becoming infinite

always learning. always growing. always lifting heavy things.


meet prep: 11 weeks out.

we’re nearing the end of our first block of training. yesterday marked the beginning of Week 3; after Week 4 we’ll switch to a new block. since the reemergence of my appetite i’ve been feeling more comfortable with bigger weights (imagine that!) and not as frustrated.

monday we had 12×1 of our final bench warm-up. i hit 120# for all of my singles and they were smoke city. ideally i would like to open at 60kg (132#) on meet day, but i’m okay with opening at 57.5kg (126#) as well. we’re still far enough out that i can continue to plan and strategize!

but then we had 3×10 pause squats. my training partner is a former collegiate soccer player who then started CrossFit after graduation. she owns me in anything high-rep. i, on the other hand, am a tubby powerlifter who considers sets of five cardio conditioning.

we both did 135# for all of our working sets and i was straight f*cked up for three days. i literally got on my yoga mat at 5am on tuesday and thought to myself, “i can’t bend my knees so maybe i can just…freefall down to the floor…”

then yesterday we got to do something i’ve been waiting for for quite some time: we got to pull heavy! i worked up to my approximate opener weight (275# in the photo; will open at either 125kg/276# or 127.5kg/281#) for three speedy singles, then did 225# 3×3 with pauses at the knee. it was great to pull heavy again, and to be back pulling conventional too. i had good bar speed – especially for me, the world’s slowest lifter – and just need to focus on cranking my shoulders down.

275 pull january 2015

and then for fun we did a widowmaker on bench – video here! 75% of final competition warm-up, which had me right at 95#. the final rep was so long i wasn’t sure i would come out of it. and inb4 CHEATER ARCH. don’t hate on lumbar flexibility. brandon lilly even complimented it. so there.


today we did accessory work, and i teach yoga for 2.5 hours tomorrow for some good ole active recovery. things feel good; a little beat up, but strong. excited to smoke the end of this training block and get going on the next one!


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12 weeks out – meet prep life.

i’ve decided to compete in another full power meet, on April 18th. even more exciting is that for the first time, i have a training partner! she’s also a grad student here, and we’ve been lifting together for about two months now on and off. she decided she wants to compete, so we’re running this meet prep cycle together. our pulls are almost exactly the same; i have a bigger squat but hers is way prettier than mine; and she never really benched regularly so while mine is bigger, hers will shoot up in the next few weeks.

this prep cycle is way lower volume than i’m used to – only four days of lifting per week, and big lifts on only two of those days. i wondered if having three “off” days would make me anxious or antsy, but so far i love it – the training days tax me so much i’m more then ready to take an entire day to recover before the next one!

mobility is a huge priority for me right now. it helps that i’m teaching yoga 5-6 days a week. plus i force my sorry butt to get up and do some spinal and hip work every morning before i go to the office. my back unlocked over break; now we’re just trying to keep it there!

my squat continues to plague me; my bench is growing slowly but steadily. we pull heavy on friday for the first time in ages, and that will determine openers. i’m shooting for 231/126/281. i hit 120 for twelve really fast singles on bench today so that bodes well. 126 was my second attempt last meet so it would be nice to open there or even 132 if i get some good training reps in these next few months.

i had lost my appetite – and a good deal of body weight – due to some crazy stress and anxiety earlier this month. everything is slowly getting back to normal, and my metabolic furnace is back to its usual spastic and speedy self.

and in other, less gym-y news, if you don’t follow me on instagram (@jenncanliftyou) already, go do that so you can watch videos of my girlfriend and i playing the ukulele and singing. it’s so cute i swear you’ll fall in love with us.

and i’m going to el paso next month for a conference. so there’s that too.


change and things.

life is crazy. busy and stressful and insane and wonderful.

the semester has started; i’m teaching two sophomore classes. the faculty member i’m working under for one of them is a lot of fun and super laid-back. my adviser is on sabbatical this term so while i miss her intensely, she has gifted me her office as an office/study space in her absence. and it’s a beautiful thing.

my seizures have been out. of. control. these exams need to be over so they’ll hopefully settle down.

i moved. i’m sharing a house with three other people. i’m a 5-minute walk from my office and a 3-minute walk from a coffee shop, a fro-yo place, and a liquor store. aka i have moved to heaven.


10394511_10101746354408565_8498642638783457684_ni bought a bike. she’s fun.

i squat 275 with wraps last week. and then two days later i pulled 285 for six triples. i’m competing in two weeks, just for shits and giggles, and then our big meet is in december. if i can cut to a 56kg and not lose any strength i can put a serious scare in the national deadlift record.

i’m seeing someone. and it’s fucking spectacular. we’ve known one another for a few years, peripherally, and we started hanging out this summer. she’s somethin’. it’s a new relationship but i’ve got a good feeling about it. it’s relaxed. i laugh more with her than with anybody, outside of maybe my college best friend. we take things one day at a time. and today, things are awesome. hopefully tomorrow they will be, too.

my first qualifying exam is in 19 days. it’s my non-area exam but it has been eating up all of my study time lately. i think i’ll be fine. i have tons of outlines, i just need to commit them to something of a working narrative in my memory. then once that’s over i have exactly one month until my 8 hours of area exams.

this is a hurdle, a rite of passage. i’ll do well, but not without some tears and fits and  lot of caffeine, i’m sure.

this blog…i don’t know what i want to do with it. i have a new phone and i make training videos a lot now. i want to make a training-specific blog, especially now that i’m getting my technique de-bugged and starting to get more confident in my lifts.

we’ll see. it’s a process. everything is a process. change is inevitable. sometimes it sucks but damn sometimes it’s awesome.

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hi hello i didn’t forget you!

spring break has finally arrived!! and with it will come posts and updates…just not tonight.

i have a very special post in the works right now, and i’m excited to share it with you all as it’s off my usual topical trend…but it’s not quite finished yet so you’ll have to sit in suspense!

but to tide you over, here are some highlights of life since i disappeared:

  • TEXAS WAS AWESOME. my paper was very well-received. i met amazing people. i ate my weight in fajitas. and i drank some killer margaritas. (hey that rhymed!)
  • we’re on spring break – did i mention that?! because we are. and it’s awesome.
  • i’m <4 weeks out from my meet. recent training in a nutshell:
    • squat 200# for a triple
    • squat 215# for three clean singles, belt no wraps
    • did my circuit max squat and got 315# with wraps and reverse bands!!
    • benched 125# for a triple
    • pulled 275# for a (very ugly) triple
    • feeling good about my numbers and my prep!
  • school is eating my soul. it’s my last semester of coursework and i am just riding the struggle bus right on into struggletown.
  • i’m visiting my dad and his new house next month!
  • i filed my taxes today and for the first time in my adult life i’m going to spend my tax return money. my computer is old and decrepit and breaks down more and more frequently, so i’m finally biting the bullet and getting a new one. so i’m not exactly blowing my tax return on something frivolous, but…my inner frugal queen is screaming.

there ya have it. bear with me as i get my feet back under me in the glorious span of 9 school-less days. i have three papers to write (finished one today) and then i’ll feel much more in control of my life!

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the whirlwind of semester four.

we’re only in Week 6 of the semester and i am already 100% worn out. teaching, grading, coursework, a pending conference, and all the while the lurking knowledge that this is my last semester of coursework and that qualifying exams are thus looming…it’s been crazy.

i’m also in Week 6 of meet prep, and there have been some awesome highlights since i posted last!

i squat 185# for a couple of triples not too far back, and then last week i got 200# for two solid singles! as we all know, my squat is my weakest lift, so this is all good news. at my last meet i opened at 171# and then failed 198# twice. the fact that i tripled 185 means that it’s a good candidate for a conservative opener, and knowing that i can bury 200 will make it easier to hit my second attempt, which will probably be 210ish.

i’m also pulling conventional for this four-week training block, to force me to engage my lats more. it has also meant that my posterior chain DOMS is out. of. control.

bench training has been great, too, after a few weeks of technique feeling weird. i had 6×6 on saturday and hit 110 for four of the sets and 115 for the other two. i opened at 110 in october and got red-lighted on technicals at 120 (twice). needless to say, since i can nail 115 for 6s, i’ll be opening probably in the 120-125 range.

i’m definitely getting stronger and that’s an amazing feeling.

as for Project: Going Keto – we decided that, since my body was NOT handling carb-loading well, to take it on a day-to-day basis. i skipped my friday carb-up last week, and then last night had a carb-y meal rather than devoting an entire day to it. 10-14 days between carb cycles seems to agree with my body better, and a single meal rather than several hours of carb-ageddon suits me better, as well.

i’m also currently scraping the last remnants of my cream cheese – sour cream – peanut butter frosting out of the blender. i didn’t put it on anything…just ate it with a spoon. also known as “i’m lazy and needed a shit-ton of fat to meet my macros.”

i miss blogging. i shall try and come back more often!!


a quest for a 700 total.

just beginning Week 4 of meet prep, and training has been going well. like…really well. a few form tweaks here and there are messing with my head a bit, but the weights have been moving and i’m getting stronger by the day.

i had 5×5 programmed for bench on saturday. coach told me to try and hit 2 sets @ 110# and the last 3 sets @ 115#. i know i can get 115# for as many as 7 reps, but that was when i was running 5/3/1. on that particular day i had done maybe twelve total reps before i pushed 115 for 7. my coach’s programming is a lot more volume than 5/3/1, so hitting 115 for 3×5 was a little daunting.

it was a wee bit ugly on the last set – two grinders on reps 4 and 5, my right shoulder came untucked a little – but the spotter was totally hands-off.

i texted coach afterwards to tell him and his response: “we could shoot for 700 at the meet.”

i’ll admit i laughed. my total at the irontoberfest was 562. granted i went 5/9 but still – a 100+ jump is crazy!

i asked him the split. “225 150 325.”

all i have to say to that is: let’s get after it.

i squat 5×3 on friday – 165, 175, 175, 175, 185. i’m working towards my 3RM on bench this week. we’re pulling on friday so i’ll have a little better of an idea on what i should work on as we move from speed pulls to heavier sets in the next few weeks.

(and as an aside: a 325# pull in a meet would but me just 5# off the national record in my weight class. but that’s not the point!)

the point is: i haven’t felt this strong, this good, in a really long time. it’s goosebump-inducing thrilling to think about the fact that i get to go out there and potentially be awesome in just eight weeks. i have a lot to work on between now and then – middle back strength to help my pull and my squat, getting my bench stronger in the initial inches off my chest, learning to harness my nerves – but it’s going to be an awesome ride, and i am so excited.



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the no paws posse.

return to deadlifting after 2 weeks + lots of heavy work + cold, dry air = no hands left. even with copious amounts of chalk. it’s not pretty. (since i’m in meet prep i’m going to try and only use straps when i’m doing light (50%ish) work at high reps, like when i do conventional deficits for sets of ten. other than that, i need to be working my grip strength.)

if we’re going to hammer away at one thing between now and april, it’s going to be my middle back. any pulls 225# and up, i get a great (flat back) first rep and then every rep after that is round-out city. and when i squat heavy, i hinge forward in the hole because my middle back can’t keep me upright and i fail lifts because i end up trying to do a heavy-ass good morning.

today was a little frustrating, then, but a killer lift regardless.

2×5 @ 135#
1×5 @ 155#
2×3 @ 185#
1×3 @ 205#
3×3 @ 225#
1×1 @ 245#
1×2, 1×1 @ 265#

the last three sets were belted. i was supposed to pull 3×2 at 265#, but the first double was no lie the ugliest shit on the planet. so i planned a single for the next set. and that was gross, too – i was just tapped out – so i called it.

and as a side note, sumo pulls from a deficit are awkward as hell.

3×1 @ 225#
3×2 @ 205#

all belted loosely. the last set felt the best – i think i was just excited to be almost done!

deads are by far my favorite lift, so i love deadlift day. but it is frustrating that i have that one glaring weakness in my middle back that is such a work in progress. also, i just suck at pulling for reps. give me singles any day!

i got into it with a guy at the gym today (shocking, i know). this man (and yes, he is a full-grown man, not a 19-year-old student) is like linus and his blanket – he seems to be incapable of re-racking any weight he touches. so when he goes from the bench to the incline bench to the smith machine (barf) to weighted reverse hypers, he leaves his shit everywhere. plates and collars still on the bar, dumbbells wherever he pleases. and it wasn’t just today, i watched this happen every other day for the entire summer as well.

very few things send me right over the edge, but blatant disrespect is one of them. and that, to me, when there are 9572549 signs all over the gym asking patrons to re-rack their weights, is blatantly disrespectful. nobody should have to clean up after you, man.

suffice to say it wasn’t pretty and my friend laughed through the entire thing. something about a 5’3″ peanut person in neon clothing chewing a grown man out apparently is humorous. -_-

therefore, to gym-goers everywhere: please practice proper gym etiquette and re-rack your weights!!