Get in Shape Challenge Day 70 – Monday 24th October

As I write this post today it has occurred to me that it is the end of ten weeks since this challenge began, and it is interesting to see how far I have come over the course of this time. I have lost around five kg going from 84 kg down to just below 78kg depending on the time of day and I know that I will have put on muscle, meaning that the amount of fat I have lost is much more than that. I also know that this is true as I now fit into all my size 32 jeans way too easily, infact, all of my trousers for work are now proving to be way too big for me with me needing to tighten my belt and actually put extra holes into it to help keep my pants up! Unfortunately I still am holding that bit of fat around the middle of my stomach, I can feel the definition of the muscles underneath it strengthening, they just can’t break through as of yet.

Today’s session was a cardio session and I really didn’t feel like doing it. I had done extra students ,today at Mater Dei College due to the CHOGM public holiday in Perth on Friday and had other errands to run in the afternoon before getting to the gym. I decided to commit to the session and got to the gym in Subiaco just after 3:30pm. After dropping off my gear n the locker room I headed for the treadmill and started the usual routine with my run increasing the speed every five minutes from 7.5km/h to 10, 12.5 and finally on 14.5km/h each five minute interval. I managed to do this quite easily today which might mean I need to increase either the time or the intensity I spend on the treadmill in the coming sessions this week.

After finishing the run I headed for the ergo for my row. Today I was going to row for 10 minutes and decided to see how close I could get to the 2.5km mark in this time. he approach I used today was to try and keep the splits at as close to the 2 minute mark as possible to really be able to have a good crack at this elusive distance come the last 2 minute interval. I managed to keep the split fairly close throughout the first 8 minutes with it always being between the 1 minute and 58 seconds and 2 minute and 4 seconds for the splits. In the last two minutes i really lifted the intensity to try and push through the barrier, again I fell agonisingly short covering a distance of 2.481km in the 10 minute period.

I was absolutely spent and headed to the bikes for my 10 minute ride. I started out quite slowly for this one and had fallen 10 seconds behind my usual pace by the 2 minute mark. I decided to turn this around and managed to get it back to being ahead of the pace by 10 seconds by the 7 minute mark. My goal changed to see how close to 5.5km I could get by 10 minutes, by the 8 minute mark I was out to 14 seconds ahead of schedule for the 5kms and by the 9 minute mark 20seconds ahead of schedule. As with the row I fell short only covering a distance of 5.3km in the 10 minute period.

I headed over to the mat area and completed my abs exercises, this time with no cramping in my abs, before completing the session with my stretching. I am really happy with how my fitness has improved over this 10 week period, I feel one area I will start to look at working on next will be my sprinting ability and recovery from sprints, this will probably take place over the summer in an outside setting. Bring on Summer and the chance to keep pushing the boundaries and limits of what I can do and achieve.

Get in Shape Challenge Day 69 – Sunday 23rd October

I am feeling really good about myself and the week’s training that has just finished. I managed to complete five of the six sessions for the first time in many weeks and set a number of personal bests in terms of weights being lifted and the number of repetitions achieved. I also have had a number of good conversations with friends of mine who are also training hard on various supplements that might work well for me and helped me make the decision to look into trying something to burn the last bit of fat I just haven’t been able to budge from around my stomach region.

I bought “Hyrdoxy-Cut” on Thursday and started taking it yesterday, I am interested into whether there will be any side-effects into taking this or not as it is caffeine based. Today at my fiance’s family lunch to celebrate her nephew’s 5th birthday I think that I might have experienced some side effects to this supplement. I found myself feeling very warm, light-headed and seating more than usual…could these be possible side effects to this new supplement?

I think over the next few days I will make sure I keep my water intake up and continue to monitor how I am feeling

Get in Shape Challenge Day 68 – Saturday 22nd October

Today I managed to achieve some new personal bests on some of the exercises I have been doing over the course of the Get in Shape Challenge. Whilst I always find that achieving these goals makes that particular session feel like I bigger accomplishment I am quite aware that this is only possible due to all of the sessions I have committed to previously where I have seen little or even at times no growth whatever. As I learnt from a Creative Arts Pastor from a church over in Sydney many years ago, to gain the skill first you need to have the will and then you need to do the drills.

The weights session today I did after having been down in Claremont accompanying one of my clarinet students in their second grade AMEB clarinet practical exam. After dropping off my gym bag in the locker I headed for the bench (which had just become free) and loaded it up with a heavier weight than I usually start with at 65kg which I completed a full set of 12 repetitions on this weight. For my second weight I loaded the bar to the weight of 72.5kg and completed another full set of 12 repetitions, the first time this has happened since increasing the weight levels. This achievement made me feel confident that I could achieve a personal best on the third set at the weight of 77.5kg, I started the third set and managed to do a complete four repetitions on it which is a new best for me, this really is getting me excited as my overall body weight is now sitting at 78.1kg so it is almost my own body weight I am benching now. Maybe in the next week I will look at increasing the weight to 80 kg, we’ll just have to wait and see.

From the bench press I headed over to the incline press and made the decision to increase the dumb-bell weight to 27.5kg to see if I could possibly do three sets with this weight. I managed to complete sets of 12, 10 and 9 with this heavier load, the last set was exceptionally difficult to get up into position and the last few repetitions really took a lot of effort to complete. In between each set I did my usual vertical lifts and managed a complete three sets of 12 repetitions with the 12.5kg dumb-bells.

I made the decision to stick with the 20kg dumb-bell for the shoulder press exercises, my reasoning for this was not because I was worried about not being able to lift the 22.5kg (I have done this before) but more to not over stretch my arms after already maxing the last two exercises. The first 2 sets on 20kg I managed to complete quite easily, the third I did only get out 10 repetitions before my arms failed, the hardest part of the exercises was definitely getting the weights up and into position. I alternated the shoulder presses with my sitting bicep curls, using the 12.5kg dumb-bells I managed to do sets of 12, 12 and 10 repetitions.

My sitting shoulder flies were the next exercise that I was going to do and I decided to increase the weight to the 15kg dumb-bells. I have been sitting on the 12.5kg dumb-bells for quite and whilst  have been talking about increasing the weight I hadn’t yet done so and given my success with other exercises figured I would give it a shot. This proved really successful with me completing a full three sets on the 15kg dumb-bells. I kept using the 12.5kg dumb-bells for my triceps extensions which occurred in between each set of flies and on these too I managed to complete a full three sets of 12 repetitions each arm.

I kept the 20kg dumb-bell and did my dead lifts to work my deltoids next and completed a full 3 sets of 12 repetitions on each arm, next week I will increase this weight to the 22.5kg dumb-bell to try and start pushing this exercise more. The gym was quite busy by this stage and I was a bit worried I wouldn’t et room back in the free weights area so i moved onto my bicep curls using the 35kg bar-bell and my triceps dips. I completed sets of 12, 10 and 6 repetitions for the biceps with 3 complete sets of 12 repetitions for the tricep dips.

Still the lat-machines were all in use, however the assisted pull up machine wasn’t, I headed over to it and set the weight on it to 20 and completed my first set to work my lats with 12 repetitions. For the second and third set I reduced the weight to 15 and managed to complete a set of 8 and then a set of 6 repetitions.

To finish the workout for the day I headed over to the mat area and did my abdominal exercises completing all of them as I had on the previous day. An interesting thing that I haven;t experienced before happened after finishing my set of 30 sit ups. I bent over to pick up the fit ball and my abs started to go into cramping, I immediately stretched them out to prevent htis from happening, it was just the weirdest experience I have ever had.

When I got home I took my first tablet of the Hydroxy Cut to see if it will help me lose this last bit of flab around my stomach and chest area. It says that over the next three days I need to take one tablet twice a day before increase to two for the next three days and then finally the full dose of three twice a day. I am going to have to really be disciplined with my food intake as these need to be taken a half hour to hour before my meals. Hopefully there won’t be any huge side effects…I will definitely make note of any that I experience over the next few weeks.

Tomorrow is my rest day, I have managed five sessions this week which is a big improvement, however if I don’t continue next week in a similar manner it is all meaningless.

Get in Shape Challenge Day 67 – Friday 21st October

Today I was so unenthused about going to the gym and doing my cardio session, this might have been as a result of not getting up in the morning and therefore having to do it at the end of a long day teaching or maybe just because I was feeling tired and demotivated, either way it was the last thing on my mind. As I was sharing yesterday, I have learnt that at times these can be the very best sessions so it is important to push through that “feeling” and just commit fully to the task, which I did manage to do.

I arrived at the gym just after 4:30pm and started my usual run on the treadmill, the previous cardio session had seen me not complete the full distance due to soreness in my legs and not wanting to pull any muscles at this stage of the challenge. My aim today was to hopefully runout the full distance up to the speeds that I had previously been doing which I did manage to do running at speeds of 7.5, 10, 12.5 and 14.5km/h in 5 minute intervals increasing the speed each time.

I headed onto the ergo machine next for my row, for today’s row I wanted to row for the full 10 minutes and just see how far I could get in this time. I started out at a stroke rate of 32 per minute and my average split for 500m was sitting just above the 2 minure mark, I maintained this intensity for the first 8 minutes of the row and realised that if I pushed really hard I might make the 2.5km mark by the 10 mintes. Unfortunately I just fell short of the rowing 2.4km in 10 minutes, I guess that the 2.5km is going to be a target for me to start aiming for in future sessions.

My cycle was next and I started with the intention of trying to ride 5.5km in the 10 minutes, however at the 2.5 minute mark I started to feel my left hamstring down near my knee started to pull, it felt like there was a massive knot starting to build in it so rather than push it I decided to stop my ride at this point.

To finish with I headed over to the stretching area and grabbed myself a mat and medium sized fit ball. I had not done my abs workout for the day so decided to do this before stretching. I completed the usual abs routine of 30 sit ups followed by a 30 second bridges in the horizontal and alternate side positions. This was followed by my usual stretching.

Tomorrow I start adding to my supplements the Nitro-tech Hyrdroxy Cut I bought yesterday to try and help me burn that last little bit of flab I have. I have no idea how that is going to or what effect it will have on me but I figure that for the next two weeks I can give it a shot and see what the results are.

Get in Shape Challenge Day 66 – Thursday 20th October

I found today’s weights session a very difficult thing to commit to which, as I write this, makes me think of the fact that to be committed to a task can at times be a challenging exercise. So often in life we are controlled by how we feel rather than what we need to do to be successful and live up to the full potential inside of us. I have found that it’s in these times in staying focused and on task despite the lack of feeling like doing something that leads to the development of character and discipline in my life and in the long term I see the most reward from pushing through these hard times.

When the alarm went off this morning at 5:15am I just wanted to roll over and turn it off, I cam every close to doing this but managed to pull myself out of bed and do my morning routine of abs exercises before heading out the door to the gym. It’s already well and truly light by the 5:35am mark when I am on the road and it is interesting to see the increase in traffic since the days have been getting lighter earlier. I suppose it goes to show that a number of people are effected by the rising of the sun and start their days according to this rather than having the discipline of getting up regardless of the level of light there is outside.

After dropping off my stuff in the locker I headed to the bench and started my first set. Today’s task was to try and build on what I achieved on Tuesday’s session, with this in mind I loaded the bar to 65kg and did a complete set of 12 repetitions. My second set was also very successful managing 8 repetitions on 72.5kg, the last couple of reps in this set were quite a challenge to get out but this didn’t stop me deciding to try and push the limits on 77.5kg for my third set which I managed a full 4 repetitions.

I then continued my session on the incline press and vertical lifts using the usual dumb-bell weights of 25 and 12.5kg respectively completing the exercises alternatively. My incline press went really well today, as usual, the hardest part was lifting the weights into the starting position but once they were there I did manage to do sets of 12 , 11 and 9 repetitions which I am quite satisfied with. The vertical lifts I am finding challenging as already my arms were starting to feel fatigued. I did manage to complete a set of 12 repetitions for my first set followed by sets of 12 and 8 repetitions for my next two.

Moving onto the shoulder press and bicep curls I dropped my weight to 20kg for the shoulder press. I managed to complete the first set of this very easily and for a moment thought that perhaps I should have selected the 22.5kg weight for it. This thought was shortly lived as when it came to my second and third sets I did struggle to get the weight into position and then had to really push hard to complete both sets with the 12 repetitions that I was hoping for. My bicep curls with the 12.5kg went quite well with me completing a set of 12 repetitions followed by 12 and 9 repetitions.

At this point  moved onto a flat bench for the sitting shoulder flies and triceps extensions. I haven’t increased the weight with these exercises for quite a while and this morning was no different with me opting to still use the 12.5kg dumb-bells. The shoulder flies I did a full three sets of 12 repetitions however the last set was a total struggle and I am surprises I managed to get completely through it. My triceps extensions I found exceptionally difficult on both arms form the first set, for some reason today my arms were feeling tired. Although this was the case I did manage to push through and complete 12 repetitions on each arm.

I moved onto my dead lifts to work my deltoid muscle group on the flat bench next as my next exercise. I picked up the 20kg dumb-bel and completed 12 repetitions on both arm quite easily. I was also quite impressed with my technique today on this exercise, so much so that i think I will now need to increase the weight come Saturday’s session.

I had a look over to the lat-pulldown machines to see if they were available, which they weren’t so I moved onto my biceps curls and triceps dips. I picked up the 35kg bar-bell for my biceps and managed to complete a full first set of 12 repetitions. This first set I did find a lot more difficult than usual which made me realise that these sets were going to be a struggle to get through. The second set of biceps I did manage to get out 10 repetitions with another 9 repetitions occurring on the third set. As usual, my triceps dips were completed easily with 12 repetitions per set.

Today’s session ended up being great. This was not necessarily because of any new personal bests but more because it really felt like a test as to whether I could commit. I didn’t feel like doing this workout and wanted to stay in bed however I know that from doing it I will reap great results going forward which makes me feel really good about the decision to stay committed when the feeling wasn’t there.

Get in Shape Challenge Day 65 – Wednesday 19th October

Today marks the first disappointment for the week with me missing my morning session. I had set my alarm to go off at 5:05am with the hope being that I would get a cardio session prior to meeting with my mate Sam for coffee in West Perth at 7:00am. Unfortunately, I slept through my alarm and didn’t wake up until 5:35am which made it too late to get both coffee with Sam and the cardio session in.

My plan then changed to maybe be able to get in the session after coffee but then I remembered that I had organised a meeting with an online bridal advertising website who have approached me to see if I’d be interested in advertising my business The Wedding Music Planner through their site. This meeting was supposed to be at 9:00amm and as I need a good hour to get all the cardio stuff done and me dressed afterwards just knew it wouldn’t be possible. The really frustrating thing for me now is that the time is 9:15am and this business still has not called me to go through this website.

I am grateful that I have an indoor soccer game tonight for a little bit of fitness work, however I find that these games aren’t really that good for my overall fitness. I always finish the games with a lot of energy and not feeling like I really have done a workout at all. I am still hoping to start ramping up the intensity of the sessions and number of them to include a cardio session 5 – 6 times a week plus then weights on top of this. Whether this is realistic or not I am still not sure, I suppose until I start it this will just be hollow words but with 3 and a half weeks to go in the challenge I really am keen to give this everything I have got!

Get in Shape Challenge Day 64 – Tuesday 18th October

Today’s weights session is the first one I have done in a week. My lack of commitment to the training routine is something that I am going to try really hard to turn around this week, but, as I said yesterday, I feel that this will just need to be done at a speed of one day at a time.

I rose at 5:10am and felt absolutely terrible, my body has gotten used to staying in bed longer and that when coupled with terrible hay fever made me just want to go back to sleep. I forced myself out of bed and did my abdominal exercises before picking up my gym bag and heading into the gym. I had decided to prepare everything for the bag the night before to take out another objection to me actually following through with completing this session.

I arrived at the gym at 5:50am and was grateful that they had already opened up as it was raining outside and I would’ve hated standing around in the wet. After dropping my bag off in a locker I headed for the bench and loaded up the bar-bell to 65kg for my first set of 12 repetitions which I managed to complete quite easily. After a short break I continued with a lift of 72.5kg which I did 11 repetitions on before completing 3 complete repetitions on 77.5kg. This is the heaviest I have managed to do to date and I was happy with this at the beginning of a session.

Moving onto the incline press and my vertical lifts I picked up the usual 25kg and 12.5kg dumb-bells to alternate between the exercises. My first set of incline press went well with me managing to get through a complete 12 repetitions. I did struggle a little to get the weights into position however did manage to push through all repetitions once i got the weights up. My first set of the lifts also went really well with me completing all 12 repetitions on each arm. The second set of incline press was a little more difficult and I managed to complete 12 repetitions with 12 repetitions following per arm on the vertical lifts second set. My third sets I did struggle with, I did get out 10 repetitions on the incline press but only managed 6 repetitions before failing on the vertical lifts. This is an area that hopefully come Thursday I will find a little more form, I do think that the increased weight on the bench press probably had an effect on y overall form on this exercise.

My next exercises were the shoulder press (no incline) and bicep curls using the 20kg and 12.5kg dumb-bells respectively. Recently I had been using the 22.5kg dumb-bell for the shoulder press and was hoping to do this again, however all the 22.5kg weights were being used and I was not confident that I’d be able to safely get the 25kg into position without a spotter so opted for the lighter and safer option. I think that this proved to be a good option with me completing all three sets of shoulder with 12 repetitions where I could really focus on my technique and form making sure that I went all the way down to the lowest point before pushing back up. My bicep curls with the 12.5kg dumb-bells went well with repetitions of 12, 12 and 8, the final set despite me pushing really hard to get up the 9th repetition I just couldn’t lift it.

My triceps extensions and sitting shoulder flies were the next exercises I did and I used only the 12.5kg dumb-bell to complete these. I managed a complete three sets of 12 repetitions on the shoulder flies and would really like to try and increase this weight in the future but am worried that I will lose technique if I do go to a heavier load. My triceps extensions saw me complete 12 repetitions on each arm for all three sets. I was experiencing a bit of soreness in my elbows throughout this exercise so I will have to watch and be mindful of that come Thursday’s session.

I stayed on the flat bench for my next exercise, my dead lifts to target my deltoid muscle group. Using the 20kg weight I completed 12 repetitions for all three sets on each arm. At this point I looked over to the lat-pulldown machine and saw that it was being used so I moved straight onto my bicep and triceps exercises the hope being that by the time I had finished these that one of the 4 machines I could use would have become available for use. I picked up the 35 kg barbell for my bicep curls and did the first set which I managed a complete 12 repetitions keeping good form throughout the lifts, the last few were a bit challenging however i did manage to push through them. My second set of curls was more challenging and I only managed to get out 11 repetitions, it was on the third set that I really struggled managing only 7 repetitions. The triceps dips I got out all 12 repetitions for all 3 sets.

After completing these exercises I looked over to the lat-pull down area to see al the machines still in use! Unfortunately with school being back i didn’t have time to hang around this morning so I had to leave the session there and headed off to the change rooms for my shower and to get ready for my day of teaching.

Later in the day I have had an interesting conversation with one of the other music tutors who also works out. I was telling him how I am still having this trouble with losing the last bit of flab from my stomach area regardless of how well I eat or how much cardio I do. He has given me a suggestion of a supplement to take that he is using at the moment and having some success with. I think come Thursday I might go and grab myself some of this and add it to the various things I am currently taking to see if it will help me reach the goals before the end of the challenge.

Get in Shape Challenge Day 63 – Monday 17th October

Today’s session is the first one I have managed to actually do since last Tuesday morning (a weights session). I would like to be able to give all sorts of excuses as to why this actually occurred but really at the end of the day there’s not much of an excuse that can really add up to more than just excuses. Now having said that, my reasons for not many sessions have largely come down to me not being able to get out of bed in the morning, I have found it increasingly difficult to do this as the hay fever season has continued with me waking up with blocked sinuses and watering / itching eyes – it’s been really terrible! This has lead to me not getting to the gym early in the day which in turn  has meant that I just haven’t had the chance to get there later on. Like I said, really weak excuses and it really is frustrating as this is a few weeks that I now won’t be able to get back in training regime going forward…and there’s now only just under four weeks to go in it!

Today’s session was my regular Monday cardio one, I am back teaching this week and my hope is that this regularity in routine will help me in my persuit of regular training sessions as well. I headed to the gym after finishing my teaching at MDc and after dropping off my gear in the locker room and getting changed I headed to the treadmill for my run. Today I decided to do a minimum of 20 minutes increasing the speed every 5 minutes as I have been doing. I started with the first speed of 7.5km/h and increased it to 10km/h followed by up on the 12.5km/h. During the 12.5km/h (just before the 14 minute mark) I accidentally hit the emergency stop button or at least I think I must have as the treadmill stopped dead and I almost ran through it! With this inconvenience having happened I restarted it with the speed on 12.5km/h for a minute before increasing to 14km/h for the last 5 minutes.

From this point I moved onto the ergo and rowed for 5 minutes, I have been doing 10 minutes bit figured that today I would ease back into the workload rather than overdo things and blow up my body. By the 5 minute mark I had rowed 1260m at an average 500 metre split of 1minute and 59 seconds with a stroke rate of 31 strokes per minute. From this I moved onto the cycle for my final ten minutes of exercise.

My time on the bike at the end of these sessions has also been quite beneficial for me, I didn’t know how this 10 minute session would go considering I hadn’t done a session on the bike for a week. To my surprise my legs were feeling quite good throughout the ride and by the 8minute minute mark I had passed the 4km mark. I wanted to see if I could push out top the 5.5km mark at this point, it would be a stretch for me but just maybe it’d be possible. By the nine minute mark I knew this was beyond me as was passing the 5km mark at 9 minutes and thirteen seconds, it was now just a matter of how far I could go in the last 45 seconds that being 5.34kms.

I finished my session with the usual stretching exercises, as I sat there I thought about the missed sessions and opportunities over the past two weeks. I would really like to see myself ramp up the effort over this next four weeks, perhaps a cardio session every day (so two times at the gym on weights days) but I think a may take it one day at a time at the moment and see how far I get – I’m making it a one day at a time mentality from now on.

Get in Shape Challenge Day 57 – Tuesday 11th October

Today’s weights session was to be the first one I have done in a week so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I had decided as I was on holidays I wouldn’t do a mad dash into the gym at 6:00am today, I have been finding that physically over the past few weeks my energy levels have been down and the extra sleep I figured would do me good.

I headed into the gym just after 12:30pm and got stuck into the weights straight away with my bench press. I stacked the usual first weight of 62.5kg onto the bar and pushed out 12 repetitions very easily. I think that come Thursday’s session I might increase this starting weight to 65kg to start to push the limits a little more. I bumped the bar up to 70kg for the next lift, my aim was to get out a minimum of six repetitions on this weight, whilst it was a much harder workload than the previous set I did manage to get out 9 repetitions on this new weight which I am quite happy with. For the third set I increased the weight, this time to 75kg, this is the weight I did manage to lift a week ago and I wanted to see if I could get at least one repetition out of it. I managed to get that one repetition and unfortunately no more. Thursday’s session my aim will be to improve on the number of repetitions I get out on 75kg, it would be great if over the next couple of weeks I could it up to me lifting 80kg which is more than my actual body weight as I come in at 78kg at the moment.

After finishing this third set I headed over to continue my usual routine with the incline press using 25kg dumb-bells and the shoulder lifts using 12.5kg dumb-bells. I thought for a moment about increasing the weight of the dumb-bells for the shoulder lifts for 15kg but thinking about it being the first session for a week decided it’d be better to not over push things, after all, I do have an indoor soccer game tomorrow night. Alternating these exercises I began my first set of the incline press, I found the 25kg dumb-bells feeling much heavier than they did last week, I guess that a week off has made me lose a little bit of form, none the less I did manage to complete the full 12 repetitions. The shoulder lifts I also managed to complete the full 12, although as with the incline press it felt a lot harder than it usually did. The second set of both exercises proved harder still, I almost didn’t get the 25kg up into position but managed to and only got out 6 full repetitions before completing another 12 repetitions on the shoulder lifts. I didn’t know how the third set was going to turn out, already I had struggled with the second set, I decided to not drop the weight but to go for it and managed a better outcome than the second set with a full 9 repetitions completed on the incline press. My armas did give way on the shoulder lifts with me only managing a total of 8 repetitions on each arm.

I continued the session with my next alternate exercises, the shoulder press and bicep curls. I decided to use the 22.5kg dumb-bells and 12.5kg dumb-bels respectively for these exercises although I wasn’t sure how I’d go considering the trouble I had with the 25kg dumb-bells just before. I managed to get the 22.5kg into position for the first set of the shoulder press and completed a full 12 repetitions although it was a struggle. The bicep curls I managed the full 12 repetitions with each arm. My second set of the shoulder press I almost didn’t get the weights into the correct position, my arms just felt so weak! After much struggling I did get them up and managed to complete 10 repetitions, the bicep curls that followed were also a lot more of a strain although I did complete the full 12 repetitions. For the third set I decided I should drop the weight down, I was worried that I wouldn’t get the weights into the correct position and as I didn’t have anyone spotting me didn’t want to risk injury. I changed the 22.5kg dumb-bells for 20kg dumb-bells and proceeded with the third set, I managed to get the dumb-bells into position and got out 10 repetitions before failing similarly the biceps failed with the 12.5kg dumb-bells on the 8th repetition. A bit of work on these ones is definitely needed!

I moved onto my shoulder flies and triceps curls and again was tempted to increase the weight from what I usually used. Again my common sense given it was the first session in a week got the better of me and I kept the 12.5kg dumb-bells. I completed three sets of 12 repetitions for each exercise on this one…maybe I could have increased that weight a little after all!

My deltoids got worked next with the 20kg dumb-bell. I managed to complete three sets of 12 repetitions each arm quite easily. I am feeling much more confident with my overall techinque now so I might think about increasing the weight to 22.5kg come Thursday morning.

I went and got the 35kg bar-bell to work my biceps next as well as prepared to do the triceps dips. The first set of the bicep curls I managed the full 12 repetitions, the second set was a lot more difficult but again I managed to get out 12 repetitions. On the third set of the bicep curls my biceps got to that failing point at the 8th curl, regardless of how hard I tried I just couldn’t lift that bar past halfway. I imagine that those sorts of things must look really funny to everyone else in the gym, it is just such a weird feeling to be trying as hard as you can but just not being able to lift a weight that previously you had been. In between each set of the biceps I did my triceps dips and completed all 12 repetitions each time.

To finish off the routine I headed over to the lat pull-down machine. Setting the weight to 60 I started the first set and managed to complete a full 12 repetitions. I didn’t increase this weight, this was largely due to the amount of exertion it was taking me towards the end of the set to get out repetitions. This was a good move as I only managed to get out 10 repetitions and 8 repetitions on the final two sets.

Overall I am quite happy with how the session went today, there appears to be some areas that I can sow some improvement in relatively quickly. Tomorrow I have to be up at 5:00am and be at the gym by 6:00am as I am meeting a good friend for coffee in West Perth (just up the road) at 7:00am. That coffee will be a great reward from a hard session!

Two sessions out of two done this week, tomorrow I hope to make it three out of three!

Get in Shape Challenge Day 56 – Monday 10th October

Today’s session is the first one since really sitting back and reflecting on what has been nothing short but a terrible couple of weeks worth of training. I was really keen in making sure that I was up early and ready to hit the gym hard before the day got under way as I knew that if I missed the morning session then there was not going to be another chance for me later on in the day. My alarm went off this morning and I rose and headed into the gym by just after 6:30am, as I am on holidays at the moment I can afford to have a slightly later starting time although I don’t want to get into the habit of sleeping in too long.

After dropping my things off in one of the lockers I headed for the treadmill to start my run, I had no idea how this was going to go as the last session I had was a week ago and I had had some problems with muscle soreness in my right leg (both quadricep and calf) in the latter part of last week which had prevented me doing the Friday morning session. I began the run on 7.5km/h and held that for five minutes, my intentions were to follow the usual routine that I have been doing of increasing the speed every five minutes throughout the run. I increased the speed to 10km/h and then to 12.5km/h, during the 12.5km/h part of the run I felt my left hamstring start to pull at times, not wanting to risk pulling anything and setting back the training for a few weeks I decided to stop the run at the 15 minute point by which time I had run 2.8km.

I headed over to the ergo machine to do my row for the day. I had decided prior to starting the session that my aim was going to be to row for 10 minutes rather than for specific distance like the 2km mark I had been doing. My reasoning for changing this up was that I wanted to firstly see how far I could row in that time as well as to push the endurance side of my fitness. I began the row at a steady pace averaging the 2 minutes and five seconds for every 500 metres, I was keeping an ok stroke rate of 32 strokes per minute. As I cam up to the five minute mark I wasn’t too far behind the usual sort of distance I had been when rowing for a set distance of 2km, it would have been less than 100m distance at this point int time. As I cross the 8 minute mark in time I normally am approaching the 2km point, this time I wasn’t too far off this being at 1.9km. I though to myself that possibly I could get to the 2.5km if I increased my work rate so I tried to put in a lot more effort throughout the last 2 minutes of the row, with about 30 seconds to go I knew that I would just fall short which I did having rowed 2.4km by the 10 minute mark.

To finish the session I headed over to the cycles to do a ten minute ride. I wasn’t too interested in pushing myself too hard with this ride for the first session back and was happy to sit for the full 10 minutes on the resistance level of 6. I didn’t push hard at the start and quickly fell behind the pace needed to ride the 5km in the 10 minutes, by the 2 minute mark I was already 10 seconds off the pace. I decided to start to wind back this gap over the next six minutes and was sitting even by the turn of the 7 minutes on where I should be. Over the last 3 minutes I kept that consistent pace and managed to ride 5.10 km by the end of 10 minutes.

My stretches today were a bit more prolonged than the previous ones, this was largely due to the level of tightness I was experiencing throughout my body. All stretches I did twice on each leg and held for over 30 seconds each time. By the end of the second stretch on each leg the tightness had started to be released but was still there to a certain extent, I do think that I might had a little more tightness tomorrow than I did have throughout when I was doing three cardio sessions a week regularly.

After leaving the gym I headed home and completed the regime with my abdominal exercises, I usually do these before going to the gym but was more interested this morning in making sure I got the whole session in and didn’t miss out due to doing my abs first.

Whilst the session today is a good start all the hard work will be undone if I don’t get up tomorrow morning for my weights session, I am hoping that I do get all six sessions done this week. It’s a good start – one down and now only five to go!


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