Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Making Sense of Trap Lifts, TRX & Med Ball Slams | Operation 健康アップ Week 9

If you go to a "pro" {or non-commercial} gym for the first time, you'd probably be wondering why gym users need to use some absurd equipment in their workouts. I mean, why do you have sailor ropes there with no boats?? Or is it snowing? Why's there a sledge otherwise??!

And do you really need so many different ways to train a specific muscle group??

Gym Workouts
I went in as usual on Monday and Friday. Monday was really busy so I was under a few trainers for the whole session, and on Friday Justin trained and taught me my new workout program. I got to try out some new and weird-to-me equipment...

A1. Barbell Deadlift {Double Progression}, 4 sets, 6 reps - 51kg
A2. Flat Dumb-bell Bench Press {Pronating, Double Progression}, 6 reps - 14 + 13kg
B1. Trap Bar Deadlift, 3-4 sets, 6 reps - 50kg
B2. Leg Press, 3-4 sets, 12 reps - 40kg
B3. Dumb-bell Lunges {6" box}, 3-4 sets, 12 each leg - 7kg
C1. Dumb-bell Chest Supported Row to Chest {Pronating}, 3-4 sets, 6 reps - 10kg
C2. Incline Ring Row, 3-4 sets, 12 reps - bodyweight
C3. Med Ball Slam {changed to Battling Ropes} - 60sec

The Trap Bar certainly fell into the "weird-to-me"category of gym equipment. The what?? Yes, it's a bar in the shape of a trapezium and to use it you've to step inside and pull it up with weights on both side.

I felt like I was wearing one of those big, poofy Victorian gowns when I stepped in, and had to pull up my "skirt", except that this skirt was reaaaaally heavy and made of metal. So awkward. It took a lot of tries getting used to it and again, thanks for your patience Justin.

Then there was the Med Ball Slam, a medicine-ball-bouncing-exercise thing but sorry, Ai has no hand-ball co-ordination whatsoever. I played water polo for a while but other than that, I really suck at ball games. After a few embarrassing tries, Justin changed my exercise to Battling Ropes {the sailor ropes I mentioned above}. It was not as tough as when I first tried it out, but it was still tiring.

Oh one important gym milestone for me was that I finally went into the racks area. It's at the left-most side of the gym and I usually stay away as I don't have any exercises to do there. It seems only hard-core weight-lifters use the racks but I have to go in now to use the leg press machine. Made me feel like I'm a "big girl" and not such a pro gym noob anymore since I can use the machines there hahahaha.

Find it quite "dangerous" though as there's weight bars criss-crossed in and out of the various racks. It's like a booby-trap of sorts. I swear I'm going to walk into one of them one day !(◎_◎;)

Friday's session went by pretty slowly as I had to get used to getting good form with the new equipment and I only managed to complete 2 sets of Super Set B and C, instead of the required 3-4. I shall try to train faster {but with good form!!} this week and complete at least 3 sets.

Home Workouts
I went to workout at the club gym on Wednesday with my old workout and received the new home workout program on Friday. Justin didn't have time to take me through it but he said it's all right to still use each workout for 8-10 sessions, as long as you can still progress with the weights.

This is my previous home workout plan with weights I'm using:
A1. Leg Press, 4 sets, 8 reps - 245 pounds {111.1kg}
A2. Walking Lunges, 4 sets, 16 on each leg - 5kg
B1. Supinated Lat Pulldown, 4 sets, 8 reps - 75 pounds {34kg}
B2. Dumb-bell Chest Supported Row to Chest, 4 sets, 16 reps - 8kg
C. Declined Crunches, 3 sets, 15 reps

I skipped Saturday's workout though as my back and neck were extremely sore. Really uncomfortably so and I didn't want to aggravate them further so decided rest was the best option.

This is a very good article on recuperation and muscle growth. Basically recuperation is your body's ability to recover after exercise. The quicker the recovery, the quicker strength and mass gains will come. It is just as important as working out and eating well. If you neglect to listen to your body's warning signs of possible over-training, and if you do not get enough rest {this not only includes sleep but also relaxation times} then you will not grow. Strength and muscle gains {or fat losses!} take place during rest periods - outside the gym.

I guess Sunday's DC Justice League 5km Fun Run made up for me skipping my workout the day before too :P Used the boy's EMS machines over the weekend again to focus on my trapezius muscle and it felt much better after 2 days.

Food Nutrition
Not much changes to my diet for the week. On Sunday I had some time to make our fave Roast Chicken Greek Salad and enjoyed that lots. Yum yum. Lil Pumpkin eats that too except for the olives and onions. She says the onions is kinda "spicy" heh.

Angie asked what's the macronutrient {or "macros"} targets I'm supposed to hit and I realised I haven't written it down yet. Firstly, macros primarily refer to carbs, fats, and proteins—the three basic components of every diet. If you get their proportions right, it makes healthy eating / dieting a lot more effective. Jen has also asked me to pay attention to my fiber too for a number of reasons. As mentioned before, as much as possible, I try to track this with My Fitness Pal app.

Based on Jen's recommendations, I've to hit 122g of protein, 123g carbs and 25g of fiber daily within 1,200g of calories. I usually have problems hitting 122g of protein, so try to hit at least 95g per day which is mostly, doable with protein shakes and bars.

My current fave protein bar is Quest Bar Cookies and Cream. Delicious! It is gluten-free, 17g of fibre, 21g of protein but has only 1g of sugar!

Thoughts of the Week
With 3 weeks left in the program, it's about time to think about whether I'd like to renew my gym membership. Genesis Gym offers a 25% discount for clients who continue with them. If I sign up for another 12 weeks with 2 sessions/ week, it would be S$1395. Alternatively, if I take up unlimited sessions for the next 12 weeks, it would be $1890.

Unlimited sessions is of course a better deal but time-wise, I don't think I can commit more than twice a week to make it down there. Twice a week is already slightly strenuous on our family schedule. I like training there and I do think there's more improvements I can make but will see how after I discuss with the boy. There are other factors to consider as well.


Masshole Mommy said...

We do the medicine ball slams in my krav maga class, but we do them with a sprawl after the slam.

Cascia Talbert said...

Sounds like you are doing well with your fitness program. I hope you are able to renew your gym membership. Have a great week.

Meeningfully said...

Sounds like a lot of hard work! I probably would never survive! So, I must say great work there! :) And... your post just reminded me to get back on some exercise. LOL!

Jayme Shing said...

Wowwww..... I must admit something though, I have never ever been to a gymn before because I find it really confusing in there with all those big machines... Probably the only thing I can recognize is a treadmill! You have so much discipline in this program!

Unknown said...

Whoa medicine ball slams sound terrifying!

Phoebe said...

I think the only time I went to a Gym was before my wedding. That is a lot of stamina and determination . Really salute to your perseverance to discipline yourself to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Jolin said...

I think you are really good to keep up with your exercise regime. I could never bring myself to go on an exercise routine because the only time I exercised was during the PE lessons during the school days. Keep up the great job!

Unknown said...

Omg, now I know why i am lazy to exercise - the regime and diet can make me cry :(


Ai Sakura said...

Masshole Mommy: Yikes that sounds tough!

Cascia: thanks you too! :)

Shermeen: Haha no la.. small steps and progress forward. You can do it too!

Jayme: if so it's probably best to head in with a personal trainer or a more experienced gym buddy to explain and guide you through the machines. Not all are that scary!

Debs: For me at least haha

Phoebe: thank you :)

Jolin: thanks!

Shirley: this is just one example.. there are other types of easier workouts and diets :P

Indah Nuria Savitri said...

you are indeed on the right track, love the spirit!..I haven't really tried dumb bell after my mastectomy a year ago. But I guess I have to be extra careful as it is sometimes slightly painful when I do yoga..