Monday, November 2, 2015

Slow & Steady | Operation 健康アップ Weeks 14 - 16

Well first month of my second cycle of personal training is over! Time seemed to pass pretty slowly and progress seems pretty slow too. We had to tweak the program a few times due to past and new injuries..

Gym Workouts
Stuck with my usual schedule of going in on Tuesdays and Fridays. Since Justin left, I don't have a "regular" trainer for a full session but would usually work out with Superman, Farhan and Mark? {yeah he's back for a while!}. They are very encouraging and patient trainers, but not quite as good as Justin / Jen when explaining the technical bits and background knowledge of the exercises to silly me.  

My latest program ended last Friday and I'll be getting a new one tomorrow. This is my latest gym workout plan with weights I'm using:

A1. Barbell Deadlift, 5 sets, 5 reps - 59 + 55kg
A2. Seated Supported Dumb-bell Shoulder Press {Neutral}, 5 sets, 5 reps - 30lb {13.6kg}
B1. Prowler Push, 4 sets, 40m - 67.5kg
B2. Dumb-bell Chest Supported Row to Chest {Neutral}, 4 sets, 12 reps - 11.5kg
B3. 90deg Back Extension, 4 sets, 12 reps - 3kg
B4.  Seated Supported Dumb-bell Shoulder Press {Neutral}, 4 sets, 12 reps - 22.5lb {10kg}
C. Front Bridge, 3 sets - 3kg for 75sec

My deadlifts were feeling really weird and my knees kept caving in so Jen helped to take a look at them one session and helped me with my positioning and form. He told me to point my toes outwards to keep my knees from buckling in and it did help {although I still have that weird, unbalanced feeling}.

Last Tuesday however, I was working with Tall Guy for my deadlifts {59kg} and pulled my left hamstring near the butt. Gah. Hurt too much to continue with the deadlifts and it feels bruised even up to today, but Jen says it shouldn't be a tear so should be ok. Skipped deadlifts last Friday.

Since I couldn't really feel my chest muscles working for the Bench Press, Jen changed that exercise in Week 14 to Seated Dumb-bell Press which I hadn't done for a while so was kinda weak at. I didn't usually use the pounds dumb-bells but Superman said it's easier for small weight increments with the pounds dumb-bells so I started using those for the Shoulder Press. As of last week I could push 30lb for Shoulder Press but form not that great - 28.5lb per dumb-bell is better.

Superman also changed the Lying Hamstring Curl to 90deg Back Extension because as the weight increased for the Hamstring Curl, my lower back started to hurt and we couldn't load much more. 

I'm quite happy with my progress for the Prowler Push. I remember when I first did it in Week 1, I pushed just 10kg and felt like dying. Justin said that was the 10kg of fat I wanted to lose. Now, I can push 67.5kg and it probably isn't much to most people, but that's like 10kg more than my current weight!

If you told me I would be able to push this weight in my first week of training, I would have laughed straight in your face.

It wasn't always easy and during the session in Week 15 when Superman increased the weights from 55kg to 60kg, I'd to take a really long break after the 3rd push because my chest felt so congested and I just couldn't catch my breath. Prowler Pushes really leaves me panting hard and quite light in my head. Maybe because I keep holding my breath to push through :P

Home Workouts
I'm quite liking the split workout days for upper and lower body as it means I don't have to change so many machines during each workout. Since Lil Pumpkin has her swim classes on Sundays now, I work out at our club gym on Wednesdays and Sundays after her swim.

This is my latest upper body home workout plan with weights I'm using:

A1. Seated Supported Dumb-bell Shoulder Press {Neutral}, 4 sets, 10 reps - 10kg
A2. Dumb-bell Chest Supported Row to Chest {Pronating}, 4 sets, 10 reps - 10kg
A3. Incline Lying Dumb-bell Triceps Extension, 4 sets, 10 reps - 6kg
A4. Dumb-bell Chest Supported Row to Chest Neutral, 4 sets, 10 reps - 10kg
A5. Flat Lying Dumb-bell Triceps Extension, 4 sets, 10 reps - 6kg
A6. Seated Supinated Dumb-bell Curl, 4 sets, 10 reps - 6kg
A7. Decline Lying Dumb-bell Triceps Extension, 4 sets, 10 reps - 6kg
A8. Seated Hammer Curl, 4 sets, 10 reps - 6kg

And the lower body workout plan:

A. Half Squats Push, 4 sets, 30 reps - 5kg
B1. Seated Leg Press, 4 sets, 6 reps - 170lb {77.5kg}
B2. Seated Leg Press, 4 sets 20 reps {to failure} - 170lb {77.5kg}
C. Rear Glute Raise, 4 sets, 15 reps - 75lb {35kg}

If there's time I'd try to end off each session with some Flat Dumb-bell Bench Press {3 sets, 20 reps - 10kg} since I don't get to do them in my usual programs. They are my fave arm exercises, even if I don't feel my chest muscles being activated haha.  

Food Nutrition
Quest bars are still my best friend for healthy snacks and to satisfy some of my dessert cravings. My current favourite flavour is Peanut Butter & Jelly, but Double Chocolate Chunk and Apple Pie rank pretty high too. I ate so much Cookies & Cream previously that I'm quite sick of that flavour already haha.

I'm very conscious of the calories count during the weekdays and it's easier to control since I'm at work most of the time but weekends I'm more slack and erm, live a little. It's very trying nowadays too since Starbucks has started their Christmas menu {love Peppermint Mocha Frap & Gingerbread Latte!!} but I'd still try to drink only when it can be within my daily intake, and cut some calories by ordering with no whip cream and non-fat milk. Probably doesn't cut the calories by a lot, but at least it helps a wee bit :P

The rest of the holiday season will be even tougher with more parties & good food but as long as I keep up with my work outs and try to keep within my daily calorie count {give and take 100-200?}, I should at least be able to maintain fitness and fat levels...

Thoughts of the Weeks
Like I mentioned earlier, it feels as if I'm progressing pretty slowly as my weights don't seem to be increasing as fast as before and I'm not sure if I've even gained more muscles but I don't think I've hit a training plateau yet. If I have the trainers, especially Jen, would probably have realised.

So I should just refocus again on my end training goals and just keep going... make sure that I'm moving one step at a time forward, no matter how slowly. There's still 8 more weeks left in this cycle and there should be a measurement coming up in 2 weeks time. Hope to see some slight improvements there from the last measurement to show that I'm on track.

On a completely different note, I want to try and do splits. Pretty random and it's something that I've always wanted to try but never did as I never thought I'd be flexible enough to do splits. Since I started training more in the gym though, I've been thinking more that as long as I put my mind to believe, I can achieve. So yes, I will aim to try and do a full split, either front or side, by March 2016. Need to stretch, stretch, stretch daily!!


Susan said...

Mine you're doing 59kg deadlifts! Awesome progress and I'm still stuck in my procrastination rut, shame on me. And it's futile to even attempt to diet in December with Christmas parties and gatherings. I better buck up!

Theresa Mahoney said...

Ooh, I hate the feeling of a torn muscle. Even if it isn't really torn, it still hurts like hell! Since I got a FitBit, I've been focusing a lot on cardio, but I need to get back into weights. With the holidays coming, I don't want to lose the small amount of muscle I've put on this year. Seems like you are really focused, though! Keep up the good work, Ai!

Stacy said...

You go girl! I'm in pain just reading your post.

mail4rosey said...

I'm sorry to hear you pulled a hammy. I know that's no fun at all. I think you're smart to just keep going even though you're not seeing instant progress as quickly as you like. Sometimes there's stuff we don't see going on, and then bam! You see them all at once (results). :) Good luck. :)

alissa apel said...

That's too bad that you have that torn feeling in your muscle! Ouch! That's got to hurt.

pc said...

Gosh, your fitness diary has come to week 16 already?! Way to go, girl!

Masshole Mommy said...

I literally did tear a muscle in my calf and it HURT so bad.