Monthly Archives: March 2010

A new trainer at Greco…and some news!!!

Xavier, a new trainer, started at Greco about two weeks ago I guess.  He sat in on my PT session last night and stayed for Strength class.

During the PT session, Brad was explaining my back situation to him.  It’s interesting to listen to someone else explain my scoliosis.  To hear the words and then to realize they are about me.  I have lived with it for so long, that it is a part of my identity.  This year it will be 23 years since that metal went inside me, and I am grateful everyday that I am able to do what I do.  I’ve even noticed over the past few months that my posture and condition has improved with the work we do in PT and the Strength classes.

I think Xavier will be a good addition to the group.

I got the word on Friday that I passed the Greco PT Exam.  Now I have to shadow someone there to be eligible for the certification.  One more step, done.


Presses and rows….

I got distracted yesterday….too much ambient velocity going on.  Two strength members had their kids in class…kids just have a whole whack of energy.  Anyway, I showed up early, was all set and ready to go, but got stalled out a bit on the presses, so I packed it up and got back to some rows.  I wasn’t doing them all that well, at 35lbs, so Brad gave me a demo on how it is actually your shoulder blade moving back that will dictate how far back the row will go… seemed a little harder that way, but then again, I hadn’t done them in a few weeks.

Not to worry, other things have been coming along, so if I stall out a bit here, it’s not the end of the world.

I’m gonna miss two strength classes and a PT session over Easter.  That sucks.  But, maybe I need the break.  I’ve been pretty exhausted lately.  Had a great 2 hour nap today, and I must have hit a good sleep, because I was having some of the strangest dreams I’ve had in a while for sure.  Some I can’t even repeat here….let’s just say that one of them had some sort of Roller Coaster type ride in it….and I was in New York, and then I was in some hotel sharing it with a friend from high school, and then some man hid a pair of high heel shoes in my bed.  I certainly don’t know what any of it means, at all….

7 weeks of movement in one direction!

As I’ve mentioned now for a few posts, I’ve been inching my way up with the micro-loading of the weights.  Last night I hit a PR of 95lbs on the deadlifts for 4 sets of 5.  I was only lifting 75lbs on February 3, 2010.  Not bad for a girl who can’t arch her back like the rest of you!

What I have learned through this whole process is that my body adapts, but at a much slower rate.  I can eventually get to where someone else is, but it takes me about double the time.  Not that I mind, because now every week, I see movement in one direction.  I take my time, I watch my form and I get corrections when required.  I also did 50 lifts yesterday.  I started working my way up and eventually I drop the lightest set of 5 off the bottom end.  Last night I dropped 65lbs as I moved my way up to 95lbs.  Next week I will try to drop the 70lbs on my way to 97lbs.  Little steps!

Assisted chin ups!

Okay, so I know I’m not that great when it comes to doing new things sometimes.  Tonight Brad had me try the assisted chin  ups.  Me and those blasted rubber bands don’t get along so well, but I feel a little better after tonight’s session.  As soon as I put my feet in it, like a stirrup, I feel like I am gonna fly somewhere.  Anyway, after some awkward moments I started to get the hang of it.  My trainer is patient, thank god.  I managed to do a two sets of 4 (one at the beginning and one at the end) and a few sets of 2 in between.  I can probably do more, but I was getting tired by the end.  Doing something new, wrapping my head around it, always wears me out a little mentally.  We aren’t going to be doing the palm forward pull downs anymore, we are going to work on the assisted chin ups from now on.

Strength class was good too, although after the PT session, I was a bit baked, so I didn’t seem to get through as much.  I did manage to do a little more work on split squats from last week, and a little less work (but higher weight) in squats.  I think I will go back to the squats with the bar next week, but I wanted to give myself a little break since I was pretty frustrated the last time I did them.  I am going to test to see where I am again with those and try the micro-loading there too.  I think if that method is working elsewhere, it might be the trick for my squats too, instead of trying to jump too much weight at once.

Ah, the things you don’t learn about yourself when you are trying to lift weight.

Tomorrow night – Henry Rollins at the Bronson Center.  I’m so excited!

Another PR (Personal Record!)

With the micro-loading that I talked about in my last post, I am moving forward consistently now with weights.  What felt like too much last week, 80lbs – as I only did a set of 4 and had to drop back down to 77lbs – I blew through 4 sets of 5 this week with just a little bit of effort at the end.  So far, so good!  It feels great to be able to do something more than you were able to do before.  I know now that I am progressing at a steady pace and that’s a good feeling.  Brad thinks it’s a good method for me right now.  Just by adding 2-3 lbs a week, I am making much more consistent progress that I have in weeks!

I guess every little step does really add up to a marathon in the end.


So, one way I have found to work around the ups and downs of some of my exercises is to do “micro-loading”, whereby instead of adding 5 lbs a week, I only add 2 lbs.  This gets me lifting more than I could, but it doesn’t seem to push me into the reverse mode.  I am able to continue with my deadlifts, and last night I made it to 92 lbs.  Next week will be 95 or maybe 94 if that doesn’t work, but every week will be a little bit more.  Better than two steps forward, one step back, roller coaster that I was on!

I also pushed through sets of 7 pushups from the floor.  The form was a bit off coming up to the end, but if I remember correctly, I did about 7 sets and then one set of 5 with 2 from the floor.

I like to see progress.  It makes me happy!

What I don’t understand are the people who go to the gym and then gab the entire time.  You are paying for this.  I can gab at home for free….

What are you doing with your cognitive surplus?

Watch this video by Clay Shirky on Cognitive Surplus

This video speaks to what I have been talking about for a while now – “The Theory of the Sleeping Class”.  I will write about it more in the next few weeks.  Basically, I think modern society has created two different classes of people – the Producers and the Consumers.  He mentions something like this in his video.  It started before the television, but certainly jumped leaps and bounds because of it…..Kinda ties into “The Theory of the Leisure Class” too.  If we have more time for “leisure”, then what on earth are we going to fill our time with – tada!  Television.  And who better to advertise to than to a bunch of captive Consumers who are watching the content that the people in TV land created.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are very informative shows out there.  However, for the most part, in our world of “Hundreds-of-channels TV Universe”, the Producers produce things/content to keep the Consumers entertained and lulled into a steady delta brain wave state.  Imagine, like what is said in the video, what we could accomplish, for instance, if everyone who played “Farmtown” (or whatever the heck it’s called), actually got involved with an urban garden and grew small patches of crops?  Or, what about all those video game hours, or hours watching soap operas/reality TV.  Life is WAY more interesting than a soap opera if you look around, and your friends and family should be about all the “reality” that you can handle, no?

More later, I’m only getting started….