Weight Train Like An Athlete

Have you ever seen an out of shape athlete?  Most of them are in incredible shape & walk around with well-earned swag partly because of their lean defined physiques.  I want you to get your swag & feel confident in your skin.

Maybe you played sports in high school or college & have noticed you’ve lost some umph, agility and ease of movement.  Conventional workouts and diets are helpful, but reaching your potential will eventually take you to a place where you need to change your approach.  A simple shift in focus can get you to there.

Change your focus off appearance and set it on performance. 

  1. Workouts matter.  I don’t take off if I’m tired or not feeling in the mood.  Every workout matters to my performance.  When it comes to workouts it’s time to get real and get after it.
  2. Provides variety & keeps it interesting.  Why be satisfied with only training one specific way?  Hit all modalities: fat loss, muscle-building, endurance, speed, & power.
  3. Achieve Personal Bests.  Competing with your best self will empower you to go beyond status quo.  Ask yourself, “Can I put up 2 more reps?  Can I go faster on the treadmill?”  Never be satisfied.  STAY HUNGRY.

Think of ways to take your typical workouts & make them more athletic by integrating power, core, and dynamic movements.  Here is a sample of a workout I did last week that focused on my back, core and plyometrics.

Round 1:  Pullups 12x, Standing Russian Twist (not sure what to call this;) 8-10x; Bench hops 30x:  repeat 3x

Standing Russian:  Place an end of a Barbell in a corner of a squat rack.  Place wt. on one end (I do 25lbs)  Rotate the BB up and around to the left then up and around to the right.  If you are doing it right you will feel it in your back & serratus muscles.


Bench Hops:  Stay light on your feet and bound from one side of the bench to the other.  Maintain a quick tempo.


Round 2:  Reverse Grip Pulldown 10-12x (or to keep it in one location you can do underhand grip BB row); Dumbbell Plank Rows 12x; Weighted Squat Thrusts 10-12x.  Repeat 3x

Plank row:  Maintain plank position as you row dumbbell up.  Place it down and perform a push up then row to the other side.







Squat Thrusts: Squat to the ground like you are doing a deadlift.  Place weights down as you thrusts legs back into a plank position.  Perform a pushup then jump your legs back in and stand.


Round 3:  Close grip pull ups to failure; Spidermans 12-16x; Side plank dips 15x  Repeat 3x

*Spidermans:  see my post “A Twist On Pushups”

*Side plank dips:  get into a side plank position.  Lower your hip toward the floor then press back up.




Train Like An Athlete

athlete  Within each of us lies the potential for greatness.  Our bodies yearn to reflect the glory & strength that they were created to reveal.  It is up to each of us as individuals to honor the Creator & allow this beauty to be seen.  Through discipline, hard work & focused commitment we give our bodies an opportunity to rise up to their destiny.

Great athletes set themselves apart in their talent through dedication to their training.  Although their bodies look like they were carved by the gods, it’s not about aesthetics for them, but performance.  They approach every aspect of their training with the mindset to become their personal best.  They give themselves every chance to succeed.  They eat foods that will fuel their goals.  They give their best to the mental and physical aspects of their workouts.  As icing on the cake they get a banging body.

I get that many of us can’t train exactly like an athlete.  We don’t have hours to commit to that type of training regimen each day.  However, we can adopt the mindset of an athlete and give our best to the 3+ hours a week we do have along with the dedication to a healthy lifestyle.

Training tips:

  1. Don’t get hung up on appearance.  It can derail your chances for success.  Instead focus on performing better than your previous workout.
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others.  Compete with your best self.
  3. Commit to the process.  Athletes train for years to develop their potential.  Make this a lifestyle.
  4. Focus on improving something about yourself and your workouts.

Be watching for my next post where I will share one of my personal workouts for training like an athlete.

glorify God


Chocolate Cherry Bomb

Chia seeds are a superfood loaded with nutrients like omega-3, fiber, and antioxidants.  These nutrition bombs are also high in protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B.  A cool thing about chia seeds is when they are saturated, they absorb a whopping 10 times their weight in water and transform into a gel-like substance.   If you want to control your appetite, have healthy brain function, healthy skin, hair nails then you want to integrate this superfood into your diet.

This recipe is so delicious you will be amazed that it’s this good for you!


chia pudding

2 frozen bananas

1/2 cup frozen dark cherries or blueberries

1/2 cup pineapples (optional)

2 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein powder (I like it with Muscle Milk)

2/3 cup almond milk

2 tbsp chia seeds

3 tbsp cocoa powder

optional dash of cinnamon



  1. Put all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until you reach a thick, ice cream-like consistency.
  3. Pour your frozen treat into 2 bowls and let it sit for 5 minutes so the chia seeds can begin to gel and thicken.

It’s my go to treat when I’m craving something sweet and it fills me up.  You might like this better than ice-cream!


Find Your Fire To Be The Best At What You Do


This week I was inspired by a feature on the NFL Network, “A Football Life: The Fearsome Foursome.”  It moved me so much that I have since watched the episode several times.  The Fearsome Foursome was the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive line that included Lamar Lundy, Deacon Jones, Merlin Olson and Rosey Grier.  These men brought the thunder to the game of football and life.

They each stood tall in their own right, but as teammates they walked among the clouds.   Deacon said, “We were perfect together. A perfect marriage.”  Elizabeth Jones, Deacon’s wife, commented,  “The love – genuine love – between the four of them is something extraordinary to see.”  When they hit the field the level of excitement soared.

These men were the best at what they did.  We can honor their legacy by being the best at whatever we choose to do in life.  If that is being an athlete,  nurse,  preacher, artist or teacher.  Whatever you do, do it with every fiber of your being.  Leave nothing on the field.  Give it your all.  The Apostle Paul said it like this,

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,  Colossian 3:23

A month before Merlin past away, his daughters found a personal mission statement he had written in a folder.  Olson held himself to a high standard which in turn enabled him to rise up to his fullest potential as a human being.  When Rosey was asked if he could think of anything at all that Merlin did that was not good or if he could say anything bad about him, his answer was an immediate no.  (I do remember Rosey laughing earlier in the episode about Olson’s lack of rhythm:)

These men are extraordinary role models for us all.   My prayer is that we all bring out the best in those in our sphere of influence, that we show our personal greatness in our own unique ways & find the inner fire, the spirit & resolve to be the best at what we do.  God, give us the grace to be extraordinary!

Olsen’s mission statement reads: “The focus of my life begins at home with family, loved ones and friends. I want to use my resources to create a secure environment that fosters love, learning, laughter and mutual success. I will protect and value integrity. I will admit and quickly correct my mistakes. I will be a self-starter. I will be a caring person. I will be a good listener with an open mind. I will continue to grow and learn. I will facilitate and celebrate the success of others.


2 Moves To A Tighter Butt

Building a tight and round butt involves not being afraid to get aggressive with your training.  The glutes are a large muscle that you must hit from every angle in order to create a shapely backside that can turn heads.

The most important things to remember when training your glutes is to get a strong squeeze on the muscle and to focus on pressing through the heels of your feet when you are performing any kind of pushing movements.

Amanda Latona, IFBB Bikini Pro and Fitness Model says,  “When doing any glute-focused exercise, like squats, take a wide step forward to take the weight away from your quads. Or, if you’re doing step-ups, add more elevation. Both adjustments will add more focus on the glutes specifically.”

My glute workout always includes plyometrics, some version of a squat and lunges and I end with a couple of focused isolation exercises to get a good burn.  The Reverse Hyperextension is an excellent way to close out your glute training.  If you don’t have access to the plate loaded reverse hyperextension then this is a great option that I recently discovered.


You lay across the back extension and place a stability ball or 4-10lb medicine ball between your legs.  Lower the ball toward the floor then lift while squeezing the glutes.  I superset this exercise with walking pulse lunges.  It was amazing!


Reverse hyperextension, weighted  3×15-20

Walking pulse lunges, 3×16 steps.  Pulse 2 times, come up and lunge pulse with the other leg.

*short vid on instagram @ ndenisejustice or click instagram icon on my website: http://www.totalbodyandmind.net





Find The Right Workout Partner

Finding a good workout partner can be the solution to taking your fitness to the next level.   You will perform better, have a spotter, a partner to give you a good kick in the butt when you need it, and you will be less likely to miss a workout.

I have always had a workout partner in some form or fashion.  I “happened”  into meeting all of my training buddies through doing things that interested me at different times in my life.  (I don’t believe that things just “happen” but that there is a divine orchestration to it all).

For instance, years ago I tried out a spin class and the instructor was a competitive triathlete.  His enthusiasm was contagious.  He soon formed a team from all of us.  I never would have thought I could have competed in duathlons, but thanks to training with the team, it took my fitness to the next level and boosted my confidence.

I met my best friend in a boxing gym where we did Muay Thai and grappled together.  I never would have imagined meeting one of my dearest friends in that gym.  It was a hole in the wall with some stinkay feet;) & only a few women as members, but God brought us together.  I introduced her to the world of weights;) lol  She had never lifted before, but she had a strong desire and we were so supportive of each other so it was a match made in heaven:)


I happened to meet a judge from a bikini competition who owned a powerlifting gym.  He encouraged me to workout sometime there, so I thought, what the heck!  Powerlifting was a sport that I never even thought of doing, but the females in the gym were all encouraging.  It seemed like fun because many of the gym members would train together & have light-hearted banter.  It was another great experience that challenged me to go beyond my comfort zone.


Maybe you are interested in Zumba, Crossfit or doing races.  Do the things you love and be open to meeting great workout partners along the way.


  • Similar goals and a fitness level that is close to yours’.  If you are skinny and want to get stronger and more defined, someone who is wanting to lose 50lbs. isn’t a good fit.
  • Discipline and matching work ethic.  If you want to get after it but they want to chat for 5 min in between sets or check their phone all the time, that person isn’t going to be a good workout partner.
  • Punctuality.  A person you can depend on.
  • Friendship.  Everything is better with a friend.  Your friendship will get even better as you work hard together.

Ecclesiastes 4:9  New Living Translation
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.