Saturday was leg day, I lift weights 7 days a week (twice on Wednesdays) and I train most body parts twice a week, once with Roy and then once on my own. Weekends I spend a long time at the gym, I take my time stretching and warming up, I would like to be able to do this on weekdays but I have a thing I have to get to called a "job".
One of the stretches I have found very useful is this stretch for my hip flexors. If you have been reading my blog you know that I have been having hip issues since June of 2012, so I have learned to do an awful lot of stretches and roll a lot. I do have to laugh about why it took so long to shut the video recorder off, I kept getting messages from several people at once on Facebook and they just popped up over and over as soon as I could dismiss them! (email readers will need to navigate to the blog to see this and another video below.)
I had gone out the night before and had three glasses of wine, I am not yet in full blown competition prep yet, and I tend to get way too lean, so I could afford to do this once in a while. I was in bed by 9:00 pm and could feel the affect the alcohol had on my body the next day anyway. That's why I rarely drink, I am not as vibrant and alive the following day, even with just one glass. I think because I expect so much of my body, I just need to learn to treat it well all the time.
I started to get the squat rack ready, adjusting the hooks for the Olympic bar when a guy walks up to talk to me. I don't know his name, I have never spoken with him, but I see him there all the time, he is a regular morning lifter and trains with another guy, they are both in their late 20s or early 30s, they carry big waters and training books, recording their reps and sets as any dedicated lifter does.
He walked up close to me and this is the conversation:
Guy: "I don't want to interrupt you when you were lifting, but I wanted to talk to you. Everyone has heard about those people who inspire others, who push them to keep going when they don't want to. You inspire me and you have for a long time."
Kristy: "I do?! Really?! Wow! I'm not sure what to say.....Thank you for telling me!"
Guy: "There are so many days I don't feel like coming in here, I want to skip it, then I think how I see you everyday, your workouts are all so intense, you train harder each day than the day before, you never stop, you are so focused and never give up, ever. I wanted to tell you this yesterday, but I didn't, then I knew I would see you here today."
I was floored. He wasn't trying to pick up on me, he wasn't being rude, he was sincere. A big, strong alpha male, who is serious about his training said I inspire him.
It motivated me to push on, I didn't have as much energy as usual, but I would never dream of skipping the gym, ever.
Roy had just changed my program, I was doing a different type of squat, one where there is no rest at the top, it's easy to shoot up and stand there "resting", but these are a lighter load, a very long "time under tension" on the eccentric portion, and then as soon as I straighten up, right back down again. They become almost aerobic. I warm up with 95 pounds, lighter than I will use for the squats.
I have my phone attached to the mirror and I set it on the timer. I am to aim for 44 seconds time under tension for 10 reps. It's much harder than it sounds. I am using 115 pounds, my legs are under tension the entire time. I finished my sets, and rested before going on to step ups. My left hamstring is still weaker than the right after my injury, it's taking a long time to rebuild that strength.
For the step ups I have to have a box 25 inches high, so I have stacked two here and they are perfect! I will hold a 25 pound bar in front, on my clavicle, front squat style and slowly push up, re-setting at the bottom with each rep. 10 on each leg, three sets. I carry this little tape measure in my gym sack with my training log, lifting straps and fingernail file! I cannot stand having a nail with a snag....
I use the leg press on Saturdays, I don't when I train with Roy but I have extra time on Saturdays so I do just to totally exhaust my legs. I don't use a lot of weight, as it starts to hurt my knees, so I keep it light. Here I have 450 pounds added to the machine.
That's Aaron in the background, to put things into perspective the day before he was pushing 1,500 pounds on this same machine. He's a beast! He also has some added advantages, he's male (lots of testosterone), he's very young (I have been married longer than he has been alive and....still more testosterone) and he used to be a Power Lifter and wrestler. He's still a beast though!
We met because I went up to him one day and told him that he looked just like my previous trainer (SC), it's uncanny how much they look alike!
Aaron stops to help me and advises how to place my feet for quad development, he lifts his long shorts and displays some very impressive quads! Nothing worse than skinny legs on a big guy....(think most Male Physique Competitors).
Aaron asks if I have ever competed in a National level show and I tell him, "No, although I have qualified several times". "Why??!!" He asks. "You look great- you could get your Pro-Card!" He went on to say that I look as good as several others he knows, I would be successful if I did it.
I explain that I have no desire to, what would I do with a Pro-Card? I do this because I love to lift, I love the training. He walks away, saying "You would win, but if you do it just cause you like it, that's really cool!"
I love to lift. I cannot say the same thing about competing.
His comments floored me again. He was genuine in them, he thinks I have developed a physique worthy of Pro status!
Two males, motivating me now.
I do my sets, it take time as I do 5 sets of 20 reps. So a total of 100 reps. I have my timer for rest periods, and the same funny guy from the previous week interrupts me and asks to work in. He did the same thing last week, There are four machines, the only one being used is the one I am on and he taps me on the shoulder and asks if he can "work in". I wasn't sure if he he was trying to hit on me, or just was lazy and didn't want to load plates on the machine or what. This week I found out, I was finished so turned it over to him and he was asking all sorts of questions about weight training. I think it's odd he would be asking me when guys like Aaron are right there, but maybe I am less intimidating.
Think about your days in the gym. Try to inspire others. Try to motivate others. And please, please...help the world stamp out "chicken legs", train your legs!