Archive for November, 2012

Day 15 – You are not prepared!

Showed up for a 90 minute Moksha sequence tonight.  It was packed!  I am glad I took a chance on reserving a spot, I barely made it in time though.  I wanted a pic before class, but all 3 of the staff were trying to process the blitz of hungry yogis.

I know it’s blurry, but I only had half a sec before the space filled up again with people.

The class was brutal!  I walked in 15 min early, like normal, and it was already PACKED.  I felt claustrophobic.  When you are laid out like sardines in the hot room, I always show a great deal of “restraint”.  I want to be harmonious with my neighbours, so I don’t go for a move if I sense I will be bumping into them; or if I feel myself getting sloppy, I immediately stop to recompose.  I want to keep my movements tight and graceful at all costs when there is no room for error.  Generally I take more breaks in a fully packed room.

Already in the first 15 min, I knew I was in trouble.  We were using planks as a transition between poses, and the planks were hitting me hard.  My core felt tired.  Maybe it needed more rest?  I did a bit of core work with Leslie on Sunday, a few planks and side planks, and more core work on Saturday, whereas normally Sunday is a day of purely Yin, so my core might not have been ready for more planks.  I was definitely not prepared for a 90 min moksha sequence with no core to support me.

I pushed through the planks when I could, took a few breaks.  But when my core goes and the moves keep coming, I start to get frustrated, and then start to get grumpy.  It was just one of those classes where I take a beating, and get grumpy, haha.  Various thoughts started to flow through my head:

“Why does the teacher ALWAYS ask us to breathe in together when I am in the middle of breathing out?  Always??!?”

“We normally END with pigeon and now she has us doing like 6 poses after pigeon? what is this??!?”

When we were doing back work, I was starting to grunt with strain during the locusts and half-locusts.  I was losing my breath.  So I bowed out of the vinyasa flows and sat in seiza, occasionally flexing my quads in sort of a proto-sissy squat.  And then the class was told to do sleeping hero, which I had sort of already been doing, so I went into a resting pose.

And man did the sweat flow.  Once my core told me it was phoning in sick, the sweat flowed like crazy.  During the second half of the class, for about 40 min straight, sweat was in my eyes, stinging and blinding me.  This did not improve my mood, haha.  Whenever I would go into child’s pose and tilted my head down, the stinging would get worse and I had to squeeze my eyes  shut to push it out, which gave me a bit of a headache.  Needless to say, I was not a picture of cool and composed.  More like a hot mess.

But those are probably the classes I need yoga the most.  Life gets hard and inconvenient sometimes too, you just have to grind those times out.  It’s called grit 🙂  My goals are greater than my sense of self.

After class I went back for a better pic

Katie and John!

Katie was teaching the class, and John worked the front desk.  I should mention John is growing a moustache for November, haha!

I dragged my butt home in a sling.  I should be sleeping pretty hard tonight!  Day 15 down!

After the Saturday rant, I needed to shake up the routine a bit and do some different stuff.  My trainer Leslie was offering a yoga class at 1 pm at the studio on Sundays, and I had been meaning to go for a while.

For a warmup I went for a brisk walk outside, and when I showed up, there were only 2 other attendees.  A bigger crowd is cool too, but having less people means a more personal vibe, better chance of adjustments from the teacher, and you get a sense of how everyone is doing.  I am used to crowds of about 45-60, so I was looking forward to something more intimate.

downward facing dog


With less people, it also meant more of a chance to pick the focus we were looking for.  Noone else was piping up, so I suggested since normally I do yin on Sunday, a mix of restorative and fundamentals might be good.  Inwardly, I sensed the other 2 people approved, haha.  Lazy Sunday yogz!

warrior I with a slight backbend

forward bend on triangle legs

lunge with a twist

I enjoyed the class a lot!  It is good to go back to the fundamentals every once in a while, and holding poses meant more photo opzzz 🙂  Looking at myself in these pictures, I can tell you that I probably need lots more fundamentals classes, haha.  Some of these pictures don’t look like they feel, that’s for sure!

is that how my pigeon looks?!??

I was doing sphinx, but when I saw the camera I switched to seal real quick, ha!

stretching out the ribs in child’s pose


side planks

Towards the end of class, while we were winding down, the ceiling above us started to shake.  Rhythmic pounding on the ceiling.  My guess was the church above us was having a dance recital, it seemed too late in the day for a spontaneous sermon dance-off.  We checked after class, turns out YUP the church was rehearsing “stomp” moves for their Christmas pageant.  They invited us to participate, I kind of prefer the yoga 🙂  Christmas yoga pageant!


the only way I can touch my head to my toes, haha

spinal twist

they say this is one of the hardest poses in yoga. seriously.

Wasn’t that nice of Leslie to take all those pics!  Without her, this blog would not be HALF as interesting!  Definitely go to her blog for more cool stuff:
I felt we just needed some outdoors shots, such a nice cool November day!

I felt Leslie’s half-moon looked cooler upside down!

lift that back arm, jackass!


See you soon!  The 30 day challenge enters week 3!

As you attend a number of yoga classes, you hear a lot of reminders to show gratitude, be thankful, stay positive.  There are many advantages to this.  A positive mental attitude keeps you focused on your goals, it keeps your breathing steady, it keeps you from stressing out and drowning yourself in cortisol, etc.

And then some days you just want to flip the gym the bird, haha.

Here is a sad truth you must confront on your road to fitness.  As you commit yourself to a number of regular activities, you soon start to feel the grind set in.  For me specifically, I have a 30 day hot yoga challenge to fold in with my 4 day resistance training split.  It goes like this:

had a great yoga class?  great do it again tomorrow

mind-blowing weight session and yoga session that left you totally drained?  awesome, that’s how it’s supposed to feel, now do it again tomorrow.

feeling tired today? screw you, go to the gym.

feeling more tired today? screw you, go to the gym.

friends calling you out for awesome fun time?  is there a video game you are really eager to play?  a season finale you are dying to watch?  screw you, you don’t have time for any of those.  go to the gym.

dying to comfort yourself with salty sugary bliss?  double screw you, go to the gym.

feeling a little angry today at the gym?  but WHYYYYY??  be grateful!!

hahaha.  Let’s be brutally honest.  The gym is a demanding, jealous, spiteful asshole.  This month all I have time for is work and gym and yoga.  Weight loss is an even bigger asshole.  If I stray from the diet, I can almost guarantee no weight lost that week.  It’s like having a super comfy mattress that you can pile stuff on, but you are constantly warned that if you lie down on this mattress, you void the warranty and they can’t guarantee that it will be comfy any more.  I can run myself like a dog monday through wednesday, but a pop and some chips on thursday means I have noone to blame on friday if the needle stays put.  And that’s just how it is.  You are now hitched up to a jealous, crazy psycho girlfriend and you must walk the line or take two steps back.  (ladies, feel free to anthropomorphize your gym into an asshole boyfriend, haha)

It isn’t all horrible, some people love the shit out of this psycho relationship.  I call those people masochists.  I’m here because I don’t want to lose a foot to diabetes and ride around on a Rascal.  I have learned to “appreciate” the gym, but I also recognize the crazy nature of our society.  We subject everyone to a barrage of junk food and laziness, and then harp on them for not being gym rats.  It leads to some MAJOR personality disorders.  Weird relationships with food.  Like the people who will only eat junk food when noone is watching, and the floors under their car seats are littered with taco bell wrappers.  Like the superfit supermuscly gym warriors who, once a week, gorge themselves until they can’t move, and call it a “cheat day”.  None of this is healthy.  As human beings, we WANT to flood ourselves with calories, it’s how we pulled ourselves from the muck.  But now we are drowning in calories, and we respond by swinging back and forth from one extreme to another.  Depressingly few people I know have a healthy, balanced relationship with food.  It’s all guilt and fear.

Can you tell I didn’t want to go to yoga today?  So yeah, I went to yoga 🙂

It was a 90 min class, a mix of “yang” and yin, like 60 min of vigorous postures and 30 min of stretches.  did I like it?  not especially, I was clearly too morose to be grateful.  Oh well, any workout is better than no workout, right?  hahaha, that’s debateable.  so when the teacher asked us at the start of class to focus on one thing we were grateful for, I picked something, but about 45 min in, that gratitude was drowning in haterade.  I just couldn’t wait for it to end.  But on the other hand, I am stubborn, and want to “beat” this challenge, so you swallow your pride and put your head down and grind away, and hope for a sunnier day tomorrow.


Cross your fingers!  See you then!

The plan for today was an upper body workout and then one of the more active hot yoga sessions.  Get all my resistance training going.

Showed up for an upper body session with Leslie, and noticed very quickly the burning sensation in my left thigh.  I have an inflamed IT band, it has happened before.  When I first got it, I didn’t know what it was and kept pushing until the burning became very intense, like pressing up against a hot cooking pot.  It is a sign for me when I feel it to ease up on the leg work, get a massage, take care of myself!  Luckily this wasn’t leg day, so I pressed on (get it?)

warm-up with the battle ropes for 2 min

flat bench press w dumbbells:  warmup, 150 x10, x10, x9

incline dumbbell flys:  70 x12, x12, x12

pushups:  12, 15, 15

BREAK:  foam roller massage

Australian pullups:  10, 10, 10

t-bar row:  125 x12, 135 x12, x12

try not to sack yourself!

widegrip pulldowns:  200 x12, x12, 220 x12

cooldown:  5 min on elliptical


notes:  the ropes reminded me that my biceps were sore 🙂  Somewhat the biceps, moreso the forearms –> the brachioradialis.  Curse you, zottman curls!  Right at the tendon where the brachioradialis connects to the elbow, that was sore.

The pushups were a mix of real ones and knee ones.  I started off with ones from my toes, and as Leslie saw my back sag, we kept going with ones from my knees.  That is a good point to note for my yoga, as Leslie noted I still sag a lot during chaturanga, and put too much pressure on my shoulders. (She came to yoga with me on Monday, and observed.)  This is common, lots of people have saggy backs in chaturanga, but if I want to rehab my shoulders, I need to tighten up on my form, or just do chaturanga (and pushups) from my knees.

After pushups, we took a break from resistance training to apply the foam roller to my IT band.  It was needed, even getting up and down was sore in my left leg.  The rolling hurt, but hurt in the way that makes you laugh.  Well, it makes ME laugh.  After about 5 min of that, I felt loosened up, so we continued.

My mind waqs still occupied with my IT band, and thinking ahead to yoga, so I sort of went through the motions with the Australian pullups.  In retrospect, my feet should have gone out further, and made it harder.  As fallout from that, I was nudging Leslie towards adding a little bit more weight here and there on the rows and pulldowns.

Then I showered up, hopped on the bus, grabbed my yoga gear and headed to hot yoga!  Friday night, typified with a full room of newer people.  That means being mindful of your neighbour, it means the room heats up an extra degree or two from all the people grunting and sweating (like I do, but even moreso).  New people tend to heat up the room more than crafty old vets.  But this kind of heat is the “good heat”, all those hot hairy water bottles surrounding you, steaming up the air, help open your pores and dilate your bronchials.  I resolved to take the class mindfully, to keep an eye out for my left IT band, aka the “bad heat”.

I found a spot next to the wall so I would only have to watch one side for flailing limbs and stumbling bums.  It was a 60 min class, leading us through the basic sequence.  Kelly was teaching!

sweaty shot after class

The class itself was quite forgiving, with lots of 5 second downward dog “rests” in between the juicy poses.  To my open side was a young woman and her 2 male friends.  I think she might have been new, because she was getting hammered by the class, to the point where she kept muttering, “jesus christ” to herself under her breath.  I smiled to myself, we have all been through the “trial by fire”, where the hot room just makes the awkward exercises and poses just THAT much harder.  Before you first went to yoga, did you EVER do dancers pose or half-moon balances?  exactly.

At one point she lost her balance, and fell forward, instincetively grabbing my buttcheeks for balance!  She profusely apologized, I told her it was ok, and chuckled.  I wonder if this was the middle of the room… could she have created a domino effect?  Have a bunch of yogis in a packed room ever toppled like dominoes?  Could I stumble forward and grab a yoga girl’s butt without a write-up from the front desk??  hahaha

My leg didn’t hurt too bad, my shoulder held up ok (why is it always my left side?), and then headed home.  Day 12 ovah!

Day 11 – Little Stories

Thursday night was an off day from the resistance training, so it was another Yin night.  The 30 day challenge is going well so far!  Hot yoga every single day.

There was a good vibe in the hot room that night.  For me, it was about more than the poses.  It was about the people.  And every person had their own little story.  There was me, blogging away, doing the 30 day challenge, stomach a little upset, thinking about the weekend.

The two mats over to my left were the 2 older heavyset gentlemen who showed up on Tuesday for their first class, so tonight was their second class!  I recognized them and went up to one of them before class and said, “Tuesday night was your first class right?”  He nodded.

“And you’re back for more tonight?  That’s awesome!”

His response, “I’m trying!”

One mat over to their left was another 30 day challenger, a young woman who usually does her classes in Stittsville, but comes out to the city once or twice a week for their classes.  This was her first yin class in 3 years and she was nervous!

Then there was the teacher, who just that very day had announced her engagement!  Her now-official fiance had showed up for the class, and when they were done cleaning the room from the previous class, he was the first one in the room looking for a spot for his mat 🙂


This is the thing about yoga, you start off learning the poses.  But as time goes on, you start to learn the little stories, you become more of a community.  Everyone is friendly and supportive, and it starts to feel like home, a place you could come to over and over.  The other sidenote about that handful of little stories?  All of them (me included) all found spots at the back of the class on purpose.  These people don’t feel like yoga stars, everyone has hesitation, everyone has doubt.  But when we come together, we fill the room with our energy and make the whole event happen.  All these little stories can add up into a strong community.


As for the practice itself?  It was 60 min of yin.  We did half-frogs and deer twists and neck stretches and some nice long pigeons and a few others.  An hour goes by quick!

Day 11 down!  Hope to have more to tell you soon!

I’m not sure if that title sounds cool or cliche, haha!  Wednesday, the evening plan was for me to get an arm workout in, and then head out for 90 min of Forrest-inspired hot yoga.

Went to the gym after work, it was packed!  Dumbbells strewn haphazardly about, lazy people fluttering around like butterflies, patting each other on the back.  The positive vibes were nice, noone was laughing at anyone else, but goddang it people, clean up after yourself!  I’m not your mom.

This arm workout was a “pump” workout – a set of slow negatives (5 second neg) to wear out the muscle, then a high rep set to “pump” blood into the muscle.  Works quite well, by the third exercise I am groaning in pain.  You don’t need high weight, just good form and lots of time under tension, not a lot of rest.  60 seconds max between sets and between exercises.  And when I was alternating arms I didn’t take any breaks, just back and forth.


closegrip dumbbell press:  50s for a slow set of 10, then 25s for a set of 25

tricep extension with straight bar:  100 lbs slow set of 10, 70 lbs set of 25

(I like using the rope, but someone had the rope)

one hand seated dumbbell extension:  30s for a slow set of 6&8, 15s for a set of 25&25

preacher curls:  65 for slow set of 10, 50 for a set of 25

one hand cable curl:  40 for a slow set of 10&10, 20 for set of 25&25

zottman curls:  20s for slow set of 10, 10s for set of 25

notes:  15 lb dumbbells and 10 lb dumbbells seem like some pretty rinky dink shit, but when you put them at the end of their respective muscle group, those one hand extensions and those zottman curls brought the pain!  The zottmans especially, that bicep lift feels easy, but you twist your arm and reverse them back down… very quickly your forearms start to burn!  It’s a great isolation.  I hear Bruce Lee used to love zottmans.  Bruce Lee had good taste 🙂

That was quick and nasty, it only took half an hour, so I headed down to the yoga studio for a 90 minute Forrest class with Gigi!

all smiles before class…

I spoke a little bit about the Forrest curriculum last week:  the breathing exercises, the ab work early on, loose necks and traps, long held poses, and so on.  As the class started, we spent some time stretching out our hips.  Gigi mentioned to the class, “you may be wondering why we are doing this in a “power” class.  The power is coming.”

The abs at the start were hard, haha.  My abs are way not up to snuff, so I just did what I could.  All that keep your legs straight up in the air, and lift your shoulders off the ground and then twist left and right stuff just fades me out pretty fast.  So I do what I can.

Then we did some sun salutation type flows, usually leading into knee down on the ground lunge with a backbend.   Ok, so far so good, I can keep up with those, some people got tripped up by the pattern, but you get used to it.

We did dolphins, we did turbo dogs, we did twists.  My shoulders were so-so, I shyed away from the turbo dogs, but I did a few extra dolphins while other people were sucking wind on the floor.  So I didn’t wimp out, I just spread out the shoulder work.  By the last twist though, my left shoulder started telling me to stop it and relax, so I came out of the twist, went into seiza and did some shoulder rolls for a while.  It was just me respecting my boundaries.

Then it was time for standing series.  We bent our front leg as we went into Warrior 2… and that leg stayed pretty much the focus for like 10-15 minutes, hahaha.  Even when the leg wasn’t bent and it was straight, the pressure was still on it, so it shifted from the quads to the hams, but never really let up.  There were warrior 2s, reverse warriors, bent leg triangles, pyramid poses, straight leg triangles, half moons, standing splits, all on the same leg.  Usually around the 70% mark for each leg, Gigi would let us go into childs pose for about 30 seconds, before we hopped back up into another triangle and then half moon, for example.

Trust me, by the end, my legs were thrashed.  I did my leg workout on Monday, and there was still some DOMS I was dealing with, so by the end of this standing series, my hamstrings were hammered toast and my quads were tight cords of burning flesh.  I was a sweaty, broken man.  When we got to lie down, I felt like a prisoner being granted a few drops of water, I just lapped it up.  I had no energy left to be stubborn.

Then a funny thing happened.  As I walked out of the studio into the cool night air, yeah my legs felt tired and destroyed, but the DOMS had lightened up!  I think all that leg work flushed a lot of fresh blood into the area, and helped my recovery.  Lots of times when I had sore legs, I would stay sedentary at the office, sit in my cubicle and type.  That way dodged the soreness, but it doesn’t help the healing process.  When you have leg DOMS, go for a walk, go for a bike ride, do a spin class, do some hot yoga 🙂  Put those wheels into motion and they will clean themselves out.


Day 10 down!  Pump arm workout and a power yoga class!  Power Pump!  On to the next one!

Get it?  Relax plus Yin?  ugh…

I am starting to fall behind on these blogs, need to catch up! !!    !

Tuesday was my day off.  Not a day off from yoga, I am on a 30 day hot yoga challenge.  But a day off from resistance training.  Meaning the perfect practice to do that day would be a yin class.  Just some deep, mindful stretching.  Just flush it out.  Shorten the microtrauma recovery.  Clear your head.  Sweat it out.

After work, did some grocery shopping.  Picked up some good eats!  Have you heard of P28?

NO SILLY, that’s P90X.  Keep googling.

That’s it!  High protein bread.  I picked up a loaf of bread and some bagels.  why is it high protein?  They add whey isolate protein powder into it, so if you are vegan, this bread might not be for you (whey comes from milk).  The bagels are 100% whole wheat, I haven’t thawed out the bread yet, so I haven’t checked the wrapper on those.  I found them in the frozen food section at the Metro.

How do they taste?  Well, the bagels taste fine.  When you are on a low carb diet… well, let’s say I am grateful for any piece of bread I can get, so I haven’t set the bar that high in terms of taste, haha.  If it were up to me?  I would probably dip them in butter and spackle them with peanut butter.  But these actually taste just fine, all things considered.  They have the consistency of bread, they aren’t cardboard or styrofoam or anything like that.  So give them a try!  Quick boost of carb energy, guilt-free 🙂

After dinner and a nap, I headed off to Yin.  Katie was teaching this one too, just like last night.  She is a teaching machine!


It was a 60 min yin class (in the hot room, natch).  And how was it?  EVIL!  60 min of my least favorite yin poses, hahaha.  Half saddle, half happy baby, half sleeping hero, half shoelace, full shoelace.  Just 60 min of pure awkwardness.  Like, happy baby?  totally fine.  but half happy baby?  painful.  Shoelace?  I got fat thighs, man, my knees don’t stack unless I lie down, haha.  But honestly?  It was probably the class I needed.  It’s like massage sometimes, the tougher it feels, the more you are getting at the good spots.  So this was sort of a hip-heavy practice for me, it just hit the outside of my hips, which aren’t that flexible, vice the INSIDE of my hips, which are pretty flexible for my size.

And then came home, watched some tv, caught some snoozes, and that was that!  A tough but well-deserved recoveryin day.  Day 9 down!

Day 8 Legs & Hot Yoga!

Woops, haven’t posted Monday yet!

Whenever Legs come up, it is a tiring workout.  Now that I am on the 30 day hot yoga challenge, it gets even more scary.  Make it so I can’t walk, THEN go do lunges and squats in yoga.  Brilliant, Jeremy!

Monday Legs:

BW Sissy Squats:  10, 10, 10

you sissy!

squats:  135 x10, 155 x10, 10, 10

CX strap-assisted one leg lunges:  12, 12, 12

Walking Lunges w 20lb DB:  20 (both sides)

stiff-legged deadlifts:  75 x12, 12, 12

girl scopin the wet t-shirt contest

vertical leg press:  360 x12, 12, 12

legs feel less tired when I hang them in the air

single leg elevated calf raises:  15, 15, 15


notes:  I had never done sissy squats before, and so I requested them.  My instincts proved correct!  They look awkward as hell, but didn’t feel too awkward when I did them, and I felt it right away in my thighs!  Dodge stuff like the Matrix!  There are times in yoga when everyone else is doing sleeping hero on their knees, stretching out their quads, and I just flex and raise and lower myself using my quads.  So I know I like the feeling.  Doing these right at the start of the leg workout pre-exhausts you pretty good, my quads are feeling extra tired and sore the next day (right now as I post this), and I know the big difference is doing these in my workout!  So try the sissy squats, you will feel it right away.

The sissy squats and then the regular squats tired out my lower back, so I stretched out with some forward folds:

And then I did some garland pose, just a deep deep squat, and keep your knees wide.

While we were doing the one leg lunges, I was sweating a lot.  Leslie came in and used a wet Swiffer mop on the floor in between sets.  Naturally this means I slipped on the next set and almost went into the splits, haha.  While we waited for the floor to dry, I did some walking lunges instead.  Sorry, no pics of me almost doing the splits hanging from a nylon strap, lol!  If Leslie had stopped to take a pic instead of rushing to my aid, I think I would have been upset 🙂

Following that slight pull in my inner thigh, we went on to do hamstring work!  Stiff-legged deadlifts, still working on my form and my comfort levels with this exercise.  On another note, check out why wearing a thin cotton T is not a good idea.  Wet t-shirt contest left me with a mostly nude back!  See the female client in the back checking out the topless guy wearing a shirt while doing exercises?  hahaha


After wrapping up, I had to head home to rest up before hot yoga.  My legs felt wobbly as hell!  Came home, ate some food, too excited to rest.  What was so cool about this yoga class?  My trainer Leslie was going to join me for this class!  Isn’t that awesome?  I love getting to do yoga with a friend any time, but with my PT going, she gets to see how much I am getting thrashed by this 30 day challenge 🙂

On the other hand, Leslie also teaches yoga, so I had to come hard this class, no wimping out!  Gotta put my best foot forward.

We showed up for a 90 min Moksha sequence, which meant a robust standing series, haha.  My legs quivered with fear.  Group photo before class!  Me Leslie and Katie, the teacher for this yoga class.

Katie, me, Leslie

The class was awesome!  It is so much fun having a friend next to you, doing the poses.  As a guy, I have problems getting guy friends to go with me, so I am usually solo.  I didn’t wimp out during the standing series, even though my thighs were on fire.  I didn’t keep up during abs, but w/e 😛

Came home, ate some chicken, relaxed, sleep.  I would say it was darn near a perfect day, all work, all fun, no regrets, no junk food.  Don’t you love one of those days when your head hits the pillow knowing you did everything you wanted to do?

See you next time!  Day 8 over with!

Day 7 – chest, back, yin

I was going to write all this great stuff about what I was doing at 11:11/11/11/11… and then I realized it’s 2012.  Oh well.

So the plan for today was to do some spin, see how my shoulder felt, make a choice on back or chest work, go home, rest, then do some yin.

But today is Rememberance Day, so I thought there might be complications.  I checked the gym schedule, and it wasn’t on the list for reduced hours.  So I headed down to see if they were running Spin.  I showed up… place is locked up.  Nearby mall guy tells me he doesn’t think they will be open until 12:30, even though the mall opened its doors at 8.  Pretty lazy if you ask me.  Too lazy to post up their reduced hours on the website like every other Goodlife.  It’s like we are just SUPPOSED to expect less customer service on a stat holiday.  So they just lock the doors and wander away.  Weak.

I had to find another Goodlife, and phoned around.  I decided to avoid the downtown core, what with the ceremonies, and went southeast to backup gym #1, which I knew relatively well.  Plus I could go shop at GNC after!  Oh, perfect.

Showed up, asked if they were running any spin, they said only at 9 am, and that was well over by this point.  My shoulder felt good, so I launched into my back workout.  That took half an hour.  My shoulder felt good and I still had energy, so I decided to do chest also.


5 min warmup cardio

100 rep rows:  hammer strength row machine – 90 lbs.  x40, (60s rest) x20, (40s rest) x20, (20s rest) x14, (6s rest) x6

superset reverse grip cable row&neutral grip pulldown – 120/105: x 20/20, 20/20, 10/15

superset reverse pec dec&straight arm pulldowns – 50/50:  x 20/20, 20/20, 20/20


DB flat press:  100×20, 130×12, 150×9, 170×5, 150×4, 130×12, 100×15

machine press:  180×4, 160×8, 160×6

pec dec:  110 x15, x15, x15

notes:  I don’t know if this seems like much, but I hadn’t had much to eat this morning, and by the end, I was DONE.  Trust me, the gas tank was empty.  I was hungry, shivering, ready to go sleep.  This was kind of an asshole workout, supersetting machines means you have to rush around and shoo people away.  Doing the presses meant I had a minefield of dumbbells around my bench, it meant looking around hard just to FIND all the dumbbells I wanted in the first place.

I did the rows, no problem.  Unfortunately with this gym there is just ONE cable row and pulldown station that everyone loves to go on, most popular thing in the whole place.  So I knew I couldn’t waste any time, and just went at it.  By the third superset, there was a guy fiddling with the pulldowns while I was doing rows, so I apologized and said I would come do my last set right away.  This is why the reverse grip cable rows stop at 10 on the last set, I had to jump off and free up the pulldowns for the other guy.

Then when I was taking the straight bar off so I could move it to a tricep station for straight pulldowns, I caught my thumb on a sharp piece of the alligator clip, sliced it clean open… blood dribbling down my hand, blood dribbling onto the cable row machine, it was awkward.  So I kept pressure on my thumb, rubbed it a few times with disinfectant (cutting yourself on rusty iron is no fun), wiped down the alligator clip and the machine.  I had some spare time while I waited for the bleeding to stop, so I watched the Rememberance day ceremonies on a nearby tv.

So that was what I was doing at 11:11 11/11/12, I was watching a tv in the gym, drenched in sweat, chest heaving from some rugged back supersets, hands bleeding.

Gym was crowded but the machines were free, so I used the pec rec in revserse before going back to the straight pulldowns.  Again I had to apologize to a guy for hogging 2 machines, he had started doing tricep stuff on my pulldown station.  But that’s what I had to do.  supersets are awesome, but you feel like a dick.  At least it wasn’t “circuit training”, where you tie up like 6 machines, haha.

After the straight pulldowns, my triceps felt tired, not sure if I should be feeling it there.  I made a mental note to talk to Leslie about it.

When I was doing the dumbbell presses, my shoulder gave out when I was using the 85s.  I had thought I would get at least 6 reps, then try out the 95s.  But my left arm went almost up, then dropped back down on the 6th rep, so I counted it as 5, then worked my way back down the weights.  Again, the reason I jumped from 100 to 130 is that I couldn’t find the 55 lb dumbbells, they were God knows where.  So I used 50s, then 65s, 75s, 85s.  When I went back down the ladder for the second set of 75s, my left shoulder failed out after the 4th rep.  So I knew I was done.  Things got a lot easier by the 65s, and with the 50s, I was just tired.  I wouldn’t say I had an awesome chest workout, the shoulder weakness holds me back from PR, but it is what it is.  Sometimes the strong parts gotta wait for the weak parts to catch up.

I was TRYING to do machine press, when I became HEAVILY distracted by this fool doing tricep pushdowns.  He was in street clothes, bopping along to his walkman, movin and groovin during his reps, rhythmically pressing down while gyrating.  This of course means he was swinging, and it means he wasn’t isolating his tris.  So he was cheating.  But he looked SO HAPPY.  I thought the guy was awesome.  But don’t take just my word for it, I caught a bit of it on camera!

Please bear in mind he was swinging with that same rhythm for about 2 min straight.  Pure comedy.  I was only about 10 ft away, so I couldn’t film for too long without it getting awkward.  The downside of it was, this guy was SO ridiculous, I kept cracking up, and couldn’t really get anything down on the machine press, as my pathetic reps point out.

Watching him jerk around, I was all like

I was feeling anemic, so I finished off with the pec dec, and showered, went for food, went home, slept, warmed up.

Then I headed out for some early evening yin!

It was a cold,grey Nov 11, as they always are.  This was the view out the window of the yoga studio.

Yin was a 90 min class, led by Gigi, focusing on the stomach?  I dunno, seemed like back and hips to me.  But I wouldn’t know a meridian from meningitis, so I will take the teacher’s word for it 🙂  I found myself in the corner next to a coupld of old fat guys, which is cool.  I like to see guys try out yoga for the first time 🙂

We did firefly and pigeon and childs pose and some twists and half saddle and all kinds of other stuff, it was fun!  It was also over before I knew it.  Day 7 is over and done!  I came home to watch some Walking Dead and Dexter.

And how was your day today?

I slept in this morning, it was pretty glorious.  Ate some oatmeal, watched some recorded tv, had another nap.

Was refreshed and recharged and ready to head to the yoga studio for noon.

pre-class w Paula

This is Paula, she co-owns the Moksha studio I go to, and is just a well-rounded, kickass person.  The studio was crowded for a Saturday on a long weekend!  I think it was the class:  a core-focused hour of hot yoga, for all the skinny masochists out there.  I was nervous, I wondered what the curriculum entailed, could my shoulder handle an hour of planks and 3 legged down dogs?  But you have to meet these fears head on.  Meet them thoughtfully, but meet them.

I found a spot near the back (noone wants to see me give up on crunches, that shit is demotivating), got comfy.  Room fills up.  A girl taps me on the shoulder, “can you move please?”  uh, ok.  I slide my mat to the right.  The green tape demarcations are on the floor for a reason, people!  They show you where the mats go.  This girl seemed to want more space, and so now our whole corner of the room was coloring outside the lines.  Madness!  Oh well.

We did boat poses, we worked spider climb legs into our down dogs, we worked the antagonizers with some reverse tabletops.  We did “compass pose” (I think of it as a hunting dog pointing at something), more spider climbing, some sun salutes, more spider climbing, we did some standing poses where we changed the tilt of our torsos, more spider climbing, side planks, 3 leg down dogs, eagle arm crunches, it just went on and on.

Let me tell you, an hour goes by PRETTY SLOW when you are doing all that core work.  We had a generous set of twists and stretches and savasana at the end, and it STILL felt like a 90 min class.  That must have been only about 40 min of core work, felt like a marathon.  I didn’t do it all, I took a few breaks during some of the spider climbing, but I still did pretty awesome, better than some of the others (I looked around the room, I shouldn’t, but I did, haha).  The verdict?  I thought it was a really well-balanced core work class, not just an hour of crunches, but a really good ebb and flow of work and recovery, and work again from a different angle.  I would love to do it again.

I walked out of the studio really upbeat and thrilled I took on such a daunting class.  Then by the time I got home, I realized how short-tempered I was, I was raging I bought the wrong sandwich at the Italian grocery store, etc.  I was like what is this?  I slept a ton, I just ate a sandwich, I worked out, I should be on top of the world!  I remembered then that this was how it was when I first sprained my shoulder, I was cranky and tired and just kept pushing it.

So I decided to take the rest of the day off and just observe my shoulder.  No gym today, oh well.  I went to the movies instead, caught a flick.  I figured if I felt fine then I could hit the gym up after the movie.  Ate my cheat meal, settled in for the movie, about halfway through my shoulder started to ache, and I thought YUP, it’s my shoulder.  So after the movie, I came home, put some ice on it, took some glucosamine, and am now just chilling out.  Tomorrow I will take in a spin class, if I feel up to it do some back or some chest, yin class in the afternoon.  Even if the shoulder feels like junk, I will still spin and yin.  Not giving up on this hot yoga challenge just yet!!


See you tomorrow!