Cinnamon Coconut Covered Almonds.

One of my simple, favourite sweet treats for a high fat day.

1oz raw almonds (around 23)
1 tsp. virgin coconut oil melted
A dash of cinnamon, pinch of sea salt and sprinkle of powdered Stevia (use a cup-for-cup brand such as Stevia in the Raw)

Melt coconut oil in a small dish. Add in almonds and mix. Add powered ingredients ensuring almonds are coated. Throw in freezer for 15mins or until coconut oil has hardened. Break up the almonds with a spoon & enjoy! 

(223.5cal; F19.5g, C6g, P6g)

A VF Kitchen Secret: Cube Life

Nut butter, portion control & ice cube trays.

Did you know that 1 tablespoon is equal to 1 cube in a basic ice cube tray?

This discovery helped me with my day-to-day eating on the go and also has been a brilliant solution for nut or seed butter portion control 101 ... we all know how easy 1 tbsp can turn into 1/2 cup when eyeballed and measured with our stomachs. 

Here's what I do. Add a bit of melted coconut oil to my softened nut butter (for me it's sunflower seed).

Why?

Coconut oil is solid at room temp and condenses quickly at lower temperature, which allows for the cubes to be stored in the fridge as solid squares and not gooey messes. I like to add in some cinnamon and maple extract, then portion and stick in the the freezer for a bit to harden. Pop out the cubes and store in the fridge.

There you have it - an easy grab and go fat serving without the mess, fuss and no chance to deviate! 

Building Gratitude

The Gensis of #thankfulTuesday

For as long as I can remember I have have tried to take time everyday to reflect and find gratitude for the ‘little’ things in life. I'm not sure why, but on April 24th, 2014 I was compelled to share my thoughts with anyone who wanted to read them. 

Regardless of where I've been in the world, what deadlines I've had, or challenges ahead - I've taken time each Tuesday to share a message of personal gratitude. 

There have been days where I've had to choke back tears while writing my post, and others where I went over the social media word count by 1000. I will say this, spreading 'thanks' in either of these situations, has been and will be more powerful than I think I will ever fully understand. 

The feedback I have received over the years from these posts has been truly amazing, humbling, and special. When I first started my mini-mission, I would have never thought that one little post each week could have as much impact on my life, or the lives of others.  

So why do I do it? Why do I ask myself each Tuesday to share the answer to the question,  what are you thankful for? It's simple, really. 

Working, training, launching a personal training company, going to school full time, keeping relationships, being a present daughter and sister, and trying to figure out my health issues took it's toll on me. Midway through my undergrad degree, I fell into 'the grind'. I fell so deep and hard that I forgot to stop, breathe and be grateful for the world around me.

Both of my worlds - the academic and industry abyss - are fast-paced, dog-eat-dog kind of deals. I let them swallow me up. Spit me out. And swallow me up again a few more times, before I realized what I had done. In and among the deadlines, long hours and pursuit of perfectionism, I had surrendered any sense of gratitude for the very things that kept me grounded, the one that would help me grow, or just 'be.' 

Fast forward, and here we are. Over 3.5 years later, and gratitude has become my tool, teaching, blessing, coping strategy, motivator, method, and meditation.

It's my road map for this crazy beautiful journey I am on. It's the vessel for my passion, and my compass for when the seas around me get rough. It's the Polaroid I use to capture the brilliance unfolding around me, and the fuel for my purpose. 

You see, gratitude is so much more than a formula for personal success, self-help fad, or cult movement. When you are genuinely thankful, it is simply a way of life.

My wish for ... or maybe it's a actually a challenge to anyone reading this is to take time and reflect the simplest and most life-giving things around you.

Stop. Breathe. Be thankful.

Trust me. Life can and will get crazy sometimes. It is cruel and unforgiving, but there really is something to be said about time to ask yourself 5 words in order to wake up and see how beautiful life really is. Try it. Ask yourself, what are you thankful for? Don't think too hard about your answer, just throw down whatever the first thing that comes to mind is.

Today I am thankful for -

My loved ones, my body and health. I am thankful for me - and not just on Tuesdays but each and every day.

I am thankful for the gift of life, because no matter how wild it may be at times, this in itself is the most beautiful thing of all.

 

With love & gratitude, 

Victoria Felkar

 

P.s. If you dare to join me on this adventure, don't forget to hashtag #thankfulTuesday

 

 

How Muscle Became Bad.

Maybe being muscular isn’t all it’s built up to be.

 

You’ve been mugged.

Late one night under the cover of darkness you found yourself blindly cowering at hands of an attacker. You didn’t see the guy who attacked you but the police still call you in to view a line-up of possible suspects. From right to left your eyes scan over 4 men. Too old … too skinny … too short ... eureka! Standing in front of you is a complete monster with arms so big that they could burst through his shirt at any second. Even without ever laying eyes on your mugger, you don’t have a single doubt in your mind that this jacked-up animal is him. That’s the criminal who attacked you.

Although the above is simply a fictional story it represents a powerful and inescapable stereotype that for decades has haunted those with muscles.

Got muscle? Welcome to a lifetime of typecasting as a violent, mentally-ill, unintelligent, steroid using criminal – and if you’re a female then you can add the fact that somehow you’ve suddenly grown balls and have dreams of becoming a man.

But how can this be? We’ve all got muscle to some extend or another. So, why is a muscular body ridiculed, criminalized and condemned? Since when did muscle become bad?

To answer this we must to turn back the clock to the late-1800s. Here in the shadows of a time known for many great discoveries, is the start of a long and disturbing history that continues to promote what a criminal body looks like.   

Emerging as a product of Darwinism, the field of criminology started as a way to help society identify and get rid of anyone that they perceived to be ‘bad’. For example, in Italy a physician and psychiatrist named Cesare Lombroso began to make claims that all criminals had similar physical features. How could a crooked nose and anchor tattoo on the arm of a sailor automatically condemn a man as criminal?

Such ideas quickly found their way across the Atlantic and with America’s growing prison system more theories of what it meant to look like a criminal erupted. Here’s when muscle first got added into the mix.  

By the turn of the 19th century the notion of muscular Christianity gained popularity throughout the United States - which linked muscle building to improving morality. This movement inspired prison officials at New York’s Elmira Reformatory to use physical activity and sport as a way to fight the physical decay that had become associated with criminality. That’s right, being muscular was thought to make a man less criminal.

The support for men to build muscular bodies continued into the turn of the 20th century. A growing sport movement was taking Western nations by storm and event such as the first modern Olympics of 1896 helped to show the world what being physical fit could do for a man’s body and mind. Clear boundaries of how much muscle was socially tolerable was set by the same field that has brought to us the science of body composition testing – the field of anthropometry.

For the average man some muscle and strength was desired … but if you went too far … got too big and too strong then you were literally forced to run off and join the circus. As traveling performers, strongmen and women helped to build popular opinion of the muscular body – often one of curiosity and mystery. Muscle had now been made into another sideshow act of the Freak show.                                   

The arrival of Prussian strongman and founder of bodybuilding, Eugen Sandow to the United States further developed public interest in a heavily muscled physique. Sandow’s vaudeville acts were closely followed by the launch of Bernarr MacFadden Physical Culture magazine in 1899. Headed by the motto “Weakness is a crimedon't be a criminal!” the magazine revealed to the average man all the fitness and diet strategies needed to develop a mainstream muscular physique.

And so another element is added into the muscular myth. Too much muscle will turn you into a one-man circus freak show … but too little muscle makes you a criminal.

Even after the horrific Nazi eugenics movement defined the muscular male body as god-like there was little judgement against muscle within popular culture – that was until in the 1950’s the father of somatotyping, William Sheldon, suddenly defined muscle as bad.

Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, his work was a melting pot of pseudo-science, power struggles and dirty money. To say it nicely, Sheldon was a bit of a crock – and unfortunately a very resilient one.

Here’s what Sheldon preached. All male bodies can fit into 3 basic body types – endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph - an idea that many of us in the fitness industry know well.

BUT here’s something most don’t know about somatotyping theory. Sheldon specifically promoted that men with muscular mesomorphic bodies are more prone to criminal activity, violence and aggressive acts.  

Exploring the merits of body typing theory is beyond the scope of this article. It’s one that we can have another day, but regardless of if you agree with the disillusion of somatotyping or not there is one very important take away message here.

Sheldon’s work and those who followed in his theoretical footprints have created an incredibly stigmatizing message about the muscular body:

Muscularity = Deviance.

Muscularity = Aggression.

Deviance + Aggression = Criminality.

It would be easy for me to end the story there but unfortunately there is a lot more to this dangerous equation. And so we continue in the 1970s. Thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger something really interesting happen that would for better or worse rebuilt muscles reputation.

In bodybuilding circles Arnold and Pumping Iron have been regarded for bringing bodybuilding into the mainstream but they did much more than just that – they helped to change what it meant to look like a man… muscles! Suddenly muscle became the standard for American manhood. That’s right muscularity = masculinity.

Size now mattered when it came to muscle, and it was nowhere more apparent than in the media. By the early 1980s the hard-bodied action star dominated the silver screen and made a place for heavily-muscled bodies within popular culture. Pair this with an enormous in spike in films suddenly showing jacked-up inmates pumping iron in the pen and we can start to see a highly visible - yet completely false - representation of exactly what Sheldon’s research stated… the big bad bodies of muscular criminals.  

Back behind the gates of academia, researchers continued to pump-out studies focusing on how muscularity was responsible for criminal behaviour. As if being muscular wasn’t bad enough, during the early 90s researchers had started to explore the relationship of testosterone to criminal behaviour. One study went as far to state a “well-established relationship” between testosterone’s effects on the brain and body build – but get this. The researchers state that testosterone only enhances upper body muscle. Unfortunately, this particular study became the media’s go-to source to try to explain everyday acts of criminal behaviour.

Fast forward to today. Where does having a muscular physique get you in 2015? For both men and women this remains a conversation full of complex contradictions.

While there continues to be an open disrespect for bodybuilding and the culture of muscle it represents, there is also a sense of admiration and respect for those who have average or “good” levels of muscularity.

Rigid social norms require men to have some muscle in order to be considered masculine, and it is necessary for female and male athletes to have heightened levels of musculature in order to achieve sporting excellence.

Furthermore, when female muscle serves a functional purpose such as when a Xfit athlete flings her body over a chin up bar in a convulsing motion society seems to be a-ok with her shredded six-pack but when this same body is posed on stage in front double bicep wearing a sparkly bikini her body suddenly becomes grotesque and “manly.”

Don’t forget about the absolutely absurd pathologization of muscle as a mental illness, such as Dr. Harrison Pope’s psychological diagnosis of “muscle dysmorphia” or bigeroxia. Pope and his colleagues have such strong ideas on what is are ‘appropriate’ levels of muscle and the wrongful desire to work out that they have created a mathematical formula (the Fat Free Mass Index) to determine the level of musculature a person can achieve without anabolic steroid use. How’s that for science!

And if it wasn’t complex enough, the condemnation of muscle has morphed into an all-out war against performance enhancing agents and the ridiculous automatic vilification of anabolic steroids and those who use them. Regardless of their rich and vast cultural history, the discussion of anabolic steroids revolves around a combination of legal, ethical and medical arguments that steroid use is unfair, unethical, medically dangerous but above all criminal.

Furthermore, most popular discourse around anabolic steroid use pertains to only one user, and one user alone – the muscular male. This is nowhere more clearly exemplified than in Sweden’s recent law changes which now allow police officers to search, arrest, and conduct mandatory drug testing based “anabolic steroids physical characteristics” such as “puffy and bloated body” and “swaying walk.”

How do the police get away with blatant acts of stereotyping in the 21st century? It’s a little something the legal system calls “probable cause” based on a person’s physical appearance. Like skin color or ethnic background, muscularity should not provide the grounds for violating someone’s basic human rights and personal privacy.

Let’s get something straight here.

Muscle itself is neutral in biology.

It is neither male or female – nor is it wicked, immoral or evil. Having varying degrees of muscularity does not produce more or less intelligence, aggression, mental illness or criminal behaviour.

In its most pure form, muscle is simply a grouping of muscle fiber cells surrounded by some connective tissue - yet, overtime society has and continues to constructed particular meanings and definitions of what it means to be muscular ... we have made muscle bad.

Simply put, being muscular isn’t all that it is built-up to be.

 

 

Originally Published: Feature, Muscle Insider Magazine, 24: Aug/Sept 2015

 

 

Clearing Up Clenbuterol

A Dopers Delight or Misused Stimulant?

Following the Olympics in 1992, a new breed of stimulant gained global recognition. Hailed as the “dopers delight”, this anti-asthma medication was special. Not only could it be used as a stimulant but many believed it could also enhance muscle growth. Only 4 years earlier, steroid guru Dan Duchaine introduced the bodybuilding world to this same drug - which to this day remains one of our sports most misunderstood and misused compounds: Clenbuterol Hydrochloride.

Targeting specific receptor sites in the body’s sympathetic nervous system (SNS), Clen is a selective beta-2 sympathomimetic… wait, a what?

A car backfires and subconsciously you jump off your couch - this is an automatic physiological response initiated by our SNS in response to a perceived threat. Known as fight-or-flight, this response is the result of the release of a hormone called norepinephrine (NE). To work, NE has to bind and activate a specific receptor in your body called a beta-2 receptor. Think of this like a lock and key. Only one key (NE) can both fit (bind) and unlock (activate) one lock (beta-2 receptor).

This is where Clen comes in. Clen acts as a “fake” key that can unlock only some beta-2 receptors (why it’s called “selective”).  

Although its labeled use is an anti-asthma medication, Clen is able to unlock fat and muscle tissue cells throughout the body. Like other beta-2 agonists, clen is a “thermogenic” = Clen-sweats. This is caused by an increase in body temperature and metabolic rate, as well as its ability to directly target fat cell breakdown of triglycerides to free fatty acids is what makes Clen such as popular “fat loss” drug.

Its anabolic capabilities however are still up for debate. Although since the early 90s bros have been using clen as a part of post-cycle therapy or as an alternative to steroids to get “lean-gains”, there remains no human research (animal studies only) that provide evidence to support an increase in lean muscle mass as a result of clen. Regardless, Clen has become a stable drug for many athletes both inside and out of bodybuilding. While Clen-shreds may sound enticing, they certainly don’t come without controversy and concern. It doesn’t matter how Clen gets into your body – inhaled, pill or liquid form, or injected, remember this: Clen is dangerous.

Keep in mind that clen is different than other beta-2 agonists or stimulants based off: specificity, potency, and duration of effect. This makes for steady, strong blood levels of Clen, which often are easy to achieve with just a single or twice-daily dose (thanks to its 35-hour half-life). After a few weeks (usually 4-6 weeks) the body’s beta-2 receptors slowly stop responding due to a process called “down regulation” … simply put, they stop responding and require rest (aka. stop the drug).

However, like other performance enhancers, Clen is great at turning users into complete idiots by tempting them with magical everlasting results. What follows is the “more is better, longer is better” complex.       

From developing a psychological dependency based off ill-informed perceptions that Clen can be used long term, to the fact that users gauge the effectiveness of the drug based off the presence initial side effects such as shaky hands, insomnia, sweating and nausea – it appears that we have a growing Clenhead epidemic on our hands.  

Yes, initial side effects should dissipate after a few days and this does NOT mean that the drug has stopped working, so please stop boosting the dose to supersonic levels and somehow believe that stacking it with other stimulants will results in “better results” and not a cardiac arrest. Wake up and education yourself on drug dependency and the long term effects of Clen that happen even after beta-2 receptors stop “responding.”

Not only that, due to its strength, long half-life, and perceived effectiveness, there is such thing as Clen toxicity – which is why in Canada it’s not available for human use even with a prescription, and within veterinary practice has dramatically declined over the past few years.

Clen has never been made available for human or animal use in the US, and within sport clen it is completely banned regardless of the fact that some countries around the world (Bulgaria, Russia and China) continuing to prescribe it as a therapeutic drug. (… cough cough, the IOC wonders why there has been an increase of athletes with “asthma”).

Since the mid-90’s, it’s even illegal to use Clen to bulk-up livestock. Not only were the animals questionable, but those who ate Clen’d meat suffered symptoms of Clen overdose, such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Just an FYI to athletes who travel - be mindful that not all countries have banned its use in livestock. Anti-doping agencies have reported a number of cases where athletes tested positive for Clen after eating contaminated meat … or at least that’s what the athlete told officials after being caught Clen-handed.

Regardless of the fact that Clen is pretty much illegal for ALL consumption, it continues to be widely available on the black market and used for performance enhancement. From the consumption of cocaine in 18th century, amphetamine use during cold-war and now to today’s Clenheads – even though athletes have been using stimulants for centuries it doesn’t make it safe or smart. 

 

Originally Published: Insider Controversy, Muscle Insider Magazine, 29: June/July 2016

 

Post-Prep Health Influencers

Pro cards don't grow on trees.

We all don't have what it takes to make it to the Olympia.

Some people will never have abs no matter how "clean" they eat.

The higher you climb - or the more you "grind" during a prep - often results in a harder post-comp crash.

These may not seem like complicated ideas, but time and time again I find these are some of the biggest culprits in why health takes a nose-dive post show.

While sipping my coffee this morning, I decided to hop back on the VF video train and recap some introductory points that I spoke to at the Van Pro Show.

From the mentality people have about competing, to the numerous internal and external variables that are manipulated to get to the stage - the ways that we look, think and talk about competing have an absolutely enormous but often understated effect on the health of an athlete.

 

Protein YamOatie Waffles

Wet Ingredients:
20oz yams, cooked & mashed
3 tbsp Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
2.5 tbsp All-Natural Egg Replacer pre-mixed with 5 tbsp cold water
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (alcohol-free)
2 tsp Pure Maple Extract

Dry Ingredients:
14 scoops @truenutrition Vanilla Birthday Cake Cold-Filtration Whey Isolate or a Dairy Free protein option
1.75 cup Gluten Free Oat Bran (blended into flour - I use a coffee grinder) 
1 tsp baking powder + 1 tsp baking soda
Dash of sea salt
1.5 tbsp cinnamon
3 packages of Pure Via Stevia

Using a food processor or mixer pre-blend the yams to make sure they are lump-free. Add in rest of "wet" ingredients and blend. Add in "dry" ingredients and blend until just mixed (to reduce making bubbles!). Should be a lava-like consistency. 

Once waffle iron is pre-heated (I use setting 3 on mine - not too hot) spray with coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray. Pour 1/2 cup of batter into iron and cook until done.

Makes x11 classic-sized waffles.


Each full waffle = 39g PRO / 32g CHO / 7g FAT (347 calories)

 

Resources on Women & Steroids

QA in 8:

Resources that Discuss Women & Steroids

In the first Q&A in 8, I try to start a much bigger conversation on women and anabolic steroids, specifically highlighting a question about potential resources.

 

The Bigger Prep Picture

 

VF Uncensored

The bigger prep picture
 

In this video I discuss a few key, yet often overlooked elements of contest prep. By asking some tough questions, I try to get critical in order to educate about the bigger prep picture.

My goal with VF Uncensored is to host a longer, uncensored conversation, on various topics that are taboo, lack information and scholarship, or simply have never been discussed before.

Muscle Minds: Sex, Gender & Anabolics

Advices Radio: Muscle Minds with Dr. Scott Stevenson and Scott McNally #19

 

I'm back with my good friend Dr Scott Stevenson, and his partner in podcast crime Scott McNally, on Muscle Minds to answer listeners questions and discusses gender issues and how they have impacted female anabolic steroid use

 

EPISODE link:

https://www.advicesradio.com/track/episode-19-3

 

ITUNES: 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/advices-radio/id1104299645?mt=2

 

Stitcher: 

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/scott-mcnally/advices-radio/e/51707031

 

 

Learn more about Advices Radio:
www.advicesradio.com
FB: @advices.radio
YOUTUBE: Advices Radio

 

 

Muscle Minds: FemChem

Advices Radio: Muscle Minds with Dr. Scott Stevenson and Scott McNally #17

 

I joined my good friend Dr Scott Stevenson, and his partner in podcast crime Scott McNally, on Muscle Minds to help dispel myths and inform our community about hormones as they relate to females.

 

EPISODE link:

https://www.advicesradio.com/track/episode-17-3

 

ITUNES: 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/advices-radio/id1104299645?mt=2

 

Stitcher: 

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/scott-mcnally/advices-radio/e/51397151

 

 

Learn more about Advices Radio:
www.advicesradio.com
FB: @advices.radio
YOUTUBE: Advices RAdio

 

 

Become Unf*ckwithable: Bodybuilding's Elephants

Become Unf*ckwithable with Mindy Harley #9

Discussing the Elephants in The Bodybuilding Industry

There's a lot of misinformation in the ever evolving world of bodybuilding. From the delicate hormones of women and gender specific training to the so-called "safer than steroids" SARMs", Mindy and I dicuss how it's become increasingly harder to find good solid research in a sea of one sided forums and outdated articles.

 

PODOMATIC:

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/becomingunfuckwithable/episodes/2017-09-05T12_49_37-07_00

 

 

Learn more about Mindy Harley:
http://www.mindyharley.com/
https://socialempireonline.com/
IG: @mindyharleyofficial
FB: @mindyrocksolidharley

 

 

 

#iamworthit: What is PCOS

#iamworthit with Abbey Orr of First Base Fitness #009

What is PCOS?

I joined Abbey Orr of First Base Fitness to about the history of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and how there is much more research needed in this area. No two people have the same symptoms. We bust through the myths around PCOS, discuss ways in which you can help your self by being your own researcher, tips on nutrition and exercise to give you the best chance to reduce inflammation. As Abbey said, this discussion is helpful to all women regardless of whether you have PCOS or not. 

 

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/009-victoria-felkar-what-is-pcos/id1233608388?i=1000390145928&mt=2

LISTEN NOTES:

https://www.listennotes.com/iamworthit-a-women-s-educational-platform-to-build-a-healthier-body-inside-and-out/episodes/16800109/009-victoria-felkar-what-is-pcos/

 

Learn more about Abbey Orr & First Base Fitness: 
www.firstbasefitness.com.au
IG: @firstbasefitness
FB: @firstbasefitness

EMBody Radio: Females & Androgens

EMBody Radio with Emily Duncan #11

PART 2: Female Athletes and Androgenic Drugs

Part 2 of the interview I did with the wonderful Emily Duncan of EMBody Radio. In the second half of the podcast, we chatted about the pink jacked elephant of the fitness industry - women and anabolic steroids, the implications of AAS on female athletes, if steroids can be taken safely, and some of the more intricate workings around females and anabolic drugs. 

 

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/embody-radio/id1245411599?mt=2

 

SOUNDCLOUD:

https://soundcloud.com/user-250742329

 

Learn more about Emily Duncan
www.emilyduncanfitness.com
IG: @em_dunc
FB: @emilyduncanfitness
 

EMBody Radio: PCOS

EMBody Radio with Emily Duncan #10

Part 1: PCOS History, Causes, Symptoms and Management

Super excited to share part 1 of the podcast I did with Em Duncan of #embodyradio on PCOS. In this episode, we chatted all things PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), why it's such a mystery in the medical community, the history of PCOS, causes, symptoms, and strategies for PCOS management.  

 

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/ep-05-pcos-history-causes-symptoms-management-interview/id1245411599?i=1000390308576&mt=2
 

SOUNDCLOUD:

https://soundcloud.com/user-250742329/ep-05-pcos-history-causes-symptoms-management-interview-with-victoria-felkar

 

Learn more about Emily Duncan
www.emilyduncanfitness.com
IG: @em_dunc
FB: @emilyduncanfitness
 

 

Elite Muscle Radio: PCOS

Elite Muscle Radio with Phil Graham #67

GETTING IN SHAPE WITH PCOS

Super excited to share with you the latest podcast that I had the honor of being apart of! Thanks to Phil Graham for letting me chat about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) on Elite Muscle Radio.

As someone who has PCOS, a consultant working within the industry with countless women who have hormonal imbalances of all types, and as a researcher working to better understand androgens and the female body, this is a topic near and dear to my heart.

Going into this podcast, I really wanted to host a honest conversation about PCOS. Simply put, this syndrome is dynamic, it's complex, and even within the 21st century it is still virtually 'unknown.' As a result, PCOS has become a blanket term - one without medical consensus, or a clear definition, symptoms and treatment protocols. With that being said, by talking about it openly through a multi-disciplinary perspective, my goal is to better understand the elements that make up PCOS - and more importantly, reduce the stigma and misconceptions that surround them.


Itunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/67-getting-in-shape-with-pcos-with-victoria-felkar/id771021324?i=1000383283644&mt=2

Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/elitemuscleradio/67-getting-in-shape-with-pcos

 

Learn more about Phil Graham:
www.phil-graham.com
www.diabeticmuscleandfitness.com
IG: @philgraham01
FB: @philgrahamfitness

 

More than a body.

For over 6 years, I struggled with how to be more than a body, while working in the industry that builds them.

It prevented me from getting information out into the world, and stopped me from being able to do good. Unfortunately, I allowed the social norms that I fight so hard within my work to break me, crippling the ability to engage, advocate, and create positive action through education. But, not anymore.

I'm no longer going to hide behind my articles, stay locked in lecture halls or in the shadows of backstage. Slowly but surely, I’m building the foundation needed to share my ideas, knowledge, research and passions. In the age of personal branding, social media and visual culture, this meant that I had to get in front of a camera. So, I did it my way.

Thanks to Rommel Ramirez, the images and experience was better than I could have ever hoped for. 

 

No tan, no prep, no diet or protocol were needed. I did my own make-up as I do on most mornings and attempted to conceal my bad skin. My hair was dirty and roots were showing. I was awkward, had no idea how to pose, and couldn’t wait to be home, in my pajamas and writing. But that's all exactly how it should have been, because that's who I am

How can I be more than a body, while being apart of the industry that builds them? For better or worse, followers lost or gained, challenges faced and questions asked, I will be me.

 

With love & gratitude,

Victoria Felkar


p.s. Don’t let the 15lb dumbbells fool you. Strength isn’t always measured by numbers. 

 

Photos by Rommel Ramirez
http://ramirezcreative.com/
IG: @ramirez.creative.photography
FB: @ramirezcreative26

 

 

Elite Muscle Radio: Girls on Steroids

Elite Muscle Radio with Phil Graham #64

GIRLS ON STEROIDS? The Growing Use of Performance Enhancing Drugs in Female Fitness

15937119_10154828923561774_4865124000833329749_o.jpg

There's a first time for everything... even recording a podcast! I'm so grateful to Phil Graham for having me on Elite Muscle Radio. We chatted all things #femchem - the growing use of anabolics in female gym goers, implications, how use has changed over time, and more. This is a massively complicated and controversial topic - and one that for the most part, has been completely ignored or overly simplified. Much needed attention, discussion and education can happen with opportunities such as this, so thanks again Phil for having me on your show! 

Itunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/64-girls-on-steroids-growing-use-performance-enhancing/id771021324?i=1000379699788&mt=2

 

Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/elitemuscleradio/bikini-chicks-on-steroids

 

Learn more about Phil Graham:
www.phil-graham.com
www.diabeticmuscleandfitness.com
IG: @philgraham01
FB: @philgrahamfitness

Booty for Thought

Time to dish out some#bootyforthought with some of MY fundamentals for how I train hams and glutes.

Key being these are my PERSONAL philosophies and practices that have been developed over time from both experience and knowledge. I've spent a lot of time in the trenches and in lecture halls, and have had the ability to work with some amazing mentors over the years. The way that I program, and thus my training is tailored for MY body, MY goals and MY health.

Lower body training has always been my favourite, as nothing is as comforting as a good hard leg workout. Seriously my mantra used to be "when life gives you lemons, train legs." And so I did, trying old school bodybuilding plans and powerlifting phases, along with just about every program that made theoretical and logical sense to me. Over the years I've come to see a good workout like a well written story - there is a beginning, a middle (with a 'climax' at some point) that then should flow into the end. These 3 elements are always there, they are a constant but how each are programmed depends on many different variables.

There could be a slow start with a lot of activation exercises and warm-up sets, maybe the climax occurs early in the middle with an epic set of pyramid squats or a few pre-fatigue sets, and then to end there could be a grand finale or "finisher" that will leave a lasting impression. Just like in a good story there are different characters or key concepts that are incorporated throughout the workout - such as the way a set is executed (ie. intensity, timing, tension, weight, ROM) or the order that the exercises are done (ie. exercise sequencing or pairing based off a specific goal).

Make no mistake, these are NOT random, there is always intention and rationale for where they are used, how they are used and why they are used.