Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rolling in the Deep | Operation 健康アップ Week 11

This week was the crappiest, IMHO... which kinda sucks since last Friday's workout was so awesome.

Gym Workouts
I went down to Genesis Gym on Monday {trained by Superman & random trainers} and Thursday {trained mainly by Mark?}, since Friday was Polling Day and a public holiday. So crazy crowded on both days that I decided to try out Tuesday next week since tomorrow night I've an event on anyway.

Somehow this week's workouts didn't feel too good. Maybe it's because I haven't been sleeping well again, maybe too much on my mind or maybe it's because both my knees still hurt for the 2nd week running but I just couldn't get into it. A few of the exercises, especially the barbell deadlifts, felt so "off" and imbalanced. So much so my form was taking a hit and it seemed like I retrogressed back to my beginning stage.

I guess we all have those days that set us back. What makes us stronger is our ability to come out of it. Everyone works hard when they feel like it but it's only the best that work hard even when they don't want to.

This is my latest gym workout plan with weights I'm using:

A1. Barbell Deadlift {Double Progression}, 4 sets, 6 reps - 56kg
A2. Flat Dumb-bell Bench Press {Pronating, Double Progression}, 6 reps - 13+13.5+14kg
B1. Trap Bar Deadlift, 4 sets, 6 reps - 49kg
B2. Leg Press, 4 sets, 12 reps - 55kg
B3. Prowler, 4 sets, 4 laps - 20kg
C1. Dumb-bell Chest Supported Row to Chest {Pronating}, 4 sets, 6 reps - 12.5kg
C2. Incline Ring Row, 4 sets, 12 reps - bodyweight
C3. Battling Ropes - 60sec

On Thursday I couldn't even complete Superset B as the leg press was hurting too much and just did 2 sets. Coach Jon was in on Thursday and he had a look at my knees. He said most likely my quads / {Iliotibial} IT bands are too tight {something Justin also mentioned} so affecting the knee cap position. Muscles are made of filaments that overlap with each other, like interlocking fingers. If a muscle is tight, the fibres overlap too much and as a result lack flexibility, which limits the amount of movement at the knee.

I've to foam roll and do quad stretches before each workout now. Next week my workout program will change again to take away the stress from my knees and quads.

Home Workouts
I went in to the club gym on Wednesday and Saturday. Wednesday night was so super packed. Gah. The thing about my home workout program now is that I need to use weight machines most of the time so when it's crowded, I can't complete my workout sets within the stipulated rest time or even at all.

This is my latest gym workout plan with weights I'm using:

A1. Seated Hamstring Curl {Toes Up}, 4 sets, 10 reps - 40 pounds {18.1kg}
A2. Leg Press, 4 sets, 10 reps - 250 pounds {113.4kg}
A3. Leg Extension, 4 sets, 20 reps - 40 pounds {18.1kg}
B1. Machine Bench Press, 4 sets, 5kg
B2. Chess Supported Row 4 sets, 10 reps - 6kg
B3. Pec Deck, 4 sets, 20 reps - 19kg
C3. Burpees, 4 sets, 60 sec

The weights are easy and I was supposed to increase them on Wednesday but there were too many people using the machines I needed and my knees were aching so I changed the leg exercises, didn't do burpees and did more dumb-bell benchpress.

Saturday morning was much lesser crowd but I just wanted to do some "rehab" exercises to warm up my knee and increase blood flow to the areas around my knees so I did Seated Leg Extensions using low weights for high reps.

I think somehow I have a 小妹妹-damsel-in-distress face at the gym as the uncles like to stop by and offer exercise tips. I usually keep my earphones on and mind my own business but they are quite friendly and yesterday, when I was doing my arms exercise, one came by to correct my position and grip. He even taught me a new exercise to work on shoulders, delts and core #thankyou

At home, adding on to using Electro Muscular Stimulation EMS to help me relieve some muscle aches, I've also started using foam rollers. With a foam roller, you basically "self-massage" and apply deep pressure to specific points on your body to aid in the recovery of muscles and make them elastic & healthy again.

I first came across foam rollers when I went for CrossFit classes but it didn't catch on with me. Later the boy bought a few to roll around at home too but I stayed away. I prefer to have human hands massaging me thank-you-very-much rather than rolling around on a foam log by myself. It seems so sad.

But then, since I'm working out regularly now, I've pretty sore/tight muscles all over my body and rolling on the foam daily is an easy way to break up the tight muscle knots, increase blood flow and circulation without relying on anybody. I can't possibly go for massages every day, right??

Foam rolling on the affected areas is uncomfortable, and sometimes painful. However, it does help somewhat and it feels kinda "shiok" after a while when the tension is released haha. Have to try and avoid these foam rolling mistakes though.

Most articles I read online say don't use the foam roller on your lower back, while a few others say it's ok. It feels good to just place it under my lower back and just lie there to help me stretch it out, but apparently the back overextends and makes it too easy to beat up the lumbar spine and supportive structures. If I want to roll my lower back, I should use balls instead to work on the muscles and not tax the spine too much.

Here's some other stretches and techniques you can use to relieve lower back pain if you suffer from it too.

Food Nutrition
Nothing much to update here as I eat pretty much the same thing depending on where I have dine at... and I usually frequent the same places for lunch every week haha. For example, at the club I like to eat the Salmon Caesar Salad or Stewed Lamb Shank with an Iced Cappuccino {no sugar}, or if I'm at Vivo I'll have the Salmon & Egg Croissant with Iced Vietnamese Coffee at St Marc's Café.

After gym I'd sometimes ask the boy to buy back Grilled Lamb Chops for me or air-fry some squid and shrimps. If I'm too tired, he'll just make me a casein protein shake that's very filling... protein protein protein!

Since it was the long weekend I had time to explore some new places like Rokeby and Crab in Da Bag. Pretty decent food and I won't mind going back again.

Main food goal of the week, as usual, is to hit my protein and fiber targets within the daily calorie intake limit. Didn't do too shabby this week.

Thoughts for the Week
I heard something this week that went along this line and made me want to roll my eyes - females train better with females, and males train better with males. I would have expected the person to know me better than to say something like that, especially with how I felt about some things in the past, but oh well.

Ok maybe there's a little truth there as if the trainer is your same gender, he/she would understand your body better and know how to work on certain areas more.

However, I reckon rather than gender, there are other more important qualities to consider when working with a personal trainer. Things like experience, knowledge, charisma, communication skills, chemistry etc. Personally, I'd rather work with someone who is outgoing, experienced, versatile in their techniques and skills, motivational and articulate in the logistics of exercises.. rather than with someone just because she is a girl.  

Anyway, just feeling rather deflated and defeated this week. We'll probably be taking measurements next week since it's week 12 so we'll see how that turns out. Excuse this post if it's more emo than usual as I typed most of it out at 4am in the morning. I think taking ZMA helped me to sleep better previously so I'll start on it again.


Susan said...

Yes do rest up and it's bound to affect your performance and sleep and mood. My hubby uses tennis ball instead of a foam mat and it's quite good for targeted area.

Masshole Mommy said...

You are a BEAST!!!! You are totally rockin' the challenge!

Mummy Kless said...

You are looking SOOOO GOOD! Awesome tenacity and really inspiring, you!

Paula said...

You're on your week 11 already and I'm still here figuring out some ways to stick to my routine! it was nice reading your updates and I wish you all the best with this challenge :-) rest well while you can, when you’re well-rested, you will both work better and feel better.

Angie@ Simply Mommie said...

You are looking so awesome! Rest your knees. I'm amazed and inspired by your determination. Jiayou!

An Apel a Day said...

Keep up the good work! You are doing great!

Claudia said...

Those abs are sure showing up! You are such an inspiration! Gambatte Ai!

Cynthia said...

The first photo of you looks good! Adding oil for you and I really admire your determination.

Phoebe said...

Since you started on week 1 till now.. i think its really admiring that you could do it consistently . There will be crappy times but you didnt give up. Whoever the gender of the trainer i think its important to click.

oomph. said...

sometimes we just have days where we just don't feel 100%. been there! keep up the great work! i have been slacking on my 2015 fitness goals...need to get back into the groove as well.

Shirley said...

You are looking hot! Love your toned body now esp the tummy. Rest your knees and don't stretch it too much >3

Stacy said...

Maybe the uncles just like to engage with attractive women. :)

Indah Nuria Savitri said...

Ai, you look fantastic! I would definitely need so much exercise but I believe you are in the perfect path for your perfect body. Way to go, girl..

Baby Gal said...

I love reading ur fitness blog! Coz it motivates me to hang on to my gym sessions at Genesis too. Understand you have sore muscles, maybe you may like to try scholl compression legging/ pantyhose? My thighs and butt hurts the next day even after doing roller foam stretching. So I tried the compression throughout the night and remove when I woke up. Definitely felt much better. So just wanted to share with you too! :)

Unknown said...

"I think somehow I have a 小妹妹-damsel-in-distress face at the gym as the uncles like to stop by and offer exercise tips" was suuuuuuper funny! People pretty much ignore me everywhere I go. I think I have RBF. I can't help it!