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! 

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