the spaz of fitness has arrived

Bottoms Up!

In Food, Training on July 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Are there any sights sadder than the bottom of a peanut butter jar?

Fortunately, I was consoled by this shipment of rich, buttery sweetness:

I’m a pretty huge fan of iHerb (www.iherb.com). They carry a huge stock of supplement/hard to find “health foods,” their prices are almost always lower than actual stores, and they ship for free on orders over $20. Here, I found coconut butter for almost half the price that they were at our grocery store. Yes, I bought two. Don’t judge me. Also, if you’re a first-time customer, you can receive $5 off with the promo code: SOD407 . They also send you free samples of stuff with your shipment, which is how I discovered a pretty tasty, Whole 30-condoned hot cocoa called CocaoCeps (you can search for it on the site; wordpress won’t let me link it).

But enough about food. The training. I was actually very happy with today’s squats. I’ve received a lot of tips from lifters far more experienced than I about the importance of a full squat, but today was the first time that really clicked for me. I’m definitely squatting deeper than I ever used to, but sometimes I’m still a little high. I’m reaching the point where I can feel the difference though. When I hit the optimal depth, the lift feels significantly easier– as if there were 25 fewer pounds on my back. It’s funny… because my brain is afraid of dropping the full depth as if that would make the lift harder, but in actuality (as the Archeologist explained to me today), reaching that bottom position allows you to engage the proper muscle groups, which 1) propels you out of the hole faster/stronger, and 2) protects you from injury (aka tipping heavy, above-bodyweight loads onto smaller, ill-prepared muscles).

It’s a mind game. One I lose frequently. If I’m not “scared” before I lower myself into the lift, I can hit the bottom position just fine. If I psych myself out, I start back up too soon and end up making the lift harder on myself. As one of my favorite, curmudgeonly Marines reminds me, “Don’t be a pussy.” I think this means that I’m going to have to start asking for a spotter for all my work sets… It’s something I’ve avoided if I’m fairly confident that I can survive the load because usually people are busy with their own things at the gym… but having spotters there gives me the confidence to engage the full range of motion. So… apologies to people who might be around when I’m squatting now. 🙂

Despite the good news on the squat, I’m ticked off about my press. I broke my plateau last week, managing 62.5 for 3 sets of 5. This week I failed after two reps with 65, and only managed four reps a set for 62.5. I know that women often struggle with the press… but this is now the third time I’ve stalled out at this weight, and I want to do something about it. I’m going to look into more supplementary work for shoulders and incorporating shoulder movements into my workouts… I just don’t want to overtrain the muscle group either.

Anyway… it’s a reminder that I’m nearing the end of this linear progression. My deadlifts are almost at my goal of 200lbs. I think my bench still has a tiny bit of room to grow, and we’ll see about those power cleans… but the squat and press are piddling out pretty damn quickly… though I’m hoping I’ll at least be able to break this old plateau. I’ll have to do something thinking about what comes next. For now though.. a trip to Wegman’s. One can’t live off coconut butter alone!

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