Wednesday, February 17, 2016

“The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Happy Wednesday, Blogland!

I am proud to say that I did it: My powerlifting competition entry went in the mail on Monday night, so it would be postmarked before the deadline. I'm in it for squat and deadlift, and am feeling pretty okay about that. Although, note to self, I need to kick up my bench press game, as it's WAY cheaper to register for a full boat - squat, bench and deadlift - than to register for separates. I even bought myself a few pairs of tall socks to celebrate..... here's hoping they fit over my tree-trunk calves!

Now, I have begun the agonizing search for ... a singlet. I'm really trying to make my peace with this stupid piece of spandex, as I know it shouldn't be this big of a deal. Sadly, I'm not super psyched about my body right now, so the concept of squeezing it into an unflattering tube of spandex is not high on my list..... But, then again, this is power lifting, not CrossFit.... it seems that (from looking at pictures), the power lifting bodies are less about perfectly chiseled abs and more about sheer power and strength - there's definitely a beer gut or two that a singlet is stretched over, while pulling some massive deadlift.
So, I have turned to the almighty amazon for some singlet options. It is disheartening to find that they don't make "women's" singlets in size Aja.... but they do seem to make unisex ones that will work, so I've ordered a bunch and we shall see. I'm prepping myself, and trying to front load all this information before hand, so when they come and I try them on, it's not instant meltdown. Everyone looks horrible in a singlet, right?

Anyway, although the weather derailed my squatting plans for yesterday, I managed to squeeze in my squats AND bootcamp today, back to back. I am decidedly starving now, but I feel pretty accomplished.

Today was week 11, day 1 of our Hatch Squat program. This means, it was 103% of your one rep max day - something the program has been working you up to for the last 11 weeks. Initially, I was a little nervous about this, as this was going to be something like 8 pounds over the max I started with.... but, thanks to following this squat program so regularly, I crushed that weight in the competition last week... so today was really just a test to make sure I could do it without all the adrenaline running through my legs! I am actually really exciting to finish up this program next week, with my coach Robyn, and retest our max lifts. This program seems to have really helped make some big gains... so it's going to be really exciting to see how far that went!

After lifting, I switched gears (and shoes!) and got my brain in cardio mode.... which for me just means a mantra to the effect of "You're not dying, it only feels like it." (repeat).
A warm up of jump ropes, rowing and goblet squats reminded me of how incredibly much I suck at jump rope, once my legs have done ANYthing else that day. If I'm fresh out of the gate, I can string them together (slowly)... but after squats, my legs were cranky masses doing their best impression of concrete blocks, while I tried to will them to jump in a coordinated manner. Jump rope, you win today... but I will be back to fight again.
Lucky for me, bootcamp was a two-small-WOD day. I really find that these smaller chunks of time help my brain get through workouts. If I know I only have to do something for 7 minutes, it seems a lot more manageable, because I can usually get to minute 3 before my lungs begin the "we're dying!" cries.
Today's opener was 12 wall balls and then 8 knees to elbows, as many rounds as you could, for like 7 minutes. Let me just make this clear.... wall balls are not super fun to do on a good day, because of the cardio-killer aspect of them... but they were waaaay less super fun today, after doing heavy squats. Go Go Gadget Leg Reserves!
After having two minutes to "recover" after that, it was on to part two - 10 kettle bell swings, and 10 step ups, as many rounds as you could for 7 minutes. Kettlebell swings are my jam, generally, but pairing them with box jumps/step ups (high on my list of gym-unpleasantness, right behind burpees) was definitely some work. I was most definitely digging deep for this one, trying to remind myself that if the other ladies in the room could keep moving, then I certainly could too.  I would not die from step ups. That was not in fact the feeling of my lungs exploding, simply my brain getting in my way.
Amazingly, I did not die, but instead was a tired, sweaty mess after the whole thing. That's the goal right? Goal Achieved!

One more step in the right direction (man, it's a long road sometimes).

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