Life Evaluations + An Upper Body Massacre

Hello again, Blog World!

Looks like my last two posts within two days threw me for a loop! Apparently that was just far too much productivity and I had to ignore my blog a few weeks to make up for it. It’s like my brain was like “WOAH OKAY STOP. You’re getting up early, you’re getting things accomplished, just STOP.”

In all seriousness, I think about updating this thing A LOT. I have so many thoughts and ideas and opinions I want to share (lucky you! 😉 ) and I was getting really down on myself for not putting more effort into this. I kept thinking “I should be writing more”, “I should be studying more”, “I should be doing more yoga to get my money’s worth!” Should-Should-Should-Should-SHOULD.

And then I remembered a wise woman once told me to “stop should-ing” on myself. So I did just that. I slept in one day, spent some extra time at the gym without feeling guilty another day, and spent an entire afternoon memorizing opposing muscles groups and joint actions without worrying about everything else that I “needed” to be doing.

Everything in life we do, we do for a reason. But we are the ones who attach the meaning or importance to the reason. I had to remind myself that I was studying for this exam on my own because I wanted the flexibility to work at my own pace. I also had to remind myself that I am writing this blog to share my existing and new-found knowledge because I want to, not because anyone has asked me to or because I’m required to. And this job I’ve been placing so much importance on and allowing to have such a negative impact on my happy and healthy life lately? Well, I had to remind myself that I was more than capable of quitting and finding a part-time serving job until I can make my way as a trainer. Nothing is holding me here, or anywhere for that matter, except myself. And after I gave myself the chance to take a step back, breathe, and re-evaluate everything, I realized that here is exactly where I want to be right now.

It’s all about balance! When you get overwhelmed with everything you “should” be doing (there’s that word again!), think about why these things are so important to you. Are they important because somebody is telling you they’re important? Or are they important to YOU? Sometimes if we can remember the real reasons behind the things we do it can make it a little easier to push through the tough times. “How is this thing I have to do going to contribute to my overall happiness?” Sure, there are definitely going to be days where you’d rather just sit back and do nothing, regardless of the reasons behind the things you need to accomplish. But if time won’t allow for a day to relax, just try to remember that happy light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t forget to take time for you when you need it, and to especially important, remember to reward yourself as you do check things off your To-Do list!

Now. See this little guy? ^^^ That was me today (except I exceeded the one scoop recommendation and took two!). Tuesday was my regular rest day, and I took another impromptu rest day yesterday after an injury scare (thankfully all is good!) so you better believe I was ready to cause some destruction in the gym today. I felt like I couldn’t pile a bunch of carbs into a bowl and plow my face into them fast enough to get me to the gym as quick as I wanted. When the time to leave finally came I decided that today’s upper body massacre warranted two scoops of pre-workout formula. Don’t worry, as far as pre-workout energizers come this stuff is as safe and natural as can be. But man does it do the trick!

I had the mental focus of a lioness chasing her pray and I felt like nothing could stop me! Timing was in my favour today and I got to work through my sets without waiting for machines or having to switch up the order of my exercises. It was just another reminder that what you put into the universe you get back. I knew I was going to have a good workout when I woke up this morning, and damnit I was right! Those two scoops may have contributed a bit, but it was all about my mindset going into it. I’m almost certain that tomorrow simple tasks like showering are going to be a challenge, and that’s just how I like it. With this workout, as with most of the resistance training workouts I will share, you want to go hard and heavy. For those 8-rep exercises you want to be struggling by the time you get to the 6th rep. For 12 reps, you better be shaking by #10. Enjoy!

The Upper Body Massacre

  • Assisted pull-ups (or regular pull-ups if you’re badass!): 4 sets X 8 reps
  • Wide-grip lat pull-downs: 4 sets X 8 reps
  • Bent-over barbell row: 3 sets X 12 reps
  • One-arm dumbbell row: 3 sets X 12 reps each side
  • Back extensions: 3 sets X 12 reps
  • Preacher curls: 3 sets X 12 reps
  • Barbell curls: 1 set X 21 reps
  • Alternating hammer curls: 3 sets X 12 reps
  • Triceps push-down: 4 sets X 8 reps
  • Skull crushers: 3 sets X 12 reps
  • Military push-ups: to failure
  • Roman chair leg raises: 50X
  • Weighted crunches: 50X
  • Air bike: 50X each side
  • Russian twist: 50X each side
  • Plank: 3 minutes

I know this looks like a lot, and it is. Many times it’s good to keep things short and simple. Many recommend you keep your weight training sessions to between 30 minutes and one hour. This routine took me about an hour and a half complete, however you don’t spend too much time working the same muscle so I’m pretty confident in it’s kick-ass-ability (yes I just made that up). And since my weight training sessions have been cut down to just three per week, I need to get my lift on when I get the chance! If you’d like to give it a shot and don’t know what some of the moves are, feel free to ask me. If you’re short on time you can always omit some of the moves or an entire muscle all together. Just don’t forget to train it another day to prevent muscular imbalances! Happy lifting!

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