5 things I wish I knew at 18 (with gifs!)

1- The job market is so much harder then you think.

Most jobs you see you’re either going to be grossly overqualified or under-qualified. Only go to college if you have a clear path where that degree will take you. Focus on learning as much as you can and do things that will help your future.

2- Not everyone you meet is going to be as kind as you.

Not everyone will be the kind of friend you are. Don’t waste your energy with those people. Surround yourself with people who care about you through the good and the bad. Find people who understand you or at least empathize with you. Appreciate your loved ones and the ones who take care of you.

3- Take care of yourself first.

Mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, financially or intellectually. Don’t put someone else in front of your own care. Take care of your body and your mind. Be active as often as you can. Eat in moderation but still enjoy what you like! Always put yourself first. You can’t help others if you’re sick or drained.

4- It’s okay to struggle.

It’s okay to ask for help. Just make sure you’re going to the right people (see #2) Make sure you periodically have time to vent and let things out. Cry if you need to. Take a sick day if you need to. Keep the communication open with your supporters. They can’t help you if they don’t know.


Be yourself. Don’t try to fit into society’s mold of what’s expected. Don’t do things that don’t contribute to your wellbeing or happiness. Continue to be gentle with yourself. Understand that you can’t always be perfect. Accept that you are the only version of you there is and don’t try to be someone else.

I hope this helps someone who reads this. It helped me to write it! Stay strong out there my friends ❤️


5 things I learned working at an all women’s studio

things i’ve learned from training an all women’s studio
1- not every woman’s purpose is to lose weight. everyone assumes women workout is to lose weight right? wrong. there are so many other benefits to working out. Some ladies want to increase their strength so they can put up their own holiday decorations or carry all the groceries, some ladies want that rush of endorphins to help start/end their day, some ladies want that satisfaction of a hard sweat, some ladies want to increase their muscle mass to avoid osteoporosis and other health problems and some ladies just want to work out because they enjoy it! Any & all of these reasons are great reasons to workout, it doesn’t need to be for the purpose of changing your body. 

2- you have to appreciate how you are now, while working towards your goals. some of my favorite clients are the older ladies because they help me understand how to appreciate life. they tell me about what’s really important and how to enjoy life! so many women spend so much time wishing and wanting to change themselves- in reality it’s better to accept the way we are while working towards bettering ourselves. definitely easier said than done, but it’s something i’ve really tried to start implementing in my own life. it’s so much better to appreciate your body and all it does for you then to hate it and try to force it to change. 

3- there is a disconnect between correct, educational information and the general public. I can’t tell you how many times i’ve heard ladies say “well i don’t want to get bulky” or “i just need to do more cardio” NO NO NO! lifting heavier IS the most ideal because it recruits more muscle fiber, builds more muscles which leads to more calories burned AT REST! Example- If client A is 130lbs and 25% body fat and client B is 130lbs but 35% body fat. Client A burns more calories then client B just by possessing more muscle mass i.e. client A can eat MORE throughout the day and do LESS activity. Building more muscle is the best way to increase your daily caloric intake.

4- People really don’t understand nutrition. Although I am in no way a dietitian or nutritionist, I have had my fair share of experience with nutrition and have learned a lot from personal experience. I can largely say that most clients I come across do not understand basic nutrition especially how to utilize it when strength training. I cannot give nutritional coaching legally (personal trainers are NOT certified for nutrition) but I can say if you don’t understand how to properly fuel your body consulting a registered dietician is the best way to make sure you’re eating properly for your body and activity needs.

5- YOU CANNOT JUDGE SOMEONE’S FITNESS LEVEL BY THEIR BODY!!! the way someone looks is not correlated to their physical ability. we all hopefully learned very early on not to judge someone by how they appear but this principle is even more important with fitness. aesthetics is just one of the many categories of fitness. some ladies are super cardio conditioned, some ladies are badass at lifting heavier weights, some ladies have the endurance to bang out tons of reps, some ladies have awesome balance skills, some have amazing flexibility, but ALL the ladies are there to get healthier- to better themselves, to better their lives, to better their health as a whole. 

Just remember all bodies are made to move and enjoy life! 

xoxo mvkayy 

fitness for me 💪

so as a personal trainer, fitness lover and wannabe heavy lifter I can say I fully support people wanting to do things that get their heart rate up and work their muscles! 

that being said, I’m starting to realized there is so much emphasis on weight loss it turns exercise into a game of how many calories you can burn or what workouts can help change your body/size. 

well I reject this. workouts are not solely for the purpose of burning off that cookie sundae you ate. you shouldn’t be spending hours in the gym to “get rid” of your thick thighs or flabby tummy (it’s impossible to spot train anyways). sure with proper exercise and nutrition it’s possible to manipulate your body to a certain point, and I’m all for improving your physical fitness, but each of us has a different make up of genetics and a set weight point that can fluctuate 10-20lbs comfortably. some people are genetically destined to be heavier than others and that’s okay! fitness doesn’t have to be measured by a number on a scale or whether or not you can see your abs. 

while competing I was stuck doing the same workouts and stopped enjoying my fitness. I wasn’t getting to lift heavy and my cardio was monotonous and boring. now I lift heavy and do lifts I like! when I do cardio it’s something fun like swimming or rowing or HIIT circuits or even just long walks with my dogs/family/friends! so instead of fighting my body and doing workouts I hate, I’m learning to embrace my body at whatever size and love your fitness regardless of calories burned. 

for example, I use to avoid lifting too heavy on my legs because a former coach wanted me to lean down my legs. heavy squatting has always been my favorite exercise but I had to stop for 6 weeks because my legs were “holding too much weight” my legs have always been where I carried more mass. I’ve always been self conscious about them. I became even more self conscious about my thick thighs and I honestly still am. especially after getting so much criticism about them in the bodybuilding world. but guess what? I’m learning to embrace them. these are the legs that help me play sports, that help me swim competitively and for fun, that help me squat over 200lbs, the legs that carry me all around this beautiful earth and I am going to need them for the rest of my life so I better take the best care of them I can as well as the rest of my body. I’m done trying to change myself and ready to start to embrace myself

xoxox mvkay

social media & body image

with my new found love for fitness, it seems as every new follower I get is soandsofit or fitnessjourneyofblank so naturally my feed & discovery page is filled with beautiful, muscular, toned bodies. Dozens of comparison pictures, girls who claimed to have changed their life & loved every part of the process. by no means am I not happy about people getting fit and becoming healthy, but at what point is seeing all these body obsessed posts stop being inspiring & start hurting? 

I tell myself not to compare my journey to theirs but it’s hard, secretly I am comparing my progress to everyone. but that’s the thing about social media, it’s all about perspective

I noticed myself obsessing over others so I unfollowed a lot of these people. not because they aren’t great people (I’m sure they are) but because following them is  not benefitting me.

 I started following more body positive accounts. I love fitness and competiting but not in a way where I have to constantly be showing it to everyone. some of my goals for the next few months are to focus less on my physical appearance and work hard to appreciate the relationships in my life. I want to spend more time enjoying life and not worrying what I look like or how I appear to others. I know after my next competition I will be putting on weight (being this lean is not sustainable in a healthy way) and I am trying to mentally prepare myself for the changes in my body. Filling my life with body positivity and self love are my priority right now. I hope you all can do the same! – xoxo mvkayy

too healthy? 

if you’ve ever been on a diet or even just gone a liiiitttlee too long without eating something you know that hangry (hungry + angry) is a very real, very serious emotion. but is there a point where that irritation becomes detrimental? how healthy is too healthy?

During the past 6 months I have made some major changes in my physical health but the changes people haven’t seen have been in my mental and emotional health. Competition prep is no joke. and while most people look at bodybuilders sculpted physique and think “wow what amazing will power!” there is a deeper and darker side to this extreme dieting. 

Recently I discovered Maddy Moon ‘s podcast and website and I couldn’t help but think “wow she gets me!” 

If you haven’t ever struggled with anxiety, depression, OCD or disordered eating, congratulations YOURE LUCKY! but if you are like the majority of the female population, you probably have experienced one, if not multiple of these problems. In today’s culture there is so much emphasis on the physical appearance and looking so perfect, but why don’t we ever focus on improving our mental health? why are we envious of people who are living extremely restrictive lifestyles instead of those fully embracing life and all it has to offer without obsessing over appearance? 

I’ve begun to question myself and my motives for become a fitness finnatic. although I love competiting, staying fit, pushing myself, eating healthy and developing myself I’d be lying if I didn’t say these past few months have been a mental struggle. (waaaayyy more on this to come)

Many diets focus on lowering carbs and without getting too in depth, let’s just say carbs are BRAIN FOOD! the ADA recommends at least 130g of carbs a day for proper brain function. and obviously it’s possible to live without this number but what are the effects? well this all depends on the individual. 

if you see my last post, that sums up a lot of the issues I’ve personally been facing. exhaustion, fog brain, extreme emotions, loss of sex drive, OBSESSION with food, insomnia, extreme low energy and so many mood swings. so some days are better than others but what I want you guys to get out of this post is JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE LOOKS GREAT DOESNT NOT MEAN THEY FEEL GREAT. I’m just starting to understand that there is a such thing as “too healthy” and I hope I can start to find a balance between health and obsession.  

as always, stay fab friends -mvkayy

competition rant

so as many of you know I recently competed in some bodybuilding bikini competitions. I chose not to share this until after the competition was over & I can say I’m so glad I waited to share because wow.

I have been approached either in person or online by numerous people wanting advice/guidance on how to achieve my lean look. but here’s the thing, even I don’t look like the girl on the stage 24/7. yes I put in months of training & nutrition. yes I lost a ton of body fat and gained lean muscle but still, no one looks stage lean in person. unless you’re planning on competing you shouldn’t even strive for that look. the tan, the lighting, the make up, the heels, the suit, the dehydration, the sodium depletion and a few other components PLUS the training and diet are what gets girls that crazy hot body. but guess what? when it’s over everyone’s body adjusts different and you can & should put on weight. while it sucks seeing the post show bloat and loss of extreme leanness I have to remind myself it’s okay to not look like that all the time. in fact it’s HEALTHY to not look like that.

what sucks lately is that most people who are not involved in this kind of sport don’t really understand this. while I’ve had a lot of support I’ve also had some people give me some hate on not “matching the photos”. so please, be kind to anyone you see no matter what their fitness journey is. you never know how vulnerable of a state they are in. stay positive & lift heavy!

xoxo mvkay 😘

Cardio vs. strength training

Being a personal trainer, of course I get this question a lot. unfortunately there is so much misinformation out there so many people become what I like to call “cardio bunnies” or they look “skinny fat”

now don’t get me wrong, cardio is an important and essential part of any workout plan to keep your heart healthy and your endurance up! buuuut cardio WILL not make you look the way you want (unless you enjoy being a stick with no definition). 

so why is strength training the boss of weight loss/muscle gain/overall better physique? I’m going to try & keep this simple but if you want a super in depth explanation just email me & we can get into all the mechanics/biology 🙈

when you do any kind of strength training- this includes body weight, weight lifting, machines, plyometrics, even yoga/Pilates- you are working & breaking down your muscles. now here’s where people suffer, if you aren’t pushing your muscles hard enough you aren’t breaking them down to build them up but instead you are testing their endurance (i.e. not building any muscle). think of long distance runners- they are lean, little definition, because they work on muscle ENDURANCE. now think of sprinters, usually more defined and carry more lean muscle mass. this is because when they sprint they are tearing down their muscles and building them back up to be even stronger! 

note- LADIES. when I said building muscle I DONT mean like a body builder!!! you WILL NOT become bulky like males. we don’t not physically produce enough hormones (testosterone) to build muscles like that. (more on this topic in another post)

So my point here is- lifting heavier is going to give you faster and better results. you want to challenge your muscles! do sets of 8-12 reps and pick a weight that is going to make you struggle by rep 8 or 9 but you can finish 10-12 if you push.

pro tip- record the weight you use on each exercise & try to increase the weight every 2 weeks! 

But mvkay- doesn’t cardio burn more calories? ah yes, this question is one of my favs. the short answer is yes but no. cardio yes burns more calories at the time buuuut the wonderful thing about strength training is you continue to burn calories 2-4 hours afterwards. another awesome thing about lifting is that when you build more muscle, you burn more calories AT REST! that means we could both weight 150lbs but if I’m 20% body fat and you’re 25% body fat I get to eat more calories then you, and do less work, and most likely look better! if that’s not motivation enough to lift some heavy ass weights idk what is!!! the goal is to change your body’s competition, not the number on the scale! 

Another bonus of weight lifting is… it’s also cardio! if you are giving yourself 1-2 minutes rest between sets, half that & try to keep your heart rate up. still want a challenge? add a cardio component in between sets (like jumping jacks, jump rope, high knees, butt kicks, etc…) then by the time you’re done weight training, you’re also done with cardio! win-win 😝

Anyways, to sum it up- if your goal is like everyone else, to lose weight, tone up, look better overall you NEED to add strength training into your life! if you’re new to it, try to do 2-3x a week for 30minutes either doing full body or splitting upper and lower body. make sure to add in some cardio also! the best thing to do is to just get started. so get in there gorgeous people, you got this 💪