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....

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