becoming infinite

always learning. always growing. always lifting heavy things.


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9 weeks out – finding the drive.

today was the first day of a new, 4-week training block. i really enjoyed the last one, and i feel like my back and shoulders gained some strength and size. since it was a four day split i also enjoyed a little more flexibility with my three off days – i rock-climbed a few times, did some metcons, and once or twice just grabbed a platform after work and did some hang cleans to work on power and speed (my elbows, and really everything, are the opposite of speedy).

this past week didn’t go quite according to program. the girl i’m very much in love with and i called it quits; i’ve been sad as hell about it. it was the strangest, most loving break-up i’ve ever experienced, but i’m still so sad that it’s hard to move sometimes. and on monday i had to have a little surprise oral surgery, which led to more melting down because (a) i hate the dentist ANYWAY, (b) i wanted my mom, and (c) i now have a big-ass hole where my molar used to be.

so with all of that on my mind, i had a hard time hitting it in the gym with my normal energy. plus, my training partner and i haven’t been able to coordinate schedules all week so we both flew solo monday and wednesday.

but nothing is ever perfect. training schedules can’t be followed 100%, all the time. meal plans can’t be followed 100%, all of the time. i got in there and put in work, even on the day when i was still bleeding from aforementioned big-ass hole in my mouth or the day where i laid in pigeon bawling while i was doing my post-lift mobility.

but today i hit my projected squat opener for two triples. so there’s that.

 

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10 weeks out and sending a 9

up and down week, training-wise. if i could compete in accessory work i would own so many records. sadly, i compete in three lifts, and one of them (my squat, what else?) is currently a mess.

but today we hit projected second attempts on squat for three singles, and 240# came up like buttah. we widened my stance pretty considerably and it helped me feel like i could really sit down into the hole, rather than needing to hinge back. so that was exciting, and a pretty big relief too.

we hit second attempts on bench for 3×1 as well, but we were in a hurry because my coach had a 4pm client so there was maybe a minute rest between each. my first 135# came up slow but fine, second didn’t even budge off my chest, and third was a grind. right now it looks like i’ll open at 57.5kg/126# and take either 60kg/132# or 62.5kg/137# for my second. i think when i’m well-rested i should be able to bury 62.5, but we’ll see how the next few weeks pan out!

and then the girl and i went for a little friday night indoor climbing fun. i warmed up on a 6 and a 7, and then jumped to an easy 9. and while it was definitely a light 9, i sent it and was super stoked! i’ve (a) never sent a 9 before, and (b) not climbed since…november? then i went and climbed two other routes – an 8 and a 9 – and now my forearms are falling off. but we had so much fun. a good friend of ours works at the wall and caught us all night. after having spent the last four weeks with our relationship in so much flux and stress, it just felt incredible to hang out and be silly and have fun.

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this route was really fun to climb. i’m also really excited that my calf does this, because it’s kind of muscle-y and neat.

Week 4 of training continues tomorrow with tons of back, shoulder, and chest work. i have to get cranking on my El Paso presentation (the paper from which also just got accepted to a conference in LA…more on that later!) and some exam things for students.

here’s to a great weekend!


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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.

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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.


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if there’s a grid, i’m off it.

six days out from my meet and i’m in that headspace where i have complete tunnel vision.

making weight is going to be a bitch – i’m carrying a lot more lean mass than in october, so cutting to 56kg is going to get gnarly. i’m hovering around 60.5kg right now, and that’s a 3kg drop since last week – water and some body fat, since i was totally a little fluffy to begin with.

but yea, for the next six days i’m going to be living and breathing this meet. in between i still have to teach and go to class and watch the Cats win their 9th national championship (and my blood pressure has gone up about 39576 points this tournament thanks to them) and continue drinking obscene amounts of water and eating great things like unseasoned ground turkey and unsalted everything.

i’m going to be as aesthetic as a short square brick-human can get come friday morning when we dry me out, but until then…well, bear with me because it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

we timed my meet prep really well; i’m peaking just at the right time. my openers are picked (200/121/276) and as long as i hit my second attempts (220/132/303) i have a crack at a 700 total. i’m excited. i’m nervous. and i have to pee every ten minutes.

i really just need to make it to and through weigh-in. once i see that 56.0 pop up friday morning i’m going to (a) probably cry with joy, only i’ll have no tears because i’ll be do damn dried out, (b) mainline pedialyte on the drive back to lexington, and (c) start plannig how i’m going to crush this meet.

it’s gonna be good. i just need to be a hermit for a little while longer.


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we had a 48-hour spring.

and now it’s cold again. kentucky weather is exhausting.

i can’t believe february is nearly over. i leave for san antonio in just over a week (AHH!), and spring break is breathing down my neck. not that spring break is a bad thing – it just usually is synonymous with “write all of my papers now since i haven’t been working on them throughout the semester like i should have.”

i have this week and next of training – Weeks 7 & 8 of my cycle – and then i start my deload the day i leave for texas. convenient how coach mapped it out that way, right? i take that week easy and we do a circuit max beginning on Week 9. then as we taper off my squat and pull, we start playing with my bench to figure out openers and attempts.

the deload will be nice – i’ve felt great this entire training cycle as far as strength gains and technique, but holy shit am i sore lately. i think the fatigue is just starting to catch up to me, and maybe the switch to keto has effected my muscle recovery a bit, who knows.

once we do my circuit max we’ll have a plan for openers, and some options for second and third attempts. i’m trying to not get my heart too set on a 700 total, but it’s definitely within reach if i keep my head in the game. (and keep my butt from kicking out from under me when i squat…)

keto-livin’ continues on. i’m planning on making cauliflower “mashed potatoes” tomorrow night so stay tuned – my next post will either include a recipe or a story about how gross it was! march means i need to get my body weight down to 60kg…wah. i’ll worry about that after i go to san antonio and eat a burrito the size of my face (keto or not, this may be my only time ever in texas and i’m having all of the tex-mex my little self can handle!)

hopefully the weather starts to warm up again – we had two reeeeeally nice days and i’ve been spoiled and would like them back, please!!

 


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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!!