Hurts so good

Hurts so good

I’m happy to announce that I have designed my first official training program for myself! Designing the plan was a lot easier than I thought. I already had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do, and it literally took me about 10 minutes to write. The two workouts I have completed so far have kicked my butt!

I’m going to follow this program for the next four weeks. While Rob may find a new coach once we arrive in London, I want to stick with my current trainer for as long as I can (he has been coaching me since I first started training seriously). Rob has no competition plans, so he’s more open to trying someone new than I am. I love my trainer – he has a great backlog of experience and he has done some great things for me already – so it will be a while before I let him get away.

The reason I designed my own program was that I wanted to coach myself before I train anyone else. I’m dying to start writing programs that aren’t practice ones made up for imaginary clients. I wanted to see if I could create a more advanced workout, in case I actually manage to pin down some serious clients.

Another bonus is that I can actually post my training logs on the blog! It was hard for me to talk about my previous workouts, because I didn’t create them myself. I’m sticking with a five day split, but getting rid of the Saturday session because it was becoming a pain to fit in. I’m also doing a maximum of four sets, to focus more on strength gains.

The first day of the program was yesterday, when I did this leg workout (I don’t take too much notice of my weights during the first week, but I will post them next time!):

Step ups: 3×20
Overhead squats: 1×15, 3×12
Front squats: 1×12, 2×8, 1×6
Incline leg press: 1×20, 1×10, 1×8, 1×6
Barbell lunges: 2×20, 2×12
Still-legged deadlifts: 1×12, 1×10, 1×8, 1×6
Bulgarian Split Squats: 3×10 (each leg)

Usually I feel the majority of my muscle soreness in my hamstrings after a leg workout, but after the front squats my quads were already screaming! When I struggled walking down the stairs out of the gym, I knew it was going to hurt today.

Sure enough, my quads were actually so sore that I couldn’t sleep properly last night. I almost talked myself out of foam rolling this morning, but I knew it was just one of those things that had to be done. It was brutal. I have been shuffling around the office all day like a freak and I dread sitting down.

This morning I trained chest and shoulders:

Machine flyes: 1×20, 1×15, 1×12
Incline bench press: 1×15, 1×12, 2×8
Dumbbell bench press: 1×12, 1×8, 2×6
Decline push-ups: 3×15
Single dumbbell shoulder press: 1×12, 1×10, 1×8, 1×6
Upright row: 1×15. 2×12. 1×8
Cable lateral raise: 2×12, 1×8

My chest has always been my weakest body part, similar to most women. It seems to respond best to high rep, high volume work, so it’s been a while since I’ve gone really heavy. Today as I was experimenting with different weights, I reached failure at 4-5 reps and I loved it! I’m already feeling sore so I’m scared for what tomorrow brings…

It’s funny that all this time I have been begging for a lower rep range to train in, and yet I still gave myself quite a few high rep sets. I guess that’s a good thing because I seem to know how to prepare myself for a competition?! My body responds well to pyramiding, so I feel like I get the best of the high and low rep worlds.

I have previously talked about designing your own programs here, but the best way to learn what works for you is through trial and error. For example, I have no idea why I put Bulgarian Split Squats at the end of my leg day, when I could barely stand up by that point. Some reordering will definitely be in order.

My last program didn’t double up on any body parts. When Rob recently commented that my triceps are getting bigger than my shoulders, I knew it was time to return to bi-weekly shoulder days. Fridays will be a full shoulder session, with eight exercises, so today was just a complementary workout.

My arms look so small pre-workout 🙁 I must redeem myself with a better picture!

In other news, I have once again proven to be very successful at convincing people to do whatever I want via the written word. Ha. I was originally planning to have finished the level two certification for my personal training course by December and intended to spend the whole of January and February studying for my level three exams – which is why I quit my job early.

However, there have been numerous delays on the institution’s part, and I still haven’t completed all the components for level two yet! Usually you cannot start level three until you have completed level two, but my powers of persuasion must be irresistible because they opened it up for me after I sent them a loooong email. So I’m back to working all day and studying all night. Fortunately, I only have 12 days left of work (not that I’m counting or anything – so excited!) so it won’t be stressful for much longer. I will still try to fit in blogging where I can, of course.

Do you write your own programs? Where do you find inspiration?

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