Monday, October 22, 2012

Garage workouts

I have met A LOT of people through kettlebells.

I have met hundreds at each of the certification workshops I've attended, and have kept in touch with a few of them.

Last week, one of the dudes put a post up about the Strong Sundays he hosts out of his garage. Just a mish mosh of people, throwing some weight around.

I inquired, and thought I'd give it a try yesterday.

I figured that since I'll be out of town for the next 4 weekends, that would give me enough time to recover from the PTSD it was bound to induce.

You know The World's Strongest Man competitions? With the barrel throws and the deadlifts with the wheelbarrow thing and the walking with a car on your shoulders?


Yesterday's entire workout was straight out of that.

It was horrible and awesome.

Stone loads with a 75 lb cement ball

Yoke walk with 285 lbs. TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE POUNDS. Can we TALK about how sore my shoulders and neck are today????

I don't have a pic of the farmer walk, which is walking while holding a barbell in each hand. The weight was REALLY heavy and my dumb wide hips paid the price. My hands and the bars kept slamming into them, and I had nice fat bruises on both sides a couple hours later.

I'll save you a picture of my translucent skin, but it looks something like this:

Anyhoo, I will for SURE be partaking in Strong Sundays in the future.

Back to my meathead roots!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Quick kettlebell killer

My trainer assigned a pretty simple  manmaker for yesterday's workout.

Swing for 40 secs, rest for 20 secs, repeats 10x with a 16 kg kb.

Swing a 16? For 10 mins? Psh. Easy peasy.

Oh wait, what's that? My heart is about to explode at minute 3? NEVERMIND THIS IS HARD OMG.

It's fast and furious and perfectly brutal.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Week 14

Weight: -12 lbs
Inches: -9.4

I've super slacked on this blog! Again. Oops. I busted my hamstring 3 weeks ago and am JUST starting to get back into legs and cardio. The upside is that I've tried to bust ass on my upper body workouts, and it's paid off. I can do pullups again! I did sets up 3 dead hang pulls last week, and this week I did singles with an added 10 lbs. I always feel sorta braggy (in a bad way) when I mention pullups, because not many girls can do them. But here's the thing. Literally, I put blood, sweat and tears into being able to do them. Literally. It was a struggle. Being able to do pullups was and is a  HUGE accomplishment for me.

Quick update!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I have to blog this workout. I haven't ended a workout sprawled out on the floor when I finished in a long time. Courtesy of Abby. I can't change the font, which is pretty lame, but it's all good.

Perform Each Couplet (superset) as listed 3 times before moving on to the next one.
Some exercises will be listed for time while others will be a rep set.  Rest 30-45 sec before repeating.
1a- Bulgarian Lunges on bench 8-15 reps
1b- 30 seconds of KB swings
2a- Cable Kick Backs 20 reps each leg
2b- 30 seconds of lunge jumps
3a- Renegade Rows for 24-30 reps
3b- 30 seconds of alternating swings
4a- Goblet Squats for 8-15 Reps
4b-30 seconds of burpees

Bulgarian lunge = 

Renegade row:

Goblet squat: 
(These pictures are not mine)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

8 week check in

It's been kind of a rough couple of weeks! Last week's check in was WEIRD. I lost 1.5 lbs, which is a lot for me for one week, and gained 3.5 inches. 3.5! Wtf! That's almost half of the total that I had lost! It was so bizarre.

After that, my trainer forgot to send me new workouts. To be perfectly honest, being forgotten is the opposite of motivational, especially after having just had such an off check in. On thurs I had a pity party about it. I forgot to pack my shoes and had to leave the gym. I went home and ate a bunch of Wheat Thins, my first snack attack since I started this. That felt less than great.

When I finally got off my ass and decided to at least get cardio done in the fitness center at my apartment complex, someone was on the treadmill. I was SO PISSED. I went back home and sat around a while and finally came to a conclusion. Why am I counting on someone else to be my motivation? If that someone let's me down, I'm just going to totally let all of my hard work go? EFF THAT. I need to be my OWN damn  motivation! At 7:30 (way late for me), I got dressed, went to the gym, and busted out my entire workout. Even added 10 lbs to my deadlift. It felt great, and I think I turned a corner in my training. I'm doing this for me.

My check-in this week evened out a bit. I gained a lb and lost a couple inches. I normally wouldn't be thrilled with that pound, but last week was SO off, that I was ok with the numbers evening out again.

So what's a workout blog like this without progress pics, right? Right. Unless it's your own pics. Blech! These are week 0 vs. week 8. The changes are subtle, I think. Change takes time, so I'm ok with that!

There will be zero rewards for photography skills here, obviously!

Thursday, March 29, 2012



Wide and reverse grip lat pulldown/
Cable row/
Back hyper

Seated dumbell curls
Standing barbell curls
DB preacher curls

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week 7 Check In

Weight: -7.5 lbs
Inches: -10

10 Inches!

I went camping (of sorts) this weekend. Knowing that my guy and his friend would probably only bring beer and Slim Jims, I packed some healthy snacks for myself. Roasted chickpeas, protein pumpkin pancakes, blueberry oatmeal muffins, cherry tomatoes and hard boiled eggs. It was a smart move to have healthy things to  eat. I wasn't following my meal plan exactly, but I knew I wasn't completely blowing it, either.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Breakfast of champions

I made a discovery this  morning that BLEW MY MIND.

1/2 c. dry oatmeal
a little less than 1c water
6 frozen strawberries

Nuke it all together! Mine takes 2-ish mins.

When most of the water is absorbed, toss in a splash of almond milk, 1 Tbl flax seed oil, and half a scoop of protein powder. My protein is cookies and cream flavored. Mixed with the strawberries? OMG. Dessert.

This is the perfect breakfast! Carbs, protein, fruit and a little healthy fat.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Almond Milk

In my haste to buy in bulk, I snagged a box of Silk Original Almond Milk at Costco. I should know better. It wasn't until I got home that remembered to check the label. "Original" does not equal "unsweetened". Cane sugar in the ingredients.

The organic UNSWEETENED almond milk at Trader Joe's is far superior. It tastes better and isn't as thick. It's also more expensive, but I know it will be worth it to switch back.

I don't like it plain, but almond milk is killer in smoothies and with protein powder. Super low calorie and adds a nice nutty flavor.

Hindu Squats

What fresh hell is THIS?!

Sets of 30 after every set of barbell squats = burning quads, lit up arches, gasping breath.

They were surprisingly fluid. I was taught to never ever everrrrrrrr squat up on your toes like that. I've heard of these, though, and they are fairly known/popular, so I wasn't dead set against trying.

I figured I would give them a try and if my knees exploded, I would stop. I think because you're SO far up on your toes and so centered/tall through the torso, it wasn't as much pressure on my knees as I had anticipated.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Protein Powder Review

I drink a LOT of protein on this fun little diet. A lot. About 3x/day. A few years ago I trained for a competition and had up to 3 protein shakes a day and, by the end of it, the smell of chocolate Muscle Milk made me gag. I was a little worried, this go round, that the same thing would happen, especially since I wanted to save money by buying a big jug of it.

So far, I've been buying from Vitamin Shoppe. They have a good selection and free shipping over $25. PLUS, a cashback bonus from Ebates (if you shop online at all, for anything, you MUST sign up for Ebates! If you decide to sign up, let me know so I can give you my email as your reference and score $5 for myself).

My first purchase was Champion Nutrition Cookies and Cream protein.
Champion Nutrition Pure Whey Protein Stack Cookies & Cream, 5.0 Pound , Powder
After having this 3x/day for almost a month and a half, I still love it. It's SO good mixed with unsweetened almond milk. When just stirred in, it's a wee bit chunky. No chunks when I use a shaker, though.

For fear of getting sick of it and ruining a good thing, I just bought a jug of Optimum Nutrition Whey Gold Natural Vanilla.

Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Natural Vanilla, 5.0 Pound , Powder
It's a little pricier, but I was drawn to the "natural" no artificial sweeteners or flavors part. Stevia might be "natural", but it's still a sugar substitute, and I think it tastes stronger than whatever chemical fake sugar that's in the cookies and cream powder. The plus side is that it dissolves really easily. Cookies and cream wins this battle, but I think it's good that I have a different flavor to throw into the mix sometimes, to mix things up.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New favorite snack

Trader Joe's fat free plain Greek yogurt mixed with half a scoop of my cookies and cream protein powder. It tastes and feels like chocolate mousse! I imagine any flavor powder would transform plain yogurt into a mousse/pudding treat. Super delish and super healthy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Month 1 Check-In!

Weight: -6 lbs
Inches: -6.2 lbs

(Interesting that my weight lost and inches lost have almost exactly mirrored each other every week!)

Nothing changed much at my week 3 check-in, which was a little discouraging. How was I plateauing already?? Abby assured me that sometimes that just happens. She said that she's had weeks when she eats great and kicks ass in the gym and no numbers change. That made me feel a little better. 

My one month check-in was good, though. I dropped below a mile-marker weight that I haven't been below for a while, so that felt pretty awesome. 

Last weekend I went to Ohio to visit a friend. I didn't eat great, but I didn't go crazy, either. I feel ok about that. I decided not to feel guilty about enjoying my friend and a new city and some of the treats it has to offer. I also decided that I wouldnt use it as an excuse to go completely nuts and shove crap in my face all weekend. There a happy and tasty middle ground. The key, which I knew I was safe with, was coming back home and getting right back to work. I will admit that I feel better when I eat better (shocking, right?). I came home late Sunday night and immediately jumped back on my program.

I was excited to hear that Abby had changed my meal plan just a tad. A few more calories and a couple more options. After eating the same thing every day for a month, any little change is welcome! I also got new cardio assignments for the first time since the beginning. Cardio with squats and lunges mixed in. She is literally kicking my ass!

While I send front/back/side pictures to Abby every week, I didn't really look at them closely until the one month mark. I didn't want to obsess over and stare at them every week. If I didn't see a change, it would discourage me, and week by week there probably isn't a lot to see anyway. At this week's check-in, I allowed myself to look at the difference between the start and one month. It was nothing earth shattering. In fact, the only real difference that I could see was that my waist is smaller. I'll take it! These things take time and I understand that. The numbers are going in the direction that they're supposed to and I feel great being back in the gym again. That was my main goal, to feel better. I think I'm right on track.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chinese food and legs

I have done really well with the meal plan of this program (which, to be perfectly honest, is a welcome surprise for me).

And it sucks.

I went to the coast with out of town family and ate a salad out of tubberware while every one else had local seafood.

Same family sat around a table of Chinese food last night while I sipped water.

Our society bonds over food, and it suuuuuucks to have to sit on the sidelines. It isn't 100% about missing out on the food itself (....that's part of it. Beer battered calamari? Sesame chicken? GAH!), but it feels rude and outcasty to have to refuse food that someone is offering you.

At this point, I feel that when this is over I'll be SO glad to be able to participate with those around me. On the same hand though, I also sit back and recognize how much of that food I would be shoveling in my face, and I think I'll be much wiser about portion control and moderation and all that crap when I'm finished with this.

Moving on!

I got back from my leg workout yesterday, collapsed on the couch, butt twitching. Holy hell. I've wanted to post some workout-y stuff on here (Duh. Workout blog.) but, like I've mentioned before, I also want to respect my trainer's profession and don't want to give away all her secrets for free on the interwebz! I think a fair compromise is to post just the exercises, but not any of the numbers. Most stuff is done with supersets. One set of the first exercise immediately followed by a set of the second (etc), THEN rest. Superset = /

Leg Press/pop squats (plyos. Near barf at the end of just about every set)

Weighted step ups on a bench/lunge (oh hello, quivering cramping ass!)

Butt press/lateral jump/wide stance squat jump (Do I have Heidi Klum's butt YET?!)

Standing calf raise/seated calf raise (I have cows, not calves, so when they cramp up the world ENDS)

I worked my ass off. Literally. There were times when I felt like I was kind of actually drunk!! It went beyond hurting to sorta numb and I almost felt disconnected from my body. I have a hard time focusing on high rep work, so I think it was a good thing. I just tuned out and kept pushing. Not so tuned out, though, that I wasn't paying attention to form. No need for silly injuries!

Anyway, it's nice to be working hard again. It's been a while. I like having a trainer to hold me accountable for my workouts and diet. This is a huge challenge for me and I'm diggin it!

Week 2 check in:

Total weight: -4 lbs
Total inches: -4.5 inches

Monday, February 13, 2012

Week 1 Check In

Weight: -2.5 lbs
Total inches: -2.5 inches

Not bad for one week!

I had my cheat meal on Saturday night. Chicken pesto pizza, garlic cheese bread, and  a little red wine. While it tasted FAB, it totally ripped my stomach up. Psh, my stomach thinks it's all healthy now and can't hand handle pizza?! Might have to reconsider some of my grease filled fatty cheat meals I have in mind for the future.

Other than my cheat meal, my saturday eating was thrown off a bit. It's a lot harder when I'm up at my boyfriends. I brought all of my own food for the weekend, so I wouldnt have to worry about whether or not they had exactly what I needed. I also didn't need to worry about weighing my food. I even brought my scale, tape measure, camera and computer to make sure I could do my check in to Abby on time. Talk about a bag lady.

I had assumed that my cheat meal would be Saturday lunch. I went horseback riding with my grandpa on Saturday, and he usually likes to go out to eat when I'm around, so I planned accordingly. Well we didn't! So I ended up eating the dinner I had packed for Saturday for lunch, and we went over to some friend's house for cheat dinner.

In the mix, I also missed my afternoon snack and was still so full when we got home that I skipped my protein shake before bed. Certainly  not my best day, but I know that there is going to have to be a  little give when I'm up there. I can't adjust to changes as well when I pack food and go away. I was good about sticking my morning snack in my purse while we were out and about, but didn't remember to do the same with the afternoon snack. Lesson learned!

We do lots of running around up there. Just going to the store can turn into an all afternoon run-around, which is fine, but I need to take that possibility into account before we leave.

Friday, February 10, 2012

New fun things!!!!

As I was deadlifting at the gym yesterday, scraping the crap out of my shins, which now look like they belong on a clumsy 5 yr old, I decided I had had enough.

I saw these socks a while ago (ps-that website. Omg. I WANT IT ALL.), and put them on the list of things I would reward myself with during the span of this program. "Don't reward yourself with food, you aren't a dog", I saw on trusty Pinterest. Huh....they've got a point. I decided I'd reward myself with workout clothes!!

I'm not sure that a reward is justified 6 days in, but eff it! My shins NEEEEEEDED these, obvs. Plus, they're clearly 100% awesome and need to live with me.

So now they're mine.

Both colors.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lunch Woes

On Day 6 of my meal plan, I'm happy to say that I haven't cheated one little bit. It's mostly decent enough, and I eat every 3 hours, so I don't really get a chance to get hungry enough to want to snack.

But lunch.

I choke down lunch every day, because I haven't been able to figure out how to sufficiently make it not gag-worthy.

My options are:

tuna or chicken
bread or grains (rice, quinoa, etc)
almonds or mayo
and a large garden salad with no dressing.

(NO DRESSING. I usually just use balsamic vinegar, but PLAIN?! Blech)

I usually take my choices and toss them all in to make one big salad. It's still far from enjoyable. The mayo I'm allowed isn't quite enough to wet the tuna, and I can't seem to make my chicken so it isn't as dry as the damn Sahara.

I'm allowed lemon and spices, so I made a lemon garlic aoili with the mayo and use that as a dressing. It's a small enough amount of mayo that it just barely wets the dish. It's far from mayo-y (I never had mayo prior to this).

I need to put my thinking cap on and get creative, within my parameters, so my lunches don't suck quite so much....suggestions?

(guess which meal I'm 100% likely to use my cheat meal on? Romantic dinner? Hell no. LUNCH. Every time. )

On the workout front, I'm sore as helllllll!!! But that's to be expected. I'm surprised at how weak I am at some stuff, but I have to remind myself that I need to just suck it up, scale it back, and work to my current capabilities. It will get better, and I will get stronger.

I'm trying to only get on my scale once a week, for my progress reports to Abby, so I'm interested to see what it says on Saturday.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Back to Black

I asked Abby what my rules were for coffee and tea, and she told me "in moderation" and mentioned that I was allowed up to to 2 packets of Splenda a day.

Artificial sweeteners.


I assumed that meant no half and half. I don't put much in my coffee, but a dollop of creamer and about a half tsp of sugar do just the trick.

I want to stick to her rules as closely as I can, so I figured I'd just drink tea. I like that plain, and it has a little caffeine.

But tea isn't coffee, which I started to  miss.

I LIKE my coffee, not even just for the caffeine aspect! I thought I'd teach myself to like black coffee. I've tried before, but it's just so bitter and blech!! My boyfriend, LeGreg, bought some vanilla flavored coffee this weekend, which smelled amazing. Coffee never tastes just as it smells, though,  unfortunately.

Right when it hit my tongue, it was bitter city. Then it would mellow out. It was NOT enjoyable.

I should note that he bought a cheapy bag of Dunkin Donuts coffee. Cheap coffee doesn't always taste the best anyway, so maybe it was that.

This morning I put just the tiniest sprinkle of splenda in my black coffee at work and....SUCCESS!! It takes just the edge off the bitterness, leaving the coffee flavor that I love.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The beginning!

I received my meal plan and workouts on Tuesday. As check-ins are on Saturdays, I assume that I don't REALLY start until this Sat. This works out really well for me because my best friend is moving across the country this week. This is her last week at our job, and there are lots of celebratory food eating events to see her off.

This also gives me a chance to get familiar with the workouts and start following (mostly) the meal plan. 

The workouts are mostly mon-fri, a mix of machines, kettlebells, and free weights/barbell stuff. I was quite relieved to see that I only have one weekend workout, and it's a running sort of deal. This makes things MUCH less complicated when I'm visiting my boyfriend on the weekends. I was a little nervous about having to find a gym up there. 

My meal plan is 6 meals a day, most of which include a carb and a protein. I have some options, but I'll need to get creative! Free use of herbs/spices and lemons will have to come into play. I do get one cheat meal a week, which I will be fully taking advantage of!

Epic timing- I was gifted a Costco card on the same day I got my meal plan. I now own more oatmeal than I will probably ever eat in my entire life. 

I saw a need for change, and I took the step to hire someone to help me with it, knowing that I'm in a rut and wasn't much help to myself

I really want to be successful. 

And I will be. 

My goal is to focus on every DAY. Don't worry about how I have 5 days until I get another cheat meal (or whatever). Just focus on successfully getting through the current day and leave tomorrow til tomorrow. 

Also-I won't be documenting every meal or workout. It isn't fair to my trainer if I put all of her hard work on the internet for all to find for free. This is something that she does for a living, and I fully plan to respect that. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Of things to come...

Man, this blog has been a snoozefest!

Around Christmas I decided to commit to something pretty huge.

Two years ago, when I assisted at a kettlebell workshop, a woman sent out an email to all of the female instructors asking if someone wanted to share a hotel with her because funds were tight, what with her having to pay to fly out from Idaho.

When no one responded, I offered up my couch to her.

Kettlebell types can be....a little fanatic? So I didn't know exactly what I was signing up for. But it was only for a couple days, so why not?

Abby came and we had a freaking BLAST together. She was awesome and I had a great time showing her around the bay area (her first time being in CA!). We've kept in touch ever since.

Since then, she has started doing bikini competitions. NOT something I'm interested in myself, but it was so interesting reading about this huge change for her.

She also went from starting/owning a gym with her hubs to moving back across the country and personal training for a big gym


A couple weeks ago, she posted on Facebook that she was so excited to have her first online client. She provides workouts and meal plans, all via email and occasional phone chats, and mentioned contacting her if anyone else was interested.

I was.

I've been less than motivated.

And this came at the height of See's candy and cookies and crap holiday overload.

I asked her about the details and decided to commit to working with her for 6 months. Starting in Feb.

Sorry, but my bff is moving out to Chicago then and I just can't give up my last month of eating all the things with her.

And the food part terrifies me. I'm really terrible at controlling myself around food. And 6 months is a REALLY LONG TIME. 


Workouts lately have been regular (which is good) and geared towards hopefully preparing myself to not fully die when Abby finally gets her virtual hands on me.

Oh and I heard about a "run 365 miles in 365 days in 2012" challenge that I've taken up. For now. I don't know if running is really part of her program, but I can do an average of a mile a day for now!

I'll keep writing updates about everything regularly (well...that's the plan, anyway) when I start Abby's program in a few weeks.

Get ready for food rage posts!