2014 Arnold Raw Challenge Week 5 – Hot Toddies and Snow Storms

2014 Arnold Raw Challenge Week 5 – Hot Toddies and Snow Storms

Jan 7, 2014

To add to the post-holiday hangover (really, I need to learn to just walk away from the Christmas cookies), it seems like everyone I know caught the crud around the holidays.  Including my husband.  Who decided that a marriage is really based on sharing.  Even if I don’t want what he’s trying to share with me.  By Sunday evening I was forced to admit that I had a touch of the crud too.  But I hate being sick and don’t really have the time or the patience for it so…….


One big dose of Emergen-C, a hot toddy, a little extra fish oil and vitamin D, some night time cold meds and off to bed early (-ish) in the hopes that I could nuke the little viral interlopers before they got too comfortable.


And on Monday morning it seemed to have mostly worked.  My sinuses were still a little jacked up but I was able to get off to work without being medicated and I was still feeling pretty good when I hit the gym.

Except that my workout for the day was 3 x 8 squats with 1 minute rest starting at 255lbs.  Sometimes the universe has phenominally bad timing.  But it is what it is so I got to work.  By the time I got through my warm-ups, my sinuses were completely clear.  Seems on some level, the body instinctively knows that oxygen deprivation and squats are a pretty bad mix.  I worked up to a top set of 325lb and I was only a little more breathless than I normally am on sets like this and none of the reps got weird like they have the last couple of weeks (no tipping forward and no unexpected pause squats) so I’m prepared to call this good.

The 3 x 5 high bar squats after this (185, 225, 245) felt awesome and light.

Then 3 rounds of 8 stiff leg deficit deadlifts (135, 185, 205), 20 weighted behind the head sit-ups (25#) and 12 steps of walking lunges (35# DBs).

Went home and promptly had everything in my sinuses turn into cement.


Accupuncture and a chiro appointment.  Both went well and my accupunturist was able to get my sinuses sorted out.  It required 5 needles in my face which was a little upsetting but totally, totally worth it.


Since last week went so well, I decided to keep doing front squats before deadlifts.  This week was pretty quick.  Worked up to one set of 5+ reps at 205 (I got 7).

Deadlift was a little bit more dramatic.  2 x 5 starting at 325 and working up to a heavy-ish 2 rep.  So 325, 335, 345, 355 and 365.  The really interesting thing about these is that the first set felt the worst and they got better as I went.  The first set just felt shaky.  The last set felt a little slow compared to the middle sets but it felt very steady.

After the regular the regular deadlifts, I had 6 x 2 2″ deficit deadlift at 275 and 315.  These felt like death.  They were really heavy and I don’t know if it had something to do with how low my head was when I started each rep but by the time I finished there were stars everywhere.

Finished out the day with 3 rounds of 15 lying leg lifts and 10 barbell shrugs (225, 275, 295).  These all went well but apparently, I did something wrong with my straps on the shrugs though.  On the last set, I could feel pins and needles in my hands and when I was done, it looked like I’d broken some of the blood vessels in my hands.  I’ve never had this happen before and I’ve used my straps to pull more weight than this so I can’t explain it.

And left the gym to this…..


I know for all of you in the great white North, this is nothing but down here, this is a pretty decent storm.  Oh and most of the folks here have no idea how to drive in this stuff (not helped at all by the fact that we don’t really know how to clear roads here either).  I knew the storm was coming but it wasn’t supposed to start getting heavy until later in the evening so this was a bit of a suprise.


Saturday’s bench was one quick set of 8+ at 155.  The goal was 12.  I got 13.  I almost had 14 but I lost the tension in my upper back as I was bringing it down and got pinned.  But it was a strong set and everything went up smooth and fast until that happened.

Moved on to re-try my 3 x 10 press at 90lbs from last week.  The first set went fine.  The second set was a little rocky.  I had some trouble getting my right arm locked out at the top on the last couple of reps.  And trying to stay as tight as possible under those reps caused me to get a charlie horse in my right thigh.  So I took a little bit longer rest between my second set and my third (partly to roll out my thigh) and the third set felt the best out of all of them.  Woohoo!  But also kind of boo! because this means I get to try 95 next week and I’m pretty sure that’s going to suck.

Next was some 3 x 15 incline DB bench press (25, 30, 35) which I’ve never done before.  I probably could have started a bit heavier since these felt very easy.  And finished out the day with 3 rounds of as many pushups as possible (12, 10, 8), 8 klokov presses (45, 55, 65) and 30 Russian twists (20lb med ball).  The last set of klokov presses was very rough.  I probably shouldn’t have gone up to 65lbs with all the other work for the day and the last 4 reps of the set were actually singles just to get them done.


Yoga!  And I’m slowly brining more and more of the folks I train with to the dark side.  My new yoga goal for the year is to sort out the tightness in my quads enough to actually be able to reach behind me and grab my feet in postures like Bow and Pidgeon.

I did (after a whole lot of wiggling and swearing) manage to get into a not very pretty Bow pose.  Unfortunately, our teacher then made me laugh.  You can’t laugh in Bow pose because if you do, you can’t stay in the posture (and you come out of it rather violently, which is not what’s supposed to happen.)


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