Friday, July 12, 2013

Waking Up to a New Mindset

It's Flex Friday, and I woke up to the sound of rain this morning. Although it may have been some of my best quality and longest sleep cycle this week, I had to battle the urge to stay cool under the covers and let the sound of the rain hitting all the surfaces outside be my white noise. But guess what? Prep has no business sleeping in and missing fasting cardio. That's what the weekends are for--sleeping in...NEVER miss fasted cardio on the weekends!

I decided to try something a bit different this morning. I nixed the usual Ab Ripper X video pre-gym and instead incorporated my own ab routine. Some moves from the video, others I know from various sources. I liked it. I'd been in a rut and have been using that ab video as a crutch. Don't get me wrong, IT WORKS, but it's not enough and it's sort of like eating peanut butter and jelly chicken every day... It gets old quickly.

Twenty minutes of core work later and I was off to the gym. My mornings are by no means my most glamorous sweat sessions, but I do what I need to get done and I leave. Quick, easy, painless. I let the heavy heavier lifting come later. Always will. It's what I prefer.

Normally when I get back from the gym, I create this rushed state in my mind and I hurry into the shower, hurry to apply makeup and make breakfast, only to relax for an hour before leaving for work. Today? I decided screw the rush because progress pictures are in order. And again, it's Flex Friday.

I'm still not feeling 100%. Aka the bloat feels like it's still working itself out of my system, but these pictures gave me a realistic perspective on where I'm currently at.
Clockwise from top left, my thoughts:

  • Back: My back is staying pretty lean. You can tell especially through my lower back. It's all very compact and even though the picture quality is terrible, the definition is continuing to come in.
  • Obliques: Although a little puffy, you can tell that not much has changed in the oblique area. Still some good lines, although I would prefer to be a little less "wide." I'm pretty sure this is due to water retention, and I won't see the full definition until I deplete my water and sodium again during peak week. Still a work in progress but also something to strive for during off-season.
  • Biceps: I think the picture pretty much needs no explanation. Arms have never been my issue, although now that the faux tan is washing off, I feel a little self-conscious and flabby. It certainly holds true that muscle definition looks better when tanned. Maybe I'll use this as motivation to lay poolside during my off-time (and now that my new apartment complex has a lovely pool...and lakefront beach).
  • Frontal (abs, legs): Still a little puffy in the midsection, but I think things are getting a little denser. Aka more lean muscle?? I'm not as unhappy with this picture as I thought I would be. You can tell that my legs are really taking to the extra work I've been putting in to shape them and accentuate their strength. I've been doing a lot of hamstring/glute work, but have been neglecting quads except for leg extensions--which means I need to add more quad work to keep balance and bring the full package to the stage.
So there you have it folks. I apologize for the poor picture quality--even though I have plenty of windows, I'm generally lacking natural sunlight in the mornings. And the overhead lighting is a little dull. The move to the new place should yield much better progress pictures! And don't be afraid to weigh in--I'm 4 weeks, 1 day out from Comp #2. Do you see any areas that I need to work on? Work less on? Just maintain??

1 comment:

  1. I always forget that post-comp bloat is totally natural. Its a side effect of playing with your water & sodium.

    I think you look fantastic! You're naturally pretty lean so its really more about building muscle. I would concentrate on legs & shoulders for bikini... nice round shoulders will really help create the balanced physique judges are looking for. :)