Friday, June 30, 2006

Boxing

Another good class. I did a lot more moving around and even more sweating than the previous class, which I didn't think was possible. Perhaps it's the shirt; when you wear black you can't tell that the shirt is soaked. Today I was wearing blue, and you could...

Someone finally hit me; isn't that wonderful? :-) It was towards the end of the class; a light tap to the side of my head, which, believe me, is a far more effective way of convincing me to keep my hands up and my head protected than telling me "keep your hands up and your head protected". The hitter was the last guy I worked with during the class before we moved on to rope drills. The funny thing was that every time the coach said, A work with B, C work with D, he was "I'll work with her", because he wanted a bit of a break, but coach didn't assign him to me until the very end. At the end of the class coach says to him "She's doing fine, yes?" and guy grudgingly says, "When she relaxes she does". (Yes, it's still the shoulder issue. Look, my natural condition is stressed, I'm working on it.) Later the guy told me that when he started boxing, for the first couple of months he couldn't even raise his arms, the DOMS was that bad. My experience in the all-male boxing class is much like the description of the training workshop and the collegiality concept in Krista's March 2006 rant: "they didn’t care about “measuring up”; what mattered to them was giving it a shot."

I only have six classes left *sigh*: three Tuesdays, three Fridays. I liked the way the past week went and I'd like to keep this pattern for the foreseeable future: neg pull up day, squat day, box, deadlift day, bench day, box. It all depends on what I find when I get to Kansas, of course. The boxing days may have to morph into "another martial art" day. I'll discuss it with man-in-charge before I go. He's designing an "away" program for me, and he said I could always call him or fax him for advice. I need to figure out how to take video clips and put them online so that if I have form questions I can show him what the issue is.

Anyone out there looking for a shomer kashrut shabbat friendly housemate in KC as of Aug 2006?

Shabbat Shalom, and Happy Canada Day to the Canadians reading this. Have a great weekend, everyone. Here's hoping that by the time Shabbat ends, Gilad will be back with his family. If you don't know who Gilad is, go to Daniel Gordis' web site and read his June 30 dispatch.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Deads and Dating

Yesterday's deads.
4 x 37.5 Kg / 82.7 lbs
4 x 57.5 Kg / 126.8 lbs
4 x 72.5 Kg / 159.8 lbs
4 x 67.5 Kg / 148.8 lbs
4 x 62.5 Kg / 137.8 lbs
4 x 37.5 Kg / 82.7 lbs

Spent most of today at the university, attending a conference about Jewish education. Took advantage of the last day of Book Week prices at the university bookstore, and now I need to buy packing tape and start packing and shipping. Papers and packing are the foci of my life right now.

Normally I listen to music on my cd player while walking to the gym, but last night I got a call just as I was leaving the apartment. I'm planning to go to a lecture series with someone and she was calling to confirm the date. She sounded down so I asked what was the matter. Turns out the guy she had been seeing broke up with her. She's Orthodox and over 30, which means huge pressure from her family to get married asap. I could not believe the frog she was describing. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I'm hardly an expert on dating, having been a wallflower/homebody for most of my adult life, but anyone with two brain cells would know that someone who lies to you and about you and also expects you to always pay is not a good lifepartner choice. Told her she should say HaGomel (the Jewish blessing that you say after surviving a dangerous sitations such as illness, a hostage taking or childbirth) that she did not remain with this frog any longer, and that she should do what she can to ignore the people who are pushing her to get married. (So if you saw an incensed gesticulating woman with a silvery gym bag on the streets of Jerusalem last night, that was me. I don't think I can laugh at people who gesture while talking on their cellphone anymore...)

My opinion on marriage timing is that you look for The Thousandth Man, by which I mean the Kipling poem:
One man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it’s worth while seeking him half your days
If you find him before the other.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine depend
On what the world sees in you,
But the Thousandth Man will stand your friend
With the whole round world agin you.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Boxing Yesterday

Over at Charles Staley's blog he's looking for comments from women on intimidation and weight lifting. I left a comment there on June 26.

Boxing class yesterday afternoon. I made it home from the university, barely, by 4pm, ate and drank something quickly, and got to class at 5pm. I was a bit worried because it had been a hot day and I did not get in as much water as usual. If I had to summarize it in one sentence: the hook is progressing and the rope skipping is regressing. Seriously, it was a great class. I lucked out because one of the guys was feeling under the weather, and told coach that since he wasn't up to sparring, he'd work with me for the entire session. Huge opportunity for me because the guy knows what he's doing, and being under the weather was no barrier to providing a good target as well as useful commentary on my technique. Got home and worked on one of my papers for almost four hours, reading, making notes and creating a draft. Overall, a very productive evening and afternoon.

This morning I went to the consulate to straighten out the visa error. It took three hours but the main thing is that it is done. Now I'm at the university and planning on another productive paper-writing evening.

Monday, June 26, 2006

New Shirts

Sunday was Day II: Back, and the negative pullups are definitely improving. All the sets were under control. Today was Day III: Quads and Other Things.
Squats
4 x 30 Kg / 66.1 lbs
4 x 47.5 Kg / 104.7 lbs
4 x 60 Kg / 132.3 lbs
4 x 60 Kg / 132.3 lbs
4 x 55 Kg / 121.3 lbs
4 x 30 Kg / 66.1 lbs

Both yesterday's and today's workouts were at unusual hours. Yesterday I went at 2pm; I had school in the morning and my evening was blocked due to a festive dinner honouring graduates at the university. To my surprise the dinner at the unversity was reasonably healthy: salmon and avocado to start, chicken breast with dried fruit as the main. Today was 8am as I planned to spend the rest of the day at the university.

TMI warning: I realised that I have several t-shirts I need to throw out, starting with the one I wore this morning. At a certain point, regardless of detergent and deodorant, the sweat gets embedded and the t-shirt qualifies as hazardous material. On the way back from university I stopped and picked up some new t-shirts (4 for 100NIS, or $25 CAD). Now I feel civilized again. :-)

To add stress to my life: my passport with the visa in it showed up today with an error in it. I really really hope I don't have to stand in line for three hours again to get it changed, and more importantly, that it can be changed before I leave.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Friday Morning Boxing Class

At the beginning of class coach asked me how long it takes me to recover physically from the class. I told him I hadn't really thought about it, and he said I need to. I said that during the week I train in the late evening, and then go home, eat and fall asleep, so by morning, ta-da, recovery. He said that I should leave at least two hours between training and bedtime, and I said that, as he himself told me a few classes back, there is a different between רצוי ratzui (ideal/wanted) and מצוי matzui (present situation/commonplace).

The class was more intense than all the others I've been to thus far because we did more endurance work after the drills. I was sweating like a horse, but I was neither huffing nor puffing, and was able to keep up. My rope skipping is getting better. I found this article about Jump Rope Training by Ross Enamait, and I'm going to use some of his suggestions to improve in this area. I still haven't been hit by anyone, but I finally did partner work with someone using my gloves as targets. I also did some work on the heavy bag, and it was pointed out to me that I was standing way too close to the bag. I moved back and lo and behold, the punches are suddenly much more powerful.

The training plan for this week, and, if it goes well, for the rest of the weeks I'm in Jerusalem, is to lift Sunday & Monday, box on Tuesday, lift Wednesday & Thursday and box on Friday. I no longer have a class on Tuesday afternoon, so that makes it possible for me to come to the Tuesday 5pm boxing class. At all other times I'll either be at the Hebrew U library working madly on my papers, or packing my things and taking them to the post office to be shipped to TO or Kansas City. By the time the flight day comes, I need to have only two suitcases worth of stuff left to take.

After class I went to Givatayim and had lunch with friends of my parents. It was nice, but I do not like leaving Jerusalem even for part of a day. It's not just the hassle of taking a bus to the Central Bus Station, then the #480 from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, then the #45 from Tel Aviv to Givatayim (and reverse for the return, except that I got a ride from Givatayim to Tel Aviv). It's also that the entire process including the lunch takes 4-5 hours of my day, and right now I really have multiple things I could be doing with each of those hours. Once I returned to Jerusalem I stopped off at the shuk and bought light green peppers, figs and mangos. Went to bed at 10:30pm and woke up Shabbat morning at 9:00am or so. Had breakfast, went back to bed, and when I opened my eyes again it was 1:15pm.

Friday, June 23, 2006

4 Rep Microcycle

Began the 4 rep microcycle on Wednesday night with Day I: Chest:
Flat BP
4 x 25 / 55.1
4 x 40 / 88.2
4 x 50 / 110.2
4 x 40 / 88.2 This was way too big a drop and felt very easy; should have gone to 45 instead.
4 x 40 / 88.2
4 x 25 / 55.1

No gym Thursday night because I went to a classmate's wedding. I wasn't stressing about it because Wednesday had been my fourth session for the week and there would be boxing on Friday. The wedding was held at Mul Hahar banquet hall on the Tayelet (Armon Hanaziv Promenade), which has a stunning view of Jerusalem. The bride looked absolutely gorgeous. The chuppah part was very sweet but quite long, lasting more than an hour. I ended up leaving shortly thereafter, around 8:30pm, because I was seated at an outdoor table for the dinner and not enjoying it: the wind was blowing my hair in my face, it was chilly, the mosquitos were starting to bite, and my feet hurt because I had spent over three hours standing in various lines at the US Consulate for my working visa application earlier that day. So I went home and went to bed early. I lucked out because one of my former teachers was leaving at the same time, so I got a ride with him and his wife back to my neighbourhood.

Up at 0600 this morning, and off to boxing class at 8:30am. More about the boxing after Shabbat.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Goofy

I'm usually very serious in the gym, but once in a blue moon a session will have its goofy moments.

Guy #1: *grunts while doing bicep curls*
Guy #2: "This isn't a delivery room."
I stifled the sudden urge to say Amen.

Then there were the deadlifts.
4 x 34 Kg / 75 lbs
4 x 54 Kg / 119 lbs
5 x 67.5 Kg / 148.8 lbs I load the bar for the max set and go to find man-in-charge. As I come back to the rack, I hear one of the guys asking whose weight plates are on the bar. I don't think he wanted to deadlift, he just needed the 2.5Kg plates I was using.
Me (coming up behind him): "It's mine."
Guy: "Yours? You're going to lift all of that?"
Me (already laughing): "Can you think of a way to just lift half of it?"
5 x 62.5 Kg / 137.8 lbs
5 x 60 Kg / 132.3 lbs
4 x 35 Kg / 77.3 lbs

Lastly, there was PerfectSquatGuy, who was doing bench speedwork with about 100Kg/220lbs. While I was attempting to do gripwork he was doing imitations of stereotypical math teachers and making me laugh. Which is ok, because I managed to return the favour later on while he was doing cable curls. :-) Back to serious tomorrow.

Boxing Class and Two Nights

I'm not going to use the words "I'm tired" on this blog anymore. You're probably tired of reading it. Besides, what does tired have to do with anything? Shut up and train, as the t-shirt says. (I have to get me one of those) :-)

Friday morning's boxing class was intense. The hook is proving to be elusive. All the guys were giving me good advice (beyond "relax your shoulders", which is fast becoming my boxing mantra), but one was especially helpful. He said to think of it as if I was giving someone an open handed circular slap. Once you have that motion down, replicate it with the arm bent and the fist closed. Aha, progress. This is going to sound ridiculous, but I am looking forward to someone hitting me in class. The class features some body contact but no face contact, but since I am still in the newbie category, no one's actually hit me yet. I hope I get far enough before I leave for someone to actually hit me. :-)

I did get to work the bag, and I did so enthusiastically. I didn't realise how enthusiastically until half an hour later. Sitting at a cafe waiting for a friend to join me for second breakfast, I attempted to write something and was unable to write clearly because my arms were trembling. Muscles between neckline and braline were sore all through Saturday. I don't see DOMS as a positive or necessary thing, but I do consider it an indicator that I used my muscles in unexpected ways. If any of my readers have children, I suggest you teach them to skip rope before their age is in double digits. The skill is easier to acquire as a six year old than as a thirty-six year old...

Sunday night was Day II: Back, and it was the first time that I felt consistent control on the negative pullups. Except for the last work set when it was back to sack-of-potatoes imitation. Granted, part of it has to do with the shorter work sets (5 reps right now), but I am also getting stronger. (yay!)

Last night was Day III: Quads And Back, and I went in early because my Maryland mentor teacher (from my first stint of student teaching) is also visiting Israel right now, and we had dinner plans. The upright db rows felt heavy - the max set was with a pair of 13.75 Kg / 30.3 lbs dbs and I didn't think the last rep was clean, but everything else felt good. The squats were:
4 x 29 Kg / 63.9 lbs
4 x 46 Kg / 101.4 lbs
5 x 57.5 Kg / 126.8 lbs
5 x 55 Kg / 121.3 lbs
5 x 50 Kg / 110.2 lbs
4 x 30 Kg / 66.1 lbs

I decided to move my flight so that I have another week here. I need the breathing room. My friend C gave me a bunch of boxes, so tecnnically I can start packing already, but I'm holding off until I find out the results of my working visa application.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Books and Bench Presses

Hebrew Book Week, a massive book fair that takes place all over Israel, ends on June 17th. I've read that it began 80 years ago with Hebrew Book Day, and then 45 years ago became Hebrew Book Week. The Jerusalem fair is at the old train station this year. Thus far I've bought a collection of poetry by Eliaz Cohen, a collection of essays and speeches by Abba Kovner, and the Hebrew translation of Frank Herbert's Dune. I was unable to finish it in the original English when I picked it up several years ago, and I thought it would be fun to try it in Hebrew instead. I'm planning to go one more time before the fair closes.

I'm tired. So what else is new? Gym tonight was good. Started the 5 rep microcycle with Day I:Chest, and got a compliment from one of the guys about how hard I work in the gym. Trying not to think about the fact in that in a month I'll have to leave here.

Tonight's flat bench press sets:
4 x 24 Kg / 52.9 lbs
4 x 37.5 Kg / 82.7 lbs
5 x 47.5 Kg / 104.7 lbs
5 x 42.5 Kg / 93.7 lbs
5 x 37.5 Kg / 82.7 lbs
4 x 25 Kg / 55.1

The dips are still improving. Apparently today's sets were a third of a dip, which is an improvement from the one sixth I started with and the one quarter I managed last time.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Deads

Yesterday's deadlifts:

4 x 31.5 Kg / 69.4 lbs
4 x 50 Kg / 110.2 lbs
6 x 62.5 Kg / 137.8 lbs
6 x 62.5 Kg / 137.8 lbs
6 x 60 Kg / 132.3 lbs
4 x 32.5 Kg / 71.6 lbs

It was so nice to keep the blue plates (20 Kg) on the bar for all three work sets.

I got three hours of sleep last night. I was up till 3am finishing a paper which I handed in this morning. No gym tonight as I intend to be in bed and asleep by 10:30pm.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Insect

The good news is that it is Tuesday morning, and I am not sore from Sunday's negative pullups. I am working towards the goal of not dropping like a stone but instead lowering slowly over a three-count. The first two sets were not bad, but the rest need improvement.

The gym was packed on Sunday night. Man-in-charge said that people have adjusted their schedules so that they can watch as many football (world cup of soccer) games as possible. The world cup is huge here. Both of the newspapers I bought on Friday had special sections devoted to it. Many bars and restaurants are advertising their tv screens and their drink specials: for example, a free shot every time a goal is scored. Most people here are cheering for Brazil or X Plus Brazil, meaning, they support another country, but would be happy if Brazil won, just because Brazilian football is beautiful. I have met a couple of Portugal fans and Spain fans also. I'm cheering for the USA, just to be different.

Last night I trained early because I had dinner plans. The workout was solid, and the gym was very quiet. We had a bit of excitement when a rather huge insect showed up and started flying around, unsettling one of the guys in the middle of a skullcrusher set. It (the bug) finally landed in a corner of the ceiling not far from the squat rack - maybe it was a lifter in a previous life :-)

I felt tired at the beginning but by the time I got to the squats I felt awake.
Squats
4 x 27.5 Kg / 60.6 lbs
4 x 44 Kg / 97 lbs
6 x 55 Kg / 121.3 lbs
6 x 50 Kg / 110.2 lbs
6 x 50 Kg / 110.2 lbs
4 x 27.5 Kg / 60.6 lbs

I've shortened the rest periods and started pushing myself even more on the cardio minutes. Presumably I should have more to put into them now that my work sets are shorter.

The dinner plans: my mentor teacher from the Atlanta student teaching stint is in town, so I took her to my favourite gourmet kosher restaurant in Jerusalem: Gabriel. Delicious food, attentive service, and beautiful surroundings. Not cheap, but worth every shekel. As we were walking back after dinner, we ran into PerfectSquatGuy from the gym. I almost didn't recognize him in non-gym clothes.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Powerful Women

Reading these profiles of female powerlifters at the web site of Iron Asylum Gym makes the weights I'm lifting seem so light and feathery... :-)

Graduation

I wasn't sure that I would enjoy graduation at my non-Hebrew U school. For one thing, we're not really done. The people in my cohort are going to be busy studying till at least June 22. For another, I love studying there and I don't want it to be over. But I remember how much I enjoyed cohort 4's graduation last year, and I was looking forward to dressing up and making a speech and celebrating all the hard work of the past two years. But it was lovely. I wore a black skirt and a sleeveless top with white, black and what I thought were red swirls but someone pointed out they were dark fuschia. I got compliments on my speech; probably because it was one of the shortest :-). One person told me my arms were "buff". Looking at the pictures, they're nowhere near buff, but the idea that someone actually thinks they are makes me smile. (Empirically, I think buff = arms of the Sarah Connor character in T2.) I even hugged people, and my friends will tell you I am a non-mushy no-hugging sort of person.

As a bonus, I managed to squish in a Day I: Chest workout prior to graduation.

Thursday, June 8, 2006: Day I Chest

Flat BP (arch), supersetted with twist curls
4 x 26.5 Kg / 58.4 lbs
4 x 37.5/82.7
6 x 45/99.2
6 x 40/88.2
6 x 37.5/82.7
4 x 26.5/58.4

Dips / stomach vaccuums
4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 4
"Progress" man-in-charge said, watching the three 6 rep sets. From 1/6 of a dip to 1/4 of a dip. I talk to myself when I do these. "Chest out, chest out, breath, lock..." Keeping my chest out is the most important thing. Until I started doing them I thought about dips as a tricep exercise, and they are, but they're also a chest and shoulders exercise.

Single Arm Pec Deck / 1 min interval cardio
4 x 16/35.3
4 x 26/57.3
6 x 32/70.5
6 x 32/70.5
6 x 30/66.1
4 x 16/35.3

Seated Incline DB Presses / 1 min interval cardio
4 x 5/11
4 x 8/17.6
6 x 10/22
6 x 10/22
6 x 8/17.6
4 x 5/11
Single db weight listed.

Back to boxing class on Friday morning. Learning the hook proved more complicated than expected. My biggest challenge on all punches is relaxing my shoulders and keeping them relaxed. I can pretend I'm neither stressed nor tense, but the shoulders tell a different story.

High School Teacher

I'm going to be a high school teacher come August.

Found some food for thought at Amy Welborn's Open Book:
"I've said to him too many times - whatever you do, don't go into high school teaching. It seems like the perfect fallback - out of school at 3, summers off, etc. But the fact is, it's mentally exhausting, it's stressful, it's discouraging and the pay is so bad what happens is that you start off thinking, "I'll just do this for a while," but then you can't save enough to do anything else, and you end up..stuck. High schools are filled with folks who always meant to move on, but never actually did. Which means that high school faculties can be places of dark humor and burning resentments. Which is balanced out by the saints among them. So, as an aside, if you know a teacher, buy him or her a drink. They deserve it."

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Day II, III and IV

Monday was Day II: Back. Started with negative pullups supersetted with abwork. Like the dips, huge room for improvement. The last set I was dropping like a potato sack again. Followed this with lat pulldowns to chin supersetted with abwork, single arm bent over db rows supersetted with a 1 min cardio interval, and seated cable bicep curls supersetted with a 1 min cardio interval.

Tuesday was Day III: Quads and Back. Started with lying cable rows and then db upright rows, both supersetted with abwork. Moved on to squats and then hack squat machine.
Squats
4 x 25 Kg / 55.1 lbs
4 x 40 Kg / 88.2 lbs
8 x 50 Kg / 110.2 lbs
8 x 50 Kg / 110.2 lbs
8 x 40 Kg / 88.2 lbs
4 x 25 Kg / 55.1 lbs
These felt great. I was totally focused. On my second to last set one of my fellow gym goers had a near-collision with my bar, but it didn't even throw me off.

The hack squats were a pleasent surprise because the last time I did these I had to eventually drop them from my program due to right knee issues. This time around they felt comfortable. As comfortable as a hack squat machine can possibly feel...

Last night was Day IV: Deads and Things. I wanted to get four sessions out of the way early because this evening is taken by by my non-Hebrew U school's graduation ceremony. Between photographs and speeches and presentations, the entire evening is spoken for, making it impossible for me to train tonight. I will try and squish something in at lunch time.

Day IV has had the most changes. Deads are now the first exercise I do, rather than the third. They're followed by hamstring curls. Deadlifts
4 x 30 Kg / 66.1 lbs
4 x 47.5 Kg / 104.7 lbs
8 x 60 Kg / 132.3 lbs
8 x 55 Kg / 121.3 lbs
8 x 52.5 Kg / 115.7 lbs
4 x 30 Kg / 66.1 lbs

The last two exercises on Day IV are for weak points: rolling the bar from the fingertips upwards to hit the brachioradialis, and finally rotator cuff work. Both of these are supersetted with 1 min cardio interval between sets.

The workouts on this program are shorter, and I'm trying to keep my rests shorter too, taking the full three minutes only for bp, squats and dead max sets. I need to remember that in less than two months the"easy" life of the full time grad student will be over and I'll be back to the world of work, so I can't spend 1.5 hours in the gym just because I really enjoy it there. :-)

Monday, June 05, 2006

Last Night

Did day one of the new program yesterday. Weights always drop when starting a new program in order to make sure the technique is solid and that I'm comfortable with the exercise sequence.

Sunday June 5, 2006
Day I: Chest

Flat BP (supersetted with twist curls)
4 x 25/55.1
4 x 35/77.1
8 x 42.5/93.7
8 x 40/88.2
8 x 35/77.1
12 x 25/55.1 Oops. this was supposed to be a 4 rep set, but I was still thinking old program.
The flat bp was solid, shoulder wasn't complaining. It was nice to get back to flat after all the decline work. This was the first time I felt comfortable with the pronounced arch.

Dips (supersetted with stomach vaccuums)
4, 4, 8, 8, 8, 4
The dips are not at full depth yet, but I think there will be fast improvement on these. I like dips. They're like pullups and pushups; exercises I've always wanted to do, always felt a little envious of people who could do, and always believed that I couldn't consider myself fit unless I could do.

Single Arm Pec Deck (supersetted with 1 min cardio interval)
4 x 15/33.1
4 x 24/52.9
8 x 30/66.1
8 x 26/57.3
8 x 24/52.9
4 x 15/33.1

Seated Incline DB Presses (supersetted with 1 min cardio interval)
4 x 5/11
4 x 8/17.6
8 x 9/19.8
8 x 8/17.6
8 x 7/15.4
4 x 5/11
(single db weight)

Still took too long to get through everything. I think it is because I like being in the gym. It's a comfortable place for me, a safe place where I know what I'm doing and do it well, and I subconsciously prolong my time there. Or it could just be because I had to share the pec deck with two other people last night. :-)

Stopped at the tailor this morning to drop off a top for alterations. It's a top my sister bought for me awhile back; black with white and red swirls. It used to be too small on me, now it's too big. The sensible thing would be to give it away; I could probably buy a new top with what it costs to do the alterations. But I like it. I'm planning to wear it for my Pardes graduation on Thursday.

RSVP'ed in the affirmative for a classmate's wedding at the end of June. The wedding is on the same day as my consulate interview for a working visa, so I will either be really happy that evening or putting up a brave front while everyone else is partying.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Food Frustrations

Why the heck am I reverting to old food behaviour patterns? Eating as stress-relief? WTF is this, 2004? And no, the fact that what I'm eating is not garbage-food isn't making me any happier. What's making me angry is the damn habit of putting food in my mouth instead of dealing with what's really causing the stresses in my life. It's not the specific foods that I'm eating - although those can certainly use some improvement. Do you know how many veggies I had today? One. One lonely green pepper. How many fruit? One. One even lonelier green apple. [sarcasm]I'm sure I'm going to make great progress on the single veggie single fruit eating plan.[/sarcasm]

I'm pleased that I'm starting the new program tomorrow, because this will give me an incentive to kick my own nutritional butt. I'm annoyed at myself. Over the past couple of months, I've been saying that I want to drop some weight to facilitate the pullups. Have I done anything towards that goal? Nope. Nada. Nyet. Zilch. Zero. כלום Klum. (Klum being the Hebrew word for nothing, not a reference to the model.)

143 lbs is a vast improvement over 194 lbs, but it is not a healthy everyday weight for a 5'1 3/4'' woman. Even one who loves having muscle, thinks visible biceps are lovely, and has no desire to be slim-scrawny. 143 lbs is what I consider a nice and healthy pregnancy weight - if I ever get married and have children, that is. I'm thinking a 120 lbs year-round weight and a 143 lbs pregnant weight.

*Deep breath.*

Ok. Needed to get that out of my system.

*Goes off to re-read Alligator Stew for the Soul. Comes back.*

Speaking of the new program: here's what I'll be doing tomorrow.
Day I: Chest
Flat BP: Going back to flat after weeks of decline work, hoping all the rotator cuff work paid off and everything will be fine. Supersetted with sets of twist curls, legs straight, perpendicular to the ground.
Parallel bar dips: One day I'll be doing these weighted. For now, however, I just hope that I'll have enough in my triceps after the flat bench press to do one decent set. Supersetted with sets of stomach vaccuums.
Single Arm Pec Deck Flyes - keeping these from the previous program but moving them to #3 spot rather than #2. Supersetted with 1 minute cardio interval.
Seated incline db presses - also from the previous program, but at #4 rather than #3. Supersetted with 1 minute cardio interval.

Obviously not the kind of program that lends itself to stupid eating. Ok, I don't care how lousy it will be, I'm logging food today. More later.

BJJ &/or Silat in Kansas City?

If anyone reading this knows of a good BJJ or Silat school in Kansas City, please mention it in the comments or send me an e-mail. Thanks!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Happy Shavuot!

I'm still sore from the negative pullups on Sunday.

Wednesday I did not train because we had a year-end dinner at my non-Hebrew U school. The year isn't quite over for the people in my program, but this was a chance to say goodbye to a lot of people, hear speeches, laugh and get teary-eyed. I didn't get to hear the entire thing because I had a late class at Hebrew U and only arrived at the dinner two hours after it began. After the dinner I went out with my schoolmates to Emek Refaim Street. This was also a belated b-day party for me. My classmates D, E and B discovered that I had not gone out to celebrate my birthday last week, and declared that this would not do. Emek Refaim St was closed to traffic and turned into a street festival. There were bands at the intersections (jazz, irish music, middle-eastern music), costumed performers, food tables from the various restaurants... it was great. I'm not sure if it was a part of the Israel Festival or not, but it was a lot of fun. After the festival ended I went with B, D and his wife T to Selina restaurant for a very late dinner. I finally got home around 1:30am.

The gym closed at 3pm today because the holiday of Shavuot begins tonight. It will be closed tomorrow for the same reason, and closed on Saturday for the Sabbath. So my next session will be on Sunday. To celebrate Shavuot, I'm going to have dinner with my schoolmates E & A, and then, since one of the customs of Shavuot is to spend all night in the study of Torah, I will likely wander the streets of Jerusalem all night going from class to class. There is an incredible variety of classes available. If you found yourself on the streets of Jerusalem around 2am you'd be amazed by all the people in their holiday best walking from one learning opportunity to another.

I got my new program today. It is going to be challenging. I went through the entire thing, doing one set of each exercise at 50% weight. Like the old program, this one has four days and four exercises per day, each supersetted with abwork or a cardio interval, so I did 16 sets total. The microcycles are shorter: 8, 6, 5, and 4 reps rather than 10, 8, 7 and 6. I'll update the exercise link on the right with all the details after the holiday is over.

If you are celebrating Shavuot, have a wonderful holiday. Otherwise, enjoy the weekend!