A Clinical Study of One

Hey all.

I’ve decided to start blogging again, because I’m training for a competition in March. I intend to set the bench record for my weight and age in Colorado, and Kpsnap has graciously allowed me to take it. :slight_smile:

Here’s my old log:

I’m going to try to be utterly candid in this log. I haven’t been around for a while because, to be honest, I’ve been depressed. I discovered I need a minimum amount of cardio to keep wanting to stay alive, and I’ve been struggling with my feelings about aging.

The title refers to this: as a scientist, I used to be snotty about needing double blind clinical trials for establishing effects. Then, in discussion with a friend I said: I KNOW that fish oil affects my mood, but the evidence is mixed. She said: You are your own clinical study of one and you have the luxury of running as many trials as you want. Aha.

Today I am 5’4" and 47 years old. I weigh 109.5 lbs and bench 92.5 with a 3 second pause at the chest. I deadlifted (sumo) 203.5 in competition this fall and I squatted 132 in competition last summer.

I have a very funny story to tell you all in my next post about a guy doing partial reps in the smith machine.

I adore and admire every one of you powerful women.

Happy lifting!


As a scientist delving into the realm of qualitative research. I can tell you there is a lot to be learned from a study of one! I can cite some literature if it’ll appease the positivist in you :slight_smile:

I’m looking forward to discovering your themes.

Story: I work out in a dumpy little hovel of a gym at my work. I’ve taught 5 or 6 coworkers to use the free weights, but the gym is not crowded. About 6 months ago I was joined by a short but muscular fellow from our Georgia plant and he began to instruct a few coworkers too. We give each other space and respect.

Last week he came in talking to himself: “dude challenged me!”. His buddy had challenged him that he could not bench press 315 for three reps. He gathered a treadmill bunny and another friend to video him as he burst out of the locker room hooting, pumping, and slapping himself and ran to the … smith machine… which was loaded with three plates on each slide.

He pressed those plates for about 10 reps, stopping six inches above his chest for each while his friends video’d it. There was much “whoo-ing”. I said nothing.

A few minutes later another coworker came into the gym and GA-man was bragging about the performance. New coworker said “is that right? Were these full reps, all the way to the chest?” I gestured from the side "Nooooooooo… "

The next day the same guy was doing partial squats on the smith machine and teaching all his coworkers to do the same.

Now, this guy is stronger than me, so I can’t say anything but all I could think was what the T-Nation crowd would have to say!

Hi mim, missed ya!
Hi patch, thanks, I’d love to continue that conversation. I’ve also been intrigued by new ideas about medicine that indicate that there may be a huge variation in individual responses. As the queen of unusual side effects from medicines I am inclined to agree. Just as an example: doxycycline gives me panic attacks (certain) and enhances my sexual responsiveness (maybe).

I’m a big fan of the study of one, too. Also, a methodology that exalts randomized double blind control trials above the findings of alternative methodologies favors pharmaceutical companies more than alternatives such as ART etc. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if medications / supplements interact with whatever else one is eating… Pretty complicated huh.

Sorry to hear about your not feeling so good. Hopefully your new goal will help get you out of the slump. My comisserations with respect to the dude. One of the hardest things I find is the guys who don’t take what I have to say seriously / who think stronger guys know more than me simply because they are stronger.

My new gym has names on the wall for such feats as largest number of stairs climbed. Guys and gals for the cardio activities. Only guys for the strength activities. Need to beat a 75kg powerclean, I do. That isn’t all that much, actually. I bet the guy weighs over 100kg grr…


SO pleased! SO PLEASED! I’m so pleased and glad you are logging and competing! And giving us stories!! Can’t wait to see your outstanding progress !

ARACHNE IS BACK! You do not know how much your decision to return has brightened my day. YEAH!

If support regarding depression issues is helpful to you, we are here. If you want to hash out struggling with feelings about aging, that is a topic that has my attention at the moment. Its complicated, but we’ve got time and space to deal with it.

Nice avi, and great numbers! You are much stronger than me on the squats and deads, and we are comparable on the bench.


Thanks Alexus, Brute, Kimba. It’s so nice to see you! Kimba, you may hear much more self-indulgence than you might like, but who knows, maybe this process will keep me going upward. Those with weak stomachs for navel-gazing may be advised to read elsewhere!

Went over to the gym for the daily 15 minute jog with a cool down. Last week I committed to 5x of this scheme and managed all five days for a week total of ~5 miles. I’m trying for consistency and it does keep me wanting to go on surviving.
15 minutes at 4.5 mph followed by a cool down for a total of 1.29 miles. Warmth starts at 9.5 minutes and sweating barely begun at 15. I couldn’t stand to look at my face in the mirror but felt acceptable by the time I was done.

Caliper measurement at ~5.5 mm = 17-18%.

Next post will cover bench pressing, then I will do one on depression and one on drinking.

I admire and cherish you powerful women. Happy lifting!

Arachne! I am so excited you’ll be logging, I already love it in here! I am all for the nipple gazing, and you have a mighty nice one to be doing so.

ah! I said nipple, not NAVEL! You know what i meant…I’m sure the nipples aren’t half bad either :wink:

Welcome back! We have pretty much the exact same competition numbers. I’ll definitely be following along.

[quote]cholulalula wrote:
ah! I said nipple, not NAVEL! You know what i meant…I’m sure the nipples aren’t half bad either ;)[/quote]

lmao, I’m cracking up over here.

^Me too! :slight_smile:

Come backs are always good! I’m looking forward to seeing you go get the bench record.

As for the aging issues, you aren’t alone. I don’t like it one bit, but there are quite a few of us 40ish chicks who are with ya. Happy to provide back up, or just stare at your navel.

So glad you are back.

I’m in.


You women can stare at my navel or nipple or whatever, I don’t mind!

Finished benching today.

Main lift
Bench press with a count of 3 pause at the bottom 1x5 45, 55, 60. Singles at 70, 80, 90. 4x1 singles at 92.5.
I was on schedule for 5x1 but the last one was hard. My failure is inevitably with the right arm. I don’t know if it’s arm, chest, or shoulder. I’m spending a huge amount of time getting my core tight and breathing, etc. I feel like I have to point out I can 1RM more than this but these pauses are a bitch.

Lockout singles at 65, 85, 95, 105, 115, 125 and fails at 135 and 130.
Face pulls 3x8 at 130
Lat pulldowns 1x5 at 140 (the cable stand has two pulleys so this is equivalent to only 70 lbs)
BB rows 3x8 at 55
DB bench 3x5 with 30s
DB incline press 2x8 with 25s (failure beginning again with the right arm)
Abs 4x10 decline situps (I’m committed to doing some kind of ab work every time, both to be sure my core doesn’t lag and so I can pet my own abs at night when I feel blue. :))

Tomorrow is squat day and mandatory cardio.

Thanks for being here. (((())))

Oooh. I’ll be following along too :slight_smile: I laughed my butt off at your smith machine guy. I don’t care if there were 3 plates on there or not, it was an assisted lift where he didn’t go through the full range of motion. Not official in my books.

Did you hurt your right arm in the past? Maybe the shoulder, chest, back… The body is so weird in how one imbalance can affect other parts.

finally the return of my favorite spidah!!!

you take vit d, doll???

cannot fucking wait to cheer when you crush that record.

that is all. carryon.

Glad to see you logging again! Yeah, I’m on the over-40s bus as well. This last week two separate men have mentioned age in the context of “oh but I bet you’re a couple of years younger than me” to which I replied “I bet you’re not”. Both turned out to be mid-thirties and couldn’t believe I was 44. Most of the time I can’t believe it either. When I turned 40 my first thought was “how the fuck did that happen?” Eh, but we look better than most younger chicks, no?

I think I feel better for some cardio, too. But a lot of the time I can’t be arsed to do it. Eh… And yes, +1 on the Vit D. It makes a difference at this time of year.

pixie, the extra funny part comes when you add up the plates 45x3x2 = 270. The smith machine bar does not weigh what a free oly bar weighs. I’m guessing 12 lbs, so after all that attitude AND using the smith, he was only pushing 282 thinking it was 315.

Deja, Cal, yes I’m taking the D now, but I wasn’t during the recent struggle.

Deja my heart sings when you visit my log. xoxox!

Cal, my dear. I don’t want to bum you out, but I felt hotter than hell at 44. 47 has been a very very tough change. Aging is a disease and I’m not sure how any of us take it gracefully. But more on that rant later.

15 minutes at 4.6 mph + 3 minute cool down yields 1.34 miles. Felt warming at 8:45 and was puzzled by this until I remembered I’m wearing a silk cami under the tank top. Additional warmth = sweat at 14 minutes.
Still can’t stand to look at my hideous face in the mirror, but I was singing to KBCO this morning and I did NOT drink wine last night, so I’ll give myself a 6 on the depresso-meter where 1 is plotting my own death and 10 is thriving. This brings me to my next post about my relationship to alcohol.