Thursday morning, review day with J. For sure, I am loving the way we structure our weeks and our training in this splits review series. There is something to be said and gained with each review, yet on Thursdays it is far more free-wheeling and fun than when it is a teaching day with lots of questions, lots of trial and error, lots and lots of “feeling” may way through the exercise. Today was definitely more a let’s review, let’s practice what we know, let’s iron out a few kinks and
bad less desirable form habits I have adopted.
PT-18.2: We *heart* review days will be posted soon.
What We Did
A1 Freemotion Squat Machine “High Wide”
A2 Stability Ball Reverse Hyperextension
B1 Freemotion Squat Machine “Low Narrow”
B2 Stability Ball Hamstring Curl *
C1 1-legged Glute Pushdown (assisted chin)
C2 Adductor Machine
D1 Cable Straight-Leg Glute Kickback
D2 1-legged Cable RDL
E1 Cable Donkey Glute Kickback
E2 Cable Outer Hip Abductions
How It Felt
PT-18.2: We *heart* review days will be posted soon.
Practices Between Now and Monday
Tomorrow I think will be a run-through of either this List or the downstair’s lower body List. While I might typically wait for Saturday to do the lower body split, the number of people in the club and the good ole boys club that tends to gather near equipment I use makes me not want to pursue these choices.
Saturday will likely be another huffy puffy List rerun. I need practice with those in order to feel more confident about it.
Kitchen Sink Thoughts
I have written before about how M rarely compliments me, and I have adapted well to this particular personality trait. If I want to know what he thinks about something related to me or to help me decide, I ask. Of course, I have also adapted to the idea of him saying something I do not necessarily want to hear or may not receive as especially flattering. Cost of productive marital communication.
J and I have had this discussion a few times, and I always marvel at his level of confidence that makes compliments an almost extraneous part of his life and world. Which in an earlier format of our interactions would make me exceedingly uncomfortable. I am not prone to insincere flattery or shallow statements to make people feel good, but if I like, appreciate, feel grateful for, or some positive emotion to be named later for service and help received I tend to express it openly. Because I do not like to simply point out the shortcomings when those happen. Or whine, complain, fall on the floor in a full-on tantrum routinely (not yet happened, but life is long and big box gym chains can drive people to do the damnedest things) and without any positive ballast offset. Fair and balanced is far more effective in building positive relationships of any sort. Including with my gym at large; J and I are fine. The rest of the chain, we have our struggles.
It comes to mind today because I am having my own little streak of positive self affirmations and increasing confidence about my ability to improve. In my head, this is HUGE. Also in my head, from the negative girl containment center, come whispers that I am an egomaniac waiting to happen. My response to that is kind of novel and new for me as well: what do you mean, waiting? It has already happened. Said that to friend J earlier today and I think he might have been sucking a valve laughing so hard.
Other than my potentially out of control ego, what is very exciting to me is hearing the progress of other tribe members who have been working at their exercise journeys far longer and yet are still making discoveries and having breakthroughs. I am ridiculously excited by stories like that, because while I have zero worries about running out of things to learn or ways to expand my fitness horizons, it’s nice to hear it actually happens to other people.
The adjustment to the remodeled spaces continues. For the most part, it is not terrible and offers up some new open space and possibilities for me personally. On the other hand, things are chaotic, equipment is here, there, everywhere – it offends the planner in me. But not my issue to resolve and there are plenty of members willing to take up the mantle of complainer-in-chief. I do miss the A-frame TRX set-up we had downstairs, and having never seen anything like the metal box we have now I could not envision anything so different. But now that the metal box is part of my reality, I am choosing to adjust my expectations and acceptance of what I cannot change and figuring out how to make it work for me. For the most part that is how to make it work for me when other people are around trying to do the same thing.
This new and improving very zen version of me is a surprise. Of course, it helps that J is my guide and figuring out the order of forthcoming Lists is more his headache than mine. As it is right now, my upstairs Lists are manageable. Everything I like and love about them remains in the general vicinity of access. And I will not be at all surprised if they are not done rearranging the equipment. It is difficult to develop new routines after nearly 2 years of being in the same place week after week for the start of our training sessions. It has only been a week and we are creating new habits and behaviors. What makes it difficult is that we had no problems with the former habits and behaviors.
With all this change in my home gym, it has occurred to me to pull on my big girl capris and test drive my Lists in another club, just to see if I can manage on my own in new surroundings. At the moment, though, that particular pair of big girl capris are in the laundry. I need to spend some more time thinking about it and contemplating the ebb and flow at other clubs and considering the time of day with the least amount of traffic. In other words – nope, not quite ready to go forth and experiment so brazenly. It seems a sure-fire path back to my gym crazy.
Besides, I have a new issue to navel-gaze contemplate: intensity.
My experiment this week with the peripheral heart action (PHA, aka huffy puffy) List has me wondering if consistency of practice is adequate. Do I need to be closer to perfect with rep ranges and sets before evaluating my intensity? Am I an intensity slacker? Makes me laugh, because anyone I trust in this regard will tell me consistency trumps intensity. But what about when you are mostly in the groove with the consistency? Is it then time to turn our attention somewhere new?
Not sure I want or am ready to know just yet, and it brings me full circle back to my original thoughts about compliments and asking for what I want to know. I find my ponderings have less to do with reassurance that I am working hard enough at this as much as curiosity as to whether I should be somehow working smarter at it. Since J and I are both satisfied with the progress and ways I train, I am going to leave the thoughts here as another avenue I explore when my mind is left to its own devices. I will get better with the huffy puffy, but I did not do badly after a month or not practicing that series of Lists. Lungs will toughen up just like other muscles.
My curiosity and interest in level of intensity with regard to exercise also comes about from the 27 day fat loss program participants and their focus on exercise efficiency. For many of them, it seems to be about lifting the heaviest weights possible for the shortest amount of time. I respect that, yet I also know it is a very individual pursuit. Lifting lighter weights for more reps and sets is working for me, and I walk away happy with my effort even if I have to allot 90 minutes to 2 hours daily to get it done. From where I sit, that offers more opportunities to refine my form, to ensure my exercise “shapes” look and more importantly feel right to me. My mind says that 5 heavy reps offers little room for error or experimentation or learning from my mistakes. While this could be just be a “style” difference, I wonder if those who lift heavier for shorter rep ranges just have to master good form more quickly by default. It is not a debate I want or plan to enter; I do not feel informed enough as yet to be able to defend my thoughts and opinions in a fact or personal experience based way.
The beauty of my better health quest? I have a village of advisors willing to help filter out what is important, what is not, what is completely irrelevant to me, where my attention is best focused. And right now, I am having way too much fun with my Lists and daily pursuits to want to change just for the sake of efficiency. For the past few weeks, I have even added a Wednesday night practice just for the additional thrills of a low-pressure, do-whatever-I-want practice and to socialize with another tribe member when we are able to coordinate schedules and meet up to work together.
Writing this section of this post, I realize I might be using “intensity” as too broad of a term, that perhaps I am thinking of it as weightier weights, fewer reps when I actually mean pushing myself harder with the weights and rep ranges I am presently using. Not sure, actually. I do know there has been some overlap between the weightier weight thinking and the huffy puffy List. At the end of this journey down the rabbit hole, I am pretty sure that not much will change in my pursuits, except maybe an extra huffy puffy List each week. Maybe. If I go my usual route of parceling Lists out to cover body head-to-toe as evenly as possible, it would be 2 each of upper/lower/huffy puffy, with a mostly-for-fun play days on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. What can I say? I like structure.
And if my system and List rotation is not broken, no need to continue my quest to overthink it or tinker with it much further.
Today, this week – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Finally, we got into a brief discussion about gym rat-hood. I dislike rats – big, ugly, creepy creatures, and while I am most definitely skipping down that pathway, I desire a better animal label. Gym bunny sounds like a dilettante, and I also do not fit the stereotypical physical profile that term brings to mind. Gerbil? Guinea pig? Hamster? Gazelle? Musk ox? Bear? Cow – while I love them, gym cow sounds offensive. Same as pig, chicken, goat, donkey, ass, horse – basically farm animals in general don’t fit the profile. More thought is obviously required.