Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Efficient Exercise: Week 18

One on One:  Where's your head?  

Over the past few weeks, my fat loss has stalled.  Matthew and I have talked about my doing some low load cardio to help get me out of this plateau.  It's an odd place to be as I know I'm getting stronger.  I can feel the change in my body and how I hold myself, but no real outward vanity change is happening (my clothes aren't getting looser).  His preference would be that I go on a walk.  It sounds easy, but I'm not a walker and it doesn't really fit with my schedule as I wont go walking by myself in the dark. 



I have a spin bike at home, so he suggested spin, but keep my heart rate in the 110 range.  He said I could do it 3-4 times a week for about 40 minutes.  The morning of this workout, I did this for 20 minutes and my rear end could not take it anymore.  I've not given up yet, but I can say the monotony, even with a television to watch, will  not make it more likely that I won't do this with regularity.  I can do a DVD workout on the bike just fine but it will take my heart rate higher than Matthew wants.  


All of this to say that I came into the workout with my legs a bit worked.  

The warm up was a doozy.  He had me do 3 rounds of 30 kettlebell swings followed by 10 banded dips.  On the dips, I had to focus on stabilizing my body and not let my legs swing.  This got me nice and winded.  


Next up, shoulder presses with the trap bar while in a lunge on my knees.  He had me do 2 sets of eight, one set with each leg in front.  The first round he had me just lift the bar.  This felt hard as my balance wasn't feeling great and my arms were fatigued from the dips.   The 2nd and 3rd round of this he had me do 5 repetitions and he added 10 pounds of weight.  We alternated this exercise with a rear raised leg lunge.  This is where you get into a lunge position with your rear leg raised on something like a bar.  With your leg raised you then try to take your knee down to the ground.  

On the first round, he let me use the rope for balance.  On the second round, he took the rope away and gave me a ten pound weight to hold in one hand.  My balance really was not at its best this workout. If let like I was going to fall and I got scared.  Once that happened, things went down hill.  Fatigued and scared isn't a good place to be.  The third round, I refused the weight and asked for the rope back.  I could see the disappointment in Matthews eyes.  

The final mini-circuit in this workout were some overhead sit ups with an eight pound medicine ball alternated with an ARx row with 4 continuous repetitions.  After my first round of rows, my abs completely cramped.  I've never thought about the fact that I use my abs while doing a row, but this combination of exercises made that obvious to me.  We went through this 2 times.  


Matthew didn't say anything but I assessed myself demerits for this workout.  I really try to block out my personal/work troubles when I go into the gym, but sometimes that doesn't workout.  My mind was not in the workout.  It was a hot mess of a workout.  Don't get me wrong, when I finished this workout, I was fatigued, but my mindset had me feeling like a failure.  When I got home from the workout I did 20 air squats and they hurt.  I decided I had to do something to make this right.  

What better way than trying harder in the group workout.

Group Workout:  The workout that was a bonus.  

This group workout fell on the first weekend of the Austin City Limits Festival.  I had been out late the night before to watch Muse headline and when I got to the gym, I felt like just showing up was bonus. I briefly decided not to do any bonuses, but then there were only 4 of us total and no one that really does the bonuses like I do.  I couldn't let Matthew's hard work in devising some bonuses go to waste.  



I was a little nervous to see that the reverse raised leg lunge was in the workout after my failure at it in the one on one workout, but I decided this was my chance to make up for it.  My first attempt at it, I started out not using the rope.  I was moving slowly, but I was keeping my balance.  Matthew handed me the rope after he saw me trying without -not in a you're messing up way, but in a you're working hard but don't have to work that hard kind of way.  


I was really happy to see banded dips in the bonus exercises.  I did this exercise 4 times.  In one of the rounds I used the lighter band.  I did all of the other bonuses 3 times.  

While doing the wide leg sit-up, Matthew brought me the 8 pound medicine ball which strangely, to me, makes the exercise easier.  Momentum?

The hammer curls were much harder than I expected them to be.  In the first round, I used 15 pound weights and on the second round, I used the 15 pound weights for 30 seconds and then switched to 12 pound weights.  

We used a different grip for the ARx bench press.  Its always nice to mix things up. 



While doing the ARx leg press bonus, I nearly hit 500 foot pounds of pressure.  Awesome.  

I left this workout feeling redeemed.  It's funny how you can come into the gym tired, and then exceed your own expectations once you get your body moving.  I may have my moments, but I'm not a quitter.  
How do you keep your mind in your workout?