Sunday, December 31, 2006

Weekend workouts

I took a day off yesterday. I don't do that very often but I just felt like I needed it. I was not an uneventful day though. We were very busy and didn't really stop much.

Today's workout consisted of a fast-paced walk. We are also planning of getting to our local State Park for a hike with the kids. I haven't done that in so long - I am REALLY looking forward to it! I am not going to lift today because I am starting my HST ( Hypertophy Specific Training) program tomorrow. It consists of an all out max testing session (15 reps). I can't remember if I've discussed this or not but it is a program that Coach Tom at LL recommended to help me build muscle and maintain some cardio fitness at the same time. The program I will be using is a full body workout 3 times per week. I've also spoken to others at Club Lifestyle and everybody gives it great reviews. I'm excited to give it a try. I will say that I really enjoyed getting back to the POF routines and will definitely get back to them some time in the future.

Have a Happy New Year everyone!!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday - Biceps & Fast Walk

Today's lifting session was EXCELLENT! I really felt strong today - I lifted in the afternoon versus early morning which may have made a difference. I felt really strong and was able to, in some situations, increase both weight and reps. Here are the numbers:

Modified superset
Standing curls x10 @25#; x6 @ 27.5#; x8 @ 27.5#
Concentration curls x10 @ 17.5#; x8 @ 20#

Drop set
Incline curl 1x12(10) @ 17.5/15#; 1x 11(6) @ 17.5/15#

Aftershock superset
Incline hammer curl x11@ 15#
Standing hammer curl x11 @15#

This morning I went out for a 30 minute fast walk. It felt good to just get out and enjoy the morning! My weight was 137.5 this morning. No drop from yesterday but I'm feeling good about the way the week is going. I've been discussing my next move with Coach Tom at LL and I will be switching programs soon to Hypertophy Specific Training (HST). I'm really looking forward to seeing what I can achieve!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thursday - Triceps & CV

Today was a good workout. I lifted triceps - I didn't know how the workout was going to go because I was extremely sore the last time I did this workout. Everything turned out great though. I was able to increase my reps on the modified superset but after this increase I was not able to increase the drop sets. I'm happy though because I'm really just shooting for some sort of increase each session.

Here is the workout:
Modified superset
Lying extensions 3x12 @ 20#
Kickbacks 2x12 @ 15#

Drop sets
Overhead extensions 2x8(7) @ 20/15#

Next workout: I will increase the weight of the modified superset (and decrease the reps) and try to add 1 more rep on the drop set.

Cardio: immediately after my lifting session I went out for a run. I wasn't as concerned about overall pace because I wanted to incorporate some hill work in the middle. My plan was to run about 4 miles so I wanted to place the hills at around 2 miles. I ended up putting them in at about 1.75 miles and then did 4 hill repeats (sprinted up the hill and then walk/jogged combo down). The hill was in the ball park of 1/10th of a mile long. After the hills I completed the remaining distance so that my total mileage was a touch over 4 miles. My overall pace was about 9:30 per mile (including the walking during the hills) and my max pace was about 6 min. per mile. I'm pleased with the effort.

I was also happy to see another drop in scale weight. I'm now at 137.5# and I'm feeling better every day. It feels great to be getting back on track!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Wednesday - Back/CV

Back is a tough area for me to work. I have to do all my exercises with dumbbells and tubing so it can be difficult to get a really good back workout. I'm thinking about getting a pull-up bar (one that screws into the door frame) and that would help a lot. I can't do many (if any) pull-ups but would love to be able to and I used to have a bar that I could hang over and around the door (removable) but boy did it tear up my door frame. Since getting rid of that bar I've had to try and find ways to work my back with limited equipment. However, overall I think today was a good workout. I concentrated on increasing reps today and back day, I will concentrate on increasing weights.

Here's the workout:
Modified supersets
Lat pulldowns 3x10-12 w/ blue tubing
Scapular retrations 2x10-12 @15#

Drop sets
Pullovers x10 @ 20#; x9 @ 15#
Pullovers x9 @ 20#; x8 @ 15#

Modified superset
Chest supported rows 2x12 @20#
Rear delts 2x12 @ 20#

Drop sets
Forward lean shrug 2x12(11) @ 30/25#

After lifting session, I was able to get out for a 30 minute run. The wind was making it feel pretty hard but I was able to maintain a pace of 8:30 per mile and covered 3.45 miles. It has been a while since I've gotten out for a run so I'm pleased with the time and the effort.

Side note: my husband got me the coolest present for Christmas. He saw an article about these gloves that have a light on the back (thin red strip) that you can turn on and have it either be a steady light or a flashing light. I wore it for the first time today and it worked great. It is very dark, at this time of year, when I go out for my runs so I love to have as much on as I can to help drivers see me. The gloves are also very comfortable and have nice finger grips on the inside too.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tuesday - part 2

Little update: I was able to get in a fast walk CV workout. It was about 30 minutes long and felt good. My legs are still pretty sore after my leg workout the other day (and playing twister with my kids) so walking was about all I could muster. I'm hoping to start getting in some running in the next couple of days.

Tuesday - Chest 12/26/06

Today was a good workout I was able to make increases in all areas of the session (both decline and incline). I allowed myself some freedom yesterday because of Christmas but now I really have to get back on the program! I am going to set a weight loss goal on LL because I have allowed myself to get too far out of control.

Here is today's workout:
Modified superset
Decline bench 3x10 @ 32.5#
Decline fly 2x10 @ 22.5#

Hands together pushups x15
Decline fly x8 @ 20#

Modified superset
Incline bench 3x8 @ 27.5#
Incline fly 2x8 @ 20.5#

Hands together pushups x15
Incline fly x8 @ 17.5#

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sunday - Legs

Today was a tough workout. I have a love-hate relationship with leg workouts. There are times that I absolutely love to do leg workouts and times when I absolutely hate to do leg workouts. Today was one of those "hate" days. I just didn't want to get my butt off the couch and get started but I did and I feel good about my accomplishments.

Today's workout:
Modified superset
Alternating lunges 3x10 @ 25#
Stage squats 2x8 @ 45#

Sissy squats 2x10 body weight only

Modified superset
Stiff-legged deadlifts 3x8 @ 45#
Standing leg curl with tubing 3x12 @ blue tubing

Drop set
1 legged calf raises 2x12(10) @ 40/35#

Seated calf raises 2x25 @ 45#

Speed reps
Donkey raises 2X25 @ 25#

I don't think I outlined some of the finer points of the workouts. The modified superset is just a superset with a break between exercises. So, instead of doing the 2 exercises back to back, you take a 1-2 minute break between them (1 minute for everything except legs where you take a 2 minute break)

Also the leg workout has some interesting aspects to it. The first is the stage squat. The exercise has you squat down and do the bottom 2/3 of the rep. Then after about 10 reps, you drive up and do the top 1/3 of the rep making sure to squeeze your quads at the lockout point. The second is the sissy squat. I don't have much experience with this exercise and find it a bit awkward. The final part is the seated calf raises. I have trouble getting a weight on my legs that allow me to really feel the exercise. I ended up doing very high reps instead of doing the drop set that the actual workout called for because the weight felt so light. Also all the weights are using dumbbells and so it is the weight of 1 of the dumbbells. So, if it says that I doing a squat with 45# that means that I'm holding 2 45# dumbbells.

I won't be lifting tomorrow because it is Christmas but I'm afraid that I'm am going to be one very sore cookie tomorrow!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Saturday - shoulders


I got on the scale this morning and it read 138. I know some of that may be water weight but I know that some of it is also fat! I have been off my LL program for long enough and today I get back on schedule. I did my shoulder workout and also went on a very fast walk. I also had a good breakfast (protein french toast) and will have meal 2 in about 20 minutes. I've also made a plan for the day - something I have been slacking off on for quite a while.

Here is my shoulder workout:
Modified superset
Shoulder press 3x8 @ 25#
Standing lateral raise 2x8 @ 10#

Drop set
Incline lateral raise 2x 8(7) @ 10/5#

I need to increase the weights/reps on this workout. The shoulder presses were difficult but the others could stand to be increased. I will definitely increase the drop set weights next time, the others I will try to increase the reps and then see about increasing the weights.

I am confident that today is the first day of my turn around!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thursday - Rest; Friday - Biceps

I had a bad day on Thursday. The 2 Christmas parties (and therefore late nights) took it's toll and with my lingering cold, it all got the best of me. I felt like crap most of the day and then I took a 2 hour nap which helped. Then I went to bed early and slept of about 11 hours - that is something I never do but boy did I need it!!!

Friday's bicep workout was a good one. I kept most of my weights the same but tried to do 1 more rep than I did the last time I did the bicep workout. I also increased the concentration curls the second time around.

Modified superset
Standing curl 3x9 @ 22.5#
Concentration curl 3x9 @ 12/15#

Drop set
Incline curl 1x9(5) @ 17.5/15# & 1x6(6) @ 17.5/15#

Aftershock superset (brachialis)
Incline hammer curl 1x9 @ 15#
standing hammer curl 1x9 @ 15#

The incline curl was very difficult today but I'm pleased with the effort I put out. My goal next time around will be to hit the goal reps of 8 for both sets.

I also want to start getting more consistant aerobics in. I will see how my cold is doing tomorrow and see if I can add some back in.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wednesday - Triceps

Today was a tough workout mostly because my upper body is pretty sore from my previous workouts this week. Today will be another busy day so I'm glad I got up and did my workout. Today is our last day of school for the year and we will be doing our Christmas program, then I have a luncheon to attend and our staff Christmas party tonight. Hopefully after today I will be able to get myself back onto a normal schedule and stop these bad habits that I'm starting to fall back into.

Tricep workout:
Modified superset
Lying extensions 3x8 @ 20#
Kickbacks 2x8 @ 15#
Drop set
Overhead extension 2x8(7) @ 20#/15#

It seems a lot shorter than the other workouts but it was a huge struggle because my arms are already sore from earlier workouts.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tuesday - Back

Today was a pretty good workout. The program I'm using calls for pull-ups in the first superset but I don't have a pull-up bar so I had to substitute pulldowns with exercise tubing. It isn't even remotely similar in intensity but it is the best I have right now. I had a moveable pullup bar, that fit around the door frame, but it started to completely destroy the door frame so I had to get rid of it. I'm hoping to get a bar put in the frame but I'm not sure if I will be able to (here's to hoping).

Modified superset
Lat. Pulldown 3x10 blue tubing
Scapular retractions 2x8 @ 10#
Drop set
2 hand Pullover (1 DB in each hand) 2x8(7) @ 20#/15#
Modified superset
Chest supported rows 2x10 @ 20#
Rear Delts 2x10 @ 20#
Drop set
Forward lean shrug 2x8(7) @ 30#/25#

Overall a decent workout but there are a few exercises that I want to increase next time around. I am still a bit sore from my chest workout so I'll just wait and see how I feel tomorrow.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Chest Day - Monday

I had a really good workout this morning. I'm really enjoying this POF routine. However, I'm not completely decided on whether I'm going to stick with it. I've been speaking with my LL buddy Liz, who is also a Figure Competetor and she suggested a full body routine 3 days per week. I've got some thinking to do about the subject but at least for this week I'll be continuing with the POF routine.

Here are my numbers:
Modified superset
Bench press 3x8 @ 30/32.5/32.5
Decline fly 2x8 @ 20
Hands together pushups - max(15) on knees
Decline fly 1x8 @ 15
Modified superset
Incline bench 2x8 @ 25/27.5
Incline fly 2x8 @ 20
Hands together push-ups - max (15) on knees
Incline fly 1x8 @ 15

I'm planning on some increases next time around - the weights were heavy but I think I could increase just a touch. I was really trying to concentrate on going slow and squeezing the muscles. I know that makes all the difference in your training session but it is something I don't always do.

Tomorrow is my back routine. I will occassionally get spasms in my back and neck areas so I'm a touch nervous to try and go heavy. In fact, today I could feel a muscle sort of "tweeking" so I've put a heat pack on it to try and loosen it before it can ever tighten up on me. I'm not going to get all worked up about it because it may never happen.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Saturday - a bit of cardio

I took it a little easy today - fast walk for cardio (35 min.). I have really been suffering from headaches lately. I think some of it is from sinus stuff (you know that cold that just won't totally go away - one of the perils of being a teacher) and some of it may be from the crappy eating that has invaded my life lately. I'm really tired of the headaches!! It is all sitting right in the front of my face which is what make me think it is mostly sinus related but I'm sure the food has a part in it.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I want to set up my lifting routine. I'm not sure if lifting a body part once every seven days is enough but yet I want to keep the routines streamlined so that it doesn't take hours to finish the routine. I don't have that sort of time each day. I think I stick with what I have right now and see how it goes.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

New Beginning!

Last night I decided to try a new lifting program. It is something that I've looked into before but never gave it a really good try. The lifting program was created by 2 men at Ironman Magazine and uses a POF style (Positions of Flexion - "the concept of working a muscle through its full range of motion"). You do exercises from a mid-range, contracted and stretched position. The 2 men that created the program developed a program that can be done at home with PowerBlocks so it fits my situation perfectly. I also decided, although I am waiting for a call back from Coach, that I would choose 1 body part per day - that way the workouts won't take as long and I can be ready for work on time and maybe get in some aerobics too. I want to gain some muscle but I also want to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle.

Today's workout was biceps (no particular reason for starting with biceps - it was the first sheet on my pile): it uses standing curls for the mid-range movement, concentration curls for the contracted movement and incline curls for the stretch postition. The program calls for modified supersets where you combine your mid-range postition with your isolation or contracted position exercise. The program also uses drop sets to help increase time under tension to help recruite different fibers. All body parts use these basic techniques so the sessions are pretty much set up in the same fashion. Here is my bicep routine:

Modified Superset:
Standing dumbbell curls (3x8) @ 22.5#
Concentration curls (2x8) @ 12.5# & 15#

Drop Sets:
Incline Curls(2x8(6)) @ 17.5# & 15# (only got 4 reps on the second set)

Aftershock Superset (brachialis)
Incline hammer curls 1x8 @ 15#
Standing hammer curls 1x8 @ 15# (had to switch to individual arm curls in order to finish the prescribed number of reps).

The workout took about 30 minutes but is gave a great pump to my arms. I was also trying to really concentrate on (1)using a 2 second up and 2 second down count for all reps; & (2) really squeezing the muscle on each rep. These are 2 things that I generally slack off on during a workout. I'm very pleased with how the session went and am looking forward to progressing with my program. I'm also going to try and post on here daily about my workouts.

Friday, December 15, 2006

New Goals?

Well, I heard back from Coach David yesterday, and I'm trying to decide what my new goal is going to be. The two goals I've up with are to continue with my distance running or try to add muscle (mostly upper body because I workout at home and don't have access to weights that would allow much increase on the lower half). I think I'm leaning toward trying to gain some muscle because it would be something really different for me. I don't think I've ever really tried a program where the main goal was to put on muscle - I've always done weight loss programs and tried to preserve the muscle that I already have.

This would be really new ground for me. There are a few people over at LL that I want to talk with to see how different the programs are. Just try and get some tips from them. I also want to talk some more with Coach to see what he has to say about the idea. I also need to find out how to use the LL site when trying to gain muscle instead of losing fat.

I'm getting excited about trying something different! I have a feeling that it is going to be a pretty hard adjustment but I'm up for the challenge. Now all I have to do is get started!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I've been doing crappy this week!

It is time for me to wake up and realize what I'm doing to myself. I've been eating like crap, not exercising and not planning my days. I'm feeling out of control and for the first time in my life I can actually feel the affects of my unhealthy choices. I used to listen to people say how they can really feel a difference when they are not eating right but I never really believed it to be true. Sure I could feel it when I didn't exercise but as for the eating part....I never totally bought it. Well, now I do! Since Saturday morning I've been having headaches off and on and I realized that it is because I'm eating too much processed food, too much sugar, not enough protein and haven't been sticking to my schedule (ie. I've been skipping meals).

As you can see by that laundry list of problems, the week really has been bad. I've been using Christmas preparations and school preparations as an excuse. Yes, there is still all that work to be done but I've done it in the past and I can do it now too! I can get all my work done and take care of myself too.

Need to pick up my daughter from school - more on this topic later.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Out of Action Phase:-(

I have definitely moved out of action phase. My life seems to have been taken over with Christmas preparations. Not only am I trying to get my family ready for Christmas but I've also added the extra responsibility of getting my classes ready for it as well. I know that this year will be especially tough because I've never had to do it before - hopefully I will learn from this year and be better able to manage next year.

I thought I had started preparing early enough but I will definitely start just a touch early next year - with my home stuff that is. We can't really start any earlier at school in terms of doing projects with the kids. However, I am hoping the planning process will be better next year. It really is a whole new world - I love teaching but it is a touch more difficult when it is a co-teaching situation. There have been many times when neither of us were completely sure what was going to happen next. We need to find a better way of communicating what is going to happen next. We are taking it one day at a time and learning things from each other.

Anyway, with all this going on I feel like I have lost some of my "fire" on the fitness front. I'm feeling very tired and I know some of that is because I'm not on my normal routine. I need to find a way to get back in the groove. Having the Christmas "treats" around isn't helping either. I am definitely the type of person that does better when I just don't have the "treats" anywhere near me. Should I not do all my holiday baking, probably but it brings a lot of joy to the people I give them to and I love getting my hands in their and making things. I feel like it shows the people I'm giving them to that I really do care. I cared enough to spend that time making them something instead of buying it.

I guess this is just one of the cycles in life. Right now I'm definitely in a downward phase in terms of my fitness. I don't really have a goal right now and that is probably part of the problem. I'm not sure where I want to go right now. Maybe I need to talk to Coach and see if he has any suggestions.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I Made It!!

I made my leverage goal - the shoes are MINE!! The timing couldn't have been better. Tomorrow is the party that I'm throwing for my kid's birthdays. I don't want to totally go off plan but having reached the goal allows me to have a touch of dessert without guilt. It is also one less thing to worry about during a time when I've got a lot on my plate.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Holiday Chaos

Things are so crazy right now. School is extremely busy - not much time and a huge amount of things to do. Here at home there are 2 birthdays, a party and of course Christmas. I do lots of baking for presents and because of the added responsibilities at school I'm finding it hard to get it all done.

Then there is my exercising. I'm trying to really buckle down and hit my goal so that I won't have to have that hanging over my head. I really need to hit my 127 soon. I'm about a pound away and I'm hoping to hit it by the end of this week. I don't want to go crazy over the holidays but I also don't want to have the leverage hanging over my head either.

The good part is that I don't really feel like I freaking out about everything I need to do. The things that get done get done and those that don't - don't. I'm just going to try and take those baby steps and just keep doing things little by little. That's the only way to go.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What a Great Workout!

I had the best workout this morning! My cold is still hanging around and making it impossible to run for long periods without coughing my lungs up. So, as I was laying in bed last night, I came up with a routine that I thought would work and I was right. I decided to alternate between running and biking. I ran for 10 min (8:26 pace); biked for 10 min (140-160 bpm); ran for 20 min (8:11 pace); biked for 10 min (140-160 bpm) and ran for 10 min (8:06 pace). My legs were really shaky everytime I'd start to run after the bike but it felt awesome. The total time was a little over an hour.

Then after this workout, I setout to get the house in order for the kids party next Sunday. I plan to do a detailed cleaning this weekend - getting through as much of the house as I can this weekend and then on Saturday I can just do a quick run through the house dusting and vacuuming. Overall there was a lot of energy expended today.

My carbs were a bit high today and I need to work on getting things a bit more balanced.

Tomorrow is a lifting day. I don't know if I'll get any CV in because of all the cleaning. That's what happened today - I was so tired as the day progressed I just kept going with the cleaning and let the extra CV go.

I'm really feeling confident about being able to reach my goal of 127. I need to buckle down a bit and I'll be there before I know it!!