Destroy the monster with weight lifting

I am finally back to the gym and I’m SO HAPPY about it. This week I was at a localish but off-site meeting and it ate my life. Since my gym is at work and I was away from the office and the commute and hours were long it just wasn’t an option. (I considered runs in the evening but it is hot as BAWLZ here and I think I would die.)

I’m not sure if the two things are related, but my mental state has been on the fritz this week too– the anxiety monster has been eating me alive (which is never a good thing when I’m at a conference with a bunch of people I don’t know). I’m hoping that the combination of it being Friday (woo HOO) and the burst of physical activity help to move that monster on down the road. I have a chill weekend planned and that’s lovely.

Anyway, about that burst of activity! I just went for everything today because I could. And I elliptical’d for 15 minutes afterwards, just to keep it going. I feel much better already!

SS#1
Bench – 8x115lb, 3x135lb, 4x125lb (ughhh)
Biceps – 2x10x45lb
Triceps – 2x10x45lb
OHP – 2x10x45lb

SS#2
BO Row – 2x10x65lb
Lat PD – 2x10x35

SS#3
Squat – 3x5x135lb
Barbell lunge – 2x10x45lb
Leg press – 2x10x200lb

SS#4
Deadlift – 5x135lb, 5x185lb
Back extension – 2x10xBW

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Long leg day

I am wiped out from today’s workout. I always go out to lunch with coworkers on Thursdays, and to get to where the restaurants are we have to go up 2 flights of stairs and back down again. Last week I joked that I was never going to have leg day on Thursday again because stairs suck afterward– but here I am. Today I did 3 sets again because volume is so fun; this took me almost an hour.

SS1
Squat – 10x95lb, 5x115lb, 3x5x135lb
Step-up – 3x10x50lb, each side
Lunge – 3x10x45lb
Leg press – 3x10x200lb on the machine

SS2
RDL – 3x10x95lb
Back extensions – 3x10xBW
Glute thrusters – 3x10x30lb

I didn’t go too hard on the second superset because I’m still concerned about my back. I left out regular DLs intentionally, and was very careful with squat form (no using back!) No pain today, so I was happy. Hopefully through the targeted application of light compound exercises I can get those muscles talking to each other again.

Last night as I was trying to fall asleep I thought to myself "crap, I forgot to pack underwear" but I must’ve fallen asleep shortly after that and didn’t do anything about it. In the locker room I discovered that yep, I didn’t have them. And I’m wearing a dress. I have pettipants so I’m not uncovered but I still hate being undies-less.

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Swole, sis

Off the train and into the weight room this morning to do a pile of stuff before starting my day. The obvious answer when I’m feeling fatigued is — increase volume! 3 sets this time instead of 2, and extra bench. I must’ve got a good pump or something – my arms felt tight when I was done, and I was amused that I packed a sleeveless shirt today.
SS#1 – arms and chest and stuff
Bench – 5x(115,135,115,115, 115)lb
Biceps – 3x10x20lb+ezbar
Triceps – 3x10x45lb
OHP – 3x10x45lb

SS#2 – back and shoulders and stuff
BB BO row – 3x10x65lb
One-arm barbell BO row – 3x10x25lb, each side

Lat PD – 3x10x35

Bonus: farmers carry, 45lb each hand, which I failed 3/4 of the way through – my hands are beat up lately

I haven’t talked about it much, but the new way of eating is not doing my lifts any favors. I might be still adapting, but the kind of explosive energy that lifting heavy relies on is non-existent. I’m all right with dropping the weights down some (or a lot) and adding some volume to compensate, but it kind of makes me sad when I remember that I was repping bench at 145lb 2 months ago. It’s giving me some space to experiment with different kinds of training, though, and it’s probably not a bad thing to step back and stop defining myself as “that big lady who lifts a lot”– even though that’s a fun thing to be.

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An active pause

My back still feels crunky so I decided to skip lifting for today, do 30 minutes of intervals on the hamster wheel (aka elliptical) and then some yoga. The intervals were effective, and the yoga felt friggin necessary– I guess it’s been a long time since I stretched at all! Everything was tight, especially in my upper back/shoulders and my hips/glutes/hamstrings. Hey, those are the places that are giving me grief! Guess I found the source of that problem– and the solution.

So after yoga I like to take a nice shavasana and use that 5-10 minutes to clear my mind with a mini meditation, where I just try to let all the random thoughts go. The problem is, I often come up with interesting things to write about during my workout, and then by clearing my mind I forget them…

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Monday lifting; weekend working

Usually I work at home on Mondays, but I have a meeting I wanted to be at in person so I came in. This has made me vaguely grumpy, but I was able to go to the gym this morning and lift so it’s not all bad. The plan was to do a both front and back leg day, but I did my quad sets, started up the hamstring sets, and my lower back promptly said "No, let’s not do that!" So I’ll put them off until later this week, I guess. I’m not going to fight through back spasms.

#1
Squat – 3x5x135lb
Step-up – 2x10x40lb, each side
Lunge – 2x10x45lb
Leg press – 2x10x200lb

#2
DL – 1x5x135lb (this was supposed to be my DL warmup set, it was the only set)
RDL – 1x10x95lb
1 leg DB RDL – 1x10x20lb, each side

I did 20 minutes on the elliptical so I would feel less like I was cutting my workout short, and called it a day.

This weekend was productive – not only did I get a nice lap swim sesh in on Sunday, we got the new toilet installed and bought a pretty new shower curtain so the bathroom is DONE. Toilet installation isn’t complicated but I feel like there’s a lot of places for it to potentially go wrong? It seems to be working properly and nothing is leaking.

We also had a good talk about the "next steps" for the work that needs to get done before we list the condo. I tend to get antsy and want to get it done NOW, while my husband is more realistic. But I think the next thing we need to do is a tough one– we need to de-stuff, the house has way too much stuff in it to stage and list. This means we both have to take a hard look at what we have, prepare to put the things we want to keep into storage, and let go of the rest. We also have a moratorium on bringing new stuff in! I went through the pantry and cupboards and found a bunch of expired food, tossed that, and found a bunch of other stuff that was still OK but that we weren’t going to eat so that got bagged for donating. So much extra space now. I do need to go through our tea stash though– we have nearly an entire cupboard of tea… maybe I can bring it to work…

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DIY electrolyes: post-hot-run cure?

Good golly jeez, it’s hot out there: 88F, heat index of 92ºF, sun blazing down. I could’ve gone for a swim, but instead I decided a run was a good idea. Sometimes I wonder about my judgement…

Anyway, I gave myself permission to go sloooowly, though it was almost a steady, solid run– I stopped halfway to drink water before heading back. I’m glad I did that– I was getting the head tingles by the end of the run, you know that feeling where you’re not sure if it’s hyperventilation or what. I covered 2.6 hilly miles in 35 minutes and arrived back at home feeling like an absolute mess. Electrolytes time!

In a 4 quart jug, I mixed: 1Tbsp “lite” salt (potassium/sodium chloride), 1tsp calcium/magnesium citrate powder, a jugful of water and ice, and a couple squirts of water flavoring (you could probably drink it plain– it’d just taste salty– but we had grape Propel around so I used that)

2 glasses of that and I was feeling MUCH improved– not so much as even a headache left! I was amazed. Thankfully I had this stuff around– I’m going to have a batch ready next time I go out for a hot run.

On the itinerary for this weekend: replacing the toilet. We picked it up Monday– it had to be special-ordered because it’s “biscuit”-colored. I measured all the clearances and the rough-in distance to make sure it would fit, and I’m pretty sure I got the right size. My dear husband doesn’t believe me though, and wants to re-measure everything. Honey, I know how to use a tape measure! Nevertheless, a second measuring before we tear everything out is probably wise.

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Super-sore supersets

Tuesday’s swim + yesterday’s posterior chain workout = soreness. Regardless, I had a (long) workout to get done so onward! I didn’t push anything too hard, it was just a lot of stuff that took a while.

I don’t usually put compound lifts in supersets but it was the way to get them done in a timely fashion. 2 rounds of each superset, and an extra compound stuck onto the end for 3 sets of those.

Superset 1 – ye olde uppere workoute
Bench – 8x115lb
Biceps – 10x20lb+ez bar
Triceps – 10x45lb
OHP – 10x45lb (these have gotten so hard lately and I don’t know why)
Delt raise machine – 10×40

Superset 2 – THE QUADINATOR (and GLUTEINATOR I guess)
Squat – 5x(115lb, 135lb, 135lb)
Step-up – 10x40lb, each side
Lunge – 10x(BW, 45lb)
Leg press – 10x200lb+sled

Superset 3 – oh my hip flexors!
Jackknife on ball – 20x
Clamshell – 10x each side
Side leg raise – 10x each side
Cable leg raises – 10×15, each side

This took a good hour so I was lucky that this morning was slow.

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