It's a Happy Kind of Sore

Wow!  This morning I am sore!  I guess it is a sign of how far off the fitness track I let myself get in the last year of lackluster commitment.  This morning was back and biceps workout, and I found out just how weak my biceps are!  I used to love curls, and even at one point found the 10lb weights to be too easy, today I really struggled to get them up for three sets of 12 reps.  But I did it.  Pretty much my entire upper body feels like it has been worked in the past two days, as I used a lot of accessory muscles to do these workouts.  I did notice yesterday that I had way more energy throughout the day, and didn't hit the usual 3pm crash that I normally do, and I sleep like a baby  last night.
It feels a little odd not doing cardio, it has been a huge part of this journey from the beginning.  But the reason there is no cardio for the first four weeks is because in this phase we are building muscle.  If you do too much/too high-intensity cardio, your body  burns off some of your muscle.  And for women, it is harder to build muscle, so we don't want to compromise our gains.  Most people know that just by having lean muscle mass on your body you burn fat.  That is a pretty big deal.  Cardio has it's place, and I will enjoy adding it back in for the benefit to my heart, but honestly, you can get your heart rate to the same pace with weight training (if you alter the amount of rest between sets, do active rest or circuit-style training) and spend a lot less time doing cardio in the long run.  A lot of women I know really still believe that doing hours of cardio will get them a fantastic figure.  I know a number of skinny-fat women with no muscle-tone. 
OK, off my soap box!  I am learning a lot as I go, from multiple sources, and it feels good to be back on track again.  Mentally, I feel like I can take on whatever comes my way, and I am looking forward to seeing my body shape up.  I was actually a little disappointed when I saw my arms in the mirror this morning, still sore from yesterday, still so big and gross.  Logically, I knew they wouldn't look any different than they did yesterday, but I thought maybe I would see something looking a little tighter.  I decided not to weigh in right now, I think I'll aim to make it a Monday-morning ritual instead of every day.  It plays with my mind too much.  I know I'll be gaining muscle, and it will make me feel bad to see a gain, but I'm smart enough to know the reasons.  I will also be taking measurements when I feel like I need a boost. 
The "diet" portion of this program is going well for me, as the meals aren't too different from the way I was eating before.  The snacks are where my changes are coming in.  Last month, my snacks were apple w/peanut butter (called "natural" but still included sugar and palm oil, things my body doesn't need), low-fat string cheese and low-fat cottage cheese.  I actually kept the cottage cheese in my menu, because it is affordable and easy to pack.  My other snacks are turkey muffins (recipe on the website) and before bed I eat 5 egg whites with veggies.  I'm not the biggest fan of scrambled eggs, so I may change that up at some point, but it's working for now.  What is out of my "usual" diet?  Whole eggs, turkey bacon, peanut butter, cheese, and whole wheat bread.  I actually feel pretty good so far, and I can tell a difference in how clean I am eating, because I get roaringly hungry when it's time to eat, and after eating, I get a happy little buzz all throughout my body, kind of feels like my body saying thank you for giving it what it needs.  I am supplementing my workouts with amino acids, essential fatty acids (flax on my oatmeal or omega caps), protein powder, a multi vitamin and garlic caps.  In general, I am not a huge fan of taking vitamins, and will likely cut out the multi vitamin and garlic once they are gone. 
Tomorrow is leg day, and I am actually relieved to be letting my arms rest for a day.  Then Thursday is shoulders (one of my favorite parts to train) and abs (one of my least faves to train).  Then three lovely days of rest. 
While it's only been two days so far, I am already learning something about myself; having the structure and everything already planned out for me has made it almost effortless to get out of bed, I don't even argue with myself about whether or not I'm going to.    I like being told what to do by someone who knows what to do and why it works.  Knowing what muscle groups to work together, in what order to train the muscles and even what kind of training (push vs pull, cables vs free weights vs plyos etc).  It is all so confusing for a beginner like me, this plan is really easy to follow, and when I'm doing it, I can see that it has been really well planned-out.  When I'm done, I have worked hard, but feel great!  I can tell I am going to get my strength back and then some. 
Well, time for some turkey muffins and half a cucumber.  Enjoy your day!


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