Official Blog of Allison Ethier

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Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Official blog of Allison Ethier NSCA Personal Trainer, ISSN Sport Nutrition, Educator & Mom

24 February 2009

Getting down to the nitty gritty...

Yesterday was not a great day.

I was cleaning off my car, for the 3rd time that day, and well, since it snowed, there was a build up of ice on the back of my car near the trunk. I had recently bought a new snow brush/scraper, as that is what us Canadian do all winter - clean off the snow and ice with the scraper. I must not have realized how strong I am getting because as I was clearing off the car, banging the scraper on the ice (to remove it), I smashed my back window. I thought to myself, "You've got to be, kidding me". I could not believe that I did that. So, I had to drive through town, with no back window, while a snow storm was happening to get a tape up job. Luckily tomorrow I will get another window. I was so embarrassed. A big 300lb man at the garage said he did the same thing to his car. This is a 300lb man! Ok, I can understand him doing that, but me?

This is not the first time I have done things of this nature. Accidents do happen while in competition prep mode. I have gotten into one car accident, forget numerous things...anywhere and everywhere; and today, forgot the groceries in the car. Somehow by the end of prep, it all seems to come together.

Like today for instance; it was a good day. I was able to get in 2 workouts - which included routine practice. I had gone to my normal practice spot - which is the University close to my house, but the aerobic room was occupied, so I had to go to my regular gym. This turned out to be beneficial. My other gym has an old aerobic room, with the wood floor, but converted it to a circuit type training with many machines around the perimeter. The knocked out holes in the walls, so that the area has a more open feel. This means, I am practicing my routine in front of people, watching me, and it adds a bit of stress. Perfect timing to do this. It is week till I compete at the Amateur Event. I need the push. Practicing by yourself in a closed room will not make me better when the pressure is on. I need to rep out the routine, in front of people and feel the pressure to perform when it matters. For the next few practices - maybe 2-3 more, I will go to my regular gym, and have an open type practice in order to prepare for the stage. The staff at my gym are extremely supportive and help guide the members (or hold them from the middle the floor) for at least 2 minute. I am sure they enjoy the entertainment while they are doing their cardio/training.

The end is near, but I don't want it to be. It is so funny that we girls train for these shows; are so disciplined on our diets, and about this time, we all want it to be over. I am not immune to having these feelings as well. But, since I have changed federations, I no longer want it to be over. I motivate myself to stay on track as I want my pro card, and was never more inspired to achieve that goal before now. The Arnold for me is an awesome show. Although it does not get me a pro card, to me it is my "Pro show". What if I never make it to the Pro stage? What if something happens to me tomorrow? What if I am never able to compete again? How would I feel about that? So, to stay motivated I picture myself on stage, in the moment every time I practice my routine. The same thing goes for posing. I picture myself, all tanned, in the suit, all makeup and hair done, and sell it to the judges. I visualize those judges sitting before me. I see the crowd. I hear the yells of the audience for their favorite competitor. I sense the bodies of the girls next to me, but only look forward, as I want the judges to see me. I practice my facial expression; the smiling; a certain face for each movement of the routine.

This is what I love. I love being in the spotlight. Being the center of attention - if only for 2mins, plus sharing the spotlight with a few other girls during the physique round.

It all comes to an end much to quickly in my opinion.


22 February 2009

Radio Shows

I listen to many radio shows during this time of prep. I do have quite a few songs on my mp3 player, but sometimes they get a bit redundant. I want to learn something while I am working out, so I listen to the various radio shows that are available.
Launched in January 2009, Sioux has a variety of shows for all women who are interested in the sport of fitness, figure and bodybuilding. I have downloaded all the shows, and listened to pretty much all of them. There is a big variety of guests, such as trainers, choreographers, and athletes of all levels - amateur to pro. At times some of the sound quality makes it difficult to hear the show, (especially in my gym as the gym music is quite loud). But the main points of interest are covered in most of the interviews, and you are able to get a sense of the athletes personality. It is hard to know what the athletes are like just by their picture, and the interview does give us a glimpse, (or ear) to what they actually go through with their training, diet, contest prep, promotion in the industry, and their personal lives. No matter what division you compete in, there is a show for you.

SiouxCountry Radio

Muscular Development
I used to listen to the No Bull shows, hosted by Dave P, and John R, as they were 2 hours of banter, on various topics, and then an interview with 1-2 main guests. The new show called "Team MD Radio Show", I have not listened to yet, but have it downloaded to my Mp3 player so I will see what it is like. The new show is hosted by Flex Wheeler and Shawn Ray.

Team MD Radio Show
I have been listening to the Bodysport radio shows since its inception. Hosted by the owners of, photographer, Terry Goodlad, and wife, and IFBB Figure Pro - Elaine Goodlad.
They also have of Ana Tigre of Fizeek Brazil on their quite often. They ask very in depth questions to the guests, and get very personal at times. I really enjoyed their recent interview with two very strong & inspirational women - Lisa Person, and Tracy Wickenheiser. They did an interview with Jen Hendershott a while back, that really showed what a wonderful women she is and a true role model within the industry. They do a lot of interviews with many of the top women in the sport today. You do have to download them free from ITunes.

Fitness & Figure Talk Radio

Living Beautiful
This show has been on the air for the last 3 years. With hosts Nancy DiNino and Dr. Catheryn Navarro they love to find out what makes women tick. How do they choose to live beautifully in their own lives? There is 3 years worth of shows to download. I think they have interviewed every top IFBB competitor in the industry. Each show is about an hour long, so you have plenty of shows to choose from to keep your mind occupied, while doing some cardio.

Living Beautiful Radio

This is a new site hosted by Dave P. and John R. They have their own radio show called the "Heavy Muscle Radio show". I have not listened to it yet, but I am sure it will be in the same style as their "No Bull" Radio show. Again I have downloaded the shows that they have, and will take a listen. I always enjoy their show, as they are very blunt, say whatever comes to mind (which most of are thinking), and have interesting perspectives.

Heavy Muscle Radio Show

Soon, there is to be a branch of the RX Muscle site, especially for women called "Muscle Girls Inc". It will be hosted by IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Colette Nelson and IFBB Pro Figure competitor Krissy Chin. I will have to wait and download that show in the near future.

After having written all this I am realizing - I spend to much time on the internet.
Enough for today. Happy listening.


21 February 2009

11 days till I leave.

Today, I did my routine full out. The way it will be done at the Arnold. It felt good, and I felt strong. I did have my cheat meal yesterday, and took the day off from training. So, that probably helped a lot. I find it harder to take days off, than to just push through the aches and pains, and overall tired feeling that comes with lower than normal calories, and the training. I think it is more of a mental thing, as it is really good for my body to get some rest.

I did practice my routine during the week, as planned, so everything seems to be coming together. Now since I am so close to the show, being motivated to do the routine practice becomes harder. I did not enjoy going to practice the routine today, but I know that it is necessary. To do it once, perfect, at the show requires a lot of repetitions. I have to make the moves happen so that I don't think about it, and just let my body do what it has been trained to do. And adrenaline from being on stage always adds a little kick.

Physique - I feel so skinny - I have felt this way for the past 3 weeks. None of my clothes fit me. They are really big. I am seeing changes every 1 to 2 days now. It is funny how you can actually feel your butt get tighter. Dents where there was smoothness before. Veins - OMG I am covered in veins. Oh, and bruises - I have so many bruises. This routine is not a walk in the park.

I prefer my body a bit heavier. Although I like the look of muscles in the context of competition, I just feel too skinny to be able to maintain this look all the time. The diet is going well. I am not moody, but I have found coping mechanisms for this. Basically I check my 'tude at the door when I come home from work. What person is going to support me when I am cranky during the 'diet' phase? My co-workers know something is up, as I am less talkative at school, and tend to look tired sometimes when at work. They ask if everything is ok, but know that the end is near, and I am very excited to be on stage.

After the Arnold I am not done competing. I am doing the Natural Physique in Laval Quebec, basically in my backyard on March 21, 2009. So it is a no brainer to do this show. It is close, so travel costs are low. It would be nice to have people who I know, and who have heard about my fitness for so long, actually be there at a show to see what I do. My hubby came to a show back in 2002, but not since. (Traveling by myself is cheaper) My son and my hubby will be there.

But for the Arnold - it is just me. I will be at the booth and competing that weekend. It is a lot but I did the same last year and had a really good time. Hopefully things will turn out the same this year.


Todays' pictures:

16 February 2009

16 days till I leave for the Arnold

Here is it. I have been waiting for this point of my training since just after CBBF Fitness Nationals. The point of no return. The point where things get more focussed, more disciplined (can we be more disciplined?), and just crazy!

My workouts are tough, but going well. I always feel rested, and energized. However, the routine which is most important, is really tough. I am starting to run sprints to cross train for the cardio part of the routine - which is an all out sprint for 2 minutes. I always do this to myself. Add more than I can do in 2 mins. I try to make it as hard as I possibly can - just for the challenge. But it is necessary; probably not. The judges cannot possibly see everything and reward me for it. I try to find a balance between making it hard, and having good flow, and transitions. However, I always try to do more than it possible and right now am cutting back on some moves for the sake of selling the more to the judges, and being clean in the routine, such as pointed toes, and straight knees. This week I am upping my routine practice to 3 days per week, and with my 4 days/week program that will be enough.

Luckily, I have my teaching to keep me busy and balanced to what is most important. My family keeps me on my toes, but I am sure my husband can sense that my mind - at times - may be somewhere else. Everyday I am learning how to live in the moment more. I used to be doing one thing, and thinking about another. My 'new' attitude is allowing me to be in the moment, focus on what I am currently doing in that moment ( like writing this blog) and then move on to what is next. I have found that I end up doing a better job, enjoy the moment more, and overall end up being calmer and more relaxed.

My physique keeps coming along. I still have many days between then and now. Many changes can take place, but ultimately right now, where I am at, I feel ready. I am ready to be on stage again. I still practice the posing, as you can never take anything for granted. Or at least I don't. The butt of course, last to change. I tend to gain my weight there first, so it comes off there last.

Till next update.....A.

Photos from Sunday: (my little guy wanted to be in the photo too)

13 February 2009

Interview on Living Beautiful Radio

My interview that I did the other day with Nancy DiNino and Dr. Catheryn Navarro is now posted online. You can hear the interview on Living Beautiful

I was worried about the interview as I am a bit of a talker, and say umm, a lot. A habit I need to change. I was nervous as I never want to say anything to offend anyone. I was constantly self-censoring as you never know who is listening. My intent is always to put my opinions forward, but never push them on people. I try to wait to be asked, as no one likes a 'know it all' personality. I am really not that unique as there are many women who work hard, and have children and accomplish much more than I ever have or will.

Thank you Nancy and Dr. Navarro for giving women a voice on how they choose to define balance, and 'live beautifully'. I am inspired by all of the women you have profiled on your show. Thank you again, and congrats on your 3rd season!


12 February 2009

Type A?

Usually when I am training I sleep really well, but now here I am writing and not sleeping. I am up at 4:30am to hit the gym, and by the end of the day I am wiped. But tonight I am not sleepy. I get like this sometimes...pensive. Just thoughts running through my head that I cannot shut off. My workouts seem to curb the incessant need to think but today my mind has taken off.

So what do I obsesses about? Regular everyday things. Am I being a good mom? Do I spend enough time with son? How can I be a better teacher? Am I reaching them? Am I being a good wife? I wonder if this a girl thing. Maybe a type A thing? Fitness - do I think about fitness? Yes. When I am at the gym, I can be working out, and contemplating new moves for my routine. How can I change it? How can I make it better? Luckily since I work out early no one is usually around, and I can be seen bopping to my music, trying new dance moves in the middle of a set. Those who go to the gym frequently at 4ish are used to my quirkiness.

It does help to write all my thoughts down. I have lists for my lists. Oh, yeah, gotta make a list. A to-do lists. Then I cross off those items accomplished, and re-do my list so that it is fresh. There is nothing like a fresh to-do list. In the morning, again between sets, I am making lists. I do seem to get a lot accomplished while working out in the morning. Or at least I am able to put structure to my day.

As I write this, I really don't have much on my to-do list right now. Maybe that is the problem -- I don't have enough work to do. My routine is done, I am on track with my diet (actually way ahead), all my appointments are made for the Arnold - hotel, flight, check, check. I even made my flight for Nationals today. Nationals is in August. Never to early to cross something off my future to-do list.

11 February 2009

Living Beautiful Radio Show

This week I will be taping a show for Living Beautiful Radio with hosts - Nancy DiNino, and Dr. Catherine Navarro. I will post the podcast link once it is up.
Visit their site here:

I will update my training/diet/photos later in the week.


07 February 2009

25 days till I leave for the Arnold.


Training has been going really well this year. I am positive it is because I am lifting heavier, and my workout plan is interesting which keeps me motivated. It is Erik Ledin of who does my training. This year I will be able to meet him at the event. Can you believe we have been talking for about a year, and still have not met?

Dieting is well, is dieting. I eat the same 10 foods all the time. Does it get boring? Sometimes. I try to keep an eye on the goal, as I know it is only temporary. I eat oatmeal, egg whites, protein shakes, bananas, yogurt, chicken, sweet potato, almonds, broccoli, and asparagus. I have some supplements - EFAs, and BCAAs but have not started using the yet. I do take my Slimquick Extreme - as they have these energy shots that are amazing! They really taste great, and when you are consuming no sugar, it is like a treat. I also use the drink sachets that you put into your water. They are just like crystal light, but with a little kick. Again, another pick me up when your taste buds want to consume other things.

I am still eating my weekly cheat - I cut this out at around 10 days before the show.
The next 15 days are tough, but for me I find the last 10-12 days before the show the hardest. You are consuming your lowest calories, and still have to perform the routine. I can appreciate why girls switch to figure.

Evaluation of Progress

My physique is still changing on a weekly basis. I have put on size, and well, am trying to not come in too lean, as I feel I am ahead of schedule this year. I did 46 days of dieting for the Arnold last year, and this year I am doing 60 days.

I started around Christmas to clean this up, but never really fell off the wagon too much so the transition was not that bad. Even when I can eat whatever I want, I just don't. People say to me, "Wouldn't it be nice to eat this cake; too bad you cannot have some". Funny, I would not eat it anyways. At my work there is cake, cookies, and every kind of carb you can image during the week, and I never take my share. Most times I will pack a slice up for my husband. Even in the off season there are days when I still eat chicken, broccoli and sweet potato for lunch.

I am still waiting for my butt to come in. Everything else will continue to tighten up, but as always the butt is the last to come in. Hopefully next week, I will be seeing further progress. If you like the suit - it was made by Sylvia Tremblay of TremblayDesigns - she does great work.

Routine practice has been good. Today was my 2nd official going to try to do my routine full out practice. I got through it once but it was a bit messy. I tape myself each practice to make sure I am progressing. I was a little worried that I would not be in shape to do the routine. I always try to make it as hard as I possibly can, and then start deleting things as it ends up being too hard.

In Canada routines are 1min 30 seconds - and for the Arnold it is 2 minutes. I have chosen to do 2 mins for the Arnold, and make a 2nd cut of my music for the World Qualifier show as I will have to revamp the routine in 10 days after the Arnold for the World Qualifier.
In Canada we still have the quarter turn with the trunk twist. Most say it makes your physique look better, but I like the 'new' quarter turn to the side - less work.

I am very excited to be going to the Arnold this year. My favorite part of competing is meeting the girls backstage, and seeing their routines. I have such an admiration for all of them who compete. It is not easy to prepare yourself to be scrutinized by that many people - the audience and the judges.

Talk later in the week,