Tag Archives: training

BLINK FITNESS


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Yesterday I made a decision to rejoin the gym again.

I had many reservations about it.  Okay, it only lasted for thirty minutes, but those small reservations felt like an anchor that was going to last longer than twenty-four hours, which is unlike me.  I think I’m going to blame it on the miasma of depression and the uncertainty it causes.  Now I know to most people joining a gym doesn’t sound even remotely significant, but when you’ve made the gym half your fucking life – it’s a big fucking deal!

Joining Blink was a happy accident if I believed in accidents.  I didn’t know they built a spanking new gym walking distance from me.  So could you imagine how big my heart swelled as I sat tipsy nursing my white plum wine across from the gym Pre-Valentine’s Day eating like a silly pig at my favorite Thai restaurant?  The thought of the gym alone gave me enough excitement to give my entire body a staggering erection.

Old memories flashed before me in all my assertive and madwoman training and the way I felt empowered simply by owning truck loads of ego and exhibiting strength and personal space in the weight room alongside the brutes of men.  It all rewound itself to foggy windows, smelling the dampness of other people’s sweaty gloves, headbands and fabric while zoning out to chalky protein, diverse tunes, and colossal sounds of iron clanks as well as cardio machines that squeaked for mercy and oil.

But since I broke my ankle I’ve become somewhat of a recluse and kept myself as inaccessible as a teenage girl in her Gothic room.  Over the course of two years I joined a gym twice and canceled the same.  At first I liked the idea of going back to who I was – the full time badass who wanted to spank everyone in the gym while priding and lifting for power, mass and size.  Until I realized I wasn’t the same woman.  I transitioned into something else (I don’t fully understand yet) and my goals did too.  The thing I do know is over the course of time I wanted to default to a natural size, lose a substantial amount of weight (still do) and still keep a lot of the strength I’ve earned from a decade.

Plus, I got used to working out in my own personal space at home.  I was made aware of my troubled hermit existence only after I started to go back to the gym and notice whenever someone would come near me I would practically hiss, sneer and snap at them if they even asked, “Are you using this mat?”  I think I lost some social/interactive skills by being a recluse.  Well, I live and I learn and I also change.  I’m at a different place now mentally, emotionally, spiritually and especially physically.

So once again I’m here joining a gym.  I know some of the good involves:  Being able to strengthen more of my ankle by using certain machines like the Treadmill and I’ll also lose weight quicker by devoting longer and steadier sessions instead of doing HIIT and circuit (strength) training multiple times a week.  I burn myself out all the time.  The bad is being around people and their bullshit, whether they say no when I ask to jump in with them on any given machine [or insert any other annoying gym attitude/behavior here].  Is this something I want to deal with?

More importantly joining this gym is about reflecting harder on the possible notion that I’ve outgrew the gym.  I may no longer find the gym a daily requirement in my life.  If there is a chance I don’t feel like I need the gym anymore, then I have to learn how to come to grips with that instead of wasting precious money trying to figure it all out.  However, if I wind up falling in love with the gym all over again, then that’s just true love that feels like sticking and I’m with it either way.

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At this moment I’m setting up to go on my date with Blink Fitness.  I haven’t decided on the time yet.  It’s not only about Blink impressing me; I’m not above impressing Blink.  Don’t ask why.  It’s a gym.  I believe in making all kinds of impressions.

The gym from what I assessed is on the smaller end with just two floors.  The people there seem somewhat motivated, but they lack passion, which I’m surprised about because I guess I expect more out of people.  But I can see their blank faces droning whether they’re weightlifting, cardioing or stretching.  I’m telling myself it’s just the weekend and perhaps the energy is different during the weekday.

I’m going to shower, put cold cream on my face, smooth it over with some serum, and shave my underarms and legs.  I’ll slick the ends of my hair with protein polish and a flat-iron only to hide it’s slickness in a bun.  And although I have lots of variety (DVD’s, YouTube and paid Fitness Streaming Subscriptions) working out at home, everything is much different in the gym – energy, friendly competition and even meeting people or bumping into a gymrat I used to know takes place there.

I’m hoping being at closer distance would keep me motivated at first and I’ll have fun second.  I want to remain a gym member in my heart of hearts.  Also I don’t want a third cancellation on my gym life resume.  I would say wish me luck, but I don’t believe in luck.

Crazy excited,
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.

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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

Updated Aspects (Training)


Shanna comic

The other half of this blog is here entitled Updated Aspect (Life) if interested.

Lately I’ve been having trouble getting into the gym to get in more cardio work.  Lifting has never been a problem once I enter the gym with my mind in the zone, scowl and broad shoulders.  Still, the emphasis is cardio because I have a lot of weight to lose by my standards.  This bad habit started when my ankle broke and when I isolated myself from the world.  I tried going back to the gym to be the fitness buff I was, but nothing was the same.  It was me against trauma, coming to terms with mental illness and recovering from the worst year of my life.

Nevertheless I needed to feel a rush; I needed to balance out the chemicals in my brain somehow.  I wanted to feel alive again.  I wanted to feel my body in motion, so I learned pretty quickly how to workout at home.  I looked at the upsides of home workouts:  not being bothered by anyone or anything.  Working out at home was safe and therefore it became my retreat.  I never thought I’d make fitness at home my full-time job.  I never thought I would pay a subscription to stream videos.  I also never thought I’d canceled a gym membership after being a gym-goer for 13 years.

Of course a month and a half later my headspace was in a much better place after I canceled the gym membership, but it still took a year and a half for me to get back into the gym a few times a week.  Still, a dilemma hovered big as an elephant – getting to the gym on a regular basis seem to be a problem.  This is also something I’ve never had before.  I started feeling like one of those average people.  I’ve never felt gym ordinary before.  I’ve always been the one to rise above the starting point.  Again, nothing is the same.  I’m in no rush to lose weight, which is very unlike me.  I used to drop 8lbs in a month, month after month like I was going to compete somewhere on stage.  Not this time.

The bright side is when I do go to the gym my adrenaline takes over and I forget about the time or when’s the last time I ate or what else I have to do after I stroll out the gym at midnight.  I don’t stop until I have nothing more in the tank – my usual – and I thank God that’s still the same to this day.  My mind-muscle connection is even more in depth, which I find both absurd and incredible.  I’m starting to believe for the first time in my life that less can actually be more.

I’ve changed my training style again.  I used to move around heavy weight all the time.  I toned it down.  I used to do a lot of volume.  I can’t say I toned that down.  Right now I’m focused on basic exercises (not unique ones) and variations of the basics.  I like working with my bodyweight.  I leave the isolated movements and core training for Ballet Beautiful and other Ballet-inspired workouts.  I do tons of unilateral sets since my accident – I still feel an imbalance within my body.  I do pump out high reps; mostly because I was always a 5-10 rep woman.  But how will my body react long-term when the switch has been/is 20 reps and over?  I also do strength-training at home in circuit-training fashion at least 2 times a s week.  Also, twerking which is a fun way to do cardio at home.

I notice other things I don’t do anymore in the gym I used to do is scout out who I wanted to compete with for poundages or on cardio machines.  At this moment, I don’t have the urge to compete with anyone anymore because I’m in my own groove and free in my own zone.  This is both good and bad.  Good because fuck everybody else in the gym – I’m here for me yet bad because you can always get extra drive and push yourself further when you and the stranger are knowingly competing with one another.

So, what about this gym ordinary thing?  I’ve been giving thought to what I have to do to make sure I get into the gym at least 2-3 times a week every month.  I shouldn’t be comparing myself to the 5-6 times a week of cardio I used to do especially because I’m not feeling it.  At the moment, I don’t want to live in the gym like I used to.  I want to perform more than the minimum, but live out of the gym.  But, what can I do differently?  What did I used to do before to get in the gym multiple times a week for hours at a time?

Well, for one I didn’t make excuses.  Two, I always made sure to established good work ethic every single time I stepped foot in any gym.  Three I would think about the professional fitness enthusiasts and how busy their lives are and just how they make time to get their cardio in multiples times a week.  If they could do it, so could I.  Four, I need to create a set routine, one I can’t easily get out of and also with at least 3-4 back up plans just like I used to do.

However, I think I kept this long enough.  Also, I’m open to suggestions.  Please don’t say running, jogging or walking because I’ll cut you with my ankle bone.  Walking still hurts me and this is one of the main reasons I go to the gym to do cardio because I can sit on a machine (bike) and burn calories away with minimal pain.

Happy training!

-Pennington

ballet-inspired: core


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

-Pennington

Accommodating Self (Part 2)


BB fitness
The best decision I made was breaking up with the gym.

I did a ton of reflecting.  In general I have no problem working out at home, but I just never knew I’d feel more comfortable working out at home around the clock as much as I do.  Training at home has allowed me to take the pressure off mentally as I can’t compare myself against who I used to be.. way back when.  Aside from less self-demands I can’t ego lift at home like I can ego-lift at the gym.  It does suck I can’t feed off people’s energy in the gym, but the focus is deep having to feed off my own energy.  It’s been about 4 months since I’ve been strength-training at home and I must say it’s been beneficial for me mentally, emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually.

Here are a few reasons why I enjoy training at home nowadays aside from the little I just mentioned:  I can be myself.   I don’t have to smile, be polite, and pretend I’m in a good mood or have small conversation when I don’t want to.  I can workout whenever I want without time restraints or gym holidays getting in the way.  I can focus 110% on my form, on my breathing and zero in on the way I feel mentally or emotionally.   I have to push myself differently and get extra creative making home workout programs so they are super effective and exhausting because that’s what I enjoy.

Also I don’t have to feel uncomfortable or awkward trying to hide my extra fat in huge hoodies and sweat pants.  I can rock a spaghetti-strap tank top and spandex and I wouldn’t secretly judge myself in front of others and make the awkwardness awkward and obvious to those who may or may not judge me at the gym.  (Judgement-free zone only happens at home and not at Planet Fitness.)  I don’t have an aversion at home, but I do have one outside – where I secretly believe people can tell if I previously hurt my ankle or not.  (Yes, it’s mental.)  Also I don’t have to spend over $112.00 on Metro Card money to travel to the gym and back home.

Then there’s the other obvious like I don’t have to wait for machines during peak time.   I compete with myself, build my confidence and track record rather than pressure myself to compete with the person I used to be in the gym while being at the gym.   On a really good note, with at-home workouts, I can do laundry at the same time I train.  And as an introvert – I do enjoy my time alone.

New inspiration?  Now over the past month and a half I’ve been newly inspired by Ballet Beautiful.  I owe it to BB for re-motivating me again.  I can do any of their workouts at home and spread it out among the day (on top of my weight training) for minutes at a time multiple times a day and night.  The exercises, technique and workouts themselves are extremely challenging and work very well!  Ballet Beautiful approach comes off more about quality than quantity and the workouts itself are about strength, power, flexibility, balance, technique and grace in a totally different way.

BBStrengthI absolutely swear by Ballet Beautiful and I haven’t been doing it very long at all.  In the past I’ve written about how I enjoy the extremes of both bodybuilding and ballet as I find them both to be very similar in terms of disciplinary action, strength, beauty, aestheticism, athleticism and art.  I love them both.  And I feel like I want to embrace them both and see where they lead me to.  For the good month of August I fell in love with Ballet Beautiful for countless reasons aside from what I perceive ballet to be – graceful.  One reason why I love Ballet Beautiful is because of the minimalist style.  Two is because the exercises and stretches involved are complex, detailed and difficult.  Third reason is BB has increased my motivation by 100%!

All this time, I was searching for something.  Strangely – and out the blue – I fell in some kind of dear love for Ballet that started around 2009.  But, I didn’t know something totally different from weightlifting would give me the “wow” factor and innovative inspiration I needed.  In ballet, there’s a quiet and classical tone set, as well as an elegant breathtaking history, same as Bodybuilding for me.  There’s art, power, focus and balance in every single ballet movement which I find irresistible.

Of course, a few times a week I will continue to devote time and effort to strength-training, but it was Ballet Beautiful that took me to another place mentally, emotionally and physically.  It’s because I can start fresh and it’s because I’m not bound to the past decade and associations of weightlifting.  Recently I started to realize how my training has been changing in ways I’m not fully understanding yet.  It seems weightlifting doesn’t have the same flavor for me – maybe because I associate the past decade with weightlifting?

I’m a new person now.
And I want my training to reflect this as well.

BBQuickTip-ReEnvision-final-revHere’s what I know now:  I have a new vision for my body.  I don’t want my old body back because I don’t go backwards.  I want a more symmetrical and streamlined look.  I want to be more refined.  I want to be less soft.  I want to be less bulky.  I want less of the comfort I’ve had with my body in the past.  I want new strengths.  I want new exercises.  I want new challenges.  I want new posture.  I want new everything!

I will continue to focus on smaller muscles because all the bigger muscles on my body are well-developed.  I will continue to work on the tiny details in every single muscle.  I will continue to use my first love – dumbbells and barbells no more than twice a week and no less than one.  Weightlifting will always have a home in my heart, but what I want now and what motivates me now is vastly different.  I’m going to enjoy shifting.

And who knows what it might bring?

P.S.

One of my current goals is to go to the gym twice a week for extra cardio purposes.  I have an initial 30lbs to lose.  I’ve already dropped 7lbs in 2 weeks.  It’s game on.

-Pennington

What Does Fitness Mean to You?


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Fitness is a big part of who I am. Regardless if I get some things right (training/mentality) and some things wrong (like nutrition or life’s hindrances) fitness is who I choose to be day in and day out. I understand fitness as work of continual progress. And because of this simple fact, fitness allows definite opportunities and rejuvenated methods to perpetually update the new you starting from the inside out or from the crown down. What is there not to love about that?

I see Fitness in everything I do from skipping the elevator and taking the stairs, to not having that second serving of pasta to practicing discipline when it matters most. Last year, and still to this day, it’s been a long journey for me. The old ways of motivation doesn’t work for me nowadays. I’m constantly battling against will, cautiousness and pain since my ankle isn’t 100% healed and I’m unclear if it’ll ever be. This will not stop me.

Fitness, time and time again has gotten me through many difficult moments from the death of relationships to anger management and iron therapy. And as long as I keep my head vibrant, my attitude with positive light, my heart full of grace, my training philosophy strong as a bull, and Gods intuition over my being — Fitness will never ever steer me wrong. I’m currently redefining every aspect of my life from love, friendships and spirituality to anything regarding fitness.

What does fitness mean to you? 🙂

-Pennington

March Fitness Update


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Oh, this entry is boring!

I’ve worked very hard, and I’ve put myself through lots of pain to be able to get to walk as much as I can today. The other day I walked a mile and a half straight from the PT place back home. This wasn’t easy, but it isn’t easy for me to want to be less active either. Fortunately, this means I’ve taken fitness under consideration again.

Now I still haven’t set foot in a normal gym — as I consider physical therapy to be a type of gym. And I’m not sure when the right timing will be for me to train at the gym or if there’s such a thing as the right timing? Because recently I hurt myself again. Yes, it was due to overworking my foot.

The truth is for the last few months, many of my tendons have been inflamed. Now I have King Achilles tendon jumping on board to give me horrible annoyances and fuck me over with more issues or at least the equivalent of bad little children.

So, this has reversed my mentality — just when I was going to take a tour of a brand new gym. I decided against it now because I’m not ready because I still don’t have the best patience and because my ego will fail me. But, I must say, this particular gym I want to tour has a pool, so it would behoove me to learn how to swim and also, use my ankle in the water without hurting it further from daily poundage on cement.

It’s been a great deal of struggle for me during these months because its been difficult to start my fitness and to sustain regular motivation. I started picking up lighter dumbbells. I’d perform sit ups. I’d get on the ground to crank out endless reps of hip bridges, but to no avail. My motivation drops off the will of the earth and I’ll skip an entire week. Then after that week goes by I’ll restart again. And the worst part is I make no excuses. I just go according to my cycles and tides of moods.

It’s unlike me to not feel the flames in my blood ignite my passionate training. There are things that are different now — like dare I say I’m more humble (and other things)? However, the past few months I’ve taken a liking to YouTube and their fitness videos. Each day I search and plan out what I feel like training and I scrutinize every workout to see if I have to modify anything for my ankle since all is not well… yet.

I started with my favorite bellydancing videos by the famous twins. Then I thought about what I needed to strengthen — so Pilates and flexibility videos came next. Then low impact 30 minute bodyweight workouts, dancing and boxing furthered it. I’ve entered lots of core and squat work since I have to build up lots of muscle in them again.

It does make me sad that my usual training, and my deep love for weightlifting has been put on hold. I’m forbidding myself because I know I will overdo it and eventually will hurt myself. Once I start, I don’t like stopping. Still my plans are to tour a new gym, but with strict rules on weightlifting if I allow myself.

However, these fitness videos have kept me afloat and has motivated me enough because I never have to do the same YouTube workout twice. And since my ankle has made leap and bounds — I’ve finally took it up a notch and have commenced push ups, planks and a shit load of squats, bridges, abduction work and all. Things are slowly starting to come together and this makes me very happy. 🙂

-Pennington

Maybe I Shouldn’t Talk?


None of my business
There are many things I don’t get in the gym.  Yet there are some things I do get and I do understand like when a person is a beginner and they look over at someone else doing an exercise believing they got that great body because they’re DOING THAT ONE EXERCISE!  Fuck me MAN!  I was guilty of this too.  Ain’t it comical though how so much could be further from the truth?  So, what’s this about?

I observe people in the gym.  Men and women alike or fit and fat or somewhere in between alike.  And I probably should start off by saying that maybe this particular way works for her?  I don’t know as I’m not a fucking coach (and currently don’t intend to be)  and there are many things I don’t like to talk about because I don’t do everything perfect either, such as eat better and cleaner foods 80% of the time.  And many can tell me:  It’s not all about training; your gains would come in more if you just eat better.  But I digress.

There’s this woman (and this is quite a trend too I noticed for some women) who I’ve observed time and time again.  She’ll do an exercise and go for moderate/heavy weight and only do a few reps.  A few reps like 1-5 usually.  Yes, she’s a powerlifter (and to point out, I don’t have much knowledge on why powerlifters do what they do besides the whole strength thing), but I don’t understand the point of doing one exercise (or maybe a couple) and wait around endlessly for the next 3-5 minutes until the body fully recovers only to go and do some cardio on the treadmill at a snail’s pace and THAN go back to lifting again?

Again, maybe this works for her?  I don’t know.  I’m not her.  But it kills me (just like it kills me –a little – that I train hard without being on point with my diet) somewhere inside!  I could understand if a person is rocking out to either their Powerlifting day or an accessory day.  And maybe a person could just perform a day of accessory work with cardio at the end.  And maybe I could understand the whole lifting of the weights first and going balls to the walls on every furious set THAN doing a cardio session after.

And to note:  I’ve done training workouts where I’ll push my muscles with maximum weight with maximum reps in a maximum set and to maximum failure and THAN follow up with 1-2 minutes of fucking sprinting on the treadmill and repeat the maximum of the maximum again.  (<- This usually happens when I’m dieting down.)  I could understand if one hits it hard one way (right at the beginning!) only to come up and still finish strong in the end anyway.

But, if it seems like something or someone is half-ass, (and if one is calling it like how they see it), I mean, you know what I mean:  Does it mean this type of training is really working for this person?  Or is it just another method of getting by, by doing the bare minimum and being lazy during the training process?

Maybe I shouldn’t talk.

none of my business tho

-Pennington

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

Training Maturity


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I’m not speaking about how older muscles have hardened over the years with recurring lifting or mean this by the density which occurs with steady reliability and perseverance that comes from the power of character and passion to train.  But I mean this in terms of the mental and belief development and how wonderful it is to be receptive to change.

I love change, more specifically when there isn’t a conscious decision made to transform.  I love when the tiny things in life flow under the disguise of remarkable intuition and unquestionable faith.  The splendor within the apparent connection of mind and of body has been excellent to me when it comes to Training.

Across the decade, I’ve made several mistakes, I’ve taken on the delightful delights and terrible burdens of injury, I’ve underwent many setbacks and on the flip of the coin sprung with vigor forwardness, I’ve followed like a scared newbie on what others did inside the gym and learned to lead my own path and training philosophies and now I can reflect on some changes that are coming out on top: Training maturity.

The first thing I noticed over time is I slowly strayed away from isolation movements and went into exercise programs that only allowed room for compounds.  This proved well as I have less muscle imbalances and various smaller muscles have caught up to the much bigger ones giving me fewer injuries and smaller amounts of overcompensation overall.  And although switching out isolation exercises for compounds may seem logical, the combination of misinformation on top of the endless harassment of the ego is a complex mission to prevail.

Second thing I noticed more this coming year is how I’ve found myself taking pleasure in working my body in multiples planes and engaging every muscle to work in synergy.  This has introduced lots of gains at a quicker pace in terms of visual definition.  For years I relied on Bodybuilding style.  Except I realized the gains are time-consuming if you don’t couple this approach with extreme dieting as close to one-hundred percent of the time.  I’ve realized it’s better for me to push to train (almost) like an athlete with total body workouts with a wide range of labor.  I can do this now because I’ve developed vastly and because of this quality I’ve been able to grasp one plain fact:  There isn’t one road to being fit or appearing the part.

Nowadays, my motivation comes differently and as one fitness enthusiast or gym rat can say, motivation is hard to sustain and throughout the years motivation comes in different behaviors, different apparel, through different gym clubs, through different people and different frames of intelligence and strategy.

Lately, I don’t find it challenging or motivating to lift and stick with one or two body parts per training session.  I don’t find it challenging or motivating to stick with basic tried and true exercises with a rep and set scheme.  I don’t find it motivating to be in a box or keep myself trapped in there.  A perfect example was how for many years I’d remain limited on a rep scheme.  I would write it down on paper long before heading into the gym and because that number was the one in my head it was all I ever did for a long friggin time.  I never went pass that particular number, almost as if it were a crime.

This led to a chain reaction because the questions were obvious:  How many times could I have gone pass the rep and created new and improved muscle growth?  How many times could I have increased the poundage if I weren’t afraid to pass beyond the rep in my head?  Why did I choose to limit myself in this way?  Was this a part of self-sabotage?  Or what I constructed around the entire belief system of the rep scheme?

Another thing where I’ve matured is actually utilizing the training partner at hand.  Tonight I trained my ass off and stood probably 2 hours in the gym just zoning out and lifting to my hearts content. However back then I wouldn’t have used my training partner the way I did this evening because pride and selfishness.  During the Hammer Strength Incline Chest Press I had him assist me by pulling on the lift itself first (at extension) so I didn’t have to waste not an ounce of pointless exertion pushing entirely on the first rep.

I didn’t have all the bright energy I’m used to having on a regular basis.  But this helped me enormously and I didn’t allow myself to feel crucified by my ego or having to be prideful to do every little thing myself rather than saying, “Yeah we can use a little help today to cut a slight corner or two and what’s wrong with that?”  Nothing, if you don’t limit yourself (or abuse help).

The permanence of the mind and what things we hold close to our chest in the act of searching for meaning can be a tricky thing.  How do you learn to let go of concrete beliefs when they become too old to even be useful anymore?  Surely, every person has their own response.  Yet if you ask me, I’m more than willing to say maturity is my answer back, along with being aware with what is the precise type of intuition within your significance of mind, expansion and substance.

-Pennington Hall