Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Workout I #4: Post-feasting sweating is good (Workout 62)

I've got a couple of exercises where I'm ready to raise the
weights. This makes me happy. 
We didn't go to the gym on Saturday -- because of the car having to go to the shop we wound having to walk to the bank to deposit Christmas presents so we could pay for the car repairs. According to Google My Tracks it was a 4 mile walk. And we went at a pretty good clip. It wasn't as good and sweaty as a trip to the gym would have been but what with that, and not getting the car back until afternoon, and having to go grocery shopping, I just didn't have the will to get to the gym afterwards. 

I may feel a little bit bad about that. I'd feel worse if we hadn't gone yesterday, right on schedule. 

Yesterday's workout was very good and much needed, after the day sort of off-ish. 

I was pleasantly surprised at how not-crowded the gym was - I was expecting a fair number of people working off the holidays (or earning their New Year's Eve festivities). It wasn't too bad, though. This is the workout that uses two different pieces of equipment that the gym only has one of, so I sometimes have to either change the order I'm working in or share (or both). But I didn't have to do either last night. Which was nice. 

Yesterday's workout was: 
  • Plank with Reduced Base of Support - 3 x 50 seconds - The first set I did holding an arm up (left arm for the first 25 seconds. right arm for the second). The second and third sets I did holding up a leg (same deal as far as time). It is actually a little harder to hold up an arm, I think. I read somewhere On The Internetz that it's to do with leverage, which I'm not sure made much sense to me. But it does appear to be empirically correct. Huh. I didn't make a note of it (so I may not remember), but I'd like to raise the difficulty on these next time -- they were hard but not really hard enough. I might go up to 60 seconds. The other option is to do all arms all the time. I just need to remember. 
  • Coordination Rows - 3 x10 - Still making with the 20 lb weights. You'd think after doing these since September, I'd not get my arms and legs crossed up and do them backwards for a set. You'd think. But you'd be underestimating my lack of deep body understanding of left and right. The way these are supposed to work is I stand on, say, my right leg, hold the handle attachment for the cable machine in my left hand and bend forward, with my left leg extending behind me as I bend. I did the first set yesterday (or maybe half of it, I really did get very confused) with the handle in the right hand as I stood on my right leg, with my left leg extending behind me as I bend. Which, perhaps not surprisingly, makes it a bit easier to balance. Anyway, as I was switching sides, I realized I'd done it wrong, and then got confused. But I did it right the other two sets. And I was perfect as far as balancing in both the first (easier, at least in part) set and the second. And nearly perfect in the third. Woot! 
  • Dumbbell Jump Squat - 3 x 8 - I reduced the weight on these from a pair of 40 (I think) lb dumbbells to a pair of 30 lb dumbbells, but increased both the number of sets (from 2 to 3) and the number of reps per set (from 5 to 8). This was successful -- the reason I reduced the weight was because the 40 lb weights were landing heavily hanging from my shoulders. (If that makes the slightest bit of sense). 30 lb dumbbells were just fine in that regard. But I still got plenty of good work from the exercise. Success!
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Offset-loaded Lunges - 3 x 8 - I used a 20 lb weight again and made sure to go pretty fast as I worked. I'd like to try 25lbs again, as the 20 was a little light. Maybe whatever it is that makes my quads hurt (on the non-working leg) with a higher weight is ready to move up. If it's not, I'll just really push the speed. And maybe add another set. I'm not sure. 
    • Assisted Chinups and Scapular Retraction - 3 x 8 (Chinups), 3 x 8, 8, 3 (Scapular Retraction) - I might have had the weight set wrong on these. The Assisted Chinup machine gets set with how much of your bodyweight you *don't* want to lift, so knowing how much weight to set it at is key. I only weigh myself once a week (Saturdays, usually) and I just assume my weight is more or less steady through the week. (Which is clearly not a valid assumption, but I can't see anything else that would be better.) On Saturday this week, my weight was up because of Christmas (and Christmas Eve) feasting and so on. So I set the Assisted Chinup machine with a higher weight. I might have gone a bit too high with it, though, because I didn't have a huge amount of trouble with these. Which was nice, actually. The sets were hard, especially for the last couple of reps, but I made my reps. I added some reps of the scapular retractions (just pulling my shoulder blades back and down while hanging at arms length (with the same assist as with the chinups) and those are feeling better. I'll be doing this workout again on Saturday and I'll hopefully have a better idea of where to set the machine next time.
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Back Extensions - 3 x 8 - I used the 25lb weight plate again for these and am definitely feeling ready to go up. I have two choices for that -- either use two 15 lb dumbbells and just hold them close to my chest, or try to wrangle the 25lb plate and a 5lb plate. The dumbbells sounds like it will be easier. These are definitely a good hamstring workout, especially now as I'm getting really into a groove with them. :D 
    • Diagonal Raises - 3 x 8 - I did these with a 10 lb dumbbell (rather than the 10lb plate I had to use last time) and that really did make a huge difference. They still seem to move my shoulders in unaccustomed ways, but I don't feel like they're bad ways. I'd love to go up with these as well, but I think that might be a bit of a strain. Maybe next time. 
  • Cardio Intervals - 3 x 30:30 Jumping Jacks Intervals of Insanity alternated with 3 x 20:40 Jump Squats Intervals of Insanity - I don't know if I worked fast or if Patrick went long, but we got to the gym at a reasonable time and I wound out with enough time to do some Insanity Intervals which made me happy. I could probably have done more Jumping Jacks, but after the loaded jump squats earlier in the routine, my quads were done done done after just three rounds. So I figured it was a good time to stop. Before the strength portion of the workout began, I did 10 minutes on the treadmill with a goodly incline (the machine said 11, which I don't think equates to an 11% slope, so I'm not sure what it means) and clipping right along. After putting in my weight, the machine said I burned 150 calories in 10 minutes. So that was good too. 
All in all, it was a very good workout and I was most pleased with it. :D I'm starting to see the end of Phase 5 coming. I've got 5 more workouts (just shy of two weeks) and then it's time to move on to Phase 6, whatever that will be. That's when we're planning on looking into changing gyms, so we need to get on the stick with that. Maybe this weekend we can make an appointment at one of them to take a tour and sign up for whatever free/trial period they have. That would be a good start.

I'm also heading up toward my 1 year Fit-i-versary -- January 22 is the one year anniversary of my first run basically every. (Who else remembers the cute little duckling?) One of my goals in doing this whole fitness thing was to be able to go to the climbing gym in Laurel and see if I can tackle some of their walls, because climbing sounds like a hoot (and doing it indoors seems much less likely to get me gravely injured that doing it outdoors). A day at the climbing gym is going to be my Fit-i-versary present. The plan is to invite others to come if they like, then when the climbing portion of the festivities is done, we'll go to a local brewery for beer and food and stuff. :D

Anyway, that's all in the future and I'm getting ahead of myself. Next workout is scheduled for Thursday, New Year's Eve. The gym closes at 1pm, which is fine because we have the day off, so we'll just go in the morning. Goal for the workout: Rock workout J -- I'm hoping it will be less of a grind this time than it was last time. 

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