Getting Back To It
After a week of rest I found myself this morning ready to give it everything that I had, as much as I needed physical rest last week, I think what I truly needed was a mental break. I reached a point at the end of the previous week were the last thing I wanted to do was go to a gym.
Everything about working out would make me whine, or make me feel bitter. I started asking myself why the hell do I have to struggle like this, how is that so many people can live their entire lives not worried about weight, and I have to stress about this shit every day. I had reached and passed my boiling point.
As much as I whine I have a relatively high pain threshold, I think it’s from years of getting my ass kicked by my brother, and getting bitch slapped by my parents. What can I say they raised us old school, I didn’t even get the true ire of their “physical discipline”, by the time I was maturing my parents had started aging, so their bark had become more potent than their bite. In any case when I reach a point of frustration or that moment just beyond my boiling point I mentally either just zone out, or get really pissed.
The week before last, I had just gone to my happy place, and decided to mentally check out. My body was so tired I didn’t like getting out of bed in the morning, the alarm could go off and I would hit the snooze three or four times, normally I get up after the first buzzer.
Even during my rest week, I found myself dwelling in that bad mental place of why do I have to feel this way, why do I have to work so hard, and why do I have to be overly conscious about what I eat? Why oh why?
Walking over to Crossfit this morning, I didn’t have a single ounce of my sullen bullshit. I was just ready to get to work. After the warm-up, I was mentally prepared for anything. It no longer mattered why; I was just geared up to “do”.
I don’t care why I have to go through what I am going through, as much as it sucks, it feels fantastic to make the progress that I have, the changes to my lifestyle are permanent, and truly I have made a deep inherent choice albeit it was one I had to make, my life depended on it. I will find a reason later; today I am only concerned in the daily jour…I mean evolution of my life. I’m trying to enjoy the road I’m on as much as the place I’m going to…
In the past the feelings I had two weeks ago would have basically taken me out for the season. I would have used my rest week to indulge in everything I have deprived myself from, and when I say deprived I actually mean have chosen not to eat. Since the change in my diet I have seldom felt deprived, although for a cheat meal soon I am going to have a good old fashioned fatty, greasy hamburger. In any case my past reaction to a week of feeling bad would have been to continue down that spiral by choosing to eat shit, unraveling everything I had done leading up to this bad mental spot.
I found myself last week in a completely different mindset, even though I was exhausted, during the rest week I found it harder to stay away from the gym, a part of me wanted me to get more workouts to make up for the poor performance the previous week, I’m glad I stuck to the plan. That week off has put my mind in a place completely prepared for progressive action towards my goals.
As Sam would say “Let’s Go!”
I started my morning at Crossfit. After four straight days of doing little to no physical activity I was looking forward to my session with Liz.
The warm-up was one of the shorter ones I’ve had at Crossfit, I had to row 1000 meters, Liz wanted me to concentrate on my technique so that I was making sure to fully extend my torso backwards at the apex of the row. I found that this small extension at the end of my motion helps create a longer stride and causes a more rhythmic action.
After my warm-up Liz had me work on two heavy lifting motions. For the first time I did front squats and overhead presses with weight. For both of the exercises my work set would involve doing 3 sets of 3, working up to each work set I ended up doing at least 4 to 5 sets of lighter weights partially as a warm-up, and partially to figure out what weight I could handle.
The front squats I found far more difficult for me than the back squats, because of a lack of shoulder flexibility, I can’t quite get my arms in the right position, which is causing pressure on my wrists. It almost feels as if the entire bar is resting on my bent wrists, which doesn’t feel good.
For the front squats I ended up doing 2 sets of 3 reps at 105 lbs, and my final set at 110 lbs. Watch the uncoordinated behavior below. Notice how on the downward motion the bar moves slight forward because my shoulders are not bearing the weight, in this front racked position you are supposed to rest the bar on your shoulders with your elbow pointed upward which creates a “shelf” on the front of your shoulders, I can’t get my arms around that far because my shoulders are too tight causing me to brace the weight on my wrists.
For the overhead presses the weight progression was the same as the front squats, 2 sets at 105 lbs and 1 set at 110 lbs. My shoulders feel strange, during one of the reps I felt a pinch in my left rotator cuff, it wasn’t painful but just uncomfortable. I don’t think its injury related I think it’s just some muscles I haven’t ever used. Again watch my uncoordinated pressing below:
Following the pressing motions above, the Metcon portion of the workout involved doing 10 slam balls, 10 dumbbell push presses, and 30 jumps with the jump rope. I was total to go for 12 minutes to see how many rounds I could complete in that time.
The slam ball was something new, it’s similar to the overhead medicine ball slam, but being Crossfit the motion involves an extra step. Instead of just slamming the ball using just the torso, the Crossfit Slam ball involves slamming the ball into a squat position, you are using your legs to power the entire motion downward.
The push presses were done with two 25 lbs dumbbells. I was able to complete 7 full rounds, and during my partial round I was able to get 10 slam balls and 6 push presses. Watch the video below:
At the end of the workout I rolled around on the ground, and whined a bit to Liz, she wasn’t sympathetic. An hour after Crossfit I felt great. The entire day I felt charged up.
In the evening after work I went to Washington Sports Club, and did an hour of Cardio on the Arc Trainer. It has been some time since I’ve used an Arc Trainer, so during my session of Mountain I decided to keep the resistance and incline a hair lower than I normally would, yet I did try and push the intensity as high as I could during the entire session.
I warmed up for 5 minutes, and then raised the incline to 10 and the resistance to 40 for my first step. Normally Mountain involves doing 12, 3-minute upward steps in either resistance or incline. I decided to do 15 steps. I increased the resistance by 5 levels until I reached 100; I then increased the incline by five for the final three cycles. When I finished the final upward step I had completed 50 minutes so I decided to just go for another 10 minutes and make it an even hour.
The cardio session was a mental challenge, the first 23 minutes was rough, I was pushing physically hard but felt I wanted to quit for almost every minute. I had to keep telling myself don’t quit now, I had to get it into my head that I wasn’t leaving the gym until I finished the entire Mountain session.
After minute 25 my mind set changed from wanting to quit, to a deep desire to finish what I had started. As the resistance increased I could feel my body getting stronger, the closer the time got to the end the stronger my resolve became, and ultimately I pushed beyond the 12 steps of Mountain, and did 3 more, I did these 3 extra steps either out of spite, or punishment. Is it possible to spite yourself?
I get now why they call this workout Mountain. It’s like climbing a Mountain, until you can see the summit you are asking yourself why the hell am I doing this, then when the summit nears you get the fever and push until you reach the top.
My day turned out to be a great step back on the weight loss bus. I ate well, and got in two strong workouts. Tomorrow morning I have a session with Ian, I’m looking forward to another strong day on Tuesday.