piranha: red origami crane (Default)
since i now know that i am serious about lifting heavy, and the rack i got fits me so badly, i decided to take advantage of the black friday craziness to buy a power rack.

1000 lb capacity. that'll do me for a while, *snrk*. the holes are 1.5" apart on centre, so that'll make it pretty easy to put the bar pretty much where i need it.

it has a dip station (that'll be great for my main functional assistance exercise, dips, so i can learn to hoist myself out of the kayak properly), and a chin-/pull-up bar.

i didn't get the lat attachment, though i will miss it a little. it would make the whole assembly protrude too far into the living room. the paramour does some exercises for which it would be useful; if we have room after we move, we can buy it then if we need it. we will probably move within the year, but no idea yet where.

it'll be nice to work out with actual safeties in place. not that i need them quite yet, but i am getting closer, and it'll be reassuring, especially while i wobble on bench. i had looked up alternate safety procedures for dumping weights, and they're all dangerous to any cats that might be in the vicinity, which is a non-starter.

i also got resistance bands so i can do assisted dips and chin-/pull-ups. and an olympic dumbbell handle.

now i just gotta build a bench that fits me. that'll be relatively easy.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
1x5 @ 45lb
5x5 @ 55lb

pendlay row
5x5 @ 80lb

goblet squats
5x5 @ 8.5lb

1x1 @ 45lb

DB row
5x10 @ 33.5lb

5 min light cardio.
10 min general mobility.
5 min shoulder mobility.

bench. my form sucks giant boulders through a very tiny straw. i don't know that there is anything good about it at all. well, no, my grip and wrists are fine. but i wobble around on the bench. tried pavel's aggro trick, and while that solidified my shoulders and arms, my body still just kinda blubbered over the edges, and i felt my back was hyperextended. i need to take this lift apart in detail. had no trouble with the weight, at least.

rows. those went well. solid, good form. i am starting to feel the weight, but it is no problem yet. wrist curl problem is under control, though i can feel they want to do it... want to ... want to... but no. not permitted.

ATG squat 3:50 min.

goblet squats, with dumbbell. oh yeah. these are good for me, and my shoulders are happy to get some rest. i have pretty good form, i think, and i got out of the hole every time without twisting. they are amazing for my hip flexors. did one full squat with the oly bar at the end, just to keep it fresh in my mind, since it remains the goal.

single-arm dumbbell rows. i have run out of weights for this, *heh* (whoever expected that would happen). i'll need to buy or build myself a handle for the olympic weights. i like adding dumbbell exercises because with barbells my dominant side might pull more, while with dumbbells there are no excuses for the weaker side.

except for the bad bench form, this felt like a very good workout. i was fed just right too; protein smoothie sufficiently ahead of time to not slosh around in my stomach.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
2x30sec BW

side planks
4x15sec BW

glutes bridge
2x30sec @ 10lb

twist lunges
2x10 @ 10lb

2x10 BW

bar pushups
2x5 BW

goblet squats
2x5 8.5lb

alright. my core is still way weaker than it needs to be to properly follow SL5x5. so, whenever i feel recovered from the full workout the day before, i'll do a couple of circuits of core exercises.

i was feeling pretty good today, and put together a mini core workout of exercises i can do without any extra todo. i'll tinker with this as i do more research. will probably add assisted pullups and inverted rows when i get equipment.

the planks are full planks on toes and elbows.

the side planks still have knees on the ground. puny obliques.

the lunges are twist-lunges. man, i still have balance issues, though they are getting better -- but the lunges show them very clearly. i think i'll stick to plain lunges for now and do something else for the obliques; maybe bicycle crunches.

the pushups are against the bar in the lowest hole in my rack.

this might have been a little much for a starter; i am more worn out than after a SL5x5 workout.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
overhead press
1x5 @ 45lb
5x5 @ 50lb

5x5 @ 80lb

3x5 @ 45lb
2x5 BW

bench dips
5x5 BW

3x45sec BW

feeling weak and exhausted. didn't sleep well the last 3 nights; nightmares, waking up repeatedly in a cold sweat. guess that would explain it right there, except i can't think of a cause for the crappy dreams. *sigh*. i HATE being weak.

anyway. workout.
5 min light cardio.
10 min general mobility.
5 min shoulder mobility.

OHP started with the empty bar which felt heavy and wobbly. added 5 lb for the 2nd set and that felt so heavy i fought for the last rep, and my form was shite. sat down to rest and mope. then i remembered something i read last week by pavel tsatsouline, about "irradiation", which is meant to commandeer all muscles even remotely connected to get involved in the lift:
• squeeze the weight as if you are trying to crush it to pulp
• squeeze your glutes as if pinching a coin with them
• tighten your abs as if bracing for a punch
this wasn't entirely new information, but pavel gives it that extra aggressive russian comrade *ooomph*. so i went all aggro at the bar and put the advice into action for the 3rd set. and lo and behold, while the weight didn't get "whimsically light" as pavel claims, it went up straight and with good form, without wobbling at all, and no fighting to get the last rep in. same for sets 4 - 6. wow. ok. when i thought my core was tight before, it wasn't actually TIGHT.

deadlift is still easy. i've now realized that there is no reason to keep it to 1 set, not while the weight is easy for me. so i'm gonna do more sets while i can. i am also keeping both up and down movements slow and concentrated; more time under tension is good. i could feel this in my hamstrings and glutes today, yay.

did ATG squat of 4 min before squats, and some extra shoulder mobility, but my shoulders hurt badly. could not keep very tight, did not go parallel. could not pull myself together. i am considering moving the squats to their own day; they're depressing my workout no matter where i put them, so isolating them might be psychologically better. did get through 3 sets with the bar, but then my shoulders were screaming again. honestly, i feel i do a better job and build more strength without the bar at this point. i might do goblet squats instead.

bench dips. i am moving maybe 5 cm, and my triceps burn. yeah, this is what i need to do more of. interestingly enough this does not tax my shoulders horribly. i need to look more closely at my anatomy book to tease apart just exactly what about the arm position in the squat hurts so much.

planks. increased duration to 45 sec each.

except for the squats, this was a good workout.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
bench press
5x1 @ 45lb
5x5 @ 50lb

pendlay row
5x5 @ 75lb

2x5 BW
3x5 @ 45lb

dumbbell row
3x10 @ 33.5lb

still very tired from the attack, and my chest hurt (just from the heart hammering around in it for 16 hours, no acute pain). but i didn't even debate working out. since my workout time fell around dinner time, i was a bit worried the paramour would want to go out for dinner since it's my birthday -- and then i would have to weigh working out against dinner (a potentially losing proposition for working out) -- but he forgot. ;) (that is not a big deal in our family, sometimes i forget myself.)

5 min light cardio.
10 min general mobility.
6 min shoulder mobility.
ATG "third world" squat 3:45 min.

did a warm-up bench press with empty bar to try and incorporate what i learned from the new bench videos on SLIC. paid special attention to arching and keeping my shoulders on the bench. the working weight sets felt alright, but everything is just a little wobbly. i try to keep tight, but am overall not feeling all that comfortable on the bench. i suppose either that will come, or i'll build a new bench where my feet can reach the floor without wooden boards. nothing about this rack fits me well, but the primary issue isn't the bench, it's my softness in the core. i should do more planks.

rows went very well. nothing much to say. didn't video myself today; just not enough energy to bother. i think my form is good; nothing feels changed from last time. still lots of room for heavier weight. did a single deadlift at the end and held it for a while to work on grip strength.

putting the squats last now because they take the most out of me. started with bodyweight hybrid squats and tried to get depth. mostly felt ok. then put the oly bar on. shoulders hurt; bench does not warm them up as nicely as OHP, but it wasn't the screaming kind of pain until the 5th set. i might want to move shoulder mobility right before the squats. also, the holes in the rack are just wrong for me; either i have to stand on the balls of my feet to unrack, or go down too low.

i don't think i did a single squat to depth with the oly bar, *sigh*, and i was distracted by the pain, so i wasn't ever fully tight after the bodyweight sets. but i did 3 sets at 45 lb, my form wasn't twisty -- just not deep enough -- and so i am logging them anyway. i did feel a little like one of those pretend-squatters in the videos people on SLIC make fun of. *wry grin*. well, at least i know i'm not doing it as deeply as it should be done.

did 30 extra single-arm dumbbell rows for lats and grip strength. i am really feeling my lats tonight. and now i'll have ice cream. raspberry chocolate truffle cheesecake.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
5x5 BW
1x1 @ 45lb

overhead press
5x5 @ 47lb

2x5 @ 75lb

lat pulldowns
3x10 @ 50 lb

~16 hours tachycardia attack yesterday; that's not a personal record i was aiming for. was just about ready to head for the emergency room when it finally converted by itself. exhausted today. it's depressing to think that no matter how much i work to improve myself, the stuff that's debilitating me the worst is just not going away. thought of shifting workout to tomorrow, but the heart is a muscle and making it stronger is a good thing. and i've never yet had an attack from working out.

5 min light cardio.
10 min mobility, more on shoulders than anything else.

started with OHP but increased only by 2 lbs, which is probably sensible anyway. watched the 70sbig video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqKhLR1zRaU) again beforehand to remind myself of elbows to ribs, middle knuckles to ceiling, and paid special attention to keeping my core tight in order to avoid hyperextending my back (i know right away whenever my core collapses because my back instantly twitches).

squats with broomstick. trying for hybrid squat form, but didn't have enough energy to set up video, so no idea whether the form was good. since hybrids don't go into the hole, i didn't have the huge problems coming up. but my heart wasn't in it (ha ha).

pulled myself together, and did a full setup, de-rack, and walkout with the oly bar at the end, per what james from SLIC suggested (only more weight), because i felt i was letting myself be too cowed by giving in to being tired and depressed. and i wanted to see whether i was just blowing smoke when i say it's not fear of the weight holding me back, but the shoulders. since my shoulders were all nice and warm from the OHP, they didn't actually try to kill me, and i managed it alright (painful, but bearable). did one squat as a flourish, because i was already standing there, you know? so, yeah. it's not the weight scaring me. i LIKE the weight (that's easy to say now, *heh*). but i do. it feels like i am really doing something when there is weight on my back. it feels good.

deadlift felt fine after that, i threw in an extra set, and i ended the workout feeling emotionally much better than before, despite being even more tired. bed early tonight.

[edit: bed early but not quite yet. i felt so good that i needed to do something else, *heh*. so i added some lat pulldowns on top; they make me more conscious of where my lats actually are than anything else.]
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
5x5 BW

5x5 @ 45lb

pendlay rows
5x5 @ 70lb

single-arm dumbbell rows
5x10 @ 33.5lb

warmed up by doing yard work.

did some extra mobility work for the shoulders.

first time bench press on the actual bench with the oly bar. i had a bit of trouble figuring out exactly where to position the bench so i'd end up with the bar going straight up and down above my chest. i think the pins that came with this rack are too long; it never felt entirely comfortable no matter where i put the bench. need to look at more videos and this time concentrate on placement rather than movement. i am coming to the conclusion that i should build my own equipment. it's harder to maintain good form on the bench than on the floor because the bench does not support as much of my body. which means this is better for my stabilizing muscles. the empty bar is a bit squirrely, but i had no trouble with its weight.

rows went well, despite... ok, so i looked at mehdi's rows instruction from chicago, and it confused me. i thought i had figured out the pendlay row from watching glenn pendlay instruct max aita, and i thought SL5x5 did pendlay rows. but the demonstrations didn't look quite like pendlay. mehdi had people more more forward under the bar into deadlift position, and told them to pull the bar up towards the bottom of the rib cage rather than the lower chest. (this seemed near-impossible for guys with long legs). there was one guy there who did it pendlay style, but mehdi "corrected" him. he did not explain why doing it his way was better, what advantages it had. i rather watch rippetoe, who is a good teacher and explains the whys along with the hows.

mehdi's way doesn't work for me because i have a big belly, which restricts my range of motion when i pull towards the bottom of the rib cage. so i think i will just continue as before, because i feel those rows in the right places, even though that probably means form checks here will not be as useful. well, i am not getting those anyway, because there is some weird thing about not posting them while we're not lifting very heavy because that will change our form and it won't do much good to correct our form now (which is BS in my view; it always matters, and if anything, it matters most at the beginning when you start building new habits).

watched very carefully to curb my impulse to curl my wrists at the top of the movement, which seems kind of an intuitive error to get more RoM.

went back to the broomstick only for squats, to learn better high-bar squat form. and that's just not happening. very depressing, but i can't come up out of the hole without breaking form. i always thought i had decent lower body strength, but in fact... not so much. so i think my next best bet is a hybrid squat, and i need to investigate what else i can do to improve my posterior chain (other than more squatting and more squatting and more squatting -- maybe i should do actual box squats?). the shoulders hurting like they want to rip out of my body does not help with concentrating on form.

i'll try to console myself with thinking my bench and row and deadlift don't suck and are progressing well without anything hurting. did 50 extra dumbbell rows to cheer me up, which they did.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
5x5 @ 10lb

overhead press
5x5 @ 45lb

3x5 @ 70lb

3x30 sec BW

5 min light cardio.
12 min general mobility.
3 min kstar (kelly starrett, my mobility guru) ATG (ass-to-grass) squat test (slowly creeping up; goal is 10 comfortable minutes). i can keep my feet flat on the floor now without collapsing my arches, but my balance is incredibly precarious.

OHP was good. i did it first so i wouldn't be as affected by the shoulder issues from the squat. i didn't have good form in the first set, which showed itself by a little twitch in my back (i am guessing i hyperextended), so i tightened my core more and that did the trick. oly bar! finally! this is where most people on stronglifts 5x5 start out, *snicker*. i'll either need to microload very soon, and/or do accessory lifts; i think the progression of this program is too steep for weak ole me.

the kayak weighs 44 lbs, so now i could theoretically press it above my head for 5 reps; if i could get a solid grip to heave it up there. ;) i like that!

squats are killing me. both my shoulders and my hip flexors hurt, and i don't just mean "ache". i am glad i have an extra rest day. i am leaning too far forward for a high-bar squat, but i don't have the mobility in my shoulders yet for a low-bar squat. let's not even talk about going lower than parallel, which i should also do while using high-bar. i am still too impatient, i think, and am pushing my mobility issues too fast.

deadlift was also good. so good that i forgot this is the one lift where we don't do 5x5 but only 1x5, and did 3 sets before realizing it. well, it can't hurt since i wasn't struggling, and maintained what i think is decent form -- which is getting much more stable now that i am lifting a higher weight. i still haven't cut standard-sized plates which means the bar rests on a box at the start, which is slightly high. need to get to that.

added planks for abdominals. i am no longer as horribly shaky on these, so i think next time i can up the duration. i should also do side planks.

checked my nutrition log report for the last month. i am not eating enough protein, am a little low on potassium (but no cramps or major palpitations, so not an issue), also a bit short on calcium (been eating less cheese, that's why). otherwise everything seems ok. the protein is the biggest issue; getting most of my protein from plant sources is much more difficult, but i need to bring that up if i am lifting heavier and heavier weights. i am eating in a steady caloric deficit, which isn't what i am aiming for, but i just generally don't seem to be all that hungry, not even in workout days -- that's a big difference from when i last did exercise (aerobic), when i was always ravenous afterwards. i am feeling pretty good though; ticker has been behaving very well for 6 weeks now.

so now i am gonna have salmon sashimi for dinner. ;)
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
5x5 10lb

floor bench
5x5 43.5lb

pendlay rows
5x5 65lb

single-arm dumbbell rows
5x10 33.50lb

light cardio for 5 min.
general mobility for 10 min.
shoulder-specific mobility for ... umm, lost track. 6,7 min?

did squats with the improv bar and chain weights. shoulders were telling me that they did NOT appreciate any of what i subjected them to, but i got through all 5 sets. form on the last 2 was meh. i had to wait more than an hour before doing the other exercises. i think it might be best for me to do the squats last while my shoulders are getting used to the greater range of motion.

still had to do the bench with the curl bar one last time; didn't want to push the weight up too rapidly (though that was tempting since i accidentally did it for the OHP). still going well, with i hope decent form, except i was just a little shaky from the strain on the shoulders earlier.

rows went well; i do have good form on those and no back pain at all.

added single-arm dumbbell rows later in the evening to strengthen my back. sets are split between left and right arm. i gotta say, i am kinda impressed by the weight i can pull with those now. when i lugged the 40+ lb dumbbell case from canadian tire to the truck a few weeks ago i was struggling with it and had to set it down several times.

overall i am doing better on tightening my core, and concentrating on the moment -- it's always easier when i am alone and there are no interruptions. breathing still needs lots of work.

it was a good workout.

yesterday i cancelled my training with gloria in email. i kept it short and polite, didn't pile all the blame on her, gave as reasons that i started a strength-focussed lifting program that made additional workouts difficult, and that our recent personality clashes stressed me; told her to keep the money for the last few sessions. received no response at all; i was hoping she wasn't gonna bother the paramour about it instead, and fortunately she didn't. but it feels rude that she's just ignoring it. oh well. i'm done with the stress; that's what matters.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
2x5 @ 10 lb
3x5 BW

overhead press
5x5 @ 38.5 lb
1x2 @ 45 lb

1x5 @ 65 lb

did you know that there are 3 kinds of people in the world; those who can count and those who can't? ;)

i am clearly among the latter. was supposed to press with 28.5 lb but loaded the wrong plates and therefore pressed with 38.5. i did think it felt heavy and was a little down after the 4th set -- not that i was struggling, but my memory didn't think it should feel that heavy (it was right, of course). but then i checked the plates and facepalmed. also felt extra good after that, *grin*. it was heavy but i actually had no trouble lifting that weight. so at the end of it i had to try to lift the empty oly bar. and then do it again just to show myself. :D i can clearly see how much stronger i have already gotten, because when i bought the weights, that oly bar was HEAVY and i couldn't lift it above my head. it's still heavy, but i can lift it now!

no more curl bar for OHP and bench!

that made up for the terrible, bad form squats which i don't even want to talk about. i did 5 min light cardio and my mobility warmup first after feeling kinda blah all afternoon. i grunted at my hip flexors; it just annoyed me how tight they are. then i wrapped two bits of chain around the galvanized pipe to raise the weight for my improvised bar a little. but i don't think it was the weight. i was tired, and just not in the right head space; felt distracted, my mind was drifting, and i could barely get down to parallel. so i did sets 3-5 without weight just to try to get good form, but it did not happen. *grump*.

i pulled myself together for the press, which then went great, and the deadlift was also fine. no problem at all with the weight for the deadlift; lots of room to grow. i am keeping the increases to 5 lb so i have some hope to get the squat in line with it eventually, though some times i wonder whether i don't have a whole lot more power for the deadlift anyway.

i ate badly today too -- not bad food, just forgot about it for too long and then shoveled too much food into my maw because i was so hungry, which then laid in my stomach like a lead weight. i know this is dumb, and yet i let it happen too often.

but i exercised even though i did not feel like it. tomorrow is gloria, and i want to cancel.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
rested yesterday because 5 consecutive days of strength training is plenty.

6x5 8lb

bench (floor) press
5x5 43.5lb

pendlay row
5x5 60lb

3x 30 sec bodyweight (plus big, fat tomcat on 1st set, *snicker*)

using a 7 ft piece of galvanized plumbing pipe as my bar now, because this way i can rack it properly and get used to that. the additional weight was no problem, and it actually felt good to have some weight up top. but my grip is atrociously bad (very wide; i barely get the bar in high bar position). the right shoulder is tighter than the left. there is no way i will be able to safely squat serious weight like this. so, calm down about it, throttle some of the eagerness to pile on weight. goal for tomorrow is to search out more specific exercises to increase shoulder mobility. squat form otherwise was decent; went down to the box for every single one, though during the last rep in each set i was fighting on the way back up. did an additional set for practice.

bench (floor) press went well, i hardly rested between sets (because it's a hassle to get back up each time ;). analyzing this more carefully -- i do lose some RoM at the bottom, but this is still good practice for the bench; i am more steady now even with the higher weight (last time gloria had me "bench" dumbbells while lying on an instability ball i pressed a mere 24 lbs. sometimes i roll my eyes at myself. was procrastinating about making footrests for the bench, but the curl bar is too short to rack, so even with foot rests i wouldn't be able to use the bench. *sigh*. so, did floor press again. next time will be the empty oly bar, and experimentally properly on the bench. though i might stay with the floor if i feel my form on the bench is worse. i can feel, however, that i will probably need to increase the weight in smaller increments than 5 lb soon.

rows also went well. had the paramour spot me, who said my form was right on. yay! i feel i have a lot left in the tank for these.

the most amusing thing is that a couple of weeks ago i was kvetching about the spring clamps holding the weights on, because i had trouble sliding them on and off. well, my grip strength has improved so much that they're no problem anymore.

the main thing i like about SL5x5 is its training economy -- i'm training types of movement rather than individual muscles or even muscle groups. that gives me a whole lot more bang for my training buck / time invested. thinking about the whole set of SL5x5 exercises, i feel there is plenty of things for my arms, shoulders, back, and legs to do, but my abdominal area, while constantly being tightened, is possibly not worked as much as it could be -- though the deadlift does work it. so even after dropping the workouts with gloria, i will continue to do planks and side planks, and i'll probably add leg/knee raises while working up my strength to eventually do a pull-up.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
5 min light cardio on treadmill
5 min mobility

1. wall squats with instability ball
3 x 15 @ 20 lb dumbbells

so i am actually doing more squats with more weight here than i do for my SL5x5 -- BUT i don't go as deep, and it's not the same form, so i don't count them for that. i checked my actual backsquat form in the mirror, and i am not quite deep enough when i do it freestanding without a box to indicate. but i am getting there (45 squats total! man, what a change from where i was just a few weeks ago). but seriously, i feel much better about fewer squats with good form than this sloppy stuff.

i am not a fan of mirrors in general, but i think i will buy some for the wall in the living room so i can check my form better.

2. step-ups with dumbbells
3 x 14 @ 20 lb

3. lying glute bridge with extended leg
1 x 14
2 x 14 @ 10 lb sandbell on lower abdomen

4. calf raises against instability ball with dumbbells
3 x 15 @ 20 lb

5. bozo ball balancing
3 x 30 sec

6: hip adductor and abductor kicks with sandbell
3 x 12 @ 10 lb

7. two-arm kettlebell swings
1 x 8 @ 8 lb
1 x 10 @ 5 lb
1 x 5 @ 8 lb
1 x 5 @ 5 lb

8. stretches

had me sweaty but not overworked. gloria added more rest time because this was more intensive cardio-wise than before. so she did take that comment into account, except that she didn't reduce the cardio component, which i had wanted, she just added more rest. which coincidentally means there is one less exercise. it's like she tries on purpose to give me pro-forma what i asked for without actually giving it to me. man, that does feel like a power play. so stupid. what does she actually think she is gaining here? ah, maybe i am just pissed off now about the lousy communication after i tried so hard to be fair, and overreact to what seems like an extended pout session on her part. who knows. who cares. i don't have the spoons to worry about the emotional state of my PT.

so she's indeed mostly splitting into upper and lower body (though the kettlebell swing isn't really a lower body exercise), and at least there were squats. she's not giving us any advice for what we should do outside of her workouts, nor does she ask what else we do (though she must know i do something else because my strength has increased even though we didn't work out for more than 2 weeks). she's also not correcting much -- i was clearly hyperextended in my back during the calf raises, and she didn't say a thing until i remarked on it. ah well.

it continued to work very well to have us both do the same exercises (the weird kettlebell weights are because they have only one bell for each weight?). as usual she didn't give any reasons for the weights or the reps; we're just supposed to do them. ok; i am basically just biding my time now; at least this time there was no failure on anything, and i felt reasonably good afterwards. i'm definitely gonna miss working out with the paramour though, that part is fun.

rewarded ourselves by having japanese food (chirashi don, yum) after running errands -- bought some chain (stop drooling, *poing*) in 1-lb sections so i can increase my load on the bar more gradually than in 5-lb increments. also got a piece of plumbing pipe as an intermediate bar once i graduate from the broomstick.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
5x5 BW

overhead press
5x5 @ 23.5lb

1x5 @ 60lb

10 min mobility warmup. man, my hip flexors are still tight, tight, tight. need to add more specific exercises for it. i think i might add additional mobility work every day, maybe in the mornings.

squat: using a broom stick now for form. oy vey; shoulders need a lot more mobility work; my grip is very wide. form was pretty good though for 4 sets.

OHP: went very well. my biceps and triceps were aching a bit from yesterday's workout, but i don't think i was overdoing it.

deadlift: also went well. i think i want to cut myself standard plates from plywood so i can get the proper distance more easily than my jury-rigged setup.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
so we met with gloria again. she didn't ever get back to me on my email, and she did not set time aside to talk about the form of our workouts, for which we had asked. *sigh*. instead she changed the workout "to start over", "taking my suggestions into account". umm -- i thought we would talk and come up with something together? she was clearly not pleased with that email; she was all business instead of her usual jokey self. i don't actually mind, since her jokey self was distracting by chatting all through the exercises, but it's kind of a marked change, and i don't think it's a good response to us requesting a change in workouts.

the part of the change that is good is that the paramour and i do the exercises together now, so her attention is no longer all over the place. the whole process is more streamlined, and i like that.

what it looks like she's planning is a split workout -- upper body one day, lower body the second, 4 exercises and 3 circuits each. that's going away from what i want: full body workouts most days. what's also changed is that she's upped the reps; i want to do lower reps at progressively higher weights. and she's seemed to have tossed out whatever notes she had on prior weights for me; she has us both at the same weights for everything. which resulted in working to failure on the triceps pushdowns and i didn't appreciate that. i don't think she is very good at this partner workout thing. and she's not listening to what i want (probably because she thinks she knows better).

since we didn't talk, we don't know yet whether she's also gonna cut down on the number of total exercises, and the amount of cardio. i am not shy of confrontation, but i worked a lot on that initial email, and if she is this unwilling to talk, i don't want to spend more energy on it. we have paid for 3(or 4?) more sessions; i'll finish those and then i'll quit. the paramour will probably continue if she reduces the number of exercises and the cardio. i will just do stronglifts 5x5, interval walking, and mobility. i like working out with the paramour, but i have different goals for now. we can do mobility and walking together.

warmup: 10 min treadmill, which was 5 min more than i wanted to do, so i slowed down during the last 3 min. f*ck cardio.

1. wall angels: 3 sets of 12 each -- i have better RoM on those now, yay.

2. airplanes (i think these are properly called lying rear lateral raises): 3 sets of 15 each @ 10 lb

3. lying rows: 3 sets of 15 @ 24 lb

4. side planks: 3 sets of 30 sec each

5. triceps pushdowns:
set 1: 15 @ 30 lb good form
set 2: 15 @ 30 lb form broke down at rep 10
set 3: 10 @ 30 lb form broke down at rep 6

6. biceps curls: 3 sets at 20 lb

7. pushups:
set 1: 15 on bar
set 2: 10 on bench (just dipping; wrists hurt)

8. ball rollout bridges: 3 sets of 10 each

cooldown: kinda lackadaisical stretches

it wasn't a bad workout, it just is very clearly no longer what i want. i've soaked up enough power lifter attitude to feel mildly silly when doing biceps curls, *heh*. my entire body needs to get stronger, and doing isolation exercises for that is bogus.

i think i'll be fine doing SL5x5 interspersed with this for a couple of weeks because i am still at very low weights.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
5x5 BW

floor press
5x5 38.5lb

pendlay row
5x5 50lb

*arrgh* -- it never occurred to me that my new (used) bench might be too high for me! i can't put my feet solidly on the ground. i guess i will have to find some slabs of wood to use, but it was dark already, and i needed to get going, so i did floor press instead. from what i understand, that works most of the same muscles, except it possibly has a lower range of motion. but fat li'l ole me could touch my chest with the bar even while flat on the floor, so the ROM is probably not significantly different. it also takes the legs entirely out of the equation, which i think is beneficial.

the squats were decent today. i am now squatting to a box (which means, i am NOT pausing on it, so i don't anticipate it and change my motion; i am just using it to gauge where i should bottom out). i held my form better throughout, i think, and i was more balanced.

i found out how to do pendlay rows for sure, and those work indeed better for me than the bent-over rows, because i am pulling the bar towards my sternum instead of my belly. i can't feel my lats working too much though. i might add single arm DB rows because i know they do wonders for my lats.

good workout, no problem with any of the weights (better not be, *snrk*).
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
walked all the way around westwood lake (5.52 km, 63m ascent). brisk walk; heart rate elevated the entire time. didn't have my watch with me, so didn't time it precisely, but the 5k interval training is paying off. last time i walked this i was huffing and puffing when i wasn't even walking as quickly, and this time i actually carried on a conversation through most of it, and there was no gasping at all.

put off strength training til monday; was too exhausted at the end of the day. should definitely try to move workout to start of day if at all possible.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
5x5 bodyweight

overhead press
5x5 @18.5lb

1x5 @55lb

the squats keep improving, fewer stability issues than two days ago, and i am having better control on the way down overall -- i was well-rested today too, which makes a difference. still breaking form on sets 4 and 5 though. throughout the day whenever it seems useful, i do ass-to-grass squats to pick stuff up, and that has helped with mobility in my ankles, as have daily calf stretches. i see a lot more mobility workouts in my future; the few exercises i am doing after watching a kelly starrett seminar are really working wonders.

first overhead press -- i watched rippetoe instruct this, and that was helpful so i didn't rip my nose off. ;) i tried experimentally to press the empty olympic bar, but that wasn't gonna happen for 5x5 sets, nope. luckily when i bought the rack and weights a dilapidated curl bar came with it, which weighs in at 13.5 lb, and i added the 2 smallest plates (2.5lb each). i could handle that weight well, no stability problems, but i wonder whether i am hyper-extending my back; it feels a bit like it. tomorrow the paramour gets back, and then i'll have a spotter.

first deadlift ever as well -- to bring the bar up in height i used two boxes of the science fiction i removed from the wall so i could put the rack there, which seemed fitting, *little grin*. they might be a bit high though -- i now understand the benefit of standard plates. i am glad i practiced squatting so much, which really helped with the form here. again i am not sure i am doing it entirely right. i might have to drop by the crossfit box after all to make contact with local powerlifters.

good workout. i feel chuffed that i am doing this.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
5x5 bodyweight (YAY!)

barbell row
5x 45lb

lat pulldown
5x10 40lb

i should get to log all the cleanup i did as a workout too. ;) this was an extremely productive day after a series of crappy, crappy days (i don't even want to count how many). vincent dying really depressed me, the paramour's mother got ill, and it's off to ontario now to deal with that. and there was no room to exercise, PT gloria cancelled a workouts because she was sick, and i cancelled workouts with her until next week because i didn't want to deal with the inevitable confrontation, since she still hasn't gotten back to me in response to my email about the problems with the last few workout. anyway, enough of that. *blech*.

i cleaned the carport, moved a bunch of stuff from the living room/office, made room for the rack, and put it together. i decided if i keep it inside we'll actually use it, while the carport gets cold and clammy. i was beat at the end of that, but after an hour of dinner and rest i WANTED to work out, and so i did.

didn't do a proper stronglifts workout, but got damn close to it; got myself used to the 5x5 pattern, and worked with the olympic bar for the first time. only bodyweight squats, but 25! that's a new personal best. the form really sucked on the last 2 sets though, so i'm still not ready to put weight on top of that. and i felt my legs the day after, hoh boy. i can't see yself because we don't have mirrors, and setting up for recording just throws more obstacles in front of the next workout, so i am thinking of finding a box and squatting down to it (not a proper box squat, but just as a guideline for where my ass should be so the hip is just below parallel with the knee

lat pulldowns because the bench i acquired is dirty and i didn't clean it yet, and hey, the rack has a lat pulldown thing. went down from the weights i did last time in training with gloria because i knew i was gonna do 5 sets instead of 2. worked out well.

watched a lot of videos on barbell rows, and i definitely need mirrors in here, *sigh*. i think i have the form largely right -- but my fat belly prevents me from pulling the bar up very high. hm. maybe i need to pull it more into the chest? i think what i want is a pendlay row instead. but i might be better off substituting one-armed dumbbell rows instead, because i get a larger range of motion with those. the empty bar was not too heavy for this exercise, at least.

i need to order fractional plates so i can increase weight in smaller steps than 5 lb. or find some big-ass washers at home depot, which will be a lot cheaper, even if they'll require more diddling with weights. it doesn't really matter exactly what the weight is, just that it increases steadily. maybe i do that tomorrow before the paramour gets back home.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
band pull-aparts with resistance band
10 /12 /14 red band

lateral shoulder raises
10/12/12 8lb DBs

woodchop with resistance band
20 red /16 blue /20 blue band

calf raises
10/16/16 10lb kettlebell on side of leg being worked

medicine ball slam-down (raise hands all the way overhead)
10 blue /11 blue /12 red ball

lat pull-downs
10/12/14 25lb

still didn't feel great; stomach bug still with me, but better than before.

warmed up by walking around the block 4 times, and then 5 min on the treadmill, just briskly. i don't like treadmills, but it warms me up faster than the recumbent bike. i am glad gloria has backed off from her "gradually do more cardio" plan, because i am now dead certain i don't want to do more cardio before my workouts.

i thought the weight on the lateral raises was too light, but i actually did a 3rd set, which made up for that, and at the end of that i was fighting for good form, so yeah, not too light.

but the weight on the lat pulldowns was definitely too light. i am getting to the point where i can keep better track of this than gloria (she was somewhat distracted by my training partner who is new to all of this). i need to make a sensible log book instead of scribbling things on post-it notes, so i can look back on specific details instead of keeping it all in my head.

it was a good workout, and i felt positive afterwards.

seriously looking forward to starting heavy lifting. it is interesting and helpful in a way to do all these different exercises, since i am getting to know my body and the different muscle groups, but there are too damn many exercises which often ends up confusing rather than enlightening.

have to figure out how to handle that once i start, because meeting with gloria is really good for keeping me on the exercise wagon, and i am not sure it's the best idea to let go of that; i know my discipline is easily shaken. so maybe i'll keep meeting with her once a week and have her correct my form, even though she's not a lifter. hm -- maybe she'll be willing to learn. well, i'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i fell off the exercise wagon since gloria was gone on thursday, we had to take vincent to the vet, and i've had a low grade stomach bug for about a week, so since last tuesday i only did one interval workout on the exercycle.

but it's back on. data and ramblings under the cut )

vincent has advanced kidney disease, so i spent some time researching how we can make him more comfortable. picked up an assortment of low phosphorus / low protein foods, though for some reason veterinarians seem to have a lock on the really low diets. what a ridiculous idea, that one must purchase overpriced food at a vet's -- i understand prescriptions for narcotics, but food? *grump*. just one more example of the nanny state taking choices away from me; ghods, i sound like a libertarian. i guess in this regard i am one. i can abuse my pets in many ways without the state stepping in, but oh no, i can't purchase a certain diet food for my pet without white-coated approval.

the doc said he probably has less than a year to live. i'm ok; i never actually expected him to live as long as he has, being a feral tom -- he's older than 12 now. and he's become pretty tame; sleeping in my bed, headbutting me in the face, and behaving really, really well at the vet, even ended up purring when we cut off the big mats with a cordless clipper (i have to get one of those). we've already given him several years more life than he would have had otherwise, and i've found him some yummy food that doesn't make him throw up, feed him small portions, all by himself so he doesn't have to feel crowded by the others. even if he just has a few more months, at least he'll be comfy.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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