Hey All! Comin’ at ya from a big ass veranda on a beautiful old house in Old Mission, MI… just outside of Traverse City, MI.
Beautiful Blue Water!!
BEAUTIFUL VACATION SO FAR!!! I am officially in LOVE LOVE LOVE with Lake Michigan! It’s like the ocean, except more clear and blue and made of fresh water! So amazing 🙂 It’s been super fun so far and I am feeling really happy to have these giant muscles helping me out with all the backpacking, hiking, kayaking, bike riding, dune climbing, swimming, and cannon balling. Feels really great to get away from my job for a bit and hang out with all the great people we’re here with. Excited for another week of awesomeness, though, I’m kinda exhausted, so I’m excited that it seems to be calming down a lot.
Indian feast that I helped cook
I can’t log all my food because I didn’t do it at the time and I don’t remember but there has been a lot of awesome stuff! Lots of canned tuna and MRE’s (yuck!) while we were backpacking, lots of steak and veggies since we’ve been at the B&B, and a fair amount of pie, ice cream cookies, and junkfood too. Feeling like all the food has been a nice balance to the incredible amount of physical activities I’ve been partaking it.
Jeff and I being silly at the arcade
New Summertime Plan of Attack:
Being out here has given me lots of time to think about my goals and how I plan to move forward with my training after vacation. I’ve decided I want to focus on getting into shape… in ways other than strength. While I’ve been feeling very strong lately, my conditioning isn’t anything to write home about, and I would like to lean out a bit. I have been winded by my hikes and bike rides and don’t feel as proud of myself in those regards as I do about my musculature. And, while my legs are looking “so toned!!” (that’s a real quote from one of the other women on the trip), I want the rest of me to look that way too. Don’t get me wrong I am very happy with my current body. I am not ashamed or embarrassed by any part of it (in fact, I am very proud of it! I’ve worked hard for this curvy awesome figure and I’m happy to have such powerful strong limbs). But, I want to push myself a little more than I have been to lean out and look like a hardbody. I have never seriously pushed myself in this capacity before and I think it will be fun. This is a 100% purely aesthetic decision and one that I am happy to be making, I’ve been rocking the strength routine for a while now and think focusing on getting better conditioned and leaner will be a fun change of pace for me. Maybe it’s just the summertime bikini season talking to be, but I’m excited to take on some more aesthetic goals and to stop stressing about chasing numbers on my deadlift. Once it’s fall, I can get back to bulking if I want to.
What does that mean for programming? Well, nothing too dramatic… mostly just the incorporation of some conditioning work into my routine, a couple small lifestyle changes, and a little extra effort not to sabotage my healthy eating choices every weekend.
Training Changes: I’m going to keep lifting heavy (and plan to push myself just as hard as ever with that… though I expect progress to be slower) but I’m also going to begin incorporating some cardio and conditioning into my routine. I imagine this is not going to be easy for me (especially for the first month), because I honestly loath getting out of breath more than anything. But, I’m going to do it, because it will be good for me in the long run to be better conditioned — As a lifter, and as a regular person who wants to live a long healthy life.
Detailed programming is listed below.
These should be incorporated as much as possible. It’s simple to do them, so why not?
- Walk to the office from the gym if it’s not raining
- Walk to/fron the subway stop – skip the shuttle.
- Take the 9 flights of stairs up to the office if your legs aren’t too sore.
- Bike to work on rest days (I don’t like biking to the gym… downtown Brooklyn is too busy for me to enjoy riding)
Diet Changes: Not really changing much here, just going to stop breaking down on the weekend and eating pizza and chimichangas. Going to stick with my 2 eggs + 2 whites and carbs + veggies for breakfast, 150g chicken 100g rice + veggies for lunch, and 150-200g protein + 100g healthy carbs + veggies for dinner (I love my food scale). It’s been working thus far for keeping me happy, not hungry, and well energiesed, and I am not gonna argue with that! One change I am going to make, however, is including more healthy snacks throughout the day as a means of keeping me from feeling the urge to go nuts on the weekend. I think Greek Yogurt and fresh fruit should be good for that. I basically just need to push past weird cravings and keep my eye on the prize.
I’ll be focusing on all of this for the next 10 weeks and will report on progress whenever I feel inspired to do so.
The L.ZEL Method
Yes, I invented my own lifting program. I do what I want!
My 4 day lifting program is follows a two week cycle — pushing volume, speed, and heavy days up for LBB Squat, Front Squats, Bench Press, Overhead Press. I’ve kept it very simple and plan to progress it only when I feel inclined to do so, though the plan is to go up in weight on the heavy day every two weeks . The percentages are a template for me to grow off of as I see fit, not something I need to stick to like a lifting nazi. Percentages should be adjusted depending on how heavy the heavy day feels, similarly to texas method.
I’ve incorporated cardio/conditioning every training day to help with my current goal of leaning out and getting in better cardiovascular shape.
Monday – Volume Day
Focus this day on proper form and maintaining a consistant level of quality and speed through all 8 sets. This weight will probably remain the same for a few weeks at a time before being pushed up. If I’m feeling extra good I’ll rest less between sets or do this on a clock.
- Week A
- Squats, 8×3 @ 75%-85%
- Bench, 8×3 @ 75% -85%
- Chin Ups (Negatives or Reps 3xfailure)
- Weighted Decline Sit Ups 3×10
- Week B
- Front Squats, 8×3 @ 75% -85%
- Overhead Press, 8×3 @ 75% -85%
- Push Ups 3xfailure
- Weighted Decline Sit Ups3x0
- Cardio/Cardio – 20 minutes of whatever I want. Rowing, Running, Cycling, HIIT, whatever. This doesn’t have to be at the gym, this can be an evening bike ride if I want. Doesn’t matter. Just need to get my heart rate up for at least 20 minutes at some point on Monday. After a few weeks, I may increase this to 30 minutes.
Note to self #1: Walkin doesn’t count as cardio!
Note to self #2: This is a long/hard day — Grin and bear it! You are a champ and you can do it!!
Wednesday – Explosive/Light Day
Working on holding tight and pushing the weight to move FASTER through the entire range of motion. Create power and drive out of the bottom even though the weight is relatively light. Make it fly off my shoulders for every single rep.
- Week A
- Front Squats, 2×5 @ 50%-60%
- Overhead Press, 2×5 @ 50%-60%
- Push Ups 2×5
- Week B
- Squats, 2×5 @ 50%-60%
- Bench, 2×5 @ 50%-60%
- Lat Pull Downs 3×15
- Cardio/Conditioning – 10 minutes minimum of intense WORK. Tabata, HIIT, Kettlebells, Slam balls, hill sprints, something HARD – OR – CrossFit WOD. Since this is a lighter easier lifting day, I should push myself hard with conditioning. Get sweaty!
Friday – Heavy Day: 1×3 @ 90-95%
Work up to a heavy tripple for primary lifts. Do back work. Condition.
I am kind of purposefully neglecting my deadlift in this programing and just doing rack pulls or haltings. My old coach did this for me for a cycle and I really enjoyed it. After a few cycles of this, I will probably do some full deadlifts, but I’ll wait maybe 6 weeks before I do that. I want to push it when I feel like it, but pushing my squat has always been the most effective way to move my deadlift so I’m simply not thinking about it too much. My primary goal with deadlift programming is to strengthen my back/legs slowly and not let my training interfere with my recovery.
- Week A
- Squats, 1×3 @ 90%+
- Bench, 1×3 @ 90%+
- Below Knee Rack Pulls, 3×3
- GHD Sit Ups – weighted 3×10
- Week B
- Front Squats, 1×3 @ 90%+
- Overhead Press, 1×3 @ 90%+
- 2″ Deficit Halting Deadlift, 3×8
- GHD Sit Ups – weighted 3×10
- Cardio/Conditioning – 20 minutes of whatever I want. Rowing, Running, Cycling, HIIT, whatever. This doesn’t have to be at the gym, this can be an evening bike ride if I want. Doesn’t matter. Just get your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes at some point on Friday. After a few weeks, I may increase this to 30 minutes.
Saturday – Conditioning and accessory work.
This is a fun day. Go wild! Enjoy doing whatever the hell you want…. just don’t fuck up your volume day 😉
- 11am CrossFit WOD
- Any Accessory Lifts I feel like doing afterward – PowerCleans, Snatches, Overhead Squats, BTN Press, Abs, Chins, Whatevs… have fun.
I plan to run this for 5 cycles (10 weeks). Then test my lifts and report on my progress all around. Looking forward to not falling into my anual routine of gaining 20 pounds between spring and fall this year!!