Learn how Valeria Ammirato dominated the German fitness competitor scene in her first official year as a pro.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Welcome to Stayfitbuzz.com. Before we begin on the present, where did the fitness journey begin for you?
Valeria: My journey began in December 2010 when, for the first time I met my coach Bernhard Schuber. He helped me in my preparation and helped me improve to become a ‘good’ bikini athlete. The last year was my first year.
Stay-Fit Buzz: I’ve seen some strong activity in Europe in regards to fitness and competing. From your own personal experience, how does it compare to the US?
Valeria: Here in Europe I’ve found that the guidlines differ from country to country. But what is very strking between the Bikini class in USA and Europe, is that here in Europe the girls thinner and more delicate… In the USA the girls may have more curves.
Stay-Fit Buzz: You’ve ended up on Stayfitbuzz.com because of what you have achieved with your physique, and what you’ve achieved on the stage (We’ll talk about that shortly). The first thing that stood out is that you have muscles (Looking at your guns/biceps right now). Yet you have strong feminine curves! How much of it do you put down to genetics (curves) And how much of it would you just put down to pure hard work?
Valeria: Haha my “guns/biceps”….that’s nice thanks . The biceps are generally my favorite muscle for a woman, I like women with nice defined arms. I have a good genetics in my shoulders, arms and abdominals. My legs are the result of hard work.
Stay-Fit Buzz: We’ve also just released Volume 1 of Stay-Fit No Nonsense Butt Building program. Do you believe that anyone can build a solid set of glutes. Even if the genetics of that muscle group aren’t in that persons favor. After all, you have succeeded in that area. Or would you also put that down to ‘genetics’?
Valeria: Thanks for the compliment ! No I think genetics play a huge role. Without this a person will have to ‘work for it’, with what they do have, this is my opinion. Especially if it’s about the butt!
Stay-Fit Buzz: You had quite a few wins competing on stage last year. Was 2011 the year you decided to really ‘go for it’? If so, what drove you towards competing?
Valeria: Yes 2011 was my first year, as a newcomer. It was in April where I stepped on stage for the first time and I won against tough competition. It was a very succesful year for me. I wanted to prove to myself how far I can make it and now it has become my greatest passion.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Why do you think you achieved several 1st places?
Valeria: I think because of my ambition and my love for this sport.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Your personal life… how has your fitness lifestyle impacted your personal life. The positives AND negatives (If any)?
Valeria: Only positives! I now have a greater connection to my sport, I now have larger goals and I was able to convince many people of the positives in this sport.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Are your friends and family happy with your lifestyle choice?
Valeria: Now they do. At the beginning they all thought I was crazy .
Stay-Fit Buzz: Have you lost any friends along the way. Or has your life outside of fitness remained the same?
Valeria: Yes because you change yourself and lifestyle. You have no more time for all your friends, but the best stay always with you and accept your decisions.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Are there any parts of the fitness industry that you ‘don’t’ like? Or something that you wish you could change?
Valeria: I am new in this industry and I must say up until now, I have only had good and wonderful experiences. Perhaps others experience will change my opinion but so far I would change nothing.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Finally, what’s the future for Valeria? Short term/Long term goals?
Valeria: My goals are to have continued success in this sport for myself on stage. To let me always get excited about something new and can inspire other people too. And all that with the love and passion that I feel now.
I want thank Stayfitbuzz.com for give me this opportunity!
About Valeria Ammirato
Valeria Ammirato is a IFBB Bikini Competitor from Germany. She has entered many comptetitions and has won several of them, even though only officially starting her career in 2011.
Connect with Valeria: http://www.facebook.com/valeria.ammirato
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Learn how Natalie Lerma became strong and fit, while at the same time, conquering the fitness world despite having Osteoporosis!
Stay-Fit Buzz: Welcome to Stayfitbuzz.com. Let’s kick start by talking about every ladies favorite new phrase in fitness… ‘Strong is the new skinny’. Which clearly means not to be afraid of lifting weights. Has there ever been a point for you where you did fear weight training?
Natalie Lerma: Yes, for many reasons. Feared bulking, becoming masculine, intimidated of weight rooms (thought it was only for men), and scared wouldn’t be strong enough. I had these misconceptions through high school & college. Much like most women, cardio classes I thought was what my body only needed. Hence, I was living “skinny fat.”
Stay-Fit Buzz: Many ‘fans’ of fitness seem to respect the non professional, self shot bathroom progress pictures over the professional photoshoot pictures. Because they’re considered more ‘real’. Do you have anything ‘against’ those self shots that some fitness models take?
Natalie Lerma: Absolutely not. I too like to take my bathroom camera phone mirror shots
Stay-Fit Buzz: Do you notice a variety of styles amongst the photographers that you’ve worked with? Or is it pretty much the same process every time, regardless off the photographer?
Natalie Lerma: Everyone is extremely talented I’ve worked with. All are creative and have their own vision that aligns with mine.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Do you have a favorite photographer?
Natalie Lerma: I don’t have a favorite photographer. I have favorite shots.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Are there any aspects of the fitness industry that you dislike or purposely avoid? Or anything that you wish you could change?
Natalie Lerma: Yes, that muscle is sexy
Stay-Fit Buzz:How was life before 2011, because it appears that a lot of your activity in the industry has mostly happened in 2011?
Natalie Lerma: 2011 is where my fitness career began to gain notoriety. Before then, I was living living skinny fat and was aspiring for something greater. Didn’t make the change until I was told my body fat was approaching 30%. It really hit home to me and knew I needed to do something about it.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Do you have any favorite body parts that you like to work?
Natalie Lerma: Glutes and abs all day!
Stay-Fit Buzz: The picture we chose for the intro shows off physique quite well. And the assistance of the mirror reveals that you’ve built a strong set of glutes. That is an area many women would like to successfully build. What advice would you give to someone seeking success there?
Natalie Lerma: Get off the cardio machines and start doing weighted squats, lunges, step ups, dead lifts, bleachers, and plyometrics.
”At 29 years old, doctors told Natalie her bone density is as fragile as a 60 year olds. This is a condition she shares with her identical twin sister. They both bruise very easily and to prevent any more bones from breaking, Natalie is determined to keep her muscles strong. ”
Stay-Fit Buzz: Some past interviewees have also suffered from natural conditions. Yet, against all odds, they broke through, succeeded and are living healthily. How much of a challenge has this been for you?
Natalie Lerma: Any given day I could brake a bone. I choose to keep my bones strong through weight lifting. A normal hip bump into a kitchen counter or small skiing fall will last for most others. I bruise weeks to months. This sets limits how heavy I lift on my own so I don’t get hurt. I most always have a buddy or spotter on heavy days.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Your condition maybe driving you to stay fit. But are there any other factors that drive you to a lifestyle of fitness?
Natalie Lerma: I want to be role model for my family and future kids one day as my parents were to me.
Photo credit: LHGFX Photography
Got a question?
Got a question about the topics covered in this interview?
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Hello Hello Fitbuzzers,
Last week, while on our Facebook page, we asked everyone if they would like us to build a butt building guide for Fitbuzzers.
The overall response via all of our communication channels was quite positive. So, that’s what we decided to do. To build an E-course on how to build a solid, firm and tight rounded butt! So without further ado, introducing….
No Nonsense Butt Building
You can check out the full program HERE
Below is a sample taken from the program, which teaches you how to squat properly. However, there is more to building a truly great butt than simply trying to standard squat your way to one. However, it’s very important to know how to squat properly, as the squat is one of the only moves that works up to 75% of your muscles in just one movement.
Most people will associate the squat exercise as primary muscle builders for the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. Which is entirely correct. However, the squat exercise is also the king of all exercises, working a massive 250+ muscles throughout the movement. Which is why the phrase squats and milk is all you need’ became such a popular term. As milk is one of the best combo food sources around (high in proteins and carbs). Combo food sources are the king foods of any diet. And if you’ve ready any of the Stay Fit Buzz Lifestyle diet, you will know, that we encourage all Lifestyle dieters to consume both proteins and carbs in every meal.
Back to squats…
The main thing you need to know is
How to perform squats properly
The common mistakes to avoid
Remember, getting the basic movement correct will force all of your muscles to grow when you learn how to hit them hard in stage 2. The tweaks are the icing on the cake.
The first thing you need to know about the squat is that it’s an entirely safe exercises to do. In fact, most exercises are. The only reason that you should face an injury due to exercise would be from performing it incorrectly for a long period of time. Squats have been criticized for the damage they could cause to your knees. Again, only if you perform them incorrectly.
No half squats (A butt targeting tweak)
However, properly performed deep free squats are actually essential for your knee joints’ health and mobility. When people hear that squats are bad, what they really are referring to (whether they know it or not) is that full squats on your toes, (the knee extending way in front of the toes) is bad, as most peoples bodies can’t handle that kind of pressure. But it is a totally different if you bring your shins back to a vertical position where the weight is shifted to your heels. We’ll talk more about this is stage 2. But first, let’s discuss how to go about performing a squat properly and in a way that targets your butt.
First of all, avoid doing squats on a machine. Always do perform them free form from a power rack.
The power rack
Step backwards before un-racking the bar
Keep the bar at shoulder level on the rack. This way you won’t have to use to much energy lifting the bar from the rack in the stationary position.
Position your feet under the bar and squat under it with the bar on your back
Just like every other exercise, tense up for the first lift and un-racking of the bar.
Take 2 steps back with the bar on your back. First the left leg and then the right or vice versa.
Getting ready to squat
The first thing you need to do is focus on rule #1 of any exercise. Practice form first and master it, even before trying to add any heavier weight. Because you’ll get much better results from performing an exercise with a lower weight and good form than you will from performing an exercise with a heavier weight and bad form. Which for many will lead to injury. So go back to the preparation stage and ensure that your bar is empty, with no weight plates present on either side, at this time.
Gripping the bar
The main goal is to get the best bang for your buck when doing an exercise. One of the ways to do that is to tighten your muscles up. The bar will be resting on your upper back, so you’ll want to keep those upper back muscles as tight as possible. You can do this by focusing on a narrow ‘thumbless’ grip and bringing your shoulder blades as close together as you can. It may feel odd at first. But keep everything as tight as you can and you shouldn’t notice it too much.
Keep your eyes focused
Different exercises will require you to keep your eyes focused in a certain direction to get the most out of the exercise. For example. In the, Fit Buzz pull ups program, we teach you to always look up. Because looking up psychologically makes you want to move more into that direction, resulting in more pull ups. Looking down would have the same, yet negative effect. Which is why you are told to never look down when in a higher place than ground level.
The same rule apples to the squat
The best place to keep your eyes focused when squatting is directly in front of you and parallel to torso and thighs. Looking down may throw you off your balance. And looking up may result in neck pain. So look forward.
How to position your wrists
One part of good exercise form is to ensure you are placing a strong emphasis on the muscles that you are supposed to be working with that said exercise. In regards to the squat and the bar, it is your back that is supposed to support the weight. Not your wrists. Keep your wrists inline with your for arms and use them for gripping the bar. The thumbless grip with your thumbs on top of the bar will help you with this.
Positioning the bar
This part is critical, especially if you’re going to start increasing the weights. Which is why you need to focus on slow progression and good firm FIRST. Now, make sure you rest the bar at the top of your tight shoulder blades, near the low end of the bone where your spine is. But NEVER on your spine!
Positioning your feet
The key to avoiding injuries (especially in your knees) when squatting is by getting your feet positioned correctly. Will you blow your knees when squatting? Yes, but only by not doing the following
Keep your heels shoulder width apart
Keep your toes pointed outwards by around 30 degrees
Make sure your toes are always inline with your knees
That last point is important. Get that wrong by not making it a habit in the early days of squatting and you WILL blow your knees when squatting with a heavier weight.
Performing a squat (A butt targeting tweak)
Squatting is all about going low, low enough that your thighs are parallel to the ground and low enough that your hips pass your knee joint, but without your back rounding out at the bottom of the movement. If that starts to happen, just position your feet wider apart. When you reach the bottom of the squat you should have built up tension in your hips and hamstrings. At this point you will be ready to squat up. And you’ll do that more effectively by using that tension as bouncing up power.
On the way up…
Squeeze your glutes (A butt targeting tweak)
This is a technique where you let your mind target and activate your muscles. You must squeeze,
- Every time you push up from a squat
- Every time you stretch with your bodyweight
- Every time you do any leg exercises
Doing this will make your butt work harder.
In fact, do this with EVERY lower body lift. Tighten your abs, glutes and the bar. Doing so will allow you do get stronger by increasing the weight. An increase in strength will help you tone up your butt, which is what we cover in the ‘get it tight’ section of stage 2.
Also, just like when you bench press, use the floor as leverage by digging your feet into the ground, flat footed, heels all the way in.
Push with your heels (A butt targeting tweak)
Instead of doing your exercises flat footed, stand on your heels. What this will do is send more tension towards your butt, making it work harder. Do be careful when doing this, as there will be a decrease in balance. Practice this with the lighter weights. You will feel the difference when you awake the next day.
And last but not least. Always keep your knees out and inline with your toes throughout the entire movement.
Adding the squat exercise to your workout
Most would associate the squat exercise with being a leg exercise. But as you know, being the king of all exercises, it is more of a full body exercise.
In general, it would be a good idea to perform just one compound exercise for each day that you workout. In stage to, we show you how to structure this exercise and several others into a full 50 workouts.
You can check out the full program HERE
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Learn how Kelsey transformed herself from an overweight college student into a published model and sponsored athlete in just 2 years
Stay-Fit Buzz: Hello Kelsey. Welcome to Stayfitbuzz.com. Let’s begin at the start of your journey into fitness. Because you do have some impressive before and after pictures. And pictures like that often do have an interesting story behind them. So how did it all begin?
Kelsey: I was very active in high school… being from a small town, I was able to play all sports. I could eat like a pig and be a “string bean”. Once I got to college, my activity level decreased significantly. I also adopted some “bad habits”…like drinking alcohol, staying out late, and eating really bad food! The weight “snuck up” on me. I am a tall woman…. 5-10″ to be exact. I graduated high school weighing 132 lbs.
At my heaviest weight in college… I weighed 174 lbs!!!! I could not believe I had put on 40-42 lbs in college (in a matter of 2 1/2 years). That day was a HUGE reality check for me! I was not happy with my body… and I actually went shopping all the time… always looking for that “PERFECT” outfit to make my body look better. I finally realized that when you have a great body, everything looks great on you! Once I was honest with myself and mapped out my goals, I started making small changes here and there.
I started going out to eat less, hired a personal trainer and committed to working out 2-3 days a week (at first). It took me five years to get rid of the weight that only took two years to put on! I am now back to my high school weight (135 lbs), only with more muscle. The reason it took me five years is because I did not understand proper portion control. I started seeing a nutritionist in March 2010 and haven’t looked back since! Fitness and a clean diet is a lifelong commitment. I entered my first NPC bikini competition in October 2010 and won third place, qualifying for nationals! Clean eating and lean results gave me the confidence to get on that stage with 100 beautiful women!
I am thrilled with my results and work hard every week on challenging myself more with weights in the gym. It is AMAZING what clean eating will do for your body!
I give myself weekly goals to get in the gym and write down everything I eat in my planner. I love lifting weights, as they give me the most results! I am hooked on FITNESS and will never allow myself to look like my “college self” again! That was definitely a learning experience.
Since competing, some wonderful things have happened to me. I have become a published fitness model and a Labrada Nutrition athlete.
I look forward to my future in the fitness industry and hope my best is yet to come!
Kelsey: Well, I did compete in my first competition and won third place in my height class. Labrada Nutrition contacted me through Facebook and asked me if I would represent their brand. Labrada Lean Body for Her shakes was my meal replacement shake when I started seeing my nutritionist, so I was already using their products. I was honored that they asked me to represent their brand.
Stay-Fit Buzz: What has the ‘stage’ experience been like for you thus far? Was you nervous when you first stepped on stage?
Kelsey: I was a little nervous at my first show, but the energy on stage is amazing and surpasses any anxious feelings!
Plus, it’s a great way to meet other competitors and people in the industry.
Kelsey: I have always wanted to model, as long as I can remember. Fitness modeling is the most rewarding! I love the feeling of booking a job based on my hard work in the gym and Eating clean versus just being skinny and looking good in clothes. Fit is the new skinny!
Stay-Fit Buzz: You also hold a degree in business/marketing. Did the business and marketing traits of Kelsey have anything to do with kick starting your push into fitness modeling?
Kelsey: Well, I have been asked how I learned how to market myself so well… and I do believe it has something to do with earning my Master’s degree in Business and Marketing. School is definitely more interesting when you can apply it to your work and life. I really just enjoy motivating and helping other people, it’s my calling.
Kelsey: My job as a company spokesperson and marketing director tends to put me behind a desk most of the day. That’s why it’s very important that I am active on a daily basis. It would be so easy to eat donuts and breakfast burritos that I see at the office, but that’s so easy to do and it would put me right back where I was two years ago, unhappy with my body. I make the choice to eat clean and workout every day. I love feeling fit, even when sitting behind my desk. Lifting weights, eating clean and doing cardio gives me energy to focus on important projects. at work. I do cardio before work in the mornings, which gives me energy throughout my day- then I lift weights at night. It’s perfect for my schedule.
Stay-Fit Buzz: What are the main differences between your on season and off season diet?
Kelsey: The only difference in my meal plan is when getting close to competition, I eat a lean meat and veggies my last two meals of the day. In off season, my last two meals consist of lean meat, a complex carb and veggies. I basically eat most of my carbs during the day during competition season.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Challenges, we all face them. But have there been any challenges along the way that have really tested you?
Kelsey: I would have to say taking two graduate school classes, working full time and training for two competitions- all at the same time. It has allowed me to clearly define my tasks and practice great time management skills.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Negativity? Is that something that you’ve had to deal with on the journey to fitness success. Or negativity about competing on stage?
Kelsey: I have dealt with negativity. A few people I considered friends at one time, didn’t really understand or support my decision to compete and change my lifestyle. I understand now that it wasn’t something I was doing to them directly, but my drive made them feel bad about themselves and some people even became jealous.
Luckily, my good habits started rubbing off on close friends and their bodies started changing for the better too. I don’t allow negativity in my life anymore. I steer clear of negative attitudes and love supporting my friends with their interests.
Stay-Fit Buzz: How do you go about keeping a positive mindset for the long term? Because we all have our ‘down’ days.
Kelsey: Every morning while I do cardio, I basically make a mental note of everything I want to accomplish that day. That keeps me focused and allows me to focus on positive goals for my future. I also find that when I am consistent with clean eating and my workouts, I have a happy and positive mindset. There is no better feeling than knowing you are working your hardest to be your best. You are using every talent God has given you.
Kelsey: Oh, I have so many favorites! Here is a good one I keep in my planner.
“Every decision you make takes you in a different direction…closer or further away from your goals.
Life’s a journey, the choice is yours.”
About Kelsey Byers
Kelsey is a Fitness model and Labrada Nutrition sponsored athlete.
Connect with Kelsey on Facebook: Kelsey Byers
Photo credits: Wendi Satio
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We was going to write a complicated detailed post for you all. But instead, we decided to unleash these quick fire fitness tips that you can simply keep at the front of your mind throughout this lifestyle.
1. You often hear people say that muscle weighs more than fat. Muscle does not weigh more than fat. It simply takes up less space than fat. Since it takes up less space, that means it is more dense. Since muscle is more dense than fat, it weighs more per unit of space (or volume) than fat! Which is also why two people of equal height and body weight may look completely different from each other, because they have a different body composition.
2. Focus more on weight training to get lean than cardio.
3. Supplements are needed to do as the word states. Supplement’… your already good diet.
4. The best exercise for quickly building abs are the exercises that don’t focus on them.
5. Carbs are not the enemy. Man made and processed carbs are.
6. You can’t out exercise a bad diet
7. If you keep good food in your fridge you WILL eat good food.
8. Abs are indeed made in the kitchen.
9. Sex is also an act of fitness.
10. For the best results, you need to train like this…
11. The heart is a muscle, …and what do muscles do when they’re torn? They grow back STRONGER. Feed them, the Stayfitbuzz way.
12. Fitness needs to be treated as a lifestyle and not a quick fix.
13. Don’t quit! You’re already in pain, you’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.
14. Forget about lat pull downs. Just start with pull ups until you get better at them.
15. Don’t hyper-extend your back past vertical when you deadlift. Your back is the ‘back bone’ to your existence. Screw that up and you’re finished!
16. It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing. 8 weeks for your friends to notice. 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice.
17. Plan what you want to happen with your body. But track what actually happens along the way…
18. When you get in the mud with a pig, you get dirty and the pig gets happy. Stay out of the mud. Set your goals and DO YOU.
19. This ‘life’ s**t is precious. Don’t waste it. Get Fit Buzz Fit.
20. When in doubt, just eat veggies @Calories are not an issue here.
21. You are what you eat… literally. But you are also what your food eats!
22. Dark chocolate can actually be good for you… Just remember to go for Cacao content of around 75% for a good balance of taste and health benefits.
23. Science is great. Proven methods can be too. But the best gauge of progression is the mirror and/or the scale. You’ve either lost weight or you haven’t. You’re either ripped, or you’re not. The mirror and the scale will tell you both.
24. What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
25. If anyone complains about your fitness habits and/or thinks you’re obsessed, just show them this picture (Which will be you). And then see what they think about ‘obsessed’! !!
Feel free to upload your progress pics when ready
26. Cheating isn’t bad. But savagely cheating is…
27. Fitness FTW. Because it makes people HOT!
28. If you want to start looking better, look at all the foods in your home and trace them back to their birth place. Then just start eating that food from there
29. You can get your CLA from eating grass fed beef or bison. But it doesn’t hurt to take it in supplement form when you don’t want to eat the whole cow.
30. The gym… where fat is burned and pride is earned.
31. Laughing is a form of fitness, and we know you’re doing a lot of that right now
32. When you lose weight quickly, your body will respond by releasing hormones to increase your appetite and store more fat. Solution = eat a little more .
33. Pre-workout nutrition is necessary for performance in the gym and post is necessary for growth.
34. How to reduce calorie intake: Turn your head to the left. Then to the right. Repeat every time you are offered something to eat .
35. If you still look good when you’re done, you’re not working hard enough.
36. Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to the person from yesterday.
37. You won’t bench ‘Jack’ if you don’t know squat.
38. Rapid fat loss = High intensity training (Sprinting). Getting lean = long interval training (A favorite sport or activity works well long term).
39. Compound exercise over isolation exercises = Getting the best bang for your buck.
40. Your best results will happen in the first 30 days of starting out in fitness. So don’t stress about the lack of change thereafter.
41. Good form will always beat increased resistance with bad form. (10 fully executed full range of motion pull ups rather than 10 half weighted pull ups)
42. Perform a functional warm-up at the beginning of each workout utilizing core strengthening exercises to warm up your body along with a brief bicycling warm-up to lubricate the lower body joints.
43. Be strict and follow just ONE program for a max of 12 weeks. And change the variables of that program, during that time to suit your needs.
44. The king of all exercises is the squat.
45. Just K.I.S.S. Eat clean and train dirty.
46. Drink more water!
47. Testosterone levels drop after having sex. Keep sexual activities till after your workout.
48. Exercise prolongs life. People who exercise regularly live longer.
49. Don’t forget to build your leg muscles. Failing to do so will cause imbalance, affect performance and look unnatural.
50. PAIN IS ONLY WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. NOW QUIT FOOLING AROUND AND START TRAINING INSANE!
The underlying rule still stands. Lift correctly and you won’t get
injured. Which means you’ll never need to wear a weights/dipping belt.
- You are a dumb and lazy c**t and can’t help but lift with bad technique.
- You want to increase the weight to put on extra muscle mass
- You decide to perform weighted chin ups/ pull ups/ dips (Which is probably inevitable)
52. We need to take vitamin C because we don’t make it like most other animals. That is of course done via our diet. 60mgs was the old school recommended amount to take, but this is 2010 where a demanding lifestyle has hit us all. For most people, the new recommended daily amount is 2 grams per day. So 3 grams per day is about right. If it’s too much, your body will let you know (The toilet seat!)
53. If you are lactose intolerant, consider exchanging milk for unsweetened almond milk + Whey protein
54. Rapid unhealthy weight loss leads to muscle loss and flabby/jiggly skin. Slow, healthy weight loss leads to fat loss and a firm body.
55. Set some real Effin’ goals.
That’s it for now. We’ll probably follow up on this soon. Feel free to fire away with your thoughts in the comments section below.
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You want to get mean and lean, right? Of course you do. And that will be the goal for many Fitbuzzers. Especially those that became a strong part of the original Facebook fan page, which led to the creation of this website.
You may have also been told that ‘starchy’ (e.g. white potatoes) carbs are the enemy on the goal to getting lean. Which of course, is not true. And you’ve heard me say that before (Man made/processed carbs are the enemy). We have stated that most of your diet should consist of slow digesting carbs, and today we’ll go into detail to why that is.
The Low Glycemic Index and Carbs
The reason it is so important to measure a carbohydrate’s impact on blood sugar is because of its influence on insulin production. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas in response to changes in blood sugar levels. The faster carbohydrates are digested and converted to glucose, the faster insulin is produced to stabilize blood sugar levels, using the glycemic index as a measure. Below we list the benefits of consuming mostly slow digesting carbs, which in most cases will be low on the Glycemic Index and a more natural A-rated food source (Remember, you really are what you eat. Fitbuzzers will NOT look like s**t… got it? Good! ).
- Low GI means a smaller rise in blood glucose levels after meals.
- Low GI diets can help people lose body fat and increase lean muscle mass.
- Low GI diets can improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
- Low GI diets can improve the ratio of insulin to glucagon.
- Low GI foods can help replenish carbohydrates stores after exercise.
- Low GI can prolong muscle endurance and energy levels.
- Low GI can improve diabetes control.
- Low GI foods keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Using the glycemic index as a measure, carbohydrates that are digested faster have a higher GI because they cause a greater increase in blood glucose and insulin levels. You will of course want to avoid high insulin levels, because insulin suppresses fat utilization and promotes fat storage. The quick increase in blood sugar caused by high GI carbs can also have a negative impact on performance. What we at Stay-Fit Buzz call getting ‘zapped’.
Avoid getting zapped
By now, you’ll understand how to go about living the Stay-Fit Buzz lifestyle. The fun part of that is being able to snack on D-F rated foods because of the caloric deficit you created. However, when doing so, you’ll want to avoid getting zapped. Which is Stay-Fit Buzz terminology for the scientific term known as hypoglycemia.
What is hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia happens when you eat a lot of high GI carbs. This will spike your insulin levels to above normal levels. Resulting in low blood sugar levels, and this is where Hypoglycemia occurs. If this happens to you, you may experience the following
- Anxiety Fatigue
- Light-headedness (“delirium”),
- A coma (But this is only in extreme cases)
Nothing will hinder your progress more than getting zapped, and will affect your ability to train insane (Max capacity). If this does ever happen to you (Feel weak and dizzy with cold sweats), just consume some carbs. But in general, you’ll want to avoid getting into a
hypoglycemic state. What we like to call, getting ‘zapped’. Eat mostly low GI index foods most of the time to avoid this. That’s one of the reasons why nutritional timing is important, and why it’s a staple in the Stay-Fit Buzz diet lifestyle.
Stay Fit Buzz Glycemic Index table
The following table is a list of all the carbohydrate based food sources, in the form of popular brands that you’ll find them in. Most of their caloric content comes from the carbohydrates and they provide proportionately very little protein or fat.
1. Eat mostly slow digesting carbs (Other than when you workout).
2. Only eat foods with a higher GI for your left over calories when following the Stay-Fit
Bug lifestyle diet.
And to then, eat a food source that’s higher in protein and/or fat. When these carbohydrates are consumed with these other foods, they will then have a lower glycemic value. The following carb foods are broken down into high, moderate, and low GI classes. Keep this in mind when looking up the glycemic index of specific “junk foods.”Their glycemic index may seem suitable from a GI standpoint, but they may fall short in many other areas ,with inadequate protein content and high levels of saturated fat. Try to limit your selections to moderate and low whenever possible. It is these foods that you can add to your diet. (Sorry… LIFESTYLE).
When looking up GI values, you may run into conflicting GI values when looking at various sources. This may seem very confusing, but there is an accepted and reasonable explanation for this. Different methods of processing used by particular manufacturers can lead to significant differences in the rate of carbohydrate digestion by the human body. Also, there may be botanical differences in the type of food being tested. Rice can be from anywhere in the world, and one “white rice”may contain more amylose than another. Amylose is digested more slowly than amylopectin, which is another starch found in other white rice. The take away? Don’t be a fanatic about GI values. Just use everything as a gauge to understanding how and which foods will affect affect your results when you consume them.
Why you should eat carbs AND protein with every meal?
Because insulin and glucagon are both influenced by blood sugar levels. High-glycemic carbohydrates foods such as Poptarts(tm) sugar cause insulin levels to be high and glu-cagon levels to be low. Since insulin promotes the increase in body fat and glucagon mobilizes and burns body fat, this obviously isn’t the metabolism you will want. Lower glycemic carbohydrates, especially when they are consumed with protein, shifts the levels of these two hormones, lowering insulin and slightly raising glucagon. This is the correct and ideal “hormonal profile”for effective fat burning. And of course, for the life of the FBA lifestyle, more lean muscle mass and therefore… abs! Just be consistent by making this a habit.
Next week we’ll be focusing on insulin, and answering questions such as…
- How does insulin affect performance?
- Is insulin needed for muscle growth or does it just store fat?
- What are some of the other negative effects of insulin?
- What is insulin resistance?
Here’s one final tip.
It’s all about Body composition.
You often hear people say that muscle weighs more than fat. Muscle does not weigh more than fat. It simply takes up less space than fat. Which is why two people of equal height and body weight may look completely different from each other, because they have a different body composition. And again, we’ll be covering this next week. Which is something we have not yet covered in the Lifestyle Diet… yet.
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Learn how Krista built some of the best looking legs in fitness, how she uses what she’s been blessed with ‘naturally’ to her advantage and her approach to overcoming the challenges we all face on this fitness journey.
Stay-Fit Buzz: First of all, welcome to Stayfitbuzz.com. Now, one of the main reasons we invited you here is because of what you have achieved with your physique. Where did it all begin with you?
Krista Manastyrski: Thank you for having me be apart of Stayfitbuzz.com! Well, when I was younger my parents enrolled me into as many sports as I chose. From soccer to swimming, figure skating to snowboarding, kickboxing to dance, gymnastics to volleyball, I loved it all! The list goes on and on. It hit me in first year university that I wasn’t able to become a professional in any of the sports but I wanted to continue training and keeping fit. The thought of being a fitness competitor had never crossed my mind until then. I realized I could still balance and manage my time accordingly with class, work and training from a sport like this! Fitness competitions are perfect for me! November 1st 2009, I made the decision to do my first show and from that day forward, I’ve not only completed my goal of competing and competing on an international stage, but I have created and still to this day, maintain a healthy, active live style.
Stay-Fit Buzz: One of your best features, that we think, are your legs. The lower half of your body reminds us of that of WBFF champion Miryah Jade Scott. Would you say that the muscle and definition you have achieved in your legs is genetic, or simply a case of ‘I just worked my a** off’?
Krista Manastyrski: I’ve been blessed with the shape of my legs and glutes, regardless of training or not. However, once I learned how to lift appropriately to emphasize what I have, I now focus on gaining the mass and the definition of them. It’s never been a case of how do I get a butt and shapely legs, haha. It’s been a case of how can I take what I have been born with and create a better masterpiece out of it!
Krista Manastyrski: I focus on keeping a fitness model look where my physique is fit and feminine. It’s never been a challenge to stay this way either. I lift weights like the guys and that’s one thing I would recommend to any woman never to be afraid of. One of the biggest misconceptions is that females believe if they weight train they will only add mass and bulk, when in fact weight training will essentially promote that desired ‘toned’ look. Having lean muscle mass can add to the feminine curves and also requires a greater energy upkeep, which results in an increase in metabolism and even fat loss! I recommend weight training to anybody who wants to maintain a healthy body composition.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Nutrition is the backbone to most who live the fitness lifestyle. How do you manage your diet so that it doesn’t take over your life?
Krista Manastyrski: I chose not to call it a “diet”. To me the way I eat is a lifestyle therefore it doesn’t take over my life. I carry my meals with me so I can eat every 2-3 hours to keep my metabolism high. In fact, prepping my meals for the busy week not only helps me maintain my look but it saves me money and time!
Stay-Fit Buzz: We too agree with the ‘no diet’ approach. Which is why we created the Lifestyle Diet.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Let’s cheat for a moment. We are allowed to do that sometimes. What are your favorite non-healthy foods to snack on?
Krista Manastyrski: If I had to list all my favorite non-healthy foods I could go on forever but I absolutely LOVE chocolate!! It’s definitely my go to cheat food. Other food that I enjoy eating that’s off of my meal plan is sushi/sashimi, Vietnamese food, and a tender, juicy steak!
Stay-Fit Buzz: We think you have the perfect balance of muscles and curves. However, some people perceive athletic women to be too hard, compared to say glamor or even playboy models. Has anyone ever shown negativity towards you about your physique?
Krista Manastyrski: Well, thank you! I’ve had only two people show negativity towards my physique but with all the support and positivity I surround myself with, I can easily look past those insignificant comments. I chose to look the way I look because it makes me feel good, feel healthy and I’m happier than I have ever been. I work hard for what I’ve got and as long as I’m enjoying what I do, and live what I love, I will continue to inspire as many people as I can.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Stayfitbuzz.com has always encouraged fitness fun. Because fitness as a whole can be overwhelming and can take over your life if you let it. So we always talk about subjects related to fitness from a lifestyle perspective. But how do you keep things ‘fun’. After all, they do say that girls just want to have fun ?
Krista Manastyrski: I keep it fun by mixing up my workouts, inside and outside. Running stairs outside with some friends, hiking a mountain in the summer, outdoor boot camps and any outdoor sports are just a few to name outside that I love to do! As for the inside workouts I continually strive to find a way to make myself sore the next day. That way I know I’m doing something right I do find indoor cardio harder to keep ‘fun’; however I enjoy going on the track and doing circuit type training so I’m not stuck on a machine. Also, having a workout buddy or two can definitely add some more fun to a boring workout too! It’s great to have feedback and someone to motivate and push you further past your limit. Not to mention sometimes workout buddy’s have new innovative ideas to keep a workout fun and exciting!
Lastly, another way I like to keep it fun is to buy new workout outfit when I feel I need a little change to keep things new, haha. As odd as it sounds, it’s true! I do NOT like shopping, but when it comes to a new outfit, I like to revamp everything so I can feel new again. It’s a psychological thing, but hey.. it works for me when I need that little bit of change!
Stay-Fit Buzz: What advice would you give to those who are just starting out in fitness. Those who simply want to achieve what you have with your physique?
Krista Manastyrski: Do your research. Whether it’s for a trainer, diet, workout program, workout equipment, exercises, anything to do with fitness, do your homework. There is a lot of phony marketing out there that will use and abuse people’s lack of knowledge. I don’t like when I see people suckered into buying ridiculous fitness stuff and spending money that could have been put to better use, like simply buying healthy food. Also, if you don’t know how to use a piece of equipment or do a specific exercise, do NOT hesitate to ask someone. Not only will you see better results by learning the proper way of doing something, but also reduce the chance of an injury!
One major piece of advice I’d give to people trying to reach a personal goal is that it’s just as mental as it is physical. Physical is only part of it; to overcome obstacles placed in front of us is what will help you grow and become stronger mentally. To eat clean, lift on a regular basis and create this as a lifestyle like I have was because I made the choice to. I knew in my head what I wanted to achieve and I put my mind to it! It’s unbelievable how much power the mind has over the body. It has taken my training to a whole new level. Not only am I enjoying the process of continually transforming my body to be leaner, stronger, and faster, but it’s emphasized what makes me happy in life and I think that’s a huge aspect of what most look past when trying to reach fitness goals. We are so hard on ourselves and get so caught up in wanting the end result right away that we over look the journey, the process of getting there. Enjoy it. Try and find a way to make fitness fun! No one wants to do something we hate.. therefore change your outlook on it and turn it into something you love. It will show in not only your physique, but shine through into your confidence and self esteem!
Krista Manastyrski: “Live What You Love.”
Photo credits: XTreme Photography, Photografix.com
About Krista Manastyrski
Krista is a fitness ‘lover’ turned fitness competitor who is rising up the ranks on ‘her own terms’ while enjoying the fitness journey.
Got a question?
Got a question about the topics covered in this interview?
Then be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.
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