Mexico Mode!

I am officially in Mexico vacation mode! I will be jetting off to Tulum in less than 4 weeks, and am heading full throttle into training hard and eating clean. I feel way more bikini-comfortable than I did a few months ago, but I definitely have a ways to go before I get to where I want to be!

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This morning I started off this new-found beast mode with my first attempt at drop-setting my lifts on my own. For those of you who don’t know what a drop-set is, it’s basically a pyramid style workout . You can begin as if you are doing your regular workout (ie. 4 sets of squats at specified reps, beginning small and adding weight as you go). However, when you reach the top of your workout (the heaviest), you are far from finished!

The drop-set starts at your heaviest weight. You do as many squats as possible until your muscles have reached failure. You then rack the barbell, reduce the weight quickly (20-30lb increments if squatting), and immediately begin your next set without resting. Again, you don’t stop squatting at this level until you literally cannot squeeze in another rep. You do this until you have reached the lightest weight (barbell, 45lbs). Essentially, the goal is to prolong your exercise by ending at a lower weight once you have pushed yourself to failure with the heavier weight. Ideally, each set includes many more reps than what you typically do.

The first time I gave this concept a shot was with the trainer/boyfriend. We did this with chest presses and side laterals, but he handed me the weights as I went, making the system much faster. If I had done today’s workout with someone there to help me switch out my weight, it probably would have been even harder than it was. But I am too much of a chicken to ask for help.

I went to LA Fitness at 5am, and my workout was as follows:

Warm up on cross ramp

Push ups (real ones, yay!) 4 sets/10 reps
Squats, 5 sets beginning at 75lbs and ending at 145lbs/ super-setted with 15lb dumbbell curls
Drop-set Squats, 135lbs to 45lbs
Military press, 30-50lbs, 5 sets
Drop-set military press
Hamstring Curls, 65lbs, 4 sets/12 reps

Cool down, quick 5 minute bike ride

By the time I finished, all I wanted to do was chop my legs off and lay right there on the floor for the rest of the day. People can work around me, I thought. My legs were wobbly, I was walking into things, and I probably looked like a lunatic.

20130826-125721.jpgIn addition to confusing my body and challenging myself at the gym, I am eating even cleaner than I had been in the past! Way more fruits and veggies, structured meals, “calorie counting” – but not neurotically (just to have an idea of just how much I am consuming), and even more water and green tea (if that’s even possible.

Mexico, here I come!

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Morning Burn

I had another successful gym session at the ass-crack of dawn this morning! I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get up because I fell asleep no earlier than 1AM last night (this morning). Why was I up so late if I was waking up at 4:30 you ask? Oh, you know, just agonizing like a maniac over what I was going to do at the gym at 5AM. WHY. Who loses sleep over that??

Lucky for me, my oh-so-wonderful trainer dropped everything he was doing to come up with a really hard workout for me to do so that I could stop stressing like a freak and get some shut-eye.

And hard it was.

I have been trying to incorporate more super-setting into my workouts, so today I was assigned just that. I super-setted dumbbell rows with push-ups, pull-downs (probably not the technical term, but I don’t know what is) with bicep dumbbell curls, and squeezed assisted pull-ups, single leg deadlifts, hamstring curls, and a weighted ab workout in between.

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By the time I got to the pull-down/dumbbell curl combo, I felt like I was walking on death row. WHAT IS HE DOING TO ME?? THIS IS HOW HE IS GETTING RID OF ME?? I thought.

Despite the feeling of my muscles tearing and an impending puke, I trucked through it. I lifted a decent amount of weight and was psyched when I would hop on a machine and have to add-on some pounds to what was left there from the last person. That’s always an exciting feeling!

In addition to the extreme exercises, I am concentrating more on my diet. I am eating a lot more fruit, and eating small and frequently.

I am at my lowest weight… almost 26lbs down. My goal is to hit 30-32 by the time I go to Mexico mid-September. I hope I can do it!

Early bird gets the worm!

Today I was feeling really motivated. 5AM workout. Leg day. Killed it.

I got to LA Fitness just as it was opening this morning and had a really great workout. Squats, deadlifts, weighted lunges and a little bit of ab work. Safe to say that I was crawling out of there, and it was all before the sun came up!

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The gym was empty for the most part for the first hour of my workout. Just the way I like it! No waiting for the squat racks, no toe-tappers behind me making me feel like I have to rush, no need to dodge a whole ton of people – which is typical when I go at peak time after work; just a few others minding their own business.

I have been maxing at 135lbs with my squats for the past few leg sessions because for a while, I was training for my 5k and avoiding too much heavy lifting. I finally added on some extra pounds today and did my last set at 145. Deadlifts were maxed at 135lbs (I have only gone up to 145lbs) because I forgot my gloves at home and I felt like the palms of my hands were going to tear.

My weighted lunges are a tad different than what they used to be. In the past I would hold two 15lb dumbbells at my sides, but now I carry a 30lb small barbell across my shoulders. Eventually I will try carrying a plate above my head. Last, I did a few sets of the ab crunch machine. Not my favorite ab workout, but better than nothing. I couldn’t imagine doing the Roman chair or anything that involved lifting my legs!

My “cool-down” was a couple of sets of burpees and jumps up onto a platform. This did it for me. After I finished those, all I wanted to do was collapse on the mat!

It feels pretty darn good to get my gym session in before my day really begins. It makes me feel so accomplished and productive! I may need to make early morning sessions a regular thing, Happy Tuesday!

Truth!

20130808-113623.jpgSeriously! I look left and right and all of these people from high school and college are posting photos of their engagement ring, wedding or pregnant belly. Here I am with my life revolving around working and working out!

I came across this on one of the pages I follow on Instagram and had to share because it made me laugh and is my life!

SERIOUSLY? Avocado Egg Salad BLT

eggavocadoHOLY GOD, THIS IS DELICIOUS.

If you’re an avocado fan, and if you’re an egg salad fan… you have NOT lived until you’ve made this sandwich.

I stumbled across something similar to this on one of the fitness pages I follow on Instagram. Ummm…Instadrool! I put a little twist on it and am hooked.

Avocado Egg Salad Ingredients

2 Avocados

6-8 Hard Boiled Eggs (protein, yay!)

2 Tablespoons Sweet Relish

Scallions

Grey Poupon Mustard (eyeball it)

Pepper

The relish, mustard and the moisture from the avocado are all you need to make the perfect texture! No need for mayo, which is where all the unnecessary calories come from in regular egg salads.

I toasted up a 100% whole wheat bun (tore out some of the insides – would be even better on whole wheat flat bread), and topped it with cooked turkey bacon, lettuce, tomato, the egg salad and a little bit of pepper. Voilà! My new favorite!