Changin’ It Up

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that January was going to be a month of unstable workouts.  Well, I’m scrappin it.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy these -they are whole lot of my favorite workouts.  Rather a couple things coincided to make me change my mind about the focus for the near term.

#1.  My training sessions with Adam have run their course.  And I’m back to working out on my own again.  Not that ‘s that a problem.  While I LOVE the challenges and the different techniques brought in when working with Adam (he’s a major cross-cable workout kinda guy), I enjoy planning my entire week out and know what I’m doing when.  The control is satisfying.

#2.  I got another email from someone who found my review of  The New Rules of Lifting for Women and questioned if I had ever done the workouts.

I’m sure this questions was partly in response to my reaction of this section of the book:

I HATE that the workouts for women are labeled Stage One, Stage Two, etc.  What the heck does Stage one mean?  And why couldn’t the authors simply have equated to the men’s “initial skill” level?  What am I concentrating on in Stage Two?  Is it stability, endurance?

Quite frankly, I think I owe it to myself to sit down for a while with the provided template and work it. See what I like and don’t like.

I know what I thought when reading it (besides hating that they labelled it A, B, C, D.  Firstly, I didn’t (don’t) really know all of the moves.  Which means reading the instructions and/or taking the book to the gym to figure them out. Is it “uncool” to sit with weight trying to figure out if I’m doing?  If I take this route (book to gym) I’m pretty sure I’ll head in there during the slowest part of the day.

Secondly, and this is the BIG ONE, the workouts don’t seem to be enough.  Each workout is only 5 or 6  moves (for example,  squat, a seated row, a push-up, lunges, and crunches.)  You start out with 2 sets of 15 reps.. and in 4-6 weeks move to 3 sets of 8 reps by the end of the first set of exercises. I know it gets harder from there.  And parts 2-5 include 15 minutes of interval cardio at the end.  Also?  They recommend uppin the weights each time you exercise.  So a month later, I should be lifting 10# heavier or more.

If you progress straight through with 4 workouts/week, this undulating periodization workout will last 6 months. At 3 workouts a week, it will last about 9 months.  The final set of workouts look truly challenging. And this program was designed by Alwyn Cosgrove – who certainly is no slouch when it comes to program design.

So there’s something that I have to discover.  Have I let my emotions take over instead of addressing this  experience?  I think they have.  And I think I owe it to myself to give these workouts a try.  I’m  starting this experiment on Sunday and will blog about it as I go through the process.

I suspect that I will miss my “old” way of working out and between each segment of this program will give myself a couple weeks to return to my old ways.  Ya know I’ll tell you about those times, too.

Anyone else in on a change up routine?  Want to turn this into a challenge?

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8 responses to “Changin’ It Up

  1. not a challenge kind of person — thanks anyway.

    But I did have a bit of a New Year’s moment – realized that I need to find more ‘centeredness’ during my exercise time.

    I had fallen into the habit of attending a lot of classes that weren’t really working anything while I was on the road to recovery (lower back).

    I realized that I need to focus on classes that meet my needs – instead of just whatever is available.

    Picking up two more (per week) free weight classes with an instructor that makes me work without putting my back at risk starting this week.

    And I found a yoga program on TV that is just exactly the kind/pace/level of yoga that I like. In real life – I have one instructor that teaches this way – but I can only catch her once a week – and I would really like a daily practice on my own. So, for a month, I am going to TRY an hour – on my own – daily – using formatted show (saves automatically on my DVR) and see how it goes.

  2. Yoga for Life on the Veria network.

    We have Verizon and have their DVR – so I have everything saved, can watch whenever I want, and can also ‘blink’ thru commercials.

    Except this yoga show USES the commercials to hold things like Pidgeon (did I spell that right?). this station has very short commercial breaks – I think 2 minutes – so good holding time.

    and just so you know – I am not an e-mail person – I only check every once in a while. If you leave a note on my blog – I will see it immediately – on e-mail it might take a while. . .

  3. or if you leave a comment here on your blog for me – I will see it here too – I have added you to my daily read list.

  4. Vickie,

    My heart did a little flutter when you wrote “not an email person”. I get 50-100 emails a day… and somedays wish I weren’t an email person!

    Making mental note to leave comments on your blog from now on.

  5. I’m just curious (because I’ve never followed a book or specific written program for my weight workouts) — what do you expect to get out of this? I mean, if you already lift weights regularly and you know how to do the moves? Do you think it’s having a pre-set workout that would be helpful, or would doing the workouts on a progressively harder basis have something to do with it? I’m also thinking that, if you already lift more than what the beginning of the book prescribes for weight lifting beginners, maybe you could skip forward to a more difficult section?

    (If you can, please respond to me via email — I’m bad about remembering to go back to people’s posts and checking for a response.) :)

    • Great questions.

      If I already lift, what do I expect to get out of this?

      1. When I plan my own workouts, I’m sure I tend to take it a little easy on myself: not increase the weight the often as possible, get stuck on my favorite moves upper body), but take it easy on my least favorite (abs). Working on a balance, full-body workout that changes every few weeks will make it harder for me to this. And blogging about it means I either do a whole lot of lying on the blog or someone can call me out on cheating.

      So with a pre-planned workout, I don’t have to spend so much time planning what I’m going to do and wondering if I’m getting it right. I’ll be challenged to progress. And I’ll truly familiarize myself another different way of working out. It’s similar to my standard route in that it’s all supersets (love them). It’s different that it’s only 5 moves a workout that give you a whole body workout. Getting out of the gym faster with a better workout? Hard to argue with if it works. Only way to know if it works is to do it.

      2. Purely personal here. I get hits on my review of New Rules every week. About once a month a reader will ask if I’ve done the workouts. I want to be able to say: Yes! And they kicked my butt. Or Yes, and I found it lacking.

      3. it’s a personal challenge to see how far I get through this program. Part of the program is to increase your weights every time you workout. Seems a bit daunting to me…

      If the beginning is easy, can’t I start further along?

      I decided today that the first section (twice as long as the others) truly is an acclimatization section. While I won’t completely pass it up, I’m speeding it up to a 3 week program instead of the 6-8 it’s originally plotted out as. Alwyn has the participant repeat each workout twice – each other step you do each one once. That’s what I’m going to do. And if it still feels too easy, I’ll just add more exercises to the end. Today I did this for the first time. (added barbell bench presses and more crunches) and I’M SORE! Sore all over. Sore when I already do these moves regularly.

      If it ever seems that I’m not getting something out of the “experiment” I’ll call it quits and go back to what I’ve done before.

      make sense?

  6. I did a full hour of my TV yoga today – I left the remote my the right corner of my mat – hit mute for the commercials. And that didn’t bother me.

    What I discovered was that I can have the temperature and the lights exactly how I want them. By the end of the hour I was pretty used to the way he gives instructions. I was able to get deeply into each pose but he didn’t hold them so long that I was wishing him dead – and I realized that if I want to repeat or hold longer – I just push a button.

    I think that this will work – and I can have an hour, daily yoga practice – and not be dependent on classes, liking the instructor, or weather (which is a real problem right now).

    I wanted to write and tell you – because I thought you would understand the smile at being able to do it – on my own – and really work it.

  7. and I totally understand about using a program to up your weights and reps – and not have to think so much – that is why I take free weights classes. My instructor alternates between using
    heavy and light in same session,
    or using all heavy,
    or using all light and increasing speed.
    I love following along and not having to think or count or plan. I can see how a program would do the same thing for you. will be interested to hear how it goes.

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