In my quest for lean superhero-ness, Dave and I are hitting the craptastic gym in our Converse to lift heavy stuff and work on skills...Read More
Glass Is Half Full (Strength Friday)
In my quest for lean superhero-ness, I’m following the Wendler 5/3/1 strength training program. Twice a week, Dave and I are hitting the craptastic gym in our Converse to lift heavy and crank through a mini-metcon.
My glass is half full.
Something happened in my attitude in the last 24 hours. Maybe it was my follow-up visit to Dr. Sebring. Maybe it was the fact that when I put on my favorite Levi’s yesterday, they zipped right up and felt comfortable all day, a sensation I haven’t enjoyed in months. Maybe I finally grew tired of pouting.
Whatever it is, I’m glad to report that while I was lifting heavy stuff at the gym this morning, I took a Workout-Related Inventory™, and the results weren’t bad. Rather than bemoaning the fact that I’m not (yet) as lean as I want to be, I’m going to acknowledge these cool, workout-related things that have happened.
1. My right shoulder is better.
I’d forgotten that I spent much of last summer going to Airrosti to heal my shoulder. My shoulder feels great, and…
2. My pushups are coming back.
There was a time when I could do 20+ perfect pushups in a row. On my toes. Chest to the floor. But between dwindling strength (thanks, thyroid!) and my bum shoulder (see #1), I stopped doing pushups all-together. But the rehab exercises I learned in Airrosti — coupled with the way yoga has taught me to really pull my shoulder blades together when I use my upper body — means I can work on regaining my pushup power again. I’m regularly doing 10 sets of 5 pushups a few times a week, and it feels great. Where “great” is “Man, these pushups suck, but I like being able to do them.”
3. I can lunge on my right leg.
In roller derby, we skated in a counter-clockwise circle, over and over and over and over. I played for almost 5 years. — that is a lot of left-hand turns! And the thing about those left-hand turns is that when you do a cross-over step to the left, all your body weight is on your left foot while you lift your right to cross over. It’s like a one-legged squat on wheels! The result was that my left leg was significantly stronger than my right — and my hips were tight in weird places. We’re talking about years of imbalance. So much so, that when I did walking lunges, I had a very difficult time touching my left knee to the floor in the back — and more often than not, I lost my balance while standing up out of the lunge. Very frustrating. But now, thanks to yoga and strength training, I can do full lunges on both legs.
The lesson I’ve learned: If someone says to me, “That [insert whatever the issue is] will work itself out in a year,” I would lose my mind whining about how a year is too long. I am a very impatient person, and I have a perception of time like a 5-year-old. Anything longer than a day feels like an eternity.
But in grownup land, a year goes by in a blink. I’m thrilled that a year later, my shoulder is better, my strength is increasing, and my legs are evening out. I have no doubt that I’ll forget I learned this lesson and complain that the things I want take too long to arrive. But for today, I’m grateful for my half-glass.
My Friday Thus Far: A Short Story in Photos
First, I hit the craptastic for back squats and bench press. This is the bar, loaded with 130# for my last set which required me to do max reps. I did 7, which felt pretty good. I almost attempted an 8th, but the Wendler instructions recommend not going to failure.
Then I came home and made breakfast: 1/2 cup sweet potatoes sautéed in a little coconut oil with Lebanese Seven-Spice, then mixed with a generous serving of collard greens, and grilled chicken breast. That is the bamboo plate I use for breakfast every morning, and the Moroccan-inspired forks we found recently at World Market.
I had just enough time to re-braid my messy hair before running out the door to kundalini yoga. Today’s class was just what I needed: focused more on relaxation and breathing than super-challenging core work. We also did a series of hand postures (mudras) and mantras that even the instructor admitted were “weird” and “a little silly.” It was awesome.
I like to set up my kundalini space the same way every time: a blanket over my mat, a bolster for my butt, and an eye pillow plus extra blanket to snuggle under for shavasana (relaxation).
My Strength Workout
10 PVC back squats + 10 good mornings
10 PVC OH squats + 10 good mornings
5 @ 65% of max = 100#
5 @ 75% of max = 115#
max reps @ 85% of max = 130# – I did 7.
5 @ 65% of max = 75#
5 @ 75% of max = 85#
max reps @ 85% of max = 100# – I did 5.
10 situps on the 1:00
5 perfect pushups on the 1:00
What’s filling your glass today?