Strength Monday – 05/07/12 (w/ Bonus Cute Shorts)

photo -

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.

I like these shorts.

The craptastic gym invites me to be lazy about my appearance. Usually, no on is there, and if there are a few other souls in that sweaty, stinky box, they’re big, bouncer-type dudes in XXXL black t-shirts and long shorts — or that one skinny, older lady who wears pink spandex and does aerobic moves that indicate she really loved the Jamie Lee Curtis-John Travolta movie Perfect. (See clip below.)

So yeah, usually my hair is in a frizzed out ponytail, and I’m wearing whatever mismatched knee socks, shorts, and tank I can find with my eyes half-closed as I wake up and get dressed.

Today, all of my usual workout clothes were in the laundry — how is that I work from home and the laundry room is rightthere and still can’t get the laundry done? — so I grabbed a pair of shorts from the bottom of the drawer. Hey, I forgot about these!

They’re black shorts with gold metallic trim, and they are damn cute. Along with my “Bad Ass” socks and black Converse, I was color coordinated and comfortable. What more can a girl ask for?

At the gym, I loaded the bar for my first set of deadlifts and looked at myself in the mirror. (Yes! It’s terribly-awesome… the craptastic is lined with mirrors so I can both check myself out and make faces at myself while I lift.) So… I looked at myself in the mirror. These particular black shorts are a little shorter than the ones I’ve been wearing lately, so I could see a good deal of my thighs.

My thighs looked like hams, and it was totally badass.

They are not skinny, but they’re not fat. They’re not ripped, but they’re not flabby. They’re not spindly, but they’re not overly big. They’re solid. Like a tasty ham.

For the rest of the workout, my mantra was a sing-song-y, I have thighs like ha-ams. I have thighs like ha-ams. It’s not exactly Sanskrit poetry, but I liked it… especially when those hams busted out 10 deadlifts at 85% of my max.

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 7.

For fun:
5 push press, 70#
5 push jerk, 70#


5 rounds, not for time:
5 perfect pushups, on the minute
5 inverted pullups, on the minute

Did you workout today? Tell us about it!

As promised: the best clip ever from Perfect.

Chop! Chop!: A Story In Photos

The first time I had a bowl cut, with John Taylor of Duran Duran, circa 1993 I've been thinking about chopping off my hair for...

Read More
Do I Need A New ‘Do?!

I know Madonna is wearing a wig in this photo from the Met Gala, and I also know that my all-too-real hair won't look this...

Read More


  • Walker says:

    omg. Travolta’s shorts are making me uncomfortable.

    • Daniel says:

      The shorts are OK, its the bulge behind them that has me feeling uncomfortable.

      • Mel says:

        I can’t believe y’all are fixated on that one detail. What about the way Jamie LC and John T are having sex… it’s just with a bunch of air and other people between them.

        I would love to see that video side by side with a CrossFit WOD. What a difference a few decades makes!

  • Daniel says:

    Great Post. I love my wife’s Ham Hock legs they are the BOMB! Also I can’t believe there were 4+ minutes devoted to that scene in the movie. And Jamie’s legs are gross skinny.

  • Celia says:

    Oh my, I was not expecting to be thinking about John Travolta’s crotch so much today.

  • Jenny Nagel says:

    Front thong!!!

  • Melissa M says:

    Not fair for you to dedicate a post to your cute shorts and ham-licious legs and not share a picture! 😉

  • Ms jane says:

    After a month off training my thighs look like a ham terrine!!!

  • Mariah says:

    Love your strength Monday posts! 🙂 Good work on the deads!

  • Stefanie says:

    I have be scarred for life. I am so glad I was too young to remember anything about this time period. Those shorts remind me of all the ranger panties I have to see, I swear to god one day someone’s balls are going to drop out while doing box jumps.

  • Mel…please tell me how you got to the place of loving your tasty hams…I want to love my pair of HAMS so much.

    • Mel says:

      I’ve been working on it a long time 🙂

      I finally got to the point where I decided to accept and then to love myself — even the “flaws.” I have short legs. I’m 5’4″ and my inseam is 29″… I’m never going to be a gazelle. But my legs are powerful and they have a nice shape, and they can do all kinds of cool things. So I decided to stop hating them because they’re short and start liking them because they’re strong.

      I just decided.

      I spent so much of my life wishing to be different: taller, wispier, smaller waist/bigger hips to I’d be curvier… that’s crazy. This is the body I have. It’s all mine forever. So I decided to make it as good as possible, given the raw materials I’ve got.

      Some days that’s easier than others which is why when I was loving my ham thighs on Monday, I wanted to share the story.

  • melephant says:

    Black shortie shorts with gold trim? Bad ass indeed.

    Here’s a thigh-related story you might like: A few years ago I was walking back from the park after a 10+ mile run and a pack of uniform-clad schoolchildren passed by me. One of the boys says, loudly, “That lady has fat legs!” and one of the girls goes, “That’s muscle, stupid!”

    Today my quads were feeling tore up from an impromptu “breakdancing” throwdown with my boyfriend’s 7 year old son, so I took an easy breezy 20 mile bike ride and skipped the deadlifts.

    • Mel says:

      That is a kickass story. LOVE it!

      I’m also intrigued by the breakdancing throwdown and feeling envious because your dance break sounds WAY better than mine.

  • Brandon says:

    My mom used to go to aerobics class in the 80’s. I never knew what went on there, but now I have some imagery that I really didn’t need caught in my head. Gross.

    • Mel says:

      I love that this comment is like a teenager commenting on her mom: “Gross.”

      So awesome.

      • Brandon says:

        Well, I try to stay young at heart, but I don’t know if I like being compared to a teenage girl. I already have self confidence issues at the old CF box. LOL.

  • AustinGirl says:

    Master Pancake, at Alamo Drafthouse, did an AMAZING show with Perfect, a few years ago. It was the first time I’d seen it, and the only way I could have made it through the entire movie, too. I can’t believe that was considered “fitness” back then! Heh…or “acting”, come to think of it…

    My work outs these past few weeks have been walk/run/sprints to Zombies,Run! and I’m so in love with that app, I can’t stop raving about it to everyone I come across. It’s sooo cool!

    • Mel says:

      I feel the same way about Zombies, Run! which is why every time I use it, I feel like I have to blog about it. It’s so much fun!

  • Robyn says:

    I love finding awesome items of clothing at the bottom of the drawer! Last week I found a pair of brown velour short shorts with electric blue trim. Needless to say, I had a dance party for the rest of that day.

  • Tina says:

    omg, make it stop! There aren’t enough Paleo crackers in the world to go with all that cheese, 80’s soundtrack and all.