Category Archives: Workout Reflection

Animal Flow


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I have too much muscle for me not to put it to use.

I guess, just because I’ve been challenging myself without dumbbells and barbells doesn’t mean I can’t challenge myself in other ways.  My body craves movement.  It craves to feel blood swirling and pumping, to feel its skin get tight when performing.  My muscles crave dynamism and action.  I knew I had to think of something fast that would allow my body and I to be challenged and fulfilled.  Eventually, I came across Animal Flow or Primal Movement.

In the past I’ve done some animal-type movements but added them to workout programs when I wanted something a little different.  A few weeks ago, I decided I want Animal Flow or Ground-based movements to be the center of my attention, along with Yoga and mobility work for my continual internal and external healing.  Which reminds me, I remember getting used to ground-based movements when I was doing a lot of Ballet Beautiful and Barre work.  Half of the exercises were on the mat making it more challenging than the weightlifting I’ve already became accustomed to for over a decade.

I think subconsciously my body deeply craved ground-based workouts again, even though I was very scared (and still am) of letting go the religion of weightlifting.  Maybe not forever, but for the moment.  And so far, I’m right!  My body craves this kind of expression.  Over the past few years, I’ve come to enjoy moving my body in different ways.  I seek out more flow-type workouts that are super challenging and therefore allow me to concentrate in ways I usually don’t.

I want mindfulness, new movement patterns and new folds in my brain.  In a way, only now can I see how one-dimensional many of my movements were when I was weightlifting.  In the process, I’ve gotten better at writing a more balanced workout program.  I feel like I didn’t have a choice, but I’m not complaining.  I get better with time.  In distancing myself from what I normally do, I’m giving myself permission to see things differently, which in turn allows me to continue being open, so I can crave different things.  I love going on and learning from new journeys.  What I find interesting about practicing Animal Flow is I must work my way up, which makes it harder for me to overtrain even if (when) I want to.

I’ve had too many up’s and down’s with motivation due to chronic pain, stress and health issues that I can’t always say it’s been easy for me to be discipline 4-5 times a week every week regarding fitness over the past few years.  But what has helped me is going back to how much I love to move, how good I feel when my body is pumped, how blessed I am to have all my limbs, how nice it is to set goals and to stubbornly meet the goals and drive further for extra goals.

I’ve had conversations of giving up my love for fitness as well as conversations about why we (my different shades of personalities) should continue it.  I’ll never forget a coworker of mine when I asked her one day, “Do you want to train with me on my break?”  She said, “Why not?  You’re the trainer.”  That day we trained together and during, she said to me, “You love training!  I never see you so happy, so big with your smile until you train.”  And the thing is I never realized how happy I was when I move, exercise and put my body through intense work.  I was solely training to train.

Last night, I was elated!  I was walking on clouds, super high on endorphins.  I couldn’t get enough.  I did a move called The Underswitch.  I’ll link the move at the bottom of this entry with an article about AF.  It’s basically being in a crab walk position and rotating your entire body until you’re in a bear crawl/beast position.  Granted, it was my first time doing this move.  However, sometimes I have a bad habit underestimating myself and my physical strength.  I thought the underswitch would be harder to do because I weigh 223lbs.  Mentally, I felt like I shouldn’t have been able to do it, but physically I can do it.  I made sure to perform it a few times on the left and right, so I know it’s not a fluke.  And I had so much fun!  I couldn’t stop smiling!  There are few things in life that make me happy in this barbaric world.

I’m happy I’ve been practicing for weeks with Bear Crawl or Beast Holds.  I’ve been picking up one limb at a time and shifting my weight while being hovered a few inches off the floor just like in the video above.  I’m also practicing traveling or walking forwards and backwards also with the Bear Crawl and Crab positions, which are harder for me because I’m not the best when it comes to coordination.  Still, I think I found something I can put my body, mind, spirit and soul to use.

Have you guys done any Animal Flow?

– Pennington

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Everything


Now that I have my dumbbells and E-Z Bar put off to the corner of the apartment, I’ve been focusing on other things like cardio (biking), twerking, walking with nature, flexibility and mobility work.  My physical therapist has even whispered restorative yoga and has recommended some DVD’s specifically for pelvic floor dysfunction that involves yoga.  So, you know where that’s taking me.

Now I’m not the biggest fan of cardio, but I’m a fan of being healthy enough.  To make biking for miles fun at the apartment, I blast tunes on my S1-Pro Bose!  The music gives me goosebumps and sometimes I can feel the bass deep in my heart as I drown out everyone else’s music in the building.  Sometimes I like multiple sessions spreading them from morning, afternoon or night.  And when I’m in a carefree mood, I’ll ride the bike without undies because that’s something I could never do at the gym!

Some people underestimate the work it takes to twerk.  It’s a hell of a workout!  Plus, it’s something that gets my heart racing quicker than I can shake my ass, probably.  I’m not supposed to squat, lunge or do crunches, according to my physical therapist, but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her, even though it may hurt me.  The main move of the twerk is a squat!  Still though, there are so many damn drills from standing, to bending over, to squatting on your toes, to performing movements on the wall or floor.  It’s great!

I remember when I first started twerking my body didn’t have the best muscle memory.  It felt like the first time I tried to dumbbell chest press; massively awkward and almost impossible.  I remember being self-conscious trying to chest press, more so than twerking.  Now, my ass has graduated!  It has a mind of its own and moves on its own freewill.  The only thing I need is a nickname for my twerking persona.

So, it took me a long time to be more flexible, but I got somewhere.  I stretched more of my lower body than I do my upper body because one day I want to be able to do the split.  Flexibility always reminds me of mobility work, so I do them both.  I used to think warmups, flexibility and mobility stuff were a waste of time, but that’s only because 1.  I can be kind of idiotic and 2.  because I was young and could get away without doing those things, so I thought.  I’m older now and my body is not having that shit anymore.  I must warm up and get all my juices flowing before I can dive into any kind of training just like foreplay before the climax.

Well, I’m new to restorative yoga.  I hope to practice it to the point where I turn into an airplane and levitate above the masses and hope to write about the journey of my new elevation.  So far, it’s weird to me.  At least, the process of being gentle as well as the process of consciously relaxing.  It’s eye-opening.  For the longest time, I lifted aggressively at the gym.  And to my amazement, I’ve never considered myself to be aggressive, even when others pointed and RAWR at me.  But by doing restorative yoga, I can see now how hostile, and often, how destructive I was.  Shit!  I have the injuries as proof.

Learning how to relax is something I needed in my life but didn’t know I needed in my life.  Isn’t that how it often is?  You never know what you need because you’re usually fixated on wanting something else that it overshadows what you actually NEED!  Anyhow, it’s taken me a long time to come around and relax for my overall well-being.  To be honest, the idea of being gentle to myself is/was pretty darn foreign, but I’m less guarded to being tender now with newfound appreciation.  This sums up everything!

Here’s an article to the introduction of restorative yoga if you’re curious.

Try it sometime.

Pennington

Rump Fun


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My body’s thumping.
My heart’s pumping.
My rump is shaking.
My skin is baking.

*

The verge of a coughing fit is near, but good women like me enjoy revolving around naughty actions.  I rise above my upper respiratory tragedy and decide to sweat the illness away by twerking out to rhythmic music.  This evening I wear a form-fitting black blouse with light gray harem pants.  The loose fabric puts me in the mind state of free flow.  Also, strangely, I know this now, but never focused on it then, if I want to form a better connection with my glutes they mustn’t be shielded with an undergarment.

So the warm up begins, body temperature is busy with total body dynamic stretches and a various amount of hip circles in every direction.  I thrive in the sensation of my muscles and blood heating up and swirling with flaming passion.  Already I can sense the beloved charming playfulness and my fierce sexual energy intertwine as one.  I throw my hands high in the sky, shuffle my feet to the beat and lose myself to the experience of my heart being musically inclined to the coolness of a down tempo.

My hair is loose, happy-go-lucky and fun just like my attitude.  And I can feel the music about to change and lead on it’s up tempo journey and this is where open joy takes place and I forget about the meddling of my chest congestion and need of an asthma pump push.  I grin in beautiful amusement and shake my tush like a hypnotic waterbed.  I shake it in the vein of wanting an imaginary world to stand at my peppery interest.  I shake it with the intent to make the fabric of my blouse stick with sweat to the small of my back and my harem pants dance against its own resolve.  Proudly I wiggle my rump like a basic bellydance shimmy.  I continue vibrating my bum to turbo achievement without letting any other body part assist.

Except, my body has a habit of working as a unit, so my core tightens on it’s own accord like a watchful warrior as well as my conscious thighs flex because they’re always ready to slay with action.  And I continue in a light trance bending over forward similar to a hamstring stretch as I come back up and bend over again and come back up continuously wobbling my bum with a blissful smile on my face.  I keep this stance happily for minutes on end before stepping out with a leg and creating a mini circle with my ass still quivering in its womanly flamboyance.

The hips continue side to side during the wobbling effect as I squat down and squat wobbling back up easy like a summer breeze.  And it remains intriguing back then while I practiced as now how my butt jiggles with a mind of its own.  I start to zone out a bit more and hurl my ass back into the groins of an imaginary person circling deliberately at first, but then building it forceful.  In my head, I envision myself a ballerina on a dazzling jewelry box merrily going around and round yet evidently not as graceful, but putting in work as one for I never stop my glute throwback circles until I begin to feel a deep side stitch.

Then I move on and sit in a low squat position, fingers rotated inward so they face and grip the top of my inner thighs.  It is here I feel the twerk within the static creases of my traps, triceps, back, core, erector spinae, tush, quads and hamstrings.  I arch my hypersensitive back like a cat and lift my glutes upwards slow and drop it back down vigorously so they bounce relaxed and free from care.  Gradually I bounce back up and down until the bum makes a synchronized ripple wave effect in all types of speed.

I feel my cough starting to climb and I settle down for a moment with calculated rhythm even as I carry the synchronized effect of the bounce in a smooth slow left and smooth slow right motion.  Then I continue in the low squat to jerk my butt up and down while performing a big circle horizontally known by the terminology as around the world.  And by this point my heart and lungs are beating in powerful fashion because they’re trying to catch up to the constant jumping of my harem pants and derrière.  My legs fatigue under constant tension, but I feel wonderful living for these moments of fitness and body awareness.

I keep at different movements to different rhythmic songs for twenty minutes before I start to head on the floor, arms stretched out, palms on the ground where I brace and arch my lower back and soften my knees in a very high doggie position.  My triceps contract hard, core is engaged, but the arch stays high and I once again allow my ass to go to places where it’s unrestricted.  I let it tremble by popping it up in the air and dropping it low.  I let it quake like someone is behind me letting their engine rev into my behind as I rev mine back at them.  I allow my ass to thunder with additional help when I use momentum from my bent legs and shoot the back and bum upwards in a quick succession.  I create fascinating hops, beautiful bounces, alluring circles and waves whether delicate or dynamic.

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I persist popping the booty until I finally feel like I’m losing the limits of fluidity thirty to sixty minutes later.  In between I take a breather, but then I start to wind down when my form starts to break and my lower back is inflamed like I maxed out on a thousand and one deadlifts.  I slow it down when my thighs are trembling uncontrollably and I can no longer reach a balance of going back and forth between standing, squatting or bending down.  This is where I get on my knees, jiggle extremely and even isolate each cheek separately with muscle control and than together because rather than feel sick and depressed in bed.  I rather undergo contentment in unvarying states of movement while getting my fitness in.  Plus I mustn’t disappoint my imaginary audience in the process.

P.S.

This would be a twerk level I would love to get to.  Watch Lexy Panterra’s Twerk Out.

Happy training!

-Pennington

High: Pure Being


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The blood stops short trapped before a hair tie, until I release the bun of tension:  post exercise of body-induced drama.  This is the captivating magic of night.

*

The mind works itself into heavy persuasion.  The body labors with intense urging.  The heart never questions what the goals are or what state of peak condition or overwhelmed fatness I stand in.  A sober thought I do entertain is how someone can not understand the significance of body awareness and its dynamism.

I have a passionate addiction to adrenaline and to the exclusive kick of the way my muscles drum within its act of compulsion.  The heart skips, skips and skips uninhibited.  It beats obsessively and storms out my mouth like an aggressive bird.  It ignites the fight and frenzy over the psyche and tissue land of freedom.

I’ve failed many times and am more successful because of every stoppage.  And now every weakness is formed into substantial strength and what strength has already been established has now constructed itself into marble and stone.

The focus is better determined than years previous.  The focus is better established than the last set and the mind-muscle connection tastes stronger than the last seething rep.  I’ve been sucked into a craving that’s unaware of its bounds.  I throw my fists into the air to battle and enter new coordination and balance ground.

My chest hovers over the floor, shoulders and triceps contract, hum and weep pushing up 200lbs plus over and over again.  The brace of my abdominals is my body’s endless support and savior.  Now there’s a surge spreading like a wild forest fire burning each of my hamstring fibers and into every angle and groove of my glutes with a various amount of hip thrust and single-leg pelvic bridges I can muster under time and tension.  The inner thigh screams by its own distress signals and fleshly vulnerability.  The burn degrees increase and I pull my center deeply to the spine to further the accuracy of the focal point along with the present.

I grimace in pain and drill my teeth into my own mouth.  I start to elevate and disappear like smoke.  I’m high now and there’s an exit.  I’m high and there are no thoughts struggling its way to birth other thoughts.  I’m high and suddenly there are no problems in the world.  There is no suffering.  There is only bliss and light.  There is only presence and heaven.  There is only the state of pure being.

-Pennington

ballet-inspired: core


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The other half of me: Link here! Thank you for reading. 🙂

-Pennington

The World As I See It from Ballet-Inspired Training


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In weightlifting it’s about contractions with the muscles.  Examples are:  Tightening, squeezing, static holding and rarely locking out the arms.

In Ballet, it’s about the extension.  Example:  Locking out to a degree; lengthening, reaching; stretching outwards with the body long through the neck, arms, through the knees and ankles.

In weightlifting it’s about how many calluses you build on your hand – it’s a sign of respect and work ethics.  In Ballet, it’s about how you carry your grace through your hands and how you group your fingers together in poise.

In weightlifting it’s about strapping your wrists tight for the most important lifts.  In ballet, it’s about keeping the wrists flexible and allowing the wrist to go limp while you have graceful curvature of the fingers.

In weightlifting it’s about never rounding your back.  In Ballet, it’s about rounding your back.

In weightlifting it’s about arching the back.  In Ballet, it’s about the tailbone being tucked underneath for straight back alignment and not what textbook fitness call “happy cat.”

In weightlifting it’s about engaging your core.  In Ballet, it’s about pulling “inward” through the center.

In weightlifting it’s about static stretching.  In Ballet, it’s about a combination of stretching from dynamic and ballistic, while searching for angles that work best for you in stretching even if seems like you’re coming out of alignment within a single stretch (evidently with the know-how of not hurting yourself).

In weightlifting it’s about muscles being timed and under tension.  In Ballet, it’s about moving your body as effortlessly as possible allowing the body to move freely with zero muscle tension.

In weightlifting it’s about muscle bellies.  In Ballet, it’s about body lines.

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Of course whether I explained things correctly or not isn’t what this entry’s about since these are my experiences and how I personally perceive them to be.

I hope you found my observations to be as interesting as I found it interesting to reflect.

Happy Training!

-Pennington

Ballet Beautiful Vids


New entry.  Here’s the link.

-Pennington