A newsletter and a special visitor

A newsletter and a special visitor

Last week was pretty exciting, as Em came to visit me! But before I get into all that, along with all the details of my workouts and where I’m headed next (I’ve finally decided!), let’s talk about my newsletter.

A weekly newsletter is something I’ve been wanting to launch for an embarrassing long time, so I’m very pleased to announce that the first one will go out next Monday.

I will be moving more of my personal posts to the newsletter, and I will also use it to send out information you won’t find anywhere else, such as free training templates and nutritional advice. In fact, the first newsletter will feature a special workout which won’t be shared elsewhere. I also have an exciting project in the works, which I will first announce via my newsletter.

If you clicked over from your feed reader today, you may have already noticed a pop-up about the newsletter. Hopefully you signed up via that form but, in case you didn’t, you can enter your email in the box at the top left of this page. (If you are reading in a feed reader, you can sign up here!)

Moving on! Let’s talk about my workouts and general life.

Monday – Squats
Squats: 20kg x 8, 8, 40kg x 5, 60kg x 5, 80kg x 5, 90kg x 2, 100kg x 5 x 3 sets
Paused squats: 70kg x 5 x 3 sets
Good mornings: 50kg x 12 x 4 sets
Walking lunges: 12kg dumbbells x 20 x 3 sets
Glute kickbacks: 40kg x 12 x 5 sets

I have been dreaming about squatting 100kg for five reps for a while, and it finally happened! Squatting without proper safety bars is a bit scary – I was convinced I was cutting my depth short, but it seems okay in the video.

100kg (220lb) squats

I have only squatted 100kg for reps once before, and that was for three in Florence. Maybe one day I’ll do eight, if I don’t die from the cardio 😉

Tuesday – Bench
Bench press: 20kg x 12, 40kg x 5, 47.5kg x 3, 52.5kg x 2 x 2, 50kg x 3 x 2 sets
Incline DB press: 16kg x 8 x 3 sets
Incline DB flyes: 8kg x 12 x 3 sets
Dumbbell front raises: 4kg x 20 x 3 sets
Decline sit-ups: 15 x 3 sets
Cable woodchops: 10 x 3 sets

Those squats must have taken a lot of out me, because I felt weak as hell during this workout. After two sets of two very difficult reps (which should have been three!), I dropped the weight back down to 50kg. Boo.

On Wednesday, Em arrived! I took her to my favourite restaurant and we went for gelato afterwards. Obviously.

fife em

Em and me

em gelato

Thursday – Deadlifts
Deadlifts: 60kg x 8, 80kg x 5, 100kg x 5, 110kg x 2, 120kg x 3 x 3 sets
Straight-legged deadlifts: 70kg x 10 x 3 sets
Barbell glute bridges: 70kg x 15, 115kg x 12 x 3 sets
Cable rows: 45kg x 12 x 4 sets
Straight arm pulldowns: 20kg x 15 x 3 sets
Dumbbell hammer curls: 10kg x 12 x 4 sets

Before the gym, I introduced Em to the amazingness that is Croatian coffee and we also had chocolate-covered, chocolate-filled croissants. Probably not the smartest pre-workout fuel, in hindsight.


My deadlifts felt light but my grip is still giving out, as you can see on that last rep. I’m going to try switching my hands next week. If that doesn’t help, I’ll start doing heavy timed singles instead of reps.

122.5kg (270lb) deadlifts

After the gym, we had gnocchi that looked like vomit but tasted awesome.

em gnocchi

After lunch, we walked along the coastline. It was tres romantique.

em and me 2

For dinner, we had steaks – only my second in four months! They were served with mashed potatoes and polenta chips, because one form of carbs isn’t enough. 

steak polenta

Dessert was palacinke, which is translated to pancakes. They look like what you might call a crepe, but American-style pancakes don’t exist over here. One was Nutella, snickers and vanilla pudding, while the other was caramel, chocolate and peanut. Ommmm.


On Friday, I took Em on my favourite hike.

hike with em

The rest of the day was spent drinking coffee, eating lots of food and shopping. Pretty standard stuff for us two.

Saturday – Overhead
Push press: 20kg x 12, 30kg x 8, 40kg x 4, 45kg x 2, 47.5kg x 1 x 4 sets
Z press: 30kg x 8 x 3 sets
Lat raises: 6kg x 20 x 4 sets
Face pulls: 40kg x 15 x 3 sets
DB side bends: 16kg x 12 x 3 sets
Tabata sprints: 8 rounds at 16km/hr

After having one final breakfast with Em (sob!), I headed to the gym. My first two working sets felt easy peasy, but the final two felt like I was pushing through mud. Gah.


The remainder of my weekend was spent organising my next round of travels. I will be travelling with a friend for a few weeks, and we have been having a nightmare of a time trying to sort everything out. But it’s all finally booked!

I will be flying from here to London on December 11. We are then off to Oslo on the 23rd for a Norwegian Christmas, and then headed to Stockholm on the 27th for a Swedish New Year’s. I will then fly to Paris, where I will stay until the end of March.


See you soon, Stockholm!

Out of all the trips I’ve taken so far, I’d have to say I’m most excited about Paris! There is nowhere on earth that feels more like home to me than Paris and no amount of words can convey my excitement. If anyone can recommend a good gym in Paris, I will be eternally grateful! They are not easy to find.

Where will you be for Christmas and New Year’s?

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