Feeling Challenged

I love a challenge. I love having goals. And yet, I have been going through the motions for the past two months, feeling mostly uninspired and visionless. May, June and August were big months for me and my powerlifting goals; however, with the end of Westerns in August, my powerlifting goals came to a screeching halt. Okay so not exactly…there are still powerlifting goals in my head, but this is my off-season and my current training is about building strength rather than smashing competition records. While I do still have gym goals that I’d like to reach one day, they are back burner kind of goals that will most likely happen almost by accident. Changing my job, I suppose, can be viewed as a challenge of a different sort, but even that isn’t truly the kind of challenge that I am craving. And craving might be a good word to describe how I am feeling. Then Michael mentioned a book (complete with 30 day challenge!) that he was reading, and my attention was snared.

The book is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I haven’t actually read the book yet, but I browsed his website and printed off the information most necessary to begin the challenge. This is all about developing habits that can help you become more successful. Not having read the book yet, I can’t speak to the author’s point of view, but I like to put my own spin on things anyway. So for me, this challenge is about developing habits to not only get my day off to a good start but also to help me deal with practical issues. Today was day 2. Since I had a morning training session, I set my alarm for 40 minutes earlier than normal in order to do my challenge tasks first. After a late night, my alarm was not a welcome sound this morning. I got very grumpy when my husband nudged me with his foot, but I got up and got ‘er done.

1 front squats

45 lbs x 10, 75 x 8, 95 x 8, 115 x 8, 125 x 8

Michael wanted two working sets with an RPE of 8. The final set might have only been an RPE of 7, maybe even 6, meaning that I could have done another 3-4 reps if pushed.

2a. chin ups, using a barbell with legs on the back of an inclined bench

x 8, x 4 (underhand grip) + 7 (overhand grip), x 9, x 8, x 8

According to Michael, this variation is easier. According to Ang, chin ups still suck and cause endless frustration.

2b. flat dumbbell press

25 lbs x 10 x 5 sets

These were done at about a 45 degree angle, feeling a good stretch at the bottom, and then squeezing at the top to engage those chest muscles.

3a. bent over barbell rows

45 lbs x 6-8, 75 lbs x 10, 75 x 10, 75 x 10

Apparently I have a tendency to not stay in the proper position while doing these, so Michael placed a plate on my lower back for each set.

3b. seated dumbbell presses, with back support, elbows out

15 lbs x 12, 8kg kettlebell x 12, 20 lbs x 12, 20 lbs x 10

As for the challenge, I am really glad to have a closing shift tomorrow with nothing pressing in the morning, which means that I can wake up at a normal time and still get the challenge tasks done.




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