Shut Up Left Arm You're Drunk!

Today both of my arms are hungover and it's no surprise since they were obviously drunk at training on Tuesday.  You know "drunk arms" where you attempt to lift something and your arms go every direction except where they are supposed to.  See the video for an example of my drunk arms.  My left arm being clearly drunker than my right.

Which made me wonder about one sided weakness and the best ways to work on evening out.  It turns out what Mike had us doing is exactly what you should do to even things out.  So here is some advice for my left arm:

  • Left arm - no more relying on the sober right arm to carry to load while you drink away.
    • Use dumbballs instead of barballs (yes balls not bells...we’ve had this conversation).  This allows each arm to work by itself to complete the movement and doesn’t allow the stronger arm to do more than the weaker

  •  Left arm - no more waiting until the right arm is done and then pretending its overall tiredness and not your left arm drunken lazines.
    •  Use your weaker arm first. 

  •  Left arm - you get off easy on this one. 
    • Work each arm equally.  Don’t do extra sets or more weight with the weaker arm.  Using the same weight an reps will even them out over time.  

  • Left arm - you won’t get off so easy on this one.  You will be my official beer lifting... I mean protein shake lifting arm from now on.
    • Outside of the gym… use the weaker arm more for everyday activities… I suppose this is more of a use both arms equally instead of settling into the habit of just using the stronger arm.  Apparently it can also help you become more comfortable using it in the gym which will allow for better mind muscle connection. 

Right arm - Keep up the Good work!
~ Biz

Angry Balls III - I haven't made fun of swiss ball exercises in awhile...

So as I arrived at the gym I got to witness Shannon (the kick-ass amazing woman who I blogged about training with awhile back who has been kicking ASS!!) experiencing Mike's humiliation that is making clients do stuff on Swiss Balls. I have to be honest it made me feel better about how often I fall off the ball...At least I'm not the only one.

Then when Heather arrived for our sessions she "wanted to do ab's" Thank Heather... Thanks. I'm SOO glad you're my partner. I LOOOOOVE doing core work. Ok seriously core work is super good for me but I SUCK at it, which is why I need it.

Mike decided to start us on some push-up/plank exercises and I whined, like a baby, repeatedly, so after one series of those (3 sets each of 2 exercises - I'm not a total wuss) we shifted to something I'm much more comfortable with: balls, swiss balls.

We did some old favorites likes the "Dead Bugs" and "Use you feet to bring balls to your butt" aka Hamstring curls.

Then we did some newer ones:

"Banging Bugs"

This is where you start out in a plank with you feet on the ball and then pull them in to your chest. If you are Heather you get to do a push-up in-between also. If you are me you just try not to fall of the ball. The nice thing is you get to be in the fetal position as part of each rep. so when you cry no one can tell.

"Sistine Chapel Creation of Adam ... aka avoiding Reamus... aka Don't Ever Let Go Heather". - Roll out on the ball and then crab walk side to side and try not to fall off the ball. Keep you pelvis up... avoid getting banged (wait isn't that the antithesis of banging training!?!) It's a good thing we didn't do these looking at each other like in the pictures cause we laughed so hard taking the pictures we'd have never finished.
Don't Ever Let Go
You let go...

"Use ONE foot to bring balls to your butt" aka one legged Hamstring curls. Just when I could finally pretend to do them with 2 feet on the ball Mike makes us do them with one. Note in the picture how I'm demonstrating the start position while Heather demonstrates the end position.

I do want to put up a photo comparison cause Heather looks bomb in this weeks hamstring curl pic vs. the last hamstring curl pic. I'd bang that (though she's always bangable)
new pic
Old pic

I have to say that seeing Shannon fall off a swiss ball a few times during her session made me feel a whole lot better about how ridiculous I look every time we do core work on the swiss balls. Part of me loves them, part of me hates them and a third part is pretty sure they are just an excuse for Mike to make us look ridiculous. At the end of the day my core always gets a good workout even if part of that is directly due to laughing so much at my awesomeness.

What motivates YOU?

What is one of the things that keeps you out and moving?  Do you have goals you want to reach?  A race to complete?  A weight to achieve?  An ex to make jealous (I am not judging you)?  Do you find that just having that end goal keeps you driving through the days that you do NOT want to be out working on it?

For me knowing that I have an event coming helps to keep me motivated but it is not the end all be all.  I know I have races coming up and I should probably train a little harder but I always think I have more time.  To my defense the half marathon is in October, I will start kicking butt and taking names in June….after vacation.

One thing that helps me keep going is my kids.  I want to be able to run, jump, skip and keep up with them.  If I am asked (suckered) into coaching a sports team of theirs I want to be able to show those other kids a good example.  If coach asks you to do burpees she will do them too.  The kids where only five years old and I only asked them to do three, but man you should of heard the groans and laughs from the parents behind me.

Another thing that keeps me going, that I noticed on accident, is moving really helps me when I am upset.  Last November, my Grandfather passed away.  Unfortunately, it was not a quick process.  He teetered on the edge of this world and the next for over a week.  We knew it was coming but we didn’t know when the other shoe would drop.  Death doesn’t really bother me, it’s a part of our journey, but I was very close to my grandfather.  And even though I know he was ready, it didn’t make it any easier for me.  I felt restless and agitated inside.  Lacing up my shoes and pounding the bike path help to give it an outlet.  And it was raining, no one would know if I started to cry.

On those runs I would start to think about how thankful I was to be able to move.  There are people who just want to walk.  Imagine how they would feel to be running?

I don’t run fast or lift a lot.  I don’t love it while it’s happening.  It doesn’t feel particularly good to be doing it, while doing it.  But I do it and afterwards THAT is the pay off.  My muscles feel like they have expended the crazy energy that could get out no other way.  I am thankful that I am able to move my body.  And even though I may not be able to run a 10 minute mile I still get out and move.
Every day move your body with intention and be thankful for what you CAN do.  You don’t have to go fast, you don’t have to PR every time, you just have to go.

I dedicate this post to my sister.  She recently tried to knock her brain through her butt and is currently on bed rest until her concussion subsides.  I will run one for you sis :).

Sitting still seems pretty awesome.

I was super excited to be allowed to sit!  It was a glorious time until Mike decided if I was sitting then I should lift some heavy things.  I should come to expect this but our assessment of what is a good weight is always different.  If it were solely up to me I would stick with a nice safe lower than double digits weight.   A size that I could do a thousand reps with and still look fresh as a daisy.  A size that would not contribute to hardly any change, which is kind of bummer. 

Cue Mike and the, in my opinion, giant weights.   They really aren’t that giant, usually.  They certainly feel pretty dang giant through my reps.  There is no way I can breeze through my set.  And if I can he is there to make adjustments as needed.  I gripe, complain and belly ache through this whole process.  Fortunately, Mike seems invincible to the creative phrases that escape my lips.

He also is pretty darn positive about the whole thing too.  Telling me not to have negative self-talk and that I *can* do it.  Sometimes it seems pretty daunting.  I have these little stick arms and you want me to lift what, how many times?  My brain intermittently will flash the image of me somehow braining myself with a weight.  Fortunately, for me and my brain, it hasn’t happened yet and when I get a little wobbly Mike stands for back up.  I would imagine that is a scary spot to be; behind uncontrolled arms on a noodle rampage!  Still all that positive-ness has me convinced that he poops rainbows.  But it’s the good kind of positive.  Not too chipper, like he is trying to butter up a ray of sunshine and use it as a suppository, but enough to be believable. 

Look at that!  I could do it and I did.  I might have been a little warbly at the end, I may have made an unattractive grunt or a ridiculous looking grimace but I did it.  And pushing yourself (or being pushed in my case) is where you start to see change.

The Cost of Showing Up

So the one thing I love/hate about personal training is that I’m pretty much guaranteed to go. And when I go, I get my money’s worth. Most of the time I get a lot more than my money’s worth.

If stuff is cheap, we value it that way. The more we pay for something the more we value it. It can even make wine taste better

But it’s also a signal to ourselves how important it is and we respond!

I look at both the money and valuable time I invest in these workouts and the mere fact that I will show up even when I really don’t want to and work twice as hard event when I don’t want to - SO WORTH IT! I am worth it and the investment in Mike is worth it. Every single freakin’ time I walk out of that workout with Mike I feel so incredibly good about myself. Five gym workouts a week do not compare to the intensity I reach with personal guidance, attention and encouragement.

We don’t let the gym membership monies into our conscious mind because we’re ashamed we’re not using them. I have zero shame in the money and TIME I invest in personal training because I know it’s worth it. I am guaranteed one arse kicking a week no matter what.

This post kind of ended up being a complete smooch on the booty of my personal trainer but what can I say. I really don’t want to workout tonight. I want another glass of wine (yeah I said another, wanna make something of it?). But here I go jamming myself into my sports bra and workout pants…guaranteed! Worth every penny and every second.

So I know the weights are tiny but holy Hell
we had to move them up down right left
back and forth a thousand times!


I missed a Monday recently due to dying of the plague and tweaking a back muscle.  Let’s just hope I got all that out of the way for the rest of the year.  I am still not 100% back to normal but on my way there. 

This healthy lifestyle decision can be quite the journey.  I find there is a lot of back and forth, at least for me.  I think one of the biggest challenges is being honest with myself.  Most days I feel like I am barely hanging on to the healthy wagon by my fingertips and dragging my feet behind it.  My biggest hurdle is food.  I love food, all manner of unhealthy food.  It’s like my body has two people inside of it, “I feel so good working out, being healthy.  I solemnly swear that I will stop eating crap.”  Ten minutes later, “I will just hit the drive thru on the way to work, it’s the ONLY way to get there on time and eat.”  The last statement is a lie.  A big, sometimes delicious, often disappointing and almost always painful lie.  If you read my previous blog posts you will know that I have a stomach condition.  I am not supposed to eat a lot of foods and everything that gets passed through a drive thru window counts as a no-no. 

Another hurdle, I am lazy.  So lazy.  It seems daunting to get up and do things some days.  But when I laze about all day I feel really bad, physically and emotionally.  There is so much I could do, that needs to be done or that would be enjoyable to do. 

Going to see Mike really helps get me off my behind to check the ‘I did something that counts as exercise today’ box.  Not because he will make a sad puppy face or yell at me.  He won’t list why eating crap is a terrible idea, we have already covered this topic I *know* it’s a bad idea.  He will expect me to give my workout my best effort.  He will expect me to communicate.  He will push my preconceived notions of what I think I can do.  He will be there waiting for me.  And if I haven’t pulled my weight at home, moved my body with purpose, fueled my body with something other than crap, then my next hour is probably going to suck more than it should.

I am sharing this with you because I don’t feel like I am the only person who struggles with this split personality and I need some help being accountable.  I would imagine most people have this ridiculous problem.   I feel like owning the hurdles that I trip over will help me overcome them or at least bring awareness that they are there.  Owning the fact that certain things I am not willing to give up (Dr. Pepper you delicious little minx, I am looking at you).   Or that I hate showers so much that I need to arrange my workout schedule around when I plan on taking one.  Or that any activity that requires peppy attitude, overly positive chattiness, and bubbly music first thing in the morning will fill me with a horrible rage.

So when you find yourself tangled and tripped up in the hurdles of life remember that EVERYONE does it.  Get up, brush yourself off and figure out what you need to do to keep successfully clearing those hurdles.