Thursday, August 20, 2015

Workout Fifteen: Phase one is Done!!

The end of Phase 1 -- Workout B #6. 
I'm at an exciting point in this weight training thing -- I've finished Phase 1 (the first month of three-times-a-week weight training) and am moving into Phase 2 with my next workout. I'm excited about this, because Phase 2 is supposed to be all about really building on the progress made in Phase 1 and I've made so much progress, I'm not even sure I can grasp it all. I mean, I can do Plank for 45 seconds (sometimes), I can do push-ups that aren't against a wall, I can do Romanian deadlifts with a 60 lb barbell. My balance is better, my knees are better and I feel better in about a million ways.

As actress Anna Kendrick said on Ellen DeGeneres a few months ago: "'Oh, this is how healthy people feel.' I get the appeal." (No, I don't watch the show, I ran across the quotation in a magazine.)

Even aside from the physical changes, I feel more confident. I claim my place with at the cable machine with the big guys moving lots of weight without hesitation now. I walk up to the barbell rack and grab the heaviest weight on there. I take my dumbbells with pride. Outside the gym, I'm feeling more confident as well at work and just moving through the world.

That's awesome too. :D

For my last workout in Phase 1, I pushed the weights on one exercise (Shoulder Presses) and backed them down on another (Split Squats), but mostly kept at the same level as last time because it'd been such a great workout on Saturday. You can tell it didn't kick me quite as hard yesterday because I was able to do more of the Intervals of Insanity at the end. :D 

Yesterday's workout: 
  • Side Plank - I was aiming for 2 x 30 seconds. I went a little higher than that -- 35 seconds the first set (on each side) and 38 seconds the second time. The first set I had the same problem I had Saturday with my feet slipping, but I somehow managed to avoid it the second set. Not sure what I did differently, alas. Especially alas because Side Planks are in phase two as well (only I'll be lifting one leg up so I have less support and more wobble to deal with). 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Split Squats (with dumbbells) - 2 x 15. I'd written down to use a pair of 25lb dumbbells but forgot to check my log before I went to pick them up off the rack so I grabbed 20lb dumbbells instead. Oops. It still wound out feeling like a really good workout, so I'm not sad. My left quad is definitely better now but my right still requires just a little bit of babying on these. Basically, I just keep my feet a little closer together to reduce the amount of stretch on my non-working thigh on that side. (The stretches I've been doing during warmups and cool-downs, and on non-workout days have helped *tons* with the tightness of my quads and hip flexors. I'm super-pleased about that.) 
    • Lat Pulldowns (cable machine) - 2 x 15. I stayed with the 60lbs that I used on Saturday, which had been almost a little too much for me -- I don't think I made all my reps but I did get close on Saturday. I made them all yesterday, but it was *work*. Felt great, but oof! 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Straight-leg Deadlifts - 2 x 15. I used the 60lb fixed-weight barbell again. I'm bummed that this is the heaviest weight barbell they have at the gym if one isn't using the Smith Machines, which are a) always in use and b) really not at all tempting to me. This is a large part of why I've planned on dumbbells with for my deadlifts in phase 2. I didn't get as much of a workout from these last time -- I don't know if I was using other muscles to lift so I didn't use my glutes as hard or what. Or maybe 60lbs was just a little too light. 
    • Shoulder-Press (single-arm) - I was aiming for 2 x 15. I used 20lb weights last time and probably went up a little too much. I'd used 17.5lb dumbbells on Saturday and they'd been hard -- I hadn't finished my reps on one set and only barely finished them on the other. I had myself down for 17.5lbs again and should have done that, I think. (My main reason for going up to 20lbs were not great -- the 17.5lb dumbbells live at the way far opposite corner of the gym from the barbells and I didn't want to have to get them and then put them back. The secondary reason was that there were a lot of people working out in the corner where the 17.5lb dumbbells live and they were using the weights, so I hated to take something that might be in demand to the far corner of the gym.) The 20 lb weights were tough -- I did about 8 or 9 with each arm straight through (and I don't understand why my non-dominant arm is stronger with these than my dominant arm), then squeaked out the rest alternating the weight back and forth. (So 8 with left arm, 9 with right, 3 more with left, 4 more with right, etc. until to 15 on each arm.) The first set I was able to get to 15. The second I stopped at 12 because I was *done*. 
  • Cardio Intervals - 7 x 20sec:40sec Intervals of Insanity. I did well with the Intervals of Insanity after all that hard work, which always pleases me! I did seven of the 20 second rounds of all out crazy effort (with 40 seconds to recover), which is pretty good for after that workout. Hooray! The elliptical machine still beats the heck out of my quads, though. When I start Phase 2 on Saturday, I'll switch which machine I go on for the Insanity. I'm thinking the bikes.  
After all of that, I was pooped but the recovery stretches felt great (except the one that's sort of a lunge and feels a bit like work). The foam roller work when we got home also felt good, though I've stopped doing the illo-tibial band rolling (the outside of the thigh from hip to knee) because it just didn't feel right (it hurt in a way that felt like it was doing harm not good). I'm going to work on stretching and strengthening it instead. :D 

All the recovery and warm up and everything is really paying off -- once I figured out that post-workout soreness for two days after every workout (when I'm working out every other day) was just not going to fly, I've made changes so I have basically none. That's much better! 

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