Thursday, December 30, 2010

Two A Days

Sometimes I just really enjoy being at the gym. I get to zone out and push myself to see where my endurance takes me. Yesterday was one of those days--after getting up and letting the puppy out, I headed straight to the gym for a nice cardio session. Normally Kevin would probably yell at me tell me I'm doing too much cardio and that I only need an hour a day, but after all the holiday festivities, let's be real, I probably need more.

So I got on my new fave, the StairMaster, and went from there. Got a little bit of the elliptical in too, but my training wasn't until the afternoon. The nice thing about two-a-days is that you have all this free time in between to do whatever you want go to work, run errands, etc.

Yesterday, I got back to Gold's for my training session with enough time to warm up with another cardio session. Being a personal training client has its benefits--I know so many of the people that both work and work out at the gym. If I didnt' have my trainer, I would be just another gym-goer, and I probably wouldn't know anyone by name that works there. But anyways, I got to the gym and scanned in, and the guy working the desk starts up conversation with, "Hey Liz, how's it going? Getting a two-a-day in?" My first thought: hell yeah! Second thought: HOW did he know that? It turns out, no matter what time you scan in during the day, if you come back in, the computer recognized that you have already checked in. Who knew?

After more stairmaster, yesterday was a legs day. I have a love-hate relationship with legs--it's always a pain in the ass (literally), especially when I have to do step-ups with a box that's at least 2-3 feet tall. But at the same time, I know I'm working myself hard, so it's all worth it in the end even if I can't walk afterward. Luckily, yesterday I made a deal with Kevin--I had already been doing 2 stairs at a time on the stairmaster, so I convinced him to let me do lunges instead, my other leg foe. I've noticed though that lunges are getting a lot easier--I've
even gone from 20-lb dumbells to 25-lb dumbells when I do them! And not to mention, I think the last time I did lunges was probably the beginning of December.

Of course, I got home and could barely walk up my stairs... But anyways, in short, two-a-days = <3.Hey mom, if you're reading this you should buy me this shirt isn't this cute??

Monday, December 27, 2010

Back In the Swing of Things

So today marked my first day back to the gym since Thursday. I had been meaning to go Friday and then yesterday, but due to work and having family in town, my schedule was way too hectic. Let me tell you something--having family in town is dangerous! Not only do they force a 180 on your lifestyle, but they ALWAYS want to go out to eat. Granted, if I was not determined to finish the training that I have started, I would jump at the idea of free food. I do have to admit that I did give in (I've been out to eat once a day, apart from Christmas day which was equally hazardous), but at the same time, these are my last eat-whatever meals until May-June-ish.

Sorry, off topic a bit. Back to what I was saying about the gym... I don't know if it's because I have had 3 days off, but while my cardio felt soooo easy, my weight training was anything but! Lately, I've been trying out various cardio machines. I used to use the elliptical RELIGIOUSLY, but it gets old at times. So for the past several weeks, I've been going back and forth between that and the treadmill (I had considered training for the Charlottesville Women's 10-miler). That was, until about two weeks ago when I discovered the StairMaster. I LOVE IT!! Every time I use the StairMaster, I can tell that I'm working hard. Half an hour of that plus half an hour of the elliptical and I was all warmed up for my training session today.

Today was bis and tris--normally my favorite muscle groups to work. However, once again it may have been because of the short break ( I hope), but I was done for! Not to mention, of the 6-7 different exercises I did, Kevin pushed me to do twice as many as I thought I could (20 reps, are you serious?!). Just when I thought we were done--abs! I'm not even gonna get started on stability balls (which I will rant about at a later time), but let's just say I detest them. Add a plated weight and I feel like I'm going to roll straight onto my head. Oh and note to self: don't wear slippery pants when doing abs--no fun!

All-in-all though, I'm glad to be back at the gym (even though my break was really short). Kevin and I were talking about my plans, and it turns out we have both been talking to different resources about how to go about the competition training and what competitions to look into. I'm the first of his clients that it training for a figure competition, so I think we are both learning through the process. His resource mentioned a competition in March, but we both think that's too early; my resource mentioned a competition that she and her friends are doing in May (hi Kaylie!), but unfortunately that falls around exam time for me, so it's probably not the best idea. Right now I'm looking into late-May after graduation, or sometime in June. I'm still confused about what class each competition is, but I'll keep you posted on what I find out and which competition I decide to do!

On a lighter note, Happy Birthday Mom! I hope you enjoyed being snowed out of Virginia Beach for another day, aka spending more time with me up in Cville! Drive safe tomorrow!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saying Goodbye to All Things Good

So begins the last few days of my normal 4th year college student life. By that, I do not mean I am about to graduate UVa (although these last 5 months cannot fly by quick enough in terms of academics!), but rather I mean I am about to buckle down and start my training for my first ever figure competition. Today is Christmas Day, one of the many days filled with good, calorie- and sugar-laden foods during the holiday season. In just a few days (as of January 1st), I will cease to lead my crazy college lifestyle--think alcohol, fourth meals, and sleep deprivation--and will really begin the lifestyle I need to achieve my 5-6 month goal.

Why a figure competition? Well, the first answer that comes to mind is: Who knows? But in all honesty, it's just something that struck me as an excellent goal to work toward while adapting to a healthier lifestyle. Not only do I attend UVa as a full-time student, but I also maintain two jobs--one as a restaurant server and another as a sales associate at a women's clothing store. You can see how this poses a problem--in a restaurant, I find myself constantly surrounded by food that's literally at my fingertips for the taking; in a clothing store, I find myself trying to look my best in the clothing I am encouraged to sell (to myself).

This past year has definitely had its share of crazy for me and while I saw some bad habits die, I saw others form. I always found it hard to maintain even one work schedule (let alone 2!) and school AND try to fit in time for the gym. So out of those three, guess which was the first to be neglected? You're right--gym it is! In the beginning of June, I knew something had to change, but with school out for the summer, I was stuck without a gym (UVa charges students who are not enrolled in Summer Session to use the gym facilities). Thus, I was stuck with 2 choices--pay for UVa's gym (and pay more for group classes, and more for parking during the get the picture), or shop for a new gym or workout facility. At one point, I considered joining CrossFit, but it did not seem like it would a) fit into my hectic summer schedule, and b) be best suited for me. My brother had, at the time, mentioned registering at Gold's Gym, and after checking it out, I LOVED IT!!

By the end of that week, I had not only gone to the gym every SINGLE day, but I had also signed up for my first complimentary personal training session with one of Gold's trainers, Kevin S. At first, I had no idea what I was getting myself into--I had just signed up for that initial session because that's what they want you to do--try out one of their trainers and hopefully buy more sessions. I was skeptical to say the least, and the first day was really just a questionnaire day. No workout involved at all?! But the next (complimentary) session I tried out, Kevin had me jump right into things. He's really knowledgeable about training, and by the time I left the gym (sore) that day, I was sold. So I signed up for more sessions--and have enjoyed the results I've seen.

But since then, summer ended and school kicked in again, which meant less time for workout. Luckily, I was enrolled in a 1-credit swimming class, but PT sessions went by the wayside (even though I had paid for them). Not to mention, I kept getting sick, so I would find myself out of the gym even when my motivation had peaked to get back into things. For example, following my brother's wedding at the end of September, I started to get back into my training sessions, only to get a flu-like illness 3 days later. I saw all my hard work from the summer slipping away, and by October-November I was fed up.

It was then that I was sitting on my ass (obviously not at the gym) on Facebook, when I stumbled upon one of my brother's groomsmen's girlfriend's profile (confusing, yes, but I hope you got that). She had just competed in her first figure competition, and I become thoroughly intrigued. At the time, I had been making comments to my trainer about my changing physique--my shoulders especially seemed to be getting very muscular and I may have said something along the lines of looking manly. Kevin convinced me that was not the case and pointed out some women in the gym that definitely did not look manly but were frequent competitors in various body building competitions. The combination of these events convinced me that this was something that I wanted to achieve and it appeared attainable at that. Since then, I have continued my PT sessions, but nutrition = not so good.

So here I am, Christmas Day 2010, peak of the holiday season. I decided a few weeks ago that as of New Years Day, I step up my game and really put my heart into this competition. So what have I (and will I) do for my last few days of nutritional and physical freedom? Eat, drink, and be merry! Oh, and hit the gym.

Am I crazy? Maybe.