Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Push Press

That is right, we're talking upper body and an overhead lift known as the push press. When it comes to some of the basic lifts, the press is often a difficult one to increase on and the form is definitely important. Even when I was doing the 5x5 of Stronglifts, which uses the strict/military press, both males and females would often question how to get stronger on that lift in particular because many stall on the press. With the push press, using the legs is an added bonus allowing for a little more weight to get lifted.

The Lift
A weight training exercise for the anterior head of the deltoid (shoulder). The push press is similar to the military press; however, the movement is started by a 'push' from the legs. This begins the momentum of the movement, the weight is then slowly lowered back to the shoulders.

Equipment: (options vary)
Barrel (maybe, lol)
Essentially you need something that can be held and put overhead. On occasion at work I have to almost push press totes full of products to stack as I'm short and most get stacked taller than me.

To see and learn how to do the lift, check out the links posted below. While some might refer to this lift as a "cheat" there are plenty who can list the reasons for the lift beyond just trying to get up a little more weight.

Some links:

For fun, I took part in a push press challenge over on the forums at It was fun and I even placed 2nd out of the females in the 132 weight class. And this time it wasn't 2nd out of 2 like the bench press challenge.

That is all for this lift. While it's not quite as fun as say, the deadlift, it's still one I enjoy even if it's one I can lift the least amount overall. One day I'll get 100 lb overhead, one day.

What do you think of the push press?
How much can you lift overhead?

Monday, October 31, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

Another year and another novel. Or well, similar world of a previous attempt but still different novel. I am revisiting the world from the epic year of 2012. Then I managed to get 160,000 words in the month on a novel that ended up just under 180,000 for the first draft. The novel will be split into two when I finally get to the rewrite as it's too long without much worldbuilding or description. In order to develop some of the plot for the series and the world, I've decided this year to do a novel following a different character.

The series that I've written thus far focuses on Aeon. He is a young mage student who struggles in his studies because of a past attack that affected his memory. There are many things he doesn't remember or know, including his own full identity.

Yes, it's a little done before with the secret prince/princess but that's where the story went. And what brings in the new novel is that he has someone who protects him. That person went through intensive training and has to be fully dedicated to the point of putting his own life on the line if necessary.

That character is Xan and now he's getting his own novel.

While most of the time I don't care for when a novel comes out afterwards that actually goes before book 1 in the series but mine aren't published. So, we are going to find out what it takes to become Aeon's protector.

Hoping to get at least 100,000 words with the first 50k done within the first week. I will update on here for sure, along with a few other topics. End of the year, 2016 blog posting come back. Woot. Plus, it's almost midnight and I can't wait to write.

Are you writing for NaNoWriMo?
What is your novel about?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Motivation and Priorities Q&A from WDC part 1

I posted an item on in order to get questions for a Q&A Youtube video with a focus in particular on writing. I'm also posting here in the blog to put those answers down in longhand form along with my video rambles. Granted, the questions were a while ago but hoping to play catch up and hey, this means I need to post more often. This first post deals more with motivation and connecting fitness with writing.

Question posted by jiminicritic: Keeping physically fit is obviously important, but at what point does it interfere with one's writing? How do you stop from overdoing it?

Answer: This will depend on the individual, like many other things in life. Honestly, it can interfere with writing in that one can't always do everything at the same time. When it comes to getting things done, some will get priority over others. At times, writing had more of a priority. I will admit that the year of focusing on weight loss and starting to lift did meant that I wrote much less. For NaNoWriMo 2015, I only got about 30,000 words. I finished the first draft recently, which is a plus considering sometimes it takes me years to finally get the draft done even if I hit the magic 50k number during NaNo. Plus, the novel was YA contemporary so the first draft wasn't going to get to any crazy numbers, unlike the fantasy one I have.

As for what point is it an interference? That I can't pinpoint. One of the good parts of being unpublished is it's not like I'm missing deadlines or anything. And to be honest, I feel in some ways the thing that interferes both my writing and fitness goals both is the thing I have to do: work. Having to make money to pay bills unfortunately takes priority over writing and lifting because those can't quite help with rent or student loans at this point in time.

Overdoing it can be a challenge for some people in any given venue. For me it's often a one thing gets big focus and others lay awaiting for a little then the tides shift. It's the same with novels. NaNoWriMo gives me a chance to focus on one single novel (or two) for a month and that is a big main focus in November, so a couple of other things go to the side. It can feel like overdoing it when doing things like writing over 100,000 in a month but then things shift again. Fitness was a big focus and I still have my cycles where it's more of a forefront and other times where it's on the side.

Though have to be careful not to go overdo it to the point of injury. Have to be cautious when doing things like training for powerlifting. I've done it mostly when trying to lose weight, which means a calorie deficit and that can sap some of the energy as food does equal energy.

Question posted by Octobersun: How do you motivate yourself to train regularly?

Answer: The main method of staying motivated to train on a regular basis was that I found something I enjoyed. If I tried to force myself to do something I'm not as fond of, like say I decided to do spinning as I didn't enjoy that when I tried it, then I'd struggle to keep going. Even with running where it's a challenge and not what I thought I'd like, it gives me the chance to create music playlists and was a good time for thinking of novels and other things. Weightlifting, I had enjoyed in the past. My first time was with bench press and a few machines back in high school when I competed in track where I was doing throwing, which involved lifting as part of the training. While I hadn't done deadlifts, it was interesting to try the other lifts and I quickly found I liked the challenge. And it gave me something to focus on besides the scale while trying to lose weight. Plus, I also have goals which helps with the focus. Getting ready for a meet or a long distance run, that helps push me to keep going even on the days when I might want to just stay home.

Question by Ruwth: How has your weightlifting experience impacted your writing?

Answer: I don't think that weightlifting has impacted my writing much except maybe it distracted me from writing. Now, when I'm not at work, a few hours a week are spent in the gym instead of at the computer. Health wise, it's probably for the better though. However, it does help at time with ideas and doing physical activities can help when writing more action type elements in a story. Granted I can't do magic or anything but I know how some things feel and can expand from there when I'm writing what a character is going through in certain scenes. I also have a romance story that is between a long distance runner and a body builder, which is inspired a little by the anti-cardio weightlifters and the runners who don't do weight training. So, it has both helped and hindered my writing a little but for the most part is a separate entity in my life.

Youtube link:

Saturday, August 6, 2016

July Summary (What all distracted me)

So much happened in July that I ended up not posting much of anything for the entire month. There was more other stuff than writing and a little fitness on the side. Here is what has gone on lately, for anyone who is interested. :-)


I moved to Los Angelos early in June but that was into my sister's studio apartment and with just a car load of my belongings. July we moved into a new apartment. There was a short interruption that I'll discuss next but we spent part of the beginning of the month transitioning in apartments. Towards the end of the month, then, I drove all the way back up to Oregon to get the rest of my belongings. My dad drove over to help as he has a truck. We did end up leaving some stuff behind for the old roommates as they weren't quite worth the effort needed and didn't want to get a trailer. It was around 16 hour drive each way but heading down to LA again was done in two days, whereas on the way up, I did the drive in one day.

Visit Home

At the beginning of July we had to make an unfortunate trip over to Wyoming. My grandmother had suffered with Alzheimer's for the past few years and she passed away. We (My sister and I) went to attend the funeral and just be with our family. It was a long drive both ways but wouldn't have done it any other way.

Bad Luck

Had some not great luck, in particular with my car. Had a very minor accident that involved very little damage and no injuries, but was very jarring and a hassle. Then, day before leaving for Oregon, I popped a back tire on my car. Had to wait for road side assistance as I wasn't sure on how the use the jack that came with the donut tire thing my car has. I could change a tire but have never done it by myself with the car. Had to get a new one, which was an added expense on an already tight budget.


My work schedule has been rather sporadic at the new location. There was a slight issue with the transfer in that the system put me as unavailable every day when it went through and the newer person doing the schedule didn't notice, so I wasn't on the schedule for that week. I did fill in at a different store and am still in contact with them. Other times I've gotten okay hours. I'm also applying for positions higher up and have been trying to get further in the company for a couple of years now. In progress but also looking around for opportunities.


Still going to the gym and lifting. Not doing much running yet as I haven't found a place to run though am looking at a park that isn't too far away. The gym is only about 11 miles away, but that can be a long drive here in LA. I was a little sporadic with my lifting due to the lots of driving and things that went on during the month. I got in one lifting session in Wyoming along with some walks. In Oregon, I just packed up things. I'm starting a peak cycle in my weight lifting though, despite not able to compete at the APA Meet in October. Working towards a possible PR on all of the lifts. Trying to get squat above 200 and increase a little on bench. We'll see how deadlift will go as that I would like to see increase a decent amount but hard to tell the results.

This was hit the hardest. I haven't done much writing at all. I did a tiny little bit on North West and am on the very last chapter of the first draft. Need to get the last section done.  Need to up my game on this now that I have a place to set my computer aside from the bed. We have a table up and even have a new couch in the living room. Writing will happen in August along with a couple of blogs and hopefully some youtube videos.

August is a big month. Applying for jobs, trying to write, lifting heavy and my birthday. Hope it goes better than July. Hoping for good things this month.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pre-Summer Novel Progress

At last, an update on my current novels. I have many projects going, as usual, and figured it would be a good time to state where I'm at in most of them now as I get ready to make goals for the rest of summer.

Current Novels in Progress:

North West

This is my current first draft that has taken most of my energy and focus for the past few months. I started the novel for NaNoWriMo 2015 but only got up to 30k during the month. The first draft is now over 50,000 words and I recently finished chapter 20. In fact, it's almost time to end the whole thing. I'm at the climatic part of the story where things are bad and we don't even know if the one main character will survive. Plan to write the last bit very soon.

The good part is that means I will have another first draft done. However, compared to the other first draft work in progress, this is not one that will be ready for submission sooner. In fact, I will have to do research before editing/rewriting. Boys Read Romance will be ready quicker as it doesn't require the accuracy that North West does. Between the travels and the fact that the whole story is based around the characters going on adventure to see the Northern Lights, it means getting things accurate. Hence, that will take longer.

Boys Read Romance

I started this novel before November, which is why I didn't use it for NaNo since I wanted to follow the "rule" of starting with word one of the story. Made it to chapter 7 before getting distracted by focusing on NW. I do like the novel and hope to get back to working on it this summer. I'm liking the contemporary YA novels right now. Might write a few along with the speculative fiction ones.

Aeon Fading

On standby but my plan is for this summer to start the rewrite. First draft came in just under 180,000 words, which is a little too long. I will be rewriting it into two novels with the first one keeping the title of Aeon Fading. Second book will involve Ixia or Basil, as those are part of his name and position in the world he lives within. Should be at least 3 books in total, maybe 4. Will have to see how the rewrite goes, etc.

Tattle Tell

I have worked the query letter a few times. I need to do a synopsis asap because most of the agents I want to submit queries to require one. However, I have officially submitted the novel to an agency. So, it is now in submission and will have a few more sent out once that pesky synopsis is crafted. *throws confetti*

Those are the main ones, though I have to admit there are at least three others on the side. Lots of work to do. In fact, I should go write and work on that synopsis.

What are you writing now?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fiction Writer's Experience at KROQ Weenie Roast Music Festival

I love music but have rarely had the chance to see any live performances. I have been to a few small country fair concerts and one bigger one that was held at Cheyenne Frontier Days, but other than that, no concerts or music festivals for me until I went to LA. My sister does some music blogging and was able to get us into a music festival where it was groups that I actually listen to, for the most part, and overall it was a cool experience.

I must admit that when it comes to bands and music, I tend to recognize the song more than the people performing it. Aside from listening to the radio, I am big on creating playlists. Many of the novels I have in progress or plan to write in the near future have a playlist with at least 10 songs. I also have different playlists for running as I go more by time than distance when I'm training. So, I love making playlists and listening to music even if I don't pay as much attention to the people involved.

Still, it was a great experience seeing groups perform live and I hope to see more in the future. For fun, this post is a little review of the festival that I attended along with details on who performed and some of the songs I have in my current novel playlists.

KROQ Weenie Roast @ Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre

The event was a 24 year tradition in Orange County with this being the last year they would host in that particular venue. The station =

The lineup and my thoughts on the performances:

Budlight Party Stage

DJ Jeremiah Red
Bear Hands
Bishop Briggs
Nothing But Thieves
The Strumbellas
Lukas Graham

We didn't catch the first few since I didn't know some of them. The first ones we went over to the smaller stage to check out was Nothing But Thieves as the radio station up in Portland has played their song Trip Switch before (94.7 fm, Alternative Portland). I had also heard of the Strumbellas from listening to that station too. Had a good view of Nothing But Thieves with the exception of some tall people as it was standing room type of situation and well, I'm short. The Strumbellas were on the other stage, so I couldn't see them very well.

I really enjoyed Nothing But Thieves, who are from the UK.  They had good energy and it was easy to see how much the members of the band put themselves into their performance. If you haven't heard them before, I recommend checking them out. Trip Switch is a great song but others are enjoyable too. I don't have many of their songs attached to novels yet, but the one is going with Renegade and Quarantine for sure.

From the Strumbellas, I do like Spirits. It's a good song in general. I don't have any of their songs on playlists at this time but suspect that will change in the future.

Had no idea who Lukas Graham was but the women standing near me were very excited to see him. Very excited. Made for an interesting experience in the topic of fangirl-dom.

Main Stage

DJ Jeremiah Red
Miike Snow
Fitz and the Tantrums
Cold War Kids
The Lumineers
Panic! at the Disco
(not on playlist) Blink-182
Empire of the Sun
(Did not perform, hospital situation) Red Hot Chili Peppers

I actually knew all of the bands, though had to hear a song or two in order to remember a couple because I pay more attention to songs than who plays them. Most are ones that get played on the radio station I listen to but I've also heard many of them for years. And yes, I have songs from some of them on novel playlists.

People were really disappointed at the end when RHCP couldn't perform. Okay, more mad than disappointed. I didn't put down a lot of money so that might have influenced my lack of caring, plus all of the other performers did an awesome job. I still would like to see them perform, some day, live and hope things go better for the band with the hospital situation that caused the cancellation.

I enjoyed every performance. Panic! had to be one of the most dynamic performers out of the bunch though a few gave them a run for that title. Empire of the Sun was the most costume orientated and showy. Loved Garbage and despite a fall, she powered through, which shows great on her part as it can be hard to recover in the moment let alone turn it around that quickly the way she handled the situation. Also, a number of the bands have new albums and/or songs coming out this summer and performed some of them for the crowd along with the more popular ones.

Overall, a great experience and while I don't have all on playlists there are more to come in the future as I keep writing. And I may have gotten a novel title for an adult story from the new Fitz and the Tantrums song, maybe. ;-)

Novel Playlists with songs from bands that performed at Weenie Roast:

North West - Weezer (My Best Friend)
Snow - Panic! at the Disco (Ready to Go)
Under the Selfsame Sky - The Lumineers (Ho Hey)
Three Days of Rain - Garbage (I'm Only Happy When It Rains)

More to come. Have several novels that still need playlists. It's on the very long to do list for summer along with the youtube videos. Which, clips of the music festival will be up once I combine everything from my LA trip. Stay tuned for that.

What music groups have you seen live?
What is one song on your current novels playlist you enjoy the most right now?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

First Powerlifting Meet and Youtube

At long last, the blog post about the experience I had at my first powerlifting meet. I took part in Elite Spring Challenge within the APA-WPA federation. It was held in Oregon and was a qualifier competition for another meet that will be held in October. Here is the video I put together with the lifts someone was nice enough to film for me along with the details of my experience at my very first and definitely not last powerlifting meet.

Had a great first meet experience. Another lifter offer to have her friend film me too and email it to me, so that was super nice because I had no one (friends or family) there with me. I didn't get all 3 attempts on all of the lifts but overall am pleased with how it went. Considering making notes on kg during training instead of just lbs to practice cause that conversion was a little rough at times when making decisions on my next attempts, maybe.

Squat - 3 white lights on the first two but failed on near 210, started to lean forward when trying to grind it out but that's okay. Got 198 on second attempt and all of my attempts were kinda slow, so things to work on.

Bench - First attempt 3 white lights, 1 red on second (not sure reason but eh, still counted) and failed the attempt at close to 125 (pesky conversions). That pause is just too long for me at that weight for now. 115 was my second attempt so that's still my max for good reps though I've done 125 touch and go.

Deadlift - Got all three attempts with just 1 red light on one attempt. I ended up going for a little more than planned on the third attempt as the second went well and trying to pick a decent weight with the conversion. Managed around 248. Not quite at goal of 2 times body weight but getting closer.

For a half minute or so, held a total record, which was kind of fun in the moment as he announced when your attempt was for a record before the lift.

Results, I don't remember the exact kg total but around 560ish lbs. Ended up placing second in the open division for the 132 weight class. This meet was also a qualifier for a "world" meet that is held in the same location in October. So, I'm qualified to compete in that one and can focus my training in preparation for APA-WPA World. Maybe I can get my total to above 600 if I get those last attempts worked out in bench, squat (okay, increase a little on both) and get over 2xbw deadlift. #goals

Really enjoyed the meet. Everyone is nice and encouraging. I had a good time, lots of nerves and energy and can't wait to compete again.

My Youtube Channel

Aside from the video of my lift and a couple lifts I'd put up for a little competition on, there are other videos along with future plans. I decided to start my own youtube channel in connection with the topics of this blog.

Fiction & Fitness Youtube Channel

The channel will have similar topics as the blog with a little more emphasis on the fitness than writing as it's a little easier to show video of lifting and food compared to the writing side. There will be writing ones too though, I can guarantee that. I have many plans in how to use topics for the video along with the longer worded stuff for here on the blog. It is a little weird filming myself and hearing my voice on the videos because you sound so very different in your head compared to recordings. Taking time to get used to it but should be more consistent with content as I learn programs, editing and get to posting different videos and blogs.

Coming soon: LA, Music Festival and Novel Updates.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The SMFPA Chapters 7, 8 and 9

Last of the meet prep, or at least the gym time. One thing left after this and that is the competition. Things went pretty well except for getting a cold. It hit me hard for a couple of days then had the lingering parts for a while. Going low calorie is not my recommendation when recovering from a cold, even if you don't feel like eating, but sometimes it just has to be done that way. Been tired and had some rough moments with the cardio but overall, things went well. Can't wait to see the results this weekend.

Chapter 7


OHP 2x10 @ 45, 1x6 @ 65, 3x5 @ 80 - tough but managed

pull-ups 3x1.5, chin-ups 1x3
tricep push down 4x10 @ 80

cable bicep curl 1x1 @ 80 for fun then 3x10 @ 50
pallof press 3x10 @ 40

30 minutes on elliptical watching Chopped on Food Network

Trying to get a little extra cardio in on a regular basis but nothing crazy. Usually just 20 or 30 minutes. Have the next two days off so can update more soon. Plus tomorrow is squat and going to try it in singlet.

warm up on elliptical for 10 minutes

Squats 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 135, 1x3 @ 185 with belt
working sets with belt 3x1 @ 200 (1 & 3 were grindy)

sumo deadlift 1x6 @ 135, 1x5 @ 170 and 3x5 @ 195

20 minutes on elliptical but didn't care for the show on Food Network

Bench 2x8 @ 45, 1x6 @ 75, 1x5 @ 95 and 3x1 @ 120

db bench press 4x4 @ 40
bent over row 4x6 @ 90

cable tricep pushdown 3x10 @ 80
cable bicep curl 3x10 @ 60

That is all. Skipped cardio as it was late and needed to do a thing before bed for the 250k challenge that ends today. Was very pleased that 120 went well as I didn't fail or anything on it. One more weekend of lifting then it's rest until the meet. Getting closer, so quick and slow at the same time.

low bar squat 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 3x6 @ 135

Deadlift 1x6 @ 135, 1x3 @ 185, 1x3 @ 205 and 3x1 @ 230

I also forgot my belt and didn't use my straps making this a minor PR on deadlift since my max without straps was 225. I have done 235 with straps for 2 reps and the belt is still new to the mix. Was happy with the performance even though it was slow, especially that last rep.

Did slow cardio on elliptical just cause and watched Cutthroat kitchen but by the end felt very blah. I would sleep all day but I still have 2 work days, then I will have my two days off.

Chapter 8

Squat 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 135, 1x3 @ 185 and 1x1 @ 200
185 and 200 were with belt

overload @ 280 for about 12 count though didn't step back after unracking cause wow was it heavy

Then just 35 minutes on the elliptical to watch food network.

Bench and Deadlift

bench 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 75, 1x5 @ 95, 1x1 @ 105 and 1x1 @ 115
-this went pretty well, just feeling out cause upper strength is slow back after cold

deadlift 1x6 @ 135, 1x5 @ 185, 1x1 @ 230 and well that's all cause failed 240
-tried to follow plan but couldn't get 2 @ 230 but tried 240 anyways. I was slow off the floor on 230, which was unusual too. 240 went a couple inches and no more.

Body Weight: 131.8

Chapter 9

First Attempts
warm up for squats - 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 135
Squats 3x1 @ 185 with belt

warm up for bench - 1x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 75, 1x5 @ 95
Bench 3x1 @ 105

warm up for deadlift - 1x6 @ 135, 1x5 @ 185
Deadlift 3x1 @ 225 with belt

Imagined the cues on them all. Still a little nervous about that and all of the details that will be different, like the number of people around. Wish I had family or something nearby so that I didn't have to do the whole event alone. I would like to get video but that may not be plausible since no one is going with me. Will have to wait and see.

Watching the weight on the scale as need to be at 132 or less for the weigh in, which is Saturday. Last step on the scale was at 130.4, so should do just fine. Then will be food and the fun. Can't wait to see how my numbers go at the meet. Hopefully this slow cold recovery doesn't affect my strength too much but will have to wait and find out on the big day.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The SMFPA Chapters 5 and 6

Got behind again but here is the update from weeks ago back when I did the weeks 5 and 6. Weeks 7, 8 and 9 will be combined and next as weeks 8 and 9 weren't much. Spoiler, I got a cold during that time which didn't help. Anyways, the meet is this weekend. I'm lifting Sunday on April 17th 2016.

Chapter 5

Did a light warm up on the elliptical since I don't work today. Followed by band pulls between warm up sets of OHP using my yellow resistance band.

OHP 2x10 @ 45, 1x6 @ 65 and 4x3 @ 80

pull ups 3x2ish, almost two per set. I can see above the bar but not get my chin there
chin ups 1x3, getting closer to 4
tricep pushdown 4x8 @ 80

incline bench on smith machine 3x5 @ 50 - just the weights counted and tried it out for fun
pendlay rows with straps 3x5 @ 100

Jogged 30 minutes on treadmill while watching Food Network.

warmup squats - 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 135, 1x5 @ 155
Squats 2x4 @ 170 (one without belt) 2x3 @ 180 - rest with belt and slow

overload 240 for 15 count - Freakin' heavy

pause squats 1x4 @ 120 and 1x3 @ 130 all with 8 count

sumo deadlift 1x6 @ 135 and 3x5 @ 190

Yep, today was bench and I failed on my last set. It wasn't so bad as I've failed before at 115 and once on incline bench, which was far more awkward and at a lighter weight. Had to roll of shame it but got it handled well enough. There was one guy there, in the squat rack, and he did actually ask if I was okay. Though he also made a comment about how I should get someone to spot me and such. He later failed on squats and ended up having the safeties a little low (not the best time to discover that factor) but didn't respond when I just asked if he was okay. Do hope he didn't hurt anything cause that would suck. He left after squatting and I finished up my accessories in the empty gym.

band pulls warm up 3x10

Bench warm up 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 70, 1x6 @ 95
working set 2x4 @ 105, 1x3 and 1x2 @ 110 (last rep failed)

pull ups 3x1.5 and chin ups 1x3
db bench press 4x5 @ 40

db fly 1x8 @ 30 and 2x10 @ 25 - 30 felt a tad heavy
one db row 3x8 @ 45

face pull 3x10 @ 60
pallof press 3x10 @ 35

Overall, okay but tad rough with the fail on 110 as I've done it many times before. Oh well. Onward and carry on with tomorrow being deadlifts.

low bar squat - 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 135, 3x5 @ 155

Deadlift - 1x6 @ 135, 1x5 @ 185, 2x4 @ 200 and 2x3 @ 210

cable kickbacks 3x10 @ 40
good mornings with fixed barbell 3x10 @ 60

30 minutes on elliptical watching Food Network

Chapter 6

10 minute warm up on elliptical

OHP 2x10 @ 45, 1x6 @ 65 and 3x5 @ 75 - not too heavy but not the lightest either

pull ups 3x1 barely, here was where my arms were just blah. Also 1 set of chin ups for 2ish reps. Talked some with gym owner during this time too about pull ups and such. He showed me a pick of him in his early 20's when he did competitions. Interesting at least.

tricep cable pushdown with rope 3x8 @ 80

bicep cable curl 3x10 @ 40 - gym got a new attachment for cables
seated row 3x10 @ 70

lateral raises 3x8 @ 10
around world 3x8 @ 5 - tried just for fun

30 minutes on elliptical. Also managed to hit my bag that had my notebook in it with elliptical pedal and dinged up the front cover. Poor book. Got to watch Chopped so that was fun at least.

warm up on elliptical

Squats 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 135, 1x4 @ 165
working set - 3x2 @ 190 - last rep was a grind for sure

overload 260 for a count of 15

pause squat 140 1x2 - easy since just 2 reps

good morning 3x10 @ 95

sumo deadlift 1x6 @ 135, 3x5 @ 195 - heaviest so far but managed okay

30 minutes on elliptical while watching food network to end the session and legs were tired after all of that. Now I'm going to eat some soup with extra veggies and chicken added cause mm sodium. Think next squats day I'll try it out with the singlet too. Fun times to be had still.

elliptical warm up 10 minutes

Bench 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 70, 1x6 @ 95, 1x2 105, 3x2 @ 115
115 used to be my 1 rep max so woot for getting 3 sets of 2

db bench 4x4 @ 40
pull ups 3x1.5 and chin ups 1x3

db fly 1x6 @ 30 and 2x10 @ 25
one db row 3x8 @ 45

face pull 3x10 @ 60
pallof press 3x10 @ 40

low bar squats 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 135, 3x5 @ 155 with belt

Deadlift 1x6 @ 135, 1x5 @ 185, 3x2 @ 220 with belt

And some cardio on the elliptical. Was lazy so didn't do any accessories, still waiting for pad for the hip thrusts. Plus it had been a long day since Easter Sunday I worked 9 hours before going to the gym.

That was chapters 5 and 6. Not bad even with the one fail. Lots of lifting and some pictures posted on Instagram. My username is Fiction2Fitness on Instagram if anyone is interested in such.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The SMFPA Chapters 3 and 4

I'm way behind so hope to post a few days in a row. Almost 2 weeks until the meet. Prep chapters 3 and 4 were easier still but was starting to get a sense of the upcoming challenges.

Chapter 3


elliptical warm up for 10 minutes
band pulls 3x10 yellow band
OHP 2x8 @ 45, 1x6 @ 55, 3x5 @ 70
pull up 3x1.5 and chin up 1x2
tricep push down 3x10 @ 70 - one time with bar and 2 sets with the rope
pendlay with straps 3x5 @ 115 - meh. Can tell I haven't done these in a while. Need to work on form and tried straps just cause hand is acting up right now.
pallof press 3x10 @ 35
chair abs 3x9 BW


elliptical for 10 minutes warm up
band pulls for shoulders before warm up squat sets
Squats 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 135, 4x4 @ 160 - okay but rather slow
Overload/Walkout 1x 15 count @ 230
Pause Squats 2x4 @ 110 for 8 count
good morning 3x10 @ 85
sumo deadlift 1x5 @ 135 and 3x5 @ 180

30+ minute jog outside at the park. Didn't quite do the full playlist, which was about 40 minutes. Some rain but at least not a downpour.


band pull warm ups 3x10

Bench 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 75, 1x6 @ 85 and 4x4 @ 100 - went okay but tad slow at times. Maybe next weekend I will go before work and see if the staff person can do a hand off so I can practice that instead of getting the bar myself each set as the meet will involve that unless I request to not have anyone help.
pull ups 3x1 barely, struggled with them this time, and chin ups 1x2 both on the smith machine
db bench press 3x6 @ 35
db fly 3x10 @ 25
one db row 3x10 @ 40
face pull 3x10 @ 60
pallof press 3x10 @ 35


low bar squat 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 115 and 3x5 @ 145 - feels heavy when doing low bar versus high bar
Deadlift 1x6 @ 135, 1x5 @ 165, 4x4 @ 190
leg press 3x10 @ 225
cable kick back 3x10 @ 40
hanging ab chair thing 2x10

Chapter 4


warm up was 10 minutes on elliptical and 3x10 band pull aparts
OHP 2x8 @ 45, 1x6 @ 60, 4x4 @ 75
pull ups 3x1 - still not yet at 2 reps at all, chin ups 1x3 - woot, one more rep!
tricep push down 4x10 @ 70
bicep curl 3x10 @ 25ish - ez curl bar plus 10
shoulder press 3x8 @ 50 - 25 per side, tried it just for fun
pendlay rows with straps 3x8 @ 95 - much better form this time with the lower weight though still a few eh reps.
30 minutes jog on treadmill

 (This one was off from the program cause silly me forgot the notebook at home so guessed numbers and while I did the right weight for squats, the overload and pause ones were lighter than on plan.)

warm up on elliptical for 10 minuts

Squats 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 135, 155 1x5
working sets = 170 4x3
overload 230 for 15 count (was supposed to do 240)
pause squats 1x4 @ 110 and 1x4 @ 115 for 8 count each rep (was supposed to do 120 2x3)
good morning 3x10 @ 95
sumo deadlift 1x6 @ 135 and 3x5 @ 185


Bench - 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 70, 1x6 @ 95 (heavy)
working sets - 4x3 @ 105
pull up attempts 3x1 almost at 2, chin ups 1x3
db bench press 4x5 @ 40
db fly 3x8 @ 25
one db row 3x8 @ 45
face pull 3x10 @ 60
pallof press 3x10 @ 35


band pulls 3x10
low bar squats 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 115, 1x5 @ 150 and 2x5 @ 150 with belt
Deadlift 1x6 @ 135, 1x5 @ 185, 1x3 @ 200 and 3x3 @ 200 with belt
hip thrust 3x10 @ 115 using mat as padding, awkward but might increase next time
rack pulls 2x5 @ 205 - eh, hands ached 

Thus far not too bad. Near the end the posts will get easier because there are less accessories and such. Last couple weeks are mostly the main lifts and the final week is more the first attempt and light work, but nothing too heavy the few days leading up to the meet. Next 2 chapters coming soon.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The SMFPA Chapters 1 and 2

First 2 weeks of weightlifting in the Story of My First Peak Attempt.

Chapter 1


Band pulls for warm up, between 45 (bar) warm up in OHP for 2 sets and one set at 55, then just another warm up ohp at 55 but no band pulls
OHP 3x8 @ 65 - more reps than I'm used to, need to figure out the numbers for this lift for the next few weeks ahead of time.
Pull up attempts bodyweight 3x1 and by one I mean almost not a full one as I can't get my chin over the bar yet. chin ups 1x2 as I couldn't get in a third rep
Tricep extension 3x12 @ 70 - between pull up attempts
Seated row 3x10 @ 80

30 minute run on treadmill while watching Food Network.


warm up sets 2x8 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95 and 1x6 @ 115
squat 4x5 @ 140
overload @ 210 - first time trying this. One set at 15 seconds of standing at the ready position with safeties nice and high, just in case.
pause squats 2x6 @ 80 - holy pause squats batman, that was a challenge. Did counts to 8 per rep and it was hard figuring out the breathing during

good morning 4x12 @ 60 - used fixed weight so much lighter since had to clean is from the floor.
hanging abs 3x8 bodyweight between good morning sets
leg extension 3x10 @ 100 - was waiting for power cage
sumo deadlift 1x5 @ 135 and 3x5 @ 175


warm up on elliptical for 10 minutes

Bench 2x10 @ 45, 2x8 @ 75 and 4x5 @ 90 - decent working set.

pull up 3x1 almost and chin up 1x2
db bench 3x10 @ 30

one db row 3x10 @ 40
db fly 3x8 @ 25

face pull 3x10 @ 60
cable bicep curl 3x10 @ 50


band pull apart warm up 3x8
low bar squats 2x8 @ 45, 2x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 115, 3x5 @ 35

Deadlift 1x5 @ 135 rdl, 1x5 160, 4x5 @ 170

hip thrust 3x10 @ 115 - oww, need a pad for that bar cause hit a spot on my hip that just hurt

leg press 3x8 @ 225

pallof press 2x8 @ 20 - tried to see what it was like

Chapter 2


band pulls for warm-up, 3x10

OHP 2x8 @ 45, 1x6 @ 55, 4x5 @ 65 - Figured out the numbers to work on so it's following more along what I have set for bench and such. Just doing similar weights but few more sets than the reverse grip that was recommended for auxillary bench day.

Pull-ups 3x1 where first one I got chin above bar, Chin-ups 1x2
Seated row 3x10 @ 80

tricep pushdown with rope 3x12 @ 70
ab chair thing bw 3x8
pallof press 30 3x10 on each side

30 minute run on treadmill after work while watching Food Network.


squat warm ups 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 115
Squats 2x6 @ 140, 2x5 @ 150
Overload (walk out) 1x15 count @ 210 - weight goes up from now on for these
Pause Squats 1x6 @ 90 and 1x5 @ 100 - still counting roughly to 8 though trying to figure out breathing too

good morning 3x12 @ 85
cable rope crunch attempts 3x12 @ 50
Sumo deadlift 135 1x5 and 175 3x5


elliptical warm up for 10 minutes

Bench 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 75, 2x6 @ 90 and 2x5 @ 95

pull up 2x1.5 and 1x1-ish, chin up 1x2.5 - slow progress
db bench press 3x10 @ 30

db fly 3x10 @ 25
one db row 3x9 @ 40

cable bicep curl 3x10 @ 55
face pull 3x9 @ 60
pallof press 3x10 @ 35


low bar squat 2x10 @ 45, 1x6 @ 95, 1x6 @ 115, 3x5 @ 140

Deadlift 1x5 @ 135, 1x5 @ 155, 2x6 @ 170 and 2x5 @ 180

leg press 3x8 @ 225
attempted to do calves a little after each set

cable kick back 3x 8 @ 40
pallof press 3x10 @ 30

First two chapters went well. Getting into things, figuring out the accessories and it's not too far off from the Upper/Lower split that I followed before signing up for the meet. I'm on week 5 now, so look for chapters 3&4 soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Update: Decided to Compete in Powerlifting

Yep. I am officially signed up to compete in a powerlifting meet on April 17th. And I have been for weeks, so no worries. I'm not doing this at random with less than 6 weeks until competition. I am in the middle of prep, working on a peak cycle on a small deficit in order to reach a very close to where I'm at now weight class. Just figured it would be good to make the official posts on the blog and that way I can share my lifting here too, along with the writing I'm doing. Yes, still writing. Will update on that too.

I looked for meets in the area and had two options. One was this meet in April and the next one wasn't until near the end of August. I might do the August one too but we'll have to wait and see how this first one goes. I just didn't want to wait all the way until then so I went with the less time available option. Which means I'm attempting my first peak cycle and getting all of the necessary equipment in less than 12 weeks but should be fun no matter how things turn out. I also have been lifting since very end of October 2014, so don't have high expectations. I'm going to see what it's like and for me, no other reason to compete.

The competition:  APA-WPA Elite Spring Challenge
                                 Full Power - Open Class

Weight class: hopefully 132, which means I have to weigh less than 132

My goals: Squat 210
                 Bench 125
                 Deadlift 240

Before prep maxes were: 200 squat
                                         115 bench (clean rep, 125 barely qualifying rep)
                                          225 deadlift

These are in lbs as I don't know the kg conversions. ;-)  Since I'm new to this all, I did find a template to use for the weight lifting, keeping to the upper/lower style split I'd done for the past several months with a focus on the specific lifts each day. In my journal on and the groups on MyFitnessPal where I list my exercises, I gave this peak cycle a title and am showcasing each week as chapters (novella length since I didn't have 12 weeks for a peak or more). I am calling it:

The Story of My First Peak Attempt

Fun times right? lol I am on Chapter 4 now but will combine some chapters and post soon to get this blog caught up on all of the good times. Hopefully will catch up in a couple of days. Look for the first 2 chapters next. Plus other things too and of course, novel work.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Motivation from Pinterest

I have found Pinterest and its hold is strong, though I do forget about it for days or weeks at a time. However, I will say that when it comes to both writing and fitness, Pinterest does have some uses. Okay, for crafts, cleaning, cooking, art, decorating and many other areas too. In particular when looking at fitness and writing one can use the site to find motivation. I have two boards set up that I use in particular for this. I have one with words and sayings, many of which are for writing purposes, and the other one is fitness specific incorporating both motivation pins and some site links that caught my attention.

This helps in particular for people who appreciate visuals. Many of them incorporate both images and words to convey a message. Some are just text, in particular some writing ones, but most have imagery to a certain extent, even if it's just a very nice background.

Here are the links to my two boards and a couple samples of what I have pinned as part of the motivation for writing and fitness.

Writing Motivation

Fitness Motivation

Do you use pinterest?
What is your favorite motivating pin?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Reveal aka My In Progress Photo Update

A very long overdue post. It's not a final one, just a progress report, but I've wanted to share some of the success I've had in the last year+. I waited because of reasons involving family, who hadn't seen in in over a year and didn't know the changes I'd made. Now, however, I am posting online again. Just hadn't posted on the blog. This is also the first time I'm posting pictures of myself on here. May have more in the future but not very often. For other pics, check out my instagram account @fiction2fitness where there is me, other stuff and of course, cats.

Starting off with the picture that I took back in September 2014 to use for my updates like this one. I started on the little journey weighing in at 211 lbs (not my heighest), which was pretty heavy for being only 4'11.5" in height. The picture wasn't right away, so the weight had dropped a little to 209. I tended to fluctuate over the years between 205 and 220, so it wasn't unusual but I did make the decision to try and eat a bit better and add some exercise to my life around that time. And yes, there is a lot of laundry soap because of sale prices plus coupon. ;-)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I also put together a progress photo from two family events. The first image was taken back in 2011 at my older stepsister's wedding in DC. I weighed around 220 and the dress was a size 22, though was more of a size 20 and had issues with my capri pants being too big on that trip. We had a great time out there. What I remember most is dancing with my grandma (grandpa passed away a few years beforehand) both slow and fast songs, and hoping she didn't really know what some of the lyrics meant. It was fun. May not like some of the photos of me but the memories are better. Things were a little different in 2015 for younger stepsister's wedding, but not by much. We were in Colorado at a small place, in November with the ceremony outside (it was not that cold, at least). Being around family was the best and we had a good time. My dress was a size large from the junior's department and I still don't like pictures taken of me. Either way, time with family was great, I was just a little smaller.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And this is just me from the gym with my struggling posing attempt (might work on that in 2016, lol). Over a year later, from 211 to around 140 lbs. I've fluctuated between 136 and 140 since before the wedding to now, varying during the months. However, in those months I also managed to lose inches in waist, hips, and chest during as I measure once a month.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Summary: That is me. Still working hard and gyming in 2016. My stomach still sticks out some but I'm making slow progress. I'm working on getting into the 120's and will go from there once I make it as I'm taking the slow route. Have some plans for fun things, new adventures, maybe some filming and of course writing.

Stay tuned for more blog posts about both fiction and fitness.


I write like
Arthur Conan Doyle

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I write like
Mark Twain

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!