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Archive for the ‘Changes’ Category

Greetings. I seem to have made a come back from the dark side.  My workouts were so bad last week, I couldn’t even write them up.  Awful.  This week, however, I’ve recovered from whatever was ailing me and had a good start to another week in the gym.  I think there were several issues with my workouts last week.  One was a slight cold that I was battling for most of the week, and the other was weight loss.  It still have a ways to go with this whole diet business, but last week was one of my first big drops in weight (2-4 pounds). So I was dealing with a decreased body weight, several weeks of low carbs and reduced calories.  It added up.  It’s hard for me to keep all of these factors in mind when my lifts don’t go well, especially the weight loss.  When you’ve lost a small amount of weight…like 5 pounds… you don’t necessarily notice it right away.  My clothes still fit the same, which I am very grateful for because I do not want to have to buy new clothes.  However, now that I’m getting closer to the 8-10 pound weight loss mark, I am starting to notice subtle changes in other areas.

For example, my thighs seem to be declaring independence from one another.  I’ve always been in the lusting thigh club…they just couldn’t get enough of each other.  Not something to be proud of, but women in general fall into 2 categories: either their thighs don’t touch, have never touched, and never will….OR….they do touch, have always touched, and likely always will.  I’d say it’s genetics, but I have no evidence to substantiate that claim.  So there you have it, I’m a thigh toucher…or rubber…or whatever you want to call it.  However, in the last few days….I have noticed a micrometer or two of distance between those babies.  This is a major accomplishment for me.  It’s a long deserved separation.  My left thigh has decided that it is seriously sick of being smothered and sweated on every day of its life.  So they’re taking a break right now, and I am totally okay with that.

Unfortunately, none of this really boosts my lifting ability.  Although it may boost my sex appeal when I don my singlet in May???  Okay…so maybe not.  The singlet is a lost cause.  Anyway, I did a heavy leg day on Monday and finally managed to do the 3×5 sets at 180 pounds that I was supposed to do last week.  Then there were some brutally heavy RDL’s at 225 pounds.  I think I butchered those pretty bad.  I was supposed to do 135 pound front squats next, but I am just way too big of a sissy to try those. I did 125 pounds instead.  And finally, a few sets of good mornings.  Tuesday was bench day.  After failing at 125 pounds last week, I dropped it down to 3×5 at 120 and got all the reps just fine.  Then I did some shoulder presses, and for the first time I actually did 55 pounds for 3×10.  That was a huge break through for me.  I can normally get 55 for one set and maybe two, but never three.  Yay!  Finally, there were the ever present dumb bell rows and tricep pushdowns.  Hopefully this is an indication that my body is adjusting to operating at a lower weight and everything will be smooth sailing from here on out!!

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Bajayjays

I will start off by giving credit where credit is due.  The term Bajayjay was actually coined by my former neighbor.  She had a serious problem with having to wear underwear.  It just wasn’t comfortable and she didn’t want anything to do with.  I, of course, didn’t realize this until I was invited over one Sunday afternoon.  We were all sitting around watching TV and gabbing.  Suddenly, I looked over only to realize she was laying on the floor giving the rest of the room quite a show.  Once her mom noticed (oh, I forgot to mention she was only 3 at the time) she said- “go put some undies on and quit showing everyone your Bajayjay!”  I was instantly a fan of the term and it has come in handy several times in the last few days.

For starters, Ray Ray apparently grew a Bajayjay yesterday when he called up to demand that I no longer refer to him as a “trainer”.  He fears that the entire planet (or all 14 people that read this nonsense) will think of him as a juiced up meat head that walks around giving unsolicited advice. 

No, Ray looks absolutely nothing like this.  Wouldn’t it be the most hilarious workout of your life though?

From now on I am only to refer to him as a coach.  He provides advice and expertise on all things workout.

I guess he’s going for the more constipated and angry look….minus the whistle and wind pants of course.

Noted.

As for my workout yesterday.  I was the big Bajayjay on that one.  It was a rough volume workout.  Like a dog….the workout smelled fear on me. I was doomed from the start.  What began as 5×12 at 155 pound squats turned into 135 pound, and so did the 5×12 RDLs that followed.  Then it was a pathetic round of 5×12 front squats at (I don’t even want to admit this) 65 pounds, super setted with 5×12 reverse hyper. The workout probably took me almost an hour and a half. I had to drag myself through it. I was seriously sore before I even finished the squats.  Is that even possible?  I could not believe it.

I know that a week of rest works really well for some people and I truly believe that it’s a good idea…for them.  It turns out that my black and white personality is also present in my physical abilities.  My muscles saw the week off as a complete and very permanent shut down.  With 10 straight days of no lifting, they cashed in their chips and set sail for the Caribbean.  So now I’m left with a seriously uncooperative body.  How would you feel if you were basking on the beach being fanned by a cabana boy when some one yanked you back to -40 degree wind chill and told you to do 60 squat reps?  I guess I’d be pretty irritated too.  I will likely not be able to walk tomorrow.  Oh joy.

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Back In Black

Hola. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I truly enjoyed my week off. It was nice not to have to travel back to Michigan, although I missed my family a ton. Luckily, my mom came out to visit for a week so I at least got my mom fix. We had a lot of fun cruising around and seeing the sights. The weather was a bit iffy so we were forced to take shelter inside TJ Maxx and JC Penney several times, but we survived. She made it home safely yesterday and now it’s back to reality.

One of the great parts about my mom’s visit is that she always likes to go to the gym. Since the gym that I use isn’t really set up for the average bear, I did my workouts at my gym and then went and picked up my mom for a trip to the gym I used to go to. It’s got an indoor track, tons of cardio machines, and your typical nautilus equipment. She loves it. Since I was there, I did about an hour of cardio each day on top of my normal workouts. It was pathetically light cardio, but cardio none the less. I was pretty happy with my level of fitness over the holiday. However, I do feel like a walking Christmas cookie these days. Picture the commercials with giant cinnamon roll for each butt cheek. Oh yeah.

And so begins my journey back to the land of black. I’ve mentioned before that I am very much a black and white person- all in or all out. Well, a few things have gone all out for me the last few months…especially the old diet. So here I go. I’m 3 weeks out from a trip to Orlando, severalish months out from a wedding, and seven months out from Nationals. I am slowly going to creep my way back to actually giving a moment of thought to the crap that I’m shoving in my mouth. I’m not saying that it still won’t go in, but at least I’ll know what it is.

The other key component is the gym. I am going to stick with these jacked up power lifting/torture/muscle-head workouts for a while. I’ve actually really “enjoyed” them. True, I’ve been a hunched over sack of sh*t throughout most of them, but I think it’s good for me. I’ve been sore and even sweaty! Old Jeff (trainer guy at the gym) has come up to me several times and said, “your face is all red…..” Yep, it’s that unusual. Pretty sad huh? So that’s about to change. I’m also flirting with the idea of doing a bit of fasting cardio just to shake things up a bit. The only problem is that this means going back to 2 gym memberships. I guess it would be worth it though. Afterall, it’s either $30 bucks on a gym membership or $30 on a few more solid color long sleeve tees from Target. I’ll keep you posted on how that one works out.

Tonight it’s another fabulous leg workout and tomorrow I will test out my shoulder with some barbell bench pressing (just the bar) to see how it feels. Keeping my fingers crossed!!!

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Updates

I have been a lazy blogger the last few weeks!!  I have a few quick updates before I head out for the holiday season.  I seem to have fubared my left shoulder.  Not sure how or way, but it is very angry with me.  I’m even having trouble getting dressed in the morning.  Snapping my bra has become a gut wrenching experience.  As a result, I threw myself a nice little pitty party.  I’ve decided that my body needs a break.  I’m going to skip the State meet in February and try to regroup for a meet in May.  In the meantime, I can’t do any benching or anything resembling benching.  I can’t even do push ups. It’s terrible.  I think in the end, this will be a good thing, but for now it’s just really frustrating. 

My workouts have changed to incorporate a bit more variety with a higher emphasis on overall in-shape-ness.  Yeah, i feel like a slug these days so I really wanted to get my body moving a bit more.  The progress has been slow but I feel like I’m getting there.  Now I just need to put the Christmas cookies down.  Step away from the cookie and no one gets hurt!!!!

I’m off work for the next week and a half. I’ll be lifting while I’m on vacation and will do my post to throw out a post or two.  Happy Holidays!!!!!

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Shrinkage

The concept of shrinkage is an incredible phenomenon that I don’t think I’ll ever understand.  And no…i’m not talking about the male version of shrinkage.  That’s actually relatively entertaining….from my perspective anyway.  I’m talking about how I feel when I’ve been out of the gym for a few days.  It’s amazing how one or two days out of the gym makes me feel like my muscles are literally melting away.  Fat cells start multiplying like crazy.  Then they team up and wage war on my muscles for a mass take over.  And that’s just what happens in a few days.  Imagine how I feel being out of the gym for an entire week?? 

Yep, that’s me….one giant lump of mush….

  

I swear my love handles even feel bigger on the days that I don’t work out.  How can that possibly happen?  The craziest part is that I’ve actually lost a few pounds.  So I can’t really be fatter right?  Or is it that my muscles have decomposed and given way to twice as much fat?  Yep….that’s how my mind works.  I’m not sure if guys feel the same way, but I have talked with many women that have experienced this phenomenon.  It’s brutal, let me tell ya.

Know what else is brutal?  The giant swarm of bumble bees that have been living in my stomach for the last week.  I can’t explain why I get so nervous for competitions, but I do.  And I don’t think it’s something that will ever go away.  I thought it would decrease with more experience, but now I realize that the experience just brings more pressure, new goals, higher PR’s…..aaaaaahhhhhh!  I couldn’t sleep again last night so I found myself laying in bed thinking about my lifts.  I kept going over them in my head and a few minutes in I realized that my heart was beating so hard….it felt like it was going to beat right out of my chest.  It’s amazing how much adrenaline comes along with lifting.  Just thinking about it had me about ready to have a heart attack.  Thank goodness this meet is tomorrow.  I think I would actually burst with anxiety if I had to wait any longer!

Anywho….I’ll try to post my results on Sunday.  Here’s to new PR’s all around!!!

Happy Halloween!!

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Weight lifting makes you HOT!

I never thought that I’d say this, but power lifting has actually made me hotter.  Not in the, “Damn gurl….you lookin FINE” sort of way…..unfortunately.  Lifting has changed how I look, don’t get me wrong.  But I don’t have that forever unattainable “perfect body”.  But as another great lifter put it, “If I can’t be thin, at least I can be strong!”  And to me, being strong translates to being confident.  And confidence is really what it’s all about.  It changes my perspective on almost every situation.  Like the dressing room, for example.  If I can get my bum into the desired size jeans….it’s okay, I’ll just blame it on my massive glutes ; ) 

But I’m talking about being hot in an atmospheric sense.  I feel like my body temperature has actually increased.  I used to sit at my desk and shiver all day. I’d wear wool socks and sweaters starting September 1st.  I’d be the first one to put my coat on in a room full of people.  But not anymore.  I wore a long sleeve shirt yesterday (just one, not my typical layered effect), and I thought I was going to die.  Then I was at a meeting today in a t-shirt when I noticed that all the women in the room were wearing their coats.   I love it.  I’m not a fan of being cold and knowing that I’ve been able to do something to prevent it….without donning a parka everywhere I go…is fantastic.  Now when I see women shivering and putting on coats, I have to fight the urge to go up to them and tell them that all they need is a little heavy lifting. 

Marilyn Monroe had it figured out!

It’s likely that it also has something to do with why I can’t stand wearing t-shirts at the gym.  Hot!  Especially when I’m tearing the place up with an awesome work out!  Well, maybe that was a bit too much enthusiasm, but I am on a bit of a winning streak.  It was another bench day.  I got the orders via text (as usual) from my trainer early in the afternoon.  So I spent the rest of the afternoon sweating about whether or not I’d be able to get through it.  It was a lot of weight, more than I’ve ever done for reps….eek!!! 

Luckily the supplement fairy (thanks Chris!) paid me a visit again today.  I LOVE when that happens.  I was the beneficiary of a giant vat of relatively expensive pre-workout goodness.  And my challenging workout was the PERFECT way to break it in!  I drank the magic elixir and then set out to warm up.  I did a bunch of reps at varying weight and then grabbed a spotter. I was too nervous to try this one without a safety net.  I know, such a sissy.  I got all the reps though, 3 sets of 2 at a weight that I’ve struggled to single in the past.  Woot woot!  I was psyched.  Then I did some rows, shoulder presses (the bane of my existence), and weighted dips.  Seriously, I love dips.  I used 30 pounds this week and had no trouble.  I can’t believe it. 

It’s not like I’m hangin’ 180 pounds from my waist yet though!!

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Total Recall

Side note- apparently in Sci-Fi movies the occurrence of a third boob is more common than a third eye-ball…..

 

Sorry, I just can’t shake the Arnold references this week.  And the image of Arnold’s eye balls popping out on Mars is forever seared in my brain.  I do, however, have a point here.  I know…it’s a shocker.  Fortunately, it’s not that I’ve grown a third boob.  I am, however, starting to notice a second set.  Yep, that would be four boobs….and I’m not an alien.  The human body is so confusing.  On a guy, bigger pecs are great.  They make them look strong and in shape.

I know, not every looks like Arnold, but you get the idea….

But put big pecs on a woman….and you get odd-ball armpit swelling that occurs about 3 inches above your actual boobs.  Hence, the four boob effect.

Here are some extreme examples.

(This actually is a man…if you can’t tell)

Her second set is hiding down below.

If you can get past the gigantor shoulders, you can see that she’s sporting four as well.

Okay, so maybe it doesn’t really look like you have four boobs.  But there is a presence that starts to develop in one’s chest that is significantly higher than the average boob.  I noticed it yesterday when I happened to be doing bicep curls in front of a mirror (one of two mirrors in the entire gym…unlike anytime fitness’ mirror encrusted walls).  I was watching my form to make sure that I wasn’t swinging the bar or using my back.  I’m awful at curls so I’m frequently guilty of doing both.  Apparently my chest was engage (so I’m also not very good at figuring out which muscles are involved in which exercises, sue me), because I could see two protrusions that made my actual boobs look like a sad after thought further down on my chest.  It also made me look like my sports bra was horribly ill-fitting.  Oh well, I suppose there are worse problems to have….

Additionally, my sternum once again feels like it’s going to crack at any moment.  Dips…..they hurt.  Avoid them if at all possible- my words of wisdom for the day.

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