Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lifting Heavy Makes Me Happy

It has taken me a lonnnnnnnng time to come to the realisation that my long distance running career is pretty much over. I have mourned the loss and really struggled for the most part of this year. A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I needed to find a new focus and I started looking into weight training. I've always loved BodyPump classes and I liked the sound of CrossFit and I'm now heading in that direction.

My lounge room now looks more like a gym than a place to invite visitors (unless of course they want to lift heavy things, too!). I have a chin-up bar, a barbell, dumbbells all ready and waiting when I get home from work! I absolutely LOVE weights training now and although it's not as good as a stress reliever, I love the feeling of really pushing through the pain and playing that mental game.  

I discovered there's a CrossFit gym near my house, but I really want to work on developing my upper body strength before I start going. My pushups are really terrible but they are coming along SO fast now that I am focusing on it. 

Since cutting out the majority of my cardio training, I have been putting on the muscle like nothing else! I've been noticing that I am able to keep upping my weights every week, whereas I used to be stuck at the same level for months at a time. The results I've been getting are fantastic! Beyond what I would've thought I could achieve in such a short time. 

My BodyPump weights are now (not including bar weight):
Squats: 20-25kg
Chest: 10kg 
Back: 12.5kg 
Triceps: 10kg 
Biceps: 12.5kg
Lunges: 15kg (due to knee pain)
Shoulders: FINALLY using a 2.5kg plate in each arm! For SO long I was struggling with 1.25kg! 

My lean body mass is now 60kg!! My measurements are the same as I was when I was 77.7kg in 2011, yet I weigh 83.2kg now! The difference is amazing! Given that I've only just started weight training, I am excited to think how much muscle mass I can gain and how high my lean body mass will get to! 

I think it's all largely due to my diet and the shift of focus from "losing weight" to just focusing on getting stronger. I'm now only really losing fat and gaining muscle, whereas last year and during 12WBT I was always losing fat AND muscle. It might be a slower road from a physical perspective (I don't know!?), but it's certainly much faster from a performance perspective. So what have I been doing? I have gone Paleo!

I have cut out all grains/dairy/legumes and most processed foods. I don't drink alcohol or eat anything loaded with sugar. And the result is that I feel AMAZING. I never crave sugary foods, never feel like binging on crap and I don't miss anything! I realise now that pasta/bread/potato was making me feel really heavy and gross even if it was a really small serving. Without it, I no longer feel like a complete sloth after I've had a meal! Paleo definitely agrees with me. 

So that's where I am at the moment. I am about to get a personal trainer to start powerlifting. I can't wait!!! 

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