Tag Archive: calisthenics


TRX Legs & Core

So tonight I wondered:  what if I took my 2 least favorite workouts out of my home TRX kit and did them back to back?  Legs & Core

 

So… definitely challenging.  I might not have been in top form heading in either.  I had been struggling with headaches all day, and on the walk home from work I had prickly pains in my forehead, and lost my headphones while I was on the bus.  So I wasn’t feeling awesome.  Oh, and I also had about a pound of steak about 30 min before the workout, HAHAHA.  It sat heavy in my tummy.  But it was too late to turn back now!  Sweat it out betch.

 

TRX Legs & Core

A. Hip Press x 10, rest 15 sec

B. Hamstring Curl x 10, rest 15 sec

REPEAT A and B 2 more times

C.  Lunge x 15, switch legs, rest 15 sec, REPEAT 2 more times

REST 15 sec

D.  Single Leg Squat:  right leg x 10, left leg x 4*, rest 30 sec*, left leg x 10, right leg x 5*

E.  NO TRX – bodyweight full squat x 18, rest 15 sec, x 20

REST 30 sec

F.  Resisted Torso Rotation x 10 (each side), rest 15 sec, x 8* (each side)

G.  TRX Crunch x 10, rest 15 sec

H.  NO TRX Extended Side Plank x 30 sec (each side)

REST 15 sec*, REPEAT Crunch x 10, Side Plank x 15 sec/30 sec*

I.  TRX Pike x 10, rest 15 sec

J.  TRX Mountain Climber x 10 (each side), rest 15 sec

REPEAT Pike x 8*, Mountain Climber x 8 (each side)*

K. NO TRX Prone Straight Leg Raises x 20, rest 15 sec, x 20

 

notes:  I didn’t use TRX when I didn’t feel it necessary, ie. regular squats, side planks, leg raises

For the hips and ham curls, I kept my butt off the ground the whole time (it’s a bit harder)

For the lunges, I opted to keep my backwards lunge extended and just lowered up and down.  I wanted to work the muscles not the full coordination, and I was worried it would use up my energy before I got to core.  And… the less I moved around the less I felt like puking up a giant steak hahaha!

Wherever there is an asterisk, I deviated from the plan, haha.  Most of the time I was getting super tired so those were the number of reps I did before my form got bad and I had to stop counting.

With the one leg squats for example, I could muscle through the first leg but when I went to the second leg, I kept popping up on the balls of my foot, so I stopped.  To test out if it was mechanics or fatigue, I reversed leg order the second time through, and same thing, first leg can do it, second leg can’t.  So, it was fatigue.

A few rests were also slightly longer than I wanted but I needed to catch my breath.

With the side planks, I was supposed to rest a minute, but I could feel myself fading, so I kept the rest down to 15 seconds.  After I couldn’t hit 30 seconds on one side, I got mad and made it happen on the other side, haha.  So maybe that was a lack of focus.

I also started getting more headaches during the squats.  Prickly forehead too.  It hurt!

I was hurting by the end, sweating like crazy, my yoga mat was slick with sweat, I needed a shower.  But it felt good!

Sometimes you just gotta take your most hated exercises, roll them up in a tight little ball, and force them down your own throat.  Has to be done.

 

See you soon!

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Burn Victim

Today was a special day, one of my least favorite times of the year.  The Xmas/New Years feasts are over, you are settling into your diet, the weather is bad, etc.  For me, this means that I start to keenly feel the lack of starchy carbs a few days in, the weakness hits, the grumpiness sets in, the lethargy and moroseness.  All the cold nights and the slippery, snowy sidewalks also aggravate the arthritis in my feet.  So right when the diet is hitting me with tasty treat withdrawals is ALSO when my body is saying “please rest, this is a lot of stress on us poor toe joints”.  It’s a time to gain weight, traditionally.

I knew it was coming though, the need to keep moving and keep grinding that diet is why this monthly challenge is a special one for me.  January is a cold bleak Canadian month to be fixing everything that’s wrong with your life, but that is part of the charm I guess.

But I have been keeping up the cardio, and Leslie the trainer is back on track and ready to kick my butt!  Yeah!  I slipped out of work, made it to the studio in record time… only to find it locked up because noone else in their right mind would be working out today, hahaha.  All the sane people are still on vacation!

I'm here! Where's my trainer?

I’m here! Where’s my trainer?

The owner of the studio was there and he let me in, but he warned me that I can’t workout without a trainer there.  I understand that, I know how insurance works, no biggie.  I was going to do cardio, but I chilled out and waited for Les.

I was hungry, low on energy, my feet ached, hadn’t had a high octane workout in quite some time, my motivation levels were about a 3.  Tough shit!

circuit training:

circuit 1 (all the way through, catch your breath, go through it again)

squat thrust pushup on a BOSU ball w/ overhead press x 10

renegade rows x 16

floor press w/ leg raise x 10

side to side on a BOSU ball x 20

forward lunge w/ bicep curl x 12

extended plank for 45 sec

IMG_1721

circuit 2 (all the way through, catch breath, do it again)

step-ups with lateral raises (alternating side and front raises) x 12

sumo squat to upright row x 12

side to side high steps x 20

bicycle crunches x 30

side lunge w high knee x 12/leg

bench dips x 15

IMG_1742

tabata:  20 sec work, 10 sec rest, repeat for 4 min

battle ropes & kettlebell swings (back and forth)

cooldown cardio:  30 min elliptical, gradually increasing incline to 30 degrees

squat thrust push up w overhead press

squat thrust push up w overhead press

Notes:  I kind of sucked tonight.  My motivation had tanked, and I was just wasting time left and right.  We spent a lot of time talking and catching up, going over how many reps feel right and what weight is appropriate.  I think next time we do this, I will feel comfortable to up the weight and/or reps as necessary.  We still tweaked the reps and the weight a few times though tonight.  I didn’t bother listing the weights we used, since exploring the movements and the number of reps was what mattered.

renegade!

renegade!

I like that name:  renegade rows.  Why can’t all exercises have such cool names?  Would you rather do a “renegade row” or a “sissy squat”?  Think about it.

floor press w/ leg raise

floor press w/ leg raise

We tried to do Russian Twists including tossing the medicine ball around (a Russian Toss?), but my tailbone was not enjoying the boat pose, so we switched those to bicycle crunches.

lunges & curls

lunges & curls

battle ropes

battle ropes

It was kind of a rough workout, but I knew the first day back would be rugged and raw.  Settle in for a long, hard January!!

Spin, back, biceps, hot yoga.  That was the plan for Saturday, and it felt ambitious, by my best guess somewhere between 3 and 4 hours of exercise.

I showed up for some morning Spin.  I saw a guy who has been the instructor in the past sitting on the bench in the changeroom.  I can’t remember his name.  So I pick a name – I walk up to him (headphones in my ears, music playing), and say, “Hey Mike! You teaching this one?”  He looks at me, mutters “yeah” as he looks down.  I heard him, but keep staring at him, widen my eyes, cock my head, smile, as if waiting for something.  He looks back at me, raises his voice, “Yes.” and drops his chin as he says it, to see if I am paying attention.  I smile and wander away.  (Reminder, his actual name is not Mike)

It was awkward, but I was curious to see what fitness class instructors are like out of class, before they turn the dial to “HAPPY” so they can motivate a group of strangers to do something difficult.  That I was kind of trolling him was just a bonus for me 🙂  (evil smile)

My neighbour showed up, and it looked like the class was filling up really early!  We were 10 minutes out and I couldn’t see two empty bikes side by side any more.  My neighbour ran to the signup sheet, and I went to scout out some bikes.  When he showed up, I asked nonverbally if he signed me up, he said no.  I shrugged and decided possession was 9/10 of the law, and stayed on my bike 😛

When the teacher showed up, he announced that the signup sheet was full, so if someone had not signed up, they should get off their bike.  I kept my mouth shut and kept rolling.  A few minutes later the teacher was chatting to the gym front desk staff, and my neighbour and I looked at each other and we smiled and I went back to rolling on the bike.  I was interested to see where this was going…

Teacher came back, and said if they have to, they will do roll call off the list and single the squatter(s) out and make them apologize to the class for the delay.  Spider-sense tingling!!

Front staff came back and said some of the waiters had left but one person was determined to get a bike (they HAD earned it after all).  Teacher had the list in front of him, was JUST about to read it off, when someone pointed out there was an unused bike stuck in the middle of the pack (I bet a squatter had run away).  So everyone who stuck around now had a bike and we could begin.

Yeah, I cut it close on that one!  I think I will sign up from now on 🙂

Class was good, I didn’t want to go all out on the tension, I knew I had a long day ahead of me.  Even still, I was sweating like CRAZY.  My body just wanted to sweat it all out.  I was working hard, maybe 80% the whole 60 min class, but that was enough.  I actually felt bad that the stranger to my right had inherited my puddle of sweat by about 6 songs in, it was now under my bike and under his bike too.  Crazy!  I was wondering if he would try and do stretches after and wipe out on my sweat.  Spoiler:  he did not wipe out in the end.

I also am not happy with the new bikes, there is an awkward transition from the downpedal to the uppedal, it is jerky.  I only notice it when I stand, but it makes standing climbs kinda suck.  I hope there are lots of races and power climbs in my future, so I can avoid that.

On to the weightlifting! I left Spin, bid farewell to the neighbour, and hit the weight room right away.

Back & Biceps:

100 reps close grip rows (machine):  100 lbs X 35 /65s rest/ x30 / 35s rest/ x20 / 15s rest/ x15

superset underhand grip cable rows & neutral grip pulldowns (90s rest):  120/105 X20/20, 20/20, 20/20

superset reverse cable flys & straight arm pulldowns w/rope (90s rest):  55/40 x 14/10, 12/9, 14/11

curl machine (90s rest):  80 x10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

seated alternating DB curls (90s rest):  40 x8, 8, 8, 7, 6, 8

notes:  I was nervous about my energy levels after spin, but the machine rows held up pretty well.  I felt a nice pump already in my back after those.  Then when I went to the supersets of the rows and pulldowns (easily the hardest part), I had a hard time corralling the 2 machines at once.  I set up the bars I wanted, then when I was over with the cable rows, I noticed a girl staring at the pulldowns.  I went over to apologize, saying we could switch in and out, and she said, “no, I just don’t know how to use it”.  I explained that with the neutral-grip bar, you hold the ends with a neutral grip (ie. palms neither down nor up, but to the inside, like holding a hammer) and pull it down to the front of your chest.  She nodded, and we agreed to switch in and out.

With my 90s rest and her apparent 20s rest, she went about 5 times with her weight for 2 of my supersets, then was gone by the 3rd.  Not to judge, but it seemed like she was experimenting rather than picking a challenging weight 🙂  It kind of looked like she was trying stuff out while her boyfriend did stuff about 40 feet away.  BOO, ladies! Hit the weights with intensity!

Anyways, that superset is intense, I was shaking after every superset, my face twisted up in major discomfort.  But I did it!

I saw my friend the trainer working on a Saturday, which is rare (hi Terry!), so I went up and asked him if I could get to the pec deck in the roped off area with the free moving bars, so I could do reverse flys.  He said not needed, and took me to a machine in the corner which I mostly ignore, where I could easily do it with cables.  Since he was there, he also showed me some ways to work the exercises a little better:  for the reverse flys, alternate back and forth from standing up straight to leaning forward about 45 degrees.  Go back and forth, one standing up, one leaning forward, keeping the same angle of the pull.  And for the straight pulldowns, use a rope and bring it just to your hips.

Both of those were hard!  It made the exercises harder, I tried 60 pounds with the rope, and immediately NOPE, so I dropped the weight to 40 and kept going.  As you can see, I could not hit 20 reps with either of those exercises, so it was just difficult enough.  I think I found my new favorite variation, thanks Terry!

Then I came home, and fell into a deep sleep.  For like 90 minutes.  No foolin.  I must have been tired!

I was debating what yoga class to go to, and dreading having to go again really soon, because Saturday night does not have many choices, it was either Sat afternoon or bust.  But then I saw a last minute ad for a Saturday night class being run by my friend Megan!  90 minutes, warm room (not hot), live dj… hmmm…

I admit, I shy away from the live dj yoga classes.  I like tranquility, I don’t crave a party atmosphere.  BUT, it was my friend running it for one.  All the proceeds were going to charity for another.  It was also in the evening!  AND, maybe switching it up for its own sake will be a good shock for my body.  Now, this class had been sold out for a while (it’s very popular).  But 2 tickets had suddenly opened up!  I decided it wasn’t a coincidence.  I messaged Megan and asked if I could buy a ticket.  She said yes, and I was in!

Showed up for the 7 pm class.  It was going to be 90 min long, 40 people, dj with a turntable, 2 teachers taking turns teaching.  Megan was one of the teachers, and Nigel was the other teacher, never had a class with Nigel before.

me, Megan, Nigel!

When I showed up, I was given a glowy tube thing, told to put it around my wrist or ankle or something, sounds like a “club” thing, haha.  I tried, it was too small for my big wrists, which meant no point even looking at my ankle.  Too big for your reindeer games, Megan! (For the record, as the pic clearly shows, I looped the glowy through my belt loops on the yoga shorts.  So I had a glow in the dark groin.)

Based on the glowy tube thing, I was guessing that the dj wouldn’t be spinning AC/DC, haha.

The class would be a “prana flow” class, and Nigel would teach for 45, Megan for the other 45.  A demo mat was set up at the front of the room, and in the middle of the room, to make it easier for people to see.  A warm room meant it was only about 25 degrees, but with all the people, bound to hit at least 30 degrees.  I had no idea what they meant by prana flow, although I had gotten tastes of it from Megan’s classes before.

It was very different!  We moved with our breath quite a bit (which I guessed from the name, prana being breath), and were always moving around on our mat, rotating evenly through facing all 4 sides of our mat.  Lots of moving around, changing directions, lots of side planks.  Did I say lots of side planks?  LOTS of side planks.  Variations on the side plank, including normal side p’s, one where your bottom leg swings out in front of you, and the one where your top leg extends out behind you, in all cases either on the floor or held up in the air, depending on your ability.  This can be very tiring, and most of our energy was devoted towards that.

We did chaturanga here and there for the first 45 min, but for the back half, we were told to merely “wink” at chaturanga, meaning don’t do it, just recognize that is the place where it would go, AKA stay in extended plank for a second before heading back to downward dog.  I think they recognized 90 min of chaturanga and side planks was pretty rigorous, so they trimmed the chaturanga out, to show us mercy 🙂

We also “pulsed” a lot, in various poses, experimenting with using our breath to make our torso and spine move through “waves”, playing with our trunk positioning in extended plank, and in garland pose, and in down dog, and in up dog and cobra.  The pulses were interesting!  I might want to add that on the regular to my deep squats, it felt quite good there.

NOW, in all fairness, on the down side!  The music was quite loud, and I couldn’t hear Nigel when he spoke.  Megan cut through the buzz a little bit with her commands, but you shouldn’t have to fight the music to be heard.  I don’t know if a noisy hot room is my thing.  Also, with all the spinning around, my yoga towel that covered the mat was getting all twisted up into piles all the time, so I yanked it off.  But now with just my trusty rubber yoga mat getting sweaty, I kept losing my grip and slipping.  I am just too heavy and sweaty for all that spinning around while keeping your balance.  I would need some way to keep my towel pinned down to my mat for me to keep traction.

Don’t take it the wrong way, I was really glad I went to that class!  I always appreciate new challenges.  That it all was for charity was just gravy.  I came home, exhausted and happy.  That’s why this blog is so late, I had to go sleep, haha.

What a great Saturday!  Hard work all day long!  Day 20 down!

Megan’s main business web page:  http://www.journeyoftheyogini.com/

Nigel’s web page:  http://www.yogawithnigel.com/

learn more about Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow:  http://shivarea.com/about-prana-flow

The plan for today was do chest and triceps in the morning, go to work, come home after work, nap, do an evening yin.  ‘Twas a fair plan 🙂

My butt was really dragging this morning, I almost psyched myself out of going to the gym, but I finally made it at about 06:40.

chest & triceps:

warmup presses for a few sets with the 30s

flat DB presses (2 min rest b/w sets):  110×20, 130×12, 150×9, 170×5, 150×8, 130×11, 110×11

machine press (90s rest):  150×12, 12, 12

incline DB flys (90s rest):  80×12, x6, x7

DB skullcrushers:  70×3, x3; 50 x10, 9, 9, 7, 7, 7

seated 2 hand tricep extension:  65 x7, x5; 50 x8, 8, 7, 7

 

notes:  I wasn’t entirely happy with this workout as a whole.

I was cruising along with the flat presses, and my left shoulder gave out 5 reps into the 85 lb DBs, so I climbed back down the ladder, each time my left shoulder stayed tired.  I couldn’t really get anywhere on my 7th set with the 55s either.  I like doing all those sets at all those different weights with the dumbbell presses, it helps me build up strength in my shoulder, which right now is clearly lagging behind my chest.  It is less stressful than pushups on the joint, and I can obviously tinker with the resistance much more easily than I can with pushups.

I wanted to give my chest more work to do, but I also wanted to see how done my shoulder was, so I went to the machine press, but I went fairly light, and just did a few sets of slow reps.  My shoulder felt fine and my chest was able to get some more good squeeze in (would have been better with free moving handles), so I felt confident going on to the flys.

Flys went sort of poorly, unfortunately.  I got through the first set, but either my shoulder was really tired, or I was psyching myself out, and I kept failing out of the next few sets.  The weight isn’t THAT much diffrerent from what I do with Leslie, only slightly more.  HOWEVER, when I do incline flys with Leslie, they are my working sets 4-6.  These flys today were working sets 11-13, LOL.  So maybe I should have gone lighter and respected the volume.

Next up triceps!  Lately I have been giving arms their own day, but I wanted to experiment with the split, and see how I liked it.  Long story short?  I didn’t!!  I was doing 30s last time for the skullcrushers, and it went really well, so this time I moved up to the 35s… I failed out right from the start!  So I took a few breaths, composed myself, went again, failed right away again!  So I gave up and went down to the 25s.  They started out fine, but by the second set with the 25s, my arms were not able to go the distance, they started to fail out around rep 7 every time.  This made me sad.

Again, there are a few factors at play.  I was doing triceps first, and now they are second in the rotation, energy not peak.  Also, triceps get work doing the chest presses, so they weren’t fresh when it was time for the skullcrushers.  My shoulder was also getting tired, so more of the pressure was getting transferred to the elbow, just less helpers available to assist the tricep when it fatigues.

Once you fail out of a few sets, you also start to psyche yourself out, which was happening to me because I kept losing my focus.  There was an old guy right next to me doing dumbbell presses while fluttering his legs in the air like he was riding a bicycle… WTF??!?  DON’T DO THAT.  You make me think you are losing control of the weight and panicking, and now I’m forced to keep an eye on you to keep you from killing yourself.  If you want to work your core, do presses on a stability ball, don’t flail your goddamn legs around like a drowning man.

If I see you combine these 2 moves, I will seriously consider taking the weights away from you.

So, THAT was genuinely distracting.

I moved on to the seated extensions, and the weakness in the triceps continued, I got some mediocre sets in with the 65s, and dropped down to the 50s, and still couldn’t bust out full sets.  My arms were just torched.

In retrospect, given what I have observed, chest work wears out my shoulder, and I have nothing left for arms.  Back work doesn’t seem affected, I have done massive chest/back days and been none the worse for wear.  So I think I will keep up a chest/back & legs & arms & shoulders split, it seems to accomodate my situation the most, aka building my shoulders back up.

I was worried my triceps got a raw deal today, but as I sit here typing this, they feel pretty sore, so maybe I worry too much 🙂

 

Also!  It has been a few days since my legs workout, and it usually takes a little while to see what the DOMS were like, kind of like an autopsy of the workout.  Normally when I get railed by Leslie, my DOMS center around the rectus femoris, which is a direct antagonist to the hamstrings.  This is probably reflective of all the heavy lunges we do (as a consequence of me being heavy).  Basically I feel DOMS in the middle of my thigh and the back of my leg, making walking difficult.

As for these particular DOMS this week, I felt it yesterday much deeper than the rectus femoris, possibly even the vastus intermedius, although I couldn’t be sure, and that isn’t a muscle you can really isolate anyways.  However today, the soreness settled squarely into the outside of my thighs, the vastus lateralis.  I didn’t feel the soreness when I walked, but I felt it when I straightened out my legs.  This means it was the FST-7 sets of the leg extensions that did the microtrauma, which is fine with me.  Possibly also the one leg presses followed by the extensions, both likely suspects.

It could also well be affected by the yoga.  You can hit the vastus lateralis with leg work on closely placed feet, and while I was recovering from the leg training, I was still doing chair pose and eagle squat and flexing my quads in mountain pose, and all those asanas that require you to keep your feet closer than hip width.  So they all came together in a really beautiful way to make my legs sore 🙂

 

Can you tell I have been really inward focused today?  LOL  As the yoga challenge goes on, my attention is squarely set on how I feel inside.  How does my shoulder feel?  How does my elbow feel?  Where do I feel the DOMS in my legs?  Did I hit the triceps on those sets?

My awareness has become very very inward, very introspective.

So when I headed out to Yin tonight, that introspection continues.  I felt detached from everyone else on the bus, like they were moving slowly and clumsily and they all felt like they were getting way too close to me when they walked by.  None of them seemed to be moving mindfully.  At the same time I felt deeply the space caused by the detachment from them.  It reminded me of a passage from the Dao De Jing (translation D C Lau)

Everyone is joyous,
as though feasting at a great sacrifice
or climbing a terrace in springtime.
But I am quiet, not giving any sign,
like an infant who has yet to smile;
aimless, as though I had nowhere to go.

Everyone has more than enough,
I alone seem to be lacking.
I have the mind of a fool, vacant and dull.

Most people see clearly;
I alone am in the dark.

Most people make fine distinctions;
I alone am muddled and confused.
As vague as the ocean,
As unsettled as the wind.

People have their intentions,
I alone am as dull as a yokel.

Everyone else seemed amused, distracted, clumsy, purposeful.  I was just sort of… observing and drifting.  My attention was still focused inwardly.

 

When I got to Yin, Gigi was teaching!  A 60 min late night stretchy session 🙂

ahhh, so fuzzy!

We went through some hip work followed by restorative work.  wind-relieving pose then dragon then twisted dragon then seal then double pigeon then waterfall.

I don’t mind dragon, as I have said before.  But the twisted dragon was rough!  I really felt it on the inside of my thigh, at the hip.

this is the version of twisted dragon we did

Conversely, I LOVVVE winged dragon, aka gecko.  But we didn’t do that 😛

I was also really glad we got to do waterfall, it helped me flush a lot of fresh blood into my sore legs.

 

Day 18 over!  This was a really long entry, but I had a lot to say 🙂  See you tomorrow!

Day 10 – Power Pump

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.

arms:

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!

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!

Strawberry Moment

A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him. His arms started to tremble, he could not hold on much longer. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.  It was the sweetest strawberry he had ever tasted…

What does this mean?  This parable can mean anything you want – it is one of those stories you think about for a while, pack it away, come back to it a few years later with fresh eyes.  For me, it reminds me to live in the moment, but even moreso, how SWEET that moment is.  It’s not just that you live in the moment so that you forget about the dangers around you, but you savour what life has to offer, sometimes its fleeting nature makes it even more precious.  A cool breeze on a hot day working outside, a beautiful dream seconds before you wake up. a child smiling at you on the bus ride to work.  These little moments must be appreciated for all their richness and splendour.

I have learned to apply them to my workouts.  30 seconds in between sets, 2 min in between exercises, 1 day off before I go back to the gym.  I watch the seconds tick down on the clock, and I know that during this rest, my body is gathering energy, its building me up.  I know that muscle gets built while you rest, I know that I have time to refocus and gather my strength.  Sometimes when I am wheezing and sweating after a rough set, Leslie will give me “10 more seconds” before the next set starts.  Those 10 seconds are a frozen moment in time when I can smile, and bask in the endorphins and the good vibes of a hard set.

I can lay on my mat after a grueling hot yoga session and lay in savasana, and let my body reap the rewards of all my hard work.  I can feel my breath, I can enjoy the moment.  I can surrender, and feel good.

On to today!  I knew I had both a training session w Leslie and a hot yoga class to accomplish.  I considered a morning yoga class, but I just HAD to watch Walking Dead and Dexter last night, so I slept in this morning 🙂

This meant I had to rush to work, and after work I had to rush to my PT session.  I could rush to hot yoga right after, but that means I wouldn’t eat for like 6 hours, which isn’t part of my fitness plan.  So the plan was to go to workout at 5:30, go home and eat, have a power nap, then go to a 9:30 pm 60 min hot yoga power flow class.  9 frickin 30 pm… who does power flow after 10 at night??  Good luck falling asleep after that, you will be all wound up!

Add to that, I have not done a really active hot yoga class since early September.  I felt very rusty, unsure of myself.  Add to that today with Leslie was leg day.  Last week leg day I walked into the changeroom ready to puke.  I was positive I was going to pulverized in the gym, then head to yoga and get pulverized even harder, maybe even embarass myself.  There was a tiger chasing me tonight.

Showed up to the gym.  Leg day:

10 min warmup on the elliptical

chatted w Leslie about our scheduling

squats:  135×15, box squats  135×12, x12

one legged bodyweight lunges with CX strap and a hand support (each leg) 10, 10, 10

not coordinated enough for free hands

leg extensions:  75×20, 110×15, 135×15

leg curl off exercise ball:  12, 12, 12

superset bodyweight bootstrap squats to standing calf raises 3 ways (pigeon toes, ballet toes, straight feet):  20/20/20/20 x 3

fat guys and their giant calves

bootstrap squat start

bootstrap squat finish

lazy V raises:  12, 12, 12

lazy because my back isn’t leaving the ground, haha

notes:  after a set of squats, Leslie noticed some rounding in my back, so we put a box under my butt to keep my spine stright.  You don’t sit down, you touch the box for a second then go back up.  It also helped with my timing, so it’s all good.

I am horribly uncoordinated with lunges, so having the pole for steadiness helped with the one legged lunges.

When we did leg extensions, we couldn’t adjust the pad, and it was too high, and put a ton of pressure on my shins (ok, maybe only 135 pounds of pressure, haha).  When I was done with my sets (which I can go heavier on), my shins were pushed in and slightly bleeding, lol!

Do the leg curls make sense?  You put your feet on the ball, and do a butt raise while rolling the ball under your elevated feet.

Do bootstrap squats make sense?  It’s like a bodyweight full squat but you keep your hands on the ground, ha.  Calf raises felt good, I am looking forward to doing more, I think my stubborn fatboy calves respond well to long sets of bodyweight work (60-100 reps per set); not weighted sets of 12, those don’t feel right.

I left leg day not wanting to puke!  Awesome!  My legs felt rubbery though.  I went home, ate some food, listened to music, got under a blanket and napped for 40 minutes.  And it was the sweetest strawberry ever…

Then I headed to hot yoga.

Katie was teaching!  Katie is great.  She knows about my shoulder issues, I think it’s always fair to let the instructor or guide know about your health issues.

pre-class

Man my eyes look sleepy from the gym and the nap!  ha.

Power flow was interesting.  60 min of some sun salutes, then flows, then flowing through warrior 1s to chaturanga, some core work, 3 legged dog, 2 legged dog (!), hip-opening dog to side plank, crescent lunge to crescent lunge twist, crescent lunge to half moon to wide legged forward bend, reverse warrior to straight leg triangle. side crows, garland poses, crows. pigeons and boat poses and spine twists.  And did I mention lots of one leg chaturangas?  LOTS.

I sat out a bit of the shoulder work, lots of the one legged planks and 2 legged dogs.  I just wanted to take it easy on my shoulder.  The sweat was still flowing though, trust me!  I had to sit out of boat pose, my tailbone just can’t take it right now.  I can do low boats, just no high boats.  No crows for me either, sadly.  One highpoint for me though, half moon felt really good!  You have to stack your hips, and I could feel my hips stack perfectly, it was all balanced on a hand and a foot and the other side of my body extended up and out.  Considering how rusty I was, such a RIGHT feeling half moon on each side was very gratifying for me.

I wasn’t pulverized.  I survived.  I stumbled home, sweaty and happy.  And that was just Day 1 of the challenge!  29 more to go!

Getting Cut Down

You know that Johnny Cash song?  I had that in mind today.  It’s a good song you play in your mind when you feel like you deserve to be punished.

On a side note, I hear them playing that tune during commercials for trucks now.  Thankfully, they take the words out – I don’t think it’s conducive to shopping for a truck.

Last week I went to the doctor ready for whatever was to happen with the infection in my shoulder.  It had gotten big, so I was honestly expecting it to get cut out.  Cut the infection out, pack gauze into the hole, antibiotics, ta da.  Instead the doctor just wrote a prescription for a cream (antuibiotics) and sent me on my way.  I don’t know whether to be relieved (who enjoys getting cut up?) or be angry at my doctor for his laziness?  Using a topical a/b means this infection was going to take a long time to work out.  Oh well, I’m not the doctor.  And yet, I walked away unsatisfied, knowing I deserved to get cut down.

Thursday I showed up for my workout, and Leslie treated me to an upper body workout.  She must have sensed my pleasure, I was jumping up from the ground to get to the next exercise!

elliptical warm up for 10 min

(1 min cooldown b/w sets or b/w supersets)

supersetted DB chest press to widegrip pulldowns:   120×12/240×12, 120×12/280×12, 120×19/280×12

supersetted incline DB flyes to standing crossover reverse cable flyes:  50×12/40×12, 50×12/50×12, 50×12/50×12

supersetted seated DB shoulder press to lateral to front raises:  80×12/20×6, 80×12/16×10, 80×12/12×10

supersetted bicep curls to skullcrushers:  45×12/45×12, 55×12/55×12, 55×12/55×12

mountain climbers for 30 sec, 30 sec, 30 sec

cooldown on elliptical for 30 min

notes:  I always do more weight with pulldowns with Leslie than I do by myself.  Conversely, I always curl less.  If it were just curls, I would say my form is bad when I curl on my own, but the pulldown thing has me stumped (maybe I am leaning back too much, but Leslie watches my form, so I dunno).  Oh well, I am not trying to throw the weight around, but I do take longer rests with my arms between sets, I don’t superset arms, and arms get their own day, not at the end of a fullbody workout.  Quite honestly, the value of arms in a fullbody workout is suspect.  I don’t mean to be critical, but if the purpose of a fullbody is to burn calories and keep the heart rate up, arms are such a small muscle group that you essentially cool down and lose that burn.  Arms during a fullbody are more of a fun thing.  I like doing arms so I am not complaining, but I may as well get all my thoughts out.

The flyes were basically following the compound up with an isolation, and those are a case where form is very important, so low weight like I put up there is trivial compared to properly isolating the underused muscles in question.

The shoulder work was hard!  My shoulder was tired by that point.  The lat to front raises were essentially lifting them by your sides, swinging them to the front, swinging them back to the sides, then lowering.  It was a solid endurance test for my left shoulder.  My left shoulder was sagging a lot during these, so obviously it was tired.  I had a really solid lactic acid burn by the end of those, no matter how much she lowered the weight (I got to break in the wussy dumbbells, yay!)

The mountain climbers actually started out on an flipped over Bosu ball, but my core is too weak to keep those up, so I was demoted down to an easier version…. sigh.  I still had energy, so I did 30 min of cardio after the workout.

On the weekend… my diet suffered.  I had junk food on Saturday night, then I had more junk food on Sunday night.  I felt bad about it.  Not just guilty, yes, but Monday morning I woke up feeling AWFUL, toxic.  That feeling stayed all through Monday at work.  I felt ill, so I didn’t have much food at work, very few carbs especially.

When I went to the Monday workout with Leslie (cancelling out honestly never entered my mind, but I was not looking forward to it, I thought of it more as my unavoidable punishment), everything was set up wrong in my own head and body.  My motivation wasn’t there, I felt physically awful, I was low energy from the very low carbs (I had an apple 2 hours before, but am used to some sort of bread or rice, I burn through an apple too fast).  Basically I showed up, ready to get cut down for my sins.

This does not make for a good workout.  My intensity wasn’t there.  I was phoning it in through the majority of the workout, like a prisoner on a death march.  This made the exercises even harder, so 10 min (to the weights portion), I was drenched in sweat.  It;s not like I was goofing around or distracted, but when your head isn’t there, and everything gets harder, you just start getting pulverized by the weight.  I couldn’t even catch my breath between exercises, lift my head, or smile.  Eesh, that must have been depressing to even watch, I feel sort of bad for Leslie 🙂

(1 min rest b/w supersets)

20 min of preworkout cardio on the elliptical

supersetted 1 leg box squats (strap assisted) to strap assisted pushups:  10/12, 10/12, 10/10

supersetted reverse lunges (braced) to Australian pullups:  12/10, 12/10, 12/10

supersetted Arnold presses to kettlebell swings:  40×12/30×12, 40×12/30×12, 40×12/30×12

supersetted supersetted short bridges on a Bosu ball to bicycle crunches:  12/20, 12/20, 12/20

supersetted ball slams to bicep curls:  10×12/50×12, 10×12/60×10, 10×12/60×10

supersetted rope extensions to core twists w/cable machine:  70×12/40×10(each side), 70×12/40×10, 70×12/40×10

notes:  considering how rough shape I was in, maybe pre workout cardio was a bad idea, it sucked the rest of my energy out of me, I was drippuing sweat by the end of my warmup!  1 leg squats were hard, as I already knew, we tried without a strap assist, but that wasn’t happening, so the straps made for a good brace.  Strap assisted pushups had me at a shallower angle than 45 degrees, maybe 30 degrees?  My feet were against the wall, so I was pretty deep into it.

By this point my focus was conspiciously absent, and my lunges looked like crap.  I was just going through the motions, and was pouring sweat, I felt like the way those fat people look during a workout they don’t want to be at (which is pretty much what it was) – no joy, no edge, sloppy form.  But I was full-on into the tailspin at that point, so I couldn’t get out of it, and there was still about 40 min of workout to go… the pullups I know I could have done more reps.

The short bridges we tried to do with one leg, but it was way too itense for my hamstrings, they felt like they would seize up if I tried to do it, so we stuck to both legs off the ball.

Rough!  I came home, and it gets better!  I forgot my keys at work, so the super had to let me in… for a cost of $20… This pretty much was the nail in my coffin, so after listening to some music and watching some silly videos to lighten the mood, I went to bed about 9:30, haha.

It can only get better!  See you later!

Legs Don’t Fail Me Now!

I am still nursing my shoulder until I can see the doctor to treat the infection, so Leslie the trainer agreed to make today leg and core day!  Hooray!

OK, Leslie could sense my lack of enthusiasm.  Not that I don’t have strong legs, all heavy guys do, but bodyweight leg exercises for heavy guys are both the greatest tool we have for losing weight, and our greatest source of embarassment.  If we were great at moving our bodies around, we would be less heavy, haha.  The only thing I feel more awkward and clumsy and ponderous at than a series of lunges, would be jumping around.  I fear the day I get asked to do plyometrics, haha.  (by the way, plyometrics for heavy people is dangerous, it can mess up our joints, be very careful)

But then again, I know leg days are my path to weight loss, along with oceans of cardio, so I accept it.  And yet, Leslie picks up on my lack of enthusiasm, haha.

Further complicating today was me still getting used to my diet after a full day of work.  It would be correct to say my energy was not high heading into the workout, for all sorts of reasons.

On with the show.

Deadlifts 45 lbs (just the bar) x 12, 95 x 12, 135 x 12, 135 x 12

We used the bar so she could check my form.  It was ok, but at the bottom, I start to round out my back a little bit, so I need to stay vigilant for that.  Last time I was deadlifting regularly, it was 185 lbs, so I am looking forward to working my way back up to that and beyond.  This series of sets was more about my form. (and my back was still a little tired from back day a few days ago, haha)

Vertical Leg Press:  225 x 12, 360 x 12, 360 x 12

I wanted to go as deep as I could to make up for last week, so Leslie and I made sure I went down as far as I could before the gut got in the way, haha.  Here is a pic at 360

8 plates = 360 lbs

My goal with going as deep as I could was to try and use my hamstrings too, since it is leg day 🙂

 

Wall Squats w Ball & 80 lbs:  12, 12, 12

Grabbed the 40 lb dumbbells and squatted down with the ball against the wall.  I still worry I am going to pop the ball, but I am trusting it a little more.

Lunges (bodyweight):  12, 12, 12

OK for these, my legs started to run out of gas.  I did 12 walking lunges, but I started to do 2 things:  my knee started to drop to the floor, and I was starting to lean forward when I lunged.  This meant my legs were tired and my core was tired.  In other words, my form was crap.  So to work on form, Leslie had me do them side by side with a wall corner, so I could brace one hand on the wall.  I did 2 more sets with the wall assist.  Kind of embarassing, but it’s the truth, my core and legs were tired.

Lateral Step Ups:  BW x 12, 40 lbs x 12, 12

OK, these say lateral, but it was more of a diagonal move, I kept one foot on the step, and brought my off leg back and to the side when I stepped down.  Bodyweight was too easy, so we added 20 lb dumbbells.  I probably could have gone heavier, my form was spotty and I was breathing heavy, but that was more of a reflection of me than the dumbbells.  Again, legs out of gas.

Lying Leg Raises:  12, 12, 12

Running out of time so our core work (other than the core work in all the other leg exercises) was leg raises, which I enjoy because I collect most of my fat around the lower abs, so lower ab exercises are just what I need.  I kept my palms up, I think it makes it a little harder, you don’t get to push against the ground.  Kept them nice and slow, legs weren’t straight as a rod, room for improvement.

I thought my calves were big, look at my upper thighs!  Crazy.

 

All in all, it was a hard workout, exactly what I needed.  On the other hand, it was a cold slap.  Lunges and step ups shouldn’t be so hard.  Leslie doesn’t know (noone does, actually) what it was like for me last year when I first started my weight loss, all the thousands of stairs and the thousands of half squats.  Literally thousands.  Squats until I collapsed on the floor, and my quads seized and actually protruded and made square edges.  Sitting in my cubicle at work all sweaty and out of breath because I did 10 flights of stairs every 2 hours.  And then I slacked off this spring and summer, and it’s like I went back 3 spaces.  It is embarassing because I was so much better not that long ago, even heavier than I am now.  I have a lot to catch up on.

Day 19 – Workout with Leslie

I was asked by work to show up an hour early for a presentation across town.  So I woke up an hour early.  It SUCKED.  The day wore on me hard.  And after work I rushed home, chilled out for maybe 15 min, then had to head back out for my first session with Leslie, my physical trainer!  Leslie is also doing the 30 day challenge with me, and I decided it was time for me to try having a physical trainer again, at least for a while.

I have come to the point where I feel like I am at a plateau in my weight loss, meaning more than 6 months.  At this point, my enthusiasm for charting my own course is waning.  There are other areas over 2012 that I am proud of, strength gains, flexibility gains, but weight loss?  Not so much.  Maybe with a trainer, I can shake things up a bit.

I showed up 30 min early, and caught Leslie totally by surprise!  check this entirely spontaneous and not-manufactured picture of me surprising her at the computer!

That’s just how I roll – stealth.  Ask people who have worked with me, I move like the wind.  Also how I roll – greedy.  I demanded we start early and still go until 7 pm!  Oh yes, there will be sweat.

This session Leslie wanted to run me through a few different exercises, just to see my range of motion, my general form, my fortitudes and faiblesses.  I didn’t bother taking notes since there weren’t any PR’s on the line, but maybe next time!  For you, my loyal readers 🙂

I noticed she wanted to abuse my legs a lot this session.  I am fine with that, but on the down side I am used to splits now, so I walked away from a fullbody session of sorts with maybe a 3/4 weighting to legs feeling like my upperbody, arms especially weren’t abused nearly enough!  My quads though felt tired on the walk back home, more on that later.

Warmup 5 min.  We did some squats, some bodyweight full range squats (ATG).  soon after, some squats with dumbbells, touch bench and back up type.  Then we grabbed a 35 pound plate, that made it like a goblet squat.  I like to keep my hands in front of me normally for squats, to help keep me balanced so I don’t rock backwards, so goblet squats feel SUPER comfortable actually, much more so than the dumbbells.

but with a plate

Then some dumbbell presses, then some pushups from my knees, then some regular pushups, (they were more like half pushups, truth be told).

Man, should have written this down!  Can’t remember any more… ugh, old age…

We did some rows with the cable machine, we did some horizontal rows (for fatties who can’t do pullups, natch), some kettlebell swings, forward folds to test my flexibility.  Did I mention that when I don’t get much sleep, my poor lower back gets cranky on me?  It was at this point that my lower back started giving me grief, so I had to sit down between exercises.

also known as an Australian pull up. Doesn’t sound like a compliment to the Australians!

me doing swings. wth is wrong with my eyes? I think I saw aliens on the horizon…

MOAR legs.  Lunges, walking lunges.  My form was getting a little spotty during the walking lunges, BAH, give me a leg press machine or quad extensions any day of the week, to hell with such practical and natural exercises as lunges, LOL.

We did some twists with a stretchy rope, did some leg raises, some upper ab stuff, did a plank.  I know most people hate planks, but they get rubbed in our faces every hot yoga class, so they don’t scare me any more.  Planks, extended planks, side planks, walking planks, dolphin dives, whatever.  Do your worst planks!  I am not scared to hang out there and tremble, focus matters a lot for planks.  If you keep your focus tight, you can tough it out.  Or fall out of it, that happens too 🙂

if this is meant to show muscle tension, why give her boobs? ROFL, ridiculous

Unfortunately, at this point the aliens attacked, and I had to run for my life! Sadly, my legs were weakened by all the exercise, and they caught me.

me running from the aliens

me getting sucked up by the aliens into their spaceship

Luckily, all the aliens needed was help getting home.  Once they drained my sweaty shirt to power their engines, they let me go.

After, I posed for a pic with Leslie!

I stumbled home, tired legs but lots of upperbody juice left.  I enjoyed the session quite a bit.  I haven’t had a trainer in years, and was curious to know how it would be.  My last trainer, I lost focus and became too social, I became too chatty, I lost my focus off the exercise, where it belongs.  That is the strength of working out alone to me, I am free to be all about the next set, no down time, I am either pushing weight or watching the second hand tick down on the clock between sets.  Also a beautiful thing about hot yoga, just a dark hot silent room, left to marinate in your own thoughts.

Even with Leslie, I started to catch myself getting too chatty.  Definitely not her fault, I just was being chatty.  Of course, if she reads this, she can just as easily become a hardass if I think I can’t function any other way (hi leslie!), but I feel there HAS to be a happy medium, where I can stay focused, keep the intensity there, and yet have someone nearby to encourage me on, to keep my form, and yes also to keep me upbeat and not dragging my feet.  Even with my chattiness, it really HELPED having her talk to me during walking lunges, one of my more HATED exercises, lol.

I don’t know, no easy answer, I long to find the best of both worlds, the social-bility (word?) and the laser beam focus.

I am sleepy, long day it was!  Good night!