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. 

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