Turbulence Training W4D4: Maintaining Motivation

I am pretty proud of myself for managing to keep up with all of my planned workouts despite the holiday season. This may be the first time I have done the maintenance thing properly. I am very good at being disciplined with food and exercise when on a fat loss cycle because there is so much positive reinforcement and empirical and visible results when I’m cutting, but maintenance usually equals slacking off in both diet and exercise for me since there is nothing to measure.

This time, I decided to be as scientific about maintenance as I am about cutting, because, after all, how else will I really KNOW what my true with-exercise calorie burn per day is?

I got my make up TT intervals done last night with six sets of 10.0 mph/4.0 mph running treadmill intervals at the gym. I was finished and out of there in 22 minutes, including warm up and cooldown.

Today was a non-TT day at the gym. I worked on my back with my trainer and asked if my rep range would be switched up at any time since we’ve been doing 2-3 circuits of 15 reps per exercise every session. I was told that the reps were high because it wouldn’t be challenging enough for me otherwise given my existing experience. I then pointed out that I sort of wanted to work on strength and lean mass gain through December, both of which would necessitate an increase in weight and a decrease in reps. The weights I use during the sessions with Ashley have been somewhat lower than what I lift on my own training days when my reps are in the 8-10 range.

I also discovered that having a long torso is a major disadvantage in doing stability ball hyperextensions with my feet braced against a wall. I tend to scoot away from the wall and lose my balance because I need to position the ball so far back in order to get the full benefit of the movement. Here’s an exercise where I am actually not bottom-heavy ENOUGH.

My rest week between Turbulence Training blocks is coming up next week. I’ll just keep my lifting restricted to two sessions with the trainer on Tues/Thurs and spend the other days working on yoga, Yourself Fitness, and short HIIT cardio sessions.

Tentative workout schedule for next week:

Monday: HIIT outdoor run (20 min) & 30 min YF Flexibility
Tuesday: Personal training (30 min) & 20 min LISS Elliptical
Wednesday: P90X Yoga X (90 min)
Thursday: Personal training (30 min) & 20 min LISS Elliptical
Friday: Yoga for Athletes DVD (45 min)
Saturday: HIIT outdoor run (20 min) & 30 min YF Flexibility
Sunday: Rest or optional Tai Chi DVD

Calories ~1800 per day except Tues/Thurs due to lack of workout shake

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TODAY’S WORKOUT:

Warmup Circuit (performed 2x)
• 10 reps of bodyweight squats
• 3 reps of 10 seconds for the plank
• 8 pushups
• BB Squat (45 lb bar only)

Back / Cardio Circuit
1) Cable Row (2 x 15 @ 70 lb)
2) Jumping Jacks (2 x 20)
3) Wide-Grip Pulldown (2 x 15 @ 70 lb)
4) Running in place – Knees up/Knees down (2 x 30 sec)
5) Stability Ball Hyperextensions (2 x 15)
6) Jump Squats (2 x 15)
7) Ball Crunches (2 x 30)
8) Bodyweight Step Ups (2 x 30 sec)
9) Bent-Over DB Row (2 x 15 @ 20 lb)
10) Jumping Jacks / Jump Squats (2 x 10 each)

LISS Cardio
• Treadmill Incline Walk (3.5-4.0 mph / 5.0-15.0% incline / 17 min)

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TODAY’S EATS:

1: 1/3 c. oatmeal, 1/4 c. raisins, 3 egg whites, 1/2 c. zucchini slices
2: 1 large orange, Chicken in Red Tomato sauce (3 oz. chicken breast, 3/4 c. mixed Peking veggies, and sauce from this recipe)
3: 2 rice cakes, 1 T. all natural peanut butter, 1/2 scoop whey protein, 8 baby carrots
4: Peanut butter banana walnut protein smoothie
5: 3 oz. chicken breast, 3 c. lettuce/tomato/onion/pepper salad, 2 T. Kraft Free Zesty Italian dressing
6: 4 egg white/2 whole egg omelette with 1/2 c. cooked spinach

Water: 16 cups (~2 cups green tea)
Supplements: 3 capsules Digest-All, 6 capsules fish oil, 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 600 + D, 10 g. l-glutamine

You may be a fitness dork if…

…you see an email from Discovery Health Channel in your inbox telling you to watch their “Super Quads” program tonight, and you immediately think, “Woo! Discovery Health has shows about how to do build great quads? Awesome! I’m soooo there!”

Alas, it turns out that it’s yet another reality show–this time about a family of lil’ blond quadruplet girls.

Hrmph.

I think I will just yoga up tonight. :tongue:

Turbulence Training W4D3: More Than Ornamental

Dr. John Berardi has posted a great interview with “Mistress” Krista Scott-Dixon, founder of Stumptuous.com, my favorite site for no BS information about weightlifting for women.

Check out the interview here:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/krista-scott-dixon.html

Here’s a great excerpt from the interview on the topic of the role of functional fitness on self-esteem and how the view of female bodies as solely ornamental has negatively impacted us all:

KSD: My mother, as I said, was a science teacher and is now a high school principal. So she’s a long-time educator, and I said to her once, “How do you build self-esteem?” Because I think we have this sense that self-esteem is built through affirmations, and saying to yourself, “I’m okay,” and whatever. I’m good enough, smart enough, whatever. But she said something interesting, which was that self-esteem is built through skills. And I thought that was actually a rather profound statement. And what I’ve noticed in my own practice is that if you demonstrate to people that they can gain the skills, and that their bodies are functional, then that can actually be life changing for the majority of people that do it. Weight training is one way. But I also know a lot of people who are involved with boxing, and that’s been an amazing experience. It really transforms women’s relationships with their bodies. So I do think that the potential is there even with training alone – if the training is the right kind of training. If the training focuses on functionality and performance, then I think it actually can be life changing.

PN: In other words, modalities that take the emphasis off how you look and place it instead on what you’re able to achieve?

KSD: Yeah, exactly. Because girls never get to have bodies that do stuff. It’s always about what you look like. It’s extremely disempowering. And it disguises the fact that having a body that’s non-functional is a problem. I work in an all-female workplace – actually there are a couple of guys – and even just lifting boxes, everyone is like, “Oh I can’t lift that.” And I’m like, “You should be embarrassed to say that.” We’re talking about 20 pound boxes, I mean, what’s the problem here? But there’s this sense that that’s normal, that’s okay. I’m currently taking a yoga class, and there are some women in the class that can’t support their own body weight on their hands. But they’re not saying, “Oh my God, I really need to fix this.” They’re saying, “Oh well, that’s normal.” So I think the sense of what’s normal for women is so flawed. But part of it’s a class thing too: no one does manual labor anymore. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers would think all of us are pathetic. [Laughs.] So the standards of functionality have all been decreased because there is this sense, which is a very middle class sense, that women are supposed to be ornamental. That norm was never applied to working class women who had to go out and earn a living, often doing pretty heavy stuff. In general, that’s the problem: there’s just no emphasis on functionality at all.

In my experience, Krista’s observations are dead on. I know that I never really thought of my body in terms of skills and function until I entered basic training in the Army, and neither had most of the other women in basic with me. We were truly pathetic in the beginning–unable to do more than a few sagging full push-ups and gasping for breath around the track during our first 2-mile-runs. Most of us had never been encouraged to DO anything more active than walk around a mall once we reached high school age, and it showed. But Uncle Sam’s drill sergeants wouldn’t accept any excuses about PMS, weak arms, or poor lungs–the gals did everything the guys did and were pushed just as hard.

And you know what?

We got better at everything and performed physical tasks none of us realized we could do when we were just brainwashed civvie arm ornaments for “stronger” males.

We climbed ropes and 8-foot walls without assistance, we low-crawled under yards of barbed wire on our bellies, we dropped and knocked out 20 *good* push-ups on command without skipping a beat, and we ruckmarched 10k with over 25 lbs of extra gear on our backs carrying M16 rifles in front of us.

We survived 8 weeks without make up, jewelry, perfume, contact lenses, hair spray, and manicures.

Our bodies were fit, fast, strong, and beautiful–because they were finally functional.

Just like they were meant to be.

==================================
TODAY’S WORKOUT:

Warmup Circuit (performed 2x)
• 10 reps of bodyweight squats
• 3 reps of 10 seconds for the plank
• 8 pushups
• 2 reps of 10 seconds per side for the side plank
• 10 reps of light BB Rows (@ 30 lbs)

Specific Warmup
• BB Squat (2×8) (45 & 75 lb)
• Wide-Grip Row (2×8) (40 & 55 lb)

TTFW Workout A (Supersets)
A1) BB Squat (3×8) (95, 105, and 115 lb)
A2) Wide-Grip Row (3×8) (85 lb)
B1) DB Split Squat (3×12) (35 lb db)
B2) Reverse-grip Pulldown (3×12) (85 lb)
C1) Ab Curl-up (2×6)
C2) Side Plank (2×4 reps per side for 10 seconds)

==================================
TODAY’S EATS:

0: Workout Shake (1/2 banana, 4 strawberries, 1 scoop whey protein, 1 c. Diet V8 Splash Tropical, 1 scoop l-glutamine)
1: 1/3 c. oatmeal, 1/4 c. raisins, 3 egg whites
2: 1/4 c. (dry) quinoa, Chicken in Red Tomato sauce (4 oz. chicken breast, 3/4 c. mixed Peking veggies, and sauce from this recipe)
3: 2 rice cakes, 1 T. all natural peanut butter, 1 c. soy milk, 3/4 c. raw zucchini and carrots
4: 1 scoop whey protein, 1.5 T. all natural peanut butter, 3/4 c. raw zucchini and carrots
5: 4 oz. chicken breast, 3 c. lettuce/tomato/onion/pepper salad, 2 T. Kraft Free Zesty Italian dressing
6: 4 egg white/2 whole egg omelette with 1/2 c. cooked spinach

Water: 16 cups
Supplements: 3 capsules Digest-All, 6 capsules fish oil, 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 600 + D, 10 g. l-glutamine

Turbulence Training W4D2: Feline Integration Issues

Food was decent yesterday though meal 5 turned into a serving of seasoned dried cuttlefish/squid at my mom’s house instead of the planned chicken salad when I stopped by to drop off some food for Storm Shadow (the white cat we adopted a few months ago).

Stormy has been fostered at my parents’ house since last Wednesday because Chris and I were worried about leaving him alone in our house with my two older cats. One of them, Slinky (he’s the one lying down on the right at the top of my blog), is very jealous of the newcomer and keeps ambushing him and starting fights. Since Slinky is 14 lbs and Stormy is only a 9 pounder, it’s not a very fair fight. Stormy spends a lot of time hiding under tables and scampering around with a worried, anxious look on his face in our house. There are numerous healed scratches on his poor nose, too.

😐

He gets along a lot better with my Mom’s 11-year-old kitty, Snoopy, and my dad is totally in love with him. (So is my sister in Boston, who was visiting last week and got to spend a lot of time with him before flying back up to the frozen north.) I’m hoping that my folks will take him permanently. We love the lil’ guy–he’s the most user-friendly cat in the household–but it’s been months now, and we are still worried that Slinky is going to really hurt him one day since we won’t declaw our furry kids. He deserves a home where he can actually let his guard down without getting bullied.

I did get in my bike sprints last night at the gym. It was packed with the usual Monday night crowd, but no one was on the upright bikes, so I was able to knock out cardio in under 20 minutes. What joy it is to pop in, pedal like crazy for 19 minutes, and wobble back out to my car in a pool of sweat! I love HIIT.

This morning’s training was a dumbbell shoulder circuit with Ashley. TT workouts are full body, so I haven’t worked just shoulders in a while due to the cruise and Atlanta road trip. I had a nice pump by the end of the third and final circuit, but I have to admit that it’s not quite as motivating to see my 20% bf winter bulk image in the mirror as it is to see a sub-18% bf summer cut image.

Psychologically, it’s just hard for me to accept fat gain, even though I am doing it systematically and with a definite purpose. I knew I had to get my metabolism fired back up after spending most of this year at a deficit, and I knew I wanted to add a little more lean mass, but that doesn’t make it any easier to see the numbers go up on the scale and feel shirt sleeves and the thigh area of favorite jeans get tighter.

I think I must be vain.


You Are 40% Vain


Okay, so you’re slightly vain from time to time, but you’re not superficial at all.
You are realistic. You know that looks matter. You just try to make them matter less.

:whistle:

I believe I have bumped up my TDEE level to around 2000 calories or so by now, but I am going to follow John Berardi’s individualization guidelines and stick to a clean 2000 cal/day with 90% adherence for the next two weeks while tracking my weight and body fat to make sure. I have set my upper weight limit at 145 lbs for this bulk. If I start to go over that, I am bumping up cardio a bit and re-evaluating my intake.

==============================
Today’s Workout:
– Shoulder Circuit with Trainer

1) DB Seated Shoulder Press (3×15 @ 20 lbs)
2) DB Lateral Raise (3×15 @ 10 lbs)
3) DB Front Raise (3×15 @ 10 lbs)
4) DB Straight Arm Kickback (3×15 @ 10 lbs)
5) BB Upright Row (3×15 reps @ 40 lbs)
6) Lateral Arm Circle Sequence (3×30 sec.)

==============================
Today’s Planned Eats:
WO Shake: 1 scoop vanilla Dymatize Elite whey protein, 1/2 banana, 4 strawberries, 1 c. Diet V8 Splash
1: 1/3 c. oatmeal, 1/4 c. raisins, 3 egg whites, 3/4 c. raw carrots and zucchini
2: 4 oz. chicken breast, 1/4 c. (dry) quinoa, 1 c. broccoli, 1 T. spicy brown mustard, 1/4 t. Creole seasoning
3: 1 T. all natural peanut butter, 2 rice cakes, 1/2 c. raw carrots and zucchini
4: 1 scoop chocolate ATW whey protein, 1 banana, 1/2 c. raw carrots and zucchini
5: Free meal (1 of 4) – Sonny’s BBQ
6: (Optional-if hungry) 2 whole egg/4 egg white omelette with 1 c. spinach and 2 T. salsa

Water: 16 cups
Supplements: 3 capsules Digest-All, 6 capsules fish oil, 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 600 + D
Calories: ~ 1628 (46% carb/31% pro/25% fat) (Through meal 4)

Turbulence Training W4D1: Cruise Survival Guide

I had a great time on vacation, but I am very happy indeed to be back home and once again on clean eats.

The cruise to the Bahamas was a blast from the food (of which I had plenty) to the karaoke (of which I also had plenty). I even went to the onboard gym Saturday and Sunday to get in my planned workouts and chose an 18-mile bicycle tour as my first excursion in Freeport. I will note now that it is 100% possible to stay on plan with food and train on a Carnival cruise, particularly if you don’t mind bringing along some protein powder to supplement the offerings on board. Food is pretty much available 24 hours a day, and there is always a healthy option available at each of the main meals, including chicken and seafood. The gym was also quite decent with around 5 cardio machines of each type (elliptical, treadmill, and stationary bikes), probably a dozen or so weight machines, three benches, and dumbbells ranging from 2.5 up to 75 lbs. There was also a scary aromatherapy massage pod in the corner that nobody used.

😯

Theoretically, you could go cruising with your family, friends, or SO’s and get through the day like so:

6:30 am – Wake up and workout in gym. Drink water.

7:30 am – Shower and kick lazy fellow travelers out of bed to go to breakfast.

8:00 am – Grab boiled eggs (so you can toss the yolks), fresh fruit, and whole grain cereal with skim milk for breakfast. Take 3 pieces of fresh fruit with you for snacks later. (May also grab extra boiled eggs for snacks as well.) You could also have an egg white omelette with veggies prepared for you out on the Lido deck, but the guys out there use WAY too much butter in my opinion. Fill water bottle (you did pack one, didn’t you?).

10:30 am – Enjoy banana (from breakfast) and a scoop of protein powder or 4 egg whites. Drink water.

1:00 pm – Have a huge salad with vinaigrette dressing and 4 oz. chicken breast from the main food line. (There is always a chicken breast option.) Choose fruit, wheat bread, or appropriate portion of not so clean carb to go with it. Treat yourself to a small dessert. If you have a Tupperware container or ziploc baggie handy, make a few mini chicken sandwiches made with 2 rolls and salad bar veggies for 3:30 snack. Drink water. Refill water bottle.

3:30 pm – Drink water. Have more fruit and your choice of hoarded protein source or go with the mini sandwiches you made at lunch.

5:45 pm – Have a shrimp cocktail or tropical fruit plate appetizer. Do the garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Select the seafood or chicken entree with least amount of sugary/fatty/creamy sauce or go with the chicken breast or salmon platter with fresh steamed veggies and new potatoes. Elect to have sinful dessert and skip meal 6, or skip dessert and have another snack around 8:30 pm. Drink water.

8:30 pm – Fruit and protein snack. Drink water.

Did I adhere 100% to this dining plan?

Hell no–I definitely had dessert at least twice a day. 😉

But I still wanted to point out that it could be done.

==============================
Today’s Workout:
– TTFW Warmup Circuit (2x)

– TT W4 Workout B
A1) DB Flat Bench Press (3×8 @ 37.5 lbs)
A2) DB Step-up (3×8 @ 27.5 lbs)
B1) Elevated Pushup (2×12)
B2) Stability Ball Leg Curl (2×12)
C1) Plank (2×4 reps)
C2) Bird Dog (2×6 reps)

– 6 sets of bicycle sprint intervals

==============================
Today’s Planned Eats:
WO Shake: 1 scoop vanilla Dymatize Elite whey protein, 50 g dextrose
1: 1/3 c. oatmeal, 1 large orange, 1 scoop vanilla Dymatize Elite whey protein
2: 4 oz. chicken breast, 1/4 c. (dry) quinoa, 1 c. broccoli, 1 T. spicy brown mustard, 1/4 t. Creole seasoning
3: 1 scoop vanilla Dymatize Elite whey protein, 1 large orange
4: 1.5 T. all natural peanut butter, 1 scoop All The Whey chocolate protein powder mixed into a pro-fat cookie
5: 4 oz. chicken breast stir-fried with 2 c. mixed vegetables and 1/4 c. peanuts
6: 2 whole egg/4 egg white omelette with 1 c. spinach and 2 T. salsa

Water: 16 cups
Supplements: 3 capsules Digest-All, 6 capsules fish oil, 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 600 + D
Calories: ~ 1900 (34% carb/36% pro/30% fat)

$10 Holiday Shirt Sale at Threadless

Threadless is running another $10 shirt sale for the holidays. I picked up a few shirts as Christmas presents for my sister and fiance, and um…one for me, too.

They are releasing at least one new design each day, the rotters. As a compulsive collector of amusing and unusual tees, I find myself checking back daily for new releases.

This is almost worse than my comic book collecting phase.

😳

Turbulence Training W2D3: Almost Cruising

T minus 1 day until I am on a cruise ship to the Bahamas! I’m about 75% packed and have my workout plan in hand, along with 3 days’ worth of workout clothes. I probably won’t be able to post while I’m on the cruise unless there is T-mobile coverage in the ports for my Treo, but I’ll be back on Monday.

😎

Pity I will be suffering some serious DOMS in my chest, arms, and thighs by the time we get set sail tomorrow, but c’est la vie when one is addicted to challenging physical activities.

I was spot on yesterday with food until meal 6, which consisted of 1/2 c. Breyer’s Mint Choco Chip ice cream and 1/4 c. of trail mix instead of the planned 4/2 spinach omelette with salsa, but calories were still within range. I can’t wait until TTOM is through. I am a carb monster this week.

This morning’s workout was 30 minutes of legs with trainer Ashley. I did two rounds of a combo resistance/calisthenics circuit with her, then went on to do TTfW Week 2 Workout A. I felt that there was enough cardio involved in the leg circuit to sub it for the TT intervals today, so I headed home after finishing my TT weights. I will try to squeeze in a TT interval run tomorrow morning.

I’ve been bad about taking my l-glutamine before bed since I haven’t been feeling sore, but I am going to make it part of my pre-sleep ritual by putting the canister along with a cup right next to my toothbrush.

==================================
TODAY’S WORKOUT:

Warmup Circuit (performed 2x)
• 10 reps of bodyweight squats
• 3 reps of 10 seconds for the plank
• 8 pushups

Leg Circuit with Trainer
Glute Trainer (2×15) (40 lb)
Leg Adduction (2×15) (125 lb)
Leg Abduction (2×15) (125 lb)
Squat Jump (2×15)
DB Burpees (2×15) (15 lb db)
DB Wall Squat with Ball (2×15) (15 lb db)
Mountain Climbers (2×30 sec)
Squat Shuffle (2×30 sec)
Bicycles (1×30)

TTFW Workout A (Supersets)
A1) BB Squat (2×10) (65 & 85 lb)
A2) Wide-Grip Row (2×10) (75 lb)
B1) DB Split Squat (2×12) (35 lb db)
B2) Reverse-grip Pulldown (2×12) (90 lb)
C1) Ab Curl-up (2×6)
C2) Side Plank (2×4 reps per side for 10 seconds)

==================================
TODAY’S EATS:

1: 1/3 c. oatmeal, 1/4 c. raisins, 3 egg whites
2: 1 banana, 1 tangerine, 1 scoop whey
3: 4 oz. chicken breast fingers, 4 c. garden salad, 1 apple, 2 TBS. Kraft Free Zesty Italian Dressing
4: 4 oz. chicken breast fingers, 2 T. salsa, 1 T. ANPB, 1 c. Peking mix vegetables
5: Dinner with family (10% meal)
6: 1.5 scoops whey and 3/4 c. brussels sprouts (if hungry)

Water: 16 cups
Supplements: 3 capsules Digest-All, 6 capsules fish oil, 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 600 + D, 10 g. l-glutamine

Turbulence Training W2D2: My Muscles Tingleth

I did arms and chest with Ashley this morning and actually had a very challenging workout. For once I got to the gym 10 minutes early and even had time to do the warmup circuit from TT before getting started.

I had a bit of time left at the end, so I did 3 quick intervals on the treadmill at 4 mph/9.5 mph (2 min/1 min).

For the first time in weeks I am not tired or sore. I think that backing off from the higher volume of training I was doing was a good idea. I feel like I actually have time to recover between sessions now, and I am getting that lovely tingly sensation in my legs and arms up to 2-3 hours after a workout that I’d like to imagine is caused by my muscles rebuilding themselves.

Anyone else get this?

The equally lovely “lean” feeling in my core after a HIIT cardio session is pretty motivating, too.

141 lbs again today, but my thigh measurement has dropped about 1/2″ and my lower ab measurement (at the belly button) has gone down to 28″ from 29″ two weeks ago. I’m going to take comprehensive measurements tomorrow and again every two weeks to make sure I’m headed in the right direction with this bulk.

Two more days before I head out on a 4 night Bahamas cruise with Chris, my parents, and my sister. 🙂 Depending on what their workout facilities are like, I’ll either do my regularly scheduled TTfW program and use a bike or the outdoor track for intervals or go with the Intermediate bodyweight TT program if no free weights are available. I’m not going to try to be hardcore on my diet on vacation, but I *will* stock up on fresh fruit at breakfast if it’s available, make sure I get in enough protein and limit desserts to one per day. 😉

==============================
Today’s Workout:

– TT Warmup Circuit (2x)

– Arm/Chest Circuit (x 2)
DB Incline Flyes (15 x 20 lb)
DB Flat Chest Press (15 x 30 lb)
DB Hammer Curls (15 x 20 lb)
BB “21s” Curls (3 x 7 x 30 lb)
DB Tricep Kickback (15 x 10 lb)
Bench Dip (15 x BW)
Bench Dip Pulse (10 x BW)

– 3 sets of running sprint intervals on treadmill
(4 mph for 2 minutes/ 9.5 mph for 1 minute)

==============================
Today’s Planned Eats:

1: 1/3 c. oatmeal, 1/4 c. raisins, 3 egg whites
2: 40 g Great Value Mountain Trail Mix, 1 slice high fiber LF pumpkin bread
3: 4 oz. chicken breast fingers, 1 c. Peking vegetable mix, 2 tangerines
4: 2 oz. Yogurt and Mix trail mix
5: 4 oz. baked chicken fingers, 3 c. spinach/Romaine/tomato/green pepper salad, 2 T. Kraft Free Zesty Italian dressing, 2 corn tortillas, 1 tangerine
6: 2 whole egg/4 egg white omelette with 1 c. spinach and 2 T. salsa

Water: 16 cups
Supplements: 3 capsules Digest-All, 6 capsules fish oil, 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 600 + D
Calories: ~ 1800-1900 (39% carb/32% pro/29% fat)