Lifting with LBEB

Having someone train you via online works pretty well except in the case where you need help right then and there with form or learning a new lift. I’ve had the option all along to videotape at the gym and then send the video over to Katherine but I’ve kind of been too lazy/shy to do that. I’m a person that does better with in person critiquing.

So it dawned on me that the Lift Big Eat Big team are only a short drive (2.5 hours- which is really short compared to how far all of their fans all over the country would need to travel) so I went out on a limb and ask Katherine if this would be a good idea. Obviously, she said, “OF COURSE!” so I went out on a limb and emailed them (well Brandon; the leader, coach, CEO, owner…not sure what his specific title is) if it would be okay if I scheduled a time to get some help from them with specifically squat and deadlift form and then learn olympic lifts. He emailed right back and said that they welcome drop-ins to get coached along side his team. Good enough for me! Any help is better than no help.

So last Thursday our family drop up to Seattle and dropped me off at their doorstep. I was beyond nervous because I know I’m not even 10% as strong as these guys (and girls!), so it felt a little embarrassing, but I had to swallow my pride and remind myself that everyone starts somewhere and I might as well have a correct start. As soon as I walked in the door, right off Brandon just says, “Hey! You Kat?” thanks for breaking the ice for me.

We wasted no time (just my style) and got right into warming up and stretching. I had been doing a lot of dynamic stretching before lifting but I was also doing static stretching, which I learned I should be doing that after and not before. After about 10 minutes of warming up and stretching, we headed to the squat rack. Around us, there are about 6-8 people throwing some heavy weights around but every single person came up to me and introduced themselves and was beyond nice. My fear and embarrassment literally washed away. I’m pretty sure they were nicer than any quilting group I could have dropped into.

So we started with squats. Probably the #1 thing I wanted to work on. Up until then, I had been squatting to parallel…or what I was thinking was parallel because it’s really hard and awkward to look in the mirror to see how far down you are while you are holding your breath and trying to concentrate on what in the world you are doing. Brandon had me put the bar on my shoulders and step back out of the rack, put my heels up on two plates and point my toes slightly out. I sat back and did my typical parallel squat. He then had me rack the bar and then explained that this time, he wants to forget anything I was ever taught and let me knees go over my toes and just sit straight down, chest up, elbows down. I was up for the challenge but not without asking him to stand behind me in case I fell backwards. I got the bar on my shoulders and sat straight down and stood straight back up. I have no complete my first ATG squat. Ass. To. Grass. I racked the bar and waiting for my critique. Before he said anything, that squat felt WAY more natural than what I was doing before. Harder? Yes. But WAY less awkward. He looked at me and said, “I’m not quite sure if there really is a such thing as a squat too deep, but you possibly could fit this definition”. I took this as a compliment. He added that if I had that kind of flexibility in my hips that I should squat that way so I can keep the flexibility I have.  However, if I ever wanted to squat for weight (powerlift) then I wouldn’t want to get that deep.

So we add some plates to the bar and I get going on my 5 x 5 squats. During one of my sets, I heard from somewhere in the distant left, “Look at how far down she goes” and I think that is where my self confidence went from about a 3 to a 9 in that day. It continued later on when someone else needed to learn to go deeper and Brandon yelled over to me, “Hey Kat, air squat” took me about 4 seconds to figure out what in the world he was talking about and then busted out an air squat. Squatting deep: check.

Then we moved onto presses. I assumed chest presses but I was wrong, overhead presses. Not sure which one is worse because they are both pretty pitiful. Basically just practiced on moving my head under the bar as soon as the bar went over my head so I wasn’t using my chest the entire time to press and to allow my shoulders to help more.

After that we moved onto the deadlift. This is where I still have serious problems. There is something about my glutes or hamstrings that will not allow me to hold onto the bar with my hands and sit back (as opposed to having my butt high in the air and bent at the waist) and then stand up. Before I came in, I was 100% aware I was using mostly my lower back to pick up the weight. My goal today was to fix this. I’m not sure if it’s a strength thing or a flexibility thing but when I get my butt down, I start shaking and can barely hold myself in the start position, let alone stand up. We worked and worked and worked on this (while adding weight) and every time I felt 100% awkward. We worked up to my 2RM (~55kg) and I still felt super awkwardsauce about the whole thing. I need to practice is what it is.

So then we ran out of time to hit on any olympic lifts. I left the facility hoping I could come back in two weeks when we were up in Bellevue for a week but I needed to find a friend to watch the boys for me. Guess what? One of my friends is taking the boys on the 29th so I get to go back and work some more. On top of that, my husband and my sister are getting me some olympic weightlifting shoes for my birthday so I can scrap the plates under heels and not need to go barefoot during deadlifts.

I’m extremely grateful (this is the month of thanks, right?) for Katherine of getting me into all of this and having the connection with LBEB that ultimately let me to getting to train with some of the best of the best. I’m also thankful for my husband driving my butt all the way up there to do something that he thinks is kind of an odd thing for me to ever get into, “So how many mom’s were there???” haha. And I’m obviously thankful for LBEB for taking the time to work with me! If anyone ever gets the opportunity to get in on some training with them, you won’t regret it!

Weeks 1 & 2

First week of my plan from my trainer was absolute hell. The only way for me to describe it is when I’m running and I’m nearing the end of my mileage for that run and I have to say to myself, “Just two more miles, just two more miles. You can do it!” or “Just one foot in front of the other. Just one foot in front of the other”. I’ve never had to do this when it comes to lifting. At least not in this extreme where I really want to quit but I know I *should* finish. It’s easy to do that when the only person you are reporting to is yourself. I had to say to myself A LOT, “I can’t do this….seriously…my <insert any muscle group here> are going to fall off”. Don’t underestimate what only 4-5 exercises can do to ones body in a strength training workout. My first leg day I didn’t think I was going to be able to drive home. I certainly could not walk correctly for the days after. And this goes for all of my workouts that week. I. Hurt. Bad. I never ran that week. Even when my legs felt fine (which never really happened), my arms hurt too much to swing them.

As far as nutrition went, I ate a lot of food. My body needed it to recover. I ate a lot of carbs and a lot of fat and quite a bit of protein. I’m waiting for MGN to restock on muscleandstrength.com but they seem to not be well informed with dates of shipment because almost 2 months ago I asked and they said, “two weeks to ten days” and then I asked three weeks later and it was “within the week” and now it’s been 2.5 more weeks and still out of stock. Anyway, I lost 4 pounds and my size 6 pants from college fit again. They have fit me three times since college. Pregnant with #!, pregnant with #2, at the end of marathon training and this week. I log my food on sparkpeople.com. They have a huge database and it’s easy to enter something if it’s not on there. Also, you can do a recipe count too. Just put in the ingredients and put number of servings and it tells you the macros. I had an issue the first 4-5 days about not eating enough the first half of the day and then logging my stuff after dinner and going, “Ummm…I have 500 extra calories….” so I’ve been eating bigger breakfasts and lunches now. I really have to set a timer at 3 hours because my household is so out of control that I really lose track of time. If I’m hungry at 2 hours or 2.5 hours, I just eat then but 90% of the time I forget about it. This has really curbed me from binge eating right before dinner every night or eating waaaaaaay too much during dinner.

 

During week 2, my muscles were kind of expecting the same beating again so they were more prepared. I was still sore. Still had to talk myself through a few sets but nothing like week 1. If it was easy, then I moved my weights up. I also got food poisoning during the week and then at the end of the week, I was grocery shopping with the family (for the first time in a year I think) and I about passed out in the produce section and threw up in the bathroom. I have no idea what that was all about. So I went two days of pretty much not being able to eat and then two days of pretty much eating whatever I saw because I was so hungry. My weight hasn’t changed at all, makes sense. I wouldn’t have even been surprised if I had gained weight. Either way, I’m not too worried about my weight, just my gains in strength and loss of inches, which I promised my trainer I would not measure myself for 10 weeks.

 

I’m glad to see where my starting point is (not strong AT ALL) so I can start to improve from there. This is pretty much rock bottom for me. Pretty sure 80 year old women are stronger than me 🙂

A New Start!!

Sorry, I haven’t been posting lately (read: at all) and it’s probably because I was simply trying to do too many things at once. Now summer is over and my favorite season is here. I have taken my to-do list and checked off the necessary stuff and then tore the rest of the list to shreds…and man do I feel so much better! We are on the brink of moving again so why in the world was I even thinking about putting curtains up or hanging more photos? I am now learning to embrace our white walled rental for just a little while longer.

 

My exciting news is that I am now training under Katherine Welch!!! Words cannot describe how excited I am! Someone to keep me on track and to push me when I feel like “okay” is enough. I had to take my dreaded “before” photos and send them to her…yikes! She warned me not to try on that bikini again or look at those photos, trust me, I hope to never look at those photos again. No worries there.

The only thing that is currently cramping my style is that literally the day after I finally made the leap to hire KDub, I got sick. I.Never.Get.Sick. Not only did I get sick, it’s deciding to linger. I wake up in the morning feeling like crap, so I think, “I’ll hit the gym tonight” and then 7 pm rolls around and I’m dead to the world. My husband puts the kids to bed at 8 and I’m already in bed with a roll of toilet paper and a bag of cough drops. Even standing outside with the neighbors while we watch our kids ride their bikes makes me feel like I’m going to pass out and that my throat is on fire.

The ONE good thing about being sick is my lack of appetite, so when 3 hours go by I stop and take time to make good choices about what to eat and I have a normal serving size.

I have also done a very good job the past month making a weekly calendar for family meals, so now that I’m committed and it’s become a habit, I think I can handle getting back to posting recipes since I’m back to tracking all of my meals, everyday.  I have also gotten over my guilt of throwing away egg yolks. I used to just feed my boys the yolks because I’d have piles of them in the fridge but they really need the whites and the yolks, so yesterday I actually put size yolks down the garbage disposal and I didn’t even feel bad…okay…maybe I cringed a little. Did I mention I hate wasting food?

 

Today I’m also finally going to be getting a 45 lb box of kids art and school supplies so I can finally get P rolling on his home preschool!! I’m so excited. More activities for him, the less time he has to make me go crazy during the day. My hope is to post our activities and the such on here as well.

 

So anyway, starting next week, I hope to be more active on here and to report out on my new strength training pursuit! I know I’m in GREAT hands!

I’ve learned a few things

…in the past 5.5 weeks.

  • Most people do not know how important diet is in order to lose fat. It’s 80% of it, if not more. Exercise is just the icing on the cake…..or the peanut butter on the celery 😉 There are a few woman that are very lean and strong that I have noticed that work out at the same time as I do. I’ve taken the liberty to one by one ask them (in the locker room….no time for small talk out on the floor) what their diet looks like. Lean sources of protein, carbs from whole grains and fruit and as many veggies as their heart desires. How much do they workout? It varies from 3-6 days a week. How much cardio? It varied from NONE to A LOT. The ladies that answered, “none” said it was simply because it isn’t part of their desired goal. They don’t have a passion to go for a 5 mile run, they instead of a goal of power versus endurance. The lady (because there was only one) that does A LOT of cardio is a marathon runner, imagine that! It’s part of her goal and she LIKES DOING IT. She also knew the importance of needing to be strong, not only in her legs but her entire body in order to do a lot of endurance training. Out of all women I’ve talked to, one is a grandmother of 5 and six have multiple young kids. Which leads me to my next point….
  • People (women) assume that because you are in shape, you don’t have kids. About every other week I have some older female say to me, “Oh enjoy it while you can! Wait until you have kids!”. Really? Because I have two already. I’m not sure why women think that kids is an excuse, because it’s not.
  • You need to set yourself up for success. My mother-in-law says this all the time regarding the boys. Don’t want the kids to crack the eggs against the wall? DON’T PUT THE EGGS WHERE THEY CAN’T REACH THEM! Duh. Stupid me….I mean…that’s never happen to me….errrr. Anyway, plan ahead. I always get caught up on lunch and you just grab some crap food or go through the drive thru? Or possibly worse, SKIP IT???!! Make a day to make your lunches ahead of time. Grill some chicken, roast some sweet potatoes and green beans and put it into 7 containers. Put two in the fridge and 5 in the freezer. There, the hard part is done! No thinking required and as a stay at home mom, I love that 🙂 Also, don’t bring crap food into your house and if it’s currently in your house, kiss it and throw it away. Nothing tastes as good as having the body you want. I wouldn’t bring home a slew of Thomas the Trains, put them in the toy chest and then say to the boys, “No, DON’T TOUCH THEM!”. See how stupid that sounds? Set yourself up for success.
  • “Just as exercising too much can hamper your progress, so can not eating enough”
  • When you fall off the train, don’t give up. Start over THE NEXT MEAL. You know what’s worse than having a slice of pizza? Have TWO slices of pizza. You know whats worse than having TWO slices of pizza? Have a liter of ice cream afterwards. See! Now having the ONE slice doesn’t seem so bad if you get back ON the train instead of falling further off of it. This is my hardest thing and I’m still working on it. The, “well might as well eat as much garbage as I can since I already ruined it with this one 70 calorie pack of fruit snacks so let’s eat another 1000 calories that’s not on my meal plan” type of attitude. See how stupid that sounds? Don’t wait until the next day to start over, just pick yourself up at the next meal. Don’t throw away the whole day.
  • Giving up too soon. I bet if you would have held on just another couple of days, you would have lost that 1 pounds or 1 inch or could zip up those jeans or drop 30 seconds on your mile time or done 1 more rep. Consistency is key….which leads me to my last point.
  • People that are negative towards your healthy lifestyle change are dealing with their own issues. Don’t mind them. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones who say, “You’re addicted to the gym” or “Why are you on a diet? You’re so skinny!” or “Well…I’m just so busy I don’t have time” (ok, side rant, no one has time. I don’t have time. I make time. Right, that’s what mom’s do. They make things happen. I get up at 4:15 am to go the gym because that’s the only time I have. Or I stay up 20 minutes later to make my snacks/meals for the next day. Side rant over). Just don’t worry about those people. Unless you are hitting up the gym for hours on end, everyday and eating 800 calories a day, you don’t have issues. They do and it typically starts with a little word that starts with a “j”.  You’re not addicted, you are committed. And can I just brag for a moment? I have gone from 35 pounds on leg extensions (12 reps, 3 sets) to 115 pounds (8 reps, 3 sets) in under 6 weeks. I also have pretty much no knee pain while running anymore either, which means I have finally strengthened my quads so my knee crap tracks properly. It used to hurt within the first 100 yards and now I’ve gone 4 miles with no pain. I’m so excited to just keep progressing forward and becoming stronger!

I’m not perfect and I needed to rant about remind myself of these “ah-ha!” moments I’ve had and I hope they help other people too! Happy Wednesday 🙂

Civic vs. Escalade

Because Erik can explain this WAY better than I ever could, I’m just going to post the link. It has nothing to do with cars and everything to do with burning fat. At this point, I’m trying to be not 100% Civic, because I do put myself in the endurance athlete category, so I don’t necessarily want my body to eat away at all my full tank of gas in the first 5 miles of a marathon, however, I need to gain muscle, desperately. I’m beyond weak and I’ve already made strides in the amount of weight I lift and with that, my running and cycling has become easier, and I don’t get as worn out during SS cardio, intervals or hills.

While you’re at it, go ahead and “like” Lean Body Consulting on facebook, but you aren’t wearing your big girl panties, I wouldn’t join the page. Erik is incredible knowledgeable and it shows through his articles, posts and client results but he doesn’t sugarcoat anything, which to me IS GREAT.