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Power lifting sans the power - Tactical Ninja

Jul. 4th, 2012

08:49 am - Power lifting sans the power

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The other day I told DoomBoy* that I want to be able to press to handstand from a headstand. He went away and had a wee think about it, and came back yesterday with a plan. First I had to show him what I can already do. Using my legs to help I can get my head about three inches off the ground before my arms collapse. Without the legs I can decrease the pressure on the top of my head by about half but not actually get off the ground at all.

It was humiliating. However, that's what he's there for - to not point and laugh, and to make it less humiliating over time, right?


Then we tried going from a handstand against the wall, lowering and raising again. Doing this, I can get about a third of the way down before it feels like my arms will collapse and I'll break my neck. This was slightly less humiliating because he tried it too and while he can do the press, his balance is crap so I felt better about mine. However, the thing I noticed is that doing that hard pressing, my core muscles are really important to hold everything together - once they go, I have no hope of bringing it back to a position I can maintain.

So anyway, he decided that lifting things over my head is the way to go, and proceeded to get one of those big heavy bars that the muscle dudes use for impressing each other doing bench presses with. They weigh about 20kg. First we did it with just the bar, then he started adding weights. The deal here is apparently to be lifting as much as I can manage, three times. (normally I use less weight and lift it more for endurance training). He kept muttering about how it was 'too easy', which had me thinking "What, am I supposed to be crying and vomiting?"

Because I'm that classy, I asked this. Apparently that would be no fun for either of us, he said as he loaded on more weight with an evil gleam in his eye.

Anyway, I ended up doing five of these sets of three grunting and groaning lifts, and ended up with 25 kilos of extra weight on the bar for a total of 45 kilos. I couldn't do this without a spotter by the end but maybe fresh I could? I was feeling really impressed with myself until I realised I weigh 60 kilos and if I want to press to handstand I have to be able to lift that much over my head.

*sigh* I guess if I keep at it, right?

One thing, though. We do this stuff in the boxing gym which is where the Very Serious People seem to train. I'm probably just striking the wrong day, but everyone else in there seem to be Muscle Dudes, and I feel very strange being, well.. not to put too fine a point on it, small and weedy and female. But I'm nothing if not brazen and fuck it, I have as much right to be there as they do. I will not be intimidated by muscle mass, damnit. (btw it's not as if the other people have said or done anything to make me feel this way, it's purely my perception)

This stuff is also done looking in a mirror, the idea being that it's important to maintain correct form, especially when the things you're lifting are close to the limit of your capability, because otherwise you can hurt yourself. I'm having to get over my aversion to looking at myself - this is not easy when I'm pulling faces like this:



And flecks of spittle are flying and I'm all red in the face and I know I shouldn't care and hello I don't exactly look fresh as a daisy when I'm shearing either but at least then I don't have to look at myself, you know?

So um, yeah. I'll get the hang of it, right?


Today, things hurt. Unexpected things, like my thighs and the muscles in my middle back. I'm told that lifting things over your head is the best overall exercise for getting generally stronger, and I can sort of see why. BRB off to go lift more things over my head. As long as they weigh <45 kilos, anway.

*cough*

Meanwhile, the university asked me to change my password this morning. Weirdly it doesn't check to make sure your new password isn't exactly the same as your old one. I've been using the same password over there for 5 years. Yes I know it's risky, but seriously? What is an internet evil-person going to do? Enrol me in Statistics? So yeah. A bit odd, that. Every other site that requires a password change periodically, generally makes sure you actually change it.

Universities - not huge funding for IT, I gather?

I might have spent a short time looking at prestigious overseas universities' postgrad Criminology offerings yesterday. Because it doesn't hurt to know, eh?

* Aaron the trainer dude. He gets this name because he comes with his own DUN DUN DUN doom music these days since every time I see him it means pain.

Comments:

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From:meathiel
Date:July 4th, 2012 05:25 am (UTC)
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Enrol you in statistics would be bad enough, right? ;-)
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From:tatjna
Date:July 4th, 2012 06:07 am (UTC)
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It could be worse, it could be Applied Philosophy.
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From:richdrich
Date:July 4th, 2012 06:34 am (UTC)
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Universities - not huge funding for IT, I gather?

Surprisingly good funding in my experience. A tendency to dumb shit, like banning undergrads from using an online service desk system, so they need to make an expensive helpdesk call. Some IT departments are better than others. One large university in the north of NZ was the worst customer I've ever had, without exceptions - and I've had a many and varied set of clients over the years, some of whom are still in business.


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From:spotsofcolour
Date:July 4th, 2012 11:51 am (UTC)
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I hate mirrors in gyms. I don't want to watch myself working out, I never look nice and it's very distracting.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 4th, 2012 08:09 pm (UTC)
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Pretty much. And I don't know what it's like everywhere else but in NZ there's a culture of tearing down anyone who is perceived to have to big an idea of themselves. Looking at yourself in the mirror too much is one of the signals for that, so I've a cultural aversion to 'admiring myself working out' as well.

I know rationally I am just watching my form to make sure I'm doing it right, but it sure feels like kissing my biceps, you know?
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From:goffburd
Date:July 4th, 2012 04:07 pm (UTC)
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I'd like to say that the main reason I don't go to the gym is all the mirrors, and whilst it's partly that, the main reason is that I'm just lazy.
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From:rivet
Date:July 11th, 2012 08:18 am (UTC)
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You'll find that after a while of lifting, you may actually start getting compliments from the muscley dudes (not in a sleazy way, but in the "I like your work" way you get comments from your classmates).
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