Monday, March 30, 2009

Not feelin' it

Today was one of those days where I just didn't feel like going and working out. I think there are a few excuses for the lack of enthusiasm and motivation today. I'm tired, I'm sore, and my workout partner was away today.

I'm sore for a good reason, a fun reason. Yesterday was another pole jam with my friend. She bought herself a crash mat that sits around the base of the pole. It's 5 inches thick of glorious foam. Basically its a modified mat like the ones you used as a kid for gymnastics in gym class. It's simple, and is wonderfully safe. I made good use of it that's for sure. With that bit of safety net below me, I was able to try something new. It took some good spills onto the mat, and some bruises, but I managed to learn two new moves. No pictures yet as I need to work on the placement and be able to hold the move for more than 2 seconds. That will come with practice.

The one thing (and probably the only thing) that made me go to the gym today was the thought of have a Jugo Juice after my workout. I knew if I didn't go, there would be no point to having a protein + fresh fruit blended juice. So I went, and was counting down the exercises I had left before I could shower and be done. I hate days like today. I figure it's probably because it has been almost 6 weeks of this stage and I'm bored. My muscles aren't bored, because I'm still pushing them with more weight every 2nd time I'm at the gym. My mind is bored. I need something new. Only 2 weeks left and then I'll take a week off on the beach. After I get back from the vacation I'll shock my brain and my body into something new.

Hopefully Wednesday's workout will be much better. I've finally slept 2 full nights without waking up, so I believe Wednesday will be a good day. I'll hopefully get time to put together a new playlist on my mp3 player. That might help motivate me a little.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Workouts 5 & 6: Push it good!

My workout program doesn't go in weeks. It goes in what are called workouts. Makes a lot of sense eh? Let me explain.
I have 2 sets of exercises in Stage 1. Workout A and Workout B. Within those 2 sets of exercises, I have 8 workouts each. Right now I am on 5 and 6. Workouts 5 & 6 mean I am doing 3 sets of 10 reps. Today was the first day of doing that, and I had to up my weights. It was a success! My squat weights and seated-row weight increased significantly. Felt great to only have to do 10 or them, but that tenth was a hard one. I will definately be feeling that tomorrow.

I have officially made going for a Jugo Juice (fresh fruit, juice, etc) a treat. I only get one on my workout days. There is a lot of protein in them, so I use it as my post-workout shake. I normally get the mini size, but today I opted for a regular size. I surprised myself and drank it all. With that much fresh fruit and added soy protein, I'm sure to get my nutrients today.

The nutrition part of this program is very lax. I am mainly focusing on eating healthy, but also on getting more protein on my workout days than on rest days. All around, I have increased the amount by a lot. New favorite thing: chocolate milk! I have read several articles and seen several TV ads for chocolate milk as a great post-workout drink. Since I'm a milk lover anyways, this just makes it that much sweeter!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Finally home!

After a long week away from home, it's nice to get a chance to relax before the work week starts. The flight home was alright. I did manage to finish book 3 in the Sookie Stackhouse series. Only 4 more to go in the box set I have. Thank goodness they are short novels. I have a long list of books to read after I finish this series.

As a welcome home, my boyfriend and I had a date night. We went out for dinner at Earl's Restaurant. Yummy! After dinner we headed over to the movie theatre and watched "I Love you, man". Fantastic movie. I haven't laughed in a theatre that hard in a while. Well worth seeing.

We went to the travel agent this afternoon to pick up our tickets for our Mexico vacation. Only a few more weeks until fun in the sun. :D I'm so excited to lay on the beach for a week and not think about anything but what kind of umbrella drink I'll order next. We're hoping to do some scuba diving and snorkling while we're down there.

Conveniently, the vacation falls right around when I am taking a week off between stages in my workout program. It's recommended that I take a week off to give my body a good rest before I shock it into more weights and a first look at interval training. What better way to get a full week of rest than lying on the beach! This vacation is going to be a great big "good for me" for completing Stage 1. It certainly wasn't planned that way, but I'll take it!

As an update on the program, this week will be the start of all my exercises being 3 sets of 10 reps. This will mean I need to push myself harder. Only doing 10 reps will allow me to up my weights that I'm lifting. I think I'll start to see a bigger difference over the next 3 - 4 weeks.
I must remember most importantly that my workout days are also the days I need to focus on getting more protein into my body and get a good nights sleep.

I'm very pleased with the results I'm getting so far. I'm seeing more definition in my arms and abs. My legs are getting stronger and I feel like I have more energy. There are only 2 more weeks until I start a new pole dance class, so I am hoping my arms will be strong enough to allow me to ease myself back into it. I've already noticed I can do a bit more since the last gettogether with my friend.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Making do with what's here

Being away from home always sucks, but having a structured workout program makes it harder.

I'm in a hotel for the entire week and found the fitness centre. It's quite extensive and the staff is great. The guy at the reception desk to the gym was really interested in my FitBook. I gave him the website and the next time I went back he said he'd ordered one!

The weight room is good. I'm having to modify a few things, and it's quite busy. There are two guys from Tennessee that are really nice. We talked about different workout programs between sets the first time I went. As much as the ficilities are good, I'm uncomfortable not being in my regular gym. I've had some trouble having to modify some of my workouts because they don't have the correct machines. I never know how much weight the different bars are to lift. All of this makes it very difficult to keep motivated. I know for one that I haven't been lifting the correct amount of weight because my post workout day feels like I didn't do anything useful. I feel like I didn't workout at all!

I have one more workout to do while I'm here, so hopefully that will give me some time to figure it all out. I'm looking forward to being home next week.

I miss home!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Away from my regular gym

This week is really going to test my motivation and will to workout.

I'm travelling for a week for a work trip and will be in a hotel. Luckily, I have found one that has a fairly large fitness centre and a pool.

I am into Week 3 come Monday, so I will have to start the new sets/reps at some place other than my regular gym. From travelling a lot, I know that a lot of hotel gyms do not have all sorts of different equipment. They are usually very basic, which for my program, isn't that bad. I use mostly free weights, so that's good. For the other exercises that use machines, I have some modifications I can do. No excuses here!

One good thing about getting away for a week is that I can get me time. No cooking, no cleaning, no worryng about anything else, just me time. I'm more excited to spend some nights catching up on sleep, reading and a good workout than learning. Funny how that works. Of course I'll learn a thing or two on the course, but I'm really just looking forward to relaxing.

You'll hear from me in a week or so!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Week 2 and feeling great

This is week two of my new workout program. I feel fantastic!
My energy has increased and I have been sleeping better. I've also been less stressed and happier, at least that's what my boyfriend tells me :)

Monday was workout A again for the second time. I used the same weights as the first time I did it thinking it would result in my muscles boycotting me again. This was not the case. I was a little stiff in my upper body, but everything else felt fine. Still stiff, but not nearly as sore as I had anticipated. Today will be workout B again. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of it over the next few days.

This past monday, my boyfriend and I treated ourselves to a movie. We went to see 'Watchmen'.
I'd give it 3/5 stars. Good movie, but I won't rush out to buy it. That's usually how I distinguish a great movie from a good one. If I watch a movie and immediately say "That was awesome. I can't wait to buy it", then it's a great one.

I've also found a new book series. Since reading all the Twilight books in record time (for me anyways) I've been reading a number of different books. A friend of mine recommended that I begin the Sookie Stackhouse series. I'm almost done the first one that I started saturday night. They are an easy read, adult fiction, and about vampries. The main vampire is certainly no Edward Cullen, so there will not be any infatuation with him, but it's still a good read none-the-less. At least my boyfriend won't feel like I'm spending more time with my 'book boyfriend' than with him. heeheehee

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Back to the pole

Hooray! Today I went to a friends house and we had our pole jam. What a blast!
Having someone push you and tell you that you can do it is so wonderful. Today I accomplished more than I thought I could have at this point.

Some background information you need to know.
I broke my hand in December and was in a cast for 8 weeks. After the cast came off, I was unable to do a lot of things. My strength had become 1/3 of what it was. My body wasn't conditioned as it was pre-break.

I've been a little leary of trying anything on the pole just because it's been so long and I'm scared of not being able to do anything. Well today, poling with my friend pushed me past that. I did almost everything I could before the break on my right side. I think it will take a little while to do everything on my left too.

It seems that the workout program, and easing into things has really paid off.

Here are some pictures of somethings I pulled off today.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Limping along

Yesterday was Workout B. This consisted of Deadlifts, lunges, lat pulldowns, overhead press and swiss ball crunches. That doesn't sound too hard right? Yah, I didn't think it was either.

Lunges are my new arch-enemy. I realize now that my hamstrings are very week. I figured last night I would probably be really sore today, so I decided to use my foam roller and roll out my legs, back, arms and neck. When I got up today, I scolded myself for not remembering to do my quads. I am a limping machine today. I didn't pull anything, just worked the muscles till they were good and tired. I'll have to make sure I roll out the muscles again tonight after a hot bath to soak them.

I found a new shake from Jugo Juice yesterday. "Sippin' Strawberry". Very good flavour.

Tomorrow I curl my second last game of the season. Should be fun. Sunday I am heading to a friends house to pole. It's a ritual now that we get together every month or so and have a pole jam, as we call it. Mostly we just hang out, have fun trying new things and talk. I'd say there's far more talking that exercising happening. But that's the point right?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shakin' things up

Yesterday was day 1 of the new program.
I had 5 exercises to do. Each 2 sets of 15 reps. Only took me half an hour with resting in between each set. I felt great after and really thought I had gotten a great workout. Even had to shower after (including hair) from sweating so much. The boost I got yesterday was amazing. Nothing to boost confidence like feeling strong.

Since yesterday was a lifting day, I was supposed to up the amount of protein I got. To start I ate normally at home, but when I got to work, instead of having a muffin, I got a breakfast sandwich. Egg&cheese in an english muffin. yum yum! I also had a post-workout shake. Wandered over to Jugo Juice and got the Junior Jugo + a shot of soy protein. Delicious!! My new favorite. Strawberry, banana, apple juice and orange juice. All blended into a wonderful yummy concoction.

Today I feel like I worked out. I know that sounds redundant, but there are a lot of times I go up to the gym, do a little and feel nothing. Today I feel like I actually did something useful. My hamstrings and all the way up into my butt is sore; a good sore though. My pecs hurt from all the pushups, but I'm sitting straighter today because of it.

Today is an off day. Program says I should always put one day in between my lifting days. Never more than 3 lifting days a week either. For the next two weeks I'm only doing 2 days of lifting because I have curling on the weekends which actually takes quite a bit of physical activity. Only two more weekends of curling and then the real work begins.

Today will be spent relaxing, eating healthy.

Monday, March 2, 2009

New workout

I've started a new fitness program. I read the book "The New Rules of Lifting for Women" ( ). I decided that I was going to try the program out.
Here's an overview:
It should last about 6 months. 6 months you say? Yes. That includes some diet modifications, for the better I might add, and a strict exercise plan. The point of the program is lifting. Not to be a body builder, but to lift weights to become stronger and better balanced, muscle-wise.

There are 6 stages to the program. I will break it into time frames.
Stage 1: 6 weeks (potentially more as I'm gone for 1 week to Chicago. Hoping I can workout while I'm there)
Stage 2 - 5: 4 weeks each
Stage 6: 4 weeks
Stage 6 is a choice. I can choose Stage 6 or Stage 7. I've chosen Stage 6 as it's to improve strength. Stage 7 is fat loss. Not looking for that.

Each stage is divided into Workout A and Workout B. You alternate workouts each time you go.
Example: Stage 1: Workout A - 1 (1 for the first time I do it.) When I get to the 4th time I do Workout A I will up the weights I am using and lower the reps.

I want to keep a count of how I feel throughout the program. Any changes I notice, any new triumphs.

I'm trying to get back the strength I lost when I broke my hand. I've lost over half my arm strength in my left arm and probably a little less than that in my right. It's ridiculous! I have signed myself up for another pole class beginning in April. That gives me a month to work my ass off and get some strength back so I can go back to dance. I'm sad without it. I wish I could dance now, but it's just not going to happen. Things will be slow, but I think a steady, safe pace will get me back faster.

Happy Lifting!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A welcoming note

As I start this blog, I should say a little about myself.

I am a geek at heart.

I have a degree in computer science. Computers thrill me, frustrate me and keep me in touch with everyone. I would rather spend time watching movies, playing games of all kinds (board, video, card) than go shopping and having girl talk. Not that there's anything wrong with either of those. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a cup of tea or Starbucks Caramel Macchiato and conversation with a good friend. Chick flicks aren't my favorite type of movie, but 2 or 3 a year is alright. I'd much rather see an action flick or a really good make-you-think movie.

I'm also a fitness fan. On top of all that geekiness, I'm probably riding the exercise bike and watching Grey's Anatomy or the Discovery Channel. If not chatting with friends online or in person, I'm probably at the gym lifting weights, taking yoga, or dancing.

What kind of dance you ask? I feel in love with pole dancing last year. It's one of the best exercises, not to mention fun, that I've ever done. I take classes at a local gym from a company that uses their space. It's becoming such a mainstream form of dance/exercise, it makes me proud to be a part of it. It requires an immense amount of strength and grace.

I hope that in reading this blog you will share in my triumphs and tribulations.