Friday, July 28, 2006

Bench Bitches

Can’t believe I haven’t posted all week. Have been carrying the P1 pager for work and its been a bit nasty! Between that, training and extra cardio I haven’t had much time for myself.

Wednesday had my visit to Peter Larkins, the Sports Doctor. He's happy with the progress and reduction in pain but if its not totally clear 2 weeks after the comp then I will have to see him again and most likely arrange an MRI scan to accurately assess the problem. Normally he would just do an ultra sound, but in this case as with the footballers who have more than the usual amount of muscle tissue, the MRI will give more detail. The ultrasound would have been ok if it was a shallow area such as a shoulder but getting into the glute and surrounding area is a little more difficult. After that a quick re-adjustment at the Chiro and off to training.

Met up with Shaz and Charmaine at Fitness First in Richmond at 5pm. Benched with my new Inzer bench shirt for the first time. Not as hard to get on as I had anticipated but hard work for Shazza nonetheless! Not as impressed with the bench shirt as I am with the squat suit. I could be that this shirt doesn’t suit the style of benching that Shaz is teaching me and that was certainly her opinion of the shirt. Definitely cuts in behind the arms when I pull the bar down - which is expected - both the pulling down and the cuts!! Benched 75kg which I know I can do - loaded it up to 80 but still needed spotting. Perhaps like the squat suit I need to break it in more? Or just adjust to it? I know I became comfortable with the squat suit at lot quicker though'.

Charmaine was pressing 50kg for reps with good form - that girl has some serious strength and rock solid determination! Great to train with too!

Considering her shoulder injury Shaz benched an awesome 90kg, which caught the attention of the guys on the bench next to us who were doing the same weight - The Bench Bitches are here! announced Shaz. And everyone there knew it!

Thursday night and into the Genhuntly rd Studio for my last squat session before the comp. Had a quick whinge to Steve about the bruising on the back of my arms from the bench shirt - but little sympathy... LOL Start my warmup before Shaz limps in... Limping?!? Oh yeah... forgot to mention, she dropped the bench on her foot last night - ooouch - very sore and bruised! A few more sets and the I get to wear my Inzer superwoman squat suit again! Can you tell I love it! A little easier to get on this time - actually got butt into without help.... now is that because I've done it before or because I've actually lost some weight at last??? Yay! Weighed in this morning at 68.9 kg. Still needed to hang from the smith machine and Shaz tugging it up from all sides. Wrapped up, belted up and under the bar at 90kg. Still hard to sink it - Steve noted that I wasn’t getting deep enough so a little more added to the bar - 115kg. Shaz re-wrapped and adjusted my suit, belted up and under the bar again - much better. A couple sets and my legs are starting to fatigue. The last set I hit bottom and need to be helped up. A good rest and we try again at 120kg but just too far gone - Steve Brown spots me this time so Shaz can check form and depth but its just not going to happen. Down with the wobbles and failed to come up - big Steve's gotta help me up and rack it. But a good experience to learn from as Shaz points what I did wrong I can acknowledge how the rep felt and relate what she's telling me. Good work and leave it there.

Finish up with some cardio - stepper for half an hour. Thankfully the big guy that helped me on with my suit last week came
over (I was so busy laughing last time that I missed getting his name) and we had a little chat about bodybuilding and power lifting until his client came in. He would have been competing too except that he injured his hamstring - well there's always next year and he looks to have the body to do it with!

So, I know I always whinge about doing cardio. Actually it's the boredom factor that I don’t like, whether it’s running, walking or stepper. Which is why it was nice to have someone to chat too even for brief time, but I do love the feeling when its over and I don’t mean the elation of it being over - LOL. Rather the endorphins that are produced and the feeling of being totally exhausted at the same time - particularly after a run. Hope that answers your question Eddie!

Off to the basketball with Madi tonight - all the way out to Hampton Park.... Final deadlift tomorrow - Will report on it Tuesday. Til then...

Love yaz all

Vicki xxx

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Busy Weekend

Where did the weekend go? From Friday night basketball with Madi (yes they won again) thru to Sunday all day Pony club (again with Madi and Mojo) I don’t think I stopped!

Early Sat morning visit to Andrea (my Chiro) then off to do the weekly food shopping - its not easy feeding me! LOL Or should I be more specific and say not cheap feeding me! Afternoon in the gym for deadlifts. Plenty of warmup set, 60kg, 80kg, 100kg, 110kg 120kg and then finally the peak.... 2 sets 2 reps 125kg. No rack pulls today though. Over to train hammy's - leg lifts 8 sets30kg, 50kg then down to 30kg followed by 3 sets of back raises with the 15kg plate. Whoo-hoo - certainly felt that next day must have done some good work with the deads too - my lats are still sore today (Tuesday!)

Last night trained shoulders - felt really strong warmed up on the shoulder press machine at 100 progressed up 110, 120, 140, 160 and then blew it away at 180 - never gone past 160 before - 2 sets 8 reps and 6 reps. Side raises with the 30lb dumbbells were next but my delts were already spent. Just 4 sets.... On to biceps - seated curls for a change. 30lb dumbbells and 35lb dumbbells.... Bar curls 4 set 28kg and worked down 25kg then just the bar at 18kg for wide grip curls. Finished off with just a couple of sets of cable curls at 30 lbs.

Cardio, cardio, cardio.....
There has to be a better way! Stepper for 20 minutes and my legs were screaming, I was out of breath and sweating like crazy.....

Home - dinner (6 eggs 2 yolks and stir fry veggies) then time to relax in front of the telly with my girls. Desp Housewives, Grey's Anatomy and Boston Legal - doesn’t get any better.... Ok, some chocolate would make it perfect!!

Keeping up the cardio today
- out for a walk at lunch again today at 1pm - lap of the tan, a decent 40 minute walk at a brisk pace. More again tonight on that damn stepper after abs

Busy day ahead tomorrow
- Back to see Peter Larkins, then another late appointment with Andrea. Then the highlight of the evening - Benching with Shaz and Charmaine - and I'll get to try out my bench shirt at last!! Tell you all about it on Thursday!

Til then...

Vicki xxx

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Incredible INZER Squat Suit

Finally I have put my INZER squat suit thru its paces.
What an amazing tool for squatting!!
What an amazing drama to get it on!!

Started warmup raw (no accessories) and happy to report that the Chiro seems to be paying off. While not completely healed or pain free, there is a significant reduction in the pain. The warmup sets are when I usually have the most pain and this time I would say it was reduced by 60%. Started to give me a little trouble after the 3rd or 4th warmup set but still nothing like in the past, I'd say back up to only 40% reduction. Certainly heading in the right direction though will have a good report for the Chiro tomorrow when I have my next appointment. So I must give credit to Mr. Andrea Bisaz of the Melbourne Sports Clinic! In answer to the question about the electro accupuncture,... No it doesnt hurt - no more than regular accupuncture and that doesnt hurt at all.

Getting into the suit is a feat of it very own. Into the change room to get the suit up as far as I could on my own - which, by the way, was not very far past my knees.
Shaz came into give me a hand and we almost had my fat ass into it with the crotch still at my knees. Shaz decided to enlist some help and a rather large guy came and started tugging at the suit, lifting me clear off the ground and shaking me into the suit. "Hi, Pleased to meet you" he laughed while still trying to get my butt into the suit. After getting myself at least ‘decent’ we went back out into the gym and over to the smith machine where Shaz proceeded to hook the shoulder of my suit onto the bar. "Ok, drop into it" she says. Well I swear I could hang there all day and not get any further into the suit! Over comes big Steve Brown and once again I'm being shaken and prodded into the suit, using the bar on the smith machine at the same time as Steve is pulling the suit up. When the suit is finally up far enough to get my arms in, its time to lunge from side to side to ease the leg further up and get the crotch higher. At long last the suit is on. "Perfect fit” says Steve. And to think this is actually 2 sizes larger than the recommended size on the Inzer website!!

Over to do some more squatting but first have to put on the knee wraps - ease myself onto the bench. I simply cannot bend. Knees wrapped, belt on... time to squat. 95kg on the bar. First attempt, to too deep, the suit is cutting into my shoulders. "Stick your butt OUT" instructs Shaz. OK down for the 2nd rep much deeper, hear this almighty ripping sound - oh God, is that me or the suit - LOL. The suit is pulling me off balance and as I come up from the squat almost 2/3 's the way up and I lose control and the bar comes crashing down onto the safety rails. WOW. Shaz points out how hard I am going to have to work inside the suit to keep control - like I hadn’t suddenly realized
myself just how hard this was! Wraps off / wraps on, belt on and another attempt. Much better, now that I know what to expect. These couple of reps have moved the suit up a little more and is a little more comfortable - if that's possible - oh and the ripping sound - just the suit giving a little - no damage to it or to me!! Another dawning realization. NO PAIN! The suit, the wraps, the belt all together = no pain in the hip! MAGIC!! Load the bar up a bit more - wraps on, belt on. 3 reps at 115kg and a personal best!! What's more - it was easy! Hang in there for another set of 3. Only the last rep was not deep enough and again a slight loss of balance saw me step forward - which would have been a 'no lift' in a comp. Still an awesome achievement for me. Left off there - on a good note!

A couple more questions from the comments section I'd like to answer here: First - about how I lose the weight for a contest. What I am doing right now is just eating very cleanly - no treats, chocolate etc and watching the amount of carbs I am having. I still need to have carbs to train with intensity but I am a little more careful about which carbs I will have stick mainly to rice, a little pasta and of course my porrige in the morning. Frequent meals of chicken or steak with vegetables such as brocolli, cauliflower, a litttle carrot and green beans during the day. Of course cardio is on the increase, walking and stepper - I may need to increase this oveer the next two weeks as this week I've only lost 800grams and need to lose a further 2.5 kgs. Of Course prior to the weigh in I will dehydrate and reduce carbs further in the final week to make sure I make the weight class as light as possible and then have 24hrs to re-hydrate and build up energy levels again..

My favorite excercises for back and legs - well after using that squat suit I'd have to say squats!!! Seriously I like heavy leg press too. For back you cant beat deadlifts and another favorite is T-bar rowing. Love to feel the contraction in my back.

Well the contest is only a couple of weeks away now. Its being held at the Mecure Hotel in Brisbane. I'll be up there on Friday the 4th of August for the weigh in and the contest starts at 10am on Saturday the 5th.

Vicki xxx

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

That was quick!!

Email notification early this morning that my Bench shirt from Inzer is on its way via UPS. I've been checking on it through out the morning and by this afternoon... well, just check its progresss..... From the USA... Its already hit Melbourne

Package Progress:

Location Date Local Time Activity
17/07/2006 22:03 ARRIVAL SCAN
17/07/2006 20:28 ARRIVAL SCAN

17/07/2006 19:29 ORIGIN SCAN

Tracking results provided by UPS: 19/07/2006 Eastern Time/New York Time (USA)

It'll be here for the weekend I hope - scheduled delivery is Friday. That's so quick!! I'll be able to get a couple of sessions in with it! Providing I can get someone to help me put it on of course!!

Back at the Chiro last night - Gee I feel great when I leave his office. Nice neck massage yesterday and spinal adjustments, electro acupuncture and some massage into both the arches of my feet and inside shin (youch - is that ever a tender spot.
Also applied pressure to some points in the glute and then put sone some tape across my butt cheek . This tape is somehow going to stimulate the nerves for the glute. I'm not sure if the tape is impregnated with something or if its the ointment that he applied earlier. Anyway the tape has to stay on for 2 days. Which is when I see him next. (tomorrow morning).

Still haven't squatted since the weekend before last when I trained with Shaz. Have booked in a seesion with her for tomorow afternoon - so that will be the test of all this treatment to date. Definately will be squatting with the suit!

Easy one last night - just abs and calves - tonight will also be another non-powerlifting session, shoulders , biceps and some more of that damn cardio - lol . Will check my weight tomorrow and report on my success to date.


Vicki xxx

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Two weeks of training left....

Has just dawned on me how close the comp is..... and somehow I've managed to mess up my training schedule and I'm ahead in my training. This week I should be doing 3 sets of 3 reps but my training log - the one I carry in the gym has me doing 2 sets of 2.... I guess I'll do an extra week of 3x3's for now..

Benched last night - yes I know I've skipped a squat workout. Well, delayed it really, just until after I see the Chiro again today. Got some orthotics for my shoes fromt he podiastrist yesterday. She confrimed that I have some problems with my feet - sheesh, I'm just falling apart here.... LOL Weak unstable ankles, which she agreed with the Chiro that this could be contributing to the hip strain, arthritis in my right big toe - which when I walk I am not using my big toe correctly to push off for the stride, some other degenrative thing underneath the right foot - too much movement there supposedly. Left foot also has some problems because the big toe is splayed from the next toe..... Sometimes I think you're better off no knowing! LOL Oh well getting all these thing addressed now is a good thing - because later on down the track when I'm really lifting heavy - the health of my feet will matter a lot!!

Right now what was I saying...oh yeah, benched last night. Got in a few light sets getting warmed up and working on technique before going heavy. Something wasnt quite right with my left shoulder and I could feel a strain in the left rear delt. Not the kind of pain you feel just from training hard, a different pain... so I knew to be very careful - can't afford any more injuries. still after all the warmup sets manged to press 75kg for 3 reps with a spotter. Funnily enough my first rep was really bad (that shoulder strain and I just wasnt locked in correctly) but the next two were fine. 3 sets later and I could feel everything starting to tighten up. Right across the traps and into the delts.

Went ahead and did my rear delt work after benching, just didnt feel right tho'. Since I havent done any dumbell presses for a while thought I give it a few sets, but not too heavy given that I am training at max poundage at the moment for the power lifting, pushed out 3 sets with the dumbells: 45lb 12 reps 50lb 8 reps then 55lb 8 reps. Quite easy! The on to some tricep work - 3 sets of dips, 3 sets of close grip bench and finshed off with 3 sets of light kickbbacks (12.5lb)

Feeling pretty sore when I left the gym. After I got home, downed a couple of anti-iniflammatories and I'll keep taking them for the next few days - just to circumvent any problems. Will have to book myself in for a upper back massage one night.

Picked up a disk of pics taken by a friend over the past few months - some I forgotten we had taken. So all this pics in todays post are from this 'collecttion' . Some more of these will end on on AMG-lite and some will go to Titania's site (see the links over on the right).


Vicki xxx

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bench Shirt.....

Well, finally got around to ordering my new bench shirt.

Should have this one sized correctly as I went out to try on some shirts that belong to Ange Galati. Ange is a World Champion Bench presser and powerlifter. He has also held state and National titles for Body building. Absolutlely gorgeous body I must say!!

o he was kind enough to let me try on his shirts - well I needed a lot of help to get them on - even tho they were a bit big for me - well Ange is quite a bit bigger than me! - very wide thick back! Great arms... legs.... (stop drooling....) Any way, all I can say is it doesnt pay to be a prude in this sport!! These shirts are damn hard to get on so a lot of pushing, pulling and shoving and then of course the ehem... adjustment of the 'assets'. These shirts were not designed for ladies!! Of course he was a gentleman.... mostly.... Ange also gave me a demo of how the shirts work - so roles reversed and I had to get the shirt on him... LOL - even more fun was taking it off.... never had so much trouble getting a guy's shirt off before. LOL. mmm but what a bod!

So what else did I get up to today? Benched earlier in the afternoon. Still struggling with 130kg. Not sure what the problem is... after pulling up 120 so easy the other week its rather frustrating to only get one rep at 130kg. Dropped back to 112.5 and did 3 sets of 3 and finished up with rack pulls at 130. Will have to discuss strategy on this one with Shaz later in the week. Poor darling has been sick all this week.

My visit to the Chiro was very interesting. His diagnosis of the problem is that it lies with my right ankle - which I tend to roll quite regulary and so I dont have great flexability and this is leading to my right side having to compensate and putting pressure on muscles such as illio-psoas
that should not have to be involved to such an extent. He performed quite a few strength tests and with slight adjustments to positioning I was able to see and feel quite a difference in strength. So he will work on my leg and ankle to try and correct this.

Well its getting late and I need coffee..... Gonna go and watch some tv and relax for a while....

Bye for now
Vicki xxx

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hitting it from all angles

Off to the Chiro this afternoon - throwing everything at getting this hip/glute problem resolved for the comp. The cortisone has not helped.

Earlier in the week, last weekend in fact, after going riding at the Adult riding club in the morning (for the first time in what seems like months....) I trained with Shaz at Fitness First in Richmond and did my squat session while Shaz and Charmaine did deadlifts.

After a lot of (painful) warmups I got under the bar at 100kg - which is better than I have done in competition. Then Shaz wanted to see how far she could push me. Loaded the bar to 120kg. Felt good on my back - could hold the weight steady. Dropped down into the squat and it was so painful, I could not rise back up. Charmaine was unable to get me back up so the next best thing was to drop the bar on to the rails - but since the rails were so low this had the effect of 'wedging' me under the bar. With my belt so firm around my waist I was unable to bend to get out from under the bar and unable to breath either. Slowly I got my feet out from under me and collapsed on the floor, released the belt and laughed. Charmaine released the knee wraps as they were also cutting of circulation to my legs and I just laid there under the bar..... Of course not to let it get the better of me, once I recovered we put the bar back up and loaded to 110kg and I pushed out 2 reps! And then called it a day. Was I ever sore the next day!

Back to the present and now back from Sydney.... Brought home some yummy Krispy Kreme Donuts for a final feast before starting a short diet to get my weight down to under 67.5 before the comp. Weighed in at 70.6kg on yesterday morning. No chocolate for 3 weeks is going to be very hard!! I'm gonna be cranky!! LOL But we'll keep track of my progress here - for the most part the diet is just going to be a matter of eating cleanly - not really reducing my intake - this will allow me to keep my muscle size and strength while reducing a bit of body fat. 3 weeks should be plenty of time to drop 3 - 4 kgs. Of course increasing my cardio will also play a big part. Out yesterday for a walk around the tan - where I used to be able to run (jog) I am starting back with just walking for now - I already felt my shins swelling (its been a couple of months since I have jogged regularly) but I will progress to a little jogging on alternate days and using the stepper at the gym.

Last night, trained at my local gym. Benched well - very happy. Lots of warmup sets and very strict form. Then I asked Max, one of the guys that I have come to know at the gym, to spot me when I went heavy. Pressed 75kg for 3 reps and 3 sets with good form and holding the weight on my chest before pressing. When going heavy I put on the wrist wraps and my belt and then with a little help from Max on the last reps I was able to complete my benching for the night.

Right, time to head off to the Chiro, lets see what they have to say and I'll post a little update when I return.

Love Vicki


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

In Sydney

Well quite a bit has happened since I last posted, but since its quite late at night I'm just gonna make this a quick one and I'll fill you in on all the details another time.

Here's the view from my room - 25th floor of the Marriot - overlooking Sydney Harbour and the Opera house.

Have been out each night for dinner - Yummy steak every night. Been very lucky to catch up with a few friends up here also that I havent seen for a few months and some that I've been corresponding with - nice to put a face to a name!

Last weeks training was pretty intense. My deadlift session saw me pull up the 130kg but only for 1 rep. I've learnt a very valuable lesson too. When lifting so so close to your absolute 1 rep max - you need to have at least a days rest between sessions. So dead lifts the very next day after heavy benching..... not so good. My upper back was already sore and tired and so I dont really think I did justice to my deadlift session. Still nice to know I can get the 130 up.

Well, I'm off to bed now. Last day of the training course tomorrow (or today really... its already past midnight!)

Good night... sweet dreams....

Vicki xxx

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Back to bench....

Stitches are finally out, as of Tuesday night, and today went back for some benching. Play around with light weights and modifying the technique. Finally the penny has dropped and I can feel the right movement. Its shorter and more tricep involved. Loaded the bar up to 70kg and did 2 single reps for 2 sets - that is resting the bar on my chest before pressing in each rep - this is quite different to repping out and is a lot harder as no momentum can be used to get the bar of your chest.

Massive boost to my confidence and ego too..... Shaz called me after we finshed training to tell me that she really believes I have what it takes to be a big bencher! That I'll go a long way. Shaz said she could see by the way I picked up the change in technique that it just gave me so much more power! I was already feeling ten feet wide after the bench!

Stepping back a little... Went to see Peter Larkins about my dogdy squat problem and we agreed that a shot of cortisone to try and get this cleared up for the comp in four weeks. Came away with a bit of bruise (sorry - no pics! LOL) and cannot squat until Saturday. Hopefully I'll get a session in with Shaz and try out the squat suit - which should also add to the protection of that injury. So dropping off the naprosyn for now.

Busy few days and nights ahead of flying up to Sydney on Sunday.
Will get into the gym tonight and train biceps and shoulders and get some cardio in. Did I mention that I went for a jog the other day... first time out for a couple of months... owww where did my fitness go? Deadlifts tomorrow night - really eager to pull up 130kg. Friday night back to basketball with my daughter and then off to the movies later to see the new Pirates movie.... Have to be up early for adult riding club on saturday morning - horse riding that is, hopefully squats with Shaz later in the day. Saturday night will see a lovely visit from my best friend Jo. Jo's a beautian and I'm fortunate that she does house calls - so an enjoyable gossip night, lots of coffee and timtams interleaved with the ripping off of wax! Ouch! Ah something to look forward to! Winter woolies Gymkana at the Pony club on Sunday morning. Wont Mojo be happy - two days riding in a row!! I'm sheduled to be the 'penciler' in one of the rings - that is a helper for the judge. Finally off to the airport in luxury at 5pm... Yes we get a limo service to take us to airport when its business travel! Lucky huh??

Gotta go now...

Love 'n' kisses

Vicki xxx

Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy New Year

Caught up with Shaz Friday night for a BBQ. Quiet night relaxing with friends buthte week was taking its toll on me and so dragged a very tired me off to bed about 1 am.

Got the lawn mover back - yay!! Now al I need is some decent weather here and time....

The bandage came off the my hand and so I too the opportunity to see how it was healing and take a photo!! Back to the doctor tomorrow night to have the stitches taken out. Was supposed to deadlift tonight - but I think I'll re-schedule this weekso that I can give it a bit more time to heal - last thing I want is for the wound to re-open. Still managed to squat on Saturday and belted out 4 sets of 4 at 95kg and then was spotted for a 1 rep at 110kg. Felt good but pretty damn sore still during the warmup sets. Back at the physio today - had to see someone different as my physio has gone overseas for a holiday. The new physio, Gordon MacDonald, (I think he works with the North Melbourne AFL Football team) believes its taking too long to heal. So I have an appointment on Wednesday with Dr. Peter Larkins - another prominent AFL football doctor (and media personality) to see about having cortisone under an ultrasound. I'll let you kow how it goes and what he advises.

Love Vicki