Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Workout N #1: Another good workout, even without the Kettlebells

Workout N is a good workout. And look, I got to do Insanities! 
I did my first time with Workout N on Saturday, March 5. We were at the gym *way* early so Patrick could work with Travis the trainer (8am appointment). I kind of liked working out before breakfast, though I'm not sure how Patrick felt about it. (He did drink a big coffee-beverage thing, so he wasn't entirely without anything to perk him up some.)

I had a great time at the gym, though I took longer than Patrick and Travis did. I was so hoping I'd be speedy quick and finish before them. Unfortunately, whenever I get a couple of workouts together so that I'm finishing around the same time Patrick does, I add something or change them up and we're back to him having to wait for me for several minutes. In this case, when I moved into the new workout notebook, I changed around my warmup routine (took out a couple of things that didn't feel like they were doing anything and added a couple of things to replace them, but those take longer) and my recovery stretches (added a few). And I'm doing 15 rep sets instead of 12 rep sets.


Maybe I need to take Travis aside and put the idea to him that he should help Patrick figure out longer workouts, so he doesn't always finish first. :D

(Just kidding, babe!)

Saturday's workout (N#1) was:

  • Push Away - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of someone doing these here, though bear in mind that I'm doing the ones at the end of the video, in a full push-up position with both hands on slides.) This is definitely a dynamic core stabilization exercise -- they're also called Plank Push Aways. You start out in a push-up position and each hand, alternately forward as far as you can reach. The book (New Rules of Lifting For Life) says that if your back is getting strained to limit the range of motion, which I'm definitely having to do. Still these are good. I was doing them in the last phase, once I bought myself some slides (cheap from the Sports Authority).
  • Dumbbell Push Press- 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of this here.) I was doing these in Phase 4 and Phase 5 with heavier weights and fewer reps, by rather a lot (I started with 2 x 5 in Phase 5). That makes me want to raise the weight -- I don't want to strain my shoulders, but I also don't want to accomplish a whole lotta nothing. A pair of 15lb dumbbells felt like not much. I noted for these to go up while I was working out on Saturday, so I think I have them down for a pair of 20lb dumbbells next time. Which should work out better. 
  • Coordination Rows (Single-Leg, Single-Arm Cable Rows) - 3 x 15 - I took a month and a bit off of these and was a little worried how they'd work coming back to them. As it turns out they went great -- I wasn't completely perfect at them as far as having to put my foot down to catch my balance, but I was nearly perfect at more reps. And I was able to raise the weight. On the whole, these were really good and I'm happy to be doing them again. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Dumbbell Front Squats - 3 x 15 - (You can see someone doing these here, only instead of kettlebells, I'm using a pair of dumbbells.) This is another one where I used a pair of 15lb dumbbells for the first time in the workout and made a note for them to go up. Though I don't want to go up too fast. When I did these last, I was doing sets of 8, so this is rightly a lower weight than then. I didn't like these all that much last time, but I think I'll like them better now. They're still a lot of core work for what I'm doing as a quad exercise, but with the lighter weight and more reps, I'm getting good quad work out of them (working fast) and getting the core work. So they're working a lot better for me than when I abandoned them in Workout J. 
    • Pullovers - 3 x 15 - I have two possibilities for these, one with the cable machine and one with dumbbells on a Swiss Ball. Sometimes the cable machines are full, so having a backup plan seemed like a good idea. (You can see the dumbbell version here, only I'll be doing them on a Swiss ball instead of a bench. You can see the cable machine version here, only I'm using a rope handle and adding a bit of a separation and twist with the hands at the bottom. In both cases, I recommend clicking on the "Female" tab above the video window -- the lighting is better and what she's doing is more like what I'll be doing.) I've never done these before and I think I'm going to like them. They're definitely working my back differently from the Lat Pulldowns and the ChinUps I've been doing and I like that tons. I'm starting with a total of 30 lbs -- either in the form of the cable machine setting or two dumbbells.
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Offset Loaded Step Ups - 3 x 15 - I don't have time to scour the Internet for a good video, so have a really not very close one instead. That's here. However, instead of stepping up onto a bench, which my knees won't tolerate, I'm using a step-aerobics type step thingy, and instead of two dumbbells held at hip height, I'm holding one at shoulder height. I used one 20 lb weight for these and that was not enough -- though the step was lower than would be my first choice as well, so that may have been the problem, to be honest. I may try to raise both the weight and the step next time. 
    • Alternating Press and Twist - 3 x 15 - (You can see pictures of what I'm doing here.) I really think I like this one -- the straight up shoulder presses kind of hurt my shoulders a bit (and I'm doing some with the combination/total body move Step Up and Press in Workout M) and these are much less of a strain in that regard. And the rotation is good for activating muscles in different ways. I'm really light on the weights (my upper body strength is getting better but is still Not Good). I used a pair of 5lb weights on Saturday and will go up to 10lb weights next time. 
  • Cardio Intervals - 10 x 30:30 Intervals of Insanity with Step Ups -- When I'm doing Step Ups for Insanities, I do them a bit differently -- I step up with one foot, then the other, then down with the first and down with the second and repeat that as fast as possible for 30 seconds. I alternate which foot I lead with because it's the same throughout the interval. Pretty soon, I'm going to reduce the rest period to 25 seconds soon and I now have an interval timer app on my phone which will make that Super Simple. Yay!  I do love doing the Insanities, even as I hate making Patrick wait for me. 
That was Saturday's workout. I'm finishing this post on Tuesday morning. There will be another post later about Workout M#2 which I did last night (because it was just that awesome). 

Next workout is scheduled for Wednesday and it will be N#2. I'm looking forward to it and I hope it will be as awesome as Monday's was. Good stuff here! 

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