Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter 2019

Ended my fast from last Sunday to today with a protein drink, an orange, and a banana. After the gym started working on the front yard yesterday and felt it in my back. Worked on the yard again this morning for about an hour. Feels good to have the front yard "patio" space useable and cleared out.

Weighed in this morning at 150.4 lbs, and my blood pressure before taking my meds was 111/65 with a 75 pulse. That feels pretty good. I don't have a glucose meter right now, however I'm pretty sure it would have been lower.

Had a little bit of menudo and a small tamal for lunch.

I'll be focusing on integrating accessory muscles and stretching for the next several months. Exercises like a single leg toe touch for hamstrings, banded side steps for hips, etc.

Have a wonderful day and week. I may post a link to some of the stretches and exercises.


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Last April 2019 Heavy Workout

Did cardio and calisthenics workout yesterday. It was definitely a challenge. Today I went heavy and generally felt good. Did a couple of hours of pulling weeds after the gym and feeling it in my back. Think that I'm starting to pick up a little more energy. Next week will be mostly cardio and calisthenics. I'll double check with my coach, Lee from The PowerPlant.

Today, Saturday April 20, 2019 I did the following

Bike warm up for 10 minutes, figure I need more warm up time
Range of Motion warm-up exercises

Squat 135x5, 205x3, and 230x3. I did fewer sets at a higher weight as I'm more focused on getting my body used to moving heavy weight than volume or endurance for now.

Bench press 135x5, 185x3, and 200 for one and a half reps. I'm very glad I'm willing to ask for spotter. The guy asked if I wanted to try again and I said, "no thanks, it's more than I was really needing to lift."

Deadlifts 135x5, 225x3, and 270x3. That was a good lift. Hopefully I can clear 280 next weekend.

Push-ups I did 20 with very strict form on the minute for five minutes to get my 100 for the day.

Gripper 35lbs for 3 sets of 20

I skipped burpees today, finished with stretches and wall stretch.

No heavy work next week until Saturday. It's all about recovery. I may do some work on shoulders and hips. Light and just to start getting my body able to go up in December for that meet. I'll also start getting my body ready to run.

One of the reasons I'm super pleased with this week's work mostly because I am fasting. My last meal was Sunday evening and I'll not eat until tomorrow. Friday and today have been hardest. I also decided that if I don't make the 148 category I'll be fine at 165. That reminds me, it's time to go register!


Thursday, April 18, 2019

2nd Workout of Last Heavy Week April 2019

Continued to think over much of the mental work needed to be healthier. I think it is a good practice to develop this aspect in and out of the gym. Also had some good feedback on the earlier blog posts.

I'm still in touch with Lee from The PowerPlant. I really appreciate his support. He helps me keep things in perspective.

I'm also appreciative of my friend who introduced me. She had told me that the blog inspired her to compete in a powerlifting meet, she had competed before, and that inspired me to compete. It was a good push as I wasn't sure what I would be doing to keep focused on exercising to deal with the diabetes and general health.

I'll keep doing some powerlifting going forward. I think it is time to add some endurance work as well. I'm nervous about running and also excited for the challenge. It will be a huge deal. I have a marathon-running friend who is providing some encouragement. Actually I have several friends who run. There are many friends who think running is crazy. I get that. I used to think many exercise programs were useless if you weren't an athlete. However I'm obviously in a different place now.

It's interesting how our attitudes can change through our life. I'm really happy for that flexibility. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to grow and change. I've tried to be friendly and loving toward others all through my entire life. However I know I've been mean, grouchy, and a few times actually abusive. Hopefully I can keep growth in mind for the rest of my life.

OK, enough of that. Below is my workout for today.

Bike warm-up, 10 minutes
Range of Motion exercises

Squat 135x5, 205x3, 225x3, and 230x3. I was surprised that I felt like trying 230. Even more surprising is that I was on an awkward squat rack and I needed to lower the pins. I asked these guys who go in and do "strong-man" work to help me with that.

Bench 135x5, 185x3, 195x3, and 200x3. I asked the same guys to spot me. It was nice to get over myself and ask for help. I definitely won't go past 200. It was hard even with a spotter. I may stop at 195 if no one is in the gym with me on Saturday.

Deadlifts 135x5, 225x3, 245x3, and 270x2. For the third rep my lower back didn't feel right so I stopped. In my mind I was having the conversation about whether I should try to push through or stop. I think being safe is OK. Just another spot to work on. 265x3 can be calculated as 289, and 270x2 comes out to 284 at this 1RM Calculator. Both get me past my last record. I'll go by feel on Saturday.

I did push-ups and the gripper as super sets
Push-ups 42, 42, 16
Gripper 25lbs for three sets of 20

Then I did 10 burpees, stretches and a wall stretch.

My elbows are both feeling like I worked out. Other than that I'm feeling pretty good for this heavy of a workout.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Mindset Thoughts for April 2019

So I've been trying to figure out working on my mental game. I've done lots of reading and listening to podcasts. Many things repeat.

That's made me reflect a lot. Here's what I feel a big idea that I've had in my mind since yesterday.

I have many challenges, as we all do. What I've realized is that I've let things that are challenges become walls. In my mind this means is that I've let parts of my life become anchors, super-heavy and don't let you move (I know there are positive ways to see anchors) when they really were/are more like giant stones that are challenging me to grow.

Went to a funeral over the weekend and the sermon centered around the idea of not taking advantage of suffering. It made me reflect and we had a long drive home after the service so I'm guessing this percolated in my head. I realize I'm not into promoting suffering. I do think that all of us have some struggles and those can help us grow, or become suffering. It would be suffering if it is actually harming us beyond repair.

So now I'm working being able to always strive to look at the inconveniences, challenges, stresses, etc. in my life as opportunities to grow. There are some things in my life that may not change. In fact, odds are they will stay the same or get worse. However, for me to move forward I need to own that as a possibility, yet work as though they will change and trust that I can figure out how to move things forward. This is true in my home and work life.

Remembering how much of what I value in life has been a result of hard work will be key. Before my Jefita passed I tried talking with her about how the rough patches based on her decisions were part of what made me "me." She took it as bad and as a critique. I am not sure that she ever fully heard that while it wasn't great, that I'm a better person because of it.

I have been ruminating on mistakes and outright harmful things I've done in my life. I'm realizing that it is important to own them and then forgive myself and let them go. I've also done some good things in life and I want to own them.

A colleague called me humble today. We had a good talk about that. So many things to consider and ponder.

For now I'm going to focus on the reality that there are few anchors holding me stuck. Looking at the challenges that come at me as opportunities to overcome. As often as possible to find a way to have some joy in overcoming them. Another step is looking for challenges that can help me be prepared for those that aren't invited.

One of those will be starting to run. I may also swim. Doing more outdoors stuff, etc.

The other day I wrote about having energy, and had a couple of messages appreciating that. Since I like metaphors I'm going to use this as much as I can. When I feel tired and want to just stop I'm going to think of a shark. My understanding is that they need to keep moving to stay alive. Obviously adequate rest is important and I'll try for 7 or more hours of sleep a day. Outside of that I'll see how often I can keep moving in some form. Even if it is slow I'll see if I can keep making progress.

It's an experiment. I get to try lots of stuff and see what works. Hopefully I keep learning and growing!!!


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

PRs Before Meet 2019

I realize that I've been naming the posts as if I'm going to keep pushing myself on the powerlifting. I might. It would be nice to be very old and still powerlifting. Time will tell.

Also, May 1 will be the 14th anniversary of this blog! I'm going to let that percolate and see if it encourages me to try any new challenges. I know I want to do more bodyweight, and start running this year. May also try to swim more this year.

OK, so yesterday I worked at keeping my heart rate over 125 on the bike set on "fat burner." It was a bit tough. Definitely pushed me out of nasal breathing and into breathing through my mouth.

Today I did some good lifting. I am lifting more than many people would think makes sense. I'm doing all of the "big three" lifts every weight workout. I think 5 sets of 5 was too much for the weight I'm going for now. Last week I lifted 2 sets of 5 and then 3 sets of 3. This week I am doing one set of 5 and three sets of 3. It's less volume however I also pushed the weight up. I want my body to be ready to deal with heavy weight more than being able to do lots of repetitions for this period.

The mental work has increased also. I've been visualizing more for my lifts. Squats have been hard to visualize. Deadlifts are getting easier and bench has been easiest. Outside of the gym I've been continuing to look at how I interpret things. Checking myself when I get into negative mindsets has been hard yet useful. Remembering to look at stressful things as opportunities to grow (using weightlifting as a metaphor when I can) has been very useful. I had ideas for what to write about this earlier and I'm blank now. I'll post again on it in the future.

Today's workout was:
Bike 9 minutes over 90 rpm
Forgot my Range of Motion portion of the warm-up (posting here so if I look back it will serve as a reminder)

Squat 135x5, 185x3, 205x3, 225x3! Being bad at math when I'm sleepy is helpful sometimes. I didn't realize I had put 225 on the bar. I was intending for 215. Not knowing helped me from psyching myself out.

Bench 135x5, 175x3, 185x3, and 195x3! Another personal best. This time I knew what I was doing. :)

Deadlift 135x5, 225x3, 245x3, and 265x3! I'm super happy about this.

My overall plan is just to get my body used to the weight I've been doing. However, if I can get more than this I will. Today was a hard day at work, though I didn't know it would be that. Thursday could very easily be a rough day so I'll see how I feel about pushing it. Could be useful to push before a rough day.

After lifting I did push-ups, burpees, and 3 sets of 20 on the gripper machine with 20lbs.

Then I did some stretching and also the wall stretch.

I might do some cardio tonight, jumping jacks at least. Trying to push through to a new level of energy. I've tried resting more, and that doesn't seem to do it. So I figure that increasing cardio may help out.

During the day job I have tons of things to look for solutions too! I get to do some interesting stuff for sure!

That's it for today!


*Notes for me
Continuing to use the 1 rep max (1RM) calculator my max lifts for this week are (last meet in parentheses):
Squat 245lbs (203)
Bench 213lbs (176)
Deadlifts 289lbs (270) [275x3 would be a 300...]

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Less than two weeks to go! April 2019 version

Ran across this video this morning and since I'm starting a fast tonight it seemed like a perfect thing to post. This is supposed to be my heaviest week in this cycle. I'll strive for that. The "worst case" is that I'll lift moderate and then lift heavy the following Tuesday and just focus on recovery before the meet. Just going to play it by ear.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Third Week Final Prep Month for April 2019

Keeping on this week. Tweaking and testing things is fun.

Did the bike cardio and calisthenics Monday and Wednesday, and plan on it for tomorrow. I keep trying to figure out what works best. I'm going to try keeping my heart rate around 125 beats per minute tomorrow, see what that's like.

I've kept up the 100 push-ups a day, sometimes more. I sometimes switch and do burpees, since they include a push-up I count those. I'm doing the grip machine for 3 sets of 20 every workout as well. Been going up 2.5lbs a day.

Reducing heavier sets from 5 to 3 seems to be helpful. While the 1 rep max calculator estimates lower for 3 than 5 obviously, I think I'll still be fine at the end of the month.

Here's the lifting I did this week. I'm off Saturday as I'll be out of town for a funeral.

Bike 8 minutes
Squat 135x5, 155x5, 180x3, 200x3, and 210x3
Bench 135x5, 155x5, 170x3, 180x3, and 185x3
Deadlift 135x5, 185x5, 205x3, 225x3, and 245x3, my grip held up with this approach.
Push-ups 42, 42
Gripper 7.5lbs for 3 sets of 20
Burpees 8 (these are mixed so push-ups then gripper, etc.)
Wall stretch

Bike 7 minutes (I wanted to go up and didn't look at the Tuesday workout)
Range of motion warm-ups
Squat 135x5, 155x5, 185x3, 205x3, and 215x3, really liked going up to this weight
Bench 135x5, 155x5, 175x3, 185x3, and 190x3, I was glad I pushed on this
Deadlift 135x5, 185x5, 205x3, 225x3, and 250x3, I was happy to get this set!
Push-ups 42, 42
Gripper 12.5lbs for 20, 30, and 20
Burpees 8 
Stretches (a marathon runner buddy sent me this routine)
Wall stretch 

I'll do cardio tomorrow, rest Sunday, then see how lifting goes next week. Should be challenging. Biceps are still feeling funky. It's good to notice how different things impact my body. On the 215 squat my left bicep had some discomfort. After the deadlifts my lower back is stiff. I think I'll need to do some variety of lower back work and more flexibility work going forward. Endurance work will hopefully provide some help as well.

I think I hit a point where I'm not over working it, I think I under-recover. So making sure I get more sleep, which has been hard lately, will be a big deal. Especially as I add endurance work. Feel free to share your favorite endurance routines in the comments.


Sunday, April 07, 2019

Second Week Final Prep Month for April 2019

I was out of town for 3 days this week. So I had some extended time not lifting. I still did my 100 push-ups a day, also did walking, swimming, and other calisthenics.

I lifted Thursday and Saturday. Friday I did cardio and calisthenics. Here's what I did below.

Warm-up 5 minutes on bike
Squat 135lbsx5 reps, 157x5, 177x5, 197x5, 207x5. I found a pair of plates that said 11lbs so I went with it.
Bench 135x5, 155x5, 165x5, 175x5, and 180x5.
Deadlift 135x5, 225x5, 235x5, 245x3,
I felt stuck on that last set of deadlifts so I walked the gym and then did 42 push-ups
Deadlift 225x4
Then finished the 100 push-ups
Finished with a wall stretch.

Warm-up 6 minutes on bike
Squat 135lbsx5 reps, 155x5, 175x5, 195x5, 205x6. 
Bench 135x5, 155x5, 165x5, 175x5, and 180x5 
Deadlift 135x5, 185x5, 205x5, 225x5, (I think going from 135 to 225 was too big a jump last workout)
I still felt stuck on that last set of deadlifts so I  did 42 push-ups
Deadlift 245x1 and 240x1 feels like my grip isn't keeping up.
Another 42 pushups, 8 Burpees (which I'm counting toward my 100 push-ups because it's part of the exercise)
Finished with a wall stretch and realized I was short on push-ups and knocked out the remaining 8.

Checked in with Lee from the PowerPlant and I'll add some grip work for the rest of the month and likely long-term. I don't know what percentage was mental and my worrying about getting hurt, and what part is my actually being wise and not pushing it. I'll try visualizing more. 

It was interesting that later in the day it felt like I had done a bicep workout. My arms were just feeling it. Not feeling that today. My back also felt stiff. I'm thinking of changing up my routine next week and doing the two lighter sets at 5 repetitions still and the rest of the sets at 3 reps. I'm not really needing volume, I just need to adapt to the weight I'm pushing myself to do. We'll see how that goes.

From sitting at a conference for 3 days that I don't have the energy to keep me going through that. I'll work on endurance after this month. I'll even try running again. About 12 years ago I developed really painful back and leg issues. I had a doc suggest I stop lifting and to not lift anything over 10lbs. I followed that advice and it wasn't that helpful. Now with what I've learned and moved through I think that endurance is a good next phase. I can maintain my strength and also try to get my energy capacity even higher. I'll check out CrossFit/SEALFit type stuff as well as adding yoga and swimming. It will be fun to run again, hopefully not super painful. 


Sunday, March 31, 2019

First Week Last Month of April Meet Prep

I posted on my Tuesday lifts here. I continued to do calisthenics and bike cardio on non-weight days. I decided to keep lifting on other days. My bicep and forearm have been bothering me, yet not debilitating. Getting the 100 push-ups a day even with minimal discomfort has been good. It's a great thing to try and figure out fear of being hurt and adapting to check things out. Seems like this should be OK. I'll be away from weights until Thursday this week because of a conference. I'll just up my core work and calisthenics.

Bench Press, because I was worried about my arm I started with the bar (45lbs) for a set of 10. There wasn't any discomfort however I decided to stay slow. Then I went for 95 for 5, 135 for 5, then 165x5, 175x5, and finished with 180x3. I started with bench because the squat rack and deadlift platform were being used.

Squats 135lbs for 5 reps, then 177x5, and 195x5. Then I did 200 for 4. I dropped from 210 because I didn't feel I had good form. 

Deadlifts 135x5, then 205x5, 225x5 and finished with 245 for 5.  Even though I could have gone for 250 for 3, I felt it important to skip increasing weight for now. 

I think doing squats and then deadlifts back to back was rough. My lower back was hurting so I did my 3 sets of push-ups - 42, 42, and 16 for 100 before the final set on deadlifts.  

I made it after the Cesar Chavez event in the afternoon. There were a couple of people on the squat racks. So I changed up the order.

Deadlifts 135x5, then 205x5, 225x5 and finished with 245 for 5. Felt pretty good. 

Bench Press 135 for 5, then 165x5, 175x5, and finished with 180x4. 

Squats 135lbs for 5 reps, then 177x5, and 195x5. Then I did 202 for 5. There were weights that had 11lbs instead of 10 so I figured it couldn't hurt to add the 2 pounds. 

3 sets of push-ups - 42, 42, and 16 for 100. 

Feeling good overall. Back to ice and heat. 

Continuing to use the 1 rep max (1RM) calculator my max lifts for this week are (last meet in parentheses):
Squat 235lbs (203)
Bench 203lbs (176)
Deadlifts 286lbs (270)


Thursday, March 28, 2019

2nd Lift Day for Last Month of Prep

I went in to lift. I was worried about my arm. Also spent a lot of time the last 48 hours thinking about how we relate to pain and injuries. I think meditation, breathing exercises, visualization, and those types of tools have been working for me.

Because the squat rack was busy I went out of order and started with benching.

I started with the bar just in case there was an issue. Seemed fine. So I went up 135, 155, 165, 175, and ended with 180lbs for 3 repetitions.

On squat I did 135x5, 175x5, 195x5, and then because I wasn't certain I was lifting 210 with good form I did 200lbs for 4 reps. While I try really hard not to reduce weight it felt smart, and going against my ego, to drop weight. With that weight the 1 rep max calculator estimates I can do 226 for 1. Felt good overall, yet I can definitely feel that my lower back is challenged. I lift "raw" (no equipment) and know I could lift more with a belt and other equipment. I figure I'll lift what I can safely raw and deal with that.

Going back to deadlifts had me a little nervous. I did 135x5, then 205x5, 225x5, and my back was burnt from squats right into deadlift. So I did push-ups, a set of 42, then 42, and 16. After that I checked my fear and pulled 245 for a set of 5 repetitions.

Feels good to push through the mental fear, and still listen to my body. Saturday I'll have to lift after the Cesar Chavez event. I'll be at a conference early next week and not sure if I'll have access to weights. I figure I can do core work and let my arm heal. I'll keep doing the 100 push-ups a day!


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