Saturday, May 23, 2009

Strength Workout A(gain)

I gotta say, I'm glad I'm on week 4 and won't be doing this particular workout again. This was only my 4th time doing it, but even so, I'm bored. I have workout ADD and it's a problem, truly, because certain of my physical goals (kettlebell mastery, stronger feet, improved balance and flexibility) cannot be achieved except by doing the same thing over and over until it sinks in.

Anyhoo, as you may recall but probably don't, Strength Workout A is the one that starts with deadlifts. My plan for this week was not to try to break any new ground in terms of weight, but rather to increase the number of reps performed at the weights used last week.

Here's how it went:

Deadlifts: 2x6x115 (warmup); 1x6x145; 1x6x155; 1x6x165

I felt okay about my performance all things considered. My grip gave out on rep 5 of the last set so I needed to take a second or two to regroup before performing my last rep. Still, not bad. I don't see many guys deadlifting close to 150% of their bodyweight. Heck, I don't see many guys deadlifting 150% of MY bodyweight :)

Next up was barbell forward lunges: 3x8x95. Again, same weight as last week but more reps.

Then, dumbbell incline press supersetted with dumbbell bentover rows:

Presses: 3x8x40's
Rows: 3x6x45's

Finally, stability ball crunches supersetted with incline curls, 3 sets of 10 each exercise. I completed the first set of curls using 20's for all reps, but hit failure midway through on the second 2 sets and had to finish with 15's. I pretty much knew I that would happen but I opted to start with the 20's anyway because I think using the 15's for all 10 reps would've been a bit too easy. The other option would have been to do more than 10 reps with the 15's, but given that I despise doing biceps curls I preferred to get it over with in as few reps as possible.

I think Phase 3 of the Infamous TRX program is an upper/lower split, though I couldn't swear to it. I've been trying not to look ahead at what's coming, because I don't want to get ahead of myself. I did, however, take a peak at the TRX conditioning workouts for Phases 3 and 4 and they look truly terrifying. Not only are the rest periods shorter, but the work periods are longer--up to 45 seconds from 30. The exercises are getting more challenging as well. I think there's even some plyometric action coming.

(Note: If you have a suspension trainer you owe it to yourself to attempt pistol jump squats. Do them once, acknowledge their greatness, and vow never to speak their name again.)

In other vaguely workout-related news, I am now the proud owner of a pair of Converse All Stars. Lifting barefoot at my gym is not allowed, which basically I consider to be a sensible rule given that there are any number of overenthusiastic teens who consider it to be good lifting form to fling their weights at the floor at the end of each set. But the obvious downside is that most athletic shoes are too cushy to be appropriate for, well, any exercise that you would do standing up. Converses, however, are low-tech, not particularly cushy, and a respectable choice when going barefoot is not an option.

Mine are bubblegum pink. They are adorable. I tend to go in for pink and adorable. I like to think it makes me even scarier somehow.