I passed my exam!

ACSM certified personal trainer!

I wanted to share the good news with everyone, I retook the ACSM personal training exam for the third time and PASSED IT! I am not certified and really excited. I shared the good news on social media if you follow me, but wanted my blog friends to know the good news. For this reason, I have not been on the blog in 5 days, because I was really focused and determined and wanted to spend my days studying (it paid off). The test was hard and very long, but I am so happy it is finished, finally over! no more studying for the exam that cost me my sanity, LOL. 

 

In the meantime, I am focusing on changing my social media platforms to reflect the good news of my certification. I am giving myself 2-4 weeks to have a business plan/ideas written down, because along with working at a gym, I want to build my own personal training business and build a clientale list that hopefully will be both profitable and fun! I have a knack for fitness and wanting to help people feel good about themselves, so that’s my mission. Everything will be in steps and NOT rushed, because I want my business to flourish and be true to self and my values. It’s very important I pay attention to key details and have patience because I know it will take time. 

 

If you are a personal trainer or someone who currently runs your own business within the fitness industry, I would love to hear tips, advice, any type of help that would be in my favor to give me more perspective. I have learned some things from my college days but it has been 2 years since I have graduated and some of the teachings have faded from my mind since then, so I want information and of course want to network with like-minded individuals. 

 

Next stop: working on a business plan. 

 

Thank you to all those who have been more than supportive of me and my dreams, goals and aspirations. I live for this and want to be the best trainer and help I can be within this industry.  

 

I have plans of creating a whole new website (with my own domain) for just personal training – but I will continue to keep this blog and make post and will have links, etc, I just want a more professional looking website for the business aspects and I also am thinking of making a new FB page dedicated to personal training with fun blogs, videos, sign up pages for training, etc, which then in turn will mean a second Instagram profile that is separate from my personal instagram –I would continue to post to the personal one. 

I will continue to train for powerlifting and meets, so that won’t stop but now I have another focus and that is building myself & my brand. 

 

Shay-lon 

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Meeting Matt Wenning — Powerlifting Legend

I was nearly shitting myself at the thought of finally meeting Matt Wenning yesterday. I started the drive early in the morning and brought a friend along for moral support and help with my nerves & anxiety. I am pretty sure, the whole drive was nothing but seemingly loud music, frequent pee breaks, and eating food, oh and minor chit chat — that helped to raise my confidence… (mostly singing though, car karaoke, I love it). The drive only took about a hour and half – maybe hour and 40 min, Columbus isn’t too far from where I reside. 

My friend was FIRST to spot his gym, there were no signs; only reason someone would even know the building was a gym is if they had a GPS, and noticed the small wording on the door (which I had not noticed) — otherwise they would be driving up and down the road looking for it like I almost did. The outside appearance was that of an old building, nothing stylish, just an old building with street parking (minimal) and parking behind the building as well (minimal) but thankfully we were able to find parking. Not to mention, I don’t think his gym gets crowds like a Planet Fitness gym would — it is more of a gym for the experienced and invited and possibly for those who honestly get into contact with the dude; so if you are lucky, you probably would have had this opportunity. 

 

Before walking inside, I said a small prayer and took a deep breath, then took a photo — yes always taking photos so I can capture memories of my travels. Walked in, small room and no one present, but I could hear people in the next room, not many but some, I decided to stay in the empty room for a while to get a feel of the place, to change shoes, to mix aminos in with my water, to look around at some of the posters, and trophies, apparel, etc. I also took that time to talk out my nerves with my friend, and say a mini prayer once more. I literally took another 10 min, just farting around doing nothing productive, debating on when to walk into the other side of the gym and greet everyone. I found the right time when I looked at the clock and it read 10:45 am ( I was scheduled for 11am) guess this is it, all or nothing. I learn something today and hopefully give it my all. 

 

Walked to the other side of the gym through a new entrance and observed about 4 people talking and using some dumbbells. 2 females and 2 males. I don’t any of these people but NONE of them were Matt, I knew that for sure. I just found the area where everyone put their belongings and settled in, I didn’t do much nor speak with anyone outside of my friend, I just paced myself in a small area of the gym waiting for the dude of the hour to show up — he shows up 7 min later and I realize he is definitely in an amazing shape, big dude and smiled as he greeted me. I felt comfortable right then and there because I felt a good ora around him, no longer was I as scared as I was walking in, I was calm. He ask me the BIG question of the day: “what did you want help with?” ; if I am being honest, I I was quite sure how to go about answering it, but my reply “I want help in powerlifting, I am planning on competing this summer or late fall and I want help getting there, I want help with my lifts, I want help with being a powerlifter, and I willing to take whatever I learn today and utilize it”. Matt was smooth when he replies with “okay, let me introduce you to Brooke (a woman at the gym whom I assumed worked there) and she and myself will both watch you and we will start with the basics — I want to see your warm up in full, everything you do to warm up before lifting,I want to see”. I wasn’t prepared for this moment, me having to warm up in front of  a legend and someone I didn’t quite know; I knew my warm up methods weren’t horrible but that doesn’t mean they were good either or good enough. I did my whole warm up (the gym had maybe one treadmill or two, 4-5 racks maybe 6, and maybe two machines, resistance bands, benches, and plates. possibly DB’s but I didn’t observe well enough to see how many or the amount of weight. At the end of my warm up, we went straight into squats (back squats)

 

He had me do squats the way I normally do them, not to change anything, just do them (he also asked me my one RM) I did my high bar shoulder width apart squats (10 rep bar warm up), 10 lbs 10 reps warm up set and then TA DA .. started in on the heavier lifting. I was told to do 3 reps after adding weight so they can watch my form and movements — find my weaknesses and strengths. 

My weaknesses: hips, glutes and hamstrings (all in that order) hips being the most weak area. My strengths: back and quads  — during my squats. He said my quads are strong, real built but they carry all my weight and the rest of my lower body suffers because they are weaker and so when it comes to lifting heavier weights — my quads are doing all the work and in the long run that will cause injury or prevent me from lifting heavier. He started me on LOW bar. WIDE stance squats, because I will focus on hip, glute and hammie development, it will force me to use all my muscles together and make the drop to the ground shorter and refrain me from using only my quads. The goal for my squat is to use all the lower body muscles to develop that movement. My warm up for squats will include 12-15 min worth of 3 exercises done in a circuit with 4 x 25 each  (the exercises will be hip, glute and hamstring development since those are weak areas)

 

Low bar wider stance squats are something for me to get to used to, it was harder because I don’t do them and because I have weak areas and so used to just pushing through with my quads and back and ignoring my hips, glutes and hammies. I learned if I want to move weight and perform better, I will need to use this stance — and really strengthen my weaknesses. High bar shoulder width stance IS NOT BAD, is NOT WRONG , but it will make lifting heavier squat weight harder because I will have to go a lot further down (I am tall) so we want to make the lift shorter and easier for my height. He would understand this, because he is a tall dude himself. Deadlifts were next …

During this training, we did Sumo deadlifts — but he wants me to continue implementing both conventional and sumo. He wanted my lift during the pull — it wasn’t bad, I just had to note that I need to remember to “pull my shoulders back” before lifting, so that I am lifting straight up with the bar. Another noted thing is, I am going to have to start training deadlift and squat on the same days instead of separate like I have been (obviously one deadlift type with the squat, and another deadlift type with squat on another day) — the female trainer said “they believe in hard leg days”, so guess what? I am going to have to start having hard leg day sessions. LOL This isn’t a bummer, but just means more time at the gym.. I should be used to this; I practically live there. The warm up routine he has me doing for squats, I need to focus on the same weaknesses for my deadlift. Yay! easy enough. Moving on once more…

Bench press — MY WORST LIFT in my opinion, because it is not only my weakest lift but also the lift that hits plateaus the most, the lift that I have issues with most of the time and the lift that I have been screwing up on. I practically warned them that this would be something for the books because I already knew I had issues with this lift — but they both agreed to still watch me perform. I found out that my issues with the bench are: weak lats, weak triceps, and weak rear delts; BUT .. both my pecs and shoulders out power the rest of those other weaker muscles which makes my lifting harder for the bench. Again, being able to strengthen the weaker muscles so they can be utilized is important. Also, I need to get used to having my shoulders against the bench and not following the pull, my wrist need to be straight and not bend back (out of habit) and I need to use my legs with the heavier weights to help with my lifting as well with bench press. My warm up expectation is the same routine: 4 x 25, 12-15 min warm up, a circuit with three different exercises that hit each of my 3 weaknesses separately. Oh what fun!

I was told to stay away from isolated quad exercises and isolated anterior delt exercises — because I am strong in those areas in my body ( this will only be for the time being, we shall work on these areas of the body again at later date) so this means I will be focusing only on the weaker muscles and core lifting. I should be working out 4 x a week now, but if I want to implement a 5th day (like I have been), then I can make it an accessory day to work on weaker muscles and get a good pump. He didn’t recommend any specific days to do cardio, basically make my circuit warm up my cardio. 

By the time the session was finished up, he basically explained to me what he would like to see from me, what we will set up in the future with workouts (he gets back into town in May) so I won’t see him until then, how to go about warming up, what exercises to implement (examples), and encouraged me in way that let me know I can do this, I can be a good powerlifter, I have the potential. He even took pictures with me and we video taped everything 🙂 Overall it was a fun experience, one I am looking forward to in the future! Check out some of the pictures & video footage we took while at the gym: Meeting Matt Wenning

Thanks for reading and sorry for the long novel, I wanted to give everyone a glimpse into my world on Tuesday when I met this dude, because it is a once in a lifetime situation and we never know if we will have the same opportunity twice.

Shay-lon

World Autism Awareness Day

For those who are unaware, today is “World Autism Awareness Day” — I am all for mental health awareness (my blog focuses on both mental and physical health). I think it is good that we keep ourselves educated and aware of current events going on around us, mental health issues/conditions and wanting to understand other people’s experiences. I know autism isn’t anything new, but I know people who suffer from a mild form of it, and some of my family members have worked with kids who suffer from moderate to more severe forms of autism. We have come a long way in science, but still there is no affirmative answer as to how some people become autistic and others don’t. It is believed that both environmental factors and genetics play a part in autistic persons but NO specific environmental causes have been proven yet. For a while I know many people blamed the vaccination that prevented childhood infectious diseases but multiple studies have said that the vaccinations did not increase the chances of autism — not saying that these studies are 100 percent true, because I believe there may be studies who slightly disagree with this claim, but I suppose it all depends on what source is saying what and your thoughts around it after gaining more understanding and research on the topic. 

 

If you are unaware of what autism is, it is characterized as “a developmental disorder that that impairs the ability to communicate and interact”. With this being said, it doesn’t mean that everyone with autism cannot speak or form sentences, or is mute; I have a client with autism, who functions and speaks just the same — as said before, some have mild forms and others have more moderate or severe forms of autism. 

 

Common signs of autism?

 
  • Social impairment and communication difficulties — some people find social interactions difficult. Simply avoiding eye contact, not respond to their name, children with autism may find they would rather be alone (play games by themselves vs playing with other children), many people with autism may have a difficult time with talking about their feelings and understanding other people’s feelings. Delayed speech, no speech, inappropriate forms of speech, awkwardness while talking, may repeat phrases, or give unrelated answers to questions.. etc.
  • Repetitive & characteristic behaviors: Repetitive movements or unusual behaviors, become obsessive over certain topics, preoccupied with certain aspects of a toy, many people with autism thrive from routine (changes can be challenging for them), anger or emotional outburst. etc. 

There are more signs I hadn’t listed but this gives you somewhat of an understanding but it’s always good to get more information from your medical doctor or a specialist in the area of mental health who can provide more answers. 

 

Treatments can include medications that DON’T CURE OR TREAT MAIN SYMPTOMS, medications can help some of the symptoms (anxiety, depression, obsessive behavior), another treatment is “educational & behavioral interventions (which have been proven to be helpful) 

 

Diagnosing autism can be difficult at times because of the fact that sometimes symptoms go unrecognized for a period of time & not everyone experiences the same type of symptoms. 

Some early on indicators might be: 

  • poor eye contact
  • no response to name
  • no babbling or pointing by age 1
  • no smiling or social responsiveness

just to name a few. Later indicators:

  • impaired ability to make friends with peers
  • repetitive or unusual use of language
  • abnormally intense or focused interest
  • preoccupation of certain objects or subjects

plus more that I haven’t listed. Again, the best thing to do is ask questions to medical professionals or do your own research, because even if you don’t know anyone who suffers from autism, it doesn’t mean you won’t ever come into contact with someone who doesn’t have it. Hopefully this information was somewhat helpful and more of you share your own tidbits of information in the comment sections; thanks for reading, comment, like, and share! 

 

Shay-lon 

Building a positive social circle

I plan on getting back to the podcast soon that I created (been away from it for 3 months) and so to keep things fresh, I will probably do the Tips Tuesday — and gradually get back into things, don’t want to overwhelm myself with too much because of all the extra stuff I am now taking on. With this being said, I created this tip months ago, and I figured it is very important — something we should all aim for & that is:

 

Building a positive social circle.

 

What this means, is choosing to surround yourself with people who help to build you, motivate you, encourage you, and support you. We all have had people in our circle at one point who seemed like the debbie downer or the one that constantly complains about life and all the downs but never sees any positive things from it — but maybe some of us have been the negative one in our own circle (if this is true, change your outlook .. in order to gain the positive circle you seek). This is excluding those of us with mental illnesses that might play a part in our mindset, but even so with that illness, finding people who appreciate you and give you hope and have a concern for you and your life as much as you have for them is a start in the right direction. 

 

I am not perfect by any means, but since growing up and becoming more mature and making better adult decisions, I have gotten better at being alone until I meet people who have a good impact in my life instead of being friends and accepting everyone in my circle — I had to learn to be more picky because I get discouraged easy and I deal with my own demons and having a negative person who constantly brings me down, only creates more issues in the long term for me. Something we have to learn to do, is be picky as to who we allow in our lives and who we allow to impact our lives. Down below I list some ways to build a positive social circle:

 
 
  1. Be PICKY! Don’t allow anyone in, make sound decisions. Not everyone needs to be your friend
  2. Change your outlook/attitude about yourself – when you have a more positive outlook on yourself, people tend to gravitate towards you and in turn you make more relationships that are good relationships
  3. Respect people- Respect goes a long way in life, if you can respect others, normally it means they will have mutual respect for you
  4. Be open minded: Open minded individuals tend to see within a person vs the outer layer, they want a deeper connection with someone and in turn you truly start to build a stronger bond
  5. Compliment someone: Giving someone a reason to smile can make a difference — people will feel appreciated & it can make your day knowing you made someone else’s day. People enjoy compliments, truths about themselves that maybe they don’t see within them, but hearing it from someone else gives them a reason to continue being awesome! A simple compliment can carry a lot of weight
  6. Don’t be self absorbed: I always say there is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself BUT you don’t want your circle to get tired of learning about you, when you become self absorbed everything revolves around you and that shows others that you don’t have their best interest in mind. I will just add that, being self absorbed can lead to bad relationships because everybody wants a chance to shine and when you take someone’s limelight to shine back on yourself, it comes off as arrogant. 
  7. Confidence is needed: Confidence is a necessity because people feed off someone who is confident with who they are, you need to carry yourself like you are proud of being alive, proud of who you are and proud of where you came from because it is what makes you, you! You might have a bad past but it doesn’t mean you are bad person, and you might have flaws but flaws don’t make you less of a person. 
  8. Think before you speak: We get in a habit with saying whatever is on our minds, which isn’t always bad, but it can lead to bad outcomes if we don’t think about how to go about things. If you keep other people’s feelings in mind, then you will have better outcomes, telling the truth isn’t bad but its how you say it that can make the whole difference. Take others into consideration before speaking too much of your mind. 
  9. Don’t be “two faced”: We all know what it means to be two faced “someone who smiles in your face but will talk behind your back when you leave” , yes, that’s very dishonest, rude and immature. Grow up, if you want people in your circle who are positive, don’t make it hard on yourself by giving them a reason to not trust you or like you. 
  10. Find people with similar hobbies: It can pay off when you acquaint yourself with those who share the same interest and hobbies as you, this makes life a little easier but don’t disregard those who are opposite because many times they can give us new experiences and allow us to step outside our comfort level. 
  11. Be true to SELF: Be real, be authentic, and be yourself. Changing for others will either end badly or last for a short period of time because you will run into all walks of life and having to shift who you are for each person will get tiring — change is good if it makes you into a better person and develops you mentally and physically and spiritually but when it becomes a change in order to “fit in” with people or groups of people, it drains you, overwhelms you, and reduces your chances of making deeper connections with people. Not everyone will like you, but those who do like you, will be worth it because they will see the best in you — 
 

Building a circle isn’t about being “popular” and most liked, it is about building a meaningful bond with people who take the time to build that same bond with you. Building a positive circle isn’t about having to smile and be happy everyday, it’s about building a circle that allows for bad days but doesn’t dwell on them — Shay-lon Moss 

 

A circle can be small (2-3 close friends) or a bigger circle (5-10 friends), or your family members — it doesn’t matter how big or small it is, it’s a circle that has your back no matter how deep the water gets; they motivate, support, and uplift you– they give you truths but don’t slam you with bad vibes — Shay-lon Moss

 

Have something you want to add to this list, feel free to leave in the comment section! 

Powerlifting Cycle Two— Week 5

Day Three- Chest day

Eh, so today’s lifting was bench press aka chest day. I had some good improvements with my reps, but fell short in my lifting when it got heavier (close to my 1 rep max), so I am going to probably start lifting bench twice a week starting Monday, because my bench press is slowest to progress compared to other 3 big lifts, and I want to hit 135 by March. I am like 5-10 lb away from it, so I know it is possible with the right strategy and of course hard work. I spoke to someone at the gym about it today, so they gave me an idea that I plan on implementing for it. We shall see how well it goes. 

 
 
  • Barbell bench press: 3 x 3

 

  • 70% of 90% of 1-RM: 85 lb
  • 80% of 90% of 1-RM: 95 lb
  • 90% of 90% of 1-RM: 105 lb, 6 max reps (I did 2 more reps compared to week 2) Yay!

 

  • Wide Grip pull up (assistance machine): 5 x 15, 120 lb
  • DB chest press: 5 x 15, 50 lb
  • Wide grip lat pull down: 5 x 15, 60 lb
  • Incline DB chest press: 5 x 15, 50 lb

Cardio:

  • Stationary bike:20 minutes, level 8. Rpm: 70+ 

So basically I am struggling to use my feet to push me while benching with an arch,I have finally gotten down the straight wrist idea, but now it is focusing on pushing my heels when I bench so I can get that weight up quicker and more efficiently. This is going to take some learning and practice before I have it down, but if I plan on competing and being at my best within competitions, I have to learn to get better at these things or make it work for me. I was struggling at 1 rep for 125 lb and my max is supposed to be 135 now (I have to add 5 lb this week), so with that being said, UGHHHH! not happy with struggling at 125, but will continue to work on it.. I know I can do this. 

 
 

 

2017 Blog Recap: My Pitfalls and Success!

thought I would take this time to reflect on my blogging career since first starting Dec. 2016. 

 

Once upon a time I was a beginner just like some of you new bloggers, I was searching for answers, perfection and followers. I owe my blogging to a professor whom gave me the idea and I took off with it – if it wasn’t for his guidance; I would have never found this passion & would have missed out on such amazing opportunities with my writing. 

 

He gave me the idea, but I had to come up with the answers, come up with the solutions, had to put forth the effort to see any success. In the beginning, I was restless, I was anxious, I was nervous and I was alone on this journey- while I had his continued support, I didn’t have the support of many others until my blog started taking off on its own (even then, the support was minimal). I struggled trying to find my voice within my writing, coming up with topics, making a routine, creating an actual blog and deciding which platforms to use. Google was both my friend and nemesis because while it was helpful; it wasn’t enough. Soon, I had to put forth all my efforts with contacting veteran bloggers with questions, concerns, and had to read blog after blog after blog in order to find my own wings. 2016 was tough to say the least and 2017 had its patches as well. 

 

In year 2017, I had great days where my stats were glowing and showering with new views and followers – I was hitting top success, BUT towards the middle & end of 2017 my blog was coming to a slow end ( I was writing less entries, views were low, my following was slow and my online presence was dwindling) getting lost in all the saturated fitness and health blogs— I struggled to stand out. My blog helped to get me sponsored as an athlete, it helped me be able to have a chance in writing for editors of very popular magazines (Muscle and Fitness magazine) and it gave me opportunities to write for online sources both paid and unpaid opportunities all the while it was tumbling down a downward slope.. 

 

I love my blog, and even though it isn’t at its BIGGEST success as of yet, I hope that 2018 will be the year it shines its brightest. In fact, I plan on putting in more work on this blog (and my other blog) than I have in the past couple of years of writing because I have HUGE dreams to fulfill and HUGE ideas that are possible and with the right amount of time and dedication, I know I can turn my blog into a HUGE success. A blog that will blow the minds of those who doubted me. In the meantime I plan on taking this blog to new heights, but still keeping it simple & still keeping it true to myself – always. 

 

I have seen my pitfalls and my triumphs within my writing – and 2018 will still have pitfalls and triumphs, it will just be a new year of showing continued growth. Many people consider me a successful blogger/writer in the fitness industry, but I don’t consider myself as such because the most successful of them are the ones who you remember the most, you read the most, you follow, you feel inspired by and have learned something from that has significantly played a part in your life, you subbed to their blog because you never want to miss a moment or story; you didn’t leave their side during bad months of writing and you weren’t just a follower of their’s- but somebody they knew and had grown to connect with. I want that. I want all of those things when people visit my blog. 

 

I appreciate all of you for being here to read this, It means a lot to me that I am ending 2017 on a positive note. Have a wonderful NEW YEARS 2018 🙂

 

Shay-lon Moss

Monday Motivation! Dec. 18th

Happy Monday Motivation!