Fitspo for today is from: getfitordie.tumblr.com
"No matter how slow you run, it is still faster than someone sitting on a couch."
While I spent all day ranting to my AB girls about my problems with the nasty R-word (running), I still arrived at the gym last night ready to prove that even my struggles there wouldn't stop me from progressing. Maybe I could handle being a girl who does do THAT if I was still the girl at the gym that you eye across the room and think, "It must be so easy for her." (Oh, the easy lies we tell ourselves!)
I called Hubs on the way home and asked if he was meeting me at the gym. He himmed and hawed and finally said, "I guess I can be there around 7." "We're doing arms tonight!" I reminded him. Funny, just as I was getting ready to start my warmup, he pops up ready to go. *lol* My man's fitspo, I think, looks a little something like this:
(That's Hugh Jackman, btw. YUM!)
We hopped on the treadmills and started our regular 5-minute cardio warmup. We chatted about the possibilities of getting a new car next week and talked about our days. This time we spend together at the gym has been nothing but a boost for our relationship. Sure, in the beginning I felt there were days he was dragging me down a bit...he's so shy sometimes. But lately, he's been challenging me, trying to keep up, and even moving past me (as any man likely would...don't you hate that, girls?!). It was the easiest 5 minutes on a treadmill I have ever done.
Once we hopped off, I told him, "I need you to do me a favor before we head downstairs." "Oh no!" he said. *lol* I handed him my phone and opened the stopwatch application for him. I looked him straight in the eye and said, "The SECOND I get in plank position, I'm going to tell you to start. You push that button QUICK! I need to do 60 seconds if I can - One full minute." I felt strong to start. I remember when I couldn't hold this position for 2 seconds, let alone 60! I smiled a bit to myself. And then my shoulders started to whine, and my abs contracted as my body tried trembling in an effort to get me to stop immediately. I was sure I was about halfway done and Hubs yells out, "15 seconds."
CRAP! I refocus. Man, this was harder when I couldn't see the time, but I knew I needed that challenge. I stared at the ground and said, "Okay, 15 seconds. Better than your first planks ever were. You can do this. You GOT this!" Hubs pipes in with, "30 seconds. Halfway there."
I get irritated for a second. I think, "No DUH it's halfway there. Doesn't make it hurt any less. OMG, I don't know if I can do this." And then my body starts to shake really hard. I tighten my jaw and refocus myself. "Stop that! You're MORE than halfway there now. You've been to 50 before, you can at least get there again. Stop telling yourself you can't because you don't even know what you can do until you try."
"45 seconds! You're doing great!" Aww! He's such a great cheerleader. I think about all the times I wish he had been this supportive during races, at times in the gym when I thought I was going to collapse on the floor and die and then just gave up because it was "TOO HARD." He believes in me, so I should believe in myself too. I tell myself, "Okay, 15 seconds. The first 15 seconds weren't that hard. You've done 3 of them already. You totally have this." And my arms start trembling harder and I wonder if I really do have it.
"5 more seconds!!" OMG. Longest 5 seconds of my life, I'm sure. I tightened everything - my core, my butt, my thighs (ooh...still feel that workout from yesterday on those suckers!), my biceps and shoulders. I actively engage myself in the floor's intricate pattern and set out to finish what I started, because I don't want to repeat the whole process again!
Hubs counts down the last 5 seconds for me and when he gets to 60, I quickly yell out "Keep going!" It's this tradition of mine - if I get to my goal and I still feel a little tiny bit left in me, I push myself just 5 seconds more -- it's how I knew I could do 30, 45, and 50. That's how the whole thing even works. Just a small challenge. Nothing that will kill you. You've already reached your goal, so you can quit here and still walk out a champ. But there's no harm in trying more and seeing what happens...either way, you're a total winner tonight.
Five seconds later, I collapsed in a heap on the floor - a smiling, giddy, out of breath (I think I held it those last 7 seconds or so, other than the shout out to Hubs to keep the meter running), soaked in sweat, and exhausted heap. First week of March isn't even over yet, and I can mark my 1-Minute Plank goal off the list. And as I breathe (okay, pant) and smile and laugh to myself and at Hubs, who seems quite proud even though he doesn't understand what the hype is all about (planks LOOK easy, y'all...they ARE NOT), I think to myself - "If I've already gotten this far...I wonder how far I can get by the END of March. Is a minute and a half plank in my future? Or should I challenge myself to the "modified" planks - the more difficult version. Or my arch nemises -- the side plank. Perhaps it's time to see what I can do with that bad boy." Either way, I earned my GOAL MET sticker!
But the night wasn't over yet. A minute of waiting just left Hubs more antsy to start his workout. "Alright," he said to me with a half-smile. "What are we doing tonight?" I pick up my little notecard binder with post-its sticking out the side and say, "Are you ready? I've got a lot planned for us tonight. I plan to make you feel this one." (Lately, he claims he doesn't feel the workout the next day...something I totally plan to change. He needs to know what that sore-happiness feels like. It is my new goal in life to make him hate me in all the best ways.) He blurts out another "Oh, no!" but I can tell he's excited. I've combined the workout from Monday we missed with Wednesday's workout. It's a no-no according to my fitness regime, but I don't give two craps about that. I want to feel this one - and Thursday is a rest day, so I can kill myself tonight and make concessions and apologies to my body tomorrow.
Standing Lateral Raises
Working: Front, Rear and Side Deltoids (Shoulders)
Target: 4 sets - reps: 20/14/12/10
Last Time: 4 sets - reps: 15/12/12/10 - weight: 5 pounds the whole time
Last Night: 4 sets - reps: 20/14/12/10 - weight: 5/12/12/15
Hubs' Actual: 4 sets - reps: 20/14/12/10 - weight: 10/10/10/12
(he's trying to get used to the idea that you increase the weight each time, if possible)
We hate these and love them at the same time. My shoulders scream the entire time. At rep 7 we both looked at each other in the mirror and grimaced. We started grunting and doing the "shoo-shoo" breathing soon after. And after every set, Hubs looked at me after a short rest and said, "Again??" Yep. Again. I got on him one time about psyching himself out. He said something to the effect of "I don't think I can do any more." I looked straight at him and told him that he was talking himself out of it. "If you think you can't, you won't. Talk positive. Tell yourself you can, and I bet you'll surprise even yourself." He did...and I didn't hear much negative after that (except more AGAIN??s *lol*)
He took a big breath after that, and I could see him eyeing the purple post-its in my notecard binder. I could see that, "OH CRAP!" look on his face. I smiled and bounced my way over to the incline bench. "These are some of my favorites!" I told him, which seemed to snap him out of it a bit. Then I sat down to show him what to do and get my set in.
Barbell Incline Bench Press
Working: Upper Pectorals, Front Deltoids, and Triceps (chest and arms)
Target: 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8
Last Time: 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8 - weight: 45 lb barbell alone
Last Night: 4 sets - reps: 16/12/9/7 - weight: 45/50/50/55
I call that progress, yes I do. Even if I did fail on the last two sets...I'm showing my body what it can do and what I expect it to do. (Thank goodness Hubs was there to spot me, though!)
Hubs Actual: 4 sets - reps: 16/14/12/8 - weight: 45/50/55/75
Yep, I discovered something rather quickly...Hubs was wimping out on me. He had resigned himself to just do whatever I could do - but he should, logically, be able to do more...he's always had more upper body strength than me! I watched his first set and got a little miffed. He was pumping through each rep like he was lifting a roll of paper towels. TOO EASY! I tried going easy on him when I upped it at first, thinking maybe he was just controlling the "This is challenging" faces because he didn't want me to think he couldn't do anything. During his second set I actually blurted out, "Still too easy!" and he did two extra just to try and appease me. It didn't work. We went up again. Still no struggle at 55 pounds. "Screw this!" I thought. I started piling on some weight and he ended up staring at the 75 pound bar and then looking back at me with this face of, "Are you trying to effing kill me?!" Yes, metaphorically speaking, I am! I smiled at him. "It's just 8. You can do 8." He sat down and I smirked a bit and said, "By the way, that's 75 pounds." I think he lost his breath for a second, but then I saw the resolve return to his face and I watched him struggle through each rep. At rep 6 he wanted to quit. I slipped my fingers under the bar and said, "Come on. Just ONE more." He did one more. "One more and you'll have it!" I said. He did one more. (So THAT is why PTs do that!? *lol* I didn't even realize I was doing it until it came out.) I helped him get the bar back on and smiled. "You did all 8!" I said excitedly. I think he may have smiled. I think I may have gained some bonus "you might work as a trainer after all" points too.
Front Dumbbell Raises
Working: Front Deltoids (shoulders), Trapezius (look it up! *lol* it's back shoulder area)
Target: 4 sets - reps: 20/12/10/8
Actual: 4 sets - reps: 20/12/10/8 - weight: 5/10/10/12
Hubs Actual: 4 sets - reps: 20/12/10/8 - weight: 5/12/15/15
(Just so you know, next time he WILL pick up those 20 pound dumbbells. He's afraid of them, I know it. I used them already, so he certainly should be able to!) These weren't quite as hard. We gave each other a few looks in the mirror, but I think we were both just glad they weren't lat raises! *lol* It's funny, it's about this time I started to notice other people at the gym and saw their attitude toward me had changed. As Hubs and I moved with determination from one thing to the other, they let me be. It used to be that they'd watch me, eye me with annoyance or even with a look that was almost protective. I was hoping one day they would just accept that I was doing my thing and, unless I was in serious risk of injuring myself, to leave me be. Last night, they did just that. It's also around this time that I started to notice the clear separation between my shoulder and bicep muscles. Funny, I just read something the other day that said that wouldn't happen until a person was 20%-25% body fat. Hrmph. Whatevs, dude. I may be fat still, but I'm built WELL! I made myself that way! After this workout, Hubs started complaining that we hadn't done any bicep work. My poor Hubs and his lack of focus. You have to work ALL the muscles. You don't want huge biceps and the rest of your arm and chest all flabby, do you?! *lol*
Barbell Flat Bench Press
Working: Mid Pectorals (chest), Front Shoulders and Triceps
Target: 3 sets - reps: 12/10/8
Last Time: 3 sets - reps: 12/10/6 - weight: 45/55/65
Last Night: 3 sets - reps: 12/10/5 - weight: 45/55/65
*pouts* But my arms were already getting sore, so I forgive them.
Hubs Actual: 3 sets - reps: 12/10/8 - weight: 55/65/75
I KNEW not to start him out small this time! HA! I had to help him on the last set again, encourage him and tell him to just do one more, but he made it through. By this time I was giddy and actually dancing in the weight room (lightly...I'm not suicidal!). I was in pure bliss. He was starting to feel it. I could tell by his groans and his looks of death he was throwing at me. "One more!" I told him. "Thank God!" I think was his reply. *lol* Then I told him it was a bicep devoted exercise and he was eager to get to it.
Reverse Barbell Curls
Working: Biceps and Outer Forearms
Target: 3 sets - reps: 16/14/14
Actual: 3 sets - reps: 16/14/14 - weight: 15/25/35
Hubs Actual: 3 sets - reps: 16/14/14 - weight: 45 lb. barbell only
So I let him slide on adding more weight on the last one. I know I should have pushed him, but I can't lift the 45 pound barbell like this, so I have no clue how hard a time he was having. I do know that my EZ-Curl bar was getting pretty heavy by the end there! I do know he was "shoo-shoo" breathing with me, and we were both standing there grunting as we looked in the mirror. It almost made me giggle...especially when he asked, "How many, again?" and I had to wait until my rep was finished to gasp out the answer. I looked at him and smiled. By the last set, I looked straight at him and said, "Alright, babe. Last 14! Make 'em count!" Since when did I become THAT person? I mean, I know this is the crap I feed myself, but why is it coming out of my mouth? And why does it seem to be working on him? *lol*
By the time it was over, we were exhausted. I knew Hubs was going to feel it (okay, I really, really hope he will!) the next day. He was more than ready to go home. And then I looked at him and gave an apologetic look. He gave me back the "What?" look and I shrugged at him. "We should really do at least 5 minutes of cardio to round this out." I told him. I had already resigned to going home early and skipping out on my planned 35 minute session on the elliptical because I had doubled up the ST. I told myself that I could walk at lunch today...or not...either way, I'll get done what I need to for the week, no problem. (One good thing about pushing yourself further is you end out coming out ahead - that gives you the luxury to be a TINY BIT lazy every once in a while without it really hurting the plan.)
He shook his head I think. I know he sighed. And then he agreed. We headed upstairs just in time to catch the two ellipticals together. "Five to ten minutes, tops!" I told him. We got on and both started pumping our legs at about 120. Then Florence + the Machine came on in my one headphone (I keep one on so I can hear my music, and the other out so I can hear Hubs). It hit a fast part and I could feel the endorphin rush coming through me. I hunkered down and gave that machine everything I had, getting to about 210. Hubs laughed at my giddiness as I sang to him quietly, flung my head around, did a whole little flashdance scene right there on the elliptical (the fast moving legs scene, not the whole water thing..that would have been awkward!). I slowed down...and then a second later, he sped up to about 170. I turned to him and gasped playfully. "Trying to outdo me, I see! That WILL NOT work for me!" I sped up to 180. He sped up to 190. I went to 200. Before I knew it I had topped myself out at 250 (I didn't know I could DO THAT!) and he was speeding along around 270 and we were both smiling like little kids. I have to say, that one minute of play on the ellipticals goes up there with some of my favorite moments we've shared - and we've been together since we were about 13, so that's saying something! (while I planned on doing 10 minutes, really..I knew I could push him to it...I had to pee!! *lol* We did 5 and I ran downstairs to empty the tank.) Before I let him leave, I ran him through a stretching routine. He didn't want to do it. He kept telling me "I'll stretch in the car on the way home." But I got him to do it, and I felt much better after.
As we were leaving the gym, Hubs said something about his father. We've been joking to my FIL that if he joins the gym I will try to train him the best I can from my limited knowledge. Lately, my FIL has been referring to me as the diet and exercise expert of the family and saying things like, "This is what this book says, but I'll refer to you because you know what you're talking about." *lol* It's intimidating at times, but sweet too. Hubs repeated himself, "We have GOT to get my Dad to join the gym." Maybe it's me, but I took that as a compliment on my ability to keep the energy flow up during our session. I got a little bit of "I'm a trainer head" and started seriously wondering what it would take to get me certified. It's certainly a full-blown passion of mine now...and I keep thinking -- it's amazing where you find yourself when you give yourself the freedom to do what moves you.
Me, a certified trainer? Maybe one day. For now, I'm happy just making my Hubs hate me at the gym and love me later. I can't wait to call him today and see how sore he is. I know typing is causing me to feel the soreness in my arms...I just hope I achieved the same for him.
Happy lifting, everyone! Remember to have some fun while you're at it. Make it a friendly competition with a friend or loved one or chase the kids. You don't even realize how much good you're giving your body WHILE feeding your heart and soul with memories!