#UpYourGame 2017 – Day 1!

And, we’re off!  I wound up deciding to use day 1 as a day to do a quick juice detox.  You know– a “hard restart,” but for my guts.  I’m debating over doing a second day, since I do usually do 2-3 days.  But, I’m heading back in to work tomorrow, and I’m far too busy feeling depressed that the holiday break is officially over to stack having to juice all day long on top of it.

I didn’t work out today, on account of the juicing, but I just finished planning/scheduling my workouts for the next 4 weeks.  It may require some tweaking in the 3rd and 4th week, since it’s looking like I’ll be heading out of town, for work.  I’ll worry about that later.

To keep things simple (I prefer workouts and programming where someone else just tells me what the fuck to do), I’m going to be trying out Mark de Grasse’s Fitness Is Function 4 week bodyweight program, which I downloaded about two years ago, and then NEVER DID IT.  I also downloaded the kettlebell one, and NEVER DID THAT ONE EITHER.

I was probably just too busy doing other workouts, because I had been working out consistently at the time, and kept it up until the dog came around.  So, I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad about letting these ones sit on the shelf my hard drive, collecting proverbial dust.  Better late than never!

I’m also in the midst of making some turkey vegetable chili, at this very moment.  It’s simmering on the stove, the aroma taunting me, whilst I sip on green juice.  With this batch of chili, dinner is sorted for the whole week in one fell swoop, which is super dope.

Breakfasts will be eggs, as usual, since that’s all I ever seem to have time for (and, I often don’t even have time for that).

Lunches will be salads and other healthful choices from places near work.  I’ve got plenty of options.  It’s L.A.  Ideally, I’ll be brown bagging my lunch, once I get more on top of meal prep.

The primary objective is just to get back on a schedule, with my meals.  I think the only reason my poor diet hasn’t completely destroyed me is, I typically have only been able to have one or two meals, per day.  I haven’t had breakfast in weeks.  Yesterday, I worked all day on my 2016 hair favorites video, and didn’t eat until around 8pm at night.

I had a steak sandwich, in case you were wondering.  Last hurrah, and all.

Oh, and since that  mention of my last video segues so perfectly into a shameless plug, here it is:

#12DaysOfFitmas – Day 4

Which lie did I tell?  Because there was the one lie, where I said I was going to stick to bodyweight only workouts, and that went out the window on day 1.  Then, I also told you guys that I was going to do a 2 day juice detox before #12DaysOfFitmas began, and that also went out the window.

I realized that all of the holiday parties that would happen during the challenge–not to mention celebrating on Christmas and NYE themselves, right afterward– made it a bit less-than-smart to detox, only to turn right around and retox a few days later.  Instead, I’ll be doing a detox to start off 2017 for a couple days, then I’ll get real about eating properly.

In the meantime, I’m just trying to not eat like a complete idiot.  Though, my office Christmas party was last night.  There were tacos.  There were cupcakes.  There was hooch.  There was karaoke.  I indulged in all.

Which brings me to the third lie, wherein I actually didn’t get a workout in yesterday, on Day 3.  I’d planned to do it in the morning, before work.  But, I just didn’t have enough time, because I had to do a full beat on my face for two Facebook Live shows that I host on Thursdays.  Then, with the party after work (there was no going home in between, as the party was at our office), the dog and I got home pretty frickin late, and slightly turnt.  Especially the dog.

So, now I have to do a makeup workout, which isn’t a huge deal.  After all, in my previous Fitmas challenges, the feat has always been to do 12 workouts in 12 days.  I did always stipulate that if you want/need a rest day, it simply meant making up for that day’s wod with a double on some other day.

Still feels like I copped out, though.  Mainly because I didn’t say that explicitly for this year’s challenge.  Oh wells.

In any event, I got an a.m. workout in today, I’ll do an evening workout tonight and order will be restored.  My day 2 workout was the one you see in the video above, from Marcus Martinez.  I did modify it a bit by cutting it to 4 rounds instead of 5, for my currently-unfit-ass.  I’ve done this wod before, so I knew modification was going to be necessary.

Today, I did this circuit that I made up on my own:

4 Rounds

  • 20 swings
  • 5/5 clean + front squat
  • 8/8 rows
  • 20 Russian Twists
  • rest 60 sec

Pretty much the moment I picked up the kettlebell, the dog bolted, and hid out in the bedroom until I let her know it was over.  This is perfect!  As long as she stays freaked out by my workouts, I won’t have to worry about her safety.

Tonight, I’ll (finally) do an all bodyweight circuit, from MBodyPro, since I have that membership I bought years ago, and I haven’t used those workouts in forever.

Need food now.  Gotta go!

#12DaysOfFitmas – Day 1

So, I lied.  I said that I was going to focus on doing strictly body weight workouts for this year’s 12 Days of Fitmas, mainly because I have the puppy to worry about.  Wouldn’t want to clock her in the head with my 20kg kettlebell, you know?

I’d written a circuit I was going to do tonight, pulled out my whiteboard to write out the WOD, and then saw the *last* WOD I’d done at home still written on it, which was a nice little kb circuit.  Exactly the type of shit I need to be doing, since I’m coming from the couch back into workouts.  And, I caved.

I kept a close eye on the pup whilst I warmed up to see if she was getting too close, and to see if I’d need to be put her in her crate, or what have you, for safety.  But, she seemed so perturbed by what I was doing, she stayed away the entire time!  Like, peeking at me for a while, then scurrying away into the bedroom, type of deal.  Now, as I type this, she’s at my feet, nuzzling her cold, wet little nose on my leg, in hopes that I’ll pick her up.  Back to business as usual.

This is very encouraging!  I’m excited to be able to work out with weights so soon, and I’m excited to work out period.  The circuit I did is posted below, and I think I probably got it from Marcus Martinez, at some point or another.  I’m not really sure.  It went pretty well.  I did 4 rounds with my 12kg, just to keep it easy on my first day back.

I’ve been nursing some pain in my achilles for several months now (indeed, it began before I stopped working out, and well before I even got my dog; yet, it has not gone away despite the lack of workouts…).  It’s great to be able to use kettlebells at this stage, because I can work out hard without having to use any movements with impact, if I don’t want to.  Huzzah!

The WOD

4-6 Rounds

  • 10 alternating swings
  • 6 alternating clean + pause squat
  • 10 figure 8 to hold
  • 10 explosive deadlift
  • rest 60-90 (seconds, not minutes or days)

DNF

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This was an absolute shit show. This WOD was to be done pyramid style.  So, after you worked your way down the list to do the front squats, you’d move back up to the swings and work your way all the way back up to the double unders.  The good news was, we’d only have to front squat once.  The bad news was EVERYTHING ELSE.

Rx for women was 16kg and 95# (no rack, because of course not!).  I Rxed.  I didn’t even sub rowing for the 400m runs, which I pretty much always do because of my bum knee.  But, when you’ve just finished rowing 60 goddamned calories, the absolute last thing you want to do is row more.

There was a 25 minute cap.  I did not finish.

I made it as far as finishing the second/final 60 calorie row, and that was a wrap.  I’ve never DNFed on a WOD, since joining this gym.  And, I do not like it!

The September challenge has been very so-so for me.  My eating has been *almost* the way I outlined, with me getting looser than I really should be, on the weekends.  I did, however, order some meals from a paleo meal delivery service, which should be arriving tomorrow, and which should help me to reel things in.  More on that to come.

Workouts have NOT been where they need to be.  I’ve been averaging 2-3 a week, instead of the intended 4.

It’s a vicious cycle of being out late a few nights each week, because of evening screenings I have to go to for work– which also means I can’t work out after work.  But then, see, I’m too tired to get up to work out in the mornings, because I was out late!

I’ve got to figure this out, because this is going to be my reality for the foreseeable future.  I’m going to have late nights, and I’m going to have to learn to drag my ass out of bed to work out in the mornings, at least 3 times per week.  More, if I don’t want to make up workouts on Saturdays and Sundays.

Anyway, the struggle continues.  But, at least I don’t have to do any more fucking front squats today.

“Cardio”

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Today was kind of brutal. I mean, it wouldn’t have been so bad, if they hadn’t made us do 50 burpees in the first of three workouts. But, yeah, that happened. And, in the very same workout, we had to do 50 wallballs.

I started out strong in the first workout…and finished in the bottom 3rd.  Then, I was in the top echelon on the second workout, and finished the 3rd workout before anyone else, which made me feel slightly less like a loser.  I mean, the WOD isn’t a competition, or anything.

Except, IT IS.

Anyway.  Even though I hated this, whilst doing it, this was a great WOD.  I’ve been going to the “cardio” classes at my gym, the past several weeks.  Thanks to my heart rate monitor, I’ve learned that my calorie burn is about the same in the 45 minute “cardio” classes, as it is when I go to an hour (or longer, if I’m suffering, that day…) CrossFit.

The metcon portion of CrossFit just doesn’t last very long.  And, since I’m still trying to drop some LBs, calorie burn is paramount.  So, why spend more time burning the same amount of calories?

Problem is, the cardio classes have gotten extremely monotonous and lame.  The programming at my gym has failed, in the imagination department.  But!  They brought on a new coach, recently, and he seems to have infused some new life into the cardio WODs.

On Thursday, we used ropes (which we have NEVER done in the entire time, since I joined the gym, in May), as well as the Assault Bike (also the same as the ropes situation, too, as well!).  So, just using new shit really helped to breathe new life into a tired workout format.

Today, the format itself was quite different.  And, the addition of bear crawls into the WOD (which I’ve only had to do in a warmup, once or twice, at this particular gym), was an insufferable and deceptively hard, but welcome, challenge.

Anyway, my #AWEgust Fitness Challenge has been going okay.  Oh?  You haven’t heard about that?  Because I have literally not mentioned it even once, here on the blog?  You are not incorrect.  (Read: You are correct.)

Long story short, #AWEgust is, more or less, a #JUICYINJULY victory lap.  I’m still working on getting in 5 workouts per week, consistently (so far, it’s been more like 4 per week, in a good week…).  That, plus not letting one weekly cheat turning into a cheat DAY– or, worse still, a cheat WEEK?  Yeah, I’m still a work in progress.

On top of allladat, I still have yet to dive into educating myself on carb cycling.  I’ve got some research waiting for me.  I just have some sort of fear-based mental block stopping me from diving in.  Good times!

#JuicyInJuly – ONE MORE DAY!

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My gym has been in a testing week, this week.  So, the programming has been testing max OHS, front squats, stuff like that.  Wednesday is always gymnastics day, though, so they had a menu of different skills we could test for today, until it was time to do the metcon above.

I went with double-unders (I’ve done better on them, but had to settle for 51 unbroken today), chest-to-deck push-ups (got 15), plus pull-ups (you could kip or do strict; I kipped a measly 3, but with no band, so I’m okay with it).

Then, since we had time left, I went ahead and tried seeing if I could get any closer on doing T2B, and to my surprise and delight, I got my toes to the bar for the first time EVAH.  In fact, I did it twice!

Yesterday was testing for the clean and jerk, which I was ALL ABOUT mentally.  But, my energy has been really bad this week (I daresay, it has been decidedly *unjuicy*), so I decided against testing my C&J.  I knew that I didn’t have a PR in me, and I just didn’t want to be disappointed/frustrated.  So, I went with their cardio WOD, instead.  It was this.

4 minutes of work, then a 100 meter run (I rowed instead– trying to keep my knee happy), then a minute of rest before moving on to the next segment of the circuit.  Repeat.

It kind of sucked.

Anyway, #JuicyInJuly may end tomorrow, but this challenge has been different because I don’t really feel like much will change for me, after it’s over.  I’m still striving to maintain these behaviors, while also sorting out what needs to change in my diet.

Someone in my YT fam suggested carb cycling in the comments, to break my plateau.  I’ve known of carb cycling for years, but it always just seemed so tedious and complicated.  But, since I’m at my wit’s end, I’m looking into it, and doing some research so that I can figure out the most simple way for me to give it a try.  I think my weight loss app will be a big help in that, since I can set targets for my macros, and alladat.

I talked about this already, but if you want to try the app I use, it’s free.  AND, the folks over at Lose It! (that’s the app), hooked up a code that’ll let you upgrade from the free version to the premium one for a whole month.  Premium has a lot more bells and whistles, which is cool, but I had a lot of success with the free version too, prior to this offer.  Anyway, the coupon code for Lose It! Premium is “JUICY” (or the all lowercase “juicy” if you’re on Android, like me), and it’s good until tomorrow, 7/28.

One more day to get #JuicyInJuly, y’all!

#JuicyInJuly Week 2!

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Week 1 = DONE!  It went *okay* for me.  I actually didn’t meet my own criteria of 5 workouts minimum, thanks to Lady Problems.  In recent years, I typically don’t have cramps too badly, when it’s that time of the month.  (I have a lot of thoughts on why that has improved so much, but that’s another post entirely.)  Nonetheless, I am still unlucky a couple of times a year, and this was one of those times.

I actually really hate to use that as an excuse, but I seriously couldn’t have handled a workout that day.  And, since it was toward the second half of the week, I didn’t have enough days left in the week to make up the workout that I’d missed, without doing a double.  As sad as it is to say, I just didn’t have a double in me this week, either.

Besides faltering on getting the prescribed 5, the first week of this challenge has gone really well!  I feel like I’ve bounced back from being overtrained from #JuicyInJune, and my old knee injury seems to be calming down again.  It’s not completely quiet, but it’s definitely not as pissed off at me as it was.

My cheat for week #1 was a chicken parmesan sandwich– one of my favorite things to eat in life!  I really do think that knowing I get to cheat again each week might be a good way to keep me from my typical bouncing between the two extremes of eating SUPER STRICTLY for 4-6 weeks, only to then go full crazy once that period is over, and eat everything in town.

No more extremes!  That’s the goal.  Just do my best, all the time, and maybe have a slice of pizza on the weekend.  Seems like a pretty good deal to me.

I started off week 2 today with the WOD posted above, which wasn’t terrible.  I hate thrusters, and it didn’t help that I also had to do them in yesterday’s WOD.  I’ll be hitting the gym in the morning tomorrow, as well, and then I’m off to a birthday party for adults that is going to have a bouncy house.  Seriously.

Even though it’s only week 2, I’m really excited for week 3, because I have something pretty cool lined up for my YT/blog fam.  So, stay tuned for that.  In the meantime, I’m gonna watch this week’s episode of American Ninja Warrior, and floss my teeth.  Good night!

#JuicyInJune Day 15

After today, I’ll officially be past the halfway point of #JuicyInJune!  Things are going pretty well, but I do have a double today to make up for a rest day that I took last week.

This is what this morning’s metcon looked like:

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I most certainly did NOT Rx this one.  I’m still forcing caution upon myself– not to mention, I’m just not necessarily on the level of feeling like I really could Rx this wod without shit getting ugly.  You know, bad form, questionable reps, etc.

More than anything, I didn’t want to have to worry about snatching or cleaning/pressing a heavy-ish 95# from the floor for each set.  I can muscle clean 75# easily, so I figured that would be a good weight for me, and went with it.

Finished the wod in 8:30, which was a respectable time; and, I used a respectable weight, based on what I saw from others on the board.  Had a beautiful breakfast (still completely devoted to my blueberry coconut pancake + eggs with avocado combo), and now I can recharge a bit and get some work done before wod #2, which will be The Dreaded: spin.

The problem is, spinning really is great for torching calories.  I finally figured out how to get my heart rate monitor working (more on that to come, but spoiler: I’m LOVING it), and I discovered in a spin class earlier this week that I burned somewhere around 480 calories in 45 minutes.  And, that was on a day where I wasn’t even feeling juicy!  I imagine if I felt like I could’ve given my all, the burn would’ve been even more impressive.

In terms of my appearance, I’m at a point where I feel like I look the same, and have looked the same for a few weeks.  I’m trying not to stress about it, and just trust that living right will sort everything out.

I’m also considering doing a weigh-in tomorrow morning, just as a check-point for being halfway through #JuicyInJune.  I want to make sure that I’ve made progress, because if I haven’t, I’d rather know NOW, so that I don’t waste the final two weeks of the challenge repeating things that aren’t working.

Then again, the scale stresses me the fuck out.  So, yeah.  We’ll see.

#JuicyInJune Day 6

I saw this today, and I said “FUCK YES I’M DOING THAT.”

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I thrive with squats.  I live for a metcon that’s all bodyweight.  It’s basically everything I love to do when I train, in one workout.  But, it wasn’t going to be easy.  There were quite a few obstacles standing in my way.

1.) I haven’t tested for my 1RM on anything in over two years.  So, I legit don’t know where I stand with my maxes.

2.) I had a doctor’s appointment today (nothing serious, just a checkup), and I knew I’d have to fast in preparation of getting blood work done.

3.) Said doctor’s appointment wasn’t until 2:30pm today, which basically meant I’d have to starve all day long.

4.) On top of all that, I’m already struggling with issues of fatigue on the daily, so that’s fun, too.

Bearing all of that in mind, I vetoed a morning workout.  I knew it would be less-than-smart to 1RM, and then do a metcon, and then NOT EAT FOR SEVERAL HOURS AND THEN ALSO GET BLOOD DRAWN.

Unfortunately, I still knew I’d only have about an hour between the doctor and the gym, which isn’t enough time to digest a big meal.  So, I suffered all day, went to my appointment, raced home as fast as I could and smashed in 2 coconut flour pancakes (with some ‘naners in ’em, this batch), and some eggs with avocado.  I also had some green tea, knowing that a little caffeine would be critical, today.  Then, I headed to the gym.

As Kendrick Farris would say, “bless the gym.”  The walk to the gym sucked.  And, warming up with a 1000M row didn’t build any more confidence in my energy level, today.  In short, I was NOT feeling juicy.

But, somewhere between sets 2 and 3 of squatting, I realized that I felt strong— even though I didn’t have all of my blood.

My old 1RM on the back squat was somewhere around 200#.  Maybe a bit more?  I don’t remember, honestly.  And, I’m not going to go dig out my old CrossFit notebook, just to check.  So, today, I worked off of a hypothetical 1RM of 190, for all of the sets.  In the end, I squatted 195# successfully, then bailed on a 205# attempt.  I think I could’ve done it, but I freaked out at the bottom of the squat, instead.

Metcon went decently well, too.  I did it in 8:15, Rxing the 20″ height (for ladies; guys had 24″), on the box jumps.  Not a fast time, or anything.  I just kept a steady pace, plodded through it and felt better for it, in the end.

The blood work results should be back toward the end of this week.  I’m expecting to hear that I’m deficient in Vitamin D, because I tested super low for it 2 years ago, and never filled my prescription from the doctor for it.  I wanted to try to correct the issue naturally, and I was seeing a holistic specialist at the time who warned me strongly against taking any supplements that were made in a lab.

While I still agree with that approach, I’m still tired as fuck, all the time, 2 years later.  I stopped seeing my naturopath because I was failing to see any results with her advice.  So, I’m pretty sure that I’m as low in Vitamin D as I was before– if not lower.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do, once these results come back.  But, I do know that I’m going to keep a more open mind to what the doc says, this time around.

#JuicyInJune Day 2

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This was today’s WOD.  The deadlifts went pretty well, considering I’m still playing it super duper safe with my weight loads.  I “quit” CrossFit a couple of years ago.  But, much like Jay Z’s retirement, my retirement turned out to be a bunch of horse shit.

Since I’m just coming back to CrossFit, though, I’m making sure I stay really conservative with my weights.  This isn’t my first rodeo, and I’m going in with a “FUCK INJURIES” mantra.

In CrossFit Round #1, my 1RM deadlift was 295#.  I’m not stupid enough to think I could do that today, since I haven’t tested for my 1RM in about 3 years.  So, I maxed out for my “50-60%” today at 135#.  It felt pretty easy, which made me happy.

The AMRAP wasn’t too bad.  I was able to Rx it, since the wallball Rx was only 14#, the box jumps were only 20″ and I’m used to swinging heavier 16kg in my home workouts.  I detest overheard swings, though.  I think they promote bad form, even on people who have a good foundation with kettlebells (in other words, me).  But, I did them anyway, because sometimes I’m an idiot and do what’s on the board, even when I don’t think it’s a good idea.

Then, I had signed up for another class after CrossFit that’s usually 85% stretching, with a little bit of strength work thrown in, but the normal teacher was out.  So, instead, it was about 5-10% stretching, and the rest was a moderately challenging strength circuit.  Uhm, so yeah.  I accidentally did a double today…  Could be worse, because now I’ve earned a #JuicyInJune rest day, for when I feel like I need one.

Then, I had dinner.

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Best part of my day, easily.  Yes, the burger is grass-fed.  I’ve been using iceberg lettuce for my lettuce-wraps, lately.  It works so much better than lettuces that…you know…actually contain nutritional value.  I guess I’m willing to trade some vitamins for a lettuce that’s actually sturdy enough to hold my burger, which can’t be said for green leaf or red leaf.

The fries were baked in the oven, and that is exactly 3 ounces of them, which is one serving.  Look, lay off me.  I’m counting calories.  I don’t claim to eat a paleo diet, so I do enjoy white potatoes, in moderation.  These are the Alexia Organic Yukon Select Fries, which I buy because they don’t have apple juice or any other weird shit on them.  Yes, apple juice.  Read the ingredients on your foods, and you’ll be surprised what you find.

The pickle is a pickle.  I’m only mentioning it because I’ve really been enjoying these particular pickles.  They’re the spicy dill pickles by Ruuska All Natural Pickles.  I found this in the refrigerated section, and they live there because they don’t have any preservatives.  This is also the main reason I like them.

Even after adding 2 tablespoons of ketchup (I used Organicville’s today, if it matters), this whole meal clocks in under 450 calories.  I really love this dinner, because, hello, burgers and fries!  It allows me to have a classic combination that’s a personal favorite, while still avoiding the foods I like to avoid (dairy, grains, soy and sugar, though the ketchup does add some sugar from the agave in it).

Best of all, it doesn’t blow my entire calorie budget for the day, which would almost definitely happen if I had this meal at a restaurant.  Mind you, that’s still a nice size burger.  4 1/2 ounces, pre-cooked.  Finding meals I still get excited about is what makes all of this hard work not seem so hard.

Now, I’m off to floss and get ready for bed.  After all, tomorrow is just day 3 of 30 in this challenge.  Ugh.