8 days out from next meet and training thoughts

Since my last training blog entry almost 2 months ago, a couple things have changed.  One, I won't be lifting in the 93 kg weight class on November 11th.  Two, I've added in morning sessions of cardio training (plus assorted accessory movements time permitting).

Number two in that list actually came before number one and was actually intentioned originally as part of my strategy to lift in the 93 kg weight class.  However, I have not lost weight due to the extra energy expenditure, in fact, I've gained weight, so I'll be in the 105 kg weight class.  This morning I woke up weighing 228 lbs.  About 8 lbs more than where I was when I wrote my last blog post in early September.  Reasons for the weight gain?  I've eaten more probably.  Vivian and I went on a cruise in early October.  While there was a lot of walking both on the ship and on shore adventures and I managed to hit the ship's gym 4 times, I still ended up with a +15 lb bloat when I got back home.  Some of that dissipated with the inevitable shedding of retained water but I still ended up 5 lbs heavier. than before we left.

Still, it will be my first meet where I've been able to lift as a 105 kg lifter without any weight cut whatsoever.  Previously, whenever I did compete at my walking around weight, I competed at between 111-114 kg.   While still far from my goal of walking around at 210 lbs, it does feel much better walking around at 225-230 than 245-250.  The process will continue and we'll see where my weight settles at next.

Oct 2016 left, Sept 2015 right
The pictures above are approximately a year apart.  The weight change doesn't show up in my face too much but I can't wear any of the pants I owned a year ago.

Even though the addition of morning cardio sessions hasn't led to lower bodyweight (it might have even increased it slightly), they have already shown noticeable benefit.  I chose the concept2 rowing machine as my cardio method because I've always liked it and it involved both the upper and lower body.  At first I did 2000m in about 8 minutes and then did another 10 minutes on a stairmaster.  Once I could row for 20 minutes at a time, I switched to the concept2 exclusively.  I can now row for over 40 minutes at a time and have already noticed an improvement in my aerobic capacity.  As for being responsible for a slight weight gain, one thing I noticed the first month or so was how much harder rowing was on the muscles on the front of my body--abs and hip flexors--and my arms.  Based on the muscle soreness after each of those early rowing workouts, I'm thinking my abs and hip flexors along with my elbow flexors all had to adapt slightly to deal with the new workload.  It may be my imagination but I also feel like this improved conditioning to what were apparently neglected muscle groups has benefited my squat stability.

best time for 5000m so far
I've been logging my rowing workouts at the concept2 site and my best 5000m piece ranks at slightly better than half of the 50-59 yr old males (375 of 979 last time I checked) that keep a log there.   So I'm mediocre at another 'sport', lol.

I've also spent the last 6 months getting used to a wider squat stance using flat shoes.  So far it's working out great.  My back feels great and my strength levels are starting to approach where I was with a narrower, heeled shoe stance.

465x1
So far the strangest thing about getting older--and by getting older I'm referring to the continuum of my experiences from 41 to the current 50--is that while I don't necessarily feel like my body can't get stronger, sometimes I notice that it just isn't getting stronger.  And not in a plateau sort of way.  More of a, "training is going great, no aches or pains, but I'm lifting less weight at the end and it doesn't feel wrong, it just is" sort of way.  It's hard to explain and I'm not doing a good job of it but it feels like I'm making progress and improving but the results are no different than if I were spinning my wheels in the sand.  Normally I think I'd be disappointed at a lack of progress in terms of Wilks or Total building but the process has been so enjoyable that the results or lack thereof haven't detracted from the experience.  Like I said, strange, very strange.







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