Saturday, March 26, 2011

A better deadlift

First this, for one thing my dyslexia has been going through the roof, it is seriously easier for me to type the inverse of words so if you are reading the first draft of this I apologize. Also, woke up with a closed shut throat this morning. I am not even surprised, after the emotional and financial stress of the past two weeks it was inevitable that my body reacted somehow, first with bloat and now this. It wasn't so bad to keep me in bed all day and I went to the gym

Good warmup on the elliptical, 12 bodyweight back extensions, 3x8xsled hack squats. Starting Strength refuses to acknowledge the existence of this exercise as a good thing, but it feels like a good and decent barbell squat stand-in and really targets my glutes. I'm keeping it unless I read some compelling evidence that hack squats are physically bad. Dumbell bech press, 1x8x15, 1x5x20, 1x5x25, 2x5x30, 1x4x30, oh yeah.Bench worked up to 3x5x65. Back extensions 1x12x5lb plate. Deadlifts, 1x3x95, 1x3x115, 1x3x135! Got the big wheels back on it. Last set of back extensions 1x12x10 and I was done. Came home, had 2 Reeses peanut butter cups, refridgerated, the best way to have them, and a tuna sandwich. Then I tried to sleep through this cold but woke up with the damn thing still there.

Friday, March 25, 2011

No belay class, lifting instead

Tonight, dumbbell bench press, hack squats, back extensions and deadlifts- going back up to 135 for the first time since I tweaked my back, plan to do 1x3x135. Will add more afterward.

Waking up unusually early with an anxiety attack prompt me to take the first available Spin class at 8am which alleviated most of the shivery feelings. I came to the conclusion on the way home that I take Spin for mood and lift for fitness. Not sure if that will screw me up on deadlifts and I may wait to lift until tomorrow, we'll see how work goes today. Of course now, in the middle of the workday, I could very easily go to sleep peacefully.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ramen isn't such a great pre-workout meal

No energy burst like the last time, instead I was sluggish and blah, taking that off the list in spite of its junk-foodie yumminess (I add cheese and red pepper flakes to it). Squats, worked up to 5x3x80, 1x2x85. Presses, 3x5x55, 1x2x60. So, okay sorta. Sis says we may be on for belay class Friday which is a full-body torcher, that and Spin tomorrow am should be enough.

The other day i read a forum thread considering whether regular exercise is any good if one does not continue adapting. My first reaction was, "Stop overthinking it and go out and do something!" Seriously, any excuse right? Let me sit here on the computer and check all the known facts before blah blah blah. Say you decide to do a 5k three times a week, for the rest of your life. Chances are, you will start going faster- this is an adaptation. Or, as you have an allotted time to fill with exercise, you start to go further, also an adaptation. Or, you decide running is boring, now you are going to swim, lift, Zumba whatever. Changing your activity is yet another adaptation. If the worst case scenario is that you continue to run or walk a 5k three times a week for the rest of your life, so what? You will most likely still be better off then you were sitting home online trying to figure out if it is really good for you or not. Sometimes you have to get off your butt and do something.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Building back up to my deadlift

It was another rehab session, so I don't have that pleasantly wiped out feeling after that I crave, but if i'm back up to par and better on lifts soon it will be worth it. Warmed up on the elliptical, 1x15xbodyweight back extension, 3x8x sled on hack squats. I had no idea those would be so tough, considering it's a machine and all. Now that it was hard and new I am compelled to add those in on non-barbell squat days. Cool. Down to business, dumbell bench presses, 1x8x15, 1x6x20, 3x5x25. Incline bench press 1x8x45, 1x6x50, 3x5x55. Another set of back extensions with a five lb plate. Deadlifts, 1x5x95, 1x5x115, 2x3x115. Back extensions w a 10 lb plate and outta there.

Came home and made a delicious sandwich with two pieces of whole-grain bread, toasted, one slice of Sargento's cheddar cheese, a sauteed piece of salmon, and tartar sauce. The tartar sauce consisted of chopped up fresh dill, half a handfull, 2 tablespoons of chopped scallions, two tablespoons of Hellman's mayo and a dash of garlic salt. Yummy stuff. Tomorrow night is Spinning at 5:15 w/ megan, I must remember to text Mel to see if she wants to meet me there. The gym isn't as packed anymore, looks like the resolutioners are petering out.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Great article and video about lifting

This article written by female powerlifter Molly Galbraith is a great read for men or women who want the most out of their (our) training, with videos too! I'm a skimmer, and will refer back to it a few more times to absorb the information, but it looks like I'm on the right track as far as concentrating on big compound lifts goes.Tomorrow, bench press and deadlifts.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Strong training session

Good workout today, squatted 3x5x80, thru in a 1x5x85 then backed down 5 rep sets to 65- which was the weight I was stuck at for so long! Four sets of back extensions building up to 20lbs, presses 4x3x60, then some more rehab deadlifts, 2x5x95. I feel strangely undepleted right now, post workout which I attribute to generously drinking coffee and eating carbs earlier today (Ramen noodles, then ice cream!) but my belly is sticking out bloatedly. If it isn't one thing it's another. Heh, I have two made-up words in this post so far (bloatedly and undepleted). So the next workout will be Monday night, dumbbell bench presses, some incline bench presses, then more rehab deadlifts at 2x5x115. Tuesday afternoon Spin class unless I get up early enough to take the 6am class. I love that class but getting up so early messes up the rest of the day, I start falling asleep or yawning loudly at inappropriate times. Weds squats, going for 3x3x85 to top out and must remember to stick that butt out. Also presses Weds, as many 60pounders as I can do, goal of 3x5x60. Time to get some protein in.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Better then last night

Waking up with anxiety, my early alarm was going off. Since I had to get up anyway to turn it off, I decided to treat the anxiety as an energy surge and go to the 6am Spin class. Getting out of bed was relatively easy- back improvement! So the sorta workout last night turned out okay after all, and while showering after spinning I noticed some pec soreness, indicating the workout was not a total waste of time. Squatting should be fine tomorrow, staying at 80 for this session planning to go to 85 next week. Standing press 60 lbs. I wish my sister would get back to me about belaying class; maybe I can guilt the man into going with me due to the rough week but its kind of hard to imagine him scooting up a wall. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crap workout

First of all, I hate going light on a training session. The weights I push and pull are already much less then I want them to be, so going less then balls-out is just, ugh. But my lower back isn't back to where it was before last Friday's session and this weekend and week so far have been stressful emotionally. I think the stress took more out of me then the back pain, seriously I feel more like tinker-fucking-bell then Wonder Woman and it is unfamiliar and sucks. So, before I faint away, I did a warmup on the elliptical, 20 bodyweight back extensions, some bullshit assisted pullups and dips. Dumbell bench press up to 25 lbs a hand, the reg bench needed a spot at 70 lbs. A set of 12 rep deadlifts with just the bar! and another set of unweighted back extensions. Stretched and showered. I want to be back to normal by Friday.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Estrogen withdrawal

Easing off the Pill has been going okay, the only pms-like symptoms I have so far is a desire for chocolate and being a touch more emo then usual. As that is far better then the cold-turkey experience a couple of years ago it's okay. My back is still stiff as hell, bending all the way over to pick things from floor level is the worst, unless it gets better soon I may be feeding the cats on the counter. Tuesday evenings is when my favorite Spin instructor teaches and I want to go to that class. No idea if that will make it worse of better so I am in the deciding process. I do think deadlifts are out for tomorrow and I will replace them with the assisted dip and pullup machine, hope bench presses will be okay to do. Going to extend the warmup to an easy 30 minutes too.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I feel like roadkill right now. Apparently it is not a good idea to ride the mechanical bull when your back is feeling a bit smushed from deadlifting the evening before, cuz this workout was tough. I did ratchet up the squats to complete 3 sets of 5 at 80lbs, then pyramid down to 75, 70, 65. Presses were worse, the unweighted/ body weight back extensions didn't get my back feeling better or less compressed, and I gave up at the first set of 60 lbs. It just felt like I might be doing more harm then good. I honestly wanted to curl up on the locker room floor and go to sleep, if it wasn't disgusting. So I womaned up, showered; got dressedand came straight home to eat and complain on the blog. I had about 5 or 6 oz of pot roast and a cup of fresh strawberries.
Update: It's been two hours and I will probably survive. Still feels like some of my blood was replaced with concrete at the moment.

Time change works for me, kind of

Hey, I'm up bright and early now that 'just after the middle of the night' is, ' morning'. I'll probably need a nap as soon as the sun rises. The kitchen is stocked thanks to a trip to the farmer's market yesterday. I bought three different kinds of pepper and a pineapple, dill and cilantro. Yum! Used some of those peppers, onions, garlic and mushrooms for a pot roast last night so have lots of protein and veggies already made. Feed them muscles. Working today, lifting tonight and hoping my sis will go for an intro to belaying class sometime this week with me. That wall climb was fun and I can not stand to try something and not complete it, new challenge is ON.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Strawberry Festival

That was fun. As we approached the street the GPS said we were to turn on, an old man waving a $5.00 Parking sign got out attention and we parked in his yard, only to find tons of parking closer, most of it the same price or less! But what the hell he was a nice old guy at least. We went in a walked around, not being personally into rides i was mostly observing until we came across a mechanical bull- oh yeah. I hopped on and he threw me off a few seconds later with the greatest of ease. That was a mixture of exhilarating and bummer, but a nice man and has daughter decided to try after me, and I stayed on much longer then either of them. No matter what my boyfriend says. A little further down the midway was the climbing wall, and, having no dignity at all, I went for that too. Again, I crapped out at the end, my right leg was shaking like crazy. Clearly, I need to get in better shape if only for carnival fun.

Still, it was a good time and I felt no guilt chowing down on a pot-roast sandwich afterward. Still a little stiff in the lower back from Friday, Monday's training will be squats and presses along with the sets of back extensions. So the plan is 80 lb squats, watch form. 60 lb presses, 25 reps of them one way or another, so an increase in press weight and staying at last weeks' squat weight which was an increase over the last time.

Friday, March 11, 2011

If you are positive weights create bulk

And you are a woman, read this!

Okay, got that out of my system for the day. Speaking of getting things out of my system, I am in the process of weaning myself off of birth control pills for several reasons. First of all, I've been taking them regularly for years and when one is over 40 and has a history of heart disease in the family continuing to take something that may increase my risk concerns me. Also, the pills are increasing the estrogen levels in my body and I wonder if that is impeding progress as far as gaining strength goes. The benefits of increased strength and fitness already have me hooked, and more is better. Did you see how graceful and young that 60 year old powerlifting Russian woman looked? So inspiring. So, gradually letting more time pass bewtween taking the pill until they run out, and then waiting a month or so and cloely observing physical changes are the plan.

Training after work, warm-up, back extensions, bench press, back extensions, deadlift, back extensions, and then the assisted pullup/dip machine if it isn't in use. If so, some lat pulldowns. Target weights are 70 lbs bench, 140 deadlifts.

Great workout; hit target weights, didn't make all the reps on bench and will grab a spotter next time. I bet 5x5 will happen. Worked up to the 140 lb deads, lower back is letting me know about it but not too bad. Ate some brisket I boiled earlier and tomato soup w feta cheese crumbled in it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Glad I made the change

Today, wow I am feeling last night's session. My leg, back and shoulder muscles are all awake and complaining moderately, so good! I can feel the little separations of shoulder muscles instead of it all being like one lump and my back is like holy shit. Just from squats and overhead press. I must have been holding back quite a bit with the other programming, but I am going to miss cleaning for a month. (That is a phrase I wouldn't expect to type even tho 'cleaning' has a different meaning). I'm sauteeing three big chicken breasts one for the man to have for dinner and the other two for me to get through the rest of the day. The freezer is stocked with beef for pot roast, two briskets and a bunch of chicken breasts to make protein eating easier, I have to get to the farmer's market this weekend for fresh stuff. Also, possible Strawberry Festival this weekend.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

First session w new programming

After an unintended deload of five days I made it back in the gym to lift. Warmed up on the elliptical for ten minutes and did 12 back extensions. Went to squats, starting w a set of air, to bar, then added 10 lbs a set until I got up to 80lbs. That's rright, 80. The last couple of reps did 'good morning' out a bit, but fuck it I'm busting through this plateau. Set of back extensions w a 5 lb plate and on to overhead press. Warmed up and did 5 sets w/ 55lbs. Some of the cues I've been reading have helped a lot, using my whole body, pushing the floor away from me, telling myself I can do this. It doesn't hurt to have checked out a video of a 60 year old strong as hell Russian lady, who looks great. I want that. Wrapped it up w a set of back extensions w a ten pound plate a cute guy chatting me up. I already had a bunch of the pot-roast I made last night, and am sure it is still there to be digested so had 2 ounces of cheddar cheese and a cup (before cooking) of my soon to be famous chocolate oatmeal.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Recovery is hard.

I can't freaking sleep at night. I usually stay up until 12 working, so you would think this wouldn't be a problem but between the cats and the man jumping around it is almost impossible. Add to that some anxiety, and by the time I Use My Mind (thanks Charlie Sheen) to get to sleep either the ever hopeful that I will go to 6am Spin class alarm goes off, or the cats decide it is time for breakfast number one. It is exhausting. Thank god I work for myself and can sleep til 10 or so when the house finally quiets down, but how to adjust this so I get the sleep needed when needed? Maybe I should just stay up all night working and sleep during the day?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy Ending!

Not that kind you pervert, I'm happy my man is back from Bike Week with two cute tops for me that fit perfectly!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Switching it up

March is long, so I am going to do something different as far as lifting goes. This month's lift sessions will be, squats and overhead press, 5 sets of five. A day off or cardio, then bench press and deadlifts, 5 sets of five. Day off/ cardio then squat/ bench/ overhead press and on this one my bench will use dumbbells instead of the barbell. So I'm giving power cleans a break for a month even though they are fun to do and will see what happens.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Reason 1 not to ignore your cat

She was nuzzling her little heart out on me, and the lamp, early this morning and I ignored her long enough to sleep thru 6am Spin darn it! So, I took the 7:45 yoga class instead. When the instructor asked me if it was my first class I didn't want to explain that I typically take a yoga class once a year so I just said the first in a long time. Other then the seemingly endless round of Sun Salutations (bleh) it was pretty good and my muscles feel loosened up. Lifting sure makes me eat eat eat though sheesh although part of that may also be due to my weaning off birth control pills. I want to see what it is like not to have all that extra estrogen running through my body and know from experience that just stopping them completely is a bad idea. As in, a feeling of non-stop PMS.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spinning fixes everthing!

It fixed that annoying knee crunchiness at least. Today I opted out of 6am Spin, which was difficult. When I started showing up there, everyone was like, "You're back!" as if there are no other hours in the day one could possibly work out, and frankly, every later hour of the day is more inviting to me. So, when I don't go they assume I'm home eating bon-bons the whole time I guess. Also the super-cute trainer who works there is there in the mornings usually, and when he made an appearance last night I told him I would be in this morning. However, I am lifting tonight and want to be 100%. Tonight is squats, overhead press and power cleans, so a relatively light weight but very vigorous session.

In other news, I changed isp's from Verizon to Brighthouse this weekend. Here is a recap of my experiences with both. Verizon is great as far as the actual service you buy. When we had a land-line phone there were no issues with it and the dsl internet was fine and fast. The problem with Verizon is when you need to make changes. Their billing department is completely whacked out. I moved to NY for a while in 2009, and wanted to transfer my internet service. Well, you can't do that, so to avoid being hit with ungodly disconnect fees we put it on hold here and I had to start up a whole new account there. Then, when I came back I had to pay over $200 of 'disconnect' fees even though I was really just transferring the service to my new Fl address. In the meantime, they started billing the Fl address for the dsl line for the whole time it was supposed to be 'on hold' (their idea!) So, we got tired of fighting with them and I decided to go with Brighthouse.

We already have BH for their overpriced DVR service, so it was easy to set up an appointment for a tech to set it up. Unfortunately, I got the cable guy from HELL! Rude, he acted like such a dick when I didn't want to pay $150 for him to 'set up' wireless, which actually meant he had to disable the wireless that it already came with. he barged in and out without asking, dragged furniture across the hardwood floor and was just an intimidating dick.

I couldn't lock the door behind him fast enough. Ah well, at least I am online.

Browsing the Starting Strength forums and it reminded me of something. As mentioned in previous threads, when I go to the gym to lift I am covered from head to toe, yoga pants, two sports bras and t-shirt worn backwards to eliminate as much cleavage as possible. So, last night I walk in to Spin in a regular v-neck sleeveless training top, bright green, and black stretchy bike shorts. Sitting by the door is a young guy who lifts sometimes, when he saw me his eyes bugged out and he said, "It must be really hot out there!" Cracked me up!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spinning tonight, easy night

Lifted last night, squat, bench, deadlift and back extensions. While squatting my right knee did this weird crunchy thing and I think that messed up the night. Squat 75lbs failed, 70 lbs also failed, crappy squat night. Bench 65x5x3 so okay, deadlift 1x5x135, backed off on the weight. Four sets of back extensions starting with bodyweight, next set with the 5 lb plate, next w. the ten, next w a 15 lb dumbbell so those were okay. I behaved and went to bed with no wine but woke up sore and stiff feeling. So the plan is, Spin tonight and tomorrow am, lift tomorrow pm, spin thursday am.