Workout 14/04/2016 (and a new PB!!)

Leg day, and a new personal best for me on the 45 degree free-weight leg press 🙂 Neither my trainer nor I could remember whether my former PB was 190 kg or 200 kg (although we both suspected it was 190 kg), so he loaded an extra 1.25 kg on just to make sure I definitely hit a new PB. In any case, I know that previously when I hit my former PB I’d only done 6 reps at that weight – this time I did 18 across two sets. So I definitely smashed it.

45 degree free weight leg press

  • 10 x 80 kg
  • 10 x 140 kg
  • 10 x 180 kg
  • 201.25 x 8
  • 201.25 x 10

2 sets:

  • 28 x walking lunges
  • Hurt terminal push (front and back handles) (55 kg, 80 kg)
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Workout 07/04/2016 – and some musings about squats and leg press

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!!!

3 sets:

  • 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)

3 sets:

  • 8 x 45 degrees free weight leg press (110 kg, 140 kg, 160 kg)
  • 20 x jump squats

Workout 23/03/2016

I missed blogging about Tuesday’s workout this week – it was a bunch of exercises that I wasn’t sure how to describe, using weights that I forgot to check. Oh well!!

On to yesterday’s leg day. This should have been a standard one – instead I found myself struggling with some sets, and my legs are really feeling it today. Unusual!! My PT did get me started doing lunges from a raised surface (negative lunges? Step-off lunges?), but since we hiked Bogong I’ve had a slight twitch on the sole of my foot that’s triggered by weight being placed on the ball of my foot. The lunges weren’t really suiting it, so we switched to Bulgarian Split Squats with a pretty low raised foot to ensure a deep squat.

3 sets:

  • 20 x horizontal leg press (80 kg)
  • 20 x raised heel squats
  • 20 x step-off lunges (1 set)
  • 10 x Bulgarian split squats each leg (2 sets)

2 sets:

  • 10 x hamstring curls (25 kg)

Workout 17/03/2016 – squats and opera singing

Yesterday I compared doing squats with Opera singing. When I first finished high school, I jumped straight into a Bachelor of Classical Music (opera singing). Ultimately I never finished it, and this story probably indicates why.

I wasn’t (still aren’t) a fan of opera. I didn’t (still don’t!) know what good opera technique sounded like, and I certainly didn’t know what it felt like. When I was singing in a way that felt comfortable and ‘right’, I was told I was doing it wrong. When I sung in a way that felt physically odd and sounded (to me) bad, I was told I was doing it right. But only sometimes. I could feel odd and sound bad in many ways, and sometimes I was told I was wrong and others I was right – but I couldn’t tell the difference.

To me, squats provide a really similar experience. I’ll do 10 reps and none of them will ‘feel right’, but at the end of the set my PT will tell me that reps 6, 7 and 8 were good. But to me they all felt different, and certainly none of them felt right. I explained this to my PT yesterday (including the classical singing anecdote) and he looked at me kind of confused, but also like he kind of got it. We talked about my absolute discomfort with back squats, but how my (rarely practiced) front squats felt better. We did squats san-the barbell, which my arms in back and front squat position, and ascertained that even without the barbell I couldn’t do a squat with my arms in back squat position to a decent depth or with decent technique. Holding my arms in a front squat position was better though, so we went down some weight and played around with that.

My PT realised that if he verbally cues me at the right time I push my weight back where it needs to be, and I did some really decent low squatting reps like this. Unfortunately I couldn’t do very many, and (luckily my PT was spotting me closely!) I ultimately ended up losing power and falling over backwards. But that’s ok – I felt like it was my best squat session in a really long time. I had a technique breakthrough, and although I’m a long way off being able to confidently do them on my own with good technique, yesterday’s session took me a step forward.

2 sets:

  • 10 x back squats (40 kg, 50 kg)
  • 10 x high jump squats with arm thrust

1 set:

  • 9 x front squats (30 kg) – failure and rest at rep 5, failure and stop at rep 9
  • 10 x high jump squats with arm thrust

3 sets:

  • 10 x horizontal leg press (80kg) with wide-legged stance, and angled toes

Workout 26/02/2016

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.

5 sets:

  • 10 x box jumps (45 cm)
  • 20 x walking lunges

1 set:

  • 15 x horizontal leg press (90kg)

2 sets:

  • 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.

Workout 27/01/2016

Leg day with PT. Got to the gym this morning and got a minor visual migraine – given that there’s no pain associated with it there was no reason not to work out, but what I discovered was the for some reason the visual migraine seemed to trigger lots of dizzy spells. So it was an interesting workout- but it’s a workout that I finished, so that’s positive!

3 sets:

  • 10 x free weight leg press (100 kg, 120 kg, 140 kg)
  • 20 x jump box squats

3 sets:

  • 12 x raised-heel back squats (20 kg – barbell only, no additional weights)
  • 20 x side lunges

Cutting the crap: kicking some goals

cut the crap

I haven’t posted on here for a while. The 5:2 kind of faded away – there were a couple of weeks where it just wasn’t possible, and without the gains (aka: losses) happening that I’d hoped to see, the inspiration to get back onto it was sparse. I intend to come back to it, but with some alterations to the 5 part of the 5:2. I was getting my two days right, but the rest of my week was letting me down.

A couple of weeks ago something clicked, and I started acting. I was going to write ‘I decided to change’, but that’s not right- all I did was starting acting the way I need to. Put simply, I cut the crap. To elaborate, I cut the refined sugars and refined carbs. Non-refined carbs and sugars are fine – I’m eating the sweet potato and corn, and I’ve actually upped my fruit intake, but the processed stuff is (mostly) gone. There’s been a few days in there where stuff has slipped through, but it’s been a conscious (and planned) decision. The result? I’m down 1.6 kg since 5th October, and down 3.5 kg since the start of August (around when I started 5:2. This ‘eating real food’ thing seems to work for my body, and I think that once I get the 5:2 happening again it’ll kick start it even more.

I’ve also kicked some goals in the gym lately – I’ve leg pressed 180 kg, and deadlifted 85 kg for three reps. I’m super happy with that, and now I’m aiming to lift 100kg by Christmas. My trainer thinks it’s possible, as does J who’s been planning out a bit of a training strategy to get me there. I don’t know why 100kg is so momentous, but it is. And it’s only 15 kg away.

In other news – I’m heading to Bali in a couple of weeks. I absolutely cannot wait, but I’m also starting to do some mental prep. Do NOT eat all the rice. Do NOT drink all the cocktails. Some rice, some cocktails. Moderation is the name of the game 🙂