Saturday, January 30, 2010

Soul mate

This is completely unrelated to training, but I really wanted to share it (you know, with the millions of readers I have here). I read this somewhere recently, and it really just hit home for me.

"People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so that you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can't let this one go. It's over, Groceries. David's purpose was to shake you up, drive you out of that marriage that you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life..."

Nuff said. I'll post tomorrow with the real training stuff, I promise.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Guess I Been Growin' All Along

I finally did it last night. I swallowed my pride and took my first set of offseason pictures. I was shocked to see what I really looked like. I noticed the most dramatic improvements in my back width and my quad sweep, two areas that have always been in desperate need of improvement. As I've mentioned before, I'm not too happy with the fat that I seem to be holding in my midsection, but given what my diet consists of, the overall consensus is that it's not fat and is more likely water rentention. Plus, my dramatic weight fluctuations from week to week (despite a consistent diet) point to being bloated. Another indication that it's probably not fat is that my face hasn't blown into a watermelon like it did last year when I was about this weight--my chipmunk cheeks have not quite yet reached epic proportions. Now, the million dollar question is what is it from and how do we fix it? I'll leave that up to the expert to figure it out.

Out of curiosity, I decided to do comparison pics from 16 weeks out last year when I weighed about the same. DAAAAAAAMMMMMNNNNNN!!!! It was like looking at another person entirely (except for my awful, post-workout rat's nest hairdo). Making that comparison really highlighted exactly how much progress I've made in the past 8 weeks. There is absolutely truth in the fact that you're highly anabolic when you come off a contest diet, and I seem to have been able to capture that and take full advantage of it...and it feels f'ing great. The only thing I really did differently in my training was to experiment with FST-7 for my back and quads. I figured, what the hell? It's all the craze now. So what do I have to lose by trying it out? They're already my weak body parts, so it can't make 'em worse, right? I'm typically stick to traditional training and rarely experiment with "fads," but hey, who knows? Maybe this actually helped. Either way, I'm glad I sucked it up and took those pictures. It was a huge boost my mental state, something I REALLY needed as of late.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's Time to Get Growin' Again

Well, it's that time finally! I'm making some changes in my offseason plan yet again that will hopefully bring good progress. My weight is all over the map, and I've seen virtually no consistency. Yesterday's weigh-in left me scratching my head after seeing 139.6 staring back at me...another WTF moment. I lost 2.2 lbs from the week before. I just don't get it. One minor change I did make (that shouldn't have made that much of a difference) was that I took all cashews out of my diet and substituted another 1/2 tbs of PB. While this was rather tragic for me, I think they've been causing me some tummy issues that have caused me to almost have to buy stock in air fresheners. Of course, the PB could also be a source of the problems. I'm thinking that once I run out of the PB I have, I'll try AB. And if that fails, I'll try mac nut oil in my shakes instead.

I've also switched up my workout plan and will be trying a version of Power/Rep Range/Shock, which is a staple in Muscle Mag. I've had workouts set up for each bodypart and for each segment of the program. This week is a power week, which means a focus on lower reps. So, I kicked things off with quads, and it'll take some getting used to because I'm only allowed a certain number of sets to get my work in. I have a bad habit of adding extra sets on when I feel I haven't done enough in the preceeding sets, which often leads to REALLY long workouts. I'm looking forward to see what happens over the next several weeks with this program since I've never tried anything like it. I'm still feeling a little unfocused in my offseason, but maybe these changes will help bring things together for me. Hmmm, I think I've said that a few times over the past three months...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's Snowing and I'm Stuck Inside

So, I figured I might as well update things here. I don't have too much to say at this point. But here's some stats. My weight was up a lot this week (way more than I would have liked, that's for sure), to I guess the good thing is that I have seen an increase in strength since adding the extra carbs. I got 205 for five on squats this morning and had a pretty good quad workout overall. I went to see Mike yesterday, and he really dug in on my back and hamstring, so I was feeling about as spry as an 80 year old this morning. He also worked on my left shoulder, which is also hurting quite a bit today. I just want to be better, injury free. I want to fight the weights, not the know, my usual mantra. This week the diet will stay the same, and then maybe we'll make some changes after this week. The next thing on tap, though, is to put my ego aside and take some f'ing pictures so I can make some comparisons. I HATE pictures. I hate taking them when I'm out. I hate taking them when I'm dieting. Yeah, I just don't do pictures if I can avoid them. But I know I need to do it. Ok, guess that's it for now. Back to practicing my fist pump and watching MTV's The Jersey Shore.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


This week some changes were made to my diet to include less fats and more carbs in efforts to spur some progress in my training. And, while the changes weren't drastic, they seem to have been enough to move me in the right direction, at least as far as last night's back workout went. I was dreading dead lifting again this week for fear that I would be stuck at 245. Well, not only did I get 250 with no problems (and minimal hamstring pain), I decided to try for 255 for 5 after some ribbing from my training partner. 255 went up just as easily and smoothly as 250. As I've said 100 times, I'm trying to protect my hamstring without compromising my form like I was doing this time last year, and it seems to be working. While I'm not dead lifing 300 like I was this time last year, the reps are much better and I can actually FEEL them where I'm supposed to. I had an amazing amount of energy and strength through the rest of the workout....c'mon wide back!

Monday night was shoulders and chest, and while I've been struggling to hit 110 on the standing military presses, I realized that I didn't even have an official 5 reps logged at 105. So, I pulled back this week and got 105 for 5 (barely). So often, I get ahead of myself and wind up frustrated. Hopefully, I'll be on track to get to 110 in the next week or two.

On a non-training note, I recently found out that I'll be working for Species at the Arnold this year! I'm incredibly excited since I've never been to the Arnold. I know I won't be seeing much of the expo or the show (if any at all) because I'll be working the entire weekend, but just finally being a part of that weekend will be great. I've heard stories about all the debauchery that goes on during that weekend and am admittedly a little scared for my life lol. Hey, what can I say, I'm a hick from upstate NY....simple and quiet is how I roll.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Keeping Myself On Track

Quick update...yesterday's weight was 138.2. I have no idea how I gained 2 lbs this week. My body has shown very little consistency with my weight lately, but in the four weeks that I've been following this diet, I've gained 2.8 lbs total. So, I guess that's not too bad for the month. No new maxes to report for the week, so I feel like I'm making zero progress. I seem to have developed some tendonitis in my left shoulder, and I couldn't even get 105 for 5 on standing presses last Monday. Then for dead lifts, my hamstring was back to hurting again, and I only got 250 for 3. I tried it twice, but I was trying to listen to my body and not force the weight up. This morning was quads again, and I tanked it on squats...getting 205 for 3 on two separate attempts. But I put presses back into the workout, and we definitely killed it on those. The workout looked short when I wrote it down in my log, but it was MUCH more difficult than it looked.

For the first time since I started in this sport, I finally put a food log together to do a breakdown of my protien, carbs, fats, and overall calories. As I figured, my calories are around 2500 (2564 to be exact). But my protein was a lot higher than I thought and my fats a little lower, so I may do some adjusting there to lower the protein and increase the fats in order to keep things around 2500. Guess that it's for today. Quick and boring.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Time to Start Getting Real

Last offseason, I always made it a point to track my weight and maxes here, regardless of what the numbers were. Now, I'm sure that nobody's noticed that I haven't even touched any of that in the past 6 weeks (again, not that anybody's all that concerned about it), but I know damn well that I have been avoiding it, and I know why. I've been hiding from an awful lot lately, so I'm calling myself out now and will start tracking this here...afterall, me being real in this blog ultimately helped me reach my goals this past year.

That being said, here's the deal. As always, I'm weighing myself on Saturday mornings and logging that as my official weight. As of yesterday, I am 136.4...22 pounds more than I weighed six weeks ago at Nationals. I pretty much got up to that weight in the first month or so and have continued to maintain. I've been following a structured off season plan for the past four weeks that's probably a little over maintenance-level calories. I'm noticing that my weight is continuing to sit around my midsection more and less on my ass like it usually does. I can still see the top part of my abs, but I feel like I've got an inner tube around my lower abs and lower back that 3 year old would love to use in the deep end of the pool. Since I'm all about being real today, any girl knows that cellulite is a very real thing. And that's usually been a problem for me on my toosh. But this year, even though arse is growing into it's offseason size, I still don't have the cellulite back that I used to get when putting weight back on after a show. Like many other women who compete, I can't say I like the weight adjustment, but I think I'm ok with where I'm at right now as far as an offseason weight/look goes (granted, that could change any minute).

As far as my maxes go, I wouldn't say I'm making steady progress each week, but I am making slow progress. Right now, my 5RM for squats is 200, which I got during this morning's leg workout. My dead lift max is 245, and my military press max is 105 (I'm just 1 rep away from a new max of 110). One of the more difficult things for me to swallow now is having to drop way back in weight on dead lifts and squats. I feel like I have to start from scratch, which I almost really have to do. Before prep started, my squat max was 225 and dl's was 300 (maybe even 305, but I'd have to double check). One thing I keep having to remind myself of is that for the last several months of my offseason, I was fighting the pain and numbness in my hamstring, and my reps on those exercises were focused more on working around the injury just to move the heavier weight rather than using the proper muscles to move the weight and feel the movement.

For the first time in probably two years, I had what I felt like was a truly productive and solid quad workout this morning. I probably could have gotten 205 for 5 on squats because I felt like I had good strength and feeling in my left leg. Usually by the time I get to my 4th set, that weight is heavy enough to cause the shooting pain, but not today. Today, my fourth set was at 175, and it went up so easy and so powerful, I was shocked. Even the 5th set at 200 felt solid, and I could feel the power and strength in both my quads. The rest of the workout went great, and I was so excited to feel new strength in my legs. It really seemed to reignite my excitement for training a little bit. Earlier this year, I knew I wasn't as strong as I could be with that injury and thus wasn't hitting the muscle the way I should be or needed to. I felt like I was spinning my wheels during my quad and back workouts. Now that I've been getting my hamstring worked on every two weeks and it's starting to heal, I didn't realize just how much strength I was compromising. I'm looking forward to seeing how dead lifting goes when I train back on Wednesday. I hope that by addressing this injury, I can start to bring up my weak body quads and my back.

So there it is. Lot's of rambling, but it was REAL rambling.