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Fitness Friday: Back On Track

Weight Day

Last week was a rough one. I went to a new chiropractor who was a little too aggressive in his adjustments and it took me out of working out for the week.  That’s all I’m saying because I’m still so annoyed about it.  Plus I’m back to looking for a new chiro.  Meh.

This week though I’m back on track!

Monday:

The main workout was AMRAP for 15 of 7 power cleans, 7 burpees, and 200m run.  I’m off running right now because of my right hip flexor so instead I rowed 200m.

I got in 4 rounds plus 7. I felt pretty good about that!

Tuesday:

150 wall balls.  UGH  We do break it up, so it’s 25 wall balls then 6 jumping lunges (or regular if you can’t jump) for 6 rounds.  Still getting in that 150 marker but breaking it up like that makes it a lot easier to get through mentally.  It doesn’t seem so daunting and overwhelming. Instead you’re focusing on just getting through each round.

Wednesday:

AMRAP

  • 400M Run (Row)
  • 20 Hang Squat Cleans
  • 30 Double Unders or 60 Singles

I was able to get in two rounds + 400m + 20.  So close to getting three rounds in!  I don’t have solid double unders just yet so I did singles.  I can do double unders but not steady enough to add them to the workout.

Strength training after class, since it had been over a week since doing strength, I took it easy with weights.  I did squat, over head press, and deadlifts.

For squats, I went to 85 pounds and it was tough. I did not make it through 3×5 but completed 2×5 and that last rep I almost didn’t make it up.  My legs were so tired from the squats we had done this week.

Press is my weakest move (bench being my second) and I did 2×5 at 47 pounds.  Right now 46 pounds is my cleanest rep.

Deadlift, I did my working set at 125 which felt lovely.  I love deadlifts so much! It’s my strongest move and always puts me in a much better mood.

Thursday:

This workout was a tough one and I’m so glad we only had to go through it for 1 round!

  • Handstand Pushups (mine are modified)
  • Barbell Sumo Deadlift High Pull
  • Overhead Squat
  • Pushups
  • Snatch High Pulls
  • Pistols

2 minutes on with a 1 min rest between moves.

I did the high pulls at 55lbs but did the overhead squats at 15lb with the baby bar.  Overhead squats are so freaking hard for me and my shoulders and wrists are not very strong.  Someday I’ll at least make it up to 35lbs!

Friday:

30 min workout today, ugh.  Or I should say that it was supposed to be done in 30 minutes but I finished at just over in 30:23.

  • 30 Squat Cleans
  • 30 Pull Ups
  • 800m Run

For three rounds.  I rowed which proved to be challenging because my grip didn’t get a break so going back to squat cleans and pull ups was challenging.

I’m still working on my squat clean and getting that move down.  Part of it is that it’s awkward, the other part is a confidence issue.  Falling under the bar and catching it is a little intimidating to me.  Will I fall? What if I can’t get back up?  Those are the thoughts that run through my head.

I’ll get there, it’s just going to take me some time.

I’m feeling pretty good about this week.  I do think that I could have pushed myself a little bit more and next week that’s going to be my goal along with more weight sessions.  Overall I’m happy with training this week!

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Hip Issues Round Two

Trail running

Back when I was a runner, I dealt with some hip issues.  My right hip flexor getting over worked because my right side isn’t as strong as my left side.  For some reason, I do most things on my left side which causes my right side to become lazy.

My right hip flexor would be very sore after my runs to the point that I couldn’t even run a mile with out my hip hurting afterwards.  I did PT for a while and slowly got back on target. (If you want more nitty gritty, you can read about this hip issue, here, here, here, here, and here.)

Then we moved here, I stopped running because I was having difficulty with the elevation which caused depression which caused me to spiral down into a blob.  I finally picked running back up last year but had to stop because my right hip was being an issue again.

Instead I put running on the back burner and started doing CrossFit.  I fell in love with my gym and the workouts and didn’t give running a second thought until now.  Sometimes runs are part of our workout and I want to be able to do them.

I would like to be able to add in running to my routine however this stupid hip issue is back but a little more intense. Now it hurts during runs (as opposed to just after a run) and lasts for a long time.  I tried running 800m when my hip flexor tightened up, swelled, and then was painful for about a week and a half afterwards.

Ouch and GRRRR

So I’m going through PT again so that I can get back to being healthy and using both sides of my body equally.

My current therapist has been the most thorough person so far!  She spent an hour with me during my first visit and had me do a bunch of different moves and exercises to determine just how weak my right side is.

Turns out it’s crazy weak.  I knew that but was surprised by just how weak it is!  After that visit, I started paying more attention to how I sit, walk, stand, and handle myself.  It’s a little mind blowing to see how much I favor my left side over my right.  And yes, I am right handed.  I basically don’t use my right side unless I have to and am making an effort to use it.

WHAT? I don’t even know how I started doing that and why I do it.  I always thought my left side was my weaker side just because it’s non-dominate but nope. My right side just cruises through life.

I can also feel it during squats, as the weight gets heavier, I can tell that I’m relying on my left side to get me up and out of the squat.

So it’s time to focus on getting balanced so I can run and continue with heavy lifting.

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Fitness Friday: PRs and Fatigue

barbell and legs

Monday:

Was rough.  I was tired when I hit the gym and felt like maybe I didn’t eat enough (I talked about fueling for lifting earlier this week.) to get me through a workout + strength training.  Then during the workout cramps hit me hard.  Lady cramps.  This is my space to talk about and record my training so get used to the nitty gritty.  I needed to go home and eat something so I could take some ibuprofen.  No strength for me. The workout was push press + pull up ladder.  Start at 5 reps then keep increasing by 5 until the time runs out.  I was able to do the presses at 50lb which is a big deal to me.  All shoulder work is super challenging and my weakest area.

Tuesday:

Felt much better! The workout was hard, it was “Randy” which is 75 snatches. Snatches being part of shoulder work are intense for me and I’m still at a low weight.  I completed it at 35lbs which by the end was becoming very hard to do BUT I made it through.

I was able to get in a strength workout and focused on squats and deadlifts.  I was able to complete 90lb squat for my working set and felt really good with that.  The squats felt clean though on the last set they were much harder.

I also did 135lb for my working set for deadlifts today which is a HUGE PR moment! Previously 135 was my 1 rep max and today I busted it out for 2×5.  BOOM!  Feeling like a badass.

Wednesday:

Whew! Was I tired!  Strength part of the workout focused on sumo deadlifts.  I felt strong with these today! The first time I did them, I felt uncoordinated and awkward since the mechanics are different than regular deadlifts.  Today I felt much more comfortable with the movement.  I worked up to 125lb, since I just did really heavy deadlifts yesterday, I didn’t want to go too heavy today.

The workout was 30 box jumps and 30 wall balls with some tuck jumps tossed in at different times.  My legs were jello today.  My box jump is currently at 16 inches and I’m chasing that 20 inch box jump.

Thursday:

Having an, “Everything Hurts and I Feel Like Dying” day.  I got through my workouts but they were rough.  My legs and shoulders are just effing fatigued.

The workout today consisted of front squats, doing as many as you can at a prescribed weight. I haven’t done front squats in forever so my weights for those aren’t that high.  I started off at 75lb and squeaked out 5 reps, 10 reps at 65lb, and 15 reps at 55lb.  I could have done more reps at 55lb but my wrists gave out before my legs did.  Still getting used to that front rack position which is awkward.  My wrists aren’t super flexible so it’s a challenging position for me.

I moved on to strength training and did what I could.  Squats weren’t happening.  I did a 70lb warm up rep and my body was like, nope.  There’s a difference between pushing through fatigue and needing to listen to your body. Today I listened and cut the squats short.  I did manage to work up to a 75lb power clean.  It wasn’t pretty but I got it done.

Friday:

Stations at the gym today:

  • Row for calories
  • KB Swings
  • EB Thursters
  • Burpee Box Jumps
  • Reverse Wall Balls

 

1 min at each station, going through all of those is 1 round and we did 3 rounds today. UMPH

I don’t know what it is about this week but I’ve just been wiped out.  Not enough food? Not enough sleep? Both? No idea but man my body is tired AF.  I can’t wait to get in my jammies today and sleep in tomorrow.  Bliss!

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Fueling For Lifting

Lemon parmesan shrimp and zoodles

One of the biggest elements to weight lifting that I’m still learning about is fueling properly for the workouts.  Eating to preform with lifting is much different than eating to preform with running.  At least for me, there’s a HUGE difference.

When I was a full time runner, if the day before my eats were a little off or I didn’t eat as much as I should have, I could still bust out a run the next day.  Maybe my pace would be a tad slower but nothing super noticeable or concerning.  I still got through my workouts just fine.

For me personally, this is not the case with lifting.  At all.  If I don’t eat well that day my workout the next day will suffer big time.

I’ll have low energy, my muscles won’t be as responsive and willing, and the workout will be so much more challenging both mentally and physically.

Carbs + Protein are the two main items I have found that I need in order to feel strong during my workouts.  I’ve been adding more carbs into rotation so there has been more potatoes and sweet potatoes as part of my meals.  Occasionally I’ll have a slice of sprouted bread or some granola.

Junk needs to be kept to a minimum and a focus on real food a priority.  I have found that if I eat something junky, say like takeout or pizza, not only do I feel gross but my performance suuucckkksss.

Which is a given, I mean this sounds like pretty basic info but life happens and you gotta roll with it.

Slowly I’m learning more about how to properly fuel myself for workouts.  My diet is changing for the better because I want to be the best I can be while working out.  Plus I just want to be the best me all around.

Food + sleep are my priorities right now as I build up strength and endurance.

How do you fuel yourself for workouts? What have you found that works and what does not?

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May’s Barbella Box

I recently came across a monthly subscription box curated just for ladies who lift and/or do CrossFit.  I’m not much of a subscription box kind of gal or so I thought.  I think it’s because I had not come across one that actually appealed to me and interested me enough to put the money out.

Until I came across Barbella Box.  This monthly box is right up my alley and I love that it’s geared towards lifting. I took the plunge and decided to give it a shot, May’s box was my first box.

May2016 Barebella Box

This was a great box for a first timer!  This box included:

Kettlebelle sleeveless hoodie from Belle & Bell.  It’s soft, adorable, and fits perfectly. It’s going to be great for post workout during the summer months.

BarBella Socks, my first pair of knee socks for lifting! These are heavy duty and will be able stand up to many a deadlift.

4oz of Caveman Coffee, fair trade and ethically sourced.  I have cut caffeine out of my life so I’ll be passing this on to Scott. I’ll give an update once he’s tried it.

UNBRKN headband which is adorable! I’ve gotten a lot of comments on it at the gym so far.  I’ve worn it several times without issue however today it did fly off my head as I was rowing.  I have a very small head and finding headbands that stay put is tricky.  This was the first time it fell off so I’m going to consider that a fluke.

Kill Cliff protein bars with solid ingredients. I have not eaten one yet but this will be handy to have around in the event I need some quick fuel.

Tiger Balm pain relief patches.  Yesssssss! I can’t wait to start using these bad boys on days when I’m extra sore from lifting.

Plus there was also a discount code to use for more Belle & Bell gear.  Over all I’m pleased with this month’s goodies and feel the price I paid was definitely well spent.

Discovering new products is one of the main reasons for signing up for this box.  There are so many products out there that I easily become overwhelmed and frustrated trying to find something well made and that I will like.  With a monthly box, they are doing the work for me and I get to check out new products in a fun way.

I’m going to be giving the subscription a few more months before I fully decided whether to cancel or continue on. You can expect a more detailed review in a few months once I made my decision, until then I’ll keep doing monthly mini reviews.

If you lift or do CrossFit, give Barbella Box a try!  I’d love to have a buddy testing it out with me!

*None of the links in this post are affiliate links.

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Fitness Friday

kettlebells

Monday:

I still didn’t sleep well Sunday evening but was determined to get to the gym.  I made myself crawl out of bed and GO. I started my strength program over again at Day 1.  Clean slate and all that.  It went well and I was pleased with the progress.  Bench is a challenge for me and I feel like I was able to get through the weight on that because I had so many days off from working out. Last set was 65lb for 3×5 and it was rough.

Deadlifts felt awesome!  That’s my favorite lift and the one I’m most confident doing, curious to see how that progresses.

I did strength first and did the CrossFit workout after.  The workout had a lot of thrusters in it (50) which I got through but struggled. I hate thrusters and this was even with an empty bar.  Legs were shaky by the end!

Tuesday:

Slept well, finally! But I stayed up later than I wanted watching playoff hockey (GO PENS!). I still got to bed earlish, around 9:15 but my body definitely could have used more sleep.

Crossfit workout today was a doozy, we did:

  • 500m row
  • 80 Jump rope (Or 40 double unders if you can do them)
  • 20 pushups
  • x 4

It doesn’t look like much but as you’re doing it, you realize how challenging it is.  Rowing started getting to me towards the end.  UMPH!

Wednesday:

Today was CrossFit + Strength training.

We worked on Turkish Getups today and our workout consisted of wall balls, lunges, and burpees for 4 rounds.  My legs definitely started feeling tired and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to continue with strength training.  I pushed through though and got my training done.

Today’s session focused on squats, overhead press, and cleans.  I worked up to 90lb squat and my coach helped me with technique.  He recorded me doing a squat and we looked at the mechanics of it and how I can improve it.  I loved this! It made it way more clear to me on the areas that I need to improve with my squat.

Press sucked because my shoulders were already tired from training.  I worked up to 50lb press, 1×2.  I was supposed to do 3×5 but that wasn’t happening today.

Cleans are meh.  I don’t love the clean and am still working on getting that technique down.

I made it! While I might not have knocked them all out of the park, I made it through training and walked away from this feeling good.

ETA: GAH! I realized later as I was scrolling through Instagram and saw my picture that I didn’t do the correct weight amount for my squats. I DID NOT reach a 90lb squat.  That pretty much killed my happy mood and made me cranky for the rest of the day.

Thursday:

Last strength session of the week + Crossfit.  Strength sessions are three days  a week and I try to get mine done before the weekend.  After talking with another student who’s doing strength training and chatting with our coach, we realized that the program we’re on needs a bit of tweaking.  It’s going a little too heavy too quickly and that needs adjusting.

WHEW! I admit when I saw the schedule I was nervous and had moments of, “I need to squat how much?!

So today while I did a strength session I dialed back the weight for the squats and bench. I kept the scheduled amount of weight for the deadlift though because I was confident I could do it (and I did!).

The Crossfit workout today was a partner workout with rowing and kettlebells.

I’m feeling much better about strength training and next week the schedule should be fixed and a little more approachable.  This also erased all the crappy feelings from Wednesday.  Knowing that my program is going to change, not doing the correct weights the day before is not a big deal.

Friday:

I slept like crap and totally missed the 7am class.  Fleeting moments of possibly not getting a workout in today and that wasn’t sitting well. I hustled and hit the 9am class. Mood was instantly better. Fridays are called “F&%$ You Friday” at my gym and our workouts consist of stations.  Today there were five stations, 1 minute at each station rotate through 3 times.

  • Wall balls
  • Sumo Deadlift High Pulls
  • Box Jumps
  • Push Press
  • Row for calories

UMPH  It was hard and challenging.  The recommended weight for the sumo was 55lb kettlebell and the push press was 50lb.  I’m tired as this week was my first full week of Crossfit + Strength. My arms and shoulders are sore. My thighs are sore.  I’m beat.

I could have gone down to a lower weight but I didn’t.  I stuck with the recommended weights and while that made me slower and I didn’t have as high of a score as others, I’m OK with that.

One of the things I’m working on is challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone.  Sure I could have dialed down the weights and gotten more reps in but if I don’t challenge myself sometimes then I won’t make any progress. It’s not always about the reps or the time, it has to be about pushing yourself as well.

Overall I’m happy with this week. Yes I had some frustrating moments but at the end, it’s not really a big deal. I made it through the full week and added in some additional strength training.  I’m calling that success.

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Fitness Friday

Deadlift Weight

To be fully honest, these posts are mostly for me to write down how my training went for the week and to just get out all the feels.  Maybe you’ll find it interesting or even helpful so I decided to share the nitty gritty of training.

Like with everything some days/weeks are great and others are not.  Training isn’t always puppies and rainbows and with lifting I’m learning a lot about myself, some positive and some negative.  This is my space to work through all of that.

Monday:

Was rough. I didn’t eat well enough on Sunday and didn’t get enough sleep so I was dragging ass during the workouts.  We did a lot of thrusters and had to do 6 rounds of 10 as part of the workout.  I got through 2 rounds with 55lb weights (just barely) and had to drop down to 45lb for the remaining 4 rounds.  Still chasing that 55lb goal.

I also did baseline testing to see where my max weight was with bench press and deadlift.  I got up to 72lb bench but I think my max is closer to 70lb.  And 120lb deadlift.  I also feel like I can do a heavier weight on the deadlift but my hammies were like, “Nope, nope, nope” that day.

Tuesday:

Missed because I didn’t sleep well Monday night and went to bed too late.  BAH!

Wednesday:

First day of extra strength training and it went alright.  As much as I love lifting weights, I do struggle with it as well. It’s a HUGE mental game that I need to get past because sometimes I let the weight get into my head.  My max squat is 95lb and the program had me squatting 85lb 3×5  (3 sets of 5 reps).  I was intimidated.  I did it but it was challenging.

Bench and press are my weakest areas because my shoulders are my weakest body part.  Benching went OK but I wasn’t able to complete 65lb 3×5.  I did it for 3×3 though.  That’s going to be a tough area for me.

Deadlifts went great and I was able to do 105lb for 1×5.

Thursday:

Missed because again I didn’t sleep well the previous evening.  CRANKY.

Friday:

Missed because of lack of sleep.

Basically this week SUCKED.  I’m crabby that I missed three workouts.  This wasn’t a great week and I got frustrated with my workouts and lack of workouts.

Monday I’m starting fresh.  Brand new week and brand new attitude.  I’m going to start my strength session over at Day 1 again and not look back but focus on my goals. It’s time to get serious about my workouts because if I don’t take them seriously then I’m not going to see the results and progress that I want.

Here’s to looking ahead!

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Upping Strength Training

95lb Barbell

 

I have fallen completely in love with lifting heavy things.  This is something that I never thought that I would ever say given that my first run in with lifting and CrossFit wasn’t a positive experience.

I’ve found a welcoming gym environment where I can work on getting in better shape without being rushed or judged.  I started looking at other lifters online via Instagram and had a light bulb moment.  Powerlifting is a thing.  This may not seem like huge news to you but it was to me and it was empowering.

Whenever I saw people compete in lifting events it was either CrossFit, Strong Man, or Olympic Lifting.  I have a love/hate relationship with Oly lifts and I knew right from the beginning that I didn’t want to get into that. Competing in CrossFit or Strong Man doesn’t interest me so I assumed that was that and focusing just on lifting was out of the picture for me.

Then I discovered powerlifting which focuses on three moves; deadlift, squat, and bench press.

I LOVE THOSE.  And I can do those! Holy crap, I want to powerlift!  I started researching that a little more, found a nice online community through Instagram, and talked with my coach about doing more strength training.

I start additional strength training on Monday and I’m super stoked about it!  This program will focus on four areas:

  • Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Bench Press
  • Press

This will help me work on building strength and then after that program is done I’ll get a more dialed in powerlifting plan.

I’m able to do all of this at my current CrossFit gym and work on strength during open gym after my CrossFit class. Awww yeah!

Today I did baseline testing for squat and press to establish what my max weight is and tomorrow I’ll do bench and deadlift.  Then I start Monday it’s all in with a new training plan.

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On Starting Crossfit

Crossfit

If you follow me on Instagram, then you have probably seen that I’ve started doing Crossfit.  I needed a change up.  Running was OK but I was still having some hip issues that were frustrating.  I was stuck at 2 miles because of it.

I’m also pursuing a big career change, one that is more manual labor focused.  You would think these would be unrelated but they are not.  New career would require me to carry and lift 50lbs at a time along with other heavy labor stuffs.  I want to be able to do this on my own without asking for help.  I also want to be stronger so I can handle my job safely as possible.

I have tried Crossfit before and had a really bad experience with it.  I lasted about a month and then wiped my hands clean of the whole situation.  I vowed to never do Crossfit again.

Never say never, is the big life lesson that I learned this year.  Sounds cliche as hell but it’s true.

On paper Crossfit is exactly what I am looking for in a workout.  Varied workouts each session, strength training, and something that is going to kick my butt.  Workouts that are scalable to all levels.  This was not my experience the first time I tried it out but that was three years ago.

I have come to realize that not all gyms are the same, each is going to have it’s own dynamic and community.  Because of this new mindset and determination, I set out to find a gym that fits me and my needs.

Fort Collins is not lacking in Crossfit gyms, that’s for sure.  I checked out gyms that are close to where I live because that plays a big factor in motivation.  I’m not going to go to a gym that’s 1/2 an hour away, I have no desire to spend that much time in the car just to workout. Plus that is a huge demotivator (yup, I’m using this word). If it’s snowy or pouring rain, who wants to drive 1/2 an hour to work out? No one.

I found some gyms that were just like the one I tried before.  I had some gyms that didn’t even respond to emails.  Those were immediately crossed off the list.  Then I found MY gym.  And man do I love this gym.  Ask Scott, because I tell him every time I come back from working out how much I love my gym.

It is everything that I was looking for in a Crossfit gym. The workouts are different each time and the coach is great at making sure that they are scaled to each athlete’s level. I look forward to working out and leave each session with the desire to get better the next time I workout.

Oh, so this is what loving Crossfit is like.  Now I get it.

I will also be starting a Whole 30 on January 1st.  Joining Crossfit and doing a Whole 30 are related in an unrelated way.  I’m not doing the Whole 30 because of Crossfit.  I’m doing it because I want to kickstart my new fitness and health journey this year from the beginning.  I want to start clean and eat well because then I preform better in the gym.  This is my year to get fit and strong, Andrea 2.0, now with muscles is my goal for this year.  I don’t want to just lose weight and be fit, but I want to be STRONG.

If you want to kickstart your health in 2016 and are interested in joining my Whole 30 group, just let me know and I’ll add you in! The group is free and there’s a bunch of us starting on the 1st.

Here’s to a new year and starting things off with a bang!

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Running Free

Horsetooth Reservoire

Last week I decided to kick running up a notch to see how I would handle back-to-back runs.  I accidentally (trails were blocked off and so I ran more than planned) ran just shy of three miles on Wednesday and then ran 2 miles on Thursday.  I did well!

The three miles went really smoothly.  My hip wasn’t any more sore than after a 2 mile run so I’m considering that a gain.  I stretched really well afterwards and was pleased with how my hip was holding up.

After the run the following day, my hip was a little tight and a little more sore but nothing that would cause me any concern.  I really was hoping that I could push it and go for another run on Friday but that wasn’t going to happen.  When I woke up, my hip was tight and a little stiff.  I didn’t want to risk a run so I went on a 4 mile hike instead.

So far I’m very happy with the progress that I’ve made with this stupid hip issue.  I can still run and even though there is some slight soreness afterwards it’s not a big deal.   As long as I continue to work on stretching it out and do strength exercises I should be back in tip top shape pretty soon.  I’m also going to start rotating in some three miles runs.  It may sound silly but I’m super excited about that!

Hopefully I’ll be able to add running back to my routine full time!  I love working out but nothing makes me feel as awesome as running does.