WODAPALOOZA 2018

WODAPALOOZA 2018

If you haven’t heard of this Miami Fitness Competition, you need to look it up! For all of you Crossfitters out there, this is by far the BEST competition I’ve ever participated in.

Last year I qualified online after doing 8 grueling workouts with 2 other girls and we qualified for the ELITE Women’s Division. What does ELITE mean? It is the highest echelon, the heaviest weights and the most competitive. Certainly RX or (Prescribed) is still very competitive, but the ELITE competitors do this for a living. Their norm consists of 3 workouts a day, 6-7 days/week and have YEARS of competition experience.

What movements were emphasized?

RUNNING

First day, killed everyone’s legs with a 7k run with an intra-workout wreck bag carry for one mile. The next day my hips were dying, and it felt like a ran a marathon. Holy cow, did this first day really emphasize cardio and at 6AM!

SANDBAGS

The worst workout by FAR was the #150 sandbags. As a three person team, after swimming 400m we had to throw this bag over our shoulders 20 times. My time only got 15 reps and boy did it destroy our back. So much of this movement is technique, like most heavy weights.

REGULAR OL’ CROSSFIT

4 of the workouts consisted of Toes 2 Bar, Wall balls (20 lbs to 10 feet), pull ups, Chest to Bar pull ups, deadlifting and double unders. These were by far the most fun, because we have the most experience with these movements.

HEAVY SLED PUSHES

In the midst of all of our pull ups we had to push 200+ lb sled back and forth. We ended up taking our shoes off just to get some traction on this wonky stage. Challenges like this made the competition more interesting because you had to think on your feet and figure out how to move the sled without just muscling through it.

 

The last workout, and my favorite by far was the Hang Power Clean, Front Squat and Jerk Complex at 185/195 and 205 lbs. It really showcased how competitors could handle a heavy barbell and how many people on the team were strong enough to make a dent in this 9-6-3 complex.

  1. If you want to watch any of the workouts, like Crossfit Craic.

4 Reasons Why Real Estate Builds Wealth

 

4 Reasons Why Real Estate Builds Wealth

There seems to be a divide, almost political in nature among investors. Stocks vs. Real Estate. Arguably, it is probably best to diversify and have a good spread based on your own goals and situation about what investments you choose. This is a basic run down about why Real Estate can be a good vector to build wealth FAST.

  1. Cash Flow

Buying properties at the right price in the right market will provide you with monthly income. Obviously, parts of this has to be budgeted for Repairs/Maintenance and CapEx (BIG repairs). However, not many jobs or side hustles can immediately start bringing in $500-$1000/month.

2. Equity

Every month you are (or your tenants are preferably) are forced to stash away your mortgage into an investment similar to a savings account. Over time, you start paying less interest as that principal is being eaten away, month by month and year by year. This investment is very illiquid and unless you sell or re-finance its hard to get that cash out! Which is probably a good thing for most Americans, since dipping into your savings account is as easy as clicking a button on your phone.

3. Appreciation or Forced Appreciation

In certain areas, the ‘icing on the cake’ is the appreciation your building might obtain. New schools, coffee shops, other apartment buildings are being built and making YOUR land more valuable. If you are in an area where none of these things are happening you can MAKE your own appreciation by renovating, remodeling, etc… and reaping the benefits with a higher rent.

4 .Tax Advantages

With a new tax bill, there are still some areas we are figuring out. But overall, owning real estate can be hugely beneficial in terms of the depreciation you write off every year for the building. Real estate is a semi-business and luckily, in America we are rewarded for being entrepreneurs and taking on responsibility to provide a PRODUCT to consumers, in this case housing.

Real Estate is an avenue where you have control over your investment whether that be buying at a certain time in a certain place, versus getting a tenant in, etc… and it can pay off immensely month-to-month and most certainly once that loan is paid off!

If you want more control of your investments other than just paying a day trader consider learning more about Real Estate. Check out BiggerPockets.com for more info.

How to Increase your Net Worth by $15,000 by going on Vacation

How to Increase Your Net Worth by $15,000 by going on Vacation

18-Jan

Checking 4,714.80
Savings 51,983
Real Estate
Rental Property 1 Savings 10,686
Rental Property 2 Savings 3,920.73
Rental Property 2 Checking 2,052.42
Rental Property 1 Zestimate 739,518.00
Rental Property 2 Zestimate 173,000

INVESTMENTS
Lending Club 3,347.79
Roth IRA 19,812.63
Vanguard 24,735
TSP 48,931

Liabilities
CC 1 61.44
CC 2 194.27
CC 3 79.76
Car Loan 0
Rental Property 1 Loan 647,119.08
Rental Property 2 Loan 158,973
Net Worth 286,275.35

Last month was a whirlwind with the holidays and our annual trip to Kauai. After evaluating my finances and overcoming the urge to hold a large sum of cash in a savings account, I paid off loans, moved money around and enacted automatic withdrawals. I’ll go over what I changed in the past 5 months to increase my net worth by $15,000 in 3 months. Back in September my net worth was at $269,000.

1. Pay off debt.

I recently bought a used car, a 2015 Nissan Rogue for my new duty station since it snows here a lot and I’ve been using my high school 2004 Chevy Malibu for most of my twenties. While I did have enough cash to pay for it at once I took out half of the price ($8,000) on a low interest loan. I paid a couple of hundred/month but just the fact that I had this loan annoyed the hell out of me. I didn’t dip into my savings to pay off the rest of this loan, each paycheck I threw $1,000 to the remaining balance which last September was $7,872.

Getting my title from the bank for my car was EXTREMELY satisfying. But of course there is a problem with the HVAC system and is blowing COLD air into my passenger area which is not helpful in -32F wind chill during the ‘bomb cyclone.’

Cars are horrible investments and I hope to someday never own one. But until we get flying, driver-less cars from Tesla I’ll have this god damn used SUV.

2. Rent out a Unit

I recently moved into a fixer upper house and was slacking on cleaning/moving out of the duplex I was in. I was also worried renting this place out in the winter would be challenging but I found a great tenant within a week! I tried using Facebook in addition to Zillow/Trulia/Hotpads/Craigslist. Now I can buffer up my savings for that property since while I was living in it I was paying out of pocket for any repairs/maintenance. My plan is to save three months of extra rent from this unit and then start putting a portion of each rent towards the Principal.

3. Index Funds

I transferred my mutual funds from my primary bank to Vanguard and investing in a Target Retirement Account since pretty much every Personal Finance blog I’ve read encourages using Vanguard for their low fees and I’ve seen about $2,000 in growth just my moving it around! I also increased my automatic withdrawal from my checking account each month to go into this fund and lowered my TSP withdrawal.

4. Extra Mortgage Payments

I additionally started throwing an extra $30 to each mortgage payment which I don’t really miss or even notice each month. I also decided to give an extra $5,000 to the San Diego Rental Property and an extra $3,000 to my CT Duplex.

This is all in the context of traveling across the world, boarding my two dogs and eating out constantly! There are a lot of small things you can do to put money that is not growing any interest in your savings account to use. Paying off debt, usually with the highest interest first is the best thing you can do plus, invest, invest, invest! Whether that be to your 401(k), Roth, or Rental Properties.

Does Goal Setting Really Work?

Goal Setting

Do great things ever happen to people randomly? Yes, for sure. You could meet the love of your life or win the lottery but how rare are the chances that will happen to you?

Everything I’ve ever been proud of, I worked very hard for it. I put it into my daily routine and thought about that goal every day. I didn’t write it down in lipstick on my mirror, or set any notifications on my phone. I intuitively thought about what I wanted and broke down the milestones I had to hit to obtain that goal.

I believe if it truly matters to you, you will think about it every day; every holiday, every weekend if not multiple times a day.

In high school, I would read forums about what I needed to get into medical school: the specific GPA versus science GPA, average MCAT scores, the ideal major, the volunteer positions, the leadership jobs that are expected of every doctor. If you’re a meant-to-be surgeon you will think about the OR every day, every hour. If you are an aspiring weightlifter, you will envision hook grip videos in your sleep.

Nowadays I look back with pride knowing every day thinking about that goal turned out positive. Now, I look at other realms to set my goals on. I never thought I’d be pursuing an athletic goal at the age of 27. But here I am, the strongest and fastest I’ve ever been.

I know this won’t last forever. There will be a plateau to my strength. However, it’s great to enjoy the ride now.

Accomplishing goals throughout your life can make it so much more fruitful. It is great to dabble in a lot of things, but heck it’s addictive to thrive in hobbies and interests that are within and outside of one’s career.

Maybe you’re looking to pay off that student debt. And every day, you throw your savings at that loan. Saving, pinching every dollar.

I have other goals that don’t involve Medicine or Crossfit. But for now, in this decade I’m glad I can say I’ve become a sort of ‘expert’ in those fields. Maybe even a specialist after all the injuries I’ve seen or experienced in the fitness industry.

Think about what you naturally CRAVE and WANT every day. Is that to lose weight? To get your first muscle up? To pay off your car? All these things are worthy goals. From there, break it down and figure out what has to be done week to week, month to month and you will get there.

The Most Worthwhile Investment

How Investment and Health are Correlated

 

Careers, financial pressure, family, higher education, debt all put health on the back burner.  People wait till things ‘settle down’ to start getting in shape.  We work 80 hours a week with little sleep working tirelessly for a goal.  Before you know it, you’re diagnosed with pre-diabetes and you have a bunch of nagging injuries that just aren’t going away.

People decide after everything  is ‘in order’ is the time to start dieting and exercising.  Except we’re already stuck in our ways. We have habits engrained in us over years. So we’re not only starting behind because we’re overweight but we don’t have any tools to get us on track since we’ve been practicing bad habits our entire life.

Thus, pre-diabetes turns into real diabetes and we continue the downward spiral.

Just like most successful financial investing, it’s better when you start young. Prioritizing health in your 20’s means you’ll have those same eating and exercise habits your whole life instead of back tracking and re-wiring those bad habits into ‘good habits’

Next time you try and ‘convince’ yourself to be healthy think of it as an investment and to use TIME on your side. What good does it if you have saved over a million dollars or started a wealthy company if you’re bed-ridden and can’t function because your health is in shambles.  Start early, start young and you’ll be happier when you’re older. Just like investing in stocks or real estate, that compound interest will reap into dividends you can capitalize on when you’re older.

Coffee: Is there such a thing as too much?

Is There Such a Thing as TOO Much Coffee?


  • One of the most addictive substances around is coffee. Cities and businesses have created meccas of good coffee shops that attract customers and create beautiful surroundings while fulfilling the much needed morning Cup of Joe.

Recent studies have come out indicating drinking multiple cups of coffee per day is actually good for you. People who increased their coffee consumption by one cup a day saw a 11% decrease in likelihood of getting Type II Diabetes.

Additionally, it lowers your chance of obesity, liver disease and some cancers. Is this due to the fact that your appetite is just decreased, so you’re eating less overall? Possibly.

Overall, it has been found the gut peptides are secreted (when consuming coffee) that decrease the absorption of sugar from food.

Certainly there are risks, just like any other substance. But compared to the other addictive substances in the world, it is possibly the BEST to be addicted to. If you’re severely dehydrated, coffee will continue to dehydrate you more. If you can’t sleep at night, stop drinking coffee before 3pm. If you have an arrhythmia be very cognizant of how much caffeine you are consuming.

If you are getting rebound caffeine headaches or anxiety, I’d say taper down your consumption. Keep track of how much are you consuming since caffeine can be found in certain drinks, candy that might not be obvious sources of caffeine.

How does this affect your exercise schedule? Many times I get asked What’s the best Preworkout? One half a cup of coffee is the best pick me up out there compared to any supplement. It doesn’t give you that crash and it doesn’t have built in sugar like Monster or Redbull.

3 Holiday Tips to Keep Off Weight

Staying Fit During the Holidays


Most people are traveling at least once during this holiday season. Visiting family is essential to making the holidays feel complete. Are you worried about packing on ten pounds? The next three tips will help mitigate those extra holiday pounds.

1.) Before Traveling, Google a nearby gym with a holiday schedule

Take the time to google the closest gym to where you are visiting. Look up their schedule and call if they don’t have a holiday schedule posted. Put in your calendar to go to the gym and make it a goal to attend at least once every three days. Morning time is best since you can spend the rest of your day with family and you won’t feel as guilty consuming a little more at big evening meals.

2.) Count every Alcoholic Beverage as a Dessert

When thinking about reaching for that extra piece of pie, take note of how many alcoholic beverages you’ve had. Those are liquid calories and count just as much as a cookie or brownie.

3.) Have your plane meals thought out before you get to the airport.

I tend to get very hungry on days that I go to the airport, and I normally can’t make it to the gym or do any physical activity because the day is taken up. There’s also a great deal of long periods of time where you can’t get food because of your flight or you’re rushing through the airport. It’s also hard to pick the food you want since you never know what restaurants or kiosks are around. Try to have a couple protein bars or a shake in case you can’t stop for food. If you can, take the time to choose a healthy meal. This applies to long road trips too.

Eliminate Love Handles

The One Vice You Need to Eliminate to Lose those Love Handles

 

In my early twenties, mainly through college and medical school I drank mainly as a social endeavor. I was the social representative for my class. Which meant I scheduled every party at the local bars. In the American culture it is pressed upon us from an early age to drink every weekend, every dinner and every social event. I didn’t necessarily enjoy it. I nurse(d) my drinks because, frankly, I don’t like drinking a lot of fluids.
I would end up feeling bloated, but hungry. And at the end of the day, I did not feel very good. As I entered the 2016 season for Crossfit I was fit enough to be considered for a team. One of my teammates DEMANDED that I quit drinking as we prepared for Regionals.
At first, I thought he was crazy. Then I tried it and it wasn’t very difficult to replace water for sugary alcoholic drinks. We had a bigger goal. Albeit might be temporary. I lost fat in a matter of months. While I was already, ‘pretty fit’ I felt my body become pristine instead of just great.
I don’t have anything against drinking. I still enjoy wine or a nice cocktail when celebrating but I don’t consume it religiously. My sleep improved, strength improved and frankly my abs improved.
If you want to start with a baby step in getting those six pack abs. Start with reducing alcohol intake. Reserve it for special occasions and see what happens.

The Ladies Revolution You Didn’t Know About

Women and Weights:  Body Image Revolution

‘Your shoulders are too broad,’ ‘You look like you’re on steroids.’ ‘You look like a man’ ‘You’re too bulky’

All my life I’ve received opinions on how I should I look.  This may have been a DIRECT message from my mother, family or friends or this could have been subliminally from media, movies and TV shows.  Regardless, EVERY woman struggles with this and from what I’ve seen,  the majority of women struggle with body issues their entire life.

The majority of messages tell women to be skinny.  However, in the last ten years, there has been a revolution, small but mighty, occurring throughout our culture.  Women becoming strong and capable has become a movement.  I would argue it is still not accepted by the mainstream media but it is happening.

Women like Brooke Ence, every female WWE fighter are making their mark on TV, movies, advertisements slowly but surely.  A subset of men are ‘into it,’ however we should not be looking to them or anyone for acceptance.  Sure there are movements about accepting EVERY body type, but I have to get behind the MUSCLAR body type because it means so much more.

It means you’re capable, it means you have discipline and it means you are in control.

3 Things I Wish I Knew About the Snatch

The Snatch is one of the most amazing exercises.  It is a full body exercise that requires years to perfect and it is one of the sexiest lifts a person can perform (not just because of the sexual annotation behind the name)

  1.  It requires FULL BODY FLEXIBILITY.  The amount of weight I can Snatch could have been exponentially increased in the first couple of years if I just worked on my flexibility!  Mind you, my flexibility is still a work in progress but like most things, I wish I started sooner. My ankles have been the biggest culprit and I stretch them out everyday, maybe twice if I know I’m Olympic Lifting or Squatting without Lifters. It also requires a great deal of shoulder, hip and wrist flexibility.
  2. It is EXTREMELY SATISFYING.  To catch over your bodyweight ABOVE your head and stand up with it is THE MOST empowering stance one can get, let alone 2.5x one’s weight.  If you saw the TED talk about standing in a ‘Power’ Stance (hands on one’s hips, looking upward like Superman) before going into meetings, negotiations, etc.. standing up with a Snatch is a million times more invigorating than a typical ‘Power’ stance. That’s why Snatches get so many likes on Instagram, because they are SEXY.
  3. It is one of the FEW EXERCISES that determine COMPLETE ATHLETICISM.  Everyone thinks you just need to be strong to do olympic lifting.  But strength is just a pre-requisite to joint stability, flexibility and SPEED required to get under the bar.

If you’ve never seen a snatch, check out my YouTube Channel:  https://youtu.be/AhbP3KDSK5I

There are many variations required to fix specific parts of the Snatch. So you may see ‘Hang Snatch’ ‘Power Snatch’ ‘Low Hang’.  They are all variations of the same exercise.