Our VERY FIRST Guest blog post for the BitchMittens Ballroom is from Jason Kenny, Men’s Physique & Fitness Model Competitor, personal trainer and Coast Guard. Whatever you think of this type of competition, no one can argue that it requires an insane amount of commitment and dedication, and Jason has won world titles left, right and centre, “Mr Physique”, “Mr Athletic”, “Mr Beach Body” just recently at the National Champs.

Jason’s wife Audrey took the plunge this year and with his help, trained for and WON a few titles of her own. Here he talks about what it means to train with your partner, and how they make it work. Audrey is also an amazing Coast Guard member, and mum of three.

All we can say here at BitchMittens HQ, is… HOLYSHITBALLS, Jason and Audrey two look like superheroes. Let’s take a peek at the crazy world of competitive fitness models! 

Couples who Train Together

By Jason Kenny

We all have busy lives, and in a modern household, some couples just end up passing each other by, like ships in the night. Trying to do anything that may bring you together is a huge bonus and one that will strengthen any relationship. That is exactly what we chose to do. We decided to hit the gym and start working out as a couple. We would plan our days and work around our jobs, any appointments that we had coming up or needed to be at. We would head off and get our sessions in. As we started to develop our routine we would go for a coffee and sit down discussing everything from kids to the next workout. At times, we would simply just enjoy the quiet moment together watching the world RUSH by. As I was already competing in Mr Physique Shows and having won the WBFMA Worlds in November 2016, we decided that this time we would enter the Irish Nationals as a couple and prepare together.

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Having your partner go through what you go through preparing for one of these has its advantages in that they experience all the highs and lows that you would have gone through in the past. The disadvantage is now two people are experiencing them together and that in itself can present a problem if you aren’t aware of what you are going through. It teaches you discipline, it teaches you to be there for each other, recognise stressors and motivate each other. 

dsc_0001This of course is the extreme of any sport taking it to a level of competition, where you put your body on the line, pushing it to its limits. But there are values in working together. The whole household changed. Attitudes towards foods, and making healthier choices together is really rewarding. It’s not about diet really but more about a lifestyle change for everyone and taking responsibility for your choices.

 

 

20161213_075414We would cook and bake special treats, like sweet potato brownies and avocado bread and the kids would get involved asking about training and wanting to learn how to cook meals. The health of the house rose up and the level of excitement and buzz in the air was electric.

We continue to train together and are preparing to do another show in 11 weeks time. It is quite awhile away but it is another milestone and challenge.

The secret to success

20161211_233013It is not rocket science, nor is it really any major secret to how anyone can achieve their ideal weight and boost their immune system. First of all, it is down to knowing your required calorie intake and working out your expenditure based on that. If you are taking in 1800kcal and only expending 1000kcal then you are going to end up with an excess of calories that your body will store.

Moreoften than not it is about food timing and placement. Doing what we do is about eating every 2.5hrs-3hrs, and reducing the heavier meals in the evening.

But here is the real key to success…..PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE. Do this and you will never get caught out. Everyone needs a minimum of 6 meals a day, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and 3 Snacks.

Also it is important at this time to expel the myth of not eating after a certain time, is complete crap. You can eat up to 1.5-2hrs before bed time of course as long as it is not loaded with sugar and caffeine.

dsc_0001If you don’t like certain foods such as eggs, it is probably down to how you are cooking them. Eggs are pretty much in everything we eat from buns to quiche. Add flavours, herbs, spices. Look up alternative cultural recipes and how other nationalities cook their foods. Experiment and you’d be amazed with simply cooking it differently or adding something small, can alter the whole meal. As an example, I had a client who wouldn’t eat asparagus, so instead of boiling it of steaming it I got him to oven bake it and leave it on for that extra little bit with a sprinkle of Garlic so that it was crispier. So, essentially you had roasted Garlic Asparagus and he loved them.

Also prepare your food in bulk, cook off for example a load of chicken and break it down and freeze what you are not using. Put on your favourite TV program and put them all in the pot/steamer or oven and let them cook away.

How can you stick to it without breaking out?

20161213_075414The Idea of a cheat meal is to help reward your efforts and something to look forward to. Now, that’s a CHEAT MEAL, not a CHEAT DAY. But aside from the psychology there is a science to it too. Ghrelin, a peptide hormone mainly produced by the stomach, is an appetite stimulant that signals the release of growth hormone. Low-calorie diets and chronic exercise have been shown to result in increased ghrelin concentrations, which may lead to increasing food intake and body weight. Caloric deficit diets also cause the body to attempt to conserve energy by decreasing levels of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4, which help regulate and maintain metabolism. Therefore, weekly cheat meals that are higher in calories and carbs can help raise leptin levels while lowering ghrelin levels. This helps to return your hormone levels to normal and can reverse or prevent any slowing down of your metabolism. This in return improves your thyroid function, thus further boosting your metabolismSo THAT is the science. In a nutshell get those extra calories into and enjoy a guilt free meal. BOOM and back on to your healthy living!

 

All the best to everyone!

Jason

 

Notes from the Ed

Extreme weight loss coupled with intense physical training can seriously harm your body. You can mess up your metabolism, as well as your hormones and so we really don’t want you to try this at home. Jason has spent a lot of time learning about the nutrition needed for this level of physical competition, so we’re quite happy to look at pictures of his hard… ahem ‘work’.  His website is  www.m4unutrition.com