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Gaia's growth season

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:06 am
by Gaia
Using January and February as growth training months. So my love of running is put on hold for now (it will be easy as I am so sick of the treadmill and it is so cold outside! except for the 50 degree day we had at the beginning of this week - as a Michigander I am use to the January thaw. But with the dawn of global warming, I now ponder the weirdness of a 25 degree drop and increase in temperature within a short time (a week)). I have already noticed that my recoup time is faster without cardio, and the weights are going up.

I did Legs and shoulders yesterday, and can hardly walk this morning! My son was so inspirational for me yesterday as I put six 45 plates on each side of the Leg Press and then slid 25's on each side and still pushed out 8 reps! He is 14 years old, and even slid into the Leg Press and did a calf raise with the weights and his eyes were bulging a little with strain. I applauded his effort as he did for me. Sweet moment.

So I am being a good girl and eating every two-three hours (basically three meals with three chocolate rice milk with hemp protein shakes in between). I haven't gotten up to 180 lbs like I was last year at this time, and I am not as fat as last year (thanks to my running this year, and my races that I did). I am still keeping up with my yoga, but at home now. It is not as aerobic as I just want to keep the strength in my ligaments and tendons up to par. Plus I like the organic motion of yoga as a nice change to the mechanical motion of lifting weights. I lift a split routine, with one body part in the morning, and the other body part in the afternoon. I go every other day, so a day of rest in between. My reasoning for this is that I am getting a little slower in recouping, so a day of rest in between. My intensity is then up and I push it heavy the next day.

Thinking about competition this summer. But it is more of a can I do it again thing for me. Especially as a vegan. Right now it is just thinking, not inspired to do it. But I am going through the actions like I did last time (winter was bulking, with Mar-May for dieting, and looking good by June).

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:07 am
by Gaia
Yesterday was Chest in the morning (11 AM), and a late afternoon Bicep routine (had to wait till after my 13 year old son's soccer practice that ended at 5:30 PM, so I made it to the gym by 6 PM). I was able to blast a good chest routine with about 10 extra pounds for each exercise, and a somewhat intense bicep routine (actually the forearms started to give out on hammers, so I did some throw up the weight and fight it all the way down sets . . . ooh baby that hurt!).

Legs are still hurting in places (quads and calves mostly, hamstrings feel OK). I think I might do some yoga today, just to stretch out the muscles. . . not to use them for strength. . if that is possible. I guess maybe the lying down, or sitting on the mat, asanas will do. No standing asanas as that will work the leg muscles with gravity being the main culprit.

I had scrambled tofu this morning, and my sons do not like the mushrooms in the scramble, so I made them hemp protein pancakes. They each ate one and was full. They also wanted to know when I was going to make the white flour pancakes where it takes eating 4 to 5 of them before they then get full! I guess all the whole spelt flour, freshly ground flax seed, and hemp protein makes it pretty dense. Hee, hee. Though, I even used Hazelnut Silk creamer to flavor them over the hemp this morning. I took two of them, and got most of them down before my stomach started yelling NO MORE! I am so full right now. And very sleepy still. Digestion? or is it all the dreams with my metabolism running while I am sleeping that is waking me up every three hours at night for some reason.

Another day of gray skies, but no snow! Green grass with wet brown leaves everywhere. But cold enough to not make mud allover! One nice thing.

Recovery day today. Eat and sleep are on the agenda.

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:10 pm
by Gaia
I had a hard time sleeping through the night, so after getting the kids off to school from 5:30 AM to 7:30 AM, I fell back asleep till 9:30 AM. Woke up slowly and headed to the gym at 11 AM to work on Back. I was into the third set (Hammer Strength Iso-Back Row) with a heavy 180, and after I was done, my stomach ached so bad! I got nauseated real fast, and had to lie down in the locker room. I got up 10 minutes later, and took 45 minutes to finish my Back routine. I was able to push an extra 10 to 50 pounds than last time lifting.

I had lunch and fell back to sleep for a half hour nap before I left to pick up the kids from school and do all their exercises. Went to the gym with the two older boys and finished doing Triceps with extra weight and no stomach ache this time!

I also added BCAA after my sessions today, in addition to the hemp/chocolate rice milk shakes.

Quads are still alittle sore, but they should be good to go in two days. Chest and biceps are just a little sore (overhead tricep extensions made my chest scream a little). I have to watch my recovery pace with all this heavy lifting. I am trying to rest on my days off (naps, and just lying around. . .sometimes just knitting) and eat well. I have incorporated some yumberry juices, in addition to the pomegranate juices, to keep my antioxidants up for faster recovery.

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:11 am
by Gaia
Now, that I see we are back on line, catch up:

Wednesday, 16th of Jan, was Shoulders in the morning around 11 AM. The weights are not going up for shoulders today. I am having a hard time doing just Hammer Strength Shoulder Press with two 45's (90 lb) for 8 today. I did some descending sets just to get a pump in the shoulders, but the intensity was just not there.
Later in the day after a quick snap (super nap for 20 minutes), my kids and I headed for the gym around 4 PM for the ultimate workout of Legs. Again, the legs were not going where I wanted them to do (up in weights). I did the Leg Press first this time though. I did the usual 6 45 plates on each side, but added the 35's this time to each side (25's last time), and was able to push out 8 for the last set. So I can now leg press 610 lbs! Yeah! for me!

Thursday: Sore! Sore! Can hardly walk my legs hurt so bad, and yes, my glutes too. Mostly my quads hurt days after, the glutes were OK the next day, and the hamstrings were fine all the time. Slept alot this day.

Friday: Sunny day today. Going to pick up my daughter from Michigan State (she 4.0 her first semester!) for the weekend at home, so I headed to the gym early 9 AM. Did my Chest, and pushed it on the Hammer Strength Wide Chest Press for 230 lb! My personal best (pushed out 8 reps!). My chest wasn't pumped though, or hurting as I did it. After picking my daughter up and all the other kids from school, I headed back to the gym around 4:30 PM with my boys to do Biceps. I was pretty tired from all the driving and not eating, and not getting my little snap in, that I didn't go heavy, mainly just went about business as usual with the same weights as last time.

Saturday was rest day, and I started my menses again. They are so heavy when I am bulking up. Not too much PMS this time though, but some cramping. I just took some white willow bark and was fine. It was good that today was a rest day.

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:22 am
by Gaia
Sunday: It was Back at 11 AM at the gym. It was a good intensity workout. I did alot more cable rows today, and got a good pump as the weights went up. On my lat pull downs, I upped it up to 140 (body weight is at 170 right now) to push it more and got a good 8 reps on the last set. I was fatigued when I left. And still a little tired at 4 PM when I headed to the gym all by myself (the boys have soccer practice on the weekends, so I let them slide on going to the gym) to do Triceps. I did a personal best on the dip machine with a level 4 only (1 is doing your own body weight). My one son and I have been doing contests on the dip machine (cybex - where you have a plate that lessens your own weight) and our last contest was 8 on plate 6. So this week I may beat him! Though he is losing weight from going to soccer practice now, and doing cardio at the gym throughout the week (getting in running shape for Spring season travel soccer), so he might be able to do it.

Monday: Rest day. Taking my daughter back to MSU later on in the day, and my food co-op order needs to be picked up today. My back and triceps are really sore today, so I hope I can rest them as much as possible, since shoulders and legs are tomorrow (already? My legs are just getting back to normal! Which is good recoup time. I wonder if I am ready to leg press 630?).

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:16 pm
by Gaia
Tuesday: Did shoulders at 11 AM. Pushed it really hard. I did alot of new PBs on the weights. I also added some barbell front raises at the end (could only do up to 50 lbs for 10).
Have one kid at home sick. I've been trying to rest, but also keeping him comfortable thru this sinus congestion he has. I don't really feel well myself, so I have to be careful. I decided not to do Legs today as my shoulders are definitely fatigued out, so even though my legs are OK, my head is not in for the intensity I would like to have. So instead of going thru the motions of doing Legs, I will do them tomorrow morning (on my Rest day). I still dropped off my two sons at the gym this afternoon after school for them to run for 30 minutes (as I went to Blockbuster to get a DVD for the sick one to watch: The Game Plan).
I am so happy that my shoulders are finally fatigued, and I hope that they will be sore in the morning!

Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:54 pm
by Gaia
Wed: Did Legs around noon. Went right to the leg press and popped out 15 reps with 540lbs. I went to the 630 and did 10, so I just slid some 25s on each side and did a PB of 680 for 6! I then went to the Leg Extension and did 8 of the 200 lbs stack (one more plate to go for a whole stack of the machine). I also did leg curls for 200 for 8 (200 is the whole stack for this machine). These weights I have done before, but they are my max weight for doing 8 reps. I did some calf raise on the seated machine, 115 for 25 reps, for 4 sets, no pump there, but the bars on my thighs were already hurting. Tried to do some plie squats, but my lower back gave a shot of pain through it so I called it a day. Time to rest now.

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:39 pm
by Gaia
Thurs: Today was suppose to be Chest and Biceps, but my back still is really sore, and I won't even talk about how my legs are feeling. Ouch!!!! I had a chance to go to the gym around 4 PM, but my intuition said that I need another day of rest, even though my planner said that today was Chest and Biceps! I decided to keep on resting and not push it till I have recovered all the way, or at least till tomorrow :wink: .

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:03 pm
by Gaia
Friday: Chest was about 9 AM, since I had to pick up my kids at 10:30 AM since they all had half days due to exam week. I still did 230 lbs on the H.S. Wide Press, but did 100 lbs on the pec flye machine! I also did incline Smith Chest Press with 90 lbs after all this. I also played around with pec deck machine, cables, and 120 lbs on the Cybex dumbell grip Chest Press machine. My chest was totally fatigued when I got my self out of there by 10:25! I guess I was talking alot to my peeps during sets. I kind of like the long breaks cause when I continued my sets, I was able to pump more reps into them!
Biceps were around 4 PM with my two sons going with me to the gym. I did an OK amount, but no PBs today. I just kept lifting till my arms were fatigued out. I tried to do 50 lbs on the EZ bar, but got only 6 out at the end. It is 9 PM now and I am sore again. I hope I can recover faster than last time, with just tomorrow to rest.

Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:34 pm
by Gaia
Saturday: Definitely a rest day. I got up and did dishes and made muffins for everybody, and then went back to bed. It is so snowy and cold inside the house that my warm bed is where I think I will spend the day. Plenty of leftovers in the refrigerator for lunch for the family, so I just have to get up and cook something for dinner. Well, I do have to get up and eat every three hours too. That is a bother on this nice sleepy day.

Doing chest yesterday really made my front delts hurt. So I guess my shoulders haven't recouped yet. And the middle of my back (did a cable row to the middle of my back last time) still is sore too. Unfortunately I hope it recoups cause it is back and triceps tomorrow.

Mmmmmm. It is 1:30 PM and I am still in my jammies! I love hibernation days. Back to resting! (OK, I do have a load of laundry going, and the dishwasher is going too. And the kid with soccer practice today is still sick and doesn't think he wants to go . . .as of ten minutes ago (we will decide at 3:30 PM if he feels up to it). So I am technically still doing a little bit of work, but not as much as usual, and I could possibly stay in my jammies all day if I wanted to).

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:39 pm
by Gaia
Sunday: Back and Tricep day. Went around 11 AM to the gym to do Back. I was able to do the same heavy weights as last time. I used the Hammer Strength Back Row instead of the Cybex Seated Row to change it up. I did all my rows, pull-downs, hyperextensions, and shrugs. I also played around afterwards on the Cybex assisted pull-ups, low cable rows, and some abs (to balance doing Back). I talked alot and got done after an hour plus some minutes.
Went home, ate, took a nap, and woke up sick! Great. It took all of my will power to go to the gym at 4 PM to do Triceps. It is just a sinus drainage right now, with a sore throat to go with it. No pressure in my sinuses . . . . yet, so I just did the exercises with a pain in my throat and sniffles (and general fatigue from doing Back in the morning). I was able to do a Tricep cable pushdown for 130 lbs for 6, which is a PB on that particular cable. I also did level 4 on the Cybex assisted dips for 8 this time (6 last time). So, even though I don't feel well, I pushed it. I also played around after doing my usual three sets of each exercise by going back and doing some descending sets to get a really good pump in my triceps.
I am totally drained right now (though I still had to make dinner for the family, which ended up being a vegetable stew with Swiss Chard wilted on top). I am going to sleep tonight! Well, as long as my sinuses let me :wink:!

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:48 pm
by Gaia
Monday: I am a little disappointed that I am still sick. And my muscles are sore also. Today was rest day thank goodness. I've tried resting but having a sore body doesn't do well for lying around in bed (cause my Back is hurting me the most). I don't know what tomorrow is going to be like. I am suppose to do Shoulders and Legs tomorrow. Last week I did Shoulders and couldn't do Legs the same day, so I did it on the next day which is my rest day. But then I still needed a rest day after that, so I couldn't do Chest and Biceps when I was suppose to (today my Chest and Biceps don't hurt and I could go ahead and exercise them, but they aren't scheduled till the end of the week). I'll have to decide what to do tomorrow. If I am still sick and sore, I will wait till I am fully recovered before I tear into the muscles again. Which for me, is soooo hard to do.

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:50 pm
by robert
I hope you feel better soon! I know it must be cold where you are too. Stay warm, rest up, and come back stronger.

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:41 pm
by Gaia
Thank you for your words of advice Robert, and I do so hope to feel better soon! I was OK this morning, but now that it is the evening, I am feeling even sicker. I seem to be living on white willow bark (for the muscle, joint, and throat pain) and herbal teas/decoction (a forest blend by mountain rose herbs: echinacea, elecampane, ginger, licorice, peurisy, white oak bark, cinnamon bark, orange peel, and fennel. All organic, and very spicy with the ginger and cinnamon! makes my face flush after I take it). It always seems to get worse before it gets better. . for real that is.

Tuesday: So needless to say, I did not head into the gym to do shoulders, let alone legs. And to top it off, the school district closed school today, so I had all kids home with me. Luckily they just watched DVDs and played Playstation, so I didn't have to deal with them. I just sat and watched my North and South DVD again. Richard Armitage seems to make me feel a little bit better. Tomorrow I'll check out BBC's Robin Hood while I am recouperating.
Maybe the universe is telling me to rest more. Just wish the universe could be a little more subtle instead of always yelling it to me! I don't know which is worse, being sick or pulling a tendon/ligament. The latter probably. I hope I can get back in to the gym within the week (my last back ligament/tendon tear took me more like a month to get back to the gym!).
All I am doing besides being sick, is eating my food and drinking a couple of shakes (though it is not the quantity I usually eat). I seem to be eating more of a variety and quality. (Quality as in not hurting my sore throat!).

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:16 pm
by Gaia
Wednesday: Not as bad as last night (I must of peaked in my flu last night) today, but I am in no shape to head for the gym. Decided I had the flu when
my whole body ached incredibly. I had a hard time even sleeping on my bed cause it hurt so bad. So for flu, I found out I am suppose to take Bromelain and Echinacea (tincture - straight). Seems to have helped alittle bit more. I also laid low on the hemp and flax today since my herbal book recommend not taking that into my body right now to keep the inflammation going to clean out the flu bug. I think I will still be achy tomorrow, so I guess I am shooting for Friday to head back to the gym. Not a fun mini vacation at all from the gym.