For about the last week, I've felt my focus on health and fitness drifting. Not that I'm wanting to be unhealthy, I guess its just other stresses in my life have left my need to be fit and healthy a lower priority.
My workout schedule hasn't had much attention for a while. I tend do to what I feel like doing, or work on exercises/body parts that I haven't done for a while, often faffing around wondering exactly what exercise I should be doing, at what weight/no. of reps/intensity etc. In some ways I can see that this could be a beneficial approach as you are listening to your body to choose what workout is appropriate at that given time, and it prevents your body getting used to things as there is no predictable routine. On the other hand, it makes it hard to track your progress as none of your workouts are comparable, it is easier to slack off as there isn't a routine for you to be accountable to, and you can risk injury by engaging in activities your body isn't used to.
So, earlier this week I decided to retrain my focus on my fitness and put some routine back into my life (which seems to be dithering all over the place right now). I have dipped in and out of Bodybuilding.com as a fitness resource, and I do recommend it if you are looking for evidence-based articles on exercise and nutrition, and there is a great library of rated workouts and 'howto's. The over-emphasis on supplements and animal-based diets overwhelms me however, and that's when I 'dip out'. As it turned out though, I found what I think is a reasonable and adaptable lifting plan that also includes a cardio day, and I am going to boost it with my weekly spinning yoga and pump classes. This is the page I adapted it from, and below is what my weeks will be looking like for the time being:
Jogging to warm up/cool down
Legs: Barbell squats, leg press, seated leg curl, stiff legged deadlifts, standing calf raises, barbell lunges.
Fitness yoga class
Rowing to warm up/cool down
Chest and shoulders: Dumbbell bemch press, smith machine incline press (or machine), butterflys/flyes, barbell bench press, dumbbell shoulder press, standing front barbell raise, side lateral raise, machine shoulder press, upright barbell rows, shrugs (added by James' recommendation)
Pump class (weight lifting to music, lower weight/higher rep - almost a cardio workout)
Back: Wide-grip lat pull-down, T-bar row, reverse-grip bent over row, bent over dumbbell rows, seated cable rows.
Rest day or run if missed on Tuesday or Pump class of missed on Thursday
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - one minute fast, one minute slow/moderate pace on treadmill for 20-30 minutes.
Biceps and triceps: Preacher curls, hammer curls, seated dumbbell curls, barbell curls 21s, tricep extension, tricep rope push down, underhand cable pull down, straight arm pull down, dips.
I am following the 3x10 reps that are recommended on the site, though needless to say I won't be following the nutritional plan: I don't think '6 scrambled egg whites and a load of broccoli' would make for good foodie reading, and I love being creative in the kitchen too much.
I have also decided to start keeping an actual paper-based diary of my workouts, to log the weights I lift and any other comments to help me when I come round to the lifts again. This has the time saving bonus of stopping me from ditthering around with what weight to lift because I can instantly see in my diary what I'm capable of, and taking notes between sets gives me something to do.See how prettyful it is ;-)
So far I have done Monday (calves were still aching this morning!), Tuesday, and Wednesday according to plan, though I've had to miss Pump today to go to the theatre with Grandma instead - cue Saturday morning Pump!
Tomorrow, should be a fun day as the farmer's market is on and I'm yet to to shop for my foodie penpal for this month! And my new back workout out and spinning 'back-to-back' (pun intended). Plus more job-hunting/volunteer placement-hunting in the pipeline. I need mental health work experience to get onto the therapy course I'd like to do, and though I've been offered a couple of interesting opportunities, my chasing them up has so far only resulted in a one-way relationship with the recipients' voicemails *sigh*. Here's to more luck tomorrow!
Speak to you again tomorrow, I think. Oh, and feel free to share your thoughts on my new plan below :-)