Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Efficient Exercise: Week 21

One on One Workout:  Dead lift serious.  How much do you want it?

The day before this workout, I published my week 18 post - a trying week.  It's funny how doing the blog can help me refocus.  This week's workout was on Wednesday instead of my usual Tuesday and my work week had already done a number on me mentally.   When I got to the gym and changed into my workout clothes and found a huge stain on my shirt, I figured things couldn't get much worse.  It's a good thing no one cares what you're wearing at Efficient Exercise

I knew I needed to focus on the workout and tell myself I could do it.  I had to apply the lessons I've learned over the past few weeks.  Some familiar faces from the Saturday workout were finishing up a workout before my session.  As they were leaving they told me that they hoped that Matthew wasn't going to do to me what he'd done to them.  Matthew's eyes lit up as he told me he had something special for me.  

He opened up the gym garage door and set up the battle ropes.  He had me do 30 seconds of alternating arms focusing on speed and 30 seconds taking both arms high and then low.  He suggested that I jump up a bit when my arms were high.  That's easier said than done, but I gave it a try.  

From there we went to the ARx bench press.  I did four consecutive repetitions.  The last exercise in this circuit was a set of 15 knee ups.  We went through that entire 3 exercise circuit 2 times.   This circuit winded me and it was a nice change in pace from the warm up circuits I've gotten accustomed to.  Special indeed.

And then the real work began:  A set of dead lifts and hip presses.  First up,  dead lifts.  Matthew had set up a trap bar with weights that totaled 95 pounds.  He had me do 2 sets of 10.  This wasn't easy.  I had to focus on my form.  Matthew then added more plates so that I'd be lifting 115 pounds.  He had me do 7 repetitions.  He then added more weight to total 135 pounds and again 7 reps.  Despite how awful and hard this felt, I kept my mind in the can do mode and finished them.  

I grabbed a drink and then headed over to the hip press.  Matthew started me out with a nice warm up weight of 200 pounds for 10 repetitions.  He added another 100 pounds and had me do 5 repetitions, and then another 25 pounds added for 5 repetitions.  I sensed a pattern.  Next up 345 pounds for 5 repetitions and finally 370 pounds for 5 repetitions.  This was super hard and took everything I had left in my legs.  

After the workout was done, I told Matthew that getting out of my morning swim routine and only having to workout at Efficient Exercise an hour a week has made me a bit lazy in some respects.  I'd found it really hard to get up and do the cardio that Matthew has recommended.  He replied that its all about my will power and how much I want it.  I considered this the gauntlet thrown and I certainly want it.  It's hard to balance the "sleep is good feeling" with needing to get up to put in the work to reach goals.  I've never been one to shy away from hard work and I won't this time.  

I do know that I have an "action" switch inside of me.  It's off or on.  When I got through my project transformation and my first weeks of training, the switch was on.  I was losing fat and my good mood was feeding off of that success.  Over the past month or so as I've plateaued with respect to fat loss, I've lost that positive momentum and the switch has turned off.  While I know many will say you need to motivate yourself positively, I've always found my motivation often becomes strongest when I get a bit angry.  I look at myself and know that I'm getting stronger but that's only part of the equation of the results I want.  All of this to say, I've nearly got myself worked up enough to get that switch back on.  

Group Workout: 

I came into the group workout this week feeling a bit run down.  It wasn't just having one less recover day between workouts.  I'd describe the feeling as feeling hung over without having had a drop to drink.  After my leg heavy one on one workout, I felt like crying when Matthew announced that it was a leg day.  

My partner and i started on the ARx overhead press.  

From there, we moved to the dumbbell thrusters.  I dare say that I am getting stronger at this exercise.  I chose 15 pound weights and while my arms were feeling fatigued at the end of my minute, this weight didn't seem near as hard as it used to feel.  Shockingly, another exercise where I felt a little stronger this week was the knee raise.  They were still plenty hard but I think I'm lifting my legs a little higher.  Awesome.  

I made it through each of the bonus exercises three times including a new ab roller.  This one is different because it has a ball in it that lets you move in any direction, not just forward and back. Matthew suggested some figure 8s.  This roller was challenging as you had to stabilize yourself the entire time you were moving.  

Matthew manned the hip press for the group.  The goal for your minute on this machine was to go as fast as you could.  He only had me doing 200 pounds but the high number of repetitions more than wore out my legs.  

A new exercise in this workout was the cable row.  You sat on the step and put your feet up against the rubber block.  The v-grip was attached to the cables.  Keeping your shoulders back you simply pulled the weight straight back in a row motion.  Easy peasy.  I lifted 100 pounds for both of my minutes at this station.  

By the end of the workout, I actually felt better than I did when I came in.  I was tight and tired, but not as worn down.  I'm glad I've blogged this as the next time I feel run down and don't  feel like working out, I'll remind myself that the workout will likely have a positive effect.  


And then my body cried uncle.  I woke up on Sunday and I could not move my head in any direction. I don't blame the workouts.  I blame the stress from the previous work week.  I managed to get myself into the chiropractor first thing on Monday morning.  Based on how I was feeling on Monday, I knew that I couldn't do my one on one workout on Tuesday, so I cancelled.  I was back at the chiropractor on Tuesday morning, had a massage on Tuesday night and then back to the chiropractor on Thursday. Saturday morning I felt a bit better but still had some pretty sharp pain in my neck.  I decided it would be better to rest.  So my day off from the gym turned into a week off from the gym.  I felt like a complete bum, but it was better to rest than make things worse.