Monday August 17: Leg day!

FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS SKIP LEG DAY!!!

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Here’s what my Monday morning workout looks like, starting from the time I get my sleepy butt out of bed to sitting here typing this for you now….

4:10am- Alarm #1 goes off. I push the smothering heap of cats aside and shimmy out of bed. I grab my gym clothes, gym shoes, and headphones, head to the kitchen for my pre workout cocktail. Currently I am using 1 scoop of Blitzz pre-workout, found at Complete Nutrition (https://www.completenutrition.com/sports-nutrition/blitzz/), blue raspberry flavor.  It’s not my favorite but it’s tolerable. I also take 3 CX5 capsules, also from Complete Nutrition (https://www.completenutrition.com/sports-nutrition/cx5/).

4:45-I arrive at the gym, only to realize that on Mondays it doesn’t open until 5! UGH!! I had debated about jogging outside for 15 minutes but decided to get my new headphones organized (I am technologically illiterate, so my wonderful man helped me get them synced the night before, thanks Babe!, I only had to figure out how to turn them on). Pre-workout is kicking in MEGA by now….prickly, tingly, EVERYWHERE!

5:00-Doors open and I’m in the building.

My routine today is a leg workout, created by non other than yours truly.  I start with the following:

**Leg Extension: 3×12

**Leg Curl: 3×12

**Hip Abduction: 3×12

**Hip Adduction: 3×15

So I workout at Planet Fitness and I really do like this gym, however, the machines are different to what I am used to at Core when I worked there. I seem to be able to lift more on the machines at PF than I could at CORE, so I have to find my starting point and go from there. *This is probably the most time-consuming part of working out. After you find this point, it’s a breeze and you don’t waste so much time figuring out what weight to put on your machine.*

For these 4 exercises I go through each one for the reps desired then move to the next exercise, minimal rest between exercises, with about a minute rest at the end of each set before starting the next one.  THIS BURNS! But feel so good.

After this group is complete I start the next one:

Squats: 3×12 with 1x warmup set at minimal weight. I do this group alone with 60 seconds rest between sets.*One thing at PF is that they don’t have much for free weights. i normally wouldn’t do so much via machines but the heaviest barbell is 60lbs, not nearly enough for me to squat and make gains.  So squats are done via a Smith Machine. **More on this later.**

Straight-Leg Deadlift: 3×15

Seated Calf Raise: 3×20

I really focus on form with deadliest. Keeping back straight, shoulders rolled back and focusing on breathing really keep sky body aligned.  Something that is a must for my still recovering back.  I’m not a fan of the seated calf raise, I’d rather be doing a standing calf raise but these are challenging enough that the muscles get to burning after 12 reps, so I do them anyway.  It’s also working the calf muscle differently.  Another day I will focus on standing calf raises with the Smith Machine.

I finish the leg portion with the leg press. This is a descending drop set.  4×15, 12, 10, 8.  I start with a decent weight (180 in this case), it’s challenging but a little easy/light. Then add weight for each following set. I work my way up to 250. I can definitely lift more here but starting back at it all, I’m trying to be….what’s that word…..SmArT?

That’s it for the legs. I’ll do legs again later this week, different exercises, but that’s it for today.

Now for the Abs. I work the abs nearly every day. I have done ab challenges in the past and now have set the bar a little high for myself and do no less than 500 ab exercises per workout.

Today’s ab workout:

Crunch: 50/50

Russian Twist: 50/50 w/12lb med ball

Toe tappers: 50/50 w/12lb med ball

Bicycle Crunch: 50/50

Plank hold with alternating leg raise: 2×60 seconds each

30 second rest

Side plank with dip: 2×15 each side

Mountain climbers: 2×30

Spidermans: 2×15 each side

People often overlook the ab portion of their workout, but  it’s one of the most important parts of a workout.  After my back surgery it was especially important to strengthen my core.  I found that after focusing on strengthening my core and upper body, my cycling ability improved greatly even just months after surgery. Especially when climbing.  So I continue my insane ab workout daily.  Today’s workout wasn’t too bad! It definitely gets the heart rate up and gets me sweating!  A hidden cardio workout too.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A GOOD AB WORKOUT!!

Abs concluded the workout and I headed for home. Post workout I consume protein powder and soy milk (you can use water, regular milk, almond or rice milks, whatever suits your fancy, I just don’t tolerate milk well anymore so I avoid it). I wait about 45 minutes to consume this after my workout. Numerous sources suggest immediately consuming protein post workout, however, others suggest to wait a bit to do so. I’ve found that waiting works best for me. Gives me time to slam some hydration (gotta stay hydrated) and then get the protein in my system. You can decide for yourself, but here’s a little insight on the topic, http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/post-workout-shakes.

I have to admit that I am absolutely horrible at stretching. Pre-workout, post-workout, I NEVER seem to do it.  By no means am I suggesting to skip stretching! Absolutely NOT! I’m just being honest here…..

DISCLAIMER:  PLEASE DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO!

Here’s a great bit of reading that helps to clarify when, what,  & how to stretch.

http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/60/3248/to-stretch-or-not-to-stretch/

As you may notice I didn’t do any cardio in today’s workout. Honestly I plan to do a group bike ride tonight but the weather’s calling for rain so I’m not sure that will happen. I may toss Angus, my trusty steed, on my Kinetic Rock and Roll trainer and get in some easy spinning. Since today was leg day, I don’t want to go too hard. I actually find that an easy spin helps flush the lactic acid from the muscles!  (This can be done immediately following a leg workout as well, helps flush the system and decreases sore muscles that WILL appear a few days later). We will see how I feel after work though.

That’s all the blabbing I have for now. I’ll try to post the next workout tomorrow at some point.

Here’s some explanation of a few things I wrote about today:

Smith Machine– A piece of equipment used in weight training. It consists of a barbell that is fixed within steel rails, allowing only vertical movement. Many argue that the smith machine is not the best for ‘natural movement’ when performing squats, for example.  I do have to agree, I don’t feel as natural using the smith machine as I do when doing a free weight squat. I honestly don’t like it but at my gym I don’t have any other option. Proper form is key, with any exercise, but especially when using machines. If you don’t know how to use it, DON’T USE IT UNTIL YOU DO!

Drop Set- You perform sets of an exercise (leg press for example) starting with the heaviest you can lift, safely!, and go until you reach muscle failure.  At that point you decrease weight a little.  I did a descending drop set with leg press today.  So I started with a decent amount of weight, not my 1 rep maximum by any means, did 15 reps, then added weight (here 20lbs), did 12 reps then added more weight (here 30lbs) did 10 reps then added a final 20lbs and finished with 8 reps.  I still hadn’t reached my maximum but again, I’m getting back into focusing on legs so I didn’t push it too hard this workout.

Rep (repetition)- A rep is the number of times you lift and lower a weight.

Set- A set is the number of reps you do for one exercise. So if you need to do 3×12 you’ll be doing THREE sets of 12 REPS. 3×12=36=a lot of working that muscle=GETTING SWOLE!



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