Time to eat AGAIN?

It’s 10:30am and I can’t even look at food.

I just started working with a new trainer and I’m determined to gain some muscle.  I am always complaining about not being strong enough, and not having enough gains, while at the same time doing the things that I know won’t get me there.

I have had countless trainers and friends tell me I don’t eat enough, and that when I run/lift/crossfit like a crazy woman without enough fuel in me, my body is using my muscle for fuel.   It’s looking for energy, and it can’t find any, so it eats the very part of me I’m trying to grow.  Blast.

I know this, but I also love training.  And I hate eating.  Ha. I never wake up hungry.   By lunch time, I’m often still not hungry and will nibble on a salad.  I might get the urge for a snack around 3.  Then I work out.  Fueled by… pretty much nothing.  And then I eat something for dinner around 7:30.

On Monday I got an RMR test done to see what’s going on with my metabolism.  Everyone always assumes I have a fast metabolism because I’m lean, but knowing my eating habits I suspected that was not the case.  I was right, but it was worse than I thought.  My resting metabolic rate, the calories I burn daily while just at rest, is 1120.  That’s not much, y’all.

So my new trainer is putting me on a plan to reverse the damage, which means tracking calories again, which I haven’t done in forever.  I set out yesterday with a plan to eat more, and aim for around 1500-1800 calories.  No problem, I thought.  I’ve done this before.  In fact, when I track my calories for cutting before shows, I am at about 1400-1500/day.  So I figured this would be no problem.

I ate breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack and then went home from work and crashed on the couch.  I was so full from the day I couldn’t imagine eating more.  I entered my foods online to see where I was… 950.

950 and I was full and bloated and felt like I’d been eating all dang day.  So clearly my metabolism is jacked.

I ate my dinner anyway and a snack before bed, getting me to 1590.  Ugh.  So.  Full.

This morning I ate breakfast and just had my snack.  And I would be happy not to eat again all day.  But, it’s day two of German Volume Training, so I will be squatting a bunch tonight, and I need to follow orders.

“We’re going to treat you like an old school bodybuilder,” new trainer says.  “You need to lift heavy, and you need to eat, and skip cardio for now.”

It’s like he’s trying to get me not to like him. 🙂

But for once I’m going to listen and see where it gets me.  Eat, lift, eat. Don’t run. And maybe I’ll grow.

This new plan does at least allow for more pool time.

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As long as I don’t swim any laps.

 

 

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Girls Just Wanna Have… a Workout

My new Crossfit gym hosted a workout challenge for girls only on Sunday.  They announced that it would be a partner WOD, but that if you didn’t have a partner they would match you up.  I am never a big fan of partner WODs, because I feel pressure not to let my partner down, especially if that person is a stranger, but I thought I would be brave and show up.

We knocked out some running and stretching, and then they asked who didn’t have a partner and there were a few others… I was matched with a girl named Kat and we said our hellos. Say what you want about Crossfit – I know there are a ton of people who aren’t fans of it — but Crossfit people are by and large very nice and friendly.  That community vibe is part of what got me addicted to it.

Here’s what we did for a workout.  We kicked things off with ten rounds of:

5 Pullups

10 Push ups

15 Squats

It was ten rounds total, so I did a round of that and then Kat did, and we just went back and forth until we completed ten rounds.   After that we hit the door for tire flips.

I wish I had pictures of everything, but I don’t so use your imagination.  We had to do 12 flips, so we split them up six and six.

Now, at this point we were supposed to go back into the gym and do 8 rounds of the pull ups, push ups and squats.  But Kat and I were so pumped we ran on over and did the sled push task too.  First I sat on the sled and Kat pushed me 50m and then we switched.  At that point the coach told us we goofed… so we had to do 14 rounds of pull ups, push ups and squats.  Ouch.

The next task was the heavy rope jump.  It’s a really thick rope, like the one we climbed, and we had to do 12 jumps each.  This was probably the toughest challenge for me because the rope was so heavy and cumbersome, and I’d never done it before.

Back into the gym — this time for 4 rounds of the pull ups, push ups and squats.

Back outside for partner carry.  Kat grabbed my arm and flipped me onto her back “fireman style” no problem.

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She sprinted for 50m.  Then we switched and I carried her piggy back style.  I wanted to stop and rest but I toughed it out for 50m.

Back into the gym — this time for only two rounds of the pull ups, push ups and squats.

Last task – the rope climb.  This is one of the few Crossfit activities that came fairly easily to me, so I’ve been able to do it for a while.  Still, after all those pull ups and push ups my arms were pretty shaky.

I gave myself a minute to rest and shake them out, then I got on the rope!

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Made it!  Time to ease myself back down…

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It was tough to say how Kat and I “placed” because it wasn’t set up exactly like a race.  Some of the tasks were crowded so we had to wait our turn to do them.  (Which was nice, because it gave us time to breathe.)  I would guess there were about 50 girls there, because all gyms in the area were invited, and maybe half of them modified the movements, like using bands on pull ups and such, so it wasn’t an apples to apples comparison.

Still, I would say Kat and I did pretty well.   I was on a high for the rest of the day, and I can’t wait for the next one!

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Peak Week

….Also known as “The Week Where I Forget a Lot of Stuff, Let My House Get Really Messy, Drink a Lot of Water, and Get Ridiculously Tan” – but peak week is shorter, so let’s go with that.

This is the week where I finally see what the final “package” is going to be.  This is when I drop the heavy weights, pick up a little cardio, drink a ton of water and make sure I get rid of it by Saturday.

On Monday, I increased my water intake.  Two gallons.  I carried this little monster around all day.

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I got in some lifting with my Crossfit friends at noon.  My strength wasn’t great, but I modified the weight and was able to do the whole workout.

After work I got to the gym for my cardio, but they were doing something to the parking lot and workers told me to go around to the back.  No one else was there and it’s in a shopping mall and I get off work at 11pm, so I looked around and decided I didn’t want to use their machines that badly.

I went home and ran some “deadmill” sprints.  (Those are sprints where you don’t turn the treadmill on, so you are using your legs to force the surface to move.)

On Tuesday I felt really tired so I slept in and skipped Crossfit. After work I got to the “big” gym before it closed.  I grabbed a stairmaster and got in 25 minutes before they were turning the lights out.   Oh, and I drank about 1.5 gallons of water throughout the day.

I also spent a lot of time here.

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I wish I could have just napped in a corner of the gym, because I was back on the same stairmaster this morning for 40 minutes.  This will probably be my last workout before the competition.

While I climbed the stairs to no where, I watched as a trainer was knocking out a session with a woman who appeared to be a new client.  She taught the newbie how to do a thruster and how to use the assisted pull up machine, and then I heard her say, “You are going to do 21 thrusters, then 21 pull ups, then 15/15 then 9/9.”

Fran.  This woman had to do Fran.

It’s a Crossfit workout and it stinks.  Of course the trainer had her client using two ten pound weights instead of the 65 pound bar we use, and she was doing assisted pull ups, but still… I felt her pain.

I wanted to get off the stairmaster and give her a high five when she finished, but she probably would have been like, “Ok, very strangely enthusiastic gym member…” – so I didn’t.

Still, way to go random woman at the gym.

Today I came into work early… (good time for my boss to resign, don’t you think? Yeah, me too.) so I will be leaving before 11pm, but probably won’t do much.  I’m pretty tired, and I’m ready for carbs.

Tonight I might have half a sweet potato with my chicken or fish.  The golden rule during peak week is not to try anything you haven’t tried before.

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(Wearing tall polka dot high socks with competition heels would probably fall within that guideline, but mostly they’re talking about food.)

So tomorrow is more chicken, and maybe a little brown rice.

Friday, pose pose pose and take my drug test.

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(Apologies for the messy bathroom – Mom, is the Good Fairy available?)

Yes, there’s a drug test.  Sometimes it’s urine and sometimes it’s a polygraph.  Last time he didn’t even hook me up.   “I can take one look at you and see you’re not on anything.” Thanks polygraph guy.

Then of course the tan.

I’m exfoliating all week, and on Friday, I’ll shave and be sure NOT to put on any lotion or deodorant.  (If you do, some chemical in the tanner mixed with something in the deodorant will turn your armpits green.)

That’s right, all those people on stage sweating and posing haven’t showered off their tanner, or applied any Lady Speed Stick.

It’s okay, we work out a lot so we are used to mouth breathing.

I’ll layer on three layers of Pro Tan on Friday night and be ready to go, bright and early Saturday morning.

I’ll need to set two alarms.

But I’ll be ready.

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(Max is trying his best to look serious, but he’s actually super excited for me.)

 

Abs and Fast Runners

I’ve been trucking along on my competition prep… and I can’t believe I’m four weeks out already!   Guess I’d better register.  (Making a note on my lengthy to-do list….)

Yesterday I spotted these fast runners (what my sister used to call them when she was little) and couldn’t resist.  I love bright tennis shoes!  These are by Reebok and Reebok sponsors crossfit so of course I had to throw money at them and run off with new shoes.

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I haven’t worn them yet because I’m doing a fitness photo shoot tomorrow and I don’t want to scuff them up before then.   After that, they’re gonna get scuffed and sweaty.  Yay!  and, gross!!

I have been adding in a little cardio at night… usually going to crossfit at noon and then my “other” gym after work for 20-30 minutes.  I still need more muscle, but what the heck, the lean out is going okay and maybe those other girls won’t have this:

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Do you think they’ll let me lie down on the stage for my poses?  No?  Too weird?  Okay.

Four more weeks!

 

Bikini Competition Status: Undecided

I haven’t pulled the trigger and signed up for any competitions, but the one I have my eye on is five weeks away.

Ugh.

I was talking to a coworker last night, and when I told him how long I had he said, “Oh, you should do it for sure!  That’s plenty of time!”

I realize it might sound like plenty of time.  But most people who compete give themselves about 12 weeks to cut for a competition.  I have given myself about 7.   Not to mention, I haven’t had a decent bulk cycle before this, so I have to cut carefully.  I am still smaller than the average bikini girl, but if my lean out is successful, I might still be able to place.

I’ve been working hard.  Sunday I skipped a gym workout in favor of my barn one.

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These are round bales.  There was one stacked on top of the one you see on the left.  I pushed it off, pushed it to the gate, and then rolled it up a hill.

Crossfit, country girl style.

I know my upper body is lacking, so I’ve added in some bicep and shoulder work.  And I have been doing 50 push ups a day, because I really need to get better at push ups.

This week I was super excited to hit a PR on my back squat.  We have been working at 70-90% lately, and then we pushed it all the way to 100% on Monday.  I was able to squat my previous max (110 pounds) three times, so I threw caution to the wind, and threw on ten more pounds.   And I did it!  120 is my new max.  🙂

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I love how bumper plates make my 120 look impressive.

Annnnddd… I hit a PR on my 500m row.  I usually row it in about 2:20 or 2:30, but I actually got it down to 2:06 yesterday.  Whoooo hooo!

Sadly, all these celebration-worthy efforts and my strict diet are making my jeans roomy, but not adding a ton of muscle.  I don’t really have time for that, so I will just have to see what my lean out reveals.

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I put on my comp bikini, but that isn’t looking so good yet, so here’s a shot in one of my other bikinis.

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Needed: lower abs, more shoulder, higher glutes, more quad.

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I’m trying.

Bikini Competition Decision and Cranking Up Crossfit

I’ve sort of kind of decided to compete again.

I know… that sounded so resolved, didn’t it?

I miss the fun parts…. which for me is a good bit of it.  I already enjoy tough workouts, and the diet isn’t super fun, but I’m not a big foodie, so it’s not too bad, and I really like the competition day with the bikini and tanning and fancy hair and make up and getting on stage and posing and all of that.

show day

(Toilet paper roll in your bling photo?  Classy!)

In my limited research I found a couple of shows in Atlanta at the end of August.   That means a quick prep, which is good news and bad.

The good news is, I lean out quickly.

The bad news is, I lean out quickly.

From what I’ve seen/heard/read, most competitors have an off season where they eat more and train heavy and concentrate on gaining.  They will likely gain muscle and fat during this time, since it’s tough to just gain muscle.

Then they’ll take around 12 weeks before a show to lean out.  It’s like unwrapping a gift to see what you have underneath that layer of fat.

“Hey! Quads! Yay!”

Don’t get me wrong; I have fat.  I just didn’t really do a big “bulk” or “gain” in the off season.  I more or less strayed from my strict diet and continued to work out.  I hit some PRs, which I’m really happy about, but it’s not like I got jacked over the last few months.  (sigh.)

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(This is my favorite “looking for muscles” photo.)

Because of this, I haven’t yet signed up for a show.  My plan is to get my diet on track, sloooowly add in a little more cardio, stick with my weight training, and see what transpires.   If I feel like I will look the same as I did in my last show, I probably won’t compete.   But if I “unwrap” a little bit of a tighter package and I think I could show well, I’ll sign myself up for something.

I kicked off my plan a week ago, so I’ve eaten a lot of grilled chicken and tilapia, completed a couple short runs and enjoyed a couple bike rides.   And of course, Crossfit is always cardio, since everything is done in super sets.

Today we worked on back squats.   I was feeling pretty strong and like I maybe could have hit a PR but we weren’t doing max load, so I didn’t.   We worked up to 90% and then back down in sets of 5/3/3/max/3/3/5

Next was the METCON part of the workout : 1000 meter row as a “buy in”.   Rowing is not my strength.  Our trainer said we should be off the rower after four minutes 15 seconds.

I got off at 5:00. (sigh again.)

Then we had three rounds of:

12 pull ups

10 burpee box jumps

8 push press or push jerk (70# for me)

I know I am still one of the weaker people in my class.  I’m usually okay with that.  I try not to pay attention to what other girls are lifting, even though it does get to me now and then.  I know I’ve gotten stronger, little by little.   And just today my trainer told one of the new members to watch me lift because I have one of the best techniques in the gym…..you guys….I felt like he put up a poster board and put a gold star next to my name.

Anyway, today’s workout kicked my butt and everyone but the newbies beat me, but I loved every minute of it.

I know I just told you that I’ve been getting my diet back on track and I have, I promise… but there’s just one small, teeny, tiny, uh… problem.

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(Note: 30 minutes after workout and post-shower, my face is still red from crossfit craziness.)

My name is Robyn and I’m a frappe addict.

It has been 7 hours since my last 450 calorie  fix.

Help.

A Girl Named Fran Killed My Quads

Some Crossfit workouts have names, like Grace or Murph or Cindy …

or Fran.

I knew we were doing Fran today and I wasn’t looking forward to it, but sometimes the more you dread a workout, the more sense it makes to go…. work on your weaknesses, seize the day, triumph of the spirit… and all that.

Since Fran is considered a “sprint” we took our time warming up with rowing and lunges and spent the first part of the class working on the back squat. We worked on form and then loaded up the plates.

“Guys put on 25s….girls put on 15s…Robyn put on 10s.”

I love how I am my own category.

We added weight until we got to 75% of our one rep max, and then added weight again in working sets, to get to 95% of our max.

I don’t usually post numbers because they are so low, but maybe someone will find this blog who thinks that everyone but them is lifting big weight, so if you’re that person, don’t worry, I’m not either. Here’s what I did:

85 pounds – for 5 reps
95 pounds – for 3 reps
100 pounds – for one rep
95 pounds – for 3 reps
85 pounds – for 5 reps

After that it was time for Fran.

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Fran consists of thrusters and pull ups. It’s a benchmark workout that many Crossfit gyms have done over and over, with the hope that members can beat their times and get stronger and faster. I’ve done it before, but I’m a slacker when it comes to recording my weights and times, so I have no idea if I bested my previous time with today’s effort.

The weight for women is supposed to be 65 pounds, but I consulted the trainer, and based on the fact that this is supposed to be a fast workout, I scaled back to 55 pounds. I can do a 65 pound thruster, but I would have had to take more breaks and it would have taken me even longer.

21 thrusters (basically a front squat into an overhead press, and the exercise from hell)
21 pull ups
15 thrusters
15 pull ups
9 thrusters
9 pull ups

….and you’re done!

The pull ups aren’t too bad but the thrusters are some kind of terrible. I was happy to get through the last set broken up in reps of 3/3/3, dropping the weight in between.

Thank God for bumper plates. You can just toss the bar to the ground and it’s very satisfying.

The coaches at my gym are great… they really stay on you, but in a way that keeps you going, not in a way that tears you down. This is what I hear during any given workout:

“Yes, you CAN, Robyn, yes you CAN!”
“You don’t have time for that.” (When I walk away from the bar as though it has offended me.)
“Get outta your head.”
“Atta girl Robyn. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” (When I occasionally lift something super heavy.)
“Finish it.” (When he can see on my face that I really, really want to quit.)

So I got out of my head and finished it and then I felt much much better, even though my quads are very mad at me after all the heavy weight I made them move.

After all that heavy lifting, I went into the locker room to see if I’d gotten bulky yet.

IMG_20130228_125739_264Well, maybe I just need to strike my usual pose, then the muscle will show up….

IMG_20130228_130531_108Hmmmmm…. Maybe next time.