Phase 2, Day 45: Booty (aka Weights Get You Swole)

I came up with a plethora of names as I struggled through today’s workout:

“Another One Bites The Dust.”

“Don’t Look Ahead.”

“Being Strong Is Hard.”

But the one I settled on, the one in the title of this post, says what I’ve always known, but never truly experienced in the butt area: Weights Get You Swole.

My first time through 80 Day Obsession, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was doing something wrong because I wasn’t seeing the booty gains the rest of the cast seemed to be enjoying. Sure, there was a little lifting going on in the glute area, but nothing dramatic; I wasn’t walking by mirrors and stopping to check myself out. When I got together with friends who hadn’t seen me for awhile, they remarked on my overall toned arms and lost inches, not on my derriere. Was I not lifting hard enough? Should I have been double looping the entire time? Why was I not making gains when others were?

There’s no easy answer to why I didn’t see the booty gains I wanted in my first round of 80 Day Obsession. But in retrospect, I think my lack of progress stemmed from a) not tracking my weights, and b) not lifting hard enough. Because I didn’t track my weights, I had no way of knowing what was a heavier weight for me from week-to-week; I had no way of measuring my progress or of pushing myself because I didn’t record what I did the week before, so could not remember what weight to push myself from. This recording failure led to me lifting lighter than I otherwise could.

However, even if I had successfully recorded my weights, I have to wonder if, my first time through, I would have been strong enough to make the booty gains I am seeing now. See, my arms ache while typing this, even though today’s workout was called “Booty.” My arms are sore from holding 25 pound dumbbells at my shoulders, and hip hinging 35 pound weights. I finally understand what Autumn meant when she kept talking about her grip strength failing her in week 1 of Phase 2.

Based on how the rest of my body feels after today’s workout, I don’t think that back in January I could have safely lifted the weights I did today even if I had tracked my weights correctly through the first round of 80 Day Obsession. I could not have hip hinged 35 pounds. It’s almost as if I had to build up my strength to be able to lift the weights that would finally make a difference in my booty gains; it was only when I could consistently lunge with 25 pound dumbbells that I took a step forward.

I could NOT have lunged with a 25 pound dumbbell way back in my very first Week 1. No way. I did not have the core strength to protect my back. It’s only now, on Week 8 of my second round, that I feel strong enough – and therefore safe enough – to lift heavy. And I guess it therefore makes sense that I’m only now seeing the booty gains I wanted to see the first time through.

My point is this: You will not get the ass you want by taking it easy in the weight room. But you won’t be able to seriously hit the weights until you build up your overall strength and stamina to handle the heavier dumbbells. Which means you’re gonna have to be patient with the booty gains.

If you want to see faster progress, lift heavier. But don’t sacrifice your form or safety to do so. Lift hard, but smart. Push yourself, but not further than what your body is prepared to do. There’s a difference between challenging yourself and pushing too hard.

I bring all this up because it was not until this weekend that I finally had that moment of, “DAMN is that MY butt?” as I was walking by a downtown store window. There, in the mirrored glass of the laundromat, I finally saw what I had been hoping to see since I started 80 Day Obsession: A booty that was high, tight, and right. And that looked damn good in my athleisure pants (thank you, Lorna Jane). It took awhile, but what I saw was worth every damn bear fire hydrant I suffered through in today’s workout.

A good thing too, because today I burned through another blue:

Goodbye, Friend
Another One Bites the Dust

The only saving grace in this debacle was that the loop snapped when it was double-looped with another blue during bear fire hydrant. AND, it was the inner loop that snapped; i.e., the one directly against my legs. Which means no other gym-goers were injured in the making of my ass today.

The worst part, however, was that as I was pulling that loop on, I noticed it seemed especially worn and that it looked like a little chip had formed right at the spot where the loop seemed most tired. No surprise, really, that the damn thing snapped in half. As with most things in my life, I should have paid attention to the warning signs and thrown the loop away before it did some real damage. I’m lucky it didn’t.

Which is all to say, you’re on Day 45: CHECK YOUR LOOPS.

If you need another set, order them. It’s well worth having an extra set or two on hand so then you’re not throwing ALL the loops on to try and accomplish what two blues would. Spares can be found at the usual link with all the fun Beachbody stuff.

Regardless, if you’re reading this and feeling swole from today’s booty gains, rock on. And if you’re reading this and wondering why the eff you don’t feel the same, don’t worry, your time will come. Maybe not tomorrow or next week, but definitely during the next round with heavier weights. Trust the process and be patient and keep at it. Booty gains reward the persistent!

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