Workout salads: a mix of mostly unrelated things

Today was a solid mash of meetings, it’s just after 4 and I finally have some quiet time and I’m writing a blog post– mostly just to push back against my stupid day. I showed up to work this morning feeling like I could be productive, but really I’ve just sat on teleconferences– and I could try to make a dent in my actual work pile in 30 minutes, I guess? but I’m going to write a thing instead.
Anyway I have 2 or maybe 3 workouts to catch up on. I’ll work backwards. Today was a leg day, but rather than lifting heavy I focused on accessories and stabilizing exercises, along with a little side and lower back work. 3 sets of 10: leg press, barbell lunge, weighted side bend, one leg high box squat, cable wood chop, one leg dumbbell RDL, barbell goodmorning, glute ham raises – plus a 45lb each hand farmer’s walk. The one-legged squats on a tall box reminded me that my ROM is shit, I had a really hard time with them. This workout kicked my butt; it’s been a while since I had full-on noodle legs. I was busy today but I got to the gym early so I had an hour.

Yesterday I had exactly 20 minutes to hit the gym before my first meeting. How much lifting can I fit into 20 minutes? Exactly this much: 3×5 bench, 3×10 ez bar bicep curls/triceps extensions, 3×5 super light squats, 3×5 super light deadlifts, 3×10 rear delt flys, 3×10 shrugs, plank. It’s probably not optimized for anything at all, but it was quick. (I really should find a proper program and just do it. Ugh.)

Over the weekend I didn’t run but went for nice walks every day. :)

Last Friday I started on the rowing machine and then chewed up my already blistering hands with a lot of dumbbell lifts that I don’t remember. My butt hurt after 20 minutes rowing. I suppose my butt is missing some cushioning now.

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What are your goals?

I think I might be having a case of what the interweb lifter bros call "fuckarounditis". I need to let my back rest, but I keep running and stressing it, while my lifting workouts are just like "okay what do I feel like doing today, that I can do without too much back strain?" which is no way to train.

While I was farting around in the weight room today I ran into a woman who gyms at the same time at me, and she loaded up the lat pulldown machine with a heroic amount of weight and did 5 reps (I noticed because I was waiting to use the machine). I was like "daaaang!" and she started telling me about a new regimen she was on, low reps/high weight, and how she hoped it would work. The first thing I asked was, "What are your goals?" We had a nice chat about it, and now that I think back on it, I should be asking the same question of myself.

You know, every time I see a super buff lady (the other day it was Dana Linn Bailey) I get heart eyes emoji. I know that chasing an aesthetic goal is maybe not the best idea for me, and I’ve used strength goals as a proxy for a while now, but I would love to just get super jacked. Sigh. Adopting a bodybuilder regimen would probably help cure my fuckarounditis, though. You can get pretty strong lifting heavy 2 or 3 days a week; the hypertrophy programs need more work– plus dialing in diet– to see good results. It might be an interesting endpoint to this weird experiment I’ve been doing for almost a year.

Today’s gym session was pretty aimless but difficult, which is probably the worst kind of workout. I had planned 30 minutes on the rowing machine but only managed 20 (my butt hurt and my hands were chewed up) and then I chewed up my hands some more with 3 sets to failure of upper body dumbbell exercises (biceps, triceps, delt flys, pec flys, b/o one-arm rows, lat PDs). After that, a bit of yoga for stretchies and that was plenty.

Once we close the condo sale I think $husband plans to start buying stuff for Basement Gym. It will be helpful to have equipment at home…

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I’m still alive!

Hello! I’m still here, and it’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post. Guess I should just break down the big stuff real quick.

1. Trip to China was really good. I made a lot of nice professional contacts and have some interesting follow-on work to do. The place we stayed was beautiful (I’d love to go back sometime!) and it was neat to experience the culture, see the sights, meet people, and eat their tasty food. :) My hotel was right in a big, well-manicured park area around a lake, so two mornings I went out for a run through the park. Totally safe-feeling, and lots of people out even at 6 in the morning.

2. Work is still cray, and shows no signs of stopping. With the trip past, I can change my focus back to the other things I let slide in my mad dash to prepare for that.

3. My back still hurts after I pulled it… 2 weeks ago now? Today was my first day back in the weight room (more on that in a sec) but I’ve also been running a fair bit, and my backside legbutt is all tight. I’m not sure which is the cause and which the effect, or possibly they’re both working together to be a literal pain in my butt. My birthday is coming up and I think I might ask for one of those massage subscriptions from a chain store. They’re not the best, but it’ll at least motivate me to go regularly.

4. House is coming along. My parents are visiting in a week so I’ve been working on unfuckening the guest bedroom and trying to get some of the random piles put away where they should be. We have a lot less (or different?) storage now – much fewer cabinets and closets in rooms, and more separate storage in the basement and attic. So it’s just going to take some time to figure out where things will go. We’re also planning to regrade the house so I need to get estimates on ~5 yards of fill dirt…

Okay so: back in the weight room today! I didn’t really feel like hitting it too hard, so I settled on a mix, light bench, very light squats, and light deadlift. The back strain is taking it out of all my lifts, even my bench form is affected (that back-arched decline position feels incredibly crunky). I’m hoping that adding light deadlifts back in will start to re-build the muscles into a correct pattern, but I’m sure more work and stretching will be needed.

Bench – 10x45lb, 2x5x95lb, 5x5x115lb
Squat – 5x5x45lb
Deadlift – 5x5x135lb

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Trying to scale it back

Sometimes things just line up in a way that make you notice. I have been going hard the last week trying to prepare for my trip and deal with being mostly incommunicado for a week. Have I mentioned I’m going to China for work? Apparently I haven’t told a lot of people. I talked to my mom yesterday and I guess I hadn’t told her I was going so she was shocked to hear about it. I think I delayed saying anything about it because I wasn’t sure the trip would be approved, but then after it was I still didn’t say anything. Oops. I think my mom is now afraid I’m not telling her things (somewhat accurate, but still).

Anyway, yesterday and today I did my workouts as scheduled, despite the crazyness. Wednesday I lifted, and pulled my back yet again deadlifting (mildly, thankfully). Argh. Today, 30 easy minutes on the elliptical and some yoga.

Squat – 10x45lb, 10x115lb, 3x5x155lb
Deadlift – 5x205lb, 2×235 :(

I’ve been working all day, going home, eating, and then working until bedtime. It sucks. (Yes I understand that there are people who live like this all the time– I don’t know how.) I feel exhausted and disconnected from my husband. I have only a couple more days before I get on the plane, so I’m resolving to leave work at work now. And try to get to bed early. Recover my back, spend time with my favorite person, and rest.

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Sun’s out!

It’s a beautiful, sunny, warm day and I’m wearing a sleeveless shirt in the office. My muscles are obvious, and my workout this morning was a good arm pump too. Ah, summer is coming…

1 mile running warmup
Bench – 10x45lb, 10x95lb, (5,5,5,5,3)x140lb
+ bonus biceps, triceps, weighted side bends, lat pulldowns, plankups (holy cow), plank

Good workout, if rather delayed this morning– I was waiting for someone to call me back and finally just sent them a chat msg that said "I’ll ping you when I’m back at my desk". Should’ve done that much earlier.

Went for a short lil run with $husband on Saturday (before our trip to the Brazilian steakhouse) and also ran yesterday, 4 miles of hotness. I’m not adapted to the warmer weather yet and I felt like my mouth was full of sand and dry the whole time.

This week is a mad scramble as I prep for my trip to China. I’m trying to make sure I have all the things I need on paper because my connectivity will be very limited. There’s some chance my VPN may be blocked, too. So all that’s a little bit anxiety-inducing. Right now I can’t get the hotel website to load; I want to print the address so I can give it to my taxi driver. I did order a phrasebook so I have it handy in case I need it; my Mandarin lessons are going quite slowly so I’ll probably resort to pointing at the phrasebook. But I’m trying to be more excited than anxious! Instead of dwelling on everything that could go wrong, I’m trying to remind myself that HELL YEAH I’m going on a cool trip.

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busy is a choice, my ass

Sorry for the silence over here– this week has been very busy and I’ve barely had time to fit in workouts, let alone write about them. But I have a few minutes today.

Monday and Tuesday I had a conference to attend, in the same city where I work. Conferences near home are tough in a way; you still have to deal with commuting and the long days feel even longer (I get on the train at 7am to arrive by 8 for check-in, poster session doesn’t end until 7pm and then everyone wants to go have a beer and socialize while I have to go catch the last train…) Monday I crammed in a short run by rolling out of bed and into my running shoes, Tuesday I didn’t bother.

I was back in the office early Wednesday and headed right to the gym for the world’s shortest bench workout because I had stuff at 8:30am.

Thursday (today) I could gym at the normal time with J and finally got to spend some time with squats. My hip flexors were a little better, probably due to the rest. I tried some belted heavy singles for confidence too, they felt pretty easy, goal achieved. Then deadlifts – did a warmup 5, had a pee problem on rep#1 of the working set, and quit. Sigh.

Bench – 10x45lb, 2x5x115lb, 3x5x140lb
bonus biceps, triceps

Squat – 2x5x45lb, 2x5x135lb, 2x5x155lb, 5x175lb, 1x185lb, 1x195lb, 1x205lb
Deadlift – 5x185lb, 1x235lb

Some people like to use the maxim "busy is a choice" to get themselves off the hamster wheel and give themselves "me time". That’s all well and good when busy is in fact a choice. Sometimes busy is just not enough time in the day for the things I need to get done. And I live a relatively unburdened life, not a mom or caregiver. So yeah, sorry if I’m not tattooing that on my arm, it’s a dumb saying.

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New hood, new route

We moved in last weekend, but this afternoon was the first chance I had to get out into the neighborhood on foot. That probably says something about this week.

One of the things I was going to miss most about Old Place was the access to really good routes to run on– it was close to a couple winding-through-countryside roads with sidewalks. New Place is more urban. But I think I found a good 3-4 mile out and back, around a nearby massive retirement home complex (my friend calls it the “old people preserve”. The grounds are all fenced off, but I can see the trees on the inside. I headed out for 3 miles and it took me a bit over 30 minutes.

I think I got most of the “must-dos” done this workweek, at least. The condo listed yesterday and we got an offer already today, not sure if we should take it, we’re meeting with the realtor later. Real estate is weird. We might have underpriced…

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