Thursday, December 29, 2011

The last day of Starting Strength for 2011

Well, we had our final day of SS for 2011 last night. This Friday we're setting up for the big new years party, so we got one final workout in.

I don't know if it was laziness or because we had a small group or because it was the last workout of the year or because it's the only workout of the week (for SS that is) but we decided to switch it up. We kept the bar at 135 the whole night and did more reps.

I did squats, 3x10 at 135. It wasn't as hard as I thought, but it was definitely tiring! Doing that many reps is something I haven't done in a long time. After that was bench, again 3x10 at 135. This ripped my chest! It was much heavier than I thought it'd be, but overall I think I could have probably done 5 sets. Finally we did deadlift, and I did 2x10 and 1x5 at 135. I wasn't planning on doing 30. Instead my goal was to do 25, which is half of what I'll be doing on 300. It was much harder than I thought. I felt like the life was sucked out of me from lifting that much. But I did it so it was awesome.

Next week the weight goes back up, but it was fun to work like this. No more workouts the rest of the week. The gym is filled with furniture due to some cleaning and getting ready for the new years party. Next week the gym gets a redesign too (more mat areas so we can get more people doing DVD workouts) and Monday the girlfriend and I start P90X Lean! And a week from Saturday I start running 300 (technically 150) workout! Should be fun!

This will probably be the last post for 2011. Happy New Year everyone! I'll see you in 2012!

Bring it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cardio X

Last night the roommate and I did Cardio X. It looks like SS is going to be put on hold this week and we'll get back into it next week, after the new year. Anyways, we got started around 3pm and overall it was a great workout. The yoga section felt good, the kenpo section was fun as always, the plyo section got my legs feeling good and my heart rate up and the core section was a good finish. I really like this workout and overall it was a good workout day.

I'm going to try to get some more PT 24/7 in starting later this week. The holidays need to end so I won't be so busy!

Bring it!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm running out of titles

I'm running out of titles for the SS workouts. Fortunately I'll start P90X in just over a week and my titles will be taken care of for me.

Last night we got into SS around 7. We warmed up with the first 10 minutes of Game Day from The Asylum, and then hit the weights hard! First up was squats, and I made more progress at 180. The first set felt just as heavy as ever, but by the end I felt really in control. I'm not working out Friday (Reel Big Fish concert!) so I'm going to repeat this throughout next week and hopefully move up to 185 after the new year!

Shoulder press was next and I stayed at 115. I did all of my reps (5x5) and they felt much better than last week's. I'm planning on repeating this one more time, next week, and then moving up to 120 after the first of the year as well. 2012 is going to start off hard!

I decided to repeat 205 on deadlift, and I'm glad I did. This was HEAVY! I did all 5 reps, but I felt so beat afterwards. It's so weird that I can't move up on shoulder days, but I definitely would have struggled with 210. Also I felt like my form was rough last night. No one said anything, and my group's usually good about saying if form is bad, but I just felt like it was rough. Not back, but a little bit, I think. Hmm. That said, I do feel fine today aside from the usual muscles being tired, so maybe my form was better than I thought.

I've been slammed with work all week and haven't made it into the gym in the mornings. I want to work out tonight, but I also want to finish my last report (I'm halfway through) so I can sleep in tomorrow. It's going to be a game time call. I have 3 programs that have 30 minute workouts, Jillian Michaels (less than 30), PT24/7 and ESP-XC. I may just do one of those tonight to get my heart going, but we'll see if I have time. I'd say worst comes to worst I'll finish the report tonight and workout in the morning, but I want to sleep in tomorrow so I have a ton of energy for Reel Big Fish!

Overall last night was awesome and hopefully tonight or tomorrow I can get some conditioning in. Wish me luck!

Bring it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last night's workout

Last night we did Starting Strength. For some reason I wasn't feeling like working out so here's how it went down. First off was squats. Once again I revisted 180, and it felt just as heavy as ever! I was starting to feel better by the last set, but overall they still felt hard. Hopefully I can finish this up this week and up the weight next week.

Bench was next and I made more progress on 170. Actually, I completed 170. The very very last rep my arms started to give out and someone had to help a tiny bit, but according to Vince he only used a finger and I lifted it all myself. So I'm chalking this up to success, even though I'll be repeating it next week.

I did a few pullups, but like I said I wasn't feeling like working out and that was that.

Tonight start Hanukkah! I celebrated a little this morning with the girlfriend (she got me cigars and scotch! She knows me very well!) and tonight we're with my folks. Tomorrow is more working out. Should be fun.

Bring it!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Friday and Sunday

Let's recap the last few days.

Friday we got into Starting Strength with the goal of finishing quickly and getting the weekend started. It was a long week and we all needed to relax!

Squat started off with 175, and I felt pretty good about these. For some reason they hurt so much at the bottom, and I'm starting to think that that's never going to go away. But after the first set (the first set is always the hardest) I felt like I was able to go fast still with solid form. Not extremely fast, but definitely like I can control the weight. If I have to hold that much weight I'm going to do it as quickly as possible and that's what I did. So overall I felt good about them.

Shoulder press was next, and somehow I didn't finish 115. I did 4x5 and 1x4. The very last rep my whole body just gave up and I couldn't lift the weight anymore. It was lame!

I finished with 3x5 on pullups and called it good.

That was Friday. We've put abs on hold until the first of the year.

Sunday I was at WalMart, and low and behold they were selling PT247! If you read this blog often you know that I have an obsession with fitness DVDs, and this is one that's been on my list for a while now! I also hate ordering fitness DVDs online (at least from their regular store....I'm still an junkie), so seeing this at WalMart was a great find. This is basically an amped up version of Tae Bo, taught by Billy Blanks and everything! The big difference is the attitude of the whole thing (way more self defense than just aerobics to music) and as you probably know I'm a martial arts junkie too. This was right up my alley. Also cool about it is the gloves that come with it. They are mock MMA gloves that connect to resistance bands which connect to your feet. The whole program is like this (I'll get to why that's cool in a moment) where you use the gloves, and since it's designed around the gloves every move focuses on using them correctly. Just holding my arms up in guard was difficult!

The reason the bands themselves are cool, though, is that this is a new trend I'm seeing in the fitness DVD craze. Too many people are pirating the DVDs, so now trainers are selling DVDs with a piece of equipment and designing the workout around that equipment. This makes it much harder to pirate, and since I'm kind of a late night TV fitness equipment junkie too I find the trend amazing. I also want to get Rip 60 someday too, but that's a different story. They were selling it at WalMart also, but I wanted PT247 more.

So I got home, sat on the couch for a while, and then around 4:45 hit play on Cardio from PT247. This was a great workout! It was like a shortened version of the punching part of Kenpo X. Just combos and movement. But like I said, with these gloves just holding my arms up in guard was pure pain! Throwing punches was really difficult too! Overall I was very impressed, and might be doing another workout tonight.

The only thing I didn't like was how short this workout was. I guess they're all a little over 30 minutes and I need (want) more of a workout than that. So I also hit play on Level 2 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I'd done level 1 twice before and felt ready for level 2. This was a good workout, working pretty much the whole body in about 22 minutes. Mostly weights (endurance wise) and cardio with a little ab work. It's 3 circuits of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs. I really like this workout and will be doing it again (even though it's for girls...ha!).

So ya, good Sunday for working out. Tonight is Starting Strength. This is my last week of organic protein and I'm looking forward to getting back into synthetics next week. Also tonight starts the new Monday/Thursday routine. Should be fun. And if my friends Jacqi or Rod decide to come over early I'm going to get them in the gym and we'll do a cardio DVD. Probably the cardio/combo one from ESP-XC, but we'll see.

Bring it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More Starting Strength

Well, it's been a busy few days but we got into the gym last night.

Jacqi came over early to do some cardio and we decided to do Phase 1 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I really like this workout. It may only be 20 minutes, but it's a killer. And it's only level 1. Jacqi did really well for the first two circuits. She took a bit of a break during the third, but I was still really proud of her. As for me, I tried not to overdo the weights because we were lifting after, but I did get some good bicep work and I love the cardio sections. When I get a chance on my own I want to try levels 2 and 3 sometime soon. I'll let you know how they go.

Starting Strength was next. I was a little tired from not working out Monday, but overall I made some good progress on most things. I got started on 175 on squats, and aside from the first set feeling really heavy I felt really good about these squats. I'll repeat on Friday and plan to move up next week.

We decided to do bench instead of shoulders since we missed it Monday. I did 3x5 at 170, but my body felt week as Hell. I think the pushups in Jillian Michaels tired me out. I did another 2x5 at 165, but I'll stay at 170 overall starting Monday.

I got my deadlift in next. I've had a theory that I can only move up on deadlift on bench days, and I put that theory to the test. Sure enough, 205 was much easier than it should have been. It's interesting that I can only move up on those days, but hey, it worked and I felt awesome. Everyone said my form looked better than ever too, so that was cool.

For kicks I did 3x5 on chinups too. We're cutting out abs until the first of the year, so that was the end of the workout. I felt good about it.

So some quick updates. After this week no one can do Fridays anymore until the end of the year. We had talked about moving to a 2 day split on Mondays and Thursdays after the 1st, but I think we're going to start that next week. It's slower progress overall, but it works better with people's schedules. Plus we're losing a spotter (the roommate is upping the jiu jitsu practices). We're going to a 2 day version of a program called StrongLifts 5x5. This is the program that got me thinking about doing 5 sets instead of 3. I've heard it working as a 2 day, even though it's usually a 3 day. It works best like that if you're doing other stuff too, and I'm still starting P90X Lean in January with my girlfriend. Here's what it's going to look like:

Mondays: Squats 5x5, Bench 5x5, Barbell Rows 5x5
Thursdays: Squats 5x5, Overhead Press 5x5, Deadlift 1x5

It's pretty similar to what we do now, except it won't switch workouts on different days. Also we have barbell rows in now, which will work the back. I think we're going to keep the chinups/pullups too, which will be on Mondays and Thursdays respectively. I'm excited to put this one into motion.

What's cool about this is I won't have long workouts on Friday nights anymore. This will give me more energy, because frankly I pass out on the couch within an hour of SS every night. I can also start taking my amazing, patient girlfriend out to dinner on Friday nights. She's waited a while for me to have Friday nights free, so she deserves to be taken out on the town more often!

Also to document, I think this Saturday my buddy Richard and I are going to start running the 300 workout. It's supposedly the fitness test the 300 guys took when training for that awesome movie. It's 300 reps total of 6 different exercises, 50 reps each. The goal is to do it in under 20 minutes. I'm going to start with 25 reps of everything and time myself. Then Richard will go, and anyone else who shows up to do it. Once I can do the whole thing in under 20 I'm going to add 5 reps to each exercise, and keep doing that until I can do the whole thing as written.

So that's what I have going on. Tonight is dinner with my girlfriend and possibly my folks and tomorrow is SS.

Bring it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Friday's workout

K, quick update. Friday we did SS and it went pretty darn well. I made more progress on 170 on squats and will be adding 5 lbs to the next workout. Shoulder press was next and I felt even better about 115. I'm going to repeat that on Wednesday and hopefully move up next week. I also did some pullups, 3x6.

Decent workout but short.

Tonight is our buddy Anthony's birthday so we're doing sushi which probably means no workout. I might try to hit the weights in the morning. We'll see.

I have big plans for the new year, but right now I'm taking December easy.

Bring it!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Last night's workout

I got into Starting Strength with the group last night. Jacqi came over again to do cardio, but actually my new dumbbells arrived and we spent the whole time putting the stand together. They're pretty awesome. They have a knob so you can set them to any weight between 10 and 45. They also have a handle that's just 4 pounds. I'm not sure why it goes from 4 to 10, and then units of 5, but hey, they're awesome and they came with the stand! A special shout out to my girlfriend for putting the stand together, and another shout out to her and our friend Serena for helping the fed ex guy get the weights into the gym while I was upstairs on a work call.

So the lifting itself actually went very well for me. I started again with 170 lbs on squats and felt much much better about my squats. As planned I'm going to repeat this again on Friday and move up 5 lbs on Monday, but overall I think my squats are getting better.

Bench was next and I added one more rep to 170. 3x5 and 2x4. Not all the way there yet, but officially better than Friday. Hopefully I can get to at least 4x5 on Monday.

Deadlift was next, and I did 200! Legitimately. I felt in control the whole time, and actually when I was done Vince asked if I'd been practicing. I hadn't, but he went on to say that they were the best deadlifts I've done this whole program. That was really cool. What's interesting is the last few weeks (like 8) I've only been able to go up on deadlifts when it's a bench press day. Maybe shoulder press somehow kills me for deadlifts? Not sure. I'm going to try to move up next week, but if the trend continues I'll be repeating 200 and moving up the following week.\

We decided to order food in, which arrived right around deadlifts, so I bailed on abs. I'm comfortable with that.

So a few updates. First off, it looks like the girlfriend and I will be starting P90X Lean on January 2. That's one of the main reasons I'm excited for the dumbbells. That, and I like working with dumbbells in general.

Second, some changes are coming to Starting Strength. The roommate is starting to go to his mma gym 5 nights a week after the first of the year which loses us a spotter. Plus 3 days a week has been a lot over these last 22 weeks. Yup, it's been 22 weeks already! So I'm trying to find a 2 day split program that we can do on Mondays and Thursdays. This would give me a lot more time to get P90X, homework, actual work and video games done, and would let me spend more time with my girlfriend. She's been awesome with letting all the people come over 3 days a week for 2 or 3 hours and I need to make that up to her (yes, I know you're reading this). I'm looking into Stronglifts 5x5, which is basically the program we're doing now. It says you can do it 2 days a week if you're working out on top of it, which I will be.

So that's the plan at the moment. More thought will go into this before 2012, so I'll keep you posted. Tonight I may do cardio, or I may get lazy and play video games. We shall see!

K, time to go to work. Bring it!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Two days ago

On Monday I worked out. It was mediocre. Here's how it went down.

First off, my friend Jacqi who does Starting Strength with us wanted to do more cardio, so she came over early and we did Core Cardio & Balance. I'll be honest, my cardio is up high enough that this didn't even really phase me. I felt good, but I don't feel like I got the best workout. Jacqi, on the other hand, who had never done an Insanity workout, did amazing! She took breaks, like you do in an Insanity workout, but overall she did incredible and stuck with it the whole time. She took breaks but never ever quit. I was very proud of her.

My girlfriend also joined us for the second half of the workout, and as always she did incredible too. This is one of the Insanity workouts she's done before, and I think she likes it. I'm proud of her as well.

After that was SS. I lifted 170 on squats, which were better but still not there and 115 on overhead press. I'm going to repeat that again on Friday and hopefully move back up to 120 next week. This no supplements thing is killing me.

I also did 3x7 on pullups. Not great, but I was tired.

That was Monday. Homework was Tuesday, and tonight is SS again. I might do Pure Cardio beforehand too because it sounds fun, but we'll see.

Felt like posting an update. That's all I've got though.

Bring it!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cardio X

Like I said at the end of my last post, I was off to do Cardio X and Cardio X is exactly what I did.

I hadn't done this workout in a while and forgot how fun it is. We started with the simple warmup (2 minute warmups feel really short after I've been doing Insanity for a few weeks) and then stretched. Stretching then turned into yoga. Yoga felt excellent. It basically goes through the beginning of yoga x at a faster pace, going all the way to the reverse warrior section. It felt good to stretch like that again.

Next was Kenpo X, and that felt good too. I like the punching and kicking combos in this a lot more than in regular kenpo x. It takes the assumption that you know what he's talking about already and just goes right into it with combos, kick punch combos and more. Good stuff.

Plyo was next for ten minutes, going through 2 five move circuits. I haven't done P90X Plyo in a while, and was glad to see I could still keep up. To be fair it wasn't the hardest of moves, definitely easier than anything in Insanity, but it got my legs in the air and my heart pumping more blood.

Finally core was last. Nothing too memorable about this but we did it. Except the Dreya Rolls. I'm still anti Dreya Webber and didn't do them out of spite.

Overall it was a good workout and got me moving for Sunday. Tonight is Starting Strength and I might try to get some cardio in.

Right now I'm doing more homework, so like yesterday I wrote this to take a break. Alright, back to work.

Bring it!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Feeling lazy (in more ways than one)

First off, I want you to know that I'm writing this post purely because I do not want to do homework anymore. I've been writing about organizational psychology and performance management for the last three hours, and the next time I write the word "culture" outside of this blog I might just snap and my head will explode. And if my head explodes there will be no more posts for the fat free jew, so I'm in here talking about nonsense with the goal of getting my mind back on track.

A few things. Friday we did get into Starting Strength. It was mediocre. I did 165 on squats again, but it still feels heavy. In fact it feels painful in my legs. It's definitely from the motion, not from actual pain, but I feel the same pain when I squat with no weight. I don't understand it. It's in my thighs and it just feels like I should have progressed beyond this fatigue by now. I'm not sure what to do with that, but the plan is to move back up to 170 on Monday.

Bench was next and I got started on 170. Yes, I officially bench more than I squat. I'm not really sure how or why that is, but it concerns me about my legs and my ability to squat correctly. But anyways, this felt heavy. I went all the way down and up on all of the reps, and got through 3x5, 1x4 and 1x3. Respectable numbers to start with, but I apparently have a ways to go. Here's to hoping I make more progress on Wednesday.

Pullups were last and I did 2x6 and 3x5. Good. Better. That's all I have to say about pullups.

We skipped abs and ate burgers instead (that's kind of like abs, right?) and that was Friday. Decent but meh. I miss my supplements I think and that killed my motivation this week.

So it finally happened. I did not finish Insanity. It started with being busy, then it was poor diet, then it was more busy, then it was dealing with emergencies, and long story short I quit this week. I know I said I was going to start back up on Week 3 this week (today in fact) but I just don't want to. I'm feeling tired and I was pushing myself too hard with work and school, and the schedule is being modified for the next few weeks.

First thing on this decision was the diet. No matter how hard I tried, the diet wasn't happening. Mostly on weekends, and mostly because of friends. I'm not blaming anyone, but it was just a really bad time to start a meal plan like the one I wanted. A friend came into town and we threw a party, then Thanksgiving, and now the holidays. Yup, it's just not going to happen. Sure, I could keep doing Insanity and do the crappy diet, but I've done that and the results are lackluster at best.

Second, a friend asked me if I wanted to start a 90 day Beachbody Challenge with him. It starts Jan 2, and if I had finished Insanity I wouldn't have been able to start that program. So I'm starting P90X Lean in January, and I'm working out with my girlfriend. We're going to do the program and diet together, and having a cohort will help me stay on track.

Third was just that I'm busy. I do homework every morning, so putting a workout in between that was just hard. I can do it, but then all I do is sleep and never see my friends or girlfriend.

So with all that in mind, I'm going to do what I can, make sure I work out just once a day with some sort of DVD or Starting Strength, and that's that.

Well, I'm off to do Cardio X. My roommate asked if I wanted to do that DVD with him. Sounded fun. Time to work out.

Bring it!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The last few days

Well, somehow life has gotten a strong hold on me and the last few days have been pretty lame as far as workouts go. Here's the scoop.

Monday morning a good friend called me right when I was getting into the gym. She burnt her hands pretty bad and needed a ride to the hospital. Of course I did it, and she's doing much better now (I can't tell you how relieved I was when she started feeling better). But Monday morning's workout did not happen.

Monday night I came home and did Hip Hop Abs with my girlfriend. I like working out with her. I don't remember which DVD we did, but I will say it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Shaun T is difficult to work with in any setting.

After that I got into Starting Strength with the group when they came over. I did squats at 165, and they felt heavy. Deloading I thought was going to be easy, but somehow my legs are in pain lately and even 165 was tough. I've decided I'm going to spend a week at 165, then a week at 170, etc., until I can blast through 180 in a few weeks.

Bench was next and I rocked out 165! I am going to be upping the weight on Friday. I'm really proud with how far my bench has come.

Pullups were last and I did 1x8, 1x7 and 3x5. The numbers are slowly getting up there and I'm slowly getting stronger.

We did not do Ab Ripper. The DVD froze and we decided it was a sign that it shouldn't happen.

Tuesday was supposed to be my first day of Muay Thai, so I decided to skip Insanity. However, I got busy at work, had to get some homework done that night and long story short it occurred to me that I really don't have the time to be doing any more activities. As much as I want to do it, Muay Thai will have to wait until my masters is completed. So no workout on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning I decided I've missed enough this week that continuing the week is pointless. That, and I had more homework to do. I did, however, do Starting Strength last night.

Squats were at 165 again and they felt a lot better. I'm finishing out the week at this weight and moving up on Monday. Shoulder press was next, and I did horribly! I completed 120 last week and wanted to repeat this time, but I could only get through 3 sets. I did 1x4 and 1x3 at 115 after that, but somehow my shoulders were shot and I couldn't complete my reps. I'm going to repeat 115 on Monday before getting back to 120. Damn, I'm pissed about the shoulders.

Since the lifts weren't going well last night I decided to repeat 195 on deadlift. As expected, it felt heavy and I'm glad I didn't go up to 200. They weren't bad, but they weren't great deadlifts either. Hopefully next week will be better.

We did finish with ab ripper and actually it was a decent ab ripper day. I'm happy with the work I did in that section and as always I did all 50 mason twists.

So that's my week. I should also say this is my first week of 4 without supplements, so that probably hindered the lifting a little. Still, I'd like to at least be able to maintain my strength when I'm off supplements. Lame.

The plan right now is to finish this week with easy stuff, maybe some cardio at night, and next week repeat week 4 of Insanity. It's not the best plan, but it works. Also with all of the holidays and friends in town my diet has been getting raped, so I'm not really seeing the results I want from Insanity. Monday through Friday are fine, but weekends (and Thanksgivings) make me feel like I'm not getting nearly the results that I want. Plus people keep bringing sweets and soda into the house, and I have absolutely no willpower. None. Somehow my friends don't get that and bring it over anyways. And no this is not one individual at all, its many. It's all of them in fact. I'm not mad at them, but seriously, if there are foods in the house that I shouldn't eat, I'll eat them. It's just that simple. For example, I haven't bought a cookie in probably a year, but I have eaten more cookies in the last year than I can even imagine. Sigh. Someday I'll learn to just say no.

So that's where I'm at. Not sure what else to say for today. Oh, also, happy 11 months to my amazing girlfriend. We're almost to that year mark. I love you!

Bring it!