nascentnovelist

April 24, 2013

Good News, Everyone: I’m Employed.

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It’s not a writing job and not a permanent position, but I will be working until the summer of 2014 on something semi-related to my degree. The Research Council of Norway has hired me for their Tax Incentive Scheme and their Core Competence and Value Creation in ICT program. So far, it’s both challenging and fun.

In addition to professional life, I’m doing two parallel training programs, participating in a relay race and a Norwegian Spartan race, and trying to keep my morning writing routine going. I’m slipping a little, but I’m sure I just need to get used to my new work load. I’m working on a new novel, and once I get my scheduling down, I should be writing that in the mornings, and editing the other one in the afternoons.

I repeat: the most important thing is to keep writing. Just keep writing.

March 11, 2013

Diary of a Meat Eater: Day 1

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Day 1:
The world is a dark and terrifying place, but I set out with a packed lunch and a strong mind.

The cravings sets in around lunch. Broccoli and tuna cannot sate my needs. I smell my coworkers’ bread from across the table. Coffee tastes like ashes, but it’s keeping me going.

I was told to cleanse my house of all carbs, but after yesterday’s farewell binge, each surface is littered with crumbs, chocolate wrappers and leftover candy. The diningroom table looks like an offering to the Elder Gods, the kitchen counters like a morning-after for the cookie monster.

I will stay strong.

I started the 1 month paleo challenge today. I plan on journaling my progress (into carb restricted madness). Hope you enjoy!

March 9, 2013

Powerlifting My Way to the Nationals

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Today, I participated in an open powerlifting competition, and with a squat of 142.5kg, a bench press of 87,5kg and a deadlift of 125kg, I qualified for the Norwegian nationals.

Do you want to see?

142.5kg (314lbs) Squats:

87.5kg (193lbs) Bench press:

125kg (276lbs) Deadlift (RAW):

Hope to see some of you in Bergen this May!

December 16, 2012

Victories: Great and Small

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 8:18 am
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I’ve written about the reasons why writers need to challenge themselves and make themselves mighty, and I still believe that’s true. Measurable results is the key to keeping your spirits up.

So, with that in mind, I finally joined a powerlifting club. Luckily, they had an open competition six weeks after I started training with them, so I could jump right in. I came last, but that’s not the point: I exceeded my own expectations, and pushed myself. I also set a new PR for both bench and deadlift. Now, that is just what a woman needs to get back into writing a new novel.

Here are a few of my lifts:

90kg squats:

62.5kg bench:

120kg deadlift:

February 3, 2012

Guest posting at Deborah Bryan’s blog

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Today, I’m guestposting over on Deborah Bryan’s blog The Monster in your Closet.

Why not head on over and see what I’m grateful for? FTIAT: Give it that extra push.

January 22, 2012

The New Training Program

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As I mentioned a few weeks back, I’ve decided to change my training program and eating habits to facilitate weightloss. My diet is hardcore paleo, a surprisingly pleasant ordeal so far. The training program is a bit more complex, so I thought I’d jot it down for you.

Martine’s fatloss training program:

Morning program:
This program is done Monday through Friday. Alternating days you do either 50 kettlebell swings or sun salutations. If you don’t have kettlebells or dumbbells at home, I suggest switching the exercise for burpees (though you might want to decrease the amount of reps at first). The good thing about this is it wakes you up, gets your body going, without tiring you out before work.

Afternoon program:
Here, the real work begins. My program is designed to give maximum fatloss, meaning weightloss without decreasing muscle mass. (I know morning workouts would be better for fatloss, however, that doesn’t mesh with my current work situation. But if you want to try this program, every workout can be done in the morning.)

Monday: Powerlifting
Squats: warm-up sets then 5×3 work sets. Each time you successfully do three sets of five reps, you increase the weight with 5lbs for next session. Right now, I’m lifting 165lbs. Next week, I’ll be lifting 170.

Press: warm-up sets, then 5×3 work sets. Same deal for progression.

Power-cleans: Same deal.

Tuesday: Interval running
I do 4×4 intervals. That is, four minutes of sprinting (currently 9.5K/hr) followed by three minutes of rest pace (currently 5.5K/hr) four times. Remember to warm up before your work sets and increase the pace every time you successfully complete all four sets.

Wednesday: Metcon
For my metcon day I do a variation of the famous crossfit exercise Fran. 10×3 reps of thrusters and inverted rows for time (my thrusters are currently at 65lbs). To add progression in this exercise, I’ve added the rule that if I can complete the exercise within less than ten minutes, I add another set next time. So if I finish in five minutes, I’ll have to do four rounds of work sets next week. Once I hit five rounds, I increase the weight and start over. Short, and sweet.

Thursday: Rest Day

Friday: Powerlifting
Squats: Same deal as Monday. 5×3
Bench: Same concept, only with bench press. 5×3
Deadlift: Again, same concept, except instead of adding 5lbs if you complete your work set, you add 10lbs, and instead of three sets of five reps, you only need to do one.

Saturday: Interval running
To mix up my intervals, I do 2×8 intervals on Saturday. That is 2 minutes of sprinting (currently 9.5K/hr), followed by 1 minute of rest pace (currently 7K/hr) eight times. Again, remember to warm up before your work sets.

Sunday: Yoga
I’m fortunate enough to have a friend who’s a yoga instructor, so we practice together each Sunday. If you don’t have the opportunity to following someone else’s lead here, I strongly suggest you go to youtube and get some free classes there. It’s amazing what a difference it can be to have someone guide you through the movements.

So there you have it. Pretty straight forward, no? I’m enjoying it so far, but I’d love to hear your opinions. Does it sound doable? Fun? Challenging? Do you want to join me? I’d love to know how it works for you!

January 7, 2012

Bulk and Cut

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Over the last two years, I’ve completed three rounds of bulking and cutting, a system where you eat an excess of calories while lifting weights for a few months (I’ve done the Starting Strength program), and then cutting calories while training metcon/crossfit for the same amount of time. This method is supposed to max out your strength gains while ridding you off excess fat after your gain period is over. My results after three rounds of bulking and cutting: squats from 90lbs to 215lbs, bench from 65lbs to 120lbs, deadlift from 45lbs to 235lbs, weight from 160lbs to 180lbs. That’s right: I’ve had no problems doing the bulking part, but the cutting part has left me 20lbs heavier.

Each time I’ve thought it was just me. I’ve not gone the distance, pushed hard enough, been meticulous enough. So I try again, and add another few pounds to my butt. Two things happened during Christmas that put this view in perspective. First, my man and I both did our four month weigh-in and measurements after doing the same training program and diet plan. He’d lost 7lbs and 3inches around his stomach in the four months of cutting without restricting calories. All he did differently was change his training program. I had lost nothing. Four months of metcon, running and semi-low carb eating had left me without results.

Cue self-pity, right? No. Cue research mode. I talked to a Norwegian friend of mine who competes in powerlifting. I asked her about diet and her methods for gaining muscle without gaining weight (important since she wishes to stay within her weight class). She said that she’s given up on bulking and cutting. Why? Because, in her experience, women struggle more with losing weight than men. Even if we have a high metabolism due to being active and muscular, women have a harder time shedding excess fat. This fit well with what I’ve experienced. For the first time, I heard another active woman say what I’d thought was just me being
unmotivated: it is hard to cut.

It felt good to know that maybe my lack of results aren’t because I’m lazy, but because of actual physical differences between men and women. The system of bulking and cutting is designed by men, for men, and even though I love the starting strength program, I might have to skip the gallon of milk next time. Instead, I’ll follow the advice of my friend: eat healthy all the time, and focus on gaining strength without gaining fat.

What does this mean for me? Well, in the next four months, I’ll be trying to cut without losing muscle, but this time I’m doing it woman style. So stay tuned for my training program and diet plan.

January 1, 2012

Happy new year!

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Thank you to all my wonderful friends for sharing 2011 with me. I have a feeling 2012 will be an excellent year.

I don’t really have any resolutions for this year. I have training goals, and writing plans, but no set improvements that I wish to make upon my life. But I know that 2012 will be exciting. You see, I have exciting news. On Tuesday Jan 3rd I’ll become a Text Coordinator, proofreading and editing text for computer games, and coordinating the collaboration between the localizations team and the writers of games to make sure everything is running smoothly. I couldn’t be more excited (unless someone wanted to publish my latest novel, of course. Oh gods of the publishing world, hear me). Anyways, that means 2012 will be a different year no matter what I do. I’ll be a full-time employee in a writing community and doing writingesque stuff. Life couldn’t be much better.

Other plans for the new year include a fresh training program, and a second go at the 30 day Paleo challenge after I read this inspiring blog post by Sarah Fragoso. The only person holding me back is myself. So this year I’m going to kick-start my new job with a fresh start at healthy, natural living and exciting changes to my training. Stay tuned for more info on that.

I have a good feeling about this year people.

How about you? Any resolutions? Any goals? Any premonitions about 2012?

November 26, 2011

The fitness and nutrition article you should read right now

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 1:03 am
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I could spend a bunch of time concocting my own rant about fitness and priorities, but why do that when Jason Seib has already written it for me? Let me quote you a nugget of wisdom:

“Some of you aren’t lifting weights because you won’t go to the gym because you are intimidated by the people there. This one makes me want to scream! I understand that you feel like you stick out and everyone is staring at you. What I don’t understand is how you can place enough value in the opinions of complete strangers that you are willing to sacrifice your health and well being just to avoid them.”

Now go read the rest of the article.

September 4, 2011

Paleo Challenge

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With a new job comes a new diet and a new training program. I’m not saying it’s required, just that my new schedule (up at 7:30, writing from 8-10, work from 10:30-7PM) leaves little time or energy for 2hour weightlifting sessions, and that the cafeteria in my new office contains nothing but cookies, chocolate and a surprisingly large selection of chips. And then there’s the Tim Horton’s on the corner. Long story short, the first three days of work started with good intentions and ended with donuts.

Something needed to happen, so I jumped on the 30 day Paleo Challenge. Cutting all dairy (except butter, I need my butter) is hard. Ignoring my pavlovian reaction to the sound of a timbits box being opened is harder, but after a week of this, it’s getting better. I don’t even want to murder the girl next to me in order to eat her granola bars anymore. Result!

The training is the part that’s really good though. I’ve started doing crossfit again, getting my workouts of the day (WODs) from crossfit.com. I’ve talked about pushing yourself before, and I firmly believe that crossfit is the busy person’s perfect challenge. The WODs hardly ever take more than 30 minutes, and even for us overworked, minimum wage people with overtime and writing schedules (not to mention dwindling social lives and the slim hope of actually talking to our significant others), it’s much easier to add in a 10-30min workout every morning or evening, than it is to do the normal 1-2hours three times a week.

In addition, there’s the fun of it. Crossfit taps into my inner child, the one that could always be tricked into doing stuff she didn’t want by one short phrase: “I’ll time you!” As soon as the words were out of my father’s mouth, I’d be on my feet, sprinting in the direction of the chore, ready to show them how fast I could clean that kitchen; brush my teeth; take that trash out. My brain realizes that this was nothing more than a clever ploy, but my heart still believes it, which is why timed workouts are ideal. Even if I’m the only one who’ll ever know my time, I still go all out as soon as the clock is ticking. That’s gotta work on other people too, right?

My body already feels better from the change in diet, and my mind feels better from the short-and-fast training, so I’ve decided to extend a challenge to you guys: try the paleo challenge. It’s just thirty days of your life. (Unless you love it, as I do, in which case it might be for life. But in a good way!)

Bonus points if you try crossfit as well, just remember to read up on the techniques and get help to scale the workouts to your individual level (This page does that very well). It takes very little time to do them, and it’ll work that stress right out of your body. That’s a guarantee.

Tell me what you think: will you try the paleo challenge? Have you tried crossfit? Am I crazy?

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