Strength Monday – 04/30/12 (w/ Bonus Almost Birthday)

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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.

Tomorrow is my birthday.

I’ve never been that jazzed about birthdays. I know there are people who declare Birthday Weeks (and Birthday Months!), but that’s not me. Despite the fact that in most situations I will do everything I can to be the center of attention, I really don’t enjoy the fuss of my birthday. It’s not sensitivity about getting older, I just prefer regular days — that somehow become special all on their own— to days that are declared Important for some external reason. Yes, I can be somewhat Scrooge-y.

But this morning at the gym, I thought to myself, “I don’t feel 44.”

True, I’m not sure what 44 is supposed to feel like, but for an old broad, I can move around pretty damn good.

Today, I picked up some heavy stuff, put it down, then picked it up again. Because I wanted to. No one was keeping score to be sure I did it. No trainer was yelling at me to do it. There was just me, feeling more 14 than 44 — especially when Rick Springfield popped up on my iPod.

Then I jumped on a box a whole bunch of times and did some push presses. Because I wanted to. Take THAT, 44.

I love the idea of being the crazy old lady at the gym, inappropriately wearing ponytails and knee socks twice a week, to pick up heavy stuff and put it back down. Just because I want to.

5:00 elliptical
PVC shoulder mobility

10 slow PVC back squats
10 slow PVC OH squats
10 behind-the neck press + 10 good mornings


5 @ 65% of max = 110#
5 @ 75% of max = 135#
max reps @ 85% of max = 145# – I did 10.

Overhead Press:
5 @ 65% of max = 55#
5 @ 75% of max = 65#
max reps @ 85% of max = 70# – I did 6.

SWEATCON – Not for time, just because

30 box jumps, 20″ + 10 push press, 50#
20 box jumps + 20 push press
10 box jumps + 30 push press
(Thanks, CrossFitNYC, for the workout idea!)

Did you workout today? Tell us about it!

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  • melephant says:

    Happy almost birthday. You make 44 look damn good!
    (I have a bday this week, too. And my name’s Mel. And I just got home from deadlifting and pressing at the gym). Eerie, huh? 🙂

  • Roberta says:

    Happy birthday! And congrats on being a kick ass 44 year old. I turned 47 on Friday. I love shocking people from the gym with my age. And I hate it when people blame their age on what they can and cannot do. It’s how you take care of yourself and what you think you can do that really matters. Have a great birthday.

  • Katherine says:

    Happy birthday, Mel! I’m one of those wake-up-early-and-have-a-big-stupid-grin-on-my-face-all-day-because-it’s-my-birthday gals. But I think celebrating the day we were born is a blessed and wonderful thing. It is special! And just think if you’d never been born. I would be languishing about without all the delicious recipes you have provided me through Well Fed. I turned 48 earlier this month and I, too, feel very accomplished for an “old broad” (I used that very term recently). I don’t take much stock in age, or what it represents. I just know I’m kicking ass and taking names and I’m glad to be doing it. I just started CrossFitting and it’s hard but gratifying. My workout this morning was 25 minutes of as many rounds of 50 squats, 40 pull-ups, 30 kettle bell swings, 20 pushups and 10 side lunges as I could do. I got 3+ in, which was awesome!

    • Mel says:

      That workout sounds like a monster — good on you for 3+ rounds. Holy schmoly! Glad you’re feeling the CrossFit love. I miss it a lot.

  • Tammy says:

    Happy almost birthday mel! I turned 44 earlier this month and I am completely on board with you. I don’t feel 44. Maybe we will start a new tradition for the new 44. Three sets of Tibata sprints for me this morning and taking the day off from heavy lifting. Just walked a brisk 2 miles. Hope your birthday is memorable.

  • Windy says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW! I’ve never been big on birthdays either. But still, I’m super glad you were born.

  • Mel says:

    Happy birthday tomorrow! I turn 31 the day after you! 😀 (And I have a Rolfing appointment that day, and oly-lifting that night; how can I NOT love my birthday on a Wednesday???). Today’s a rest day for me. WAY TO GO WITH YOUR WORKOUT!

  • HA says:

    Happy happy birthday, from one 40something to another. I think it’s exciting to be coming into our best selves as we get older. Even though my body is a little more delicate now, I wouldn’t trade the knowledge for anything. Enjoy your bday!

    • Mel says:

      I agree with both points… although I do admit, it’s a little sobering to realize my body is stronger than when I was younger, but not as strong as I want it to be 😉

  • Iris says:

    Happy BD. I had my 43rd a couple of weeks ago. It was fun as I feel like I am cheating the age game. I am getting older but feeling stronger

  • Sonia says:

    When I first started reading your blog and saw your photos, I sincerely thought you were in your early thirties for the longest time. Either you look damn good for your age, or 44 is just whatever you make it and not old. I think a mixture of both.

    Happy birthday!

  • Barbara says:

    Happy Birthday Mel:)

    I still have something for you…I’ll mail it. Killer job on the lifts…

    I hit 190lb DL yesterday …yay!


  • Ms jane says:

    Mate! Happy birthday fellow Taurean! I’m almost 47 (Crikey) and off to lift heavy things too. Unfortunately my grey hair gives me away! Xxx

  • Janine says:

    Happy Birthday Mel! At my CF workout today I was thinking something similar….”41 and still kickin’ it!”. And “thank God for baggy clothes”. We did two different AMRAP’s which made the guilt of eating a maple bar later more tolerable 😉 Can you please invent a paleo fix for maple bars?

  • Walker says:

    Eh, 44 is the new 22. You will rock that Sporty Forty just like you did 43, and inspire us all!!

    besides…it could be worse:

  • Emily S says:

    Happiest birthday wishes to you! :)44 looks good on you.

  • Linda says:

    Happy, happy birthday! I will hit 44 next month. I don’t feel it either, but unlike you I am starting to see it! Sometimes I look in the mirror and am completely shocked by them pesky wrinkles! Darn!

    • Mel says:

      I’ll tell you a secret: 90% of the reason I have bangs is because I have so many deep wrinkles on my forehead. Between the bangs, makeup, and Instagram, I’m doing major camo on my wrinkles. You’re not alone, sister.

      • Linda says:

        hahahaha! Awesome tips! I’ve been thinking about getting bangs, but NOW I have a good reason to! 🙂 Love it!