Monthly Archives: February 2010

Squats…..again and again and again

I feel a bit like I’m experiencing groundhog day.  I’ve been battling with 65-75lbs, sets of 5 squats, for weeks now, months in fact.  I can do it one week, can’t do it the next.  I think the solution is to go back, again, to 65lbs and just increase the workload, decrease the time between sets, and work from there….otherwise, I’m just going to stay frustrated and not move forward with my squat training.


Cold War Hockey

Last night at the gym, it was “almost” a toss up between working out and watching hockey.  At 8:11 or so, not many people had shown up yet and Brad, Liz and I had already watched the first period of the game.  Two people had said they weren’t coming in.  After a few more minutes, some others showed up so we ended up having class anyway (the score was already well in favour of Canada winning) and Liz kept us updated until she left around 9pm.  Brad and I stayed to watch the last period until the jubilant end.  It was a good little night, all-in-all.

As for the workout, my legs were still in a world of hurt from my monday leg marathon of reverse lunges and split squats.  I worked on upper body again, and will be hitting lower body tomorrow.  A back and forth volley it is and that’s the way it will stay.  I worked on some dumbbell presses and some single arm rows and got it well past where I’ve gone before.  As I had been told, but really clued into last night, if you brace your core you can actually push way more than when you don’t.  I’m going to be doing that from now on.  Makes a whole heck of alot of sense and feels better when you are actually in the thick of exercising too.

Off to watch the Women’s Hockey tonight!

February 23, 2010….and beyond

One year later, I’m gearing up for a new set of goals.  Brad, who I’ve mentioned before, helped me out today by explaining a new method of meal “compliance” that he’s been working with for his clients.  It is getting some great results, and is also a manageable way of reaching goals.  It’s a bit more involved at the beginning as you set it up, but over time it is easy and because it’s based on logic and process…it just works.  I like the sound of that.

We also talked about what my “goals” have been since last year.  He suggested that maybe it was just to maintain my weight and eat normally – which is exactly what I did.  I tried to get back on meal planning and whatnot last fall, but it just never felt right.  I think with the new meal compliance will be easier to incorporate into a daily routine.  I’m looking forward to starting and getting into it.

We also talked about progression towards goals – it’s not necessarily that you want to be perfect, you just want to be better than where you are right now.  I like that as a philosophy.  Often we strive for this elusive “perfect” state and never attaining it, we get discouraged.  If we simply strive to be better than we are right now, no matter what the step progression, this becomes a much more achievable target.  With just a little bit of trying, anyone can be one step better in anything they set out to accomplish.  Line up lots of little steps and the target is met.  Just depends on how fast or slow you want to get there.

On another note, but related, Brad mentioned a book, The Talent Code.  I noticed the book jacket posted up at work and even pulled it down to have look this week.  I’m going to pick it up and give it a go to see what new things I can learn.  A mentor I have at work also mentioned the book, From Good to Great, by Jim Collins.  I’m thinking it is along the same line.  So many books to read!

Setting up for the next year…and some philosophical ramblings…

I think it’s important to reflect (see, I’m learning!) on where you’ve been so you can figure our where you need to go next.  Tomorrow, I’ll be sitting down with my trainer and reviewing my progress over the last year (yes, it’s been a year doing personal training already…) and then setting up for the next 12 months.  I know I’ve gotten much stronger, while my weight hasn’t changed significantly up or down (fluctuations by a few pounds no longer bother me…I know what needs to happen if it’s on the rise).

I’ve certainly learned alot over the past year, and I feel like I’ve made significant progress in a number of areas of my life.  Lots of goings on at this time for me.  All good things.

I’ve also been doing some new readings lately.  Books on death and pain.  Not the most uplifting topics, I have to say….but a worthwhile exercise in emotional fortitude.  Could have been why I’ve been feeling a bit “low” the past few weeks.  I also read a book on moral courage, which was better, and actually brought me out of my funk.

I was thinking about pain tonight as a physical perception.  Another thing that we take in by the senses, interpret in the brain, and then the brain spits back a response – like seeing.  When I fell last August, and hurt by ankles, my body was actually not able to comprehend the pain response.  I imagine that there was so much pain that my body hit the safety switch – like the big red switch that was on the wall in our Electronics Lab in college in case something went horribly wrong at any point.  In the body’s defense, it shut me down to reset my pain interpretation.  Cut the pain so I could actually manage my way back to consciousness.

In other words, a body is only able to handle pain beyond the normal threshold by shutting the perception of pain down in the brain.  Too much pain cannot be a good thing.  Hit the emergency switch.  Reset.

I feel as though we are a bit like this as a society.  We are on the brink of hitting the reset switch.  For the most part, we are desensitized to life.  Shut off from feeling alot of the time.  Shut off from being engaged with our physical reality because it may be too painful.  Shut off from our emotional reality because it is too messy.  The more bad news we see on TV, in the papers, the more we retreat.  Too much stimulation – but nothing has hit the switch yet.  We are in a limbo situation….so to speak.  Children under pressure to compete or to excel are playing video games to escape, what?  the stress?  Sad.  How did we get here?  Why do we “feel” more sometimes in projected images (i.e. movies) than we might in real life situations.  So many questions….so few answers.

Olympics and inspiration!

Wednesday night I was pretty tired after having watched the hockey game on Tuesday (CANADA WON!))  Wednesday night I did not go to the gym.  That’s okay.  I felt pretty low energy.  I needed to recupe.  I was able to get back tonight and work through some stuff.

Deadlifts are my great challenge.  It’s fun to push yourself to get them right.  Each lift, moving both your lower and upper body at the same time.  Doing it right actually takes lots of work, but that’s what I’m there for.  Work.  Love it.  Tonight I added some “micro-plates” – 2 lbs to my previous 80lbs, but I did that so I wouldn’t lose my form that I’m just starting to understand, and so I can still move forward with the weight.

I tell you what though, I’m not sure if it’s all the athletes at the Olympics or what, but I’m feeling inspired to do way more with my training.  Push further, go further.  Do more.  It makes me want to do my very best.

I was also the source of some inspiration this week too!  Had a conversation with a co-worker yesterday about training, nutrition, weight loss, setting health goals.  She asked if I wanted to join her in kettlebell training.  I explained what I did already and we had a good chat about it all.  She got inspired to get back into shape after seeing my before and after pictures.  It is always so cool to think that what I was able to do can show someone else that they can do it to.  She actually sent me an email today and thanked me.  Just awesome.  Looking forward to seeing where she takes it.

A great week.  More to come, I’m sure.  There always is.

I’m going to train…

…even if it’s raining.  That’s what I learned yesterday – watching Bilodeau win GOLD at the Winter Olympics.  I won’t complain about pain, or hurt.  I will be aware of my limitations and my faults.  I will do my best, and be thankful for all that I am able to do.

I will leave it all on the floor.  That’s what I learned yesterday watching the Women’s Speedskating.  If you don’t, then why bother?

Men’s Hockey starts later today (and the Women are cleaning house)!  I’m so excited.

Did I mention I had a great night at the gym?  It was.

‘Twas a good night…

at Greco tonight.  My back felt very strong, although I’m having to work through the proper form on deadlifts.  I need to remember to drive my feet into the group and keep my eyes up.  It seems my legs straighten before my shoulders come up, which is problematic.  It is supposed to be a fluid movement, all happening at the same time.  More work to be done there, but managed 80lbs, for 5 sets of 5, so that’s good in my books.  The most consistent night yet for those things.  Got about 52 extra pushups in too.  It’s all good.

So, on another note…..if your horoscope is right most days, and then it tells you that you will come into money, do you buy a lottery ticket?  I just might.  Who is going to tempt fate?