Tag Archive: rpm


Forward Momentum

My mind has felt strong lately.  It makes it a good time to push forward.

I woke up again Tuesday morning at 5 am, and started the process of psyching myself up for a trip to the gym.  Do a leg workout at 6, then a spin class at 7.  It is never easy.  I was scheduled to do squats this morning.  Standing at the bus stop at 5:30 am, I started to make excuses.  OK, so when I get there, I will do leg press instead, and then I can do squats on Saturday.  Just do leg press and quad extensions, do stuff you like, then do spin.  You’ve done enough then, don’t worry about it.

Then when you get on the bus and your tunes kick in on the ipod and you start to get excited.  Your body starts to remember the activity, and it wakes up.  I get to the mall, and walk to the gym.  Normally my mind supports my body, but on the quick walk to the gym, my body supports my mind.  I get excited to workout, and this momentum carries me forward, until by the time I get into the changeroom, all I can think about is doing what I had written down as the plan, and I can’t devote the effort to excuses any more.

Not that my squats are heavy, I am not fooling myself.  They aren’t even heavy for me.  But I still don’t have a lot of experience under my belt doing squats, much less doing them without a spot, much less doing 4 sets back to back with only 30 sec rest.  My experience with this routine so far is that with only 30 sec rest, what starts out easy on set 1 becomes REALLY hard by set 4.  so I don’t go heavy, and try and get low and bang them out quick, then go do extensions quick, then go bang out stiff-leg deadlifts quick and tight then go do leg curls then calf raises.  Don’t give my legs a restbreak to slow down and get tired before spin.

Before I know it it’s spin time.  Les shows up to do her morning fasted cardio.  I am glad for the company because the teacher this morning is my least favorite, I have had some bad experiences with her.  The spin is kind of a grim affair, I don’t think the teacher is connecting with the class, and I know I am not feeling it, 50 min or so of just climbs, seated climbs and standing climbs.  But I push through it and flush my tired legs out.  When I look to my left, I can see Leslie is struggling hard as well.  The fasted cardio seems to be hitting her hard this morning.  It’s funny, I feel more upbeat all the time even on the low carb diet, but in the middle of a grueling cardio session, I don’t have the fuel reserves to feel happy, I just feel grim and miserable.  But it’s still worth it.

Then I went to work, and had a full day of work.  Coworkers tell me I look tired.  After work I go look for P28 peanut butter, I am curious about it.  I have tried the bread, and enjoyed it.

https://www.p28foods.com/baked-goods/p28-high-protein-peanut-butter

 

Turns out P28 nut butter isn’t available in Canada yet!  Oh well.

I haven’t done shoulders yet, but my left shoulder has been sore all day.  So I skip shoulders today, the risk of overtraining is still high with that recovering joint.  I was thinking of doing cardio, but when I got home the last 3 days of weights and cardio got to me, and I fell into a deep sleep.  So no evening cardio for me.

But I still have cardio tomorrow first thing in the morning!  And I keep moving forward.

 

Legs:

(30 sec rest between all sets)

Squats:  135 x 15, 12, 12, 10

Leg Extensions:  180 x 12, 12, 12, 12

SLDL:  115 x 12, 12, 12

Seated Leg Curls:  180 x 15, 15, 15, 15

Standing Bodyweight Calf Raises:  85, 85, 85, 85

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Spinning and Pushing

Sunday I wanted to catch up on the stuff that had been lagging.  I wanted to get in some solid cardio, I wanted some work on my triceps and shoulders.  So it shall be done!

I showed up for a double Spin class.  We were in the last few rotations of Release 57, so the music was known in advance, but Andrea (the instructor) decided to switch in some of the bonus tracks for some of the midpoint songs.  If I think I am tired of those tracks after spinning to them 7 or 8 times, imagine her teaching them 20 or 30 times!

The first class was pretty hard, I poured everything I could into it.  My right calf got a little tight, but I dropped my heel more and it went away.  Overall, I am pretty happy with it, my focus was there and the work felt smooth, I had some hard climbs and raced hard on the straightaways.  During the last working track I think the magnet slipped a bit because all of a sudden the tension became HARD out of nowhere, and I had to to turn it back down, but when I turned it up a second later I didn’t notice it again and it never came back.

In between classes, my friend dropped by to do the second class with me.  When I went to fill up on water, Andrea told me it looked like I was doing really well with the double classes, I looked good on the bike.  I take that as a big compliment!

I rocked out the second class as well, no major issues.  The second hour went by so fast, I almost kind of wanted a third!  But two were all that were on the schedule, so I went to do some weightlifting instead.

I decided to do a mid-light and quick Push session.  After 2 hours of RPM I didn’t really feel like doing legs so I just worked the calves a bit; and I had a really good chest session on Thursday, so I decided on some triceps, some shoulders, and only a little chest.  No need to overtrain.

Sunday Push:

standing bodyweight calf raises:  85, 85, 85 (rest of about a minute between sets)

closegrip dumbbell floor press:  110 x 6, 6, 6, 6  (45 sec rest)

incline dumbbell flyes:  80 x 6, 6, 6, 6 (45 sec rest)

one hand seated tricep dumbbell extension:  30 x 6/6, 6/6, 6/6, 6/6 (45 sec)

lateral raises:  50 x 6, 6, 6, 6 (45 sec)

overhead shrugs:  110 x 12, 12, 12, 12 (45 sec)

 

notes:  I don’t do floor press very often.  I used the 55 lb dumbbells, I wanted to use the 60s, but this other guy was using one set, and I couldn’t find the other set.  I have never done closegrip floor press, it didn’t feel too bad, would do again.

The inclines flyes felt REALLY good.  I think I waited the right amount of time to do more chest.  My last session was Thursday, and I had some mild DOMS going on there, so these flyes helped stretch it out a bit.

I had never done overhead shrugs before either.  It was a different feeling to try and engage my traps in that way.  Didn’t feel too bad though, could go heavier next time for sure.

 

And that was my Sunday!  How was yours?  Any good workouts?

 

Push and Road Drills

I didn’t do TRX this morning! Surprise mofos!

 

I got out of work slightly late, and had a quick coffee with a friend, then headed to the gym to see what kind of trouble I could get into.

 

There was a spin class starting at 6, and I had about 45 min to do some weights.  I chose chest and triceps.  SURPRISE!!

Chest & Tri (60 sec rest between all sets)

dumbbell flat press:  160 x 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

2 handed tricep extension:  70 x 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 7

notes:  this took about 30 min, including making sure I got my name on the list for spin class.  Admittedly, the weights to reps ratios were not that hard for the prime muscle, but my shoulder was sore the night before, and I wanted to test it out.  Shoulder felt good, weight felt fine, could go heavier next time.  Since I was done on the last set of the tricep extensions, I figured I would do as many as I felt like.  Turns out I only felt like 7, haha.

 

had 15 min before spin, but I saw people were already picking out their bikes.  WTH!!??!  Come on people – this is why we have sign up lists, so we don’t have to fight for a space at the trough.  So yeah, I grabbed a bike and just spun my wheels for 15 minutes.

It was a “road drills” class, meaning the teacher picks their own tunes and routine (I normally do RPM, which has a certain schedule and structure).  Courtney was teaching this one, I had only had 1 class with her before.

Turns out Courtney is pretty good!  the music was really good, lots of heavy beats and long stretches of rhythm.  Dancy stuff, no need for silly lyrics.  The class itself was all heavy climbs… scary!  Only one real racing song, mostly 6 or 7 minute climb drills.  We started with a drill of 15 sec of standing climbs followed by 45 sec of seated climbs, as heavy as you could make it without losing the beat.  I thought THAT was grimy enough, turns out it was just the start.  We also had a 5 or 6 min steady seated climb, turning up the resistance every 30 seconds with no break.  Then we had 15 second standing climbs followed by 90 second seated climbs, did that for 6 or 7 minutes, awesome.  Then we had our straight race, 40 sec race followed by variable length ride-easys, did that for a while.

The whole class was only 60 min, but everyone was dripping sweat by the end.  I think someone mentioned the gym was extra warm today, that might have added to it.

 

Did I mention my legs were still sore from yesterday?  So this was a real good flush for me.  All those heavy pedal strokes were good for me, I noticed calf stiffness in both legs about 2/3 of the way through the class.  I take this to mean I am pointing my toes too much, so I focused on dropping the heel harder and that seemed to alleviate it a bit.

 

It was one dirty grimy spin class, and I loved it!  It really hit the spot.

 

And that was my workout today!

The plan for today was spin, then some shoulders, and if I felt like I had the juice left then do some arms, maybe yoga later on?

Showed up for some Sunday morning spin with Andrea.  The class wasn’t very full!  I think the November rush has fizzled out and now people are shopping and partying.  But wait for January!  It will be pandemonium. (no neighbour today, he had a brunch)

Spin class was good as always, went through the regular routine:  warmup races, some harder races, some standing climbs and power climbs, mixed terrain, intervals, another long race, one more good climbing song (climbing mixed with downhill races), then a cooldown song, some stretches.  I think Andrea might have been rockin out too hard to the intervals song, she knocked the iPod off the shelf, and we just kept biking along until it was all set up again (to her credit, she got the timing exactly right on the next stage of the spinwork when the music kicked back in, so the train didn’t derail entirely).  The song she was rocking out too much to?  Brick by Boring Brick.

I was feeling good and sweaty and warmed up after that 60 min class, so I went to do some shoulders!  The name of the game today was limited rest:  short short rests between sets, heavier lifts mixed with lighter lifts.

Shoulders:

seated dumbbell presses:  100 x 13, 8, 5, 3, 4 (30 sec rest for the first 2 breaks, 45 sec rest for the last 2 breaks)

dumbbell lateral raises:  50 x 10, 8, 5, 5, 2 (30 sec rest at each break)

cable reverse flys:  55 x 10, 5, 5, 6  33 x 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 7  (10 sec rest each break only!)

cable face pulls (using rope):  38 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10  (10 sec rest each break)

dumbbell shrugs:  160 x 10, 10, 8, 7  (30 sec rest each break)

 

notes:  this workout was brutal!  I needed a few minutes between each exercise just to recompose myself.  After those reverse flys especially, I could barely lift my arms.  I scrapped my arms plans and crawled out of the gym to escape home and hide, I was traumatized.  After a few hours of rest at home, I also scrapped my yoga plans, rest and recover was sorely needed.  I didn’t injure myself, but goddamn!  It was rough.

With the seated presses, it was hard just swinging the dumbbells up to my shoulders (by the way, when I type 100 with dumbbells, I mean 2 x 50 lb dumbbells.  If I was pressing 100 lb dumbbells, I would take a picture, haha!  That’s just how I type it, 2 x 80 lb dumbbells for the shrugs, for example.  I report the total weight.)

Those seated presses were pretty hard.  I mean, the first set is ALWAYS very doable.  But with a limited rest, it all goes downhill QUITE fast, lol.  I even increased the rest to 45 sec, and still I couldn’t pop them up any more.

The lat raises were also quite hard, but I had been doing a lot of drop sets with those lately, so it wasn’t all that draining.

For the reverse flys and the face pulls, I wanted to go light and go even MORE often:  10 sets of 10, with 10 sec rest between each set!  I thought 55 lbs was light with the flys, but I was WRONG.  Even by set 2 I was failing out.  After 4 sets of mediocrity, I dropped the weight by 33% and the reps went up a bit, but not for long.

Actually you saw the reps go up from 7 to 8 by the eighth set, not because I was rallying for energy, but because I was accidentally taking longer than 10 seconds, lol.  I was trying to keep track of sets and reps in my head, and I needed to repeat it a few times to myself or I would have totally been lost.  I should have been writing them down, but 10 sec isn’t a lot of time!

The other problem is that I wanted to stay ready, and since it is awkward gathering the cables with the opposite hand, I just hung onto them between sets.  This meant the cables were still pulling on my arms a little between sets, so the rest still had some tension to it, and my arms were tied up holding onto the cables and I couldn’t write anything down.

At any rate, that exercise killed me!  My shoulders ached and burned pretty good, even if I couldn’t keep it at 10 sec rest.

For the face pulls, I dropped the weight a little more than planned, considering how tough the flys were.  That was a good idea, I was able to bust out 10 sets of 10, MUCH easier to keep track of in your head, haha.

While I was finishing up with some shrugs, I saw that same old guy who does all the f’ed up moves screwing around some more with the lat pulldowns.  At first I thought he was trying to do straight arm pulldowns, but then I saw him put his feet against the edge of the seat and then lean back and try to do face pulls…. um, WTF.  I’m sure it sounded good in his head, but to look at it executed, he looked like he was about to be catapulted by the pulldown machine across the gym.  Might I add he also could barely lower the weight back down without faceplanting into the machine.  I started to get a little mad, since he was being so stupid, and risking not only injury to himself, but to others around him.  I should really talk to staff about him.

 

And that was the WOD!  Time to announce I went to the gym on FB, like every other tool, HAHAHA!  Later!

Sunday, I had all sorts of grandiose thoughts of imitating last weekend.  Spin class?  yoga class?  arms?  shoulders?  all of the above?  Maybe just take it one thing at a time.

I slept nice and late (gotta earn that “night owl” award I had received the night before at yoga class), then went out to a 10 am Spin class with my neighbour.  I signed us both up as early as possible, wasn’t about to take any risks.  Funny thing though, this class was only 3/4 full, I guess the enthusiasm of the last few weeks had worn off and people were slipping back into their bad habits.  This is a micro-preview of January, when gyms all over the world fill up with fitness dilletantes and iron dabblers.  Young men will set up a home amongst the curls and bench presses, women will fill up the group classes, old people will sit on the machines, and it will be gridlock until about March.  It used to peter off in February, but it seems to last to March now.  I guess that’s progress.  Makin all kinds of gains!

I was early for class by about 10 min, so I sat on a massage chair.  They had installed new ones, so I was testing out buttons.  It was all fun and games until the roller starts pushing up from under my butt… Hard to make eye contact with people when the massage chair is pushing a roller sideways up through your buttcheeks.  On the plus side, it hit my hamstrings better than the old chair did, but… when it rolled too high, it was just awkward.

Andrea was teaching the class, good one as always, lots of hard work.  I am still getting used to the new bikes, they look fancy, but they feel lighter and less sturdy than the old ones.  Time will tell.  Played a lot of classic spin songs off the older releases, so I was happily jamming out during the races.  RPM 49 and 51, yeah man, those were my jams!  OK, maybe those releases aren’t that old.  But old enough for me 🙂

When class let out, I realized that I wanted to go to Leslie’s yoga class at 1 and it was now 11, so there wasn’t really enough time to do any weights, and I was starving, AND I normally like to go to yoga on a totally empty stomach.  so I showered quick, grabbed a sandwich from the Italian store across the street (better than Subway!  real meat, real cheese, veggies haven’t been preserved and shipped across the country), went home, switched out my bag, and went bus hunting (determined not to repeat the mistakes of Saturday).

Yeah, it was just as hectic as that paragraph reads.  Plus it was semi-freezing rain all morning turning into regular rain by noon, so I was soggy and cold from running around all morning.  I was sitting on the bus at 5 after 12, confident I would not be late, then realize SHITTTTTTT, I had forgotten my shorts.    I had to walk for another 10 min to make it to the studio, so I was going to feel and smell like wet dog.  I considered cancelling out of class, regrouping, and doing a yin class at Moksha in the evening, in a nice and hot… er, hot room.  But then I thought, I had told Leslie I was coming, and hey!  Wouldn’t doing yoga in wet jeans make for interesting pictures?  Worth it for just the experience alone!  Switching it up!

I was feeling pretty soggy and sad on my walk to the studio… until I saw something even soggier and sadder:  a pair of wet underwear left lying on the grass by the side of the road.  They had been there for days now.

oh poor roadside underwear, what secrets do you hide?

oh poor roadside underwear, what secrets do you hide?

So I showed up a little early, dried off a little bit, laid out my mat, and prepared to get some yoga goin.

yup, this is really happening

yup, this is really happening

Not to cut to the chase and spoil all the dramatic tension or anything, but yoga in jeans, and in wet jeans?  Not good.  I couldn’t lunge as deep, I couldn’t go from down dog into a lunge very well (couldn’t swing my leg forward).  I couldn’t do pigeon, I couldn’t do gecko.  It felt gross.  I couldn’t hold tree comfortably.  Just kinda lame haha.  But I did it!  75 min at room temp with only a handful of people and my own personal photographer 🙂  Let’s just let the pics speak for the practice, shall we?

that's not my gut, that's the cow of cat/cow fame

that’s not my gut, that’s the cow of cat/cow fame

warrior 1 w backbend. my back foot looks wrong, but it felt right at the time

warrior 1 w backbend. my back foot looks wrong, but it felt right at the time

warrior 2 while dreaming of shorts

warrior 2 while dreaming of shorts

exalted warrior w raggedy shirt

exalted warrior w raggedy shirt

instead of pigeon I did double pigeon. harder than it looks!

instead of pigeon I did double pigeon. harder than it looks!

hammy stretch

hammy stretch

Leslie creepin on me in the dark

Leslie creepin on me in the dark

And that was that!  I wouldn’t say the jeans made it physically harder, just more awkward.  So glad it wasn’t a hot room!  Jeans w hot yoga… I would pass out.  And for the record, no, I did consider doing this class in my underwear, but rejected it.  They just weren’t the right underwear to be displaying to the world, too old and tired.  Even worse than roadside underwear.  Even worse.

posing for a pic after class

posing for a pic after class

I was wet and gross, but still considered doing weights at the studio, but we were the only ones there and Leslie was locking up, so I gave up on that.  I could have done the gym later Sunday night, but I just wasn’t feeling it, so I came up with a new plan:  Monday and Tuesday would be push and pull days with Leslie!  See you then!

Day 6 – spinning it up

I slept in again this morning, on purpose.  No gym for me while I let my shoulder rest.

While I was at work, I felt strong, ready to do something.  I was making plans to go to Pure tonight for some flow, when I noticed a post on Facebook from my friend Crystallina.  She was doing her last spinoga classes before she heads to India for some yoga training!  Oh no!  I decided I needed to take a class with her and say goodbye.  Plus she was bringing some cookies she made!!  That sealed the deal… coconut chocolate fudge cookies, in case you were wondering

 

 

What is spinoga?  It’s a spin class, followed by a yoga class, followed by baked goods.  This efficiently combines my love of spin, yoga, and EATING COOKIES.

 

 

So I show up, only to find out it isn’t EXACTLY Crystallina’s last class.  She is going to India in October, so she couldn’t sign up for the Goodlife slot, so someone is taking over officially, although she will still sub in for him until Octoberish.  Thursday Spinoga lives on!  For now.

On with the show.  Spin class was different than what I normally do.  I normally do “RPM”, it is a series of about 7-9 long songs with a certain strategy to each one.  Home office picks them for the first X number of weeks, then the RPM teacher can mix it up with whatever songs off previous releases they like.  But the kind of Spin classes Crys does, she picks her own setlist and has a free hand with how we bike during those songs.

She said this Spin class was all about “her favorite things”.  Inwardly I groaned.  I knew what that meant.  Glee soundtrack, with a heavy dose of Britney Spears.

The Spin class itself was great!  With shorter songs and a freehand, we could chain our standing climbs or races through multiple songs, which worked well.  Crys often does tabata intervals, but today she did not.  Today she did a pyramid:  30 seconds of heavy resistance work, followed by 30 seconds of ride easy, then 60 of heavy, 30 sec rest, 90 sec heavy, 30 rest, 120 heavy, 30 rest, 120 heavy, then 30, 90, 30, 60, 30, 30, DONE.  Was that confusing?  Basically the workloads climb 30 seconds at a time to hit 2 minutes, then lower by 30 seconds at a time… so 8 working blocks punctuated by 30 sec easy rides.  Pyramid.  I can’t explain it more than that, haha.

I myself mixed the work blocks up when I was given the choice, some were seated climbs, some were standing climbs, some were mixed terrain (up for a bit, down for a bit).  When you add up the time, obviously this took up a big chunk of the class.

After the pyramid we did some “jumps”, meaning up down up down up down, doing it about as fast as you can say it out loud.  That is always fun to end a class with, when everyone is tired!  haha, it’s a good finisher.

then we headed into the quiet room for some yoga.  I knew this yoga would be “novel” for me, since it is different in so many ways than how I typically do it:

– normally I enter yoga calm and relaxed, this one I was coming in sweaty and tired and already very warmed up

– this wasn’t a hot room

– the Goodlife classes tend to attract a more casual crowd, which is totally cool with me, you get a different vibe than a full-packed room of maniacs and stonecold yoga terminators, lol

– Crys expected us to talk back to her, I am used to a quiet room!  lol  I think she actually seemed a little hurt that the people in this class weren’t more verbal and expressive.  I think the room was pretty much either shy people who didn’t want to stick out, or yoga lovers who are used to keeping their mouths shut, haha.

So we did a mostly hip and quad oriented class, which mixes well with the Spin, natch 🙂

Some down dog to warmup, some Dragon (darn Dragon!), dragon to winged dragon, back out, to forward fold to warrior 2 to straight leg triangle to a twisted triangle.  then some pigeon to king pigeon.  some spinal twists, some quad stretches on our stomach, then some hero pose.  long super awesome savasana.  man that hour passed fast!

hard to find a good winged dragon pic

king pigeon

 

I felt super energized during and after the class!  Warrior 2 to triangle was hard on my shoulder, I had to back out of it a bunch of times.  But I tried to keep my breath steady.

After class, cookies!  I wanted to take a pic, but I ate the cookies 🙂

I did take a pic with Crystallina though!  The guy taking the pic had us stand under the studio lights, the lack of me smiling is because I was blinded!  It does make me look a little angelic though 🙂

they call this pose tree in the headlights

 

After class I hit the showers and the sauna.  In the sauna, I practiced my ujjayi breathing, one slow deep breath in and out for each plank left to right in the ceiling.  Deep breath in, feel my lungs fill with warm air, breath out.  OK, 50 planks in the ceiling.  My lips are on fire and sweat is in my eyes, but I did a little more, deep breath in and out for each plank on the far wall, right to left.  OK, only 48 planks on the far wall, how long have I been in here, 15 min?  jeez,better get out.

On the way home, while thinking about Spin, I noticed HOW MANY spiders there are at my bus station.  How lazy are the OC transpo cleaning staff??  It looked like a Stephen King novel in every corner.  People are scared to take the elevator because the webs hang so low, I know I had to double over to pass under them.  Some of these webs are like 60 cm wide!  It’s ridiculous.  I took a pic of one away from the main tunnels, although it doesn’t show up well on camera.

Personally, I think spiders are kinda cool.  But it’s irresponsible to let them turn our bus station into the final scene of IT.

 

Oh well, awesome day!  Want to take one of Crystallina’s classes?  Check out her facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spin-and-Yoga-with-Crystallina/180111792035158

weekend catchup

this weekend, I had a dream.  and that dream involved getting some cardio under my belt.

 

I am dreaming of cardio here… I can multitask!

 

Sometimes I have taken one or both weekend days off, but

A. I was feeling solid

B. I wanted to test the preworkout powder out, without the “pump” pills

C.  I wanted to keep burning away

 

So Saturday I showed up with my neighbour for a little Saturday morning Spin class.  It seems like it is pretty much a different instructor every Saturday morning, must not be a popular slot.  This morning it was an older lady… well I don’t mean OLD, but when the avg age is mid 20s and you see someone obviously over 40, then they are relatively old.  Hey, I love older teachers, they give you more breaks!  Seriously, I love getting pummelled into the ground, but a decent restbreak can be nice too. 🙂

By that logic, I should be down in Boca del Vista, rocking the stationaries with this crafty old vetter

 

To be fair, my teacher on Sat looked AWESOME for her age.  She was hotter in her 40s than most men or women in their 20s.  I can only hope I look that fit in 10 years.

The Sat class itself was pretty good!  She could work the crowd quite well, for a floater she managed to get her hooks into our motivation quite fast.  The only downside is that she had really wild, crazy aggressive eyes and a big wide cocky grin.  She reminded me of Jane Lynch.

 

it was at this point she didn’t seem quite as sexy any more

 

As for the N0 Extreme powder, it held up!  I was sweating like crazy, but it was a clean hard sweat, no jitters, even energy.  Often by the last few songs of the class I feel beat up and depelted, but this time I still had some pep in my step!  The best indicator is typically in our RPM class we do intervals at about Song 5/8 (up, down, up, down), then a straight ahead race on Song 6, then we do some standing climbs on Song 7.  Normally I am pretty wobbly on that last standing climb, but this time I still felt peppy, I could hover low over my bars and sway from side to side like I do at the start of class.

sorta like this

 

Interestingly, this was roughly how I felt Friday when doing my leg workout, the same kind of energy and focus.  Which MIGHT suggest the NO3 Chrome does nothing.  I will keep that in mind.

 

After the hourlong Spin class, I actually still felt ready for more punishment!  Luckily, I has not had my second calf session yet that week, so I did some standing bodyweight calf raises:  4 sets of 85, with about a minute rest between each.  then I went home and chilled out 🙂

 

Sunday!  I got up for another morning Spin class, this time with my fav regular RPM teacher.  Again, took the powder w/o the pills.  Again, crazy solid class.  I had energy from start to finish!  Not that I took it easy on myself.  I was not shy about turning up the resistance, and actually ground to a halt a few times in both Song 3 and Song 7.  Like, you turn it up so high, you HAVE to go into a standing climb, we do a standing climb, then back in the saddle for a “power climb”, then we turn it up again, then another standing climb, then we go back down for another power climb, that was too much for me, my legs came to a complete stop.  Not that I should be surprised, if I am barely making the pedals turn pushing down with all my weight and my muscle strength when I am standing, I am gonna be screwed when I sit down 🙂  So that second power climb I turned the dial down, tried to move my legs, nope, not happening.  I turn it down two more times, ok NOW they can move, so I start chugging away again.

Some people might say I had it up too high, I say NAY.  You have to challenge yourself!  I detest those people that don’t crank up the resistance, and it’s like a whole hour of recovery.  You can do that on your own time, when you show up for a class, you push it beyond your edge and follow the teacher’s lead like the rest of us!  And if you fail and stop, then that is how you get stronger!

 

I read this saying the other day:

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

That is SO true.  People can’t be afraid to fall down.  When trying to get fit, you can’t be afraid to fall down, and you can’t be afraid to rest when it’s over.  These things both make you stronger.  So I cranked up the resistance so high, I spun until I failed.  That to me is a sign of a good class.

 

Again, the preworkout powder held up.  I didn’t do anything after the class, I had errands to run, including typing up this post!  I hope you enjoyed it 🙂

 

I will leave you with some further motivational from once again Arnold

 

emptying the tank

Neighbour asked me if I wanted to go to Spin class at 10 am.  So I showed up at the gym a little after 9 for some back work.

Did some deadlifts, which is one of those big boy moves I am still getting accustomed to, so really focused on form for now.  Then one arm DB rows with no rest between sets.  Then I did closegrip on the hammer strength row machine until the assisted chinup bar was free.

deadlift 185 for 8 reps, 90 sec rest, 8 reps

1 arm DB row 55s for 12, 12

row machine 90 pounds for 25 reps

assisted pullups (40% BW) – widegrip 4, closegrip 5, hammer grip 4

 

Then I loosened up my joints for about a minute, then alternated sets of 5 fingerpad kneeling pushups with 10 eagle claws, 2 sets.  Then I went back to the assisted chinup bar to practice hanging:

15 sec, 30 sec rest

20 sec, 40 sec rest

15 sec, 50 sec rest

10 sec

I think my times were better this time because this chinup bar has fresher rubber, I get a better grip.  New favorite bar to hang from!

 

Then it was time for spin class.  By the third song, I knew I was in trouble.  I was running out of gas to the point where my pedals were stopping, and I was only about a quarter of the way into the class!  That class seemed to go on FOREVER… I just got pulverized.  It was brutal!  If there was a referee, he would have stopped the class and thrown in the towel.

I am not sure what it was:  was I dehydrated?  Were my legs still tired from HIIT on Thursday?  Did I use up my energy on the back workout?  All 3?  Whatever the reason, it was just one of those cardio classes where we empty our tanks long before the finish line.  We have all had them, now was just my turn.

After class I went to do some extra stretches (beyond the ones we normally do for our legs):  L-Sit above the dip station for about 20 seconds, held a short bridge for about 20 sec, some seated twists for about 20 sec each side.  Then I showered and headed home.

By the time I was at the bus stop, my feet were dragging, I was ready to just crawl into a hole and hibernate.  Maybe no spin class for me tomorrow…

 

group play

Wanted to do back this morning, but woke up and wanted to go back to sleep, haha.  “I’ll just do it after work” always sounds great at 5 in the morning, but when its 5 in the afternoon and the gym is packed, you think “I am a moron”.

I actually worked at my job a little late, and got to the gym about 5 pm, and the gym was busy, so I thought, hmmm, spin class in 15 min…

So I just did some assisted chinups while I waited.

5 widegrip

7 closegrip (so close to 8!  arghhh)

4 hammergrip

I had thought hammer would be the easiest for me, but it seems not, oh well.  I intentionally went from the traditionally hardest grip to easiest, so maybe I was just tired.

My shoulder was rather faded after that.  So I headed to Spin class.  And even there I could feel my left shoulder a lot when I was leaning forward on the bars.

One hour class, I liked it.  We did some climbs, some jumps, long endurance races, some hamstring work.  All in all, it was a good flush for my tired legs from yesterday.  We even got in some “tabata” at the end, fancy Japanese word for HIIT.  It was right at the end, 1 cycle of 6 repetitions at a 2:1 ratio.

For those less familiar, that means we went all out for 20 seconds, just race it out like your butt is on fire but with tension cranked as high as you can bring it, then lower tension for 10 seconds, then all out, etc, do that 6 times.  2:1 is an aggressive ratio for first timers, I wonder what the newbies thought of it.  It was funny, at first she suggested 8 repetitions, then someone groaned really hard, so she lowered it to 6, haha.

Group classes are great when your enthusiasm is waning like mine was the past few days.  I do like working out at home, for sure, but something about group cardio just gets me going, I can feed off the energy of the guide, the energy of my neighbor, etc.  It reminds me how much I miss the yoga studio.

The spin teacher was actually teaching a yoga class right after, but my shoulder was groaning at me, so I packed it in.

Still, a good evening!  A good group class was just what I needed.

Spinning Fool

April Fool’s Day!  Today was no joke however, I had work to do.

My neighbour convinced me to go to a 9 am Spin class.  My favorite Spin instructor was leading it, so I was up for it. In cardio in general, I prefer female guides, go figure.  But most female Spin or RPM instructors are WAY too chatty. Andrea though is all business, which I like.

2 songs into the 7 or 8 song set, I knew I was in trouble.  My legs already felt low on energy.  Sure enough by Song 6, I failed out towards the end, my legs came to a complete stop, and I had to dial it back and start up again.  In the final race song, I failed out 3 times!  Basically I emptied my tank out completely.  In that respect, it was a great Spin class.

No time to rest though, I had enough time to go home and switch out gear, then I headed to my backup yoga studio for a Seane Corn-inspired Detox Flow 75 min hot yoga class.  I had never tried this class before, and I was curious.  Basically, it was a bunch of sun salutations and some squats, followed by extended twists, like a mix of Yang and Yin, except focusing on twists.  I like twists, so I was happy, but I don’t know if it’s anything I couldn’t get in greater quantities in a full-on Yin class.

It was a tough class though, because I was pretty worn out.  I forgot my towel for my mat so I was slipping and sliding all over the rubber mat, which hampered the workout unfortunately.

I sweat lots and lots in spin, and lots more in hot yoga, more than usual.  I am fully convinced that Creatine makes me sweat more, especially during the load week.  This makes sense, as Creatine makes you retain water, so when it’s time to sweat, I do it like no other.

By the way, load week is over on the Creatine, now into regular cycle for 3 weeks.

The side effect of evenly spaced out cardio classes like this is that I had very little to eat all day.  I like to go on an empty stomach, or I want to vomit,  So breakfast was just a protein shake, and I had a booster juice in between classes.  When I got home, I cooked up chicken and fish for the week, and ate some fish and kicked back.

My chest was feeling really good during yoga, like it was ready for more work, so tonight I went for the 100 pushup challenge: Week 4, Day 3, Level 2.

23 pushups, 120 sec rest

28, 120 s

23, 120 s

23, 120s

33, DONE

In total 130 pushups, and I was successful and ready to move on to Week 5.  I should point out that these are not full ROM pushups, my chest is not that strong yet.  They were more military style, going slightly more than halfway down, and as quick as possible.  Mathematically, it makes sense to me.  If a pushup is 60% of your weight, am I doing 30 rep sets of 180-90 pound bench presses?  Nope, I am lucky if I do 5 of those.  So, not full, slow ROM, but military-style.  That’s ok though, I will be exploring full ROM in depth when my Convict Conditioning progresses, so I don’t want to milk the 100 pushup challenge for work, I want to get through asap, so I can save energy for CC.

Then I did the 200 Squat Challenge: Week 4, Day 1, Level 3

29 Squats, 60 sec rest

34, 60s

29, 60s

29, 60s

43, DONE

These are “half squats”, not ATG.  They are what this program asks for, so they are what I do.  Total 164 squats, on to Day 2.

I considered doing triceps, but all the pushups wore out my triceps a bit, so I am planning to do them tomorrow morning when I wake up.

Snacked all afternoon in between calisthenics and laundry, bagel, 450g of oven-cooked tilapia, can of veg soup, can of peas and carrots.  Will have some protein before bed, then that’s that!

Overall a good day, I am always happy when I progress on the pushup challenge,