1. I don’t need a spotter. When it comes to lifting weights, I’m fairly antisocial. I workout just before work, and am the king of keeping a schedule. I don’t have time to switch out between sets and chat leisurely during this time.
2. Focus and awareness. Because smith machines only allow vertical motion, I’m forced to pay extra attention to my form while lifting. It’s extremely easy to sacrifice your form on a smith machine because of the built in spotting design. Just because the bar is supported by a giant metal frame, does not mean you get to let your core slack off, or your feet chill wherever you’d like. Bend those legs, get that butt down, and let the bar touch your chest before you push that weight back up. Stay challenged.
3. Variety. Three out of my five lifting days, I follow a stronglifts routine. Lucky for me I get into the gym early enough to hog the smith machine – knocking out the first few lifting sequences in peace and undisturbed. I always start with squats (because they suck), then bench, and finish with some barbell rows; this takes me about thirty minutes. If I can sweat my ass off without having to move very far, I’m all in.
The stall is broken! After sticking to the same workout routine for a smidgen over a year, my body needed a reset of sorts. Here’s the update:
Data collection #2, September 26, 2015:
Weight – 237.9
Body fat – 27.5%
BMI – 32.3
Data collection #3, November 18, 2015:
Weight – 232.4
Body fat – 27.1%
BMI – 31.4
What did I do differently? I started focusing more on lifting heavier weights, and cut out dairy. I’m about 97% dairy-free, and I say this because, if I want dairy… I’m gonna eat, or drink, it. I do miss my heavy cream and cinnamon coffee, but not having it isn’t a huge downer because I prefer my coffee strong, and black… (enter joke and laughter here).
Take us going to the Mexican restaurant for dinner a couple weeks ago for example. The salad I ordered did not list cheese as a topping. Adding extra guac and removing the sour cream, I was a little peeved when the salad arrived and there was cheese! Some sprinkled cheese on top of my salad isn’t the end of the world, so I went on and inhaled the dish anyway. I’m a regular “remove the cheese, please!” person now.
I’ve switched up my weightlifting routine by doing strong lifts. Three times a week, for thirty minutes or more, I do 5×5 – five sets of five reps – weightlifting workouts. I squat, bench press, barbell row, and deadlift as much weight as I can in a safe manner. I hit the gym alone, so I don’t want to push it so far that I need a spotter. Every week I add five pounds to the previous week’s weight. I’ve been doing yoga more frequently as well. I went to my first hot yoga class over the weekend. Not only did I survive and hit all the poses, I had a BLAST. I won’t get too much into that, though, because I’m going to write a separate post on that experience.
Thanks for checking in! And I’ll talk to you all soon 🙂