My life is pretty busy right now – balancing my time between gym, dragonboat and Chinese. But I can proudly say that I’ve improved a lot in all the things above.
Since December, I’ve been work
ing out with my boyfriend and our best friend in the gym, and I gotta say, working out with two guys really is incredibly useful! Why? Because they push me, they don’t let me get lazy but always make me do more and more, use heavier weights when they know I can do that. But what makes me really improve, is that they are there to help. There is always somebody to check my form and with them I can use heavier weights I might not be able to alone. For example at doing shoulder press, they help me raise the dumbells at the first time and support my elbows in the last few reps is I need to. Or while doing squats they put the barbell on my shoulder and help me get it down when I finish – I don’t use the squat rack so this is a huge help in order for me to use more weight. Just a few examples: right now I use 25 lbs for shoulder press and bench press (oh yeah, another thing: they convinced me to do chest as well, regularly) 15 lbs for bicep curls and what I am the proudest of: 45 lbs for one arm dumbell rows for my back! (*¯︶¯*)
And since there was a period recently when I gained a bit of fat on my hips now I am strictly back on track with clean eating again (okay, with one or two smaller cheat meals a week), with preparing foor in advance and I am trying to make my diet more diverse so I wouldn’t get bored. I am contantly trying to find more interesting and delicious healthy dishes and I gotta say I love it, it’s super fun! Oatmeal is still my big favourite for breakfast, I just love how many variations I can make. Nowadays I usually cook it with milk, put chopped banana in it before the oats, so it cooks as well and I sprinkle cinnamon on top at the end. That’s the basic and then I add different things like almonds, apple cubes or apple sauce, cashew, honey, raisins and craisins, peanut butter, or sometimes I put intant coffee in the milk – amazing how good it tastes and then I can actually eat my breakfast and drink my coffee at the same time. (When you have to leave for pracitce at 6 am, saving time is everything.) I also got to love making french toast with whole grain bread – just one or two slice after practice and I’m ready to go to school! Quick and tasty, filling but healthy. And if I feel like it’s not enough, once in a while I make stuffed one: I put peanut butter on the bread and banana slices, then another bread on top, dip both sides in an egg+milk+cinnamon mixture and then I make it on just a little bit of butter – feels like a piece of heaven melting in your mouth! And of course the unbeatable egg+banana=pancakes trick 🙂
And when it comes to packing food for the day, apart from salads the easiest food is probably a sandwitch. Whole grain toast (actually toasted so it becomes nicely brown and crispy) as a base and then avocado (mashed with a little bit of lamon juice and salt) or tuna (or nowadays I make hummus at home) and eggs, bell peppers, lettuce, tomatoes – fresh and healthy, 5 minute prep time and you’re ready to go! Anyways, I’m not going to list all the foods I normally have, I just wrote some so you get and idea about how I meant it:) Oh and just another thing related to food: I usually try not to eat a big dinner, only a protein shake after gym, or a banana and yoghurt – but I really feel the best if I don’t eat after 7pm (on rest days I can do that, but when we go to the gym at 6pm, I need something afterwords to help my muscles) – this way I sleep better because I don’t feel so heavy and my abs look way better in the morning. I felt really bad that I gained a bit of fat and abandoned doing abs for all the other bodyparts at gym, so my abs looked awful, but about two weeks ago I started working on it again, and I can finally see the results – slowly, but I am gonna get my abs back! (I took this picture a week and a half ago, though it was already after having a big bowl of oatmeal and a coffee for breakfast)
My ‘gym project’ right now is pullups. I want to be able to do it alone, at least a few, or at least just one, but it’s really hard. My boyfriend makes it look so easy, but when I get to hang there holding the bar, it’s everything but easy. I’ve been trying for months and I still cannot do it without help, but at least I cal pull myself up halfway, which already feels like a big accomplishment, because I know I wasn’t able to do even that a few months ago. Anyways, I keep trying, I am not going to give up, and hopefully by the time summer comes I will be able to pull myself all the way up!
Dragonboat gor more serious too as the season started and the competition is approaching. Apart from rowing on both days at the weekend, we started our land practice at the track of my school, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, from 6:30 am sharp untill 9 am. (This way we have two rest days and can alternate two different types of trainings, which I think is way better than for example the practice method of my bf’s team: they practice only on the track, from Mon-Fri and apart from the returners they have never ever even rowed in a real boat before.) We start with running 5 laps (2km) on the track as a warm-up – everybody can do it in their own pace, I usually finish in about 10 minutes. It’s good because we do a lot of running and cardio at practice, so I don’t have to do it at the gym (I always feel like I’m wasting my gym time when doing cardio, probably because I don’t like it – but no worries, I do it anyway) and at least when everybody does it together, it’s not as boring and it motivates me. I felt like stopping after three or four laps a lot of times, but my teammates running at my side always made me keep going – and this is why training with your team is so awesome! After running we do quite a lot of stretching (really important in order not to get injured!) and then some strenght bodyweight exercises with running one lap inbetween them. Actually I find this part a bit too easy, because so far we’ve only done a few sets of sit ups, push ups, triceps dips, but as far as I heard the trainings are finally gonna get really tough since our coach won’t have time and a team mate of mine is going to hold the practices – and we’re gonna start doing crossfit. Can’t wait to see how much I am capable of! I don’t mind getting tired, sweaty and beign extremely sore, I wanna fight and improve and show my best – for everybody, the other comptetitor teams so they will know we are a realy danger, my team mates so they know I make the team stronger and to motivate them to fight just as hard and to myself so I know I am capable of this and can always get better.
Apart from that we still row on the weekends – now in three different times. We have a lot of new people so they are getting a basic training now, they get in the boat at 8:30 am, with the girls we start running and stretching at 8:45 am and then get in the boat at 9:30 and row until 11 am and the guys come after us. Well, what can I say, Bitan is still gorgeous, I still love rowing, and though first I didn’t like rowing with just the girls because I felt like they are not as strong as guys and they don’t push that hard, I don’t think that anymore. Last week I felt we were actually really good and that “girlpower” feeling adds a lot to the atmoshpere and motivation! And our coach said our girls are even better than our guys: sometimes the guys get tired sooner and for exapmle when doing spring rowing, they slow down drastically after 30 seconds but we girls can keep up our pace and speed during the whole required time. I think this is quite cool. At first I wanted to be in the girls’ boat and then changed my mind and wanted to be in the mixed, because I felt the girls are not strong enough. Now I have no idea, I think I finally started seeing that both have it’s advantages and disadvantages. I guess it’s good it’s not my choice but our coach will pick – cannot wait to get to know, which team I am gonna be in! Though I think he’s only going to tell us 2-3 weeks before the competition, in May, which means I still have to wait a lot! Too bad!