Tag Archive: CX


A Sense of Renewal

Thursday was my offday.  At work though, the grind of the 9 to 5 got to me and I ate some junk food to give me a boost for the afternoon 7th inning stretch.  It wasn’t much, it gave me a pick me up for 5 min then I felt worn out again.  I felt guilty about it, so I decided to head to the gym Thursday night to do some work.  I asked Leslie what would be best for the focus so I wouldn’t step on the toes of whatever she had planned for Friday, and she suggested I do arms.  Hooray!  I luv arm day.  (Side note, Leslie hates her own arm day!  She says it agitates her to work her biceps.  Crazy right??  Arm day rules.)  After work, I napped, ate, psyched myself up, then to the gym for some late night training.

Group photo! Leslie’s arms, and my pecs. the excellence of execution right here.

Thursday night solo:

5 min warmup

(90 sec rest between sets)

dumbbell skullcrushers:  30 lb DBs x10, x10, x10, x10, x10, x8

2hand dumbbell extension:  55lb DB x10, x10, x10, x10, x10, x10

bicep curl machine:  60 x10, x10, x10, x10, x10, x10

seated curls:  35 lb DBs x10, x10, x10, x10, x10, x9

30 min on the elliptical

notes:  Good old arm volume training.  You don’t NEED 24 working sets a week on your arms to see progress, but it is nice every once in a while, and my arms need to work on their endurance.  My shoulder felt sore, so I was glad for arms vice chest or back.  Still, my shoulder got in the way of the skullcrushers, so my form was shaky by set 4.  I couldn’t keep it going in set 6, so had to clip it short.  Extensions felt good by the end, good strain on my triceps, so I knew tricep DOMS were in my future.

I wanted to do preacher curls, but the dudes in the gym had set up camp on the preacher rest, and they didn’t seem friendly, so w/e.  I went to the bicep curl machine.  I put on 60 lbs, which felt light on the machine, so I tried to make up for it by focussing mentally on SQUEEZING at the top of the movement, really tiring out my bicep and working on “the peak”.  It worked wonders.  By sets 5 and 6, my 90 second rest was devoted to stretching out my biceps, which felt really good.  Finished up with DB curls, and my biceps were tired enough that I couldn’t keep good form by the last few sets, so I will stick at that weight for a while.

Friday I woke up TIRED.  Late night sessions at the gym mean you are so buzzed when you get home, it is hard to transition to sleep.  Plus my shoulder stayed sore through the night.  So I slept in a bit, then took some strong anti-inflammatories for my shoulder and headed to work.  I was conscious not to eat junk, but I had to pop another anti-inflammatory, which leaves me feeling sluggish and bloated.  So lack of sleep and pilled to the gills, that meant I was not in prime form for my Friday session with Leslie.  It is unavoidable though, the shoulders need to rehab, can’t let them gather dust.

We talked for a bit, did a weigh-in (I lost 0 weight, which I will take as a concession considering the imperfect week).  We also talked about my future.  I definitely still need the help, with my form, with my focus, with my diet.  So I signed up for more sessions, renewed the commitment!  I am looking forward to working more with Les, I think she can help me a lot 🙂

short session, but weigh-in, renewal and pep talk was needed

10 minutes on the elliptical

triset:  squats with the ropes THEN stationary lunges THEN Australian pullups

20/12/12,     15/12(touch ball to floor)/10,     13(jump squats)/12(ball twist)/10

last set

last set

first set!

triset:  barbell curls THEN incline closegrip pushups THEN walking side planks

45×10/10/10,     55×12/12/10,     55×12/12/10

the transition

finished product

yoga stretch after:  cobblers pose for 3 min, pigeon for 90 sec or so each side

notes:  did all that make sense?  to some extent the exercises progressed to tougher versions as they went on.  As I got used to the version, we did a little more.  So the first stationary lunges were just that, then the second set I had a medicine ball I touched to the ground, then the last set, I twisted with the ball to the side.

The straps for the squats were just to keep my chest up, I didn’t pull or use my back.  That pic of me doing plyo is a rare pic!  Savour it, my feet don’t leave the ground very often any more 😀

Yeah… lunges… I am not very coordinated with lunges, haha.

Those wussy pullups… I can definitely go harder next time, they were easy (move my feet farther out).

The barbell curls were light, so I focused on the squeeze, and my biceps were tired anyways from the night before.

The incline closegrip was basically me racking the barbell after the curls then doing pushups against them.  On a sidenote:  there are no pictures of the curls or the pushups, because doing curls in the squat rack is a n00b move, and Leslie would lose her PT license if someone saw it 😀

Walking side planks are basically you transition back and forth from side to side.  They felt good, even slightly easy, so Leslie had me hold the side plank for a few seconds before the transition on later sets.

Then the yoga after felt GREAT.  It made me realize how much I miss yoga, it boosts my mood so much.  Thanks for that Leslie!  Good call.

October ends with a sense of renewed purpose.  I have a long ways to go, but I am working on it.  See you later!

Tale of the Tape

Today I was supposed to get measured and weighed.  I was very nervous about this.  For 2 days all I could think about is all the things I could have, should have done differently.  How big was that cheat meal?  How big was that portion?  Is cotton candy gluten free??  All day I was cutting my meals extra small, not drinking as much water, hoping to not feel full, be less full, weigh less at the end of the day.  I know it’s immature, and Leslie wanted to smack me, but I just felt this strong urge to squeeze blood from a stone.

Showed up for my workout with Leslie, I got there early and hopped on the elliptical and tried to sweat some.  Kept the speed high for 10 min, sweat dripping off my face by the end.  Leslie wanted to weigh me before the workout?!?  wtf, I was hoping to sweat my guts out before the scales.  But we measured and weighed.  I am down half an inch to an inch almost everywhere, chest, arms, legs, and down 8 pounds.  It’s a start, but I don’t feel a lot of joy, all I can think of is I want more.  I know I should savour the little victories, but I am trying to get my mind and body right, so satisfaction is not coming for a while, while I nail down my motivation, which has been lagging this week overall.  I don’t FEEL it yet, believe it in my heart, so I need to work on that.

We spent some time going over the measurements and discussing my diet, my motivation, and ways to work on it in the future.  It ate into the workout, but I need the help with my focus just as much as the help with my form.

function, form, focus – it’s a full process.

Workout time!  Endorphins will wash away the doubt, lift the pain away, to paraphrase that Peaches song 🙂

3 min warmup on the battle ropes

no, I didn’t use another stock photo… that’s me! gettin it!

superset step up to shoulder press then step up to upright rows:  15×10/10, 25×10/10, 25×10/10

Triset – Bosu ball squat with hold at the bottom over to the straps to do a squat into an upperbody pull back up then over to the bench for some mountain climbers off the bench (30ish sec rest in between sets):  10/12/20, 10/12/20, 10/12/20

camera doesn’t really capture all the wobbly going on

Superset bench dips to rope pushdowns:  15(straight leg)/70×12(standing), 12(straight)/70×12(on knees), 15(bent leg)/70×12(knees)

Then goofed around:  overhead 2 hand tricep extension:  50 x 6 or so, hammer curls across body 65s x 5 or so, 35s x 5 or so (just asking Leslie to check my form on those exercises, she confirmed my pinwheels suck ass)

notes:  After the weird looks on my face from Wednesday, the ropes were a chance for me to display the most neutral face I could manage 🙂

The stepup weights were light, but I don’t know, you mix a bunch of moves together and they get harder 🙂  More calories burnt that way (I hope!)

With the triceps, it was supersetting triceps, so that tired me out fast 🙂  Started doing bench dips with straight legs, and extensions on my feet/  The machine wasn’t tall enough for me to get a good extension, so Leslie had me go on my knees, which made it a lot harder!  Weird that way, maybe I was drawing some stability and strength from my legs, and making me use my core more to keep stable made the weight harder a bit.  Then the second set of dips it felt bad on my left shoulder, so Leslie had me do them with 90 degree bends in my knees, which made them almost trivial, however the extensions stayed hard!  Just like my biceps, my tricep muscles lack endurance big time.  Something to work on.

The workout was short due to the convo at the start and I had some energy so I did a little extra with my arms and had Leslie give me pointers.  Have to profit from the expertise when I can!

Back home now, my shoulder actually still feels a little sore from those dips 😦  Oh well, will rest on it.

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!