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Last week I talked about moving AWAY from using Smith Machines for weight training and going with the barbell instead. I was already using the barbell for flat and incline bench pressing, but was using the Smith Machine for lunging and squats. My reason for the switch is to ensure that my body is making the proper adaptations to be versatile and functional rather than just unidirectional and teaching my muscles only one vertical movement. With barbells, my balance and coordination come into play and not only are my muscles being strengthened but I’m also building various stabilizers and improving my core strength. I started that last Sunday — on the Smith Machine I was lunging 65 pounds and squatting 105. With the barbell I started out lunging 55 pounds and worked up to 65 the first day — started out squatting 70 pounds and worked up to 80 pounds the same day so I’m lunging the same but will have to build back up to squatting 105.
I had set a goal to lose 7% of my bodyfat by June 30 but since last week when I posted that I was at 27% bodyfat I was advised by my trainer to purchase a professional bodyfat scale and found that I am actually at 23% so much closer to my goal than I thought. At this point I’ve got roughly 9 weeks to lose 6-7 pounds of bodyfat (not the 11 pounds I posted initially). This doesn’t mean 6-7 pounds off of my WEIGHT. I expect to lose only about 3-4 pounds or so because my goal is to gain about muscle while losing fat. My current weight is 145.2 and about 33.4 pounds of that is fat, which is healthy for a woman (it’s actually better than average – it’s “fitness” level and only 1% from “athlete” on most charts. I’m trying to work my way down to about 142-143 pounds and <20% bodyfat which takes me from 33.4 pounds of bodyfat to 27.4 pounds of bodyfat. How do I plan to do this? Good question!
The Plan – Simple.
I already don’t drink anything but water so that’s not a change but something I will continue to maintain. No sports drinks. No tea. No — anything, but water.
I’m going to try to cut out as much sugar and starch as possible which means I will replace some of the fruits that I eat with more vegetables and replace breads with lean meats. My diet is already getting cleaner by the day so this won’t be a huge transition. I’m not a really big meat-eater so much of my protein will come from eggs and other foods rather than a whole lot of meat, but I will continue to eat tilapia and salmon as well as a moderate amount of chicken breast. I’m going to watch my calorie intake but not so much to just limit calories but to ensure that the calories I’m putting in my body COUNT for something in the overall process that takes place once my food starts to be digested. I want everything I consume to be used efficiently so I will be eating with a purpose.
I’ll continue to run but rather than daily I am going to start focusing more on time spent running instead of just aiming for at least a mile a day. I’m going to run three times a week (in addition to the running we already do at boot camp) 3-5+ miles at a time so that I’m out there a minimum of 30 minutes… running a mile doesn’t do a whole lot since it’s literally less than 10 minutes for me.
I’m going to continue doing 2-a-days with weight training in the morning and boot camp in the evening. Sundays will likely start being a rest day for me so that my body can restore itself from the grueling week of BAD-ASS GO-HARD-NESS! ;) My schedule is going to be like this:
- Sunday: REST! and flexibility training (stretching) at least twice
- Monday: Morning weight training (back & shoulders) | Evening boot camp – Total: 90 minutes
- Tuesday: Morning weight training (shoulders & chest) then run 3+ miles | Evening boot camp – Total: 125 minutes
- Wednesday: Morning weight training (legs) | Evening boot camp – Total: 90 minutes
- Thursday: Morning weight training (core) | Evening boot camp – Total: 90 minutes
- Friday: Run 5+ miles – Total: 60 minutes
- Saturday: If I don’t have a race, I will run 4+ miles – Total: 45 minutes – 2 hours
This way, I get an entire rest day AND still work in at LEAST 8 hours of activity per week. I will of course be stretching DAILY but Sunday will be the day I really get a lot of that in and just give my body a break from the high intensity activities I put it through all week long.
I am going to do more to improve my sleep habits. I don’t have a normal sleep routine and often force myself to do everything that I do on 4-6 hours of sleep which is HORRRRRRRIBLE so this has to change… which means developing more discipline and structure during my day to ensure that I’m getting everything done in time to make it to bed at a decent hour.
Tonight was my 13th assessment with my trainer. Today starts week 53 and tomorrow is the last day in my first year of my fitness journey. I’m SO proud of everything I have accomplished in the last 364 days. Here is a picture of how far I have come:
Running — May 1, 2012 I was running (haha – running, yeah change that to barely even jogging) a mile in 17 minutes, 32 seconds. I’ve cut EXACTLY 9 minutes off that time — tonight I finished my mile in 8 minutes, 32 seconds.
Core strength — May 1, 2012 I was able to do 26 situps in 2 minutes. Tonight I did 70 (my personal record is 73).
Upper body strength — May 1, 2012 I was able to do NO military pushups at all. I couldn’t lift myself once I lowered no matter how hard I tried (more due to my lack of core strength than lack of arm strength, actually). I did only 29 modified (on my knees like a girl) pushups back then. Now I would sooner eat a bug than even THINK about putting my knees on the ground for a pushup. I did 74 military pushups in 2 minutes tonight (my personal record is 80).
Weight — May 1, 2012 I weighed 171.8 … I am now weighing in at between 144.0 and 145.2 depending on the time of day (my lowest weight before I started strength training to build muscle was 141.8). I went from a size 14 to a size 6 within 8 months. I’m a totally new person and I love it.
There is NOTHING you can’t do if you believe in yourself. So set your goal and GET IT!!!
Goals — Where Am I?
I set goals to reach by May 1 and the only one I did not achieve was my core strength goal – I wanted to be able to do 80 situps in 2 minutes before May 1 and I was 10 away tonight, but I did get to 73 at my best so technically I got within 7 situps of that goal. I reached my goal of 80 pushups 2 months ago and met my goal of a mile in 8:45 last month (beat that by 13 seconds tonight). My goal was also to run at least one race for every month this year — I just finished my fourth race on Friday (I did the Hot Chocolate 15K – 9.3 miles – in January and have since done three 5K (3.1 miles) races – the Foam Fest, the Color Run and the Vampire 5K – and will do my fifth on May 11 (the Savage Race – 5+ miles – which I’m thrilled about!!!) so I’m right on track with that … I’m VERY happy with my progress and have some new goals to strive toward now! My target date for the following achievements is June 30.
- Break past 80 pushups in 2 minutes
- Meet or exceed 80 situps in 2 minutes
- Run a mile in 8:20 or better
- Run a 5K in 30 minutes (my best time so far is 30:47 which far surpassed my goal of 33:40 or better!)
- Reduce my bodyfat to <20% and start to develop my ab muscles (I want a 6-pack!!)
- Barbell lunges with 80+ pounds of weight (want to be able to do 3 sets of 10 on each leg with perfect form without struggling)
- Barbell squats with 100+ pounds of weight (want to be able to do 3 sets of 10 with perfect form without struggling)
That’s it! I’ll have another update within the next few weeks — I stopped doing weekly updates because at this point not much changes week-to-week but I will at least update after each assessment (4 weeks).