Sunday, February 28, 2016

I've missed a bunch of posts...

Weight Rack at the Sport Fit (our new gym which we love). This is not my photo, it's
from their website. 
I've missed a million posts (seriously, like 13 of them -- 11 workouts in Phase 6 plus two special workouts with the trainer) but we only missed two workouts since the last time I posted. On January 31. Oops.

(The two missed workouts were when we were spending a weekend in Williamsburg with my parents. I'd actually packed some gear to do bodyweight workouts while I was there, but I'd strained my lower back/hip area a couple of days before I went and I didn't want to do unfamiliar moves that were going to risk hurting it work.)

Obviously I'm not going to go through each and every workout I've missed posting about. That would be nuts. And boring both to write and to read. I'm going to talk about the two workouts we did with the trainer, Travis, because those were pretty awesome. I'll also talk about Workout L, because I haven't gone into any detail on that because of getting so far behind I couldn't even imagine catching up.

The two sessions with Travis were great -- we got together with him at a time on Saturday mornings when the "Functional Fitness" room at the gym was free. They call it "functional fitness", I think of it as the "playground". It has battle ropes (you can see a video of someone playing with them here), tires for flipping (you can see a video of that here), and a TRX suspension system (you can see a lot of exercises you can do with a TRX system here). Along with Swiss (stability) balls, steps, weight bars (like a weighty metal pole) and other fun stuff. Travis did a great job of giving us both a great workout that was a ton of fun. He was able to kind of divide his attention between the two of us without either of us feeling slighted.
The playground room. Photo from Travis Smith's
facebook, so I presume (c) him. 

I do love the playground room, but most of the time when we're there it's in use. Which is a pity because I would *totally* make the battle ropes and tire flipping part of my workouts. Or do them as cardio things for Intervals of Insanity.

We just signed up for five more sessions with Travis (hooray the tax refund) -- Patrick is going to get two by himself to figure out a couple of weight routines he can alternate. He hasn't been lifting for a couple of months and it would be good for him to get back to it.

I'm going to get a couple of sessions by myself as well. I've been using basically the same structure for my workouts, just slotting different exercises into the parts of the structure since July and would like to maybe figure out a new structure. Or get some new ideas about what to fit into it.

The fifth session we'll probably do together (hopefully in the playground). On the other hand, if one or the other of us needs another session to feel good about going forward with the workouts we're developing with him, then it can be used for that.

I really wish we could work with Travis in a more ongoing way -- he's a very good guy, young and a good trainer. It's pretty clear from his interactions with some of the other people at the gym that he got fit at our gym working with one of the other trainers there. He's got before and after pictures on a poster at the gym and it's impressive the transformation he made in himself. You can see his Facebook here.

Okay, so now, Workout L.

Workout L is definitely less fun than Workout K. Workout K is *awesome* -- just a whole lot of whee and fun and working hard but having an awesome time. Workout L is more of a grind. There are a couple of exercises I don't much like -- I'm not sure I felt like I was getting anything out of them. But I did them diligently. But I probably won't be doing them again.

Workout L was (at least Workout L #6 was, some of them the numbers of reps went up and, as is usual, the weights went up as I went along):

  • Swiss Ball Mountain Climbers - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of this here.) This is one of the ones I wasn't sure how much I was getting out of or that I was doing right. Except that I got better and faster at them and my stability on the stability ball improved immensely. So maybe I got more out of them than I was thinking. 
  • Explosive Push Ups - 2 x 8 - These are pretty standard so no video. When I did  these a while ago I was doing them off a bar that was hip high or a little higher. I was doing them this time off a weight bench, which made it a lot harder. They didn't feel as good or productive when I was doing them from the higher bar, which is probably more about me. They were really hard. 
  • Dumbbell Deadlift and Row - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of this here.) I finished doing these with 25 lb weights for the first set and 20 lb weights for the second and third sets. Oddly, I could do these at higher weights than the straight dumbbell rows. I think the reason is that my upper back gets a bit of a break because of the deadlift part of the lift and with that bit of a spell, I could do a few pounds more. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Sumo Squats - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of these here.) I finished these with a 60 lb weight. I like these pretty well. They work different muscles than regular squats and work well. The biggest problem is carrying the large weight back and forth to the assisted chin up machine. 60 lbs is heavier than I can carry in one hand. 
    • Assisted Chin Ups and Scapular Retraction - 3 x 12 of the assisted chinups and 2 x 12 of the Scapular Retraction - I'm still doing these on the Assisted Chin Up machine. (You can see a video of how to use the machine for assisted chin ups here. Ignore the first half where he's showing how to use it for dips -- I'm not doing those.) The scapular retractions I do after the end of the first two sets of Chin Ups. (You can sort of see a video here, though I'm doing them a little bit differently -- I'm doing 2 sets of 12 repetitions and holding each rep for a brief pause.) These are really hard - my grip and forearms are tired after about eight or 10 of them. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Sprinter Step Ups - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of someone doing this here, though I'm not doing them exactly the same.) Basically these are the same as a regular step up, only you raise the knee of the leg that's not bearing weight as high as you can  with each step. I used 20 lb weights for these most of the way through because most of the weight and work is from my body weight anyway. 
    • Cable External Rotation - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of someone doing this here.) This is one of the ones that I added as part of working on my posture, but I really don't feel like I'm getting much out of it. I definitely won't be doing these any more. 
  • Cardio Intervals -- I stopped doing the 10 minutes of cardio to warm up so I could have the time for Intervals of Insanity at the end (I don't mind taking 4 or 5 minutes more than Patrick, but I don't want to keep him waiting for 15 minutes). I missed a couple of days of Insanities, but for the most part I did 8 - 10 minutes of 30:30 intervals on the step box. (That's with both Workout K and Workout L. 

Like I said, Workout L just wasn't anything like as much fun as K -- K had kettlebell swings (whee!) and bench presses on the Swiss Ball and it was just a ton of fun. :D

I did Workout L #6 on Saturday, so Phase 6 is done. Now it's time for figuring out Workouts M and N. It's going to be 4 weeks before I've finished my two sessions with with Travis, so I'll be able to do Phase 7 while he's working with Patrick and while he and I are working out my next plan. I might wind out cutting it a bit short, but that will be okay.