Monday, October 31, 2011

This is Halloween

I'll even find a way to balance a holiday and training. May do some trick or treating...more like trick ha ha. I think I have the stuff to make a grim reaper costume by nightfall. To bad the scythe will be a staff. *sad face* Can't scare the kids to badly, ne?

Gonna see if there are any cool scary movie marathons on TV tonight. If I don't find anything I guess I'll just watch The Grudge series along with The Ring and read a Stephen King novel.


Good thing I don't have classes today! Tomorrow I'm testing for leg extension in weight training. My cardio will likely backfire on me. I'd do some weapon work, but I don't want to overtrain my shoulders. (Still sore!) *Sigh* Let's bust out that incline step!

Training song: The Game by Disturbed

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Training with Weapons

This isn't just about the gym anymore. There is a big difference between being strong in the weight room and being strong wielding a weapon. I don't know the weapon laws for many places, but where I am, I can have weapons on my own property. The weapons I mainly use are a staff and sword. I also have some skill with small blades.

I was using my sword today and it was actually heavy. I also noticed the shoulder work that comes with the staff. I think I'll have to start practicing with these again because weights are no help in this area. I'll also need to find a sparring partner soon.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Week 1: Day 3

max pushups-10 max sit ups-50 max squats-30 max dips-18

Feel about the same as day 2, save that I can really feel my lower back. I added back extensions to my workout to even out the ab work. I feel awesome about the squats now! As for pushups I actually did like 9.5 for my max but then I went back starting the 10 but my mom called (got 5 done). After the next attempt, I got the ten done.

I will not accept defeat!

Push up total for the week: 116

I think I may add bicep and lat work to the program as well. I really should be working opposing muscle groups equally...

I'll see how I do on day 1 of week 2. From there, I'll decide whether or not to repeat week 1.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Week 1: Day 2

max sit ups-50 max push ups-7 max squats-20 max dips-15

I'm a little more tired than I was on day 1, but not wiped out. I think I need to change the order of the lifts a bit. I wasn't bothered by doing dips at the end of the "set" then push ups after (the start of the "set") on day 1, but that may be what caused me some trouble during the final 2 sets of push ups. On the sit ups, I felt the burn, but persevered. I'm feeling better about the squats though. I'm taking the 90 second rest period between the "sets," still didn't need the full time. That may change on day 3 Saturday. Something's telling me I may cherish those 120 seconds between sets.

I'm going to be doing sit ups, push ups, squats and dips from now on instead of push ups starting and dips ending. (I should've known it was a bad idea to cram dips then pushups)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pull up progress

Yesterday I decided to change my workout a little on the assisted pull up machine. I'm now doing 3 sets of 7 reps at 35 pound resistance. For those unfamiliar with the assisted pull up machine, the more weight you add on to it, the less body weight you are lifting. With me being 123 pounds, I was lifting 88 pounds (a little of 70% of my body weight). I've just got to remember that this is about endurance and not so much strength. I'm going to work up to 15 reps (semi comfortably) before I lower the weight to 25 pounds.

I'm on the road to 5 pull ups.

Types of Cardio

I'll be doing at least 30 minutes of moderate to high intensity cardio today. Since I really can't run well (it's really about lack of muscular endurance, esp in calves), I'm doing step ups on the incline step I bought from Target. There are also intervals where I exercise my calves with stepping up calf raises. It's difficult using this on the second floor of my house while trying to avoid complaint from below. Maybe a few weeks of this will get me better muscular endurance.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Week 1: Day 1

Training song: Fight to Survive by Stan Bush

I'm not really tired considering weight training this morning. I also had to run around the neighborhood today too. I did feel the burn during the fourth set and max sets for the squat and push up. I just suck with dips, so burn's expected. Did sit ups like a champ. Looking forward to day 2 on Thursday!

In other news, Paranormal Activity 3 wasn't scary. I'll talk more about that later.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mixing it up

Today was a cardio day for me. I decided to try something new. I heard somewhere that two high intensity 15 minute workouts showed the same effects as a single 30 min workout. I figure I'll try that for a bit and see how that works for me. I'm actually going to do something like high intensity 15 min workout and another 20-30 min one later.

I'm so pumped for tomorrow!

Why the Pull up?

The way I see it, you never know when you’ll need to pull up your own body weight. There was a lanky girl in my weight training class who could do pull ups like it was nothing. I was thinking, "Dang! Can you train me?" Aside from making sexist guys shut up, the movement has practical uses. I never expected to have to ever use the pull up motion in my life. That was until I fell off my bed. In the dorm rooms at NC State, the beds are raised six feet off of the ground. Me being me, I didn't put up the guard rail. (It made sleeping awkward!) I fell off of the bed from the shock of a dream, but caught myself before I hit the floor. It was difficult, since I was using the mattress for leverage, but I managed to pull myself back up into bed. Hopefully, no one will ever have an experience like that!

Working to 5 pull ups!

Tomorrow officially starts the six week 100 pushup challenge! I am so psyched!

First Things First

Here's a list of the things I did in order to get my first pull up:

Get a source of motivation: I listened to music on my iPod in the gym at first. I find it terribly boring and distracting to go to the gym or exercise in general without some sort of music on.

Train the muscles that are used in the pull up: Pull ups (standard grip, which is a little wide) work the lats, biceps, rhomboids (between shoulder blades), rear deltoids, and trapezius. There's also a bit of chest work in there too. You don't have to separately exercise all of these muscles. The prime movers here are the lats and biceps. Some shoulder and chest work wouldn't hurt. As the grip gets closer together, more stress is placed on the biceps.

Use your time wisely: I had plenty of time whenever I went to the gym on my own, but I had a time constraint in my weight training class. This helped me how to use my time wisely in the gym, so that I could get more done in less time. And when I say "get more done," I don't mean going through the motions of the workout. I worked with intensity so after my workouts, no matter how short, I always felt I got something done.

*Lose body fat: This didn't apply to me so much, but it is necessary to lose fat and build muscle. Why? Excess body fat does nothing for you while muscle works for itself. I noticed that with less body fat, some things were easier because of muscles pulling their own weight. Different types of cardio will work wonders.

And lastly,

Never give up

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Pull up From a Girl's Point of View

After three years of off and on training, I can finally do a pull up. I cannot even begin to express how fired up I am! There are several things I can attribute to this achievement, I'll post something once I get my thoughts organized. I've heard from one place that a guy knows of 40-50 year old mothers of three that can 10 pull ups. Well, I can't say I fall into that category. I'm just an average college student. I've seen "how to progress to a pull up" articles everywhere, but most of them are written by guys. Not that there's any problem with that. As a girl, seeing these "how to's" written by guys didn't help me at all...especially whenever it ended with, "if I can do it, then so can you." That's the kind of message I want to hear from another chick. I'm fairly certain I'm not alone in this. I want to show girls that it is possible to do pull ups without any special training. I'll show you the steps I took to progress to doing a pull up.

My next goal: 5 pull ups. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Workout Schedule

I wanted to show exactly how I was going to combine the four programs. This is what I'm planning to do on Day 1 which will be Tuesday the 25th. The workouts can be found here and on links from the page.

Set 1:
13 squats
6 pushups
21 sit ups
13 dips

Set 2:
16 squats
6 pushups
27 sit ups
15 dips

Set 3:
9 squats
4 pushups
21 sit ups
9 dips

Set 4:
9 squats
4 push ups
21 sit ups
9 dips

Set 5:
max squats
max pushups
max sit ups
max dips

60-120 seconds of rest between each set

Since I have very weak wrists, I'll be doing the pushups on my knuckles. Hopefully my wrist strength will improve.

Initial Test

I just finished the initial tests for each program. For each test, you do as many proper form exercises as possible. There is no time limit. Here are my results:

one hundred pushups: 10 pushups (rank 2)
two hundred sit ups: 60 sit ups (very good)
two hundred squats: 21 squats (poor)
one fifty dips: 20 dips (rank 1)

To tell the truth, I'll be happy to do 50 pushups at the end of the program. I honestly have the best chance with the situps. According to the sit up assessment given on Week 1, I can start at Week 3. As for everything else, this is going to be a long six weeks...

Take the Challenge

I’m taking part in a six week fitness challenge called hundredpushups. The goal? Do 100 pushups after six weeks. Since I like body weight exercises, I decided to kick it up a notch. I’ve also added the programs from twohundredsitups, onefiftydips, and twohundredsquats; and combined them into one six week program. The goals are the same. Hopefully at the end of six weeks, I’ll be able to do all (or some) of this!