Soooo.. Shredded Saturdays? Maybe that’s what I should call it as I keep missing the Friday deadline. I’m so sorry, I tried to rush to do it last night but ran out of time, so here it is a day late, but up nonetheless. I do in fact enjoy giving lil updates on the week’s events in the gym as it gives me some time to reflect on what I did and how my efforts were that week. So with that said, lets get started! Don’t forget to check out Lindsay’s Crossfit workouts over at The Lean Green Bean for more inspiration! Oh and a big congrats to here husband who, despite having shoulder surgery recently and having his arm in a sling, still faithfully attends all of his workouts and works up a good sweat. 😀
This week I started a lil something new that I wanted to share real quick. I made a brief mention of it in my “plan of action” I posted when I was discussing my recent goal of increasing my calories. This was the week that I started using BCAAs throughout my workouts. BCAAs, or branched chain amino acids, are part of the nine essential amino acids, or those that we need to obtain solely from our diet as they are not produced naturally in the body. Specifically, the 3 BCAAs, which include leucine, isoleucine and valine, are special because they have a unique branch off their main structure The reason I am taking them is because they have been shown to help with muscle repair, endurance and protecting your hard earned muscle from being broken down (ie. catabolism). I’m hoping that they will help with not only muscle soreness (from the addition of the L-glutamine to the BCAA matrix) but also with preserving my muscle while I still work at making dietary increases.
The first kind that I tried was a brand from GNC called Mega BCAA. I picked these ones up because at the time I thought I really wanted capsules or tablets as the drink mixes I was a little wary of (artificial crap?). Well despite some good stats on them and being vegan (no gelatin, no diary, etc, etc), they are the biggest pills I have ever had to swallow and being someone who sucks at that task, these were gunna be a problem. I also didn’t do enough research before diving into this purchase and ended up not getting ones with the added L-glutamine which is for reducing muscle soreness (or DOMS) following your workout. Ugh 50 bucks down the drain. Fitness problems eh? I did use them for about 1/2 a week though so that’s like a dozen pills that I almost choked on to get down…..
Despite being a lil disappointed in my choice of BCAAs, I didn’t have the full intention of going out to look for something new (those things cost me my precious monnies!) until I ended up finding my way into a Popeyes on the hunt for more Questbars (my stash was runnin a lil low. I ain’t got no time for that!). After chatting with one of the sale reps I ended up picking up this guy:
Yes a drink mixer….As I mentioned, I was wary of these because of what else they may have added to them BUT was pleased to find out that this brand was actually pretty decent. They used beetroot for the colouring which means no weird dyes were added. There’s no sugar AND although sucralose was in fact present, it was at the bottom of the list (lower weight). Yes, I still don’t like that they use this because it can cause stomach issues for many people, but I can’t be mad at that because my Optimum Nutrition Casein that I enjoy every night has around the same amount of sucralose in it and, other than maybe a slight bloat from the casein, the sucralose doesn’t seem to give me problems. SOOOOO I picked this guy up to try out and guess what I like it! Not only does it have all of the good stuff my
horsepills original pills have regarding the BCAA content but it also contains the L-glutamine that I should have made sure was included in my first purchase. PLUS it tastes like Kool-Aid. :-D.
So I have been enjoying one scoop in my water throughout my workout and things were going good until I started to get this really bloated, water-loaded, “feel like I need to pee ALL THE TIME” feeling a few days ago. I’m really hoping that it’s not this guy that is doing that (as it’s that time…sorry guys for the TMI) but because this is not normal (even for THAT time). I’m going to go back to my horsepills for a lil bit then bring the MuscleTech back in to test it out again. Wish me luck!
SOOO that was a lil supplement update, now onto the gym stuff!
Sunday was Back as per usual
Warmup: Weighted (35) situps on decline bench + reverse situps on decline bench x3= Superset
Sunday is always one of those days that I feel like I’m in the gym forever…why? Because I’m always chatting waaayyy too much! There is a small subset of people that train on the weekend mornings and, well, we like to catch up. Oh well, it’s called lazy Sunday for a reason right? Anyways I up’ed the weight for not only my triangle pull downs (I’m at par with my body weight now) but also my isolateral pull downs! Those are always hard for me because my grip tends to give out first…sigh. Small hand problems.
Monday was Chest (calves as a secondary)
Warmup: Weighted (35) oblique situps on decline bench + weighted (20) russian twists on decline bench x3= Superset
This was the first day of the BCAAs in my water and I don’t know if it was a placebo effect but I felt like the energizer bunny in the gym. I had a really good session, pushed my heavy weights for a rep or two more and managed to up the weight for my dumbbell flies on flat bench. I even up’ed the weight on my oblique situps which I haven’t done in FOREVER. Felt good!
Wednesday was Shoulders and Delts
Warmup: Weighted (40) situps on decline bench + weighted (15) and non-weighted knee ups on the captions chair x3= Superset
Press day was back and I did pretty well despite being super tired. I had a bit of a rough start as my first spot was a lil rough but after that first one I was back to normal. I still seem to have to drop the weight on my overhead press whenever I start off with DB press, which is frustrating but I suppose it takes more energy out of me than I thought it did. Oh you gotta love training your weakest muscle group. Despite that constant occurrence, I up’ed the weight on my front upright rows and cable shoulder raises! Woo and yes, still loving those upright rows. 😀
Thursday was Leg demo day
Warmup: Weighted (35) oblique situps on decline bench + weighted (20) russian twists on decline bench (last set drop to 10lb) x3= Superset
Tiredness was a trend for me this week…opps..but that didn’t stop me from making some more progress. Although my lunges with the 50’s felt a lil heavier than normal, I still mamanged to keep my reps the same as normal PLUS I up’ed my barbell squats to 135. Those squats by the way are directly following those lunges (ie. superset) so I’m pretty happy with that! My leg press felt really good and so did the split squats, which burned so good last week that I wanted to bring them back this week. I’m still super sore from this workout despite supplementing with the L-glutamine. Good times.
Friday was Biceps and Triceps
Warmup: Weighted (35) situps on decline bench + bicycle crunches (30x each round) on mat x3= Superset
Never underestimate the power of a classic ab exercise. I did those bicycles crunches for the first time last week and they are tough! Try’em out again and see what I mean. Bi’s and tri’s are getting stronger with me isolating them it seems. For triceps, I got in an extra rep or two per set of weighted dips, up’ed the weight on my bar dips aaannd got more tricep pushups this week. For biceps, my superset of hammer curls was bumped to 7 reps with the 17.5! Again, like I said last week, this is a big thing for me. Happy camper! 😀
Favourite exercise to do?
Strongest muscle group? Weakest one?