Sorry about the lack of post last week- I took a bit of a vacation. Remember that music festival I was “prepping” for? I ended up not really getting as lean as I’d have liked, due to, well, life. My master’s project kicked into high gear when I finally got approval to start my research, and it’s the end of the school year, so trying to plan out my last few weeks for my students PLUS run that and convince other teachers to take the time to help really took precedence over making sure I had the best abs at the festival. That said, I walked around pretty naked most of the time, including one day where I pretty much just wore paint, and I felt ok about it. The music was pretty good, though I’ll admit it will probably be both the first and last time I attend that particular festival, based on the “feeling” of it, as compared to that of others I’ve attended. Husband and I made the best of it, though, and tried to avoid the things and people we knew would put a damper on our time and seek out people and situations, music, that would make it as nice of an experience as possible.
A few sets in particular really made an impression on me.
1. Alison Wonderland fucking threw it down. Unfortunately, her set is not uploaded in entirety anywhere on the internet, but holy. cats. Hands down one of the best sets I’ve EVER seen. Also that CosmicMEADOW stage, I can’t say enough about it. Every set I saw there was incredible. Screw mainstage, this shit was hella dope. This girl is my hero.
2. Flume. Just wow. We had sat in traffic for nearly five hours, and this was the first set we got to see at EDC. It was absolutely the right way to start out. We had missed him at Coachella two years ago, but damn was it worth the wait. https://soundcloud.com/tml-radio/flume-live-electric-daisy-carnival-las-vegas-2015-live-set-edc
5. Andrew Rayel. As always. This guy plays a crowd like crazy. AND I had a chance encounter with a longtime internet friend at this set. Over a hundred thousand people at the festival and I found him!
6. 3Lau. I regularly lift to 3LauHaus, but dude really know how to have a party. Of course, it was further amplified in awesomeness that he played at my favorite stage, CircuitGROUNDS. https://soundcloud.com/tml-radio/3lau-live-live-electric-daisy-carnival-las-vegas-2015
But what I was really excited about upon coming home from the festival- aside from fixing my sleep schedule and sleeping on my own pillow (I have to stop traveling without my pillow! What is it about hotels that makes those people think everyone wants to sleep on an 18″ tall pillow?! I always end up with all freaking 10 of them on the floor sleeping on my arm until it falls asleep and then I wake up mad or convinced my tricep is going to fall off,) is that immediately upon returning, I had decided to implement my first powerlifting programming since I had surgery last September.
Yes! Yes yes yes! I’m ready! So I looked into a few programs, and decided to run Candito’s Six Week Strength program. Worst case, I spend 5 weeks of my time trying it out and don’t like it. That’s a manageable amount of time to commit, in my opinion. The plan comes highly recommended from r/powerbuilding, and being as technically this is how I view myself- training for both strength and aesthetics, it seems like as good a place to start as any.
In the first week alone, the program has my triumphantly (NOT TRIUMPHANTLY) returning to the bench not once, not twice, but THREE times. After 9 months off, this seems ambitious. But I’ve calculated my 1RM cautiously, so as not to tear my implants straight off or anything, and I’ve promised my husband that I will listen to my body and not my ego. So far, I’ve completed the first two upper body days without much struggle. I love that the plan is straightforward, unlike many of the bodybuilding plans I’ve read in the past few months, and I love how astonishingly powerful I’m feeling in the gym each session!
Powerful. That’s my freaking favorite feeling EVER.
It’s an incredible thing to feel powerful and humble at the same time. With the 1RM that I have calculated for my bench this round, my bench numbers are, for me, embarrassingly low. Prior to surgery, I was benching my body weight with relative ease, and pushing hard to bench over body weight regularly. Loading up 75 pounds… it gives me a little pause. I’m suddenly transported back to three years ago, when I first started learning powerlifting. I remember the day I first thought I could bench 75, no spot. I was hyped up on perhaps too much old formula Jack3d, in my apartment fitness center, and a guy was on the elliptical in front of me. I loaded it up, and promptly smashed myself to the bench under the bar, unable to escape. Elliptical dude clearly saw me dying in the mirror and chose to go about his merry fucking bunny hopping as though he didn’t. I somehow in my panic freed myself- though that’s the last time I’ll use clips when benching alone- and went back upstairs to do some yoga.
Luckily, that didn’t happen this time. Both sessions, I’ve completed my prescribed reps without too much difficulty, and zero instances of smashing myself. Nonetheless, it’s humbling to essentially start over. But it does give me hope that I can build my bench back up, perhaps not to pre-surgery levels, but perhaps enough to compete? I think that would be incredible… if I could manage to get even one powerlifting competition under my belt. To have competed in Strongman, figure, and powerlifting? #overachiever
I’m excited to see how it goes! My gals are to, obviously, increase my squat, dead, and particularly bench, numbers, and add some size to my upper body. In conjunction with the program, I’ve calculated out a reverse diet. Just before leaving for the festival, I realized that AGAIN my calories are too low, and my body is suffering for it. At this point, it would be unsafe for me to consider dieting down to compete again, so, it’s time to get right with my body and bring them back up. This means I CAN BE SO STRONK GUYS. I’m going to make alllllllllll of the muscles! I just have to do what I didn’t do before- hold myself accountable and not use it as and excuse to eat everything. And I know how to do that. It includes putting ice cream into my macros right away in the morning so I have room for it, because that will make me successful. Or Oreos. Or even Greek yogurt mixed with sugar-free fat-free pudding mix because that’s totally dessert. Anyhow, dessert is the key to success, for me. Dessert= bench PR?