Discovering Weakness

Upper body day, also known as the day of discovering weaknesses or just feeling weak! Why can’t every training day be all about squats and bench press and deadlifts? Oh, that’s right! These pesky little upper body things help my big lifts, too. Well, okay then.

1a. chin-ups with small green band

x 7, x 6, x 6, x 6, x 6

These didn’t feel quite as easy as last week’s chins, although the first three reps of each set felt fairly fast and easy. The latter half of each set was more of a challenge, especially in the later sets.

1b. flat dumbbell presses

20 lbs x 11 + 25 lbs x 5, 30 lbs x 10, 30 x 10, 35 lbs x 10, 35 x 12

These felt good. They are certainly not as challenging as they were once upon a time. The 20 pound dumbbells were just a warm-up, but even the 25 pound dumbbells felt pretty easy. Look at me using heavier dumbbells without fear and dread!

2a. handstand push-up progression

x 8, x 8 with knees on bench and hands on floor

x 8, x 8 with knees on bench but hands on parallettes

Michael said the parallettes would be more difficult. Perhaps they were, although I think that they were slightly less scary since my hands were not as far from the height of the bench. However, my right arm was lagging a bit for those two sets, which did not make me feel all that confident in my ability to push myself back up, but I succeeded. I really don’t understand why Michael won’t let me change my goals. Can’t I claim temporary insanity or something that would make any wild goals I came up with null and void?

2b. chest-supported rows

45 x 12, 70 x 10, 70 x 10, 70 x 10

Some days, most days, these feel tougher than they probably should. Michael teased me, asked if I could even bench 70 pounds for 10 reps. Maybe on a really good day! Ha! Like I said earlier…upper body day makes me feel weak!

3a. single arm leaning lateral raises

8 lb dumbbells x 15 each, 6 kg kettle bells x 5 each + 10 lb dumbbells x 10,   8 lb dumbbells x 20

These were something new, and something new always has a learning curve. The last set was probably the best.

3b. single arm triceps extensions with overhand grip

20 lbs x 2…or rather 1.5 with the left arm and a full 2 with the right arm with the assistance of a stomp of the foot. A weakness revealed!

10 lbs x 12 each…plus 2 each with an underhand grip, because Michael likes to find all those weaknesses

10 lbs x 9 each with underhand grip. This set was better because I was “fresh”, or that’s how Michael put it. I’m not sure that fresh would be the best word for how I was feeling at the end of my training session, but the little rest between sets likely did help.

Michael and I did talk a little bit about yesterday’s blog post. I knew what he would say! And he’s right. I know it. I know the truth. I know that I am healthy and fit. My weight is so not an issue, even with the few extra pounds that he might like me to gain. There is purpose in this weight gain, and I understand the purpose and accept it. It’s about building strength, and I want that!  Besides, there is a big difference between gaining a few pounds with purpose and gaining a lot due to inactivity and a terrible diet.

I should also clarify that Michael is not pushing me to do things that I am not comfortable with or willing to do. I appreciate that he is sensitive to that and occasionally checks in with me to make sure that he isn’t. (As much as I’d like to blame my crazy new goals on him, I really can’t! I am just that kind of crazy on my own.) Michael asking me to gain a few pounds is something that I am comfortable with, even if I have moments of panic or doubt or a distorted vision of myself. Now if he was asking me to gain 20 pounds, then that would be a different story! But he isn’t asking me to gain 20 pounds. I keep saying that I trust my trainer/coach, and I mean it sincerely. Trusting Michael doesn’t mean that I won’t have doubts or insecurities or little fits of attitude, because I most definitely will have all of those and more. What trusting Michael does mean is that I know that he is looking out for what is best for me and what I want to accomplish. He isn’t holding me back or pushing me too hard. He is being smart with my training, because he cares about my longevity as an athlete and my ability to function well as I continue to age. He has the experience to know what works, what doesn’t and how someone like me responds to the training at any given time. I think I’d be rather silly not to trust him.



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