7

Apr
2014

Training update

Posted at 20:24 in Food, Progress, Training

Training is going amazingly well at the moment! I’m seeing lots of rep PRs on, well, everything! Deadlifts, front squats, bench press and even my military press, which is my absolute weakest lift. I’m so happy I started on 5/3/1!

I have a feeling I’ll be seeing some new 1RMs this year so watch this space!

It was my mum’s birthday Friday last week, so we went up for the weekend to celebrate with her. We had a fab time and it included an amazing meal out, where I devoured this bad boy…

20oz t-bone

Definite foodgasms!

I hit a new rep PR on my deadlifts tonight – 107kg x8! I can’t wait for next session when I’ll be pulling 113kg :-D

I’m keeping this post brief as I’m flagging and need to make food, but I’ll leave you with a little collage I made, documenting my progress. Sometimes you have to look backward just to see how far you’ve come :)

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27

Mar
2014

If I could turn back time…

Posted at 20:17 in Personal

…would I?

Yesterday was my 36th birthday. In my late teens and early twenties, the thought of reaching my mid thirties was a kind of horrifying prospect. However, reaching my thirties wasn’t as scary as I’d imagined and I genuinely feel that my thirties have been the best years of my life so far. Not only is my life finally coming together but I’m so much more confident and comfortable in my own skin. Those insignificant little insecurities from my teens and twenties have disappeared and I’m a lot more satisfied with what I have. That’s not to say there are things I wouldn’t change mind ;)

So the answer is no, I would not turn back time. Because at the end of the day, age is just a number, and you know how I feel about numbers – they don’t mean squat!

I was looking back over my old photos the other day and came across a photo of me that I’ve shared on the blog in the past. It’s a picture of me at the tender age of 16 years old. Twenty years have now passed, but I think I still look pretty damn good…

And my body is definitely better than when I was a youngster…

This birthday was probably my best birthday yet. I had a couple of days booked off from work so I woke early and had a nice lazy morning, enjoying coffee and opening my cards and presents.

A few weeks ago, I (mistakenly?) told the girls in work that I’m aiming to grow my butt. Imagine my laughter when I opened up my birthday card from everyone…

Damn, I love those girls <3  I had another couple from friends in my office – they totally get my sense of humour and I love them for it!

I started off my birthday with a nice deload legs session. Even though it’s just a deload it still kicked my ass! I think because the weight is low, I compensated by making the exercise last longer, therefore having more time spent under tension. I also substituted walking lunges for split squats as my right hip flexor pinged again last week when doing walking lunges so I’m giving it a rest for a couple of weeks. Next session, I’m going to do them with the rear foot elevated, aka Bulgarian split squats.

After the gym, I had to pack my overnight bag as my wonderful boyfriend had booked us into the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa. This was such a lovely surprise to me as we’ve never actually been away together, just the two of us. We’ve both talked about how much we’d love to visit a spa and get some pampering and with how hard we’ve been training recently, it was definitely a well deserved treat.  Our room was beautiful, on the 11th floor with a stunning panoramic view across Cardiff city.

After we had unpacked and settled in, we made our way down to the spa as we had massages booked. We were shown to the beautiful serene “relaxation lounge”…

The massage was utterly divine. I’ve never actually had a massage that wasn’t a sports massage (if you’ve had one, you know they hurt like hell!) so it was nice to feel completely relaxed and pampered.

We had dinner reservations for the evening at the hotel restaurant and I had the most incredible coq au vin, which was made specifically gluten free for us by their chef. I didn’t take any pictures of the food, I’m not sure why, and I really wish I had because it was a real work of art!

After food, we went into the bar for a few glasses of wine, before retiring to our room to watch this week’s episode of Supernatural online – don’t judge me, it’s my birthday ^_^

This morning, for the first time in three years, I actually ate breakfast…

As much as I enjoyed every single mouthful, my body is SO NOT used to digesting food so early in the day! I felt sluggish and like I needed to go back to bed for a while afterwards so early morning eating is not something I’ll be doing again in a hurry.

At 11am, I had my first ever facial (fnar fnar) in the spa and it was a fabulous experience. My skin felt incredible afterwards, so soft and smooth and glowing. Afterwards, we donned our bathing suit and enjoyed the rest of the spa – sauna, steam room, hot tub and pool. Emz had purposely booked a late check out so that we didn’t have to rush off – he’s such a sweetheart!

When we got home, we unpacked and then made the short drive to Verdi’s in Mumbles for what has become traditional, birthday ice cream…

And now I’m sipping on a gluten free beer and getting ready to order gluten free pizza – cheers!

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23

Mar
2014

Progress

Posted at 21:13 in Personal, Progress, Training

I’ve not been in the best place, mentally, in the last couple of weeks. I’ve been feeling kinda down on my physique, feeling a tad too squishy and not leaning out as I want to. I know the problem is my own compliance; I’m eating more than I need to on too many occasions and have had a couple of indulgent days with takeaways and alcohol.

Yesterday, I stepped on the scale and was not surprised to see it up a couple of lbs and for the first time in a long time, I felt a tiny bit of sadness. But then I looked into the mirror and saw that the scale actually did not tell the whole story at all. Yes, there may be a slight increase but visually, I actually don’t look any worse for it…

However, I am planning to knuckle down as I’m carrying more fat than I want to be and I’m not feeling as comfortable in my own skin as I want to be. So, I’ve made some tweaks to my diet and I’m hoping to see some positive changes!

The one place I am seeing regular progress is in the gym. The numbers just keep going up and up and and I’m lifting more for reps on everything than I ever have!

After my recent deadlift PR of 109kg x7, I’ve recently hit 62kg x5 on my front squats and 29kg x3 on my military press…

I lost my focus on the third rep and came forward onto my toes. In hindsight I should have stopped on the third but I carried on and got 5, though they weren’t very pretty. However, pretty or not, I hit depth on all five reps and so I’m counting it!

I know my military press is very sadly lacking. Considering I have quite muscular shoulders…

…they aren’t all that strong. They’re pretty well built after a childhood of swimming, but thanks to swimming, they are also incredibly hypermobile so I have real problems with stability on my pressing movements. So although it’s only 29kg, I’m very pleased with that, especially after my recent shoulder injuries.

I’m on a deload week now. I never thought I’d enjoy deloading but I am and I can only attribute my continued progress in the gym to following a proper strength training template. I genuinely can’t see me deferring from the 5/3/1 template for a very long time!

Hope you’ve had a fab weekend!

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