Friday, March 11, 2016

Workout N#2: This phase is AWESOME! (Also, still caught up!)

I raised weights on 3 things between N#1 and N#2 -- too much,
too soon maybe! 
After my first go with Workout N, I had three exercises noted to raise the weights -- the Dumbbell Push Press, the Dumbbell Front Squats and the Alternating Press & Twists. Unfortunately, all of them were starting with such low weights that even the smallest available increase was a huge jump. (From 15lbs to 20lbs is a rather large increase. It's a lot worse for the one that went from 5lbs to 10lbs.) So I wasn't able to make all of my reps in any of the exercises I raised the weights on, though I worked really hard.

I expect that I'll make my reps when I do Workout N again on Monday, so I'm not  *terribly* worried about it.

Despite not making my reps on several sets, it was a great workout and I enjoyed it immensely. I like these phases where I do more reps with lighter weights best because I feel like I'm getting more of a sweaty aerobic workout and maybe doing less of a disservice to my joints (which can get a little strained feeling by the end of a heavy phase). On the other hand, these workouts take longer, by rather a lot -- over the course of 21 sets (3 sets each of 7 exercises), three additional reps per set adds up to kind of a lot. I think of 12 rep sets as my "norm", so doing 15 rep sets is like adding an exercise an a half to my workout.

This may contribute to why these are so awesomely ass-kicky.

I told Travis (the trainer) on Wednesday that he needs to give Patrick longer workouts so he doesn't finish so much before me. :D

Wednesday's workout N#2 was:

  • Push Away - 3 x 12 - These are substantially harder than the bridge slides which is why I only do 12 of these and think I'm going to DIE while doing them. 
  • Dumbbell Push Press - 3 x 12, 10, 11 - Doing these with a pair of 15lb dumbbells was great -- I really felt like I was getting a bit of a snap from bending my hips a little but not doing a front  squat. With the heavier weight, they were a lot more challenging to my core, it was harder to keep the whole movement under control and I just didn't like them much. I'm hoping that another time or two with 20lb weights will get them back to good. Otherwise, I may go back to 15lbs. 
  • Coordination Rows - 3 x 15 - These continue awesome and I'm doing pretty well with them, though doing 15 rep sets is just that much longer standing on one foot, so they're definitely providing a bit of a challenge. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Dumbbell Front Squat - 3 x 15, 12, 15 - I'm using two 20lb dumbbells for these as well. They are a real and genuine challenge, mostly to my core. Though I didn't make my reps on the middle set, I didn't feel like I'd made a mistake raising the weights on these. They were just *hard*. But hard is good right -- if it was easy it wouldn't be doing me any good. 
    • Pullovers (Cable Machine) - 3 x 15 - I'm glad I got Travis to give me some pointers on how to do these. When I did them during my walk-through they were way too much of a quad exercise for my taste (and I didn't feel them as much in my back, which is where I want them). He told me to bend at the hips a little more and that makes a huge difference in where I feel the work happening. I did 30 lbs and that still feels like a good amount. I'm not in any hurry to raise these. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Offset Loaded Step-Up - 3 x 15 - I used a 20lb dumbbell for these. The step boxes usually in the workout area were in use by someone else somewhere else, so I stepped up onto the actual *steps* -- there's a flight of stairs that goes up to the cardio area and I used that. It worked out fine, except that I could stabilize myself a little with tiny touches of my elbow on the railing and I don't want to do that. I want to stabilize myself with, you know, myself. I could move more to the middle, but that would put me in the way of people going up and down the stairs. So no. Hopefully the step box will be back (or I can slip into the aerobics room and grab some) next time. 
    • Alternating Press and Twist - 3 x 15, 12, 12 - The first set I used a pair of 5lb dumbbells, despite having noted last time to go up from that weight, because the 10lb dumbbells were in use. They were WAY too easy. So I switched to 10lb dumbbells after the first set. Then they were too hard to make all of my reps with good form, so I did what I could and that was fine. 
  • Cardio Intervals - 10 x 30:30 Intervals of Insanity Kettlebell Swings - I wasn't really planning to do all 10 minutes of Insanities, Patrick finished when I was just getting to the last set of Alternating Press and Twist and I was breathing hard and all sweaty like when he finished. Also, the last I'd seen, the workout room I wanted to be in had been packed -- there was a class doing stuff on the floor and some people using the benches and machines and the rest of the floor space. By the time I got in there to do a bit of stretching (which I always do for recovery), though, it was empty. The step box was still gone (and I really didn't want to do more step ups anyway) so I grabbed a 15lb kettlebell and went to town with that. Fun fun fun!! The first few rounds are a little easy, but by the end of it I was definitely nearly dead. I'm thinking of re-programming my round timer so that the first five rounds I'm doing 30:20 (30 seconds of work, 20 seconds of recovery) intervals and finishing with 30:30s  when I'm starting to get pooped. 

I think part of what makes these lighter weight, higher rep workouts so incredibly intense is that I take short set breaks and work fast, so I get an aerobic workout at the same time as the strength workout. So it just turns into a sweaty puddle of greatness! (Which is possibly the weirdest phrase I've come up with in a long time.)

As a special bonus, I feel like I'm losing weight (or at least inches) faster in this phase. Already and it's just been a week.

That's definitely a Thing To Talk With Travis about when my sessions with him come around -- is this "light weight more reps work fast" things doing me as much good as it feels like it is? If so, can I stick with this and maybe pass on the heavy phases which are not so much fun and don't feel like they're helping as much?

Next workout is scheduled for Saturday. Patrick is going to be working on chest and back with Travis while I do Workout M#3. Wheee!! :D :D Maybe if the two of them are in the playground room when I get to Insanities, I can join them in there and play with the battle ropes and tires. Goal for the workout: Keep it intense and keep it fun!

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