Cara here, Eric's sister! Eric trains me and provides me with different exercise routines based on what I am wanting to achieve. I enjoy changing up my workouts as I work towards various challenges. Eric and I spoke at length regarding what I deadlift and squat. He felt that I should be lifting far more. He wanted me to have the capability to lift 1.25 times my body weight. Thus began the challenge of increasing my strength for the next 4 months, my end goal being to lift 150lbs on deadlifts as well as squats, and 105lbs on bench.
I began my journey in May. I looked at my routine consisting of 6 exercises, 3 days a week. The routine called for increasing weight quite rapidly at 5 pound increments each week. I started at 90 lbs on deadlift and squat. It was easier at first with lower weight, but there were times I could tell I was deadlifting and squatting incorrectly. I would explain to Eric what I was doing and show him videos. He tweaked my technique slightly with different hand placement then voila! Like magic everything was much better! My hip no longer hurt and I could lift better. I am glad that I learned that on the lower weights as it would have been most unfortunate, if not dangerous, on the heavier lifts.
Given that the routine called for progression of 5 pounds each week, I felt slightly intimidated yet thrilled to see myself kill the weights each week. I could feel myself getting stronger and noticed the reps were even easier than they had been the previous week.
The deadlifts were my most challenging exercise - to get the form correct each time as well as the lifting of so much weight relative to my body. I had this mindset I had to overcome to be able to continue lifting heavier. For some reason putting a 45 pound plate on each side seemed rather heavy. Well for me, it was! 135lbs and well into my third month at this point, this was my first struggle to fully overcome. I remember when I placed those plates on each side. First, I was excited to finally be getting those plates on the bar, but second, was concerned I wouldn't be able to lift it. Boy, was I wrong! I killed those sets and was quite proud of myself. Those small feats helped along the way to achieving my ultimate goal.
At this point, I told myself, “Ok, it is only 15 more pounds now until I achieve my goal, no big deal whatsoever. Well, unfortunately, it was not as smooth a ride to increase those 15 pounds as I had hoped. I couldn't increase in weight as quickly anymore. There were days when I could only get a few reps in at 140 or 145lbs. Fatigue and frustration were setting in from working so much, wanting to hit that last goal, and accomplishing it. As the final week approached, I had already accomplished my squat and bench press goals, and had just one last goal to accomplish, deadlifts. I remember telling Eric, “This is the last week, Saturday is my last day. I'm going to deadlift that 150lbs whether it is all sets, 1 set or 1 rep. But I'm done. Hah.” I was a bit tired of this routine by now. Eric said, “You'll hit more than 1 rep.”
That last day I went in to the gym. Made sure it was a Saturday so that I could be rested longer than waking up at 4:30am (my normal gym time before work). Stacked the weight to 150 on the bar and BAM! Got 3 reps in before my mind said, “You're done.” Probably could have gotten in 1 more rep but mentally I was done and had achieved the goal! It was an amazing feeling, proving to myself that I could do it. Now for a little rest in between the next goals then on to the next challenge!
Check out our Instagram feed @10xcircuit for pictures/videos of progression.
About 6 to 8 weeks ago, I found myself in a small state of depression. My life had entered a low-point that I was not entirely prepared for. I have been in a similar position before, so, I was able to recognize it very quickly, at such time, I snapped out of it.
However, I do realize the potential ultimate abyss one can fall into. Though I may not appear to have much reason to be, as they say "down in the dumps," everybody is affected by emotions differently, and some events can cause reactions that may not exactly make logical sense, but emotionally makes perfect sense.
Whilst in this latest depressed state, I did not workout for nearly a month. I recall that the last time I did not workout for an extended period of time (not being injured of course), was when I was depressed for another reason at an earlier time. Also, I had another wake-up call that made me realize I was essentially destroying my body. I recall looking in the mirror one morning to notice that my abdominal definition had all but disappeared. I was devastated. I then gave myself a hard look in the mirror where I felt all of the sadness and anger that I had been hiding from everyone, including myself. I then instantly thought to myself, "No! Not again, never again will I allow my emotional state to destroy me!"
Understand this, I am but a year away from obtaining two Bachelor's, one from the University of Central Florida, and one online from Bryan University. Additionally, my sister and I have begun to fully dive into creating the 10XCircuit brand as well as working towards opening our own gym in the near future (unfortunately, as of right now, all training will be conducted online).
Having remembered this, instilled in me yet again, I had a rebirth of sorts from this latest abyss, entering into another high point in my life that I am riding currently. This latest enlightenment brought about my latest creed, "Rise as a Phoenix; Strike as a Thunderbird," meaning, though you may fall, rise again, though you may seem weak, strike again (mythology plays a major role in life).
And so, though you may feel yourself slipping or already in a state of abyss, realize that you do not have to stay there, that you can rise out of it, that you should rise out of it, your subconscious merely wants you to learn an invaluable lesson.