Saturday, June 23, 2018

My NASM Personal Trainer Journey - Week Seven

Welcome back for part nine of my of my weekly blog posts on my journey to becoming a personal trainer. Today I'm going to talk about Week Seven and how it's been going.

You guys remember how I talked about Week 6 being the toughest week so far? Bwahahahahahaha... I take it back... I take all back!!

Week 7 was the week from hell. It was as if the previous six weeks were a warm-up for the mental workout that was week 7 and now I'm just begging for the cool-down so I can breathe again! (see what I did there?? lol)

Anyway, Week 7 was the down and dirty of exercise science: anatomy, the nervous system, the skeletal system, the endocrine system, the cardiovascular system, the muscular system, the structures of the hear and how it works (still working on that one), the respiratory system, energy and how the body runs and all of human movement science (plus tons more) and good, old Appendix D which are the muscles and their actions that we need to"be familiar with."

The study guide alone took me an insane amount of time but it was worth it because I learned a lot!
This isn't to say that it wasn't fascinating and educational and I can see why it was all put together into one module but I still wish it was somewhat split to make learning it go better.

This was the module where I really utilized the Poke-A-Muscle game (and finally beat it!!), where I really focused on the anatomy apps I got and where I used my body constantly to see how things moved based on how they were explained in the text and videos.

It was exhausting but satisfying in the end but even though, officially, the module is done and I passed the quizzes (all but the first anyway), I still need to go over it a huge amount of times before I'm ready for the exam because there's just so much to learn!

Doing the discussion question actually helped a lot since we had to explain a lot of muscle movements but this was the discussion question I had the hardest time with. It was like I knew and understood what I wanted to say about the exercises we had to do examples of and it made sense in my head and when I tried to explain it out loud but no matter how I would try to write it, it made no sense at all.

I finally gave up after 5 or 6 hours of working on it and just turned it in knowing I wouldn't get all 4 points for it this time but hoping for 3 which is acceptable to me (and which I got) but my brain was so fried by the end of it that I pretty much gave up caring!

I do feel a lot more confident in my knowledge now but I still need to read, reread, watch videos and study to be anywhere near ready for the CPT exam and I'm currently working on the next module which is five chapters but they're the last five chapters and they are a lot easier for me than this past week was!

I'm actually going to get back to work on that but, although this week was very tough, it was great in terms of knowledge!

40 days to go until exam day!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Workout Decision - Going Back to What I Love

So, after a lot, a LOT of thinking, comparing, looking into things and considering I've decided to go back to my Push/Pull/Legs/Abs A-G workout.

There are several reasons for this...

1) I love that workout, especially the variety and the pilates moves in it.

2) I actually stuck with that workout before which I can't seem to do with the LG one.

3) I need to start working on my own workouts since I'm getting closer and closer to my Personal Trainer Exam (41 days to go).

4) I don't get bored with it, it challenges me and it has so many options and variations that I won't get bored for a long time and I get results with it! I can also modify it for my back really easily.

I went back and forth over combining abs with other days versus having a dedicated abs day but I don't have the time right now for a longer workout which will happen when I combine them and, frankly, the abs day can almost be like a rest day for me since all I'm really working are my abs and core so I'm keeping it.

Also, I really, really, really want to go back to my daily, long yoga routine. I just have to figure out how to fit it in because I still need to have time for some cardio. Maybe I can just do it a few times a week until after the exam and then return to my regular, daily plan?

So, that's the decision and unless my back gives out between now and then, I'm hitting the gym in the morning for Push Day A!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thursday Weigh-In - June 21st - Week Twenty-One Strict Keto

Thursday Weigh-In - June 21st:             
06/21/2018:                             +3.6 pounds
Lost Since 01/29/18 Restart  -10.6 pounds
Total lost Since 06/29/15:      -68.6 pounds
Current Weight:                     161.4 pounds
Days Cheat-Free:                      144 days

Well, this week has sucked weight-wise, health-wise and gym-wise but it's slowly getting back to what it should be so that's something.

I'm not going to obsesses about this weight gain or let it ruin my week. I know I'm back on track with food, keto and macros and the scale is already starting to move down so I know I'll back in the 150's in no time.

My plan is to get back to the gym by Saturday and I'm still figuring out what plan to use and how to rearrange (if at all) it if I go with my own plan. I'll blog more on that one I make a decision. My back is still acting up now and again but that can probably be attributed to all the the I'm spending sitting and studying this week (which is a huge, huge amount) so I'll keep putting heat on it and see what happens.

As for everything else, I already blogged out all my eating and workout plan changes on Tuesday so there's not much more to say.

Just hoping that next week brings a loss on the scale, no more headaches, no more back pain and a return to the gym. That about covers it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Updates and Some Plan Changes (Food and Exercise)

So, this still hasn't been the best week. I still haven't gotten back to the gym, the scale is climbing up higher and higher and I feel like I'm drowning in school work so here's a breakdown of things to make this post easier to write up...

1) On Saturday I pulled/pinched something in one of the bad spots in my back by doing absolutely nothing. I did spend almost all of Friday and 90% of Saturday sitting and working on the study guide for ONE chapter. One. It ended up being 75 pages long and there were still 3 more chapters to go so you can see why I feel like I'm drowning but, back to my back.

Anyway, something got pulled and I've been putting heat it on and off since then to try and make it better. It's helping and it's getting there but I've been babying it because I know I have to have it in a good place to hit the gym again.

2) And, speaking of the gym, due to the back issue I've decided to either go back to the optional beginner phase of the LG workout or to switch back my own workout. The beginner phase may not be as challenging as Phase 1 that I felt I was ready for but it's safer on my back to go back to it and it takes less time than Phase 1 and time is something I desperately need for studying right now. Plus, if I don't feel challenged enough I can always make the workouts more difficult by using heavier weights or taking shorter rest time between sets.

Or I'll go back to my own because I can modify and follow that much easier than I can with a workout I didn't create. I'll figure it out as I go but I think I'm fine as long as I'm doing something.

3) And... moving on to the plan that works for me, it's time to return to strict keto. These past 10 days or so I've gotten lazy. As soon as I made the decision to stop weighing myself as often, to up my protein and to stop trying to lose weight, things spiraled out of hand.

I have NOT cheated (although I've been much more tempted) but I also barely tracked and definitely overate and the scale (and how I feel physically) is showing it. I've spent some time going over how I want to do things and reconfiguring my macros again so it's time to get back to being serious about this.

It's not even just for the weight either. I've had a nonstop headache since I started the new macros, then my back went out and I've felt cruddy in general. This happens every single time I really up my protein whether it be with real food or protein powder so maybe my body just can't handle that much protein right now?

Anyway, the updated plan is I'm going back to my macros from when I felt great and was steadily losing weight: 30 net grams and under of carbs, between 70's and 80 's for grams of protein, and around 86 grams of fat.

My macro range for protein is 63 grams minimum to 102 grams maximum with 82 grams being the suggested amount and my fat range is anywhere from 30 minimum to 115 maximum but in the 80's seems to be my sweet spot. Once again, carbs are the limit, protein is the goal and fat is the lever.

These are the macros where my head doesn't hurt, where I feel amazing and where I have tons of energy. If the scale moves down then yay, if it doesn't than so be it as I'm still trying to pay less attention to it but I want to feel good again and I don't want to scale shooting up the way it has.

Also, no more protein powder at all (it just makes me bloated and leaves me feeling sick even with the digestive enzymes) and I'm working on removing the protein bars and shakes except in cases of "emergency." My plan is veggies and protein from seafood and meat and switching to as much unprocessed food as possible.

I think that covers the general plan and updates so now I'm going to get back to studying.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Past Week of Yoga Challenge Photos!

This past week was a really good one for yoga! The weather held up for the whole week allowing me to do all the poses outdoors. I only new pose I had was the reverse table top but I did have some old favorites so that was good.

Here are the poses in order of doing them:

Day Eleven June Yoga Challenge - Reverse Table Top Pose  

Day Twelve June Yoga Challenge - Seated Side Bend Pose 

Day Thirteen June Yoga Challenge - Goddess Pose  

Day Fourteen June Yoga Challenge - Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

Day Fifteen June Yoga Challenge - Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose

Day Sixteen June Yoga Challenge - Low Lunge Pose

Day Seventeen June Yoga Challenge - Bridge Pose 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

My NASM Personal Trainer Journey - Week Six

Welcome back for part eight of my of my weekly blog posts on my journey to becoming a personal trainer. Today I'm going to talk about Week Six and how it's been going.

This was one of the tougher weeks I've had so far in regard to everything we had to learn and life in general. What tripped me up the most was memorizing all the sets, reps, tempos, rest intervals and many, many other things for every part of the OPT model and every part of training. I'm actually still working on it.

I did get a 4 out of 4 on the discussion question again and I passed the quizzes I took (well, all but one) but I know I'm not done with this particular module yet because there's still so much to remember.

On top of that this has been a bad week both on terms of family issues and no gym at all for me so I'm tired and stressed and kind of discouraged right now. My plan is to keep going over the things I don't remember yet until I remember them because that's the only way to do this.

I am slowly getting it. It makes sense and for the most part I'm okay with it but I don't feel nearly confident about this past week as I had about the other weeks and because I already started work on the study guide for Module 7 I know that it's going to be a really, really tough one (I seriously spent 2 days on just the module 7 study guide so far). I know how much harder this week will be than the last and the last was far from easy.

So, basically I'm feeling out of it and discouraged right now because of the sheer amount on information that has to be learned and understood. But the only way to do it is just to start learning and not stop until I got it so that's the plan.

Only 47 days left until my exam.