Hard and heavy

Hard and heavy

I started my new training program this week. I’m finally dropping my reps a little, not to the extent of a powerlifter, but still significantly lower than what I was doing before. I have to admit I hate endurance training (between 15 and 20 reps or more). Sure, it gets my heart rate up and leaves me a sweaty mess, but it’s so hard to increase the weights over time – which is predominantly how I tend to judge my progress.

I like to really push myself in my training. Typically every two or three weeks I aim to increase the weight I’m lifting, so every single workout feels like I’m working towards a mini goal. However, with certain exercises, like deadlifts and squats, I won’t push myself every single week. I might lift moderately heavy for three weeks, and then push myself to the limit on the fourth week. But it’s kind of difficult to do that when you’re doing 15 damn reps.

It’s been almost three months since I did any low rep exercises. When I had to do just six rep deadlifts on Monday, I had to figure out my weights all over again. I lifted lighter than I probably could have, but in my opinion it’s far better to have done that than lift too heavy and throw my back out.

I’m back to doing legs once a week. Hallelujah. My butt is big enough as it is and doesn’t need extra help with two workouts a week! It’s funny: when I do legs once a week, it’s my favourite day of the week, but when I do legs twice a week, I dread both workouts. My new leg workout finishes with lunges. One set of one minute, one set of three minutes and one set of five minutes. Yes, five straight minutes of lunges. I will never complain about my walking lunges again. Ow.

I’m still doing a five-day split, but instead of taking my rest days on the weekend, I’m now only doing cardio on Wednesdays and then lifting on Saturdays. In total, I’m still doing cardio six days a week. I’ve also gone from doing almost zero ab work over the past year to three days a week. That’s crazy for me.

Growing up as a dancer I developed a really strong core. I’m always the last person left in certain yoga poses while everyone else writhes around on the floor in agony. It takes a lot for me to even feel core-targeted exercises, and I have to change my exercises every single time. I’ve had visible abs for most of my life without doing any targeted exercises (I always say abs are made in the kitchen!), but when I did my most recent gain, they disappeared. They’re slowly coming back, but my stomach seems to be where I store all my fat, like a man 😉

Already regretting that the first photo I post of my stomach is taken in bad lighting after I've drunk a gallon of water...

Until I get rid of this pesky tummy fat, my diet is staying exactly the same – alas, my dreams of daily pasta are yet to become a reality. I’m back in a groove with my lean out as my turkey burgers are really doing the trick! This is the first time I’ve had to try to lift heavier while eating less than normal, so it should be interesting to see how my body responds.

A few days ago I realised I had misread my diet plan. Since I began my deload, I should have been having fish and green beans as my last meal of the day on non-training days. Blechhh. It’s going to take a LOT of convincing to get me to do that when I don’t have a competition looming. I love my protein cookie dough too much.

Do you prefer high or low reps? How often do you train abs?

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