In my quest for lean superhero-ness, I’m following the Wendler 5/3/1 strength training program. Twice a week, Dave and I are hitting the craptastic gym in our Converse to lift heavy and crank through a mini-metcon.
Consistency is sexy.
As I explained on Monday, I’m committed to taking a 60-minute walk every day this month. This was my workout plan for the week, and so far, so good:
Sunday — walk 60:00 - Done!
Monday — weights / walk 60:00 - Done!
Tuesday — walk 60:00 / kundalini yoga – Done!
Wednesday — walk 10:00 + run 1:00, rest to full recovery for 20:00 + walk 30:00 - Done!
Thursday — walk 60:00 – Done!
Friday — weights / walk 60:00 – Weights Done! Walk scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Saturday — walk 10:00 + run 1:00, rest to full recovery for 20:00 + walk 30:00 / hatha yoga
A few observations from the walking trail:
It’s felt really good to get out and move every day.
This is the first time in months that I’ve made time for activity every single day, and the difference has been pretty dramatic already. I feel active. Engaged. It’s not the same kind of buzz as CrossFit, but damn! it feels great to have that consistency of activity again. And the running intervals workout was challenging in that painful-ish way that I love. I’m using a heart rate monitor to make sure I fully recover between intervals, based on the advice I read here. Specifically, this is what guided my new approach:
1. Traditional weight training with plenty of time between sets (3-5 minutes between sets). This is the original interval training as it teaches the body to exert and then recover. You can also engage in short complete recovery intervals. This means you push hard for 1 minute and then you move in slow motion until the heart rate returns to resting before repeating (limit this to 20 minutes or less). The most dysfunctional metabolism will only be able to do one work bout because the heart rate will never return to resting. This method allows you to measure your progress.
2. Leisure walking, restorative yoga (not intense power yoga) and/or tai chi. All of these train the parasympathetic nervous system to regain function. Some will need brain chem training as well such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation to quite the mind which can be an insidious trigger for sympathetic overdrive.
The recovery of walking has made it easier to go hard.
Both mentally and physically, I’ve pushed harder in my “hard” workouts this week, knowing that the next day (and in some cases, later that same day), I’d be talking a stroll around the lake. When I wrote this piece for Breaking Muscle, I emphasized the value in designating hard workouts and hitting them like you’re a sledgehammer — and then alternating those with recovery days. I’m actually taking my own advice now. Look at that!
Consistency makes me feel good.
I’ve been honest about my desire to lose weight, but whether my body gets leaner or not, I feel better emotionally when I’m consistent with my eating habits and my training schedule. And in the “I’m so vain,” department, it’s been three months since I started my new supplement protocol, and I think I can see some progress in my upper body and legs. There were a few miserable moments at my appointment with Dr. Sebring in which he squeezed different (mushy) parts of my body and identified the hormone responsible for the squishiness.
[pinching my upper arm] “This… this is the lack of testosterone.” [squeezing my belly roll] “This is the cortisol.” You can imagine the rest for yourself.
I will brag about this, however: When he got to my thighs, there wasn’t much flab to grab, and he said, “Oh! That’s pretty good.” I take my small victories where I can.
Anyway, that was wildly unpleasant. But now, a few months later, my arms, shoulders, and chest are looking a teensy-weensy bit leaner, and my legs look super strong. I’m hoping this trend continues as the supplements work their healing powers and my new training plan plays out. (I have my follow-up appointment with Dr. Sebring next week so we can see if there’s any change in my blood work.)
10 air squats + 10 rotations
10 prisoner squats + 10 rotations
PVC shoulder mobility
10 PVC good mornings
low squat hold
5 @ 75% of max = 105#
3 @ 85% of max = 120#
max reps @ 95% of max = 135# - I did 5.
My squats were low, but I’m not sure they were quite low enough. I mighta maybe cheated a little. But there was no judge, so neener! I’ll take my 5 reps.
5 @ 75% of max = 85#
3 @ 85% of max = 95#
max reps @ 95% of max = 105# – I did 3.
Um… 105# is heavy. I would’ve liked to eke out one more rep, but it was not happening.
10:00 minutes, 5 rounds:
on the minute: 5 inverted pullups
on the minute: 5 perfect pushups
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