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Harriet

Harriet's Emergency Stopgap

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Harriet's Year of Energy: Act III

I am home, and I am going to get moving again.

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bfdc2194b77507049

 

I will return to habits I already formed which were disrupted by travel and illness. These are:

Daily meditation

Healthy home cooking for most meals
No wine at home
Walking & cycling everywhere
Lifting 3 times per week (this may have to wait a couple of days because shoulder ouch)
Hill walks for cardio on non-lifting days, or maybe shadowboxing intervals if it's cold and raining. (Must learn how to do this. Can't possibly be as simple as punching air repeatedly?)


Furthermore, I shall add little one or two tiny little extra hobbits habits each week.

 

Week 1:

Mini Quest 1: eat the vitamin D tablets daily, with my breakfast so I don't forget. This may help me not catch cold as often.
Mini Quest 2: do a little bit of journaling every morning with my first cup of tea. This should help me be more positive and ambitious, and might encourage me to do more writing and cleaning and other useful stuff. No pressure though. The only obligation is the journaling itself.

 

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Good challenges. I like the idea of the mini challenges. Are you tying them into the bigger ones or are they just some micro stuff to do with other things?
6 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Furthermore, I shall add little one or two tiny little extra hobbits habits each week.

When Someone Plays A Trick On Me GIF - Gollum SneakyLittleHobbitses LOTR GIFs
 
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10 minutes ago, Grumble said:
Good challenges. I like the idea of the mini challenges. Are you tying them into the bigger ones or are they just some micro stuff to do with other things?

 

Well, I really want to improve my whole life and fill it with things I like doing, or things that are useful. My main challenges are ongoing fatigue, anxiety, lack of motivation, and the habits of idleness and withdrawal that they've caused over many, many years. Lifting is the first thing I have felt intrinsically motivated to do in about 20 years (not including playing video games, sleeping and eating). Which makes it pretty frikkin magical. I need more of that in my life. Anyway, so all of my quests are designed to either improve my physical  health to overcome the fatigue, nagging pains and constant minor illnesses I get, or to reduce my anxiety, or increase my ambition and habits of activeness. I think the journalling will help me think twice about my deeply engrained habit of wasting time on the internet, which reduces my anxiety temporarily but sucks in every other way. I'm writing short stories at the moment, and it feels like a worthwhile activity. But every time I try to do something worthwhile it's accompanied by anxiety and a desire to retreat to my old standby of doing nothing. So it's an ongoing challenge. 

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2 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Is that a picture of a Zeedonk?

It's an African wild ass. But, um, I got better results searching "wild donkey". 

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17 hours ago, Harriet said:

will keep them. I know how to wrangle them. Can you hold on to the mountain lions for me though? 

In theory, sure. :)In the Chicago metro area, no mountains, therefore no lions. 

 

And Grumble makes a great point: in the final analysis, sometimes people are far scarier than wild animals. (That was the point, wasn't it? ;)

3 hours ago, Harriet said:

Ouch. I tweaked my shoulder when dropping dumbbells to the side during a dumbbell bench press. It feels bad two days later. I guess it's not a good idea to go back to the gym. There's nothing that doesn't use my shoulder, including the squat where I have to raise my arms to hold the barbell. At the moment, even that hurts. 

But at least I'm home and planning my challenge. And I'm going shopping for healthy, delicious groceries.

Boo, down with injuries :(

 

But Huzzah for planning and good home cooking! :)

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1 hour ago, Harriet said:

It's an African wild ass. But, um, I got better results searching "wild donkey". 

Ok, so here's me, laughing out loud about this, so my husband asks me to explain what is so funny. I read your response above, and he looked at me and said, "What?" (Bless his innocent little heart!) I couldn't help but grin wickedly and say, "Why don't you search wild ass and see what happens?" Apparently, my facial expression gave away the fun because he refused the invitation ;)

 

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14 hours ago, Katerina said:

In theory, sure. :)In the Chicago metro area, no mountains, therefore no lions. 

 

And Grumble makes a great point: in the final analysis, sometimes people are far scarier than wild animals. (That was the point, wasn't it? ;)

Yes...

That's exactly what I meant.

>_>

 

 

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After months of not much progress, I have finally deadlifted 150 pounds for the first time.

I think I had a major mental barrier, which was helped by two things.

1. going to failure, actually failing some lifts, and seeing it wasn't so bad
2. focusing on the set-up steps instead of thinking or feeling things, or waiting to feel "ready"

I also ordered some liquid grip because my hands get a bit sweaty after the first set, and it totally kills my confidence and sends irresistable messages to the rest of my body to give up and die. 

Also, the total rep goals are working for me (aiming for total 15 reps, increasing weights when I get all 15 within 3 sets). Today I got 4 reps on the first two sets, but only one rep on each of three more sets. I was totally tired but couldn't point to any weak muscle specifically. I decided there was no way I was going to do four more "sets" of one rep each, so I aborted the mission and made a new rule that there shall be no more than five sets. I hereby declare more than 5 sets of heavy deadlifts to be cruelty to animals. Then I did my 30 reps of 80lbs. I tried doing some of them as paused deadlifts to help me get stronger off the floor. It was rough. My OHP and inverted rows suffered. Which is bad, because I need the rows to strengthen my back for the deadlift. I'm thinking of going to the gym more often but splitting things up a bit more.

Also, I had my last writing class for now. There's nothing until January, which is good because it gives me a chance to try developing a daily writing habit with no external motivation. I.e. Become a writer. 

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1 hour ago, Harriet said:

After months of not much progress, I have finally deadlifted 150 pounds for the first time.

 

I'm trying to figure out how it could garner more attention.

 

That's huge, congratulations!

 

Ironically, some guy named... Steve? I think, wrote an article about hitting 400lbs after working towards it for 10 years. And he talks in depth about the progress and journey to goals. Goes into some decent detail about your big learning points. Worth a read.

1 hour ago, Harriet said:

I also ordered some liquid grip because my hands get a bit sweaty after the first set, and it totally kills my confidence and sends irresistable messages to the rest of my body to give up and die. 

Liquid grip is amazing.

 

Quote


Also, the total rep goals are working for me (aiming for total 15 reps, increasing weights when I get all 15 within 3 sets). Today I got 4 reps on the first two sets, but only one rep on each of three more sets. I was totally tired but couldn't point to any weak muscle specifically. I decided there was no way I was going to do four more "sets" of one rep each, so I aborted the mission and made a new rule that there shall be no more than five sets. I hereby declare more than 5 sets of heavy deadlifts to be cruelty to animals. Then I did my 30 reps of 80lbs. I tried doing some of them as paused deadlifts to help me get stronger off the floor. It was rough. My OHP and inverted rows suffered. Which is bad, because I need the rows to strengthen my back for the deadlift. I'm thinking of going to the gym more often but splitting things up a bit more.

You're an absolute beast. I love it.

 

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38 minutes ago, Grumble said:

 

I'm trying to figure out how it could garner more attention.

 

That's huge, congratulations!

 

Ironically, some guy named... Steve? I think, wrote an article about hitting 400lbs after working towards it for 10 years. And he talks in depth about the progress and journey to goals. Goes into some decent detail about your big learning points. Worth a read.

Liquid grip is amazing.

 

You're an absolute beast. I love it.

 

 

No one has ever told me I'm a beast before (except me, repeatedly). I'm so happy. 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c007aab615557442e

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So I decided I'm going to go to the gym more often but split it up a bit. I have time and I enjoy going. And there was a thread where the legendary Spezzy said she goes most days, so I take that as permission to ignore all the articles that say "gasp: you must not exert your interior lateral chin muscle more than than once every 72 hours". I figure it's probably not the wisest to suddenly start going six days, but four should be fine.

 

I'm currently alternating 2 workouts where: 

A= heavy squats, light squats, heavy bench, light DB bench, inverted rows, static hang

B= Heavy deadlift, light paused deadlift, heavy ohp, light DB ohp, inverted rows, death?

And the latter exercises suffer a lot. I tried iso holds today and they're more to the point than the hangs, so I'm swapping them. I also tried putting benches first today, and they liked it. Squats were sulky about the arrangement, though. 

I'm thinking of doing 4 days per week, something like:
A= heavy deadlift, light paused deadlift, medium OHP, something for hip abduction?

B= heavy bench, light DB bench, medium squat, inverted row, iso hold 

C= heavy ohp, light DB ohp, medium deadlift, inverted row

D= heavy squat, light goblet squat, medium bench, inverted row, iso hold 


That way I would practice each lift twice per week, but all 4 main lifts have a day where they're heavy and come first. Lots of inverted rows because it's the only thing that seems to be making my upper back stronger. Iso holds for grip. For heavies, I aim for 15 total reps in 3 sets. For lights, 30 total reps in 3 sets. I guess I would try to get 21 for three sets with the mediums. 

 

Also, I ate a cupcake and felt no guilt, because I've been reading Nia Shanks. Now I'm going to go make a healthy chicken/chickpea salad for lunch because Steve said cupcakes are okay but the meal after the cupcake is important. Also, I actually want to eat chicken and chickpea salad. 

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On 11/29/2018 at 3:30 PM, Harriet said:

After months of not much progress, I have finally deadlifted 150 pounds for the first time.

 

Very cool! Heartiest of congratulations! :)  To celebrate, I combine a couple of animal themes. . 

 

Image result for meme of celebrating fluffy animals

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So, I was just thinking back on where my lifts were before we moved to the USA. Unfortunately, I have made almost no progress since June. 5 months. 

 

Problem One: I dropped my deadlifts from 67.5 down to 60 and started working back up around July. Why? It was more difficult than I expected and I was scared about how it made me feel. 

Problem Two: when I moved to the USA, my deadlift and bench took 10 pound hits each. I'm not sure how much the others dropped. Why? Either the stress of the move and a nasty sickness I picked up made me weaker. Or the weights in my new gym are more or less accurate and heavier. I've also lost 6 or 7 pounds after 6 months of gaining and a few months of maintaining my weight (all three of these phases felt like they just happened, not in my control). This may be connected with the loss on the bench and deadlift. 

Anyway, I feel a bit annoyed about the lost months - my lifts are now just at or *slightly* beyond where the were several months ago (I just did the lb-kg calculations, and the 150 pound deadlift I am so thrilled about is half a kilo more than my June number. It feels heavier, though). But the nerds here, plus some thinking, made me realise two things:

 

1: heavy lifts feel heavy. It's never going to feel hard-but-easy-and-awesome like it did at the start when I began with a 66lb deadlift and still made progress every time. But I can't let how weak I *feel* or how much I *think* I can lift decide how much I attempt. I must attempt the bigger weight and get comfortable with failed or grinding lifts.


2: carbs are not my enemy. I fed my benches oats this morning, and they liked it. my squats were like "where are my oats, girl?" and I was like "sorry, squats, bench ate them". 

Sorry for the long introspective. Here, have some koalas:

giphy.gifgiphy.gif

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On 11/27/2018 at 2:14 PM, Harriet said:

I tweaked my shoulder when dropping dumbbells to the side during a dumbbell bench press.

THAT is one reason I've stopped using dumbbells (for the most part) for stuff that can be done easily with a barbell. When the weight gets heavy you want to drop it, but you haven't be careful not to hurt yourself at the same time.  No bueno!

 

Hopefully you just tweaked some muscle and didn't screw up a ligament or tendon!  Good idea resting it though to make sure you don't aggravate it.

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20 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

also trying OHP after all those DLs sounds awful

I'm with that!  One thing I try to do is really think about the order i'm doing my training in.  Deadlifts, ESPECIALLY if you are going to do a heavy deadlift session, drain the absolute crap out of you.  They are usually one of the last things, if not the last thing, I do in my lifting sessions that include them.  This is especially true if I'm doing more than 3 sets of DLs.  Like you said, you can't point to a sore muscle but your whole body is rejecting doing a single additional rep.  The neurological aspect is kicking your butt at that point. 

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1 hour ago, Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf said:

 

Hopefully you just tweaked some muscle and didn't screw up a ligament or tendon!  Good idea resting it though to make sure you don't aggravate it.

 

I don't think it's serious. I've gotten back to lifting and it's fine. I'll be very careful with the dumbbells from now on, though.

55 minutes ago, Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf said:

I'm with that!  One thing I try to do is really think about the order i'm doing my training in.  Deadlifts, ESPECIALLY if you are going to do a heavy deadlift session, drain the absolute crap out of you.  They are usually one of the last things, if not the last thing, I do in my lifting sessions that include them.  This is especially true if I'm doing more than 3 sets of DLs.  Like you said, you can't point to a sore muscle but your whole body is rejecting doing a single additional rep.  The neurological aspect is kicking your butt at that point. 


Okay, I didn't realise it was neurological... Is that aspect improved by frequent heavies? Or by cardiovascular fitness or something?  I used to put deadlifts last, as recommended by strong lifts. But I recently switched to putting them first because I was freaking out (mental block) and needed all the physical/emotional freshness I could get. I've been reading everything I can find on programming, and I've come to the conclusion that there are a million totally different opinions, and my approach should be to stop looking for a perfect answer and keep experimenting sensibly. 

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On 12/1/2018 at 11:59 AM, Harriet said:

Okay, I didn't realise it was neurological... Is that aspect improved by frequent heavies?

From what I've read it will be improved by just continuing to lift.. The stuff I've read talks to the muscles getting stronger as you lift but also your bodies neurological system improving in efficiency as well.  When you are at the far end of your capability you are going to stress both for sure.  From what I understand, that "my entire body hates what I'm doing right now but I can't say which muscle actually hurts" is your neurological system as a whole telling you it knows you are stressing it.

 

But I 100% agree with you that it is just what works best for you that you should worry about.  I think I put my DLs near the end because that is what Starting Strength recommends AND because after doing squats and then deadlifts I literally could reach the point of being lightheaded it can work so hard. So when I was done I was DONE.  But if you want to really focus on DLs and make them the main lift of your workout, putting them first can make sense to me for sure.  You want solid reps and sets and you don't want the stuff you've already done to impact it.  If it was me I'd just make sure I was positive about what I was going to follow it up with, so I didn't put two really heavy lifts back to back (super heavy DL work followed by super heavy squat or something like that).

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf said:

From what I've read it will be improved by just continuing to lift.. The stuff I've read talks to the muscles getting stronger as you lift but also your bodies neurological system improving in efficiency as well.  When you are at the far end of your capability you are going to stress both for sure.  From what I understand, that "my entire body hates what I'm doing right now but I can't say which muscle actually hurts" is your neurological system as a whole telling you it knows you are stressing it.


Okay, good to know. Keep lifting for more neurological toughness, as well as mental toughness and all the toughness woooo

 

1 hour ago, Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf said:

You want solid reps and sets and you don't want the stuff you've already done to impact it.  If it was me I'd just make sure I was positive about what I was going to follow it up with, so I didn't put two really heavy lifts back to back (super heavy DL work followed by super heavy squat or something like that).

 

Exacto. I am trying something new where I have the one heavy lift, a light version of the same lift, then a medium version of something else. So the heavy doesn't have to share with anything, and I don't feel as bad if the light or medium lifts go poorly because they're just there to support the heavies. 

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Today I tried heavy OHP and medium deadlifts (21 reps in 3 sets). The medium deadlifts were great. They felt physically hard, but not mentally hard, like the heavies (where I aim for 15 reps in 3 sets, but in reality sometimes have to do heavy triples or singles). Maybe one day I'll be totally badass and just rip all the things off the floor without any anxious anticipation. But for now I think alternating heavies and mediums is great, and it means I'll get deadlifts in twice per week.

 

Here's a fire because it's winter and my fingers are cold.

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c049cc077672e6c6b

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I think you are totally doing the right thing in experimenting what works for you! Just don't get too hard on yourself when the body is fatigued after putting in its best effort. i know for me, DLs and formerly OHPs would require that freshness and I couldn't get any reps of those done if I tried them after other big lifts. Squats and formerly bench, I could usually eek out as secondary lifts. But yes, keep experimenting!

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2 hours ago, Grumble said:

STDs STDS everywhere - STDs STDS everywhere  Everywhere

(I would chime in with something helpful, but I'm like two days late and @CourtnieMarie stole my thoughts.)


Um, STDs everywhere? Not sure I understand. I mean, koalas smell a bit strong, but are they really infectious? IDK. 

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