Plan? what plan?

This morning I met with one of the trainers at my gym to get my "exercise prescription" after the fitness evaluation. For some reason I thought it would be like a week’s worth of plan, but it was an accessory workout that included back, shoulder, core and hip work, which he designed to help out my big lifts on the days when I do 2 a days. Good stuff, but I was kind of hoping for One Plan To Rule Them All. On the plus side, I get to keep doing what I want mostly :)

Yesterday I had a surprise 8.5 miler. How does one get surprised into running their farthest run ever? Well… there was a park I wanted to check out (old missile launch site!) and I google mapped the park entrance and it was 3.someodd miles away. Doable. Well, turns out there’s a lot of park back behind that entrance to get to the interesting stuff. By the time I made it to the entrance I was like "welp I’m here, might as well get to what I wanted to see"… so add a mile, and then add another one coming back, and there’s my long run. It was hot. I’m sunburned.

I bought my husband a small hibachi grill for Christmas a couple years ago and he’s never used it. (Lesson learned: Never go off-list.) I actually got it out yesterday and got it fired up and cooked some chicken thighs on it (not particularly well, it was having a hard time staying hot enough). So that was cool, but while I was cooking I think every mosquito in the county bit me. I’m 99% sure I have Zika now. That plus the remnants of my poison ivy nonsense (yes it’s been over a month, my body is STILL reacting) means I’m itchy about everywhere.

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Actual recovery run

My quads and associated leg-parts are sore (guess those squats yesterday morning were heavier than I thought) and today I planned to do some yoga and maybe a short walk, but it’s cool and lightly drizzly and I really wanted to run. So, I picked the flattest route I could think of (tough around here) and took it deliberately slow for 40 minutes. It was nice to do a slow run; that and the rainy weather made it feel refreshing. I should still probably do some yoga though, I could use a good stretch.

The two-a-day 5×5 B with $husband went well. His form was good, he deadlifted wonkily but without injury, and we diagnosed his issue as some seriously tight hamstrings– he can’t even touch his toes. I gave him some extra credit work, rubber band straight-leg/Romanian deadlifts. If he does those every day it should help put a little length and strength back in his posterior chain until he can move properly again.

Speaking of mobility, my birthday request was for a subscription at one of those massage chains… birthday is coming up, we’ll see if Santa brings it for me…

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Back on dat grind

While I was hanging out in my gym’s office I saw their events schedule for the rest of the year. The annual powerlifting comp, MIA from May, is slated for October. I like this little casual comp and have been using it as an excuse to lift and train for a couple years now. So part of me is like "yay!" and part of me is like "crap I guess I better start putting some real iron on these bars". Still, I don’t get my new plan until Tuesday so I’m just farting around.

Today’s another 2 a day day ($husband has decided that his back feels well enough; we shall see) and the morning’s workout was a shorter legbutt day. Mostly I just wanted to see how things were feeling. Squats were slightly heavy, enough to make them hard but I had some room to pay attention and play with my form. The ROM drills are yielding results– hitting depth was easy peasy and I could keep the force vector over my midfoot. I didn’t hit deadlift too hard today; my warmup set felt a tiny bit cranky in my lower back (it’s tired from yesterday’s run + the squats). I belted up for the working set and kept it light. (Belts make everything better.) Then OHP and quick accessories, and I was out the door.

Squat ROM drill – 10
Squat – 5x45lb, 5x5x135lb
Deadlift – 5x135lb, 5x155lb
OHP – 5x45lb, 5x5x55lb
Barbell lunge – 2x10x55lb
Weighted glute/ham raises – 2x10x10lb
Cable woodchop – 2x10x27.5lb, each side

Tonight is more of the same: squat, DL and (seated, our basement ceiling is too short) OHP at $husband’s working weight (bar and some change). Not sure if he’s going to do DL, I suggested at least back extensions.

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Alejandro the Chinchilla

First off, I fail at recovery runs. After my 2 a day yesterday ($husband strained his back doing rows; now he’s grumpy and it seems to be all my fault because I tried to correct his form and he "can’t bend that way"; I’ve researched alternate exercises for him, ‘coaching’ sucks) I got a halfway decent night of sleep, and today I headed to the gym for some "easy recovery cardio". Instead, I ran my fastest treadmill 5k ever (somewhere between 9’35" and 9’58" depending on which tracker you believe), which was a fairly tough workout but one that left no lingering fatigue or ill effects. I guess we’ll see how my quads and hips feel tomorrow (another 2 a day on the schedule, leg day + squat/DL/OHP, whee…)

I’m finally getting around to doing Season 7 of Zombies, Run! The story’s been meandering since they wrapped up S6, but today’s mission featured a new character, Alejandro the Chinchilla. He squeaks.

I found one of those spreadsheets for long-term average TDEE calculation. It requires two things: 1) daily weighing; and 2) accurate-as-I-can calorie tracking. Blehhh. I’ll call it a necessary evil; having that data will mean I can stop fussing and guessing how much I ought to eat. But I need 2-4 weeks of good data before I can rely on it.

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External evaluation

(Warning: very much body talk in here, feel free to scroll on past.)

I don’t think I mentioned that last week I scheduled my first ever fitness evaluation at my work gym. I resisted this for a long time. I’m one of those extremely internally motivated people, who starts to get pissed off when other people judge or expect things from me. "Imma be fit, but imma be fit on my own terms damnit! You can’t tell me what to do!" But on the other hand, I am not a coach or a professional and my fuckarounditis was getting severe and I’m not sure what to do next or even what direction I should be looking at. So… at 8am today I submitted to being measured and assessed.

The test itself wasn’t so terrible, it was definitely easier than a HIIT class; the toughest bits were a minute of (full!) pushups (25) and of half sit-ups (27). The cardio test was stepping up onto a step to a (pretty slow) beat for 3 minutes, getting my heart rate read, and then a minute later having it read again. The tl;dr of the test: strength is above average, cardio is excellent, flexibility is needs improvement, and body fat is 33%.

That last bit… so that’s come down by ~10% over the last year. It’s still a bit higher than maybe it should be ("overfat" in the lingo). But the last few months my cut had some bad effects – period stopped, libido gone, not sleeping or recovering well, plus I’d stopped losing weight and was bingeing (which was NEVER a problem for me before). Pretty much I looked at my life and said "I am a wreck and I need to eat more." And based on that, I had kind of planned this evaluation to be a baseline for a recomp; I’d go back to eating at maintenance and work out hard and see what happened.

After the test, I went and did my workout (just a normal bench/upperz day, though today will be my first 2-a-day with $husband in the evening) and had some deep thoughts. After I was done lifting, I went back to the guy who evaluated me and asked "So… based on my results, do you think I should recomp or should I cut more?" He thought for a moment and said, "Well, you could probably cut more first." Ugh. We had a chat (along with another gym staffer, who is a lovely woman who’s been encouraging me for a while, and who has a more strong lady-centric view of fitness) and after I told them about the problems during my cut, they suggested a much gentler cut, and basing it on a weekly timeframe rather than daily for more flexibility. I’m still concerned, but hopefully there will be enough feedback from my body that I can adjust as I go.

I’m meeting with them again next week, when they’ll have a workout plan for me that should incorporate the big lifting/2 a days with $husband/love for running/need for flexibility improvement that I’m looking for. It’s a little bit terrifying. I’m getting ready to take a leap of faith and get a little more serious. We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

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Ad hoc leg day

Someone did me the indignity of scheduling a meeting over my gym time again so I shorted myself on sleep and headed in early for the second day in a row. It was a pretty strenuous and fast-paced leg day. Good workout, but at what cost?

While I’m on the topic, I’ve been kicking around the idea of two-a-days since we have the basement gym now. I’m not sure now is the right time, though– I need to be able to commit to recovery and I need to be doing a better job scaling down my workouts. The first is always hard (we didn’t even get home from practice last night until 9:30) and the second is something that I need to plan ahead with. Everything I’ve read says that each workout should be no longer than 30 minutes– this morning I was working for an hour and 10 minutes. Maybe not a good idea to throw a second workout into the mix right now. (Or maybe I need to start up a proper two-a-day plan that does the hard work of thinking about it for me…)

warmup: 1 mile run (10:13)
3×10 each: Squat ROM drill, barbell reverse lunge (45lb), barbell goodmorning (45lb), leg press (200lb+sled), glute/ham raise (10lb), barbell RDL (95lb), glute thruster (95lb), stepup (25lb dumbbell each hand), one leg RDL (10lb each hand)

So that’s a long circuit and the weight room was crowded this morning, I wound up moving the barbell and bench for RDL/glute thrusters to the only open space available, next to the drinking fountain. For the first time ever, someone scolded me for this. Dude, it’s busy in here! You can get around it.

Practice last night was fun. I brought my knitting and sampler hankie to finish up, but wound up learning to spin yarn using a spindle. The woman who taught us sent us off with our own spindles and a blob of roving, which was nice! I have a lofty goal of spinning enough to dye and make a hat from… I’ve read that dandelion root makes a decent animal fiber dye and lawd knows we have enough of that around so I need to pull it out and start stockpiling it. If I can save some money by using dyestuff that literally grows as a weed in my yard, so much the better.

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Sort of hardbody maybe

Most of the time I feel like I look pretty average and lumpy in my clothes, certainly not hardbody at all. This morning after my workout, I was in a towel in the locker room drying my hair, and I looked at my shoulders and chest and said to myself, "daaang!" Am I ripped or not? Only my shoulders? Was it just a good pump after my upperz workout? Don’t know!

warmup – 1 mile run (11:05)
Bench – 10x45lb, 10x95lb, 5x5x125lb
2×10 each: Biceps/Triceps (50lb ez bar), rear delt flys (15lb DBs), one arm bent over rows (25lb DB), shrugs (35lb DBs), OHP (45lb bar), pec flys (20lb DBs)
3×10 Squat ROM drill

The basement gym is all set up and last night $husband and I put it through its paces. He’s new to barbell compounds so I walked him through squat and deadlift (the bench is still at my in laws). I wasn’t so keen on stepping into the role of coach (and I didn’t think he would listen to me very well) but it seemed to work okay. I’m worried though because I’ve never been properly coached, so I could be missing something. I just don’t want him to get hurt.

Monday I went for a draggy, soggy run and felt like crap afterwards. I’m not sure why it was so hard, but it was awful– I even took a walk break for the first time in a long time. Ah well, moving on.

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