Food, Sweat, Thoughts

Thursday: Leg Day Part 1 and Cod Baked in Packets

Baked Cod

On Thursdays I’ll usually work legs with the focus on my quads, aka the big muscles on the front of your thighs. I like to work legs twice a week (not counting cardio). Your legs have the largest muscle groups in your body. When you work those big mammajammas it often burns more calories than if you’re working a smaller muscle group, like biceps or chest. You’re burning more calories because you’re using up a lot of fuel. That’s why you tend to get out of breath when you’re doing heavy squats or lunges. Your body is trying to rush oxygen to your big working muscles because oxygen carries that fuel to your bloodstream so it can be delivered to your working muscles. The harder you work, the more fuel you need. And the more oxygen your body tries to get, the harder your heart pumps and the more air it forces you to suck in.

My point here is that when you work heavy legs you also get a calorie burn/cardio effect going on. And that makes me satisfied in my weird brain where I feel like a day without cardio is a day wasted. It also gets all those good good chemicals stirring around and makes me happy. Lastly, the stronger and more muscular my legs get, the more endurance and power I have when I’m doing actual cardio. And I love a pair of ripped up legs on a gal. Leg Day=Sexy Day=Stronger Day=Faster/Longer Day=Happy Day

Sometimes I hit the gym and do squats and lunges with the bar, but I can do them at home too. It takes a little more imagination at home because I don’t have the kind of heavy weight you can get in the gym. With squats and lunges, I’ve been alternating between working 3 set of 12 reps and 5 sets of 5 reps. The 5x5s let me use heavier weight because I can stop sooner. But I feel like the longer sets help me develop more endurance. Then I like to do a finisher. A leg day for me at the gym might look like this:

  1. Squats with the bar: 5×5 (Right now I’ve been working on anywhere from 60-90-ish lbs. but some days I really have to lighten up. It all depends on the day and if I have a spotter). Finisher: Pulse squats on the Smith Machine with lighter weight (like 60 lbs.) until total failure. I like to do the finisher on the Smith Machine so when I fail out I’m safe.
  2. Walking Lunges with a Barbell (40-70 lbs depending on the day) 3×12 on each leg. Finisher: Low stationary lunge pulses with lighter weight using dumbbells (usually around 20 lbs.) until failure.
  3. I might hit up the leg extension machine for a 3×12. Finisher: Low narrow squat pulses with lighter weight using dumbbells.
  4. Pistol squats 5×5. Body weight only.

I like to work on pistol squats right now. I say “work on” because I’m still trying to master them. I don’t have the flexibility that would allow my heels to stay on the ground when I descend into a full squat. So, right now I’m using a book under my heels to let my body to go all the way down into a full squat without switching the weight to my toes. I use the book during squats and pistols. I get weird looks but it’s working pretty well. I plan on using thinner and thinner books over time until I can manage without the prop. When I do pistols I wobble all over the place and I go really slowly. But I’ve worked my way up to doing 5x5s, which feels like a victory. That means I do 5 pistols on each leg 5 times. It’s a real killer.

If you have questions or comments, it’s best to reach me on my Facebook page. Ask away!

I had some time tonight so I made fish. I got some frozen cod fillets from Trader Joe’s because I still haven’t found a good place to get fresh fish in my neighborhood. I like to make fish because my older son absolutely loves it and it’s nice to make the same thing for the majority of the family. Tonight I made a Thai flavored slaw out of raw asparagus, cucumbers, carrots, red onion, cashews, and basil. I sliced and chopped everything up and mixed a dressing out of fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, tiny bit of brown sugar, powdered turmeric, and Sriracha. I boiled some new potatoes in salty water and halved them. I threw all that in the fridge in a bowl to marinate and prepared the fish.

I made a foil packet for each fillet. I put a thick slice of red onion into each packet and drizzled some vermouth on top. I patted the fillets dry with a paper towel and sprinkled both sides with salt, pepper, and turmeric. I slapped the fish on top of the onion slices and sealed the packets.

Cod in Foil Packets

I baked them at 450 for 15 minutes and served them over a big pile of the slaw. It was super yum! My son eats his fish in taco form cause he can’t stand anything spicy.

Cod over Thai Slaw

Does anyone out there know a good place to get fresh fish and seafood on the east side of L.A.? LMK!