Wednesday, August 3, 2011
I know I Can. I Know I Can.
As I drove to the gym this morning, I had one thing in mind - I will not doubt myself. I will push myself a bit harder, and I will not let fear hold me back. When I did Workout 5A two days ago, I kept thinking about the squats I did (not that I could forget because my thighs were still burning). It wasn't about the exercise, it was about the weight that I used. If T hadn't put 30 kg on the bar, I would have just gone to 27 ... that's when I realized, maybe I'm not working to my potential. That was something that I was going to try and change today.
The first thing was my warm-up cardio. I used to do just 0.5 km to get my heart rate up. Today I decided to increase it to 1 km and just focus on trying to improve my speed over the next two weeks. It was just a warm-up so I didn't want to overdo it - 1 km was totally manageable and throwing in a few 30-second sprints wasn't a problem either.
Now, on to workout 5B ... dead lifts. The last time I did dead lifts I went up to 37 kg. This is
what the bar looked like ... obviously there wasn't enough space for me to add a 1 kg weight to the bar ... I already had a 10, 5, 2.5, and 1 kg on there ... so I thought f*ck it - I'm putting 40 kg on. I went ahead and loaded the bar and told myself - you can do this. You can absolutely do this ... and I did. I have to admit the last three reps of each set were tough - mainly because I felt the bar slipping from my hand, but I just took a deep breath and held on - I was determined to finish my three sets without faltering in between reps. It felt great. I felt like I was using just the right weight - not impossible, but still quite challenging. I'm can't wait until I get to the point where 40 kg won't be a problem and I can move on.
Anyway. I then went up to do the rest of my weights. I started all the exercises with the same weight I did last week ... and then for the second and third sets, I increased the weights.
I feel like I've got the weakest shoulders in the world. Before I started this routine, I could barely use 3 kg dumbbells to do the shoulder presses -- today I used 8 kg dumbbells! I was stoked! The next challenge was the lateral pull. Now, last week I did 34 kg ... this week, well, the next weight on the machine is 41 kg ... that's a big jump. It was quite intimidating but then I paused again and said - you can do it. Push yourself. You have to take it up a notch. So I adjust the weight to 41 and went for it. Like the dead lifts, the last three reps for each set were really, really tough. I paid attention to my posture, but I wasn't able to pull the bar as low as I would have liked. Still, I kept telling myself - Come on, you've done 5, you can surely do 6. Ok, now you've done 6, let's wrap this up and do the final 4 ... anyway - you get the picture. So again, I'm pleased that I tried and I definitely feel like I'm using a weight that is appropriate as it's giving me something to work up to.
I carried 8 kg dumbbells for my lunges as well - my thighs were still burning from before so the lunges were tough! Still, I'm definitely getting better - going lower, feeling more steady - now I've just got to get used to the weight. Finally - Swiss ball crunches - no problem!
I finished up my workout today with 4km on the cross-trainer. I haven't been on the cross-trainer since my bronchitis hit, so I was a bit nervous, but I went for it anyway -- it was good. I cut my time down by 2 minutes! I hadn't expected that ... I'm going to keep pushing to work on increasing my intensity/resistance and building my speed.
Overall, I felt really good today. I felt strong. I felt like I had accomplished something. I actually felt proud of myself for not letting any doubtful thoughts sway me from taking it up a notch. Now I just have to apply this positive thinking to all the other aspects of my life!
Workout 5 complete -- Three more workout sets before the final challenge!