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Friday, November 21, 2014

Last Week Out!!!!


Happy Friday Everyone!!!!! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog to see how my contest prep journey is coming along!!
This week has been pretty good considering that I tweaked my nutrition yet again and cycled all the complex carbs out... still have lots of energy for workouts though... This whole experience has been totally different than the other times i trained for figure comps... It's been conclusive in the sense of tieing all the loose ends with my nutrition/training trail and error of the past almost 10 years... I have finally found the formula that works for my body in terms of food, cardio and weights... Thanks to the fact that I work full time in the gym I was able to get in all the necessary weight training and cardio sessions and I finally figured out a good, fast and easy meal prepping system for home which takes under 30 minutes to get days and days worth of food prepared... Also found a way to make food taste GREAT with less salt and added crap!!! I have to say though this experience would have sucked and been incomplete without the support of my clients, training partner, posing coach/suit designer and family who understand what it is that I'm trying to accomplish and have been motivating and encouraging me from the moment I decided to do this show!
Well, took some progress pics this morning while prepping my tilapia and vegetables lol...decided to post them on here! Last thing left to do is drop ALLLLL the water weight and continue to practice posing :)))))
For Anybody in the Toronto area that's interested in coming to watch the show please check out the following link: Nov.29 GNC OPA Gala Championships and 40th Anniversary








Saturday, November 8, 2014

Show Date Change to November 29 in TORONTO!!!

Hi Everybody!!! thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to lately!!! 
So as usual, I CHANGED MY MIND!!! For the better though... my workout buddy and I have decided to compete at the Toronto OPA show November 29 instead of travelling all the way to London for the 22nd... This also gives us an extra week of preparation which helps relieve stress and gives me a chance for more experimenting with my training and nutrition!! I had been training with my friend Alicia for the past little while but now I am re-doing my upper body program as I need to keep muscle in my shoulders, back, arms pecs and shred my abs even more! She is doing bikini so as far as lower body training is concerned we can still hit legs/glutes together since we have the same goal in mind:) 
All i have left to do at this point is shed water, tighten my legs especially glutes and hams; I'm hoping to showcase my personal best in terms of lower body this time around! I've been working hard at shaping my legs and lifting my glutes etc... Excited to see what the final product will look like ;) as far as cardio I'm at 2 sessions a day about 30-60 minutes each depending on how much energy I have and what my schedule at work permits... I am working a pretty heavy schedule at the gym seeing anywhere from 7-9 clients a day so squeezing in extra cardio is a challenge but needless to say it somehow always gets done !!
I'm pretty much just listening to my body and taking each day at a time pushing as much as I can! My diet has dramatically changed in the past week or so... I'm doing a mini carb cycling plan which is pretty much 2 low carb meals followed by a moderate to higher carb meal depending on activity level and how my body looks/how I feel!! I am pretty much on my own now in terms of the final weeks of prep with some help from a few people that I trust, so I can finally say I'm walking the walk and the proof is in the pudding :) 
I will be posting more updates as the show date gets closer! To all of you in Toronto check out the OPA website www.bao.on.ca for more info on the November 29th event if you're interested in coming to watch!!!!! :D

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Last Minute Decision to Compete in London OPA Show November 22 !!!

Hey Guys!!! 
Thanks for stopping by my blog to check my latest fitness updates!!!!!
As you all probably know by reading my previous journal entries, I am ALWAYS up to something with nutrition and training; constant trial and error and experimenting with what works for myself and for my clients as well... 
That being said, I have managed to find a nutrition approach that works year round to stay conditioned and close to contest shape without killing my social life and my entertainment as far as food and leisure are concerned ;) 
I must say I DID NOT PLAN TO COMPETE THIS YEAR.. BUT my friend/workout buddy Alicia was prepping for the November 22nd OPA show and her energy and drive MAJORLY rubbed off on me.. I started itching for more intensity in my workouts and more of a burn so we started training together so i figured "what the F&CK..WHO CARES!!?! let me just get shredded and hit the stage again:)!!!" We have an amazing coach, Nick UKBFF heavyweight 2013: Wolfpersonaltraining@Yahoo.com.au, who sends us our weekly torture workouts and they are working wonders although it feels sometimes like I'm on the verge of puking it pays off! I am hoping to bring my best physique yet to the stage Nov. 22nd! I'm doing my own nutrition programs so along with killer workouts this journey is one hell of a ride!!!
:))))))))))))))))))))))

Stay tuned to my blog for my latest progress updates as Alicia and I get ready to rock the stage in London Nov 22 !!! We just went to get measured for our suits and to practice posing today.. no days off till end of November! :DDD

Also, side note for anyone in the Etobicoke area looking for Personal training/Nutrition/Fitness Coaching you can contact us at:
Alex.Liska@goodlifefitness.com , Alicia.Kowalski@goodlifefitness.com and for Contest Prepping contact: Wolfpersonaltraining@Yahoo.com.au












Saturday, June 7, 2014

As the summer months approach, progress is consistent!

Hi guys!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog, it's been a while since I've posted on here but between work, training, eating and personal life balance I haven't had the much needed time to just relax and post an update! 
Anyhow, training has been going great and as I mentioned before I'd been experimenting with fasting, both intermittent fasting as well as 24hour fasts. I've been doing even more experiments with my nutrition now that we are going into summer time and our metabolisms and physiological adaptations slightly change. I am still doing at least 1 24hour fast each week, a few 14-20 hour regular IF style fasts and going into 12-24 hour fed states meaning I eat frequently on these days and "watch what I eat" a bit more closely. Don't wanna go TOO into detail and cause any brain fog for anyone reading this but the main thing that changes in the spring/summertime for me is I eat a LOT less protein and smaller portions for the most part and my cardio tends to increase when I'm outdoors. I have, as of recently also tried cutting out meat and chicken and focusing on fish and plant based proteins to give my digestive system a break. A few of my clients tried the same protocol and we have found success with this approach!! So far so good though I am happy with the results both my clients and I are seeing from these nutrition tweaks. No strict dieting, slight increase in cardio (max one hour a day when the weather is nice) and 4-5days of weights a week (under 60min sessions) I've managed to maintain bodyfat % of 12-14% steadily for the last while and I don't feel starved or afraid of a "rebound/yo-yo effect" like I used to on other fitness/nutrition approaches! The most important thing for me is that I AM NOT DIETING AND NEITHER ARE ANY OF MY CLIENTS but we are all seeing steady positive changes and are embarked on a lifestyle transformation journey:)

I will continue to update and post more of my findings on nutrition as summer approaches!

As promised on my FB page here is the workout that I did: 
*warmup: 5km Run under 25min*
3 sets of 10-15reps of each exercise circuit style:
Circuit #1:
-25-25lb plate weighted pushups
-bosu plate front squats (tilting bosu so weight is on my toes)
-resistance band side lat raises 
-resistance band bicep curls

Circuit #2:
-front plate raises standing on bosu ball with one leg
-one legged squat on bosu 5reps each side
-lying leg raises
-bosu toe touches x bosu knee to elbow planks



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Primed for a 36hour Fast!!

Hello!!!

So yesterday I was SUPER hungry... I have been following some type of Intermittent Fasting regimen that I tweak on a weekly basis to fit my schedule for the week and keep me on track, goal wise and keep my energy levels high!! :) Yesterday though I felt EMPTY, like i needed to re-fuel... I ended up having almost a whole jar of natural peanut butter and nuts around 10pm and it totally hit the spot! :))))  
On Tuesdays I usually start work early, this morning my first client was at 6am so I was up at 5... I decided to venture into a lengthy fast. Instead of breaking my fast and starting to eat at 12-2pm I decided to see how far I could push beyond my mental limits. It's now close to the 24hour mark with no food and just water and I'm going to see if I can push just past 36hours which means no eating till tomorrow anywhere between 11-4pm(whichever time I decide to start eating again).
I know this may sound extreme to the average person but I did not get to this point overnight! I primed my body through my initial phase of nutrition, then continued to make the necessary changes in phase 2 so that my body would be primed to burn fat under extreme circumstances! Since I've started incorporating fasting into my lifestyle my strength levels and mental focus have gone up and my body fat has gone down :D 

My last workouts were: Back (heavy), Legs (heavy plus conditioning) and Chest (giant sets) and my last meal was a super alkaline shake and a jar of peanut butter ;) Already did "fasted cardio" earlier today lol and I plan to do another workout before I eat tomorrow!!! In terms of fluids I've been drinking water just to stay hydrated (although I did start with a dry fast for 10hours - I'll explain more in a later posting). I had 2 "bullet-proof" coffees (black coffee w/ pinch of coconut oil) and my own concoction of super alkalized water!!!!

I will keep you all posted on how this week ends and how long this fast lasts so stay tuned:)


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Leg Shaper Workout!!!

***Train till the sweat burns your eyes and your Heart Explodes with Passion*** 

Hey there, thanks for stopping by ;) 

Here's my Leg Workout for Today! I did this workout on a shot of wheat grass & was practically fasted... My goal is to retain muscle but re-shape it and get shredded by summer!!! 

Warmup: 40min cardio (20min run at 6.3-7.0mph & 10min incline speedwalk 7-15% incline and 4.0mph & 15min stepmill)
All of the following Exercises were performed in tri-sets/circuit fashion:
-4sets Each:  Barbell Squats (135lbs) 15reps x Pop squats 15reps x Side late raises (12reps)
-4sets Each: Reverse Barbell Stepups (135lbs) 12reps x Alternating Jump Lunges 20reps x Rear delt flyes
(12 reps)
-3sets Each: Romanian Deadlifts (135lbs) 15reps x 40 bench jumps x 15 reps pop-squats holding 25lb plate
-200 reps Walking Lunges one set
-3 sets 15 reps Plie Squat with 50-60lb DB
The plan was to do another 20min of spinning but I had some errands to run. I will probably go for a run later... Enjoy the workout and let me know if you try it!!!! 

xo,















Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fasting to Speed Up Fat-Loss

Hi there!!!! 
Just wanted to post a quick update as promised; I have been super busy with work and my own training and of course nutrition experiments!! I like to trial run everything on myself before suggesting to my clients that they should try a new approach with nutrition. For example, I have started incorporating a weekly or bi-weekly 24hour fast to create a simple caloric deficit and enable me to eat more on my training days! 
I will typically have my last meal, which is HIGH in fat and moderate in protein/carbs at around 3-5pm and not eat until the next day at 3-5pm. The only things I will consume are a black coffee, plain herbal tea and tons of water, especially if i plan to workout during the fast!

I have tried 24hour fasts and Intermittent Fasting (waiting 14-16hours to eat from the time of my last meal to my first meal the next day) and I've come to the conclusion that your body MUST be primed before fasting. What I mean by this is, your body must recognize FAT as its primary fuel source so that when you're in the "fasted state" you continue to burn fat rather than breaking down muscle for energy! 
Another key factor is having an alkaline PH versus acidic; if you're in an acidic state you are more prone to break down muscle and become catabolic during your fast therefore it is not as effective! There are many foods that contribute to healthy PH balance; I have found that by eliminating certain acidic foods from my daily eating plan and throwing in a high fat meal here and there, my fasts are SUPER effective; I'm dropping bodyfat a lot faster and I feel a huge improvement in my circulation and also in sleep quality! 

Fasting gives your digestive system a HUGE break, therefore allowing for increased blood-flow to stubborn areas which when working out, translates into more fatty acids being released into your bloodstream for energy!!!
My clients have also gone through the phase1 nutrition I set up (focus being on whole/alkaline foods), followed by a few cycled in "fat-loads" which primed their bodies to be able to go into a 24-hour fast without disrupting lean muscle mass maintenance/gain or healthy hormone balance. 
I would not recommend trying a 24hour fast right away, perhaps start by delaying breakfast by a few hours or having an earlier dinner to allow for a longer digestion window overnight!!! As I mentioned before I have tried fasting several times in the past and all attempts were unsuccessful until now, because my body had not been primed through the initial phases of nutrition geared to healthy hormone balance & going from a catabolic state to an anabolic, alkaline state!
Everyday for me is a new learning experience and there is never a day where I don't learn something new about the body's responses to new diet tricks or training methods:)
Stay tuned for more updates as the extreme training & nutrition journey continues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

xo,

Alex L.:)



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Day At-Home Workout

So, as all of you living in Toronto or the GTA probably know, today was a SNOW DAY!!! Not the greatest news for me since I ACTUALLY LOVE MY JOB and had to reschedule all my clients :(
Either way, i HAD to workout and I'm lucky enough to have a treadmill in my room so here is what I did to destroy myself at-home, with no gym access:)


CARDIO (Treadmill): 
-Started with a 1-mile run in about 7 minutes
-Followed by 5 minutes incline walk at 5-7% and 4.2-4.4mph
-Next 10minutes: 30seconds walk 30 second 9-9.5mph sprint
-3min of walking lunges on the treadmill on an incline of 5% and 1.7mph speed
-Followed by another 1.5 mile run at 6.5-7.5mph (took a few 1min walk breaks at 4mph) on a 2% incline plus cooldown for 5min
After this I went upstairs and ate!!! Just a few small snacks and checked a few e-mails/talked on the phone:)


WORKOUT PART 2 (approx 3-4hours later):
-Started with a 1.5mile run (1st mile at a speed of 7.5-9mph, last 1/2mile at 7.2mph on a 2%incline)
-Incline walk at 10% and 3.5mph (hands free, pushing through my heels)
-7min of sprints: 30sec walk and 45 sec sprints 9-10mph plus cooldown
-5 sets of 20 Jump Squats (Wide/close stance and side to side) and 5 sets 30-40 side lat raises/rear delt DB flyes)

So, as you can see, it's not that hard to put together an at-home workout when there is no gym access... the treadmill workout I sometimes substitute for skipping rope or power-walking outside and running however due to the severe weather conditions I was stuck indoors today :) 







Sunday, January 26, 2014

5 Simple Tips to Help Keep you Motivated on Your Fitness & Nutrition Journey!

Hey guys, thanks for stopping by my blog! :) I have been super busy with work and life itself!
The gym is extremely busy around this time of year so my hands have been full at work, between training clients, putting together programs and managing my own training/cardio/eating schedule LOL...

The good thing about my line of work is that it's very hands on and I get to help guide people in the right direction when it comes to their fitness and nutrition. This gives me an opportunity to see what approaches work best when a person is trying to lose weight and keep it off for good! There are a LOT of quick fixes and fad diets out there that deliver short term results but that are very hard to maintain and can leave an "initially" motivated person feeling defeated towards the end when they start to yo-yo and regain the weight that they worked so hard to lose!

I won't go into TOO much detail, so let me fast forward and give you guys 5 simple fail-proof tips to losing fat and keeping it off for good:

1) EAT!! Focus on eating at least 5 small balanced meals a day (One serving of complex carbs, One serving of healthy fats and One serving of lean protein). Too many people make the huge mistake of NOT EATING ENOUGH when trying to lose fat and in turn end up burning muscle and slowing down their metabolisms.

2) INCREASE YOUR ACTIVITY LEVEL!! Start with small steps. Commit to doing 2-3 activities a week that involve getting out of the house and moving, this can be: going to the gym, going for a walk/run, taking a dance class, walking your pets; just don't think too much, GET UP AND GET MOVING for 30-45 minutes 3 days a week.


3) FOCUS ON PROGRESSION, NOT ON PERFECTION!! Slow and steady wins the race. If you set goals that are way too challenging you are shooting yourself in the foot and not allowing yourself to enjoy the journey and travel with hope. Set a weekly goal and monthly goals, yearly goals etc... plan ahead and plan to succeed. 


4) LIFT WEIGHTS!! Weight training helps improve your body's ability to manage insulin and stabilize blood sugar levels. Building lean muscle helps speed up your metabolism and reshape your body, burns calories and helps you achieve a toned, lean look. 


5) FOCUS ON YOUR OWN PERSONAL JOURNEY AND DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS!! We are all in a different phase of our lifestyle transformation journey. Everybody has to begin somewhere and comparing ourselves to other people or striving to achieve the results that other people have only distracts us from our own fitness journey. In the end, we ALL want the same things: progress, good health, change, education, balance and results!!!



And last but not least, BALANCE IS KEY! I eat healthy, I exercise daily and I have a personal life which includes socializing, having a few drinks here and there, indulging in all-you-can-eat events; and I am only human, there are days where I'm really busy and don't get to work out. The bottom line is, try and stick to your healthy lifestyle routine 75-90% of the time depending on what is realistic for you at the present time. As long as your mind is set to making change and you are doing as much as you can, results will come. Being TOO strict and depriving yourself of having a balanced life will only make your fitness and nutrition lifestyle less enjoyable.

In all honesty, 80% of the pictures I post on my facebook have been snapped after a night out with friends (drinks and tons of food) and I can finally say I have found a way to have my cake and eat it too! I may not be depleted and under 10% bodyfat but I manage to stay lean and in alright shape and still have a social life. All thanks to sound nutrition, a high activity level and good stress management!  
Everything in moderation, including moderation ;)


Happy Training!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
xo,

Alex L. :)