I really heart this commercial. Using the exact tactics that you claim never happens in your fitness center. Hot girls “gymtimidating” homely girl. I really wonder if homely chubs from all across the nation flocked to PF after this ran. I’m sure we’ll see it again sometime in December when people all over the world (errrr, ‘merica) decide that THIS is the year they’re going to lose the weight. Yawn.

Anyways. That’s not what today is about.

This past August I was tired and sore, all the time. I wasn’t moving as well as I was earlier in the season. Games pictures of a bloated Jules made me sad. I didn’t work hard for an entire year to feel like this. Now, of course, some of that is to be expected. But not like this. (Quite frankly, I have no idea how people accept feeling like shit on a daily basis. Yeah, yea, ya, ‘they don’t know better’ and all that but I think deep down most do. They know it, just don’t know how to change it.) Anyways.

After Scotland, I decided that when this season was over, I’m going to take some “be good to the body” time in the only way I know how. Doing something hard. Heh. Enter hot yoga.

The first time I went to hot yoga was years ago with my cousin Denise in Woodinville, WA. This is her thing. She’s tiny and bendy and she agreed to train with barbells in the morning with me so I felt I should agree to do her thing in the evening. I remember hating it, but then loving it. I loved the release of tensions and the stretching. But it was so gawdawful hot. We went once more in that visit and I was parked right under one of the heat vents. Memo to me: don’t do that. The instructor let me move.

I did a class once in Minneapolis and, yup, it was just as horrible as I remembered. But I love the feeling afterwards. Moving a little better, getting a good sweat on, being able to turn my head. The little things in life. I remember that’s a good thing. So when I knew I needed to lose some fat and move better, hot yoga was the only option for me.

And it’s working. I’m three weeks into classes, three times a week (I went one Sunday morning post drinking Saturday night, it destroyed me for the entire day. Not again.) The Monday class is the normal 90 minutes but the Wednesday and Friday classes are only 60 minutes (they call it express.) I’ll say this, the 90 minute class seems to take about 2 1/2 hours whereas the 60 minute class seems to take about a half hour. 90 minutes is brutal. I’m good to go on the standing poses but I skip the one above. I don’t put my back into flexion. Nope, not gonna happen. I did it a few times when I was so proud that I could pick up my foot but afterwards my back was sore and that’s the opposite effect I want out of this. So I stand and just kick my leg out. At least I know I can do it if I had to (why in the world would I ever have to?)

The other poses get tricky for me. I’m careful not to bring on a spinal erector seize so when we’re on our bellies I don’t extend too far. My right knee still has some fluid in it from all of those times I forgot to turn my foot on the throws but even just sitting on my knees now briefly is an accomplishment. I’ll take it. By this time, also, it’s bloody hot. Our studio keeps the room at about 105 but it was hot enough yesterday that even the instructor started fanning the door to bring in some cool air. I checked the temp setting before I left the room and it was at 109. Now, assuming this is “wall temp” and the air is a bit cooler I feel safe in assuming it was probably around 107 in there and yes, those additional two degrees make a helleva difference. People were dropping like flies. The girl next to me didn’t have water (bring frozen water by the way, it heats up fast) and I was very concerned for her. If it’s going to be that hot in there I’ll need to start bringing two waters. OH! When I was in Texas throwing, my second place prize was a little insulated single water (or beer:) bottle, soft sided thermos thingy. It’s perfect for hot yoga, THANK YOU TCAA!!

I am moving better. I am feeling better and yes, I’m finally (with the help of dialing in food) losing some bloat and fat. Yeah hot yoga.  I have one more full week of 3x per week and then off season starts where I’ll cut it down to those two express classes each week. My long term goal is to keep up one express session during next year’s season as long as I can and if it gets to be too much, I’ll check in every couple of weeks. Feeling better and moving better is worth it.

A fellow thrower asked on my training log about it the other day and whether or not it was helpful. Well,ya. But if all you want to do is get some good stretching in, honestly, I’d just recommend yoga. Same benefits, less sweat. For me, I had to make a commitment to myself to do these four weeks and believe me, as controlled as I am in following through on this stuff, bad Juli is already trying to talk good Juli out of next Monday’s long session. We’ll see who wins. Maybe if good Juli promises bad Juli some wine or something after she hydrates?? Hmmmmmm…

Overall it’s been a great experience and I’m happy I’m doing it. It’s funny, especially with the above commercial. There is a very specific female body type that is attracted to hot yoga and believe me, mine ain’t it. Long, lean muscles? (Bwahahhahahhaaaaaa!!!!) Very thin (sometimes skinny), lack of muscles (they get in the way of some of those poses, believe me), and judging by their skin color lack of meat seems to be the norm. I’m the chubby homely chick in this room and I’ll own it. Loss of some bodyfat? Yup! Loss of muscle mass, ummmmmm,nope Kthxbye.

So chances are I’ll always be the big girl in the room. That’s okay, I’ll also be the one who smiles when the instructor says that “grip strength” needs to be improved to hold on to sweaty limbs. Umm, my grip is fine thx, just sweaty and “grip strength” isn’t really a thing in hot yoga. But I’ll play along, this is your sandbox. A hot one, but yours.

Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.

Thomas Jefferson

Training Log

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to jep6095@gmail.com At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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