Sunday, March 10, 2013

Forever Strong

I’ve never had a problem with my age or birthdays before.  That is before now.  As I realize I will be turning 50 in a little less than 18 months, I find myself not only reflecting on what I’ve done or not done but also where I want to be in the next phase of my life.
Over the last few years, I realize my body is changing.  I’m peri-menapausal, I have a little more fat around my normally slender midsection, I have hair where women aren’t supposed to have hair and I can’t even go to an early movie without falling asleep.
I find myself looking at my contemporaries and wondering how I compare .  Do I look better or worse?  What is my potential at this stage of my life in terms of strength?  Am I settling for average?  Have I passed my genetic potential or can I be stronger, faster and leaner in my middle years than I was in my 30’s?
Well I decided not to wonder, I decided to find out.

A brief history:
That’s me on the right in the pigtails and green dress.

There have been two times in my life where I felt I was in incredible shape and I was confident about not only how my body looked but how I felt in my skin.
The first was when I was 32 and training for my black belt in Tae Kwon Do and the second was when I was 38 and training and competing in a body building show.
In both those instances I felt in great condition and strong BUT I wasn’t training for strength for strength sake.
When I was a little girl, I was the smallest person in my class both in terms of height and weight.  I always thought of myself as weak and slow physically.  Not that it kept me from participating in sports, but I never considered myself as strong.  I think that is why I love heavy strength training. 
As I approach 50, I realized that I’ve been holding myself back from reaching my goals, because part of me still thinks of myself as that weak tiny little girl.

Well no more!!!

Over the next 16 months, I am setting out on a journey to become the strongest I have ever been in my life.  I want to dedicate myself to honestly exploring my strength potential.  I want to show other women that getting older doesn’t mean we have to give in to the inevitable.  That we don’t have to spend our time in the gym just trying to maintain our current level of fitness, but that we can become stronger than we are now. Much stronger than we ever have been.


I have enlisted the help of Mike Anderson, a local personal trainer and strength coach to write my training programs.  Mike is fast developing a reputation as being the go to guy in the Boston area for getting his clients strong.

Mike writes a fantastic blog that I encourage you to start reading:

For this phase I’m concentrating on just getting stronger.  I believe that if I just concentrate on that, eat in a way to support my goals, the issue of getting lean will take care of itself.  I am not concerned with my weight.  In fact, if I’m getting stronger and leaner and my weight stays the same or increases I’m good with that.

2013 Strength Goals: Core lifts

  • ·         Deadlift: 200lbs
  • ·         Squat: 135lbs
  • ·         Bench: 95lbs
  • ·         Chin ups/pull ups: 10 unassisted

Starting strength numbers for core lifts:

  • ·         Deadlift: 140lbs 3 reps
  • ·         Back squat: 85lbs 4reps
  • ·         Bench: 75lbs 5 reps
  • ·         Chin ups: 2 unassisted

Nutrition Strategy:

I have found from past experience that my body does better when I’m on a higher protein, lower starchy carb regimen.  Basically I’m following a modified Paleo strategy.  I’ve greatly reduced the amount of grains, legumes, dairy  that I consume while increasing  protein and vegetable intake.   I try to stay away from processed foods and eat whole foods as close to the source and as organic as I can.
The biggest change I have made over the last two weeks is to change my breakfast which for the last 10 years has been a slice of sprouted grain bread with nut butter and jam, to having protein and veggies.

What to expect from In The Trenches:

Over the next 16 months I will be posting my training log and eating log as well as additional posts about nutrition, food in general, training and other musings.  I may even post some video of my lifting.
But for now, here is what I currently look like: These pictures were taken just last week: