Blog Archives

The Pyramids of the Weight Room

Before I get into this post, I have a confession to make.

I don’t like canned pumpkin.

Fresh roasted pumpkin I love. Pumpkin cream cheese muffins make my mouth water. Pumpkin pie is one of my favourites (okay, I like all pies).

But I cannot stand the mushy tastelessness of the canned stuff. I have to add a whole container of pumpkin pie spice to make it edible in anything, and even then it just makes things… mushy.

So there ya go.

While we’re at it, I don’t like Christmas. But I’ll save that for another day :P

You know what I do like though? Waffles!

100_8114

It’s an addiction, I know. Before these though, I had a stellar weight lifting workout.

I picked up the September issue of Oxygen magazine for the first time after hearing Janetha say good things about it. I always shied away from this magazine because it’s full of scary looking fitness models, but it’s got great weight lifting info for women!

One of the tidbits in there is about pyramid sets. In a regular pyramid, you start off at a low weight with high reps, then increase the weight and reduce the reps with each set. It allows you to overload the muscle gradually. A reverse pyramid is just the opposite, starting with a heavy weight and low reps, decreasing the weight and increasing the reps with each set. This allows you to use the heaviest weight at the beginning while your muscles are still strong.

The heavy weight sets will build strength, the medium ones will build lean muscle and the lighter ones will improve endurance and recovery. Mixing these up will shock your muscles instead of letting them adapt.

So I hit up the gym this morning with this in mind. I decided to go old-school with the exercises, and take my time to really focus on the weights I was using and my form.

Warm-up:
15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing the resistance every 2 minutes

Barbell squat:
65 lbs x 8
55 lbs x 12
45 lbs x 15

Wide-grip lat pulldown:
40 lbs x 8
30 lbs x 12
20 lbs x 15

Lunge:
10 lbs x 24 (alternating legs)
15 lbs x 20
20 lbs x 16

Dumbbell shoulder press:
10 lbs (ea) x 15
15 lbs x 12
17.5 lbs x 8

Single-leg Romanian deadlift:
40 lbs x 8 (ea)
30 lbs x 12
20 lbs x 15

Tricep pulldown:
30 lbs x 8
20 lbs x 12
10 lbs x 15

HIIT:
15 minutes on the elliptical, 1 minute sprints, 2 minutes recovery

Cool-down:
Stretching

T’was a good time! I really like switching it up in the weight room. Part of the reason why I’m contemplating not doing another lifting program this winter. I like picking and choosing what I want to focus on :)

Theeeen it was waffle time :)

100_8117

The usual. Maple cinnamon waffles with almond butter, yogurt and strawberries. I am singing my love for this combo from the mountain tops! :)

100_8121

And a little protein juice to chase it down, otherwise known as PVL peach whey cooler. Not the prettiest photo – I was thirsty!!

I’ve also been quite vocal in the past about my dislike for wraps/tortillas. I’ve just never been a fan of the chewy denseness of them. Plus, all the full to medium-size ones around here are 200+ calories with little fibre and protein. But I found these in the freezer in the health food section the other day and decided to give them a whirl.

100_8123

Ezekiel organic sprouted whole grain tortillas. Nutritionals on these are the best I’ve found yet.

100_8125

For lunch, I packed one of these babies with leftover curry salmon salad, cottage cheese and romaine lettuce. Then I took an exceptionally bad photo at the office.

100_8129

Sorry! I got busy with work once it was unwrapped. The tortilla was alright. Still dense, but at least not chewy. Very seed-y, and quite thick. I think it would be better grilled, or as a quesadilla.

I just got groceries, so I had way too many options for dinner. I couldn’t wrap my head around it, so I just went with the simplest things possible.

100_8133

Tempeh burger broiled with a string cheese and dipped in barbecue sauce. A bowl of honeydew melon on the side. Eaten on the couch. Just one of those days!

Except, I’m kinda hungry again. The water in the melon only temporarily filled me up.

Question time!

1. Any popular foods you dislike? I also don’t like rice and pasta. I’m more of a sauce-y gal ;)

2. What’s your favourite holiday? Mine is Halloween. But that’s just because I like dressing up and little bite-sized candies.

Also! I’m going away to Windsor next weekend and I won’t be blogging on my usual schedule. So I’m putting out the call for guest posts! I need 3-4 posts :)

Okay, the boy is here and he keeps staring at me while I blog. I think it’s time I go pay attention to him. Later!

BodyFlows and BodyShapes

I finally, finally, slept for over eight hours last night. It’s been weeks since I’ve had more than seven. It was glorious. There was no other way to celebrate than by pulling out this bad boy.

100_7585

My belgian waffle maker :)

I ended up with a delicious stack, using my protein pancake recipe, topped with an “easy berry cobbler” of sorts.

100_7592
I just put leftover berries in the muffin tins yesterday and cooked them with an oatmeal/cinnamon/honey mix. This totally hit the spot. I love my day off feasts!

I got in some quality Regis & Kelly time this morning, while unpacking my last box! Yay! I’ll be taking my tour pictures tomorrow when the natural light is best :)

I breaked for a delicious lunch…

100_7600

Liverwurst and laughing cow cheese on a bun with carrots + hummus and my po’ man’s version of a caprese salad, with laughing cow. Mind you, it was crazy delicious. This is one of my market heirloom tomatoes. It was melt-in-your-mouth good. Sometimes life doesn’t get better than a deliciously fresh tomato ;)

After digestion, I did something I haven’t done in fore-ever. Okay, since August 17th (thank you blog archives!). I went for a bike ride!

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t doing a lot of biking a) because I hated carrying it up and down the four flights of stairs in my old apartment, and b) I get scared on it! I can only ride on busy, high-speed roads with little to no shoulder.  I’m still not confident enough on my bike to feel safe on it all the time. Especially in traffic, when I have to unclip at intersections, turn left, etc.

Anyways, I went at a low-traffic hour today, which helped. Once I got on the bike I was immediately filled with all those happy endorphins again and loved every minute of it.

Until… I hit the hill. My new place is on a hill. I have two road options to get back up, so I took the one that I’ve done before and already knew I could finish. Oh. Man. I think I’m a little out of cycling shape because it was so hard. BUT I pushed through…going at 9km/hr :P In all, I did 24 km in 60 minutes.

When I came home, I realized a green smoothie had grown in my absence.

100_7610

My aloe vera is already crumbling just by being in my presence. Definitely should have gone for fakes…

100_7612

It was my usual Vega combo, 2 scoops Vega Smoothie Infusion, 1 box One Coconut Water, 1 cup frozen papaya chunks.

Dinner was another attempt at kale chips. This time with a lot less salt and a touch of paprika.

100_7616

Dipped in baba ghanoush.

100_7620

Muuuuch bettah :) I also had some leftover lentil and bulgur salad.


Tonight, I tried out the BodyFlow class at my new gym. I really liked it! You can check out what a typical class looks like here. It’s a mix of tai chi, yoga and pilates. The tai chi was just the warm-up, with mostly yoga, and a little pilates ab work in the middle. There were lots of hip openers which I loooved, as my hips are one of my “trouble spots.” The tai chi was… interesting. I’m not sure if I’m coordinated enough for it.

Post-BodyFlow snack:

100_7623

Fibre tarts with some Abu on top (a mix of almond butter and almond milk). Nomnomnom. Pretty filling from all the fibrousness :)

 

Now I just want to make this post a touch longer by talking about something I’ve learned over my weight-loss/health journey. It’s embracing my body shape. You see, I’m an apple. I’m big around the belly, and have long, thin limbs that stick out of it.

I had always been envious of women who carry their weight in their butt and thighs. They can put on a few pounds, and still maintain this itty bitty waist and still fit into their pants. I put on three pounds, and my jeans no longer button.

I’ve never been “curvy.” My thick middle has always given me rectangular measurements (ie my chest, waist and hips are all very similar sizes).

I always thought that my body would transform into this dream shape when I lost those extra 30 lbs. Instead, it looked the exact same, just smaller. Weight lifting definitely helped change this a lot. But even that won’t change my body shape.

I write about this because I am finally in a place where I fully except the body I have. So what if my tummy is plump? My legs are lean, arms free of flab, and chest perfectly pert. I may never drop jaws in a bikini, but I will rock a miniskirt like nobody’s business :P

So my question of the day is: What body type are you? What are the good attributes of it?

Also, Lara wrote a wonderful post today on losing those last 10 vanity pounds that is worth a read!!

See ya tomorrow for a tour of my new place :D

Ellipticized

Hey guys! Hope you all had awesome weekends :) Mine was dull. That’s how it goes when you work every Saturday and Sunday I guess…

I just wrote a whole big spiel about how stressed I am at the moment and then deleted it. I’m sure you don’t want to hear that. Just know that a number of factors are making this week’s move way more difficult than it has to be, and that working 9 days in a row is not making matters any easier! I’m pooped!

Now, how bout some eat highlights?

Yesterday’s popsicle experiment was a grand success!!

100_7092

It’s a frozen PVL cran-raspberry whey cooler. A protein popsicle if you will ;) One of these bad boys clocks in at 10 calories and 2g protein. It was a little watered down in frozen form though, next time I’ll make the mix a stronger.

I also experimented with some new flavours in my breakfast cookie today.

100_7097

Apple cinnamon breakfast cookie.

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • 2 tbsp unflavoured soy protein powder
  • lotsa cinnamon
  • few shakes pumpkin spice
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • raisins
  • dried apple pieces
  • Splash almond milk

This flavour was inspired by Janetha who reminded me that cinnamon is my favourite flavour. Next time, I’ll take it up a notch and use a scoop of applesauce instead of almond milk for my “liquid.”

Umm, let’s see… There was also some of this…

100_7105

And a little of this…

100_7107

We were supposed to get a hurricane today, and I am very disappointed in the lack of both rain and wind. I still played it safe and brought my workout indoors.

Warm-up:
15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing the resistance every 2 minutes

A1 – Deadlift:
3 sets @ 60 lbs x 10

B1 – Incline dumbbell shoulder press:
3 sets @ 20 lbs ea x 10

B2 – Step-up:
3 sets @ 25 lbs ea x 10

C1 – Single-leg Romanian deadlift:
3 sets @ 20 lbs ea x 10 each leg

C2 – Bent-over dumbbell row:
3 sets @ 20 lbs ea x 10

D1 – Hip bridge:
3 sets @ bw x 15

D2 – Prone jackknife:
3 sets @ bw x 10

E1 – Plank:
1 set @ 2 min

HIIT:
15 minutes on elliptical, 1 minute intervals, 2 minutes recovery.

Cool-down:
Stretching

Recovery drink:
Papaya Peach Mango

100_7114

  • 1 scoop Iso Lean peach mango whey powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen papaya chunks
  • 2 scoops plain yogurt

This was soooo thick and delicious. Kinda like a fruity ice cream without the cow’s cream funk taste!

I tried to switch up my ellipticizing today, but it didn’t quite work. I’m told ellipticals are miracle machines that are low-impact and easy on your muscles and joints. Except, most ellipticals are the opposite for me. The best I can think of is that my freakishly long legs don’t match the range of motion of most machines, so I end up straining my knees more by forcing them to move unnaturally.

Anyways, the one machine that works for me is the Reebok Body Trec.

It sort of simulates running, but almost feels like cycling standing up. Plus, my knees don’t scream at me on this thing, which is always good ;)

But in the past few days, I’ve heard about the Cybex Arc Trainer from both Anne and Lynn. So I figured I’d give it a shot!

Ow. No-go on the knees. It was such a weird motion! Sort of like a Gazelle, but more forward reaching and circular moving. I spent two minutes on it until I moved back to my trusty Trec. And least I tried, right?

 

By the time I showered and such, Chris showed up. So we just decided to head out to our friendly neighbourhood pub (ie The Lunar Rogue) so I could get dinner. I played it safe with a grilled chicken Greek salad.

100_7117

Dressing and feta cheese on the side. If I had to choose a favourite salad, I think it’d be a toss up between Greek and spinach.

Chris ordered some hot boneless chicken wings.

100_7118

I tried a bite of these and liked them much better than the boned variety. Still don’t care for the buffalo sauce though. I did however enjoy more than a couple of those tortilla chips ;)

After supper, Chris and I partook in one of our favourite evening activities – a stroll through the downtown.

100_7119

Chris totally called me out for taking the picture because I was wearing my contacts. Dammit! Must get less clever boyfriend… :P

Alrighty, it’s my bedtime. Want to get some quality zzz’s in so I can pound out a 5k in 27 minutes tomorrow morning. Not sure if it’s possible, but I’m gonna try!

More random Qs!

What’s your favourite salad?

Do you have an elliptical preference? (or any other cardio machine?)

 

Have a fantabulous Monday!

(whoa, “fantabulous” isn’t underlined as a spelling error – is that an actual word?)

Night night ;)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 487 other followers