Eight Weeks Out And Counting

 

“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

-Buddha

Yesterday marks the 8-week out milestone to stage day! Woo! Hoo!   It’s crunch time!

Pinch me!  Rarely do I have the house to myself; it’s a treat. As I write this, my home is completely silent. Well… other than the tapping sounds of my keyboard and Alex’s paws strolling around the kitchen floor looking for crumbs.

Alex

Speaking of crumbs, there’s probably lots of those on the floor these days. I don’t dare peak. Training has minimized house cleaning..  Oh wow!  Birds are chirping out back. Lovely!  As I was saying, training has cut into house cleaning, plant watering, and other household chores.  But–the fort is still standing and that’s what matters, so I’m over the dust.  LOL!

My training is going well.  To reduce the risk of burning muscle, CossFit is only an option when my work and family schedule prevents me from getting to the gym, which is occasionally.

We’re going heavier with the weights.  Legs, arms, shoulders, back… legs, arms, shoulders, back… and so on.  Three sets. Yes, of course we’re doing ab work, everybody wants to see abs on stage.

The American Natural Bodybuilding Federation held a competition in my area last weekend, so I got the chance to see a show from a competitors perspective.  It was awesome and lots of positive energy!  The competitors looked amazing. With my friend/trainer seated next to me, I learned the do’s and don’t’s of being on stage.

Walking, stage presence, transitioning, posing, and more.  Very helpful, I found this was.  The show was great and I loved more than I expected to.

Attending the show help me to realize that I should also have fun too.  Of course, not so much fun that I lose focus, but don’t take myself too serious and let my personality shine.

Consistent practice will bring me comfort and confidence, which is what I need to rock the stage.  I’ll get there.

Sunday mornings, I spend about an hour walking and posing in my five-inch heels.  Did I say Sunday?  Yes!  OMG!  Sundays are usually my rest days, but I’ve given them up.  I am going to do whatever I have to do to win this.  Win!  So what I’m a novice, if I put the work into training, I should expect the best, so there it is, I said the “W” world.  🙂

I finally have some pictures for you.  Forgive my hair and tired looking face…LOL!  It’s Sunday Morning!

Standig sideways

Posing is much harder than it looks.  Viewing pictures of myself help me to visualize what I should and should not look like on stage. I was so focused on the pose, that I forgot to smile.  LOL!  I won’t do that on competition day!

side pose

In this picture, I’m learning how to do a side pose.  I have to work on those stiff hands. Ugh!!

back pose

This is the back pose.  I’m amazed at how my back has grown and developed.  All of the hard work is paying off. There are those stiff hands again!  Working in progress!

Fall/Winter 2013

 Progress!   October/December 2013

edited back

March 2014

Think Forward and…   Happy Sunday!

Thursday’s WOD

SWOD
Skill: Light snatch technique work – 10 minutes

WOD  15 minutes @ moderate effort

300m Row

60 sec plank hold

100 Single Unders

This afternoon I got high in CrossFit!  Well, at least that’s what I felt like during the WOD.  The rush of doing a little cardio sent my adrenaline into high gear!

Working on my snatch technique was much-needed. Snatches aren’t something I do in my figure training, so I was glad to get some practice reps in. I appreciate the way our trainer broke the technique down into move by move-it helped.

As soon as I positioned my feet and grabbed the handles to row, my heart raced like I was competing in the Olympics or something.  The thing is, I wasn’t looking forward to competing with anyone, I was just looking forward to the euphoric state, the endorphin rush, and the wonderful feeling I get from an intense cardio workout.   It’s my addiction.

The WOD wasn’t overly challenging, but enough for me to breakout into a nasty sweat.  Twenty seconds into my last plank and in the most sinister way, the coach placed a 25 pound weight on my back and another member’s back.

“Don’t move!  Hold it! Only 40 seconds to go.”

Putting myself in a meditative state of mind, I deeply inhaled…  slowly exhaled, concentrated on my body and held on!  By the way, I LOVED every second of it and I’m glad he did it.   Awesome!

Sweet dreams! 🙂

Wednesday’s WOD

Warm Up:  3 RDS of

50 DU’s (Double Under’s)/100 Singles

10 Push Ups

15 Sit Ups

Mobility:  7 MIN

SWOD:  10 MIN EMOM

5-10 Pull UPS + 10 Air Squats

WOD:    10 RDS

Row 40 SEC     *10 SEC Transition

Hollow Rocks/Sit Ups 40 SEC

These days, any day that I can do a CrossFit class is an added bonus. When I normally take  CrossFit classes several days a week, I usually schlep into the 3:30 class wishing I’d stopped by Wawa for a 12 ounce cup of Joe, but not today.  I was ready for whatever was in store for me.

No weight lifting was included in today’s WOD.  On the white board, the WOD looked easy. Ha! Ha!  I know better!  The coach’s instructions were:

“If you use bands for your pull up’s, challenge yourself by using a thinner band.”

I did just that. The first minute, I knocked out 10 pull ups, the second minute 9, the remaining eight minutes, I literally squeezed out four or five for each minute and I used a thin blue band. I’m happy!

I’ve missed rowing terribly, so when I sat down on the equipment, I could have stayed there for the rest of the WOD.

The greatest challenge for me? Hollow Rocks!  Hollow Rocks!  They were horrible.  I tried to conquer the Hollow Rocks, but today they got the best of me.  Lol!  Next time HR’s!!

Ten minutes from now, the 11:00 O’Clock news will be on. I’m exhausted.  If we get the snow and ice forecasted, I could get the chance to sleep in late tomorrow.  But I can’t be certain now so I’m going to sleep. When the alarm clock goes off at 4:40 a.m., I’d like to be some what coherent.

Good Night!

Can I Do More?

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”Mahatma Ghadni

Wednesday was Back Day. 

“How is your back?”

“..back feels great!”

“Ugh!  You’re impossible!”

“Lol!”

Two days post workout, my back muscles should have felt a little sore, but they didn’t.  I keep asking, “What is WRONG with me?”   During the workout, she pushed me hard. My muscles burned with intensity, yet two days later, I felt GREAT!  A little too great!  Lol!

I never thought  being “too conditioned” would be a challenge, but it is.

Thinking back to my summer regime makes me laugh.   In July and August 2013, I did CrossFit five (5) days per week.  Some days I ran a short (3-5 miles) after CrossFit and enjoyed every step.  My lifestyle has conditioned me well.

When I say that I am a junkie, I am serious.  Oh man, the highs of working out! Endorphins kick in and the day’s agenda is history.  I’ve pretty much worked out with intensity my entire life.   Running 5+ miles daily, studying Tung-So-Do, teaching fitness classes, and more recently CrossFit and figure training.

Wednesday’s workout was tough. I was eager to use my new Versa Gripps gloves and boy, did they make a difference! They gave me a better grip, so I lifted heavier and with more confidence.  No more slipping and sliding!  I am amazed at how a glove can make such a difference.

I don’t whine or complain so when my trainer adds weight, I appear skeptical (at times) but I push through the reps anyway and often surprise myself.

Sometimes I feel like she has more confidence in my strength then I do.

At least on one occasion, I crawled to the next station (in the fitness room where group classes are held).  Haaaa!  Haaa!  No shame in my game!  That particular day was a leg workout and my legs were fried.

I recognize that I need to push myself harder- Not  just physically but mentally too.  I’m beginning to understand weight training is more about mental will and less about physical strength.

With each rep, I have to ask myself, ask myself, Can I do more?  Mentally I need to psych myself into believing I can do more and push harder.  In weight training, there is no place for passiveness.

Ironically, when it comes to running, I NEVER second guess myself–regardless of the distance or conditions. Always confident, I can do this, through knee pain and the other discomforts of distance running.

I have to adopt this mindset on the gym floor. Come competition day, I will be standing beside many amazing women. I don’t want to simply be just another girl on stage, but a woman who makes her presence known by walking away with a trophy or two!

Yes, I can and I will do more!

Today is hubby’ birthday, so I’m off to breakfast duty!

Have a great day!

Leg day… Week 17

gru·el·ing
[groo-uh-ling, groo-ling]

1. exhausting; very tiring; arduously severe: the grueling Boston marathon
2. any trying or exhausting procedure or experience.

G R U E L I N G!!     Is the only way to describe yesterday’s leg workout   All of the exercises, or shall I say the “amount of weight,” made for a profusely nitty-gritty, and nasty workout.

If I had to pinpoint which exercise took me over the edge…  I’d have to say the seated leg presses tops the list.

I did:

  • Three (3) rounds each starting at 270+   (Six 45 pounds weights, three on each side,  plus the weight of the equipment)
  • 6-8 Reps.  After a set is completed, I pause for a second (literally) and one (1) weight is removed…  On to the next 6-8 counts, then another weight is removed…
  • …the process continues until I am pressing with only the weight of the machine

At any moment, I expected my hamstrings to explode.  With pure ugliness on my face, all the willpower and determination I could muscle up, and with my friend’s encouragement, I did it!

I barely stood up…  feeling like big foot had risen again!!  I could only feebly wobble a few steps before gaining composure.  Lol!!   My “friend” kicked my butt yesterday.  Did I say “friend?”  Lol!

Umm … what else?  My first time using the HOIST!!   If you ask me, the “Beast” is a better suited name for this equipment.  Don’t let the smooth and sleek look of it fool you; it will work your gluts very well.

20140204-123342.jpg

While I’d I’d like to post videos of my workouts, my friend and trainer is all about business. Just putzing around for an extra few seconds will get me dirty looks.  If I take time to snap snap or shoot a video, I can’t even begin to imagine what she will have me doing.  Take for example, if I let a weight down too quickly– the rep doesn’t count… do it again!

I respect her knowledge and commitment toward my goal and cannot ask for any more from her.  So for now, I will have to tell you about my workouts.

Last weeks Barbell Squats to a Bench had my hamstrings and gluts aching for nearly a week.  Yesterday we, I mean “I” did deeper squats down to a stepper with four risers on each side.  We’re— why do I keep saying, “We?”   Lol!  I do about three sets of everything.  Heavier weights nets eight reps; a tad bit lighter nets 12 reps.  Either case, with each rep, I’m pushing harder.

I am stretched out in the bed now, resting my achy muscles and trying to finish today’s one gallon water bottle.  I started out strong at work, but then slowed down around 5 p.m.

Today's water consumption progress.

Today’s water consumption progress.

B’Dazzle’s school had a mandatory parent meeting at 6 p.m., So I slowed up on the water because I didn’t want to keep jumping up and down to go to the bathroom. Workout days are easy to drink water than rest days. The frigid temperatures here in Jersey does not entice me to drink water. Every day I force myself to chug it down.

I’m looking forward to a few heat waves this summer.  Give me steamy hot weather any day. This cold weather stinks. And I’m going to sleep.

Sweet dreams!

Today’s WOD

“Life is a grindstone. Whether it grinds us down or polishes us up depends on us.”

                                -L. Thomas Holdcroft

If you buy into all the hype and the commercialism feeding into the holiday season, I pity you. If you don’t and instead, embrace the true meaning of the holiday, congratulations! Maturing cleared my perspective very well.

Don’t get me wrong, I buy holiday gifts for my loved ones too. But the gifts that I buy are in the spirit of giving and expressing my gratitude and the genuine love in my heart for my family and friends. My gifts are selected very thoughtfully with each person in mind. I search to find the special gift that will plaster a genuine smile on their faces. Oh gosh, I really enjoy the search.

Before the holiday season arrive, my strategy is already in place. I think about the who, the what, and the how much. Realistically, I think about how much time I can dedicate to decorating, cooking, especially since Christmas dinner is at my home. This keeps the stress at bay.

Look at these lovely treats I picked up yesterday! I brought them from a friend who owns a catering business. She saved me a lot of time.  Thank you Ms. Trixi!   I cannot wait to try your beautiful creations!

Oooh la-la! Chocolate covered strawberries

Chocolate covered pretzel sticks

Chocolate covered pretzel nuggets

Because I knew my Christmas Eve day would be busy, I crawled into bed early last night. Early for me is 9:30 p.m. By 5:30 a.m. this morning, my iPod was in full effect. As my head bopped to the sound of my favorite workout tunes and Beyoncé’s, “Drunk in Love,” I was in my zone. First stop… Kohl’s. It was empty!! Heeeeey! And that’s the way I like it. The sales people are rested and fresh and most folk are in an upbeat mode.

I shopped from 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. And then…. CROSSFIT!!!! LOL! That’s right. I planned ahead and wore my workout gear to shop. I had a shake, an apple, and other snacks in the car. I swear, my car looks like I live in there– Several pairs of sneaks (suitable for each workout), shake bottles, towels, iPod, gym bag, locks, supplement, quite a few water bottles, and only God knows what else. I’m a neat freak and the visual drives me nuts, but my workouts are more important than the neatness of my car.  It is what it is!

"Some" of the healthy snacks in my car

“Some” of the healthy snacks in my car

Just one pair of the funky crossfit sneaks in my car.  Lol!

Just one pair of the funky crossfit sneaks in my car. Lol!

Gloves, locks, my ipod, and other "stuff" fills my gym bag.

Gloves, locks, my iPod, and other “stuff” fills my gym bag.


Okay so the WOD!  The WOD!!!  The WOD!!!   Oh my goodness!!

200 Kettle Bell Thrusters (100 L /100 R)  955/35

-Each time you break yields 5 Calorie row or SDHP 55/35)

100 Burpees – Each break yields 10 Pull UPs

100 Abmat Wallballs (20/14) – Each break yields 10 Box Jumps)

40 Min Cap!

 

Not that 200 KB Thrusters are not a challenge, but to further challenge myself, I did the first 100 (50 each arm) were with a 26-pound KB. For the remaining 100, I decreased to a 16 pound KB. -I didn’t take any breaks during these.

Dem damn Burpees! I’m shaking my head just thinking about them. LOL! I thought I would never finish, but I did and with only one break, so I did 10 pull ups.

Only after one (1) Abmat Wallball (with a 14 pound ball), I rolled over… saturated the floor in sweat, then I got my butt up and attached the box with 10 box jumps. Old tunes by DMX loudly vibrated off the walls and I so wanted to break out into a dance atop the box, but I thought I’d look ridiculous and needed to preserve my energy, so I continued jumping and got back to the Abmat Wallballs.

Thankfully a fellow crossFitter, who already completed the WOD, saw my struggle.

“Do you want me to get a lighter ball?”

Barely audible, I mumble  a grateful, “Oh God, yes thank you!”

Right then and there I just wanted to scrape myself off the floor and kiss her!  LOL!  So I went from a 14 pound ball to a 10 pound ball and, with genuine encouragement from my peeps, completed the WOD within the 40 minute cap.  I forgot to look at the clock, but I think I finished somewhere between 33 and 35 minutes. Woot! Woot!!

I came home, finished wrapping, cooked chicken for tomorrow’s dinner and wrote this post. Soon, the fireplace will be melting wood sipping on… I don’t know yet… probably Cabernet or a Cosmo. Either case, it is well-earned today.

Thank you so much for visiting and for following Lexa’s Journal!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

One of several Santa's that rests on the staircase.

One of several Santa’s that rests on the staircase.