Friday, July 22, 2011

A Training Week Ends - Massive Weekly Wrap Up!

Not the best training week for me, numbers/strength wise but a HUGELY important and awesome training week for me in so many other ways.

1. Last Friday, RC and I beat the living sh*t out of our legs. I can't even begin to relay the soreness and the "overdoneness" factor. If it helps to even give you an inkling, on Sunday I took a step and my entire right hamstring seized and cramped up and refused to move for a good 5 minutes or so. It took about an hour for it to relax and unseize (it's a word now), and probably another 3 or 4 for the crampy pain to totally subside. This seriously affected my strength and performance all week (I'm sure of it, but if you need proof, check my shakey/unstable performance with Overhead Press from Monday!). What's the major lesson learned here kiddos? Note to self: don't do this in the future!

2. I had a solid deadlift day on Tuesday, but it was a step back week, and a good thing too, because I was still not fully recovered on Tuesday for Deads. I went for warm-ups, followed by 3 sets of 5 at 240, 250, and 265. RC followed suit only he stuck with the conventional stance. Had I needed to go for max reps or heavy singles, it would not have happened. Or would have further impeded my recovery from Friday for sure! RC and I discovered a slight inefficiency in his deadlift that we are going to work on correcting going forward. Video would be nice here, huh? Yeahhhh...that day I lost my camera :( I think it fell out of my bag and I didn't notice it, and of course...NO ONE turned it in*

3. Wednesday - OFF

4. Thursday we worked Chest. I benched with 5-3-1 and then did a bunch of accessory work, RC started with Flat DB Press. We used his camera on Thursday and got my last bench set and got a nice video of some of his heavy DB presses - 75 pounders for 10 reps! It was not my best chest day either, I wanted at least 9 reps at 100, I got 8, and only got the 9th with assistance:

It really was just the tiniest bit of assistance, but assistance nontheless.

5. Today - well, wow. We worked legs again. I made a very conscious effort to not beat them at all. Next week is a heavy week for deads and the heaviest week in the cycle for everything else, so the plan for today, spoken many, many times outloud, was (say it with me!) MODERATION! The plan was to do 5-3-1 sets as written, but go very light on the accessory work. I'm happy to say I stuck to the plan, however I'm not fully convinced that my legs were fully recovered even TODAY! Much better, and really close - but maybe not quite all the way there yet! Wow huh?

Anyway - we brought the camera back in the gym today...RC wanted to be sure to work on his form and his depth for squats and I'm always looking to improve on those things, so we put it to good use today. Learned something very deceiving and interesting. My squats, from the angle that I normally film from, look pretty good. They're not beautiful, they're not perfect, form gets lost as the weight gets heavier and/or I get tired during the set, but for the most part...not so bad! We got some video today that shows a VASTLY different squat! I'm like...ok so you know you watch some youtube videos of people lifting and you wince and sort of turn away, or watch out of one squinty eye, because they look like they're going to kill themselves? Holy crap that's me! Here's why it's interesting! From the side, from the view I normally get, they look great! But change that angle, a little bit behind...bad, bad news. I don't even know how that can be! But I was mortified. I never would have seen it though, without a partner filming it from a different angle. They're so bad I honestly believe it would be irresponsible for me to post them. Not to mention I'm embarrassed to, too!

6. With that understanding, I'm now on a mission. As I mentioned last week, one very big and obvious issue is my elbows. Another potential contributor (mentioned before): weak abs. I'm not sure how they're weak at this point, but it seems likely given my "symptoms." Easy enough to work on, and it certainly can't HURT, abs will get some extra attention. I WILL GET THIS, damn it ;)

7. Having a training partner freaking rocks. I've never had one before, but in just this week alone I've learned many little (& some big!) things. In the process, I'm also learning how to BE a good training partner. My spotting sucks and needs some work, but I've already seen improvement in that - it's an art. I get a different perspective from it - it helps me to see my workouts through another's eyes in a few ways - not just selection of sets and reps and exercises, but also energy levels, enthusiasm, determination, etc. It's cool to sort of combine things from different "schools," too. I'm not sure I can fully explain either one of those things, but it's been enlightening for me and for however long it lasts, I'm very happy for the experience, the camraderie, the extra push and nudge, and the friendship. Shouts to Raphael for that, it's been awesome and I look forward to more :)

8. Like my friend Ms. T, I'm learning more and more to work through fear. Tara has pushed so hard in the past, that she's having now to recover from Adrenal Fatigue. It's a long, difficult road (and one I'm so proud of her for walking, and walking tall). Although some of the circumstances are different, what she just wrote in her blog really struck a chord with me:

Pushing myself has never been the problem (in the last few years). It’s listening to my body and knowing when to slow down that I have a problem. But what I’m neglecting are the answers to these questions. Of course I’ll know when it’s too much… AFTER the fact and it may trigger a worsening of my symptoms by putting more of a strain on my adrenals and thyroid, but will it set me back months and months? Of course not… as long as I listen and act.

Listen and act. Listen, learn, act. Adapt. Guess who's not going to work to the point of total leg annihilation again? I didn't know it was too much until AFTER, until I couldn't sleep from the soreness/pain, could barely walk, and had my entire leg cramp/seize up. But I certainly learned, and now is the time to listen and act. And it DID set me back, but not months and months, so all is ok. Not a total screw up, just learning. Still :) But aren't we all? Still? :) Tara's an awesomely strong role model in this (and many other) regard! Thanks Ms. T!

I'm learning to know when to stop, yeah I have a ways to go ;) I'm also learning to trust me and my body and FOOD. I'm up to a little over 2000 calories per day, and at least one meal out each week. Seriously - me, 2000 calories a day?! I'm NEEDING it and recognizing that need, and equally important: I'm enjoying it and I'm not sweating the little things. I could probably stand to go for even a little more some days. But I'm staying away from religious tracking of cals/macros and manipulating every meal to be perfect. Part of it comes from still having the "safety net" that Tara mentions in her post, I'm getting little nudges here and there on the food front that make it just a little easier to listen to the voice that tells me I need to eat (rather than shutting her right down, as I've so often done in the past). But I too want to learn to trust my own voice that says "too much" or "not enough" or "just right." Hello Goldi-Cooth :)

All in all - it's been an amazing week. I've learned a lot, I've made a ton of progress, even if it all wasn't in my strength and in my numbers.

* Do you have any idea how much it irritates me that people can suck so bad? If it's not yours, turn it in! How many times could I have had a new phone, iPod, CAR...but these things weren't mine, so I gave them to the front desk to keep safe. It would be nice if most of the world operated that way.

So here's where I debate a second post or just keep right on going into "everything else." Well here's where you can decide to quit, or keep reading cuz I'm goin in!

Tuesday of this past week I heard back from the job I last interviewed for - no go. It was a pretty big blow, and despite what my mom says about the email, I really feel it was the dating equivalent of the "it's not you, it's me" speech. And we all know that means "it's you, and you suck." BUT - it wasn't the ideal job anyway, it was only part-time, no benies,, onward!

That was the same day I lost my camera at the gym :(

It was also the same day that my Bloom site went totally on the fritz. I ended up having to call Go Daddy because I could not log into it _at_all_. No post updates, no changes to the theme - nada. They ended up having to "roll it back" to a few weeks ago, so all of the cosmetic and other changes I'd made to the site were lost.

Tuesday was not my brightest day this week ;) But today is Friday, and it's a much, much brighter day. My new camera arrives today. I'm on the job hunt EVERY day. And in between that and training, I'm keeping much busier than expected with some small projects RC and I are collaborating on. They're coming together really nicely and there's some potential for some really great things to come from it all, I believe that! I've also successfully put Bloom back together again, and now just need to get over THERE and update. I've got several ideas, I just need to discipline myself to sit down and WRITE. Through all this, I've picked up a little web design knowledge which is kind of cool. Unemployed, but picking up a new skill here and there can't hurt!

Which leads me to another thought! I'm thinking of getting another certification. Debating going to NASM for a Corrective Exercise Specialist certification. It feels like that should open some employment doors for me, and definitely goes along the lines of picking up a new skill while I'm down! I need to make a decision...I've been sitting on this one since the beginning of July. I guess I just want to be sure that the output (cash/time/effort) is going to be worth the return. It's hard to say in this economy, and particularly since I don't know where I might end up job wise right now!

And with that, friends...I stop being a windbag and I leave you to your weekend :)


  1. The CES is my next route too. It's a great cert and you'll be surprised how much you will incorporate into your own training. Go for it!

    I'm glad my sharing was able to help you figure some things out. That's why we put it out there - to work through and possibly help someone else in the process.

    I'm thinking... Your squats are going to go through the roof now! Can't wait to see THIS progression!

  2. Thanks T, still on the fence with the CES but starting to lean to one side for sure, hahah.

    Your post definitely helped me synthesize a lot of what I was feeling but couldn't quite put my finger on, and it also made me cheer "yes!" for you too, hahah :)

    My squats...really fascinating stuff. I know it can be corrected, and now is a good time to do it. Take the focus off the weight (again) and really nail it this time. I think the elbows thing will be key. I just watched the 204 squat from RUM, yowza on the elbows, hahah. I can't wait to see this progression, either!