I Have Done it Again, But Variations are the Key!

Ok I know I change my workout more than I change my underwear, but variation is the key with strength training and cardio!

I sat down for over an hour with books, magazines, posters and the internet and put together 3 different workouts, a different one for each of my 3 strength training days, still doing 3 circuits. Lets take a look at them;

MONDAY

  1. Weighted Crunch 12x
  2. Raised Knee-in 12x
  3. Saxon Side Bend x10
  4. Bridge 20 seconds
  5. Back Extensions 12x
  6. Squats with Dumbbells 12x
  7. Pile Squats with a Dumbbell 12x
  8. Split Squats with Dumbbells 12x
  9. Bench Press 12x
  10. Fly 12x
  11. Bend-Over Row 12x
  12. Shoulder Press 12x
  13. Lying Triceps Extensions 12x
  14. Biceps Curl x12

WEDNESDAY

  1. Long-arm Weighted Crunch x10
  2. Flutter Kick x20
  3. Speed Rotation 10x
  4. Side Bridge 20 seconds each side
  5. Superman 10x
  6. Front Squat 12x
  7. Pile Squat with Dumbbells 12x
  8. Leg Curl 12x
  9. Push Ups 12x
  10. Slow Fly 10x
  11. Bent-arm Dumbbell Row 12x
  12. Upright Row 12x
  13. Hammer Curl 12x
  14. Close-Grip Bench Press 12x

FRIDAY

  1. Sicilian Crunch 8x
  2. Push-Aways 10x
  3. Two-Handed Wood Chop 10x
  4. Towel Roll 10x
  5. Swimmer’s Backstroke 5x
  6. Bulgarian Split Squat 10x
  7. Power Clean with Jump 8x
  8. Seated Calf Raise 10x
  9. Slow Push Ups 10x
  10. Slow Bench Press 10x
  11. Pullover 10x
  12. Bicep Curl to Overhead Press 10x
  13. Tricep Dips 12x
  14. Standing Scarecrow 10x

Interval TrainingTue, Thu & Sat

Yoga

  1. Cat Pose
  2. Mountain Pose
  3. Standing Forward Bend
  4. Lunge
  5. Tree
  6. Standing Side Stretch Pose
  7. Downward Facing Stretch Pose
  8. Cobra
  9. Child’s Pose
  10. Seated Spinal Twist
  11. Seated Forward Bend
  12. Relaxation Pose

Exercise Bike: 20 seconds as fast as I can, then 20 seconds pause (this is one set) 8x – I am taking Steve’s tweak on board by changing the lengths of my pause; 20 seconds, 40 seconds & 1 minute – then restart cycle again.

Iron Deficiency Solved

I am a happy camper today, I came home with some extra weight (no I didn’t binge at Pizza Hut!).  I got myself 4x 1.25kg (2.75lbs) Kettler plates to solve my iron deficiency problem.

So for next week I am packing on some more weight to give my muscles another rush, and keeping my overloading principle in motion.

This is what I am currently pushing and pulling at 4am in the morning;

OLD DUMBBELL WEIGHT

1 dumbbell is a total = 6.5kg (14.3lbs).    2 dumbbells a total of 13kg (28.6lbs)

Lets see what my new weights will be;

NEW DUMBBELL WEIGHT 

1 dumbbell is a total = 9kg (19.8lbs).    2 dumbbells a total of  18kg (39.6lbs)

I am looking forward to next weeks workout.  I’ll be brining my reps back down to 12 and still attempting to power through 3 circuits.

So tonight and tomorrow will be big rest days for me so I can give it all I got on Monday morning.  I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Workout Addiction & A Disease Called Ignorance

I am feeling so good today. I am really feeling my muscles this week as I made that adjustment to do my stretches before my workout and then power through my three circuits in 30 minutes, I am feeling the effects already.

I am so addicted to my workouts now that it’s hard to wait out my rest days. But I need to resist, and I know that while I am resting and sleeping my muscles are reinventing themselves bigger and bulkier!

I was on Yahoo Answers today and the amount of people that are trying to lose weight too fast or attempting diets that will probably cause them to fail (and even be a lot worse off than when they started), I went on a rampage answering all the questions about fad diets and losing weight too fast. They all reminded me of myself not so long ago. Ignorance is an awful a disease!

Get Good Sleep to Build Those Muscles

One major way that strength training leaves cardio lagging behind is the fact that you can keep burning fat and building muscles long after your workout. As you finish a cardio workout your body will also stop burning off the calories.

In fact when we are slogging through our workouts we are not building up muscles we are actually tearing them, yep that’s right a tear. Then it’s during rest and sleep that our bodies heal these small tears all over our muscles and they are bigger once healed.

This is why it’s not good to do a strength training workout everyday (working the same muscle groups) as you don’t give your body the time it needs to heal. From my digging around I have found that most experienced people (bodybuilders and fitness instructors) would suggest 8 hours sleep a night or some have said that they take an afternoon nap.

Overtraining sounds so strange to me, before I would have said “the more, the better!”, but this is not the case. If you don’t have sufficient sleep and/or not enough of a gap in between your workouts then it can actually cause you to not be able to sleep at night.

I remember (in the year 2000) slogging it away strength training from Monday to Friday at a gym (when I lived in Ireland) and eating next to nothing and my body changed very little and I couldn’t sleep at night. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong, and the fitness instructors knew me and never said a thing, strange….. mmmmm that’s probably because they gave me the workout program! ::grrr::

So here is a summary that I came up with from my digging on successful strength training;

  • Regular strength training three times per week (with a day between each workout)
  • A healthy eating program (high in protein and varied so you can enjoy it and don’t get bored)
  • And plenty rest (8 hours sleep per night or an afternoon nap)

Sunday, Feb 3rd – Slow Sunday

I am really looking forward to my workout tomorrow that today feels so slow!

Breakfast – oatmeal, whey, peanut butter & hot low-fat milk

Snack 1 – low-fat chocolate milk

Lunch – Two slices of whole meal bread, tuna, mayo & a thin-cut slice of cheese

Snack 2 – whey shake

Dinner – half a grilled chicken and a green leafy vegetable mix

Snack 3 – low-fat blueberry yogurt

Workout Review: 1st Time Doing Workout Two

That was tough to say the least. But my muscles were burning and sweat was lashing off me from everywhere (ugly thought, huh?). I’ll go through each exercise and give you the details;

Raised-Feet Crunch (Upper Abs) 12x = A little more tension on the abdominal area and that lovely burn came back.
Raised Knee-in (Lower Abs) 6x = My right hip was playing up during this exercise. There was a nipping feeling in my hip joint. Maybe just have to get my hips use to getting into this position.
Corkscrew (Obliques) 8x = One word for this DISASTER! I could hold my legs up, but pushing my big bulky frame up and then twisting it. I couldn’t keep any form for this exercise. I’ll keep trying it until the end of the week and then review myself again.
Swim (Lower Back) 10x = This went well, I felt more across my belt line than usual.
Squats with Dumbbells (Glutes) 12x = Yeah the going up part is a lot harder now than before. But all is good and glutes are burning.
Pile Squat with Dumbbells (Hamstrings) 12x = Just like the squats with dumbbells this is more effective and I can feel the extra tension.
Fly (Chest) 12x = Going good with the fly, this time I am doing my fly slower and I am feeling it burn!
Bench Press (Chest) 12x = Again just like the fly I am slowing down on this one and letting my chest muscles burn and it feels good.
Bent-Arm Dumbbell Row (Back) 12x = I really enjoyed this and I can really feel it in my shoulder blades. Awesome!
Side Raises (Shoulders) 12x = I need to work on this one. I am having difficulty pushing the weights up to shoulder hight, but I am going to keep pushing until I can.
Hammer Bicep Curl (Biceps) 12x = Excellent, not only am I feeling this in my biceps but I am now feeling it in my forearms.
Tricep Press Up (Triceps) 12x = Another tough one, but I managed to push this one through with good form and I can feel my muscles noticing the extra work on this one.

NOTES:

I managed to do this circuit twice this morning. I had to really push myself with this, not only because it was a new workout but also because I didn’t get a good sleep (my son is teething 🙂 so fun all round!).

I haven’t added any weights to my dumbbells; one dumbbell has two 2.5kg (5.5lbs) plates and then the bar is 1.5kg (3.3lbs).

So 1 dumbbell is a total = 6.5kg (14.3lbs).

I am lifting a total of 13kg (28.6lbs)

Home Abs Workout

Here is a cool abs workout that I found on the you know what tube that I’d like to share with you all. He’s a big bulky guy ::git!::

Workout Upgrade – Start Burnin’

So next week I am going to be stepping up my strength training workout. My muscles have already gotten use to my current workout so it’s time to start them burnin’ again!

Check out my workout upgrade;

Mon, Wed & Fri – Strength Training

  • Raised-Feet Crunch (Upper Abs) 12x
  • Raised Knee-in (Lower Abs) 6x
  • Corkscrew (Obliques) 8x
  • Swim (Lower Back) 10x
  • Squats with Dumbbells (Glutes) 12x
  • Pile Squat with Dumbbells (Hamstrings) 12x
  • Fly (Chest) 12x
  • Bench Press (Chest) 12x
  • Bent-Arm Dumbbell Row (Back) 12x
  • Side Raises (Shoulders) 12x
  • Hammer Bicep Curl (Biceps) 12x
  • Tricep Press Up (Triceps) 12x

Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday – Cardio Interval Training

  • 20 minutes on an exercise bike; starting with a 2 minute average pace and then a 2 minute fast pace (this is one set); doing 5 sets.

NOTES:My blood pressure a lot better now, so that’s another reason to step things up (especially with my cardio). My goal with this new workout is to do three circuits each session. I am also wanting to push and get on top of my cardio workout as I only followed the cardio workout once since I have started this year. Sunday is my day off.

If anyone has any tips/suggestions for my workout please give me a comment, thanks!

Workout Update – Bulking Up

Strength training workout is going well, I can’t say the same about my cardio workout.  I am going to be intensifying my strength training program over the weekend so I can start Monday from a higher altitude.

I have been doing the same strength training workout for the passed what, coming up 3 and a half weeks (this Friday).  I feel this week that my muscles are already too use to the program.  Time to step it up a little.

No for the dreaded cardio ::shreak!:: I don’t have a worth while excuse for not doing this other than the exercise bike seat feels like a razor blade and currently I don’t have the cash to buy a mountain bike ::sniff, sniff:: 

I am going to build myself up to get on the razor blade starting on Tuesday and pushing through three sessions next week; doing my cardio workouts on alternate days (then at the end of the week lets see if I have any buttocks left to continue).

I am feeling a lot of changes in my body.  The fat around my stomach has really become softer (my wife can confirm this) and of course I am feeling new muscles that I never knew I had.  Also feeling much more energetic and loving life.

I am really optimistic about my progress and I know that I can continue to discipline myself and win my 100kg prize!

You Have It, Then You Don’t

I woke up this morning and powered through my strength training collecting my thoughts and wondering which one to jump on and write up. After opening Yahoo News to sadly find that Heath Ledger had passed away yesterday; thoughts came rushing in about my own departure. What will it be like?

My doctor sat me down in December and said to me, “Andrew, you’ll be lucky if you see 40, if you don’t change your lifestyle and get fit.” That was a knock in the teeth. Now not a knock for me but for my wife and son. I am not afraid to die, I know where I am going when I die. (I’m a Christian, with strong faith that I’ll go to heaven when I die.)

I look at death not as the end but as separation; the spirit leaving the body. So in my mind death is not the end just a new phase in life.

The thing that worries me about dying is support for my family. I am currently the only bread winner in my family and if I pop my clogs then who’ll look after them.

Death is a mysterious thing and we don’t know when it will come, just make sure that your not sitting on the toilet when I does come. I believe that when I do get fit that will help add to my days, but that unseen high speeding bus will not add anything! 😛

Well I will pray for all you bloggers out there today that you are kept safe and we also pray for Heath’s family at this difficult time.