PT-22.2: Snap! (but no crackle or pop)

I am sort of torn about splitting recaps into multiple posts. It is mostly working, yet I apparently have so much to say it takes awhile to sort out my thoughts and get them committed to screen. In my mind both parts of this equation are important to me for different reasons, and if it takes an extra day to get the second part written, so be it. There is a little overachiever inside my head that things I should be capable of thinking, typing, writing faster. Reality is that I’m rarely satisfied with my effort when I rush through it.

Key Takeaways

The snapping of a mini band while it’s wrapped around the ankles kind of stings, but the actual reality of the momentary pain is actually less significant than what my imagination produces. I was completely unprepared for how ridiculously excited I was about it actually happening. The session and the day have both been so good the mini band event has direct, head-to-head competition for the best thing that occurred to me today.

I like the peppier pacing with the mini band walking to and fro. Other than trusting no one is going to plop themselves down in my path while my back is quite literally turned and I am engrossed in the walking backward process, I feel pretty confident about my abilities in this regard. After all, it’s been months since I actually toppled and fell down with mini bands wrapped around my ankles.

Overall, I think today easily qualified as a huffy puffy session, even if the List is part of the upper/lower splits series. I hesitate to ever label a session as best or even better, because then it feels like something spectacular must happen to top it. Yet the trend continues. I get so much out of training. I learn something new, he presents a new challenge and it is either possible with practice or not quite there yet. How odd that I feel no sense of failure if I am not quite there. Yet. My new favorite word when it comes to exercise and Lists – yet.

What We Did

Mini band lateral/forward/backward walks and straight leg glute kickbacks
1-legged Romanian deadlift with dumbbells

Bulgarian split squat
Goblet squats

Step-ups
Curtsey lunges

Sumo squats
Lateral lunges

How It Felt

While J has the mini band exercises on the List as one big tangled ball of exercise, and since he is very wise about this stuff, I think of it in terms of one big exercise of 15 yars of walking per series of walking back and forth and then another 20 per leg of glute kickbacks. The crazy/sexy/cool love affair with mini bands has begun anew, and while I impatiently await my new set to be delivered, I shall nurse along my final extra heavy band. I love the way the walking and the kickbacks make me feel powerful, like I can snap one of them in half. Sort of, anyway. After any number of months pass. But hey, it happens.

Today we dropped from a pair of 15 lb. dumbbells down to a pair of 10 lb. dumbbells and it made all the difference – I had a far easier time with the 1-legged Romanian deadlift with dumbbells. I still have the weeble-wobbles and am not lifting rear foot that far off the ground when I am not using it as the kickstand that keeps me from toppling.

Still hating on Bulgarian split squats, but doing okay with them. We do these in the 1.5 version, which seems even more difficult and sweat-fest inducing. But for the most part I have the shape down and remembering to stay rib-tucked all the way through. Now if I could just figure out a way to make the easier to execute.

While we have been doing goblet squats forever, I am sure today was the first time we have used a 25 lb. dumbbell for the weight – kind of a big deal when we graduate upward to a weightier weight. I think most recently I have been using the 15 lb. kettlebell, so it’s a bit of a jump. No issues, just feeling it in my legs and glutes. Happy feels, though, and like discovering some old, beloved toy in the deepest, darkest corner of the toybox and remembering all its fun qualities.

One of the biggies for the day was the step-ups. J had commented that part of his job is to challenge me, and today he wanted to see how I would do with the tallest box, which I THINK is 30″ tall (up from the 18″ box I have been using). Now, I do not ever jump on these things; I step up or climb up on them. Took me awhile to get to the point of competency stepping up and down, much less hip hinging at the top, but I got there. Adding another foot to what I am accustomed to stepping up on and balance is not there. Yet. So we positioned the box right next to the big giant suspension frame so I had a handhold to step/climb up onto this tallest box. Legs – either of them – are not quite strong enough to pull myself up to that height without handhold for balance, but I will get there. I was just so amazed to be able to make it work for me even with the handhold.

In my version of Hell, I try valiantly to get the shape of curtsey lunges correctly executed as well as trying for more than 9 consecutive push-ups. I know this because of a vivid nightmare on Thursday night where I am surrounded by flames that only get worse the harder I struggle with these exercises. And that pretty much illustrates my experience with the curtsey lunges. Hate. Them. Bobbing near the top of my nemesis stable with all the version of chest flyes I do battle with every week. Obviously A LOT more practice is in order. Monday there was a change in the depth of the backward sidestep. This time I worked on the depth of the backward step and ensuring the weight is on the front foot, not the rear foot. Ugh. I’ll get these. Eventually.

Another ridiculously exciting development with the sumo squats – graduating to a 55 lb. kettlebell. Not ever going to say it was easy, because it was insanely exhausting. But maybe a little (okay, a LOT) of fatigue is the cost of improvement. I now find myself looking at my feet – are they wide enough, maybe too wide, foot turned out the just right angle? Still, stepping up to this weightier weight and being successful with the rep range is a huge triumph for me.

We actually skipped the lateral lunges today in favor of extra time and energy spent pursuing improvement on the curtsey lunges. As you can tell from my write-up about progress with those, I obviously need the additional session time and practice.

Practices Between Now and Monday

Friday morning, I did a quick run through upper body. I slacked just a bit because of a late start. Plus my focus was just not in it today, which also happens from time to time. Not quite a bad day, or a worse day, or anything else. Sometimes life happens.

Tomorrow I will be back at this, I think. Depends on timing of my arrival and how much traffic upstairs. Still, it will be lower body something. Whatever I do this weekend, I have to add the push-ups. Otherwise I may find myself haunting the Hell of my dreams too frequently for my own comfort.

Kitchen Sink Thoughts

Find them here. My final thought from the day:

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