What up wit De-Load?

This week I hit PR in every lift I did, even accessory lifts! If I touched a weight it just seemed to float into the air!! That hurt to type… That didn’t happen this week, and if that applies to your life then my jealousy knows no bounds. However, you should be able to hit some solid workouts where you can get PRs and feel really strong while weightlifting. Just like while running you should have some days where you feel light, and smooth, and running is just easy. These are the glory days, where your body has found the perfect mix of adaptation and rest to accomplish what you are asking of it with ease. These days don’t necessarily happen often, and can be out of your control.

So how do we get these days? One line of thinking is that as you train more and get stronger or faster or improve, these days will come. For an exaggerated example, if you want to run a marathon, and train twice the distance, the marathon distance will feel easy when you go to race it! The obvious downfall (highlighted by my exaggeration) is overtraining. If you are training twice the distance of a marathon all of the time, the best thing you are training is the trip to a medical professional.

Another line of thinking is to slowly train up to what you want, approaching your goal incrementally. A great example of this is linear progression in weightlifting. I want to bench press 300lbs, so I start with 135lbs and add 5 each week until I get to my goal! But the problem with this is your body can adjust to what you are doing, and can plateau. Or, worse in my opinion, you can get bored with what you are doing. That slow progress means every workout feels the same. Mentally this is hard, and can lead you to not going as much or giving up on your goal.

What can we do? How can we ever achieve our goals without hospitalizing ourselves or boring ourselves to death? A popular answer, used by a lot of people in the fitness industry, is a deloading week. To deload, you do your regular routine, but at 40-60% of your normal weights (or distances/times/speed for you runners or swimmers or other cardio fanatics πŸ™‚ ). This allows your body to relax, regroup, and recuperate from the more intense workouts without a loss of stimulus. It also allows your central nervous system time to relax, which is always beneficial. Finally, it allows you some time to focus on perfecting your form, which I cannot highlight the importance of this in everything you do (including sitting in a chair :p ).

Anyway, long answer over, I did a deloading week this week at the gym. It allowed me to get refreshed, and let me tweak my plan to get closer to achieving my goals. It also allowed me time to plan an app with my friend, which is exciting!! I still will probably develop an app on my own related to fitness but I don’t know about time for that at the moment.

As an interest thing, get ready for some finisher workout discussion next week. That was some of my major tweaks this week, and I want to experience them better before we discuss them next week πŸ™‚

What are you most excited for this week??

Let me know πŸ˜‰

-Adam πŸ™‚

What up wit De-Load?

To Gain or Not to Gain…

I have had quite an interesting week! I maintained my usual workout plan, but it is starting to feel comfortable. I think I might change things up, and do something new! Not that anything new will be drastically different, because I love deadlifts of course. Maybe I will try some challenge workouts like the 300 workout for more entertainment value.

In other news, I have learned something we all truly know. I gotta get my damn diet in check if I want to truly achieve my goals. I love you McDonald’s, but this is not a healthy relationship ok??

Finally, I think I might explore making a fitness tracking app. I have always wanted to make apps, my ego says I can do it no problem (and who am I to argue against that right?)

I will post an update if I get anything going well πŸ™‚

What is your hardest workout?? Share some ideas with me!!

 

-Adam:)

To Gain or Not to Gain…

When the Sea Brings Ruin

So I had a mixed week. Started out great, PB in deadlift (Β 230 lbs deadlift for 8 reps total πŸ™‚ ), my swims were getting faster and stronger. Everything was feeling great. Then Wednesday rolled around.

Wednesday. Hump day. Halfway to the weekend. Also the day that I somehow found shellfish contamination in something I ate. I happen to be allergic to shellfish (didn’t know I was sensitive enough for cross-contamination though!) and that gives me the nice allergic reaction of vomiting so hard I burst blood vessels in my face (the doctor told me they only see that in people who have been strangled usually…) among other ways of having my body violently reject something. Not fun, I was so exhausted after that sitting up for a few minutes left me exhausted. Two days later I would try to climb 10 stairs, and be left panting for breath at the top.

So needless to say, I didn’t workout much after Wednesday. I hope all of your workouts have been going excellent, no setbacks for you all!! I am getting pretty excited because I think I will try out Muay Thai soon, I will let you know if I do and what I think!!

What has been your worst setback?

Let me know in the comments!!

-Adam:)

When the Sea Brings Ruin

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly ;)

This has been a fantastic week for me! I have routinely done some box jump work that has let me jump with 17 risers per side and the platform (the internet tells me that is 38 inches, so who knows…) and I have been deadlifting and squatting at a continuingly improving rate πŸ™‚

I have started sitting at a desk a lot, which I can feel has put some strain onto my hip flexors during training, so during warm up I always try to do some mobility work to gain full extension.

I have even started swimming on my lunch break (only like 20 minutes or so) just to help reverse the effects of sitting for so long! All in all I have been having a lot of fun, and comparing my personal pictures of myself from now and 7 weeks ago, there is a noticeable improvement! Maybe if I can ever take a picture where I don’t look too constipated, I will show you guys :p

The only thing I have been struggling with, because we all have to have something (right??), is my standing shoulder press. I am going to have to research this more, as I seem to be plateauing. This Β (to me anyways) means that I am either missing a piece of the form that will unlock my next level, or I am actually lifting too heavy for my ability. I am used to taking things very slowly, and never really reaching my 1 Rep max, as I try to slowly approach it yet never actually make it there. (that is my philosophy anyways). I always train lower body and legs so much, my upper body is usually where I plateau. Probably because I am not used to training it!! I suppose it is useful to know your week spots though!

 

Where do you think your weak spots are? Let me know in the comments, if you help me with mine I will help you with yours πŸ™‚

 

-Adam πŸ™‚

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly ;)

Still Killin’ It :)

I apologize for my absence, I started a new job and was busy settling in! That does not mean I missed working out though! I have some killer new stuff I have been playing with, and it has left me sore (in a good way though right :p ).

I don’t know what you guys have heard about circuit training, but it is pretty fun if you like feeling absolutely blasted at the end of your workouts. Let me give you a sample of what I do in the gym now, and this takes me around an hour.

To warm up I hop on a concept 2 rowing machine for 5 minutes. EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute) I row as hard and fast as I can, then have 45 seconds of normal rowing pace. By the end of 5 minutes I have rowed more than a kilometre according to the display readout.

Next part of warm up is a bodyweight circuit. It consists of 20 bodyweight squats, 10 push ups, 20 lunges (count 1 each time you do a lunge so 10 per leg technically), 10 pullups, 30s handstand (I still need the wall to balance sometimes), 30s plank, 30 jumping jacks. I repeat this circuit 3 times. Congratulations, I am warmed up!!

Next I go through a jumping circuit. 5 bx jumps at close to max height (or as close as your mind lets you!), then 5 shock jumps from that height, then 5 depth jumps to that height of the box (jump from a box, hit the ground and jump on your original box), then do 10 ankle jumps (leap using only your calf muscles as high as you can, while in the air try to touch your toes to your shins, land and repeat), and finish it with knee to ankle jumps (kneel with top of feet flat on ground, jump up to land on feet, use your arms to help!). I complete this circuit 3 times as well. By this point it has been 20-25 minutes of exercise, and I am usually covered in sweat.

Next we get into some lifting sets. All exercises done for 3 sets, usually only to 5 reps as I want to go as heavy as I can, but if I am tired or have picked a lighter weight and don’t want to change I will increase the reps. Mondays and Thursdays I focus on lower body here, Tuesdays and Fridays is upper body, with Wednesday being total body. Sample Monday includes deadlifts, rack pulls, back squat, front squat, and overhead squat. Tuesday is usually bench press, barbell row, standing shoulder press, arnold press, and front and lateral raises. This is to get your muscles sore for the finishing circuit.

The final circuit I complete is to completely exhaust myself. If I have done upper body that day I focus on a sled pushing circuit, if I have done a lower body then I use a battle rope circuit. Wednesdays I take it easier and hop on the treadmill and run however I want! The sled circuit goes something like:

medium weighted sled push ~20m, pull back

Light sled sprint ~20m, and back

Heavy sled sprint ~20m and back

Heavy sled low to the ground push ~30m and back

Repeat circuit 3 times in total.

The battle ropes circuit consists of 3 sets of 20s alternate waves, 10 slams, 20s alternate arm circles, 10 alternate wave jumps, 10 jump slams. Both of these sets really exhaust your whole body, and leads you to the final exercises which is bodyweight skill training. I have organized to practice two skills per day out of handstand push ups, L-sit to Handstand, One arm push ups, Dragon Flags, and back bridges. You just pick two skills and practice them or a progression!

These gym sessions leave me exhausted yet energized for the day (Yes… I workout in the morning!!) and lets me have time at lunch to swim for ~20 minutes to loosen up!!.

 

What’s your favourite workout???

 

-Adam πŸ™‚

Still Killin’ It :)

Let the Fun Begin :)

If you all remember I was going to look into essential amino acids to aid in recovery from workouts. Well I found some! In the pictures below the left container is the essential amino acids, in the right image there is the protein powder I began using. The protein powder advertises that there is nothing illegal in it (as in professional athletes could use it!)

I have been following the directions and using those this week, and I have to say I have noticed an increase in my recovery time! Which is amazing! Also in my research it is important to note that it is easier to find branch-chain amino acids than essential amino acids, and both of these will aid in recovery. Branch-chain aminos just aren’t all of the amino acids that your boy needs.

Also, I have stopped running, and I feel amazing. How is that for a weird statement. I have laid off of the running as I was hitting walls in everything I did (which was also partially the diet I was doing). I have switched into weights and bodyweight workouts to fill my time, and have been having a lot of fun. On Mondays I do deadlifts, rack pulls, hanging leg raises, shoulder presses, arnold presses, front raises, chin ups, skull crushers, and work on progressions for the front lever! It is tiring but fun, and since I am not running on top of the gym I leave feeling like a beast!

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays I do 3 body circuits (at least 3 times each). Circuit 1 is 20 ass to grass squats, 10 push ups, 20 lunges, 10 pull ups, 30 second plank, 30 second handstand, and 30 jumping jacks. All with little to no rest. The next circuit is 30 second battle ropes, and a weighted sled push and pull (about 20m 1 way, for 80m per set). That circuit really makes your thighs burn! The final circuit I do is 5 box jumps, 5 ankle jumps, 5 kneeling to standing jumps, and then wind sprints. To make the final circuit hurt a little more I repeat more wind sprints as I finish each circuit (set 1 run the wind sprint pylons once, set 2 twice, etc.).

I strongly recommend getting out there and finding what you think is fun to inspire you to keep doing it! Sometimes it takes a while to find what you enjoy! As my friends like to tell me, do it for beach season!!

-Adam:)

Let the Fun Begin :)

The Power Within

Last week I told you all about the diet I was trying. It has made me lose almost 13 pounds in 2 weeks, which is pretty cool. If you are looking to lose weightΒ Dr. Poon’s Metabolic DietΒ is a very effective tool. However, I found that any exercise I was trying to do was very hard. I had lower energy levels. Part of this diet was that you could eat as much meat and leafy greens as you wanted, and I know I was not eating enough food in general. So I was feeling pretty down, yet still forced myself to go for some longer runs. I ran 11 miles in 1 hour and 45 minutes, which was way slower than normal. I also didn’t feel good on this run at all. Since exercise is so important to me, I am going off of this diet after 2 weeks.

There have been some benefits though! I have rid myself of my overwhelming need for sugar, and have a great base to begin to eat healthy, and nutritious foods from! This is pretty exciting! I have also realized some of my life goals are unrealistic. This diet combined with lots of miles on the road led to a decrease in my testosterone levels. I had some pretty clear indicators of this, and as soon as I started eating some carbs and stopped running I immediately felt stronger, and more substantial (that is how I describe it…)

I have decided to lay of marathon training for now and focus on intense exercises that build up muscle and speed. I feel like running a marathon is still something I want to do, but it is too much to incorporate at this moment in my life. As this blog refers to, my ego gets in the way of what is good for me. My ego told me Β I needed to be able to run a marathon to be successful, when a better measure of success for me at the moment is to be the fastest person on the field, as well as the one who can run the longest, at my weekly soccer games! (and that is not the most intense of training I need as it is recreational soccer :p)

So bring on the bodyweight circuits, the weightlifting sessions, and the sprint training!!

-Adam:)

The Power Within