The number I love

So while yesterday was explaining why I don’t like the scale and have to try not to rely on it for weight loss progress, today is going to be about the numbers I do like to use: the amount of weight I’m lifting.

Today I had probably the best workout of my life. I thought I was going to throw up at one point, I thought I was going to pass out at another point, and I actually grunted during one of my sets, causing a guy on the treadmill to look over and widen his eyes. I like to think he was impressed by the amount of weight I was lifting, but more likely, he was disgusted by my unfeminine grunt. But I don’t care!

I started with the standard 15 minute warmup, which I’ve actually really gotten to like doing. Go figure! I think I like Rachel’s warmup better because it feels like I’m actually getting a workout in instead of just doing boring stretches. I had to share the tiny “stretching” room at my hotel gym with another guy who was doing jackknifes and other more macho stretches. At first I thought I was going to be self-conscious doing my squat-to-stands and single-leg-lateral-hops (see here for an awesome video that shows you exactly how ridiculous I look doing the warmup), but as soon as I started, I realized I didn’t care – this warmup is awesome!

I headed out into the main gym for the rest of my workout, and was pleased to see I had the free weights area all to myself – most people were doing cardio. I started with a woodchop (modified to use dumbbells instead of a cable machine), and managed to use 15 pound dumbbells to do so. I was really proud of myself, since I was doing them single arm too – I used to barely be able to pick up a 15 pound dumbbell with one arm! That set was mixed in with planks, which I was super proud to do for 100 secs each set, for a grand total of 300 secs (5 minutes). That’s my New Year’s resolution, right there! Now I just need to do it all in one shot instead of interspersed with the woodchops, but I was still super proud of myself.

But it was the squats and overhead presses where I started to get really proud of myself. I managed to use 30 pound dumbbells for my offset load squats (up from 10 pounds when I started doing these a few weeks ago), and 15 pound dumbbells in each hand for my overhead presses! Next on the agenda were some single leg deadlifts, which I did with 40 pounds – I was very proud to do that much extra weight for a single leg exercise. At this point, I was literally working my butt off, sweating like a pig, and I thought I might throw up… but onward I pressed. I actually took the almost throwing up as a point of pride – I was working out hard! Or maybe that was as a result of too much food and drink at Art Smith’s Art and Soul last night…

Finally, it was time for some alternating lateral lunges and two point dumbbell rows – which I did with 40 pounds and 25 pounds, respectively. It was while doing the dumbbell rows that I achieved the pinnacle of weight lifting nirvana – I inadvertently grunted while lifting. Now I felt like a weight lifting expert! A guy on the treadmills looked over me when I grunted, and widened his eyes a bit – I’d like to think it was because he was impressed by how much tiny little me was lifting and sweating, but in all likelihood, it was because I looked like a disgusting mess :)

At the end of the workout (around 7am), I headed back up to my room to get ready for work, and I was in a fantastic mood. I do think that was the best workout I have ever had, and I cannot believe how strong I am getting these days! After one month of Rachel Cosgrove, I feel totally awesome, and I can’t wait to see what the next month brings. 50 pound dumbbells? I’m coming for you!


  1. Those kind of work-outs will really help. And kick your ass. Keep at it!

  2. So apparently you’re in DC all the time. We totally need to go for a run or just drink Absolut. Or both.

  3. You know it’s a kick ass workout when it includes grunting and possible puking! Way to go!

  4. Awesome job! Feeling like you’re about to puke is always a sign that you’re pushing the envelope :)

    You mentioned Art & Soul– what’d you think? Haven’t made it there yet…partly because I don’t go out to eat much, and partly because Capitol Hill is like another planet– there’s just no quick way for me to get there (from Columbia Heights).

  5. What a great workout. I love feeling totally awful from exertion during a workout. It does feel like a badge of honor.

  6. Love this post and love those numbers. the ones that matter!!

  7. Sounds like a great workout. I love it when I can move up in weights.

  8. Eek! 50 pound dumbells!!! I am in awe.

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