Monday, 20 August 2012

Exercise Review

Yesterday marked my last day on my lifting plan based on this program from I adapted it to incorporate more cardio and the fitness classes I love.

So how did I get on?

  • I really liked being able to have some structure in the lifting sessions, and this allowed me to see where I was progressing and what needed more work. It kept me focused and able to get the most out of my time on the gym floor as there was less drifting in between exercises and less time wasted pondering over how much weight and how many reps.
  • I kept a diary to remind what to do and enable me to quickly get on with an exercise as I could easily refer back to last week's to see where I was at. For example, it made it easy for me to tell if I was ready to bump up the Kg's, if I could quickly read that last time I managed all the reps and sets. Unfortunately, I don't have the best handwriting, which is apparently made worse by exercised muscles:

  • I noticed improvements all round in strength - obviously a great result. 
  • For the most part I enjoyed the program. However, the back workout seemed a bit rubbish as I never really felt like it was being worked out and I never experienced any soreness after.
  • Most of the weeks I didn't totally stick to original plans, in terms of which workout fitted which day. Life happens, and sometimes you need an unscheduled rest day!
  • During the last six weeks I didn't run long distances as much as I should've, though I have still kept up my cardio endurance doing spinning, and my latest exercise love - body combat! It's essentially doing a load of moves from different combat disciplines to music. It really gets your heart rate up and my back felt worked after this (unlike the actual lifting day!)
  • I also questioned the body part combos that were in program, i.e. chest and shoulders, and biceps and triceps. and whether or not this way was giving me optimal workouts and recovery. I will be switching this round in my next program to find out.

So. My new program, courtesy of James who is a self-taught, self-proclaimed expert (well, I suppose he has the body to show for it), looks like a real challenge, and I feel I will struggle to sustain it for six weeks....well we'll just see how it goes.

And the weekly schedule looks like this

As it is Monday today, I tested the water with the leg workout. Leg workouts usually get my heart rate up a lot higher than other body parts, and James' workout got it even higher still! I added on 10 and 5 minute jogs before and after to get warm and relieve the kind of 'tense' feeling I'm often left with after.

It actually went very well and enjoyed mixing up the different number/lengths of set and really mixing up different strength training approach. This kind of integration of different methods is apparent across the program and I really think it'll help keep it fresh....maybe I'll last six weeks after all!

Elsewhere in my life, things have taken a rather unexpected turn with respect to job hunting. More on this in another post, I just felt like leaving this on an unrelated cliff hanger...I know you'll be gagging for more ;-)

'Til then,

Hannah xx

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