Hey guys! Long time no talk. I’ve been caught up in school and living life where I haven’t had the time nor motivation to blog. But here’s an update!
Everything is well, I have my up and down days, I’m a normal human bring, blah blah blah. Nothing new there. 😉 My outlet and world has been hitting the gym and smacking the iron in the face, as usual.
Lately I’ve been receiving a lot of compliments from people around me telling me how “jacked” I’ve gotten. Like what? Me? It’s so surreal! I’ve heard things like “I’m afraid to make her mad because she might punch me…” (although I would never, I am in no way like that at all) and this coming from a male soccer player my age: “I hate going to the gym when she’s there because she lifts heavier than me and it’s embarrassing.” LOL!
Although I don’t lift to impress everyone, it sure is nice to hear that other people are seeing my progress. I am no longer a twig and I strive to put on muscle. Shocker!
I train in a way that works for me, and I honestly do not care what people have a problem with. Since I love making lists and haven’t made one in awhile, here’s how I train. And I am content with how it’s working. 🙂
1. I make lifting an absolute priority. Cardio can come later.
I’m not concerned if I can ‘fit in’ cardio either before or after a workout. As long as I lift, I’m satisfied for the day. As much as I believe a little bit of cardio is important, I truly believe that lifting weights makes all the difference. Hence why the girls that constrict themselves to the cardio equipment have absolutely no muscle whatsoever, and have pancake asses. Sorry not sorry. If I do cardio, I love sprints, the StairMaster (my idea of fun), bodyweight plyometrics (e.g. jump squats, burpees, jump lunges, box jumps, etc.), Jacob’s Ladder, the row machine, and occasionally the PreCor elliptical (but only if I am feeling frisky). 😉
2. I almost never do the same workout twice.
I understand that a lot of trainers suggest repeating a workout routine 2-4 times to see how you progress, but I hate repeating a workout. In my mind, I already did the workout, so how is my body going to respond to change if I am doing the exact same thing I did before? The body is super smart; it gets used to routine quite easily. Even repeating a workout twice I feel limits how shocked your body will be. Shocking the body –> growth –> happy Brittany. Plus I get bored real quick so I always need to change things up.
3. Despite the fact that I always change it up, I do have staple exercises.
So yeah. For certain muscle groups, there are exercises that I typically always do, which seems to contradict my last point. But I always change up the order, variation of the exercise occasionally (for example, doing front squats instead of back squats) and number of sets and reps. A few staple exercises are the back squat for legs, incline dumbbell chest press for chest (I’ll explain why later), the conventional deadlift for hamstrings and back, shoulder press for shoulders, and one-arm dumbbell rows for back.
Almost all of these are compound movements, so more muscles are being worked than the main muscle identified. Plus, I get core benefits and overall strength benefits, not to mention I feel like a beast when I complete all my sets. And I just LOVE one-arm dumbbell rows for back. Nothing compares to wrapping my straps around a heavy dumbbell and thrusting it up. I can go almost twice as heavy as the boys my age in the weight room with those. Pure awesome!
4. I don’t bench.
For one, I HATE the bench press. I have weak wrists, so holding bar tends to bend it in a way it is NOT meant to be bent. The movement also simply doesn’t feel right to me, so I just don’t flat bench. I will occasionally incline bench, but that’s as far as it goes. I don’t feel like flat benching is all that essential to overall strength, because it places a lot of strain on the shoulder and it is so easy to injure yourself in the process of flat benching. I don’t do it, and I don’t care.
5. I looove supersets.
It’s simple: I get more done in a shorter amount of time, I get a cardiovascular benefit, and I feel like a beast. A sore beast, but a happy beast. I want to do as much as possible in my workouts, especially since these days I never know how much time I will get in the gym. Sometimes I get a lot of time to spend and do straight sets, but most of the time I have an obligation to be somewhere and I need to get out as fast possible but still get a kickass workout in the process.
6. I like people screaming at me.
Some people are more timid, where they don’t like deriving motivation from people screaming at them to get the weight up. I, however, adore it. My training partner does this every training session. I don’t want to hear fruity things like “Yeah Brittany good job! You can do it!” I want to hear (and excuse my language) “BRITTANY GET THAT F***ING WEIGHT UP NOW. DO IT DAMMIT.” When you piss me off, you make me stronger. That’s why I love getting mad before a workout. 🙂
7. I don’t really use machines.
I love using free weights and cables, and occasionally I will use a Hammer Strength machine, but other than that I tend to stray away from machines. Not because I have a problem with them, but because I usually get a tough workout from free weights and cables alone, so doing unnecessary work on machines isn’t on the agenda. However, I do like the pump I get from using the leg extension and lying hamstring curl machines.
8. Speaking of leg extensions…
I do them. I don’t care about “strain on the knee” or all that crap. And I do a LOT of upright rows for shoulders, because I love them. Am I damaging my shoulder? Maybe. But they help my shoulders grow, and leg extensions make my quads look like tree trunks. So naturally I will continue doing them.
9. I do legs twice a week.
Lifting legs = more testosterone. More testosterone = more muscle. Therefore, I do legs twice weekly, not only for the muscle-building benefits but because I genuinely love leg day. I love the rush I get after squatting and lunging and stepping up and leg extending and deadlifting and hamstring curling and yeah. I love legs. 🙂
10. I lift primarily lift heavy.
Blah blah blah “switch it up–do high reps one week and low reps the next”. Yeah, no. I don’t enjoy having workouts where the majority of my sets are done with light weights. Yes, I DO have workouts where some exercises require me to do many reps, but somewhere in the workout there will always be an exercise where there will be low weight and I lift heavy. I just love lifting heavy, and doing “light weight” doesn’t require me to dig deep to push out that last heavy rep.
How much of a beast do you feel after doing 20 reps of something? Yeah I definitely do not feel like one. Now how about when you lift something super heavy that you never thought you would ever be able to lift? Talk about beast-mode!