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Harriet

Harriet's Emergency Stopgap

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I am much less expert than other people who've weighed in, but I really like the idea of having a mix of pulling exercises (specifically, even mix of horizontal and vertical, i.e. chin-ups and rows) - I'm not 100%, but I think it helps more evenly train the muscles involved in different directions of scapular movement used in pulling.

 

Also, I found it easier to start with chin-ups (underhand grip) and eventually start mixing in pull-ups (overhand grip). YMMV, but I found the less challenging movement (chiins) was a great way to work on the scapular engagement, back, and grip strength that was keeping me from doing many pull-ups.

 

Either way, awesome that you're getting some momentum on your lifting journey, and I'm excited to cheer you on!

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13 hours ago, Blocky said:

 

I teach all my clients to pull the bar to the top ab (or at least bottom of the sternum) when doing barbell rows. It reduces strain on the rear delts and recruits more mid back/lats. Plus the elbow can be pulled back further, allowing even the gangliest rower to get the bar to touch...

My brain automatically associated chest=sternum, even though they are very different movement ranges. I think it's also why asked what version she was doing because my brain was also trying to tell me I'm dumb and have no grasp of anatomy.

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14 hours ago, Blocky said:

 

I teach all my clients to pull the bar to the top ab (or at least bottom of the sternum) when doing barbell rows. It reduces strain on the rear delts and recruits more mid back/lats. Plus the elbow can be pulled back further, allowing even the gangliest rower to get the bar to touch...


I did barbell rows yesterday with the mini fixed weight bars, and I found that standing a bit more upright and bringing the bar to the bottom of my sternum worked well. When I started 6 months ago I was trying to be as bent over as possible and it was crazy. It just put a lot of strain on my lower back.

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3 hours ago, MikeW said:

I am much less expert than other people who've weighed in, but I really like the idea of having a mix of pulling exercises (specifically, even mix of horizontal and vertical, i.e. chin-ups and rows) - I'm not 100%, but I think it helps more evenly train the muscles involved in different directions of scapular movement used in pulling.

 

Also, I found it easier to start with chin-ups (underhand grip) and eventually start mixing in pull-ups (overhand grip). YMMV, but I found the less challenging movement (chiins) was a great way to work on the scapular engagement, back, and grip strength that was keeping me from doing many pull-ups.

 

Either way, awesome that you're getting some momentum on your lifting journey, and I'm excited to cheer you on!

 

Thank you! I'll try assisted chin-ups! 

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45 minutes ago, Grumble said:

My brain automatically associated chest=sternum, even though they are very different movement ranges. I think it's also why asked what version she was doing because my brain was also trying to tell me I'm dumb and have no grasp of anatomy.


You're not dumb. I wasn't very specific in my description. But next year, next year I shall join the powerlifting people and get all the form help. 

P.S. I met the staff member who told me about the powerlifting club, and mentioned that I'm not a student and might not be allowed. He said "that can't be right" and promised to look into it for me. So sweet. 

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On 12/13/2018 at 4:14 PM, Harriet said:

My husband, who is taller and heavier than me, eats about the same amount as I do, sometimes less.

 

Metabolism is a mystery. My boyfriend lives on a diet primarily of Bugles, beer, and frozen chicken wings, and yet is notably slender; my workout partner (also male, and about six inches taller than me) eats about 90% carbohydrate, seasoned with the occassional chipolte burrito. If I ate like either of them I'd be even more Jabba-the-Hutt-like than I already am, and I work out more than both of them put together!

 

Life is unfair, is what I think I'm saying.

 

 

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Oops. I'm travelling with Mr Harriet and my father, and I haven't done many of the things I said I would. I left the fish oil and D3 at home. I had wine three nights in a row because we went to restaurants and I just associate restaurants with wine. However, on two of those nights I only had one glass, which is new for me--usually at a restaurant I would have real trouble saying no to a third glass, so I'm not unhappy with the result. I didn't manage to cook much. I did no writing or journaling, but to be fair, our airbnb has a collection of jigsaw puzzles and I think I found my life calling. I can't even begin to explain how addictive, soothing, and right they feel. 

I did do meditation in the mornings, and reluctantly did a few (a very few) bodyweight exercises just so I don't feel like a slob and I'm not totally stiff when I get back to the real weights. 

I am so tired I basically collapsed after our short hike yesterday. I don't know if I'm sick, or if travelling is just inherently exhausting, even if I don't do much. I seem to get extremely tired every time we travel. If it's stress, maybe managing my travel related anxiety will help? If it really is a cold, I need to do something about my ongoing tendency to get frequent minor respiratory infections.

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14 hours ago, DJtrippyT said:

 

Metabolism is a mystery. My boyfriend lives on a diet primarily of Bugles, beer, and frozen chicken wings, and yet is notably slender; my workout partner (also male, and about six inches taller than me) eats about 90% carbohydrate, seasoned with the occassional chipolte burrito. If I ate like either of them I'd be even more Jabba-the-Hutt-like than I already am, and I work out more than both of them put together!

 

Life is unfair, is what I think I'm saying.

 

 


Metabolisms are mysterious things, for sure. I though bugles were a musical instrument though. I'm now imagining your slender boyfriend eating small trumpets. Ahh!

Jabba the Hutt is evil. But fat is not evil. So you are not like Jabba the Hutt even if you are fat. We are all noble* warriors here.

*Even if we are not yet as noble (valiant, kind, industrious, etc.) as we wish, the effort to become more virtuous is itself virtuous, so as long as we strive, we are good.

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Just now, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

If anyone eat some of these without putting at least one on a finger and acting like they are claws they get put on a government watchlist.

 

At least four on each hand. An then chase Husband around the house making monster noises while attempting to stab him with the claws.

 

Playing with food should be encouraged more.

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2 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

 

At least four on each hand. An then chase Husband around the house making monster noises while attempting to stab him with the claws.

 

Playing with food should be encouraged more.

You shouldn't call your spouse food. Be more specific. 

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12 minutes ago, Grumble said:
14 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

 

He's dessert.

That's sweet.

Actually, there is a story of a courtesan who did this--had herself dressed in whipped cream and fruit and served to her guests.

 

Yeah. . .about that reading list. . .this book was entitled The Book of the Courtesans, I think. The author argued that in order to be successful in a profession that resulted in social ostracism, courtesans had to have 9 traits. She then demonstrated those traits by relaying stories of historical courtesans, er, embodying them. Fun read! 

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Really busy with family. Restaurants inevitable. Exhausted. 

My aim for the next few days is to go with the flow and not be stressed. A few days of eating restaurant food is not going to turn me back into the pre-nerd-fitness, pre-lifting monster of sadness who eats pasta and does no exercise every day. 

Went to the gym (took my husband, brother, and his partner*) and lifted. Got more reps of the 155 lb deadlift than last time, but not enough to justifying moving up in weights. Everything else was decidedly not glorious as I was totally exhausted. At least I went. That's much more glorious than not going.

 

*Super skinny, long-distance running partner did a deadlift for the first time. He's so tall and non-bendy that he couldn't reach down low enough, without rounding his shoulders, to do it properly, though. Not sure if this is the beginning of another conversion to the iron. Probably not.

 

Agreed upon dinner for tonight: wine and pizza. Too tired to resits. Resits. resits. resist. Got it. 

 

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21 hours ago, Harriet said:

My aim for the next few days is to go with the flow and not be stressed. A few days of eating restaurant food is not going to turn me back into the pre-nerd-fitness, pre-lifting monster of sadness who eats pasta and does no exercise every day. 

Sounds like good goals! You've got this. If it gets shaky, that extra wine may help. ;) You will be back in the saddle quickly. Nothing to worry about!

 

Happy holidays!

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Ate wtf I wanted. Jambalaya, bread pudding, wine, banana bread, wine, pasta, apple tart, wine, etc. Not worth stressing about. Will eat more modestly when family goes home. Also cooked myself a batch of "mexican" chicken with pinto beans, cauliflower, oregano, cumin, garlic, lime, jalapeños, etc. To be eaten in emergencies, e.g. when family is dithering about food or plans to eat toast with jam for lunch or to skip lunch or other craziness.

 

Lifted. Heavy bench today at 80lb. Got 15 reps in 3 sets. So it's time to move up. Medium squats of 85lb felt really solid. I'm finding if I do a narrower stance, high bar squat and try to cram my lats back and down, then the whole thing feels more solid and less wobbly. I reintroduced dumbbell rows. Only 30lb per hand but at least I know where my lats live now and can try to focus on them. 

 

 

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OH WOW I'm the Ambassador of Acronyms! Woot! 

To celebrate: WTF:

Whirlpool Tyrannosaurus Fred! Wreckage of Tumbled Ferrets? Woot! Toot! Time for Flute! 

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58 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Lifted. Heavy bench today at 80lb. Got 15 reps in 3 sets. So it's time to move up. Medium squats of 85lb felt really solid. I'm finding if I do a narrower stance, high bar squat and try to cram my lats back and down, then the whole thing feels more solid and less wobbly. I reintroduced dumbbell rows. Only 30lb per hand but at least I know where my lats live now and can try to focus on them.

 

I remember having at that lightbulb moment on where my lats are and how to get them involved, and what a tremendous difference it made. Hopefully you'll see the same increase in progress now. :)

 

Also, WTF actually means, Well That's Fantastic. You should start using it when people tell you about their day or just in general. :P 

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23 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

I remember having at that lightbulb moment on where my lats are and how to get them involved, and what a tremendous difference it made. Hopefully you'll see the same increase in progress now. :)

 

Also, WTF actually means, Well That's Fantastic. You should start using it when people tell you about their day or just in general. :P 

 

I hope so. I've been looking around at different strength standards (because I suspect with some disappointment that I'm just weaker than other women, especially looking at the numbers people post for their first year of progress) and symmetricstrength.com told me my assisted pull-up was subpar (which is below untrained, which is below novice, where my other lifts are). So, I need to get my pulling power up to speed. 

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Well, yesterday my family came over and we cooked an entire duck, with stuffing, root veg, & brussels sprouts. I've never cooked an entire bird before. Now I know how, I plan to make chickens and eat them for lunches maybe. I contributed an orange and cranberry sauce, a spicy apple pie with lovingly woven top, and salted caramel sauce for that. We also drank wine and played board games. The family visit is not over yet, so there will be more restaurants and probable overeating. Oh well. I don't have the willpower to sit in a nice restaurant and order the smallest, most depressing dish. So I guess I'm just going to be a smidgen fatter in January. I could try to order delicious things with meat and veg instead of carbs. But often there's not that much choice. 

 

Anyway, I made it to the gym again today (thats' 3 times in 5 days) and got some more reps on my 60lb OHP (4,4,2,3,3). That's more than last time. It was also my medium deadlift day which involved lifting 130lb for 3 sets of 8. Tiring. But I have faith that it will assist with my heavy deadlift days and hopefully just make me fitter.

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On 12/26/2018 at 4:49 PM, Harriet said:

deadlift day which involved lifting 130lb for 3 sets of 8.

sets of 8 is crazy draining on DL for sure. I used to do 8-10 rep range sets and was just dead afterwards.  Dropped to the 5 reps per set range after reading starting strength. Still draining, but more of a strength workout and less of a cardio heart attack lol

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On 12/26/2018 at 4:49 PM, Harriet said:

Well, yesterday my family came over and we cooked an entire duck, with stuffing, root veg, & brussels sprouts. I've never cooked an entire bird before. Now I know how, I plan to make chickens and eat them for lunches maybe

Nice! Cooking for/with others is so much fun :)

 

On 12/26/2018 at 4:49 PM, Harriet said:

Anyway, I made it to the gym again today (thats' 3 times in 5 days)

You're doing better than I am! Got there the 24th and then yesterday. Oh, well. I hurt my elbow anyway pushing it with curls (How stupid is that? Big movements, no problem, but done in by my own stubbornness over curls.), so I have been kind of backing off, but yeah, more busy time with family-for which I am grateful!

 

Your pie is lovely. :) I don't have that kind of patience/dexterity. 

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So, I started this challenge feeling stressed and depressed because I had been removed from my routine. Then I came home and said I would do:

 

Daily meditation

Healthy home cooking for most meals
No wine at home
Walking & cycling everywhere
Lifting 3 times per week
Hill walks for cardio on non-lifting days

Eat the vitamin D tablets daily
Do a little bit of journaling every morning


I did all these things most of the time for a couple of weeks, except for extra cardio on non-lifting days. I figured I was doing a minimum of 6 hours of walking per week anyway, so when I didn't feel like hill walks I didn't do them. Instead, I ended up doing writing (short stories) every afternoon. 

Until my family came on the 17th. Since then there has been no meditation, little cooking, many restaurants, much wine, no journaling. We went to San Francisco for a few days and basically ate at cafes and restaurants for every single meal. I did still lift as much as possible, though. I'm not sure if there's a better way to deal with visits and travelling, because socialising and sightseeing is just so exhausting for me--it takes all my energy. All I want to do when I get a few minutes to myself is just to be mindless and disconnect, not do writing, meditation, meal planning and grocery shopping (especially not for five people, one of whom is vegetarian, another of whom eats no dairy). Sigh. I am less fatigued than I used to be, but my ordinary routine still uses up most of my energy, and the lifting and meal planning/cooking take up a lot of time as they involve walking across the city. The only big thing I achieved during family time was not freaking out and feeling awful about all the restaurant food. I went with the flow a bit. But now I feel a bit frustrated at having lost so much time from my goals.

Oh well. At least we're back from SF, some of the family has gone home, and things may slow down a bit. So I'm going to claim more time for cooking and other things.

 

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