Monday, 11 June 2012

Stage 4

This week a few of us are moving on to stage 4! I cannot believe how quickly time is flying. I cannot believe I have stuck with this program - I owe all of you a huge thanks for that :) I cannot believe it's time to right another tutorial already.

Actually, I noted with relief when I previewed this stage about a week ago, it's not.

Stage 4 in an exact replica of stage 2, just mixing up the number of reps and sets. For those of you still clawing your way determinedly through stage 2, this might not sound all that appealing. You're getting bored, you need a change, etc. But for those of us that have completed stage 3, stage 2 seems like a breath of fresh air. Or perhaps like coming home from a hard day and sliding into your favorite pair of slippers. Ahhhh.

That said, 3X120 second planks is not exactly a day at the spa. I just completed A1, and I'm shaking. On the plus side, no bodyweight matrix!!


Monday, 4 June 2012

I Joined A Gym!!

For the past few months I have been wanting to join a gym but most of them cost $50 a month plus membership fees of $100+. That's more than our budget can handle right now, especially when the fees come with a "cancellation fee". Driving to karate last week I noticed a gym that advertised for $12 a month! That's more like what I can handle;) so this afternoon after dropping the kiddo at karate I went and talked to them about memberships. The $12 membership only allowed Monday, Wednesday, Friday access. Most times that would probably work but I want all the time access! For $16.95 I can go anytime I want- 24/7!!

I signed up and worked out! I'm so sore! I can barely move! But in a good way, ya know!!

I'm looking forward to continuing the workouts at the gym! And I can do cardio too! Yay!!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Stage 3

Next week is our last week of stage 2, and we've decided to just jump into stage 3 without a break.  The ladies doing this with me didn't do stage 1, so we've only been doing this 3 weeks and don't think our bodies need a break yet.  We're going to do it at the end of stage 3 though.

The question I have for those of you already in stage 3, how long (not including intervals) does the workout take?  We're currently doing it on our lunch hour.  Anything over 45 minutes and we'll have to adapt the plan.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Stage 3, B Tutorial

Your new B workout has a few oldies but goodies: swiss-ball crunches, prone jackknife, lateral flesion, and prone cobra all make a reappearance, as does your lat pulldown or home alternative. But then there's the rest of the workout :)

Romanian deadlift/bent-over row

I couldn't find a really good video example of this. In the book, the explanation seems to imply you do a full deadlift, then bend partially, perform a row, come back up. Then repeat the process for your reps. All the videos I find make it look as though the row is incorporated in the bent over part of the deadlift. Does that make any sense? What is your take on this exercise? For my part, unless I learn differently, I am going to essentially do one deadlift, followed by a row, and repeat to end of set.

Partial single-leg squat

This video shows how to and NOT to do this simple-looking but actually very challenging move. Plus, I'm a sucker for a British accent!



Back extension

Video shows a home alternative done with the ball.



YTWL

The description in the book REALLY confused me. This guy breaks it down and shows a ball alternative.



Once again, the B workout includes a 15 minute interval section. Go get 'em, girls!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Quick Update

I restarted stage 2 on Tuesday with my friends Kristi and Kelly.  Kelly is my running buddy and wanted to start a weights plan.  Kristi is our other "girls lunch" friend and girls lunch has fallen to the wayside since we're doing most of our workouts during our lunch hour.  I'm glad she decided to join us because she is a riot.  When Lisa heard about it, she ask if she could join us.

Breaking up into pairs worked much better than all 3 of us trying to rotate.  For the alternating sets, Lisa & I would do one exercise, Kelly & Kristi the other, then we would swap out.  I like this very much.  I think that stage 1 was basic enough that it won't be too detrimental for them to skip.  They are starting out with lighter weights, but I'm sure will build as we progress over the next 4 weeks.

They think I'm crazy for doing the Swiss ball crunches with straight arms and an 8# weight overhead.  For kicks and giggles (and mostly because I like it when people think I'm crazy bad ass) I weighted the reverse crunches. I only used a 2 #er, because I was afraid it would slip from between my ankles and bash me in the face.  I didn't feel a difference on the weight, but it did help me to know that it can be done.  Also?  I've got some strong core muscles under all this flab!!!!

If I may bitch for just a moment (but no more than a moment lest I get into a slump) but having firm arms makes allergy shots hurt more.  Having pumped arms from lifting weights only hours before makes them hurt like a mother.  HOWEVER a couple people commented on my pictures from the 5K (the tutu one) about how awesome my arms look, so thanks Iron Sisters!!

PS - I just noticed that the tutorial posts are marked over there  >>>>  awesome idea.  Thanks Karena!!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

bodyweight matrix

The thing about the bodyweight matrix?

 DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE BODYWEIGHT MATRIX. 

 It sounds so simple, I didn't even bother including a description in my tutorial post. 24 squats, 12 lunges each leg, 12 jumping lunges each leg, 24 jump squats. Time yourself, rest, do it a second time.
 Simple, right?



 Halfway through the jumping lunges, done with ridiculously bad form, the first run through, I was done in. I had to take a break. Then take another break halfway through the squats. My second set I held onto a chair for balance during the jumping lunges, because my legs were literally shaking.

I consider myself to be in fairly good shape. Certainly the best shape of my life. But this killed me. Today I am sore and walking stiffly, and kinda sorta dreading tomorrow's B workout.


 DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE BODYWEIGHT MATRIX. 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Stage 3, A Tutorial

How many of you are still hanging with me? Anyone ready to move on to stage three this next week? Here come your new tutorials, in the hopes that I'm not flying solo :)

I need to get back into this. I took a week off to let my wrist heal - feeling much better after about five days off. But my body? Is feeling antsy. And heavy. Not heavy as in having gained weight, but heavy as in slow and cumbersome. I've come to really rely on these workouts to lift me up, body and spirit.

I'm excited for Monday! I want to hit stage 3 hard!! And? I want to use the three-ish weeks of stage 3 to hit hard on the nutritional front as well. I keep saying that, but I keep letting it fall by the wayside. This time, I'm going to train hard, and eat right, and see what I can accomplish in that relatively short period of time.

I'm sure that by now everyone can decipher the workouts in the book, so I'm not going to break them out in complete detail like I have in the past. I'm also sure that Alwyn Cosgrove wouldn't appreciate me outlining all of his workouts in high detail for free to anyone that did a google search. He worked hard to design the program and co-write the book, I feel that breaking down any more stages would be a bit of a slap in the face, you know? Also, you have the exercise names, sets, and reps in your spreadsheets.

However, I am going to link to some videos for a few of the exercises that raised questions in my mind, and, I assume, in your minds as well.

one-armed dumbbell snatch




single-leg Romanian deadlift



This is Stumptous, if you didn't already know. Her site has a wealth of information for women lifting weights. I only wish she had more videos. This one does a great job of breaking down what this exercise is doing, correct form tips, et al.

dumbbell single-arm overhead squat



Another one giving a good explanation of what's being worked and what to watch for.

reverse wood chop



Another really good explanation of what this exercise is accomplishing. She shoes the home, dumbbell version, but also addresses what to do if you're using the gym set up.

And there you have it - the crux of your A workout! Is there anything in the actual workout you have questions about? The bodyweight matrix? Hit me up in the comments if you need me to delve into anything else. The new B workout will be up by Monday!