lightly, not being more conscious about my food intake even though I made some gains in the gym (though not too much). But I guess that is the difference between me and a lot of the other people that seem to adorn the web every day. The had some reason to do it, whether it was to spurn the old significant other that made fun of them of just the fact they had more time to go to the gym after giving up television or got a better job. Me, it just seems like my general goal has been aimless and spastic at times. My goal of getting under 230 by Ragnar Las Vegas (November 8th) is so far away and doable that I have kind of slowed myself down in the process. I know I can hit that goal, for one of my goals this year has already happened! Sure, convincing my friend to get a smart phone finally is not much of a goal, but it is saying something. I have almost payed off my mechanic for the car work from more than month ago and I’m about to clear my ticket from my record some time this week. I guess all the money goals and getting even have sort of distracted me for the most part, but hey, sometimes you have to fix your life to fix your health. All this stress about money has often times made me want to stress eat (failed on the control a couple times) and tire me out. But that is part of the process, for having an uneven life can lead to some uneven problems and weight loss. And then throw in my goal to run 600 miles in a calendar year, for I am well on my way to busting that goal, for I am 80% there with four months to go.
Anyway, this week has been kind of strange and stressful for me as I work on a couple things in my life. The first one has been the fact I am trying to reduce or possibly eliminate my coffee drinking. I kinda held back this past week, drinking about 20 ounces a day for the first three days of the week. It was needed I guess, for I really started getting distracted this week with various stuff online and with my old television DVD set Fringe. Since I am on the last season of the show, which I didn’t get to watch when it first came on, I have been staying up too darn late. And then there was the blog and the late evening running, and it kind of presented some sleep problems where needing coffee the next morning was a necessity. But then came Thursday and Friday, where I finally got cracking on the reduction and felt the pain quite significantly. But the weirdest thing was not just the lack of energy I had, and while I would certainly like to blame the coffee, it really had more to do with the difficulty of the workouts I have been doing as of late.
Like always, I seemed to have lit a fire under Jon when I mentioned I need to get some better work done in the gym. Trust me, I need it, but man it hit me pretty hard this week. Last Saturday was a pretty good precursor of what I wanted to see and do, mainly because I keep falling into these bouts of laziness. Anyway, after taking Sunday off (mainly to watch Fringe and walk the dogs and of course, it was Easter so I ate quite a bit of food, hehe), I came upon Monday with a vengeance. My body was feeling much better, for after going the entire weekend without coffee, I had some that morning to kind of relieve the stress. Two days without coffee when you are used to drinking 30 or so ounces can be pretty hardcore. The headaches I had all weekend made me glad I was’t working. Either way, the theme for the week seemed to be dual circuit training, and Monday started off with some heavy arm stuff. I started off with eight Floor Bench Presses at 145 pounds and 8 pull-ups, doing three sets at that weight before pumping the bench press weight up to 155 and doing three more sets (I had to use a band for the pull-ups.…still too damn weak to do them straight up). The tricky part about doing floor bench presses is the fact you cannot lose control, or else you are going to have some serious elbow pain from letting the weight drop. The benefit of doing bench presses that way is it forces you to utilize your entire upper body, with a little bit of engagement in the core. While you might not be able to do as much weight, it is much more comprehensive. My next set then focused on the shoulders and the back, for I was doing 10 barbell rows at 155 and 20 single arm front raises with 40-pound weights. After struggling through the first circuit of exercises, this one turned out to be a breeze. My legs based circuit wasn’t too bad either, for I powered through four sets of Goblet squats with the 53-pound weight and four sets of Squat-Push-Presses with the 55-pound dumbbells. If anything, the full body bench crunches I did to end the session was what really pushed me over the edge, for I was killed just doing those! And then to top it off, I decided to put in some mileage on the track, pushing out four miles as I seek to correct my form a little and regain some strength.
I put in four more miles on Tuesday, so by the time I showed up on Wednesday, I was pretty much tapped. But this was a day I couldn’t afford to really slack off, because Jon had some good stuff planned for me. First, he had me do a plethora of chest presses, first doing 15 reps with 55 pound weights and then doing 10 more with 45-pound weights after just a 15-second rest interval. Throw in some jumping jacks and this was absolutely killing me. While I am pretty good with the chest presses at 55 pounds, I rarely do it for speed, much like what I was doing on Wednesday. Basically, Jon was having me work one specific body group while focusing on a little cardio to tire me out in between. Not only did this force me to be a little tougher and more focused, my entire body was simply burning from the hell he was putting me through. The toughest part of the workout was obviously the legs, and this was quite a doozy. I would start off with 10 hang clean-squats with the heavy sandbag, then move over to do six reps with the dead lift at 225-pounds and then do 10 TRX jump squats. With each round, we took off one rep on the deadlift and added more weight, which eventually saw me doing two lifts at 305 even after all the work I had put in up to that point. Doing this round was so tough that I actually suffered slight cramps when I was doing the jump squats o the TRX, which just went to show that when you really push yourself, unusual injuries are going to occur. Heck, I messed up my arms pretty good doing the sand bag hang cleans, for even though I wore long sleeves, I still got some bruising due to the brushing of the bag.
The injuries didn’t really stop there either. On Friday, I decided to do at least a five-mile run, and the difficulty of doing that is the fact my body still isn’t ready for longer distances. But I have to get the ball rolling sometime. The most difficult aspect right now is keeping my right foot pointing straight, for the fact it still sticks out a little is something I have to keep in mind when running. I see a lot of this poor running form on the tracks at night, for a lot of beginning runners often have that “swooping” motion on one of their legs when they are not paying attention. I can see how it has affected me for the negative, for my IT band and my ankle are sore just from the running. It used to be so easy just letting go and doing whatever way I wanted, but this is the new me that needs to try and actually fix stuff, not let things go. I know I ran a good time that night, averaging out at 9.56 per mile even though I was dragging. Not having my coffee during the day seems to have an adverse affect on my energy levels going into the evening hours, and I noticed I was quite tired on both Thursday and Friday. I suppose this change in my life will be a norm until my body adjusts, but man, it is feeling pretty weird right now. But on the other hand, I did eat kind of light all day!
Saturday was another good day for me. Once again, Jon decided to put me through hell even though I had already been dragged through it during the week. But then again, he didn’t know what I was going through, and I really didn’t want him to know. I wanted to be challenged. Anyway, more circuit training hell, at least that’s what I wanted to label it. I started with some simple stuff, like more goblet squats and step back lunges with overhead presses. But today was “tear my hands” up day, a day where I had to do some monkey bar work and some pull-up work. Throw in some burpees and some exercise ball flies and you had a pretty decent workout (did I mention I needed to do this four times!). Jon challenged me to try six, but there was just no way. By the time I did my final monkey bar run, my hands were shot. The skin on the bottom of my hands were so irritated that I had trouble gripping the dumbbells on my exercise ball flies. I finished my day up with some crunches and had to assess the kind of week I had. For the most part, I did pretty well. I stayed within my one-hour limitations and managed to get the basic challenges that Jon set up for me. While I will someday be able to push it a little harder, it was not to be this week. Personally, I kind of missed doing this kind of training, merely because it gives you a clue about where you might need to improve and give you a reason to push harder, giving you pointers on what you can go faster on and what you can go slower on.
My week of pain is not quite finished, for I intend to do another run today at Reid Park, for there seems to be a pretty good amount of people taking a nice Sunday run or walk. As for me, this week of pain has led to this--wrecked hands, bruised arms, tendinitis inflamed forearms, sore ankles and a searing headache (caffeine is one hell of a drug). Some might say this is stupidity, the results of an idiot taking it too hard to achieve weight loss. For me, sounds like another good week of work.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
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