“I think that gravity sets into everything, including careers, but pendulums do swing and mountains do become valleys after a while… if you keep on walking.” ~ Sylvester Stallone
The things that have been going on in my private life and professional life have weighed me down. Gravity has been applied – not just in the seriousness of things, but also on my spirit. This week, I felt the weight lift a bit. I’ve decided to use gravity positively – I want to be pulled towards something that excites me. Next week, I’m going to meet with a friend to explore a new opportunity in teaching. I don’t know if it will work out, so I’ll wait to talk about it when I know there is something to talk about.
As I sort things out and make plans, I’ve got my eye on my “true north” – real life. I’m focused on home, training, and my nutrition. I have to keep my focus there, because if I don’t, I run the risk of the gravity of stress pulling me away from my health. Crash? No way. Work stress is what did me in before. Totally not worth it. If I can help it, this level of unhealthy unhappiness will NEVER happen again…
I spent the last week sorting things out in my mind and finding my center. Center of gravity? OK, center of my personal gravity. I had time to complete an Excel spreadsheet with daily macros. My ego thought I had this macro thing down pat – so wrong! Over the last few months, there were only 4 days when I hit all my macro ranges on the same day. That was a surprise. However, my average carb, protein, and fat grams over the entire time were in the right ranges, so while not optimal, it wasn’t a disaster. The body responds to what we do consistently long term. So while I’ve been too busy every day to think straight, I’ve managed to cycle all my macros in some fashion, high or low, around the targets I was supposed to hit. Since I saw that, I’ve made it a point to hit targets every day. Protein and fats are stationary, non-moving targets. Daily protein intake is 145-160 grams and fat is 85-90 grams. Carbs change depending on my daily burn data from the Bodybugg. My goal is to stay just under maintenance. I don’t want a high deficit – usually 200 calories under, and no more than 300 calories. So if I’m having a high burn day, I eat more carbs. Most days, I’m around 170-200 grams. My weight jumped up a couple pounds in the last two weeks before break – thank you cortisol, my old friend! But now I’m stable most days or dropping a little. I’m sleeping. I’m recovering. I’m getting stronger. I’ll add in a couple cardio sessions a week to deal with the stress-induced fat gain. They will probably help with stress and sleep, too.
My week of raising heavy objects has gone well. I’ve been adding weight or reps to everything. My bench is nothing to brag about – only 105 for 5 – but I haven’t bench pressed in a looooong time. When I started again a month ago, I was at 85 for 5. I think I did 115 once a very long time ago. (A log exists, but I don’t know where it is.) Lat pulldown is still at 180 on a heavy, low rep day, and 135 or 150 on the higher rep day. Even bicep curls are up. Barbell is at 65 for 5 and dumbell curl is 25 for 9. That is big progress for me. Biceps have been stuck for a year. I’m so happy with my decision to not compete this year! I like to compete, but I love to make progress.
Part of my “sorting things out” process is to eliminate distracting annoyances. I really like my regular lifting gym, but it’s too small for the number of people who are using it right now. Solution – I’ll head back to my old gym. I have an “uber-cheap-you-can’t-get-it-anymore” membership at 24 Hour Fitness. There are two of those in my town. Both are huge in comparison, but neither have platforms. So I have three locations I can use. My plan is to cycle between them.
I did one of my leg workouts at 24 this week. That workout included goblet squats with blood flow restriction. I’m sure guys thought I was nuts when they saw me put knee wraps on my hips. Hahaha! Didn’t get video of that exercise, but I did record my Barbell Thrusts. I should do the single leg version of these, but they don’t have bumper plates at 24, so I had to use a minimum of 135 pounds to be able to roll the bar over my legs. Didn’t want to try 135 with one leg, but maybe I should have. It felt very easy and I kept adding weight. Here is my 185. I’ve done more than this when I did this lift on a Smith Machine, but this is the heaviest I’ve done on the floor.
That is my favorite ab exercise. Usually I do it with a barbell, but it wasn’t convenient that day. Dumbbells work. Those were 22.5, so the total weight was still a bar.
Standing calf raise machines are really different. At American Iron, I do 120 lbs. At 24, that was 310. Must be the anti-gravity devices they have at 24. Hahahaha!
So my interaction with the force of gravity this week has been productive.
I have one more week of spring break left and a lot of things I need to accomplish before school starts again on April 14th. The changes that are coming will be bittersweet, but necessary. It’s sad and exciting to be at a fork in the road. But I’ve stopped struggling with the reality of which path I need to take. I’ve had a certain amount of success when I “zag” when it’s expected to “zig”.