So, on Saturday I did my first every hour-long personal training session (they’re normally half an hour). I also learned an important lesson. While coffee is the perfect fuel/stomach liner for a half hour session, I need more than that for an hour. Perhaps some food. At the 40 minute mark I was feeling good, and if we’d called it a day at 45 minutes or even 50 I might have walked away feeling like I had a top session. Those last 10 minutes though? They got hard. At one point I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to vomit or faint, and the frustrating thing was that I knew that it was likely just a result of not eating anything before I came to the gym. Grr!!! Anyway, it was a good one:
- 10 x safety squats (45 kg, 55 kg x 3) – NB: still not sure what the weight of this bar is. I know I had 20 kg added for the first set, and 30 kg added for the rest.
- 10 x clean and press (20 kg, 25 kg x 3) – super happy with these. I managed to do 7 reps in each set without bouncing to get the press up – I did strict presses
- 20 x walking lunges, with wall ball carried above head (no weight, 2 kg x 3)
- 10 x raised push-ups
- 20 x raised heel (hack) squats, 2 second lower and 2 second raise (final set was normal lower and raise)
- 10 x lat pulldowns (30 kg, 35 kg x 2)
La-la-la-la-leg day. Boy, am I copping body karma for not going to the gym for a week. Despite doing no lower body exercises on Wednesday, when I hit the gym yesterday my glutes were sore from doing the dumbbell snatches. Yesterday’s workout included what I can the ‘jelly maker’ – the 45 degree free weight leg press. I enjoy this machine so much more than the standard 45 degree leg press machine – I feel like I can get greater depth, hit better weight targets, and push myself further on this one. I’m pretty sure my PB on this machine is 190 kg at the moment – here’s hoping I’ll break the magic 200 kg mark soon 🙂
This workout also contained barbell box squats. I was reflecting on these last night – at 45 kg, I felt like some reps were super easy and some were super hard. My form is just too inconsistent to go up in weight right now, and I find that really really frustrating. If I could get some consistency in my squats I could increase the weight, but right now I just wouldn’t trust myself to get back up from the bottom of each squat!!!
- 10 x barbell box squats (40 kg, 45 kg x 2)
- 20 x weighted alternating step ups with top leg staying on bench (10 kg each hand, 12 kg each hand x 2)
- 8 x 45 degrees free weight leg press (110 kg, 140 kg, 160 kg)
- 20 x jump squats
Last week both my PT and my partner were away. My PT offered me a replacement for the week, but to be honest he sets the standards pretty high and his replacement in the past just hasn’t been up to scratch, so I said no and promised him I’d train myself. Except that I didn’t. I did pack my gym bag and put it in the car three days in a row, but twice I got held up at work and on the third day… well on the third day I got lazy. With no PT appointments and no partner around to tell me to suck it up, I just didn’t get off my bum and get to the gym.
While I was busy not being at the gym, I was also busy being absolutely crap at being an adult about my food intake. I fell off the bandwagon, I ate what I shouldn’t have, I showed no restraint and I generally decided that I’d start again next week. Or something. I was also busy reading all the fitness blogs, and looking at all of the fitspo, and generally thinking about how I want to get stronger… and I was doing nothing about it. I chose foccacias for lunch, and chinese takeaway, and I ate chocolate in the car on the way home from work.
Yesterday morning my PT was back in the gym, and so was I. It was a good session, I worked hard, and I enjoyed it. The funny thing was, for the rest of the day, and for the first time in a fortnight, I found it easy to make good food choices. I bought a salad (which I enjoyed). I didn’t eat chocolate in the car on the way home. There was no afternoon snacks. So it made me realise something. If one good choice leads to another good choice, then it makes sense to find the good choice that is easiest to make, and always prioritise it, knowing that putting that first will help the rest of those good choices to flow freely.
In this case, clearly I need someone else to motivate me to work out. Whether it’s paying my PT or working out with my partner, exercising that way comes a lot easier to me than making that choice by myself. But making that choice seems to lead to me choosing to exercise more often, and to choosing better foods. So for now, my choice is to continue to prioritise my finances to pay for a PT, and to choose to start to schedule more workouts with my partner.
Starting with one good choice, which makes the harder choices easier to make.
I just went to get a coffee – my second for the day. I haven’t had breakfast, and I’m hungry. I strongly considered a muffin, then a pastry, then a piece of slice, and then I said no. No muffin.
So I ate a whole lot of chocolate over the Easter weekend, and I also ate a bunch of other stuff I shouldn’t (hello McDonald’s dinner while driving on Saturday night), but today I’ve had a victory. No muffin.
Arm day! A five car pile up on the freeway meant I arrived 10 minutes late for my half hour training session today. I started my workout with my PT, then he gave me instructions for the rest of the session and left me to it. Normally in these situations I have a tendency to reduce either sets or reps, telling myself that I have to get to work and don’t have time to finish. Today I finished the full sets prescribed, with the right number of reps, without blowing out my rest time. It’s tiny, but I feel proud of myself for doing it.
- 20 x raised push-ups (on a bench)
- 20 x angled pull-ups
- 5 x jump pull-ups (jump, aim to pause at the top then have a controlled lower)
- 10 x barbell clean and press (20 kg x 1, 25 kg x 4)
Leg day today. J asked me how it was afterwards, and I reflected that given the low energy I’ve been feeling all week I was pretty happy that I dragged myself out of bed, showed up, and completed the right number of reps and sets (in the past, energy like this has resulted in less sets). So with that in mind I was happy – and I worked through some technique issues too. Having said that, today’s workout involved at 45cm box jump which I seemed to be only just clearing. In the past I’ve easily clear a metre, so I’ve definitely lost some punch there! Something to work on, I suppose.
- 10 x box jumps (45 cm)
- 20 x walking lunges
- 15 x horizontal leg press (90kg)
- 10 x horizontal leg press (90kg) – reduced reps to work on where I’m driving through in my foot. I’ve been finding I drive through the ball of my foot on this machine, so we were working on driving through the heel instead. It’s a bad habit, so the heel work made it a lot harder – thus the reduced reps.
Yesterday’s workout was a 17 km hike through the Dandenongs. The track was beautiful – a mix of towns, roads, hiking trails, some flat-ish terrain and PLENTY of ups and downs to get the legs working. The ups and downs were in fact quite challenging, which made it the perfect Bogong preparation trek. Not only were we getting some muscles into action, but we also got some decent kilometres under our feet which is really important. I don’t want to find myself with blisters at the top of the mountain, so toughening my feet up again after six months away from hiking is the main priority in this training.
The route itself was a bit confusing – we found it online, and couldn’t print a decent map, so we were going off street names. Ultimately it slowed us down while we looked at GPS maps on our phones, but in the end we we out on our feet for about five hours (including stops at waterfalls etc).
Leg day!! My PT said it would be a hard one – when he says that he’s normally right, and it also normally means he’s got a fairly high-cardio circuit planned for me. That was all true today. He’s been saying recently that I’m working harder, and I do feel like that’s true. I’m completing sets I’ve struggled with before – don’t get me wrong, I’m still struggling, but I’m pushing through just that tiny bit more. It’s nice. So here’s today’s workout:
- 20 x raised-heel squats
- 20 x negatives lunges (from an approx. 5-8cm platform)
- 20 x jump squats
- 20 x bulgarian split squats (with back leg on the tallest of the plyometric boxes – 60 cm)
- 1 minute fast walking on treadmill – treadmill at greatest incline (15), and at various speeds (5, 5.5, 6, 6.2)
Arm day today! Some new stuff in there, but (as usual) altered to ensure the safety of my dodgy shoulders.
- 12 x reverse grip lat pulldowns (25 kg, 30 kg, 35 kg)
- 8 x kettlebell clean and press each arm (clean to rack hold, then press to palm facing forward) (12 kg each arm)
- 5 x jump to pull-up with slow release
- 15 x angled pull-ups
- 15 x angled full-motion push-usp
Arm/back/shoulder day today. I forgot to take note of weights, so most of these are estimates, but that’s ok.
- 10 x overhead barbell presses (20 kg)
- 10 x angled full-motion (chest to bar) push ups
- 20 x single-armed snatches (10 kg, 10 x each arm)
- 20 x free-weights machine rows (10 x two different types of grips)