Belated Holiday Cheer (and Update!)

Geesh.  I’ve been off my game recently.

The closing weeks of the fall semester were rather difficult, and after much procrastination, late nights in the library, an all-nighter, and plenty of caffeine, I’m more than glad it’s over.  That feeling will fade in the next few days, and I’m excited to start student teaching on January 3rd.  I plan on getting plenty of work done during my 10 day winter break, including writing programs, uploading videos, catching up on posts, and preparing for what is sure to be a whirlwind spring semester.

Before I jump ahead too far, let me try to make up for my absence this week:

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and healthy holidays!

The holiday season definitely snuck up on me this year, and I only had a few days to get ready for them.  In fact, we hosted my family’s Christmas Eve dinner at my house on Saturday, and I hadn’t finalized the menu until about 10:30 on Friday night.  (My mom certainly wasn’t happy about that!) I  missed out on much of the festive holiday cheer, but at least I spent some of my studying time listening to the Holiday station on Pandora.  That counts, right?

Saturday started with some food prep for later in the day, and I was able to organize some of the ingredients for later.  After that, it was off to the gym for Liftmas.  (I’ll be honest, I stole that phrase from a comment I saw on one of Tony Gentilcore’s Facebook posts.  I need to give credit where credit is due.)  I got busy with my trap bar deadlift, and felt really good through my warm-ups and work sets.  All together it looked something like this:

  • 135lbs x You’re too light
  • 225lblbs x 6
  • 275lbs x 5
  • 315lbs x 3
  • 365lbs x 3
  • 405lbs x 1
  • 445lbs x 1
  • 465lbs x 1
  • 485lbs x 1 (PR)
  • 500lbs x 1 (What…)

I had discussed putting together a trap bar deadlift specialization program with some friends to see if I could get from 465lbs to 500lbs by my birthday in early February.  Looks like I won’t be doing that.  I like having someone take little video clips of heavy lifts so I can review technique and analyze some weak points; I think it definitely helps in the programming process.  My friend Kyle was nice enough to get some footage of my last single, and I want to share it with you despite the fact that it was absolutely hideous pretty ugly.

I’m a lot more ‘backy’ in the lift than I wanted to be, and grinded through that noticeable sticking point by working around weak hips with my back.  It didn’t hurt, but I’ve definitely noticed some DOMs and a residual pump in my lumbar erectors since Saturday.  I knew it was an ugly lift throughout, and I was pissed enough to just drop the bar from the top. (Note: Don’t do that.) I can’t make out which expletive I muttered after I dropped the bar, but I would definitely say that I was more upset that it was an ugly lift than I was happy that I picked up 500lbs.  So angry, in fact, that I even took off my festive hat and reverted to my typical Titleist hat. Next time, I’ll make sure it looks better.

I followed that lift with 4 sets of Goblet position ValSlide reverse lunges paired with ValSlide body saws.  If you’re curious as to why both exercises involved ValSlides, it’s simple; I was able to use about 6 square feet to complete two awesome exercises in a relatively short period of time; what’s not to love?  I finished up with lift with a good dose of Prowler marches, then took my time breaking down the sled and doing some post-workout mobility.  After that, it was time to head home and transition from beast mode to feast mode.  Man, I’ve always wanted to say that.

My mom took care of the appetizers for the day, and I was in the kitchen so I’m not quite sure what she put out, but I was on top of getting the rest of the food in the oven:

  • Marinated Salmon
  • Roasted Butternut Squash with Herbs, Walnuts, and Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • Mom’s Zucchini and Onion Bake
  • Spinach Salad (I guess this doesn’t count?!)

After dinner we exchanged gifts, and then moved on to the dessert.  I was entirely responsible for this, and got pretty creative in the kitchen.  Dessert included:

  • A pumpkin protein pie, made from spice cake mix, Greek yogurt, pureed pumpkin, vanilla whey protein, and coconut oil.  I ‘glazed’ the cake with a mixture of condensed milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and pumpkin spice mix.  Not to toot my own horn, but this cake was delicious.
  • I also made a banana walnut yogurt dish with the help of my 12 year old cousin (Thanks Jacqueline!) but we ended up not serving it; the mixture got so frothy as we blended bananas into vanilla Chobani yogurt that we had to put it in the freezer, and by the time it was cold enough we were all stuffed!
  • Meat candy:

Behold, all that it is:  Bacon, dipped in dark chocolate, sprinkled with the finely powdered mist of candy canes.  Before you ask, I think I figured out the Frequently Asked Questions for this one:

  1. Yes, it was inspired by Epic Meal Time.
  2. Yes, it was delicious.
  3. Yes, even if you don’t like bacon. My aunt doesn’t eat red meat, and she even had two pieces.  Plus, if my 89 year old grandma laughs while she eats it, you know it’s good.
  4. Seriously, how does that not look delicious?

The food-coma that set in after all of this was a strong one, and I was more than ready to get to bed; deadlift PR’s and cooking for 8 people can be exhausting.  I left out some (Muscle) milk and cookies for Santa, then headed off to bed.  Instead of continuing my Christmas edition story time, I’m going to postpone further tales for another day.  I’m covering another trainer’s shift tomorrow, and I’m not looking forward to rolling out of bed at 5am.  Let’s end with that famous line from Santa:

Merry Christmas Happy holidays to all you and your family, I thank you for your continued support, and to all a good night enjoy the remaining hours of 2011!


2 Replies to “Belated Holiday Cheer (and Update!)”

  1. HAHAHA oh, Epic Meal Time hey? So my cousin made BACON VODKA also inspired by Epic Meal Time. It was a gift for his brother who is obsessed with bacon and Epic Meal Time.

    Looks like you had an amazing Christmas!!!!! 🙂

    1. Meg, while they’re a dietary abomination, I must admit I enjoy the Epic Meal Time crew. Maybe it’s their go-big-or-go-home attitude. It’s probably because I can rationalize their meat-filled menu as ketogenic. Great for fat loss, right?

      Bacon Vodka? Your cousin took it to another level! I don’t drink, but I may try to convince one of my friends to try that out. As a general rule of thumb though, Bacon works with everything.

      Christmas worked out pretty well; I must say I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. Now I just need to find a new holiday to prepare for!

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