In between moving to the other side of the world and visiting Paris for the day, I have actually managed to sneak a few workouts in. I took a conveniently-timed deload starting the day we left Sydney, so I’ve only worked out three times since then.
The gym we have joined is pretty serious. At the time we work out (mid-morning), every single person in there looks like they’ve stepped out of a fitness magazine. No joke. I’ve only seen one other woman in there, and she’s a competitor! I commented to Rob that this is exactly the kind of gym I can see women being afraid to enter the weight lifting area of, and his response was: “I’m afraid to work out here!”
I don’t know if I’ve already mentioned it, but Rob has agreed to let me coach him indefinitely. Kind of a big deal! This morning I designed our new workout program. We’re not going to be following exactly the same program, but we’ll be doing the majority of exercises together. It’s pretty awesome having a consistent training partner, but I also need time to work on my own areas I need to improve.
My last program went really well, and I made a lot of serious gains (I’ll write a proper post about it in the next few days). But I still feel that I’m doing too much volume. Most of my workouts were lasting a full hour, and I was feeling rather tired when I still had two or three exercises to go – whereas in the past, I felt fired up all the way to the end of my session. Most of my workouts in the new program will last around 40 minutes.
Bringing up my shoulders is still my main focus. My shoulder training seems to have plateaued, so it’s time to experiment with a different approach. I’m going to drop back shoulder training to once a week, and focus on sticking to a higher rep range.
In the past few weeks I haven’t been following a specific number of repetitions for my lifts. Generally, I choose a weight I think I can lift for at least eight reps, and then perform as many repetitions as possible (with good form!). I think choosing a number to stop at only limits your progress, as you can almost always squeeze out an extra one or two repetitions. Sometimes, I do as little as four reps but it’s still a serious struggle.
My arms are also developing some serious size, and are overshadowing my shoulders. Given that they’re being trained with almost every workout I do, having a designated arm day isn’t really helping. I’m going to drop my arm training back to every other week, and hopefully that will allow my shoulders to shine.
We haven’t officially started Project Pull-Up. I was planning on beginning my serious training on March 1, but I’ve only done chin-ups twice this month. The first experience was a disaster. I was doing negatives and Rob pushed me up to the top of the bar – hard – and I bashed my head on one of the handles jutting out. So the first attempt left me in tears! I’m now looking at mid-April as my target date for a single unassisted chin up.
Finally, I’m also going to be introducing some cardio back into my training. At this stage, I’m planning on doing 15 minutes of sprints three times a week. I haven’t done any cardio at all for about 10 weeks, so it should be interesting to see how much I huff and puff. In fact, I’ve only performed cardio regularly for two months out of the last 12.
The only reason I’m reintroducing cardio is for heart health – I’m not trying to lean out or anything. I had my blood pressure measured the other day and it was scary! Well, not too scary – I’m still in the ‘average’ bracket but I’m so used to being below average that it scared the bejeezus out of me. The last time I had my pulse measured it was 50 beats per minute, and the other day it was 80! Granted, I had performed three fitness tests 10 minutes earlier, but it’s still something I’m not happy about.
I was also going to write about my current nutritional approach, but I think I’ve rattled on long enough. Next time I will tell you why eating dessert has left me in the best shape ever!