LATE as per usual but hey, better late than never I always say 😉 hahah. So it’s been quite a while since I have done one of these posts but I’m going to jump in this week due to a recent request I got from a lovely follower of mine :-D. Sorry it took me FOREVER to write this but Kayla, if you are reading this post, it’s dedicated to you! 😀 As always, don’t forget to check out the page of the wonderful Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean for some more great workout inspiration.
- UPDATE 1: My workouts were getting waaaaayyyy too long, like I’m talking 2-2.5 hours of pure weight training. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the gym and could be there all day but after continuing to deal with some not so fun body (digestive, sleepiness, not gaining weight) issues lately I have determined that it may be my hormones that are out of whack. Specifically, I went to chat with the Director of Fitness at my current gym (at McMaster), who would have been my boss if he was staying for the next year (sadface), and he mentioned to me that I was borderline overtraining/over exhausting my body and that one potential contributing factor to my inability to put on weight is probably due to my cortisol levels and other stress hormones being way too high. His suggestion…Cut down that time woman! So, cutting I have been doing and I have to say that I have been pretty successful at making it through my routinesin my allotted time goal (1.5 hours or less). The way I see it right now is that I’m challenging myself to finish with a better and better time.
- UPDATE 2: Still continuing to increase my nutrition calorie wise but I also started to feel as though that was not enough…it was time to take a hard look at my macro distribution as well. At this point I felt it was necessary to get some further assistance and went to see a wonderful RD, Gabrielle, who works with a friend of mine and my Dad’s, Mike. Mike is a trainer, professional bodybuilder (he has won many a trophies for competitions, including one he recently did last week!) and gym owner. I first spoke with him of my concerns and despite not being able to meet and chat with him yet for an assessment and checkup on my workouts, he set Gabrielle and myself up and we ended up meeting last week for my first nutrition assessment. We chatted about some important changes that I would have to make in order to this lil body to gain some lean mass. Yes, I said it, I HAVE to, at this point, gain some mass but I’m hoping to do it in such a way that I stay as ‘ripped’ as possible. Does that sound bad? This last piece is why I wanted to chat with a dietician that worked in the fitness industry rather than an everyday RD. Sooo. what changes would have to come about??
- The big one is that the proportion of my calories from carbs will go up, while those from protein would go down. WHY? The main answer is that I was taking in too much protein (180g/day for my body weight) and too little carbs for any gains to occur. Although I know (from strength gains in the gym) that my body LERVES carbs, I’m not really a huge fan of having a lot of them in my diet (oatmeal and sweet potatoes/squash are exceptions of course!). Yeah I’m a weird one. I just never have liked how heavy they feel and how much water they hold onto. Despite this negative aspect, like I mentioned, I have always had major boosts in the gym when I have increased carbs (doesn’t everyone?) and a lil bit more energy to keep me powering through my tough sessions. Furthermore, I have noticed on my restdays, when my fats are at their highest and carbs at their lowest (30C/40P/30F split), which is still not a traditional low carb day (can you believe some people have less than 50g of carbs per day on a competition diet?!?! CRAZY!), I look flat in terms of my muscle tone, despite feeling tighter, and I also tend to get hungrier throughout the day. What I also don’t like is that feeling of being a lil bit foggy mentally despite still having plenty of carbs during the day. EVEN FURTHER my digestion went nuts a lil while ago and everyone thinks it’s because of my current macro split being a lil off…So with that all said, remember it’s always a learning curve and although higher fat/protein and low carbs work for some people (any keto or paleo followers out there?), apparently it just doesn’t work for me. I suppose I will just have to get over the slightly greater amount of liquids that I store on my lil body with the carb increase.
- Water, water, water! This has always been a problem for me as I tend to feel nauseous with drinkin a lot of water at a time. I’m also one of those people who generally forgets to drink water, leaving my poor protein heavy body thoroughly dehydrated. This was a completely plausible contributing factor for my recent digestion issues as once I really honed in on taking my water bottle everywhere with me, I started to feel a lil bit better. So the first step is to track how much I actually take in, then slowly increase it to a normal and healthy amount.
- Possibly talk to a friend of Gabrielle (therapist) about my anxiety. I tend to hold a lot of my stress in, but recently it has been wearing me down and it’s taking it’s toll. Working two jobs with lil to no time for myself OR ANDRE (big problem) leaves a very tired and cranky Lil Miss Fitness Freak. Although the transition to two jobs is still fairly new, I do think it’s important that I learn better stress coping skills.
For my last update…and on a more positive note…
- UPDATE 3: I PASSED MY PT CERTIFICATION EXAM! 93%! AND I passed my PRACTICAL too! Woooo…. 😀 Now onto the real learning with actual clients… In fact, I actually had my first one yesterday morning. How did it go you ask? Well, although I think it could have gone better (Do I really sound like that when I’m explaining something?), she was quite happy with the session so I suppose that’s all that matters right? You are your own worst critic and now that the first session is done, I can simply improve from here.
OKAAAYY so that was a story and a half… sorry. Now that you are all updated on my crazy busy and changing life, lets move onto the focus on this post…FITNESS STUFF 😀 So instead of doing them all like I used to (cue 3 hours to write a blog post) I will share a few of my favs this week. One other new thing is that I have chosen not to share the weights that I personally use as I have come to the realization that my weights really mean nothing to someone who is simply looking for some workout inspiration. Experiment and find what weights challenge your own body instead of looking at what I lift.
Okay here they are, I picked three for this week as my post is already super long. I also jotted a few things about each, again to keep it short.
- Guess who finally is pushin 40’s on her own for flat bench. 5 reps this week WWOOOO must be those carbs 😉
- Still working on getting those deadlifts to the big girls bars…if I can ever figure out a way to hold the bar without it slippin. I’m at the max small bar right now (75lbs) and it is definitely too light, hence the higher reps. Any suggestions for people with small hands?? Oh, and yes I have tried straps, still slips…
- Ahhhh pushing my own weight plus some for bench dips (two benches, feet on bench, not on floor!). 110lbs on my lap friends! Oh hey there :-D…oh and my tris always die after this 5×5 round as I end it off with a burnout dropset with 45lbs. Cue me falling off the bench every time. On the note of dips, I really wish my gym had dip bars that I could use. Sigh, the ones at my gym are angled outwards and even at the smallest point, it’s too wide and hurts my shoulders. Little people problems.
- I found a cool new oblique exercise for ya! I call them oblique mountain climbers. Basically you just do normal mountains climbers but instead of bringing your knees to your chest, you are bend your knees and your legs come out to the sides and move up towards your ribs . Does that make sense? I threw in a picture of what I mean, kinda (the picture is of a spider pushup, which are still awesome btw, but the positioning of the legs is what I’m getting at). So picture this leg movement (continuously switching sides), with your feet on a bench and your hands on a bosu ball (or you could a regular ball with your elbows on the ball). Go for as long as you can ensuring that you are really bringing those knees close to the body to contract those obliques. This exercise really gives a nice burn on your sides especially when you have a 10lb plate on your back! 😀 I do mine for 1 minute.
- I decided to do weightless chin ups this week to see how far I have come and wow 50 reps I did! Super proud of myself! Those weighted ones are really helping me to increase my strength. Hint hint, if you have ever plateaued in an exercise such as dips, chins, pullups, try adding some weight! BIG NOTE when I say plateaued I mean that you can do 10+ reps with proper form and are looking to push those boundaries. When you add the weight, yes your reps will decrease, but it will be challenging your muscles more and thus, when you go to do them without the weight again the next time, it should help you push past your previous rep range.
Oh how I love leg day (partial sarcasm there…). You see I basically murder my legs on this day because I’m super competitive with myself. I walk in knowing it’s gunna be tough despite only having a rough idea what I’m planning on doing that day. I don’t know what it is about legs that makes me go crazy, but I always leave the gym with a slight zombie face goin on because I have just completely drained myself. For this reason, my high carb day always falls on leg days because without the lil extra boost, that zombie face would remain on my face allll day..not to mention I’m a bottomless pit all day. EAT ALL THE THINGS!
- My walking lunges are up to two 55lb dumbbells on my shoulders now! That’s 110 lbs on this lil 5’0 frame WOOT. Oh and because my spotter pushed me to do a set of 8 (per leg) last week, I decided that ALL of my sets with the 55’s would have to reach 8 reps…yeah that’s 4 sets of 8 (as I warm up with 50’s for my first working set). That competitive voice is strong I tell you, must be better and better.
- I’m trying to do different squat variations every time I go rather than just doing your standard full squat. This week was wide stance, toes pointed outwards for the adductors to be hit a lil more (inner thighs). I have also done close feet and still need to test my skills at front squats. I have yet to try the last variation there because I’m a lil nervous about those. I think the fear stems from the fact that the barbell is in front and I feel like either it will slip or I won’t have to upper body strength to keep the bar in place. Thoughts?
- My legs are sore for 2-3 days following every workout so I’m thinking that sooner than later I will need to invest in my own personal foam roller so that I can work out some kinks at home and not just after my workout.
Alrighty, that’s all I’ve got left in me for this post. Tell me, what do you like about these posts? What do you want to see more of? Do you like if I include random new exercises?
Clocking out for some Entourage re-runs with my babe and my nightly snacky.
Have a great night all,
Never let the weights intimidate you….even if they are bigger than you.