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I earned my IFBB Pro Figure Card in 2007. Priorities changed not long after that and I decided I wanted to start a family. After years of trying to become pregnant, finally there was in vitro success in December of 2011 with the arrival of my miracle baby Steele.  With all the hormone therapy, and actually having 3 back to back failed pregnancies lasting approximately 1-3 months for 3 straight years you can imagine what that does to a girl’s body and metabolism. Oh yeah, throw in eating whatever I wanted to that mix, and no exercise (per doctors orders)!  Early in 2013, at age 45, I decided I wanted my body back and was trying to figure out given the limited time I had for the gym and the financial resources for a trainer, the best approach. 

There was no way I could do daily or twice daily cardio sessions anymore, nor spend hours in the gym training. Living in the country, an hour from Columbus, working full-time and taking care of a new born, I had come up with something that made the best use of my time, and was affordable. 

When I first contacted Mark about training, he explained the CrossFit based programming he was using with his clients. Based on his observations coming out of the CrossFit community, he was convinced it was the best way to restore my body with what little time I had for training. He told me it would be different, skill based, require more mobility and flexibility than previous training styles but that it would increase my metabolism, add the needed muscle mass I wanted for a possible over 45 Pro Physique or Figure competition down the road, and minimize the need for additional cardio. He told me it would be frustrating and difficult, as well as mentally challenging getting my head out of what used to be my former lifestyle. He told me I could actually eat what I liked and the days of near zero carb diets were history. They were just not compatible with this style of training. I was skeptical for sure.  

My current diet is Zone/Block based, and not totally strict on portions. Not measuring or weighing things and I indulge in certain foods when I crave them (within reason), drink and eat normally on the weekends but nothing crazy. 

Cardio consists of 2 – 3 days of incline treadmill walking, about 30 – 45 minutes, and I am not allowed to hold the side or front rails!  

Post workout I consume a protein/carbohydrate drink, then follow that up with a mixed meal. I don’t watch sodium esp given how much I sweat and take Creatine monohydrate and Beta-Alanine as supplements. 

Total kcal intake simply matches my macro needs, try to keep the protein at about 1 g/lb body mass. 

I’ve been training consistently since March of 2013, the changes in my body composition and symmetry have occurred much faster than I expected. I’ve been told that my shape is better now that it was when I competed. I’ll take that. I certainly need to get leaner, but for now the focus is muscle and symmetry. I currently weigh about 153 and I am about 16% bodyfat as determined by iDXA.  

When I first started I told Mark I wanted glutes and hamstrings, he assured me that wouldn’t be a problem given all the posterior chain work in the programming. He was right. What we do is not easy nor is it for everyone. It was as mentally challenging as it is physically. But the results given the time I spend in the gym, much better than the old days. 

Obviously when I decide to get contest ready, the diet will tighten up, but it will stay balanced and include foods I like. There are no magic foods, only total kcals and the right macro balance. 

I haven’t decided on when or if I’ll compete. The goal is to get in the best shape I can, get leaner and work on my symmetry. If at that point I feel like I can be competitive in an over 45 Pro Division, and the prep will fit into my “real life”, we’ll see what happens. Until then, I keep it fun, enjoy working with my teammates and the community of MM Team Fitness.

Updated 7-8-2014. Competed in IFBB Pro Women's Physique, Wings of Strength Show in Chicago IL, on 7-5-2014, took 4th place out of 17 pro women. Thank you Mark for all you do!!!

- Pam York

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"Culture and Community"

I’ve been a member of MM Team Fitness for 3 yrs and continue to team train for a number of reasons. One, I want to be a strong and fit 50-year old in the best shape of her life. Two, I find the programming and coaching second to none. I have friends that spend more time and money in the gym, or with a trainer, and are getting nowhere near the results. The high intensity, constantly varied aspect of what we do presents never ending challenges and keeps me motivated when my alarm goes off at 5:15 am, or when I’m fighting rush hour traffic on my way across town to get to the gym. Most importantly, it’s downright fun. I mean Monkey Bars and Rope climbs at age 50! You bet.

Three, the programming fits my busy work and family schedule, and budget. I simply don’t have the time to be in the gym or pay for a trainer every day. Aside from a little fun cardio once in a while, I get everything I need from my regular 3 day a week sessions.

Overall though, the best aspect of MM Team training is the culture of like-minded professionals that it attracts. People that all come together to participate and simply be successful. I’ve met so many great people and have made many friendships by being a part of MM Team Fitness. It’s what really keeps me coming back. My teammates inspire and support me. They challenge me to work harder – do another rep, add another plate, run a little faster, row harder or put more weight over my head. It’s this amazing group of people all working together toward a common goal of life transformation that keeps me coming back for more. It’s a true sense of community, a unique blend of social yet focused training that you’d be hard-pressed to find in any other club or exercise setting.

– Kathy Clarke

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"The journey began 18 months ago and 50+ pounds fatter."

The motivation, tired of being fat and out of shape. No specific goal, just learned to eat clean, be consistent with exercise and keep it enjoyable. Audrey benches 135 x 5 x 3 at a bodyweight of 143 at 20% body fat. Started run training in mid-May to improve upon her 2:09 1/2 time. After about 6 weeks of two day a week run training (one day intervals on the tread, and one long run outside on weekends) she can run 8 mi at an RPE of 12. A pace that in May during her VO2max test was an RPE of 15. She could only hold 8.5 mph for one minute at VO2max in May, now runs 5 sets of 4 min intervals at 8.5 mph. No specific goal, just faster than 2:09 and still be able to maintain her 135 x 5 x 3 bench. Based on RPE, she's currently on track for a sub 1:55 1/2. We'll see what happens in Oct.

Setbacks, spent several days in the hospital in early June for an ulcer that reminded her that NSAIDs are not for every little ache and pain. About a week without solid food, bounced back quickly. Full-time job, stress, two active kids in sports, busy schedule, lots of potential excuses to deviate from healthy eating and/or inconsistent training, but doesn't because its a lifestyle. Another perk, she now feels comfortable in a bikini, in public that helps to keep it enjoyable and being consistent!

 

 

 

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CrossFit and Type I Diabetes by Mike Hoge

After adjusting his diet and learning how to deal with diabetes after hard workouts, Hoge finished 53rd in the Open in the South Central Region, and he bettered that placing by finishing 29th at the Regional. His success was a confirmation that diabetes is not going to dominate his life.

MP4 version video
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Greg Hicks, age 58 has been running for over 37 years. He has run numerous marathons, ½’s and other events. In June 2011 he decided to join MM Team Fitness to work on his flexibility and strength to further his running performance, decrease injury risk, and make each event more enjoyable. 

Over the past 2 years he’s made considerable progress in all areas of fitness. What is particularly impressive is that he’s done very little running this past year (about 35 mi total) and no cycling for about 2 years, yet has maintained a high level of generalized physical preparedness (GPP) through high intensity power training 3d/wk for both modes of exercise. 

On May 4th he ran the Cincy Flying Pig ½ with his future son-in-law and friends for fun (not for time he emphasized), a leisurely jog at 10:27 pace, still faster than 53% of those in his category and faster than the race average. Greg’s typical ½ time is about 2 hrs (Cincy 2010 and 2011 events) and he reminds Cap City runners that High Street is not a hill. The following week (May 11th) he rode one leg of TOSRV (Columbus to Portsmouth), 105 miles on an early 1980’s Nishiki steel tubing clunker with shifters on the stem (averaged about 15 mph). Total prep for event, 0 miles. Did it for fun and felt he could have done the full event. 

Greg was back in the gym for his regular workout on Tues following both events, a quick recovery, no drama. Given how well he’s done with little to no preparation, going forward he’s decided to include some specific run/cycle training for these events. His goal is a 1:45 ½ and a 3:50 full, but now its kayak season and because this is about enjoying the experience, his focus will be on the water.  

As his trainer I want to be clear here, I am not suggesting that 3d/wk of High Intensity Power Training is enough to be competitive in running, cycling or other endurance event; one has to put in the miles to prepare the body and physiological systems for the task. However one has to ask, if a growing number of participants are able to run or cycle in these events for fun and without formal training, yet post better times than over ½ that specifically train for these events, is there a better way to train for running, cycling or other athletic endeavors? Are we becoming too specific with our training? Doing more of the same and getting less out of it? It’s evident not only in adults but our young athletic population. We encourage them to compete in one or more sporting events, sometimes year round, hire specialty coaches, spend hours on skill training, but do little if any strength and conditioning or GPP to provide a solid foundation for optimal performance and injury prevention. Something to think about when doing more to get better, yields little or no improvement coupled with a higher incidence of injuries.

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