Category archive: Opinion

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Why you should be taking DNA (Even if you take nothing else!)

Magnum DNA

If I was restricted to taking only one supplement for the rest of my life, my choice would undoubtedly be Magnum DNA. DNA is my absolute favourite supplement I have ever taken, and one that I believe provides the most benefit to my strength, endurance, and my overall aesthetic physique. This product is my personal godsend for a myriad of reasons, and I’d like to tell you why.

(Learn about Magnum DNA here)

When I first read that DNA provides a 3 day strength gain guarantee, I was extremely sceptical; however the integrity behind the Magnum brand encouraged me to try. I added this product into my stack immediately, and I was absolutely blown away by the results! Within three days, I was able to increase my weights by a minimum of 5 lbs in every exercise I attempted! I felt amazing. Not only could I measure these results concretely, I could feel the difference in my lifting ability; I felt stronger, bearing weight was easier, and I had far more energy to give to my workouts! I out-performed every personal best in lifting that I had ever set, and that was only just the beginning. It only took three days for Magnum DNA to convert me from a sceptic to a devout believer, and it has been a beloved addition to my stack ever since. However, it is not enough to simply provide my personal experience to explain the attractive qualities of this product, for the pharmaceutical grade ingredients of DNA and their functionality that are responsible for these amazing results deserve fair attention.

The foundation of Magnum DNA is a Brain Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) formula, which are the fundamental building blocks of protein synthesis and muscle building within the body. DNA’s BCAA mix is provided with Ethyl-Esther technology, which is the first compound within the body to pass through the blood-brain barrier. This allows more effective dosage, as there is a much greater, faster absorption of the BCAAs within the body’s cells. This formula also includes Glycine and Arginine, which reduces fatigue, enhances vasodilation, and further aids muscle growth. This ensures that when the burn of muscle fatigue grows mid-reps, the body is able to endure, push through, and better cope with the stress! Additionally, the Keoiscaproate Calcium (KIC) prevents the body from muscle wasting catabolism by maintaining an anabolic, muscle building body state.

The result of this incredible formula is a promise of not only enhanced strength, but increased endurance and performance that exceeds expectations. DNA increases protein synthesis, increases the growth of muscle mass and also hardens and densifies existing muscle for an overall harder, more defined look. If that was not enough to entice, the anabolic formula also improves recovery! It truly is the full package.

Magnum DNA is an essential addition to a stack for anyone who is lifting weights in their athletic routine; no matter what your fitness focus is, this product has guaranteed benefits. If you are looking for a supplement to do more than just aid your performance, but to TRULY change your life, this is the one!

(Learn about Magnum DNA here)

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Role Models or Obstacles? Thoughts on Seasoned Gym-Goers.

Going to the gym for the first time can be a nerve wracking experience. You’re walking into a foreign world of new equipment that requires certain form and safety awareness, you’re about to get sweaty and vulnerable in a room full of people you don’t know – and worse, they might judge you.

This is an all too common scenario I hear from someone who wants to make a change in their life, but may be self conscious about doing so. Being judged by seasoned gym-goers is a huge fear, and an unfortunate reality that discourages newcomers to a healthy way of life. This is particularly evident at this time of year, when we so often year gymgoers complaining about the “New Years Resolutioners” who are clogging up the gym, with comments about how they can’t wait for the herd to thin out – and I am SO disappointed by this attitude!

I find it baffling that these people don’t seem to remember that at one point, they were a beginner too. Someone who didn’t know what they were doing, someone taking the first step towards getting where they are today. Are their memories so short?

Instead, as seasoned gymgoers, we should be encouraging newcomers (regardless of the time of year), for taking the first step towards a healthy life. We should cheer them on for what could be a definitive moment in their lives, and we should also be willing to offer help, advice, and assistance with a smile. So this is my call to the seasoned, long term gym goers to be more supportive, to stop being so judgmental, and to remember how to be a courteous human being.

When I posted my thoughts on Facebook, I got varied responses, including:
“It makes it hard to work out!” – Really? Be creative and work around them. Maybe its an indication its time to change up your routine as well, and try something new.

“Well you know they won’t stick with it!” – This gets to me. DO you know that? No you don’t. You do not know whether or not someone will stick with their goal or not, because you have no idea what that person is capable of. Whether they start January 1st, or any day of the year, whether or not they are 5 lbs overweight or 100 lbs overweight, it doesn’t matter. You cannot anticipate if that person expects immediate results, of if they’re willing to work hard day in and day out, and you are not the judge of how bad they may want it. To assume you know otherwise is incredibly self righteous. That person deserves to be treated based on their potential just like you do, and not be assumed a failure.

Worst of all, one of my fans said she saw this quote on a Fan Page, which will remain nameless:

“It would be nice if we could get together as a group and take pictures of the buffalo in the gym tackinling their NYE resolutions. We’ll call it a month long social science experiment since they should be back to Mcribbing it up in a month”

I was disgusted that anyone in an industry dedicated to helping people feel healthy, happy, fit and confident could ever be so tactless, tasteless, and just plain rude! And its disheartening, to know so many in the industry have been saying much the same…

So I’m asking you with this post, to reconsider how you’ve been treating people at the gym since the new year, and to evaluate your attitude. Are you being self-righteous? Are you acting entitled? Could you be more supportive?

Inevitably, someone is going to read this post and think, “Its not MY responsibility to help someone at the gym, I don’t work there.” You’re right, its not. Just like its not your responsibility to hold the door for someone behind you or help someone pick up something they’ve dropped,  and so on. But you still do them, because you’re a decent human being, and not a selfish jerk. No one is asking for you to completely derail your workouts either. Courtesy and a smile alone will get you a long ways.

And yes, occasionally, I judge. I judged the guy with the swastika and white power tattoos, I judged the drug addict who started jumping over benches and making karate noises, and I judged the woman sipping a Starbucks latte while walking on the treadmill. So I’m not perfect. I never said I was. But I’d like to think I do a pretty good job of supporting people when they’re trying something new.

 

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Creating a Better Fit!

Today I am getting involved with a movement asking “How would you change the fitness industry?”

Happy with my natural body!

This topic is near and dear to my heart, not only for what fitness has done for me and my life, but for what I have been able to share with others to encourage them towards their happiest, healthiest selves. Fitness is what I eat, sleep and breathe, this is what keeps me going, what makes me happy, healthy and strong. It is my passion, and I strive every day to live and act as a positive example and role model of what I believe.

Therefore, my answer to this question comes without a second thought: less artificiality. 

Fake boobs, fake nails, fake tans, and fake bodies from steroids are NOT what health and fitness is about, yet it is impossible to open a fitness magazine or website without seeing at least one, if not all of the above, on the front pages. In my heartfelt opinion, these are not things that we should be promoting as ideals – instead, we need to be stressing the natural: natural health, natural results, and natural beauty.

This is an issue I struggle with every day, and it bothers me constantly, especially as a fitness professional who refuses to go under the knife or get fake for success. To me, fitness and the fitness industry should be about promoting health, confidence, and loving yourself for who you are – and who you can become through hard work and consistency. These values are what drew me in and changed my life, and they should be the paramount priority.

If your body came from a scalpel, or a pill or an injection… it doesn’t mean as much to me. The real heroes of fitness are those who gained their bodies from eating right, and working out consistently with intensity. These are the values I want to glorify – these are the values that I continue to encourage, and embody. Should we truly be promoting the idea that the only way to a perfect body is through drugs and surgery? I hate the notion.

So, my proposal for creating a better fit is to see more natural models being displayed to demonstrate the benefits of hard work and dedication. I would like to see a stronger condemnation for the use of illicit substances, and a discouragement of plastic surgery for the sake of aesthetics.

Let’s be happy with who we are, and what we can achieve through our own means!!

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A Day in the Life of a Fitness Model

This article was written for ActivewearUSA.

As a fitness model, I must maintain a body that can be camera ready within two weeks of a shoot date, and sometimes I don’t even have that much time. Casting calls can come as short as 24 hours notice, so it is absolutely crucial to be eating clean consistently, and keeping to a dedicated workout routine: I’m in the gym six days a week. Training for a shoot is a little different than regular training. Normally, I am a heavy lifter, and I focus on the heavier weights for fewer reps in order to build the muscle. However, when I am shooting, my workouts for the week before shift to a higher rep count with lighter weights, to help bring out and carve the defined look that I’m aiming for.

For a shoot, I allow myself a week to adopt a preparation diet: for the first few days, I consume high quantities of water and sodium, and low carbohydrates. A low carb diet will help to blast fat and shred the muscles, while excess water and sodium flush out your system and keep you hydrated. By mid-week, I taper down my water and consume an absolute minimum of sodium, to ensure minimal water retention. On the day of the shoot, I will try not to eat anything before shooting if possible. The less you eat, the less your stomach will swell, and the tighter you will look. However, if the shoot is in the later afternoon or evening, not eating before hand is unsafe, if not just impossible. So I will usually eat a light breakfast of egg whites, and any other meal will be a protein shake.

The morning before a shoot is very involved. I wake up, have my breakfast, and head to the gym for a quick weight lifting circuit, and some plyometric cardio. To use the old cliché, having a ‘swell’ certainly helps to enhance the active look of muscle. Then it is time to prep myself – normally, the photographer and I have already confirmed a general theme or style for the shoot so my outfits will already be packed, but I ensure that all my additional maintenance (showering, exfoliation, shaving, moisturizing, manicures and pedicures) are done on the day of the shoot for the best look.

Once you arrive on set, makeup application can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. Makeup for the camera is very different than what you might wear for a night out as it often has to be darker and more exaggerated to hold its presence over varying light sources. It truly benefits to be patient with the makeup artist, as their meticulousness makes you look better. During the make up process, the photographer lays out their plans for the shoot, numbers outfits, and tests the lighting – it too helps to be patient with lighting, as it is the key to a spectacular photo.

As soon as the camera is clicking, I start to move. I’m aware of where my hands are, if my muscles are held tight, if my face is catching the light – all the while maintaining an expression that is intense, genuine, and appealing. I am not a static poser- I never hold the exact same pose for more than one click of the camera unless requested. Everything is a motion, and the slightest movement can change a picture. Turning your eyes, exhaling, shifting your hand, everything creates a new moment. Depending on the shoot, I must be en pointe and focused for 1-3 hours of shooting time – sometimes more, especially when on location shots are needed. I have to be ready to self direct, but to oblige what the photographer asks. I have to prepare to bring my best no matter how cold or wet I may be, and keep it looking as if this unnatural pose is the most natural thing in the world. It is a challenge… but it is also like living art.

 

When the shoot is over, it’s time to eat.

 

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Women Beyond Pink

This article was written for ActivewearUSA

When you think pink, you think ‘female’. For ages, the color pink has been associated with femininity, and all things girly; from newborn babies, to women’s causes, to the bulk majority of our cosmetic products, pink is predominantly a girl’s color.

But is that all that defines us? Can women only be represented by the color pink? Don’t get me wrong, pink is fine, it can bring a little sass to an outfit and it’s a great option for women who love it.  But, despite the overwhelming abundance of the feminine hue, there are some women who don’t like pink – and I happen to be one of them. It has never been a color I was fond of, nor was it flattering on me — not to mention I am a redhead!

Yet, when I walk into any sports store to pick out a new sports bra or a cute pair of workout pants; I am left almost inevitably with only two options: black and pink. Needless to say, I own a lot of black sports bras. So I am often left wondering; how come our options are not as versatile as we are? How is it that the modern woman is left limited in how they express themselves and what makes them feel good in the gym? Where is our power of creativity? For those ladies who adore pink, more power to you, and I urge you to rock it confidently, but I’d like for a moment to speak for the girls who prefer an array of colors: we should not just get to choose between pink and black if green makes us feel hotter, and orange gives us more confidence! If you look hot in yellow and stunning in red, then why not have the option to take that to the gym?

It was only when I began to shop online for active wear at sites like ActivewearUSA was my monochromatic frustration lifted – here, I find that one can find the best variety of the best brands, while pushing the boundaries by offering a vast array of colors and patterns. Truly, these exciting brands are breaking the molds, and ensuring that any woman with any taste or any color preference can find what makes them look and feel fabulous, strong, and sexy  — even if that happens to be pink! So I offer cheers to ActivewearUSA for pushing the boundaries of what defines ‘feminine’ workout wear, and defining women beyond pink!

 

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