Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Efficient Exercise: Week 22

 One on One Workout:  You can do more.  

After a week off from the gym, I felt like a bum heading in for my one on one workout.  I was so glad when Matthew suggested that he workout with me.  I needed all the motivation I could get.  

We started with what Matt calls an inverse ladder.  He explained we'd alternate between the banded chin up (regular chin up for him) and bench dips (regular dips for him).  I'd start with 10 chin ups and 1 bench dip.  The number of repetitions for the chin ups would go down to 1 and the bench dips up to 10. This got my blood pumping.  

Next up, the main event: the hip press.  

Matthew had me start with 10 repetitions at 200 pounds to warm up.  Then he had me do 5 reps each at 300, 325, and then back to 300.  Sigh of relief.  For some reason, my legs felt really fatigued already at the 325 weight.  Why?  Matthew says that the inverse ladder was draining.  Here is yet another instance where in my mind I was just working my arms and it had an unexpected effect on my legs .  The relief was only temporary, as he added 60 pounds back and told me to do 1 rep.  I thought this was all I had for the day.  He added 15 more pounds for a total of 375 and told me to do 1 repetition.  That officially took everything I had left.  

Were we done?  Nope.  We did a kettle bell "finisher."  I went to get my trusted 45 pound kettle bell and Matthew says, "Oh, you can do more."  He set up a T-Bar with 55 pounds.  

Side by side we did 3 sets of 20 swings.  I was in fact finished once we were done with these.  But Matt, as usual, was right, I could do more.  

Group Workout: How slow can you go?

Sometimes I wonder if Matt has it out for me.  Not seriously, though when he asks me to do things it might be the first thing that enters my mind ever briefly.  Are you reading, Matt? Just checking.  I'm super glad Matthew is there to push me and believe in me.  

My partner and I started with what I thought to be the hardest exercise in the circuit, the hamstring curl.
This wasn't the typical mindless machine hamstring curl you're probably familiar with, that would not be the Efficient Exercise way.   This version used an exercise ball.  You put your feet on the medicine ball and lift your rear end off the ground and then pull your feet with the ball in, bending your knees and then back out again.  Stabilizing your body over a minute while doing this exercise keeps your core engaged for sure.  

Next up, the EZ bar curl.  The bar was set up with 20 pounds when my first minute came up with this station.  I over estimated my strength as this became really hard at about the 30 second mark.  A classmate helped me switch out the weights to 10 pounds and I finished out the last 15 seconds of the minute.  The second round, I had 10 pounds on the bar for the full minute and it was still challenging.  

When I sat down at the glutimator, it had 75 pounds loaded up.  I wasn't going to question this weight. My partner asks Matt, "is this weight OK?"  Matt took a look and adds 15 pounds.  Thanks partner. When my partner sat down, Matt took off 5 pounds.  What?  No fair!  I had no fair thoughts yet again when I saw he took the weight down another 5 pounds for another classmate.  When my second round on this machine came around Matt told me I could take it down to 85 pounds, but I stayed with 90.  I kid that he's out for me.  He's just making sure I get the most out of my time in the gym.

Matthew stayed at the hip press to spot everyone as they made their way through the circuit.  Today he wanted us to take each repetition super slow.  I'm not sure what weight was on for my first round but the second round it was 300 pounds.  I think the first was likely less weight.  Going super slow, I maybe had 4-5 repetitions total for the minute.  On my last repetition, my knees buckled in, but I finished it.  I had no question about my legs being completely fatigued.  

It was hard to get all of the bonuses in three times as some of my classmates were taking them on.  One of the bonuses was the ARx horizontal row.  Matt calls out from across the gym that I need to try to hit 300, no 350, no 400 foot pounds of pressure.  Evidently, he called out 450, but I didn't hear him.  I did hit 400, but I couldn't get to 450.  

I can't say how happy I was to finish out my circuit, and especially, end the workout with the plank. My abs were pretty worn out from the hamstring curl so they were actually more challenging than usual.

Another great week of pushing myself beyond what I think I can do.

Congratulations Efficient Exercise!  This past week Keith Norris, Mark Alexander and the entire Efficient Exercise family had a ribbon cutting ceremony opening the newest Efficient Exercise location in San Antonio!  Keith posted some great pictures of the new facility over at his blog.  It looks like they have some ARx machines that I've not tried.  I might have to take a road trip down there to check it out.