Saturday, November 28, 2015

Workouts G #3 &4 and H #3 &4: Lots of Goodness!! (workouts 48-51)

I love workout G -- this one is fun and hard and
feels so good! 
We took one week off from working out a couple of weeks ago, because I had a cold, so I wound out missing one Monday and one Thursday workout. We were also insanely busy and pretty stressed and Patrick had to work late a couple of days. We got right back on the routine on Saturday and have since been back to reliable -- even went to the gym on Thanksgiving morning (so we'd be feeling virtuous about feasting in the evening).

I probably wasn't sick enough to have missed one of those two skipped workouts, but was just so wigged out by work and stress we took one more day off. I was afraid that I'd do poorly my first workout after two days off, but really that didn't happen. It was a great workout  and I did just fine. That was cool!

Workout G of awesomeness!! On Thanksgiving, I
did a lot of Insanity Intervals -- I wanted the
extra work! 
I'm not going to go into extreme detail on each of these four workouts, but I do want to catch up on posting. I know why I've gotten behind -- I was posting in the evenings after I got home from the gym but I've added a new hobby (knitting) to my other main evening activity (drawing and painting). The new hobby has kind of taken up some of my free time and pushed posting about workouts into something I do when I have a chance at work (which is most of my computer time anyway). And then I've been really busy at work. Anyway, I'll try to be better, because I don't like being behind on this. 

My workouts on Saturday 11/21 and Thursday 11/26 -- Workouts G #3 and #4 -- were:
  • Plank - 3 x 60+ seconds - I have an eye on a clock in the gym when I do  these, so I tend to stop at 60 seconds when maybe I could continue a bit. On Thursday, I did go to 70 seconds for the first set because I was trying not to pay attention to the time. 
  • Dumbbell PushPress - 2 x 8 (on Saturday) 2 x 10 (on Thursday) - I've gotten better at these and now feel like I'm really getting some good out of them. I used 17.5 lb weights both time, but I did do 10 reps per set instead of 8 reps per set on Thursday. For Monday, I plan to go up to 20 lb weights (and 10 reps per set). 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Romanian Deadlifts - 3 x 12 - I stuck with a pair of 35 lb dumbbells for both of these workouts, but am planning on going up to 40s for Monday. The 35s felt *perfect* on Monday, but a little light on Thursday. Which is the sign it's time to go up. 
    • Lateral Raises - 3 x 12 - My shoulders and upper back are Not Strong, which is why I've been using 5 lb dumbbells for these. I've made a note for myself to raise the weights though next time. I'll probably try to bring the 7.5 lb dumbbells from the Far Corner of the gym, rather than doubling from 5lbs to 10lbs, which is a really huge jump. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Alternating Lunges - 3 x 12 - Still doing body weight with these, though I'd like to go up to using some weight next time. I also changed from doing all the reps on one side then all on the other to alternating each leg during a set. Among other things, I have a suspicion that this increases the number I do, because I lose count. :D But that's okay. If I do use the 7.5 lb dumbbells for the Lateral Raises, I'll probably get a pair of light weights (maybe the 7.5s to start) to use for these as well. (That's a logistical thing.)
    • Kneeling Lat Pulldowns - 3 x 12 - I have finally gone up to 75 lbs on these. After like two months at 72.5 lbs, I finally moved up and now I'm ready to move up again. I'm planning on 77.5 lbs on Monday. That'll be cool. 
  • Coordination Rows (Single-Leg, Single-Arm Cable Rows) - 3 x 12 - I've been doing so incredibly well with these, that I experiments with raising the weight to 20 lbs (after FOREVER at 15, but it actually didn't work out so well. I'm pretty much there with the balancing on one leg the whole time goal (goal 1) with these. Next goal is to get rhythmic and smooth. Third goal is to get powerful. Fourth goal is to raise the weight. I definitely I jumped up the weight too soon. So -- now I'm working on rhythmic and smooth (without backstepping on the balance thing). 
  • Cardio Intervals -- I didn't do these on my first exercise after a week off because I had worked really hard doing the workout. On Thanksgiving I did 5 x 30:30 Jumping Jacks and 5 x 20:40 Jump Squats. It was *awesome*!! 
So yes, with Workout G, I have five of the seven exercises that I'm planning on raising the weight on. Rock on!! :D :D 
Workout H is a lot harder -- harder on my
shoulders and more strenuous. And it
takes a lot longer, which is a bit of a problem.
Workout H, I don't like as well - it takes a lot longer which is just awkward and it puts a but more strain on my shoulders. That said, I like most of the pieces just fine, just not how they go together into a workout. 

My workouts on Monday 11/23 and Saturday 11/28 - Workouts H #3 & #4 - were:

  • Side Plank - 3 x 45+ seconds - This is another one where I tend to watch the clock. On the other hand, I really am *done* when the 45 seconds are up. I made it to 47 seconds for one set. That's it. That said, this exercise is part of why 
  • T-Stabilization - 3 x 12 - These are really tough, but I think they're good. They are a bit much on my shoulders after the Side Planks; I don't feel like I'm hurting myself. Just putting a bit of strain on my shoulders. I do like these as well. 
  • Dumbbell Hang Pull - 2 x 8, 10 (on Monday), 2 x 10 on Saturday - I was supposed to do 2 x 10 on both days, but I remembered wrong on Monday. I'm planning on going up to 3 sets of 10 (rather than raising the weights ) for next time. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Sumo Squats with a Single Dumbbell - 3 x 12 - I used a 50 lb weights both times. I like
      Add caption
      this exercise -- it puts a lot of work on my inner thighs, which is a cool variation from the normal squats I've been doing. 
    • Standing YTLWI Raises - 2 x 10 - These are really surprisingly hard. I like them and I'm definitely stronger with them, but I'm not at all ready for even 5lb weights with these. I'm also not ready for an additional set. So I'm still at 2 x 10 -- just better at that than I was.
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Single Leg Dumbbell Deadlifts - 3 x 12 - I tried these a different way on Saturday, after struggling with them for the first three times with this workout. I've been doing them trying to balance on one foot, but that adds a whole lot of difficulty just in the balancing. Which kind of keeps me from being able to work my hamstrings and glutes the way I want. On Saturday, I followed part of the instructions for Single-Leg Barbell Deadlifts, which had me putting the foot on my non-working leg onto a weight-bench rather than just holding it up off the ground. That kind of took the balance issue out of the equation and let me work my muscles a lot better. Between the first and second set, I went from 5lb weights to 10lb weights. Next time, I may go for 15lb weights. 
    • Pushups - 3 x 12 - These are still really hard. I haven't been able to go lower than the windowsill I've been working on since forever, but I have been making a shallower angle and better form with them, which is something. 
  • Cardio -- I didn't do Intervals of Insanity either of these workouts -- in both cases on account of time. Workout H takes a lot longer than Workout G and if we've gotten a late start on exercising (like on weeknights after work), it's hard to make Patrick wait for another 10 minutes while I insanity. Not that he has ever minded, let me be clear. It's just -- well, getting home after 8 and then having to make dinner and clean up, means that we have no evening. That was Monday. Saturday, I'd just worked so hard I was feeling really good about even the cardio workout I'd gotten. (The Single Leg Deadlifts with my foot on a bench made a huge difference -- instead of tipping and stumbling, I was able to lift and lift fast, which got me good and winded.)
Next workout is scheduled for Monday. It'll be Workout G #5, which kind of blows me away. I can't believe that I'm getting toward the end of this phase already. I feel like I just started. I think for the next phase, I'm going to be doing higher weights and lower reps -- maybe 3 sets of 8. But I'm not sure about that. Goal for the workout -- do my insanities again and have an awesome workout! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Workout G #2 and H #2: I like both of these!! (Workouts 46 & 47)

Another great workout!! 
I really like both of these Phase 4 workouts. Last phase I had a lot of exercises on the cable machine -- which I enjoy using but which requires a bit more moving around the gym and getting things set up. This time only Workout G has anything on the cable machines. I'm thinking of rearranging the order so that I do the Coordination Rows last. That way I only have to walk back to that corner once and I can just claim one station for the whole time. Workout H is mostly bodyweight exercises, with a few free weights, so I can just camp in the free weight area. 

Also they're both a lot of fun. Well, except for the single-leg deadlifts which are really hard for an exercise that involves no weight at all. 

Anyway, I've been bad about posting again so this post is going to be about my second time with Workouts G and H -- that will get me all caught up before we go to the gym tonight. :D 

Last Thursday, I did Workout G #2: 
  • Plank - 3 x 60+ seconds - I did the full 60 seconds for the first two sets and 65 for the second. If I can keep myself from watching the clock, I find that I can go a little longer with these. But it's really hard not to watch the clock. Still, I'm getting definitely better at them and I really love that. 
  • Dumbbell Push Press - 2 x 8 - I moved up from 15lb dumbbells to 17.5 lb dumbbells with these and that was good. I'm planning to stick with that weight tonight. I might go up to 10 reps per set though, as these aren't quite as much work as I want them to be. 
  • Coordination Rows - 3 x 12 - I used a slightly higher weight (20lbs) on these for the first set and really liked it, though I went back to 15lbs for the second and third. I think I'm pretty much ready to move up the weight on these. I'm not quite to every single rep of every single set standing on one foot, but I am so very close and have been kind of working on smoothness and rhythm and power. I think those will actually be easier to develop with a heavier resistance on the other end of the line. Maybe. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Romanian Deadlifts - 3 x 12 - I'm using a pair of 35 lb dumbbells for this (because the fixed-weight barbells at the gym max out at 60 lbs and beyond that to use a barbell you have to use the Smith machine and I don't really want to do that). I have my Ed Norton moment at the beginning of each set as I address the weights. "Hello, weights!" I don't think I'm quite ready to move up the weight, but these are going along really well. 
    • Lateral Raises - 3 x 12 - I'm using 5 lb dumbbells for these. I'm not at all ready to go up to 10 lbs, which is the next step readily available. The Most Distant Corner of the gym from the main free weights area has a pair of 7.5 lb dumbbells, which might be good for me about now, but I don't want to schlep them over and back. If I do well with 5lbs again, I'll try doing 10s next time. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Lunges - 3 x 12 - I'm still doing these as bodyweight only, because I'm doing forward (rather than reverse) lunges for the first time. They do tire me out, so I'm probably still okay with the bodyweight. I just don't want to be slacking. I don't feel like I am though.
    • Kneeling Lat Pulldowns - 3 x 12 - I FINALLY raised the weights on these. After a month stuck at 72.5 lbs, I was able to go up to 75 and make all my reps on Thursday!! Woot! I was starting to feel like I was stuck in limbo on these. 
  • Cardio Intervals - 4 x 30:30 Jumping Jacks alternated with 3 x 20:40 Jump Squats Intervals of Insanity. I was pretty pooped when I started (the lunges do wear me out) and I've been getting side stitches while doing these recently which make it hard to breathe and recover from the Insanities (the crazy all out go go go go! times). So I only did 7. Which is less than my preferred minimum (8) but more than my absolute bare-bones, taking it easy minimum (5). So okay. 
Saturday's awesome workout!

I'm sort of kind of coming down with a cold. I've been "coming down" with one since Friday, which is a long time to feel it coming. It has neither settled into a full-blown cold nor gone away yet, though. I've just got the nasty post-nasal drip sore throat, despite taking Sudafed every morning with breakfast. (The real stuff from the pharmacy counter.) 

The almost-cold didn't stop me from working out on Saturday -- I actually felt a lot better while I'm working out and for several hours afterwards, though it seemed to come on a stronger Saturday evening. During the workout Saturday things went great and I felt entirely awesome afterwords. It's hard to describe exactly *how* or *why* a workout is great, but that one was. 

Saturday's workout was:
  • Side Plank - 3 x 45+ seconds - These are substantially harder than the regular Plank -- not surprisingly, I suppose, because they are more off balance and so on. It is, at this juncture, almost impossible for me not to watch the clock and just collapse when the 45 seconds are up. I'm going to try to start closing my eyes and not looking at the clock when I get toward the end of the time so maybe I can surprise myself by sneaking in a few extra seconds. 
  • T-Stabilization - 3 x 10 - I'm still pleasantly surprised that I can do these at all. Patrick expressed concern, when he read the drafts of these workouts, that Side Plank and the T-Stabilizations might be awfully similar to be one after the other. When I did the test run-through workout for Phase 4, it was fine and I thought nothing more of it. As it's turning out in practice, it is a lot of work on my shoulders all at once. If it looks like it will be a problem, I'll switch these and the Coordination Rows (in workout G) and spread them out a bit. So far it's working out okay. I don't think I want to ramp these up by doing more of them though so I might need to work on going faster. 
  • Dumbbell Hang Pull - 2 x 10 - I used 15 lb dumbbells for these the first set and they were way too easy (now that I'm getting the hang of them) so I went up to 20 lbs. That seemed about right and I'll stick there for next time. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Sumo Squats with One Dumbbell - 3 x 12 - I raised the weight on these from 45lbs to 50lbs and really felt good about it. The wider stance makes the hip adductor muscles really come into play as well. Which is cool as it can be. I said last time that the dumbbells only go up to 50 lbs so I was going to be hitting a wall with these soon but I was wrong -- the dumbbells go up to 60 lbs so I still have a bit of grow room. Hooray! 
    • Standing YTLWI Raises - 2 x 10 - These are getting a little easier, but I'm still not ready to add any weight to it, not even 5 lbs. I'm not dripping sweat just from holding the bent-over at 45 degrees or so position for long enough to do 50 raises. That's progress. When these get too "easy", I'll have to decide between adding weights or doing another set of them. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Single-leg Deadlifts - 3 x 12 - These are ridiculously hard for an exercise where what I'm "deadlifting" is air. (Or my fists in the position they'd be in if I were holding dumbbells.) But they do involve the whole standing-on-one-leg-and-moving thing that I'm still pretty wobbly at. Patrick pointed out that I might actually do better with a little bit of weight, just to provide a bit of a counter-balance and stabilization. That makes a ton of sense and next time I'm going to try 5 lb dumbbells to see if that makes a difference. 
    • Push-ups - 3 x 12 - I'm doing pretty well with the push-ups off the windowsill (just above knee height) but I'm kind of intimidated by trying to go lower. Because they're still hard, for one thing. And when I tried to go to much lower too quickly before I wound out making my shoulder sore for a couple of days. Don't want to do that. Still, by the end of this phase, I should be trying to do these off  a weight bench (just below knee height) even if it means I don't quite make my reps. 
  • Cardio Intervals - 8 x 20:40 Jump Squats - I just did jump squats because I knew I was going to be stopping a little early (not going all the way to 10 rounds). Patrick finished before I did and we had a lot to do Saturday afternoon, so I didn't want to take *too* long. I could (and arguably should) have stopped a little earlier still, but I was feeling good. 
So two great trips to the gym! I'm feeling really good about both of these workouts -- they're challenging and fun and leave me feeling like I've accomplished something. That's so cool! 

Next workout is scheduled for this evening -- I'm still coming down with that cold but at this juncture I can't imagine it stopping me from going unless I feel radically worse after work. It'll be round 3 with Workout G. Goal for the workout: Increase the work where it needs it (Dumbbell Push Press, mainly) and make sure I'm pushing myself everywhere. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Workout H #1: First real test of my hand (Workout 45)

I think I'm going to really love this workout, though the single leg
dumbbell deadlifts are really weirdly difficult. 
This was Monday's workout. I'll post tomorrow (I hope) with this evening's workout. This was my first time with Workut H and I had a great time with it. It was hard (Side Plank is not a lot of fun) and at times weird (Single Leg Dumbbell Deadlifts, only without any dumbbells). But it was really good. 

With the T-stabilization and the Push Ups, this workout put some actual stress on my palm (which had minor surgery in October). It went just fine while I was working out. I still feel like I'm healing and have a thick spot where the lump was removed, but I didn't have any problem with my workout.

Monday's workout was:

  • Side Plank - 3 x 45 seconds - I can't say that I exactly enjoy doing Side Plank, though I kind of love having done it and it's a great part of a workout. I haven't done them in a while, so it's good to get back to them. 
  • T-Stabilization - 2 x 10 - (You can see a video of this here.) This is the exercise that I was not at all sure I would be able to do when I did my test workout last Thursday. It just seemed like it would require more balance or upper body strength or whatever than I expected I would have. I was dead surprised when I could do them. They're hard, no doubt, but definitely possible. In fact they're so possible, that I'll quite probably add another set of these before Phase 4 is done. 
  • Dumbbell Hang Pull - 2 x 10 - (You can see a video of this here.) As the dude in the video says, it's a good explosive exercise. I'm doing it as a power exercise and also a whole-body exercise (all in one). I sure hope that video is sped up or something, because I'm nothing like that fast. I need to remember to drive myself all the way up onto my toes. On my test-run day, I tried doing this with a barbell rather than dumbbells, but those didn't work as well. The dumbbells are a little easier to manage with these. I used 15 lb weights and that was a good weight for while I'm getting the hang of these. I think I'll be able to move up soon, though. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Sumo Squat with Single Dumbbell - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of this here.) I realize that in the page pictured above, it looks like these are Jump Squats with Dumbbell. It's my own handwriting and that's how I read it. But no, no Sumo Squats. I'm doing Jump Squats for my Intervals of Insanity. I used a single 45 lb dumbbell for these and it was good. The problem looming is that the dumbbells at the gym only go up to 50 lbs, so I don't have a lot of room with these before I've maxed out what I can do at our gym. But I'll burn that bridge when I get to it. For right now, 45 lbs is a good weight. 
    • Standing Y-T-L-W-I Raises - 2 x 10 - I posted a video of these when I was doing Hands Free Workout A - These are surprisingly hard. Partly because I'm standing and leaning forward while I do ten reps of each of five exercises without a break. And it's all upper body stuff which is where I need the most help. No weights -- even 5 lbs would just about kill me, I reckon. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Single-leg Dumbbell Deadlift - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of this here.) This is another balance exercise and is therefore, very challenging for me just doing the movements right. So I'm not using weights just bodyweight for now (which makes this really incredibly mis-named). I was a little dubious that the bodyweight version would do much for me, but it is. 
    • Push-ups Plus - 3 x 12 - I haven't done regular (non-explosive) push-ups since Phase 2, so it's nice to get back to them. By kind of broad values of nice anyway -- I don't really like push-ups but I'm much better at them now than I was when I stopped. I'm still at the windowsill height (about knee level) but I could make all of my reps at that height. I might try a weight bench next time. 
  • Cardio Intervals - 4 x 30:30 Jumping Jacks alternated with 4 x 20:40 Jump Squats. I did well with these and don't stop until I can't go on. I've been getting some side-stitches during these lately, which has been making me stop at eight rather than ten Insanities. Ten is always my goal. 
It was a good and effective workout. I'm definitely in the start of a new phase -- I'm always sore for the first week or so when I move to a new phase. I think it's because there are always some new exercises and my muscles aren't used to them. It's not a bad soreness -- just a little bit lurking around when I make big movements.

I could take an Aleve to deal with them, but I really don't like to do that. I read something (which may be wildly wrong, it was in a magazine or something) which said that the post-exercise soreness is from inflammation and that inflammation is part of your muscles rebuilding and getting stronger after exercise. So stopping the inflammation can stop the beneficial effects of exercise. (As I said, this may be wildly wrong, but it makes a certain amount of intuitive sense.) So I usually wait at least 36 hours before I even think about taking an Aleve.

It's not really right to day that my next workout is scheduled for Thursday -- my next workout happened on Thursday. It was kind of awesome. I'll post about it tomorrow. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Workout G #1: First Time Awesome (Workout 44) (Also Phase 4 trial, Workout 43)

First time -- I made a change from the plan as I was going,
but it was a great workout nonetheless.
I started Phase 4 with my first go with Workout G (workout 44) on Saturday. It was absolutely awesome and I loved it.  I did have to make a change, which I'll get into in a bit. Still, what I did was fantastic, though I can tell there are some things that I'm going to need to ramp up as this phase goes on. I feel a little weird that I'm doing the same number of sets and reps that I did in Phase 3 -- but the New Rules of Lifting for Life (the source of the phases I'm sort of working on) suggested that after Phase 3 one go back to Phase 1 with heavier weights, harder exercises and fewer reps. He specifically suggested 3 sets of 12 reps. (I could call this Phase 1a but that seemed a bit confusing.) 

Before Saturday's workout, I did actually hit the gym on Thursday. That workout was workout 43 -- I worked through one set of each exercise in the two new workouts to figure out starting weights and make sure I understand how the logistics are going to play out. It was a bit disjointed and I didn't do absolutely *everything* because Patrick finished way before I did and some of the exercises I already knew. I looked at videos online of a couple of them to make sure I knew what I was doing before I started slinging weight around, and that slowed me down. 

I keep thinking that I'm ready for the Single-Leg Stand Up thing (sit on a bench, raise one leg off the floor, and stand up just using one leg). Or I think I'd like to be able to do them, so I try, but I can't even begin to muster the strength. I tried those on Thursday as part of this workout,  but I couldn't do it. So I thought I'd do Single-Leg Squats, which involve standing on the edge of a weight bench  on one leg and doing a squat. (Only as deep as I could go without getting to a point where I couldn't control the squat.) 

I tried to do those on Saturday morning, but those were impossible as well. Balancing on the weight bench was about as much as I could manage and it seemed like I was going to be in danger of hurting myself if I tried to do those. So I wound out doing Lunges. Not Reverse Lunges, which I was doing in both Phase 2 and Phase 3, but actual forward Lunges. It's going to make for some logistical problems later when I want to add weights, but I'll make it work. 

Saturday's workout was: 
  • Plank - 3 x 60 seconds - I haven't done plain old Plank since Phase 1 back in August (at least until my hands free workouts), though I've done a lot of core exercises since then. I didn't expect that I'd do as well as I did, though. I mean 60 seconds. Three sets. Seriously! :D
  • Dumbbell Push Press - 2 x 8 - (You can see a video of this here.) These were a little too easy and I want to ramp this up. It's in the workout as an upper-body power exercise, and it just wasn't quite there. I'll add a bit of weight, but I don't want to go too far in that direction because I don't want to push my shoulders too hard. I can add reps and will and maybe that will do it. 
  • Coordination Rows (Single-leg, Single-arm Cable Rows) - 3 x 12 - I'm back to doing these in one workout rather than both of them. I'm still pleased with my progress on these -- I'm going to start increasing the weight before too long, I imagine. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Romanian Deadlifts - 3 x 12 - This is another very familiar exercise that I did in Phase 1 and in Phase 3 (when I decided I didn't like the Cable Pull-Throughs). For some reason they didn't feel quite as good as usual on Saturday -- I think the weight I need to work my hamstrings and glutes is getting to a point where it's harder for me to stabilize it. I might need to stay at this weight and increase reps if I keep feeling like it's not hitting the mark. 
    • Lateral Raises - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of this here.) I was thinking I could do these with 10 lb dumbbells but it was totally clear that wasn't going to work as soon as I picked up the 10lb dumbbells. So I went with 5lbs. I hope I'll be able to move up pretty soon. The book I got my instructions from said to hold the weights with the palms facing forward, but that's not how the dude's holding them in the video. I think the main thing the book was warning about was rotating the arms on the way up. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Lunges - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of this here. Try and ignore the dude's flowered bathing suit.) I didn't use weights on Saturday but will in the future (maybe not next time thought). Just to keep it hard enough. I've been doing reverse lunges, but they are said to put less stress on the knees than forward lunges. My knees are sometimes a little fiddly, so I want to move into these carefully.
    • Kneeling Cable Lat Pulldowns - 3 x 12 - Another old familiar exercise that I've been doing for a while. Possibly since the beginning. (I'll make a note to find another lat exercise for next time if I've really been doing these in all the phases.) I did finally move the weight up from 72.5 lbs to 75 lbs. So a teeny little move but I don't think the weight budged at all in Phase 3. Which should have been a sign that it was time to rotate to something else. Ah, well, I'll keep them for this phase then move on.
  • Cardio Intervals - 4 x 30:30 Jumping Jacks intervals alternated with 4 x 20:40 Jump Squats intervals. Because I didn't do squats this time, I would ordinarily do all jump squats for my Intervals of Insanity, but I was already thoroughly winded from the awesome workout and felt like I'd get plenty enough of a cardio workout from the Jumping Jacks/Jump Squats routine. It was good. I only did 8 Insanity Intervals because I got a side stitch that wouldn't shake off in the rest periods. 
It was an awesome workout. Truly awesome. I'm excited about this one. It'll be a good month. 

Next workout is scheduled for Monday. It's going to be the first go with Workout H. My only concern is a bit of residual tightness in my palm (after my tiny surgery two and a half weeks ago), I don't expect it will be a problem -- I did fine during my test run on Thursday. If it is an issue, I'll re-group. Goal for the workout: Strong kickoff for workout H! 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Hands-Free Workout B #1 and A #2: Bad about posting, not about working out (Workouts 41 and 42)

Hands Free Workout B  was not quite as nice as A, but was
still way way better than no workout at all. 
Patrick and I went on vacation to visit my folks last weekend and we wound out missing one workout (last Saturday). Momma and I took a nice walk on Saturday and I did a little bit of running (I didn't realize that high school cross-country meets are sort of audience participation running events), but nothing at all organized like a workout. 

Wednesday before we left, October 28, I did the second of the two workouts I'd figured out for while I was recovering from hand surgery (which I had two weeks ago today). It's been a while, but you may recall that I really liked Hands-Free Workout A and was pleasantly surprised by what an excellent workout it was. 

Hands-Free B was not as good -- mainly because the Y-T-I Raises on the floor weren't nearly as good as the Y-T-L-W-I Raises standing -- but I did a good job with it. 

October 29th's workout was:
  • Side Plank - 3 x 40 seconds - I hadn't done Side Plank in a while, so I had myself down to do 2 -3 sets (depending on how I felt) of at least 30 seconds. I absolutely made that and more -- three full sets of 40 seconds each and the Planet Fitness was there with a class and while his people were working on Russian Twists or something like that, he suggested that I try adding some additional movement to the side plank to ramp it up a notch. Which I did. 
  • Hip Raises - Both Legs (I'd been doing single leg before) - 4 x 15 - I didn't use a weight (part of the no-hand-involvement thing) and I was using both legs, so I added an extra set and some reps to the Single-Leg Hip Raises I was doing through Phase 3. I had my feet on a weight bench, otherwise I would have had to ramp it up more. 
  • Reverse Lunges - 4 x 15 - I never really got back to using weights on the reverse lunges (after my sore quad kept me out of the lunge business for a while) but I totally cranked up the sets and reps for this workout. No quad problems and it was very very good. 
  • Floor Y-T-I Raises - 3 x 12 - These all involve lying face down on the floor with your arms variously out in front of you at an angle, straight out to the sides, and straight out in front of you then raising your arms as high as possible. I don't know if there's something wrong with my back or what, but as high as possible when face down on the floor is a couple of inches. And it's an inordinate amount of work for that. And it didn't feel entirely like I was working what I wanted to be working. And I just didn't like those. So there. 
  • Cardio Intervals - 10 x 20:40 Intervals of Insanity. All ten intervals were Jump Squats and it was kind of awesome. I didn't do any post-workout cardio (which I only do when I finish before Patrick which has happened like once or twice) but I'd gotten *tons* of it with the Insanity Intervals, so I felt well cardio-ed and worked out. 

We were on vacation on Saturday, Oct. 31 and didn't have a good chance to workout. Though, as I said, I went to a high school track meet and did some running and did a lot of walking while trick or treating with my cousin and her family and a bunch of kids. Trick or treating included some running as well, because small children on Halloween are like gas molecules and there was an awkward ratio of adults to children. 

We got home Tuesday evening and went to the gym just as soon as we'd gotten home and unpacked the car. I didn't get a chance to figure out Workouts G and H while we were gone and my hand was still a little bit sore. (Even though the stitches from my surgery came out on Halloween at the track meet.) Also, since I'd skipped a workout I didn't want to go right back into full bore lifting, so I decided against doing Workout E again. 

So I did Hands Free Workout A a second time. I'd loved it so much the first time. 

Either I went slower or Patrick went faster, because
I didn't have time for any extra cardio at the end. 
November 3rd's workout was: 
  • Plank - 3 x 60, 45, 40 -- I did TWO one minute planks and one 45 second one where I was moving my feet around for the first 25 seconds. So I totally and absolutely killed it with Plank. Better than I've ever done! :D 
  • Squats - 4 x 15 - Because the stitches are out of my hand (though it still feels a little tight), I actually did two sets of body weight squats as fast as possible and two sets of Dumbbell Front Squats (like I was doing in Phase 3, but with a lighter weight because more reps per set). Alternating. That worked pretty well. 
  • Sprinter Step Ups - 4 x 15 - These are like normal step ups only one raises the knee of the non-working leg up to one's chest when stepping up. It adds a bit more of a balance component (just because more mass is moving around, I think) and a lot more of a cardio component. I didn't use weights so I worked them fast and raised my leg *high*. 
  • Standing Y-T-L-W-I Raises - 2 x 10 - I like these so much (though I literally drip sweat onto the floor in front of me while doing them) that they're going to make it into Workout G, or maybe H, I can't remember. (I've *finally* put those together.) 
  • Cardio Intervals - 4 x 30:30 Jumping Jacks alternated with 4 x 20:40 Jump Squats - so 8 total Intervals of Insanity. Doing the Jumping Jacks for 30 seconds (with a 30 second rest) keeps those from feeling like a break between the Jump Squats rounds. It also keeps the Jump Squats from punishing my quads so much that I don't get a good cardio workout from it. Patrick finished before I was done with the Y-L-T-W-I Raises so I stopped after 8 Intervals. 
As mentioned, I finally put together Workouts G and H (at least provisionally). Our next workout is scheduled for tonight. My plan is to work through one set of everything in both workouts to figure out any potential logistical problems. I've got a few totally and utterly new exercises on it that seem like they'll be really challenging and quite a stretch. So it's possible that there will be "I simply can't do this (yet)" problems as well. One of them I'm really worried about and have already planned in an alternate if my first choice is not possible. Goal for tonight's workout -- work hard, get good starting weights, figure out problems with the plan. Sweat a lot. :D

I'm hoping to start Phase 4 on Saturday.