The first day of the rest of my life. ..
In honor of what is symbolically the first day of the rest of my life, I decided it would be a good idea to work out with as much intensity as I could muster on 5 hours of sleep, and strictly adhering to the meal plan which has gotten me to this new weight.
The morning was spent making my rounds to the washes, and also picking up my car at the first site. I was disoriented from the lack of sleep; I never sleep well at my parent’s house. Something about the way sound travels in the house makes it hard for me to relax. It was also difficult in the morning to drink any water; which kept my dehydrated most of the day; I found it impossible to put down any water.
As I am typing I realize that it seems that perhaps I whine a bit…okay maybe I do but…my body is going through significant changes in a relatively short period of time, and I am stressing it on a daily basis…yeah I whine like a little bitch…if you don’t like my whining, then why fuck are you still reading this line…you’re an ass…I know I’m an ass…do you know if you are one yet?
At 1:30 PM I had my first 1 on 1 session at Potomac Cross Fit. I have been mesmerized by the videos of their Friday Night Throw downs. I’m not intrigued by the men, if you’ve seen one meathead push weight or do something physically impressive you expect it to be honest they all look the same, what impresses me are the women. They don’t look like ripped steroid freaks, but fit lean women, performing powerful maneuvers with impressive weights. It’s just remarkable and deep down I desire to be a 16 year old girl.
My “Coach” is a woman, her name is Liz. She’s petite, attractive, but underneath her workout clothes you can tell she has powerful shoulders. A true lady “athlete”, this is the term that Cross Fit likes to use for all of its members.
I signed up for 6 session of what they call “Foundations”; it’s the teaching of the basic motions involved in their training method. My first class of foundations involved learning the Cross-Fit method of squats, sit-ups, push-ups, box jumps, assisted pull ups, and an introduction to methodology behind their training programs. They are big believers in targeting big muscles groups, performing full body motions, and creating short intense workouts. All of the regular classes are focused around group classes, the idea being that we are all on a sports team doing dills with the coach. On a daily basis the Coaches post the WoD or Workout of the Day on a white board, and peoples workout times are posted.
Sessions involve a warm-up, some type of low rep heavy weight power lifting, the lifts being done in 3-4 sets, and then the session is concluded with a 2-4 exercise “workout”, each exercise being doing in a short circuit which is repeated 3-5 times with the focus being on constant motion. The short circuit is what they call the “workout”. It’s about intensity. For the 10-15 minute stretch it takes to complete the “workout” the idea is run your motor at 110%, the group workouts are supposed to be motivating, and a team environment exists among the “athletes”.
Most of what we worked on today was similar to motions that I’ve already done, with subtle variations. The one motion which was very different for me was the Cross-Fit squat. The Cross-Fit squat is more like an Olympic Power lifting squat. You have take a wider stance, than more traditional squat and you have to slightly flare your feet outward.
Further when lowering your hips you are trying to get your quads just past parallel. It took me a while to get a reference point to how low I should lower my butt, so Liz stacked some weight plates on the ground to a the height at which I should reach the apex of the contractions, the point where my butt touched the weight plates.
My “workout” today with Liz involved three exercises, push-ups from my knees, sit-ups, and squats. I had to do 5 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and 15 squats. She set the Cross-Fit timer to 10 minutes and then I was told to do as many revolutions as I could, I was able to complete 7 full circuits.
After my first Cross-Fit session I was happy to have finally gotten the chance to workout at this gym, I was a bit dissatisfied in the workout, when we finished the 10 minutes I felt like I had just gotten a good started, which was disappointing, but at the same time reassuring because it tells me I can handle their method. I’m sure as we add weight to the motions they will become more difficult.
My afternoon was spent resting; eating some food, a quick trip to the dog park, I then was right back at the gym to workout with Ali.
I warmed up on the treadmill raising the incline by 1 level every minute for 15 minutes; I did this at a speed of 3.1 mph. The workout began with boxing. Not having had a good boxing session in almost a week my punches were crisp, and each time I hit the gloves you could hear the pop from all ends of the gym. I was imagining myself as the Korean Manny Pacquiao, just heavier and not as fast.
Having already worked my legs in the early afternoon the last thing I wanted to do was more leg work, but Ali’s 6th sense picked up on that feeling and of course he worked the legs and shoulders. Right after the boxing I did a minute each of a full body chop and shoulder press, step ups, and lunges across the gym floor. We then went right back into more boxing. This time the emphasis really was on power. I tried hard to use my entire body and power through the punches.
Following the second go around of boxing, he had me do several variations of lunges across the gym floor which involved some type of either balancing of a dumbbell out to my side, or in front, or a press straight upward, or moving my arms across my body. On two of the lunge passes across the gym I had to hold a 15 lb medicine ball above my head, immediately afterwards I had to for a minute toss the ball at the ceiling of the building catch it above my head and repeat, all without allowing my arms to drop below my chest.
We again did more boxing, followed by a squat and press using a front squat isolation machine, he wanted me to do a half squat and then power upward raising the sled above my head. I did 20 reps with two different weights, which was rapidly followed by more lunges and squats.
By the end of the hour session I was squatted out. I could start to feel that my legs were having a hard time supporting my body weight.
Concluding my session with Ali, I went straight to the locker room to change my workout gear for my first core class. My gym offers an 8 week small group training class which is limited to about 8 people per class each one focusing on a particular area of work, I chose this class because core exercises aren’t necessarily the most fun to do, and the probability I would attempt to the hold any position for 1 minute durations without a third party keeping me accountable is most assuredly a zero.
It’s an hour long class of basically wanting to kill yourself. The abdominal work sucks, the back work sucks, and the gluteus work sucks too. It’s about as entertaining as watching Sarah Palin on her failed reality TV show, or watching Mr. T do 1-800-priceline commercials.
This class was similar to the ones performed at the ranch, but a bit more intense because the trainer can focus on a smaller group of people. With less people there are fewer people to correct so we do more exercises’. There is hardly room to rest between exercises.
I had a tough day, I’m sure I’ll be feeling all the work in the morning.
My desire to push my body physically is slowly turning into an obsession. During my core class I could see that my face is starting to square out. I was still staring at a moon pie face in the mirror, but I could see that my cheeks, and chin are starting to form a more masculine shape.
I’m spending the night at my mother’s so I can drive her to the hospital in the morning for her knee surgery. We have to leave her house at 4:30 AM so we can get her checked in by 5:00 AM for her procedure.
So after 30 days of being home I’ve stuck to the original game plan, yet I am starting to re-evaluate my meal plan. I am reading several books about nutrition, and trying to develop a game plan that is more suited to becoming athletic, and lean not just skinny. I know that the present calorie deficit method will work a bit longer, but my body is becoming worn. Partially from the work, but I also think that I’m not giving it enough of what it needs to work at the intensity levels that I do.
Calories in versus calories out can’t be the whole thing; I wonder how many more calories a day I need to eat for every pound of lean muscle that I build. There is most assuredly a better way, life is too short to have to weigh every piece of food I eat, and measure precisely my portions.
Where is the next level of existence? Where is the sustainable long term method of physical well being, it has to be rooted in the nutritional aspects of my program, but how do I find that new level of understanding? That method which controls my food intake without having to balance them on a food scale, this perhaps is the million dollar question.