Lace em up...

Lace em up...

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee...

My attempt to look "badass" with my boxing gloves
and loose abdominal skin...

And so I return to write on my much neglected blog. I do have news though. After talking smack for so many months, I have finally started my boxing training. I'm training with Brodie Boone at the Hamilton Boxing Club which also happens to be located in the same gym that I train with Tony at. Convenient, no? My right rotator cuff is finally strong enough and I got the go ahead from my physio and trainer to begin throwing punches. And I jumped right in, feet first. I will say this with 100% conviction. I am very, very, very thankful that I strength trained with Tony for 10 months prior to joining the boxing gym. No word of a lie, I would have been a complete mess and may not have continued with boxing. Boxing training is no joke yo!

Bought my leather boxing gloves and purple wraps which you can't see.
I'll be getting purple boxing gloves too, of course!

Everything I have accomplished in the past 5 years has been a test of my mental strength. Losing the weight, becoming a runner, even stepping into the gym with Tony for the first time. I was terrified to do all of it. Mostly because I'm afraid of failure and prior to this time in my life, I have failed at every previous attempt I've made to live a healthy lifestyle. Sparring with Brodie for the first time was one of the hardest things I ever did. He's a great instructor and one of the things I love about both him and Tony is that neither of them coddles me.

I have never not attempted to do something that Tony has instructed me to do. I have failed at things, but he's always said that it's okay to fail, as long as you try and give it your best shot. Then you can gauge where you are and this will help determine what you need to work on. That's invaluable advice and something I hold in the back of my mind always. And I think of that every time I train with Brodie. Brodie says he will make me the best boxer I can be, but I need to listen and follow instruction. And there's so much to think about while boxing. I'm three weeks in and I can see improvement, but I've still got a long way to go. Brodie's most repeated line to me right now? "Are you breathing?" I tend to hold my breath. A lot.

I do a one-on-one session with Brodie once per week and take his group boxing class 2x per week. Once I get used to the workout on my arms and core, I'll add another boxing class. I still train with Tony two mornings a week and by myself on the weekends. So how do I fit all this into my week? Double training days. Usually two days have double workouts. I can only do boxing training in the evening because that's when Brodie's available. My body's getting used to it and I rest after a double training day. So I still have two rest days in my week right now.

Looking forward to leaning out and really building my shoulder and arm muscles.

One of the first things Brodie asked me when I walked into his gym was what my current weight was. When I raised my eyebrow he said, "it's my business to know your weight so I know who I can pair you up with for your potential first match in 6 months". Then he told me to minus 15-20 pounds from my weight because if I stick to my current training schedule, I'll be super lean. He said that everyone who trains with him drops weight without trying because of the intensity of the cardio/interval training.

Brodie's boxing class is one of the most physically demanding things I have ever done. Even I had to give myself props, which is not easy for me to do. I'm the newest "boxer in training" at the gym and I kept up, and not even barely. Even Brodie said I did a good job and he's not a huge "praiser". Class lasts about 1.5 hours. The boxing clock runs continuously (3mins on 30 seconds rest). So all the stuff we do is in rounds. We start with 3 rounds each of skipping, calisthenics (burpees, mountain climbers etc.), core (all done on the mats but with no rest in between rounds because we plank for the rest), shadow boxing with and without hand weights, then heavy bag work for 7 rounds followed by a round of 1-2 punches. Running is part of the heavy bag work. When you are tapped on the shoulder, you leave your bag and run in the back laneway behind the gym for a couple hundred metres (you can be tapped 4-5 times depending how many are in the class that day). That's my favourite part. By the time class is done, I am completely soaked. My hair is wet, like I just got out of the shower. I have such a feeling of accomplishment when I'm done. That is totally addicting.

I'm getting quicker and more precise at throwing punches. My "uh-oh" moment this week? When someone said to me, "your strength as a boxer will truly be measured by how well you can receive a punch". Um, what? Exciting times indeed until I realized that I'm going to get hit! This is why core and balance are so important. Something I need to work on diligently over the next while. Makes no difference, I'm loving my training thus far. Can't wait to grow as a boxer!

A recent night out with my sister. We went to the Augusta House to watch Tony's band,
Charlie Rocker perform. Good times...

Boxing training is on in full force! But wine time can still be enjoyed sporadically. Lately I've been craving all the protein and veggies. Something I've had to do is resort to processed protein (bars and shakes) more than I want to. But I need something right before boxing and that's usually my only option, especially when I'm coming right from work. I got lazy with macro counting. Not because it doesn't work, it certainly does. There's a guy at my gym called Chuck and he's started counting macros with an on-line coach. His macros were worked out specifically for his body type and goals. Tony and I are going to keep a close eye on him. If we like his progress, we're gonna jump on the on-line coaching bandwagon too. Nutrition goals to be continued...

Sunday, April 03, 2016

A scar, a big booty and an ab workout...

My foot long scar appears to have shrunk...

I know, I know. My blogging game is weak. It's true. Life is hectic and social media is just not a priority. But I will give you an update on how things are going right now. Let's start with my arms. The scar is coming along nicely on my left arm. My right isn't too bad either but it's still swollen in some areas. I apply the scar cream diligently and wear compression sleeves when I workout as per Dr. Patterson's instruction. My arm muscles are growing, but not as quickly as I'd like. I'm just impatient and want immediate results. Nothing works like that! I'll just keep plodding along. On a positive note, my arm scar has become invisible near the armpit. It used to be thick and hard and a foot long. It's only half that size now. So there is that.

Left pic: May 12th, 2015 (pre-Tony)
Right pic: April 3rd, 2016 (post-Tony)

So here is what's going on with my body. I've said that my ass and thighs have gotten huge. Here is the picture proof of that. On the left I'm wearing size 8 Aeropostale jeans. They no longer fit. Can't get my legs or bum into them. But on the right my waist is smaller. I'm getting more of an hourglass shape because my chest work has caused my boobs to get a touch bigger. I am actually be a full B cup now. I fit into La Vie en Rose bras wonderfully. But a 38B which is not always easy to find. I went up in my band size over the last year. I was a 36B but didn't fill out the cup properly. Now I'm a solid 38B. Gains!

There is a seven pound difference between those pics. I've gained seven pounds over the past 11 months and I'm not even remotely bothered by that. I still do have some annoying fat sticking around. Always the same fat in the same place. Outer thighs and abdomen above my c-section scar. So I've begun counting my macros and I'm not doing a great job of it. It will be a week tomorrow and I've only met my calorie goal once. I'm always under by 500 or more. My macro percentages are very close everyday, but I think the reason why I fail at calorie intake is because eating more than I'm used to fucks with my head. I subconsciously think I'm going to gain weight. But I need to trust the process here and see where this gets me. I've always said it and it's true, you have to eat to lose.

I am finally going to start boxing. I'm going to join the boxing gym at the gym that I train with Tony at. I'll do a couple classes a week and a one-on-one session with the boxing instructor once per week. Who thought that injuring my rotator cuff back in November would have set me back for so long. Once the pain was gone in January, I had to start building up the strength again because my right shoulder would just give out. It's still weaker than my left shoulder, but Tony says I'm ready to start training now. And I have built up my strength considerably over the past couple months. Still not back to where I was, but much improved.

And I want to start running again. Don't ask how I'm going to do all this stuff. Double workouts are likely in my future. Boxing classes and one-on-one instruction will all happen in the late afternoon/early evening because that's when Brodie's available. So even if I get a couple runs in a week, it's something. I was happiest when I ran.

The machines I use for my abs at the gym

So I've been asked several times for my abdominal workout. I go to the gym five times per week and I work my abs each time. Sometimes it's just one exercise, sometimes it's a half hour worth of exercises. But they get worked at every gym visit. I've got loose skin (as highlighted in my last post) that I'm hoping to add more muscle to. It may or may not work. My loose skin has gotten more noticeable to me as I have gotten smaller in my abdomen.

Anywho, the machine on the top left is the back extension machine. I use it to work my glutes and use it facing downwards. You can also use it with your bum resting on the pads facing upwards and use your abs to lift yourself from an inverted position to sitting. But I really showed you that machine because I use it 4 times per week (4 sets of 10 reps with a 45 pound dumbbell) and it's how my booty grew. That and all the squats.

The machine on the top right is how I work my obliques. I rest my hip between the pads and hold a 25 pound plate. I'm not lifting the plate, I'm just holding it while I use my obliques to do side lifts. I do both sides before resting and I do 4 sets of 10 reps.

The machine on the bottom right is the inverted ab bench. I do two different exercises on that machine. One is simply holding a 25 pound plate to my chest and doing 4 sets of 10 reps of crunches. The other is holding a 10 pound plate in front of me, sitting up, then twisting on each side while still holding the plate at shoulder height. That works the abs and the obliques. I repeat 10 times and do 4 sets.

The pic on the bottom right is from the Internet (obviously) and is called the Captain's Chair. You hold yourself up with your shoulders and crunch your knees in. When Tony first had me do these, I could barely hold myself up because my shoulders were so weak. Now I do them easily and I don't crunch anymore. I do the harder version with my legs straight out.

There's also floor exercises I do. I use an ab roller (bought at Winners for $7) and do stuff like frog sit-ups, pull over crunches with a 10 pound weight, windshield wipers, and Tony has me do stuff with a yoga ball once in a while. He tries to switch it up so things are never the same.

So there you have it. My ab workout. I do 30 mins of abs twice per week and just one or two ab exercises the other three times that I go to the gym. Although you shouldn't be in pain when you go to the gym, I always like when my abs are sore. Makes me feel like I really worked them.

So now you're all caught up on my fitness news. Dull, dull, dull. Until I have something exciting to share about boxing training, farewell friends...