Tag Archive: twists


Got up, went to the gym first thing for my chest and tricep workout.

AM Chest & Tris (60 sec rest)

flat DB press:  70 x 10; 110 x 10; 170 x 8, 8

DB pullovers:  40 x 10; 60 x 12, 12

incline fly:  120 x 12, 12, 11 DROP 80 x 8

overhead tricep extensions:  rope 40 x 15; 50 x 15; bar 50 x 15; 70 x 12 DROP 50 x 12 DROP 30 x 12 DROP 20 x 12

assisted dips (115) 13; 9; 8

superset incline DB skullcrushers & diamond pushups (dropset to your knees to do more pushups):  60 x 8 & 8 DROP 6; 45 x 11 & 4 DROP 6; 45 x 10 & 4 DROP 5

bench dips, feet elevated 10, 9, 10

cardio 20 min, abdominal twists x 150

notes:  chest work was light but tricep work  was tough!  For the overhead extensions, I was stuck with this particular cable machine at the gym that is very stiff, I have lower weights on it than anywhere else.  So I experimented with attachments:  rope or straight bar; and I put my butt against the pillar, bent over 90 degrees, and did my tricep reps as best as I could – the triple drop set at the end was nasty!

I had not done dips on the dip machine in a long time, they usually are too rough on my shoulder.  But these felt good!  Supersetting the skullcrushers and pushups was intense, the back of my arms were spent!  I could barely get any pushups done, even when I dropped to my knees it didn’t help much.  And then with the bench dips, my arms were like spaghetti.

I am going to start throwing in some “twists” after my cardio, just rotating my trunk side to side with no bodyweight, see if maybe I can keep the blood flowing there, keep my obliques healthy and not bulky, maybe tighten up the loose skin a bit.  We will see.

After work I headed down to the studio for workout #2 with Les!

PM fullbody (60 sec rest)

seated good mornings w barbell:  45 x 12; 135 x 12; 155 x 12, 12

smith machine chest press 160 + bar x 8, 8, 8, 8

band assisted pullups (grip varies) 8, 8, 8, 8

standing military press 75 x 8, 8, 8, 8

ab roller x 12, 12, 12

cardio 20 min, twists x 150

notes:  I had done all those hack squats just the day before, so we thought instead today I could do some squat assist work:  strengthen my spine with some good mornings.  My first time doing them.  Felt good!

Smith bench is coming along well too, steady gains!  Military press and ab roller both felt more smooth and natural today too, so that’s comforting.

And that was my day!  another double whammy!  How about you? Did you make it out to the gym?

I LOOOOVE to sleep in on weekends.   Friday night (the shoulders, the legs, the yoga) left me plum tuckered.

Unfortunately, my 30 day challenge starts today!  Yoga class every day (at least that is the challenge I set for myself out of the options available).  And since it is Labour Day weekend, most studios have reduced hours.  You see, most sane people are out of town this weekend, but not I.  I am gearing up to exercise like crazy.  So, the studio I wanted to have track my attendance only had morning classes (well, and a noon one, but on the weekends, noon counts as am to me).

Part of me dearly wanted to take in one of my customary weekend spin classes.  But I am too stubborn to fail out of a challenge on the first day.  Plus they track your progress on a big piece of construction paper with stars!    I find that irresistible.  I have done 2 or 3 30 day hot yoga challenges before, so I was ready for this.

Yea, so I still slept in past the 8 am class, but I made it down there for the 10 am class.  I will just say this now, the yoga studio is gorgeous.

the hallway leading to the hot room

This class would be led by Megan, who is also, not coincidentally the founder of this particular 30 day challenge!  I have been fortunate enough to work together with Megan on a few charity projects before, and not only are her yoga classes excellent, but she is a tireless philanthropist and brings yoga and social activism together in a really inspiring way.  She obviously lives what she loves, and I keep hoping some of this will rub off on me and one day I will be as awesome as her. 🙂

Check out the challenge website here!  http://bethechangechallenge.webs.com/

I have taken a few classes with Megan before, including one memorable one where I knocked myself senseless trying to get into a headstand.  Hopefully no headstands this class!

It would be a 75 min hot class, and a “vinyasa” flow class, meaning we would link our movements to our breath, we would flow.  I will admit, I was a little nervous.  I still felt rusty, like I was not back “in the zone” yet with my yoga practice.  I was worn out from Friday night so I didn’t know how my shoulders would feel.  And I am so used to doing the Moksha series, that doing a brand new series would be extra-challenging… extra-challenging like changing the track on me when I still hadn’t taken the training wheels off yet.

The class started off with some supported fish and some forward bends, ok so far so good.

supported fish

Then it heated up.  Since it was all new to me, it is hard to describe it, but it felt like plank pose was our “home base”, where we stretched our back muscles out before flowing through all of the Warriors and the crescent lunges and the chaturangas.  We did a series of half moons (which I love even though they tire me out) and seated prayer twists and crescent lunge twists.  I love the twisting sensation in general, but my shoulders were feeling quite stiff, so I bound my arms around myself instead of touching opposite elbow to knee.  Sometimes I can touch elbow to knee with the crescent lunge if not the seated prayer, but today even those I took the arm bind on (wrapping your back arm around the small of your back, an acceptable compromise).

half moon

crescent lunge twist

By this point in the class, the heat and the novelty of the sequence was getting to me.  I sweat A LOT.  Litres of sweat (and a few tears) littered the ground around my mat.  As I sweat I got tired, and the flow continued.  As I got tired, I got frustrated, and the flow continued.  I got grumpy.

At one point we went into bow pose, but again, my shoulders weren’t feeling up to that, so I did some locust.  But then we did bow pose again.  And again.  Everyone was laughing and rolling around, trying to go from bow pose into a full bridge.  And I was stuck doing my sad little locust, and getting more frustrated.  I don’t know, I felt left out.

bow pose

This is part of the practice too.  Sometimes when you find the practice difficult, the negative side of you comes out, the side that gets all defensive when life doesn’t go your way.  The side of you that wants to lash out and lay blame.  It’s like life that way.  When things don’t go your way, the negative side comes out.

And you think you have dealt with your negative side because you haven’t seen it in MONTHS.  But it’s still there, you just layered over it with your happy social side, the side you construct in order to “get along”.  This is what happened to me, I had been getting along and had left a thick layer of happy over whatever stress and tension I was feeling beneath, about my shoulder, about whatever events in my life I have been upset about but couldn’t do anything about, etc.

So I showed up to yoga feeling tired but happy, and the asanas broke me down until I came face to face with the ugly, unhappy side.  I guess I knew it was there, I just chose not to deal with it.  But here it was, and I tried to work through it.  I tried to sweat it out and chaturanga it out of my system.  You acknowledge these negative feelings and you keep flowing.  Yoga is good for that, helping you calmly breathe your way through stressful situations.

And then the class was over, and I stumbled out of the room dehydrated and worn out.  I was so melted that I accidentally tried to steal a guy’s shirt!  I walked into the change room, gathered my clothes in a pile, apparently I grabbed this other guy’s shirt too, then I went for a shower.  He got nervous, went to the front desk to complain someone stole his shirt, came back in the changeroom and found it in my laundry pile!  He tapped on my shower to tell me what I had done, I felt really bad!

Grabbed some pixx with Megan too!

this is the last known pic of Megan before she broke her foot…

See how damp I am?  Hot yoga is no joke!

Ok, I would like to talk to you for a second about something else.  This won’t be a fashionable topic, be ready to end your reading here, haha.  There is more you need to get out of your system than just negative emotions.  I am talking about waste.  Sweat, pee, poop.  Grossed out yet?  But you can’t make it without them.

I sweat a lot more since I started doing hot yoga.  Not even kidding.  But I came to realize just how much my body ENJOYED sweating.  I preload with water before gym or spin or yoga, and it feels bad now if I don’t, like I get really tired halfway through because I feel dehydrated.  If I could suggest anything to you, it’s that you drink tons of water, drink water like it’s your job.  And show up ready to sweat.  Water in, water out, all day long.  Keep it moving.

Hand in hand with all that water-drinking will come the other 2, naturally.  I urinate a lot more than I used to, haha.  This is actually of great benefit to me.  I have gout, I was diagnosed with it when I was about 20, my body just couldn’t process all the junk I was putting into it, and it accumulated, crystallized, and turned to little rocks in my toe joints.  You can’t “cure” that, but by drinking more water, I make my body better at flushing itself out.  So the sweat, the urine, it helps me stay “balanced”.

MMM, ok, the third one.  No need to go into great detail, but we all need to “stay regular”.  I remember once I was travelling in Africa, and one of my fellow travellers had not gone in about 7 days.  Folks, he did not look well!  He looked green and queasy.  Luckily, exercise helps with that too, the twists, the flailing your limbs around, it’s all good.  Drinking lots of water helps (see a pattern?), eating lots of fibre helps.  Potato chips don’t have fibre!  Keep looking for better food choices, haha.

So the diet theme of my challenge today is recognizing and assessing my waste processes.  Doing quite well, and much better than before I started losing weight, thanks 🙂  In honour of my waste, today I drank massive amounts of water, I ate lots of flax seed and greens, ate a few salads, and told my body thank you for supporting me through all this exercise.

See you tomorrow!