piranha: cartoon me hammering nail into board (construction)
2014-02-15 08:22 pm

fuck my defective ticker

tachycardia attack. 11 weeks since the last one, which is a slight improvement over the previous ones in 2013. but it's lasting and lasting (14 hours and going). *sigh*. and i was so looking forward to maybe finishing my weight bench today.

this is how far i got yesterday; the basic structure is built:

2x4 structure of weight bench
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
2013-12-10 05:50 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-12-10

overhead press
2x5 @ 45lb
1x5 @ 50lb
1x5 @ 55lb
5x5 @ 60lb

deadlift
1x5 @ 60lb
1x5 @ 90lb
3x5 @ 110lb

goblet squat
5x5 @ 23.5lb

squat
1x3 @ 45lb

good mood because my power rack came, and even though i am not putting it together tonight, i feel great because i am prioritizing my workout, which is the right thing to do. i also didn't go out to dinner with P; again, the right thing to do, though i would have liked to see him. yeah, i am a bit eccentric. and i have a plan. (cue battlestar galactica (reimagined series) theme music.)

5 min light cardio.
10 min dynamic stretches.

OHP: very gradual warmup. same work weight as the screwed-up last workout was supposed to be, because i want to overwrite that with good form. which was a nice plan, only the execution was not quite up to par. but better than last time, and not wobbly. i tried to push the weight up fast, and bring it down slowly. no bounce at the bottom whatsoever; i stopped the bar dead (no momentum cheat allowed yet). i need to concentrate more, and i am not sure how to do that; i am easily distracted by anything that goes on (and with 6 cats, something always goes on). maybe i need to wear headphones and play loud music. i am really happy with my wrists, which don't hurt at all, and that means i have got the grip down and my arms are lined up well.

deadlift: still easy. first time i used the 25 lb plates -- could have used them last time, but too much hassle. i think my deadlift form is the best of all the lifts; it just feels really solid, and i know how to activate my glutes and hamstrings. did extra sets because i still can, but left some in the tank for squats. kept long static hold on the last rep of each working weight set to increase grip strength.

K* ATG squat 4:30 min. i am now reading during this. "starting strength", to keep it apropos. ;)

goblet squats: did not increase the weight; concentrated on form, controlled descent, stretching in the bottom, and tried to "explode" out of the hole on the first set. for values of "explode" that are like a slow motion film. ;)

squats: 3 with the empty bar, and my shoulders were not trying to separate from my body. still very painful, but it is clearly getting better, and all that mobility work is slowly paying off.

no accessory exercises because tired and hungry, but might add some bench dips later.

i'm thinking of doing yoga in the mornings, and mobility before i go to bed, but that might not be a good idea because of how tired i often am when i fall into bed. i do want to do yoga though, i think it would be overall good for me. maybe both yoga and mobility in the morning?

good workout.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
2013-12-08 07:11 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-12-08

bench
1x5 @ 45lb
1x5 @ 55lb
5x5 @ 65lb

pendlay rows
1x5 @ 55lb
1x5 @ 65lb
1x5 @ 75lb
1x5 @ 85lb
5x5 @ 90lb

goblet squats
5x5 @ 23.5lb


finally done with the stomach bug.

5 min cardio.
10 min dynamic stretching.

am timing my rest periods now. not super strict, but i was kinda lackadaisical about it before, and now i am not.

bench: on the floor one last time. still did not take this lift apart. somewhat more stable, though my upper back was not entirely happy. i am now recognizing how different the floor press actually is, though. that's ok, if i can lift it on the floor, i can lift more on bench. theoretically. not a problem with pressing the weight up from the chest, but the lift-off is difficult now. glad the power rack is on its way; that will make benching safer just in time. speaking of why "safer" will be an excellent thing: on set 4 bacchus (big, fat ginger tomcat) decided to rub his butt on my face in mid lift. i have never hissed at him that loud before; it was kind of a spit-hiss -- and that sure cleared him outta there like a cat outta hell. *sigh*. i kept control of the weight though.

rows: did not rest between warmup sets, just changed plates. tried to practice the external shoulder rotation thing, and when i set up i think i have it, but it gets lost thereafter. my form was good at first, and then started to break down (though my wrists did not curl, i moved my back up a bit). i think it would be better if i didn't go for "explosive" at this point, but for "clean" first.

K* ATG squat: 4 min

goblet squats: did not up the weight so i could concentrate on form. but my body was flagging at this point, so all that concentration didn't do a whole lot of good. wasn't bad form, just kinda... not very enthusiastic, draggy.

very tired now; probably after effects from being sick, and both main lifts were taxing me. no accessory lifting for now. maybe later if i stay awake.

my power rack is in richmond; just has to come across to the island by ferry. tomorrow, i think.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
2013-12-07 12:16 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-12-06

overhead press
1x5 @ 45lb
1x5 @ 55lb
1x5 @ 60lb
1x3 @ 65lb
1x2 @ 65lb
1x5 @ 62lb
2x5 @ 60lb

deadlift
1x5 @ 60lb
1x5 @ 80lb
2x5 @ 100lb !!!

goblet squats
5x5 @ 23.5lb

squat
1 @ 45lb

felt like crap yesterday; slept most of the day and since i was wobbling when walking to the bathroom decided it was inadvisable to work out. innards still feel liquified today, and i am shivering, but sort of wanted to work out. liquefaction very helpful for keeping neutral spine, cause it might just all spill out if i bend forward, har har har.

screw cardio.
only shoulder mobility.
a few minutes lackluster dynamic stretching. everything hurts. i am not getting warm, just weak.

OHP:
did 3 slowly increasing sets to warm up because i am so cold. decent form, but 55 lb are heavy. fail on 1st 60 lb set at rep 4, fail on 2nd 60 lb set at rep 3. i don't like the psychological effect of that (i need to get used to it though, because that's just how it's gonna be for me). so i took plates off and threw my fractional chain on. finished that set, but i know when to cry 'uncle'.

alas, i'm an idiot. when staring at the weights that confounded me i realized i had had too much weight on the bar for my working weight. so i did not in fact fail to lift 60 lb, i failed to lift 65 lb. since that was an increase of 10lb from last time, i am amazed i got it up at all. should i do 2 more sets? let's see, 5x5x60 is 1500 lb, and i did 1235 lb so far. 1 more set. i can do 1 more set. there. world's worst form. well, maybe not worst, but it wasn't good, or even decent; definitely hyperextended and shaky. i think i will stay at this weight next time and work on bettering my form.

deadlift:
kept the 60 lb on the bar for warming up. then added 20 lb for 2nd warmup. working weight is 100 lb. did it easy. did another set so paramour could double-check my form, which felt good and apparently looked good as well.

first triple digit lift!

goblet squats. kinda just cranked them out. it surprises me that i CAN just crank them out. but i want to pay better attention next time. i wasn't particularly tight, but they'll work my core anyway, which is the best thing about them.

one proper walkout and squat below parallel with the oly bar.

no accessory exercises today; am beat.

good workout despite feeling crappy. the psychological boost from pushing through adversity is quite remarkable. i am not exactly a warrior, but at least i am not a quitter.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
2013-12-07 12:12 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-12-03

bench
1x5 @ 45lb
5x5 @ 60lb

pendlay rows
1x5 @ 65lb
5x5 @ 85lb

goblet squats
1x5 @ 18.5lb


*urk*. still digestive tract problems. getting better though, so under the motto of "no excuses", forward into the breach.

no cardio. the "shwinginess" of the recumbent bike upset my stomach.
10 min light mobility, and K* ATG squat for 3 min.

bench: or not bench. i didn't really have the energy to work out in detail what all is wrong with my benching, so i headed back to the floor. that went a lot better, much less wobble, straighter bar path, and solid lockout. ergo my problems lie with my stability on the bench, not with the lifting itself, as expected.

rows. no problem, but the weight is getting there, and form is a bit harder to hold. good back, good wrists, good grip. i think my wrists are getting stronger. they're very thin in general, and i've been thinking of doing wrist rollers to strengthen them for the weights to come.

goblet squats. weak. weak, weak, weak. had to call it quits after one set because the runs started again. supposing i feel better tomorrow i'll do them then together with core.

no accessory exercises either. just too wiped for it all.

an hour later, when i put away the weights from the rows, i did a squat walkout with 65 lb, and one full squat down, to parallel. not logging that (single squats don't count at this point). but a new PR by 20 lb, *heh*. made me feel good about the workout.

spent a lot of time on the SLIC site today, shorting my work some. 300+ new members! went through a lot of logs, welcoming new people. remembered how it felt when i was new, and only one person talked to me; wanted to make sure at least one person talked to each newb and said something meaningful. now i think i've used up my social for a few months.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
2013-12-02 05:34 am
Entry tags:

non-workout 2013-12-01

*ugh*. i was wondering whether i'd toss my cookies if i did core exercises tonight. what turned my body weak the day before wasn't my mind's inscrutable sabotage after all, but some kind of stomach flu. 20 min after my workout i got the runs on both ends, and haven't been able to keep down food. i'll try a plank and see how it goes.

planks
30sec BW

side planks
2x15sec BW

glutes bridge
15sec @ 10lb

and that's all he wrote. the digestive tract rebelled in the middle of the glute bridge. i guess stomach flu and working out are not compatible.

the paramour went to vegas for a conference. poor thing. which means i will have at least 4 cats in bed with me. :D
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
2013-12-02 05:27 am
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-30

overhead press
1x5 @ 45lb
5x5 @ 55lb

deadlift
1x5 @ 85lb
4x5 @ 90lb

goblet squats
5x5 13.5lb

bench dips
5x5 BW


an hour before the workout i felt good. then i did my warmup, and for some reason my whole body felt weak afterwards. i didn't do anything weird or new, and i was looking forward to working out. no idea what happened.

5 min cardio.
15 min mobility.

OHP: the warmup set was ok, but the first set with working weight was not good. i wasn't really tight and had arms like wet noodles. i got the weight up there, but it wasn't pretty; hyperextended back, uneven arms. but i wasn't gonna let my mind screw me over (though still no idea why it would even try). pulled myself together for sets 3-6, tried to crush that bar, and puuuush the weight up. it did go better, though form was still not as good as i wanted it. 5 lb weight increase might be a bit much now, but since i was noodly even with the empty bar, i am not taking that as a reason to start microloading. not yet.

deadlift: did the first set with the usual increase of 5 lb. then increased by another 5 because the first set felt good, and my squat seems like it is never gonna catch up anyway. i just got pissed off that some dark corner of my mind tries to screw with my progress. not gonna let it happen easily. so why not push the deadlift ahead, at least for today, to make myself feel better. my fingers tingled a bit at the end of each set; i'm hoping that's because i am crushing the heck out of the bar. i can really feel my glutes and hamstrings activate now.

goblet squats: i am concentrating hard on form to avoid buttwinking in the hole. my breathing was all over the place at first, but then i regulated it to be very rhythmic, in tune with going down and coming back up.

bench dips: well, my triceps sure felt it tonight. i was gonna add another accessory triceps exercise, but yeah, not necessary. when the new power rack comes, i'll be able to do assisted dips with hands by my side instead of behind me, which better simulates the kayak exit i am working towards.

next time i'll wear my heart rate monitor if i can find the strap. i can really feel the cardio effects of the lifting now. be interesting to see where the heart rate gets to.

mostly good workout, despite the weird start.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
2013-12-02 05:16 am
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-29

planks
2x30sec BW

side planks
4x15sec BW

glute bridge
2x30 @ 10lb

lunges
2x10 @ 13.5lb

supermans
2x10 BW

15 min mobility.

shorter program because i was still feeling my muscles from the day before, but i did want to get some core exercises in. i've been kinda enjoying feeling my lats especially, because before SL5x5 i was not aware i had lats. ;)

did not twist the lunges, just straight ahead, which is enough of a challenge for my balance.

i think i will increase the difficulty of the core exercises once a week only. they're still plenty demanding for me.

gloria actually finally answered my termination email, though i can't tell why it took her two weeks to do it, because it was just two sentences. she said we would just have to "agree to disagree". no idea about what, though i suspect heavy lifting (i didn't even go into detail, just told her i started a different program). hey, sherlock: no, we don't have to agree to disagree. you're just plain wrong, and i disagreed to the point that i fired you. deal.

i'm sure glad that's over. i remember what she said when i first brought up that maybe lifting heavier would be good for me: "baby steps. maybe in a few months we can start on the smith machine." 5 weeks later i am lifting 80 bloody pounds from the floor instead of dancing with 8 lb dumbbells on a bozo ball working my way up to the smith machine [*]; no question which program is making me stronger.

[*] for those not in the know, a smith machine consists of a barbell fixed within steel rails, allowing only vertical movement. it was invented by jack lalanne in order to make lifting heavy weights safer. it kinda does that, to a point. however, it also forces people into an unnatural position for the squat, and it doesn't produce anywhere as good results as squatting with free weights. power lifters loathe the smith machine, partly because it also allows people to overstate the amount of weight they can actually lift (since it stabilizes the weight for you, you can lift more).
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
2013-11-28 10:31 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-28

bench
1x5 @ 45lb
5x5 @ 55lb

pendlay row
5x5 @ 80lb

goblet squats
5x5 @ 8.5lb

squat
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)
2013-11-28 02:05 am
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-27

planks
2x30sec BW

side planks
4x15sec BW

glutes bridge
2x30sec @ 10lb

twist lunges
2x10 @ 10lb

supermans
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)
2013-11-26 07:56 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-26

overhead press
1x5 @ 45lb
5x5 @ 50lb

deadlift
5x5 @ 80lb

squat
3x5 @ 45lb
2x5 BW

bench dips
5x5 BW

plank
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)
2013-11-23 11:54 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-23

bench press
5x1 @ 45lb
5x5 @ 50lb

pendlay row
5x5 @ 75lb

squat
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)
2013-11-21 07:26 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-21

squats
5x5 BW
1x1 @ 45lb

overhead press
5x5 @ 47lb

deadlift
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)
2013-11-19 06:46 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-19

squat
5x5 BW

bench
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)
2013-11-18 08:16 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-16

squat
5x5 @ 10lb

overhead press
5x5 @ 45lb

deadlift
3x5 @ 70lb

plank
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)
2013-11-14 09:30 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-14

squats
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)
2013-11-12 01:04 am
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-11

squat
2x5 @ 10 lb
3x5 BW

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

deadlift
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)
2013-11-09 09:07 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-09

rested yesterday because 5 consecutive days of strength training is plenty.


squat
6x5 8lb

bench (floor) press
5x5 43.5lb

pendlay row
5x5 60lb

planks
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)
2013-11-07 09:36 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-07

warmup:
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)
2013-11-06 07:58 pm
Entry tags:

workout 2013-11-06

squat
5x5 BW

overhead press
5x5 @ 23.5lb

deadlift
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.