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Thread: Laser Focus

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    sadly, life is a marathon shesprints's Avatar
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    Laser Focus

    After three years of perpetual injury and multiple doctors telling me that while I may be fast, I'm not built to run, I have decided:

    Fukk running, I'm getting strong.

    My body's been through a lot, so I'm putting together my own program based on feel, training in all rep ranges and smetimes doing pause squats, speed squats/deads, etc., but generally aiming for the magical 40 reps per exercise, total, and trying to balance push and pull with more emphasis on pull. I'm training full-body 3 x per week (some days are leg-focused, some days are upper-focused, it'll even out.) I'm currently pretty weak relative to where I've been in the past but improving rapidly.

    For cardio I'm rowing, elliptical'ing, and swimming--I swim 2200 yards (1.25 miles) on the three days a week I don't lift, with the Asphalt Green master's swim team. This enables me to recover well for lifting sessions and keeps me in good condition, as the swims are interval-based. I'm also mastering strokes other than freestyle and improving my form.

    Current goals: unassisted chinup, improve max # of pushups to at least 20 per set, squat 175, deadlift 225, bench 115, row 5k in 20 minutes, hit <17% body fat (I'm on a very slow cut, eating just under 1800 cal/day)

    Current gym achievements: chinup x 2 with 30lb ass't, 135lb x 2 x 3 squat, 175 x 5 deadlift [I do not test my deadlift max regularly!], 95lb bench, row 5k in in 22:50



    Today's workout:

    CARDIO:
    5042m row in 23:00
    7 min elliptical

    WARMUP:
    pulse squats narrow stance x 20
    pulse squats wide stance x 20
    unwted Bulgarian split squats x 20 each side
    hip thrusts x 20, single-leg hip thrusts x 20 each side

    WORKOUT:
    squats:
    bar x 12
    65lb x 10
    85lb x 10
    95lb x 8 x 2
    115lb x 5 x 5
    135lb x 2 x 3

    speed deadlifts:
    135lb x 8 x 5

    ass't chinups:
    30lb x 2, 2, 1, 1
    40lb x 3 x 3

    bench press:
    bar x 15
    65lb x 10
    75lb x 6 x 5
    85lb x 3 x 3
    95lb x 1 (I think I could do heavier, but could only get a spot for 1)

    bicep curl:
    20lb x 6 x 4

    tricep pushdown:
    30lb x 8 x 4



    That's fairly typical of what I'm doing lately. Sometimes I throw in abs or other accessory work. I lift three days a week and swim three and haven't missed a workout in six weeks.

    Oh, in other news, I'm almost done writing a novel. If anyone wants to read it, hit me up. I welcome opinions.
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    While I personally think there is a special place in hell for doctors whose default response is "you're not built for running," I am also all for the transition to getting strong. All the same qualities that made you a good runner will make you a good lifter...just a hunch anyway, not sure where I would possibly get that idea lol.

    SBD every workout, huh? Been doing that myself the past few months, seems to be working alright for me, you liking it?

    Congrats on finishing the novel. What is it about?

    Anyway, in on this. How do you subscribe from mobile? Can't figure it out and stuck with just mobile for a few days.
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    Good to see you back in it and sorry you can't run anymore, but you'll enjoy the lifting!

    Good luck with the novel, too!
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    Originally Posted by shesprints View Post
    Fukk running, I'm getting strong.
    I salute you.

    As an ex-runner who never quite felt like a "real runner", I feel ya girl. Kudos to making a change based on what you know to be best for your body. I've heard swimming is excellent for recovery!

    Writing a novel is one of my great goals in life, I'd love to read yours PLUS I'm an editing fiend, so I'd be happy to give it a read & provide feedback. Congrats on almost finishing it. That is one hell of an achievement!
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    sadly, life is a marathon shesprints's Avatar
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    @V02max, I can't say that I know how to subscribe via phone! I'll need to research that. My novel is about a college wrestler (yes, he frequents bb.com) who gets embroiled in some... sketchy things to improve his performance, has eating issues, and has an affair with his coach. It's pretty dark. I've been working on it since last August, doing tons of research into wrestling--which is, in fact, fascinating. I want to learn grappling myself now.

    I'm not actually SBD'ing EVERY time I lift... my shoulders are cranky and I don't think benching 3 x per week is wise. Also, I sometimes sub out front squats for squats, or rack pulls or snatch grip deads for regular deads.

    @zipper hey nice to see you here! I am actually REALLY enjoying the lifting. It feels so good on my body--running had stopped feeling good and just hurt.

    @LaCroix, salute right back atcha! I'd love it if you'd like to read my novel--want to see the first 2/3 of it? PM me if you're up for it. I should say--I get loose with grammar and syntax on the forums, but I am in fact literate, promise. An editing eye is, of course, always more than welcome. <3 And I feel you on not feeling like a 'real runner.' I'm there now, though I do have some hope of building up my body, getting strong, and then tackling the sport again once I've got a really solid infrastructure, know what I mean?

    Swimming is pretty fun. Means I can do pretty well in sprint tris, too, since most triathletes can't really swim. I may have to do another one of those this year.



    Okay guys!

    Yesterday was day off. (I work all day Sunday, zero time for gym).

    Today's workout:

    22 min row (5043m, PR!)
    8 min elliptical easy

    pulse squats, wide stance pulse squats, glute bridge, single leg glute bridge, bulgarian split squat warmup (20 x each exercise)

    squats:
    bar x 12
    65lb x 10
    85lb x 10
    115lb x 5 x 5
    135lb x 2, 2, 1 (oof, was maybe too fatigued from doing cardio first?)

    deadlifts:
    135lb x 8 x 3
    155lb x 5 x 3
    175lb x 1 x 3

    behind-the-neck OHP:
    bar x 10
    50lb x 8, 8, 7
    bar x 8

    ass't chinups:
    30lb x 1
    40lb x 2 x 5 (usually do better but gassed by now, I guess)

    lateral raises:
    8lb x 10 x 4

    rear delt fly:
    8lb x 10
    7.5lb x 10 x 3

    scapula pushups x 3 x 5 (been having pain around scapula, hoping this would help)


    I went into this workout a bit sleep-deprived and also may need to rethink where I position my cardio. Problem is, if I don't do it before the workout I don't feel properly loosened up (especially shoulders and core)... and I'm so unmotivated to do any cardio AFTER I lift... maybe I'll just keep things as is and perhaps do the extra minutes of elliptical after the workout, but keep the rowing in front?

    Happy Monday, guys!
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    I figured it out, switched to desktop view, subscribed, then switched back to mobile view lol.

    When I said I SBD every day, I don't specifically mean I low-bar, competition bench, and sumo deadlift every day...things like fronts count as squats and rack pulls would count as deads.

    Novel sounds interesting. I'm not much of an editor, but could give opinions if you wanted. Your stand up material that you shared was interesting, so I figure you have creative talent.

    I have no advice on cardio, since after calling it quits running, I've had no desire to do any at all (outside of a tiny bit during prep because I decided I'd rather do cardio than eat even less).

    Meh on the not real runner thing...the only people I've ever met who were so elitist that they freaked out about so-called "hobbyjoggers" not being real runners, were the sub-sub-elites who were pissed they weren't good enough and never would be good enough to make that final leap into elite or sub-elite territory. And even then it wasn't all sub-sub-elites...just the bitter ones who were still in denial about their own lack of talent. Everyone else respected everyone from the front of the pack to the back of the pack for at least trying.
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    sadly, life is a marathon shesprints's Avatar
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    @V02, it's interesting that you don't miss running. I still miss the rush of it... it's not precisely the same with lifting. But I can't get that rush unless i'm in great running shape--which is impossible right now--so I guess it's a moot point.

    I may be killing my gainz with cardio, but I AM trying to cut right now and it's already really hard for me, bleh. I feel like I'd definitely get stronger faster if I ate more, but then I also worry I'd gain a lot of fat and feel sluggish.

    Speaking of the cut, today is a rough day. Yesterday I may have pushed a little too hard... I wound up really dazed and lethargic and moody yesterday and then just ravenous today, woke up multiple times at night hungry... just lame. I've been doing pretty well on <1800 cal/day, but today is going to be strugglebus, I can tell. My brain feels kinda foggy. I'm eating >200g/day carbs, but idk, feel lousy.

    I swam anyway with the Masters' Team:

    Swim--2200 yards

    650 warmup
    10 x 200 as
    (100 kick or drill, 50 fast, 50 ez)
    2 x 200 smooth breathing every 5 on 3:30
    150 as stroke/free, IM order

    50s fast were in ~41 each, strokes feel stronger since I've been lifting more!
    Butterfly (which I did for a bit of warmup, plus at the end) has never felt better. Glad to progress on that.


    I'm seeing my nutritionist today, so I'll talk to her about my diet, but I have a feeling I'll just be gritting my teeth through dinner and go to bed early. Sometimes it's hard eating an early dinner, though, because I won't be able to sleep and then wind up even hungrier. Ngh.
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    I thought I would miss it, and when I didn't, I felt sooo guilty. Which makes no logical sense, I know. I think it just had run its course (no pun intended). I've always had a love hate relationship with it (which I think is common) and at the end, it was way more hate than anything. I've been told that very, very few people actually reach their genetic limits, but I think I had come really freaking close in all but the marathon (which I think I still had some figuring out to do, unfortunately training for that one is the biggest time commitment), and seeing the amount of work I was putting in just to maintain where I was was getting frustrating. It wasn't worth the solo 100 mile weeks, the 4am speedwork in the snow, etc anymore, and I had set such a high standard for myself for so long that I wasn't able to mentally get my head around being anything but that runner. It also didn't help that the marathon trials standard got faster for 2016 and put it from "if the stars align perfectly" to "no way in hell."

    Re: diet. Yeah, you'll get stronger faster if you eat more. I guarantee you won't get fat and soft if you bulk at a reasonable rate, but I also know that's a near impossible thing to get your head around as a former endurance athlete, it's something you have to do on your own timeline. If you do have any questions about how I personally did it or want pictures from that time, hit me up in PM or on Facebook...obviously I don't have it figured out or do things perfectly, but at least it's an example from someone who has walked a similar path.
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    Nice work and good luck. Congrats on reaching the end of the novel? Whether first draft or fifth, it's always a great feeling to reach the end.
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    Would love to read what you've got so far. I'm always looking for something new & different to check out. I'll PM you!

    As for building a solid infrastructure, I think that's an excellent plan. As taxing as it can be, running doesn't do much for building a strong foundation/base but it surely benefits from one.

    I'm the same as you with eating early dinner & then not being able to sleep. There are those days where you feel ravenous, then there are those days where you can kick ass on the same amount of calories. I don't know if I'll ever understand it. I did a similar thing (as you read) with going a bit too hard & paying for it the next day when I couldn't satiate my hunger.
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    sadly, life is a marathon shesprints's Avatar
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    @V02maxima, I very much relate to what you're saying. I think I will possibly start a slow bulk or at least recomp after I finish my cut (around June). But we'll see where my goals take me. Like you say, I'd like one last crack at some running event--perhaps trying to do decently at the Fifth Avenue Mile in September. I just love that race, and I hate that my last time was over 6 minutes.

    @Fiction, I haven't quite finished yet--I had to rewrite the ending--but I'm hackin away at it. I'm a perfectionist, which doesn't help. But thanks! I find a lot of the habits that make for a successful fitness life also make for a successful writing life; I finished the bulk of the first draft simply setting myself a daily word goal and meeting it no matter what. How do you write?

    @LaCroix, I hit you up by PM. And YEAH it's so funny how it works some days, right? I think I was just drained yesterday. Today I made myself push through swimming without an extra snack between breakfast and lunch, and now I feel my appetite clock has been reset. Hoping things stay calm.


    Just swam today. Mostly drills, some short speedwork. My butterfly has gotten way better, I think because my core is stronger from lifting.

    Swim--2200 yards

    250 free w/u
    4 x 100 as 75 free, 25 stroke (butterfly)
    5 x 125 as 50 stroke (butterfly), 25 kick fast, 50 free
    6 x 50 easy on 1:00
    4 x 25 kick on back
    4 x 100 as scull, drill per stroke, drill, drill per stroke (got down to 11 strokes per length)
    3 x 50 with 25 fast in each
    4 x 25 kick on back


    Feeling good! Going to lift tomorrow, but going lighter, not as intense.

    OH, and I'm also going to try an intro BJJ class this weekend. All that writing about and researching wrestling has gotten me really intrigued by grappling. Wish me luck.
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    Originally Posted by shesprints View Post
    @Fiction, I haven't quite finished yet--I had to rewrite the ending--but I'm hackin away at it. I'm a perfectionist, which doesn't help. But thanks! I find a lot of the habits that make for a successful fitness life also make for a successful writing life; I finished the bulk of the first draft simply setting myself a daily word goal and meeting it no matter what. How do you write?
    Ooo swimming is fun though I rarely do it anymore. Great cardio option. As for my writing, I'm a bit chaotic in that I work on too many projects at once. Some months I manage to write a little something every day, others not so much. I'm in the middle of finishing the first draft in a contemporary YA novel right now. I have a fantasy one that needs rewritten because it ended up 180,000 words but lacks some worldbuilding and such. I also have a sci-fi type YA that has been rewritten and edited, so I need to put the time in researching agents and take the plunge in submitting a query. Have at least 5 other novels in varying stages of works in progress too. So, I'm a bit scattered but always finding something to work on along with moderating a writing web site. Always fun to find other writers to chat with about the craft. :-)
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    In terms of cardio/lifting, it depends on how much cardio you want to do. If you want to do cardio first, then I would keep it short so it doesn't take too much energy from your lifting. If you want some longer sessions, I would try to do them separately from the lifting if that's feasible.

    When I do cardio (which isn't all that often I must admit), I try to keep them in separate sessions from my lifting, so I have enough energy for both. I don't think I could motivate myself to do cardio after lifting. I'm usually just in want of breakfast at that point.

    My favorite way to warm up is with ramping sets, i.e. you take away reps as you add weight until you get to your working weight. That gives me a chance to practice the lift and acclimate to heavy weights without tiring myself out first. I'll also do some bodyweight work like chain squats and band pullaparts, but usually 10-20 reps before I do the ramping sets.

    Hope this helps. I tend to poke my head into people's journal's and babble. It's even worse that I'm on vacation and not really lifting.
    You can't help the hopeless.

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    Every time someone types BJJ, my mind skips the second J and I read it as blow job lol. Paging Artemis, this is your domain, GTFIH (ju jujitsu, not blow jobs lol).

    If you want one more shot at a race.....I'm going to say go for it. If that's really gnawing at you, you don't want to wonder "what if?" and you certainly don't want that "what if" holding back your lifting training either. Once you truly turn yourself over to lifting, I think it may be hard to go back. If you made me guess, I suspect my 5K time right now would be ~6 minutes slower than my PR (I could still run 8 minute miles, right? Maybe?), but even that would be uuuugly and I'd be in sad shape the next day. And any farther than that, forget it, that'd be DNF-land. And I suspect it would take 1-2 years to get back to where I was...time to strip muscle (and fat) and rebuild the aerobic engine. Lift supplementally, but run hard until that last race. And hey, just because you start training for it, doesn't mean you can't change your mind. I had actually started to train for one last half, wanted a sub-1:25 (I had run 1:25:something for like three separate races, I think). It was after I had started to dabble with lifting, but decided to backburner it for one more race. I made it about five weeks into the training block and called it quits...I think that was when I really, truly realized the desire to be fast was gone. So it's not like you can't change your mind partway through run training...it's just that IMO it's tough to go back the other way, given that you knew what you once had and, knowing how you approached running, you probably won't be satisfied settling for a time that resulted from anything but a proper training cycle. It's not like you'd be a weightlifter who was dabbling with running for the first time and were okay with starting running at ground zero...you were already near the top of your ability, and that's something that would take time to get back to.

    Omg I keep typing out novels to send to you or put in your log, sorry about that lol.
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    @Fiction, I love hearing about other people's writing! I know what you mean about 'scattered'--I'm always writing about 18 things at a time. Fanfiction to blow off steam... historical fiction (right now I'm obsessed with WW II)... I don't really do sci fi/fantasy because I'd rather research real-world stuff, but I absolutely love reading it from others if you ever feel like sharing. Do you swim or did you swim in school? Seems like most swimmers I meet started off in either grade school or high school. Me, I didn't learn until a few years ago, when I injured myself running. But I've taken to it like a fish to water. Pun intended.


    @Partyrocking, I typically work out between breakfast and lunch, so I'm not going in fasted, but doing excessive cardio may be a habit I have to break. I just don't consider it a workout without cardio! Lifting alone, I'm like, meh. Maybe once my cut is over I'll also cut back on cardio. Right now I'm afraid of changing any moving pieces in my routine. I did try doing less cardio before lifting today and doing a little cooldown afterwards and it seemed to work well.

    @V02, are you kidding? I love it that you have so much to say, particularly because your story really resonates with me. I think I need to remind myself that building up to running fitness does take time and patience, and perhaps that isn't a project that I want to take up most of my life right now--because when I was serious about it, it totally consumed me, and to the deteriment of other things. I.e. I definitely wasn't strong, had ZERO arm muscle, didn't even LOOK that great imho... and didn't feel that great... so is it worth it? I guess maybe not. THE THING IS, though, I was able to run a sub-6:00 mile with minimal training, so that at least doesn't seem like a crazy goal. I mean, seriously, I barely ever ran more than 30 miles per week at the time. But then, I was younger, too. Hm. I do think that sprinting goals may be more attainable because they're more balanced with lifting? Like, my 200m time may go down. Maybe I'm reaching here, but that's much more my thing than distance. Maybe when I'm fitter I'll throw in some sprinter-style tempo runs to get in condition (100m sprint/100m glide). We'll see. The trick is not hurting myself.



    SO I lifted today--was crunched for time before a lesson I had to give so only did legs. I'm trying to really hit supporting muscles because I want to avoid knees caving during squats, so I'm doing the adductor/abductor machines. I'm also doing calf raises. Calves. Sigh. The burn is real. Front squats are feeling much better, though. I did these slow and controlled and worked up to what is for me a decent weight--my old pre-injury front squat PR was 132lb, and I probably am close to that now, were I to go for a 1 RM. But then, I'm super quad dominant, so there you go.

    Snatch grip deads are SO much harder for me than regular deads. Weight of 125 is because I use the female bar, otherwise I can't get my hands around it in wide grip. And it was still hard compared to RDLs, wtf. I split up my cardio around the workout like so:


    Row: 3300 m in 15 minutes

    warmup: close stance pulse squats, wide stance pulse squats, unweighted Bulgarian split squats, glute bridge, single-leg glute bridges x 20 each

    front squat:
    bar x 12
    65lb x 10
    85lb x 8 x 3
    95lb x 5 x 3
    115lb x 2 x 2

    good mornings:
    bar x 12
    65lb x 10
    85lb x 10
    95lb x 8 x 3

    snatch grip deadlift:
    125lb x 8 x 5

    leg press machine calf raise:
    200lb x 25 x 4

    leg extension:
    50lb x 10 x 4

    abductor:
    110lb x 10 x 4

    adductor:
    110lb x 10 x 4


    15 minute cooldown on elliptical

    Now I'm off to a coffee date with a Miscer. For real. Should be fun.
    Last edited by shesprints; 03-10-2016 at 03:12 PM.
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    That's true, I forgot about how you'll still have that "easy time" you can hit on a minimum of training for a while early on, so you'll likely still have that for Fifth Avenue Mile. I went to this random for-fun 5K that was put on for a bunch of the chiropractic schools...this was maybe 4-5 months after I had stopped running completely. I still managed like 21 minutes or something like that...first time I had run in months lol. I couldn't do that *now,* and you'll eventually lose the 6 minute mile on a minimum of training, but what will happen is that 135lb squat that probably seems hard now, that'll become your new "easy squat on a minimum of training." And it'll go up from there...I think a 225 squat is about the same effort for me now as a 6 minute mile was then. Give it two years of lifting with the same intensity you trained running and you'll be there too. Btw, if your front squat is currently 115x2, I would not be surprised if you had a low-bar around 160-175 right now, just would need to get comfortable with the movement.
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    V02, I love your analogies between lifting and running--it really helps me out. I do feel them similarly, actually--especially squats. Reminds me of the intense deep burn it takes to hold a 5k pace, but compressed. I used to be able to squat 175 back when I was training to run the 400. I don't know if I can do that now, especially since my front squat has always been a stronger lift for me, likely because I'm quad-dominant. We'll see. I do think 135 is not my true max. I may try 145 at some point and see if I can get it up.


    Today was just a swim to recover; tomorrow I lift. If I feel reallllly good, I'll try squatting 145. But the focus tomorrow is going to be bench, assisted chinups, and upper body accessory lifts since I focused on legs yesterday. I'm PSYCHED to bench. I've made huge gains [for me] since I started lifting seriously in mid-January--gone from 75 feeling hard to 95 being doable. I'd love to crack 100. I feel like it's having great impact on my pushups, too, as has the increased strength in my core from compound lifts.


    Swim--2200 yards

    600 w/u breathing every 5

    3 x
    (4 x 25 descending on :30
    50 fast in 42, 41, 41
    50 ez)
    2 x 25 fast

    2 x
    50 as 25 fly/25 free
    2 x
    75 as 50 breast/25 free
    2 x
    100 as 50 back, 50 free
    2 x
    125 free fast in 1:51 each

    50 as 25 fly/25 free
    75 as 50 breast/25 free
    75 as 50 back/25 free

    Shoulders felt a lot better today, likely due to not training upper body yesterday. Strokes were smooth and long. I'm also getting faster! I'm in the third-fastest lane of practice and was the fastest one there today. Not bad. Butterfly has improved, too. Backstroke is still TERRIBLE. Like really awful. It's hard not being able to see where I'm going.

    Happy Friday all!
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    Originally Posted by shesprints View Post
    @Fiction, I love hearing about other people's writing! I know what you mean about 'scattered'--I'm always writing about 18 things at a time. Fanfiction to blow off steam... historical fiction (right now I'm obsessed with WW II)... I don't really do sci fi/fantasy because I'd rather research real-world stuff, but I absolutely love reading it from others if you ever feel like sharing. Do you swim or did you swim in school? Seems like most swimmers I meet started off in either grade school or high school. Me, I didn't learn until a few years ago, when I injured myself running. But I've taken to it like a fish to water. Pun intended.
    Great lifting going on there. For the swimming, I rarely have done it in so many years. I learned more as a kid as the pool was only open during summer. Didn't have one in high school or much being in small town Wyoming. Plus had minor dislike for swimsuits being overweight/obese for so long. But I do like to swim when I get a chance and have access to a decent pool. My old gym had one but new gym is much smaller so no pool at this time.
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    @Novels--Great lifting, you say, yet I'm looking at your PRs and 'mirin' hard. Too bad about no pool at your gym!


    I was in a bit of a rush today before work, so I had to compress my workout. I also didn't do anything too intense because I have BJJ training tomorrow and didn't want to wreck myself. Oh, also I got my period today. I went off BC a few months ago and am so happy I'm getting a cycle. PMS isn't too bad, but may explain my heightened appetite and fatigue this week.

    Rowing--23:00, 5125m

    warmup: close stance pulse squats, wide stance pulse squats, unweighted Bulgarian split squats, glute bridge, single-leg glute bridges x 20 each

    squats:
    bar x 12
    65lb x 10
    95lb x 8 x 5

    rack pulls:
    135lb x 15
    155lb x 10 x 2
    175lb x 6 x 2
    195lb x 3 x 3

    assisted chinups:
    30lb of assistance x 2 x 5

    bench press:
    bar x 15
    65lb x 10
    75lb x 8 x 3
    85lb x 4, 2, 3

    bicep curls:
    20lb x 8, 8, 6, 5

    triceps pushdowns:
    40lb x 10 x 2, 50lb x 10 x 2


    I actually like bicep curls now. What is even happening. I like how I have to brace my whole body to really feel the contraction in my biceps.

    Also, squats today felt SUPER easy, but I wanted to get some volume in and work on perfect form (ATG, knees not caving, chest upright, etc.). I think I did pretty well. Wobbly knees on a few.
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    Glad squats are feeling easier. Whether or not you choose to go ATG is dependent upon your goals and your geometry, but always good to get your form down. I'm working on squat form too...trying to pull hips through and stay a bit more upright. We'll see how that goes lol.

    Hormones would definitely explain fatigue and appetite. They also affect my strength in the gym...which is unfortunate because it's not something where you can be like "Okay body, I have a meet coming up, time for follicular phase, kthnx." Interesting article, btw: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4236309/ Not that I periodize my training around my uterus (see what I did there?), but it has some cool information.
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    HA, periodize. Nice pun. I'm also working on staying upright in the squat; a trainer at the gym today said that I was coming up first with my hips and that the weak link was my core not staying engaged. I said that I thought training front squats would help with that, and he agreed, and said that it seemed like I was doing everything I needed to do. So hopefully hitting front squats hard will help with that. I do plan to continue doing that.

    That said, I did set another post-injury squat PR today--150lb! I'm psyched. I also deadlifted more than I have in awhile, though I don't like to push deadlifts or test 1RM with that, really. Finally, V02max's journal inspired me to do some face pulls and other rear delt work... my rear delts need it, and I have persistent shoulder soreness on the left side.


    I also think doing less cardio pre-lift helped. I did 15 minutes pre- and 15 post-workout, and that seems like a good sweet spot for me right now.


    15 minutes row--3333 m

    usual warmup

    squats:
    bar x 15
    65lb x 12
    95lb x 10
    115lb x 8
    135lb x 3 x 3
    145lb x 2
    150lb x 1 (PR!)
    135lb x 1
    115lb x 5 x 3

    deadlifts:
    135lb x 10 x 2
    155lb x 6 x 3
    180lb x 2

    lat pushdown:
    40lb x 12 x 4 (I seriously feel these in abs, too)

    lat pulldown:
    70lb x 10 x 4

    rear delt fly:
    8lb x 10 x 4

    plank x 1:00, superman x 1:00
    (hitting that core)


    15 min elliptical




    OH! I also did a trial BJJ class with SpicyPrice on Sunday (plus another friend). We really loved it, but the cost of taking lessons there is super high, so I'm going to try out another place that also does Muay Thai and see how that goes.
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    If you're coming too far forward on your squat, it also could be a lack of upper back tightness. I would make sure you're keeping your back tight and bracing your core properly. It may not be a strength issue but an activation problem.

    Front squats will help with both core/upper back strength strength and tightness. You'll drop the bar if your back isn't tight enough (especially with a clean grip), so it should be a good diagnostic tool.

    I used to hide from them like they were the plague, but my back squats have only gotten better since I added them in.
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    Originally Posted by shesprints View Post
    @Novels--Great lifting, you say, yet I'm looking at your PRs and 'mirin' hard. Too bad about no pool at your gym!
    Thanks. We all start somewhere. Around 1.5 years ago I was working on lifting just the bar. Keep at it and you'll do great.
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    Originally Posted by shesprints View Post
    HA, periodize. Nice pun. I'm also working on staying upright in the squat; a trainer at the gym today said that I was coming up first with my hips
    Yeah I do that too...there are certain body proportions that make it more common too. I'm not sure it's a core weakness problem so much as a glute tightness problem. Work on keeping your entire body tight, keep your elbows down and pull the bar hard into your back, focus on pushing through with your hips (like you're humping the air), and keep your chest up. Videos might help tell what you're doing too, if you ever feel like recording yourself. And come to one of the weekend classes in Syracuse because I guarantee you'll get a thousand helpful tips lol. Congrats on the PR!

    And deadlift max attempts are far less scary than squat max attempts...sure, they are harder and take way more mental effort (at least IMO), but at least if you miss, the bail is really easy.

    Lol I gave up on lat pushdown because I felt them in my core but not my lats.

    Oh! I finally started reading your novel. Good stuff so far! Haven't gotten that far into it yet though, will let you know as I get further.
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    @Partyrocking, I already do front squats once a week and am quite good at them relative to my back squat, so I think I may need to do more core-specific work? My abs are either weak or fail to engage, one of the two.

    @Fiction thank you. Yeah, I'm hoping for a steep improvement curve... so far so good. I'm pretty determined once I decide to do something.

    @V02, aha, yes, lat pushdowns ARE mostly something I feel in my abs and that's exactly why I do them. Maybe I ought to rename the exercise, since they don't really target that muscle group for me. But I need the ab work, right? I also think I may add in weighted crunches or decline crunches, more hanging leg raises, and likely weighted planks. I don't know what you mean by 'glute tightness' problem--you mean I may be losing tightness in my glutes? I'll definitely use all the cues you gave me, though.

    I WAY prefer max squat attempts to deadlift because, well, first I always use safety bars so bailing is no problem; and secondly, I've never hurt myself squatting but have hurt myself deadlifting (my back) so I'm terrified of that happening again.

    Oooh. So psyched you're reading it! AH! I need motivation to get my act together and finish the thing already. And then submit to agents. I'm scared.




    Yesterday I wound up crashing hardcore after my workout--I think I went too long without eating, plus it was a hard one. I ought to know better by now. Wound up super exhausted all day and still kind of sore today. Swam anyway, but didn't push incredibly hard.


    Swim--2200 yards

    6 x 75 as free/back/free
    4 x 50 kick on back
    6 x 100 free on 1:40
    50 fast
    :30 rest
    50 fast
    100 ez
    50 fast
    :30 rest
    50 fast
    100 ez
    50 fast
    250 ez
    50 fast
    200 ez
    25 fly/25 free

    (50s fast in 37-42 each)


    There were supposed to be more strokes in there, but I just did mostly free and threw on a tiny bit of butterfly at the end.

    Whew. I'm reading a book about Navy SEAL training... even if they did take women, I would never survive.
    "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously."
    --Hubert Humphrey

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  26. #26
    RE1GN in Blood VO2Maxima's Avatar
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    Your front squat is already closer to your back squat percentage-wise than most people, so I don't think that's targeting the weakness...though front squats and high bar will certainly help you to keep a more upright position. I really think it's probably more of a form thing, where you're not engaging your glutes and shoving your hips though, but it's hard to tell without seeing you in person or at least seeing a video. When I say glute tightness, I mean keeping them engaged and contracted throughout the lift. So before you descend (after you unrack the bar and between reps), you could try doing a quick split-second maximal contraction, just to feel them out, and that might help keep them engaged too. I think I'm doing a terrible job of describing this...I'll try to grab video on Thursday for you (I think that's my next low-bar day?).
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  27. #27
    sadly, life is a marathon shesprints's Avatar
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    When I'm less embarrassed about being a relative noob, I will take videos (I also need to figure out how to do that on my phone). I do really want to come train with you! And I think you're right about glute tightness. I tried to cue that on front squats this time and felt a difference for sure.


    I took it relatively easy on weight today because I've been feeling fried... and my nutritionist said that in terms of fat loss, doing workouts that are too intense can sometimes be counterproductive. Trying to be patient and focus on form and tightness. I also did more abs.


    Rowing--16:00, 3535 m
    4 min elliptical to loosen up legs

    usual warmup (pulse squats etc.)

    band pullaparts x a lot forward and behind the neck

    front squats:
    bar x 12
    65lb x 10
    85lb x 8
    95lb x 5 x 5

    snatch grip deadlifts:
    125lb x 8 x 5 (this was really easy but focused on ab + upper back tightness)

    ass't chinups:
    25lb x 1.5
    40lb x 3 x 5

    bench press:
    bar x 15
    65lb x 10
    75lb x 6 x 4

    decline situp:
    no wt x 12, 8lb x 12, 12lb x 12 x 2

    hanging leg raise x 10 x 4

    weighted plank x :30 x 2 (not sure what weight, used sandbag--40lb or 50lb? pretty heavy)

    10 min elliptical cooldown


    This workout took a strangely long time.

    But I'm glad I worked abs! I guess I'm trying to cover all of my bases here in terms of what my squat weakness is. If it's core, I'm hitting that. If front squats can help, doing those. Maybe I should train glutes more, but I've never done bb hip thrusts before and man, would those make me feel self-conscious. But perhaps will try next time in gym.
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    Originally Posted by shesprints View Post
    When I'm less embarrassed about being a relative noob, I will take videos (I also need to figure out how to do that on my phone). I do really want to come train with you! And I think you're right about glute tightness. I tried to cue that on front squats this time and felt a difference for sure.
    Guest room is officially set up. As long as you promise not to be a creeper and steal my squat shoes, you're welcome to stay.

    Lol I did hip thrusts for a little and then gave up on them...I mainly do SLDL and other deadlift variations for glutes. You could also do hip thrusts on the leg extension machine, as below:
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  29. #29
    Neckbeard -Lucifer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shesprints View Post
    Maybe I should train glutes more, but I've never done bb hip thrusts before and man, would those make me feel self-conscious. But perhaps will try next time in gym.


    I was going to suggest the BB glute bridge. You have no idea how much it helped my squat, deadlift and any other exercise that requires you to fire your glutes (most of them). Start with 3 sets of 8-12 reps. Make sure you wrap a small towel over the bar or use the puss-pad. The puss-pad works like a charm.
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  30. #30
    sadly, life is a marathon shesprints's Avatar
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    V02, I would never steal your squat shoes. (Wait. What size are your feet? I'm an 8...) Actually, I just squat in regular old shoes, and never understood the point of squat shoes. The heels are elevated, no? Why does that improve form, don't you want flat heels?

    Thanks for stopping by, Lucifer, you're a real pal. I think I'm going to try ship thrust when I'm in the gym tomorrow.

    I've been feeling a little run down (slightly sick? Or maybe just getting there... my immune system always sorta sucks while I'm cutting). So yesterday and today were just cardio.


    Yesterday:

    30 minute row, 6400 m
    10 min elliptical (1.05 mi)


    Today, swim:

    2200 yards

    300 warmup
    2 x 100 IM kick, then IM
    12 x 25 1 fast/3 ez
    2 x 200 pull on 3:20
    100 kick
    12 x 25 1 fast/1 ez
    2 x 150 pull on 2:30
    12 x 25 3 fast/1 ez

    (fast 25s in 17-18 each)


    Went okay, but now I'm lying in bed after work still feeling bleh. Will go relatively easy tomorrow but try hip thrusts, like I said. What weight to start?
    "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously."
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