~6 Weeks Out!

Things are getting more and more real by the day... I'm continuing to move successfully through my training program (Candito 6 Week Strength Program). When I wrote my last entry I had only completed a couple days of the program, so even though I was enjoying it, it was hard to say if I would continue to be successful.

Well, I'm now half way through week two, and things are consistently improving for me. In addition, I've made a couple of monumental changes outside of the Candito program that have helped move my progress along:
- I'm eating right at maintenance whereas before I was eating at about a ~100-200 calorie deficit,
- I'm doing much less high intensity cardio (though I still include some moderate intensity cardiovascular work, because conditioning is my weakest point),
- I'm working actively on strengthening my posterior chain (low back/hams/glutes/etc.) for squats and deadlifts,
- I've added in some low-intensity work to correct my lumbar lordosis, and
- I've done well with adhering to my restorative work pre and post workout, and especially on "off" days.

All of these changes have really combined to make my lifts feel SO. MUCH. STRONGER.

> My knee pain is virtually nonexistant these days. Unless I demo an exercise to a client without being warmed up, I don't experience the same knee pain I was living with before. (THANK YOU, FOAM ROLLING.)
> My squat and my military press feel exceptionally stronger than they ever have before. I used to feel very unsure underneath the bar, and I almost felt like I was moving the weight via any means possible. Now, though, I'm actually activating the right muscles, and I feel much less frantic underneath the weight.
> My bench press is being majorly challenged by this program in ways that I've never challenged it before. It's really fun to push my limits with upper body, because I'm discovering that they're much higher than I previously thought.
> And, lastly, deadlifts. Deads went from being my strongest to my weakest lift. However, I've been religiously researching form and working on tweaking my own, and it continues to feel stronger every session. I FINALLY feel my lats and my hamstrings firing during the pulls; something I was missing before. (That's a red flag, by the way. It signaled to me that my lower back was doing almost all of the work, and it should NOT be.)

On the more administrative side of things... I still haven't received confirmation of my payment for the meet. I've emailed the director twice, and I did receive responses, so it's just a matter of waiting now. *fingers crossed all goes well* And I haven't received any further information regarding my singlet order. I placed it about 2 weeks ago now, but there was no delivery estimate in the confirmation email. So, I just called and emailed about that. (I know custom orders for this like this can take a while to process and ship, so I expected it to take some time... but I only have 6 more weeks. I need some kind of update!)

So, in conclusion, things are going really well overall. I'm definitely in a better mental place than I was before I started this program. I was majorly struggling before, because I was doing quite a few things wrong - too much volume in my program, too much cardio, too high intensity cardio, eating at a deficit, etc. etc.  I've got a better handle on how to keep chuggin' along on the gain train, so now all I have to do is be sure that I maintain my weight class!