After my carb up yesterday I was feeling pretty energetic, though my stomach was bothering me a bit… I wonder what caused that? I managed an awesome leg workout that included deadlifting 205 lbs x 6 🙂 This subsequently caused a trainer to offer me a free leg training session… woohoo! Free stuff for being strong! I had mentally prepared myself to gain back a pound or 2 from the carb up, but I stepped on the scale this morning to a pleasant surprise of no change. Plus it’s friday and my boyfriend is here for the weekend: it’s a good day.
I am trying to get a suit designed for my competition so I needed photos from front, side and back to email to the designer which my boyfriend kindly took. What was interesting for me was the huge difference between standing regularly and posing… look.
Who knew my thighs were so big?
I thought I would talk a little bit about balancing training and life. I will be frank, it’s pretty hard to do. I saw someone laughingly refer to their training schedule as “work-gym-no life” balance, and sometimes that’s how I feel. Yesterday I left my house at 8:00 am, worked until 5:45, went straight to the gym (getting there arround 6:30), worked out until 8:15 then drove home while scarfing down my dinner un-microwaved. I got home, made some hard-boiled eggs and random other stuff for my meals today, picked up some groceries and didn’t get to bed until 11:15. Not much down time in there at all. But I have also gone out to dinner this week, had a friend over for dinner, and exercised every single day, while working overtime at work.
Some of the things I do to make the most of my time are:
- Make gym-time, social-time. I have done a morning leg workout with a friend outside or gone to the gym with my boyfriend in order to get more time with them. Not only is this more enjoyable, but I find myself more motivated and pushing harder because I know someone is watching me.
- Do more intense workouts. The more intense the workout the less time it will take you and therefore the more time you will have to do other things. There are times when I want to do 45 minutes of walking and an hour plus weight session and I love those, but sometimes a tabata sprint and 30 minute circuit is more effective and way more efficient.
- Cook in batches. I usually make twice the amount I need for dinner and that is my lunch the next day. For snacks I usually cook a big batch of meatloaf muffins and have nuts and other snack items on hand that can be thrown together quickly the night before. Vegetables that require no prep (like snap peas or baby cucumbers) form a large part of my packed food because they are easy to put together. You shouldn’t have to prepare every single meal and snack from scratch each day.
- Do at home workouts. For abs, chest and sometimes legs I will frequently train either just outside or in my house. Monday I had a friend over for dinner and for 15 minutes before she came I did a series of push ups at different angles and stances to hit different areas of my chest and triceps. It was quick and very effective. Don’t do this all the time, but it is definitely better than no workout.
- Have friends for dinner at your place. This has multiple benefits. (1) you are in control of the food and can choose to make it as healthy as you want, (2) you don’t have to waste time travelling anywhere or waiting for a server to get your order, (3) your friend will be grateful that you went to the effort of making them dinner! Win, win, win!
- Walk places. Have you ever noticed how little we walk? It’s ridiculous, if you can’t get to the gym, at least go for a long walk at lunch. You will probably feel better for the rest of the day and you’ll be burning more calories than sitting at your desk. Also, get up every hour or so and walk around; getting water is usually a good excuse. This one is hard for me when it gets cold, but I do try.
I work long hours at a desk job and try to still have a social life, so I employ all these tricks. My days meals are prepared the day before and I rarely miss a workout (if I do it’s usually the cardio component ) It’s hard work and takes planning, but it’s not as difficult as you think… think about how much time you spend watching TV or fooling around on the internet. You probably don’t want as much muscle as I have or to train 5 days a week… but I am an extreme case, you can certainly reach your goals, whatever they are, which some foresight and a few good tricks.
And here are my progress side and back shots. I’m about 5 weeks out from the competition (UFE Halloween Mayhem) and want to lose about 8 more pounds. Wish me luck!