Running on Quotes

Day 208, Quote 21: “How do you measure, measure a year?”

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In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee….

Well, it’s more like 518,057 pounds.

I’ve backed off tracking my weight weeks ago, but there are a few numbers that I’ve been watching: measurements, weight lifted, steps…

In the spring I had said that I wanted to get a few pounds off, but I had also said that I wanted to see a change in my measurements in my lower body and feel better in my clothes. I had explained that while I knew what my weight had been with previous smaller measurements, I knew that I had regained fat in different places and some muscle as well, which meant that fat loss could look different and reflect differently on the scale. So while I periodically checked the scale, I relied on how I physically felt in my clothes and focused more heavily on my measurements.

As someone who has only been their ideal size for just over two years, it’s still weird to think that the scale isn’t the only measurement for progress. It’s easy for me to tell clients that we need think about energy levels, weight pushed and pulled in the gym, how they feel in their clothes – but it’s still a pep talk I have with myself too.

Thirteen weeks ago I restarted the PH3 program by Layne Norton. It’s a power and strength program and this was the second time I’ve done it. I like the program because it is strength based and I like the lifting splits. One thing I don’t like about it is that I have found it hard to add other movements to it such as running or yoga without feeling like I’m doing too much.

I’m a big believer that you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to reach your health goals – I’m sure Cristina a few years ago didn’t believe it, but there’s more to life than the gym.

I did change up the accessories in the program because at some point calf raises just aren’t exciting and there’s more to engage your hamstrings than curls. Outside of some accessories tweaks I’ll call them, it was difficult to much else.

The big three – squat, bench and deadlift.

I like two of the three – squat and deadlift. However, I had never had access to bumper plates and I found myself struggling to trust myself with heavier (relative) weight in my deadlift so I don’t believe I ever really saw my true potential until changing to this gym.

After surgery I also feared the pull movement because of how it engaged my core. While I have strong core muscles and am capable of other lifts, I still find – two years later – that hitting the breaks hard in the car bothers my stomach, laughing or sneezing the wrong way causes a slight pain every now and then – go figure there’s a wrong way to do those things.

Just for baseline.

  • My squat at its heaviest a year ago was 205 pounds.
  • My deadlifts at its heaviest this past spring was 155 pounds.
  • My bench at its heaviest a year ago was 85 pounds.

My lifting was inconsistent from last June to this past March. I found routine with my running and yoga in the fall. I continued yoga into the late winter until I felt that I wasn’t able to commit to the classes because of the change in my academic schedule. I created a new routine with getting to the gym, but not necessarily having a strict structure. I restarted PH3 just before graduation because I found a shift in my schedule again and was able to find the time and not feel rushed.

On day 1, I knew it would be unrealistic to utilize my old max for my squat. Like all things, without practice you’re going to be rusty. I utilized 190 pounds, which was a 15 pound decrease to develop the percentages needed for programming. I really didn’t know where my bench would be, and since I don’t enjoy it and practice it much, I knew it would be low. Deadlifting is something I worked on this spring a little bit so I knew that I could handle 155 pounds, but I also believed I was holding back out of fear, as well as proper equipment (bumper plates v. standard plates).

From day 1 to day 90

Squat: 1RM of 190 to a triple for 195 pounds.

Bench: 1RM of 80 to a double of 85 pounds.

Deadlift: 1RM of 155 to a triple of 185 pounds.

Again, I believe the reason I had such growth in my deadlift was letting go of fear to pull the weight. I also believe that I was just finding routine again and I wasn’t expecting much growth in the other two lifts.

I totaled 518,057 pounds over 90 days. My lightest day being around 2,200 because it was upper body accessory work and I cut out a few exercises because of timing. My heaviest day was just over 14,000 pounds and included a combination of accessories and a focused compound movement. 

Nutritionally, I tracked my macros…mostly. But slowly shifted to focusing on the weights lifted and how my body was feeling. So not everything was tracked #sueme. After tracking for a long time, I do trust myself to eyeball things and that happened a lot.

My measurements have decreased slightly. I’ve seen a quarter inch drop in my waist, a third of an inch in my hips and my bust has maintained. I have a few blouses that are big on me again and my size 2s are fitting perfectly. I feel good in my clothes.

Physically, I’m feeling really pretty good with the exception of the heat from the summer. There are some days I feel I can’t drink enough water. My sleep has been a lot better since getting back into a lifting a routine and I haven’t had to go to the chiropractor as much – the regular stretching has helped tremendously. My energy has been pretty good, which I know is in relation to my sleeping, but also to my stress levels.

I’m excited to work on my own programming and add running back into my routine. There’s a lot of different equipment at my gym like sleds and kettlebells and rope – it’ll be good to change up my routine and add some other movements.

Seeing how heavy I could lift was one way to measure progress, but there are plenty of other ways too. I’m ready to see what else I can do.

I’m keeping a five-day split because I think that works well with my schedule, but I’m shifting my rest days from Tuesday and Friday to Sunday and Thursday. Those days I may go for walks or runs depending on how I feel, but I don’t want to be in the gym those days.

I’ve got a new notebook, new routine and a smile on my face. I think this is a pretty good way to close out July and jump into August.

<3 Cristina