Graduating to the Big Leagues

Last week I hit an exciting milestone: I graduated myself to bench pressing with an olympic bar and plates! Up until now I’d been using barbells because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to lift the full bar but this week I decided that it was time to try (especially if I want to hit my bench press goal) and I managed to not crush myself!! Self-high five!

This week was pretty good for healthy eating. I did cave a bit on Friday and bought myself a chocolate bar for the first time in a couple of weeks. I was surprised to find that I felt kinda ‘meh’ about it afterward because I usually just want more. I think this desire to eat healthy is finally starting to stick! I am fully conscious, however, that Christmas season is coming up and I’m trying really hard to think of a plan to not inhale all the cookies and other goodies that come along at this time of year. So far all I’ve got is “don’t eat them all” but I think I’m going to need a little bit more structure than that haha. I did make a really tasty and super easy dinner recipe last week that I’ll be making a post about later!

Monday: Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders

Starting my week off with my bench press milestone was awesome. My workouts are now something I look forward to every week, which I’m taking to mean that I’m doing something right. It definitely makes it a heck of a lot easier to get myself out the door to the gym or for a run now that I’m enjoying it. I also find that if I’m having a hard time with motivation, taking a look at other people’s fitness journeys on Instagram gets me excited about working out. img_3947

Workout:
5 minute warm-up on the treadmill
Bench press (the big league kind!!)
Dumbbell flyes
Skull crushers
Overhead triceps extensions
Cable rope triceps pulldown
Overhead military press
One arm rows + kickbacks
Hook grip kettle bell swings

Thursday: Leg Day

I was hoping to follow up on my first squat rack session from a week and a bit ago with a second one, but unfortunately they were all in use when I got to the gym. I did a couple of other exercises first hoping one would become free, but no luck, so I settled for the Smith machine instead and added more weight than I would have if I was squatting with a regular rack (approx. 65 lbs with the weight of the bar). Hopefully next time I’ll be able to muscle my way into a rack. img_3964

Workout:
5 minute warm-up on the treadmill
Deadlifts
Seated calf raises
Squats (Smith machine)
Leg extensions
Leg press
Hip thrusts
Front raises
5 minute cool-down on the treadmill (walking)

Saturday: Run run run

All week I had been planning to do a killer hill set on Saturday. I had picked out this giant hill close to my house and I was mentally preparing myself for a gritty, gruelling workout and pushing through no matter what. I got up, put my gear on and headed over, only to realize that I was missing a key piece to this plan: a sidewalk to run on. In certain situations this wouldn’t phase me, but this hill has some pretty heavy car traffic and I didn’t want to be worrying about cars whizzing past me while I tried to mentality push myself through this workout. Instead I headed over to a set of stairs nearby and did some suicides up and down a few times and then did a long loop back home.

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It was a good workout, but I was bummed out that I didn’t get to do my killer hill set. I’m definitely going to have to scope out a good (and safe) hill to do my run on next weekend. Look out hills, I’m coming for you.

What’s your favourite kind of run to do? Are you a glutton for self-improvement through punishing runs, or do you prefer nice, steady runs that push your endurance?

How do you make sure you don’t eat everything in sight over the holidays? Do you feed the Santa and his reindeer all your cookies so that you don’t end up eating them all by yourself? 

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Weekly Update #2

I’m pleased to say that I managed to hit my target of three workouts this week! I think it helped that I picked three days that I was going to go to the gym ahead of time, though I did have to shift my Saturday workout to today because I went on a hike yesterday that ended up taking way longer than I thought it would. Knowing that I would be writing about my workouts also really helped me get my butt out the door. Turns out this public accountability thing really does work!

Tuesday: Triceps and Shoulders

I’ve been doing a couple of shoulder exercises at the end of each of my workouts so far because they’re one of my bigger weak spots (well, my whole upper body in general is a weak spot aha). I also think women look super badass when they have good, strong-looking shoulders so there are definitely some aesthetic reasons for me working out my shoulders haha (who doesn’t want to look like a badass?). Continue reading “Weekly Update #2”

Doubt, The Asshole

Running – like life – has both its ups and downs. The ironic thing is that in running it’s the downhills that you look forward to. Downhills are easy: you can catch your breath a little bit and savour the ease at which you cover ground while gravity does a fair share of the work. Running up a hill is a different story, however, as gravity tries to pull you back down and you struggle to keep your legs churning to reach the top.

Well I’ve been stuck on a bit of an uphill for the last little while with my running. Ever since I did that 10k (yes I know that was a month ago) I have been having the hardest time running even the shortest distances. I can’t even finish a 5k before my breath is coming out in tight wheezes, I’m mentally exhausted, and my legs feel like they’re made of iron (as in they are very, very heavy, not that they are super strong). Continue reading “Doubt, The Asshole”

10k and the Grey Doe

I hit a very exciting milestone yesterday: I finished a 10k!! Now, I wasn’t able to run for the whole thing unfortunately, but I was able to keep my walking to short periods of time and I finished the final kilometre and a half without stopping to walk so I’m pretty happy with the results. My final time was just a few minutes over an hour – which I’m sure seems extremely slow to anyone who has been running at all regularly for a moderate amount of time – but I know that with a bit of practice I should be able to cut out the walking sections and improve my overall time!

The thing that kept killing me on this run was the hills. I usually run on pretty flat ground so I haven’t actually done a run with hills in years (yes, that is plural) but yesterday I was running in Hamilton which is almost entirely hills, much to my dismay. I decided to go running on some trails in the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) instead of on the roads and had to climb a fairly significant hill and then a smaller one to get to the trail head and I was already feeling very winded by that time, but little did I know that I would eventually encounter what felt like my Everest for that run. Continue reading “10k and the Grey Doe”