Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Workout E #6; Finishing Strong!! (Workout 37)

Last time with Workout E. The end of Phase 3 is nigh.
Last night's workout went well. There was definitely a bit of a learning experience with it though -- doing jump squats for my Intervals of Insanity is only semi-effective when I've already worked the heck out of my quads (with loaded jump squats and reverse lunges). My legs gave their last before my cardiopulmonary system was totally exhausted. This is sub-optimal. I probably would have done better to alternate with Jumping Jacks, even though those feel less hard than the jump squats. 

I completed one whole set, both legs, of the Coordination Rows with only one tiny toe touch (to check my balance) on each side. :D :D 

Last night's workout was: 
  • Cable Half-Kneeling Chop - 2 x 10 - I took the weight up to 22.5 lbs, then for the second set up to 25. Which means that my arms are getting stronger about pulling the weight. I'm not displeased with that, but I still don't feel like I'm getting the core work I am doing this for. These will probably not be coming back in the next phase. 
  • Dumbbell Squat Jump (or Jump Squat) - 2 x 8 - I actually think I did ten on the first set, though that's not what I wrote down. Doing jump squats for my Insanities has definitely made me better at them when loaded too. I probably need to raise the weight when I do these going forward. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Romanian (straight-leg, mostly) Deadlifts - 3 x 12 - Two 35 lb dumbbells didn't seem like enough for my hamstrings and glutes to be working the way I wanted them to, but I need to review my form instructions before I go any heavier with the weight. I had to really concentrate to keep my back good yesterday. I was deadlifting two 40 lb dumbbells in Phase 2 (though that was "take them all the way to the ground" type deadlifts) and that might be a better weight. 
    • Obviously this is Steve Reeves as
      Superman and a picture I found
      on the Internet, not mine.
    • Scaption and Shrug - 3 x 12 - To keep my shoulders back and my form good, I was consciously pulling my shoulder blades back and down after I'd lowered the weights. This is what I personally think of as a Superman pose -- because shoulders back naturally pushes your chest out and proud like Superman. Adding that kind of ramped up the difficulty a bit, but also the benefit, I'm pretty sure. I'm going to look at an exercise for next phase that does that -- trains the back muscles for better posture and being proud like Superman. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Reverse Lunges (Yippee!) - 3 x 12 - Once again, I was able to do Reverse Lunges with no problems, though my quads were a little tighter than they had been the previous time. I really need to work to keep them loose, I think. Still, I had no problems and felt like I got a good workout, even though I just went with my body weight. I am paying more attention to pushing myself back up with just the one, working leg. I actually lift the other one off the ground a bit so it's not really helping with the push at all. 
    • Kneeling Lat Pulldowns - 3 x 12 - I went back to the cable machine station with the fixed high pulley on an arm sticking out from the machine. That was the harder station when I tested, which doesn't make a lot of sense because I think that's the one that works my back muscles (the target muscles) more and my arm muscles less. But still, it was harder and therefore I did that again. And it went TONS better. Seriously! Loved it! Still at 72.5 lbs. I really wanted to get off that weight at some point during this phase, but alas it was not to be. :( They may be making a reappearance in Phase 4, but I'm not sure. I've been doing them since the beginning and, given that I've been at the same weight for about six weeks, appear to have plateaued pretty thoroughly. It might be time to work those muscles some other way. 
  • Coordination Rows (Single-Leg, Single-Arm Cable Rows) - 3 x 12 - see above note about nearly almost doing one whole set. Just one toe touch on each side. Maybe Wednesday I'll achieve that milestone. I still have a lot more I can get out of these, so they'll definitely be back next phase. For one thing, eventually, I'd like to get my balance and coordination good enough that I can start raising the weight and making them a real work-the-back sort of row. 
  • Cardio Intervals - 8 x 20:40 Intervals of Insanity - All jump squats all the time again, which worked wonderfully on Monday. Yesterday it was really hard and my legs definitely pooped out on me before anything else did -- but then I'd already done jump squats and reverse lunges so my quads had done a lot already. (Workout F has squats, but because they're the front squats with the weight way higher than my center of gravity they're much more a core exercise than a quad exercise.) Anyway, I squeaked out 8 and then my legs would do no more. They weren't sure they wanted to hold me up anymore...at least for a minute or so. But then I did my recovery stretches and we were ready to go. 
As I mentioned in my previous post, I've only got one more workout in Phase 3 and I haven't yet figured out what I'm doing for Phase Next. But that's okay, because I'm having a tiny little procedure on my hand on Thursday and will have the rest of the day off from work to figure it all out. And then all day Friday to get a sense of how my hand is going to feel about gripping weights and stuff while it has stitches in. 

Next workout is scheduled for Wednesday (because of the hand thing on Thursday). It'll be my last time with Super-Fun Workout F and my last workout in Phase 3. Goal for the workout: Work hard and kick butt. 

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