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...