Tag Archive: step ups


Work up headed to the gym for some shoulders and cardio before work.

AM workout:

lat raises (30 sec rest) 80 x 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8

rope face pulls (10 sec rest) 70 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

cable rear delt fly (10 sec rest) 33 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

db shrugs (30 sec rest) 200 x 10, 10, 10, 10

cardio:  lateral elliptical 25 min, variable resistance, angle 8

notes:  the cables were crowded, so I couldn’t grab both cables for reverse flys, so I grabbed just one of them for face pulls, and sure enough the other guy got grumpy and left quick.  It goes to reinforce my theory that some people hang out at that cable station in the back corner just to be isolated.  Whenever I enter their bubble they lose interest.  I don’t ask to sub in with them, just by being colocated they are all of a sudden done.  guess they were never that serious.

Funny, the face pulls felt easier than usual, and then when I shifted to flys I realized it was because I did them in the reverse order of normal.  So the flys felt EXTRA hard.  Even light weight was no joke with that volume.

 

Then I went to work, grabbed a 6 min lie down in the tan bed at lunch.

After work headed to the studio for a special Thursday session with the trainer (she is out of town for the long weekend).  Weighed me… down only 1 pound, dammit!  Not spectacular, compared to previous weeks.  I guess my body is adapting to the new routine and I am gonna have to shock it into new loss.  Still, have lost a lot so far, lost inches all over too!

tan still working itself out

tan still working itself out

for once you can see my shoulder, hooray!

for once you can see my shoulder, hooray!

still plenty of back fat, injured shoulder hangs low

still plenty of back fat, injured shoulder hangs low

 

Then it was on to legs and abs!

PM workout:

bench bb squats 225 x 10, 7; 205 x 10, 10

IMG_2531

kettlebell step ups (30 sec rest) 80 x 10/10, 10/10, 10/10

instead of lunges

instead of lunges

lying leg curls (30 sec rest) 95 x 15, 15, 15, 15

IMG_2538

static extended plank (30 sec rest) 45 sec, 45, 45

IMG_2541

stability ball crunches (30 sec rest) 25, 25, 25, 25

bicycle crunches (30 sec rest) 30, 30, 30

 

notes:  ugh, this workout, will go down in infamy.  During the first set of back squats on the last rep, I “stapled” myself.  I got pinned at the bottom by the bar.  I just gave out.  Thankfully I was going to a bench, so all it did was pin me to the bench.  But my trainer was starting to freak out because the bar was too heavy for her to lift off me.  so I was stuck there.  No way out.

OK, 2 ways out.  Shrug it off me and lunge forward.  Or push it back up, from a dead stop on the bench with a back hunch.  I chose to push up, and complete the last rep.

That rattled me a lot, kinda the trainer too.  We ended up messing around with the cage set up a lot, and I went cold a bit.  BUT.  Big but.  I still did 3 more sets.  Set 2 felt tough and I was starting to go by rep 7.  So we dropped the weight by 20 pounds, and I kept going.

I chalk that up as mental toughness.  You get your butt kicked, you just fail hard,  you get up and dust yourself off and keep going.  So I didn’t give up.  But I won’t lie, the intensity was totally gone, I was shaken, but undeterred.

My foot was sore from a chronic health issue I had, so we exchanged lunges for stepups.  Which I hate quite a bit also, so it was a fair trade.  I got through the rest of the workout, but that crapfest at the start plus the weigh in ate up a lot of time, so we had to cut leg exercises out AND I still had to do ab work on my own.

On one hand, I am proud of losing weight, losing inches.  I am proud I was tough enough to salvage my workout and not give up.  But on some level, I am pissed about that fail.  I am pissed I had to drop weight on an exercise I ALREADY do with a pitifully low weight.  I am mad my core is so weak it failed me on squats.  And you know what?  Being mad is ok too.  Being competitive will keep you going during the tough times.

And tomorrow it starts all over again.

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It Never Gets Easier

When you start out, it is wise to take your fitness slowly. You don’t jump in too deep too early, and overwhelm yourself – which would make you crash and give up and get extra UNfit. You EASE your way in.

But the flip side of that is that you are always ramping up. It never gets easier. I guess I had hoped it would be like boiling a lobster – I wouldn’t notice the heat rising until I am a fully cooked model of fitness. Sadly, it is the opposite, every new degree burns and scalds you.

That sounds grim. But after coming out the other end of the 30 day hot yoga challenge, after taking a vacation for a week, I have come back to find my workouts are waiting for me, ready to kick my butt. And there are always ways to tweak my progress, to turn up the heat a little more.

The shoulder workout on Sunday was tough! I felt roughed up the next day (today, aka Monday). My tank felt dry and I dragged my feet a lot at work. But it wasn’t a rest day, I had leg day with Leslie! And I forgot my preworkout at home! Blast it!

I dragged myself in, and warned Leslie I felt “bombed and depleted”, 2 shades short of half in the bag. She patted me on the shoulder, and proceeded to take me through a rogue’s gallery of the most draining leg exercises (most draining for me).

Legs:

warmup on elliptical
squats: 135 x 12, 155 x 12, 155 x 12
step-ups with knee raise and 35 lb dumbbells: 12, 12, 12 (each leg)
vertical leg press: 360 x 12, 12, 12, 12
lunges with 25 lb dumbbells: 10, 10, 10 (each leg)
bent leg raises followed by double crunches: 10/10, 10/10, 10/10
side planks: 30 sec each side x 3

notes: maybe step-ups and lunges aren’t draining for you, but I am big and heavy, more grizzly bear than jungle panther, so they were draining for me… and that’s why Leslie picked them, haha. Anything involving throwing my bodyweight around is tougher than laying down and pushing iron – I would rather leg press 360 pounds over and over than do step ups with 35 lb dumbbells, lol!

Leslie said she was “taking it easy on me” by only doing 3 sets of squats. It was a trap!! It meant more step ups and lunges. (Actually, we did 4 sets of leg press, so it wasn’t all punishment.)

After the legs, some ab/core work. Although sadly, I still felt my thighs burning during the double crunches, I think it was because my legs were suspended in the air.

instead of working out, how about a pic of me catching my breath?

instead of working out, how about a pic of me catching my breath?

yes, yes, more leg press!

yes, yes, more leg press!

I struggled to maintain my good mood. When I tried to stay upbeat, Leslie would remind me that I need to tighten up my diet. I eat too much bread 😦 But it’s so delicious! I gave up pasta and rarely have rice, but bread remains a pleasure.

After dragging myself out of the gym, did I mention it had been freezing rain all night? Walking on sheer ice with wobbly tired legs is no treat, I promise! When I made it home, I wanted some bread so bad! I could swear I NEEDED it to reward myself for my hard work, to buoy my mood, to cheer me up, to relax. But I decided, “I was already in pain, why not reap the rewards and eat clean?” So no bread, instead some chicken, some veggies.

Looks like it’s gonna be a cold night tonight, gonna huddle under the blanket and hope for a sunny day tomorrow. But I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t get any easier.

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.