Friday, April 1, 2016

Workout M #6: Kicking up the Insanities a bit. :D

I really did end Workout M strong -- I kicked up the Insanities
some and I raised a few weights. 
I was feeling sort of low-energy on Wednesday evening, but I never even thought about skipping my workout. Well, maybe I thought about it a little but mostly to think that I wasn't going to do that. I kind of figured (I guess based on several months of experience now) that I'd feel more energetic after working out. Which totally worked, because I did. That was nice. 

As mentioned in the post title, I kicked up the Insanities -- I did half of the intervals as 40:20 (40 seconds on, 20 seconds of rest) Kettlebell Swings (with a 15 lb weight) and the other half as 30:30 Step Ups on the normal (higher) step. And all of that after the already more energetic and go-go-go Workout M. 

I really felt great (and soaked with sweat) at the end. 

It was a bummer that Patrick couldn't be there -- he was just not feeling it with the stitches in his back. I think his plan is to get back on the elliptical on Saturday though. 

Wednesday's workout was:

  • Bridge Slides - 3 x 30 seconds - I'd been doing these as 30 second sets with 30 seconds of rest. I'm not sure why I didn't feel like raising the time on the sets, but I didn't. I did, however, cut the rest breaks down to 15 seconds. So I kept the pressure on myself. Which was good. I don't think I'll be continuing these in Phase 8 -- they're not working me hard enough. 
  • Kettlebell Swings - 3 x 30 seconds - I went up to a 30 lb kettlebell this time (in part because the 25lb was not in the rack and I knew 20 was going to be too light) and that was great. I did do a 30 second rest between sets, though, because with the heavier weight those can wear you out. They can also put a bit of strain on the back with a heavier weight, so I wanted the breaks to recover. 
  • Step Up and Single-Arm Press - 3 x 12, 11, 10 - I used a 20lb weight for all three sets, which is a first. And I was stepping up onto the higher step (though it's what I think of as normal). I don't think the step part made the difference in me not making 15 reps on even the first set. (I've done one set with a 20lb weight in M#4 and #5, so I should be used to that). I'm not sure what did, to be honest. I have this vague recollection that I thought I was only doing 12 reps so I stopped, though I'm not sure I could have done much more. Maybe that first set I could have. Still -- weight increase overall and I think the volume of lifting overall was higher. I'll take it. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Lunge & Rotation - 3 x 15 - I did the alternating sets out of order because one of the trainers had her client working on the Swiss ball when I got to that point. So I moved on and figured (correctly) that the Swiss ball would be free by the time I got back to it. It all worked out just fine. I was able to locate a 15lb weight for these, though I could probably have done okay with 20lbs. Once again, I did the first set doing all on one side then all on the other and the second and third sets alternating. Alternating is much more exhausting. Even when I don't lose count and do (almost certainly) more than 15. Which happened. I always go back to the last number I'm sure of so I know I wind out doing more than I give myself credit for. But that's okay. These are super sweaty hard work. 
    • Neutral Grip Row - 3 x 15, 15, 12 - I used a pair of 20lb weights for these and almost made my reps. I could maybe have eked out one more of them in the third set, but my form was breaking down and I didn't see a real advantage in doing a very bad one. I did increase the weight from a pair 15lb dumbbells to a pair of 20lbs, so it's not like I was slacking.
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Swiss Ball Reverse Hip Raise - 3 x 18 - After a few weeks of feeling like I was doing Just The Right Amount of this exercise, it was time to go up on Wednesday. There are no weights and there's no obvious way to increase the intensity aside from doing more, so I went up to sets of 18 for these. That was exhausting in a satisfying way. :D 
    • Swiss Ball Chest Press - 3 x 15 - If I continue with these next phase, I want to raise the weight. Or at least raise the total weight lifted (if I'm doing more or fewer reps, I'll have to adjust how much I want to raise it by). I used a pair of 15lb dumbbells, which is what I've been using the whole phase. Which makes me feel like I haven't been pushing myself enough, maybe. I'm not sure. Anyway, I like those a lot (and a lot better than push ups, which may be a sign I need to do push ups again)(bleh) so they may show up again next phase. 
  • Cardio Intervals - 5 x 40:20 Intervals of Kettlebell Swings alternated with 5 x 30:30 Intervals of Step Ups - I've been wanting to ramp up the Insanities for a bit but having problems getting that working. Wednesday, I just did it -- I did 40 seconds on:20 seconds of rest intervals swinging a 15lb kettlebell (so quite a bit lighter than the one I did for my sets earlier, but going for speed and intensity) and 30:30 intervals of Step Ups (again on the higher (normal) step). That was really excellent!! Both of those work my legs pretty hard so I wasn't able to go as fast on the Step Ups as I have been when I'm just doing them, but I was really flinging the kettlebell around and that was great. 
I really wish I knew what's been so awesome about Workout M -- I think a lot of it is that it's just very intense without having anything that either feels easy (ish) or slows me down too much. I mean, Workout N has Front Squats, both which are really hard for me and slow me right down. It also has Coordination Rows which are still a good exercise for me (balance and coordination are important) but don't get me *winded*. They feel kind of like a break. Workout M feels intense (but not like a grind) the whole way through. 

That is something I definitely want to try and replicate when I come up with my Phase 8 workouts. :D 

Next workout is going to be Saturday morning with Travis again! \o/!! I'm super excited!! I don't know if we're going to be doing other stuff or the same stuff again (probably different stuff), so I should have a great big bunch of awesome options to choose from for Phase 8. I already know I'm going to be doing the Squats on the BOSU, the BOSU Burpees, and either Inchworms or the slider V-Ups. And the Snatch Deadlifts. At least. 

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