Ay dios mio, what a tough weekend!

I had a brutal weekend of exercise. I worked out with my trainer on Friday and Sunday and my entire body is burning. Shoulders and legs are COMPLETELY out of the question for today’s gym trip.

Friday

On Friday evening we did drop sets of a few different arm workouts. This consisted of doing three sets of the same lift at various weights, one right after the other, and counting it as one set.

For example:

Incline Chest Press

One set: 12 reps with 17.5lb dumbbells, 10 reps with 15lb dumbbells, 10 reps with 10lbs dumbbells.

Repeat x4 or 5 (I was exhausted enough after 3 that I don’t remember how many sets we did!)

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Sunday

Yesterday was a leg day. We didn’t have time to complete the entire workout and I still feel like I just ran a marathon without stretching (but I did stretch!). Deadlifts, squats and a couple other quickies.

After doing a quick warm up run on the treadmill (about 0.32 mile in 3 minutes), we stretched and did our push ups. I have always done mine on my knees, but finally gave real ones a shot this weekend and was able to do 13 yesterday! That was surprising and exciting!

We then began our strength training with stiff leg deadlifts. My last set ended up being my heaviest lift so far!

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My trainer did the entire workout alongside me, which was nice. His deadlift warm up? 225lbs. Mine? …85lbs.

Usually I warm up with 75lbs total, 15 on each end of the barbell. Mr. Trainer, of course, made me start with more, 85lbs total, 20 on each end.

I added on 10-15lbs with each set, eventually ending with 145lbs at 5 or 6 lifts. The heaviest I had lifted prior to yesterday was 135. Progress! Let me tell you, my hamstrings, back and ass were (and still are) SO sore. I am hobbling around everywhere I go and am day dreaming about a nice hot bath.

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After deadlifts we did squats. I have struggled a little bit with my form so we spent a good amount of time concentrating on getting my booty as low as I could and keeping my chest out. My hip limits me a little as I add weight, but when we practiced with just the barbell I did it perfectly. I am always afraid to go too low in fear of my hip popping out. Yuck, I know.

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We did 4 sets of squats, ending at 135, 8 reps. I have squatted a little more than that before, but we decided not to go overboard yesterday.

In addition to the primary workouts, we did a few standing leg presses, and some leg lifts on the mats using a tension band. The exercises with the bands are meant to strengthen my hip in the long-run. They are DEFINITELY feeling tight today.

Today was supposed to be a shoulder day at the gym… side laterals, front raises, military presses, etc.

HA! No thanks. I think I will do mostly cardio with some push ups, pull ups, dips, and ab work. Yeehawwww.

I lifted how much?!

CHALLENGE NUMERO UNO:

Squats: 155lbs (3 reps); Deadlifts: 135lbs (4 reps)

Last Thursday I gave the squat challenge a try! Somehow it turned into a squat AND deadlift challenge. It was painful and awesome.

A trainer at my gym asked me if I would be interested in completing a fitness test to see what my 1 rep squat max is. This was to be found by squatting the barbell, and gradually adding weight while doing fewer reps, until we reached my 1 rep max.

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Because this was the preliminary test, we spent a lot of time focusing on my form. He made me do a TON of squats with no weight on my shoulders while watching myself in the mirror from the side. I have a bit of a bad hip so getting the form just right was a little hard for me, but the practice definitely helped. I need to focus on keeping my heels flat on the ground and leaning my hips further backward. I did so many free squats that my thighs and butt were burning before I even started lifting.

We started with just the barbell so he could check out my form, then added weight with each set. I noticed that he was increasing the weight in larger increments than I do on my own. While I usually add an extra 5lbs to each side of the barbell with each set, he was increasing by 10-15lbs! With each set, I did 1-2 fewer repetitions. The more weight added, the longer the rest in between.

Again, because form was the primary concern the first time around, we only made it as far as my 3-rep max squat weight. This ended up being 155lbs (two 45lb plates and two 10lb plates)! Prior to that I had only squatted 135lbs. The trainer is certain that I can do about 175lbs. We’ll see about that.

During my workout, I had about 5 different guys that I don’t know stop and watch us work. I don’t think they are used to females in the weight room. Between my sets – I think I was at 135lbs – one came over and said “how embarrassing, I can’t even squat the 45lb bar and here you are doing 3 times that. Impressive!” Obviously this excited me.

After squatting, I thought I was off the hook. But no, the fitness instructor got me again! He asked me what I had next on my agenda and I told him I was going to do chest presses and bicep curls – my normal Thursday routine. “WRONG!” he said. Instead, we set off to see what my max deadlift weight is.

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What I used to use.

When I deadlift, I usually use weights similar to the one on the right. The most I had ever lifted was 60lbs at 10-12 reps per set. For the challenge, we “warmed-up” with the 50lb one, before he said that I had graduated from that style and was moving on up in the world to the barbell that you manually add weight to. The barbell is MUCH longer than the one I am used to, making balance difficult. Scary!

Set one, like the squats, was just with the barbell to check on my form. The three sets after that were with 10lb increases. By the time I hit 105lbs (three 10lb plates on either side) at 4 reps I was BEAT. I was kneeling on the ground after I completed the set and was sure that I COULD not and WOULD not do any more.

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Then I saw him make a Dr. Evil face while removing the 10lb plates and replacing them with a 45lb plate on each side. I’m sure you can imagine how much my eyes bugged out of my head, but if you can’t, this baby’s face is pretty on point. I asked if he was out of his mind. 135lbs?? Are you joking? I know that deadlifts are performed with your legs, but I was exhausted and it isn’t the same as carrying the weight on your shoulders! Gripping that much in your hands is hard!

I ended up deadlifting the 135lbs four times. This is WAY more than I had ever thought I would be able to do. It was more than twice the amount of weight that I have ever done!

I completed the workout with a 10 minute jog on the treadmill. Killer!