Category Archives: free weights

Bagel day and vacay!

Thursday is finally here!  I woke up way too early, so I headed downstairs and had a protein drink and started on work while waiting for John to get up.  I did manage to get a good amount of work in, which is good.  No wasting time around here!

We got on the bikes and headed out at a nice clip for bagels.

Whole wheat bagel along side the new issue of Adirondack Fitness!  This is the paper that lists all local races and events coming up so we can find things to do.  It was hard to leave the patio to bike home and get back to work.

This little squirrel has been hanging around lately.  I call him Stubby.  Not sure if the got hit by a car or nipped by a dog, but he has  a tiny stub of a tail.  Makes him a little more rat-like 😯

Trying to use up stuff before we leave for the weekend, so I had the rest of the Greek yogurt for lunch.

This combo never gets old (at least to me LOL).

Regarding the barbell press from yesterday, that bar is not actually all that heavy when unloaded.  The olympic bar is 45 pounds, and once you work up to 20# dumbells, you really can move to the bar.  The real advantage to doing the chest press with DBs or a barbell rather than a machine is that it will make both sides work at the same level.  On a chest press machine, the machine will actually compensate for any weakness that one side may have, so you are really building the same degree of strength per each arm, rather than the same level of strength combined (make sense?). Machines do have their place, but I would love to see women people get on the free weights more.

John made me a latte – think I was happy to get it?


With which I paired with the last bit of bread in the house. I almost forgot to take a picture, hence the bite.

I made everything on this plate from the bread to the nut butter to the jam.  Domestic goddess – I am she.

I slogged my way through work today.  So determined to finish up without having to work really late.  4 days a week I am working 9 hours when both jobs overlap and I am not liking that, so much discussion will be had (over coffee) on our trip.  My brain is completely fried from all this work.

Dinner time!  Another case of the ‘last of’ – last of chicken, last of broccoli, last green pear.

Knocking them down like bowling pins!  Fridge is pretty empty of fresh stuff now.  You would think we were going away forever and not just 2 days, but we would be nearing the end of stuff anyway as we shop on the weekend.

I finished up work at 6:30 tonight!  Yes!! My weekend starts now!  Except I need to finish laundry, pack, and clean the house.  My mom is coming over tonight for a briefing as she is house/Pixie sitting for us.  My mom is the best 😀

But first was my prevacation treat:

Not yogurt, but blueberry soft serve from the place down the street.  When you get the kiddie cone it comes with eyes.  😀

Tomorrow morning is workout, breakfast and then leaving. I’ll be posting from Montreal tomorrow. Yippee!

I will leave you with the view of the sunset as I post this from the front porch.  It’s gorgeous.

Lifting FAQ – or my secret superpower!

Okay, I got so many questions and emails about the strength training (and running, but that’s another show post).  I am just going to address them all here in a haphazard manner.  I’ll have a regular post later.

First off – NROLW or New Rules of Lifting for Women.  That topic occupied quite a bit of 2009, since it took me about 6 months to finish the program.  I *loved* doing it.  With a capital “L”.  You can read the recap here.

Did you (or are you) following the exact plan for NROL4W? Have you noticed a difference?
Also, how do you know how hard to push yourself?

I followed the workouts to a T.  And I did the optional stage to prepare for chin ups.  I did not follow the food section of NROLW.   As far as how far to push myself, that has taken some trial and error.  Keep in mind that I have been strength training for a few years now, so doing NROLW was the next logical step as it got me into the heavier lifting, and since I joined a gym I was able to use equipment that I just didn’t have at home (squat cage).    I pretty much know how far to push and what I will feel like the next day based on what I do.  I never go to complete failure on reps (on purpose anyway) – not quite sure I agree with pushing to failure anyway.  With each workout, I just try to do a little more.  Your body will tell you when it is too much.  It’s better to go slower and gradually add weights than to do too much and risk injury.  With that said, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.  Trust me, you are stronger than you think.

How did you get over the fear of being in the ‘guy’s section’?

Well, it was a wee bit intimidating at first, but for the most part, guys are there to work out and will leave you alone.  At least if you are at the gym when the serious people are there.  I still do not like lifting when the preeners are there and flexing. 🙄  Sometimes I get watched, particularly when I am doing my chin ups, but unless they are overtly staring, it’s no big deal.  If you belong to a gym, you have every right to pick up those dumbbells – everyone pays for the same membership!

How/when did you start lifting weights?

I actually have lifted weights off and on for probably 5 or 6 years.  We bought a bowflex (why do I always type blowflex??) to work out with at home and I liked how strong I was getting with it.  But, it was somewhat limiting.  I got some dumbbells with The Firm Workouts in 2008, and then I read Brad Schoenfeld’s books.  That was my first foray into real lifting and free weight workouts.  Once I finished the 28-Day Shapeover book, I was working out with my own designed workouts, which were 4 days of week of split workouts.  While I was doing research online for new moves, I came across New Rules of Lifting in early 2009.  Since I joined the YMCA to have access to a pool to train for my triathlon, that meant I had access to other cool equipment like a cable machine and the squat cage and a barbell!  I was stoked and the rest was history.  I didn’t realize how much stronger I could get – it was pretty cool.  I have some good arms now,  they look normal in my day to day stuff, but I can flex pretty good.  I think I actually scared my mom when I flexed for her 😀

Did you have a personal trainer or did you read a book or what?

No trainer.  I just read a *lot* about form and watch a lot of videos online.  Not that there aren’t bad examples of form out there, but if you read and watch – it is surprising how much you can understand for yourself.  I would have loved (or still would love) a trainer, but I just cannot afford it.  I am lucky that I am able to push myself on my own.

Did you gain weight when you started lifting weights?

Yep.  I did.  At first I gained and then the scale just stayed the same for a long time.  What that was would be more water than actual weight.  It is very, very hard to actually put on muscle, especially when you are in a calorie deficit.  When you lift weights, you are actually making microtears in the muscle fibers, which makes them hold on to water while your body repairs.  So – a lot of initial weight gain is water, which you don’t lose for a long time if you are consistently training.  However, take measurements because you will shrink as the muscles get stronger and you lose fat.

So, there was some rambling about strength training.  I am not strength training to get ‘cut’ or anything like that (with loose skin, that is pretty unlikely that I would ever see a complete 6 pack).  I just want to be strong and self reliant. I know I am going to age strong and fit.  I love feeling strong and powerful – it makes me confident.  Yes, there is some loose skin and I have wrinkles where there weren’t any before, but underneath that is something special.  It’s kind of my secret.

Not a good eating day

Yesterday I overworked it. After the 5K, we ended up riding bikes (DH wanted to go). So we rode for 1.5 hours. My legs were soooooooooo tired last night, and so was I!
Slept like a log.

So today, I ended up eating lunch out and had some onion rings, and some chips with my sandwich. Not the most on plan lunch. I am not used to this type of food and really don’t want any dinner tonight. Probably just something light, or some fruit.

If I gain this week, at least I can’t blame it on being on a plateau!

I do have some news toys to play with: free weights! My parents are moving up here, and brought up the free weights and a somewhat rickety bench up here, since they were going to get rid of them. This way I can do some exercises that I can’t do on the bowflex. I probably won’t use that bench, but the weights I am really excited about! I am working on a new routine at