Week ONE: JANUARY 27TH- FEBRUARY 1ST
- My workouts felt good this week and I was sure to take a day of rest in between my upper body workouts for recovery. My technique needs a lot of work, but by bench pressing regularly, I am hoping to see some improvements as I move closer to goal day! I did some research on the best foods to fuel my body for strength training and have stocked my cupboards with nutrient dense foods. As I am still breastfeeding, my maintenance calories each day range from 1800-2200 depending on activities. I will be making a slight increase in calories on days I am lifting and making sure I consume adequate carbs, proteins and fats with a variety of healthy foods. I have no issues rewarding myself with lots of yummy foods while working to achieve my goals!
Week two: FEBRUARY 3RD- FEBRUARY 9TH
- This was a tough week for me! Edmonton was freezing. If I wasn’t motivated to meet this goal, I definitely would have skipped dragging my kids out in the cold to workout on Monday and Wednesday evening after work. I have been practicing imagery and hoping it will give me confidence in the gym. I have been feeling very emotional returning to work after mat leave, but my workouts leave me feeling focused and refreshed. After a busy day, I don’t always want to go work out, but it’s always worth it when I invest the time in myself. I have been rewarding myself with dark chocolate after work each day as well!
Week three: FEBRUARY 10TH- FEBRUARY 16TH
- My workouts all felt good this week. My body has been feeling great from all the healthy foods I’ve been eating and my consistent workout schedule. I have also been making sure to go to bed at 10 pm every evening (minus a basketball game that didn’t end until 10 pm). Working towards this goal has given me more energy, less “ups and downs” of tiredness during the day and caused me to be more aware of my own body and what it needs to function effectively. I am trying to be more cognizant of using my phone before going to bed and instead have been practicing self-care and gratitude. I haven’t specifically introduced two new strategies to increase sleep, but I don't find it necessary at the moment as I have been sleeping well at night. I have been mindful of caffeine consumption in the afternoons and evenings as well as screen time usage before bed. It is hard to follow my program exactly as my bench press max isn’t very high so certain percentages of weights for the bar don’t exist at my gym. I have been focusing on making sure each workout is progressively harder week-by-week by increasing sets and reps. This week, after I achieved my "heavy" proximal goals, I rewarded myself with a special coffee treat before I got my kids from the daycare at the gym.
Week four: FEBRUARY 17TH- FEBRUARY 23RD
- This week, I struggled with my form quite a bit during my workouts. I tend to overthink when I am completing a set. I also wasn't very receptive to feedback from my CPT. I am going to try harder to use attributes of a growth mindset and accept the feedback and make a mental plan to increase my performance and technique. I haven’t missed any reps though so that has been encouraging and increasing my self-efficacy. I have been trying to practice mindfulness and just "zero-in" on lifting the weight, but there are lots of things to remember technique wise! My heavy day was almost a flop, because after I warmed up and was ready for my first set, I noticed that all the benches were taken. We moved into a squat rack and my CPT set me up there, but it wasn’t the same conditions and I was very unfocused and distracted. I have been completing the majority of my bench pressing sets on one particular bench. (Which I plan to use for test day!) This week was a reminder of how important a focused mind, positive attitude and positive environmental conditions are for goal attainment. I also think that investing the time in refining my form has helped to prevent any injuries during this process thus far. I have been rewarding myself by guiltlessly watching a Netflix show after long work days, going to the gym and putting my kids to bed. In regards to my sleep, I don't find TV affects it the same way using my phone before bed does.
week five: FEBRUARY 24TH- MARCH 2ND
- This was another tough week for me! I have been working so hard to eat healthy foods, get adequate sleep and take my vitamins and I still caught my daughter’s cold! It was a busy month of go-go-go and I think it was my body’s way of telling me to slow down a bit. Although I was sick, and debated skipping my workouts, I still made it to the gym since I’m so close to the finish line. My light workout was definitely a gamble, because I was scared I would get sicker after it, but I didn’t want to break my routine. I am happy I didn’t because I hit all of my bench pressing proximal goals for the week and my technique continues to slowly but surely improve.
- Pressing 95 lbs for two singles felt awesome and was super motivating! I am ready to beat this goal!! I’m also wondering if I can hit 100 lbs and possibly 105 lbs as well. If I hit 100 lbs next week, I’ll certainly be tempted to take a bit of a break and try for 105! Hitting my proximal goals, my work with imagery and mindfulness and my chat with my group members has lit a fire in me for my last week of this goal! I am looking forward to rewarding myself to a much needed rest day with pizza and cupcakes tomorrow to celebrate my baby girl turning one!
week six: MARCH 3RD- MARCH 10TH (GAME TIME!)
This week was super busy at work with assessments and progress reports being due, so I of course scheduled my workouts on my calendar to make sure I got my last training sessions in before test day! Luckily, I was so busy there wasn't too much anxiety going into my workout Saturday morning. I ate a lot of healthy foods this week, especially Friday, so I'd have lots of energy for the morning. I also made sure I was in bed by 10 pm.
- My husband tried to offer me some advice before the workout, but I told him I was already in the "performance zone" (HA). I woke up a bit stiff as I normally do my "medium" weight workout on Wednesday, but this week it needed to be on Thursday. My neck was also sore from sleeping funny. I warmed-up as usual and then the butterflies started in my stomach. However, nerves aside, I was confident going into the lift and was happy my favourite bench was open for my test. Going into my 1RM I racked my weight (as I had visualized probably close to 100 lbs), got into position, took a huge breath and went for it!
- You can see in the video (under the Performance Phase Tab) the huge smile on my face after achieving my goal! It felt really good to share in the moment with my husband and text my best friend and family members that I'd achieved my goal! Although I will still have to refine and improve my technique in order to press more weight, I have happy with the progress I've made during the past six weeks.
- Of course, I wanted to go for 105 lbs after hitting 100 lbs, but I failed on that lift. That 5 lbs we added onto the bar really felt like 100 lbs. Looking back, I think with all the adrenaline, excitement and nerves my body was fried after successfully benching 100 lbs.
- I set a challenging, yet attainable goal and worked hard to achieve it. I made it to all of my workouts over the last six weeks and that in itself is an accomplishment. I am proud of myself and thankful for everyone who supported me on my inquiry through SRL journey. My husband and I celebrated by spending a special afternoon with our kids and having my favourite cheesecake!