weights

Don’t Let This Fat Fool You, Bruh. I Lift.

Last night at the gym, there were a few men acting very superior. Maybe they had a tough Monday, but one guy especially pissed me off. I’ve done a lot of research on my weight-lifting routine and watched multiple videos to make sure my form is correct. I’ve started out with a low weight and gradually built up the amount of weights I lift by five-pound increments over several months. I’m by no means lifting super-heavy, but I am lifting a decent amount. And I’m proud of how much I can lift now, especially considering where I started.

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Just for those who don’t know, when lifting a barbell, the bar itself is 45 pounds and then you add weights to either side. There are also some shorter barbells that you can add weights to.  My workout buddy and I have long discussed how much these shorter bars weighed because we had no idea. We’ve asked around and were told inconsistent amounts.  I need to know so that I can accurately add weights to either side. So last night, I decided to ask my new gym’s staff how much those bars weighed so that I would finally be informed. He didn’t know which bar I was talking about at first (there is an ez-curl bar that felt really, really light and then another bar hanging up that was more what I was talking about). So we started back to the weight area, and I’m trying to explain what I want to know. He says, “ohhhh because the 45 pound bar is too heavy for you so you need something lighter.” He says this in a tone as if I couldn’t possibly lift 45 pounds, and it was patronizing. Um no. My reply, “No.  I want to know because on busy days, the barbells are all taken. I want to be able to accurately know how much weight to add. I just finished deadlifting 80lbs (3 sets in fact).” He looked at me with a very shocked face. The  comment and shocked response made me pretty mad, but I am used to people making snap judgments about my fitness level because of my appearance. Maybe I got so mad because just 15 minutes before, some guy inserted himself into my buddy’s workout routine, letting her know that she needed to get lighter weights, or because I had JUST shoulder-pressed the same amount (and sets) as the “dude” next to me (even though I’m not there to compete, I did notice). Either way, I wasn’t feeling a lot of love from my male gym-goers last night. Keep hating fellas, it just fuels my fire.

 

 

PS: Buzzfeed knows.

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Gym Fails… Take 1

I know that I seem like this very polished and put together weightlifter from my blog entries (that’s sarcasm), but I mess up at the gym too. Hopefully, my goof-ups will encourage you to keep going even if you get something wrong every once in a while. Here lately, it feels like I’ve been getting things wrong a lot.

Last week, I went to the gym without my workout buddy because our schedules were off. I was feeling pretty good as I sauntered upstairs because I had just set a new treadmill PR (14:05 mile). I start the first half of my weight-lifting routine without issue. It was a Saturday morning so the gym wasn’t too crowded. I walk over to get 25 pound dumbbells for my overhead presses, and of course, they were nowhere in sight. Seriously, even when I move up in weights, someone must move up with me. I can NEVER find the dumbbells I need. I decided to use the bench and use the barbell for my overhead presses. I’ve never done this before. I add 2.5 pounds to each side to equal 50 pounds and sit down. Then I struggle to get the bar off the bench. I don’t know if it’s the angle or what, but I can’t lift it. I try and try – sweating profusely, cussing under my breath, and pretty sure with veins popping out of my head. So I stand up and move the barbell down to the lower level and voila! I can lift. I quickly look around to see if anyone is laughing at me, but no one was paying attention. I continued with my set without incident (although I did hit myself in the head with the barbell, I’m pretty sure no one saw).

Then there was yesterday. Again, I was without my workout buddy because I had to go earlier in the day. Someone had suggested that I bench press with dumbbells when I’m working out without a buddy to spot me. Again, start my routine without issue. I wasn’t feeling too hot, but I was making it. I then strut over to the dumbbells and grab two 30 pound dumbbells. I lay on the bench and CANNOT lift them even an inch. What the hell? I can totally bench press 60 pounds. I try a few times with some un-ladylike snorts and grunts and still can’t get any traction. So I sit up and accidentally smack my hip with the dumbbell. I say a choice word, and then lay back down to try again. Still can’t lift them even a little. OOOOFFFFFFFF. Alright, enough of this spectacle. So I slowly sit up and lug the weights back to the rack. Damn it. I felt foolish. I moved over to the bench and barbell and was able to knock out my sets – after second guessing myself on the mental math. I took off and reloaded the same two weights to the barbell twice. I know I looked crazy, but math is hard, okay?

I’m not a pro by any means so any tips regarding dumbbell bench presses are appreciated. And even though I’ve looked like an idiot the past couple of times, I’m not really embarrassed. All I have to do is checkout out my rearview in the mirror to know I’m doing work. 🙂
  

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Sometimes you just have to be a superhero

Sometimes you just have to be a super hero, damn it! I play in an adult kickball league and play in the lowest-tier-league, called Laid-back League (LBL). We don’t take ourselves too seriously and enjoy a little bit of the game and a lot of tomfoolery. Yesterday’s theme was superheroes. Yes, we wear costumes sometime. Because I procrastinate, I came up with my costume about two hours before I needed it. I couldn’t find a cape anywhere, so I settled for a 97 cent, pink tablecloth from Wal-Mart. My roommate helped me turn it into something a little more fun with polka-dot duct tape. Anyway, all of this is to explain that I got today’s blog-post idea from a picture I posted to Instagram of my super hero outfit from yesterday. I captioned it, “Sometimes you just need to be a superhero.” How true is that? Sometimes you just have to get over all your insecurities and put it all aside to spend the moment being a badass.

I am not the fittest, healthiest person at my gym by any means. I can’t lift the heaviest, and I am always paranoid that I am doing an exercise wrong. However, I try to put all that at the back of my mind when I’m at the gym. And I have to be honest, even though I’m nowhere near my goals, I feel kind of like a superhero after I lift weights. I have swagger and badass confidence when I’m in the weight room. I check myself out in the mirror (yes, I’m suffering from booty hubris right now because squats), and I have a feeling of pride after I accomplish all the sets and reps that I wrote out in my fitness log. So sometimes, we have to envision the most badass version of ourselves and channel it throughout what ever may be challenging us. Conjure up your inner superhero, and don’t be afraid to work it! I leave most weight-lifting sessions feeling like I can conquer the world.  It’s a pretty amazing feeling.

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Sweet, Sweet Fantasy Baby

Last night I found a blog post I wrote on June 3, 2008 – almost seven years ago.  What I wrote about then, definitely still applies today.

 

Most every night I lay in my bed before falling asleep and daydream for a little while to wind down all the stuff in my head. Usually my day dreams consist of the hot ex-basketball player from class asking me out or Jamie Fraser (from Outlander) materializing out of thin air and falling madly in love with me. Haha. Also, I usually wake up one day totally fit without any effort on my part. Well last night my fantasy had changed without any conscious effort. This time last night I was envisioning me doing fifty push-ups and chair dips and other strenuous exercises (my upper body strength is one of my weaknesses).

The point is that without any conscious effort, I was thinking of ways to improve me. Yes, it wouldn’t hurt to have some smoking man around or it would be nice to just wake up fit, but I began to put stock in myself more. Plus, this fantasy is something that I can actually work up to.

[T]his recent change in myself just goes to show how far I have come. I know I can’t just wake-up fit, I actually have to work at it, and I am! Pretty soon those fifty push-ups and fifty chair-dips won’t be just a fantasy, and I can lay in bed dreaming up new ways to push my limits!

It’s so funny, that I have once again began fantasizing about being a fitness bad ass.  I no longer day-dream about sparkly ponies or some guy sweeping me off my feet.  When my mind starts to wander, I find that it is thinking of new workouts or ways to change-up my cardio.  Today, I found myself day-dreaming about ab work.  Yes, you read that right.  I was day-dreaming about ab work.  Well, maybe brainstorming is a better term.  I’ve been adding ab work to the end of every weightlifting session (there times a week), but I don’t really love crunches.   Last night after doing a fast and furious cycle warm-up (2 hills for 3.12 miles in 10 minutes), I lifted.  I can tell that I am getting a little stronger each week.

Last night I lifted three sets of 60lbs deadlifts, 75 lbs lat pull-downs, and 40lbs shoulder presses.  Then I did ab-work: three sets each of planks, flutter kicks, and hip-lifts (or whatever it’s called when you are on your back with your feet straight up in the air and lift your hips/pelvis in the air using your core).  I feel like I need to add in more abs though.  I’d love to hear any ab-work tips from you guys!  Last week, I tried to do some ab work with the stability ball.  That was entertaining.  I was wobbling all over the place and even sent the ball rolling away from me at one point.  It might help if I didn’t try to make sound effects while rolling to and fro in the floor with the stability ball.  I’m surprised my gym hasn’t asked me to quietly leave yet.   Even so, I’d like to try more stability-ball work next time.  I have almost two whole days to come up with an addition to my weights routine for Wednesday night.  So far, squats, rows, and bench presses are on the menu after a little cardio, and I’ll definitely throw in some abs at the end.  Until I get back to the gym, I’ll do a little day-dreaming/brainstorming on shaking up the routine.  Can’t wait!

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