Monday, March 7, 2016

Workout M #1: Phase 7 begins

New Phase, new workout log book! It's a little larger and
a little better made. I'm pleased! 
I started Phase 7 on Monday with my walkthrough -- one set of each exercise in both workouts so I know my starting weights and work through some of the "What am I DOING?" issues. I'm going for a lower-weight-higher-reps phase this time -- doing 15 reps per set as opposed to the 12 I was doing in Phase 6. .

(This was perhaps a bit of a bad decision, because I'd been very excited that I was finishing about the same time Patrick was and getting to do Intervals of Insanity (cardio intervals). If I take longer (which more reps inevitably will), it'll be harder for me to do Insanities without making him wait. 

Phase 7 may wind out getting shortened (though I doubt it) -- Patrick and I signed up for 5 sessions with Travis (one of the trainers at our gym). Patrick is getting the first two sessions so he can work with Travis on a program with weights that he can do. Patrick has been All Cardio All The Time for a couple of months and I'm glad he's going to be getting some resistance exercise.

The third and fourth sessions with Travis, I'll get so he and I can figure out a new structure for my workouts -- I've been changing workouts approximately monthly for approximately six months but the structure has been the same. Both of the workouts start with: Core (either stable or dynamic), Power (one workout works upper body power the other lower body power), Combination (something that moves multiple muscle groups). After that one does:  Hamstrings/Glutes (both legs at once), Chest, Quads (one leg at a time), and Upper Back. The other workout does: Quads (both legs at once), Lats, Hams/Glutes (one leg at a time), Shoulders. I've been mixing up what slots into those slots, but not changing the basic structure.

I want to get a new structure from Travis. Or a new basic *theory*. Even if I alternated -- one phase following this structure and one phase doing something completely different that seems like it would be good, right? I'm going to send Travis an email about a week before he and I start working together.

Anyway, since the next month is going to be spent working with him, and will start with Patrick working with him, I decided to go ahead and do Phase 7, even if I cut it short.

(For completeness: The fifth session will either be for Patrick and I to have a workout together with Travis OR if one of us needs more time with him it can go to that person.)

Anyway, Wednesday was Workout M #1 and it was a heap of fun! Workout M has some of the elements that made Workout K so much fun (Kettlebell Swings and Swiss Ball Chest Presses), so I think I'm going to really enjoy it.

Workout M #1 was:
  • Bridge Slide - 3 x 15 - (You can see a photo and a description of this here.) Hip Bridges (also known as Hip Raises) are an exercise I've done as a glutes/hamstrings exercise. With the addition of putting my feet on sliders and extending my legs, alternately, I'm doing them now as a dynamic stability thing for working my core by staying still in the face of moving parts. They're pretty effective for that. Also a good glutes and hams exercise, though I do more of that later in the workout as well. 
  • Kettlebell Swing - 3 x 30 - (You can see a video of someone doing these here, except I'm not doing them one-handed.) I'm using a 20lb kettlebell and I do them with both hands, facing a blank wall with an emergency exit door (rather than the mirrors that are on most of the walls) -- that way I've got extra grip on the kettlebell and if it does fly out of my grip it won't hurt anyone or anything. I was doing 2 sets of 10 last Phase, now I'm doing 3 sets of 30 seconds with a 30 second rest in between. These are an absolute blast -- it's all "Wheeee!!" as the weight is flying around. On days when I'm not doing them as part of my workout, I might do them as part of my Intervals of Insanity because they're That Much Fun! 
  • Single Arm Step Up and Press - 3 x 15 - (You can't really see a video of someone doing this here, though you can see a video of someone doing the single-arm shoulder press part. Just imagine that he's stepping up onto a step with the leg opposite the arm with the weight.) I'm doing these as a combination or whole-body exercise and they're pretty effective for that. Not especially fun, but I've been neglecting my shoulders a bit and it's good to get back to them. I'm using a 15lb dumbbell for them right now. I'm not sure when that will go up -- I don't have strong shoulders and I don't want to hurt them. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Swiss Ball Reverse Hyperextension (Reverse Hip Raise) - 3 x 15 - (You can see a video of something along the lines here only I'm doing them on a Swiss/Stability Ball instead of a weight machine.) These were awkward like *crazy* at first -- I couldn't figure out how to get my belly on the Swiss ball so that I was doing anything at all with the reverse hyperextensions. Once I figured out that the ball needed to be under my hips, and I was stabilizing myself with my arms, they worked fine. No weight (and I can't quite see how adding weight will be possible, though maybe I can hold a dumbbell between my feet or something. My guess is that ramping these up is going to be a matter of increasing reps. 
    • Swiss Ball Chest Press - 3 x 15 - Swiss Ball Chest Press - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of someone doing these here.) Basically, these are like dumbbell bench presses only instead of a bench the upper body is on a Swiss (stability) ball. They're actually kind of great -- though they're pretty tricky. I like these a lot and it seems like it's going to be fun doing two Swiss Ball exercises alternating. I used a pair of 15lb dumbbells for them and that's a good weight at this number of reps. In the previous phase, doing 12 reps, I'd gotten up to 20lb dumbbells, and I'll probably be back there soon. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Dumbbell Lunge and Rotation - 3 x 15 - (You can see how to do this here. It's not really a video, but you can move the slider along under the picture and he'll move.) I'm working on some extra rotational movements this phase  and this is one of the ones I'm dong for this. I'm hoping to get my obliques and sort of twisty muscles in on the getting healthier party. Also they're kind of more fun than regular lunges. :D I used a 10 lb weight for this, because I'm not sure how I'm going to do with the front/high weight with the lunges. I'll probably be going up almost immediately though. 
    • Neutral Grip Dumbbell Row - 3 x 15 - (You can see a video of someone doing these here.) I'm using a pair of 15lb dumbbells for these, which seems about right for 15 rep sets at this juncture. We'll see how quickly I go up with these. I haven't done rows in a while and when I was I wasn't using a neutral grip palms in toward each other like the dude in the video). I actually like these better than the palms back rows I was doing. 
  • Cardio Intervals --- Alas, though I have been getting right back in the habit of doing Intervals of Insanity, I couldn't do any last Wednesday, as we didn't get to the gym until nigh on 7pm and didn't want to be there until forever. So I skipped the Insanities. 
Finishing the post several days later: Coming up soon -- a post on Workout N #1, which I did on Saturday while Patrick was working with Travis. Workout N is going to be good too, but it doesn't have Kettlebell Swings or anything on the Swiss Ball, so it's not nearly as much fun. :D 
Tonight's workout will be Workout M #2 and I'm quite looking forward to it. 

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