Sunday, September 20, 2015

Workout C #6: Early Morning Sweat! (Workout 25)

I got up and worked out before breakfast again. I did really well
and finished Workout C strong. :D
Patrick and I went for a hike today, but I still wanted to lift weights in the morning before we went. After getting really sore and tight after last Saturday's go with Workout C, There were a number of reasons: I was a little nervous about doing it again and didn't want to give in to that. I also want to take a day off between Phase Two (which will finish on Monday) and Phase Three and at the same time to start Phase Three on a Saturday (because we have a little more time for me to figure things out). Finally, we weren't planning on a super-strenuous hike and I didn't want to skimp on working out.

It was a good decision. I was a little bit nervous about it but the workout went really, really well (excellently, in fact) and the hike was no problem at all. 

Today's workout was: 
  • Side Plank - 2 x 40 seconds - This went really well today. I finally seem to be getting a handle on the slipping problem I've been having all along with these. I'm glad about that because when I start Phase 3, I'll be leaving the Side Planks for a while. I'm glad to finish them strong. :D 
  • Jump Squats - 2 x 10 - I used 15 lb weights this time. I'll go up to 20s next time, though I was definitely getting tired by the end of each of the sets, which is as it should be. I think these are definitely helping me feel more able to move quickly if I want or need to. I like that. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Reverse Lunges - 3 x 10 - I used 30 lb weights for this again (the second time at that weight). I *believe* I did 3 sets of 10. The last set I sort of lost count and got confused -  I know I did 10 on the right side, but I'm not sure whether or not I did 10 on the left side. I think so. But I definitely spent a few seconds just all of a sudden wondering. Oops. 
    • 3-Point Rows (Single-leg, Single-arm Rows) - 3 x 10 - I used a 30 lb weight on these as well. This was definitely the Right Weight - I hit that nice sing when the weight is right and it feels like work but not like strain. I'm pleased because this was also my last time doing rows and I love that Right Weight feeling.
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Dumbbell Deadlifts - 3 x 10 - I was really particularly worried about these because last time I did these (with 40 lb weights), I tweaked my back a little and I wound out stiffening up all over for a couple of days. It was no fun. Today, they went just fine, no strain on my back at all and I did them very well. I didn't need to worry. 
    • Pushups - 3 x 10, 9, 10 - Like the lat pulldowns, this is another exercise where it makes a huge how far apart my hands are. Too narrow and they're *really* hard (and I can only do nine in a set). A bit wider than shoulder width apart and they're good -- I can do 10 but absolutely no more. That's a good place to be. 
  • Cardio -- I didn't do any Intervals of Insanity today. Instead, in the afternoon, Patrick and I went down to Calvert Cliffs State Park and went on a 4.7 mile hike. It was lovely. and we had a great time. 
    Us on the beach at Calvert Cliffs
So I achieved my goal of finishing with Workout C strong. I'm very glad about that. Phase 2 has been kind of difficult -- the book (The New Rules of Lifting for Life by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove) says that you should be increasing something -- either the weight or the "volume" of lifting -- each workout. I think that pressure had me maybe increasing the weights too much (because I didn't want to increase the number of reps per set and couldn't increase the number of sets) and maybe putting a little too much strain on myself. 

Our travel buddy, Wilson the Bison, with the Calvert Cliffs
behind him. And the Chesapeake Bay.
I have pretty much worked out Workouts E and F, so I'm ready to go there. I'm going to be making some pretty big changes -- swapping in some completely different exercises. The Workout C  exercises that are going to be swapped out for a while are deadlifts (any version of them), rows (any version) and side plank. I'm going to be doing a cable-machine lift (called a "cable pull through") instead of the deadlifts, a raise (one that works the back instead of the rows), and a different core thing instead of the side plank. I'm also going to be radically changing the pushups -- I'll be doing an "explosive pushup", where I actually push so hard my hands come off the support, instead of the regular ones. So I'll be probably back to the hip-high bar instead of the window sill.

There's also going to be a lot of reassorting and re-shuffling, so the pairings of which muscles get worked in alternating sets change. That just keeps my body on its toes and therefore is a Good Thing.

Next workout is scheduled for Monday. I can't actually think of any reason why it won't happen Monday, but who knows. It should be my last time with Workout D and I'm hoping to finish that one strong as well. The only exercise I'm really worried about is the shoulder presses -- I'm not making an progress with those and the weight still hasn't gotten to that Right Weight feeling (though I've been at 20 lbs for all of Phase 2). Goal for the Workout -- This will be my last time with Workout D and the last workout of Phase 2, I want to end both really strong and happy. 

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