Crew: “Whatcha workin’ today?”
ME: “Chest”
Crew: “Us too.  Jump in if you like.”

I was distracted this morning.  I knew it was going to be a sad day at school and I couldn’t keep my mind on the task at hand.  I started my chest workout on my own, even with this invite out there.  I did flat Smith presses and flat DB presses.

Then one of the guys came over and said I should be doing incline work.  “Women should build upper chest   Come do this incline bench on the Smith with us.”  Weird.  I had thought about doing incline, but like I said, I wasn’t really into it this morning.  The second time I was asked, I realized that lifting with the crew was EXACTLY what I needed. 

OMG.  What a workout!  I got schooled.  We did pyramid sets up first.  They started me with two 2.5 plates – yup.  That’s 5 lbs.  10 reps.  Then the two guys, one on each side of the bar, added a 2.5 plate after 10 reps and I kept going.  This continued until I could only do 4 reps.  I didn’t count, and I think I got up to only 35 pounds, but it ripped me up after 7 sets.  In a row.  No break.  Nice.  Then we did the same thing with drop sets, starting heavy.  I think we did four sets like that.  By the end, I could barely lift the empty bar.  I had to be spotted for the empty bar.  Sweet.  The boys did the same thing, but they used 10 lb plates. 

During this whole time, I got tips about hand placement to protect the shoulder and how the bar should touch my collar bone on the bottom.  I felt an incredible pump and they said “You should see your muscles working – nice.”  I was happy I was able to keep up with what they gave me.  First time working out with hard core gym-rats.  I didn’t have to worry about my focus.  I’m competitive and needed to step up and do whatever they handed me to do.  And I felt very comfortable with these people.  Joking around, talking about other stuff – like math.  Fun.

The next exercise was another incline press with rubber bands instead of plates.  More form tutoring.  Another learning curve for working with bands.  Three sets of that and then incline DB flys.  More tutoring about form, stretching the pecs, and the sticking point. 

Tomorrow’s lesson…deadlifts.  Barefoot deadlifts.  With my hero, TL.  Sweet.  On the way out today, TL tells me, “You don’t need a trainer.  You need confidence.”  I’ve lifted on my own for months at 24 and there has never been a invite to workout with any of the guys.  One week at American Iron, I’ve been adopted.  Sure, I may be a novelty now, but I intend to earn my spot.  Every day.  4:30 am.  You see, I’m also a gym-rat. 

If I the big boys continue to include me and I have these kinds of workouts every morning, I’m going to be   building some serious muscle.  Very, very excited.  

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