Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday 2/27 - That'd be Today ;)

New song added to my iPod last night - Adam Lambert, "Whataya Want From Me"
It got a lot of rotation today :)

Saturdays are 'scheduled' as UB training days + mini abs and cardio, but I have been looking at training and cardio both as optional, based on how I'm feeling. Freeing! :) I think I've taken the day off every week since the meet. Last week I forced some cardio in, but shut it down after maybe 15 mins, needed to rest.

Today though, I felt GREAT - so I hit the gym for both :) Saturdays are always entertaining, as far as the people watching goes ;) Some CHARACTERS there, I tell ya, hahah.

DB Chest Press
10 x 30
8 x 35
6 x 40
3 x 5 @ 40

DB Pullovers
10 x 30, 3 x 10 @ 35

BB Press
3 x 10 @ bar

DB Lateral Raises
2 x 12 @ 15

DB Overhead Triceps
2 x 10 @ 35

Bench Dips
1 x Fail --> 21

Cable Curls
2 x 10 @ 70

BB Curls
1 x Fail @ bar --> 9 (wtf?! 9?!)

Back Extensions
1 x 20 @ bw

Bicycle Maneuver
1 x 60

1 set: Decline Situps ss w/ Wtd Situps (10lb plate)*
12 / 12

1 set: Wtd Crunches (20lbs - cuz there were two 10lb plates right there and I was too lazy to get off my ass and go GET the 25lb plate ;) ss w/ Crunches
15 / 15

25 mins SS cardio - done :)

Felt pretty weak on DB Chest press, prior to the meet I had been pressing the 50s for 4 sets of 4. Today the 45s were challenging, particularly on that 3rd set. Wouldn't have gotten a 4th set that's for sure. Not sure what was up with that set of BB curls either, hahah. Oh well..some days...

* LOL earlier in the week I tried some weighted sit-ups (full situps) with a 25lb plate. HAH. We'll be increasing in smaller increments, thank you ;)

Friday 2/26 - SUUU-MO!

I love deadlift day. Really it's like treat day at the gym :) This was a *great* workout, I felt super fantastic when I was done - strong, really pumped - all around good stuff.

Warmups, then...
3 x 225
3 x 235
3+ x 250 ....11 reps! That's a PR, by all of one, and truthfully I'm not even sure that one counts with that long rest between the last 2 reps ;) Nevertheless!

Ugly at the end...although long sets like this are going to disappear quickly, and the degradation in form as the set progresses will hopefully be considerably less :) I think next week my 1+ set is with 265, looking back at my logs that's where the reppage significantly dropped off last time. Anyway, here it is:

Front Squats - 8 x 95, 85, 75

Good Mornings - 2 x 15 @ bar

Conventional Deads - 1 x 10 @ 135

Snatch-Grip Deads...New exercise for me. I think I got better at these with each set. I brought my grip out a little wider with each set but could still go more, and watching I think my stance was too close too. This is why we record! 3rd set had to reset grip before last 2 reps. Here are two of the 3 sets (1st and last)... 3 x 8 @ 135

Plie Squats 3 x 15 @ 65
This is where sunglasses trainer guy decided to analyze MY ASS. Seriously.

I know he means well. He watched me plie squat one set and made the comment that one side looks like it's doing more work than the other. Right stronger than left, he's saying. Then the other thing he's saying is that some part of my hamstring or my glute or something is missing (as in tremendously weak), which is causing that slight pause as I kick up out of my squat. Now I DO see the pause, but I believe it's a weak quad and that pause is me kicking it out of my quads into my rear to finish the job. But...hopefully it won't matter as I work to strengthen all those muscles over the coming months :) See all this talk right here? ALL THIS TALK was going on and all I wanted to do was finish my ok I'm on a schedule yo! Gotta goooo....

Finally :)

BB Split Squats 2 x 24 @ 65

Standing Calves 10, 10, 9, 8 @ 135

Leg Extensions 3 x 15 @ 70, 1 x 15 @ 55
(burn baby buuuurn, holy crap ;)

Back Extensions 15 @ 25, 15 @ 10

20 mins SS Cardio

February 24 - Bench Recap!

So things got a little hectic this past week and I got way behind on things here. That's here online though, s'gonna take a lot more to derail my training :) So that all went on as planned, and the week following Squats on Tuesday looked like this:

Weds - chest/back (Bench) + Abs + 20 HIIT
Thurs - 30cardio
Fri - legs (deads) + 20cardio
Saturday - UB + mini abs + 20cardio

On Wednesday I experimented with grip width on the Bench Press. RC and Myles have both noted that my grip seems too narrow and widening it slightly might really help. I tried 3 wider widths and I still feel like some additional experimenting might yield me better results. I went slightly wider (about 1/2 inch per side) than my regular grip, then out to pinkies on rings, then out to thumb/pointer finger on rings.

RC mentioned he thought I looked most stable at the widest grip, and I think I agree based on how the videos look, but at the same time that is VERY wide and it felt pretty uncomfortable, and given my apparent ridiculous WING SPAN (wtf? where did that come from?) it doesn't significantly shorten my ROM anyway. Good way to jack up my shoulders too. So, I think the answer lies somewhere between the last two.

Here's how Wednesday broke down:
Bench Warmups then worksets:
3 x 80
3 x 85
3+ x 90 (got 13 reps, but filmed from a ridiculous angle so went back and did a 4th set for the grip shot...)
6 x 90

BB Rows
10 x 65
10 x 85
8 x 95

One Arm DB Chest Press
2 x 10/arm @ 35
1 x 10/arm @ 30

Supine Pullups - 8, 8, 6

BB Decline Press - 10, 8 x 85

Cable High Rows - 10, 12 x 120

Hanging Knee Raises superset w/ Rope Crunches (110lbs)
Set 1 - 15 / 15
Set 2 - 12 / 12

V-Sit w/Med Ball (8lbs) Twists ss w/ Weighted Crunches (25lb plate)
Set 1 - 30 / 30
Set 2 - 30 / 30

Plank 1 x 75secs

Ab Crunch Machine 15, 20 x 20lbs
(note: DONE with this machine, not using again)

FB Knee Roll-ins - 12 (into full pike) / 15 (onto knees)

20 mins HIIT

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday: SQUAT!

Hahah...not that I did squat (as in diddly), but that today was SQUAT day! I'm really not so sure anyone else is quite as entertained as I am by that word lately ;)

PROGRESS! I think :) My notes going into my workout this morning said, "SQUAT - wider stance, higher bar, torsoe/head/chin UP, ass OUT, knees OUT"

Those were the goals of my training today, really wanted to try to get a good feel for this form, and I think it was a good thing. At least it *felt* more comfortable. Tough to compare strength, I think right now I'm not as strong (fewer reps, lower weight - started low since experimenting :) but I think that I will progress quickly as I work with this form a bit longer and continue to focus on better strengthening my quads and adductors. There are exceptions, there are some REALLY BAD reps, but there are more good than bad overall, and the bad are towards the end of the heavier sets as I tire. Not only that, but this just FEELS more natural to me, which will be a big boost in confidence which can ONLY help my performance :)

Without further delay....dere it is:

Warm-up sets then

10 x 95
From February 23

3 x 115

3 x 135
From February 23

6 x 145
From February 23

8 x 135
From February 23

10 x 135 165, 165
A lot of *thinking* going on in these sets...needs to become more natural and instinctual.

Set 1 135 x 10 (with wrong shoes and clunky all around)
From February 23

Set 2 165 x 10

Set 3 165 x 10 (again)
From February 23

Hack Squats (these are getting easier) 3 x 10 @ 110

Lying Leg Curls * 3 x 10 @ 20 (crazy hard this way and I'm still not 100% on execution here)

BB Split Squats 12/leg @ bar, 10/leg @ 65

Good Mornings 2 x 15 @ bar

Leg Extensions 3 x 15 @ 70 (quiver!)

Hip Adduction 12 @ 150, 12 @ 155

Standing Calves 135 x 10, 10, 10, 8

DB Bench Step-ups (Waaaaay harder than Freemotion Cable Step-ups - higher I think ;) 20/leg @ 20, 20/leg @ 10

Good stuff, this felt fantastic :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Friday's (non-crippling, yay!) Workout

GREAT workout on Friday, surprising given my sleep the 2 nights prior.  Wednesday night I was at work (in the office) until 10pm, didn't really get to bed until a little after 11 and slept terribly.  Softball season started again on Thursday and we started the season with an 8:45 game.  Apparently there are no 9:45 games this time around (thank god), but that just means there's nothing to force the 8:45 game to end!  We didn't finish until 10:15 or so, so Thursday night again it was 11:30 until I got to bed, followed by another restless night of sleep.   I also ate poorly on Thursday - the whole day was just off and I was pretty low on calories. 

Despite all that, I did wake up feeling pretty good on Friday! Scratch that, i woke up with a huge smile on my face, feeling fantastic. It was COLD out Fri morning, so I got all dressed up in my best ninja gear, and hit the gym ;) 

Started off with some warm-up sets, then got into it as follows:

Sumo Work Sets (repeat of last week's rep/wt scheme)
5 x 205
5 x 220

5+ x 235

That's 13, 2 more than last week. Clangy, nearly bounced myself right outta view ;)
Back continues to round as I progress through. If I had to I could have cranked out maybe 2 more there.

Front Squats 3 x 8 @ 95
(3rd Set Front Squats, 8 @ 95)

Watching the front squats, I do think it's worth giving the back squat a solid try with a higher bar position and more vertical torso, chin up. Just looking at the form on those, it looks much cleaner (of course it's much lighter, I should video a set of back squats with 95 before I say too much more hahah ;) We'll see how things go with that. I'm also going to put a lot of emphasis on just building quad and adductor strength the next few weeks, even if it means leg extensions and plie squats ;)

Good Morning 2 x 15 @ bar

Plie Squats 2 x 15 @ bar

First time trying with a barbell, so no weight. Will experiment with some light weight going forward.

Hammer High Rows 3 x 10 @ 120 (stopped at 8, last two sets)
Pull Throughs 3 x 10 @ 100
BB Walking Lunges* 1 x 26(total steps) @ 40
Freemotion Seated Calves 4 x 12 @ 120 (12/12/15/15)
BB Walking Lunges 1 x 26 @ 40
Leg Extensions 3 x 15 @ 70
Back Extensions 12 @ 10lbs, 12 @ 25lbs

* BB Walking Lunges - I've always used dumbbells for these, so I wanted to give it a try with the BB. Felt awkward about taking up so much WIDTH trying this with a regular barbell, so I opted for the pre-weighted ez-curl bars, 40lb bar. The weight was fine, could've easily handled more weight for the exercise itself, the difficulty was positioning the bar on my back. No problem pressing the bar overhead, but lowering it down BEHIND the head was rough, then pressing it back up from that position to take it off my back - dicey, which sort of prohibits using the heavier bars. So either I'm just gonna have to get over using the big long olympic bar (since I can use the rack to position it and get out from under it), OR - stuck with dumbbells. Boo!

Mentally I've been in a superb place. Friday later in the day I started to slow down a little physically, little tired but not bad. And last night I slept like a rock so after rest tomorrow and another good night of sleep, I should be 100% :)

Anyway - I feel fantastic today. Quads are sore, as they should be. But lower back feels great, hammies a little sore but hardly noticeable...hips feel good. Plus you know, I can totally move, bonus ;)

Had a cheat meal out last night - chips and salsa, margarita (on the rocks, with salt please! Nice and warm buzzzz), big ole' cheeseburger and fries. Had dessert after at starbucks, a nice coffee with a reeses peanut butter/chocolate chip cookie. Mmmmm - OMG :) I could still talk about all of it for hours LOL.

The beautiful thing was I felt no trepidation over it - just an enjoyable meal out, without fear :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Leaving Fear, Finding Comfort

Completely out of the blue Yesterday I got an email forwarded from Raphael that says, "check out your after pics here --- very different body compared to now!"  So I look a little closer at the body of the's a forward of an email I sent to him dated 9/2006 with some before and "after" pictures attached.  So I opened the pix up and this is what I heard in my head ...

"oh god!  *really?*  Frumpy!  Could really lose a lot more, still kinda fat!"  I estimated my weight in those pix to be around 160ish? I was actually pretty harsh on myself with the thoughts I had about the pix, but you get the idea.  Anyway, this is what I saw...

From After
Ugh ugh ugh! and I'm thinking why is he sending these to me?

So out of curiosity, I log into the eDiets database and I go to the weigh-in history around 9/2006 and then I know why...

My weigh-in history from that time:
09/18/2006 - 140
09/11/2006 - 141
08/28/2006 - 142
08/21/2006 – 139.5


WOW.  Is that right?! That can't be right!

Now here's a recent picture: 

From After
That was me on 11/23/2009 and my weight that day is logged as 137.8.

Umm...seriously. floored.

Those few pounds that I fought for for SO LONG trying to originally, to FINALLY get to goal back in 2008....the time that I spent agonizing over the scale from about the time those first pictures were taken in 2006 until I finally got to goal in October 2008, the time I spent agonizing over the scale again when I started gaining some again in 2009 and then trying to take it back off again...all of it the times that I thought I was absolutely going nowhere because the scale would BARELY budge...the days I spent beating myself up in my head "it took you more than 2 years to lose *6 pounds*.."

it was working :)

And I had *no idea.*  I was so so so totally number/scale weight focused I couldn't see THESE changes ..but the pictures aren't lying, they are truly undeniable.  Essentially the WEIGHT between 2006 and 2010 is unchanged.

3 years, 2lbs...a world of difference.

There's a point here, but it's hard to SAY.  I feel it in me, but I don't know how to put words around it.  My friend Honu, and T also are on my mind a lot with this, but it really applies across the board for everyone. This never stops, constantly evolving process...constantly learning, growing...

All the little changes, the battles you fight every day - they ARE worth something, even if the scale tells you differently. Just I guess...I wish I had something to say that sounded a little more clever or profound or something but...just ... never quit.

So much has been coming together for me recently...I had been on I guess, sort of a mental plateau.  You know that we all go through these stages where we lose the fat and everything is great, then we get stuck, and we battle...that's where this mental change/growth happens.  But I had gotten stuck stuck stuck, so focused on getting the weight back off.  I posted sort of about this when I got home from VA, but it's been coming more and more together for me over the past few weeks.  I posted more about it here about a week or so ago, I think about it a lot - I'm changing. 

Seeing these pictures just helped to solidify that deeper...instead of just "knowing," I really *know* and I really FEEL and believe it emotionally.  The tide of the battle is taking a turn, in the way I see me, the way I see food and exercise it's all FINALLY changing and some of the fear is going, and some COMFORT is settling in.  I'm not letting it rule my life and alter how I feel about myself - I will NOT!  There's still work there, and I doubt the fear will ever 100% go away, but for feels absolutely FREEING, amazing, and incredible. 

Thank you, Raphael :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back to the Bench feels quite obvious it's been a while in the ole' bench department!

I felt good today going into the gym, was up and excited and ready to go, and was the appropriate, "good" kind of sore from yesterdays squat workout (not crippled like after last Friday). That said, once I got started I felt pretty weak in the upper body strength department today. Everything felt heavy, and it was all relatively (even for me), light! Ugh...hopefully it was just a matter of getting used to the movements again, it really has been (aside from the meet, which is just a few single lifts) *weeks* since I've benched.

I left the workout I'd planned and my camera at work last night, so I put something else together last night, and so sadly - no vids today. Both Myles and RC asked for me to try a slightly wider grip with bench, watching the videos from the meet, it looks like my grip had me slightly out of alignment - force was not going straight up but slightly inward at an angle off my chest. Soooo...I did that :) It felt awkward but new stuff always does. Will obviously need to stick with it for a bit and see where it goes. It only makes sense that it should help though.

Bench Warmups followed by
75 x 5
80 x 5
85 x 15*

DB Incline Press 3x10@25
BB Rows 10 x bar, 65, 85
Seated Cable Flys 10 @ 40 (heavy! ugh), 2x10@35
DB Decline Press 2x10@25
BB Overhead Press 2x12@bar (only did 10 each set though)
DB Rear Delt Flys (on bench) 2x12@15
BB Curls 2x12@bar
Tri Rope Pulldown 2x10@70

I opted to modify/shorten the abs workout that T sent a bit.  I used the basic structure she gave me and added add'l weighted exercises as I think that will help me towards my goals more than lots and lots of killer BW stuff. Here's how I worked it out, though I'll probaby keep on tweakin':

2 sets: Leg Raises (15) superset w/V-ups (15)

Rope Crunches 3x15 @ 90, 100, 110 (was feeling out the weight, next time will stick with 110)

2 sets: V-sit w/Med Ball (6lbs) (15/side) superset w/ Crunches (added 25lb plate) (25)

Ball Pike (umm...should have looked at this more before I went to the gym, couldn't really figure out form so went to modified sort of roll-in things on my knees LOL)
2 x 15

Plank 1 @ 60secs

Still a lot of sets! Though I actually really enjoyed the abs stuff.   And total (i know I know! I get carried away!) workout was waaay too much/long.

Couldn't stand the idea of the elliptical, so I went all boot camp style and did this for cardio:

3 cycles of (*) each exercise / 60 seconds rest between cycles:
  • Burpees + push-up from "out" position (15) - though, ugh pushups only managed 12/8/6, UB was apparently quite fried!
  • Jumping Jacks (30)
  • Jog to High Knees (few seconds of jog then into 35-40 "high knees")
  • Mountain Climbers (30)
  • Ice Skaters (30)
  • Static squat w/ front punches (30)
Took about 15 mins or so, not a lot! But tough after squats yesterday and today's workout.

Leaving felt good, too :)

Tomorrow is: Cardio only, or rest, depending on how I feel. Gotta be strong for Deads on Friday!

* ok out of curiousity I plugged this into a 1RM calculator, and here are those results:
1RM: 128
5RM: 124
10RM: 105

I missed 122 *twice* at the meet, and I think in training leading up to the RUM, my PR with 110 was 3, and 105 I think I maxed at 2 sets of 7? This formula has always confused me! Just sayin' :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Squats, Do Over!

Ok so I repeated the squat programming I did last week, but I'm feeling sort of all over the place with this right now. Part of me feels like I should not try to progress more in weight until I get this "habit" of mine worked out. So while I went with the 5-5-5 (week 1 of 5-3-1) structure, I may abandon it altogether for Squats for a while and pick it up again with Cycle 2 when I get there with bench/deads. I'm not really sure I said - all over the place.

Since I'm going to work with RC next week one of the things he wanted me to just try was (*ducking for cover*) to let go of the Ripster's form and try going with the head/chin up, higher bar, more vertical method. Well, I tried ;) And while I never had the Ripster's form down perfectly, I don't really have this one down either. I'll call it the Cooth Hybrid form ;)

I also did more warm-ups than usual. Really wanted to make sure my back was good and ready, since uhhh...well she took a bit of a beating last Friday ;)

Set 1 - 120 x 5

Set 2 - 135 x 5

Set 3 - 145 x 10

Rep 5 and 9 on that last set look *different* to me, I THINK...slightly less GM'y. WAAAY shakey there though, hahah...legs quivering, I like it :)

RDLs were next...from Myles on last week's RDLs - need to focus on being tighter on the eccentric and keep the aggressive lock-out on top, so that was my aim today. I also used straps this week on sets 2 and 3 :P

Set 1 - 135 x 10

Set 2 - 165 x 10

Set 3 - 185 x 8

Back got a little rounded out on reps 6, 7 with this set, but I think I pulled it back together for the 8th. I'll be working to PR with min sets of 8 on RDLs.

Success on tighter eccentric, keeping aggressive lockout at top?

Rest of workout:
Hack Squats 90 x 10, 110 x 10, 10
(I feel like these will help me a lot)

Lying Leg Curls (getting form check on this new way): 3 x 10 @ 30 (all 3 sets at 30lbs this week :)
Leg Extensions 3 x 15 @ 65 (all 3 sets at 15 this week, woot!)
Hip Adduction 2 x 15 @ 130
Standing Calves 4 x 12 @ 120
Freemotion Cable Step-ups 1 x 25/leg @ 40 (25 right, then 25 left)
then a second set 1 x 25/leg @ 30 (alternating legs)

And no cardio :)
And new low weight! 135 on the nose :) Whack yo!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Even More Betterer ;)

So resting yesterday was definitely the right choice. Tough decision for me to make despite feeling nearly crippled when I woke up in the morning, because the PLAN said - workout!

But I listened to the crippled me, yay :)

Later on in the day, when I'd moved around a bit, loosened up a little, I started second guessing myself..."oh maybe a little cardio would be fine to help stay loose, get some blood circulating." And while we're being all open and honest - I say all that kind of thing to myself, but what I'm REALLY doing is panicking about my weight ("oh my god I'm going to balloon up if I don't do SOMETHING, let me just do a little, 30 mins won't hurt..." yeah that kind of thing). Nice.

But the little birdie in my head said, "Really Cathy? Really? Cuz you could hardly get out of bed this morning, just chill yo, another day isn't going to kill you. And your weight will be fine"

So true little birdie, so true :) And my weight was fine. In fact, I'm hovering at my lowest since I came back down from July's high...135.6 this AM. With good rest, and no food logging :) I feel like I'm in some sort of support group...I've been "log free" for 8 weeks now...

So I rested all day yesterday, just doing the chores and errands that needed to be done. And today I woke up *totally*functional* Woot! Slept till *5* no less, then got up and went and did 30 mins moderate, SS cardio and a niiiiice looooong stretch session.

Feeling good :)

This week, I'm starting my 5-3-1 cycle over, so repeating squats from last week tomorrow and then I'll go from there. RC agreed to help me with a few sessions in the gym for squats, which I think will be super beneficial for me - really looking forward to that. I'm sure he'll successfully kick my ass while we're at it ;)

Also asked Tara if she'd hook me up with an Abs workout so I could better focus, and work my abs with purpose. I think she's trying to kill me...21 total sets?! Gah. I think I'll stick with 2 sets of what she gave me to start (so, 12 total), and will modify from there :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Still Learning :)

So I was going to try to train today, but...*hangs head*  I overdid it on Friday and I can't - still waaaay too sore and stiff and it'd do more harm than good.  I started the week right, not killing myself first time "back" after so long being off pre/post meet.  I did well all week..and I guess I thought I could just go for it already on I did.  HAH! I went back to the kind of volume I hadn't done probably for at least 10 or 12 weeks...not good, gotta build up to that kinda crap.  Apparently I'm still not *really* listening, because I do know better....

So...slowing it back down.  Lesson learned (again, no really - THIS time I learned ;)

Tentative plans, based on wishful recovery thinking below, actual results may differ ;)

Sunday: REST
Monday: 30c
Tuesday: Squats
Wednesday: Bench + 20 HIIT
Thursday: 30c
Friday: Deads
Saturday: Arms/Sh + 30c

Sunglasses trainer guy made a good point the other day.  He asked me about training my abs...I do train abs specifically a few times each week, but not hard.  A few tough (4? 5?) sets a 3-4 days each week and that's that.  My thinking has been that my core gets a pretty good workout every day I train, it's gotta be fully engaged for every lift else I'm flat out on my ass or hurting myself.  He suggested I rethink that and I'm thinking he may be right.  At least one day/wk with some focus?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mmm...that's better...

Epsom salts bath with *hot* water + Lush "Dream Time" bath melt + candles + curious fuzzy kitty friends = aahhhhhhh that's betterrrr :)

Pass the torch, please!

A few days ago, I wrote about my day at the taping of the Dr. Oz Show, where the audience was comprised of 100 people who'd lost 100lbs or more.  I wrote about the 'theme' I noticed, where so many were blogging to share their experience, or had become a coach or a personal trainer or adopted a position that would, in some capacity, enable and inspire others to make the change they had.

A very good friend of mine, Tara, also has lost nearly 100lbs (seriously I'm splitting hairs...what the hell, she's lost 100lbs!) and became a personal trainer.  She's just recently branched out on her own and started taking clients, and she shared this the other day, and it just struck me as another brilliant example of this...

In this one client I saw how my impact could branch out and help many others.  And with her, when she arrives and inspires others, and those people arrive and inspire others. and so on.  What a TRULY AMAZING THING!  Truly!  Unbelievably magical. 

Magical indeed, a gift to keep passing :)  If you've got it - pass it on!

P.S.  Yesterday's deadlift workout update:  Ow ;)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sumos Today and Back at Home

Wooo-eeee that felt good.  Good to be home, good to be back in my space :)
Slept in a bit this morning and got back to my cozy lil' gym.  It's so funny how I feel so connected there, I feel out of my space when I work out someplace else, and I never feel like I get as good of a workout.

Anyway - Week 1 of 5-3-1 for Deadlifts today, plus the rest of my workout.  Here's how it went down folks!

Warm-up RDLs: 5 x bar, 95
Sumos: 3 x 135, 1 x 165, 1 x 195
Work sets: 5 x 205, 5 x 220, 5+ x 235

Here's that 5+ set, I managed 11 reps @ 235
I probably had another in me, but form was suffering badly and just getting worse, so I stopped :)

Box Squats: 5 x 5 @ 110
RDLs: 10 x 135, 8 x 165, 6 x 185, 5 x 205

Vid of the 135 set:

On the last set with 205, I started losing my grip. I knew this, but I could hear Myles chastising me for not using my straps in my head, so I was all like "yeah yeah I can DO this without them!" all stubborn like and stuff...and well YEAH, I did them. Had to set it on the floor after 5 and oh la laaaa....lookie there Mr. Blood Blister underneath the callous on my hand! Ewww...giant mound of blood under a thick callous = gross ;)

So I got a bandaid (in case it popped) and kept on through my workout:

Face Pulls: 3 x 10 @ 90, 100, 110
Cable High Rows: 3 x 10 @ 120


More ewwwwww! Cleaned it out, got another bandaid...needed to finish up :)

Leg Extensions 3 x 15 @ 65
Lying Leg Curls 3 x 10 @ 30 (last set @ 20)**
Standing Calves 4 x 12 @ 120
Back Extensions 15 x BW, 15 x 10, 15 x 25

Done! While I'm not sore, that was a most excellent workout.
Tomorrow might be a different story :)

** Lying Leg Curls - I tried these in a different way and needed to keep the weight REALLY light, and obviously, had to drop that last set to get it done! Really gonna feel those tomorrow

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Plan, and Plan Again - Just Git'r Done!

The other day I posted my training plan for this week as follows:

Monday - Squats
Tuesday - 30 Cardio
Wednesday - Bench + 20 HIIT
Thursday - 30 Cardio
Friday - Deads
Saturday - UB + 30 Cardio
Sunday - Off

Got squats done.  Got Tuesday cardio done...then I went and ran off to NYC and promptly got stuck here.  I woke up this morning with a raging migraine, I think the changing pressure from this storm triggered it, I'm not sure what else would have, so getting up, getting dressed in allll the winter garb, and standing through 5 hours of bright lights, confetti guns, cheering and clapping at the Dr Oz show was just about all I was able to handle this morning.

I'm feeling slightly better now, and I'm certainly stuck indoors.  I checked the hotel facility - they've got DB's up to 35lbs, a bench, and a bunch of TMs and Ellipticals.  I might be up for some easy cardio tonight, and tomorrow I could swing the workout I had planned for Saturday with the equipment in this facility, and rework my week as follows (assuming I get out of here tomorrow - looks ok for now!):

Wednesday - 30 (easy - migraine friendly ;) Cardio (PM)
Thursday - UB + 20 HIIT
Friday - Deads
Saturday - Off
Sunday - Bench + 30 Cardio

and start with Squats again on Monday. Don't want to get one lift out of sync with the rest..meaning be off on 5-3-1 weeks with one lift versus the others!

Oz Fest

So the reason I am in NYC was to be part of a special audience for the filming of the Dr. Oz 100th episode.  The audience was comprised of 100 people who've lost 100lbs or more.  I mean a conglomeration of people who've done something just awesome...there were a lot of folks there who were just tremendous (none of which I can talk about until the show airs next Tuesday (2/16).  In addition to the audience, there were several people featured with Dr. Oz, but the stories I heard from speaking with other folks in the audience...super inspirational. I was in tears a few times...

One of the themes I heard over and over (and here I thought I was *special* hahah ;) - "I lost the weight and then I became a (trainer/coach/nutritionist/etc) so that I could help others have this same experience"  Wow huh? What does that say?!  What an interesting little theme.  I think that just speaks volumes as to the power of this transformation - it truly changes everything from the inside out, and so significantly it moves people to want to help others feel that same power. Power and important.

And if not an outright change in career...maybe that's why there are so many blogs (like this! "baaahhhhhh" I'm a sheep!) out me wanting to share these things as I continue to experience them, and as the journey moves forward the things I am able to set out to do that I never would have had the ability to do before, the things I'd have been too AFRAID to do before.  I just want people to know the power of what they have inside of them, to just trust just once to push through the fear one more time and amazing things can follow.

There's an amazing thing or two inside of all of us.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Already Tweaking

On a whirlwind trip (or not so whirlwind, if I get stuck in the storm) to NYC.  Supposed to bench tomorrow, but we know how hotel gyms are.  So I called around to a bunch of places within walking distance of my hotel..."sorry, we don't *do* day passes.  we're a private club."! ;)  I finally found one...ready?  $35 for the day?! That's my entire month at my gym! Soooo...tweaking the plans.

Today was 30 mins cardio + abs and a whole lotta stretching.
Tomorrow will be HIIT cardio and more stretching (no bench, unless of course the hotel gym surprises me ;).

Thursday depends on where I am.  Supposed to get home tomorrow night but the storm is supposed to continue late into Wednesday evening soooo...

We do what we can :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Big Return -Today's Workout (aka "Jello there, legs!")

First day back!  For squats I'm following a plan on a page (oh the irony! no no..time and place for everything...;) and for everything else I sort of went with it and kept it pretty nice and not too intense.  Need to add some more hammies in here, and I think I'm taking out Leg Presses and keeping the Hack Squat going forward, so there's some good room in there for hammie action.  Or I may just leave it as is and hammer hammies more on Friday with deads.  Exercises will swap in and out week to week anyway.  We'll see...still playing around.

So squats...I tried a slightly wider stance on my first set, as one of the first of probably many experiments with squats.  The wider stance felt awkward and unnatural, I think I managed with my first set (5 x 125) but with the next two I don't think I went quite as wide.

Set 1 - 5 x 125

The kicker is I think those look cleaner than the 135 and 145 sets, BUT - the problem does tend to increase/worsen the heavier the weight gets, so it's hard to say.  I need to try a more strict test and make sure I take the wider stance with each progressively heavier set.

135 x 5

145 x 10

I also changed my shoes from the flat ones to one that has some heal for the last set, but I don't think that made any difference whatsoever. Still, they're running shoes with too much cushion. Superbowl funds may go to new appropriate shoes :)

Jefferson squats - first try ever...uhhh...
I think it's best I leave this one alone, particularly since I can't reduce the weight :)
I left them alone after that (smart! hah!) and went and did the Hack Squat - something else I've never done :) 

Sooo...the rest of the workout:

Good Mornings:  2 x 12 @ bar
Hack Squats (Hammer):  3 x 12 @ 90
Leg Press (Inverted):  3 x 10 @ 110
Pull Throughs:  3 x 10 @ 90, 100, 110 (got 10, 10, 8)
Seated Rows (1-arm):  2 x 8/arm @ 45
Hip Adduction: 2 x 15 @ 125
DB Walking Lunges 1 x 24steps @ 25lbs
Standing Calves 2 x 12 @ 105 (toes in), 2 x 12 @ 105 (toes out)
DB Walking Lunges 1 x 24steps @ 25lbs
Cable Step-ups (Free Motion machine) :  1 x 25/leg @ 40lbs

No cardio (go me ;)

Getting there...

Some of this is a reworked little snippet of something I posted on eDiets about a week ago, but I think it's appropriate for some of the things that are happening for me...actually I think this realization was sort of the tip of the iceberg when it comes to trusting myself...

We spend a LONG time learning how to lose weight, to follow a "diet" and to take it from DIET to LIFESTYLE, and by "lifestyle" in this sense I think we often use that word, but what I really think is that what we really strive for (at first) is to make it a HABIT...a long time.  During that time, we become dependent on some of the tools that we rely on in that process.  For instance, I became quite dependent on my nutrition tracking program.  It didn't matter if I was eating the SAME FOOD day in and day out - I would track it, log it, analzye it ... every day.  I was so determined to lose the weight, it just became part of my daily routine.  If I couldn't log or didn't, I would feel guilty, and worry about what I was eating (again, even if it was the SAME THING I'd eaten the day before, and the day before that, and so on).

So here I've been in "maintenance" now for a long time...or so I thought.  But when I got to maintenance, what changed?  Well...nothing!  I logged everything.  Everyday.  WHY would I trust myself to regulate my food intake NOW, when obviously that didn't work for me the first time around?  I'll just continue to log my food..after all it's worked so far, why change it?

Well why indeed, good question.  And I still don't know that I have an answer for that - why change something that's working and is a pretty healthy behavior to be engaging in? Several weeks ago I left my normal routine, something I'd cultivated and used for good success over the past ohhhh...I don't even know how many years.  I packed up and drove to Virginia to help take care of my dad after some surgery he had (he's fine :) and I'll tell ya, there's nothing like a total life makeover to knock you right out of your routine - EVERYTHING there was different from the way it is HERE.  From the time I woke up in the morning to my workouts to the temperature to my eating to the way I was working - upside down!

And I didn't track a morsel.  Not from the day I left until I got back.  And I've been back for nearly 3 weeks now, and I STILL haven't logged a thing.  While I was away, I ate "normal" foods (things that I would normally prepare for myself on my own), I ate home cooked meals from Mom, and I ate out with friends several times while I was away.  I made good, sensible choices and I knew what portions were appropriate.

And you know what?  My weight was and has remained totally stable.  I've fluctuated between 135 and 138 (with a blip up to 140 on New Years Day) just through trusting in myself to regulate my food intake (both ways - not too much, not too little).  Honest to god I'm shocked and amazed by this.  I probably shouldn't be, but I really didn't think I could do it - I didn't believe that I would not go off the deep end and go completely out of control - that's why I've kept myself accountable for so long, to the food journaling program!

I think this is a big step in the maintenance picture, I'm learning how to eat again but without relying on macros and calories and number crunching and detailed notes!  YES all of that absolutely has it's place, and no, I don't believe I would have succeeded at this weight loss thing WITHOUT it, but ..

I think what I've finally been able to do here, is to take it to the next level.  To take it from DIET into HABIT, and out of HABIT into LIFESTYLE.

It came even more together for me this morning when I read part of an exchange I'd been having with RC regarding energy/recovery/food, etc.  He wrote, "yeah it's like I woke up! I mean living life by a fucking carb macro number no matter how I feel? idiotic" 

Umm....YES!  OMG - this is what I WANT! It is exactly like waking up!

THIS is what maintenance should be.  I thought I was there the past few years but no, it was in name alone. I've been living life by a fucking macro number no matter how I felt! And pushing the cardio! And nitpicking myself over 5 calories! WTF is that?

This place I am now, this is what it's about - in behavior and belief...this really ties back in with my post yesterday, where I did call it out, but I hadn't really put it all together yet in my mind.  But the cardio madness (saying it out loud was very freeing - I DON"T have to do cardio every day, I just don't! *Especially* on heavy lifting days!), the food...all of it.  And I've been DOING it - I'm not just saying this stuff.  I ate sufficiently and without fear of CARBS the weekend of my meet.  Hell I took the week before the meet completely off from all workouts because I was simply *exhausted*  I listened to me, trusted me...not the plan that was laid out months before...

Coming together, growing up, making this work...that's what all of this was about at the start.  Not some plan on a page...I've been living to appease a plan on a page, but I've been doing so to my own detriment at times. That is NOT a lifestyle, it's a plan on a page.

I know I still have a lot to learn and I know there will be times I will still have moments when I "should have listened" to me better or more closely, but I think these have been some big steps forward the past few weeks, and it feels pretty amazing :)  I'm getting there...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Coming Together..

So I've been following, with I think pretty excellent success, a training program called 5-3-1.  I believe Myles and I both adopted this plan after my first meet, last March.  So coming up on one year, and my deadlift has gone from 240 to 303, squat from non-existent to 183, and bench...well ok I could use some help in bench...from 105 to 110 ;)  Hey everyone has an achilles ;) the plan is starting to come together.

I'll start back to 5-3-1 tomorrow, and I think this first cycle (2/8 - 3/7), the weeks will look like this:

Monday - Squats
Tuesday - 30 Cardio
Wednesday - Bench + 20 HIIT
Thursday - 30 Cardio
Friday - Deads
Saturday - UB + 30 Cardio
Sunday - Off

That's *a lot* less cardio than I normally do, but a) I hate it, and b) I should be able to maintain my weight without killing myself at this point.  I've struggled with easing off the cardio for a long time for great fear of gaining weight, but I feel like the past 2 months or so have taught me a lot and given me some basis for trusting myself, and my gut says this will be fine.  Sooooo....taking the plunge.  Besides, I can always add it back in :)

Training maxes are starting lower than where they were when I ended my 5-3-1 training for RUM.  I wasn't sure if that was ok or not, but one check with Myles revealed I was once again being obtuse ;)  So I've learned to trust myself in one area, but not all....Oh well, that's why we have sensible friends, yeah?  Anyway - the lower training maxes feel right, since just the thought of starting with the weight I was handling then makes me tired ;)  Trust....

Besides, with my first meet now looking like it's not going to be until JUNE....hell - when all goes well, I'll be adding 50lbs to that Tmax by then!  That should do just fine :)

On another, sort of related note...I won 1st quarter of Superbowl Squares at the office - woot!  I think I'm going to take that and make a sizeable contribution towards my new weightlifting shoes...cross your fingers I win 4th quarter - that's double the cash!

2010 Meet Plans - Revised

Ok ok...with a little prodding from Myles (which totally made sense, I was just being stubborn), I've amended my plans for the year to something a little more sensible...
  • Raw United Push/Pull (April 2010)
  • Miami Fitness Expo (USAPL - June 2010) -OR-
  • USAPL Raw National Championships (July 2010)
  • Raw United National Championships (November 2010)
  • Raw United Florida State Championships (June 2010)
  • Raw United National Championships (November 2010)
Training begins again...tomorrow!  Yeah!  I've got some new techniques to try out, some new assistance exercises...I'm anxious to get back in there, enough of this rest already!

Hopefully I'll be back later with a *plan*

Saturday, February 6, 2010

2010 Meet Plans

Ok it's a total blogFEST today, 3 blog entries in a row.  But well...gotta start somewhere ;)

So I'm trying to figure out what the rest of my competitions will look like this year.  I've tentatively outlined the schedule over there on the right side bar ...
  • Raw United Push/Pull (April 2010)
  • Miami Fitness Expo (USAPL - June 2010) -OR-
  • USAPL Raw National Championships (July 2010)
  • Raw United National Championships (November 2010)
Buuuuut, my heart really isn't into either of the June/July meets.  I'm thinking 5 a year might be excessive, anyway ;)  Ya think?  So my gut is telling me to drop the June/July dates, but my heart is like *whine* but then what do we do alllllll summmmerrrrrr? Six months between meets?! 

There's always a chance others could be scheduled, I guess.  I'll have to keep ruminating on this one.

For now, this weekend is full of REST.  No cardio, no nada, because next week, we get back to it.  Later tonight or sometime tomorrow I'll be coming up with some plans...

2010 Raw Unity Meet Recap

Last weekend (1/30/10), I competed in the 2010 Raw Unity Powerlifting Championships in Tampa, Florida.  This was a very prestigious meet, and to be among some of the best lifters in the world was really an awesome opportunity for me.  I'm still totally wowed by the overall experience.  I met some strong ladies and gentlemen and I got to see some truly amazing lifts!  This meet is a cross-federation meet that brings raw lifters (unequipped) together to compete against each other.  In order to qualify to participate in this meet, a woman of my size needed to have a competition Total of 622lbs.  A Total is earned in a single competition and is the highest weight lifted in each squat, bench press, and deadlift performed.  My best total going in to this meet was 540 pounds.  I sent the lifting committee a “lifter resume” explaining why they should allow me to compete even though my total was not sufficient to qualify, and they invited me to participate

I trained for 14 weeks going into this meet, and my goals were the following:

GOAL 1 - New Meet personal records (PR's) in all lifts (>105 bench, >160 squat, > 276 deads).
GOAL 2 -  Add 82lbs to my Total .... ie: make my new Total not only a PR, but one that would have me qualify outright for the meet next year

I have pretty bad video of each lift up on youtube, but in about a week (that's what I'm told anyway) I should have a real nicely compiled video of each lift that was done professionally that I can share :)  For now...we have crappy ones - so sorry ;)

I lowered my opening squat attempt from 164 to 159 at the last minute since my warmups were feeling STUPID heavy.  It turns out (I didn't find out until I was warming up for deadlifts), that the collars that hold the plates on the bar, were *5* pounds each - adding 10lbs to what I thought was on the bar.

Anyway...opening squat was 159 (my former PR from July '09) and it went up with ease. 

My second attempt was 182lbs :)  It was a grinder, although watching the video, it doesn't LOOK as much like a grinder as it FELT (though still clearly a push LOL)!

I missed my 3rd attempt at 193:

It's pretty easy to see in the video what went wrong with that one, the issue is figuring out how to STOP me from doing that when the weight gets heavy.  Overall, I increased my squat with a 23lb PR!  I think I'm pretty happy with that :)

Raphael (the one who helped me to lose all the weight and GET me here! How much does he rock like that? :), has provided some suggestions and things for me to try going forward in my squat (and bench) training.  Lots of different ways to skin a cat, need to try on a few and see what works best.  He followed the whole meet live on ustream and left streaming commentary on my facebook page - it was most excellent to come home to :)  I knew all my friends and family were watching from all over the place and I can't TELL you how good that felt.  I did my best to harness all the cheers and strength that everyone was sending, I didn't want to disappoint! on facebook that he now see's where my weakness is on squat and can help :)

I also still need very much to work on my confidence with squat.  I definitely improved there, but you can see a difference in my approach on first/second attempt versus that 3rd attempt - too much doubt walking up there!

Bench  Press
I opened Bench with 110lbs, and I made that with NO problem, it went right up!  I've done 3 meets prior to this and missed 110 each time, so my opener was MOST EXCELLENT in my mind :)  I've taken 120 in training twice, so my 2nd attempt was at 122 and well...I missed it.  And then I missed it *again* (no video of 3rd attempt).  I was pretty bummed about that, but DETERMINED not to let it rain on my deadlift parade ;)  Beside, 110 had eluded me EVERY TIME and I totally owned it, so nothing to be ashamed of there :)

Seriously - I'm ok with saying it - my favorite lift!  Not only to perform but also even just to watch!  I wish I could explain and share the true incredible HIGH that comes from making a huge lift with that exercise.  It's almost...primal ;)  So when I see someone else make a huge incredible lift I can sort of imagine how they are feeling and I get a little bit of that right along with them.  Before I lifted, I saw the last of the lightweight class doing their 3rd attempts.  There was one women who just pulled and pulled and pulled and it seemed like 20 minutes passed but she kept pulling and she NAILED it!  When she put it down and got the green lights she just FLEW into her trainers arms, jumped like 10 feet in the air!  It was soooo awesome I cried for her, HAH!  That got me so pumped I just knew that all 3 deads HAD to be mine.

I opened deadlifts with 264 pounds, I wanted confidence and strength to show and leave no doubt in the judges mind that deadlifts were mine.  I went out there and BAM - straight up!  It felt *incredible*  Smooth and easy :)  My 2nd attempt was a new PR for me at 286 pounds (former was 276 from July), and again - felt FANTASTIC, smooth!! And double body weight (plus a few)! YES:

After that, I walked to the scoring table and I entered my 3rd attempt...303.1 pounds...writing it down was amazing itself!  303lbs?!  Seriously?  The whole time between entering that attempt and going out there to that platform to lift it, all that was in my head was a visual of me standing there holding it up at lockout and all of my friends voices were there repeating, "you start and you don't stop, all your strength, all your love all your power" and I was just determined that I was just going to pull and pull and pull on that bar until it was up!  That's all there was to it!  And then I went out there and just like...went up! HAH! I couldn't believe it! And then that high came for ME!! What a freaking amazing rush :)

My good friend Myles, the one who works so hard with me on my training and who got me INTO this whole mess, put together a chronology of my deadlift for the past year. It's very cool, so awesome of him to do :)

So all in all....
Goal #1 (new PRs on each lift) - done!  Squat PR of 23lbs, Bench PR of 5lbs, and deadlift PR of 27lbs!
Goal #2 (to "officially" qualify for the meet by increasing my total 82lbs from 540 to 622) - Well I increased it by 55 pounds,so I'm a happy girl.  There's another meet in my future, to make up that difference :)

I've been much more tired and far more sore than I've ever been post meet.  I guess that makes sense  I'm still sort of in recovery mode, workouts have been very light, and limited to just cardio.

A wonderful, wonderful, incredible experience I had last weekend.  I'm still high (and sore, and tired - but HIGH!) and at the same time a little down - like that was a huge event...14 weeks of training prep and now it's over.  But!  On to the next thing...I had a blast, and intend to continue :)

First Post, No Pressure

So here we are, inaugural post and pressure or anything to come up with something INTERESTING to say :) "All Your Strength...Everything You Got."  I decided to make that full quote (from Rocky IV) the sort of prevailing "theme" of this blog, since it sort of is how I approach things these days, particularly the THING of powerlifting.  It's the perfect note to have running through your head when you walk out onto that platform, "...all your strength, all your power, all your love, everything you got!"

A good friend of mine said that to me before one of my first meets, which at this time is still less than just a year ago.  But it was perfect, it stuck with me, and now I carry it in my heart in training and on the platform.

Anyway, I thought I'd use this space as my training blog, space to work through the nerd side of me, the one that likes to manipulate numbers and create training plans and obsess over bits and details of things that would otherwise probably make a lot of people crazy (not to mention bored).  It's my space for working through things, but hopefully a space for learning too.  If you happen to be reading and see something totally whack or that could easily be improved with a minor tweak or two, please let me know.  I've a lot to learn :)