Kerry Simpson Pre-Competition Blog (8 Weeks Out!)

February 24, 2011

I realized that I hadn’t blogged since last week, so thought I had better do an update.  Last weekend was tough.  I was supposed to start my new diet plan on Saturday.  The fact that I had my vet school interview at the University of Florida made that somewhat difficult.  Darla and I drove to Gainesville on Friday–we left at 7:00am and arrived there around 10:30pm–so that day was wasted.  Diet was fine Friday, since it was my prior meal plan.  I did take a lot of my food with me: my bananas, greek yogurt, PB&J sandwiches on Ezekiel bread and sweet potato slices.  I lost one of my sandwiches to the melted ice in the ice chest–total bummer.  Saturday was more difficult because my interview and campus tour took quite a while and I ended up over-hungry.  I admit I ate too much for dinner, and it gave me an upset stomach so it serves me right.  Sunday was better and pretty close to plan, but I forgot to tell Tim to thaw chicken and had to use soy chicken.  Oh well.  My workouts were totally messed up.  Friday was lost to driving, as was Sunday.  Saturday all I got was cardio because the hotel fitness center was crap.  After getting home, I felt crappy for a couple of days–probably because of being off plan and out of whack.  I finally got back in the gym yesterday, and it made me feel a ton better.

Nicole kicked my ass today with the “dirty dozen“.  It’s 12 exercises, set up in 4 circuits of 3 exercises that you go through 2x each.  The goal is to get through it as fast as you can.  I did it in 13 minutes and 35 seconds, which I believe is the fastest female time so far.  Nicole teasingly said next time we would do it with the “boy weights”.  I have a feeling she wasn’t teasing.  After my stomach settled down a bit, I did my 45 minutes of cardio.  Diet has been perfect for the last few days, so hopefully I am back to my normal, dedicated self and will really start seeing some fat loss.  :)  Oh, and I’m trying a new supplement–tonalin CLA, which is a free fatty acid (conjugated linoleic acid) and is supposed to help you lose fat and maintain lean mass by assisting the body in using fat for energy.  I hope it works!!

We recently changed Kerry’s diet. She is now doing three days of a lower calorie amount and one day of a higher calorie amount. We also added another day of cardio, but the duration has stayed the same. We will change her program again when we are four weeks out, depending on what her measurements are looking like. Also, I put together a clip of Kerry taken in the first 8 weeks of her program. This is the first clip I have ever made, so I hope it turns out ok. I plan on putting together a bigger one next time, but wanted to just give this a little try. Enjoy!

February 28, 2011

I am totally crippled.  Yesterday I strained a glute while doing jump lunges, and today Nicole made me repeat the “dirty dozen” with the “boy weights”.  I was only about 30 seconds slower than my other time: 13:35 vs. 14:07.  It was the surrenders with the heavier weight that slowed me down.  I may not be able to walk tomorrow.

I FINALLY had a drop on the scale last week.  My home scale said 134, which is either 4 or 5 lbs. down.  I can’t recall whether it previously read 138 or 139.  All I know is that the scale is finally showing smaller numbers, and even though I know it’s more about the pinches/circumferences, the scale still has to go down too.  It’s psychological.  And at less than 7 weeks out from show, my psyche needs to see smaller scale numbers!  :)

Stepping outside the box

Patrick Henry is famous for “Give me liberty or give me death.”  This quote expressed his passion towards his freedom from England prior to the Revolutionary War.  If I were to have a knock off quote, I would believe it would say “Give me meat or give me death.”

I am a true Carnivore.  I grew up on a cattle farm, so I had some type of red meat in 6-10  meals a week.  We ALWAYS had meat and a starch at every meal.  If I wasn’t eating a steak or roast something with ground beef in it, it didn’t seem like dinner. To this day, I have to have meat in a meal for me to get full, whether it be a mental or a phyiscal thing. I have never had any health issues from it, in fact I have low blood pressure and perfect health numbers. The thought of having meals without some type of animal product, just seemed ludacris.

Saying this, I have decided to go Vegetarian for a week.

Allow me to explain.  Occasionally, I’ll have a new client ask me about going Vegetarian or Vegan, and my instant response is “WHY?”  I understand that “going vegetarian” is kind of a trend as of late, and people always give the same answer “I feel better having meat out of my diet.”  In fact, I was watching a UFC figther compete Saturday night, and he went Vegetarian, and his response was the same.  He said he felt better and his body recovered faster than when he ate meat. After the weekend of multiple burgers and ribs, I woke up feeling miserable.  So, I’m going to be my own test guinia pig and find out what the big deal is. So here it is: Starting today, Monday, February 28th, I’m going Vegetarian for one week.. 7 days… Including a weekend… No Meat… Oh, but I do have stipulations, that way no one can come back and say “You cheated!”

1. I get fish/seafood.  I’m not a big fan of fish unless it’s deep fried, but I’m going to learn to cook it this week.  I’ve acquired an allergy to shellfish so all shrimp, crab, etc are out.

2. I get dairy.  Like I said, I’m going Vegetarian, not Vegan.  I still get yogurt, milk, cheese, and protein powder, and eggs.  Even though I’m not a big fan of milk or eggs, but this may drive me to consume more.

I plan to make a quick blog daily letting you know how I’m feeling about this whole experience.  I am also aware that the effects of going meat free probably takes longer than a week, however, I have to take baby steps. The thought of going meat free for a month seems unrealistic.

If you have gone vegan or vegetarian, let me know how your experience was! If you continue to eat meat, PLEASE do not inform me how great that burger or steak tasted.  You can fill me in next week.  Wish me luck!

Kimberly, Emerge Fitness

Shoulder, Neck and Back Pain!

Likely to be the most common movement impairment syndrome is the Upper Crossed Syndrome.  You can see evidence of this impairment in almost everyone, to varying degrees.  The UCS is characterized by a forward head position, a hyperextended (bowed) lower back, and forward tilted hips. (See picture).  This posture can be caused by many things, most notably sitting in a chair or desk for long periods of time (especially with a computer) and resistance training the front side of the body disproportionately to the back side (very common, also known as working “mirror muscle” only). 


The static posture observed in this picture indicates a few things.  There are several OVERACTIVE and tight muscles pulling the posture forward, and several UNDERACTIVE or weakened muscles allowing this to happen.  For the most part, the OVERACTIVE muscles are in the front, and the UNDERACTIVE muscles are in the back.  The following is a list of those muscles:


Pectorals (Chest)

Upper Traps and Levator Scapula (Neck)

Hip Flexors 


Lower and Middle Traps

Rhomboids (Upper back)

Rectus Abdominus (abs)

Deep neck flexors (front of neck)

This posture can lead to pain, faulty and inefficient movement mechanics, and a BIG decrease in performance (dance, sports, LIFE!)

Correcting this posture is a simple matter of knowing what to work, what to stretch, and what to inhibit (foam roll). 

 In general, stretch and roll the OVERACTIVE muscles, and stregthen the weakend muscles with resistance.

For more specific exercises or stretching/inhibitory techniques, contact an Emerge Fitness Trainer via phone or email.

Matt Pirtle, MA, CSCS

Emerge Fitness Training

Live, Move, Perform Optimally

There is no shortage of definitions for the word “fit.”  Being fit for some is being lean and attractive, for some it is the ability to run (or just finish) a marathon in a short period of time.  Lifting heavy loads, jumping with a 30″ vertical, and/or adhereing to a strict organic diet  can all be definitions of the word “fit.” 

Personally, I have seen clients who are 50 pounds overweight do some pretty incredible things in the Emerge facility, consistently.

To get to the point, there is a never ending list of reasons why someone may be deemed fit. 

One very important addition to that list (that rarely gets added or even involved in a fitness conversation) is posture.

Rarely do people comment on the perfect alignment of themselves or another, but possessing this trait WILL help a person perform much better, move more efficiently, look better, and avoid injury (which keeps a person from fitness related activities).

Posture and functional efficiency (the ability of the neuromuscular system to recruit the correct muscle groups, at the right time, and with the appropriate amount of force) is more than just sitting up straight and pulling your shoulders back. 

As a matter of fact, there is a long list of human movement impairment syndromes that effect all areas of the body, from ankle to neck.  Further, if you are suffering from an impairment in one area, you are most likely being effected in another are above or below.  This is because the body works together in and inter-related chain, where no one muscle works independently.

Who is effected by these impairments?  Nearly everyone.  I have NEVER had a client in front of me that was in perfect alignment from head to toe.  What this means is that whatever that persons goal (looking better, feeling better, performing better) you are not maximizing the benefits of their fitness routine due to the limitations of the impairment.  Many go for years without knowing this.

The first step is identifying the impairment, then implementing a PLAN to correct it.  The plan includes a series of exercises to inhibit (SMR or foam rolling) stretching, strengthening, then re-educating the entire system to work together again.  I can understand why most people ignore this part of fitness.

 It’s boring. 

The benefits are worth the relatively small amount of time it takes to correct these impairments, however.

To sum it up. correcting a movement impairment that you most likely DO have will absolutely allow you to expereince faster and more noticeable gains in whatever fitness goal you may have.

Next submission I’ll go over the basics of one of the most common impairment, the upper crossed syndrome (affecting the shoulders, neck, back directly) and EVERYTHING else indirectly.

Stay tuned.

Matt Pirtle, MA, CSCS

Emerge Fitness Training

Who Needs Roses???

Emerge Fitness Training’s Dirty Dozen


Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Emerge is bringing you twelve of the toughest and most hated exercises for one of the highest caloric workouts you’ll ever encounter. 

Even better: We time you from beginning to end to see how you match up with other Emerge participants.

Ask your trainer for more details!

Contest Runs from Monday, February 21st to Saturday, February 26th.

Healthcare Costs in US: Political or Self Accountability Problem?

“You must accept responsibility for your actions….”  Did you hear this quote growing up? Anytime I had a crazy idea to do something, my parents made sure they relayed this “parental advice.”  I’ve learned this doesn’t just pertain to teenagers, but it SHOULD pertain to every individual.  However, that just doesn’t seem to be the case.


The media shows our government debating health care issues daily.  And society argues what is the right and wrong answer to this problem.  The answer is simple, yet unfortunately, it would be the toughest task for our country to do.  YOU MUST ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS.


Healthcare Costs in US: Not a political problem, but a self accountability problem.


January reports show that the US spent about $160 BILLION on healthcare in 2010, doubling the amount that the US spent 10 years ago.  Obesity accounts for 8.5 percent of Medicare expenditure, 11.8 percent of Medicaid expenditure, and 12.9 percent of private insurance expenditure.  The scary part is that the statistics show that if we continue at this rate, the cost of $160 billion will DOUBLE by 2018.


Two thirds of Americans are overweight and over one third of Americans are Obese.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said “Obesity and with it diabetes are the only major health problems that are getting worse in this country, and they’re getting worse rapidly.” Medicare spends about $600 more a year on medications for an obese beneficiary than a person of normal weight.


If that doesn’t shock you enough, McKinsey analysis along with the National Health Expenditure Accounts report that “obesity indirectly costs the US at least $450 Billion annually-almost three times the direct medical cost.”


Here’s the thing: Diabetes and Obesity and many forms of heart disease are Curable. If each American took some responsibility and self accountability, and made healthier food choices and exercised, the money saved on healthcare would be take a drastic chunk out of our country’s deficit!  Ergo, medical costs would decline, health insurance would decline and Americans would find more money in their bank account.


Here’s the question: How do we get everyone on board? How do we get everyone to hold themselves responsible for their lifestyle choices?


Kimberly Renoud, Emerge Fitness