That fitness thing

Hey guys! Happy Tuesday. When it’s Tuesday, I don’t workout Winking smile I’m actually being serious though. I’ve talked before about my gym routine and even given some examples of at home workouts. Today I want to talk about what I’m currently doing, which although fairly similar in structure to 2014’s post, there have been some changes and also about two years since I’ve talked about this with you guys. I can’t explain how often I get the question from friends, other bloggers, and readers… what do you actually do at the gym? I’m here today to begin answering that.

Before I lay it all on the table I want to quickly point out that I’m thinking about making this blog a bit more fitness, workout, lifestyle oriented. Just a thought. Everything from workouts (weekly workouts?), supplements (another super common question), what I learned in my sports nutrition course, gym clothing reviews, mobility, daily eats and snax, mental health and self care. These are all topics I’m super passionate about, so naturally I want to delve into them more. It will give me some direction to head in with future posts especially seeing that school is done until the end of August, I no longer work weekends, and have more free-time on my hands.

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Cool? cool.

So my workouts… The general outline is 5 weeks “on” and 1 week “off”. On meaning I’m pushing it, off meaning I do a deload week. During my “on” weeks though I do 1 active recovery day and one full off day. Deload weeks I will lift 40-60% of my usual weights and cut the length of my lifting sessions by about half by taking out some accessory work. I also take out metabolic conditioning workouts for this week to let my body completely restore and replenish itself. You can read more about deloading here if you’re interested. This general outline seems to work super well for me though as I have energy to get through the five weeks, feel refreshed after my deload week, am gaining both strength and endurance, and haven’t been injured since 2012 (knock on ALL the wood).

I’m not going to get super specific in this post because it would be way too detailed, rather I’m just showing an outline of what a 6 week cycle looks like and I’ll get into more of WHAT I do in following posts!

Typical week

Monday: morning lifting + evening conditioning (1 hr – kickboxing) I freaking hate the word “cardio” haha so I use conditioning instead because #IdowhatIwant

Tuesday: active recovery day OR full off day (whichever option I choose here, I’ll do the other on Friday – I choose full off day or active recovery depending on my soreness level and how busy I am on the particular day).

**Note: Active recovery = something like a yoga class, or a short and slow “run” aka casual jog (1-2 miles @ 12-13 pace). Whereas full off day = I do nothing other than typical daily living.**

Wednesday: morning lifting and metabolic conditioning (10-20 minutes high intensity) (CrossFit terminology: “metcon”)

Thursday: evening conditioning (1 hr – kickboxing)

Friday: active recovery day OR full off day

Saturday: morning lifting

Sunday: morning lifting and metabolic conditioning (20-30 minutes high intensity)

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Playground.

Another common question that I’ll answer in this post is “do you do CrossFit?”… Put simply, no. I don’t workout at a CrossFit gym so I try to avoid confusing people and answer no. That being said, the gym I go to has a huge weight room and then a turf area (pictured above) with things like a rower, ski erg, slam balls, medicine balls, a plethora of kettlebells, boxes, tires, ropes, a Rogue rig (not pictured), gymnastics rings, ect. The metabolic conditioning workouts I do are either taken from Crossfit Invictus, made up by me but are things that would also be seen in a CrossFit gym, or taken from Instagram (because lets be honest, people post some good workouts on the gram’).

One thing is for sure though, double unders make it into just about every single workout I do because I love them and am completely biased towards the sport of jump rope.

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Weighted pull ups are another favorite. Mainly because I get to #dickaround Winking smile So there’s that for your Tuesday entertainment.

Like I said, I’ll get into more specifics in following posts, so like what my lifts consist of and a few examples of metabolic conditioning workouts. I’m thinking a weekly workout post idea could be of one of my metcon workouts from the week because those change each week whereas lifting is essentially the same week to week so that would be as boring as boring can be for you guys to read and therefore nobody would read. Kapeesh?

Questions: what are you favorite things to put into a workout (mine being double unders and pull ups)? Do you take a deload week/rest days?

“We often want it so badly that we ruin it before it begins. Overthinking. Fantasizing. Imagining. Expecting. Worrying. Doubting. Just let it naturally evolve.” – Anonymous

Lifting cycle: 10/6/14 – 11/9/14

Hi there! First things first, take a gander at the top of my site. You many or may not have noticed I finally managed to get around to making a heading for Pursuit of an Outlier. I had the two side pictures which I thought were perfect to go along with the theme of my site: pursuing your passion and getting out of your comfort zone. The middle picture is a Rye, NH beach in the summertime – aka my spot of bliss. So I’m really excited about that.

Today I want to take some time and show you guys the layout of my training cycles and my most recent training cycle. Last week was week 4, which is my week where I test out around 95% of my max, and this week I am de-loading. I figured this was the perfect time to go over my cycle and show you guys what I’ve been up to in the gym!

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Layout:

Week 1: moderate weight (75-80%). 4 lifts + 1 conditioning + 2 yoga

Week 2: increasing weight (80-85%). 4 lifts + 1 conditioning + 2 yoga

Week 3: heavy weight (85-90%). 4 lifts + 1-2 conditioning + 2 yoga

Week 4: max weight (95%). 4 lifts + 2 conditioning + 2 yoga

Let’s break it down:

Weeks 1-3: main lift is 5×5.5.2.3.2 or 6×3; and accessory work is 3 sets

Week 4: main lift is 5x.3.3.2.2.1 or 6×3; and accessory work is 4 sets

I was nervous trying this scheme out as I had never tried a set/rep outline like this before but it’s done wonders for me.

I’ve put 20 pounds on my bench in the past month along with 25 on my deadlift in the past two months. Guys, I haven’t been this strong in years and I’m happy to say that with this strength I feel good. By that I mean, before I was constantly tweaking something and getting injured. Now, where I do have the occasional tweak for the most part they are occasional. I think for me it’s also important to recognize the days where I’m really flaring and back off. I’ve actually had gym sessions where I will go warm up and then just leave because I’m too tired and my body needs healing not working. Three years ago that never would have happened. I would’ve pushed through, made things worse, and then repeat the process the next day. Hello, over-taxing. There are other little things which I do to help my body heal and recover from pushing it such as yoga (which as you can see from my outline I schedule in twice weekly), chiropractic, foam/lax ball rolling, and then supplementing + eating well as my foundation.

Deadlift from a few months ago prior to taking some time off from heavy lifting to heal.

Stuck around 155#. Cleary rest, proper programming, and body tlc helps strength substantially.

Just this week I was having a conversation with a friend in regards to the bone density update and he said “You used to over-train. Everyone knows that. But you don’t anymore and you take better care of your body than any other 21 year old I know, heck you take better care of your body than anyone I know.” Makes me smile. Little things like that comment make me realize how far I have come and how grateful I am to have supportive people in my life.

The actual lifts:

What is each lifting session composed of? A main lift + accessory work.

Strength bench day: 1. bench 5×5.5.3.3.2, 2. dips, 3a. 1 arm row, 3b. double unders, 3c. sit ups

Strength deadlift day: 1. deadlift 5×5.5.3.3.2, 2a. bulgarian split squats, 2b. pull ups, 3a. GHD back ext., 3b. leg ext.*

Speed bench day: 1. bench 6×3, 2. weighted chin ups, 3a. DB OH press, 3b. tricep push down, 4. push ups

Speed deadlift day: 1. deadlift 6×3 (reset between each rep and pull with speed), 2a. step ups, 2b. weighted plank, 3a. double unders, 3b. v-ups

Conditioning is usually sprints or intervals on the bike. Sometimes I’ll just do speed jump rope or freestyle. Occasionally I’ll throw together something like 10×100 DU’S (double unders) 5×50 DU’s 2×25 DU’S and call it a day. It all depends. I might even hit up a crossfit class.

* I know leg extensions get some major criticism in the fitness world. I use these to help my quads out because with all the deadlifting I do my hamstrings are definitely growing stronger, but I am unable to squat so I feel like I need something to help balance myself out. *

1742897_1424471374460332_1899710114_n Conditioning day. Love my DU’s. Ex-competitive jump roper problems.

What I’m changing for the next cycle:

I mentioned this week I am de-loading so right now I’m in the midst of tweaking things to better fit where my body is at and my goals. I rarely make huge changes to my lifting and only do so when needed, otherwise it’s just little things. I am going to be changing up a few accessory moves and that’s it. I feel like this last cycle really worked well for me and I feel great. I have energy in the gym the bulk of the time and I’m putting on muscle and gaining strength. Don’t change something that isn’t broken. I’m not changing this until I feel like it’s no longer working, so when I hit a plateau that I can’t seem to pass, or if I need to medically. One thing is for sure, I’m not nixing pull ups. Goal: 20 dead hang. Current: 12.

“Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just…start.” – Ijeoma Umebinyuo

xo, S

A manifesto for my life

Everybody enjoys a manifesto. Well, at least I know I’ve always been a fan. Hello Lululemon bags.

I found myself thinking about how I wanted to start off this blog. Would I jump right into topics such as being a pre-medical student and why my goal is to become a Physician, or perhaps my experience with being a competitive athlete. I could even go right into writing about various health, wellness, and/or fitness topics. I’ve found that I typically prefer to learn about the person behind the blog before seeing the content of their blog, which is exactly what I’m going to put forward. Before I get into the deeper stuff, the core topics of what I want for this blog to be based around – I want to provide a basis for what my life is about, the things I believe in. What better than a manifesto for my life?

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Do work. Fight hard. Live good. Stay focused. Don’t worry. Lift heavy. Food is medicine. Enjoy movement. Be mobile. Laugh. Don’t save anything for the run (walk) back. Push yourself, mentally and physically. Stop and listen. Drink water. Stop lying to yourself. Do bakasana. Tell people how much they mean to you. Surround yourself with people who support your most difficult dreams. Deadlift. Allow rest. Take action. Be humble. Be even more humble. Take naps. Kick your demons out of your life. Thrive. Eat good food. Enjoy good food. Trust people. Say thank you. Stop over thinking. Slow down when need be, speed up when you can. Drink a cup of coffee before bed now and then, it won’t kill you. Give when nobody is watching. Practice lifting form. Form > weight. Constantly work on mental strength. Ignite passion. Leave the past behind. Don’t quit, can’t fail.

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In the end it’s all up to you. I know that if I can trust myself and believe in my goals I will have the right people supporting me, and I will achieve those goals. I’ve had the privilege to meet some phenomenal individuals via my previous blog and other social media forms (read: instagram) who I am beyond thankful for. I cannot wait to meet even more powerful, and strong individuals as I continue this journey.

 

Questions for you:

1. What are some of the words, or phrases that would be in a manifesto for your life?

2. If you’re a student: what do you study? If you are out of school/opted out of that route: What is your profession? I’m always very intrigued by the way other people live.

Coming back for more

Hi there! I’m Sarah.

While I have written my own blog before I needed a new space. A change. A site that I felt could provide me with room for growth. This is it, The Pursuit of an Outlier.

Welcome 🙂

First off, as to why I refer to myself as an outlier…. Well it’s actually quite simple – I’ve never really fit in, no matter the part of my life. I was always the odd kid out on the playground, the student who just got a long with everyone but was never in a close-knit group, the girl who choose to not go to parties or to partake in other typical teenage activities for that matter, the college student who has since stayed on that same path. It’s my nature. I’m an introvert and quite honestly I love it. Also, I love statistics and we all know outlier refers to a value far from others in a data set…

6 am pre ultra marathon

6 am pre ultra marathon

I’m also a pre-medical student. I love coffee and almond butter equally. I think lifting heavy weights is fun, as are copious amount of double unders. Yoga is a go-to. I’m a supporter of eating disorder recovery. I’m extremely stubborn but I will always listen to the other side of a point. I competed in jump rope at a young age. I’m a fan of piercings, and I have 7. I work as a barista and a cashier when I’m not in school. I mainly just enjoy pushing my limits.

Now if the above proves sufficient evidence for my inability to focus let us move on…

I’m writing this blog as a place to share my story. My personal account of a trial with many errors but also successes. Experience with college, being a science major with plans to become a doctor. The story of how growing up as a competitive athlete comes into play with both mental and physical health and how that competitiveness never leaves. I want to inspire others to believe in themselves even during the darkest of times. I want for people to go after what they want, no matter how much of a challenge may present itself… for that is what makes it fun.

Life is one big adventure and I hope that you can resonate with that statement and join me on this wonderful ride.

Cheers!