Front Squats & Food Freedom

If my neck isn’t happy, then I am not happy. Okay, so maybe I can still be happy, but a neck that is out-of-sorts is no fun at all and my neck has been cranky since I saw my chiropractor last Thursday for that rib thing. The rib feels great now, but I have literally had a pain in my neck ever since. This afternoon I had another visit with my chiropractor, and he worked his magic on my neck. There was a satisfyingly large cracking noise with his adjustment today, and I have to say that my neck is finally feeling better. There is still some soreness at the far reaches of a stretch; however, I can move my neck much easier than I could this morning. It doesn’t hurt to do a shoulder check either! Still have a headache though…it’s been there since at least Thursday, so it’s getting rather tiresome. I am hoping though that things will feel even better tomorrow.

1a. front squats, with knee sleeves

45 x 6, 75 x 6, 115 x 6, 145 x 8, 155 x 8

1b. incline bench press

competition grip: 45 x 8, 65 x 8

slightly wider grip: 70 x 1…too much arch. reset x 5

slightly narrower grip than competition: 65 x 8

I seemed to struggle with positioning in bringing the bar down to my chest today. The first set with just the bar was okay, I think, but the second set with 65 pounds was all over the place. Michael pointed out that I need to push up with more of a ‘J’ motion rather than straight up, and that is definitely a valid observation. I do know that some reps were higher on my chest while others were lower. Perhaps that wouldn’t be such an issue if I adjusted my elbows to accommodate the change in range of motion, but I was trying to keep my elbows in one position. So, we experimented with a slightly wider and narrower grip, and I attempted to push the bar up in a ‘J’ motion. The wider grip started out okay, but I think I ran into some trouble with the eccentric again. However, that final set with the narrower grip was actually the best, the smoothest, and the easiest of all the sets, which means that the real problem is a weak chest.

1c. various band pull-aparts

2a. alternating flat dumbbell presses

25 x 12 each, 29 x 12 each, 29 x 10 each

The first two sets were good. The final rep with the right arm during the second set was tougher to lock out. My effort to lock out the rep resulted in losing my shoulder position. The final set was decent until the latter reps for the right side. I might have done some compensating for a couple of reps at the end before recognizing that I couldn’t get another rep.

2b. skater squats with 5 pound dumbbells

to a tri-fold mat: x 10 each leg

to a two-fold mat: x 10 each leg, x 10 each leg

Balance is always my biggest challenge with these, but I kept my gaze focused on one spot on the floor ahead of me and tried my best to keep an even keel. For the most part, I succeeded, although I’m still shakier than I’d like to be. The right leg was definitely more stable than the left, but I suppose that isn’t all that surprising. Michael was going to start me out with the two-fold mat but changed his mind so that I would feel successful. For the second set, I went down to the two-fold without Michael even saying a word. I’m usually up for a challenge, and honestly, like I said, balance is my weakness.

2c. weighted plank

45 lbs x 30-40 seconds…Michael forgot to time me and didn’t start counting right away. I held it for at least 30 seconds, but it was probably closer to 40!

45 lbs x 35 seconds…and this one was timed!

And now I have a new challenge of sorts. I have been keeping a food log for a very long time. I have been a user of Myfitnesspal for longer than I even know, but I have been using it religiously for more than two years. Initially, Michael had me use it to track what I ate and my macros for the purpose of losing weight, and every week I would print it out and hand it in. It was a way to be accountable and cognizant of what I was eating. It was a system that worked quite well for me. Even after weight loss was no longer my agenda, I continued to track my food and hand in my log. The goals then were to eat more carbs, to gain some weight. Michael really didn’t need my food log every week, but it was a habit that kept me on track. We both think that I now have the internal cues and instinct to know what I need to eat and how much, assuming that I eat mostly healthy food, of course. So, I am going to try a week without tracking my food. It’s a different kind of challenge, and I like a challenge! I know that I will have moments of wondering what I am forgetting to do. I might even log into Myfitnesspal without even thinking about it, but I am kind of looking forward to some freedom from the food log. I never truly looked at my food log as a burden. I never chafed at doing it daily. I never felt like a slave to the log, except perhaps when I had to eat more carbs than I was hungry for to make my quota. Rather I think I enjoyed it, but then again I do have a personality that thrives on lists and routine and knowledge. So, maybe I might end up feeling a little lost without my log, but I am willing to give it a shot. I won’t log my food for a week, and we’ll see what happens with my weight. Will it stay the same? Will it increase? Will it drop? Let’s find out!

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