If not for the skinny jeans…

Posts Tagged ‘gym

Hello out there!!  Sorry it’s been a while!  I’ve been using the past two weeks to move half way across the county, move into my new house, and show my cousins around the wonderful city of San Antonio!

In order to spare you some reading, I’ll just kinda bullet the things worth mentioning…

  • Since getting here, I’ve noticed a significant loss of “poofiness” in the lower belly area.  I attribute it to the lack of sweets and snacky foods at my house.
  • I haven’t been to the gym since the day before I moved and it’s driving me crazy!  I’m pretty sure I’ve found my next gym, but I won’t be able to start up with them until school starts because of day care issues.  I’ve already asked Nick for some ideas and I’m pretty sure I can use this time to find out if I love the stuff on Blogilates as much as I think I will.
  • I have pulled myself from the marathon in November.  Two reasons for this: (1) I don’t have the child care resources to get in the runs I need to train appropriately and (2) I don’t have the drive I once did to complete it.  I will still be running, and once I have the child care, my mileage is going to go up considerably, but I know I won’t be marathon ready.  It was a hard decision for me, but I know it’s best to hold off this year, and then kill it next year (hopefully).
  • Going grocery shopping in considerably easier to do when you have nothing to start with!  I can really set my nutritional goals and so far, it’s been working.  We’ve eaten out a few times, but not nearly as much as I could be lol
  • I am absolutely in love with my house!
  • My sleep schedule is all jacked up and has been causing issues for me during the latter half of the day (like concentration, focus, mood changes) so it’s something I’m working on.  I do think part of the problem though is that I haven’t been getting out the extra energy that my body had gotten used to producing for my trainings with Nick.

I think that covers the big things so far.  Leave your questions/comments below!  I know some of this is kinda vague, so just ask whatever’s on your mind, or just share some love!

–Being fit isn’t a goal, it’s a lifestyle.

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I don’t get to post many of these because, well, I’m the one working out!  Nick was nice enough to get these for me.  I did have a slight injury to my left groin area after working out on Saturday.  It was bad enough I had to cut the training short, but it’s doing much better now.  At my training I made sure to tell Nick if it was being bothered or not and we adjusted the exercise as necessary.

He’s got me doing all sorts of exercises, but the pictured ones below are just a straight leg dead lift and lunges.  The step is there because I can  go further than my toes and deeper in my lunges thanks to my flexibility.  And thanks to my flexibility and Nick knowing how flexible I am, he makes me get the FULL range of motion when working out.  I hear “go deeper” or “further down” almost every time I train with him.  (Keep your dirty thoughts to yourself!!)

In any case, here are the pictures as promised!

photo 1photo 3

 

Wanna know what else is cool??  Or at least I think it is…

See the bulge in the middle of my hamstring?  That is apparently the “bicep femoris.”  Bicep makes you think of your arm right?  Two and two together…  That muscle basically reacts like your arm bicep!  And you can see mine now!!  Yay.

And just for reference:

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I have been going back and forth recently trying to decide if I want my body fat calculated. The bigger part (giggling here) sounds off with a loud resounding YES! I need to know where I’m starting from in order to get where I’m going.

Then there is the other part. The part that is scared of the truth. I have no idea how knowing my body fat will affect me emotionally and that scares me.

I have found numerous ways to calculate your body fat. Each system has its own degree of error. Here are some of the tests I have found:

(1) Body Mass Index – otherwise known as BMI.  This is the LEAST accurate assessment of a person’s body fat.  It is simply a height to weight ratio that gives a general idea of your health.  It does not take into account a person’s lean muscle versus body fat.  My BMI is 26.8 (overweight).  You can find your BMI here.

(2) Weight Scales – There are numerous scales available now that can quickly give you your body fat.  Some are fancier than others.  The inaccuracies with this one come with consistency.  You should always weigh yourself at the same time of the day, as well as similar clothing (or lack thereof).  With that being said, when using a scale that can analyze an individual’s body fat, how hydrated the person is can alter the results.  I have the Weight Watchers scale and according to this scale, my body fat is 32.2%.

(3) Circumference measurements – These are the body measurements you take with a measuring tape.  The do have the capability to be inaccurate if the “tester” (normally yourself) does not consistently measure in the same place every time.  To get the best readings, a tester needs to take the same measurement three times and get the average of the three measurements.  I found this online calculator if you’re interested in this technique.  My body fat according to this technique was 24.2%.

(4) Skin Fold/Calipers – This method uses a device to physically measure the thickness of your skin folds are specified locations.  There are one-site tests all the way up to nine-site tests (that I have found).  Like the tape measuring, using a different tester or if the tester doesn’t consistently use the same place, the results can be inaccurate.  I recently bought a caliper and doing a three-site test (with Link’s help), my body fat was 25%.  If you have a caliper at home and are curious to find out what those numbers mean and how to get the measurements, you can read about it here, calculator included.

(5) Bod Pod – This is the one I knew the least about when I started looking around.  I knew about hydrostatic testing (which is the next bullet down) and the Bod Pod is similar to that… at least in theory.  The big difference?  One is done in water, the other one is not.  The Bod Pod is a capsule of sorts you sit in and once the capsule is sealed it takes numerous measurements and prints out a pretty little reading of you body’s make up.  It claims to be as effective at the hydrostatic testing.  I don’t personally believe it.  On two separate occasions I found the readings to be way off on two different women.  You can read their posts here and here.  I think I would still like to have it done simply as a “just to know” situation.

(6) Hydrostatic Testing – This is the gold standard for body fat testing.  You are submerged underwater and the readings are analyzed.  I know that’s a really simple explanation of the process, but sometimes it’s just better to leave things simple.  As soon as I can find a location that can do this without breaking the bank, I will be doing this!

Regardless of how I chose to ultimately track my body fat going down, I just have to keep in mind that consistency is key.  As long as the numbers are going down, they are at least giving some indication that I, and you, are on the right path!  If you’d like more information or have any questions about any of these, just post your questions!  I’m really intrigued by this particular topic and would love your feedback!  What’s your preferred choice?

First and foremost: LINK IS HOME!!! His two week “vacation” started this morning, so I was crazy getting the house and kids ready, which is more or less the reason I haven’t posted much in the past week (ish).

Now, onto blog business. A quick update with my “no scale” challenge. It’s been hard. Honestly. I hate not knowing how much I weigh. At one point, a couple of weeks ago, Nick wanted to get my stats, so I found out then what my weight was, and seriously, it was like getting taking a huge breath after you’ve been underwater to that point just before you know you might want to consider coming up for air. I haven’t looked since though. I’m starting to feel the “itch” though. LOL May 4th is the day my scale comes back out. One more week.

On Friday Nick decided it was a good day to work my entire back half. Wow. Lots of dead lifts. Lots and lots of dead lifts. I was actually able to do 185 pounds, whereas last week I could only do 165 pounds. 20 pound difference in a week? I’ll take it! I try to tell myself those are the numbers that matter, even if it doesn’t sink in every time.

We also did some ab work on the TRX. It’s a great training area/device/contraption/torture device if you can find the right form. Some of the exercises are a bit hard to find the right form, at least for me they are, but I think that’s what I’m going to start working on because I really do like how it works.

I’ve included a couple of pictures that Nick took while I was working with cables and while on the TRX.

—Take care of your body, it’s the only one you have!

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I’m sure y’all have figured out that I really like lifting weights now. Well, while Link is off in LaLa land, he and his buddies created a weightlifting challenge of sorts. They have a reward system but I honestly can’t remember how it’s set up. The events are dead lift, squat and bench press.  To get the lowest reward, their combined weight has to reach 500 pounds, the second reward is 800 pounds, and the top reward is for a combine weight of 1000 pounds.  Crazy right?!  I asked him what the standards were for women since there are women over there too (I’m all about EO)!  He said he thinks the numbers are 300, 400 and 600 pounds.

I don’t have any idea what possessed me to tell Nick about this challenge but I did.  The immediate effect I had after seeing his reaction was “uh oh!”  Of course we wanted me to do it!  I was thinking okay, I know I can get the 300 pound mark, but the others are way too far off… at least for now.  Nick, being the awesome trainer that he is, said we’re gonna skip right over that 300 mark, and shoot straight for 400.  I told him he was crazy!  I started thinking either he’s seriously overestimating my ability, or I’m seriously underestimating them.  We planned to go through it this past Friday.  Well, between the squat and the deadlift, I was 325.  So maybe I was underestimating myself a bit…  The bench press proved to be really hard for me though.

during the warm up... 45's on each side

during the warm up… 45’s on each side

There is apparently a proper way to do a bench press that quite literally engages all your muscles, not just your chest.  It was a very awkward feeling, and he thinks that is the reason I didn’t lift more.  I lifted 65 pounds.  Here is an article that explains “proper” form.

I was really surprised at my weights!  And we didn’t do the math until after we were done to figure out exactly where I was.  Also, the chest press wasn’t my max because I was able to do six reps, as well as the squat, which I did three of.  After he did his max calculations, he said that it would technically be 407 pounds.  So, I actually lifted 390 pounds but maxed out at 407 pounds!  I’ll take it!  These are the measurements that really matter.  Not just how much I weigh!  There are so many other indicators to put my focus on to measure my health and fitness.

Nick warned me I’d be sore.  He didn’t lie.  Today I had a long run planned but once I woke up this morning I realized very quickly there would be no running.  Today was definitely taken as a rest day!  I will get my run in tomorrow morning!

I’ve been raving about Nick my trainer (and if I can convince him, I’m going to try to get a picture with him next week so you can put a face with the name) and I thought maybe at some point I should inform the blog reading world what it is I actually do when I’m with him.  Here are just some examples:

warm up (10 minutes) –

walk (2.5 mph) walking lunges (1.5 mph) side skip lunges right side (1.5 mph) walk backwards (1.5 mph) side skip lunges left side (1.5 mph); repeat

“prehab” –  (otherwise known as preventative exercises)

bird dogs, dead bugs, and supine bridges on bosu ball

abs-bird-dog_300 core_strength_supine_bridge mqdefault

THE PAIN –

squats, lots and lots of squats.  we started on the smith machine and have since moved onto what Nick calls “the big boy” .  We’ve done a couple of different versions of squats, but the “Linda” squat is by far the most, uh, challenging.  Its like a one-legged hip check squat thing lol (note: I tried to find a picture, but I can’t.  It may have a different name, and if it does I’ll post a correction.)

Lunges!  Oh my god, Nick loves lunges.  I’m sure it’s because I made it known how much I despise them!  LOL  Unfortunately, they give very quick results…

Superset Lat Pulldown with BillyJacks.  I didn’t think they would effect me like the do but wow, my arms burn after the BillyJacks.

For chest/shoulders, we start on an inclined bench, do a set of presses and flyes, then go down one notch, repeat.  We do this until I’m one notch away from flat.  All with a natural grip, arms at a 45, instead of out to the side.  Those little changes have made a big difference.

Lots of Kettle Ball exercise, to include: Double Arm swing, Single Arm swing, squats, deadlift into a row, around the worlds, suitcase grabs, figure 8’s and windmills.

Sometimes he’ll add some plyometrics or the dreaded rope!

And we normally finish up with 20-30 minutes of cardio depending on what I actually did.  And cardio is almost always interval training.

So as I said at the beginning, these are just SOME of the examples, but this is not a typical day’s workout, except for the warm-up, “prehab” and cardio.  The stuff in the middle alternates.

I honestly love my workouts with Nick.  I’ve got that “hurts so good” feeling while I’m doing it.  He’s always conscious of my right shoulder (which I really need to get checked out).  He’s always pushing me.  He’s always available for questions outside of training sessions.  I hope you enjoyed reading about “the pain!”

I was talking to a friend the other day and she asked me what I’ve been doing to keep my stomach flat.  First, I laughed at her because my stomach is FAR from flat.  She got it.  She then said, “I mean, what are you doing to not be poochy?”  Oh!  So here’s the thing.  The ladies in my family seem to be just as prone to get that lower belly pooch that so many other women get, most noticeably after pregnancy.  I’ve never really had one.  Even when I was super über fat!  It all “pooched” together LOL  I told her that I haven’t really been doing much of anything.  I said that I give most of the credit to when I decided to have these crazy painful injection shot into my gut fat to hopefully minimize the fat cells.

taken 3/18/13 after working out at the gym

taken 3/18/13 after working out at the gym

(It was a series I couldn’t finish because it was so painful!  The company I was going through eventually stopped offering them because clients weren’t finishing the series and thusly were not getting the results they were expecting.)

back to my story

She asked me what I did before that.  Now I was looking at her like she was crazy.  Yes, I was in Army for a bit, but I was never super fit.  I could pass my PT test, but that was about the extent of it.  Then it hit me!  Something I have been doing since I started driving.

How do I know this happened when I started driving?  Because it was the only time I would do it.

If you’ve read my history you know that I had some serious self-image issues.  I didn’t have much of a muffin top but the fat on my stomach still bothered me so much that while I was driving I would always “suck it in.”  Yup.  That roll that hung around my midsection was so embarrassing for me.  As the years progressed, I stopped “sucking it in” as much as I would keep it contracted.  I honestly don’t know when the change happened.  And I literally do this ALL THE TIME.  Like now,  I’m sitting here, belly contracted inwards.  I do it when I’m driving, while I’m doing strength exercises, while I’m doing my cardio, while I’m eating dinner.  Literally…. all.the.time.

It’s the only thing that I can think of that I do that stops me from getting the pooch.  Now, catch me a day after I’ve eaten my weight in sodium (i.e. anything from a fast food joint), and you’ll tell me I’m full of it.  LOL

So maybe while you’re driving, contract your belly in, hold it at the stop lights.  It might make a difference, it might not.  I honestly can’t say for sure, but if nothing else, it keeps your core stable and that can only be a good thing!


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