I got back home from Miami/Cayman about a week ago. As I said in the last post, Miami was a good time. Cayman didn’t disappoint either, although there were some annoyances down there. I’ll start with some pics from the trip (admittedly didn’t get too many):
They are all captioned. But the highlight was probably my friend’s Alpina B7 which you can see towards the bottom of that gallery. As you can tell from his license plate, he’s part of the poker world. Unfortunately for him though, that license plate was actually stolen a few days later. And it costs something like $300 to get a new one. Which seems like total bullshit to me but whatever, it’s Cayman. They do what they want there. The other main highlight was three great days of lifting at CrossFit Cayman. It was great to lift outside in the sun and warm weather when I’ve been used to mostly cold weather the last few months — although it’s been nice in Philly the past week.
Also, my friend’s dog is a total nutcase. On a very routine basis, she licks a specific section of their wall over and over. This has been going on for a long time. She also has a bunch of other weird habits. She’s a really cute dog though — fun to play around with. They also have a gigantic St Bernard who is a lot less fun to play around with. I took a picture of the little dog licking the wall. Which she does quite fervently for like 5 minutes at a time.
And lastly, you might notice the picture of an airplane interior. That’s my inner aviation geek emerging. That was the first time that I had ever flown in a 737 in the new Boeing Sky Interior configuration. I don’t think there are any with that configuration in the United/Continental fleet (not sure though) but if there are, I never made it onto one. It was pretty cool with the mood lighting and the improved overhead bins and such. Sadly I wasn’t in first class on that flight, as you can see. Thankfully it was only a 1 hr flight so exit row was adequate. I do have to say though — transiting through Miami is an absolute disaster when you have to go through security. I had horrid lines every time even with the Priority AAccess thing. I had forgotten how bad of an airport that place is. I’m going to do every I can to avoid that airport going forward.
Since I’ve been back I’ve been doing some work on both the WordPress theme stuff and also on the lifting stuff. As I said I’ve been posting pictures to the hookgrip facebook page. The “like” count has gotten up into the 120s (from like 10, all my friends) in about two weeks of posting pictures. I’m not really too focused on that though because those numbers will come in droves once the site is actually up and running. I’ve been thinking about it a fair amount lately and I’ve come up with what I think is a good game plan to finalize the development of the site and get it launched properly. There’s pretty much no way that it’ll be up by the US Nat’l Championships (March 1st-4th… ie, next weekend) which was a goal of mine. Oh well. Other work got in the way. In the end though, I don’t think it should affect the success of the site too much.
Also, it wouldn’t be a recent blog post of mine if I didn’t mention lifting. I had a tough few days before Cayman and then in Cayman I felt a lot better for whatever reason. Then, last Friday, I was back in Philly lifting at the normal gym and I was feeling great. I managed to set PRs for my squat single (146kg), double (136kg) and triple (132.5kg). Just in case you don’t know what that means, that means a set of 1, set of 2 and set of 3. Yesterday I did a double with 137.5kg — essentially 300lbs. Today was okay but I felt a bit stiff and I wasn’t really up for attempting any PRs. I know that they’re coming soon because the 137.5 double was not too hard and that means I should be doing 150kg for a single pretty soon. I’ve been saying for awhile that I want to do 150kg (330lbs) for a single by Nat’ls so I am definitely hoping to hit that. Given that I have six more training days (Wed-Fri this week, Mon-Wed next week) before getting on a plane to Columbus, I think it’s doable. I really just need one good day in there to get it. If I had to guess, I would say Monday because of the weekend rest. But one thing that I’ve realized with PRs is that it’s hard to predict when they’re going to come. So we’ll see what happens. Of course, by this summer, 150kg should be a piece of cake so I’m sure that I’ll look back at this blog post with a bit of a laugh. But, then again, with my 1 rep max being something like 110kg or whatever in early December, it would have been hard to imagine doing a 132.5kg triple. It’s amazing how training works. Even if you have bad days, just keep going back and doing it with good effort and it’ll eventually improve.
One thing I’ve actually been struggling with lately is how much to eat and what to eat. I beat my “food addiction” or whatever you want to call it several years ago and I don’t have any issues with food/drink willpower. That doesn’t really help me when I’m trying to gain muscle though. I am struggling with deciding what to eat on a daily basis for the best recovery and the least fat gain. While I know that fat gain is inevitable while putting on muscle mass, it seems highly inefficient (and uncomfortable) to basically eat everything in sight. And it seems bad to just come home and eat low calories foods because I’m just not going to recover properly if I’m on a caloric deficit. I obviously know that people recommend large amounts of protein (I’ve heard some ridiculous shit like 3g of protein per lb of body weight) and I definitely get my share via meat, eggs, nuts, etc. But I’ve also noticed a bit of a lack of performance at the gym when I start eating strict “clean” (clean is defined as Paleo in my mind) for more than a few days even if my protein numbers are through the roof. So I throw in some junk food (ie, sugar) every few days and I almost always notice a boost the following day. I know about glycogen stores and whatnot but I really doubt that I’m exhausting them if I lift and don’t have some non-fruit sugar. So, anyway, I’m a bit confused about what to do. I’ve tried the whole sweet potato thing and it just doesn’t do the job the same way as crap food does. For right now I’m on a mainly clean diet with a random bit of junk food every few days but I really don’t think that is what I’m supposed to be doing. Either way, I’ll continue to experiment and see how things go. I generally hate the idea of supplements but I might have to try some protein/recovery shakes and see what happens. Speaking of recovery, it’s 1am now — better get to sleep!