T Nation

Pch2's Adventures


Edit: I started this log a while ago, and was beginning to feel lonely in the Sorority. I found my thing - BJJ. I'm still a bumbly white belt, so any input would be nice. Oh, and I haven't been going into BJJ issues in detail, but after moving to combat sports I will.

I thought I'd start my own thread of adventures rather than clutter dd's. I've done the whole -wandered my way into the weight room, lost a bunch of weight, became addicted to the endorphins - path that a lot of people on this site have done.

Currently though I'm a little lost. I don't quite know what to set my goals as. I appreciate the dedication and the strength of the fitness girls, but I can't have aesthetics be my primary goal. I've decided to spend a little time as a jack of all trades, I'm going to try different things until I find one that I want to stick with.

For a while I attempted just reading about everything and finding a goal, but that's left me feeling icky. So, I'm just continuing with the weight program from the New Rules of Lifting for Women as my base program and add experiments to it. I thought y'all would be able to provide some guidance, maybe suggest some things to try, and of course be amused by my adventures.

Stay tuned for yesterday's adventure - CrossFit.


Sounds fun. I’m glad you are questioning and trying to find what you enjoy and what makes you happy. :slight_smile:



this is so exciting! I can’t wait to see what happens!

What are your goals at this point?

More overall athleticism?

Improved body composition?

Increased mobility?


CrossFit - I went to a free introductory class.

I am such a girl when it comes to trying new things. I get nervous and clumsy and super selfconsious. So I think I’m going to have to stick to things for a brief period rather than trying it once and moving on.

I got to the crossfit place after calling my little brother for a pep talk and managed to immediately drop my keys, then my sigg, and then a bunch of change. Off to a great start. There to witness my enterance were a 3 guys who looked like they had been to a gym before, 1 young looking kid, 1 older guy, 2 soccer mom types and 2 cardio bunnies.

The women were standing with a woman in a bright pink crossfit shirt (she didn’t actually look like she worked out, central adiposity no muscle mass) and the men were playing with gymnast rings with a guy in a black crossfit shirt (he was doing a pull up to a dip sort of thing).

I’m always torn in these situations and actually spent a little while standing in the middle of both groups and then wandering around the gym. I wanted to play with the rings, but I pussed out and stood around with the women talking about maragritas and GI issues. This bad choice determined the rest of my experience.

We signed releases, talked about prices, blah blah blah. Then the guy says we’re going to get started and warm up. Everyone got a piece of PVC pipe and we spread out. So the gym was two rooms with an open doorway in between. I spread onto the guy side and asked am I supposed to be on the girl side.

The answer was - there is no girl side, but there clearly was. We did the shoulder warm up that’s also in the magnificent mobility DVD where you hold the pipe and swing it in front and behind you - I don’t remember the name.

We then all gathered into one room and stood in a half circle, with once again a gender divide. This time I was on the girl side, where I let myself stay for the reminder of the workout, ugh.

The guy was the instructor, but rather than stand in the middle he stood in front of the fit guys and instructed them. He said we would warm up with the movement we were going to do and proceeded to write pull-up, push up, squat and situp.

He then proceeded to do one of each to show us form. All basic movements that I can handle. One of the bunnies asked the woman what to do instead of pullups and was told inverted rows. So we do 5 push ups squats and situps. No one warmed up pull-ups. We then started the workout.

Sorry this is getting so long! I’m going to break the rest up into another post.


yeah? Yeah? Yeah? keep going!


We started with a 400m run outside. I hate running. I also need to get a better sports bra. I sucked it up and ran, realizing that I need to work on my cardio endurance. I shouldn’t be winded after running, not even sprinting, 400m.

We got back and were told we’d be doing three sets of each exercise in the order on the board timed. The kicker 21, 15 then 9 reps. I cannot do 21 pullups, I can do 8 pullups maybe with a lot of cheating.

The guy was helping the guys, so I had to find the woman and ask her what to do. All while the timer is running! She said - you obviously work out, just make it work. Really, wtf? So I did 21 jumping chin ups on the rings. The rings are wonderfully fun.

Next were push ups, I also can’t to 21 pushups so once again I have to ask. More time wasted! She gave me a incline made of PVC but there was only one and so the other fit girl was standing in front of me waiting for it. I wasn’t really able to get in the zone, so I sucked through 21 incline push ups. BW squats and crunches I knocked out easily.

Set 2 - I went easy on myself and just did inverted rows. All the rest of the girls were doing them. I need to work on not letting others set the standard for what’s acceptable! Also, I was worried that it would take me too long to get through the jumping chins and my time would suck.

I also let myself do a higher incline than was challenging for the push-ups because there wasn’t pipe available, and I wanted to get done. Set 3 went the same way. I went easy on myself to get a better time.

I was the first girl to finish, but was still after all the guys. They all did harder versions of each movement too! We then just kinda stood around until the last soccer mom was done. They didn’t push themselves at all, and I found myself thinking well at least I did better than them. A hung over soccer mom is not who I should be letting myself compete against!

To cool down we did pike while hanging from the rings. This didn’t feel like a cool down, there is no stability with the rings and I was swinging like mad.

After we were done the woman came over to the women and told us about how great the workout was because we could go at our own pace and adapt the workouts to fit our levels. The guys played with the rings once again. I had given up and was insanely winded so I just left.

I don’t really think crossfit is for me, but saturdays are free and I’m going to try it for a little while. I was nervous, not quite sure of what level to do things at, and apparently lacking internal motivation. I’m going to join the boys side next time, I really want to play with the rings.

I can see drawbacks though - to get a good time I was willing to cheat on the workout, I could have done everything on my own at home (well once I get a chin up bar), I also didn’t like the trainers.

The whole thing only took 40 min, and an hour later I went on to do my regularly scheduled lifting.


[quote]downwardog wrote:
What are your goals at this point?

That is the problem. I want it all, so I’ve turned that into a short goal of I want to find something I enjoy doing, and is challenging.

“I hear a very gentle sound
With your ear down to the ground
We want the world and we want it…
We want the world and we want it…

I’ll put up my New Rules workout, and today’s spin class experiment after I get some cooking done.


[quote]sic wrote:
Sounds fun. I’m glad you are questioning and trying to find what you enjoy and what makes you happy. :)[/quote]

Thanks, your log rocks. Your latest points about goals have really hit home.


Saturday’s NR:

I’m on stage 5, I don’t really love this program, but it does have some fun stuff in it and well I started so might as well keep going.

BB Deadlift/ Bent Row Combo- 75 3x6
I hate this movement, I just can’t get it to feel right. 75 is the most I can row, but I feel nothing for the DL portion. I’m considering breaking it up.

A1 Single Leg Squat - BW standing on the smallest platform 3x6
This is surprisingly hard for me. The balance and keeping it a controlled movement are a nice challenge. I keep trying to drive through my heel, but if I don’t pay attention my quads take over.

A2 - Wide Grip Pullups - Assisted -55 3x6
After crossfit, this was hell

B1 - Back Ext - 25 2x6 35 1x6
I keep feeling my hamstrings kick in on this one, and really have to concentrate on making the movement pivot around my hips and not knees. I also think I can do more weight, but the 45s are really wide and I can’t seem to figure out how to get a good grip on them. Any suggestions?

B2 - YTLW I do these at an incline over a swiss ball, there are never benches available 8 3x6
This light weight actually kills my shoulders!

So next I’m supposed to do Ab work, but I didn’t. I don’t like ab work and keep justifying to myself that ab work isn’t really essential since they kick in for everything else and I don’t want a thick waist. Nope I seem to be settling for a fat waist instead (ah the insights you get from having to explain your actions). I was also fairly wiped from CrossFit.


It’s so easy to fall behind on these things… On Sunday I took a spinning class. Yup, the ride a bike really fast in place class. I think Shugart did a blog about one once and said he hated it and it wasn’t worth it. I’ll have to agree with that about most classes. I’ve taken quite a few spinning classes and most are boring. The spin class on Sunday though is taught by an instructor I absolutely love.

He really does make all the difference. I’ve taken a few classes with him, and he’s such an asshole, it’s great. He plays loud angry music I love. What’s better than Disturbed at 8 on Sunday morning?

Looking at my own reflection
When suddenly it changes
Violently it changes
Oh no, there is no turning back now
You’ve woken up the demon in me

He also calls you out when you’re slacking. I find that not being yelled at is a better motivator for me than praise. I sucked on Sunday, he let it be known to everyone that I sucked. It really just makes me want to prove him wrong. So, I’ll be spinning every Sunday. It’s not really something I can make my - this is what I train for goal - but it’s something hard and fun!


Yesterday’s NR

1 arm DB Snatch - 30 3x 6 ea side
I really like this movement, there’s just something fun about doing it. 30 feels a bit light, but 35 was too heavy to do 3 sets for. I need to figure out what to do in those cases. Do I do 35 for 1 set then 30 for the next 2?

A1 BB Bent Row - 75 3x6

A2 DB Single Leg SLDL - 25 1x6 30 1x6 25 1x6
I didn’t have my ipod and was having a bit of difficulty concentrating on balance. My grip kept failing too, I think I’m going to have to get some straps. Grip can’t be holding everything else back.

Incline DB BP - 25 3x6
Next time I need to go heavier on these

1 arm up 1 arm down OH squat - 8&15 3x6ea side
This is a totally new movement pattern for me. Keeping that arm up in the air sucks!

Cable wood chopper - 40 3x6
The only ab movement I enjoy and thus do.

Typed up it looking like nothing, but by the end of it I find myself staggering back home.


That doesn’t look like nothing!

Don’t get straps!

Geesh, I hated that cable wood chopper the one time I ever did it.

How do you use such heavy weights and high volume on the back extensions?

Am I so out of touch? How much longer on this program?


[quote]downwardog wrote:
That doesn’t look like nothing!
Don’t get straps!

How do you use such heavy weights and high volume on the back extensions?

Am I so out of touch? How much longer on this program? [/quote]

Why no straps?

Hmm, it may seem like heavy weight because I hold the weight in front of me? The lever arm is shorter? I hadn’t even thought to hold the weight behind my head until I read it in Sic’s log. I’ll give that a try next time.

I just started this phase of this program, so another few weeks.


Well, unless you’re competing or something, why use straps to go heavier?

Better to work on your grip.

For a single leg DL, if your hands are failing you’ve got a huge imbalance between grip strength and total body strength.

You don’t want to go real heavy on the SLDL anyway, it’s more of a finesse exercise.

What you’ve got are weak hands and using straps will simply make you more dependent upon straps.

a good grip strengthener:

Hanging from a high bar
(keep shoulders in sockets)
Once you build up to 2 mins, begin hanging from one arm at a time.

Re: back extension

Hmm, you’re right. Maybe try a 10# plate at the crown of the head?

Also, pause at the top, in full contraction for a few seconds to increase the dfficulty or hold the weight higher up on the head a bit to increase the fulcrum.

Over & out.


[quote]downwardog wrote:
Well, unless you’re competing or something, why use straps to go heavier?[/quote]

Yeah, I’ve had the same thoughts about the grip too. Bring up the weakest link, but while I’m bringing up the weakest link, is all the rest of me going to slack? I assumed that’s why people used straps. I’d prefer not to though, so I just won’t. I should probably work on perfecting my balance before going heavier anyway.

Sweet, will do. Isn’t it so incredibly cool how all of this is just physics, or am I just that much of a super geek?


Don’t think of it that way, as the rest of the body slacking. Think of it as not exacerbating the body’s imbalances.

Would you do more reps with your right arm than the left simply because you could?

(people actually do. I read client workout logs every day–but YOU wouldn’t!)

You have to train the weak part to bring the body into balance, THEN you can fly.

This is the idea of not “killing” the body with training, but healing it.
This is how you prevent injuries down the line.


[quote]downwardog wrote:
Don’t think of it that way, as the rest of the body slacking. Think of it as not exacerbating the body’s imbalances.[/quote]

You know that’s just what I needed, a different perspective on the issue. Thanks!


Hey! Looks like I’ll be in Cleveland early October! Look at me, I’m part of pch2’s adventure!


[quote]downwardog wrote:
Hey! Looks like I’ll be in Cleveland early October! Look at me, I’m part of pch2’s adventure![/quote]

Yipee!! You’ve just given a sucky ass day a wonderful finish!


Today was a NR day, but my workout was sucky. I just moved and am going to a new gym. So I don’t know the traffic patterns yet, and haven’t become old news either. Everytime I go it’s super crowded - at my last gym I used to be the only one in the weight room - I’m just not used to the people and have been letting them interfere with my concentration.

I turned up the SOAD and attempted to suck it up, but I really wasn’t able to give it 100%. I’m mostly just pissed at myself, must watch your every move guy should not be interfereing in my me time!

BB DL/B Row - 75 2x6 1x4
I feel like I’m doing something wrong here, I need to look up the movement.

DL - 145 2x5
I wasn’t supposed to DL, but I was angry and frustrated with the BB DL/B Row and really enjoy DLing.

A1 Step up - Highest step BW 3x6
I was half way through a single leg progression article, and think I need to down grade from what I was doing, haven’t yet decided what I’m going to do. So I just did what I know how to do. At this point I had also decided that I was just going to fuck it all and play.

A2 Assisted Wide Grip Pull-up -55 3x6 -45 1x6

B1 Back Ext - 9lb body bar behind the neck 3x6
DD was right, with the pause this feels perfect!

B2 YTWL 5 3x6

At this point I gave up, came home and then did a few crunches with a 15lb kettlebell. I don’t know, next time I’ll go later.

I did get to wear my knee socks and thought my adventures could use some pics.