Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Efficient Exercise Week 16: Battle Stations!

One on One:  Truth in Exercise

This weeks' one on one workout  at Efficient Exercise started with some body weight exercises.  20 walking lunges and then 50 squats.  I was really proud of myself for making it through 50 squats  in a row.  The music helped.  Matthew knows how to get me going - he put the Muse channel on the internet radio.  The first song that played was Cave.  It has a good driving beat to it. 

The first mini circuit had two exercises, the ARx Leg Press and a new exercise for me, the Tru-Squat machine.  For the ARx Leg Press, Matthew had me do 3 continuous reps without rest between.  This warms your legs up pretty quickly.  In a group workout a few weeks ago, Matthew included an exercise called a tru squat where you'd hold a weight plate with your legs anchored/counter balanced by a device.  The Tru-Squat machine gives you the same moment but the machine holds your back straight and forces you directly down.  No leaning forward.  

I had watched Matthew try this machine out a few days before as it was new to him.  He loaded it up with weight and made it look super simple.  While the movement may be simple, this is not easy.  This exercise would be my "tru" challenge for the day.  

The Tru-Squat machine.
There is a pin that keeps the apparatus from going lower than a set point.  Matthew told me to go down and touch the pin.  It was incredibly hard to push out of that squat.  I was having an internal conversation with myself as Matthew counted down the reps.  Can I make it through 5 more?  I told myself this is the wrong way to think- I need to tell myself that I can do it.  I may hate it and it may hurt, but I can do it and did.  Matthew put on minimal weight on the machine.  I didn't even ask how much weight it was as it was more than enough.  I did both of these exercises 2 times though.

Next up, a three exercise circuit:  360 Push Pull/Cross Punch, Barbell Row and ARx Shoulder Press. We went through this circuit 2 times as well.  On the first round of barbell rows, I used the straight barbell.  I felt a little uncomfortable tightness at the top of the row during my first round, so Matthew switched me to the the curved bar on the second round and the issue was gone.  

Matthew warned me that my legs would be thanking him in the morning.  He said the tru-squat was sneaky.  I don't think there is anything sneaky about the tru-squat.  Next morning?  I already felt the fatigue/soreness walking out of the building.

Group Workout:  Battle Stations! 

It was a cool 77 degrees on this September Saturday afternoon and Matthew decided to help us get our vitamin D by including some outside exercises.  My partner for the workout was Andrew - one of Efficient Exercise's many awesome trainers.  Its a good thing Matthew had us going outside a bit as there were 12 people there for the workout.

Andrew and I both like to hit the bonuses so other than the fact we are on the same workout exercise, we didn't interact much.  I did each bonus three times through except the ab roller - I did that 4 times.   I used my new usual 45 pound kettle bell weight.  No problem.  

One of the bonuses was new to me, the heavy jump rope.  It's exactly what you think, a heavy jump rope.  I tripped on it once or twice.  My foot landed on it once and my ankle twisted out a bit.  I was mindful of that for a few days after the workout.  I'm a total klutz and I've badly sprained the same ankle before, so I was a little hesitant for my last 2 attempts at the bonus, but I didn't give up.  

Heavy jump rope on the right and 25 pound weights for the Farmer's Walk on the left.
There were two additional new exercises in the actual workout.  The first was Battle Ropes.  Matthew had us do 30 seconds alternating arms high and low at a quick pace and 30 seconds of taking both arms high and then low together.  The goal is to get the rope to ripple all the way to the anchor point.  You really have to put your entire body into it and that's not easy over a minute.

The second new exercise is the Farmer's Walk.  For this exercise you pick up some weights, I used 25 pounds, and you walk.  Yup, that's about it.  Matthew minded us that you needed to actively hold the weights by keeping strong shoulders as you walked.  The only problem with being outside is that I couldn't see the clock.  The first round of this, I walked out too far and was farther away from the building than I needed to be when time was up.  I'll consider that bonus!  

I was excited that banded chin ups were included in the workout.  At the end of this workout, I did 5 extra with Matthew's help.  This workout was very hard.  Hard, but doable.  After the past few really challenging workouts I've had, this workout felt good for my body and mind.  The next exercises and being outside made it fun.  As fall/winter approaches, I can't wait for Matthew to take Efficient Exercise, outside again.