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13 Jun

I spent the last weekend in La Rochelle, France in order to be a competitor on the popular Swedish tv show Fångarna på Fortet. For those of you who don’t live in Sweden or don’t know what show that is, it’s a lot like the tv show Fear Factor in the states, except it’s not so extreme. It entails winning keys and secret words, with two teams of three people competing against each other. The team that wins gets to choose the charity of their choice to donate the money to.
The taping of the show takes place in a prison that is stranded in the ocean. The challenges take place in the cells of the prison and outside of the prison as well. Some of the challenges included in the game are bungee jumping, jumping from an extremely high position into the ocean and swimming, being in close proximity of and picking up ginormous tarantulas, scorpions, worms, mice, climbing different obstacles, etc. You have no clue which tasks you are going to do until seconds before.
When the production company called and asked me if I wanted to do the show, I thought it would be so fun, so why not. I admit that I had not seen even one whole episode of the show, so I didn’t really know what what I was saying yes to. I knew that you had to do some tasks that were hard or a little scary, and that was about all I knew. I looked up on YouTube and gained a much better perspective of the show. I thought ‘What did I get myself into?’ I could of course back out if I wanted to, but I thought that this would be a great opportunity to push my boundaries, to do things that I would never choose to do voluntarily. It would be a great way to look fear in the eye, and conquer it.
Along with the contract, Fångarna på Fortet sent a health declaration, asking if i have injuries, along with things that you would absolutely not do. Due to having herniated discs in my lower back and in my neck, there was one certain thing that I stated that I absolutely cannot do. I know that this show is supposed to push the boundaries of your fears, but risking an injury that would prevent me from playing basketball or doing Gladiatorerna was NOT an option.
Seeing the prison in real life was amazing! It was much smaller than you would expect it to be but every bit as awesome. We started off by being briefed on how to pick up the bugs and animals safely without hurting them. They really stress the safety of the creatures, which I really think is cool. Then we went over a few of the tasks, just to save time on safety issues, but we still had no clue which tasks we would have to perform. After that, it was time to start.
The show starts off with a bang. It’s an event for me and Lisa (Valkyria), and it’s both a scary and physically challenging task. I was surprised how I didn’t even hesitate. It felt good to do it! They taped the show in record speed. You are hardly ever standing in one spot. You run from one place to another, and you often don’t get to see your teammates competing because as they are competing, you are off running to get ready for your next event. They are extremely efficient with time.
Everything was going smoothly until we get to the last event. Lisa got to do one that was extremely challenging, so I was really looking forward to what they had in store for me. We get down to my last event, and when they told me what it was, I realized that it was the ONE thing that I told them I couldn’t do because of my back.
I told them that it’s too much of a risk for my back, so one of my teammates did it.
The next morning after the taping, I woke up pretty upset. I found it really strange that they signed me up for the only event I couldn’t physically do. I went to talk to the producers, and they said that they didn’t know I couldn’t do it. How could they not? I wrote it clearly on the health declaration. Plus, they couldn’t switch the event, since this particular one was already set up. That meant that I couldn’t do a last event, and I was really looking forward to it.
Overall, I had a pretty good experience. I wanted to do something that scared me, and I was able to do that. I am really grateful that I was able to participate in one of the most popular shows in Swedish television. I could really tell that it meant so much to the other contestants. It’s as if Fångarna på Fortet owns its own share in Swedish culture and tradition.
If they ask me to do it again, I will definitely say yes.

Pics from the trip. Enjoy!

On our way to the prison.
Lisa being playful.
With the hosts, Agneta and Gunde!
One great goalie!;)
One word, handsome.

01 May

It’s been 3 days since I got back from Rome, and it feels nice to get back to my routines. I actually looked forward to getting back to work, so that must mean that I am in the right profession.;) It’s also been great getting back to working out and eating healthy, although I am really going to miss those crepes! I have been thinking about what I could share about Rome if someone asks me what Rome is like, so I have broken it down to ten important things everyone should know before going there. The following is the list is in no particular order:

1. If you are on a low carb diet, don’t come to Rome with the intentions of sticking to it. You will fail.:)

2. Do NOT trust that cars will stop because you are standing near or even on a crosswalk. You will get run over.

3. It’s clear why Italians can eat so many carbs and not get fat. They walk everywhere!

4. A store in Rome sells the most expensive crepes. One crepe plus Nutella and two very tiny scoops of ice cream costs 17.50 euros! We just happened to walk into that particular store, place our order without asking what the price was for two of the above mentioned crepes, ate them so satisfyingly, and then shit our pants when we received the bill. Average cost for a crepe in Rome: 4 euros.

5. The pizza and pasta is not better in Italy, but the ice cream sure is.

6. A bottle of wine and a bottle of water are about the same price.

7. Roman’s favorite pastime is smoking.

8. Pick-pocketing is an art form in Rome.

9. The men on the street selling umbrellas DO NOT offer the best price.

10. All of Rome’s imperfections make Rome perfect. You will absolutely fall in love with this city.

Here are the last random pics from my trip. Enjoy!;)

Rome’s most expensive crepe!

Katta and I are trying to get one good pic with the both of us in front of the colosseum. This is the best we could do.:)

At some point of the trip, I thought I was a professional photographer with an eye for the artistic view. This is what I came up with.;)

I totally look like I know what I am doing!;)

My Gladiator pic near the colosseum.

A police car in Rome.

Our feet and backs were killing us from so much walking, so we decided to rent a golf cart to see the park. I got to drive.;)

Katta is playing with the night adjustment on the camera. This is me with the not so cheap umbrella. We were adamant on not leaving it behind. It made it all the way to Stockholm and then we forgot it in the overhead bin for luggage.

27 Mar

It began last Wednesday. We played against Northland in Luleå in front of 2000 fans. After a tough and intense 40 minute game, we were on the losing end by a mere 4 points. I’m really not sure which is worse, to get beat by a bigger margin, or to only lose by 4 points and realize that the loss was our own doing due to the mistakes WE made in the last few minutes of the game. Either way, a loss is a loss, and we were down 1-2 in the count. Now our backs were against the wall. Win or disappear as the Swedes say. We had a few things going for us. First of all, we were playing the next game at home, and secondly, the pressure was on us to win. It’s that type of pressure that drag out the very best in people, and that’s what we were going to need to win the next game.
Last night was Game 4 in Rosendal. An almost packed gym with about 600 people there. That’s only about a quarter of the fans in Luleå, but the small gym makes it a great atmosphere anyway. Just like the previous 3 games, this one turned out to be another extremely aggressive game with tight scoring throughout the entire game. So close in fact that the regular game ended in a tie. A five minute overtime was all that remained. We were able to continue to score only to foul and put Luleå on the free throw line to keep the score tight. Both teams were fighting for loose balls, rebounds, steals etc. This game was on the verge of going either way with the score tight and time running out. With a two point lead with about 20 something seconds left, we were put on the free throw line. First free throw goes in. Second shot rims off, and instead of trying to grab the rebound, I tip it out as far as I can to our guards standing near half court. We controlled the ball, and Luleå’s coach decides to let the time run out. We walk away with a huge win!
Now the count is 2-2, and everything comes down to just one game. I have played for Luleå in some big games, and I have also played against them in some big games. The one thing I know for sure about Luleå is that they will pack that gym. They will have an insane amount of support, and they will be ready to play. It will be our third game there, so we feel pretty comfortable in that type of atmosphere. It will come down to keeping our composure and playing extremely good defense. I think that the best part of winning yesterday was that I get the opportunity to continue playing with my teammates. I have really enjoyed this year, and I can’t express how grateful I am to play on a team with such great individuals. With one more win comes more days to play together.. That’s what I am fighting for.

02 Mar

March is finally here, and that means that life gets a little more exciting! The regular season of basketball is over, and my team, Sállen Basket, finished in the fourth spot. Northland from Luleå finished first, Norrköping Dolphins finished second, and UDominate from Umeå finished third. We are tied points-wise with Umeå, but since they beat us in two very close games, the third spot belongs to them. Out of the 10 teams in the league, the top 8 make it to the playoffs. The first team faces the 8th team, the second team faces the 7th team and so on in the quarter finals. Since we finished fourth, we are facing fifth team Telge from Södertälje. Its a best-of-3 series which means that whichever team wins two games first, moves on to the semi finals. Since we ended in a better position than Telge, we get home court advantage, so the first game was played at our gym at Rosendahl in Uppsala. With the help of around 600 fans, we were able to win a very aggressive game by 10 points. On Wednesday we will travel to Telge to try and steal the game and move into the semi finals.

Not only is basketball intense right now, but the Gladiatorerna craze has started. The challengers of this coming season are getting extremely excited and are posting their episode dates and pictures from the taping. Commercials and advertisements have started to run on channel 4 and on posters in the subway and train stations. The first episode airs on Saturday, March 15th. This season promises to bring extremely competitive events, along with a much more entertaining show, with more time dedicated to what happens before and after the event. I think that the Gladiators are better than ever this coming season, so the challengers will really have to prove their worth in the arena.

It will be a tough month balancing basketball, working at Balance as a PT, training my clients through my own company, and enjoying Gladiatoererna. Having all of these jobs makes me happy, so I look forward to see what this month will bring. If you have nothing to do on Wednesday, come support my team against Telge at Täljehallen at 19.00!!!

Pics from the first quarter Final game. (photographer is Carola Hellström. Check out her website at carolahellstrom.se)













30 May

Today’s workout: Legs

My back felt much better today, so I know that it’s on the right track to getting back to 100%. I knew that it wouldn’t be smart to train legs today, at least not with my original leg program because it’s too heavy and involves a lot of the lower back. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that cleans, heavy front squats, and rdls might just be too much for an injured back. I had to put on my thinking cap and create a program that would kill my legs but have minimal stress on my lower back. The program that I designed looks like this:

Leg Workout
1. Light front squats 4×12
2. Light step ups 3×12
3. DB Deadlift (focus on staying on toes) 3×12
4. Seated leg curl 6×12
5. Leg extension 7×12
6. Leg press 6×12
7. Leg Adductor 4×12
8. Leg Abductor 4×12

Rehab Exercises:
1. Bridge 3×10, 3 sec hold
2. Bridge, single leg raise 3×8+8


Although I wasn’t completely drained after this program like I usually am after my original leg workouts, my legs were extremely tired, and I feel muscle soreness already in the same evening. I am extremely satisfied with today’s workout. It was a great temporary workout, but I hope that it was the last time I have to do it. I miss that feeling of having no energy left in my body…..I look forward to the next leg day!

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15 Apr

Now that the basketball season is over, it’s time for me to start putting some time into the gym.  For the last 8 weeks, my team has been in the playoffs, playing two to three games a week. Because we were playing so many games, I couldn’t waste any energy with lifting, so I have been going through lifting withdrawls.:) Now that basketball is over, I can focus primarily on lifting for the next few months. I will take a little break from other types of training to let my body rest. I had pain in my achilles this year, so they could use a break from running and jumping.

I have designed a new lifting program for this offseason. I have done the same program for the last few years and have received great results. This year I felt like I wanted to do something different, so I have split the body groups up differently and added one more lifting day in each round. I have also decided to take baseline measurements and pictures so that I can record my progress. I am posting my measurements and pics, along with the first round of my workout so that people can follow my progress and try the program out if they would like.

Let’s start with the program. It’s a four-day program that will be done in 4 consecutive days without a break. Then I will take 1 day off and train 4 more days with the second round of the program. Then I will take two days off, followed by 4 days of training with the third round. This will be followed with 1 day off. So the pattern will look like 4 days on, 1 day off, 4 days on, 2 days off, etc. Each round trains each body group using different exercises in order to add variety to the program. For example, I have a dumbell day, Bar day, and Machine day to train the chest. The rest between each set is around 35-45 seconds.

Here is the first round of each body part.

Day 1- Lats, Shoulders, and Abs                        Day 2-Legs

Lats                                                                      Cleans 4×5

1. Pullups 3xMax                                                    Squats 3×12

2. Close Grip Pulldown 3×12                               Lunges 3×12+12

3. Lat Pulldown 3×12                                             Rdls 3×12

4. Straight Arm Pulldown 3×12                           Db Deadlift 3×12

Shoulders                                                           Leg Curl 3×12

1. Arnolds 3×12                                                        Leg Ext. 3×12

2. 6 Way Shoulder 3×12                                        Leg Abductor 3×12

3. Rear Delt Machine 3×12                                   Leg Adductor 3×12

4. Rear Delt Raise 3×12                                          Calves


Day 3-Chest, Upper Back, Abs                           Day 4-Lower Back, Biceps, Triceps, Abs

Chest                                                                     Lower Back

Db Bench 3×12                                                         Deadlift (Heavy) 3×12

Db Incline 3×12                                                        Back Extension 3×12

Cable Flies 3×12                                                       Biceps

Push ups 3xMax                                                      Bar Curl 3×12

Upper Back                                                         Seated Curl 3×12

Close Grip Row 3×12                                              Single Preacher Curl 3×12

B.O.R Bar (Overhand Grip) 3×12                       Triceps

Single Row Machine 3×12                                    Dips 3xMax

Mts Row 3×12                                                         Bench Dips 3xMax

Abs                                                                        Pushdowns 3×12


 My Starting Measurements:

Weight- 74.5 kg

Left Thigh- 56 cm

Butt- 99.5 cm

Waist- 81 cm

Chest- 99.5 cm

Left Bicep- 31.5 cm

Baseline Pictures

After one month of training I will take measurements and pictures again in order to compare the progress made.  Try this program with me! Take your measurements and pictures before you begin so that you can also track your progress. Good Luck!

25 Jan

When we were taping Gladiatorerna, I was really excited to find out the Jennifer Kucukkaya was going to compete this season. Jennifer and I both play basketball in Basketligan Dam, and played several years against each other. From basketball, I knew that she is extremely quick, competitive, and has an aggressive mentality. Although she is small, weighing in at only 55 kg, my first thought was that she may actually do well. You don’t have to be big to be successful in this show, and her quickness is almost deadly, at least for Gladiatorerna. I knew that the producers were going to have a little fun with the fact that we both play basketball and have competed against each other for some time. At first, we were supposed to match up against each other in Duellen. That would have been a completely unfair fight since i weigh almost 25 kg more than Jennifer. So I was happy to hear that they switched our matchup to Rekylen. In that event, she would definitely have a chance to gain points by using her speed to get to the pillows first. Plus, Lahdo would call me back to the start position after being in the front for so long, so there would be definite chances to get points. I knew that if I would have a chance in keeping my body in front of hers and blocking her from grabbing pillows, I would have to get to the middle first, and control the game from there. The one mistake that Jennifer made in that match was that she went for the red pillows rather than trying to get all the blue pillows first. She didn’t have enough body weight to pull far enough and jump high enough to grab the red ones.

Jennifer did well I would say in all of the other events. She stayed on a respectable amount of time against Spirit in Duellen, and of course she killed in Attackbollen. It wouldn’t have mattered which Gladiator she would have matched up against. She would have smoked us all. Hyper was just the unlucky one to get the matchup. She dominated in that event, and she should have. Years of basketball mastered her footwork for this event. She gained some important points on Pendeln and even did well in Gatloppet! Great strategy to grab my stick and go under. There was nothing I could do there. Although she didn’t make it all the way through, she gained enough points to keep her in the lead before Hinderbanan.

When it was time for Hinderbanan to begin, my job was over, so I could just sit back and cheer on the competitor that I wanted to win, Jennifer. We are both basketball players, so that puts us on the same team. 🙂 Jennifer had a great start, and looked as though she was on her way to a win. But then she ran into big trouble trying to get up on the pyramid. She kept trying and trying, and I kept screaming and screaming, ” use the ramps!!!!” But when you are that tired and out of breath, it’s so hard to think. Anna goes on to win, and I just sat back and let out a quiet “fan”.

Jennifer did an amazing job! She should be proud of what she did tonight. It took a lot of courage to come out and do what she did, and although she made a few mistakes, she killed most of the night. I just wanted to go out and give her a big hug, and tell her that I was proud of her. She represented the basketball community well, and I hope that she feels the same way.

Great job Jennifer!


22 Dec

Christy Bacon är träningsexperten som styrketränar sex dagar i veckan och som älskar att lära andra hur man håller sig i form. Vi på Magasin Solna har träffat den vältränade amerikanskan i en “svettig” intervju.

För Christy Bacon är träningslokalen som ett andra vardagsrum. Varje morgon tar hon cykeln till sitt lokala gym för att styrketräna. Sedan åker hon till basketträningen med Solna Vikings och håller igång några timmar innan hon återvänder till gymmet för att jobba som personlig tränare. Sex dagar i veckan. Förutom att slipa på sin egen form gillar hon att motivera andra att hålla sig i trim.

– Ser jag någon som behöver hjälp eller vill komma igång med ett program så är jag där. Jag tycker det är roligt att visa att även nybörjare kan styrketräna och lyfta vikter, det är inte så svårt. Kvinnor kan göra det lika bra som män, det är roligt att inspirera dem att nå sina mål, jag har en passion för det helt enkelt.

Christy Bacon är från Colorado i USA och kom till Sverige på grund av basketen. Efter att ha spelat i ett collegelag ville hon fortsätta och fick genom en svensk lagkompis kontakt med en klubb i Umeå 2003. Därefter blev det spel i Luleå Basket i tre säsonger innan hon flyttade till Stockholm och flerfaldiga svenska mästarna Solna Vikings.

Att kombinera basketspelandet med att vara personlig tränare föll sig naturligt.

– När jag gick på college var mitt första mål att bli specialtränare för andra idrottsmän och kvinnor. Men när jag kom till Sverige märkte jag att det inte var så stort här, så då var det naturligaste att bli personlig tränare. En idrottsman tränar här runt fyra timmar om dagen och har sen ganska mycket övrig tid. Jag ville använda den till att hjälpa andra och lära ut nya träningssätt, det passade bra ihop med basketen.

Nu är hon den i Solna Vikings som spenderar mest tid på gymmet, lyfter tyngst och som har armar i kroppsbyggar-nivå. Men hon tycker inte att svenskar är dåliga på att träna.

– Svenskar håller sig i mycket bättre form än amerikaner. Det beror nog på att ni äter nyttigare mat och är mycket mer aktiva. Ni gör mycket mer utomhusaktiviteter på sommaren, cyklar, går eller håller igång på andra sätt.

Skulle man kunna kalla dig för träningsnörd?
– Ja, det är en bra beskrivning. Mina lagkamrater ser nog mig så, jag gillar bara att göra det. Det blir en vana, om man inte gör det får man dåligt samvete och det är inte alltid bra. Men så är det för mig efter att ha tränat i 17 år.

Christy Bacons 10 tips för att hålla sig i form

1. Prioritera tränandet. Fysisk aktivitet är det ENDA sättet att hålla din kropp ung och fräsch. Fysisk aktivitet kan också motverka sjukdomar som fetma, högt blodtryck, hög kolesterolhalt, diabetes och även cancer. Det är aldrig för sent för att börja ta hand om dig själv och din kropp.

2. Börja enkelt och utveckla tränandet stegvis. Börja inte träna avancerat för tidigt. Det kommer leda till skador och utbrändhet. Börja med promenader eller att jogga. Gå vidare till hårdare träning när du känner dig redo.

3. Hitta en motiverad träningspartner. Att ha en bra träningskompis kan göra att dina träningspass blir roliga och kan också leda till att du håller uppe motivationen. Du och din partner kommer att hålla koll varandra så att ni genomför varje pass.

4. Träna under den del av dagen som du har mest energi och motivation. Om du känner dig för trött för att träna efter jobbet, se till att få extra tid till att träna på morgonen. Var ärlig mot dig själv och avsätt tid i ditt dagliga schema för att träna på den tid som passar dig.

5. Om du behöver hjälp att planera ett träningsprogram, fråga en personlig tränare om hjälp. En personlig tränare kan hjälpa dig att komma på rätt spår med din träning, och kan ge dig ett planerat program för att hjälpa dig komma igång.

6. Om du har kort på ett gym, försök varva några gemensamma träningspass med din individuella träning. Att delta i ett gemensamt pass kan bidra med variation till din egen träning. Plus, att ha en motiverande work out-instruktör kan hjälpa dig träna hårdare än vad du gör på egen hand.

7. Gör ett medvetet val att äta nyttigare. Små ändringar i din kost kan leda till stora förbättringar i din fysik.

8. Öka vattendrickandet per dag. Att öka mängden vatten som du dricker kan öka din ämnesomsättning. Detta kan hjälpa dig att förlora de sista kilona som verkar omöjliga att bli av med. Det hjälper dig inte bara att gå ner i vikt, det tar även bort föreningar i din hud och gör att den ser yngre ut.

9. Variera alltid din träning. Att göra samma övning hela tiden kommer snabbt att bli uttråkande. Detta kan leda till att du blir omotiverad att fortsätta träna, och gör att du slutar träna helt.

10. Kom alltid ihåg att den jobbigaste delen i träningen är starten. I början av ett nytt träningsprogram kommer du att känna dig öm och kan ha svårt att motivera dig att fortsätta. Ta dig igenom denna fas! När träningen blir en vana, och du ser resultat i hur du ser ut och känner dig, så kommer du definitivt att vilja fortsätta träna i framtiden.