~*~We're In This Together~*~ Oct-Dec

WAHOO!!! A "NEW" thread!!!!:eek: Thanks Tasha!!!;)

It feels like a fresh start! A great opportunity to set new goals and revamp our programs!!!! I've been pouring over Bret Contreras' 2 books: Strong Curves, and Bodyweight Strength Training. He is very good friends with Nia Shanks (mentions her in his book) and they share the same philosophies. In fact, his rotations look a lot like Nia's :p!
I have some trepidation about changing completely over to his system and I really don't know why!!???:confused: I love Cathe and have been getting great results with her for the past 3 years, but I feel a need to really focus on my glutes which is Bret's forte. I really want to get good at the body weight training so that I don't get derailed if I'm unable to lift weights (like when I travel or if I want to do something during a break at work). I want to perfect my push-us and do pull-ups, etc. I'll definitely use bits and pieces of Cathe's strength training DVDs (like Xtrain Burn Sets and Pyramids) and her tabata/HIIT/MRT w/os for cardio.

Tasha, do you still do any of Cathe's w/os (cardio?)? You seem to really be thriving with Nia! It's scary for my to look at the rotations and see just a few exercises for the glutes, back, and chest :rolleyes:! Bret does not recommend body part splits for women and prefers that they do 4 days (or at least 3) of whole body sessions and cardio on off days (although he doesn't seem to be a big cardio fan). He allows 5 minutes at the end of a session for isolation exercises...just 5 minutes (like Nia!).

Justina, have you started Nia's Program yet? Did you get the inverted row thing settled?

Well, that's about it for now; I still haven't put together my rotation for this week and I need to review my caloric need/protein-fat-carb balance etc. I'm feeling a need to really kick it hard this week :p ;)

Hi to everyone else!!!!

My w/o today was:

1) 5x6R deadlifts

2) 5x6R chin-ups superset w/
5x6R barbell overhead press

I added: 3x10R straight leg deadlifts

* 10min cardio finisher*
KB drills from Paul K's Burn & Build

So I miscalculated on my deadlift #. I thought I was doing 85lbs when I was really doing 95lbs :eek:. As soon as I figured it out I dropped the weight to 85lbs because I need to increase weekly and I don't want to go up in weight so fast and snap something up :D.

I understand about fearing the new water's. It's scary to dive into a completely different program with a completely different trainer. I would tell you from my own experience that sometimes new is a good thing! You never know how your body will react. Trial/error is truly the best way to see what your body is capable of. While Cathe is an excellent trainer, I prefer Nia's strength training program over her's. I feel as though I'm getting better results is less time.
I see how Bret and Nia share similar training views. Now that I've done full body w/o's for almost 3 months, I know why they both recommend it -- it's simple, effective, and it works! Regarding isolation exercises, I feel as though I was kinda wasting my time on it to be honest :(. I add 10min of it at the end of my w/o sometimes, and that's enough for me. Heavy compound exercises work the entire body. My bi's and tri's are getting firmer and I'm rarely doing any dumbbell's curls or kickbacks. Like I said, it's all trial/error :). Oh and I do cardio 1X/week or sometimes I will add 10min of tabata at the end of my w/o's (no more, cuz' I'm drained). Remember, I also walk upwards of 5 miles/day.

Have an awesome day ladies!
Hello ladies! I found the new thread! LOL ;)

I just wanted to drop in with my workouts from the weekend quick, just to let you guys know what I've been up to. On Saturday I did: Afterburn (minus c/d) + KBKB Body Series: Abs/core (minus w/u). This was my first time doing the abs workout from this set and I'm happy to say I loved it a lot more than I thought I would! I felt really worked in my core when I was done. You guys know how I love to work my core and lower body! :eek: The first five minutes of KBKB Abs was only so-so, but then suddenly she started doing some really creative, fun and effective core moves that I seriously enjoyed! I found it was a great add-on to Afterburn as well since AB is pretty core focused with the plethora of plank type work in it. Overall, very happy about this combo!

Then yesterday, I did: Crossfire: Triple Tabata premix (minus c/d) + Lower Body Blast (minus w/u, standing plus the first firewalker exercise on the floor, then clamshells with the band while she did hydrants). For the standing work I wore my vest with 19.5 lbs in it. I did do the cardio bursts with the vest, but there was very little air under my feet with it on! :eek: :eek: LOL Also, there was NO way I was doing box jumps onto an 8 inch step with almost 20 lbs on me so I did the modified version Cathe shows which is basically alternating a squat jump with plyo jack. Again, just a teensy bit of daylight between my feet and the mat on those jumps. ;) I also subbed some of the deadlifts for sumo deadlifts. I am loving that move! :eek:

Sarah- I was loving the pics of your trip to Alaska on facebook! Awesome!

Jen- Congrats on the new furniture! :D

Marie- It sucks being bored at work, although it does give more forum time. lol ;) How's B doing? IIRC, he was struggling with an ear infection right? I hope he feels better!

Natty- I am so happy you are loving the deadlifts nowadays!! :D I remember when we first started the check in those were so difficult for you with your back issues. Yippee for muscle! Even though I mostly use my dvds for the strength work I am SO much stronger and more muscular than when I wasn't working out. I have no issues with low back pain or other nagging little aches anymore. :) I do notice if I go more than a week without working out at all I start to feel a little achy and...uhh...my age. :eek: Exercise keeps you young!

Nancy- One of the girls from my VF check in did a stint with Brett's Strong Curves and she LOVED how her butt looked after that rotation! :D None of us can keep away from Cathe's cardio for too long, though. ;) That's why we call ourselves the Endorphin Junkies. It is like a necessary vitamin! We can't go without it for too long!

Justina- I hope everything is going well in your corner of the world, especially with that work/home/me time balance! I'm curious to see how you do with Nia's program if you'll enjoy it as much as Natty! :)

Have a great day ladies! TTFN! (ta ta for now...:p)
Hi everyone!

Today I did 20min of jump rope intervals, courtesy of fitness blender. It was 40sec jump rope, 20sec rest, 40sec plyo :eek: rinse and repeat. Did I tell you guys jump rope is HARD :eek:.

So I joined a private Nia Shanks FB group. A lot of amazing women on there! I consider myself a beginner cuz' I have never really done heavy compound lifts before. Women dead-lifting 175lbs+ FROM THE GROUND :eek:. There are also plenty of beginner's who have never even been able to do 1 single toe push-up, and I find them just as motivating because they are SO determined and positive. We all have the same thing in common: to become the strongest version of ourselves. I love that :).

WTG on doing your w/o with a 20lbs vest! That's awesome :eek:.
I know how much you love core work so I'm sure you'll LOVE front squats from STS Squat rack! If your core is not engaged (and I mean really engaged) that bar will slip the heck off! Elliott is spot-on when he say's you "can't be screwed up and do a front squat". Everything must be perfectly aligned, including the planets and the stars lol :D;).
What are Lydia and Dylan being for Halloween?

Bye bye for now ladies!
Nat - Way to go on all you lifting. I'm excited for you. One year is a huge commitment, but if you think in terms of muscle growth its not that long. Thanks for the advice on the snow tires too. I definantly think it would give me piece of mind. As soon as we were on the slightest bit of snow heading over, my stomach turned. I just down right afraid of the stuff as far as driving goes. Thats because of inexperience. Happy Thanksgiving! One the way to Alaska, while driving through BC I saw Tim Hortins and I said we have to stop! Then I saw 15 more after that, LOL. I will check out Nia's bodyweight one. Are yougoing to continuw to walk through winter? Has Bella adjusted to kindergartin?

Marie - Congrats on B's firts birthday. Time does go by soooo fast. Today was my daughters 12th birthday. I look back and think where did the time go? Even though during it I reminded myself to savour every phase.

Jen - New furniture is always fun! Congrats.

Justina - You will hopefully keep us posted about Nia's new program. I would like to try inverted rows, only because I always felt like dumbell and barbell rows never really "hit" where they should. I would go up in weights, I would go down in weights to focus more on form but nothing really seemed to do the trick.

Nancy - I will have to check out Brett as well. So much information and so many programs, and so little time.

Colleen - Glad you enjoyed the pics. Some of them were kind of bad, but I couldn't see on the wee little screen of my phone. My son was trying to be super helpful taking pictures for me. So after some creative editing (hood of the car and side mirror) they looked not to bad. He had fun doing it thats all that matters.

I have been out for one short walk, the fresh air and exercise felt great.
It' good to be back, and to read all your older posts.

Good 'ol Rhythmic Step for me this morning! LOVE that one :) B and I usually have plans in the morning but today we didn't so I took an hour and a half long snuggle nap with him :) That was the best! Tomorrow we have storytime. Yesterday we went to Toddler Tuesdays at Mall of America. This time it was an 'under the sea' theme and they had a bubble machine and fun songs to dance to. B is usually one of the youngest ones and this time he just sat on my lap and wiggled around to the music. It was pretty cute!

Yesterday was SJP. Such a fun old school workout with that Hi/Lo section :) Reminds me of watching my mom's aerobics class when I was kid.

Natty- Thanks for starting the new thread. Great new avatar. Wish I could see it up closer. You look ripped! Deadlifting 95 pounds?! OMG girl!

Nancy- Change is definitely hard but it will be cool to check out someone new and you can always do Cathe if you miss her ;) I haven't heard of Bret but I'll have to do some googling. I love working my glutes :)

Colleen- Nice job on the workouts! Yeah totally agree about getting forum time when it's boring at work. That is one thing I miss about my old unit ;) Thanks for asking about B. He is doing so much better. We have one day left on the antibiotics and will hopefully be staying away from those now for awhile.

Sarah- Happy Birthday to your daughter! Savor every phrase is right :) It is all such an adventure :) Nice job getting out on a walk. Fresh air does a body good.

Hi Justina and Jen!
Hi everyone!

How are things going?

I've been slammed at work and home life. I read most of Nia's program but have not officially started. I plan to start tomorrow after work. I'm excited to get started with this. I haven't felt strong in a while. :(

Natasha, I love your new photo! You are getting awesome results. Congrats! :D you are buff lady now.

Sarah, hope your daughter had a fun birthday. My daughter turned 12 too this month. Her birthday is on the 15th. I swear; we must have celebrated her birthday for days! She had a birthday dinner at my in law's, I took her shopping, and she went with her friends to the mall and shopped some more. The pre-teens. :D
I'd like to try inverted row too but I don't think I have the equipment to do it. Nia sent me an email telling me that I can try it using a table that is stable. I have to read it again. Not sure exactly how it's done.

The work/life balance is still a challenge. :) I'm in the process of hiring a contractor who can hopefully help us out. I'm sure once I get started with Nia, I will love and stick to the program. It seems flexible and simple to follow.

Hi Marie, I hope B is better now. Those ear infections are tough. My girls used to get them all the time when they were little.

Hi Nancy,
I still haven't figured out how I will do inverted rows. Nia sent an email explaining it which I have to read again. Not sure exactly how I can do it. she also suggested just doing dumbbell rows if I cannot get Inverted to work. We'll see. :) What's this program with Bret? I think I watched a youtube video on one of his workouts. I don't recall. Do you think you will start doing this program?

Have a good night!

I haven't decided if I should work from home tomorrow. Too much work to do in the office, but I want to spend time with my little boy. :(

Hi ladies!

Today is my rest day. I'm really sore today so thankful for the rest :). My w/o yesterday was:

1) 5x6R front squats

2) 5x6R push-ups superset w/
5x6R inverted rows

3) 2x15R hip thrusts

I was really tired because I had a rough night with Bella (she's sick AGAIN :mad:) so I took it easy. Apparently not easy enough because I'm DOMS'ing bad lol :D.


You should join the private FB group! Even if you don't have a FB account, just open one up quickly and join the group. All the women there are very supportive and inspiring. Nia will also answer your questions if you have them! She is incredible and I really admire the direction she is taking with women (no dieting, focus on strength, love and appreciate your body, ect.).
Thanks for the pic compliment :). Eating more food + Nia's program = results! Muscles are awesome :eek:.
I'm sorry to hear about all the stuff going on at work and home :(. Are you able to take some vacation days?

OMG I love your Alaska pics! Breathtaking :).
Happy birthday to your girls! I hope they had a great day :).
Yes I am going to continue to walk this winter to/from school with Bella. Once you keep a nice pace, you don't really feel the cold if you are bundled well. I hate winter but I love the smell of snow :).
Yes, Bella is adjusting well now at school. This age is too cute!
If you get Nia's Bodyweight program, make sure you join the private FB group with me! Honestly, Nia is amazing. You can just "feel" her strong and positive attitude in that group.

I love reading about you and B's little daytime outings :). He is at a really cute age :).
Thanks for the pic compliment. Ya, Mark took the pic and I thought it was fitting for the forum :D. I LOVE working back, so I guess it shows :eek:.
I love Cathe's old school step. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it just "feels" as though she is having so much fun. I don't get that feeling from some of her newer cardio's :(. But really, how much fun can you really having doing Tabata? lol ;)

Have a great day ladies!
Hello Ladies.
Excited I'm learning new stuff at work & will be 8-5 so I'll be able to workout on a normal schedule. Grateful for this opportunity. Love my new furniture. At first, I was unsure which didn't last long.
Will have time to visit here too.
I lifted 90lbs like A BOSS today :eek:

My w/o was :

1) 5x6R conventional deads (lowered the bar 1inch. 90lbs!!!)

2) 5x6R chin-ups (2 full unassisted in a row!!!) superset w/
5x6R overhead press (40lbs and it was easy :eek:)

Then I added:
3) 2x25R glute bridges superset w/
15R sliding back lunges

So happy cuz' I'm def getting stronger! I'm truly addicted to this program. I can validate everything Nia says because I'm experiencing all of it first hand. A barbell is not about just lifting a barbell -- it's so much more than that. It shapes your mind in so many way that I can't even explain. I feel SO good and very thankful for my body and it's amazing capabilities!

Hope everyone is having a kick-butt day!

I have to put a link to this Elliott vid. I feel the same way he does! It's quite amazing. Please watch it cuz' it's such an awesome motivational vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52eTlKDBgBA
Last edited:
Hey :)

I did Greatest Hits today. Fun stuff :) Then we had storytime and later swim. In between that we went to Costco and I spent under hundred dollars which is a record. Addicted to that place :)

Off to bed for me. My gym is calling my name early tomorrow before we head to Halloween Toddler Tuesdays at MOA :) Can't wait to see all the kids dressed up.
Natasha- You are so motivating! I love hearing you talk about how much you love Nia! The girls in my other check-in are considering getting her program. So happy you are getting so strong! You rule! Oh and totally agree about the early Cathe workouts. She was all happy and joking around. I mean she seems happy now too of course but like you say tabatas, I mean come on lol! Major dread factor for me on those.
October's gettin' spoooky ladies!!!!!:p Everywhere I go I see little monsters and princesses...these kids are really milkin' it for all it's worth! I haven't had trick-or-treaters in about 15 years, so I don't have to deal with the candy temptation; however, due to the huge pouty lip my husband gets when I tell him there will be no "contriband" in the house, I have stashed an organic fancy schmancy chocolate bar to surprise him with (and yes, I'm having some too!). We used to buy stuff for the trick-or-treaters but ended up always eating it all before Halloween arrived :eek:!

So, I started up Week 2 of the Strong Curves Booty-ful Beginners workout. For some reason, I see "bodyweight squat" and just have to load up a barbell :rolleyes:! Last night's workout was much more challenging with the weight added. I don't think I'm really a "beginner", but I'm not advanced enough to do pull ups and don't have access to some of the equipment needed for the Advanced workout. Plus, I really want to get a feel for this type of rotation before I go all "Tasha" on it ;):p:D! ON my 2 cardio days I'll be doing X10 Double Low Impact premix + Core#1, and Flextrain. Last night I added some barbell bicep curls and tricep dips off my bench. Tonight I'll add rear delts and calves.

Natasha, 90 pounds like a boss???!!!! 2 unassisted chin-ups??!!! Way to get jacked, girl :eek:!!!! Once I post this I'll give Elliot's video a go....
Glad you're rockin' it! It's awesome that you are motivating everyone to be their best!

Hope that everyone has a personal best kind of day!
This last week was spent on getting the kids going with the on-line school. Oy Vay! So much work. Literally my whole day and night. Hopefully it will start going smoother and shorter because this will not work on a permanent bases.

Nat - You go girl! I am sooooo proud of you. I remember when you didn't like deadlifts. Now you are the BOSS!

Nanbo - I actually think it a good idea to start almost over with low weights to no weights retraining sometimes just to focus again on form.
In Washington, because we lived in the country we got no trick or treaters either. But I am told where we live in Anchorage, is one of the most popular areas for trick or treating. My kiddos are kind of excited to be able to hand out candy as this is something they haven't done. We will also be trick or treating, so I am not sure how that is suppose to work.

Marie - I hope you have fun at the Halloween party. What is B going to be? Good job on keeping up with the exercising.

Jen - So happy things are going good for you. I would love to see pics of your new furniture.

Justina - I no what you mean with the birthday thing going on and on. This year was this first time we haven't had multiple events. We have no family or friends up here so it was just celebrated on the day and thats it. We use to have a huge haunted house birthday for them that I would spend basically 1-2 planning and building props for. I did enjoy it though. So did you start Nia's program?

Colleen- How are things. I ended up getting another bladder infection while I was on the road trip here and I cant seem to shake it. I think its because I dehydrated myself so we wouldn't have to stop and pee all the time. I have never had this problem before.

Yesterday we got out and walked at one of the parks close to the house. It was one that has stations for different exercise throughout. So of course I had to try them. Oy boy I have lost it. I couldn't do a single chin-up. I tried to do a "hand walk" and failed miserable and fell, LOL.

Hi ladies,

Today I found out that a good friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. Shocking news. She is very young. Stage 1. She's grateful that she found out early. She starts treatment tomorrow. Even though I told her that I would send positive energy her way today and every day until she beats this; I cried all the way to work. She has two small children. Thankfully she has a strong family base that will support her through this journey. It just makes me feel anything can happen at any time you know? We have to live life like its our last day on earth. :) I'm going to keep her in my prayers and hope she responds to treatment well.

Also I sent her Nia's website and told her that she's going to do this program with me when she's better! :)

I feel like I don't have the equipment I need for this new program yet. Ideally I should have a power tower or something. I want to be able to do inverted rows and chin-ups. I also have to buy a kettle bell so I can do swings. I have started the program in the sense that I cut back on sugar. One of the things in her program is to start off with making a good healthy change in eating. I haven't started the "before" test yet.

Hi Natasha, where did you get your tower? I like the one Nia uses too. It seems to be multi-functional. How you do inverted rows? Do you have a place on your tower to do this? You are awesome! Looks at what you've accomplished so far. you should be very proud. I will definitely join Nia's FB group. I have an account but I never use it. :D

Hi Marie,
Your picture is adorable! :D B is so precious.

Hi Nancy,
We are so excited to go trick or treat tomorrow. I'm excited because the kids will share their candies with me. :D of course now that I have to cut back on sugar, I have to put a limit on how much I can have. :)

Hi Colleen and Jen! Hope all is well.


My w/o today was:

1) 5x6R front squats
I used 70lbs but found that I could have went a bit heavier. I really love front squats because they force great posture, solid core, upright position. The only thing that is a bit uncomfortable is the bar position on the front of the shoulder's. I'm actually getting used to the bar being there and feel like I could easily be front squatting close to 100lbs with 4R in my next phase. Baby steps :).

2) 5x6R push-ups with 12lbs vest superset w/
5x6R inverted rows with a 12lbs vest (lowering the bar to make it more difficult)

3) 2x25R hip thrust w/65lbs

*beach work*
1) 2x10R barbell curls
2) 2x10R tricep kickbacks
3) 2x10R barbell upright rows

During my breaks I added firewalker's, KB swings, goblet squats :eek:.

Thank you for the compliment :eek:. If anyone in your other check-in have any questions about Nia's program, tell them to PM me!
I hope you had a good time at the Halloween toddler time! What are you dressing B as? Please post pics so I can admire his super cuteness :).

LOL you think I'm jacked, you should see Streaky on Lift Big Eat Big! OMG that woman is a total bad a$$: http://www.liftbigeatbig.com/p/lbeb-athletes.html (2nd woman down). Her strength is absolutely amazing! And she eats like a beast too :eek:.
Hope you and your DH enjoy the organic chocolate :p.

Halloween is, and has always been, a big thing here. We go trick or treating AND give out candies. The kids love it but it can get a bit exhausting for the parents :p. Hope you guys have a great time!
It's so cool that you have exercise stations at the parks there! Don't feel so bad about not being able to do a pull-up. There are so many women on my Nia FB group that are in the same boat. Nia strongly encourages them though, and suggests you buy a band to "assist" you. They work!

I'm SO sorry to hear about your friend :(. Thank goodness she found it early and is able to get treatment. Please let us know about her progress.
Nia can help you out with suitable alternatives if you don't have the right equipment. A lot of ladies on the FB group have the same problem. I have a Turbo Tower where I do my rows and a chin-up/dip station. However, if I would have found Nia a few years ago, I would have invested in a nice squat rack that you can do everything with: squats, inverted rows, dips, pull-ups, all the bells and whistles. In all honesty, that would be one piece of equipment that would give you everything you needed to train hard/heavy for the rest of your life. It also would have saved me a TON of money too :mad:.

Have a spooky day :cool:
Last edited:
Hello ladies!

My w/o today was:

1) 5x6R squats @80lbs and I felt really strong! Could have went heavier :eek:

2) 5x6R parallel bar dips superset w/
5x6R barbell rows @ 70lbs!

*LB emphasis beachwork*

1) 2x12R straight leg deadlifts
2) 30R barbell glute bridges
3) 2x12R sliding back disc lunges

Next week is my deload week and I'm really looking forward to the lighter weights. After my deload, I start Phase 2, which is 6x4R (instead of 5x6R) which means I WILL be going heavier! If all goes well, I will be lifting over 100lbs on all my LB compound lifts :eek:. Wish me luck!

Have a great day :cool:

Our Newsletter

Get awesome content delivered straight to your inbox.