Training Blog update - yoga two times this week. I am now working my way through Intro to Ashtanga class. Finding it challenging and fun. My other yoga day was Dark Yoga in the basement. I find that I am getting more focused at that and can follow it with some meditation most Sundays.
I did a day of legs and pullups, which pretty much covered the whole range of the body, this week too. Ran at lunch one day and on another day did Kettlebell circuits.
Today was a beautiful day! One of those early fall days where the sky is the bluest of blue, the leaves are slowly falling to the ground, the air is crisp but the temps still warm. I had the barn all to myself today and spent lots of quality time with the big freakin' gelding.
Then it was home for mosh pit circuits and some dark yoga! I started out with a run up the hollow....ugggghhhhhhh that damn hill. LOL. Then with the remainder of my planned time did four sets of the following circuit: burpees with a plank split (10), kettlebell overhead swings (10), single arm kettlebell swings (10), kettlebell upright rows (10), 20 pound plate pushes (25 feet, turn and 25 feet back), jump rope (25 turns), rest 30 seconds, repeat. Then I danced! LOL I played some chants and very rhythmic witchy music and danced around my basement and out into my driveway - twirling and twisting and....I wonder what my neighbors thought? LOL LOL.
Then, all sweaty and feeling wonderful, I did yoga in the dark while listening to Wendy Rule. Aahhhhhhhhh....
Examples of exercises:
There are many variations of BURPEES. In the variation I did today, when you kick back into plank position, you split your feet, jump them back together in plank and then pop up.
KETTLEBELL SWINGS can be done an lots of different combinations with both hands or with single arm moves.
PLATE PUSHES are fun! We have laminate floor in our basement so I wrap my plate in a towel, which protects the floor and makes the plate nice and slick.
And of course everyone knows jumping rope is fun and gets the heart pumping. That is mainly what I am after - make my training fun and challenging - forcing me to grunt and sweat and I'll be happy. Tomorrow will most likely be strictly a lifting day and then I hope to hit up my yoga studio for class tomorrow evening.
Ahhhhhhhh..... Nothing like returning to more lifting to make a girl feel useful and whole. And sore. LOL. For a couple of weeks now I have been concentrating more on lifting and kbell workouts. I have taken a run or two (did one today actually at lunch because it was SO nice out) but really have been doing more grunting, squatting, moving heavy shit around...
I am also going through this odd phase with the change in dawn and dusk where I can't drag my ass outta bed to train in the morning so I either have to make it work at lunch or do it after work.
Part of the issue with those times is that lunch is a fixed span of time - small by comparison to early morning. After work is as well because I generally have other chores I want to get done post work plus work on other media and hobbies, etc.
So, a smaller space of time to work with means compound moves and what we know as "full body" exercises. Basically, for folks just getting interested in training, that means things that use more than one part of your body rather than isolating a specific muscle. Think pull-ups as opposed to bicep curls. With the pull-up you are utilizing every upper body muscle you have plus your core as you hoist your own weight over a bar higher than your head. Yum.
Basically, the benefit of full body moves is that you can work several muscle groups at the same time, resulting in a good session but one that requires less time.
I am not a very "cut" person. Meaning my body fat is not so low that I have a lot of muscle show through. My point of training at this point though isn't to play the whole body fat numbers game but to stay strong enough to be functional for a good, long time. Full body workouts do that too because they involve heavier weights, moves that mimic natural work (in my opinion) - in other words, stuff that the human body was intended to do. For instance - squatting and lifting heavy shit over your head or bending over (dead lifting) and picking stuff up. I don't think the human body was necessarily meant to do multiple sets of bicep curls or leg extensions LOL. I mean, I do them. Just not right now.... ;)
Summer training journal is rounding out as we speak. I have done lots of running, walking, hiking, outdoor stuff this summer. Not much lifting in the way of iron plates and dumbbells but more in the way of rocks, boards and lately, 40 pound bags of sand and gravel for our sidewalk rebuild at home.
I ran a bit while at the beach and did little else but relax. Got a couple of workouts in the week we returned home and rounded out that week with two of our biggest events of the summer at work. Last week grabbed a lunch run one day and a couple of quick full body routines. What I am saying is that I have been pretty lacking in the sense of a routine this summer and just more interested in sweating and stress relief.
And now we are officially into fall here. Temps have dropped off a bit into the 70s for the most part, although we have had a heat wave the last few days. Some storms tonight will bring in a cool front and we are dipping back into fall. The first few leaves have started to fall and at camp are already turning. I think somewhere in the last couple of weeks our hummingbirds have also decided that it might be time to pack bags and make their way to a warmer spot for winter. This makes me sad in particular because I love feeding them and watching them buzz around and chitter chatter.
My training interests are turning inward like they always do when the staircase begins to spiral downward. I miss my iron and my pull-ups. I miss grunting and lifting and being sore from tearing shit down and letting it heal.
So, this week I have mostly lifted both weights and sledgehammers. We have some odd demo needing done at work and I headed up my own little crew because our real one is building a storage facility at the moment. While they play with big toys, my little rag tag bunch knocked the hell out of some rotting boards, retaining walls and railings at our pool in prep for a little tender loving renovation. Three lifting sessions this week. One was a leg routine, 16 sets of one legged deads, leg presses, curtsey squats, goddess squats, and leg curls. Another was a chest/shoulder circuit combo. Tomorrow will be legs and pull-ups. Don't think I'm some super strong pull-up girl. I can do about two to three reverse grip chin-ups. The rest of my pull-ups are chair assisted. LOL. But, they DO still work the muscles if you do them right. I also did a lunch run one day this week on a hot day when I just felt like getting out on the trail for one of the last days of the season.
Sadly, I missed yoga this week. I am having worries about going to a different class than my beginner class I am so comfortable in. LOL. I need to grow up but I'm eskerrrrreeedddd....
Sunday morning is normally reserved for a run in our hollow followed by yoga and meditation, followed by a visit to the barn. And so it was today. Only the run was extended with some circuit training, kbell swings, burpees, weighted sit-ups and then that was followed up with some isolated leg work and then the yoga.
The barn belonged to me today. Meaning I got to be all alone with my trusty steed for quite a long while, which was awesome. This also meant we got to ride longer than normal and worked on lots of little things we've been doing together plus did some plain old goofing off in the form of the horse thinking that mud pits would be fun to run through until he realized that mud is really squishy. LOL. So, after working up my second sweat of the day I sent him packing back to the field with his buddies and headed home...
To a mess of weeds I have been avoiding for weeks now. This has NOT been the season for home care around our place. The weather has been unreasonably rainy. But, really it was getting kind of comical with the weeds so I decided that Bertha (my industrial sized weedeater) and I would kick up some green stuff, rocks, dust, twigs, etc. I am serious I normally come away from this chore with more than one portion of me bleeding. I live on what I like to refer to as a rock farm. So, trees and rocks. Rocks and trees. It isn't easy work. It really sucks mostly, which is why everyone hates to do it. So, for two hours I wacked and attacked and basically stole the rock farm that is the yard back from the onslaught of Mother Nature's pesky ones.
Right now I'm not sure if there is one part of my body that isn't sore. LOL. Bertha weighs maybe seven pounds but is a helluva machine to control. My legs were already sore from lifting Friday plus this morning's workout and ride. My upper body now matches them for needing a hot bath. And a hot bath I didn't want. After that last task I took a long, cool shower and had a Guinness for lunch.
So basically sometimes I think the best workouts come in the form of some really, damn sweaty work. If you have a chance to pick up a weedeater, dig a ditch, chop some wood... Go for it! Your body will thank you and you will also have accomplished something outside of yourself and your workout.
I like to hurt. LOL. Meaning that I like to be sore from my workouts. Soreness
means to me that my body is recovering from work. I am talking about what I consider “good” sore not being sore from injury or overuse. “Good” sore means that when you stretch maybe you feel your shoulders or your abs say ahhhhhhhhh…. “Good” sore means if you are a chick when you sit to pee your legs and bum say hello and you have to sort of grunt to stand up. LOL.
“Good” sore is how your thighs feel after a day of riding. Stairs may not be your friend in these final two examples but you will know you have earned your rest.
So, I have experienced plenty of good sore these past couple of weeks. I’ve been riding quite a bit and lifting a little heavier, concentrating mostly on more full body stuff including pullups, squats, deadlifts.
Plus I have been working as much as I can outdoors because the weather has finally for the most part turned around to actually being summer instead of the rainy season and I want to soak as much of it in as I absolutely can.
Being sore to me is very basic and leads me very much to believe in the body and the soul of myself.
I liken it to that lioness I imagine in my mind. She hunts and she sleeps. She lives her life in a mode of feast or famine. Of work and play and rest. Simple and true. She awakens with the dawn and stretches and feels the aftermath of the day before. And if she moves, works, runs and manages her place in the pride she is well.
To be good sore is to be alive and to be whole.
Starting from last Saturday - a day of rest from "regular" workouts. Instead a full on yearly clean up of my shop, which did not fair too badly this winter as far as Ricky messes go. However, plain old dirt was abundant and unfortunately, we had also gotten lazy about just throwing stuff in there and shutting the door again. What happened was after much contemplation and discussion of the eventual retirement dream, the decision was made that even when I "open" a true magic shop it should not be a home business but in the hub of downtown. So my little space got a bit lonely again last season.
It is all clean now though! One long overdue chore off the list.
Another one just completed today. Washing windows. Hands down my least favorite home chore next to weedeating.
Workouts this week ranged from running, yoga, weighted circuits and a honkin' leg day mid-week. Today I am thinking about so
Leg Day. Ouch. I love leg day. I think it has something to do with the fact that a chick's bottom half happens to be pretty strong in comparison to the upper part. Our legs - that is where our power comes from. In a self defense class that I take we learn to use our legs to kick, beat, push, run. We learn that our legs are our best friends.
Our friends? Really? Women have issues with their legs and/or basically the entire lower half of their bodies. I am not immune to this so when I train legs I try to spend alot of time thanking them, feeling the power in them and basically acknowledging that they carry me around on a daily basis and have for most of my life and that they could, literally, save that life at any given time.
I think this is a good practice considering how most of us ladies really feel about our legs. I had a fitness professional tell at some point that I had "gifted quads" and this simply meant to me that my legs were big. And, from the perspective of most females, they are.
But, I like to work them. I like to rely on them. I like the way they carry me and the way I can ride half-seat as many time around the arena as my instructor tells me to without even flinching. LOL.
So, today it was squats and deadlifts. Along with some weighted crab crawls, inverted leg raises and some other freestyle leg burner stuff. I will walk again I'm sure. Maybe tomorrow....
Last week ended with a trail run and then a sick cat. Luckily, the cat is doing better but only after dropping some cold hard cash to rule out most possibilities including infection, internal bleeding, blockage, etc. etc....
Somewhere in there I lost track of training for a few days. This week began the way last week ended though. With a nice, long, sweaty trail run at work the last part of which was spent sprinting (ie - gasping for air and partially dying) up the hill beside our rec center.
I snapped a picture afterwards and have been contemplating abs. I would like to explain the concept of "washboard" abs and why for most of us they are folly. People think that in order to have washboard abs you have to do lots of "ab work" and sure, like any other muscle, abs do need to be worked in order to be firm.
But, "ab work" is only a fraction of what goes into a six pack. Some people will be heard to say that abs are built in the kitchen and while that can be true, there are other factors such as heredity, how one carries her (or his) fat, how much of that fat there is, how hydrated (or not) one is that can influence the look (or lack of) visible abs.
I do not have a six pack. LOL. My abs are pretty toned, as you can see above but even at my leanest my body is not the type that can show off those rock hard, super defined, washboard just under the surface abs that are so coveted these days. I've done lots of ab work, I've done next to none, I've done different kinds of ab work and then yet more different kinds. My abs stay pretty much the same unless I gain a large amount of weight. Mostly, for me this is a combination of heredity, fat storage and body type. I don't find that to be such a big deal. I'm not even sure I ever did as I was never obsessed with "chasing abs" like many women are.
So, strive to have strong abs. Strive to take care of them and keep them happy and fit. But, don't expect them to be chiseled rocks of steel just because you are doing everything right and you saw it in a magazine.
Today, Tuesday, was a lifting day. A full body type deal hitting big muscle groups and multiple parts. Stuff like squats, deadlifts, both romanian and single legged, push ups, push presses, dips.
Yesterday was a lifting day. I did a full body type workout with things like deadlifts, squats, push-ups, shoulder presses... Sore this morning. Today, weather permitting, will be trail run at work. If I have time I will throw some abs in there. Long day ahead. Concert tonight to attend to...
Because the ability to express ourselves and care for ourselves through motion is something we should be grateful for...