You Just Push Harder

You Just Push Harder

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Stop When You’re Done

This past weekend was the first time that I skipped more than one day of exercise since I began my training. Boy, did I regret it.

I always workout 5 days a week, typically with a break on Wednesday and another on Sunday. Well, I was out of town for the long weekend and ended up going THREE whole days without exercise…

I thought I was going to have a meltdown.

A long weekend off may not sound too terrible to some, but for me it was awful. I felt disgusting and miserable by day 2, let alone day 3! My body has become so used to getting it’s fix of endorphins that having such a long “break” made me feel all sorts of wrong.

I was finally able to workout on Tuesday and let me tell you, it was MUCH needed. I probably skipped my way into the gym, knocking people out of my way as I headed toward the locker room.

However, my workout was BEYOND tiring and I think that it can be attributed to my inconsistency over the weekend. I did increase my weight on some of my lifts, but I do that often enough that I did not recognize this tired feeling as a result of that.

My workout consisted of front raises, the shoulder burner machine (I don’t know if that’s actually the name), side lateral raises, military presses, some ab workouts and a tough bike ride to cool down. The only change I had made was increasing my weight for the front raises. I had been doing them with 15lb dumbbells but decided to up it to a 25lb plate – a) more of a challenge, b) plates are more comfortable to hold for that lift.

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Was it hard? Yes. Did I complete my sets? Yes. Did I want to quit? Absolutely. Overall, I felt weak and exhausted. Part of me did not want to even finish when I was halfway through my routine because I had this yucky, “you’re a bad girl for not working out all weekend” feeling.

Regardless, I pushed through until my whole workout was complete, rather than quitting when I initially wanted to.

Skipping a workout really is not worth it!

YOU CHOOSE

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I have not skipped a single workout since I made the change. That is 5 days of exercise every week for the past (almost) 11 weeks!

I will admit that there were a small handful of days where I didn’t feel like going to the gym. But once I got there I was happy I didn’t skip. Overall, to my surprise, making the commitment to fitness has not been all that hard. I daydream about it. I wake up and immediately look forward to my fix of endorphins after work. I feel like crap when it’s a “break” day. The days that I have to work late and make up for it on another day are miserable, but I always arrange my schedule so that I am still getting my 5-days in.

Today I almost had to not go to the gym. My (not-so) little brothers are going to the prom tonight (eeeek!), and I was worried that if I went to the gym I wouldn’t make it home in time to see them off! They couldn’t care less, but I’m the big sis! I have to take photos and embarrass them a little, obviously!

SO, a quick gym trip it shall be, but at least it’s something! If I skipped today I wouldn’t be able to say that I have completed 11 weeks of my 5-day gym streak. A little is better than nothing! I would rather feel sore tomorrow, than sorry. You’ve just got to make the time for it!

Squat Challenge – Accepted!

20130501-144200.jpgAfter a grueling leg workout yesterday, one of the fitness coaches at my gym asked me if I would be willing to give his squat challenge a try. I was surprised and excited to hear that he thought I was one of the only females at our facility that was physically capable of handling a decent amount of weight if I put my mind to it. Now, there aren’t exactly many females at my gym that lift weights at all, but I am still going to take it as a compliment and let it boost my ego a bit anyways.

As soon as I heard “challenge,” my ears perked up. Maybe I should have waited for him to explain what the challenge was before I enthusiastically agreed. But hey, it’s only going to help me!

He wants to do a pyramid workout, where the end result is to see what my one-repetition maximum squat weight is. If I understood correctly, we would start with a small amount of weight – maybe just the barbell, or the barbell plus 20lbs (10 on both sides) – and do my regular amount of reps (about 12). Every time we add weight, he would have me do one less rep, thus ending at 1 rep with my max weight. Based on what I have been doing, he believes that my minimum weight is probably 145lbs, which is already 20lbs more than what I have done so far.

Yesterday I squatted 6 sets of 12, beginning with 15lbs on both ends of the barbell and ending with 40lbs, making my highest weight 125lbs. I probably could have done more if my legs were not already exhausted from my single leg presses. He advised me to begin my workouts with the squats so that I can give it my all, so I will have to try that next time. The rest of my workout consisted of weighted step-ups with two 15lb dumbbells, and a quick 10 minute run on the treadmill.

The great thing about this challenge is that it will give me an idea of just how much I can lift, so that I am not taking a wild guess and starting with less weight than I could be. I am looking forward to it and nervous just the same! He tells me that he has been wanting to work with a dedicated woman to see just how far they can be pushed, but that most people that he has approached are afraid of extreme muscle gain. They don’t trust that the female body simply can’t gain the muscle mass that men do. So, here’s to hoping that the end result is a nice bikini-ready bottom!

 

Two Months in & Sore as Hell

As of yesterday, I am 2 months in to my new routine (9 weeks as of this weekend)! My weigh-in this morning shows that I have lost 13.3lbs! Woohoo!

I am definitely seeing some progress here and there. I have lost a decent amount of weight in my chest, my arms are less flabby and my pants are starting to feel loose. The other day I wore a pair of pants to work that used to be tight, and I spent half my time hiking them up!

Below is a side-by-side (or in this case bottom-to-top) comparison of my arm. The top picture was from April 5th and the bottom picture is from just a couple of days ago. I see slight differences but can’t tell if it’s good progress or bad! To me it sort of seems like there is less muscle, but it could just be that it is just less fat surrounding the muscle.

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Thursday’s workout was deliciously difficult. I am definitely feeling it today and my butt and thighs are STILL unhappy with me from Tuesday’s ass-whoopin’. Love it.

Here is my workout from last night:

Warm-up: Elliptical for 5.5 minutes; 4 Sets/12 modified push-ups (2 regular, 2 diamond); Stretch

– Free-weight Chest Press: 12 Reps/5 Sets; Two 15lb dumbbells**

– Close-Grip Chest Press: 12 Reps/5 Sets; Two 15lb dumbbells**

– Lateral Raise + Front + Press Combo: 10 Reps/5 Sets; Two 5lb dumbbells

Weighted Glute Bridge: 15 Reps/5 Sets; 20lb bar

– Incline Dumbbell Curls: 10 Reps/5 Sets; Two 15lb dumbbells

– Bicep Cable Curls: 12 Reps/5 Sets; 20lbs on both cables

Cool-down – Treadmill – Run, 10 minutes

** I alternated between Chest Press and Close-Grip Chest Press and counted that as one set. Apparently this is called Super Setting. (Learning new things every day!)

Like I said in my last post, I signed up for my first 5k race which is taking place in late July! So, of course I had to switch things up and hit the treadmill last night. I normally end my workouts on the bike — occasionally on the elliptical. I was happy to find that I was comfortable running for the duration of my cool-down, and had I had the time, could probably have gone longer. I think that now that I have something to look forward to… I will need to try and mix in a run a few times a week.

Hooray for progress!