Workout buddy… Finally!

20140326-094736.jpgI finally have a workout buddy!

One of my best friends joined LA Fitness this week and I couldn’t be more excited to find a gym partner in her. Well, so far. We’ve only gone together once – this morning – but I have high hopes that she will stick with it.

We met at the gym at 5am this morning and I have to admit, I was unsure what to expect. She would always tell me that at her old gym she only did cardio and at home she would do workout videos for “abs in 30 days” or something. I wasn’t sure if she would humor me and try weight-lifting. Much to my surprise, she did everything I threw at her, no questions asked. When something was too difficult or she felt that she had done enough sets, she said so. But I was proud and psyched to see that she would at least give each workout a shot.

We started with a quick half-mile run, followed by deadlifts super-setted with push ups, weighted lunges, leg press, glute kick-backs, roman chair leg lifts super-setted with love handle ab bends, and ended with a short cool down on the stair climber.

She was very enthusiastic and excited about trying new things, and mirrored my love for getting it done early in the morning. While it’s hard to get up at that hour, working out before anything else is so refreshing and gives you such a satisfying feeling of accomplishment. “I’ve already squatted my own body weight and ran 3 miles, what have you done?”

It’s also nice to be held accountable to someone else, so that when you really don’t want to go, you don’t really have an excuse because you’re gym buddy will be waiting.

Our next date is tomorrow morning!

It’s interesting being the “teacher” instead of the “student” for a change. Sure, I am not an expert, but I definitely feel like I am at a point where I could whip someone into shape if they trusted me to do so and had the dedication necessary to make a transformation. Maybe she will be my new project.

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!

Bad Katie! Cheating On Myself and Making Up For It

I was bad this weekend. I cheated BIG TIME on my diet and deserve a big ol’ spanking. I know that it is OK to treat yourself from time to time but I more than treated myself and felt absolutely disgusting by Sunday afternoon. Just goes to show that in-the-moment “wants” may not be worth it at the end of the day.

My recommended daily calorie intake is 1,200. Boy did I surpass that. I went out of town for the weekend and because I was staying in a hotel, I ate out for every meal. In addition to eating out, there was an array of wine and cocktails. And you know I enjoy my wine.

On Friday night before my misbehavior ensued, I squeezed in a quick workout substitute for my regular routine. The gym at the hotel was smaller than my freshman year dorm room and was extremely limited, but I made do with what was available. I did a quick warm up on the elliptical, deadlifts maxing at 60lbs (with dumbbells rather than my regular bar), and weighted lunges. Better than nothing, I guess.

I have learned just how easy it is to think that you’re eating healthy by choosing the green item on the menu, only to find that oftentimes… you’re doing the exact opposite! We went to PF Chang’s on Saturday for lunch and I ordered the Thai Beef and Noodle Salad. I knew that it would likely be a little high in calories, especially due to the toppings and the dressing (I usually get the dressing on the side and use very little of it but forgot to ask this time), but didn’t realize how bad it actually would be.

I had eaten about half of the bowl before I thought to check and see what the calorie count was on the MyFitnessPal app. It was enough to make me full then and there. One of these salads totals to 870 calories… GROSS. More than 2/3 of my daily “allowance” in one meal. I don’t use this app religiously – it’s mostly so that I can have a general idea of what I am consuming. I told myself I wouldn’t be a calorie counter. But, I am very happy that I checked before scarfing that whole bowl down.

Those of you who have been following my blog know that I am a sucker for the bad stuff. The rest of the weekend included nachos, wings and burgers. I had a regular salad and a grilled chicken caesar wrap at other points but those unfortunately did not cancel out the aforementioned high calorie meals and appetizers.

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When I got home on Sunday afternoon I was NOT in the mood to exercise. I felt so full, exhausted and just plain yucky from the weekend that I just wanted to veg out on the couch and watch Netflix. But I figured… what is an hour of my time? If I can find the time to watch TV for an hour then I sure as hell can kick my ass into gear and do SOMETHING that gets me on my feet and moving.

This weekend was the first Saturday I had skipped in two months and I would have felt so terrible if I went two days in a row without exercising. SO, with my future 5k in mind, I set out for a run. Well, it was more of a run/brisk walk but I think I did alright for my first time out for the season.

Using my MapMyRun app, I mapped out a route that is just a little further than a 5k. I think I will use it to train for ColorMeRad because it has a good flat:hilly ratio. I went 3.47 miles in 44:19 at a 12:45 pace, burning 511 calories. I reached 3.1 miles (5k) in 40:26. Now, I know that the time doesn’t sound too impressive, but I am not exactly in the best running shape… yet. I imagine that my running mile is probably between 10-11 minutes. Not too terrible for someone who is just getting back into the swing of things! After my run I did 4 sets of 12 push-ups, alternating between diamond and regular.

All in all, I will definitely be paying for my slip-ups this week! I plan to kick it to the next level at the gym. Wish me luck!

Ass. Kicked.

Yesterday I got to spend some time at the gym with my trainer and let me tell you… I. Am. HURTING.

I don’t get to do this very often since we live so far from each other, so it was nice to be able to go together rather than me briefing him on my workout like I do every other day. Gives me a chance to learn some new things and make sure I am doing all of my strength training correctly.

One of the biggest things he emphasized yesterday was to push myself to my limits. When I am on my own, I often think that I can’t do another rep, or that I’m not ready to add an extra 5-10lbs, but he continues to prove me wrong!

Much to my day-after-workout body’s displeasure…

I added 10lbs to my max weight for deadlifts. What I typically do is start with 30lbs and add weight with every set, eventually doing my final set with 50lbs. Yesterday, I started with 50lbs and focused on my form before upping to 60lbs.

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I also added an extra 20lbs to my max squat weight, totaling to 115lbs if you include the weight of the bar. I hadn’t done squats in about a week and a half since we were giving my knee a little bit of a break. I was happy to find that it felt fine, even with more weight than I was used to on my shoulders. We alternated between regular squats and sumo squats. There were a few moments when I seriously thought that I couldn’t get my butt down there again and it was helpful knowing he was there to spot me incase I couldn’t make it. He was also in my ear saying “ONE MORE, ONE MORE!” Not seeming to have much of an option, down I went. This was brutal. BUT, they say squats are key to a great ass, so squat I shall!

He totally tricked me when we did the assisted pull-ups and dips. I usually do a 100lb assist and about 4 sets of 10-12. He told me that I needed to lose about 5-6lbs of assistance every week on my own but I hadn’t started doing that yet. So, since he was being the boss-man, yesterday was the day to drop a little bit. First I tried 90lbs assistance which of course was harder than I was used to, but not terrible. Then he wanted to drop a little more and said he was setting it to 85lbs. So, up and down I go — kind of. I only managed about 6 reps for both the pull-ups and dips. It was a struggle. In my head I was like DAMN, am I really that weak? Why is this so much harder if it’s only 5lbs less?? Turns out that sucker was playing with me and actually set it to 75lbs assistance to make a point that my body is capable of more than I think.

tumblr_lwdnxeVGfQ1qk3lgjo1_500I also tried something completely new… bench pressing! Since it was my first time, I only did the barbell which weighs 45lbs. I clearly didn’t look as good as the chick to the left, but maybe one day I will be benching the barbell and some plates with ease like her. I actually liked it much more than I thought I would. If I am brave enough, I think I will try these on my own at some point this week.

In addition to the tough stuff, we did a handful of free weight lifts such as the Seated Arnold to make sure that I was doing them correctly. Turns out there are a good amount of workouts where I should actually be starting with heavier weights than I have been.

Overall I had an awesome exercise yesterday and I am bound to be feeling it for days. I have been waddling around like a little old lady. Ouuuch.