I am really starting to appreciate deload weeks.  They are not rest weeks.  Every fourth week, I do the same workouts, but I drop the weights a little and do one less set of everything.  I’ve done this since November.  The first week back after a deload, I’ve always been able to either increase weight, increase reps, or both.   There has been progress in the upper body…

Calculated One Rep Max’s from March 25 to April 25…

  • Bench Press: 111 to 122
  • Pendlay Rows: 125 to 136
  • Lat Pulldown: 180 to 203
  • One Arm Row: 74 to 91
  • BB Curls: 69 to 71

This week, I also quit using blood flow restriction on my heavy leg day and tested my strength…

Deadlifts: I did six sets of conventional deads this week.  I haven’t done them since February.  My last two sets this week were 205 for 3 reps.  On Feb 9, I did 175 for 5.    Not sure what happened.  My deads were over 200 for about a year now, and as high as 240-ish last fall.  Heck, I did the farmers carry at the strongman competition last September and that was 115 in each hand, so I was practicing picking up 230 from the ground for weeks.  Losing my deads for a while must have been a mind game of some sort.  They are back in the program now.  Hope I can do them every week, but I need to account for increased recovery time.  My second bench day was off a bit because of the deads.  It’s cool.  I’m happy.  It was my hypertrophy bench day that was off – not my strength day.

Leg Extensions: Since I’m not doing heavy squats now,  I’ve been doing goblet squats with blood flow restriction.  Power squat machine, too, but that’s sooooo hard on my curvy scoliosis back that I’m afraid to go heavy.   I’m doing leg extensions every so often to see if my quads are getting stronger.  My one rep max on this one last December was 180.  It’s now 219.  Does it count that my calf raises have increased too?  No.  No one cares.

Legs are stronger.  Back is stronger.  Deads are coming back.  Everything upper body is stronger.

Body weight is up about 2 pounds since February.  Using my hand-held bioimpedance body fat thingy, my percentage of fat is the same, so I’ve gained fat with muscle.  Shocker <sarcasm>.  My stress levels have been pretty high since the end of February, so I know my body has been preparing for disaster and storing up reserves.  I’m grateful she’s let me have some muscle, too, since biology is such that muscle isn’t primo life-sustaining material.  I’ve been eating a little below maintenance this whole time, with one or two refeed days a week, so I’ve had plenty of calories.  I suspect that is why I’ve been able to gain strength while living through one of the most ‘challenging’ periods of my life.

Job Update

I got the job I wanted at the middle school!!!!  So stoked.  If you read my last blog, you know this school was my first choice.  Telling my students I had to leave was hard.  I know a few of my younger kids felt a little abandoned.  I told them to look at it differently – every year, a class graduates and my heart becomes full and a little broken at the same time.  I’m always excited for them and a little sad knowing that graduation may be the last time I see most of them.  I then reassured them that there is no way I’m leaving without making sure they all have a way to contact me, even though they probably won’t need to.  My new school is just minutes away and I’d be happy to come over to tutor if necessary.  And I had to promise to attend their graduations until 2016.

This August, I will be teaching algebra to gifted 8th graders and prealgebra to the 7th graders coming up into my algebra class the following year.  I LOVE looping with kids.  (I have seniors right now that have been with me for three years.)  They told me my new room will be bigger than my current room – that’s cool.  My impression of my new principal is that she is a straight-shooter.  That’s what I was told about her, too.    But the clincher – the reason I know I’m on the right path – the teacher I’m replacing is a former student!  I remember when she emailed me a few years ago to tell me she was going to be a math teacher.  She’s now a little older and recently married.  She is making a voluntary transfer across town and told me that she feels so much better about leaving knowing I’m the one taking her classes.  How cool is that??  Circle of Life moment.  LOVE IT!!

There is no way I would consider leaving my current school unless there was an act of God, so I think that’s the way I need to look at what happened.  Colleagues I thought were friends have done and said some things that I never would have believed they would have done or said.  This is how humans work sometimes.  I try to avoid it in my wise old age (sometimes unsuccessfully), but I’ve had my foot in my mouth more than once in my life.  It’s all for the best. Over the last three weeks, I lost a lot of sleep trying to make sense of what’s happened.  And then I prayed.  And that’s when I got the idea to call my friend at the middle school.  The opportunity I have in front of me, the work I get to do, could be the most important of my career.  Finishing this school year will be all about making sure my current students are prepared to move forward and going through eighteen years of high school math teaching memories.  I got my gels done today with my new school colors, green and blue.  It will remind me to stay focused on the future just in case things get weird at work as we finish this year.



In Other News…

Got one of these this week.

Love it!!  So much nutrition in something so easy to consume!  I am certain I will develop more super powers.  Hubby is into it, too, and that makes me happy.



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