Wednesday, July 27, 2011

First, the good news..

Deadlift PR at 155lbs! Everyone's tips really helped, including the DVD. When my back is good and tight the weight goes up pretty easily. This is especially good, considering I may enter the powerlifting meet in Oct. For the experience of course. Overhead presses were not good, 3 sets of two reps at 67.5, and squats 2x5x105. The deadlifts were 1x3x145, 1x2x155, the second one wasn't good so I regrouped for a minute then 1x1x155.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Making up for it

Last night, after the usual fitful night that comes after a heavy late evening workout, I couldn't sleep and decided to go to 6am Spin. After that, I attempted the power cleans skipped yesterday. They basically sucked at 75 lbs, I'm going back down to 65 and working up again. The good news is, done training for the day and I am getting a pedicure this afternoon.

Wednesday will be squats, 3x5x115, overhead press 3x5x67.5, deadlifts 2x3x145 either before or after Coralette's class. Thursday off.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Why I have a blog (rant warning)

It is not just to keep track of my lifts, although it may seem so at times. One of the best things about a blog is that I can freely state my opinion about anything I want without some ridiculous assholes coming back with stupid comments. Even better, if one did go so far as to post an unwanted comment here, it has to go through me first. Muahahahaha! Deleted! Terminated!

Back to training: Today will be squats 4x4x115, Bench press 5x3x77.5, then... I don't know. It should be power-clean day but I've become off-schedule with them and have read so much conflicting information on doing them correctly that now I'm more confused about them then ever. That said, my other choice is deadlifts and my lower back doesn't feel normal yet. This could be from the raised weight on squats Saturday as well as Romanian deadlifts. Deadlifts are pissing me off anyway, I keep seeing women pull higher weights then me who have been lifting the same amount of time and it is frustrating. I need to generate more income so i can afford two gyms, bet there are some Oly lifters at the real gym I talked about in an earlier blog.

I sent the owner an email asking about meets in the area, so when he gets back to me I'll see if we can work something out for 'drop-in' sessions. Now I have a couple of hours to go before the gym will hopefully be not too crowded to lift.

Squats and bench were successfully completed, and I did 4x4x77.5 on standard bench presses. Next bench session will be 80 lbs. I think I just didn't know how to bench and switching to dumbbells helped me get the motion down. Squats were okay at 4x4x115. The new rep scheme has really been helpful in preventing stalls so far. No pull tonight, on the bright side my lower back feels normal again, so I will pull tomorrow night after Spin.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

New test post

Checking to see if it works in Safari. All-righty then, the missing post issue has something to do with Firefox. Last night it was impossible for me to get comfortable between back soreness and feeling hot as hell. It is a good thing its the weekend and i could sleep late. Yesterday's workout was good, PR on squats, 5x3x115! On the second set my knee did a little something, so I really need to focus on pushing the knees out at the bottom of the movement. Then I did 5x3x65 overhead press and 2x5x95 Romanian Deadlifts, it is still a challenge to keep the bar path going along my legs and deal with breathing.

Monday squats will be 4x4x115, bench press 3x5x77.5, power cleans 5x3x 80. Those are the goals. If I get up early or can't sleep again I will take the 6am Spin too. I'm taking my little niece sometime this week so flexibility will be important, thus i better lift while I can.

Also, my Tamara Cohen t-shirt from Wild Gorilla Man arrived. The size chart on the site had me concerned so i ordered an xl, but the shirts have a nice generous cut and drape. A large would have been fine. The fabric is so nice I think I'll wear the shirt out and about rather then to work out in. Let's see how my image mojo is....

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Motivation was low, but I went anyway

And did squats, building up to 4x4x110 kind of ugly squats (there is video) then back off sets 1x5x105, 1x5x95. Overhead press 5x3x65, still effing hard. When I say it was hard, I mean the last rep doesn't seem to go up by strength but by sheer will. Then I chose Romanian Deadlifts, which were also a struggle at 1x6x95, 1x5x95, 1x4x95. Breathing is hard to get sorted out with these for some reason. So, at least I went and did something. Looking for a better, higher energy session Wednesday.

One thing I have noticed, is no matter what slop my form check is, there is always some goof doing some odd exercise in the background.

Monday workout

Dealing with indecision right now, I am considering whether to take the 6pm Combat cardio class, Spin or just a quick cardio warmup before lifting. It will depend on how antsy I am at the end of the work day. I also need to decide whether to do heavy squats again or mix it up with front squats, then overhead press, then either power cleans or Romanian Deadlifts. I love the way the RDLs target the hamstrings in a way the other exercises don't. It's been a while since I've 'cleaned' because I need to concentrate to do those correctly and the gym can be so busy and distracting. I may move them completely to after a 6am Spin class. So I'm looking at the regular, squats 4x4x110, overhead press 5x3x60, cleans 5x3x65 or front squats 3x5x65, same ovp, RDLs 2x8x95.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Good old body image issues

Yesterday, I felt broken and sore and decided not to go to the gym. Immediately after making that decision, I looked in a mirror and thought, "Eww, I look fat today."

Later, I called my sister and mentioned that we all may have body image issues. Her response was, "Well we need to lose weight!" We are pretty much the same size, 10-12 US. The truth is, we don't need to lose weight. Both of us can walk into any store that caters to adult women and find clothes that fit. They may pull across the bust in my case, or gap in the waist in hers, but it isn't a matter of everything being too small. We fit comfortably in airplane, roller-coaster and ski-lift seats. Men find us attractive and ask us out. We could probably live another 40 years this size in good health.

Her need is actually a desire. I think it stems from being little girls in the 70s, when there were only three TV stations. Images of Chrissy Snow and Charlie's Angels are burned in our psyches as the right way an adult woman looks. I don't know how to fix this. I know that when I'm struggling to keep good form with a heavy weight that that is the only thing on my mind, and I like it.

Good lifting day, squats were good at 5x3x110 (finally!)then back off sets 1x5x105, 1x5x95, bench press 3x5x75, I will switch the rep scheme to 5x3 next time at 80. Deadlifts 1x3x135, 1x3x145. I did a couple of sets of overhead press and bicep curls with the bar to finish off. So for Monday, squats 4x4x110, overhead press 5x3xwhatever I can, power cleans 5x3x65.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bummer low-carb lunch

Having read tons of nutrition info on various weightlifting sites, the need to get lots of protein has been pounded into my brain. I aim for 100-150 grams and often fall a little short of that. I have never been a dieter, so when low-carb proponents enthusiastically discuss the thrill of being able to eat steak and bacon, it's like, okay whoop-de-doo. But I am trying to give it a shot.

Earlier today I picked up some lean steaks and portabella mushrooms, which I made for lunch today. I sauteed them in olive oil and finished off with red pepper flakes and sea salt. It just wasn't that great. A baked potato, steak frites, or piece of crusty buttery garlic bread would have complemented the meal perfectly, but of course that is not recommended. That meal was a lot less enjoyable then working out! The protein thing isn't always a depressing failure, last night I had a sauteed chicken breast and the man made a big yummy mixed greens salad, so that was good. Oh well, every meal can't be great. Maybe shoes will cheer me up.

The 6am Spin class today was fun. Tomorrow the plan is squats, work up to 5x3x110 (pr) back-off set 1x5x105, 1x5x95. Bench press on the standard bench, 3x5x80, if that doesn't work I'll do 3x5x77.5. Then deadlifts 1x5x135, 1x5x145 really working form. If it deteriorates I'll adjust the number of repititions at the time. I'll try to get form video too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


First the good news, squats were successfully completed. Upping the weight next time to 110lbs. In case anyone doesn't know this, Wednesday evening at 5:45pm is a TERRIBLE time to hit the gym unless you just want to be a social butterfly. Luckily, I snapped up a squat rack (after giving two young guys curling in it the Bert Stare for a while) and parked myself there the whole time. So, yes I was an asshole tonight. Owning it!

Maybe Karma was getting me because overhead presses sucked ass. I ended up struggling to do 5x3x65 instead of the 3x5x65 planned. 2x5x95 Romanian deadlifts, 2x8x45 overhead presses, yes just the bar, and 2x10xbar bicep curls. After that I took Coralette's combo class which is much harder after lifting and dragged ass home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spinning (spun?) tonight and what's up tomorrow

Looking at squats, 3x5x107.5, overhead press 3x5 dammit x65, Romanian deadlifts, 1x5x95, 1x5x97.5. I have my friend lifting with me, and she has shoulder issues so I think overhead press will be better for her then bench. I did both Monday, and the other option is power clean which her shoulder has problems also (yes I will fix that sentence later). So, a quick and dirty lifting session and then Coralette's combo class which should be fine.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Epic workout

And I didn't even get to everything on my plan. It all started with Spin, and I have to admit that having a cute guy right behind me probably caused more show-off-ness then would normally happen in a warm-up Spin class. Red in the face and heart still beating faster then usual, I hit the squat rack.
Squats, 1x10xair, 1x8xbar, 1x3x55, 1x3x65, 1x3x75, 1x3x85, 1x3x95, 1x3x105. I waited for a crappy Mariah Carey song to end, then did 4x4x107.5, 2x5x105. These squat sets were good, totally video worthy, I kept form and concentrated on each rep, no flopping. Being Monday it was too busy to film but I am proud of those squats none the less. Next heavy squat session will be 3x5x107.5 and soon- the bigger plates! Rippetoe dislikes 35 lb plates but I can't wait to put those on the bar.
Overhead press , 1x5xbar, 1x5x55, 3x4x65, the fourth rep was a fight each time. All of the standard benches were taken so onto dumbbell bench press and one-handed. I worked up to 30lbs, 3x5x30, regular and then one-handed. By now i was so done so no pull tonight. After running around doing a couple of errands home and eat.

Thought of the day, 10 lbs of added weight on the bar per month equals 120 lbs in a year. Less then a year for my 225lb squat! That will be a great 45th birthday accomplishment.

Some pics

Side view coming along okay, I started taking note of what bloats me. So far in addition to powdered coffee creamer, ice cream (doh!).

Ahh, cellulite.

These are the Quads of Doom baby!

Proof that genetics are king; I never work my calves. Maybe they are like that from carrying the rest of me around! As tempting as it is to re-name this post, "Big-legged Woman" I hate to imagine the search engine results that could happen. In three months, I'll redo these and see what changes.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


These pomegranate dried cranberries are delish, too bad they appear to have no nutritional value at all. Today wasn't my strongest, and I got a good video of my feet but nothing else but I repped it out anyway. So, in detail: Warm-up, 10 minutes on the arc trainer, 22 back extensions (my legs and ass felt so heavy).

Squats, 10 with no weight or bar, 8 with just the bar. Then 1x4x55, 1x3x65, 1x3x75, 1x3x85, 1x3x95, 1x3x105. Water and pee break, then 4x3x107.5, 1x4x107.5, 1x5x105, 1x5x95.

Overhead press, concentrating on the shrup at the top, 1x5xbar, 1x4x55, 5x3x65. Deadlifts; 1x4x115, 1x5x135, 1x4x137.5, 1x3x135. Felt weak. Barbell curls 1x10xbar, 1x6xbar. Home and had a roast beef sub and dried cranberries. What I really want is 10 beers!

Monday will be front squats, bench press and power cleans after Spin or combat class which is really a pumped up type of Tae-bo.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Deadlifting tomorrow

Squats, 107.5; overhead press 67.5, deads 1x5x135, 1x5x137.5. I will record these lifts if possible. Today was in between heavy lift days so I did steady state cardio in the form of fast walking on the treadmill for 40 mins and bumped it up to a jog/run for the last 15. Talk about a red face. I was really into the carbs after that, and totally gave in, but my depleted legs feel great now (a few hours later). I hope the carbs dissapated into stored glucose in my muscles just waiting for tomorrow to come in handy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Did my first real sets of Romanian deadlifts today, my fear that they would be too easy was unfounded. At 5:15am I got up and ready for the 6am Spin class, which would have been a lot better if the damn fans were on in the room. But, for all I know some of the people in there may have wanted conditioning to ride bikes outside in the miserably hot weather, so I dealt with it. Good thing I brought a full-size bath towel to mop the sweat off with.
Lifting fasted and after cardio was new. Having read several articles lately that say we are capable of more then we know, I decided to do it and see. Squats, 3x5x105, then 2x5x95. These were tough but okay, next I need to woman up and put those new micro-plates on the bar for 107.5. Dumbbell bench presses weren't as good, maxing out at 2x5x30 both hands, 1x5x30 one handed. I just ran out of gas with my arms/ chest.

Not wanting to completely wuss out, I went back to the rack and did a set of RDLs with just the bar, then 2x5x95 working with the form tips on the video posted below. They were rough but okay. Finished the workout with 1x10xbar overhead press, and bicep curls 1x10xbar. Home and ate.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Barbell complex after-effects

Sore hamstrings! That is actually a relief, I'd rather deal with soreness then uncertainty that a workout actually, worked. Regular deadlifts, as hard as they are, always just seem to work my back muscles no matter how I try to concentrate on pulling with legs and glutes. I hope Romanian deads will focus on the hamstrings more. It was suggested that my lower back was stronger then glutes, which sounded a bit wrong. One expects their ass to be stronger then the back. But, I attempt to be open-minded when the suggestor has some sense about them and will do the RDLs between standard deadlift sessions.

Oh the neighbor redid an animal shelter website and I wish I didn't look. So many sweet cats that need a house with a couch by the window. My boy cat is sitting right here, and I almost think he read that last sentence as he rewarded me with a stinky kitty fart. He still hasn't gotten over the addition of the other cat. Okay dear, the two of you are enough for now.

Tonight didn't start out great; my least favorite Spin instructor was subbing so I left and tried to get into the Combat class but it was full, which resulted in treadmill time. The later combo-class was good though, and we did upper back work which I need. If the cats get me up early I will take the 6am Spin class tomorrow and then lift later when the gym should be empty.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The jury is out

Not that jury (bunch of damn fools on Casey Anthony's jury, I hope she never has another child), the imaginary one on the Bloody Barbell Complex Mel and I did tonight. It was different, basically high rep low weight, the front squats were tough. I discovered I haven't a clue how to do overhead squats and that showing someone how to do a hang clean is harder then one might think. I don't really buy the muscle confusion theory, on the other hand Crossfit chicks are strong and look great. My understanding of Crossfit is that they mix up exercises all the time. Feeling vaguely beat-up in an unfamiliar way, like I cheated by not doing my regular session or something. Overhead squats, I should have watched this first.

Okay, was also doing the Romanian Deadlifts wrong today. It seemed odd that the bar was so far away from my body, need to pull it back in. The good thing is that we only went up to 55 lbs as this was a completely new workout. Here is Rippetoe showing how one is supposed to do an RDL.
Tomorrow I will do Coralette's Pump class, and possibly take Spin beforehand, then Thursday will be squats, 3x5x110, bench press 3x5x 77.5, Romanian Deadlift work up to 3x5x 95lbs. This will be my first session incorporating real RDLs as opposed to the practice sets at 55lbs today, so will be conservative on weight.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thinking about Tuesday's session

I'll Spin first, then either do the barbell workout I posted about here if Mel is joining me, or squats, bench press and Romanian deadlift? I need to visit Youtube and check those out again. I think it's basically use less weight and don't touch the ground, go to one's mid-shin and come back up. After the clusterfuck of Sunday's session I am seriously thinking about that other gym again.

The alternative barbell workout is, overhead squat 10 reps, hang clean 10 reps, standing press 10 reps, bentover row 10 reps, lunge 10 reps per leg, Romanian deadlift 10 reps, front squat 10 reps. For the first time we will use the bar only, then the next two go-rounds 55 lbs. Not being even sure I can do an overhead squat with the bar, we will decide whether to use a lighter bar or do back squats instead.

These are the squats from yesterday, I do flop down a bit when concentration is lost. That guy next to me loading the calf raise machine (stupidest machine in the gym) did it but it is up to me to remain focused.

These helpful people are killing me!

Now I have another one. The way we met is, I took the squat rack he was using, because I saw how high the loaded bar was on the prongy-things, looked around the gym and the only guy over 6feet tall was leaving, and I thought he just abandoned the rack without clearing the bar which is a normal thing at the gym. Turned out, a guy who is an inch taller then me was using it, he just sets the bar to high for his height. I apologized and that was that. Well now we tend to run into each other on weekends and he has lots of unhelpful and long-winded tips.

Interesting how a cute guy can become not cute when they are giving one bad advice. I pulled the trainer card as soon as he started talking about the Smith machine (thanks Kyle) and he chilled out a little. Who knew lifting would bring on etiquette difficulties? I can't just say, "Shut up, you're doing it wrong."

Today I did squats, work sets 3x5x105, struggling and slow. I read somewhere that one should do the sets as quickly as possible, which was a jeez moment. I think I will continue grinding them out for now. After the three tough sets I did a 1x5x95 to top it off, also the gym was, as mentioned, distracting today. Overhead press, 3x5x60. Cleans, backed way off on weight to work on form, 5x3x65.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Enjoying a little break

Took Friday and today off from training of any kind. Luckily the gym will be open Sunday and I have no idea what I will do for the Fourth. Heavy squats next, will see how I feel with 115, go to that weight if possible, if not stay at 110 and add reps or a set. Still waiting for the 1.25 plates to get here, with the holiday it is taking even longer. grrr. Overhead press 65lbs, didn't get 3x5 last time so going for that now. Power cleans 80lbs, skipped them last session. I'll try to film the cleans this time.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Weirdly distended belly

I didn't post the deadlift video because my belly looks like it is about to burst forth with Alien triplets. Having not left Earth lately, literally and metaphorically, pregnancy probably isn't an issue, and the boobs aren't any bigger (Thank GOD) which is usually the first sign. So we have a mystery.

Normally, if its fat, there is also fat added on my hips and upper back. Nope, hips okay, back even better then usual and in the morning the belly looks normal. Not flat, but not balloon either. Google gave me lots of possibilities from cancer! to PCOS, to bloating. Then, lots of tips from cutting all carbs, to eating more potatoes and bananas- no I didn't make that one up, and hate bananas anyway. It was like a Bing commercial so I decided to utilize my brain and figure out what the hell I am doing differently.

Coffee. More specifically, coffee creamer. This organic, non-processed, fresh food lover and cook has a secret. I love powered coffee creamer in coffee, lots of it. Thinking that disregarding the alarming label was okay due to the rest of my healthy diet was a mistake, and the giant belly does happen right after drinking a huge cup of coffee with loads of powdered creamer in it. As of today the creamer is hitting the trash and green tea is next up.

Here is the clip, hopefully the last one including Alien fetuses.

That set is the second of two sets of five, and it was hard. My back does want to curve up at the end too. Second verse, same as the first, next deadlift session I will repeat this weight. Warm-up 1x5x115, then 2x5x135 and work on chest up, pinch shoulder blades together cues. Heh, at the end of the set you can see a woman doing the 'drinking bird' behind me. She is the best Spin instructor there but only teaches at 6am so I hardly ever make that class.