Posts filed under ‘arse




Don’t tread on me

I’m quite self-conscious concerning personal space at the gym. This is because travelling on the Tube fills my quota of getting pressed up against a variety of odours and also because it’s not exactly safe to be arse-touching someone in the middle of their squat. In the free-weights area, you normally have to weave your way around or wait while someone is doing their thing, but it’s only for a few seconds and not a big deal.

On Friday I was just about to start doing some dumbbell chest presses, when a guy came along and almost knocked a dumbbell out of my hand with his arse. In a gym, I’d expect most mortals with a sense of gym etiquette would be, “I’m really sorry, didn’t see you/I tripped/I thought I saw a ghost,” because had that dumbbell landed anywhere on my face, I would have let rip once I had recovered from the rhinoplasty.

Instead, he just went about his business with his buddy and they did dumbbell flies only throughout their entire workout, grunting in a manner I’ve seen in various flavours on the labour ward. I couldn’t be bothered to say anything, I figured this is the type of guy who won’t eat fruit because, “OMFG, sugar!” But will happily chow down a tub of Superdoopermaxigainermuscle powder with added dextrose. Fairly certain it wouldn’t have happened if I looked like Oscar De La Hoya.

In the same session, I encountered a PT who was training two guys who were new to the gym. I asked how long they were going to be with the stepper: to my delight, unlike some patrons he didn’t snap/scoff/roll eyes and he told one of the guys with him to take the equipment over to me. The latter was a bit excessive, but I was touched all the same.

I’ve told B that once we have our own house complete with garage, that shall be our home gym. The answer is always,  “But where will the car live?”

The car can graduate to the garage once I can lift it.

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I still have a horrendous case of the DOMS from Friday’s session, and it shocked me when I thought about how much strength I had lost. Some friends of mine run a company which offers pole dancing classes, I’m tempted to try something out a little different, and I think pulling yourself upside down and hanging there using your thighs is a neat little party trick.

1 comment February 22, 2009

Gym: tightness

“Try and close your legs a bit more!”

I wasn’t expecting to hear that in the gym, but today I asked one of the instructors if she could watch my form on the push press. My form was ok, but my legs kept jumping apart as soon as I did a rep. We discussed my squat stance and she believes that my hip flexors are too tight. I had thought this was the case for a while as I kept feeling a feeling of tightness in my right hip flexors. The fact that my glutes aren’t massively strong either probably contributes to this.

She suggested I modify the push press so I start from a squatting position, and move up from there. I liked the fact that it would work more of my lower body doing so, so we used one of the benches for me to perch on while I got used to the movement. Again, my legs were all over the place. After a few reps, she told me to visualise the different muscle groups working, and to really try to feel them. This seemed to work and she said my form was spot on.

I need to keep working on my glutes. I think that will help my overall squatting technique and I’ve noticed they’re beginning to take some shape. Less of the ironing board and more of an ironing board with a bit of a deformity in the middle.

Add comment April 22, 2008

Sadistic Sunday: the aftermath

Well it appears the lightbulb enjoyed the lower body work. In his own words, “I love deadlifting!” Music to my ears. He and the boy weren’t so great with the squat, it’s something I think comes with a lot of practice, and lightbulb wanted to run before he could walk; to use the bar immediately. My own preference is to get used to the movement by sitting down on one of the benches (holding a 10kg plate is optional). Anyway, the lightbulb is no more, however we seem to be verging on overcompensation when he told me he wants to go to the gym again tonight. Sigh. Sit your arse down!

My deadlifting form looks ok, to the observer. However, the first rep of each set, I seem to be bringing my hips up too early, making it an almost stiff legged deadlift. I’m not sure if this is psychosomatic in that I’m anticipating the heavy load, or if I just need to engage my glutes a bit more and concentrate on pushing through my heels. I’m not prepared to take my chances even if it’s the former, so I’m going to take some weight off and continue with great sets rather than a good set with a few oopies at the beginning. I’m sure my back will appreciate it. In a sense it’s taking a step back but it’s also taking a step forward if it ensures something is being done properly.

I didn’t like the gym (Fitness First, Streatham Hill). It was too ‘busy’ for me. Not only in terms of human traffic, but the visual overload of noise, machines, benches, mirrors etc was a bit too much for me. My gym is small, but there’s enough ‘space’ in the sense that it’s airy and light.

Add comment April 13, 2008

Arse watch, part 1

For as long as I can remember, I have always reffered to my lovely posterior as the ‘ironing board’ – pretty self-explanitory: straight up and down, nowt to see. It also runs in the family, my mum and my granmother have always had flat posteriors (yes, we’ve discussed it).

 Truth be told, I never really took much notice of it as I had always had a complex about my breasts. At their biggest they were a 30G, they’re now 28FF thanks to the drop in body fat. As a teenager, it wasn’t that fun to be that far into the alphabet (I’m happy to report, I love them now) so the ironing board was happy to be in the background, as that was something I didn’t have to draw attention to.

 Until now. I must admit, in the first year of working out, I neglected my glutes a little bit. And given that my thighs are quite strong now, it might be a little more difficult to engage them. At the moment, I’m splitting my routine, and on lower days, I try to include either the deadlift or squat and lunges. Outside of this, I take 2 or 3 steps at a time, giving my glutes a squeeze on the way up. It’s nice to shoot up the escalator at Victoria station.

I must admit, I shamefully didn’t squat very much in the last year. My form wasn’t great, and an instructor held no punches in telling me, but didn’t offer much help in improving it, besides telling me to, “Do cardio.” So I let the deadlift take over. It wasn’t until a month ago I started squatting again. At first with a 10kg plate, going as low as I could – which wasn’t that low to start with. The first time I went really low, my muscles ached for 3 days afterwards.

I looked at the videos on stronglifts.com, gubernatrix.co.uk and stumptuous.com. Then I picked up a small bar and did some squats. Felt ok.

 In the last week, I have been using the olympic bar confidently, and I felt that my form was good enough to add some weight, so I put on the tiny plates which all added up to 27.5kg. I found it almost easier having a little more weight helping me down, and I made a conscious effort to give my glutes a little squeeze during the exercise. In the next coming months I’m confident I’ll be adding more weight.

So in terms of arse watching, the ironing board has started to get a little ‘blip’. Even my boyfriend noticed (a bum man) and he happily told me, “Your bum is getting bigger!” He rarely picks up on tiny subtle changes, so I was pleased with this. Watch this space.

Add comment March 18, 2008

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