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  1. #1
    Registered User Fiction2Fitness's Avatar
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    Novels and Barbells

    I'm not known around here or anything but think it's a good time for me to start a journal thread. While my username sounds a little like I'm trying to go from fiction to fitness, it's actually because I write fiction and take part in fitness activities. I have a blog called Fiction & Fitness but couldn't use the & in my username and for some reasons didn't do fictionandfitness (which is part of the blog url) and instead added the 2. Fiction2Fitness is also my username now on instagram, though I am still trying to figure that site out. Friendly warning: I tend to ramble...

    Hi there.

    I go by Dawn (Dawn Embers is my pen name and used online including a writing web site that I moderate in my spare time). I write different types of fiction ranging from young adult contemporary, to differing fantasy and sci-fi concoctions all the way to romance and erotica, which are under a different pen name. On the fitness side, I lift weights and do a little running. Work in retail, mostly dealing with photo and the grocery part of the store cause photo is in charge of grocery. Have a bachelor's degree in whole lot of nonsense (okay, 3 minors as one major plus an extra minor, it was called integrated studies). Not too much special but like to dream and push for more.


    Stats:
    Female
    Age: 31
    Height: 4'11.5"
    Weight: 137

    1RM: bench 110 / squat 195 / deadlift 225 / ohp 85
    5k time: 28:24
    10k time: 57:19

    First drafts in progress: 5+
    Novels to edit/rewrite: 4
    Ready to submit: 1 novel


    History:
    Grew up playing sports that included basketball, volleyball, track, softball and a few others. However, always struggled due to not being in enough shape and always being overweight. First exposure to lifting came from track because I wasn't interested in running but instead did shot put and discus, so part of training included lifting. Back then, in small town wyoming, we didn't lift for basketball or volleyball, which were my two main sports in junior high and the very beginning of high school. Took one lifting class in college where I did mostly machine work and leg press, avoiding squats as I'd never had to do them and had issues with my knees.

    In the beginning of September, 2014, I started to watch my calories and added walking with fitness goals in mind. Back then I weighed 211, though it wasn't at my heaviest. I started slow, just trying to get a little more and soon was walking every day and making bigger goals. I joined the gym at the end of October and started Stronglifts in the beginning of November.

    Started low, as required, and worked my way up during the 12 weeks I followed SL. After that, I switched to New Rules of Lifting for Women in part because my stepsister had given me the book as a gift for Christmas and also because I was ready to step out of my comfort zone. That it certainly managed to achieve because it was different. Did the program but skipped stage 6 in order to get back to working on my deadlift and wasn't all that interested in pull ups. Followed it by SL influenced attempt with 3 sets of 5 reps and a couple accessories aside from the main lifts until I decided on my next program.

    In September 2015, I started PHUL. It is my current program. The plan at the moment is to continue until at least June before evaluating progress and considering any changes.


    The fitness has been great along with the eating better, which helped me lose 70 lbs. However, my writing took a bit of a back seat in 2015. I'm going to spend 2016 trying to do more of both and a journal seems like a good method for keeping track plus having that accountability. And to be honest, the threads on Sparkpeople where I'm in a writing group don't quite help since weight lifting isn't very prominent there. This gives me a place to post about everything in one spot.


    The less fun details:
    Had knee problems that started in 6th grade basketball. Injured back, right hip, elbow and wrist in different years in bowling. Yep, bowling. Elbow was in college during practice then bowled in 3 tournaments in one weekend cause I'm smart like that. Back was one I tried to take care of after injury, however was diagnosed with arthritis in lower back at age 24. Basically, I'm cautious and have to be aware of potential limitations and not let form slip. However, ever since learning to squat, no knee problems. They ache a little during long runs and with lunges, but that's it. Food wise, I have a mild allergy to dairy. I can have it on occasion but if I consume it often, then I break out and itch all over, which is quite unpleasant. Working on hitting protein and such but I'll ramble on nutrition in a future post.



    I also like cats, penguins, attempt to bento, bake and hope to get back into painting along with learning to sew more. But first, writing and lifting.
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  2. #2
    Registered User adriannec's Avatar
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    Welcome! I was on Spark for a bit and agree with your observations. Different strokes for different folks. I've found a better home here with like minded people. My daughter has a severe dairy allergy (epipen level) so I'm pretty well versed in dairy free hacks. Thank goodness for modern food miracles like almond milk and stuff.

    I'm excited to read your continuing journey with PHUL.

    Adrianne
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  3. #3
    Registered User JenSTL4's Avatar
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    Hi! Congrats on your weight loss so far!

    I am also 4'11.5", like cats and am currently doing PHUL
    My journal: https://igoodies.000webhostapp.com/?viagra=showthread.php?t=159386641

    2018 goals:
    Lift more than I did in 2017, which won't be hard because I haven't lifted much since March 2017
    Build back the muscle I lost while I went through a "I hate lifting" phase
    Love lifting again
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  4. #4
    Registered User jsari23's Avatar
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    I am a whopping 5'1" tall (LOL) and also love cats and also doing PHUL, think in 5th or 6th week!

    I am the same with some things taking the back burner (and rambling) need to figure out how to fit in all the things Id like to be doing, I think if I quit my job I could
    instagram: @mackitten
    cats ;) instagram: @khanthebengal

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    You think you know ... what's to come ... what you are. You haven't even begun.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Fiction2Fitness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by adriannec View Post
    Welcome! I was on Spark for a bit and agree with your observations. Different strokes for different folks. I've found a better home here with like minded people. My daughter has a severe dairy allergy (epipen level) so I'm pretty well versed in dairy free hacks. Thank goodness for modern food miracles like almond milk and stuff.

    I'm excited to read your continuing journey with PHUL.

    Adrianne
    Thank you. Sparkpeople does have its place and is useful for many but it is definitely cardio focused. Do see some posts on lifting in the fitness forum on occasion and some articles on how to "tone" certain parts, but overall it's tracking food and how much cardio. I mostly use the site for the writing group but even there it's not always easy to get productive feedback since it's very reliant on who gets involved and posts in groups, which is rarely anyone. I'm liking PHUL so far. And the milk alternatives are nice though not many have comparable protein amounts to dairy. I did find some flax milk that was decent on the protein but the store no longer carries it here. Always on the search for something to help.

    Originally Posted by JenSTL4 View Post
    Hi! Congrats on your weight loss so far!

    I am also 4'11.5", like cats and am currently doing PHUL
    Thanks. I see a few short people around as well as cat friendly folks. Good to have the company. :-)
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  6. #6
    Registered User Fiction2Fitness's Avatar
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    Power Weekend

    My lifting schedule tends to be Power on Saturday and Sunday, day off Monday, then Hypertrophy on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday is freight day at work and once start training for half marathon Friday might be long run but that will depend on work schedule by spring. Right now, I try to get some running done on upper body days just to maintain ability until weather gets better and my running park is not as flooded.

    The only main difference this weekend compared to others is that I had a coworker brunch at a french bakery, which I ate my actual meal at 7 pm because of needing to work. The place was so popular midday Sunday that it took over 45 minutes before we even got a table. But I had delicious food all day.

    My work schedule tends to be close shifts Thursday-Sunday though sometimes I work Tuesday and have Wednesday off instead. I lift after work most days and usually later in evening even on my day off because there are less people at the 24 hour gym at 11pm compared to daytime, which means more chance of getting the squat rack.


    Saturday - Upper Power

    bench 3x4 @ 105 - Did okay. Depending on how I feel next time will either try 110 (my last 1 rep max, eek) or keep to 105.
    db incline bench 3x10 @ 35 - still challenging by the ends of the sets
    bent row 3x4 @ 110 - did okay. Considered pendlay but the area I do those in was taken.
    lat pull 3x10 @ 80 - not much different than last time
    OHP 3x8 @ 65 - looked back at original set up of program and it had this is 2-3 sets of 5-8 reps, and I've been doing 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps. So, tried it this way, but think I'm going to move it up after db incline bench and go with the less rep range.
    overhead tricep 3x9 @ 40 - struggled at the ends

    Then 10 minute combined walk for warm up and cool down with 30 minute run in the middle on treadmill.

    Sunday - Lower Power

    squat 3x4 @ 180 - Felt better than last week, slow but all decent reps.
    deadlift 1x4 @ 185, 3x4 @ 195 and 1x4 with straps @ 220 - going well so far
    leg press 3x8 @ 230 - eh, right hip near back got cranky so not as great
    leg curl 2x8 @ 80 and 1x8 @ 70 - hamstrings have been sore for a few days so struggled again with these
    standing calf 3x10 @ 105 - eh, calves
    hip thrust 3x10 @ 115 - okay though struggled a tad with balance of the bar
    jump squats on aerobic step 2 x 10 - trying to get a jump thing in to work on that element before 10k obstacle run


    Had a decent weekend session, weight wise. Now to start zeroing in on the nutrition. I'm trying to use my food scale more even though it's a pain to switch to grams every time I use it. But at the point where every little bit will count more as I try to lose a bit more fluff. Yes, stomach, I'm mostly talking about you. Fluffy trouble spot...


    Novel wise - I'm working on a contemporary YA novel right now. I started it for National Novel Writing Month but only got to around 33,000 words in November. It's at over 40,000 now and I just finished writing chapter 15. Chapter 14 is a bit spotty but almost done as well at least for the very rough first draft. Next up will be chapter 16 as they've made it into Canada so more shenanigans and problems need to occur. Fun times.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Fiction2Fitness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jsari23 View Post
    I am a whopping 5'1" tall (LOL) and also love cats and also doing PHUL, think in 5th or 6th week!

    I am the same with some things taking the back burner (and rambling) need to figure out how to fit in all the things Id like to be doing, I think if I quit my job I could
    Pesky jobs getting in the way. Having 40 hours available would be helpful but then those silly bills... One day.

    I have a manager who is about your height and she jokes that I need to wear heels so she can see me cause we have lots of tall stuff in the store. Then again, you can tell when either of us were at work based in part on where the step stool is being stored.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Fiction2Fitness's Avatar
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    Hypertrophy days done. Decent on the calories though protein sources varied and I need to get some cooking done (which I did do a little before work but didn't get to eat any of the turkey yet). Also, Tuesday involved going shopping for shoes and I managed to purchase some for running and a pair for the gym. So, the two hypertrophy sessions were the first ones using my new Nike cross bionic shoes. Liking them so far.


    Upper Hypertrophy

    incline bench 4x10 @ 75 - decent and might try 80 next time.
    seated row 4x8 @ 90 - decided to try increase as I've done 80 for long time, challenging but managed to do it.
    lat raise 4x10 @ 12.5 - still a challenge by the end
    db fly 4x9 @ 22.5 - a little harder now but still not too bad
    one db row 4x9 @ 35 - still feels heavy but make it through
    cable bicep curl 4x8 @ 60 - finally tried to increase
    tricep ext 4x10 @ 80 - tough but not bad
    face pull 4x 10 @ 50 - although got them all, really feel them during the reps.

    Then 5 minute warm up, 60 minute jog though paused part way to reset treadmill cause 60 was all it was going to allow total and about 10 minute walk cool down.


    Lower Hypertrophy

    front squat 3x10 @ 90 and 1x10 @ 110 - not bad, wrists bit achy and balance gets a slight challenge by the end on the crossed arm set.
    curtsy lunge 4x10 @ 85 - same weight and knees were a bit cranky tonight
    good morning 4x12 @ 85
    leg extension 4x9 @ 95
    seat calf 4x12 @ 120
    rdl 3x8 @ 140 - hands struggled a little on the last reps, pesky calluses
    sumo 3x5 @ 170 - first set was a bit off, got a little better on the other ones



    Novels: Finally got chapter 16 started in NW. Need to write a little in it next, then go to bed.
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  9. #9
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    Gym Update

    Over a year ago, I signed up at 24 Hour Fitness. It's a nice location, very big with a decent amount of equipment, classes and people. Plus, open 24 hours, which was always nice since I tend to go lift after work around 11 pm at night. Only problem came in that I moved in June to an apartment that was much further from my gym and a longer distance from my work than the old apartment. I've been making the drive despite having to go the opposite direction from work, then travel the long distance home after midnight. However, for the last few months I'd been looking at and considering other gym options.

    This week, I made a change. There is a new Anytime Fitness across from work, plus one over closer to home. Small location, less equipment, still 24 hours available and less people. Being close enough to New Years, they had a special that cut down the join charges drastically, so I made the decision.

    On the plus side: won't have to wait much for equipment because there is far less people. Has most of what I need to use. Brand new equipment with decent tech. Cardio have touch screens and tv each, so I can watch food network when I'm stuck with indoors for the runs. Plus, they have fitness classroom that has a large screen instead of setting up instructors and class times. You pick whatever you want to do if the room is available and take the class. Should be fun cause I like to do zumba and such on the rare occasion but the big gym class was either too early or always had so many people seemed like there wouldn't be much room.

    However, I will now have to learn to bench in a power cage. 24 had 3 flat benches, 2 incline benches and a decline bench. Plus, the rack and cage were in a different part of the gym so not really convenient to drag a bench over (though one could do that with the smith machine in the other corner of the gym, which some did on rare occasion). For fails, the "oh $#!*" spot was available, or roll of shame. I've done both and actually found it quite easy even on the 1rm test when I failed 115. Just set it down on chest then shifted it down so I could sit up. From there just picked it up and set it down. So, never tried setting up the safeties. Will be interesting to figure it out for both flat bench and incline for the two upper body days in PHUL.

    The location is also against dropping weights because it might "intimidate" someone. But eh. Some lifts make noise (deadlift, pendlay rows, etc). Not like I'm doing cleans then letting it go from shoulder height so it bounces for me to catch about near the hips... Yes, I've seen a guy do that and the other gym wasn't set up for that kind of dropping either. Plus, there was no one around at 11 am, let alone when I'm going to be doing my deadlifts (after 11 pm on Sunday night). Hence, no concerns with that issue.

    My coworker is a member of the other gym so I'll be buddying up with her on occasion. She has a harder time getting to the gym so I can't rely on her when I want to get stuff done, but I don't mind encouraging her when she wants to go workout.

    Tomorrow night is Upper Power at 24 cause I'm not quite ready to try out the different bench situation. Going to attempt my working weight at 110, which was my last 1rm success back at the start of November. Should be fun.
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  10. #10
    Registered User adriannec's Avatar
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    It's really simple to figure out the bench/rack thing once you're right there in it. One tip I use ... for the rack at my gym and the bench height, the safeties are either too low and failing will crush me or too high so I can't get the bar all the way down. I put a couple plates under the head of the bench (on the floor) to just barely raise the bench so the bar comes down lower.

    It's not enough to really change the angle so you're still doing the same exercise. It doesn't turn a flat bench press into an incline press. It just lifts it a little so the ROM is better. Same on the inclines if needed. You may luck out and have everything perfectly line up though.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Fiction2Fitness's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by adriannec View Post
    It's really simple to figure out the bench/rack thing once you're right there in it. One tip I use ... for the rack at my gym and the bench height, the safeties are either too low and failing will crush me or too high so I can't get the bar all the way down. I put a couple plates under the head of the bench (on the floor) to just barely raise the bench so the bar comes down lower.

    It's not enough to really change the angle so you're still doing the same exercise. It doesn't turn a flat bench press into an incline press. It just lifts it a little so the ROM is better. Same on the inclines if needed. You may luck out and have everything perfectly line up though.
    Thanks. We'll find out Tuesday, which is upper hypertrophy so I'll have to attempt it with incline bench. It's my day off from work so I'll be able to go when they are staffed in case I need a little help. Plus there is youtube and my cell phone. I'll keep that plate thing in mind though. I'll probably be using plates to anchor a bench when I do hip thrusts because all of their benches are moveable, which is good for some things but when you don't want them to move, not so much. I also put plates on the floor for my feet when I do flat bench in attempt at working on leg drive.
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  12. #12
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    Had an interesting weekend. Since I had potential workout plans with coworker that involved a morning lift session, I ended up doing my Saturday cardio before work at my new gym since I didn't want to do it after lifting and end up at the gym past 1 am.

    After work, I went to old gym for upper power to use the bench that I'm more familiar with since I was going to attempt to make my previous 1rm as my working weight. Good session and the unusual part was during getting warmed up on bench, I had a woman approach me. People don't often talk to me much at the gym unless it's to ask if I'm using something or how many sets I have left. She actually came over to the bench area to ask me about sumo deadlifts, which I do now on lower hypertrophy but used to do them on lower power. So was kind of weird that she remembered me enough on a different day to decide to come over and ask if I could show her the lift. I ended up showing her my approach in between OHP and pendlay rows, making sure to give her some sources to research form and to emphasize that I am not a trainer in any way. It was definitely different.

    Now for the lifts. Upper power was also on a dairy day, so had delicious fuel including macaroons from the french bakery. mmmm


    Upper Power

    bench 1x4, 2x3 @ 110 - Yay! This was my 1rm when I tested in beginning of November. Wasn't sure how it'd go and the last reps were a push, but I made it so maybe that means I can get 115 for 1 now.
    db incline bench 3x10 @ 35 - feeling a little easier
    OHP - 3x4 @ 80 - moved it up and like putting it ahead of lat pull and rows.
    Pendlay rows 1x3 @ 115 and 2x5 @ 95 - first set was blech so dropped weight. I like this version but set up can be a hassle with stacking plates and everything. Did them after showing how I do sumo deadlifts, which involved 65 lbs with three plates for stacking to get a decent bar height.
    lat pulldown 3x10 @ 80 - still feels heavy, maybe either go for 90 just cause, drop down or maybe mix up a little with type of pull. Right now I do more of a wide grip type but could do underhand and closer grip for a little while to spice things up.
    overhead tri ext 3x10 @ 40 - not bad


    Then after some sleep, I did a mid-morning lifting session at gym location that is closer to home where my coworker goes. We were both there but doing different things but chatted a little bit during rest periods. Also, had some guy chat with us a bit and he complimented my deadlift form. Still have to work on some things when the weight gets heavier but always nice to hear things aren't too horrible.

    Lower Power

    squat 3x3 @ 185 - Quite heavy and a bit of a challenge but pushed through.
    deadlift 3x4 @ 200 and 1x3 with straps @ 225 - last set was heavy. Might up working to 205 but keep the strap one the same next time. Still need to work on the lock out.
    leg press 3x8 @ 220 - dropped the weight a little cause right knee was a bit cranky last night and today.
    leg curls 3x8 @ 70 - the machine there is a little different but got it figured out, also did hanging leg raises in between sets for fun.

    I attempted a set on a glute isolation machine that was a version of a donkey kick but not down on hands and knees, but the single leg kick back and the knees did not get along.


    I have two days off from work now (though I said they could call me in Tuesday if they really need me) so going to rest, laundry and the plan is to make a better attempt at meal prep for the week. Need to up my game on the nutrition side of things.
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    And by two days off, I meant one. Ended up working but not how I planned as it wasn't manager who called me in for today. Instead, I got a text last night from coworker asking if I could cover her shift because her son was sick. Hope he's feeling better. She had the morning cashier shift too, which is way earlier than I usually have to go in since I always work close. Made for a tired day, even with coffee.

    Then I went over and tried out the new gym with Upper Hypertrophy day. Not bad even at after 5:30 pm. The most people we had at one time was 5 total, including me, most on the cardio. First attempt at any bench type work in the cage and it went okay even with not being used to the adjustable moving bench either. Weight was heavy on incline bench but I had never tried above 75 before. Could have had better food beforehand but oh well.

    60 - Upper Power

    incline bench 4x6 @ 80 - not enough reps as was a little too heavy but using the cage for them wasn't too bad, just different.
    db fly 4x8 @ 25 - okay. They don't have the incremental dumbbells at this one so it's either go up or down on some of these.
    one db row 4x9 @ 35
    seated row 4x8 @ 90 - challenging, feel like it could pull me forward and it's hard to get started to pull the weight and get seated in position because of the equipment and my short legs...
    lat raise 4x7 @ 15 - miss the 12.5 ones already
    bicep bar curl 4x10 @ 40 - meh, didn't have an attachment to use for the cable
    face pull 4x10 @ 50 - okay, different rope than I'm used to on it
    tricep ext 4x10 @ 80 - still a bit of a challenge
    hanging leg raises @ bw - tougher, I did straight leg then bended to bring knees up and not sure which struggled more, my stomach or forearms that were trying to hold me up. (Trying to add a tiny bit of ab work in some shape or form.)

    Now I'm going to try and write a little, then get to bed. I actually got over 1000 words done last night, so that was a bonus. Next up is to start chapter 16.
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    Well, yesterday I meant start chapter 17 as I had just finished chapter 16. Losing track between the novels which one I'm working on. lol


    Today had an unusual shift in that I worked mid-day instead of open or close. First thing at 10 am as I walked in was "paper jam and now it won't print"... Basic fix, restart the computer. The 8 hours weren't too bad though don't think I'm a fan of the schedule with gym right after. It wasn't busy because it's a small and new location, but I'm used to working close shifts and getting my dinner break at around 7. Every now and then, in the power cage, my thoughts would be distracted because I was hungry. On the plus side, one of the roommates cooked chicken and rice, so that was awaiting when I made it home. Mmm protein.

    Lower Hypertrophy

    leg extension 4x8 @ 80 - odd with the different machine. It's a leg curl and leg extension type, so depends on how you have it set up. Seat didn't go quite far enough forward for me either.
    front squat 3x10 @ 80 then cross arms 1x7 and 1x5 @ 110 - First sets were easy enough. The crossed arms was a struggle with my arms and holding the bar. Fitbit needs to go during that cause it was pressing against my other wrist. Not comfortable. Need to work on the balance and holding the weight with it a little more.
    curtsy lunge 4x10 @ 85 - decent
    good morning 4x12 @ 85
    rdl 3x8 @ 140 - okay but grip issues by the last reps
    sumo deadlift 3x5 @ 170 - okay, calluses hurt a little during them

    Think I'll try getting in some cardio after work tomorrow to see what it's like there after 10:30 pm. It's a new location so the "busy" times have barely anyone and I imagine that means not many at all should work out later either. Should get a good run on the treadmill then since still too rainy and flooded outside to go to the park for that.
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    Checked out the gym last night after work since that is when I will work out more often than not. At 10:45-just after midnight there was me and no one else at all. Don't think I'll have any issues even if someone doesn't like the noise deadlifts and such make. Not going to be bothering the empty gym.

    Also, knew there was a reason I did cardio on upper body days and not right after lower body. My legs are feeling that hour jog today. Treadmill times out at an hour so I have to split it up a little but have my long day set for an hour jog to maintain ability until almost spring, when I start training for half marathon. Have a 10k obstacle course in May too, so need to be able to go the distance at least even if there are other things to do along the way besides run.

    Hopefully in a couple of months my usual running location is less flooded. Last time I went to the park about half of it was not accessible due to being covered in water. Rain, small river and wetland spot tends to cause problems when it's too much water at once. Though it's a little small for the half marathon training, so might need to find a new location anyways of the long runs. Still need to pick a run too. I want to do one I did a 5k run in 2015 that was fun. It involved dressing up like a super hero and the money went to fighting children's cancer. However, they don't have anything up yet for 2016. Will have to wait and see while scoping out other options, plus I might move by fall. Who knows.

    Not a fan of treadmill but it is manageable for the time being. Going to do some swimming Saturday night instead, however, since I have under a month left at the big gym that has a swimming pool. Only used it once so far cause I don't like swimsuits but got one from my mom that fits me currently so should at least go once.

    Ahh cardio...
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    Whole weekend of work outs since I do the power days on Saturday and Sunday. The slight downside to the late nights, work schedule and lifting is sometimes I don't get them posted on here until Monday, which the system considers a new weeks. Can lead to some different "workout summary" emails from the site. Had a decent but busy weekend but am glad to finally get a day or even two off from work.


    Had plans to lift earlier in the day on saturday but coworker wasn't able to make it due to her mother-in-law's recent health issues. So, I did lifting then cardio late at the bigger gym to enjoy some of the equipment they have that the new, smaller one doesn't. I must admit I'll miss the pool and sauna just a little even though I rarely used them.

    For fun I did film a 1 rep max on bench that I plan to enter in the misc challenge. Just need to combine the two cause silly me showed the paper after the lifts instead of before because by 11 pm I'd forgotten the exact details. Plus, ended up with 2 lifts because the first attempt went better than expected but the second doesn't have much of a pause so not sure if it will count but I was stoked even if it's a little closer to having a bounce cause that weight was my goal for the whole year. Also, had the one guy I see all of the time offer to help me film if I wanted different angles to check form, so that was nice. I might need to film my working set next time since I'd never seen myself bench press before and form is important. Did post short clips from the bench session up on instagram cause I was excited.

    Upper Power

    1 rep attempts
    115 - had a decent pause and went way easier than expected considering I failed last time I tried it back in beginning of November. Probably helped I just went from warm up to this instead of 105, 110 then 115 like I did back during max testing.
    125 - not as much of a pause so not 100 percent it counts in the thing but I still got it up so I'm counting it as my one rep max cause OMG. Now just need to get my body weight down more and I'll get to that 1xbw bench.

    bench press 1x4 and 2x3 @ 110 - tired so struggled cause rep test thing
    db incline 2x10 and 1x8 @ 35 - same, okay but feeling it
    OHP 2x5 and 1x2 and 1x3 - I got bit off on the last set so ended up splitting it up
    lat pull 3x10 @ 80 - nothing unusual
    overhead tri ext 3x10 @ 40 - did between lat pull sets

    For a little cardio I tried the rowing machine. Had no idea what I was doing but did some rowing for 15 minutes. Might need to fix the foot strap thing next time as it barely went over my feet so hopefully that is adjustable. Then did an easy swim followed by less than 10 minutes in the sauna. Kind of like that so need to go in there again even if it means wearing a pesky swim suit. I have one that was my mom's and it's cute but bought more for the look than anything else, but covers my stomach so that's a plus. Tad big though. I need to get my own suit this summer.

    Sunday was kinda meh. Really long workout trying to figure things out and get all set up that I needed in the small gym. Squat had some issues, plus the weights shifted more than usual so I finally used the clips. Will deload if next weekend doesn't go better. Did try rack pulls but the lowest setting is too high for me and even standing on a 45 plate it wasn't quite right. Will have to work on that one or find some way to get the safeties to the right spot below my knees, somehow. Lockout is where I struggle on deadlift so hoping adding these some will help.

    Lower Power

    squat 3x3 @ 185 - barely. No bueno.
    deadlift 3x3 @ 205 - not bad. Skipped using the straps this time cause long rest periods and set ups.
    leg press 3x8 @ 220 - okay.
    leg curl 3x8 @ 80 - easier on the small gym machine
    squat jumps on aerobic step with 4 risers per side, still awkward but need to work on jumping
    hip thrust 3x8 @ 115 - they don't have 35lb plates and I had to put 45s down against the back of the bench to keep it from moving but made it work. Also, no bar padding, so that will be a challenge. Towel helped a little.
    rack pull 2x5 @ 135 - attempted but will need work plus I'm short...


    Today is rest day, also get caught up online and grocery shop. Maybe I can actually meal prep tomorrow, as long as I don't get called in to work. Was going to do yoga but coworker can't make it this week so that has been moved to next week. I'm trying different things out to see what they are like. Never taken an actual yoga class before, just attempted following a tv show. Going for basic hatha, I think. Will have to double check schedule.

    Some writing happened over the weekend too but the bare minimum. I have a newsletter due on the writing site and hope to get chapter 17 done too. After coffee will get to work, which means kitty will need to move first so this might take a while...
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    bench press video

    Here is the youtube video for the bench press. So much struggles in getting this to work. Next time I'll just do it right and post both direct from phone. Trying to get it from phone to computer, combined then to youtube was a hassle and a half. Looks wonky but it's there. We'll see which of the two lifts counts for the competition. Either way, I'm quite pleased since I wasn't sure I'd get 115 let alone attempt my year goal of 125. Now to work on my pesky body weight and keep pushing as one of these days I'll get to try that body weight bench. :-)

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    Cardio last night. I tried out the small gym's classroom, which includes a large screen that plays videos of the classes. Convenient because that means no needed to go at a specific time to catch a class and there are some things I'd rather not have other people around for...

    Conclusion: I'm not a dancer.

    Zumba was eh. I did it years ago but haven't since so way out of practice. Tried a different latin dance thing that involved shake and pop in the title. Yeah, no. I can shake a little cause i have some fluff but I don't pop. Some of the movies I just started at the screen cause my body don't do that. Glad no one was there. However, going to do one of the classes again some time (not the pop one) with a coworker cause it will be funny.


    Also, fixed youtube issue. Only problem with direct upload from phone is can't mute the video, so had to add music in the edit option on youtube in order to cover the random gym music and other noises. Once the edits are done I'll post it up, as they take a while on the site. Tested with a deadlift video and doesn't have the stretch screen issue, but instead puts empty black space on both sides, so it's not as wide that way. The original, I struggled so much that by the end I was just like "screw it, I'm posting the mess". Though not sure I want to do one if I lose any weight cause 180 isn't in the cards for years. ;-)

    Nice lifts so far from the women on the site. Looking forward to seeing more people bench.
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    Had to edit youtube video to add music on the thing so that it wasn't the gym sounds and the music playing but probably a better result. Here is the lift portion, not the weigh in.

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    Going to try and post this again since didn't work last night. I'll have a more chatty post about some things later, but here is Tuesday's and Wednesday's hypertrophy sessions.

    Tuesday: Upper Hypertrophy

    incline bench 4x8 @ 80 - felt easier at bigger gym not in rack
    db fly 4x8 @ 25
    one db row 4x10 @ 35
    seated row 4x10 @ 80 - 90 was too heavy, different handle attachment too
    lat raise 4x8 @ 15 - challenging but a tad better
    cable bicep curl 4x9 @ 60
    face pull 4x10 @ 60
    tricep ext 3x8 @ 90, 1x10 @ 80 - increase was a little too much so did a set at previous weight

    Then warm up and cool down walks with 60 minutes of running in between on the treadmill.


    Wednesday: Lower Hyper

    front squat 3x8 @ 95 and 1x8 @ 110 - 95 went well, 110 a tiny bit better, back twinged just a tad on last reps
    curtsy lunge 3x8 @ 90 - slight increase and a challenge but getting better at these
    good morning 3x10 @ 90
    leg extension 3x9 @ 90 - different with the extension/curl machine
    rdl 140 3x8 - calluses ached
    sumo deadlift 3x5 @ 175

    I also did 35 minutes of cardio later that night, as lower hyper was a before work session, at the bigger gym using the rowing machine. It's different and the new gym doesn't have one so wanted to use it a little before finish the transition from the one gym to the other. Don't normally do cardio on the lower body days.
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    Originally Posted by Fiction2Fitness View Post
    Had to edit youtube video to add music on the thing so that it wasn't the gym sounds and the music playing but probably a better result. Here is the lift portion, not the weigh in.

    good job on the bench.

    I much prefer the less wonky video, dont have to wonder how bad my migraine really is
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    Originally Posted by jsari23 View Post
    good job on the bench.

    I much prefer the less wonky video, dont have to wonder how bad my migraine really is
    Thanks. It's definitely better when not stretched out. Just took me so long with the first one fighting different programs in attempt to combine the two and mute the sound that when it warned about the stretch I was like "screw it, I'm getting this up some way, some how" and went with it anyways. Direct from phone is the better option, for sure.
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    Just a little non-lifting post.

    Novel progress is happening, very slow but still there. I finished chapter 17, which puts the novel at almost 49,000 words. There are probably around 5 chapters left to be written, based on the things that need to happen still. Last chapter was shorter, less than 3k but a couple of them end up over 5k in words. It's the only thing I've made progress on this month with writing but it's still better than nothing.

    Getting up early tomorrow in hopes of checking out an APA meet. It's a small drive but I don't need to be at work until 2 pm and lifts start at 9am. I should be able to see what a meet is like at the very least. I'd never been to one before, cause well not much of anything in small town Wyoming. So, this should be fun. And I'm having dairy tomorrow so going to try a microwave protein muffin that I found in the local sports nutrition store. Fun but lot to do as I need to have work clothes and gym clothes in the car as I'll be doing upper power at gym after work. Probably will go to old gym since it's a little better suited for bench.

    On that note, while the one near work just has the cage. After I've been a member for a month, I can get in any location and the one closer to home has both a flat bench and an incline one. So, maybe just pick and choose which location I lift at depending on the lifts for the day.

    We'll have to see. Less than 2 weeks left at the big gym. Using it while I still have the membership and all the things that the new gym doesn't have, like the rower and sauna. Wish I had a better swimsuit but oh well, soon won't have access to a pool or sauna anyways.

    Better get ready for bed. Hopefully tomorrow will be a good, albeit long, day.
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    Yesday was quite a mixed day. Morning I was so tired but managed to get out of bed and make the drive over to the meet location. It was a gym in an industrial area, which is a type I haven't gotten to try lifting in so maybe some day I'll have to check it out even though too far of a drive at this time to consider yet another gym change. I didn't know where to go at first but finally was able to ask someone.

    I liked the powerlifting meet. I didn't know anyone but the family who ended up near me was friendly, as the one lady had brought food for her niece or granddaughter (I don't know the exact details). She offered me cookies a couple of times. The meed did take a long time to get through all of those competing, so I only was able to watch squats and part of the first group's bench press before having to leave for work. Still fun. Saw a variety of lifting abilities from an older lady doing her sets with the bar on squats and a little weight added on bench, to some really heavy lifts with attempts to break records.

    I also noticed during the squats that everyone had belts. Almost all had either knee sleeves or wraps as well, though the older teenager whose family I sat near didn't have those yet, just a belt for her.

    Do have to admit that it does interest me a little, the option of competing. I know nothing about picking openers and preparation leading up to a meet, so would have to do lots of research first. Might have to look into belts as well some day. Few things to think over at least.

    Work went fine, just the usual. Though my food was off even with a dairy day meaning I had more options. I tried to be a little prepared for the being away from home all day and ended up not quite. So, I got calories but it was a lot of random between protein bars and gummy worms and such. Definitely not an ideal food day and I was tired, which may have impacted the workout a little because it was blech.


    Upper Power

    bench press 1x2 @ 110 - terrible and failed. Tried using the cage for the first time and it's either have it set too tall so I lose the set up some in order to unrack (common problem of mine) or two close to body which is harder to get the bar up from. Safeties were okay at least. Also, their plates are rounded and have holes that make grabbing them easier but didn't work so well for using to attempt some leg drive.
    2x3 @ 105 - barely, gave up after second set cause just was a struggle.

    paused bench 3x8 @ 75 - did this instead of dumbbell incline because I don't have much of a pause when I bench so couldn't hurt to work on that some.

    bicep curls with ez curl bar for fun in between paused bench sets, cause I usually skip curls but hadn't used the preacher curl spot before

    OHP 1x1 @ 85 and 1x4, 1x3 @ 80 - blah. Tried increase as I'd done 80 for a few weeks but no go.

    lat pulldown 1x6 @ 90 and 2x8 @ 80 - I have to stand on the seat to reach the bar and at 90 it kept trying to pull me off the seat...

    overhead tricep extension with rope 3x8 @ 50 - awkward with the rope attachment they have, the ends kept hitting my head

    Considered doing rows with smith machine, too awkward and gave up instead of trying to figure out if the one attachment handle for seated row would work in trying tbar rows.

    Cardio - 5 minute walk, 30 minute jog, 5 minute walk on treadmill
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  25. #25
    Registered User Fiction2Fitness's Avatar
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    Sunday was better. Made the drive over to the bigger gym since I've still got a membership there for just under 2 weeks. I think one of the factors that helped was getting enough sleep and not stretching everything out through such a long day. I had better food choices but less calories before lifting. Will miss the big gym a little with all of the equipment, sauna, and constantly staffed with people there often times even late at night. On the off chance, I needed help I could ask, though I rarely ever talk to anyone. Still, it's nice. Though the gym out where the meet was held did seem interesting in a much colder but allowed to do different lifts (like snatch) kind of way. Might have to do a guest pass in the spring on my day off work just to see what the less commercial location is like.

    Lower Power

    squat 3x4 @ 185 - it did go better. Last rep on last set was a super grind but it's because I dipped a little lower than planned and paused more too so it was questionable if I'd get back up but I managed.
    deadlift 3x4 @ 205 and 1x3 @ 230 with straps - first time trying above 225, with straps but still. Working my way up towards my year goal of 2xBW.
    leg press 3x8 @ 230
    leg curl 3x10 @ 80
    calves 3x10 @ 105 - bothered my right foot a little doing these
    hip thrust 3x10 @ 115 - getting better and still feel it. Takes time for set up and finding what I need. Small gym is nice cause no people but they don't have a bar padding. Need to ask them about getting a few items, or bring some in myself. Towel is better than nothing but still...

    10 minutes or so in the sauna afterwards.



    Then today, I went to a yoga class. A beginners Hatha, which was different. Not sure about day after lower power cause my thighs were sore but that might be nice to get that stretch after lifting. 1 class isn't enough to really decide, so I may try a month just to see how it goes, depending on the available classes and my work schedule. Aside from just some flexibility and standing on one foot issues, the straps were a minor issue when we had to use them in the beginning. I have issues sometimes with my hands and trying to grip the flat strap to hold poses was painful. Other than that, aside from just a slight knee pain at one point, no other issues.

    Interesting to say the least.
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  26. #26
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    Today went okay. I did a mid afternoon lifting/cardio session since the small gym is not busy at those times. One guy was there in the beginning, then a woman took a gym tour but it wasn't until the end of my cardio that we got up to 5 people at one time in there. Good news is the cage works okay for incline bench. I did fail one rep and it's been enough that I am wondering if the bar weighs a little more at this one. Cause squats were a little more challenging there than at 24 hour too, but the seated row is easier in the small one. Weird. I wasn't up for the cardio so just did 30 minutes instead of the hour long run that I'd like to be doing. Going to switch long runs to Friday soon so I can start doing it outside and increase the time with hopes of being at 1.5 hours before starting to train for half-marathon.

    68 - Upper Hypertrophy

    10 minutes on elliptical warm up
    incline bench 2x7, 1x6, 1x7 @ 80 - slight fail on the third set but not bad otherwise.
    db fly 4x10 @ 25
    one db row 4x8 @ 40
    seated row 4x8 @ 90 - easier at this gym though I have to stand to reach the handles then maneuver back as it's super heavy then but becomes manageable when doing the lift.
    lat rai3 4x10 @ 12.5 - I found the smaller fractional dumbbells, woot.
    preacher bicep curls 4x8 @ ez curl bar + 10 - I can't sit cause the seat doesn't go high enough but giving this a try as we don't have a small bar cable attachment
    face pull 4x10 @ 60
    tri ext 4x10 @ 80

    30 minute run plus warm up and cool down walks

    Working mid-shift tomorrow so lower hypertrophy will be around 7 pm at the small gym and coworker might come too as she's a member at the one closer to where we live. Which has a flat bench so I'll be doing power upper body days there once I can go in on my own (have to be a member for a month then can use any of their gyms.
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  27. #27
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    First the novels. I haven't started chapter 18 yet on NW. Need to figure out that very first paragraph, argh. However, I did start chapter 7 of BRR, which is the other YA novel I want to finish the first draft of this year. Have over 600 words so far in the chapter and 14,000+ for the novel. It's also contemporary YA, though at some point will get back to the speculative fiction works too.

    I worked middle of day today, instead of close. Went to small gym where at most we had even at 7 pm was 6 people. No one came near the squat rack so didn't matter I used it for like an hour. Ahh, the good part of the small gym. Though my sumo deadlifts got a little louder than normal during the middle set as my calluses were cranky today. Also, moved them up from the last lifts to see how it felt instead of leaving the rack only to go right back after machine work as there isn't any other bar to use but the power cage one at this location.

    Mid-shift day so worked out at newer gym afterwards at about 7 pm. Actually had some people there this time. A few cardio off and on during the time I was there, older gentleman doing some upper body in the beginning and 2 guys at the very end who might have done some lifting but I was leaving at that time. Lower body went decent. For a second I thought my lunges might be catching up too fast to front squat then remembered how heavy it was and I won't be increasing on that one any time soon, so no worries. lol

    Lower Hypertrophy

    front squat 3x10 @ 95 and 1x6 @ 115 - decided to try 115 since I'd been doing 110 for a while. Little better balance as used the clips to keep the weight in place.
    curtsy lunge 4x8 @ 90
    good morning 4x10 @ 90
    rdl 3x8 @ 140
    sumo 3x5 @ 180
    leg ext 4x9 @ 90
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  28. #28
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    going to have to go back through log to see what each of these novels is

    wow legs ugh nice!

    nice with the front squats I cant even do them
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  29. #29
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    Originally Posted by jsari23 View Post
    going to have to go back through log to see what each of these novels is

    wow legs ugh nice!

    nice with the front squats I cant even do them
    Thanks. It has taken me a while to get used to front squats. Back when I did NROLFW, a couple stages has front squat/push press as a combined lift. I had no idea how to do that, though I'd done overhead press during 12 weeks of following Stronglifts. The way the book described how to have elbows up and the angle, the only way I could do that would require holding the bar behind my head. PT suggested separating them so I did crossed arm for a bit and overhead press, then I tried some where I just didn't have my elbows up to that strict of an angle. But since then I've been working on front squats. I have issues with my hands and wrists, to the point where it's going to affect yoga because trying to use the thin straps to hold poses is painful. I also can't hand write without pain. However, I've worked on the front squat as part of PHUL but also to work on the wrists and because I want to learn snatch and cleans, maybe even jerk, one day in the future.

    They are getting better.


    I should probably explain the novels at some point. I might do that soon along with my cardio report. Will post soon on that. :-)
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  30. #30
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    I did a long post yesterday about cardio and novels right before work, then my internet stopped working right as I was trying to post. Had to leave before could resolve the issue and that means the post is lost. I'll have to try again some other time as I'm getting ready to go in early for work. Get to do 10 hours instead of the usual 8. Fun times.


    Did upper power last night at the bigger gym. Have about a week left so wanted to use the chance and bench with the regular setup and bar. I'm thinking of asking small gym how much their bar weighs because I usually assume around 45 lbs but everything is more challenging with their rack including squats. It's not as noticeable on the hypertrophy (lower weight) stuff but on the heaviest sets it's more challenging than doing roughly the same weight at the bigger gym. Oh well, here is last night's session:


    Upper Power

    bench 3x4 @ 110 - The very last sets last rep was a grind but it went much better this time.
    db incline bench 3x10 @ 35
    ohp 3x3 @ 85 - last reps were hard but managed it at last as working set
    lat pull 3x10 @ 80
    overhead tri ext 2x10 and 1x8 @ 50 - challenging so didn't count the last couple attempts on the last set
    t-bar row 3x8 @ 50 - Just counting the plates added to the bar. It was interesting to try.

    30 minute run on treadmill
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