Day 35: conceding defeat

Stage 1/B8

How is everyone? Hope you all had a great weekend! We didn’t end up going showshoeing as the mountain was crazy busy on the weekend, so we’re considering going this week instead. Nevertheless, weekends (and Sunday sleepins/rest days) are the best!

Today was my last regular workout ‘B’! I would be lying if I said it was a good, or easy workout though.

I felt strong during my deadlifts. I’m fairly sure I can lift more on them, if my grip will allow. (To be continued.) However, I struggled a bit with my db presses. I just can’t seem to increase my weight/strength on this one very much. The boy said he also tends to move up very slowly with shoulder exercises, which made me feel a bit better. I suppose they are relatively small muscles compared with the other ones I’m working in this program.

My worst exercise, however, was by far my lunges. I *really* struggled with them this week. There was a girl working out next to me and [noticing her watching me out of the corner of her eye] I suddenly became very aware of my form. And it was sad. I realized that about half way through each set, my form goes to sh*t. These weights are *really* heavy for me. Coming up out of the lunges I was dragging my front foot on the ground. My back leg was wobbly. I wanted to drop the weights. Not good – for my knees, or for anything else.

I suppose this is a learning experience, right?

Notes to self (to avoid injury, humiliation, and wonky muscle growth):
A. Be conscious of form, at all times. I usually am, but I must admit I’ve been slacking on making sure my lunges are done correctly. 
B. Focus on perfecting form before increasing the weight. This sounds obvious but in the interest of increasing my weights, I think I’ve been a bit lax in ensuring my form was 100% for 100% of my sets. According to everything I’ve read, it should be that way.
C. Don’t feel pressure to increase weight every time. As many of these exercises are new to me, I should consider the fact that the learning curve is steep, and muscle growth can be slow.
D.  Don’t be embarrassed to concede defeat; end a set early or move down in weight if form sucks. It’s not worth the risk of injury to push it when form is not good.

Here’s what I did:

Straight Sets
Deadlift – 3 sets of 8 @ 100 lbs

Alternating Sets
Standing Shoulder Dumbbell Press – 1 set of 8 @ 22.5 lbs, 2 sets of 7 @ 22.5 lbs
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown –  3 sets of 8 @ 70 lbs

Lunges – 3 sets of 8 @ 27.5 lbs (each hand)
Swiss Ball Crunches – 3 sets of 15 @ 20 lbs

Added in: Hip Thrusts – 3 sets of 12 @ 35 lbs


On another note, I’m just about finished reading The Great Fitness Experiment. Review to come in the next couple days. As for my goals, I’ve decided to take my mid-stage “break” next week to think about it, so I’ll be writing on them then.

Have a great day!



10 thoughts on “Day 35: conceding defeat

  1. Hey DD! Did you reformat your blog or something? I like it! It threw me off at first, def looks good though 🙂

    And I’m glad you liked my goal suggestions and think I’m funny. The weird thing for me, is that I write how I speak so I never feel like I am being funny or writing quality writing. My best friend reads my blog on occasion and says its like she’s listening to my half of a conversation. Actually, a secret my bloggie friends don’t know is that I feel rather exposed through my writing and, as a result, tell VERY few real life friends about it (I’m a bit embarrassed to). The only regular readers I have that I know IRL are ones that found it on their own. I haven’t even told my trainer Kurt about it.

    But back to your post! Please do not feel defeated because you need to drop weight or focus more on form – it happens to all of us. I realized I’ve only been doing partial squats until now and had to drop my power weight from 175 to 155 for 2 sets and then drop again to 135. That’s a 40 lb drop. Believe me, girl, it definitely happens.

    BUT! Just think about how proud you’ll be when you get back to those numbers with the proper form?!?! BALLLLLINNNNNNNN’

    • I totally know what you mean about not telling real-life friends about your blog. I’m the exact same. I had a friend last week tell me she was thinking of training for a bodybuilding comp and I bit my tongue! I’ll probably tell her eventually. haha. Interesting stuff. In sociology (and psych) we call this “managing” the “frontstage” and the “backstage” self. (*NERD ALERT*)

      That’s encouraging to know that dropping in weight is a reality… and yeah, when I get back up, it will be ballin’ (I have a Sean Paul song playing in my head right now just thinking about it).

  2. I’m impressed you have been doing that much with lunges to begin with. I can’t seem to go higher than 20’s and maintain decent form which I know is what is really important.

    On another note, I think it is really interesting how people are built so differently. We are doing the same exact program yet you surpass me with certain exercised and vice versa. I find myself doing quite well with the shoulders – lat pull downs are probably my greatest strength. I just find it really interesting. I’m going in to Stage 3 at the end of the week. A vlog re: stage 2 should be up sometime this week if I ever get around to it. 🙂

    • So true about different bodies & different strengths. It amazes me. I wonder how much of it is a result of lifestyle/use and how much of it is genetics.

      I’m DEFINITELY looking forward to your stage 2 recap! I love that you’re one stage ahead – gives me something to look forward to (or dread) 🙂

  3. Hey! Glad to see that you are progressing, and figuring out what you need to work on. I think I have been doing the lunges wrong all along. :/ I do static lunges, where I go down, come back up, go down, up, etc etc. I don’t ever bring my foot back in to my other foot. Oops. I guess I will do it the right way from now on. I will probably have to drop weight too.

    I am one session behind in my weight lifting because I was sick with a sinus infection. I am all better now (antibiotics work like a charm!), so today is workout A5 for me. I am anxious to see if I am stronger than before, or weaker. I hope I didn’t lose much strength while being sick!

    • Ah those darn lunges 😦 The book is slightly confusing on some of its exercise direction, plus there is so much to remember.

      I’m sick now too (ugh) and have taken a few days off so I’m behind now. Must be something going around. Bah!

  4. I’m really curious about that book; I’d been thinking of getting it for a while so looking forward to your review! and here here to your comments re form and weight! i remember (you’ll see har har) in one of the early stages of NRL you have to do these cuban snatch exercises… i really tried to go heavy the first few tries and no dice, same with the YTWLs, if you go heavy your form goes to hell and the whole point of the exercise is lost somewhere in between one’s ego hehehe 🙂
    PS – seriously consider lifting straps tho, esp. w lunges!

    • Haha. Your comments make me LAUGH. The ego really likes to stand in the way of our success sometimes! I *am* considering straps now. I’ll keep you posted.

      Also, good to know on the cuban snatches/YTWLs – Thanks so much for the tip!!

  5. I see another reader already suggested it, but I use lifting straps for heavy DB lunges and very heavy deadlifts. I know some folks are opposed to them, but the fact is that I’m not trying to strengthen my grip by doing deadlifts or lunges. The target muscle is something else, and my grip has been improving regardless of the straps. They are worth at least thinking about.

    • Hey Kristen,

      Thanks for stopping by the blog! I’m glad you did because I actually subscribed to yours this week and have been DEVOURING your entries. 🙂

      I am going to consider straps. For the $14 or so they cost, I think it’s worth a shot.

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