If you didn’t have enough cuteness in your day…
Various catch up
Time is starting to tick down for the great grand and glorious trip to San Diego for the Writers of the Future workshop/awards ceremony. (Okay, so it’s ~ten weeks away.) A recent shopping expedition with my sister scored a dress that I think is going to work out pretty darn awesomely–even more awesome since it was marked down from $180 to $19.99. This, of course, means that I can spend more on accessories! (Actually, it means that it will be slightly more affordable for Jack to bring along two of his daughters for the weekend, but I’m still allowed to fantasize about really purty shoes.)
The Lose The Ass plan is also continuing to come along nicely, thanks to Kellum and his hardcore training. I’m running 2-3 miles 3-4 times a week in the mornings, and then I’m training with Jesse’s Krewe about four times a week. The workouts are hard and intense and are just what I need. It’s a somewhat different style of training from what I’ve always done. See, I started lifting weights for the first time when I was 18 years old and a freshman in college, when my very first boyfriend took me into the weight room at the school gym and showed me the basics of how to lift weights. I still remember the surprise and awe when I first felt the little bump of flesh that was the wee beginnings of a developed bicep. From that moment I was hooked and did my best to learn everything there was to know about training and bodybuilding. Unfortunately, this was in the mid-eighties, and there were shockingly few women who lifted weights, and fewer who did any sort of serious bodybuilding. Moreover, very little was known about nutrition and protein and carbs, and the supplements and protein powders that were available back then were very expensive and tasted like dried shit.
Over the past couple of decades I’ve maintained my love of weight training, though at time my love of eating and sitting on my ass has been greater. However, all of that weight training was of the bodybuilding/bodyshaping style, where the exercises are performed with the goal of building and defining various muscle groups.
The powerlifting style is a completely different animal. Whereas the bodybuilding builds muscle and in the process generally builds strength, the powerlifting builds strength and performance, and in the process generally builds muscle. Like last night, the main emphasis was on back. In a bodybuilding workout that would consist of lat pulldowns, seated rows, bent rows, and variations on those themes with 3 to 4 sets of 8-12 reps each. In a powerlifting workout the exercises are similar, but the emphasis is on the improvement of overall strength and the refinement of powerlifting moves. Last night we started with 5 sets of 10 of T-bar rows, then moved on to about 5 sets of 5 of rack pulls (which are basically deadlifts, but are done in a power rack with the bar set about knee level.) Oddly, I found the rack pulls to be a lot harder than regular from-the-floor deadlifts. I’d naively thought that getting that headstart of ~18″ would make it easier for me to pull the big weights (185lbs… hahaha), but instead I encountered the humiliation of straining red-faced and not budging the bar at all. I finally managed to drag the damn bar up three times with passable form, and only then was allowed to drop the weight to something that I could pull for 5 reps (165.. woo!) After the rack pulls, we then did 5×10 of knee-to-shoulder snatches (not sure if that is the correct term for what we were doing.) A bodybuilder would be doing these with the intent of isolating the shoulders and traps, with no body movement other than the arms. We were using basically our entire body to move the bar, with the goal of improving our deadlift and overall upper body strength.
Then we finished the whole workout off by going outside and pushing a pickup truck around the parking lot (and up a slight grade.. talk about Kick Your Ass!) (Some days, instead of pushing large vehicles, we drag weighted sleds back and forth the length of the building.) I’m always completely exhausted after a workout and the next day I’m always sore (though, strangely, my lower back issues have essentially disappeared since I started doing heavy deadlifts.) I figure that in another couple of months I’m going to be able to bust concrete with my ass. (Which, of course, has always been a goal of mine )
And, lastly, the other day I was skimming through a powerlifting message board, and in the “off topic” area I saw a thread titled “Good Sci-Fi books?” Curious as to what would be considered a “good Sci-Fi book” by powerlifters, I clicked on the thread.
I was amazed and gratified to see the following books recommended (these are cut and pasted from various posts):
More of the Dune series
The Illustrated Man - Bradbury
On the Beach - Nevil Shute
Neuromancer- William Gibson
Tau Zero - Poul Anderson
Something by Philip K. Dick (can’t decide)
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K. Dick (Bladerunner is based on it)
I Am Legend by (someone I can’t remember)
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Aasimov
Iain Banks also has some good books.
The Book of the New Sun (a series by Gene Wolfe) is awesome, but very, very strange.
And so on… for the complete thread, check here. It’s a pretty impressive and literary set of recommendations. Heck, there were even recs for some of China Mieville’s books, and I can barely get through those!
Just goes to further demolish the stereotype of weightlifters/powerlifters as being dumb meatheads