Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Switching up routines

I woke up a little later today after not getting to sleep until near midnight. Just further proof that I need a minimum of seven hours sleep to feel rested and ready for the next day.

I got to the gym an hour later than usual - 7:10 am and started pedaling on the stationary bike as I usually do. After a few minutes of warming up I felt that something was different. I was feeling pretty awake considering the lack of sleep but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Then it hit me - there was no music playing in the gym. Something that was always just background noise to me, and not something that I really listen to when I workout, (after all, I have my own music I listen to), was now not there, and it threw me off my morning routine. I couldn't seem to get into a rhythm like I normally do. I had my headphones with me in my bag, but as I use my iPhone for emails whilst on the bike, I didn't want to have to stop doing that over having music (I use AOL radio on my phone, and cannot use both at the same time. ). As I continued pedaling on the bike without music, continuing to go through my emails, I realized that my morning routine had become exactly that - a routine! If something wasn't as it normally was, it would effect me, and throw me off track meaning that I had to compensate for it in some way.

It had meant I had become comfortable with what I was doing, and if I was comfortable, I wasn't likely to be pushing myself as hard as I could be. Sure, I was still sweating on the bike and felt as though I put in a good hours worth of cardio, yet by the end I didn't feel like I really gave it my all. If I'm feeling this way then I can hardly expect to see the best gains and results from my efforts.

The lack of music this morning was a wake up call for me to switch up my routine and move away from my morning routine as I know it. It's been about three weeks now that I've been doing anywhere from an hour to 75 minutes of steady pace cardio each morning, followed by an abs circuit. My body had adapted to it's environment, and even though the bike was showing me burning around 500 calories each session, I know my actual calorie expenditure would be less than this now due to my metabolism adjusting accordingly.

As much as I'm not a fan of interval training - mainly due to the fact that it's just so energy depleting, and takes me into a training zone that I'm not used to training in, I knew it was time to step it up and take my body out of its comfort zone.

The headphones would need to come out of my bag, and the dance music turned up loud to keep my motivated by the beat. One thing I am looking forward to is the extra half-hour that this will allow me to sleep as HIIT only needs to be performed for 20 - 30 minutes as opposed to steady pace cardio. Sure, the calories expenditure may be more with the latter due to the time spent on the machine, but the HIIT training increases your metabolism by up to 5% long after you've finished doing cardio. This alone will keep my body burning a higher percentage of calories throughout the day, and where will those calories come from? Yep, don't you know it - FAT!

Cover shoot next month.. Here I come!

Ok, so I've just got back from my second workout - this time training back and forearms, and felt I had the strength and intensity that I need to take my body to it's threshold in order for it to grow. I put this down to going in around 2 pm instead of leaving it until the last thing in the day, which is how I've been planning my two-a-day workouts for the past few weeks.
I also weighed myself, which is something that I don't often do but it helps keep me on track if I'm trying to gain or shed fat. I'm tipping the scales at 183, and reckon I'm around 6% body fat. My goal for my cover shoots next month is to be a solid 180lb at 4%. So far I'm on track..

Here's the split:


Lat Pulldown: 30x70lbs (warm up set). 20x120lbs (2nd warm up set)

Weighted Pull Ups: 10x25lb. 8x35lb (+3 more after a short rest of 10 sec). 7x40lb (+2 more after a short rest of 15 sec)

Bent Over Barbell Rows: 12x205lbs. 12x235lbs. 10x245lbs. (All using straps to allow me to fully engage my lats).

Hammer Strength Iso Lat Row: 12x180lbs. 10x195lbs. 10x205lbs.

Wide Grip Lat Pulldown: 8x210lbs. 10x200lbs
Close Grip Underhand Pulldown: 10x200lbs. 8x200lbs.

Seated Cable Row: (Using two handles attached to hook): 12x170lbs. 12x190lbs. 10x200lbs.


Standing Olympic Bar Curl (Behind the back): 20x45lbs. 15x65lbs. 15x70lbs. 15x70lbs.

Reverse Preacher Curls (Using Rope): 20x4 Blocks. 14x5 Blocks. 10x5Bl (+6x4bl) - drop set.
Block = 1 weight block. (This particular machine did not state the weight of each stack!)

Standing Reverse Barbell Wrist Curl: 20x30lbs. 15x40lb. 15x40lbs. 15x40lbs.

5 minutes spent stretching the back and working the forearms.

Boy, did I feel a pump in my arms and back! Definitely starting to get back on track with some focused training!


Wolfpack said...

Great Post Rob! You are right, sometimes I find my routine holds me back from giving it my best at the gym. But, I do have to admit... most of the time I do prefer sticking to a routine as it helps me focus better and I never feel 'out of place'? But as you mentioned, you have to change it up once in awhile so you are getting the most of your workout and pushing yourself to the max.

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