End of the Year Update

So once again, I’ve been terrible at updating this thing. Not so terrible about going to the gym though. I joined the 100 club with a 1RM back squat of 115. Hoping to shoot for higher once I’ve been back from the holidays. I did have a 3 week break due to being sick with a cold, being in Disneyland, and it being Thanksgiving.

I’m in IL over Christmas and can’t wait to get back to the gym on Monday. I made a HUGE purchase last Saturday… I bought my wedding dress!!! I’m so excited. It fits amazing but could fit better of course (I’ll take alterations to bring it in over it staying the same) and I really want to focus on my arms and upper back. I still have to buy my veil but I’m working under the assumption that my upper back will be completely exposed and right now I would love that to be tighter and slimmer.

Another big announcement is that I got Panda to start at the gym. At first, she was horribly sore. And I mean horribly sore. She cried walking down the stairs because her legs hurt so bad and felt so unsteady which was the worst part. Now she has a 1 RM of strict presses of 55 pounds. That’s amazing. That’s my 2RM I believe (without looking at the whiteboard, which I can’t because I’m in IL). It’s so great to have my partner in crime working out with me. It helps push me to be more encouraging to her and it also helps push me to do my best and not slack at the workouts because I know she is watching me for form and everything.

So the wedding is in less than 8 months so I really need to start planning everything. I’ve got my girls going to do their bridesmaids dress shopping on Jan 30th and need to get Panda in for her dress soon too. Starting January 3rd, I am pledging to start cleaning up my diet to help speed this process up. If you have easy recipes that are healthy, please send them my way at BAU.intern@gmail.com. I will be working 8:30-6:00 and then hitting the gym either at 6:30 or 7:30pm so my life is going to be pretty hectic when I get back from Christmas. I’m thinking that on Sunday’s I’m going to cook up a few chicken breasts for the week but I also want to keep a good variety going and I’m not much of a cook.

I’m also going to start doing things for PAWS – Pet Rescue at the beginning of the year. I think I’m going to start with doing something with inventory but I hope to get involved in more with the kittens. I’ve spent some time taking care of a puppy here at my mom’s house. Her dog had another litter of puppies and one needed some extra love. It’s been great.

Anyway, I’m out.

Hangry Penguin

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Back pain and squats

Hellooooo from the land of the living…

Last week was horrible. Saturday started with some weird back twinges doing kettle bell headcutters that just continued until I could do no more (including goblet squats – something I’m relatively good at). So I shook it off and went home without doing the weight lighting part of the class. Monday was pretty brutal but I managed to make it through the workout somehow…

It started out with a 5:00 min row with easy pace. No big deal right? I’m starting to get really good at rowing. Then, it was wall squats, dead hangs, and band pull aparts to get those muscles going. For strength, we did back squats… I mainly stretched my lower back and then managed to get some good back squats in. The conditioning was a killer! It was another for time workout –

1000 Row

50 FSPP @ 45/33

30 Pull-Ups

The row was a killer as were the front squat push presses and the 30 pull-ups (Which were ring rows for me). But I finished!!! Booyah!

Wednesday sucked. I couldn’t finish because of back pain and ended up on the ground crying… so I took Thursday thru Sunday off and went to the chiro. Best decision ever.

Tonight was HIIT on the Air Assault bikes to warm up :10 sprint :50 easy pace – for 5 minutes… got me breathing heavy but I managed after getting my shoelace unstuck from the bike’s pedal. The usual warm up with squats and such. Our strength tonight was front squats. I can tell my legs are getting super strong. I could do 50lbs no problem in the leg area. However, my wrists just aren’t there yet for the way you need to have a front squat. And since I do have somewhat bad wrists from years of typing and spraining – I shouldn’t expect much. But I managed.

The conditioning was supposed to be 7 burpee broad jumps every minute on the minute – since I can’t really do burpees just yet – I did modified half burpees. It was using this pipe thingy that is like a pushup assister and I just didn’t do the push up part but made sure to jump after each one.

My legs are sore but I had no back pain. It felt amazing. I feel like the rest really did some good for me, both physically and mentally. I was able to get my head back in the game. I started a new job about a week and a half ago almost two weeks and so it’s been an adjustment working 8:30-5:3ish and then coming home and getting ready to go straight to a hardcore workout but I feel great and energized again.

Anyway, I’m off to very sore sleepy land. My legs are so sore from all the work tonight but I feel great. I’m really starting to see some progress. Hopefully, I’ll update a bit more often once I get used to my new schedule.

Court

Just another Manic Monday…

… Wish it were Sunday…

H’okay… it is Monday again which means blog update!

Things I suck at: Overhead Squats… but I practiced and practice makes perfect so booyah. That was last Wednesday. I really wanted to hit the gym on Friday but Panda’s car took 6 hours at the mall to get an alignment and I had no spoons left to give to a workout at 5:30. (Look up spoon theory, if you don’t get what I mean). Nor could I actually make it to the gym on time due to lovely 5pm traffic downtown. Boo… So Saturday was also not a gym day because we were going out of town to get our hair cut, see family, and register for our wedding. I’m pretty sure spending 4 hours in Target zapping things with a registry scanner should count as a workout but I know K would tell me no… not a workout (and yell at me about what I ate that day so let’s just leave that topic… Hi K!).

Being exhausted after registering, I ended up falling down about half of Amanda’s mom’s stairs. Sock slipped and one legged went down, one arm went to catch myself, and the other leg (the right leg with the bad knee and bad ankle) stayed behind. Ouch! So I was pretty sore yesterday and the knee was hurting me today but I managed to get my ass to the gym at 7:30 even though K abandoned me  (jk – she had stuff to do tonight) and went to the 5:30 class.

Tonight I learned the hang snatch (really needs a new name but we’ll go with it), one of the more complicated Olympic lifts, or so I was told by the coach. This was pretty difficult for me, definitely fell on my ass and knee a few times but managed to get myself doing it with the barbell and with 5lb weights on it. It’s definitely a process, all the links in the chain have to conditioned to do this, I need to build up muscle memory. The nice part is, apparently, some of this stuff comes a bit naturally to me – thanks Dad! My dad likes to lift and was a weightlifter and gymnast in his day…

So I worked on that while everyone else built up to doing that and hang pulls. I did not do the pulls since today was just day 1 of learning hang snatches (again better name please?).

Conditioning tonight was brutal but short… 20-10-5 for time of deadlifts and push presses. If it is one thing (or rather 2 things) I can do at Crossfit/Weightlifting – it’s deadlifts and push presses. These are pretty simple moves and they use my legs along with my arms. My legs are my powerhouses from years of biking and swimming. Plus they carry me around. So for those not in the crossfit/strength and conditioning world – that meant doing 20 deadlifts, 20 push presses, 10 deadlifts, 10 push presses, 5 deadlifts, and 5 push presses all in a row for the fastest time. I did 30lbs and finished in 4 min and 4 sec. I definitely needed time to breathe but this nerd did not need her inhaler tonight! Woot!

I definitely need to work on my cardio capacity but I can already feel such a difference. I am getting through conditioning without having to my inhaler. I am not finishing last or if I am finishing last… I am finishing. I even voluntarily warmed up on the Air Assault bike tonight for 2 minutes to warm up my knee since it has been achy.

Anyway, my schedule for this week is tour of San Quentin tomorrow and a trip to the beach after, Wednesday back to the gym, Thursday I start my new job (yayyy!!) and back to the gym Saturday morning for 3 full days at the gym. I should start doing cardio in between and that will probably start next week. For now, my muscles are exhausted.

Amadeus says hi to everyone (he’s my fat cat who likes to look over what I write).

Time for bed! Sleep is important for those muscle gainzzzz!

Monday Fun-Day

Tonight’s Workout:

Warm-Up

3x:

10 Cals on AA

5x Wall Squats

10x Overhead DB Reverse Lunge

5x Inch Worms + 2 Push Ups

Strength:

Work up to a heavy Turkish Get-Up

Then:

Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes:

6-8 Strict Presses @ 95-115/55-75

Conditioning:

3 rounds for time:

10 Split Jumps

20 1-Arm Sit-Ups w KB (switch arms at 10)

10 Pull-Ups

Thoughts and Progress

So, since the last time I posted, I worked out last Wednesday and Friday. Friday was back squats and rounds for time. I managed to do back squats with chains. I definitely struggled to find my heels and almost fell over face first the first round of back squats.

Since last week, I also had something mess up in my thigh that linked into my knee. If you’ve read back to the past in my blog, I’ve had knee problems almost my entire life. I have cartilage damage and I’m still working up my strength around it because I’m also seriously knock-kneed which causes issues of its own. So lunges have really been a no for me right now including really reverse lunges. So instead of reverse lunges with weight tonight, I did reverse lunges without weight and just kept my arm up in the arm.

For split jumps, I did squats instead. Squats don’t hurt my knee nearly as badly and I’m actually getting pretty good at them so far. I think this is because the weight is evenly distributed. To be honest, I weigh around 230-240lbs or at least, I did at my last doctor’s visit (I don’t own a scale unless you count the wii fit board). So that’s a lot of weight on my joints and why I’m really doing this.

This was my first time ever doing Turkish Get Ups, but the coach said that for doing it for the first time, and for the way I’m protecting my right knee, I was doing it 10/10. The getting back down part is much easier especially since we were using a padded mat. I did manage to do this with a 5lb dumbbell for about 10-12 reps (5-6 each side) just going through the motions and trying to get my right knee to not be a scaredy cat.

Obviously, I’m not ready to do pull ups yet – not even the kipping ones (I think that’s what it’s called – crossfit/strength and conditioning newbie here). So instead, the Coach had me to ring rows. I definitely think I can start taking this to the next notch by ways of my angle but since tonight was for time, I wasn’t going to mess with how it was. For the timing, I managed to NOT FINISH LAST!!! So, on Friday – I decided to go work out with K and we did this set of like 6 different exercises 4x for time – K took like 10 minutes – I took like 19 minutes. Also – it was like 100 sit-ups total so I feel pretty good about that.

Strict presses were pretty good. We were working at doing volume. 10 minutes with every minute on the minute doing 6-8 strict presses (no push presses unless your arms absolutely failed). I started out with a 15lb bar with 20 lbs on it but ended up having to go down to 10lbs on it to get the actual 6-8 reps in within the minute without going into push presses. Either way, I frikkin’ did it.

I can already feel this huge change in my stamina and endurance and strength. Tonight for warmup, we had to either row or bike on the AA for 10 cals or 200m. I chose to row because I f’in hate that AA bike (I’m determined to like it eventually though). I managed to row 200m in less than 1 minute without getting ridiculously out of breath or my legs dying on me. That was my favorite accomplishment of the night. The fact that all the stuff I’m doing ends up coming somewhat naturally to me, shows me I really can be fit. I really can be an athlete. I will do it. And I won’t quiet until the dress fits.

Wedding side note: Venue is booked for August 13, 2016!!! Panda and Penguin 2016

New Goal, New Journey

New Goal, New Journey

I realize I haven’t posted in forever… don’t worry – that doesn’t mean that I didn’t keep up with the bike and getting back to the gym last year. I just got busy with my last year of law school, bar prep, etc to keep up with the blog. So I have graduated law school and have taken the bar. I’ve been pretty consistent in working out at the school gym or the apartment gym up until June when I graduated and started bar prep. Then things got a little hard because you are exhausted with bar prep – studying 14 hours a day. I went as much as I felt like it which was definitely not enough. Then I slacked off until about a week or two ago. So here I am. New goal, new journey.

Amanda (Panda) and I are getting married in August 2016 and we’re determined to be Fit Brides (#FitbBrides2016) and have started Operation Wedding Body. We are each working individually because of our schedules and because of the intensity of things we’re doing. Panda just got done recovering from kidney stones and procedure so she is gaining stamina and endurance back at our apartment gym while I just joined Ethos Strength and Conditioning here in Sac. My best friend talked me into trying it (she’s a little biased with the trainer ;)) but I ended up loving it and loved the intensity I get out of it. I have been dabbling in it for a bit now – doing private training sessions with the trainer/coach while practicing my squats and pinning inspiration to my Pinterest board in-between sessions. Finally, I have started classes. I started last Thursday and am going to be going Mondays and Wednesdays. I’ll also be doing Saturdays that Panda and I aren’t out of town for family stuff.

My goal is to not be a plus-sized bride of course – but I know that’s a lot to ask in the next 8 months. I think with the right diet and this new form of working out, I can at least get down to a smaller plus size than I am if not all the way down to not plus size. However, caveat – my idea of plus size is 14 and up. I’d be even happy at a size 14.

Soon, I will post before pictures. Once I actually feel crazy enough to take them. I’m not huge on body confidence so this is a huge step for me. However, I really want to be able to document the progress in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, etc. For now, I have signed a 6 month agreement with Ethos. In 6 months, I’ll reevaluate my situation with how my body is feeling, looking, etc. Note, I do still have knee issues. The cartilage damage is never going away until I have a knee replacement at the ripe old age of whenever they let me have it. However, it can be managed and has been better since doing the bike and everything. Crossfit (strength and conditioning) has irritated it a bit because of how much movement it requires but I’m determined that this will go away much like the soreness my body feels every day.

I also want to note that yes, this is Crossfit, but it’s also Strength and Conditioning. The coach is very experienced and knows what he’s doing. He keeps our class sizes really small so that he can provide individual attention to form and will stop us immediately if we are doing the wrong form. I have already told him that I am not about to be on crutches again. I would not be doing this class or this gym if I didn’t feel like they were about pushing people past their limits. That being said, if you’re in Sacramento or the surrounding area – come check it out!

Please feel free to post encouragements, concerns, etc in the comments. I’m going to try and keep this updated pretty often now. I can post the workouts for the day on here too as well and how I felt after them. I just want to document and hopefully in the future, inspire someone else to take a leap of faith in their physical fitness and health journey!

I’m out to drink my strawberry, banana, kale smoothie (yummy!).

Hangry Penguin aka Courtney

BOOM!

I’m back!

Last week, I had my ortho appointment. I found out surgery is an option in the future but is really touch or go on whether it would help or not. I did find out that 1 in 5 Americans suffer with chronic patellofemoral pain syndrome and mine is caused by a compression and being knock-kneed. So that’s great. The PA did tell me though that his brother suffered the same injury from hiking and in 9 months (long time but I’ll take it) he was healed up. The PA was okay with doing a cortisone shot and they did it in a super low dose since I’m so young. Immediately after the cortisone shot I felt AMAZING. Then the lidocaine or whatever numbing agent they use wore off and I was in a LOT OF PAIN. Followed by a few days of being sore, and now I feel like my knee is almost pre-May. I know this isn’t a cure and we have no idea how long it could last but I’m happy to at least have some relief so I can hopefully start sleeping at night.

So that was last week. Over the weekend, I had personal issues and was sick. Blah. Still feeling gross and have to go see a surgeon tomorrow morning to figure out said personal issue and what to do about it. Not going to go into details. BUT, today was a super great day. 

I got up today and amazing songs were playing on the radio, Justice Kennedy was on campus (I didn’t catch a glimpse but probably good), and I went to school with all my reading and the appropriate bar questions written and analyzed. This was all I got done over the weekend because I was super icky and sick. But I went to school in workout clothes because I figured if I made it through Remedies without wanting to hurl, my stomach being upset, or any pain I was going to attempt to work out and sweat any sort of infection on top of personal issues going on out. I decided since I have been doing 20 minutes that with the cortisone shot it was time to up the ante. 

I did a quick stretch and on the bike I got. Man that felt great. 25 minutes of nothing but pure endorphins for a total of 5.04 miles. I really wish that I could run as fast as I bike. But running would include carrying my fat ass down the road or treadmill where biking it’s just the bike. A 5 minute mile would be amazing some day to run. Not sure my knee or my body will ever be up to it but still. I can bike a 5 min mile. It used to be that it took be 30 minutes to get to 5 miles. Now it looks like 30 minutes will be six miles at a level 6 and a normal RPM of 80-83. 

So that was my day besides the academic part. I’m back on the bike. I don’t know when I’ll be back on it again this week but will figure it out after tomorrow’s doctor’s appointment. Hopefully I’m not out for too long. I always feel better when I work out and eat healthier and drink like 10x more water. 

 

Enough rambling. 

 

xoxo,

Hangry Penguin (more like sick penguin right now)

Weekend update

I haven’t had a chance to work out since the last time I posted… correction: I’ve been too tired. I was going to work out on Thursday and ending up having a migraine. The only place I made it was my hour and a half class and an SBA BBQ. 

My knee pain is higher than normal this week and I’m not sure if it’s because I am irritating it by walking in flats instead of sneakers (have to wear dress shoes) or if it’s because I’m working out or what. Either way – it’s not fun. I’m getting really frustrated and if I don’t get a good answer 9/3 at the ortho I will be probably be seeking a second opinion. Just a few minutes ago, I had shooting pains down my shin. I’m still having pain along my medial joint line when I walk and if I twist in the slightest of ways with any sort of weight on my knee. 

If anyone knows of things to ask the ortho, things to do for chondromalacia/runner’s knee, or if this sounds like something that isn’t that (I have had two MRIs both negative on the meniscus though) please shoot me an email or comment here. 

Tomorrow I will be working out before I go to class and then grocery shopping. Going to buy fruits and veggies. Skyped with my parents today and my mom says I look like I’ve lost weight. Not sure if I have or not but my mom means it when she says it. 

 

Going to try and sleep. 

 

Night