Comfortable, Healthy, and Pregnant


Today is day 273 of being pregnant and just 1 week left.  Being pregnant for the the last 39 weeks has been a wonderful experience for me.  I have always had the fear of being pregnant because of all the horror stories that I have been told or read about as far as weight gain, sickness & nausia, food cravings, the lack of energy, discomfort and swelling. 

The list goes on  but these are the big ones that always stuck out to me because of my job and not knowing if I would be able to do both.   I have a very demanding job I am on my feet 8-10 hours a day, always engaged with clients (which can be mentally exhausting), and not to mention the strenuous activity that goes along with being a personal trainer.  When I found I was pregnant I made a decission to make the next 40 weeks as easy as possible on my body and not become a victim to pregnancy.  Guess what? I did it!  At 39 weeks I am still working my normal work-load, running our business and planning the move of our business for August  1.  I do sit a lot more while training during the day just trying to conserve energy and I took a break from working out about 4 weeks ago and now just keep a strict diet.  I  still get the amount of calories I need its just discipline with right kind of calories.  I find myself very busy during the day with training and working with the construction and the move of our knew facility so any extra time I have is spent getting a quick nap.  I worked really hard the first 7-8 months of the pregnancy with diet and exercise and now I feel I can pull back and just enjoy the last month.  As of 4 weeks ago I have only gained 20lbs and maintain that today.  My doctor told me I would not gain much weight the last 4 weeks and if I did  it would just be swelling or water weight.  So to counteract the swelling and water retention I drink about 150 oz of water a day.  Guess what drinking lots of water does help with water retention!  The swelling that I am suppose to be experiencing right now is very minimal and have not gained anymore weight the last 4 weeks. 

With all of this said I hope the actual laboring of this pregnancy is as smooth as the pregnancy.  Wish me luck and I will keep you posted.


Angie Pirlte

Emerge Fitness

Personal Training Saint Charles, MO

Fat Leaving the Body is Painful!

So, this past week I happened to catch the show “Losing it with Jillian Michaels”.  As I watched her work with one of the families, I found myself asking a question…  Why do people have to cry before they lose weight?  I noticed the correlation of the breakdown of the clients, followed by the beginning stages of weight loss.  I actually texted this question to a friend of mine as the question occurred to me; her answer, “Because fat leaving the body is painful!”  LOL!  So true!  That isn’t the complete answer, however.  Personally, I find that an extra pound represents a period of time where I wasn’t performing at my best.  It could be for a number of reasons; I could’ve been overloaded with homework, I may have gotten sick, probably performed at less than 75% on one or more workouts, let a few extra calories past my lips, or I didn’t plan well.  No matter the reason, it takes a bunch of those reasons added up to equal a pound.  To me, that just lets me know that I am not setting aside enough “me” time.  The extra time it takes to plan my meals for the week…that’s “me” time.  The time I spend working out…that’s “me” time.  The time I spend on rest, rejuvenation, and recreation…that’s “me” time.  It is so important to schedule that time.  If not, I find that I am led by external circumstances.  Personally, I like being the one in control of my day! 🙂

In the end, I realized that the crying was a result of facing the summation of these little instances.  Before, they might have been a tiny indiscretion here and there or a stressful period of time, but added up, they equaled a mountain that seemed impossible to overcome, so instead they succumbed; being faced with the reality of it feels overwhelming.  The ability to work past that takes courage and resolve.  At the very moment that the reality and resolve collide, came the clarity and the emotional out pouring. 

So here’s my resolve…I am going to start my day off the right way every morning.  Lately, I have been getting my first workout in around noon.  I found that I perform better throughout the day if I workout first thing in the morning.  This week, I am going to run for 30 minutes every morning to start my habit of morning workouts again.  I will also continue with the Insanity workout, after work, four days a week.  And, I will always train with Matt twice a week…that’s a given! 

Unfortunately, the Crossfit group that I meet with three times a week has been cancelled until further notice.  The instructors had a personal tragedy.  Please pray for them…

Well, here I go!  Off to conquer another week!…

Bounce Back!

Last week was all about the bounce back!  From what you may ask?  A holiday weekend of party, party, party!  We’ve all had one of those weekends right?… The cocktails with friends…the barbecues…you know, all those things that spell disaster for the coming week!  Well, I had a great time!  However, I’m gonna have to work my butt off this week…literally! 

So naturally, at the beginning of this week, I asked myself “Why does it take a week to lose three pounds, but a couple of hours to gain them?”  The answer…???  I was hoping you knew because I have to lose the three pounds I gained last weekend, lol.  Just kidding, I know how… get moving!  And that I did!  There was just one hitch; I managed to catch a terrible cold.  So, not only did I have to work off the weekend; I also had to work through a cold.  It wasn’t easy!  Despite, I managed to get in five intense workouts.  I definitely worked off the martinis!

This week, I learned that when life hands you lemons; you use them as garnishment for your martini!… And then you get your butt to the gym!

Jump the Hurdles!

Hello Everyone!

If there is one thing that I have learned through this whole experience, it is to have your priorities straight!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you really want to accomplish your goals, jump the hurdles!  I can’t tell you how many brick walls I’ve run into on this journey, but I CAN tell you that I’ve learned to CLIMB!  I have weeks where I’m on it and I am knockin’ it right out of the park!  There are also weeks that I don’t lose a pound at all.  What I DO lose is the capacity to give up…

It is important to remember that not every week is going to be a gold star week.  That’s okay!  Just because you can’t see the peak of the mountain, doesn’t mean you stop climbing!  It is in those weeks that I’ve learned what I’m REALLY made of… I’ll tell you, it has been the most rewarding experience of my life!  It’s so easy to stay on a regimen when things are going perfect and smoothly.  When you add turbulence…now…that’s the point where you either decide to retreat…or weather the storm.  I’ve learned to always carry my umbrella LOL!

I’ve decided to spice up my workouts the past couple of weeks!  I have added a Crossfit workout Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Crossfit is a whole body semi-circuit workout.  It is intense!…to say the least!  By the end of these workouts, let’s just say I need to lie face up on the ground for about five minutes until I’m able to see straight again! LOL!  Then, on Tuesday and Thursday I have joined a group of people who do the Insanity workouts.  Yes folks, this workout is just that…INSANE!  Super fun!…that was sarcasm…  Honestly though, I have a great time with both groups.  They are all very motivated and live fitness oriented lifestyles.  I am lucky to have found these folks!  Finally, to make my week absolutely perfect…I train twice with my trainer, Matt, my number one motivator…and punisher!  Just kidding, but not really…

Guess who met their 10 minute mile goal…and then smashed it!?…ME!  Woo Hoo!!




Power Athletes: Sprint Faster, Throw Harder, Jump Higher by Understanding PAP

PAP, or postactivation potentiation, is basically the enhancement of performance in explosive, powerful movements following a heavy resistance training exercise (for the same muscles involved).

The idea is this: As an example, we will use a 100 meter sprinter.  After a heavy lift involving muscles that will be used in the sprint (barbell squat) the central nervous system is highly stimulated, resulting in greater and more motor unit recruitment in those muscles following that lift (i.e. more muscle fibers working for you in the sprint).  What follows is a much faster contraction rate and tension development in those muscles.

Does it work?  Almost all current research suggests that it does.  The most recent 5 studies on PAP showed significant improvements in times for swimmers, cyclists, and sprinters.  The study involving sprinters in particular showed an improvement in performances ranging from 0.89-3.3%, which is usually the difference between first and last on a fast track.

There is no doubt that PAP is a viable warm-up tool for power athletes.  The questions now are: which exercises and how much rest before the event? 

PAP benefit has been shown to last between 3-20 minutes in tested athletes, with the average recovery time between the lift and the event being 8 minutes.  Of note here is that some athletes took longer to recover, showing fatigue when not rested enough, and some recovered much quicker.  Each athlete should determine their own recovery time prior to a competition. 

Exercise selection, as noted earlier, should involve muscles that are involved in the actual sports movement itself, and should be compound (involving the coordination of several joints). 

Further research is needed to entirely understand the benefits of PAP, but the potential for improved performance is definitely worth considering PAP in a pre competition warmup.

Matt Pirtle, CSCS

Emerge Fitness Training

St. Charles Personal Training


Emerge Fitness Training will be opening it’s new facility on August 1st, 2010.  The new location is in the TJ Maxx plaza, 3839 Mexico Road, next to Great Harvest Bread.  The new space is 6,100 square feet (2.5 x the size of our current location).  The new space features open, 20 foot ceilings, tons of new equipment, a great outdoor training area, and a larger cardiovascular area.

Some pictures of the new facility under construction:

Matt Pirtle

Emerge Fitness Training

St. Charles Personal Training

More Than Motivation

Something dawned on me the other day…  The thought actually struck me as I was on my way to a training session with Matt.  I was listening to a radio morning talk show; LL Cool J was talking about his new book and all its components.  As I listened, I remembered that I’d seen one of his books years before and that it had a lot of interesting workout ideas in it.  I thought to myself that the new book would probably be similar and kudos to him for staying in great shape all these years.  Then, as I contemplated changing stations, he said something that stopped me.  He was explaining how the book wasn’t just about the workouts; it had a nutrition and spiritual/wellness aspect as well.  He wanted to focus on the person as a whole in this book.  This is what got me thinking…

Fitness is about more than motivation…Sure, motivation will help get you there, but it won’t keep you there.  Here’s what I mean:  How many times have you been motivated to fit a certain outfit, to get in shape for a trip, for a wedding, or for a vacation?  Right!  Me too!  Now…how many times have you lost that same 10 to 15 pounds?  Right!  Me too!  So here’s the thing…fitness is ongoing…IF…you are committed to changing your life style.  Yes folks that’s right…you have to change your life style.  It doesn’t have to be a drastic change…So stop throwing out the junk food and keep reading, LOL!  You could start small and work your way up.  For example, replace your soda with water a few times a week, add an hour or two of cardio throughout the week, or you could make a habit of eating one fruit and one veggie a day.  It’s not about deprivation, it’s about choices.  There are many options.  The point is this: If you want to be fit and stay fit, you have to be willing to continue the life style that will get you to your personal goal.  Don’t stop once you get there and you’re looking and feeling good.  It isn’t like a race; where once you get to the finish line you’re done.  The finish line is only the beginning…

The good news is this: after the finish line, it’s all about maintenance; that’s the easy and fun part.  Being fit…being well…. feels so damn good!  It’s worth getting there and staying there!  So be more than motivated…be the change…

They Don’t Call it a Journey for Nothing!

Another week down and more goals accomplished!

Ya know…I really encourage others to document their fitness journey as well.  It has been such a learning experience to be able to write down my successes and hurdles and reflect on them.  It’s kind of a fitness diary.  I’m able to see what works well for me and what hinders my success.  It’s also great to be able to look back and laugh at some of my stories and situations that were occurring that week.  A big part of it is the accountability!  The hardest person to stay accountable to is yourself!  Writing to you guys every week helps me pinpoint the areas that I’m excelling in and the areas that I need to focus on.  Plus, it motivates me to keep making progress.

 If you don’t want to do a public blog, you can keep a personal blog on your computer; just for you to see.  I highly recommend attaching progress pics, it helps a lot!  The most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself.  Don’t judge yourself harshly as you go through the process; learn from your mistakes and bask in your success!  They don’t call it a journey for nothing!  If it were easy, they’d call it CAKE!  LOL!

This week I added some pics of my food cabinet at work.  Most people have a drawer…I have a reserve!  LOL!  As much food as there is in that cabinet, that’s nothin!  I also keep healthy entrees in the fridge at work and snacks in my purse and in my car!  I leave little room for excuse.  I have discovered that I am most proned to making caloric mistakes at work, so I always keep some snacks and meals handy just in case!  This is SUPER IMPORTANT to getting to my goal.  It is so easy to snack away at empty calorie foods not realizing that those cals add up by the end of the day.  We all have those periods throughout the day when we are mindlessly snacking on something.  True story…I can remember a few different occasions where I went to finish a snack and it was all gone and I was like “Who at all my food!”, then I realized it was me!…those times, I like to blame my inner fat girl.  Every once in a while she takes the driver’s seat!  So!…my point is, keep a just in case snack!

Well…I need smaller jeans!  Yay!  I’m so used to wearing fitted workout pants; I hadn’t put on a pair of jeans in a couple of months.  Imagine my delight when I didn’t need to use a crow bar to get into them!  I put them on and they were loose.  I needed a belt to keep them up!  Woo Hoo!  I can’t wait to see what next week brings!…

If at First You Don’t Succeed…

I did pretty well this week!  I’m up to 36 minutes of running at an 11 minute mile.  My goal, right now, is to get better at endurance running.  I’d like to add another 10 to 15 minutes to my time.  I think I can do it!…If I could just get someone to hold a piece of cake just out of reach so I have to run for it…  Just kidding…but not really… 

This week, I’m adding some bloopers to my blog!  Not every exercise goes smoothly the first time around; especially when core work is involved!  However!…If at first you don’t succeed…try, try,…AND try again!  I love a challenge!…as long as I have enough medical and dental insurance to cover the damage!  LOL!

It’s been a little over two months and I feel great!  I’m more motivated than ever to get into the best shape of my life!  Every day is a new challenge, but it’s also an opportunity to make a difference.  Things haven’t always gone smoothly.  There have been battles with fried chicken, days out of commission, tantalizing snack tables, and all out insane cravings!  Through it all, I remain focused on my goals.  I can’t wait to see what I accomplish next!   

To watch the videos click on the exercises:

Pendulum plank (attempt #1)   

Pendulum plank (attempt #2)   

Pendulum plank (Finally got it!)