Monday, April 11, 2016

Workout O#1: Kicking off Phase 8

The workouts this phase are going to be quicker than the
previous ones -- 12 reps instead of 15 makes more of a
difference than I would have thought possible. 
This phase's workouts are going to be a little tough to introduce, because some of the exercises are ones I learned from Travis and I don't know that I'll be able to find good video clips of people doing them. We'll see. 

On the other hand, I think I like that the workouts themselves are a little shorter because of 12 reps per set (and the same number of sets) instead of 15. That surprised me with how much of a difference it made, though I liked the longer sets with lighter weights, so I'll be doing it again. 

Saturday was a kind of crazy day -- we had tickets for the baseball game in the afternoon (despite the ultra-cruddy weather) and had to do our Saturday errands (grocery shopping, mostly) and work out before we had to leave for the game at 1. (As it turned out the game was postponed until May on account of the cruddy weather and we went to a museum instead, but that's a whole different story). 

Anyway, I was glad that the workout went pretty quickly because, among other things, it meant I had a quick five minutes available for Insanities at the end. I'd thought I was going to have to skip those entirely. 

Anyway, since this is the Good Post with all the details about the exercises, I'm just going to jump right in. 

Saturday's workout was: 
  • Russian Twists with "Skytouches" - 3 x 12 - (You can see pictures and a description of Russian Twists without the Skytouches here.) I think the Skytouches are either Travis's addition, or his term for something that I don't know how to look up. Basically between taking the weight (a 12 lb dumbbell or medicine ball seems to be the right weight for now) from the left side to the right, I raise it up over my head. So the order goes Right-Left-Up-Right-Left-Up. I'm not sure the up adds much to the core work, but it sure does add a lot of *difficulty* to it. There appear to be a lot of ways to do Russian Twists, but I'm dong them just like at that link -- sitting on the floor with the feet on the floor, leaning back. has some variations that add a sit-up element to them and I may do those later. For now, this is a good amount of work. I'll probably be going up to 15 lbs before too long. 
  • Explosive Push-Up - 3 x 8 - They're baaaack!! (You can see a video of someone doing these here under the name "Plyometric Push Ups".) These tend to go in and out of my workouts -- I'm usually on the lookout for something that would be an "explosive power" upper body exercise and this is one of the ones I'm aware of. As I mentioned in my post about Workout N#6, I can't do Shoulder Presses indefinitely (Push Presses are another one I have in this category) because my shoulders start resenting it. So these keep coming back around. I actually kind of like them. I still can't do them off the floor, like in the video, but I've gone from a waist high bar to a knee high weight bench over time. So I'm super pleased about that. I'm also pleased, on watching the video, to see that her butt goes up some during the explosive part too. I was thinking I was doing something horribly wrong there. 
  • Deadlift & Clean - 3 x 12 - I *think* that's what these are. (You can sort of see a video here, except that I'm not lifting so much weight that it's quite that...strenuous.) This is another exercise I learned from Travis, though I think he calls them Deadlift Jerks -- but Jerks as a weightlifting move take the weight up over the head rather than just to the collar bones. So I think Deadlift & Clean is right. The other modification, in addition to them just not being quite so explosive, is that I'm doing straight-leg (Romanian) deadlifts, or hang Power Cleans, or something. The weight goes down a little bit below my legs but not all the way to the ground each time. I started out using an empty Olympic barbell for these -- that's 44 lbs -- but that was clearly going to be too light, so I added 5 lbs (total, 2.5 to each end) to make it 49lbs and that was good. I probably should be doing the "Deadlift and Clean" exercise as a Squat and Clean instead, it occurs to me, because both deadlifts and leg curls (coming up next) are hamstrings exercises. Hmmm. I believe I'll make that change. I can't find anything like a picture or video of that, but it's pretty similar only with a deeper squat at the start. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Leg Curls (Machine) - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of someone doing these here.) This is about as simple as it looks -- climb on the machine and go. Though I do have to make sure the pad is hitting my calves in the right place and my knees line up with the pivot on the machine. During the walkthrough these put a bit of an uncomfortable strain on my knees. I did just fine on Saturday, no problems, and made note of where the two settings on the machine were so I could replicate that. I did 45 lbs and think I could probably go up to 50, though I don't think I made a note of that for next time. I'll try to remember when I'm in my notebook again, thought. Just because I'm not doing a Heavy Phase, doesn't mean I can slack off. 
    • Front Raise - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of someone doing these here, only I do both arms at the same time.) This is another regular in my workout circuits as they're a good exercise that doesn't make my shoulder joints feel gravelly but makes them do good work. They're especially good if I keep an eye on myself and take pains not to lift the weights higher than straight out to the front from my shoulders. Because the precision actually makes me work harder and I can't take advantage of any sort of momentum. I used a pair of 8lb dumbbells (those are really Not Strong muscles) and I'm hoping to move up soon. I should probably try 10lbs next time, but again, I don't think I made a note of it so I may not remember. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Lunge Pulses - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of someone doing these here, but ignore what she's dong with her arms for the nonce and just pay attention to her legs.) This is another move I learned from Travis. Man these are hard and they kind of suck, though they're way *less* sucky if one isn't doing them toward the end of a leg workout. I like them, tons. I'm going to be moving up the number of them pretty quickly as 12 was tough but won't be forever. I don't hold my hands over my head (though I'll keep that in mind as a way to intensify them and work on my core and balance too) -- Travis suggested that I hold on to something like the back extension machine so I don't have to think about not falling over, I can concentrate on my quads. Which get a heck of a workout!! (Still sore two days later!)
    • Standing Rear Lateral Raise - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of someone doing these here.) This is another one where attention to not raising my arms *too* much actually makes the exercise harder and better. So does paying attention to my arms being straight out from my sides rather than at any angle other than 90 degrees to my torso. This is where the mirrors come in handy, because I don't have a very good sense of this just from feel. I don't know if I have an abnormally *bad* sense of it, but I know mine isn't good. I can't tell if my neck is straight or if my arms are higher than straight out to the sides just by the feel of it. 
  • Cardio Intervals - 5 x 40:20 Kettle Bell Swings Intervals of Insanity -- I really did push these insanely hard too, I worked myself like crazy for the 40 seconds on. They were great. I only had time for five minutes of Insanities and I wanted to make the most of them. And I did. 
It was a great great workout. I think I'm going to enjoy this one. Of course the one with No Squats is usually a workout I really enjoy. :D Honestly, that's a little weird, because I do Squats and Lunges on different days and I like Squats better than I like Lunges, so you'd think I'd be more likely to dislike the one with lunges. Ah well. 

Next workout is scheduled for this evening, Monday, April 11, and it'll be the first time with Workout P. I can't remember what all I'm going to be dong -- Squats on the BOSU and Kettlebell Swings and those super tricksy slider Inchworm-y things and some sort of step up and push ups. Those I remember. Not sure otherwise. It's gonna be great! :D Goal for the workout: Get Workout P's new moves down as quickly as possible so I can start rocking the weights. 

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