Update: Delaying the Competition

As usual, my life is hectic. I know it sounds like an excuse, but it’s really not. I am going to compete, but I’ve had trouble nailing down a reasonable workout schedule: I got a new 9 to 5 job, but I’m still working at the bar (my partner is still underemployed, so we have to make ends meet). As of Friday, May 24th, I’ll have worked 19 days straight. It seems that every spare second is eaten up by having something on-the-go, lately.

My game plan: Wake up at 5am and get to the gym from 5:30 – 6:30. This will give me enough time that I can leave for work by 7 and be there by 7:45, so I can leave by 4:15. I’ve also signed up for Monday and Thursday night weight training classes, so even if I can just get two good weight lifting sessions and a couple of cardio sessions in on my own, I’ll be back to golden in no-time.

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Rise and Shine

I am not really a morning person, but I got out of bed at 6:45 this morning and I feel pretty smug about it. 

I did a conditioning circuit today, each of the following exercises for 2 minutes, with 30 seconds of rest between each exercise, 3 times around:

10 minute warm-up on arc trainer, 15 incline, 20 resistance

1. Body weight squats (feet shoulder-width apart)
2. Resistance band biceps curls (basically to failure in that 2 minute period)
3. Walking lunges with twist (medicine ball, 10lbs)
4. Back extensions
5. Decline sit ups
6. Deadlifts (straight leg, 45lb plate)
7. Push ups

Today’s Special (er…Workout and Food Journal)

Sorry, if you were expecting Jeff the Mannequin or Muffy the Mouse, you’ll be very disappointed by this post.

THE WORKOUT

A1 Sprints (4 sets x 3 minutes x 30 seconds of rest)
A2 Barbell Squats (4 sets x 10 – 12 reps x 30 seconds of rest, 80lbs)
A3 Seated Rows (4 sets x 6 reps x 6 reps x 6 reps x 30 seconds of rest, 115lbs/105lbs/95lbs)
A4 Plank (4 sets x 1 minute x 30 seconds of rest)

B1 Straight Arm Chin Up (2 sets x 12 – 15 reps x 30 seconds of rest)
B2 Leg lifts (2 sets x 12 – 15 reps x 30 seconds of rest)

THE FOOD

Meal 1: Omelette (1 egg, 1/2 cup of egg whites, 1 oz cheese, 2 slices bacon)
Meal 2: Protein shake and a wheatgrass shot (from Booster Juice, I was on-the-go)
Meal 3: 10 almonds and 1/2 grapfruit
Meal 4: 1 serving 1% mf cottage cheese
Meal 5: 3 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast with garden salad ( 2 cups Iceberg lettuce, 1 oz diced tomatoes, 3 slices cucumber), 1 tbsp light Italian dressing

THE DRINKS
3 litres of water
1 cup coffee, 2 tbsp heavy cream

Start Your Day With [Fasted] Cardio

My trainer recommended I do 30 – 45 minutes of fasted cardio every morning to help burn fat. The idea behind doing a moderate cardio exercise before you’ve eaten anything is that you won’t be using the new food energy you’ve consumed, you will be using stored energy (i.e., fat). I’m going to give it a whirl–I did a 35 minute walk downtown; the sun is shining and I was up early anyhow. I really wish I was someone who could spring out of bed at 5:30 am, but for me 7:30 was early enough.

The Problem With Training Together

I really like going to the gym with my partner. It motivates me to have him with me; I like being able to make faces at him in the mirrors or have him give my bum a pinch when he walks by. I also like that if I forget a water bottle, I can use his, or if I’m feeling ready to leave and he’s not, I have to stay…

But there’s the problem. At the moment, I feel like that isn’t reciprocated. If he’s ready to leave and I’m not, I tend to give up my last set or last few reps to cater to his needs. This isn’t his fault, it’s mine for not being firm and using it as an excuse to get out of the hardest part of the workout.

I can and do workout alone, perhaps I need to make a point of it during contest prep, so I don’t feel any outside pressures that may diminish my workouts. 

Does anyone else out there have any strategies for working out as a twosome? Or maybe you’ve put the kibosh on bringing that special someone along to the gym? 

Meal Preparation

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Today I prepared my meals (and my partner’s) for the next 4 – 5 days. 

Meal 2: Chicken breast (seasoned with cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder) and [barely] steamed broccoli (Calories = 174; Carbs = 12g; Protein = 28g)

Meal 3: Salad (strawberries, walnuts, spinach, yellow peppers, 2 tsp homemade balsamic vinaigrette) (Calories = 300; Carbs = 23g; Protein = 6g)

Meal 4: Greek yogurt with chocolate whey powder (Calories = 250; Carbs = 24g; Protein = 41g)

Meal 5: Protein shake (Calories = 160; Carbs = 5g; Protein = 30g)

Meal 6: Tuna salad, using only 1/2 the amount of light mayo, celery, onions, pickles, dijon (Calories = 145; Carbs = 3g; Protein = 21g)

My first meal of the day is not prepared; the plan is an egg white (1/2 cup) omelette with avocado, spinach, and salsa and 1/3 cup steel cut oats (Calories = 416; Carbs = 53g; Protein = 27g)

Totals: Calories = 1441; Carbs = 120g; Protein = 153

I’m also taking a good multivitamin; zinc; calcium-magnesium; fish oils; creatine; and L-carnatine at various intervals throughout the day; BCAAs during my workouts.

I will be aiming to get my carbs down below 100g for next week.

Reality Bites

I’m a little bummed out today; I vowed after the last competition that I wouldn’t let myself go and that I’d keep working hard…I didn’t. Now, I’m paying for it. That is not to diminish the strides I’m making toward my goal of competing and placing on June 15, but the fact is that I’m further away from my goal than I was at this point before my last competition. This is just motivation to be more dedicated and work as hard as I can. I guess I’m just disappointed in myself for doing the things I said I wouldn’t. 

I’ve beaten me up enough about it, time to move forward.

Legs & Back Day

Today I feel great!

I ditched my old gym in favour of a community gym with a track and a pool–thinking I might be able to add some much needed variety to my workouts.

To warm-up I did 1 walk around the track and 2 running laps and then a set of weighted squats (10 reps).

My workout today:

A1: 3 sets of 90lb wide-leg squats (10 – 12 reps, 30 seconds of rest between sets)
A2: 3 sets of 90lb bent-leg deadlifts (10 – 12 reps, 30 seconds of rest between sets)
A3: 3 sets of wide push-ups (10 – 12 reps, 30 seconds of rest between sets; I was supposed to do chin-ups, but the machine was in use, so I did a push-up, which I know is not the same thing, but I had about 15 seconds to think of something to do.)

B1: 3 sets of medium-grip 60lb lat pull-downs (12 – 15 reps, 30 seconds of rest before next exercise)
B2a: 3 sets of split-squat, with 15lb dumbbells (10 reps each side, no rest after or between)
B2b: 3 sets of body-weight sumo squats (12 – 15 reps, 30 seconds of rest afterward)

Next week I will actually do the chin-ups and I’ll add another set to my workout, but this is workout #3 this week and I’m feeling pretty darn good about it. Tomorrow is yoga and intervals.

Track and Field

I ran at the track today; I did sprints, jogging, walking, squats, lunges, and some yoga. While I was there, I was thinking about Georges St. Pierre (see photo below, for those of you living under a rock; photo courtesy of: http://visualogs.com/georges-st-pierre/)

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Why was I thinking about a UFC fighter? What does it have to do with a bikini competition?

Georges St. Pierre trains with the Canadian Track & Field team. He does gymnastics. While these activities are obviously good for his fitness, shouldn’t he be focusing on fighting? What I got thinking about was how the variety in his workouts not only challenges his muscles, endurance, and coordination, but they provide him with an advantage over his competition by providing him with a deeper knowledge of his body’s potential…maybe that’s a bit flighty, but I think it’s a psychological tool, too..”I can do anything.”

I got thinking about what sorts of activities would challenge my mind and body in preparation for the next competition. What would be new? What would excite me? I don’t have answers yet, but I’ll be looking for them over the next 10 weeks.