Thursday, July 30, 2015

Workout Six: I can do Plank! Who Knew!

I really like this little workout log -- I fill in the next workout
when I get home from one. So it's all fresh in my mind and I'm
Yesterday was my first time with my re-vamped Workout A -- it's the same basic workout as the first time, but I didn't get on any of the machines this time. It was all body weight or dumbbells all the time. Which I liked MUCH better!

I was super-sore after Monday's workout (I think I still have some of that residual soreness) and I think at least some of that was because I haven't gotten into very good habits regarding warming up and cooling down. I always do a bit of cardio to get started -- get my heart going and my blood flowing and get myself oriented, but that doesn't really do anything as far as range of motion or limbering up or anything like that. 

So I added about 5-10 minutes (I figure it will be five when I'm more confident about what I'm doing, last night it was more like 10) of range of motion and getting loose type things. I used the guidelines in The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises and selected warmups that wouldn't feel too much like exercise, but would make a difference. 

I started out with 10 minutes on the elliptical, then did my new warmup routine. I'm not going to detail it all out because I don't imagine anyone is all that interested -- but it's limb swinging and twisting movements and some core stretches and stretching hamstrings and opening the hips and all like that. It was good. 

The actual strength workout was: 
  • Plank (you can see what it is here) -- 2 sets of 30-60 seconds. This one doesn't exactly have reps -- just hold the position for 30 seconds (or more) at a stretch. I was sort of psychologically prepared to have to do it at an incline (which would have been easier) but I didn't. I'm not totally sure how long the first set was -- what I wrote down was 11, because that's what I counted ("one one thousand, two one thousand..."). The second time I actually spotted a second timer and know I did 30 seconds. They didn't feel like hugely different lengths of time, though. My form wasn't absolutely perfect for all 30 seconds and I'll be working on getting better at it for sure. But honestly, I didn't think I could do it at all. :D
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Squats (dumbbells) - 2 sets of 15. I used 15 lb weights and felt like I was working hard but not impossibly. My form was definitely better this time and I didn't feel even a second of strain in my lower back. That was awesome. Next time I'll try 20 lb dumbbells. 
    • Bent-over Rows -- 2 sets of 15. I had sort of planned to use 15 lb weights but after using those for the squats I wasn't so sure about it, so I used 10lb ones instead. I think that was probably about right. I may shoot for 15s next time, though. When I did rows on the machine I did 40 lbs, so I should be able to do more. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Step Ups -- 2 sets of 15. These are pretty straight-forward -- step up onto something step down. Do all the work with one leg then switch sides. Hold weights. The only step boxes at our gym are a little low, so I'm going to have to do something to make them more difficult. I was holding 10lb dumbbells yesterday and that wasn't enough. The New Rules of Lifting For Life suggests holding a weight on one side, so that you have an unbalanced load. I think I'll try that next time. 
    • Pushups -- 2 sets of 15 was the goal, what I achieved was one really icky set of 8 and a good set of 15. On Saturday, I really surprised myself by being able to do "modified" pushups, with my hands on a bar at about hip height (part of one of the row machimes). The last few were hard, so I knew I was working, but I did them. I tried to go lower yesterday -- to a bench about knee height -- for the first set yesterday. It didn't go well -- it was hurting my shoulder and felt basically awful, so I stopped at 8 reps. For the second set, I went back to the hip height bar and it felt fine. I'm not sure if it was the specific bench I was using (the seat of a machine back in the circuit area), which is a little constrained as far as space goes, or what. I'll try to go lower again, but maybe not so much lower all at once. 
After I finished the strength workout, I got back on the elliptical and did five minutes of Intervals of Insanity (I like that name for them). I did this on Monday and loved it. It manages the curious balance of being utterly exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. Once again, I spent a minute getting reacquainted with the machine, then did 20 seconds of crazy, all-out intense effort (15 miles an hour, baby!), then 40 seconds at a slow, easy recovery pace. Repeat until I can repeat no more. In practice, I did 5 (or nearly so) of the crazy all out intervals. 

After I'd cruised down on the elliptical -- a couple of minutes of just easy going to get myself back together -- I did some recovery stretches while my muscles were still warm. 

The other recovery thing I did different (this one we both did) was to have a high-protein snack (Greek yogurt) as soon as we got home. We usually have yogurt after dinner as a sort of dessert -- last night we just had it *before* dinner while we were changing. 

I do honestly think it helped -- I'm much less sore today than I was after Monday's workout. Even my shoulder where it got a little tweaky after those bad pushups doesn't hurt much today. Hooray! 

Next workout is scheduled for Saturday. I know Patrick is going to be doing a cardio day. I'm not sure -- I'm so loving these strength workouts, I'm tempted to do my B workout again (that's the deadlifts, split squats, shoulder presses, and pull-downs -- with side plank instead of any ab machine this time -- workout). We'll see how I feel on Saturday. If I'm still kinda sore, I may run. Or maybe I'll go completely off the rails and get on an exercise bike or something.

No comments:

Post a Comment