Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Schlappy New Year!

2009 is finally here, and I have to say, 2008 was a great year for me in terms of my competing and training (despite hitting some major personal road blocks). It's crazy because I always think that it can't get any better, and each year I continue to reach the goals I set out to accomplish for the year and make consistent progress along the way. I can only hope that this year will bring even greater success for me as I take on this new bodybuilding venture.

No training for me today since it's Thursday, my regular day off. I worked a little OT for work this morning, which was suprisingly uneventful. This week, the Arnold split has come to a grinding halt. My body has finally said enough with hitting everything twice a week. In fact, I even took the initiative to go to the doctor to address my old nagging hamstring issue as well as a newly developed pinched nerve in my right shoulder, which leaves the first three fingers of my right hand painfully numb. Not surprisingly, he referred me to a chiropractor, and I had my first visit yesterday. She was great, and she listened to what my problems were and took a very understanding approach to the fact that I'm an athlete and I'm not going to stop training because of these minor injuries. So, she adjusted me, and I already have some relief from the pinched least, I didn't wake up in pain in the middle of the night and haven't had much numbness all day today.

As far as changing up the training now, my plan is to take to weeks and try to ease off a little bit and let my body repair itself a little bit. I will undoubtedly have to work at making a concious effort to not train balls to the wall, but I think by the second week, I will welcome it. Then I'll probably go back to some heavy lower volume stuff similar to the 5x5.

That's it for now. I'll post more next week when I change around my diet and start my "recovery" training. Now it's time for this girl to nap (I can't think of a better way to celebrate the new year).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Belated Christmas

I have always compared contest prep to the Christmas season. You spend weeks getting ready for it and looking forward to it, and it's over in the blink of an eye. Then when it's over, there's that "blah" feeling of not having anything specific to direct your attention to. And if you're unfortunate enough like me to live in a place where it's cold, the passing of Christmas means there's REALLY nothing to justify the cold, snowy weather. However, despite the two feet of snow on the ground, Christmas this year was pretty great. I was able to take some time off from work (Wedensday and Friday), which meant some good rest time. Christmas Eve morning I trained chest and back and did 30 minutes of cardio with just the Homeslice. While the workout was epic (took us damn near 3 hours), it was still good. Then it was off to my pseud0-parents' house for some good eats....and eat, I did! My diet was on point all day until dinner, which consisted of pork loin, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. And yes, I did indulge in the potatoes and stuffing, as well as a glass of red wine. The real downfall was the damn cookie trays....I definitely ate WAY more cookies than I needed to and paid for it later on with a nice little stomach ache. It was a good way to learn a lesson though.

Obviously, no gyms were open on Christmas Day, so there was no training for me....which worked out since Thursday is my off day anyway. In the morning, we went to the Homeslice's parents' house for brunch and then his brother's house for dinner. Again, the diet was ok until dinner, which was prime rib. I don't typically like prime rib, but I was hungry and didn't want to be rude. In between all the eating on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, there was a lot of napping going on, which I was LOVING!

Friday morning, I trained shoulders and did my 45 minutes of cardio and then went back at night to finish up with arms. Saturday weigh-in was a dreaded moment for me considering my poor eating over the days before but proved to be pretty suprising....150.6...not much change there. Saturday morning was quads and hams, and oddly enough, this has become one of my more enjoyable workouts lately. Since taking out deadlifts on back night, my left ham has had some rest time, and it's paid off in my leg workouts. I am consistently getting stronger in my squats each week, as I am determined to have a tight, high butt come November. I managed to get 205 for 6 (205 was my 5x5 big improvement there), and then thought I'd try 215. Not surprisingly, it was a little big for my britches, and I only got 2...but they were a solid, tight 2. So, I guess that's something-another step closer to that 225 goal.

And, this morning was chest and back again, which was rather uneventful but pretty draining nonetheless. Right now the plan is to continue with these supersets for another two weeks and then maybe switch back to the 5x5 (which still scares me). Though, I will certainly welcome the break from my aching joints and tendons....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pre-Christmas Update

I finally reached my weight goal....Saturday's weigh-in showed the magical 150. While I'm definitely harder now at 150 than I was at 140 or 145, I still would like to make it more of a quality 150 than it is. And I am proud to say that I have stayed on track with the diet despite cookies galore at work. However, my confession is this....I did have half a chocolate chip cookie today. But for me, that's pretty damn good considering that I looooooove cookies and cakes and dessert food. I'm more or less saving myself for Christmas Eve when my family does the big celebration. I don't intend to go crazy, but I will definitely eat a little more than just a half a cookie. In fact, the pastry/cookie tray is sitting in my fridge as I type this, and I can practically hear them calling my name.

Training has been going ok. It seems like every few weeks I get into a funk and feel like I'm just going through the motions during my workouts. That time seems to be now. So far, this week, my workouts have been mediocre at best. I also think I'm getting a Stomach bug on Thanksgiving, and maybe a cold on Christmas. NOT COOL! Sometimes I wonder if that's normal (the funks that seem to come so often). I mean, I take a full day away from the gym each week, so I certainly don't think I'm overtrained. I eat plenty of good food to fuel an efficient workout, and for the most part, I get a decent amout of sleep.

I also didn't take pictures this weekend. In fact, I was lucky to even get my workouts in. It more or less snowed the entire weekend. I'm already so over this weather and winter has barely even started. If I moved to a place where I never saw a flake of snow or a hint of cold weather ever again, I would NOT be upset. Screw all the people that say, "Oh, but what about having all four seasons?" F that. The only season I like is the one that's warm and sunny.

Hmm, looks like a lot of whining going on here today. Oh well, get over it, it's (almost) Christmas, bitches!

Friday, December 19, 2008

On A Roll

Yeah man, three weeks with no caffiene, and I'm still going pretty strong...well, somtimes. But for the most part, I feel so much better. My workouts aren't nearly as effected as I thought they would be. In fact, once I get going, they have been pretty damn good. It's been two weeks of the old school style Arnold superset split, and I'm still loving it. I am still making steady, consistent progress. The gains aren't drastic, but they're coming, and that's all I can ask for. One major drawback to this split is the aches and pains in my joints and tendons from hitting everything so heavy twice a week. I'm starting to get pains in my left elbow which really impairs my chest and tri workouts. But because I'm enjoying this split so much, I get over it during the workout. Unfortunately, I know that I'll pay for it later on....but for now, whatever.

One interesting thing is how my body has begun to change in the past two weeks. While my diet hasn't changed (except that I'm eating a little extra here and there because this new training program seems to have my metabolism through the roof), my shape certainly has. I seem to be carrying my near-150 pounds much better as of late. This morning when I was training shoulders, I had vascularity in them that I usually only ever have when I'm dieting. Considering that I am typically pretty disgusted with how I look, I will say that I am very happy with the way my upper body is developing. My lats finally seem to be gaining some width, something I have always struggled with. As far as upper back thickness goes, I'm hoping my pictures this weekend will show some progress there. That's right ladies and germs, it's picture time this weekend....put your blinders on or you just might go blind. I think I hate the pictures the most because I have to face the fat (I mean, fact) of my lower body. I just keep trying to tell myself that there is new muscle under there. I know there is....I'm SO much stronger than I ever have been.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Trying to Start a New Habit

See what happens, I no longer spend all day writing stupid investigations so I have more brain power to divert into blogging. Hopefully, this multi-post week will become a bit of a trend for me now that I'm officially doing only supervision...woohoo.

As I'm writing this post, I'm officially two weeks without caffiene. I know, it's tragic to some. But after my trip to Atlanta and downing probably fatal amounts of the stuff, I decided that it was time for me to detox. And quite the detox it was. The following weekend (of Thanksgiving) when I was sick, I didn't have any caffiene, so I figured I'd try to see how long I could go without it. But I felt like hell during the first three days without it (aside from feeling sick to my stomach). I couldn't seem to get enough sleep. I think I spent more time that weekend sleeping than I did awake. But I made it through my workouts ok. I also had a splitting headache the entire weekend that Advil just couldn't touch. Not to mention that I was just Captain Crankypants in general. There's a cliche that says it takes 21 days to start a habit and one day to break it, so I'm hoping that after next week, this will be easy breezy. I'll admit, there have been days (most of them) when I get really sleepy at points, but I still manage to pull it together and have good workouts at night. The good thing (?) is that my sleepy feeling isn't that strung out, bug-eyed exhausted feeling that I would get before.

As far as training goes, this was the first full week of the Arnold split, and so far I really like it. I have been significantly weaker during the second workouts of the week, but from what I've been told, that's to be expected at first. Like I mentioned before, I like the idea of hitting each body part twice a week. Of course, it's too early to say if I'm we shall see. On the weight front, I weighed myself this morning and was 149.4. Looks like slow, consistent weight gain the past two weeks, which I'm hoping to maintain. Right now the plan is to keep things the same for about another 5 weeks and then start a kind of mini diet to get rid of some of this extra fat I've put on, which I'm looking forward to for a variety of reasons. Not only because I just hate how I look now, but also because I'm not used to carrying around the extra 20 pounds, and it's hard! I get out of breath very easily during workouts, and the great flexibility that I used to pride myself on is more or less gone. Plus my joints hurt.....look out folks, here comes the Waaaaaaa-mbulance. I also want to see what kind of goods I have under this fat, too. It's kind of like an unveiling in a way. Which will make contest prep next year a little more exciting.

So there you have it. A little closing update for the week. Now it's off to the gym for a little shoulders and arms.

Monday, December 8, 2008

One Month of a Lot of Stuff

My goal for this post is to be as NON-epic as possible, but we'll see just how well that really works for me. I guess I'll start with my weight and work backwards from there. As of this past Saturday, I was 148.2...which, looking back, only equates to a gain of barely two pounds in the past three and a half weeks. Granted, I was sick with a stomach bug for three days over Thanksgiving. That was particularly disappointing this year because I had such good intentions of having a killer leg workout that morning and then throwing down some serious grub later in the afternoon. Unfortunately, I felt more like throwing up...gross.

So, my progress in the gym seems to be coming to a slow and grinding halt. I have more or less stopped hitting maxes on the 5x5's. The final 5RM's look like this:
Dead Lift: 285
Bench: 125
Squat: 205
Standing Military Press: 95

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the numbers. Now it's time for a change in training style. After spending a week or so getting frustrated with my workouts, the Homeslice and I decided to take it back to some of his old school training days and do Arnold Supersets. Our split now looks like this:
Sun: Chest/Back
Mon: Shoulders/Arms
Tues: Hams (and 6x10 squats at the end)
Wed: Chest/Back
Thurs: Off (at least, for me....the boys NEVER take days off)
Fri: Shoulders/Arms
Sat: Quads

Yesterday was the first day on the new split, and I love it. The workout took forever, but I liked the whole supersetting contrasting muscles concept. Plus, it definitely kicked my ass. I was a little leery at first about changing to this style of training. Mostly because I'm a nut job who is scared of change. I'm just hoping it will give me the boost I need.

On a rather non-training note, I did go to Atlanta the weekend before Thanksgiving to see Nationals. We flew out Thursday night and stayed through Sunday morning. The hotel screwed up our reservation and we wound up in this businessman/bachelor-type room with a weird frosted glass window between the bed and the bathroom (which also happened to have a huge, all-glass, stand up shower. Weird. So we found a gym away from the craziness of the contest and trained there Friday afternoon and then went to the night pre-judging for men's and women's bb. I have to say, I was so incredibly motivated to keep growing and training big when I saw those women on stage. I know that in order for me to even be remotely competitive at that level, I need to be a solid middleweight. Probably somewhere between 127 and 130. And being the impatient person that I am, I want to be there my first time out, but I know that's just completely unrealistic. I think at this point, I'd be lucky if I got on stage at 120. Anyway, Saturday morning was Figure pre-judging, which I'm not really interested in anymore, so we went and trained. Saturday night was finals, which was an absolute blast. I forgot to mention, too....because of the Homeslice working with Dave now, we had press passes and got to sit right behind the judges table. Now THAT's the way to watch one of these shows. Overall the trip was awesome, even though we both decided that we very strongly dislike the city of Atlanta and will most likely never go back there. Can't wait for Nationals next year in Miami....hopefully one or both of us will be competing there!

Oh yeah, and one more comment to add to the inappropriate weight gain comment list. The other day, I ran into someone who I used to supervise, and she asks me if I just had a baby. I mean seriously! I know I'm bigger and I have big boobies now, but c'mon people, have some tact. So cool that criminals and coworkers alike can make these tactless remarks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Go Midget Wheels!

Look at that. I don't post for a couple weeks and then you get two posts in one day. I aim to please. This will be quick, though....that's what she said....(anyone who watches The Office will understand that). Anyway, I'm fresh off a leg workout tonight that was well worth mentioning. I finally hit a new max on squats....195 for 5! My old max was 185, so I'd say I put that one under the table. And the 195 went up without a major struggle. My ultimate goal is to squat 225 looking like the chick in the Animal "Squat Til You Puke" ad....ass to ankles. Not only did I nail squats, but I managed to crank away and increase either my weight or reps or both on every exercise after that. So for all of you who make fun of my short little least I can put them to good use.

Lots to Catch Up On...

So much for consistently updating this thing, huh? I think I figured out why I've gotten so bad at keeping up with it. I spend AAAAALLLL day at work writing and thinking of things to write that the last thing I want to do sometimes is write some more, even if it is for my own personal whatever. But I've dragged my lazy self here, so I might as well get caught up.

Let's see....I think since I last updated, I've consistently gone up about 1 pound per week. This past Saturday I was 146.6. But we've changed the diet yet again and cut back some calories in order to try to drop some of the fat that I've gained along the way....and it has been quite a bit. But I snuck a weigh-in this morning, and I was back down to 145.4. Either way, I'm trying not to get too crazy about it. The good thing is that my strength continues to increase each week. I have made relatively consistent progress in most of the 5x5's. Last Wednesday, I hit 185 for 5 on squats, and this past Monday I finally reached my pre-surgery max of 285 on dead lifts. My bench and military press maxes have stalled, though. I know it's bad to think, but I'm not overly concerned about my bench max or really anything related to chest. It's always been a body part that I don't enjoy training and have been pretty weak on, but I manage to muddle through it each Tuesday night. Right now I'm stuck at 120 for 5. As far as my military press, I seem to just miss 95 the past two weeks. I got 95 for 4 two weeks ago and only for 3 this past week. WTF? Regardless, the rest of the workouts are showing inprovements, so I try not to get too hung up on the lack of 5x5 progress. Like I've mentioned before, sometimes I think my plateaus are more mental than physical.

On a more random note, I had the strangest dream last night (and I almost never remember my dreams). Unlike a lot of friends of mine who compete, I have never had the getting-on-stage-with-no-color dream ever. But last night I dreamt that I was in Atlanta this year for Nationals making my bodybuilding debut. Somehow, I manged to pack everything except what I would need for the show. So there I am, in my hotel room with no suit, no tan, no makeup....nothing. In fact, I think I forgot to pack my contest physique because I was in the shape that I'm in now. To make it even more weird, the Homeslice and I were sharing a room with IFBB pro Debbie Bramwell and her fiance....I've never even met either one of them! Does she even have a fiance? I don't know. The only reason I could think of for her being in my dream is because she happens to be one of my favorite pros and I've cooresponded with her through email a couple of times, but still. So, here I am, in a hotel room the night before Nationals with nothing and not even close to being in shape. I don't know what happened next because I woke up. The dream was obviously a combination of so many random things going on in my head. I do happen to be going to Atlanta next week but to WATCH Nationals, not compete. And I do know that Debbie will be there, but as far as I know, we're not sharing a hotel room. And I'm almost positive that the competition part has everything to do with the fact that I'm scared shitless that I will get on stage next year and look exactly the same as I did this year despite putting in all this work and making all these changes. I dread being the tiny little pipsqueak up there all skinny and scrawny. Sometimes I feel like I should say F bodybuilding and just stay with figure...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oh My God, Look at You! You Look.......Good

Since my last post when I bitched about people's comments about my weight gain, the number of comments has only increased. In fact, it reached an interesting point this past weekend at a local bodybuilding show here in good ol' PK. I ran into a ton of people who I haven't seen in months, since switching to my current Hole-in-the-Wall gym in the sticks. And without exaggeration, 95% of the greetings started with, "Oh my god, look at you!"--what? do I have a booger hanging from my nose? --"You look...(long pause)....good." I mean, really, can a girl take an offseason and put on weight without people commenting? I do know that most people are used to seeing me around 130 in my "offseason." And now I'm carrying 15 extra pounds (and a new rack), so it's definitely a noticible difference in my dimunitive 5'3 frame. But still, people. At least try to be a little less offensive or sound more convincing when you tell me I look "good." And of course, the comments continue on a daily basis from my coworkers. I actually had a bit of a breakdown about the whole weight/size thing at the end of last week (well, ok, a big breakdown). Complete with sobbing and talks of saying 'F' the whole competing thing. But thanks to the Homeslice, he managed to talk some sense into me, and at least calm me down enough to convince me to go another week or two on my current diet and continue to put on some more weight.

I knew a breakdown like this was inevitable. I've been fighting this whole weight gaining thing from the beginning....hence this blog. But I will admit, the upside to all of this distorted body image is the progress in the gym. Not only does my strength steadily continue to increase each week, but I have improved my technique on a lot of key exercises, which has probably also contributed to strength gains. I also started using a belt for some of those exercises. Something I've never done before. And yes, I have officially accepted that I am a female meathead. My strength is no longer functional. All of my flexibility is gone. And I sometimes carry a weight belt with me. I will continue to make fun of myself for using a belt, but there's no doubt that using one has made squats and dead lifts so much easier-relatively speaking, that is.

This past Saturday's weigh-in was 145.2...up about a pound, which is much more comforting than the last two weigh-ins that were +3 and +4 pounds. For now, I'm just trying to accept that not only is this weight gain necessary but that it's not permanent. I know how to diet. I know I can follow a contest prep and get in shape, and I'll do whatever I need to in order to be in shape (hell, I've done 3 hours of cardio a day for a week and a half). So this is only temporary for the next 8 months....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Go Shawty, It's Your Birthday

An an entire week without posting=me being LAZY. Regardless, this week offered a number of significant strength gains overall. Pretty much all of my numbers went way up. We've kind of veered away from consistently doing 5x5's on compound exercises, but the few that I did do this week were pretty good. Deadlifting is not coming back as quickly as I thought, and I have a feeling that it's due to this nagging left hamstring injury (not exactly sure what the problem is) that sometimes causes my left foot to go numb. I'm thinking that it might be time to take a trip to the doc. I've heard very good things about ART therapy, and there is a doc nearby who has worked on several local athletes. One of these days I'll pull myself together and set up an appointment. See it really is amazing how lazy I am outside of the gym. So, I digress...back to the workouts. The most notable strength increase actually came with this morning's shoulder workout. We started with 5x5 standing BB presses. I have consistently struggled for weeks to get 85 for 5. But today, that came easy. And that was only my 4th set. So for number 5, I tried for 90....and I got it, clean and all. That was definitely a confidence booster. We finished the rest of the workout with 3 heavy sets of DB presses, 3 sets of DB side raises, 3 sets of 1-arm cable side raises, 3 sets of bent-over DB raises and reverse cable flies, and finished off with two sets of high rep 1-arm hammer presses. I love Saturday morning workouts.

Speaking of increasing weight...I nearly had a heart attack when I weighed myself this morning. 144. Fuck, I hate this! Up 4 pounds from last week. That's two weeks in a row of serious weight gain. 3 pounds two weeks ago, and now 4 pounds last week. I told the Homeslice this morning that we need to make some changes to the diet because I'm definitely putting on too much fat. He seemed kind of open to the idea, but still told me to get over it and keep eating for now. And I swear, if one more person at work tells me how much "bigger" or "bulky" I look, I'm going to dump my oatmeal on their head. The best is when they try to backpeddle and tell me that I look better with the weight and that I was "too skinny" before. I even had one woman tell me that I look "more womanly" with my "new curves." Seriously, bite me.

Ok, enough ranting about that. On a (sort of) better note, this past Thursday was my birthday...and I got to celebrate it Hanukkah-style this year. Presents every night of the week leading up to the actual day. It was great, and I now have an entirely new gym wardrobe...yay for UnderArmor!! It's sad to say that I have much nicer clothes for the gym than for work. I'll spend $150 on a pair of sneakers for the gym, but I won't spend more than $40 for a pair of dress shoes for work. Oh well, why bother trying to look good for a bunch of criminals, right?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's NOT as Easy as Riding a Bike

Somehow I managed to make it through this past week in one piece...though I do have numerous bruises, cuts, and swollen joints. And let's just say I have a whole new respect for stairs. While I was by far the worst one in the class, I did enjoy some parts of the Officer Mountain Bike class. We definitetely did some cool stuff that I never thought I'd be able to do, like riding up and down stairs, doing a track stand, and completing the dreaded"M" course (which more or less consisted of riding your bike along the lines of two parking spaces in the shape of an "M"). The last day was by far the best day, though. The ten of us in the class and the two instructors rode 12 miles out to the local police range where we proceeded to do several drills involving our bikes and shooting. We simulated scenarios where we had fallen off our bikes and had to shoot at a suspect. Then we ran a course that requried us to slalom uphill, drop our bikes, and then complete a course of fire that consisted of shooting from behind various covers while standing, kneeling, and laying prone. At the end of the course was a simulated hallway where we got to empty our magazines on the target at the end of the hallway....very cool. After all that, we rode the 12 miles back to the department.

The entire week was draining physically and mentally. Though, it didn't take as much a toll on my workouts as I'd thought. Naturally, I didn't set the world on fire with my leg workouts, but I still managed to see some increased strength this week during some of my other workouts, especially back. Today's weigh-in was 140.2 (up 3 pounds), which continues to leave me scratching my head trying to get a baseline for my weight. I can't seem to stay consistent, and I don't know what the issue is. The Homeslice and I have put together a new diet for me to try out for the next couple of weeks. It's not all that different from what I've been doing, but it includes an extra 30 minutes of cardio immediately after my Saturday morning workout and a high carb meal of oatmeal, honey, molasses, PB, and some whey following that. This will hopefully provide me with a little extra stored energy for the subsequent workouts that week without taking in too many carbs on a daily basis. He's always all about experimenting and testing things out, which is a good thing. Because if it was up to me, I'd follow the same thing for the entire f'ing off season and make no progress.

Anyway, now that bike school's over, I can get back to putting all my energy into my own workouts and hopefully get on track to make some consistent progress.

Monday, October 6, 2008

You Never Forget How to Ride a Bike

Just a quick update since I didn't post at all last week. I had a really good week of workouts. It was definitely the first week where I felt strong and productive during all of my workouts. I pushed the envelope a little bit during chest on Tuesday, which made for a pretty uncomfortable feeling for the rest of the week (damn boobies!). On Wednesday, our trio mixed things up quite a big for legs and trained at Planet Fitness. We did what the boys like to call their "Extension Workout," which means we do one set of extensions after every set. For example, I did 4x10 on the leg press, and after each set of presses, I did a set of extensions. No doubt, it left my legs screaming for a couple of days. This workout was some great idea the boys drummed up while I was out for my surgery. See what happens when you leave guys to their own devices?

On a non-training related note, this past weekend was alumni weekend for Marist, and my four college roommates came up for the weekend. I have to admit, I was feared a bit of drama at some point in the weekend. I mean, when is there not drama when you put five girls together for any length of time? But much to my surprise, it was a completely drama-free weekend, and we had an absolute blast. The girls got hammered, and we have TONS of crazy, blackmail pictures and even some fuzzy video clips. By the time yesterday afternoon rolled around, I was completely shot and more than happy to lay on the couch for the rest of the day.

Now onto this week...I will be spending the week in bike school. That's right folks, I'm learning how to ride a bike again...police style, that is. Apparently it's different than how other people ride their bikes. From what I understand, we'll learn to ride up and down stairs, use our bikes for defensive and offensive purposes, and even shoot from the bikes. So, that should be very interesting. I just hope I don't get hurt. I don't even want to think about what I would do if I was out of the gym again. Here's to hoping I stay on two wheels...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Next Time, Just Count Sheep

The next time I ever get the bright idea to take something to help me sleep, I'm going to do the exact opposite. For whatever reason, I wasn't able to fall asleep Friday night. Sometimes I think I get so overtired by the end of the week, that I get wound up , and it's hard to get to sleep. So I figured, what the hell, I can sleep in a bit later tomorrow if I need to, I'll try taking a sample of this great sleeping medicaiton. WRONG! I definitely fell asleep quick and slept through the night (I think), but when the alarm went off the next morning, I thought I'd been out drinking the night before. Once I finally made it out of bed (an hour later), I headed to the gym in a complete fog. I was still so messed up from the stuff that I was practically cross-eyed. It took a large amount of caffine to even get me to function normally. Needless to say, my usually enjoyable Saturday morning arm workout was a little rough, but I managed to muddle through it and still get a good little pump going.

Usually, we alternate each week starting with bi's first one week and tri's the following week. We somehow got mixed up and started with bi's again this week, hitting incline db curls, 1 and a half rep preacher curls, hammer curls, and one-arm cable curls. Then we moved on to tri's which included regular grip press downs, a superset of reverse grip press downs and overhead extensions, one-arm db extensions, and 1 and a half rep decline skull crushers. After we finished tri's, we went back to the preacher curl machine and hammered out two sets of 20 reps to burn out our bi's. Then it was time for the Homeslice to work on posing and get some pictures taken to send to Dave. I have definitely been living vicariously through his prep this year knowing that I won't be getting started for quite some time. It kind of breaks things up for me. Even though I don't have my own show to focus on, his might as well be my own (without all the miserable bs of dieting of course).

Saturday morning weigh-in: 137.0, just like I figured.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So You Think You Can Train

It's amazing, no matter how strong I think I am, I inevitably realize that I'm so not. And leg day is always a good reminder of that. There's no doubt that training with a 250 lb bodybuilder and a 180 lb rower pushes me in ways that I might not be pushed if I was by myself (or even training with another female). But I have a bad habit of thinking I can put up more weight than I really can, especially when it comes to training legs. Yesterday's workout went like this:
Step-backs on smith: 2x15
Leg press: 1x20; 2x10-8-6 (increasing weight); 1x10; 1x20
Hacks: 3x8 (5 sec. negative)
Smith lunges (rear leg on bench): 2x10
Squats: 6x10 (light weight, emphasis on perfect form)
Extensions: race to 100reps

The problem for me came during leg press with the increasing sets. In my infinite wisdom, I figured I could handle 3 plates and a 25 on each side for 10, then 4 plates for 8, and finally 4 and a 25 for 6...just kidding. I got the 10 reps no problem, then barely squeaked out the 8 with 4 plates. And the final 6? Not happening....I struggled to get 2. So the next set I dropped the weight down and hit all the anticipated numbers. Sometimes it's very frustrating for me to see the boys load up the sled and crank out their reps only to strip it down to a few measly plates for me to huff and puff my way through. The remainder of the workout went well, and we actually had some fun (yay for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!). That's another great thing about the three of us training together. We all have the same sense of humor...a very weird sense of humor. Not to mention the fact that I can always count on plenty of good jokes being made at my expense.

The earlier workouts this week (back on Monday and chest on Tuesday) were relatively uneventful. Back was a little frustrating because my dead lift strength isn't coming back as quickly as I'd hoped. What's even more frustrating is that a nagging injury that I've had in my left glute/hamstring continues to worsen, and it impacts dead lifting (as well as squats, and virtually all hamstring exercises). I thought for sure that my 4 weeks off from the gym would help it heal, but it's back and as bad as it's ever been. Plus, it's so deep in the muscle that I can't even get to it to massage it. I have a feeling that I'm going to have to wind up seeing a doctor for of these days.

Anyway, my overall strength seems to be back and finally progressing, which makes training fun again. Plus, I have chosen a show/shows for next year and can now start nailing down a plan for the next several months. As of right now, the plan is to compete at the Eastern USA's in November next year and try to qualify for Nationals the following week. It's a lot to take on, but I think I can do it with the help of my Homie. This will easily be the longest stretch of time I have taken for an offseason, but I'm committed and focused. I intend to make an impressive debut as a bodybuilder and know that I need time in order to do that. In the past, I've typically done shows in the spring and early summer (or in the case of some years, spring summer and fall). This will be a nice change of pace. Plus, many (too many) of my friends caught the wedding bug, and I already have three weddings to go to between May and June of next year--one of which I am in. And while I would love to show up to these weddings in shape, I know I wouldn't have fun if I was run down and hungry. So, Easterns in November '09 it is....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dynamic Duo

I swear that there are some relationships that have incredible chemistry that only builds upon itself and only in a way that's specific for the two involved. For me, one of those relationships comes in the form of a particular training partner. There happen to be many dynamics to that paternership/relationship (fortunately and unfortunately), but it's those dynamics that seem to make it so productive sometimes. This morning was one of those times--and all we trained was arms. It's not like we went in and pounded out some heavy squats or crazy db presses, just arms. But that chemistry was there and on point, and that resulted in a pretty sick workout. We hit bi's first with 1-arm cable curls, three drop-sets of preacher curls, a superset of incline db curls and hammer curls, then finished with three simple sets of straight bar curls. My bi's were so pumped, I could barely fix the rat's nest on top of my head that I call my hair. Next was tri's, and well, considering how my bi's were feeling, muddling through tri's was interesting. We started with three sets of 1.5's on close grip incline bench on the smith machine, followed by three heavy sets of skull crushers, three sets of one arm o.h. cable extensions. Finishing up with a superset of regular grip EZ bar press downs and reverse grip press downs.

For quite some time, I had been separating arms and training bi's with back and tri's with chest. Initially, I saw some good changes, but after awhile, my arms became a pretty weak body part because of that. Plus, my back and chest workouts were suffering because I was always thinking about having to cram in extra stuff afterwards. I have found that I get a much better pump when I have an entire workout devoted to arms...big surprise, huh? Plus, I figure that if I'm making this switch to bb, I better completely revamp everything and train/eat like a bb.

My two previous workouts were Thursday night shoulders and Friday night hams and calves...neither of which was much to write home about. I was on track with eating this week (I certainly do not have a problem getting all my meals in like some people...that inner fat kid loves it), and it showed in my weight today. 135.6 I can't remember the last time I ever saw that number on the scale. I know next week's weigh in is going to be tough for me. I know for a fact that I have never seen anything higher than 135 on the scale, and it's a pretty safe bet that I'll be at least a pound if not two, over that by next week. Just gotta keep the bigger picture in mind...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Little Redemption Goes a Long Way

Well, here it is, Thursday of my second week back, and I'm still standing (so to speak). After last week's workouts, I thought, for sure, that I would have a huge mental battle to fight for a couple of weeks before I could really start to get into training again. So far, that hasn't been the case this week. As usual, this week started off with back, which always tends to go well. 5x5 on dead lifts left me with another small increase in strength, going 245 for 5 on my final set. My goal is to hit 280 for 5 in two more weeks. I think that four weeks of training should put me back on track or at least pretty damn close. Nothing too crazy to finish off the rest of the workout...Dorian style bb rows, seated cable rows, WG pull downs, one-arm T-bar rows (love them!), and finally reverse grip pull downs. I know it looks like a lot on paper, but we tend to do only 2 or 3 sets of each exercise to keep variety. Hmmm, I guess that still makes it a lot--overtraining is a word I've often heard associated with my workouts (good thing my training parters overtrain too).

Tuesday was chest, and that's certainly nothing for me to write home about these days. You know, it's funny...before my surgery, a lot of my girlfriends who've also had the surgery done were so excited for me because they said I wouldn't have to train chest anymore. Now don't get me wrong, I've always disliked training chest and I've never been one to hide that fact, but as far as I know, the sport of bodybuilding is largely about symmetry and muscularlity. Neither of which can be achieved if you don't train the bodypart. While I knew that I would not be able to get back and start hammering chest right away, I simply cannot understand the rationale of just not training a bodypart. In fact, the way that I've tried to approach training chest post-surgery is that now I can REALLY kill it (once I'm fully recovered, that is) because I don't have to worry about my boobs shrinking...something that was always in the back of my mind before.

On to yesterday's workout...quads. I had the typical leg-day anxiety surrounding last night's looming working with the added stress of my failure to complete the workout last week. I knew that if I had as bad a workout last night as I did the week before that it would likely mess with my head. Fortunately, last night's workout went pretty damn well. We started off with some isolation exercises before moving into the big stuff...3x15 single-leg extenstions followed by 3x10 lunge step-backs on the smith machine. Then it was on to a big superset...10 reps just short of failure on the hack followed up with a heavy set just short of failure on the leg press. Now this was particularly difficult for me because I have a bad habit of ALWAYS training to failure, and sometimes beyond. After hitting failure on my second set and getting yelled at by Captain Crankypants, I managed to pull it together for the rest of the exercise. We did 4 of those supersets then added a little icing-5x10 strip set. So what I did looked like this:

6 plates (total): 10

4 plates and two 25's: 10

4 plates: 10

2 plates and two 25's: 10

2 plates: 10

Then we went back to hacks for two more sets of good ol' one and a half's. And of course, we still weren't done. We finished with 6x10 squats with light weight and perfect form (taking it aaaaalllll the way down) and then 3x20 leg extentsions. So, needless to say, my legs are F-R-I-E-D, but I felt pretty good about it-relatively speaking.

Tonight is shoulders, which is usually enjoyable for me. Seems like once I get past legs, everything else is cake...mmmmm, cake. I love the offseason.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shock But No Awe

I made it through my first week back to training in one piece...barely. I managed to finish off last week with a couple of decent workouts. Shoulders on Thursday night and arms on Saturday morning went pretty well, but hams on Friday just sucked. Granted, my quads were still so intensely sore from Wedensday that my ham workout wasn't all that productive. In fact, here it is 5 days after my quad workout and they're STILL f'ing sore. Unfortunately, it seems that I've lost a significantly greater amount of strength in my legs than in my upper body. And I have a distinct feeling that it's going to be much harder for me to get that strength back. It's so frustrating. I realize that getting this surgery was not necessary by any means, and I need to understand the tradeoff. But there have been times during this past week when I feel like I've lost so much of what I've worked so hard for. This feeling was not helped out by a comment I received while at the gym on Saturday, either. One of the girls at my gym who I have trained with a few times informed me that it makes her feel so much better to see me with the extra weight now because I "look like the rest of us." I mean, really, was that necessary? I know what you're thinking, she didn't mean it like that, blah blah blah. I realize that, but still, who says that to someone?

As usual, I weighed myself on Saturday...133.6. Not entirely surprising since I significantly increased my calories this week and added carbs back in. I have gone back to the original diet plan that Sean set up for me at the end of June when I kicked into offseason mode. I'm pretty sure that once I get back into heavy training he'll want to increase the calories some more. I've also received strict instructions from him to take it easy for one more week. Yeah, I'll work on that. Though, I will say that not going to Atlantic City this weekend and getting plenty of rest has helped my body recover from the shock of training last week. I do feel like I missed out a bit by not going, but I know that it was ultimately better for me not to go. Besides, I may be going to Nationals in Atlanta in November, which is a pretty cool trade off.

Anyway, now that I have wasted an hour of Dutchess County's precious time and tax payers dollars, I must return to fighting crime...or rather typing term papers.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

One Hurtin' Unit

Apparently "take it slow and easy" is NOT in my training repertoire. Here it is only Thursday of my first week back, and I feel like I've been hit by a bus. I completely overdid back on Monday (thank you dead lifts) and have been paying for it ever since. I was good on Tuesday when I trained chest, as I had a certain added fear since I know I'm still healing. Unfortunately for me, my lower back was still screaming come last night when I tried to train quads, and this is where the real trouble began. With my two fave partners, we started off with 4 sets of leg press. Ok, not so bad. Not a lot of strength, but I can still hammer some reps out. Well, we decided to do a 5th set and strip plates off after 5 reps. I had 5 plates on each side and tried to push out my 5 reps...I couldn't even get the second rep and they had to pull the sled off my chest. What the? Frustrated, I bolted to the bathroom to try to pull myself together because I was on the verge of committing the ultimate gym sin. I was about to cry. I managed to make it to the stall before the tears came, but it was still so embarassing and frustrating. After I pulled it together, I tried to hit that last set. I got 5 (shitty) reps with 5 plates, then 5 again with 4 plates, 5 with 3, 6 with 2, and then 10 with one. I thought that would mentally reset me for the rest of the workout. Not so. I proceeded through the rest of the workout of 1 and a half rep hack squats, 6 sets of extensions, and three sets of smith lunges on the verge of tears the entire time and incredibly frustrated that I had even less strength than I thought I would. In fact, I couldn't even make it to the last exercise...6 sets of squats for high reps. My legs and lower back especially were completely done. I have been training since I was a senior in high school (that would be 11 years for you non math majors), and I have NEVER EVER EVER bailed before the end of a workout. I have had workouts during contest prep that have left me pretty teared up, but I've never not finished them.

Anyway, tonight is a new night and another chance to redeem myself doing shoulders. Let's hope things run a little more smoothly. I think "slow and easy" needs to be my new mantra for the next week and a half.

So, in other non-training related news, my body is technically not the only thing hurting these days. My poor little car is quite f'ed up, too. When I came out to the parking lot from work today, I found a note on my car and some very large scratches and dents in the driver side rear bumper and quarter panel. Some girl hit my car when she was pulling into her spot this morning (our parking lot is rediculously tight). Lucky for me, she was nice enough to have left her number and has offered to pay for the damages. It was just one hassle that I don't need. I was supposed to go to the Atlantic City Pro this weekend to work the ALRI booth again, but I just don't have it in me to do it. Between my poor car, some exceptional extra stress at work, plus my struggle to get back into training have left me completely drained emotionally and not feeling much like being nice to the typical bodybuilding show d-bag. All I want is to have a nice, quiet, BORING weekend at home consisting of some good training and lots of relaxation.

For now, it's off to the gym...

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Band Is Back Together!

Yeah, man! Day 1 back in the gym post-surgery, and what better way to start it off than by training back with my two favorite training partners. Even though I expected to lose some strength during the past four weeks, it was still incredibly frustrating to get in there and have no strength OR stamina. My original plan for the next week or two was to just get back in and feel the movements and get used to training again. Of course, that wasn't exactly how things worked out last night. As usual, we started off with 5x5 dead lifts, and I made it up to 235 for 5 on my fifth set. It was a struggle, but they were clean. I knew I wasn't going to touch 280 for 5 like I did before my surgery, so 235 was ok by me. The boys tried for 1RM and both had some pretty decent showings. Not wanting to test the limits too much, I opted to drop my weight to 185 and crank out 8 and then drop again to 135 for 10. We finished with some wide grip pulldowns, reverse grip rows, two-arm db rows, and close grip pulldowns. Not surprisingly, my back was fried even before I made it out to my car. I felt pretty good on all the exercises, but the pulldowns were tough since I'm still tight in the, um, chest reigion. I had trouble getting the full range of motion and feeling a good squeeze. Tonight is chest, which I'm very leary about and will have to make a concerted effort to TAKE IT EASY.

As far as my nutrition goes, the past four weeks have been a pretty serious breakthrough for me mentally. I have always always ALWAYS feared "getting fat" in the offseason and was very concerned that it would happen over the course of my recovery. While I certainly don't like the loss of muscle, I finally managed to see that I was able to eat a fair amount and maintain my weight and shape. What is truly the breakthrough for me is that I can say that I know I need to eat more food than I was eating four weeks ago in order for me to grow and build muscle--but more importantly that I WILL EAT. I intend to devise a new plan of attack by the end of this week.

In other news, I was at Team U in NYC this weekend working the ALRI booth Friday night and aaaaallllll day Saturday. It was a long weekend for sure, but it was a good time. I got to see a lot of people that I haven't seen in a while and also got to meet some cool new people. I wasn't fortunate enough to watch much of the show, but I did get to see the figure girls at night. I have to admit, it's sad for me to watch the evolution of figure. I remember watching my very first show at the Tribecca in 2005....Atlantic States. I never thought I'd be on that stage in a million years, never mind on a national level stage. I used to aspire to look like those top level competitors. But with the new look that is being pushed in figure, I was very disheartened to look at the pro card winners from Team U and not want to emulate any of their physiques. That's not to say that they aren't exceptional competitors with great phsyiques, but they have had to morph them into what the judges are looking for now....a look that I no longer admire. It simply reaffirmed why switching to bodybuilding is a good move for me.

Anyway, this weekend I will be heading down to the Atlantic City Pro to work for ALRI again, and I'm sure it'll be another interesting weekend. In the meantime, it's good to be back.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Just What the Doctor (Didn't) Order

Yesterday I went back to the doctor for my second post-op appointment in hopes of good news about training. Well, not so much. While he did say that I was healing especially quickly, I still have to wait another 10 days before I can start training....NOT COOL. It's even more difficult for me to not train now that I'm starting to feel better. But I know that it's better for me to have 4 weeks off now then to wind up being out for an even longer period of time down the road because I didn't listen to the doctor. So I continue to wait. In the meantime, I've decided to go back to my precontest protein/fat diet (see the rest of this post for the reason why) and continue with 45 minutes of cardio 3 or 4 days a week. I'm also doing some ab training when it's not too uncomfortable. I weighed myself Monday morning and was 129.2....more muscle lost? I'm trying not to freak out about that-clearly it's not working out too well.

In the midst of my crappy attitude about not being able to train, I have been given a pretty cool opportunity that I never thought I'd have. While I was in Chicago for Junior Nationals this year, I met the owner of ALR Industries, as well as a couple of reps (one of my favorite up and coming figure pros, Krissy Chin, and her husband, Troy), who mentioned that they were looking for girls to run their booth at some shows in the fall. Well, several weeks later, I was finally contacted by them and asked to work their booth at the Team Universe in NYC and also at the Atlantic City Pro the following weekend. So, I will be representing ALRI for the next two weekends. The unfortunate thing (c'mon, you can't expect me to not complain about something) is that I am disgustingly out of shape, not having trained in four weeks and will be working this booth with two other girls--one of whom is dieting and the other who always looks good, even in the offseason. I am just praying that our outfits are particularly modest. All bitching aside, I'm hoping that this will lead to future sponsorship from ALRI. I can't even begin to imagine how much that would help out with the financial end of this sport.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Easing Back In

Yesterday I decided to venture back into the gym for a little early morning cardio. I figured that since I can walk with virtually no pain at this point then there's no reason why I can't do some low intensity cardio. So, I went in and actually enjoyed my 45 minutes on the stepmill. It felt good to be moving and sweating again. I wanted to train abs afterwards like I would normally do, but I didn't think it would really be a good idea since I still have some pain trying to push myself up. But it's a start, and I know I'm going to have to ease myself back into things. I definitely don't want to jeopardize my recovery. I paid too damn much for these things to risk any problems! I am definitely chomping at the bit to get back to training, though. And I am dreading dealing with the lack of strength when I do go back. I figure that, for now, I'll just do 45 minutes of cardio 3 or 4 times per week until I can train again. I go to the doctor next Wednesday for another follow up and will hopefully have a better idea when I can start training. From there, I'm going to have to start thinking about a game plan for next year's contest season so that I can maximize my training/eating over the course of the next several months.

I also weighed myself yesterday morning and was 130.8, which means that I have actually lost about a pound (in light of my addition). In the past, I might have been happy about the weight loss, but yesterday I was actually more concerned with the fact that it was most likely muscle that I lost. So, in order to ensure that I preserve as much muscle as possible, I decided to go back to my original off-season diet, minus the post-workout meal.

As much as I despise being out of the gym, I think that this has been and will continue to be a good mental break for me. I have a feeling that I'll have a seriously renewed enthusiasm towards training that I haven't had in a long time, which will hopefully work to my advantage. Not to mention the fact that I will save A LOT of money....all this spare time at night leads to unnecessary shopping (well, of course, some of it is necessary).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Little Recovery Time

Ok, so I have nothing to post that is training-related per se, but I'm bored out of my mind sitting in my apartment "recovering." I'm going to go absolutely crazy by the end of this week. I don't know how I'm going to make it without training for so many weeks. I already feel like a waste of space. After discussing how I would handle my diet during this period of not training with my "supervisor," we decided that I could minimize the fat gain and muscle loss by following my pre-contest protein/fat day. I was afraid that I was going to have a monster appetite and that I was going to want to eat everything in sight. Fortunately, that hasn't been the case so far. In fact, I have been doing rather well. I was more or less on a reasonable plan the day after the surgery. I didn't even succumb to my rediculous craving for ice cream just because I had been cut open.

Anyway, I did want to make note of my weight before the surgery, though. I weighed myself on Friday morning before heading out for the surgery and was 130.6 no weight gain during the last week. I have a feeling that I will most likely settle somewhere between 133 and 135 and then have to try to gain from there. But until then, I have to just sit here and heal...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I just wanted to post one last time about my final shoulder workout before the surgery. I wound up training solo tonight, which is sometimes a good thing for me. I can just focus on me and get lost in my ipod and my own wacko head. The gym was like bizzarro-land tonight, though. Only a few of the regulars were there, and the rest I had never seen before. Some of them actually looked like they'd come through my office a few times or might be headed in that direction, which is incredibly strange considering that my gym is a little hole in the wall located in a middle-of-nowhere country setting. Anyway, my workout. As usual, I started off with standing presses, and I was absolutely determined to get 90 for five. I have missed it for two weeks now, and I was just getting annoyed. Well, I got it finally. Number 5 was a struggle, and it was questionable whether I'd get it, but goddammit, I got it. It's pretty ironic that my shoulders happen to be one of my best body parts on stage but one of my weakest in the gym, and vice versa with my back. Clearly I am not normal.

So that's it for training for probably 4-6 weeks, which I'm not entirely happy about. I've never taken more than a day or two off from training completely in years--or maybe ever, now that I think about it. But I guess in the grand scheme of things, it's not all that bad. Talk about taking a whole new approach to an offseason.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Last Supper...Or Rather Tossed Supper

Yes, the final leg workout before my surgery. Not only was I dreading this workout because I get the usual leg-day anxiety, but I was again feeling pressure to get a new squat max. Good thing for me, I had another trusty old-school training partner to back me up again. As usual, we started off with 5x5 squats. I tried to get 185 on my 4th set but only got 4. So, being the stubborn individual that I am, I gave it another shot and managed to squeeze out 5. They weren't text book, but they definitely worked. And it was another good breakthrough mentally for me. We followed squats with 2RP sets of presses and then played war on the final set (I won, of course). I paid for that win, though--I thought I was going to lose the chow after that last one. Anyway, the rest of the workout ran pretty well, and I felt pretty strong. All in all a really good final leg workout before the surgery. Unfortunately, I didn't have the energy left to fit in hams, so they're out until I come back, which was not what I wanted to do. I tried to rearrange my schedule this week in order to try and fit everything in before the surgery. Not that it matters all that much, I guess, since I'm going to be out for several weeks.

Now it's off to hit the final workout--shoulders....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Got back?

Last night I was finally able to break some new ground training back. I'd had a pretty unsuccessful back workout the week prior and was completely dreading this workout. The original plan was to train with one of the girls who I'm helping prep for Eastern USA's, but last minute I opted to hook up with an old training partner, which is almost a garaunteed solid training session. There are just some people who you have a sick chemistry with in the gym, and he's one of them. He knows exactly when I'm being a big baby and need that little push in the right direction to get me back on track. Lucky for me, he had my back last night--no pun intended. Despite being in his own funk (he's prepping for Eastern USA's in November also), he managed to help me get through this plateau. I finally got 280 for 5. It wasn't exactly pretty, but I got 'em and they were solid. Since I didn't have another 5 in me to go up in weight, I thought I'd venture in to completely new territory and see if I could get 315 up off the floor for at least one....I did, and it was clean and strong. That was a huge mental breakthrough for me. One thing I really need to work on is my explosiveness. I haven't quite figured that out yet. Anyway, the rest of the workout flowed incredibly well, following up deads with wide grip pull downs, bent over bb rows, close grip pull downs, and finishing with one arm T-bars. It's funny, back is easily one of my favorite and strongest body parts to train, yet it's one of my weaker body parts on stage (I have no width). So, that's something I really need to focus on this offseason. Fortunately, my waist is tiny (well, when I'm prepping at least), so it helps balance out my mini-lats to some degree. But I know with a little more width back there, it would make a world of difference on my overall symmetry. Maybe this is the year....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A new line of jeans

Saturday was the dreaded weekly weigh-in...130.6. Up almost three pounds in a week. I really dislike this. I know I need to keep the bigger picture in mind for next year, especially if I decide to switch to BB. To make things worse, I had to go out and buy new jeans yesterday because my tank ass no longer fits into the few that I currently own. Now, I never claimed to be up on fashion or anything, but seriously, what's the deal with the skinny jean? Unless you are a skeleton, those jeans are going to look awful on you. Forget wearing them if you have any kind of muscle (or fat, for that matter) below your waist. I simply can't understand why designers can't make jeans for women with tiny waists and larger legs. Instead of the skinny jean, they can call them the fatty jean. Granted, the name isn't as appealing, but I garauntee that women would still buy them for the sheer fact that they FIT.

So, enough about jeans that don't fit and on to the workouts. I had some pretty decent workouts this weekend. Saturday was shoulders, which I wound up training by myself. Unfortunately, I missed my max on standing presses, only getting 90 for three. I tend to stick like that for a couple of weeks before finally breaking the plateau. Hopefully, next week I'll hit it. The rest of the workout turned out pretty well, though. This morning I trained chest with my old school training buddy--which garauntees that I'll laugh my ass off. Unfortunately, I missed a new max on incline presses, too, only getting 105 for I've been feeling a little (ok, a lot) of pressure lately to hit new maxes this week becuase I'm going to be out of the gym for nearly six weeks due to a little, um, surgery. Yes, the inevitable surgery that so many women in this industry get. It seems like when I put that kind of pressure on myself, I wind up thinking too much about hitting each rep and ultimately doing more harm than good. I just need to try to enjoy this last week of training because it'll be a while before I'm back at it again and starting from scratch. But it will all be worth it...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Quick note on my training...each week I pick one compound exercise for each major body part (back, chest, quads, shoulders) and try to hit a new 5RM each week. So far, here's where I stand:
Back: Dead Lift-275
Chest: Incline BB press-100
Quads: Squat (ass to ankles)-175
Shoulders: Standing BB Military Press-85

Last weigh-in was last Saturday, and I was 127.8. I plan on weighing myself only once a week on Saturday mornings before training...a time I have come to dread.

The First Step

Ok, so I'm taking a page out of the book of several of my friends and starting a blog. Why? Who could possibly want to read what I have to write? I have no idea, but it's my attempt at holding myself accountable to follow through with "a real offseason." I've been competing in figure since 2005 and have been lucky enough to have had a pretty good run so far. But that's the thing, a lot of it has just been luck and plain old stubborness on my part. This year is the first time that I am going to put as much effort into my offseason training as I do my contest prep.

In the past, I could probably best be described as a cardio queen who lifts weights. I had the dreaded fear of putting on too much weight in the offseason (god forbid I should put on some muscle while I was at it) and kept my calories restricted and the cardio high...despite loving to eat and throw around heavy weight. Needless to say, showtime left me looking like a skinny, stringy rag. This contest season, I took a completely different approach to prep by working with Dave Palumbo--which meant no carbs and loooooong, low intensity cardio. I looked the absolute best I ever have and finally made it to the national level stage at Junior Nationals in Chicago.

And that brings me to my offseason. My drastically different approach to contest prep this year proved relatively successful, why not drastically revamp my offseason approach? This means a complete mental and physical overhaul--being ok with eating lots of food and cutting way back on the cardio.

...So, here I am, just about six weeks after Junior Nationals. About 15 pounds heavier (yay for chipmunk cheeks). Eating about 2500 calories a day. And reaching new 5RM each week in just about every body part. Looks like a good first step...