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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!

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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 :)

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

Someone call the wah-bulance

This morning, I woke up with a mission. Beat the heat. It’s going to be HOT around here for the next few days, so outdoor activity will have to be scheduled accordingly.

When my body clock woke me up at 6:30 am, I jumped (okay, stumbled, stepped on a random object, and tripped) out of bed, threw on my running clothes and immediately fuelled up.

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Like my broken thumbnail?

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Iced coffee with almond milk and stevia in an iced beer mug I bought in Jamaica. Noticing the trend yet? :P

Then I strapped on all my gadgets and was off for my planned five kilometres. Not gonna lie, I was (am) sore as hell from weight lifting yesterday. Pounding out a fast 5k so soon after may not have been in my best interest.

Duration: 28:04
Distance: 5.03 km
Avg Pace: 8:59
Avg HR: 162
Max HR: 176

Kinda nice to see that 8 in the pace, even if just barely! I think I started out at maybe a 10:00 and got increasingly faster towards the end. I was surprised by how easy it was to squeeze out a faster speed for those last 2 km. Running really is mental. The only thing holding me back was me thinking that going faster would be too hard. Well, it was hard (when is running ever easy?), but it was bearable and most importantly – fun!

By the bye, I’ve been measuring my runs with the Nike + iPod foot pod and plug-in I bought a while back. I had some difficulties getting it calibrated at first, but now it works great! No complaints thus far :)

I’ve been a hungry beast all day. I don’t know what is up with my body. Getting sick maybe? I’ve been more hungry than usual and I find my body is taking longer to recover between workouts. I don’t like it.

Some other eats from the day included a peach + AB break while preparing my apartment to be shown.

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Mediterranean cottage cheese pita with a plethora of veggies and a cinnamon-doused braeburn.

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Random protein bar bought based solely on name.

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I won’t bother posting the ingredients. Just picture what’s in a KitKat with a bunch whey, soy and egg white protein. 

It was melty… did I mention it’s HOT here?

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It was actually pretty good, for a protein KitKat. The peanut butter was creamy, and the chocolate coating was decent. Not the greatest snack idea on a day when I’m starving though. Wafers = not filling!

Also had a little fat + fibre in hopes of satisfying my belly.

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Wasa fibre rye with PB, lexia raisins and cinnamon. Made the hunger situation better, but not cured.

Spent the afternoon out and about. Picked up some new chain lube for my bike and a sweet new running bra from the Running Room.

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I contemplated doing actual clothes shopping, but the idea of spending my money on workout gear appealed to me more! I can’t wait to try out this bra. It’s got a built-in heart rate sensors.

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Apparently you just clip the transmitter on in the front. I’m sceptical it will actually work. Regardless, it’s still a really nice bra without it.

I also stopped by an Asian grocery that I discovered hidden in our city’s industrial park on my last bike ride. It was huge!!! I was hoping to find some of the coveted kabocha squash, but they don’t carry fresh produce. I did however leave with a few goodies.

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Black sesame seeds, rice paper and agar-agar. I have ideas for the seeds and rice paper, but I have no clue what to do with the agar-agar! Any ideas??

I had an early supper, because I was hungry again.

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Tempeh burger with microwaved sweet potato chips. My apartment is going to be an oven-free zone for the next few days. Seems like our weather only goes in extremes – cold and rainy or scorching hot!

For the record, this is not everything I ate today. There was a breakfast and more snacks in there. I just noticed I talked about being hungry, but looking at the pictures, it doesn’t look like I ate a lot. I did though!

I’m hoping to go for a hill bike ride tomorrow, but if my body doesn’t snap out of whatever is ailing it, I may just skip it. Which sucks, because it’s going to be a rain-free day off for me tomorrow, so it’s perfect for a bike ride! Of course, after tomorrow, it’s going to rain until Sunday, ugh ugh.

Yes, I know, I can hear the wah-bulance from here :P

In case you can’t tell, I’m having a “blah” day. Hopefully tomorrow is better! For the time being, I’m going to go lay in bed, nurse my current tummy ache, and watch Fast Food Nation. I just downloaded legally purchased it and am excited to watch it! I read the book in high school, but I can hardly remember it now. Much of high school is a haze for me :P

How about I end this lame post with a couple more random Q’s. What is one movie you really want to see but haven’t yet? What is one movie you think everyone should see?

Okay, this is totally self-serving, because I think y’all probably have great movie recommendations for me!

Hope you had a great day! :D

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