Sunday, June 28, 2009

Much Needed Mental Break

Last night was one of my good friend's weddings, marking the official end to my wedding season this year and reminding me that my offseason is coming to a close. With that in mind, I decided to let loose a little bit. After weighing myself yesterday morning and seeing that I stayed at 141.2 even with the added carbs and cutting back on cardio, I decided to eat a little extra and have a few glasses of wine last night at the wedding. Of course, by eating a little extra I mean I had some of the mashed potatoes that came with my filet and took a couple bites of the wedding cake. In light of more relationship drama in my life lately, I have obviously been feeling pretty blah about everything. So last night was great to just hang out, drink, and dance with some really good friends. In fact, my friends were so surprised that I was drinking that they felt that meant I needed to have a(well, ok, several) full glasses of wine in front of me at all times. But I was good and didn't overindulge....can't say that for some of the other people there though. A bunch of us, including the bride and groom, went out for a bit after the reception ended, and I was quickly reminded why I don't go out to bars....drunk douchebags, 'nuff said.

Now, when I woke up this morning, you would think I'd drank a gallon of wine and been out until feet hurt, sore throat, achy, tired, and a headache. WTF. I'm getting old. Anyway, it made for a not so great shoulder workout. But my chest was still sore from Friday, and my back was hammered from yesterday's workout. I have no idea what I did different but whatever it was, I was feeling it. This upcoming week, I'm cutting my cardio back from 45 minutes 5 days to 30 minutes 5 days. We're going to let my weight creep back up a bit. I still don't have an exact date for when the diet will start, but I have a distinct feeling that it will be July 11 instead of the 25th....god I hate being fat. Either way, it's quickly approaching, and not until I started writing this, did I begin to get nervous. I've had such a long offseason, and I've gotten used to eating a lot...what if I can't hack it on the diet this year? What if I can't make it to the end? What if I look like shit? I've been out of a dieting mindframe for so long that I wonder if it will work against me instead of allowing me to be more mentally prepared to diet. Aaaahhh yes, the fucked up mind of a bodybuilder...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Schedule Change Up

This is something I don't do very well but am forced to this week because of a crazy work schedule. I am usually so structured and seriously dislike being thrown out of my typical split, and this time was no different. For whatever reason, I get anxiety that everything that needs to get done won't because I have to shift things around....yeah, yeah, I know, it's rediculous. This week is a mess because I'm in two courts tonight, one Wednesday night, and one Thursday....WHY can't these people do the right thing?

Anyway, Sunday morning was shoulders as usual, and we had a good workout. Last night, we hit legs and went with a pretty conventional, straightforward workout. No crazy supersets (except walking lunges and extensions), no drop sets or increasing sets. After all the wacky workouts we've been doing, I didn't think this workout would be all that effective, but my legs will tell you today that it was very effective.

Ok, started this entry on Tuesday, and I'm now finally finishing it on Thursday. To put it bluntly, I am annoyed. With everything in my life right now. At this point, I'm looking forward to my contest prep so that I don't have to think about anything. I can flip the switch into robot mode and just plug along. My only focus will be my prep, and I can take a mental vacation from a few select things. After a rather drama-filled contest prep last year, my goal is to have a stress and drama-free prep this year. I want to enjoy the process as much as possible and really soak up my progress each week. Time will be tight with my schedule at work, so there really won't be much wiggle room for any bullshit. So basically, don't get in my way from July until November ;-)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rainy Saturday

If I wanted all this rain that we've had over the past two weeks, I would be living in Seattle or England....this blows! Anyway, the weather sucks, but I had a sick back workout this morning. I was going to dead lift, but the numbness in my leg was really bad, so I figured it would be frustrating and counterproductive for me to even try. So, the workout looked something like this...

CG pull downs: 100/20, 140/12, 150/10, 150/10, 160/8

Behind the neck pulldowns: 110/10, 110/10, 110/10
ss w/ Straight-arm pressdows: 90/10, 100/8, 100/8

T-Bar Rows: 185/8, 195/7, 205/6

1-arm DB Rows: 80/10, 85/8, 85/8

Bent-over BB Rows: 115/20, 125/17, 125/15

WG pull downs: 90/20, 90/20, 90/20

I was very happy with my strength, and even on my heavier sets, I kept my form tight, something that I tend to let go as I get to heavier weights. After a bit of a rough week where I felt crappy all around, this was a good way to end the week. I took my time and didn't even look at the clock during the workout. Afterwards, I practiced posing and ran through my routine a couple of times. I gained 2lbs. this week (up to 141.2) but that was expected since I added the extra meal and cut the cardio back to 5 days. But even with the weight gain, I was still hard and full up top and was happy with how I looked. Tomorrow I'll take pics, and I'll be brought back to reality when I see how gross my ass still looks.

I will admit, though, I've been following along on RX with the coverage of Jr. Nationals and am inspired to keep plugging along and making as many gains as possible in this next few weeks of my offseason (about 5 left). And after looking at pictures of some of the figure girls, I am so glad that I decided to make the switch to bodybuilding. Don't get me wrong, there were girls that looked good, but I recognized some girls that I met there last year and noticed that they had tried to bring in softer packages, and it seemed to take away from their whole shape. I already know that I'm not going to be one of the bigger girls on stage this year(I'll either be a tall, skinny lightweight or just a small middleweight at Nationals), but dammit, I'm going to be hard as nails. I believe that we have 100% control over our conditioning, and I refuse to get on stage with anything less than spot-on conditioning.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Great Leg Workout

Last night's leg workout was relatively pain-free (or rather, manageable enough for me to move some weight). We did the "Extension Workout" and went something like this:

Squats: 175/10, 185/10, 195/9, 205/6, 205/4
ss w/ Extensions: 80/15, 80/15, 80/15, 80/15, 80/15

Hacks (1 and a half): 110/8, 110/5, 110/6
ss w/ Extensions: 82/12, 85/12, 85/12, 85/12

Walking DB Lunges: 35/12, 35/12, 35/12
ss w/ single-leg Extensions: 40/8, 40/8, 40/8

Leg Press (high reps): 6 plates total/30 reps, 8 plates total/20 reps

I love the feeling of completely taxing my nervous system like that. I was so sleepy and nauseaus by the end of the workout, it was great. Does that make me weird? Then I got up and did hams at 5am this morning and had a pretty good workout, too. I'm hurting already :-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's Not Rocket Surgery

After receiving my negative MRI results, my doctor sent me to get an EMG on some of the nerves in my lower back. Not only was it a useless test, but it was just NOT fun for me. After the doctor used a stun gun-like object to stimulate the nerves in my lower leg (yeah, I said lower leg, not lower back), he proceeded to tell me that he was going to do the needle test. Ummm, nobody told me anything about needles. So I warned him that I don't handle needles very well and get light-headed and queasy. His response? Well, it's more like a pin than a needle. Potato,'re still sticking me with a sharp instrument! Not surprisingly, the results were negative and they still don't know what's wrong with me. Well, Einsteins, if you listened to me (heaven forbid) and took some kind of image of my left hamstring, I'd bet any amount of money, you'll find that's where the problem lies. I'm not usually one to do much research, but I looked into the different heads of the hamstring and found that the of the two that connect at the most medial point in the body, the semitendinosus looks to be what's injured. Everything that that particular head is responsible for and where it innervates matches EXACTLY what my symptoms are. I guess I am going to have to be more forceful with my doctor on this one.

As far as training goes, there was an addition to my usual training duo this past Sunday. A friend of a friend who goes to my gym asked if he could jump in with me and my regular training partner, bringing the total number of training partners I've had that are named "Sean" up to four now....weeeeeiiiiiird. I typically don't like training with more than two people, but the workout went surprisingly fast for having 3 people. Not a bad workout but also nothing to write home about. Last night's arm workout, well let's just say, blech. But there's a monthly reason for that. So, I'm sure tonight's leg workout will be just deeeeelightful. I feel like an f'ing water balloon. This week, we cut my cardio back to 5 days (3 days at 45 minutes and two days at 60 minutes) and added a 6th meal (a shake). With my luck, I'll be up 3 pounds by Saturday....go me.

Oh yeah, and one final, small thing that I have to mention because I'm so easily amused. A friend of mine went to Trader Joe's this past weekend. And knowing that I've recently developed a love of their crunchy almond butter, he bought me two jars of it! I can't wait to dig into those bad boys! Speaking of digging in, it's time for me to dig into some chicken and cashews....mmmmmm, cashews.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Wanna know what's REALLY brightened my week this week? Check out and you'll know exactly why. A friend of mine told me about this site, and I'm not usually one to get that much enjoyment out of something like this, but this site's got some good ones.

And thank god for that little bit of laughter because my job is slowly sucking the life out of me this week. When I changed to a supervision unit, I thought that it would relieve some of the stress of the investigation deadlines....well that has NOT been the case for the past two weeks. And it seems like it just keeps getting worse. People are getting re-arrested. I'm catching them drinking. They're driving without a license. I feel like I'm going to be in court for the next two weeks straight because NOBODY can keep their shit together. I can't even begin to tell you how much I'm looking forward to this weekend. It's the first weekend in at least a month where I haven't had something to do that requires travel or takes up an entire day. I'm looking forward to being able to sleep in and not rushing through my workouts and not having to think about packing my food for two days. I'm so mentally and emotionally drained from the past two weeks of personal and work stuff that I'll be perfectly ok with doing nothing.

As far as my workouts have gone...Tuesday's leg workout was another good one. We did the same workout as last week, only we changed things up at the end with leg presses and did two increasing sets followed by a high rep set to blast them. My hamstring felt good, relatively speaking, and I was able to work my way up to some heavier weights when I was squatting. My last set of squats was 4 reps at 205, and I can honestly say that they were good, clean, all-the-way-down, reps...I'll take it. For tomorrow's back workout, I'm going to take another shot at deadlifting and see how it feels. I really would love to add that back into my workouts, even if it is just at the end with lighter weights.

My diet this week only changed a little, with an added "carb-up" meal after Wednesday morning's workout. Cardio was cut back to alternating between 60 minutes and 45 minutes every other day. I wasn't supposed to, but I weighed myself Thursday morning and was only 139.6, so the weight's not piling back on like I thought it would. I can't believe how quick prep-time is approaching...I can't wait (I'm sure I won't be saying that by the time September rolls around though). Anyway, here's to a drama-free weekend of doing nothing but training and eating :-)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Today's weather sucks, and seems to be matching my mood. Sorry folks, if you're looking for an upbeat read, this isn't it today. It's stormy and miserable outside, and I'd say that's a pretty accurate description of where I'm at right now. Have you ever wondered how someone or something can have such a major impact on every aspect of your it can be so draining that you don't have the energy to bother with anything else? When is it time to cut your losses and walk away? And how do you know when enough is enough? People always say to trust your instincts and follow your heart, but sometimes your instinct and your heart aren't exactly in tune with one another. So, how have I decided to cope with things? Good old avoidance....I just don't. Aaahhh, yes, thank god for training and alcoholics who can't help but drink and drive now that the warm weather is approaching. That being said, let's continue to avoid together, shall we?

The end of last week was pretty busy. I ended up working later than usual on my already late Thursday night. I trained back Friday night because I knew I would have enough time to train and do cardio Saturday in NYC (I figured I'd be better of skipping chest than back). For whatever reason, I was feeling kinda froggy at the end of my workout on Friday and decided to try deadlifting. I had no game plan other than to just get a feel for the movement again, since I haven't done them in 2 months. I started off light...135 for 15, 185 for 12.....ok, felt pretty good. Let's go to 225 and do an easy 5, and easy it was. So, I went to 275 knowing that it would be a bit of a struggle, I figured I could squeak out 5 reps....JUST KIDDING! Three reps, and I was out....fucking hamstring. I still think I'm going to incorportate them into the end of my back workouts now. I'll keep the weight lighter and keep the reps around 10. It's so upsetting that I can't hammer away at an exercise that was once my favorite and probably my best lift.

Saturday, I worked at the Species booth all day at the Atlantic States. And, as usual, it was a long, but fun, day. I even got lucky enough to have company during my mid-day cardio, which was nice and meant I didn't have to be completely anti-social by leaving the Species group, since have of them came with me. It turned out to be a later night than I thought, and I didn't get home until nearly 3am. I hit shoulders Sunday morning and arms last night, both pretty good workouts. I'm looking forward to this weekend because I have absolutely NOTHING going on. I don't have to drive anywhere. I can get all my workouts in without rushing, and I can catch up on some much needed sleep. Now, I just wish I could get a vacation from my own head...

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Yeah, that's about all I am able to muster the energy to say right now. But it's a good "ow." My leg workout on Tuesday was more intense than I thought, and I felt it bad yesterday and still today. I'm always racking my brain trying to come up with creative ways to train legs, and I came upon Steve Colescott's "Working the Grid" on RXMuscle. While it's senseless to try to work on maxes now, I thought I would try out his general hypertrophy workout for quads (and saving the hamstring stuff for Wednesday morning's workout). So that meant a tri-set of squats, extensions, and walking db lunges...son of a bitch! I was happy with the squats because I was able to put up some good weight with minimal pain in my hamstring. But let me tell you, I was rediculously winded after the walking db lunges. Four sets of that tri-set probably would have been enough to sufficiently fry my legs, but I felt good that day and was up for more. So we did 3 heavy sets of hack squats (5-6 rep range) followed by 3 sets of leg presses (10-12 reps on the first two sets and 20 reps on the 3rd). My glutes were on freaking fire!

And I'm pretty convinced at this point that I need to limit how often I wear heels. I wore flats on Monday and sneakers on Tuesday, and that seemed to make a small, but noticable improvement, in the pain in my hamstring. Not to mention that heels are absolutely NOT practical for my job....try chasing someone in heels (doesn't work very well). And on a positive note, I got the results back from my MRI, and it was negative. So no herniated discs for this chick! The only problem is that I still don't know what's wrong. I'm supposed to schedule an EMG to help determine why I'm having the numbness. I'm pretty convinced that the pain is the result of a direct hamstring injury and the numbness and all other surrounding issues are just a byproduct of trying to train around it, but nobody is listening to me!!! I'm not a doctor, but I do know my body. I just don't know why I haven't recovered from an injury that I got a year and a half ago.

Otherwise, things have been pretty consistent with training. I would say my workouts have been pretty good overall. This weekend I'll be working the Species booth again at Atlantic States, which I'm looking forward to. I've got a soft spot for that was the first bodybuilding show I ever went to see, and then I qualified for Jr. Nationals at it last year. For now, it's time for me to get ready for my Thursday night all-star line-up....have I ever mentioned that I HATE Thursday nights?