Tag Archives: lifting

Wedding Planning

According to all bridal magazines and the internet, now is about the time that Chris and I should start doing things so that a wedding ceremony and reception really happen and people really show up for it next May.  We have a site picked out and some other big stuff settled, but the Bridal Magazines and Bridal Websites of Ultimate Knowledge (abbreviated henceforth as “the BMs”) say we now need to do more things.  So many things.

For example, we need to decide on a theme.  I don’t get this.  Isn’t “marriage” the theme?  We need another theme?  Yes, according to the BMs.  Our wedding must be “victorian vintage” or “cherry blossom” or “rustic country style.”  (These are real theme suggestions).

Our theme would have to be something like “exercise physiology” or “lifting weights” or “working in the laboratory” —things that define much of our shared interests and life together.  Now, a “working in the laboratory” themed wedding would be amazing, and “Bride” magazine would certainly feature it, but exercise / lifting translates better into joyful celebration.


Measuring the abdominal fat of my beloved.  Is “Abdominal Fat Assessment” a good wedding theme?

With the lifting / exercise “theme,” I envision some small lifting related decorations.  (My dad suggested mini chocolate dumbbells as favors; please, if you know of or are yourself a mini chocolate dumbbell supplier, we need you.)

Chris envisioned our ceremony corresponding to prejudging at a bodybuilding show, followed by a “cocktail hour” of powerlifting (in which all guests must compete), followed by a “reception” of a  bodybuilding night show.  It’s every girl’s dream.

Me:  “Does everyone have to wear fake tanner?”

Chris:  “Of course everyone wears tanner.”

And that’s why boys generally don’t get to do much of the wedding planning.


Chris, at a show 5 years ago (where everyone wore tanner)

I’ve also had to veto his ideas of us getting married in powerlifting singlets, of serving only plain chicken and rice, of putting a food scale in the buffet line, and of me walking down the aisle to “Indestructible” by Disturbed (Chris:  “But it was the song I posed to at my first bodybuilding show; it’s special!”  Me:  No.)

But I still sort of like the exercise physiology / lifting / exercise themed wedding idea.

So my question to you, dear blog readers, is what would you do to make a wedding exercise physiology / lifting / exercise themed?  For some reason I’m having trouble finding much on this theme in the BMs. (It was probably the big theme last season).

I have no idea if we’ll end up really using this theme or any theme, but I would love to hear any real (or hilarious) suggestions you all may have.  Please leave a comment with your suggestions.

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Squat Insults Revisited

If you’re a “Life with my Bodybuilder” aficionado, you’ll remember that, but a week ago, on Tuesday June 18th of the year 2013, Chris insulted my squatting.  To reacquaint yourself with this emotional plunder, click here.

After Chris defenestrated my squatting pride, we agreed to tape my squats sometime in the future and to analyze the video together.

Today was the day.

I agreed last night to leave our apartment at 9 am this morning to go to the gym with Chris.

At 8:40 am, Chris hovered by the door, wrestling shoe clad, lifting bag and water bottle in hand, ready to bust down the door like an exuberant terrier puppy needing to whiz.

We’d said we would leave at 9 am.  Fine Chris.  9 am means 8:40 am.  I can’t fight a rollicking puppy.  At 8:42 am, I grudgingly zipped on my own wrestling shoes, grabbed gym-related items, and let him out to pee in the bushes.  By which I mean, we then left for the gym.


“Yeah! Got my THE CAGE shirt on, got my GYM BAG, got my WRESTLiNG SHOES, let’s get this 8:42 am par-tay star-ted!”  -Chris

At the gym, I dragged myself ruefully to the squat rack, bracing for the sob-inducing criticism that was sure to soon befall me.

I slowly warmed-up.

Finally, the moment of truth:  Chris stood beside me, camera in hand.

I squatted.  I squatted again.  I squatted again.  I squatted again.  And finally, I squatted again.

After squatting, squatting, squatting, squatting, and squatting, the set of five was complete.  I racked the bar.  I walked out of the rack.  I turned to Chris.  And non-nonchalantly he said:  “Those looked good.”  Followed by, “I’m not sure what I was seeing before.”

Glory, glory Hallelujah!

I made him watch and tape another set.  After watching this set he said, “That looked textbook.” which maybe wasn’t really a compliment because textbooks don’t always show correct squat form (and the people in the pictures are always wearing super squishy bounce-mobile aerobics shoes) but I think he meant it as a compliment.  Which means…

My squat is back.  I am a good squatter, Chris certified.

So what gives? Was Chris just a jerk before when he criticized my squats?  Did oh, I don’t know, my posting on my blog how he’d destroyed me emotionally cause him to change his tune?

Nope.  I changed my squats.  I listened to what he’d said about my being too “bouncy”  (see previous post) and changed my squats to focus on being “not bouncy” when he was taping me.

I think the form he observed previously was a bit of me showing off to myself what I could do with such a light weight (ha! you’re nothing light weight! I can squat butt to heals and bounce up to the sky with you!) and really, that was stupid of me.  If I’m bopping around with the weight that much, um, maybe that’s a pretty clear sign that it’s time for me to lift a heavier weight.

So thank you Chris.  Thank you for showing me the fallacy of my hubristic squatting ways.  You’re still the good man I knew you to be.

And now…

You want to see my squats from this morning don’t you?  Read through all my garbage just to get to the video huh?  Here you go!

(Note:  Chris taped two full sets of me.  You only get to see the one set that he taped from the side.  The one he taped from the back, no one will ever see, ever.  My squatting butt viewed from behind is not something that, with full sanity, I can ever post on the internet.  If Chris ever starts his own blog, “Life with my Fiance who Enjoys Life with her Bodybuilder who is Me” then maybe he can post the video, but for now, it’s side view only.  Anyway… Enjoy!)



I recently discovered that Chris has been keeping his “cardio shoes” in a shoe box by the front door.  As previously discussed on this blog, Chris loves original boxes and saves all of them, but this is not the original box of these shoes:  this is a new Nike box housing old New Balance shoes.  What is going on here!?


New Balance “Cardio shoes” in a foreign original box

If he wore these shoes very infrequently perhaps the shoe box would be logical, but these are not “occasional wear” shoes for special outings. (Also, the shoe box is right next to the front door, not in a closet).  These are shoes worn regularly when he performs high-intensity intervals.

I just discovered this shoes-boxed-in-a-box-under-the-table system a few days ago and have decided not to question him about it.  Perhaps I will put a box of my own frequently-worn shoes on top of his box of frequently-worn shoes and see what happens…

On another shoe topic, a week or so ago, at the gym, I was asked if I am a wrestler.  I am not a wrestler.  I do, however, lift in men’s wrestling shoes.


My men’s wrestling shoes.  That’s right, they have zippers.

You don’t know what feeling attractive is until you wear men’s wrestling shoes with zippers.  I often wonder, while wearing them, if people think that I think that I look good in my men’s wrestling shoes with zippers.  (For the record, I do not think that I look good in my men’s wrestling shoes with zippers.  And yes, in my worldview, people constantly think about what I think about myself).  Who suggested I wear men’s wrestling shoes to the gym?  You guessed it:  Chris, who also wears men’s wrestling shoes to the gym.


Chris’s men’s wrestling shoes.  Note the lack of zippers (= not at all as cool as mine).

As a part of the group “men”, Chris’s wearing “men’s” wrestling shoes is not nearly as weird-feeling for him as wearing men’s wrestling shoes is for me, a non-men.  Also, his shoes do not have zippers.

So why do I wear them?

Because the flat soles are amazing.  If I try to squat in normal athletic shoes these days, I feel like I’m squatting with pogo sticks on my feet.  The flat soles allow me to squat with better form and to feel more stable on any free weight exercises I perform while standing.

I think the epidemic of bad squatting permeating this country could be greatly improved (not eliminated, but improved) by a change in footwear.

And finally, I’ve been wearing the zippered wrestling shoes for over 4 years now and the wrestler question was actually the first weird thing anyone has ever said to me about the shoes.  I think someone once pointed out that Chris and I have matching lifting shoes and that that was kind of funny but I was OK with that.  In fact, now that I think about it, maybe Chris and I should have more matching clothing pieces…  No time to figure out a matching outfit now though; I have to go put my own box of frequently-worn shoes on top of Chris’s box of frequently-worn shoes.

Maybe something magical happens when you do this?


I’m waiting for the magical porthole to open?



This is a code that I am adding to this post so Technorati will list my blog in it’s index:  VWCEHQ5A4K4F


Indianapolis – Part III

Final Indianapolis Topic:  The Workouts

Before we left for Indianapolis, I called the hotel to ask about the gym situation there.  I was told that their workout room contained “8-10 treadmills, a bike, and barbells.”  As I am not dim-witted, I didn’t believe that the gym actually had barbells.  I was, however, optimistic that they would have several treadmills and that the bike was probably real.  The actual situation was disappointing:  2 treadmills, no bikes, 2 of those ellipticals made for giants, a cable machine, and some dumbbells.  (In my opinion, there should be a mandatory seminar given to the world on the difference between barbells and dumbbells).

Our first night in Indianapolis, Chris and I went to the hotel gym to make the best of it.  We both switched up our normal exercise routines and improvised a workout with what we had available.  It was fun. Chris did pull-ups supersetted with push-ups, flys supersetted with incline rows, lat raises suppersetted with dumbbell presses, incline dumbbell presses supersetted with diamond push-ups, and ended with push-ups suppersetted with being my assistance for assisted pull-ups that he suggested I do.  (I only remembered Chris’s workout from this day as the workout where he did a million push-ups and I just went into his room to verify the facts of this workout -yes, this is a blog of high standards where we verify facts- which I described to him as “the workout where you did a million push-ups” and he looked at me innocently and said something like, “What? I don’t think I did that many push-ups that day.”  But clearly, he did.  He gave me his workout log and I just counted TWENTY-ONE sets of push-ups of between 8 and 12 reps.  Yeah Chris, not many, you lazy sloth…

So for my workout that night, I did a variety of things not nearly as impressive as Chris’s (no push-ups for me) but, as I just mentioned above, I did do a bunch of assisted pull-ups with Chris assisting me.  I can do maybe 3 non-assisted pull-ups so, to get more reps in when just a pull-up bar was available, I needed assistance and Chris was able to assist me (and to supplement his workout with Lindy lifts).

He’d lift me up just enough so my arms screamed and it was very hard to do the pull-up and then I’d slowly lower myself, I suppose unconsciously stalling so I could delay the pulling-up again part, because pull-ups are very hard. This stalling during the eccentric phase, I believe, became my undoing as you will understand shortly.

I was shooting for 5 sets of 8 but ended up doing roughly 5 sets of 5 and was thoroughly fatigued by the end of it.  (So fatigued that at one point, to get some extra oomph, I accidentally, rather violently, kicked my legs behind me and hit Chris in an unpleasant place, making him groan and drop me and suggest that I keep my legs still in the future).

So why did I bother telling that story about my pull-ups?  Well, because that pull-up workout appeared to create the most muscle damage my arms have ever, EVER, experienced.  I’ve run marathons and I’ve competed in powerlifting, and NEVER have I experienced the kind of reaction I had to that workout.  I did this workout on Tuesday night.  On Wednesday, my arms hurt badly.  On Thursday, my arms hurt very, very badly and I could only partially extend my elbows.  On Friday, my arms hurt like crazy, I really could not extend my elbows, and my biceps and forearms were huge!  I have never in my life had a workout that caused swelling like that a full two and half days after the workout. That’s the Chris Fahs assisted pull-up method for you!  Seriously, he’s got to market this thing; I think “Insanity” or whatever has nothing on this method.

A great part of the situation was that we were at the American College of Sports Medicine Meeting where I heard nice talks about how muscle damage doesn’t equal hypertrophy so I couldn’t even console myself with thinking that at least my biceps must be growing tremendously if I was that incapacitated.  (I did feel good knowing that, should my arms have exploded that Friday, I was surrounded by Sports Medicine-ists who had surely dealt with pull-up induced arm explosion before).

My poor swollen arm

My poor, swollen arm (roughly 84 hours post-workout)

If you’ve never seen my arm before, the picture above might not look too impressive, but trust me, that arm is swollen.  I was waiting to take a comparison picture of my arm at its normal size but, as my arms are still sore 9 days later, I’m not sure right now would be a true baseline.

Ok, so how else did we workout there?  Well, one day Chris found this bridge and suggested we run very quickly back and forth over it.  (He did sprints.  As my absolute fastest speed really can’t be identified as a sprint, I just ran back and forth quickly with breaks in between).  It was unclear why we were running on the bridge but that was the Chris-defined best spot in downtown Indianapolis to do it so that’s where we did it.


This looks like a good bridge to run quickly over repeatedly!

I really enjoy running and I really like when Chris runs. He only runs during contest prep (in sprint form like the bridge workout) or immediately following bodybuilding shows (in 5k race form) when he is still lean enough for the runs to not be too hard and (I hypothesize this is the case) when he feels like he owes me for making me just sit through 12 hour bodybuilding shows (yes I exaggerate the time but that’s what it can feels like).

So I suppose Chris’s running with me on the pretty bridge made up for his destroying my biceps.  Having a superhuman machine man around in Indianapolis, thus, had its dangers and benefits.

And that wraps up the three blog post series of highlights from Indianapolis.