Happy 6th gymiversary to me! 

Today marks 6 years since I joined Strong Side. I’ve blogged before about the things I love about my gym, so I won’t rehash all that. But I still love it for all the same reasons!

Person record tracking sheet. Weightlifting.

In the past year, I managed to hit some personal records (PR). Last summer I asked for a few programs with big heavy lifts ‘cuz I was in the mood to really push myself. Partway through this, I realized that I didn’t actually know what my PRs were for my big lifts – other than the deadlift that I did during the deadlift competition. I mentioned this to Ishana, the trainer who works the morning shifts (as I always go at 6 am so that I get my workout in before I head to work) and then the next time I was in she said, “Beth, I have a present for you!” She’s made a PR tracking sheet for me to track my PRs! So I pulled out all my old programs1 and went through them to find out what my PRs were – and lo and behold I had hit some new PRs like the week before because, of course, I was working on my big heavy lifts. So I wrote my PRs down on my new tracking sheet and then got to add a few more over the next few weeks as I kept setting new PRs!

For the record, my PRs are currently:

  • Bench Press: 47.5 kg (104.7 lbs)
  • Back Squat: 97.5 kg (215 lbs)
  • Deadlift: 100 kg (220 lbs)

In the fall I switched things up – I did some traveling, so felt like it wasn’t a good time to continue pushing my big heavy lifts since my training would have stops and starts in it, so I focused on other things like endurance, flexibility, and core strength. It’s good to mix things up and keep yourself in balance.

For the new year, I asked my trainer to give me some programs to work on my pull-ups and chin-ups. I hadn’t worked on those in a while and I really like being able to do them, so I thought that would be a fun way to mix things up. That worked fine in January, but then February came along to (metaphorically) kick me in the face2. First, I pulled a muscle in my back doing nothing and it hurt so bad that for the first few days I couldn’t even bend over to put on my own socks! I actually took a sick day – me! a sick day! – because I couldn’t do anything by lie down – standing hurt, sitting hurt even more. I did manage to hobble to the chiropractor’s office, which is normally a 3 minute walk from my place but which probably took me 7 minutes in my broken state. He did some range of motion and other such tests and determined it was just pulled muscle and suggested I go to massage and acupuncture and rest it and it would resolve. Now, my read on the literature on acupuncture is that when assess the quality of studies and look systematically at well run studies, acupuncture does not do any better than placebo. But I was so desperate I was like “I’ll take the placebo effect at this point!”3. I also went to 3 massages in the next week, and for a few days I walked with the cane that I had from that time I had hip bursitis4. I missed hockey games and the gym for about a week, and when I went back to the gym, Ishana helped me to adapt my program so that it would be doable with a back that still wasn’t 100%. So I had that adapted program for about a week and then I sliced off the end of my finger, and poor Ishana had to help me adapt my program again, this time to keep from putting too much pressure on my injured finger. For the most part, we were able to find a way to adapt all the exercises that were in my program that required me to use my hands (primarily by just lighting up the weight a bit), but the one thing that we couldn’t do that with was pull-ups! There was just no way that I was going to be able to do a pull-up with this finger5! The finger is healing, so hopefully it won’t be too long ’til I can get back to pull-ups and hockey!

Anyhoo, here I am celebrating my 6th gymiversary with a side plank while holding a dumbell up in the air:

  1. Patrick, one of the other trainers who was working on that day even got all my old programs that had been archived away in the archive storage cabinet. []
  2. I have a new hypothesis that February is a garbage month, but that is a topic for another blog posting. []
  3. My extended health covers acupuncture, so I didn’t have to pay for it myself. []
  4. I mostly worked from home while I was injured, but I am teaching a course in person at UBC one day a week, so I needed to actually go out. And another day I went out to meet friends for drinks. []
  5. So I’ve switched to single arm seated lat pulldowns instead. []

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