A fellow high school math teacher friend and I loosely keep track of the number of times the magical number “69” appears as answers to example questions, test questions, publicized statistical information, etc. While I am happy with my decision to wait a year to compete, life is a little ‘challenging’ right now, so to motivate myself, I felt compelled to calculate the number of weeks until the first weekend when I might compete – yeah, it’s 69 weeks from tomorrow. Go figure.
My life has changed a bit in the last few weeks. I miss blogging. It’s unlikely that I will be able to stick to a writing schedule, but I am going to attempt to keep a weekly journal here. It may be boring, but if I can do it, I will have documentation of my program as I work on improving before I compete again.
My current workout split is a four day lift plan – upper heavy, lower heavy, upper hypertrophy, and lower hypertrophy. The switch from five days lifting to four was made to free up my schedule a little bit because of life things. I can tell after a few weeks of this that I am recovering better with three rest days a week instead of two.
While I have a “lower heavy” day, my right hip really can’t handle heavy loads. I am learning how to use blood flow restriction training with goblet squats and hex bar deadlifts. The first week, I didn’t have the straps tight enough. The second week felt better. I like the knee straps around my hips – they help me spring up. There isn’t a lot of pain. It does become uncomfortable at the end of the 15 rep set. Because the weight used is supposed to be light, I don’t feel like I’ve worked much. I think the straps were tight enough the second week, so I have to increase the weight I’m using or increase the number of reps. I did notice that the pump in my quads lasted about a day, so maybe I am doing it right?
I haven’t done barbell bench presses in a long time, so I’m happy to be doing those again. (I’ve been using dumbbells and Hammer Smith machines.) My strength is pretty good for bench considering I haven’t done them in a while. I think the most I’ve ever done is 115 for 1. I’m currently at 100 for 5 after a couple of weeks.
Everything upper body has been going well. The upper body days are my favorite now. I do miss the 5th day of lifting that was dedicated to shoulders and arms. However, with the added stress, the extra rest day is a good idea.
I am supposed to be hitting macros, but to be honest, I’ve been “loosely” following macros and eating for energy. I’m attempting to maintain my body weight around 150 pounds right now. I have been able to do that on more food. From November until January, I was doing a very, very, very slow cut. By February, I was starting to feel it in my energy levels. I felt “off” – felt like I was slowing down. Added in more food. I’m maintaining my weight with extra food – mostly carbs. Most days, I’m over 200 grams. Protein is around 150 g and fat is around 85 g.
I haven’t done much cardio. It tends to trigger a stress hormone response for me and I feel more anxious. Because I have an extra rest day, I added a stairmaster HIIT one morning this week. That would bring the number of cardio sessions I’ve done since November to… wait for it… 3. But I do want to try and do one HIIT a week now. I think it will help with recovery. Thinking about doing kettlebell swings for it, though. Easier to do those at home in the dark hours of the early morning.
The biggest thing impacting my program right now is life. The classes I’m teaching are challenging – precalculus, AP calculus AB, and calculus BC. I’m barely able to keep up with lesson planning and my grading is a couple weeks behind now. My husband and I have always been a two-car couple and we are now learning how to manage with a single vehicle while keeping all the extra appointments a guy with a recovering kneecap needs to keep. Still working my way through a bunch of insurance paperwork while waiting to find out what the medical insurance will cover. I’m sure we’ll be able to work this out. I’m not worried. I can’t be. Stress won’t help me.
I get up early on weekends to work. Peanut “helps” me.
I am going to keep my manicure appointments. I love the hour I have to sit there and just visit with Janette. Sure, I like the nails, too, but sitting still for an hour is awesome.