Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Paleo Movement: Efficient Exercise Week 6

Going into my one on one workout this week, my triceps were still pretty sore from the group workout where I really went after the bonus exercises.

One on One Recap

Little did I know that Matthew had decided that my workout would be an arm workout.  All of my workouts up until this point had been more or less full body workouts.  We started with the 360 to get my heart rate up, followed by T-Bar Rows with 25 pounds, and then bench press on the X-Ccentric Machine.  

We didn't use the ARx in this session.  Matthew explained that the X-Ccentric machine is really a predecessor to the ARx machine.  He likes to use it so that he can emphasize the positive or negative movement of a lift.  A good trainer, he explains, can sense your level of fatigue and give you the amount of assistance you need on the machine.  

We finished the workout by going back and forth between suspended trainer bicep curls and triceps extensions.   What do these exercises look like?  Well, Matthew volunteered to demonstrate them, ok, maybe volunteered is a strong word but he was kind enough to let me video him.

Here is a video of the suspended triceps extension and bicep curl.  The switch between exercises happens at about the 18 second mark.  It seems elbow position is key on both exercises.  Watch how he keeps his elbows tight parallel to his body during the extension and his elbows high up on the bicep curl.

With my arms still sore from the last workout, these final exercises were a real challenge to me.  

Matthew tells me that he is still increasing the volume of my workouts.  It was odd walking out of Efficient Exercise without having my legs being exhausted.  Matthew said not to worry, next time, we'd focus on legs.   Thankfully the X-Ccentric machine didn't make me near as sore as it did when I tried it during the Project Transformation.   

Group Workout Recap

When I walked into Efficient Exercise the following Saturday, Matthew had another arm intensive workout awaiting me.  There were six people in the class that day.  We partnered up and got started.  

My partner and I somehow moved to the wrong exercise at some point in the circuit so we got to do the ARx row three times.   Matthew helped us do X-Ccentric bench presses.  In the first round he helped us emphasize the positive and the second the negative.  

The 360 work and the squat thrusters gave a nice metabolic boost to the workout.  I had to remind myself to focus on powering up out of the squat on the thrusters.  

I did two of the bonus exercises, the upright rows with bands and the medicine ball push ups.  The medicine row push ups require you to put one hand on a medicine ball and the other on the ground. You switch hands at the 30 second mark.  

A new exercise to me in this workout was the suspension lunge.  Do to this you face away from the strap pictured below and put your foot into the strap.  While keeping your balance you hop away from the strap and then perform lunges.  I balanced myself a bit on the pull up/weight rack but it was still plenty hard to keep my balance.  At the 30 second mark you'd switch feet.  I'm glad that I had a partner to help me switch out my feet.  

At the end of the circuit, I was happy to switch to abs.  My arms were done.  Matthew wrapped up the workout by leading us in an ab circuit that he says he made up on the fly.  It was comprised of various floor exercises.  The majority of these exercises required you to keep your legs raised off the ground. Ouch.  I was not the only one to have difficulty with the ab circuit.  

Weekly Paleo Review of Training: 

After two solid workouts, the hamsters in my mind started to work a little over time.

I’ve been told by some that I am patient person.  These are usually people that only know me in a work or dating context.  Patience is not a quality I ever afford myself in any endeavor I take on personally.  I have extremely high standards, I want results and I want them yesterday.  The past few weeks my results on the scale have become erratic.   I know the end number isn’t important but rather what makes up the end number is what's important.  I also know I have more fat to lose than I will gain in muscle mass.  I’m still losing at a rate of 1-1.5 pounds a week.  I caught myself thinking this past week about how this is just not acceptable.  It’s going to take forever to get to my goal. I’d nearly worked myself into complete frustration.  And then I thought, what is my hurry?  

What’s your hurry?  

I asked myself this question of myself several times and I didn’t have a good answer.  There were no golden doors that were going to open, no angels were going to sing and play harps, and Ryan Gosling wasn’t going to propose marriage.  What was actually going to happen?  I can’t deny that I will be happier generally.  I will have pride in having accomplished something, and more of the clothes in my closet will fit.  That’s all great and certainly worth my effort, but they will be there in a few months, they will be there in a year.  They will be there however long it takes my body to heal and change in response to the positive changes I have made. 

There is no way I can fail.  I am eating a clean paleo template diet with Amy Kubal’s guidance.  I have even taken on an AIP protocol for 30 days to try to eliminate food as a cause for my Grover’s disease.  I am giving my body the physical activity it needs to make the hormonal changes that need to occur through my workouts at Efficient Exercise.  So long as I do my part and work hard, I can not fail regardless of the time table.  

I’ve gained and lost weight many times in my life, but there is something legitimately different this time.  I am overall enjoying the process.  I enjoy going into the gym instead of dreading it.  I look forward to seeing Matthew and my regular classmates in the group workout.  I’m enjoying pushing my body harder than I ever have before.  I’m enjoying trying new recipes and flavors in the kitchen.  I might be crazy but I enjoy sharing it with everyone who reads this blog.  I have my moments and start working myself up about progress, I’m human.   But this time around, I am trying to show myself a little patience.  

What’s my hurry?  No hurry.  What I know now is that taking on this endeavor and continuing it as a part of a lifestyle change even after I achieve my goals will only add to the awesomeness that is me, right now, in the present.  

Biggest Challenge:  This week, my biggest challenges came in the group workout with the suspended lunge and the ab circuit.  My abs reminded me of that circuit for a few days after the group workout.  Mentally, it seems my challenge this past week is putting matter over my mind if that makes sense.

Blog Note:  A new Efficient Exercise Transformation Class begins August 6, and they still have spots available!   If you are at all curious about this program, contact them and see how it might change your life.