Wednesday, October 23, 2013

September Accountability Post...A Little Late...

Once again I’m late on the delivery of my September stats. Oh-well. Not much to report for September. I started the second phase of Strong Curves and have continued to increase my strength in all areas. So without further delay, here goes nothing!

I will forewarn you, my stats were all over the board the whole month. But as you can see from this picture, it looks like hardly anything happened. It was a continuous roller coaster of ups and downs with the measurements and weight. But this is a pretty common thing especially when you’re lifting heavy like I have been. You retain water, muscles are rebuilding, fat is being burned, etc. These are all factors to take into consideration when looking at them on paper. Do I look better when I look in the mirror? Heck yes! Do I feel better about myself in general? Definitely! So that is what matters TO ME.

I will admit that it’s not fun to see a plus sign next to measurements. It almost seems like a failure when you think about it. But here’s the thing – those gains are a direct result of the exercises that I’ve been doing. I gained in the calf, thigh, hips, and bust. I’ve been doing a lot of squats, deadlifts, and jump rope which would contribute to the gains in the calves, thighs, and hips. I’ve also been doing a lot of pushups, inverted rows on the Smith machine and the TRX in addition to the bench press. These are all exercises that cause gains in the areas where I saw gains. So naturally it makes sense that if I’m working those areas, they will see the most impact. They are also the areas that see the most action…meaning…they see the most ups and downs when it comes to measurements. I’m ok with that! At first I was like WTF?! And then it dawned on me that the gains are a direct result of the bad-assery that takes place at the gym on the daily. You can also see that there’s a big difference in the progress pics. So while it doesn’t seem like I made much progress, I had to step back and take a look at the big picture and saw that there was progress!

So here’s the exciting part…the gains I’ve made in the weight room! There has been much progress in the 4 weeks of starting Strong Curves. It’s amazing to see how strong I’ve gotten in such little time.

Here's the workout schedule I followed for Weeks 1-4 for Strong Curves (Please note - I modified mine to fit my needs and goals. The original workout plan laid out in Bret Contreras's book is different). The bolded areas are the exercises that required weights. I recorded my starting weight with how many sets I did, followed by how many reps, and then how much weight which is represented by the "#".

Workout Format:
Monday: Workout A
Tuesday: Workout B + 20 minutes HIIT cardio
Wednesday: Cardio
Thursday: Workout C
Friday: Workout A + 20 minutes HIIT cardio
Saturday: Cardio
Sunday: Rest

Workout A
Exercise (3 sets of each) Starting Weight Starting Reps Ending Weight Ending Reps
Bodyweight Glute Bridge BW 20 BW 20
One Arm Dumbbell Rows  25# 10 35 6
Parallel Squat* 135# 10 145# 8
Bench Press  40# 12 75# 8
Straight Legged Dead Lift  125# 10 145# 8
Side Lying Abductors BW 20 per leg BW 20 per leg
Front Plank BW 1 @ 60 sec. BW 1 @ 60 sec.
Side Plank (Right side) BW 1 @ 30 sec. BW 1 @ 45 sec.
Side Plank (left side) BW 1 @ 30 sec. BW 1 @ 45 sec.
Incline Flys w/turn in  15# 10 30# 6
Squat Jumps BW 10 BW 10
*Mid-way through the workout plan I switched from Parallel Squats to ATG Squats (AKA: Ass to Grass, AKA: how low can you go squats) which explains the little increase in strength.
Workout B
Exercise (3 sets of each) Starting Weight Starting Reps Ending Weight Ending Reps
BW Foot elevated glute bridge BW 20 per leg BW 20 per leg
Negative Pull Ups  BW 5 BW 8
Dumbbell Step-Ups  35# 5 per leg 35# 5 per leg
Dumbbell Military Press  20# 10 25# 8
Stability ball Hyper extension BW 14 BW 20
Leg Lifts BW 30 BW 30
Walking Lunges  25# 10 steps per leg 25# 12 steps per leg
*Workout B was short, so I also incorporated a 20 minute HIIT cardio session.

Workout C
Exercise (3 sets of each) Starting Weight Starting Reps Ending Weight Ending Reps
Glute March BW 60 sec. BW 60 sec.
Bent Over Rows  30# 14 60# 10
Box Squat  115# 12 150# 10
Straight Legged Deadlift   125# 10 145# 8
Push-ups  BW 12 BW 14
Plank Twists BW 10 per side BW 10 per side
Side Dumbbell Lunges  25# 10 per side 35# 10 per side
Arnold Dumbbell Press  15# 10 20# 8