Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Tuesday Early Gym Start, WOD and Rowing

How is it a new week already?  Michelle and I had such a lovely weekend, filled with summer time activities and the London Color Obstacle Run. I really didn't want it to be over.

London summer is always the hardest time to be at work.  This city really is worth waiting through the winter for. 

I was lucky enough to have an appointment with Sarra at Synergy Studio on Friday night - and she was more than helpful with my current left shoulder problems.  I had a full assessment and a was given a page of mobility / stretching to do as homework for every day this week.
Already, my arm is starting to feel slightly better!  
This week I have been sworn to not overuse use my shoulder, and focus on mobility.  That means, you guessed it, yet another day of legs and MetCons.

Warm Up:  500m row

Stretching:  Not too much today, to be honest (oops, don't hate me).  However I made sure I did some air squats and quad stretches prior to starting weight exercises.
Also, before the lunging and squatting I made sure I opened my hips and stretched my calves as these are the two areas that tend to hold me back.

Rep / Set Scheme:
Today I aimed for 4 sets of about 10-16 reps

Pre-work set:  Roughly 4 mins warming up on the leg extension machine
(singles, doubles, bounces, eccentric etc. at a light weight)

Leg extensions
One leg at a time at normal pace.  Once both legs completed, do 10 reps together.
Also, make sure you start with your right leg for the first set, left leg for the second set etc so both legs work the same amount.

Barbell Squat
I just played around with the weight here.
Front and back squats, pausing at the bottom. Squatting felt awkward so I didn't pursue it!

Front Rack Walking Lunges
4 sets of 16 reps - man, these were a slow burner!

Upright Leg Press
Use the assisted dip machine for this exercise

Broad Jump
4 x 10 reps

Thigh abducter
For this exercise I make sure I add a bounce so its like a full rep, then a partial rep
and squeeze to get that booty burn.

Seated calf raise and calf press on leg press machine

15, 12, 9 reps
Power cleans, hip raises on floor (instead of TTB), burpees
50 x DUs at the end of each round

Row for the day:  1,000m in 3.53min (bestie did hers in 4.35min!)

That is actually a PB for me across that distance.  It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it!  Next stop, pistols, chest to bar pull ups, muscle ups, box jumps..... the never ending list...

Friday, 26 June 2015

Lower Body Workout

Happy FriYAY everyone!
Here's to the the last working day of the week (for some of us lucky ones).  

Today I was still feeling super motivated to get into the gym and get work done, even though this is my 5th day straight of exercising.  I think it might be because I am trying to grow my little legs and today was a LEG DAY!

I always write down in my log book, what exercises I am going to do at the gym the following day. This really helps with my mindset and also, I am never wasting time with wondering what to do next.  I also like to record the weight I use and how many reps I have completed, while I am resting between sets.  This stops me from taking too long of a rest period and also, I can measure my progress easily.

For example, a few years ago I had written down 40kg deadlift and a little smiley face next to it.  Obviously stoked with that weight :)
Nawwww... now its 2015 and I can strict press that weight over my head, more than once.  Cheers to me!

Warm Up:  500m row

Stretching:  Quads, calves, ankle mobility, hammies and hip flexors

Rep / Set Scheme:
Today I had a bit of energy to burn so I just did whatever felt right, for 4 sets.

Pre-work set:  2 x 25 reps light on leg extension machine

Leg Extension
One leg at a time, concentrate on slow and controlled movement.  Then once both single legs are done, faster pace with both legs at the same weight.

Barbell Squat
1 x 10 reps back squat
4 x sets of various qty front squats.  Some with pause at the bottom, some tempo and some standard

Walking Lunges
I did a few reps overhead at 25kgs and then switched to 40kg front rack

Single Leg Press + jumping split squat superset
15 reps leg press and 12-20 reps jump squat.

Seated calf raise
Calf press on leg press machine

Row for the day:  2km row in 8min 15sec.

To finish my workout today I completed 150 DUs for fun. It took me less than 3mins to finish and I broke them down roughly into 50 then 30's etc.  I am trying to work on relaxing my form and making these as comfortable as possible.

Now, 30+ DUs unbroken is a pretty simple task.  50 is my new goal!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Upper body workout with 10min EMOM WOD

This morning I was excited about getting into the gym early and stuck into an upper body workout.  I am still experiencing some pain in my left arm - and have booked to see the NHS doctor in a few weeks time.  I have tried all kinds of treatment, icing and stretching, and it just doesn't seem to be going away.  The good news is, I have full mobility on that side and it doesn't hurt when I train.  If I do experience some discomfort while training, I stop what I am doing and move on to the next exercise.
I don't want my right side to get too much bigger than my left, so I am also being pretty careful there.

This video from Barbell Shrugged was hugely helpful for me to understand more about shoulder injuries and exercises you can do to prevent imbalances etc

Today was a bit of a splice between rehab type exercises, testing the water with my arm and doing what I know is fine.

Warm up:  5mins on elliptical machine

Stretching:  Biceps, Triceps, lots of arm swings, some chest stretches and
wrist mobility.

Rep / Set Scheme:
15+ reps per set
4 sets per exercise
drop set or rest-pause on the last set (make sure you go to failure)

Pre-work set - Rotator cuff drills with cable machine & light DB
Arm swings between each set

Face pull with rope on cable machine
Level 4, Level 14 and Level 18 performed as a super set
Seated Arnold DB press (slow and steady)
*I can't reach full extension on this exercise with my left arm
Close grip push up
DB side and front raises
Upright cable row
Triceps cable press down
Skull crusher with barbell
Bench press (light, slow and controlled)

This is the face pull exercise.  Low, medium and high.  Hit one after the other and make sure you squeeze your back!  Pretend there is a pencil between your shoulder blades and you don't want it to drop on the floor :)

 Bestie came over and completed her workout for the morning while I was in the middle of my upright cable rows. I have never done these before (usually use a BB) and I loved them!  I used a light weight and made sure I felt the burn, with a rest pause set to finish.

Once I was done with my bodybuilding, I wanted to grab a barbell.  The barbells in my local gym are way too big for my baby hands (no such thing as a women's barbell here!) and there is hardly any grip left - but I made do and figured it was all good training for when I get back to my Rogue Bella at CrossFit.

10min EMOM

1 x deadlift, 1 x power clean, 1 x hang clean, 2 x front squat
I used 30kgs.
Very light weight for me but I made sure my technique was as good as I could get it and I focused on mind/muscle connection.

Buy out was 100 DUs not for time. For fun.
I managed 50 reps unbroken, then 30 unbroken and 20 to finish off.

Row for the day: 500m in 1.56seconds

I am trying to row as much as I can right now, because I hate it, and I want to row until it gets better.  Don't hide away from those weaknesses - attack them and make them a strength!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Glute & Hammy Workout

Today I decided to do an intense glute and hamstring workout.

My shoulder is still giving me a bit of grief, so lately my focus has mostly been on building up strength in my lower body.

I have quite a few 'go to' movements that I enjoy on leg days - and here are some of them listed below.

Warm up:  500m row

Stretching: Hamstrings, glutes, quads, hip flexors &
rehab type stretching for my shoulder, rotator cuff and forearm.

Rep/Set Scheme:
10-15 reps per set
4 sets per exercise
drop set or rest-pause on the last set (make sure you go to failure)

Seated leg curl (started off with 2 x 15 reps for warm up at light weight)
Seated leg curl working sets

Lying leg curl
Lunge back with barbells (super set)

Romanian / stiff legged deadlift
BB hip thrust
Thigh abductor machine
(modified to use lat pull down machine and bench as I don't have access to a GHD machine)

Ab circuit of hip raises, scissor kicks and flutter kicks (15 reps, 3 sets, non stop)

We don't have a lying leg curl machine at my gym so I use a DB and bench.  This does the trick! Make sure your movement is slow and controlled. You don't want your hip flexors kicking in and taking the heat off your hamstring!

Straight into the reverse lunge, BB step back (whatever you fancy calling it).  Keep your core tight and try not to lift the DBs with your arms to assist your legs. Go light weight and higher reps if you feel this happening.

Deadlifting at this gym is so irritating. The barbells are not the right size for my hands so I really struggle holding onto a heavier weight. This is 50kgs and I managed to complete 10 reps before I had to re-adjust my grip.  I miss my Rogue Bella bar! :(

Some people like to do their hip thrusts using a bench, but I prefer the bosu.  It feels better on my back and I can also focus on that squeeze at the top of the movement as shown here.  Make sure you drive through your heels and keep your spine neutral. Don't break at the neck!

Other days I like to add squats, kneeling squats, box squats, glute bridges, cable kick backs, split squats etc. but today, this was enough for me!  I used a lighter weight and made sure my legs felt really fatigued at the end of each set.  

Finally, I am starting to see some more definition in my legs! I can't wait till my shoulder feels stronger so then I can get back to Olympic lifting. I miss my power cleans!

What are your go to exercised for leg day?  How often do you mix it up?