Lifting laundry list

No HIIT this morning (trains were messed up so I was late) and J and I went to the gym at our usual time. Which was good, because I needed a spot! Warmup was 3 minutes trotting along on the treadmill, with high knees and butt kicks thrown in.

I started off with squat, 3 sets of 5 at 135lb and 2 more at 145lb. Back stayed up pretty good, but the last set was a grind. I’m playing with a wider stance too, and it’s harder on the sides of my legs and my right knee was a little twingey.

Then bench: 5 sets of 5 at 115lb. It’s definitely time to go up to 120lb! I grabbed J for the last two sets but it turned out I didn’t need his help after all (still, safety first and it was nice to have the security there).

For accessory time, OHP, row, biceps, triceps, back extensions, situps and planks. Sunday’s hike did something unpleasant to some small muscles around my hips and waist, and situps and planks were kind of painful.

After all this I was 100% done…

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Springtime hike

This weekend was mostly rainy and yucky but I found a few hours’ break in the weather and headed out for a hike on the trail nearby. It was still pretty wet, though, and I was glad I wore my waterproof boots since much of the trail was a big puddle. After 8 miles I came to a crossing and called my partner and he came and picked me up. (We went bowling yesterday and that left him super sore, so no hiking for him. I don’t know how bowling is so strenuous…)

The wet spring weather meant all sorts of cool plants were doing their plant-y thing. I was excited to see tons of Jack-in-the-pulpits, and there were lots of plants I didn’t recognize. I really could use a good field guide.


Like this one was all over in the wet areas– it just took over any areas of standing water. It had giant leaves. No idea what it is!

I’m not sure how Protes Life is interacting with endurance exercise like hiking. I do seem to get tired faster. Someday when I’m feeling really motivated (and have someone to bail me out, if needed) I should try a long run and see what happens.

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Focus on form

Today’s goal was to get through my workout with good form and no injury, and I am proud to say that no QLs were harmed in deadlifting today so that’s a big win.

I bumped bench to 115lb, just 5lb shy of my old max. First 3 sets were good; then I missed the last rep of set #4, then absolutely failed at rep 4 of the last set… one of those "uhhh, help!" situations to call someone over to get the bar off my chest. Bench is kind of terrifying, but I hate to bother a spot all the time. Which is really stupid! Thankfully there was someone there to rescue me. I should start using rack with the safety bar, it’s just a pain to set up.

I went lighter with squats today (no box) and focused on keeping my back up and a good strong press with the weight back on my body. I started at 95lb, added 10lb each set, and kept good form. The last set I asked a gym staffer to check me for depth, and thankfully I was hitting it.

Deadlifts were super light, too; I figured this wasn’t the week to push it. I did a set at 135lb and one at 145lb; both were easy to pull but my attention was on unracking and setting the bar down with my back braced sufficiently to protect my QL. Wonder if a belt would help for heavier attempts…

After my Big Lifts(TM) it was time for lots of accessory work. Bicep curls, OHP, lat pulldowns, woodchops, leg press and calf raises. I’m planning to get more core work done this evening if my partner plays video games again.

I also got a chance to talk to the HIIT instructor and apologize for my rage fit. I started to make the suggestion for more modifications and she finished the thought for me, so we’re on the same page. I’m glad, I like going to her class.

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Recovery day, hallelu

I’m feeling pretty beat up today, despite going to bed early last night and destroying my protes goals for the day. (C’mon body, knit that stuff in!) I thought about skipping the gym today, but I felt bad for not going J on Tuesday so I cheerfully went along with him today.

It was an easy and refreshing workout: 20 minutes on the elliptical at light sweat effort, some empty bar deadlifts for my back and a lot of Really Good Stretching. My favorite thing these days is revolved pyramid (a little shorter than revolved triangle). Spending a few breaths in pyramid to get the hamstrings, then twisting around to get my spine and lower back and even into my glutes a little is lovely.

I woke up for work literally 5 minutes before I had to get out the door, just enough time to pee, put in my contacts, dress, and pour coffee into a travel mug (my coffeepot is on a timer so it’s ready when I get up, it’s great.) Once I got to work I realized that I was super hungry and I didn’t bring anything for breakfast. So after the gym I picked up a weird protein bar from the convenience store in my building– it boasted "30g protein". (Limited options, alas.) After I ate it and started feeling gassy I checked the label and saw a small disclaimer: "Warning: this product contains sugar alcohols, which may cause gastrointestinal discomfort." Great! Perfect for a day of meetings…

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Relentless sideways progress

I hit the weights in search of relentless forward progress today, but I sort of just strafed.

I bumped bench to 110lb and it went up pretty easily for 5 sets of 5, so that was nice. Then squats: I threw another 10lb on there for 145lb, did 3 solid sets of 5 with the box– back nice and tall– then put the box away. I tried a wider stance than usual (working on hitting depth) for another set and struggled to keep my back up, and my QL started yelling at me. So I took 10lb back off, tried one more rep, and said "nope". I should probably back off on squats weight until I get my form stabilized (and my QL feels better).

I scrapped deadlifts entirely (I can save them for Friday), did some flat-backed rows, unweighted glute bridges, then had a good long stretch. Overall, it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but it worked.

I think about 75% of the reason my QL is so unhappy this morning was that last night I did a ton of core work, situps and leg raises and planks. That whole area is cranky. My partner was engrossed in a video game and I was bored so I just exercised next to him on the floor. What have I become? "I’m bored, I’ll do some situps."

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The day I lost my mind in HIIT class

  • Decline pushups (feet up on a step) on a Bosu
  • Superman planks on a Bosu (opposite arm and leg raised)
  • Burpee pushups with a Bosu

Aside from being on a Bosu, these all have in common that they are some of the most challenging variations of each exercise. This is what the instructor programmed in her HIIT class, which means I spent a large chunk of the class failing, and also trying not to cry or throw the Bosu in frustration. (Only slammed Bosu down once; managed not to cry until I got in the shower.)

It’s not like I was the one straggler who couldn’t keep up with the class– there were only two of us in it! The other guy was some fit, ex-mil looking dude, and he was fine. But I really could’ve used some easier variations– one of the reasons why HIIT works is because there’s a good volume of the exercise, and I’d rather do lots of an easier exercise than just one or two reps of the hardest one.

It’s especially frustrating, because I show up to HIIT class ready to work hard. I don’t go there to slack; I understand that I’m going to hate my life for 30 minutes. But if I physically cannot do the programmed exercises there is no point. I just feel like that fat chick who shouldn’t even be in this class, and there is no reason for that when there’s only two people in there.

I guess I should condense this and send an email to the instructor– who I really like, actually– and explain. I don’t want to be like, “Your class sucks and unless you change it I’m not coming back!” but honestly, the way it is right now, there’s not much point in my even walking in the door (and trust me, I’d rather have the extra hour of sleep in the morning!)

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Running meeting

Well, that was different. I’m working at home today, and I had a meeting to call in to this afternoon– you know the kind where it’s not any slides or anything, and you’re not really expected to interact, it’s just mostly listening to someone talk? (Which of course is everyone’s favorite thing, sit and listen to someone talk for an hour…)

So I got Webex for my phone, put on my running clothes and headed out, with the webinar in my ears. I figured I’d run as long as I wanted, walk as much as I wanted, just sort of chill. It turned out to be mostly running but fairly slow. The monotony of the speaker didn’t inspire me to go fast, but it did make it easy to zone out and keep on going. In 49 minutes the meeting was done, and I’d covered 3.6 miles.

This past weekend was super busy. Friday night we were invited to our friends’ Seder (which went very late!) then Saturday we had people over for lunch and game, and in the evening we went out for a friend’s birthday dinner. Thankfully Sunday was pretty quiet, but I was an emotional wreck– we had our first meeting with the wedding officiant, which went fine but I’m coming face to face with a lot of issues about my family and it’s challenging. I’m thinking about signing myself up for therapy until after the wedding.

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