Tag Archives: Barbell

Tonight: A Side Effect of Greatness


meI have undying passion.
I have creativity and flow working together.
I’m a vessel of many lives.
I receive openly – more so than ever before.
I give when it behooves me.

And through these strong hands I channel my own life’s energy.  I can see that look of determined intent written across my eyebrows, pupils dilated with an immense shade of brown fire (if there were such a thing).  I love pleasant reminders of being a weightlifter like my silver barbell faded into a zealous rust color where the hands are strategically placed from robust usage.  Or the old-school globe dumbbell on the belly of my forearm in its own imperfect symmetry yet ideal shading.  I love reminders that feel like slices of heaven.  Or when heaven in my world resembles delayed onset muscle soreness.

I rewind to the time when my boyfriend performed the Razor’s Edge from the top of the couch when I was twelve years old – my entire back slammed onto the concrete of the floor in rapid fashion.  Without a flinch, without a facial expression, my skin sizzles like the morning sun, and my muscles quickly take on a singe.  But that’s just me rowing and pulling back with my elbows directing the strength show.

It’s just me and the bar – alone with my thoughts, alone with my focus, alone with my concentrated desire.  I can feel the flames fan and spread like a forest wildfire through my traps, teres minor/major, rhomboids and lats.  I row bent-over and row until my muscles become like deep hooks fasten to my bones.  I row until these muscles remain unquestionably contracted and freeze.  I row until my muscles yell, spit and claw at me with spasms.  Until I have to beg them for mercy and limber them again.

Disregarding the tight knot that formed in my back and in my forearms it is time to pick up the dumbbells for a bicep curl marathon.  I ride the mind-muscle connection.  I stand with soldier posture.  Shoulders are down and back and my abdominals are fully engaged.  I curl and curl; my skin tightens like a face peel – twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four and twenty-five reps.  I keep the world of burn centered in the bicep peak.  I’m in pain.  I can’t tell which it is:  Does my mind or body want to give up?

I grind my teeth.  I get angry.  I’m extremely ugly when I lift.  I’m never to sure what come(s) over me.  I now proceed to hurt myself further by grinding my teeth into my mouth and grimace like I’m dropping sewage in the public restroom.  I can feel my body wanting to break down since the fourth set at the beginning of the training session roughly 40 minutes ago.  I’m now over the hump.  I do my best to maintain good breathing technique during the seconds of concentric, isometric and eccentric.

Keep the body tight.
Keep the body tight.
Can you feel it baby?
I dirty-talk myself.

I’m far out.  I’m probably having an out of body experience.  I’m a watcher sitting on an engine fueling my iron addiction observing myself.  I’m exhausted like a motherfucker, but I’m chasing the burn, the pump and the grind.  I’m chasing the fat I’ve gain last year.  I’m chasing my fickle motivation.  I’m making my own inspiration once again.

And…

Tonight I felt like myself.
Tonight I felt like a weightlifter.
Tonight I’m heavy in love with myself.
Tonight the pumps in my deltoids were fearsome.
Tonight my triceps bled over (still are),
And I didn’t even train them.
That, my friends, is a side effect of greatness.

P.S.

Does my training inspire my writing or does my writing inspire my training?

-Pennington

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High Ovulation Training!


power_girl_by_sami_basri_by_deevelliott-d4g9wxm(Previously half-written.)

God!

The littlest thing sets me off when I’m high on ovulation.  When I’m undergoing ovulation it’s my very own natural preworkout as I know how to direct my energy and mind-frame so it works for me in the gym.  I’ve done well channeling and managing some very fantastic personal bests during this womanly time.

So, I met up with the new gym boys Hungarian and Cop.  Both are humongous in size, you know, muscles bulging out the shirt in every which way and I love to stare like a hungry dog with my tongue rolling out like a red carpet (in my head of course)!  But, I have to play like rico-suave and it’s very hard to contain myself when ovulation hits the being of my temple.  Still, the good news is I got to be sandwiched in the middle of pounds of flesh, muscle and beef.

Tonight was arm and calve day brought to me by Hungarian guy (who I would love to fucking have sex with!) who’s one of the beefiest slab son of a bitch in the gym.  He comes over to ask me right before we start, “Do you train for muscle?” (Remember, I’m the new woman on the gym block. So no one knows what I’m about, but now they do!)  I said, “Yes, indeed.”  He nodded me respect and I smiled in my nod.  I knew it was going to be SO ON and believe you me I was fucking ready.

Warm ups sets began with light dumbbells, curl for the girls and hammers to set off clamor.  I felt the oncoming surge.  I was totally excited.  Then Preacher curls on a steep bench came first.  I’ve never been on a bench so steep (plus I’m short), so this was new to me.  So I stood at 35lbs on the barbell as it was a good fit to reach 10 reps for 4 sets.  And every time I grinded the reps, arms shaking, stomach engaged, teeth grinding the inside ring of my mouth, all I heard that made me feel delightful from Hungarian guy was: “Good! Beautiful!  Beautiful!” And, fuck, for what was that for?  It gave me monstrous fuel!

Between us three, we kept rotating.  Next up was bicep curls with multiple barbells on the ground; everyone had their own (at least 3 barbells) for their drop sets set.  My biceps, deltoids and forearms tapped into another dimension for the first three sets and by the time the fourth set came I was not only aroused to no end with both men cheering me on, but my muscles got used to the dimension despite my extra reps as I watched and observed the crazy pump in the mirror with my skeleton tank top.

One of my favorite exercises was next:  Rope Curls!  And if I didn’t mention it before, I was going by what Hungarian and Cop were doing.  Why do my own techniques when I can learn some from the big boys right now?  So, the movement was pull high to the upper chest straight all the way the fuck up and full extension, all the way the fuck down.  That wasn’t the problem.  The problem came into play when I shook my head, lowered my eyes and flared my nostrils like a bull when I saw the big boys do 120lbs in awkward defeat.

There I was closing in on 60lbs (and on this day was my personal best mind you feeding from every ounce of energy our sandwiched threesome brought) pushing through every damn rep.  Pushing past the fucking burn, pushing past the tremendous resistance going against me, barely breathing (bad habit!), abdominal tight as fuck while trying to suck air through an imaginary tiny coffee straw.

I complained loudly how I want to do 120lbs and Hungarian says, “Only the 1% in the gym could do this.  Take your time.  You don’t need to rush.  But you’re a woman.  Why would you want to?”  I said, “I want to be strong!”  Then Hungarian tells the rest of the boys, in particular the new one who just entered the sandwiched to make it a quad and says, “She wants to rush to do 120lbs because she wants to spank everybody in the gym.”  I cracked a smile just like the big shot I am.

Then we hit up tricep rope for numerous sets.  My triceps died.  They were done and swollen.  And then the other guys were doing an uncomfortable tricep exercise with a funny angle with a dumbbell overhead but out to the side at like 30 degrees or something?  I never tried it before and attempted it anyway because I’m a freak in the gym and although Hungarian tried to show me (and he touched me!) I felt too uncomfortable and didn’t like the idea of fucking up my bad shoulder more than I’ve already done.

Plus, I was embarrassed as my underarms were the scent of gang-banging skunks’ (probably?), so I’m like fucking Hungarian is getting a whiff of it.  FUCK MY LIFE!  Ugh!  So I stood on the tricep rope until the other guys were done because I needed to kill my triceps again for dying in the first place.  And by this point, I went into the locker room to get my wrist-straps as now we were on the tricep dip machine.  It was my first time on this machine and caution worked against me here.  I kept picking a weight but continued hitting 15 reps on it when I only want 8-10 at best because it’s how I rolls.

Again, ovulation had me PR’ing on this dip machine with 120lbs and no locking out.  I kept the constant tension on these future horseshoes.  My skin was peeling and tightening on itself like a screw.  Then it was onto tricep dumbbell overhead extension (with two hands).  I usually do the one-arm overhead extension because of not wanting to (once again) continue destroying my bad shoulder any further.  But, you know me; I can’t look bad in front of anyone (not if I could help it anyway).  So I’m on with the boys and again I’m complaining in my head with how they’re using 100lbs-130lbs.  I let the sigh spell d-e-f-e-a-t.

Now it’s been years since I’ve done this exercise and I PR’d on every single set (of course) from 40lb-55lbs for 4 sets with 10 gutted reps.  (From what I could remember I capped off at 30-35lbs back in the days with this exercise.)  Hungarian felt at ease like a true personal trainer to help the dumbbell for the quad sandwich.  I mean, this guy is short, but big and fucking strong, he doesn’t need any person to hand him over the weight from the top.  I’m talking 100lb-130lbs!  And most certainly, I have pride too, but you know, I said, “If he wants to help me with this dumbbell, let me take it.  It’s not everyday where I train with awesome people who are more than willing to assist me to the next level.”

To say my tricep wasn’t super hard (or my deltoids or my biceps for that matter) and tense was pretty much an understatement.  My skin had nothing left to tighten.  My triceps became rocks as I almost went to complete failure on the overhead extensions.  I dug super deep to continue through all those reps because as I said before I’m not trying to look bad if I can help it.  (I have a big ego like that.  Maybe?  Ha!)  Then we capped off with standing and seated calves.  And naturally, as with everything else, I kilt them!  The gym was closing and it was time to go and I was all like man I want to keep going.  And one of the big boys asked me, “How the hell are you not tired?”

I stated, “High ovulation.” 😉

-Pennington

Lack of Drive Kind of Night


Pale Comparison
Today I woke up, among a lack of drive, aches in the center of traps, spinning wheels against the uneasiness of day.  I looked for inspiration in opened paperbacks, dipped into phony motivation within cups of roasted caffeine.  I regretted it once I finished the cup because my mouth tasted like darkness and death.  But, the mood was lightened through warm phone conversations.  I came across a twenty-four hour CVS store, entered awkwardly like an orphanage and lingered in the wellness aisles, until I purchased a 5-hour energy drink.

On the train platform I waited.  Destination to gym was approximately thirty minutes.  Similar to a concealed alcoholic, I glanced over my shoulder; full suspicion, threw my head back and drank junk energy.  Eleven-something-PM and the red line pulled in with swarming bodies.  I entered and a kind middle-aged man took his jacket off the seat, so I can sit and wouldn’t have to scramble for a comfortable standing spot.  I smiled.  I didn’t want to be rude and decline the offer and in return I thanked him.  I sat between him and another man who plainly made love to his dazzling tablet with his eyes.

Smashed in the middle, my arms laid over my book-bag, hands clasped obedient.  Heat rose to caress my face, but it was followed by rolled evil eyes.  I scanned mush-sardines everywhere.  And every now and again, I stared awfully long and awfully hard at the ceiling, prayed to God for bodies to exit the cart or die.  I wasn’t sure how much longer I could take my inner thighs contracting under excruciating tension.  There was wicked edge in my legs and they were about to cramp like Charlie horses in the core of night.  I prayed in excess.  I needed anything and everything to take my mind away from expanding fury.

When I noticed a group of male friends in front of me lined up like bowling pins and how each had the same brand on:  Levi’s.  My heart rate decreased from anger and eased once I searched for the outlines of buttocks:  Who owned the biggest, who was trying to show it off and who was trying to put their glutes out of sight?  Then the kind man who made space for me originally was getting off the train and my heart soared knowing I’d be able to breathe large again by swerving to the left and conquering the corner seat.  Thank god and the heavens!

Walking through the gym doors, I saw the regular night shift receptionist guy put his conversation on hold to greet me with a huge grin; he puts my mind at ease by saying, “Hello!  Have a good one!”  All smiles, passing a row of proud ellipticals; I jog the flight of stairs.  I quickly analyzed the weight-room with a criminal grill, turned the corner to find a caramel-Dominican running on the treadmill in mesh shorts with buttocks hopping in succession.  I slowed down to catch a few seconds of eye-candy and disappeared like magic into the locker room.

Feeling internally flirty, the hair went in a high ponytail, bangs are held back by a bobby pin and I creep to the weight-room floor.  I eye-fucked the first exercise to get me primed and ready to rock and roll:  Seated rows!  And with the lat-pulldown bar attachment, taking the hand placement as wide as the sky, set after set, fifteen full reps each, I burn and flame, burn and flame.  I start to love myself.  The blaze starts to give me repeated drive.

I moved on to dumbbell seated shoulder press and with the first set I reached a full fifteen reps with 30lbs.  But by the third set my triceps were fried (thanks to the bang of the buck of Seated Rows – surely you can figure it out) and my favorite technique, rest-pause took over.  It went from 5 to 4 to 3 reps.  My mental flare shook its head each time in a kind of displeased failure.  Angry, I powerwalked to the back of the gym and sighed at the sight of the pull-up assisted machine.

I know how every rep feels before I perform them:  Difficult, treading through deep water, muddy-like, an overload of massive bodyweight.  Sometimes I wish they were a walk through the park, but deep down inside I would never want this.  Roughly 8 set of tough chins and pulls than kept it moving.  The incline rear-delt flyes are tougher than they appear; the ego lowers itself along with the weight to be used, another exercise that stops the hardcore flare in my mind.  After deep breaths taken, full contraction and 2-3 second holds at the top of every rep, the first set wrapped, and I notice the group of men from the corner of my eyes nodding respect at my performance.

The most challenging thing of the rear-delt flyes is not dropping my face into the bench when I start to fatigue and create grimaces like a mad hulk, to fight any sort of momentum and not go beyond the range of motion to strike a meek nerve.  Then on to the front raise with a barbell, go high above my head, core braced and my entire body tight in one line.  The scorching starts from the top of my traps, slides into my deltoids and enters in the center of my back.  By the end of the sets, I pause on every fourth rep.  I shake my head in partial defeat, and I rise again in full power.

By this time, I imagine the snarl of my vagina rages with odors of unfathomable ammonia, growing more teeth as every bit of exhaustion tries to yank me in submission.   I stuck my hand out in front of my body and examined my fingers for the rush and temp of adrenaline.  I need the shaking reminder, the bearing of fruit.  Happy and high, bent-over rows became the name of the game, pyramided by 10lb increments, pushing through countless reps and the dead hang arm feeling only to row, row, row it back.

Face pulls, a classic, cable tension, good stretch, long step back.  I felt my teres minor flared from the front raises and as a result I stretched for twenty seconds in between sets.  Then the lat-pulldown machine, not cable, actual machine because my muscles respond at a greater frenzy.  Within this meantime, I couldn’t help but enjoy the puzzled look on the woman’s mug, a kind of blasé air, pursed lips on a nipple water bottle, eyes lowered, dragged in slow-motion to the corner to glare towards my action.

I finished with calves on an extension machine I grew to love; abusing it bilaterally until they scream further into mercy unilaterally followed by abdominal exercises.  My entire happy ending came to a halt once I got down on the perky blue mat of heaven and performed 50 reps of Superwoman’s and heard the middle of my back crack.  I found myself in the locker, hands washed, headphones bagged in its pouch, headed down the stairs where the guy receptionist said, “Have a good night.”

And I did.
I did. 

But I’m still struggling from the lack of motivation.

-Pennington

I’m in It: the Gym and I Can’t Get Out!


Dead It!
I had these crazy doubts after the shift in hormones over the course of a few months.  I felt like I was held hostage by life for a moment while I struggled to regain my whole self again.  It’s now safe to say I’m no longer tear-jerking myself over Grey Anatomy episodes or telling my Partner in Crime I want to marry him as soon as possible.  I may be back to what I know as my normal self, the kind who does none of what I just mentioned.

Okay so my body’s chemistry threw me for a loop and for a long period of time I thought I would just continue getting fat while losing hard-earned muscle.  I thought I would continue eating sugar and wanting to make out with Coke and Tang on a regular basis.  I thought I would never be motivated to workout once more let alone find my inner beast to blaze me back up.

Then one night I said, “Fuck it!” and decided on Monday cardio, and on Tuesday I did even more cardio, except I refused to be a cardio bunny and leave the gym without caressing and groping the weights.  Training arms seemed like a good place to start to see if I could get over my foolish uncertainties of being a weightlifter again.

I wrapped my hand around the dumbbell and performed a One-arm Overhead Tricep Extension and the motion flowed gracefully and every rep became about cherishing each contraction and cherishing the blood surging through my veins and cherishing the pleasant out-and-in-and-in-and-out body experience.  Without a second thought I moved right into barbell bicep curls and lifted the weight passionately as everything I put my heart into.

All in all it came back to me like riding a bike and I couldn’t ask for anything else to accompany me in this moment.  I became alive as day and any thought of pacing myself with exercises, equipment, reps or poundage went right out the gym entrance along with every one of my insecurities and qualms.  I was back at my one true home!

From school I started to head straight to the gym and in my mind I’m in a dark corner in the center of the room because my ego places me there.  I have an imaginary audience yet I tune out the real life folks all around me in the gym like an awful lecture coming from a married-in uncle who tried to molest me once upon of time by cold lust. I.  Just.  Tune.  Everything.  The. Fuck.  Out.

The music that was blaring in my headphones suddenly vanished once I positioned my feet under the barbell square in the middle with a stance almost narrow.  I make no fancy flailing or martial arm movements and I make no thunder roar like a powerlifter.  I remain powerfully silent, looking at both sides from where the stained rings are on the barbell steel and with one hand over and the other hand under I roll the bar so it pushes the excess accumulated calluses towards the rest of my palm so it fits snugly to one side and won’t rip open.

I look straight at the mirror but I don’t even see myself in it. I can see clothes. I can see broad shoulders.  I can feel glorious energy multiplying.  But it’s time to get into that low squat and it’s time to pull the barbell up and on my shins, time to maintain focus to deadlift with my traps, lats and entire posterior chain on mental command so my body does exactly what I desire.  I nail it.  I nail it.  I nail it.  I nail it over and over and over again.  I’m happy like a kid in a candy store like a woman who just achieved her first orgasm by the tongue of a man like a fat kid with a buffet of food.  HAPPY!

At certain moments I pulled and held my breath and then I started to see myself in the mirror.  I could see how ugly I look with a deadly mixture between being a woman, a man and a beast.  I felt my abdominals cave in and tighten itself within as if I were about to get hit by a baseball bat and I continued pulling.  During one of the reps I felt pain bordering by the side of my spine and my mind in quick fear blinked the word danger.

I felt my fingers fatigued and go into a frozen state while my forearm stiffened like I imagine a snake’s body would if it were to be lit by fire and around a tree bark or some human’s neck holding on for treasured life.  I felt my body like this many times before trying to go against me by breaking form.

And all I know is this is how I feel like when I’m all up in Kanye West’s song when he says, “I’m in it and I can’t get out” except he’s talking about orgasms and the lovely things that come along with sex.  However that’s exactly how I feel.

I’m in it and I can’t get out of the gym because it’s my strength and my therapy.  It’s my happy place, my go-to home!  The gym is where I go to deal and/or get rid of my doubts and concerns.  The gym is the place where I continue to forge my character.  The gym gives me my sanity back.  It’s my constant haven, not to mention it’s an orgasm away from an actual orgasm.

chesticles

Thankfully! 😀

-Pennington

Body Mind


Under the bar on the humps of my Trapezius I feel my body compress at it’s finest.  Grip-heavy ’round the barbell.  Squeezing with full tension and attention to it.  There’s no outside world thought or worry at the slightest.  I’m as present as I physically can come:  Fluid. 

I’m in love lust with how the body defends itself with every pelt and white or red blood cell.  In every tale of my body from the yellow-stained calluses to the bruises on my shins from deadlifts I’m forever compelled to excel even if it means turning heaven into hell.

If you shake my hand you can feel my work through them.  How much I fight, how much I defend and blend.. every new beginning and every bitter end.  And when co-workers, relatives and friends have let me down, I look to my body for the Big Ben, Amen and Zen. 

Time.  And.  Time.  Again.

Even though I may hold the feeling of fear of one wrong move or sudden slip to injury I vow to never break my concrete self.  The feeling of anxiety like those who welcome home performance pressures no matter how much their stressed heart swells.  I’ll never give in until the reps and sets ring its glory bells!

I don’t see an audience more or less.  I don’t see the other gym members half-assing their exercise movements.  I barely hear my grunts or feel the fire and grime of my sweat.  My pupils don’t even touch the gym floor mat.

My focus is eye ahead.

-Pennington

Ultimate Press Bar


Started using my Ultimate Press Bar and it’s motherfuckin’ fabulous!

I can perform my Reverse Push-ups, Dips and Hanging Knee Raises.  Now KNOW I love my dumbbells first!  Barbells and Machines second.  So why did I resort to buying this Press Bar?  A few reasons, but one major reason is due to the fact that I want to learn how to master my bodyweight.  It’s very important to master one’s own bodyweight because this would mean you have an outstanding foundation!  One could use their entire body as one unit.  So, instead of bench pressing and only moving half your body, you can move your whole body and double the heart rate, the calories, oxygen consumption and hit more muscle fibers, no?!

Now shouldn’t this be common sense?  It should, right?  I mean, off the top of my head there are people who prove  bodyweight exercises are the shit:  Those that go into the Army.  I mean, we all know a person has to pass a physical exam before they can join the Be all You Can Be squad.  And those who have to work their asses off to be highly conditioned in order to perform badass moves like roundhouse kicks and flying knees.  Welcome to the jungle of MMA (Mixed Martials Arts)!

So of course with the journey of Training Life comes stubbornness (excuses as to why I don’t want to change my exercise program, the fear and the constant hesitation of trying something new) and a billion cases of trials and errors.  Or in my case, mindlessly jumping into probably one of the biggest errors I’ve done thus far, which was Lift, Lift, Lift!  (I have the injuries and setbacks to prove it! )  Lifting because I love anything I can wrap my hand around that’s made out of metal and steel.  Nothing moves me or makes me feel quite as ecstatic, alive and as fucking powerful as going against resistance.  Could be a psychological thing?  You know like rebelling.  But this is obviously done in a different fashion.  *puts finger to lip*  Who really knows?

However buying the Ultimate Body Press will motivate me to change my ways once again.  Nothing in Life or in Training is suppose to be set in it’s ways anyhow.  If so, then I/you’re not maturing much in and out the many facets concerning your everyday or personal life.  I know how hard it is to change one’s belief systems, simply because  you truly believe you KNOW all that there is to KNOW.  And NO! Usually not the case. It takes a Lifetime (sometimes way more) just to master 1 skill. Anyhow as usual, I came to my senses or better yet I let my intuition guide steer me naturally towards a path I’m destined to be.  Crazy! because my Training Life is so deep that I do feel it on a subconscious and spiritual level as oppose to only hitting it on the surface (physical) or what it could also be looked at for:  Vanity Purposes.

On another note, I have realize, not only can I use my Ultimate Press Bar for Training benefits.  But I’m thinking about using it for sexual duties too.  Yes I love the idea and yes it sort of goes hand in hand with one another, don’t you think?  I can come up with a few sexual positions on this Bar.

Why not, right? 😉

Pennington