also try to spend at least 15 minutes a day mobilizing as flexibly is a major factor that generally gets overlooked. On top of this, I generally average around 10 miles a day on my bike (in the warmer months) simply in transport from one place to another.

Favorite muscles to exercise:

All of them! I don’t “spot” train (no “leg days” or “back days” for me). My lower body is much stronger than my upper body – as is the case for most women – so anything lower body centric is preferable to me but I am working hard to balance them out as much as possible.

Least favorite muscles to exercise:

None. This is not about muscle groupings for me. This is about functionality. Anything involving heavy overhead (presses/snatches) is difficult for me and causes me the most anguish, but I enjoy practicing those movements because I want to improve.

PetiteFi3

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:

I absolutely have goals and will continue to do so with every one I achieve. By the end of 2013 I would like to be able to Squat 300lbs, Deadlift 300+, Bench press 150lbs, Snatch my body weight, Clean & Jerk my body weight (or more), perform 10 strict handstand push ups, and knock out double unders like its my job.

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:

To be perfectly honest, all the people I see and meet on a regular basis who are pushing themselves in the gym are inspiration to me. Whether it is the girl taking her first steps into the weight room, the novice nailing a heavy lift they’ve attempted time and time again, or the single mom somehow finding time in her day to take a walk around the park. Knowing that they all are striving to better themselves fuels my drive to better myself and help others do so in the process. All accomplishments, large or small, deserve to be recognized and celebrated. If you are dedicated, working hard and staying positive all the while, you have my utmost respect regardless of your fitness level.

What supplements do you take or recommend?:

Supplementation is a gray area in my world. I believe that some supplementation, mostly in the form of vitamins and minerals, can be used to round out a healthy, real food based diet, but totally relying on pills & powders is absolutely unnecessary and potentially dangerous. I personally try to get all my nutritional needs from whole foods but do take a high concentrated fish oil as well as a D3 supplement daily. I occasionally make use of protein powders either when I am in a pinch for time after the gym or in between meals in order to meet my daily protein requirements, but try to not rely on them too much. I’d much rather eat a steak than drink a chocolate flavored beverage.

PetiteFi4

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:

I eat Real Food! Foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. I eat very little, if anything, processed – even making my own condiments and non-dairy milks. High quality (aka grass-fed, pasture raised) animal products from a variety of sources (including organs and bone marrow) make up a large portion of my diet as well as seafood and eggs. I eat a wide variety of vegetables including an abundance of dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes and squash for my carbohydrates. I also eat A LOT of fat – coconut oil, olive oil, real butter, ghee, bacon fat, avocado as well as some nuts and seeds. I consume a minimal amount of fruit as I try to keep my sugar intake, even sugar from natural sources, on the low end and I do not drink any alcohol or sugar based beverages but do drink coffee and kombucha tea regularly. I also incorporate fermented foods such as sauerkraut regularly for their probiotic benefit as well as drink home made bone broth to support healthy gut flora!

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:

Constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity. I truly believe in Crossfit because I have seen what it has done for hundreds of people’s lives – including my own! The premise of specializing in not specializing is very appealing to me as it has developed me into a well-rounded athlete capable of a wide variety of tasks and set the stage for my functionality for years to come. That being said, if I had to pick one exercise that I believe is the most affective in overall strength and health development it would be the squat. Loaded and unloaded. You want to be able to stand up off the toilet without assistance for the rest of your life, don’t you?

PetiteFi5

How much cardio do you do? (Per day or per week):

The only “cardio” I perform in the traditional sense regularly is riding my bicycle, as it is my main mode of transportation. I average around 100 miles a week in the spring and summer time here and probably spend more time on that thing than off. Otherwise, I am training my cardiovascular system every time I train thanks to my workouts being performed at high intensity

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:

Find a style of fitness that you find fun! If you hate to run it is very unlikely that you will stick to running a few times a week. Try different types of classes, workout alone or with friends, experiment with active activities in order to find something that best suits you. There is no ONE “right” way – don’t let anyone allow you to feel that there is. Regardless of how you choose to train, STAY consistent! That is ultimately the key to success in anything in life. Hard work & dedication.

Do you have any other things you would like to say?(Comments, suggestions, etc)?:

Remember that your life is yours and yours alone. You can shape it into any direction you choose – make it what you want.

Do you find ‘PetiteFi’ inspiring? Do you have any other questions for her? Do you think you have what it takes to be featured on my blog? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com.

Feature Friday: Eric Turner

Eric 1
First name: Eric
Last name: Turner
City: Houston
State: Texas (Originally from Herriman, UT)
Age: 32
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 208
Profession: Personal Trainer

Follow Him:
Twitter: @erictastic
Instagram: erictastic

When did you start working out?:
When I was 21.

Eric 2

How many days a week do you work out?:
I do weights 5 days a week and I do cardio 6 days a week.

How long is your average workout?:
Usually 90 min

Favorite muscles to exercise:
Legs

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
Legs. lol

Eric 3

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
I’m constantly trying to better myself and my symmetry, and I’m currently competing for my IFBB Pro Card.

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
Jaco De Bruyn

What supplements do you take or recommend?:
I think people misunderstand what supplements are for. They are intended to supplement any areas that your diet is lacking. I tend to only take supplements when I’m dieting down so that I still get the nutients that I’m lacking.

Eric 4

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
It’s constantly changing, so that I won’t plateau. It generally consists of around 45-50% of kilocalories from carbs, 30-35% of kcal from proteins, and 15-20% of kcal from fats.

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:
You can’t have a good physique if you focus too much on one thing. Variety is the spice of life when it comes to me working out. I have lately been obsessed with lateral raise drop sets though.

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
Keep with it. Consistency is the magic ingredient!

Do you have any other things you would like to say?(Comments, suggestions, etc)?:
I get a lot of questions from people who have all sorts of strange ideas of things they’ve heard… I think the biggest misnomer that people have is that low carb is always the way to go. If you’re looking to build muscle, you can’t pack on muscle without eating carbs, and cutting them out actually makes gaining muscle pretty difficult.

Feature Friday: Sandy Vo

Sandy Vo 1

First name: Sandy
Last name: Vo
City: Albany
State: New York
Age: 21
Height: 5’2″
Weight: 128lbs
Profession: Communication major, Business minor. Founder of Peer Academic Review Board for the school. Director of Communications for American Marketing Association. Proud intern at this awesome music company called Tunigo. If you’re a music lover, this will be your best friend for life.

Follow Her:
Twitter: @Msfitique
Instagram: Msfitique
Blog: http://www.msfitique.com

When did you start working out?:
I started this new healthy lifestyle, working out and eating clean consistently late March last year. I didn’t start lifting until July though! I’ve seen tremendous changes ever since I started lifting. To think that I used to be the one who was scared of weights because it would make me bulky is too funny to even think about it. Start lifting ladies 😉

Sandy Vo 2

How many days a week do you work out?:
I work out 6 days a week and make sure to have one rest day for my body to recuperate. Some weeks I have ultra energy and find it hard to have a rest day. That’s what this lifestyle does to you though. It makes you feel so good, mentally and physically, that you start absolutely loving it. Being an ex-college party girl who was almost always hung over, working out and eating clean was non- existent in my life. When I started, I did it because I felt like I absolutely had to in order to get healthy. Now, I do it as a hobby more than anything. It’s incredible how much my mental state has changed since then too. It’s so worth ditching parties, cheesy pizza and liver killing alcohol for =).

How long is your average workout?:
My average workout is 1 hour. When I first started and had no clue what to do in the gym, I’d hog the elliptical for almost 2 hours and got super skinny, and fragile looking as a result. Now, lifting and having knowledge about the right kind of training, it only takes 1 hour of my life a day to get fit. There are no excuses there.

Favorite muscles to exercise:
I love working out my glutes because I have some pretty fun exercises for that, and I love seeing the changes week to week. I also love working my legs overall, and shoulders.

Sandy Vo 3

Least favorite muscles to exercise:
If I had to pick, I’d say chest because I’m not a huge fan of bench presses.

Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
Yes! I’m actually competing for my very first show June 29th in Boston with the WBFF. After losing 30 pounds since I started this journey less than a year ago, it’s been rough to get my physique to where I wanted it. I was looking fragile and I wanted to be fit. So I started slowly upping my calories to gain weight but I did it the wrong way and I gained back all the weight. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to learn. I started prepping in January actually because I wanted to do this the healthiest way possible by giving myself time. So far I’ve learned that slow progress is the best kind of progress and real results take time. Patience is everything! I gained back all the weight because I was frustrated with not seeing the kind of results that I did. In January 23, I was 140. Now March 29, I am 128. Competing for me, has nothing to do about winning a trophy. That will be my cherry on top. It’s more about testing how strong your mind really is. Training for a show isn’t easy but it will be worth it in the end.

Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
– Amanda Latona, super hot body with a kick ass personality.
– Justine Munro
– Andrea Brazier is also another gorgeous, hard body inspiration.

What supplements do you take or recommend?:
I only take multi vitamins, fish oil, vitamin d, iron (because I’m low on iron) and that’s it! I don’t believe in using fat burners and unnecessary supplements that may harm my body. All the nutrients that we need is in our food! Supplements are just that, they supplement our diet, not replace it.

Sandy Vo 4

Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
Meal 1- 4 egg whites, 1 egg. 1/2 c oats
Meal 2- 1/2 c cottage cheese, blueberries
Meal 3- 3 oz chicken with small salad and 1/4 c brown rice
Meal 4- 3 oz chicken with small salad
Meal 5 -3 oz tilapia with veggies and sweet potato
Meal 6 – Protein shake
Of course I add my own little twist and turns to make my food super delicious. I turn meal one into scrumptious pancakes

Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:
HIIT is very affective. I’m talking about a lot of calories and fat burned in a short amount of time. It’s also fun to play around with the intensity and challenge yourself. Normal steady cardio is boring. I find myself seeing the most progress with high intensity interval training always.

How much cardio do you do? (Per day or per week):
Because I am prepping for a show right now, I do cardio 6 days a week. I do one session in the morning and one after lifting.

Sandy Vo 5

Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
Start by believing in yourself. Believe that you can achieve that physique that you have always dreamed of, but more importantly, believe that you have that strong mentality and power inside of you to do absolutely anything. Back then, running at 8.0 mph for even 20 seconds was impossible to me. It was impossible because I limited myself. But once I tapped into that power I knew I always had inside of me, I finished a mile in 6 min and 30 sec. I’ll never forget how accomplished I felt. Another super important tip is be patient! All your hard work will pay off if you are willing to be patient for it. The small progresses are the best. Learn to love them, reward yourself for them versus picking on yourself for not seeing any changes. I promise you that you can wait just a little bit longer while continuing to do what you do, you WILL get there!

Do you have any other things you would like to say? (Comments, Suggestions, etc)?:
I’m currently in the making of my own incredible fitness journey and I have yet to be at the level that I want to be at but looking back, the fact that I have made it this far is what thrills me the most. I’m super excited to see how far I am going to take myself with this show coming up! I’m taking my readers a long with me through my journey on Youtube as well, so feel free to watch me go!

Did you like this Feature Friday Inspiration? Do you want to know more about Sandy Vo? Do you think you have what it takes to be my next Feature Friday Inspiration? Email me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com