Thursday, October 1, 2015

Workout E #2: I have to rethink this a little (Workout 29)

Not a bad log page -- some things marked to go up next time. :D
Yesterday's workout was good in some ways, not so good in others. The good is that I want to raise the weight on the Kneeling Lat Pulldowns next time. I've been doing 72.5 for a *long* time and I'm excited to finally be budging with that. The other good is that I really am getting distinctly better at the Coordination Rows. I may be only a few more sessions from getting through all of one set without having to put my foot down to catch my balance. We'll see. 

The bad is that my right quad (this time, last time it was the left) started really hurting during the reverse lunges. Not so bad that I had to stop, though I did modify how I was doing them to put less strain on that leg (fortunately it's fine when it's the working leg, it hurts when it's the non-working leg). 

The other bad is that the gym is just a lot more crowded on Wednesday nights -- Patrick runs into regular traffic jams on the machines he uses and there are classes with the trainer using up the weights and so on. Mondays are less of a problem. It's less of a problem for me than for him, just because of the exercises we each do, but it's still vexing. I don't know that going to a different gym would make a difference. Going a little later might, but then we won't get home until later and that's vexing too.

I'm not liking the Cable Pull-Throughs, I find. The fact that they're vaguely indecent looking doesn't bother me (you can see a video here), but they seem to put more strain on my arms and shoulders than they should for something that's a glutes and hamstrings exercise. There are plenty of other things in these two workouts working my arms and shoulders, so I don't really want the extra work here. In addition, because my arms aren't nearly as strong as my glutes and hamstrings I can't work them as hard as I'd like (by moving as much weight as I want) because my arms and shoulders can't take the load. It's vexing. I'm going to ponder for a few days (I don't do this workout again until next Monday) but I may switch back to the Romanian Deadlifts for the rest of Phase 3. I liked those, they didn't strain my back at all, and I can really put a lot more work on the target muscles. 

This change will also do nice things for the geography and logistics of this workout -- I can do the Romanian Deadlifts and Scaption and Shrugs up in the free weight area and then go back to the cable machines with a 25lb dumbbell for the Offset Loaded Reverse Lunges. Believe me when I say that will be easier, though it's maybe not immediately obvious as I describe it. 

I didn't change any of the weights from Workout E #1 because I forgot to write in my starting weights into my notebook, which means that I didn't have a record of any changes I wanted to make. I just used what I did for E #1 (with one exception) 

Yesterday's workout was:

  • Cable Half-Kneeling Chop - 2 x 10 - I used 25 lbs for these. I need to review what I'm doing here. It's possible I have the weight too high, though I don't want to make it too low. Anyway, this is a Core Stability exercise intended to work the muscles that stabilize my core while my upper body is moving. Unfortunately, what I'm working most (and what gets tired), is my *arms* because they're Not Strong. If I lower the weight so my arms can handle it maybe I can start doing the chops faster so that then I have more work for my core to stabilize against. I'm going to drop these down to 15 and make a note to go fast and see if that helps me feel like I'm working what I want to be working. 
  • Dumbbell Jump Squat - 2 x 8, 10 - I used 20lb dumbbells for these and did the first set of eight without too much trouble, so I did ten for the second set. That was a bit more trouble, but the book says these should be sets of 6-8. I don't mind doing more than the book says and I do think these are helping with explosive power, which is very very good. I'll see how I do with 20 lbs and ten reps next time. When that gets to feeling like it should be harder, I'll raise the weight. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Cable Pull-Throughs - 3 x 12 - As mentioned above, I'm having some problems with these because they put extra strain on my arms and shoulders without putting as much work as I'd like on my glutes and hamstrings. This is not satisfactory as Working The Big Muscles is part of the basic idea of this whole program. Also, it's not nearly as much fun. I used 35lb weights, which is just over half of what I can do with the Romanian Deadlifts (or what I think of as Romanian Deadlifts, which name I'm not 100% sure about). I'm jumping ship and going back to the Romanian Deadlifts -- I'll start with 60lbs, which is where I left off when I stopped doing these at the end of Phase 1, but expect I'll be moving up pretty quickly. 
    • Scaption and Shrug - 3 x 12 - I actually had to decrease the weight I used for these from 10lb dumbbells to 7.5 lb dumbbells yesterday because of the aforementioned crowding problem at the gym. All of the 10 lb weights were in use, so I got a pair 7.5lbs from the rack in a different part of the gym. I'm actually not particularly upset about this -- they were still hard but I think I was able to do them with better form and keep my shoulder blades back and down better with the lighter weight. I'll probably stick with the 7.5s next time. Particularly because they were still plenty hard, especially the last set. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Offset-loaded Dumbbell Reverse Lunge - 3 x 12 - I used a single 25lb dumbbell for this. As I mentioned earlier, I had problems with my right quad doing these. It is so strange to me that it's not when it's the working leg that it hurts. I really worked my quads hard on the elliptical warming up, though I'm still trying to figure out the knack for using the elliptical without beating up my quads, and even though I stretch them some during warmups, I clearly need to do more of that because they're still really tight when I get to work. I do like the offset load, though I need to be careful when supporting the weight to keep my core engaged which helps keep it balanced. 
    • Kneeling Cable Lat Pulldowns - 3 x 12 - I was able to do these at 72.5 pounds (and the wide-grip bar) without too much trouble, so I think I'm actually *finally* ready to go up to 75 lbs (I can increment the cable machine by 2.5 lbs if I want to). Huzzah! With these I need to really focus on keeping my shoulder blades back and making sure the main drivers of this lift are my back muscles. Not my triceps, which are totally inadequate to the task of shifting 70+ pounds. 
  • Coordination Rows (Single-leg, Single-arm Cable Rows) - 3 x 12 - I'm still getting better at these. As mentioned above I figure I'm a week or two away from being able to do one whole set (of three) without having to put my foot down to correct my balance. There are no words for how much of an improvement this represents -- when I started these I could barely get through one whole rep without having to catch myself. Once I can do that, I can start getting rhythmic and faster and more powerful. I can't wait. Still at 15 pounds for the foreseeable future though. 
  • Cardio Intervals -- these were a scratch. The corner where I did jumping jacks and squat jumps the other day had a class doing abs work, my quad hurt so there was no way I could do more on the elliptical, and Patrick had been done for like 20 minutes when I got to this point, so I decided to pass. I sort of regret it -- I didn't get nearly as sweaty as I like and didn't feel like I worked nearly hard enough. But the reasons were sound -- especially the hurty quad part. I'll get back on these on Saturday. 
So it was a good workout but not a great one -- I learned some things and know where I'm going next with Workout E. That's all important. :D

Next workout is scheduled for Saturday. Goal for the workout -- pick up the pace and the intensity a bit to make up for a slightly easy workout on Wednesday. 

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