Tag Archives: log press

My Strong Woman Competition Video


I’m sorting out my thoughts.  More to come…

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Filed under Competing, Strong Woman Training, Videos

I Can’t Write

Life has been busy – full and abundant with opportunities.  I should have a minion who follows me and takes notes.

I am too busy to write...because I am a teacher.  I love that job.  I love my classes.  I look out into my classroom and see nothing but potential.  They are so open and funny.  

I am too busy to write… because I am a trainer and a coach.  I’m helping people learn that they are capable of doing things they never thought they could do.

I am too busy to write… because I am part of a small group of passionate, accomplished trainers working together in a new space – a private fitness facility where we train clients, teach classes, and offer seminars.  It’s an exciting opportunity – this isn’t a gym.  People aren’t hanging around.  I’m learning so much about what makes a workout effective and efficient.  It has been taking up a lot of my free time and imagination.  I have so many ideas and not nearly enough time to develop them.  I do believe this teacher is really an entrepreneur!    I know our space is small, and it’s still under construction (we still need to get mirrors and a better floor – investors?  Anyone??), but we have big plans.

I am too busy to write…because I spend everyday talking myself out of and then back into this strong woman training.  It’s really hard on the ego to go from being somewhat proficient at an activity – bodybuilding – to an insecure, frightened newb.  If you’ve been following my journey with this training, I can imagine that you’d like it if I just committed, bucked up, and got it done.  But there is no permanent attitude adjustment that’s going to happen here.  I want to quit everyday.  But I don’t want to train how I used to train.  I can’t imagine doing anything except this right now.  I have epiphanies every day about how to approach this monster.  Today, I’m going with the “life lesson” approach.  This training is similar to how it was for me when I first started exercising.  HATED it.  I stuck with it because I believed it would help me.  Just doing it was a daily goal.  Eventually, exercise became the tool for managing stress.  Now, it’s a stressor.  But I’m going to follow through.

I am too busy to write…because I am obsessed with perfecting my log press form.  Every week things get better, but I’m running out of weeks.  Under three weeks now until the competition.  I watch videos every night.  I talk to the guys who are more experienced.  I record myself to analyze my form.

The critique: I use my back too much on the initial pull, it’s too slow and I and use too much energy on that first part of the lift.  Need to work on using my legs and hips more.

In conclusion, I’m too busy to write.

You didn’t read this.

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Filed under Life, Strong Woman Training, Teaching, Videos

My Crazy Strong Woman Workouts

I wish! I hardly ever get to raise bars anymore. But the ‘awkward’ objects I’m using are f**ing heavy.

Just in case anyone is curious, I’m going to share what I did last week. The little notes are for my coach. Sorry for the profanity, but that’s what I wanted to say to him at the time. I email him the workouts each day. I did 45 sets total last week. I’m bruised, scraped, and sore. When did bodybuilding workouts, I would do 20-30 sets a day and I didn’t really beat the crap out of myself like I am doing now.

And this is freakin’ awesome. Seriously. During my massage this week, Diana (who has been working out the knots for about two years now and knows my muscles intimately) said “it’s like you’re on steroids or something.” I started this training mid July and the gains have been – dramatic.

My aggression level is up. I use the f-bomb in almost every effin sentence.

Yeah, this is awesome!!!

I’m still not sure what will happen on Sept 21. I hate this training. But I can’t imagine stopping. I also know I can’t keep it up indefinitely. It’s just too hard on the body and the CNS. But this has certainly shifted my paradigm.

8/19/13 Log Press in Strong Woman
5:35:27 AM 57 x 3
5:42:14 AM 77 x 3
5:47:56 AM 97 x 0.5 No press. Fuck.
5:51:13 AM 97 x 0.5 D – you are fooling yourself. I AM NOT STRONG ENOUGH YET.
5:55:57 AM 87 x 1

8/19/13 Farmer’s Walk in Strong Woman
6:11:06 AM 155 x 20 Trap bar – didnt count the steps. Same as we did before by platforms.
6:11:22 AM 205 x 20 Walked to Smith machines
6:14:44 AM 225 x 20 Smith to calf raise and back
6:19:33 AM 235 x 20

8/19/13 Keg Carry in Strong Woman
6:27:53 AM 125 x 2 With lift. Taking about 30 steps.
6:30:49 AM 125 x 2
6:34:34 AM 125 x 30

8/20/13 Tire Flips in Strong Woman
4:05:10 PM 350 x 9 2nd smallest tire – used marks on asphalt
4:05:45 PM 350 x 9
4:25:23 PM 350 x 9
4:25:27 PM 350 x 9 When I get some sleep, I’ll be ready for next one.

8/20/13 Sled Pull in Strong Woman
4:25:58 PM 200 x 2
7:10:54 PM 310 x 2 Ran out of time

8/21/13 Glute Ham / Reverse Hypers in Lower Body
5:52:23 AM Glute Ham Raise: 100 x 10 Reverse Hypers: 10 x 15
5:54:02 AM Glute Ham Raise: 100 x 10 Reverse Hypers: 20 x 15
5:57:34 AM Glute Ham Raise: 100 x 10 Reverse Hypers: 30 x 15
6:03:31 AM Glute Ham Raise: 100 x 10 Reverse Hypers: 40 x 15

8/21/13 Goodmornings in Lower Body
6:05:29 AM 45 x 10
6:06:35 AM 55 x 8
6:10:07 AM 65 x 8
6:12:35 AM 75 x 6
6:15:12 AM 85 x 6
6:26:56 AM 95 x 6

8/21/13 Pull Throughs in Lower Body
6:27:25 AM 60 x 10 Superset with one arm raises
6:27:38 AM 70 x 10
6:54:50 AM 80 x 10

8/21/13 One Arm Press in Strong Woman (easy assistance work)
6:55:09 AM 25 x 10
6:55:13 AM 25 x 8
6:55:16 AM 25 x 8

8/23/13 Box Squats in Lower Body
6:02:13 AM 45 x 10
6:02:23 AM 95 x 6
6:02:31 AM 115 x 6
6:02:46 AM 135 x 3 Low back is aggravated.
6:06:00 AM 135 x 3
6:11:41 AM 165 x 1 YOLO. Back could not do 2. Legs were OK.

8/23/13 Deadlift in Back (fat bar)
6:23:43 AM 155 x 3
6:29:52 AM 165 x 3
6:35:24 AM 185 x 3
6:42:18 AM 195 x 1

This video is from Aug 15th, but it shows a couple events I’m training to do.


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I Quit?!?

true strength

For the first time in recent memory, I quit a workout before it was finished and went home.

I didn’t get enough sleep. My head was not in the right place for the heavy strong woman workout I was supposed to do today. I got a late start. I ran errands first. I was procrastinating. I did a really long warm up and stretching session. My mind of full of fear today and I could not shake it.

I’ve written before that my main goals for this strong woman training are…

  1. gain mass
  2. lose fear of pressing over my head, and let’s add…
  3. don’t get hurt

Notice that “win a strong woman competition” is NOT a goal? Because it’s not. This is NOT my passion. I like some of the exercises, but in general, I don’t look forward to these workouts. They are really hard and scary. Which is exactly why I wanted to do them.

But today, I was miserable.

Something that I’m learning about myself, that I suppose my hubby and my coach both know – I don’t respond well to positive thinking. I’m just too… something. Pragmatic? I cannot logically accept that I can lift a weight that I know is too heavy, no matter how I feel about it. So when very wonderful people try to encourage me, it backfires. When I don’t believe it, it’s just wishful thinking and it never works. And you know what? I really don’t give a sh#t what I’m expected to lift on Sept 21.  I had at least three people tell me to “go for it” today and I was not ready.  Some days, I’m in “beast mode” coming out of the gate locker room. But not usually. Most of the time, I start at a weight I can easily handle and increase it gradually. It’s more about building my confidence than building my strength. The inner dialogue is always the same…

This is a warm up set… This is heavier, but still a warm up set… OK. Let’s try last week’s max… OK. Let’s add 5 pounds – you won’t even notice 5 pounds… OK., now let’s add 10 pounds.

At some point, I fail. If I fail too soon, I’m pissed. However, I do pretty well attempting and failing one week, then nailing it the next. This is a normal cycle.

Last week, I failed to complete a set of log presses at 70 pounds. So today, I didn’t try. I did two three rep sets to warm up and then I did 4 one-rep sets. I was able to handle 75 pounds – not easily, but I did it. Two attempts at 80 pounds could not be pressed higher than my eyeballs.

But that was all the ‘heavy’ I had in me today. TMI ALERT! I pushed so hard on those last two attempts I wet myself. I had no change of clothes with me. And honestly – that was the last straw. I was tired, angry, hot, and unfocused. Game over.

G A M E.   O V E R.

Sent this text to Coach as I was walking to the car. (Please excuse my language.)


I cried in the car all the way home. So frustrated! I am serious about rethinking this decision, however, I believe a good night’s sleep will reset my brain and calm my fears. I’ve refused to try some exercises before and I’ve refused to do some ever again – like hand-stand pushups. All of this goes back to protecting my weak shoulder. It’s gotten a LOT stronger in the last year, but I still feel those little pings.

My mental game is lame.

Coach continued to text me today…


I got home and showered and ate.  I spent the afternoon in my beautiful ‘new’ home office writing blog posts and listening to Vivaldi.  My brain is calmer now.

I don’t recall being this fearful about my program since I was a newb. Maybe that’s because I’m a newb again.  At risk of sounding a little self-obsessed (wink, wink, Martha), I catch people watching me do these exercises and that just makes me feel more insure.  I think my form is OK, but I have to be honest – I don’t know for sure I’m doing them right and it feels like I’m in a fish bowl.  That could be my insecure imagination or it could be legit because I’m doing something so different than what I used to do.

Tomorrow morning, I will decide to either finish the workout I started today or go back to a bodybuilding routine. I suspect I will continue, but I also expect that I will need to make that same decision every week before the “heavy” workout. Constant cycle of recommitting.

I have collected a ton of pictures over the years. For days like today.

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Filed under Life, Strong Woman Training

Today’s Workout

Week 2 of strong woman training began today.  After one week, I feel like I got hit by a car.  Wow.  This is hard.

Today was a Monday, so that meant it was a heavy day.  Monday is supposed to be 90% of my max lift, but I’ve decided to just go for it and lift as much as I can.  The rest of the week is based on what I do on Monday.  On Thursday’s, I will lift 70% of  my max, and on Saturday’s, I’ll lift 50-60% of my max.  The next Monday, I’m going to bump the weights up again.  I am pleased with how much more I was able to do today as opposed to a week ago.  That’s just a change in attitude.  I was more afraid that week.

I’m supposed to do assistance work on the days in between.  Last week, I barely did anything.  I needed the rest.  I think that will be the case tomorrow, too.  I’ve been sitting or laying down most of the time since this workout.  Again – a car must have hit me.  Wow.

This is what I did today…

7/15/13  Log Press (max wt last week = 65 lbs, two sets)
10:22:34 AM  50 x 3
10:23:28 AM  60 x 3
10:28:49 AM  70 x 2.5
10:32:19 AM  70 x 2  Couldn’t press the third rep again – drop the weight
10:39:05 AM  65 x 3

7/15/13  One Arm Press (max wt last week = 35 lbs, 1 set)
10:39:15 AM  25 x 3
10:43:33 AM  35 x 3  2 on right side
10:43:38 AM  35 x 3  2.5 on right side. Got my elbow sleeve
10:47:06 AM  35 x 3

I did another set with the 35’s, but forgot to record it.  Five sets total.
7/15/13  Farmer’s Walk (max wt last week = 60 lbs, 1 set)
11:04:18 AM  85 x 40  Used the proper Farmer’s Carry weights outside. Wrapped my wrists, too.
11:06:31 AM  85 x 50
11:09:34 AM  85 x 50
11:13:51 AM  85 x 50  Tried to pick up 115s. Decided I will need my belt since 230 lbs is actually a heavier weight than I’ve ever picked up off the ground before. Something to look forward to trying next week.
11:17:53 AM  85 x 50

I was only supposed to do three sets of this, but I forgot and did five sets.
7/15/13  Tire Flips (I used the next biggest tire.  There were three about the same size.  The first one I tried to work with I couldn’t grip because the treads were flat against the ground.  After about 5 minutes messing around with it, a guy showed me the one I ended up using.  Guessing the weight.  The guys who work at the gym don’t know for sure.   Since the last one was about 300, I’m hoping this was the 400 lb tire I’m supposed to be able to flip at the competition.  The one bigger than this one is really big.  Scary big.)
11:53:09 AM  400 x 5
11:53:19 AM  400 x 5
11:56:44 AM  400 x 5

The "little" one weighs 400 pounds.

The “little” one weighs 400 pounds.  The tire on the left is taller than me.

7/15/13  Keg Carry (Same keg I used last week.  It’s the lightest one there.  I didn’t try to place it on the platform.  I need some coaching for how to do that when the weight is this heavy.)
12:00:53 PM  125 x 40 steps
12:06:57 PM  125 x 40
12:07:02 PM  125 x 40
12:09:10 PM  125 x 40
12:11:54 PM  125 x 40

I’m supposed to do 15 keg carries.  I couldn’t do that.  Workout was already almost two hours long at this point.

The smallest keg to play with is the one with the blue tape on the top - 125 lbs, I'm told.

The smallest keg to play with is the one with the blue tape on the top – 125 lbs, I’m told.

7/15/13  Sled Pull
12:28:36 PM  145 x 2 (one “rep” is about 20 yards – down and back is 2 reps)
12:32:27 PM  185 x 2
12:36:09 PM  235 x 2

235 pound on that sled.

235 pound on that sled.

Both upper arms are bruised from the tire flips.  My legs are bruised and scraped from the keg carries.  I almost whacked my chin twice during the log press.  This is a rough workout.  But it’s challenging me and I believe it will produce results that are consistent with my goals for off season – build muscle, speed up my metabolism, and stay lean.  It’s been three weeks since my show and I have only gained my water weight back, even though I’m eating more.  Perfect.  Much better than last year.


I get very dirty when I play outside.

I am beat.  Beat up and tired.  I’m heading to bed.  So sore that sleep might be tough – this might be an Advil PM night.

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Videos of Workouts this Week

I thought it might be a time saver to do make videos instead of writing.  But my videos have been boring.  Just me talking to my iPhone.  Last week, I got an iPad mini  and bought the iMovie app.  Pretty nifty little app.  I wanted to have the capability of using multiple clips so I could make more videos of my actual workouts.  These are the first two videos I made with my new tech toy.

I was in my home office doing the voice over for this one and I needed to be quiet.  That’s why I sound like I’m doing commentary at a golf match.


Did bleachers this morning – 30 minutes.  Back and forth the entire set of bleachers a few times.  Big steps up the seats and quick steps up the stairs.  I wasn’t moving very fast.  I think I should have been playing a faster song.  I did download the William Tell Overture after we saw the Lone Ranger movie the other day.  I should have played that.  I would have galloped up those stairs.  Hahahaha!


Filed under Cardio, My Lifting Log, Strong Woman Training, Videos, Workouts

First Strong Woman Workout Details

Sort of.  I had a hard time finding the Beast Mode switch.

My first strong woman workout took two hours. With breaks. Felt longer.  Thought it was three.

(I think I showed you the the wrong platform for the keg placement on the video, by the way.)

7/8/13 Log Press in Strong Woman
8:29:57 AM 30 x 5
8:30:06 AM 50 x 3
8:31:04 AM 60 x 3
8:38:45 AM 65 x 3
8:45:55 AM 65 x 3, 70# not going over head today

7/8/13 One Arm Press in None
8:51:48 AM 20 x 8 Had to wait to get a heavier DB.
8:55:01 AM 30 x 3
8:59:24 AM 30 x 3 35 fail
9:01:32 AM 30 x 3
9:08:06 AM 32.5 x 3
9:08:12 AM 35 x 3 – the 70# log press should have worked. I’m a baby.

7/8/13 Tire Flips in Strong Woman
9:21:47 AM 280 x 10 Tried 500 – once. And it took several attempts.
9:24:22 AM 280 x 10
9:28:49 AM 280 x 10

7/8/13 Farmers Carry in Strong Woman
9:35:29 AM 50 x 60 Rep = steps
9:38:14 AM 50 x 45
10:35:53 AM 60 x 50

7/8/13 Keg Carry in Strong Woman
10:36:36 AM 100 x 8 Really no idea how heavy the lightest keg is. Only for 8 carries.

7/8/13 Sled Pull in Strong Woman
10:37:25 AM 90 x 2 1 rep is down to manhole cover.
10:37:30 AM 135 x 2
10:38:17 AM 180 x 2


I liked this workout and felt very challenged.  I want to continue this training, but today I found out what I’d be expected to do at the Sept 21 competition.  I’ll need to add 50 lbs to the log press and the farmer’s carry.  For the keg carry, I’ll have to carry a 135 lb keg and lift it up and place it on a platform about 4 feet off the ground.  My current body weight is 140 lbs.  I’m not sure how that’s going to work.


Filed under Competing, My Lifting Log, Strong Woman Training