Sunday, August 7, 2011

NROL4W – Progress: Workouts 5&6

Today I completed workouts 5 and 6 of NROL4W. I am really happy with how the program is going so far. I'm a bit tense because I've got less than 2 weeks to complete the remaining 4 workouts as well as the two challenge workouts at the end of the program ... still, I'm sticking to the plan and moving forward.

These two workouts felt like the went by quickly. I was completing 3 sets of 10 for all the exercises except for the prone jackknife and the Swiss ball crunches which were 3 sets of 12. Prone jackknife is going to go up to 3 sets of 15 in the next phase -- I'm nervous!! Anyway.

I think that I've made good progress. I think this is one of the problems with doing the program on my own; I've only have myself to rely on to push forward and get the work done. Sometimes the trainers help me or give me pointers, but they also want to get involved and perhaps tell me to do a different type of dead lift or to do more reps on my squats. Still, I've been firm in telling them that I'm working on this specific program and I don't want to stray - they've been cool.

Today was the first day that I could not complete a set without stopping. The lateral pulls in workout B are really tough at 41 kg. The thing is, the weight below is 34 kg and that's relatively easy - so I don't want to lower the weight. I wish there was some way I could just do 37 ... in any case, I managed to do two whole sets of 10 at 41 kg though the last 3 reps of each set were really tough. When I got to the third set, I could only do 6. I tried. Honestly, I tried. I did not want to let go of the bar, but I just couldn't pull it down ... so I let go, took a few seconds to pull myself together and finished the last 4. I was hoping I would have been able to do more than 4, but I think I was just knackered! Anyway. At least it's something to work towards these last two weeks.

Other than that, I think I've done quite well. My prone jackknives are getting better; I've moved over to the bigger weight room and am using the squats rack to do my squats; I've added 1 more pair of steps for my step-ups ... and today, I did shoulder presses with 9kg! I'm definitely proud of that!!

So, here's my progress so far.

Workout A in Workouts 5&6 [3 sets of 10]

Squats 30/30/30; 30/35/35 [increase 23 kg since workout 1]
Push-ups body weight
Seated row 34/34/34; 34/41/41 [increase 27.38 since workout 1]
Step up - 6/6/7; raised by 1 pair of steps 7/7/7 [increase 3 kg plus added steps since workout 1]
Prone jackknife - body weight; quite steady for my 3 sets of 12 & boy did I feel it in my abs afterwards!

Workout B in Workouts 5&6
Dead lifts 40/40/40; 40/40/40 [tough in workout 5, but better in workout 6 - increase 15 kg since workout 1]
Shoulder press 7/8/8; 8/8/9 [increase 5 kg since workout 1 - very happy with this!]
Lateral pull 34/41/41; 41/41/41 [very difficult at 41!] [increase 13.76 kg since workout 1]
Lunges 7/8/8; 8/8/8 [increase 2 kg since workout 1 - but definitely going lower with each lunge]
Swiss ball crunch - body weight [3 sets of 12 - not difficult]

So that's where I'm at. I'm so happy to see the amount of weight that I've increased. I'm assuming that I'm making the right amount of progress. I guess I'll find out once I'm in London.

Today my boxing trainer finally caught me for some sparring practice. I haven't boxed in ages and had to wait longer than I would have liked due to my bronchitis. I got to wear my new boxing gloves! They felt great! He really put me through a workout and I must have had a look of utter panic on my face at one point as I saw his fist a bit too close to my face for my liking. Serves me right for letting my guard down. Was totally stoked when he said that he's noticed an increase in my strength through my punches. It felt great, but oh my goodness - I was exhausted afterwards! We're training again tomorrow - I definitely need to make sure I get a good night's sleep tonight!

Oh, and one more little success - I've cut my 1 km warm-up time by 1 minute and 18 seconds. I'm trying to be more brave with my sprint speed and duration. I'd love to be able to run 1 km straight before leaving for London -- will keep at it and see how it goes!

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