Weekly Weigh-In / Fit Report – Apr. 12th, 2016 – 5×5 Workout A

Another two-fer post today, weigh-in and workout. I managed to get in to use the scale at the gym today, so let’s start there.

IMG_5239To begin with, my weight is unchanged from the last time I weighed in, 157.6 lbs. That being said, we’ll look at the other numbers, for what they’re worth. My water remains relatively unchanged – up 0.2 lbs – so we’re mostly dealing with apples to apples here. What the numbers are saying is that while my weight has stayed the same, I’ve dropped 0.4 lbs of fat and gained the same amount back in Fat Free Mass, ie. muscle and water. I’m sure it’s all within the margin of error, though. Overall I’m happy with this weigh-in, and if I’m still going up with my weights during the workout, I must be putting on some muscle, right?

Well, with that out of the way, I guess we move on to the aforementioned workout.

Oh my god my legs are tired… I guess that’s to be expected when your commute makes every day leg day. Last week I only biked twice, and I had a day off in between because of the weather, so even though I had rough rides against the wind, I had recovery days to balance it out. This week I’ve biked to work three days in a row, doing squats at the gym on two of those days. So yeah, my legs are tired.

I was expecting a lot of trouble with squats today, and yeah, they were tough. Tough enough that I was pretty sure after each set that I wouldn’t be able to complete the next one. Amazingly enough, though, I managed. It was a real struggle, though. I started with 2:45 between sets 1 and 2, 3:00 between 2, 3 and 4, and went up to 3:15 before set 5, because at that point I really wanted that last set. Take a look for yourself.

Yup, that’s me doing my last set. As you can see I spend a lot of time at the beginning making sure my feet are placed just right, and honestly, working myself up to actually do the set. I also give myself just a second or two longer at the top between the last few reps, just to give my muscles that tiny bit of recovery time. Do you see just how pink I go all over with the strain on the last rep or two? That’s me holding my breath to keep my core stable and help push up the weight.

IMG_5249I’m so glad this Friday is a holiday and I can have a few extra days for my legs to recover before going for 215 lbs…

The workout wasn’t all strenuous sunshine and roses, though. I actually managed to fail my last set of bench press pretty spectacularly today, bailing after two reps. The problem was that on the last rep of the fourth set, I had to give it everything, and I mean everything I had to get the bar up that one last time. I managed, but even with waiting the full three minutes before the last set my muscles no longer had enough in the tank. For next time I’ll know to wait longer between sets from the beginning, instead of just at the end. Hopefully with better results.

Barbell row was unremarkable today. I took a video of that too, just to check out my form. I’m not posting it here, but to my surprise my back isn’t curving as much as I thought it was, and is actually fairly neutral, so that’s good.

Like I said, holiday on Friday, so I won’t be back to the gym until Monday. Enjoy your weekend!

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Fit Report – Apr. 10th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout B

Oh man am I exhausted. Call it a combination of a rough night’s sleep, a morning bike ride to work, and a workout at the gym, but I’m ready to pass out. And I still have to ride home tonight. Potentially in a thunderstorm. What fun!

My legs are just so tired, too. I did a 5k ride yesterday with my girls in a trailer behind me, so add on 85 lbs of rolling resistance there. I remember just how tired they were at the end of last cycling season, and if this is how tired they are at the beginning of this one I may be in trouble.

IMG_5220That being said, tired legs didn’t stop me from finishing five sets of squats today, although it did mean taking an appropriate amount of rest time between sets. I started with 2:15 of rest after the first set and added 15 seconds after each of the sets, up to three minutes between sets four and five. I’m still at least four workouts away from being back to trying for 225 again, and hopefully I can do it, but honestly with the cycling, who knows if I’ll be able to. I’ll just have to see how it goes.

Rest played a big factor in overhead press today, too. I went with the same rest breakdown as listed for squats, and I was able to do all five sets at 95 lbs with less difficulty than I had a week ago at 90. No heroic struggle on the last rep this time, although it was still tough. Next time will be 100 lbs again, which is still the highest weight I’ve ever been able to complete the full five sets of.

Deadlifts went well enough at 215 lbs, but I did have grip issues today, in that it kind of hurt to grip the bar during the exercise. It’ll probably be the case that next time will be no problem at all. There really seems to be no rhyme or reason.

Back in Wednesday for Workout A. Friday is a holiday, so it’ll be a two workout week again, if you don’t count biking. See you then.

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Fit Report – Apr. 5th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout A

Man, my legs are tired.

Probably not as tired as they’d be if there hadn’t been torrential rain around the time I needed to go to work yesterday. Otherwise I would have biked, and then they’d be more tired. But no, yesterday morning the sky opened up, and there was no way I was going to bike to work in rain that would soak me through before I’d completed 10% of the ride. Not at these temperatures, anyway. The dumb thing was I should’ve brought my workout gear down with me so I could do cardio at the gym, but my brain doesn’t always work so well.

Anyway, nicer morning today, and I was able to bike in to work. Feeling it in my legs after Monday’s ride. Not so much the ride to work, but the ride home was directly into 40 km/h winds, combined with the usual uphill section. Maybe just as well that I took yesterday off. I was worried how much it was going to affect my workout. It did, for sure, but I was still able to complete everything.

IMG_5193Squats weren’t a lot of fun on tired legs, but they weren’t as hard as I was expecting. I made sure to take lots of time between sets to rest, starting at 2:15 and adding ten seconds per set, or 2:45 between sets four and five. Nice to be back in the 200s again, just for ego’s sake.

On bench press I went up by ten pounds again, putting me at 125 lbs. I think from this point I’ll go back to five pound increments. While it was doable, I did have to work for the last reps, so it’s time to scale back. I’m near enough to my pre-deload weight that caution is prudent.

Barbell row also went up by ten pounds, and similarly, I’ll go back to five pound increments on it next time as well. It’s always been one of my weaker exercises, so better safe than sorry.

Tomorrow looks like it’s going to be really rainy again, so if I have to drive in, I’ll bring my workout gear and go for a run. Maybe I’ll be brave and get soaked. Who knows?

Catch you Friday for Workout B.

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Fit Report – Apr. 3rd, 2017 – 5×5 Workout B

Today we enter the spring chapter of my workouts, which basically means that I’ve started biking in to work. 12.5 km each way, give or take, and a good portion of the way home is uphill.

I must admit I was worried that the bike ride in this morning would negatively affect my squats, but if it did, IMG_5189it wasn’t enough to be really noticeable. I still managed to do all five sets, with wait times between sets ranging from two to two and a half minutes, and next time will be back up to 200 lbs. I’ll have to see how it builds up over the week, whether or not my legs are more tired with the repetition. I think maybe the smart money is on ditching my cardio days at the gym at this point, since I’m getting roughly an hour and fifteen minutes of cardio (almost)every weekday from now till November. I think if I continued the running, my legs would really start to suffer.

Squats weren’t even the hardest part of my workout today. That honour went to overhead press, which really shouldn’t be surprising. I think I need to start adding more time between sets, because by the last set I was really struggling. I figure it took me probably a good fifteen seconds just to push up the last rep of my last set, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it. It was a serious struggle, even after waiting over two minutes between sets four and five. I did manage it, just barely, and got a ‘way to go’ from another gym member who was watching me do it. Yay!

Deadlifts are still fairly easy at this point. I’m at 205 lbs now, so in two more workouts I’ll be back above 220, and I’ll start going up by fives again.

So yeah, no cardio day tomorrow, so I’ll see you again Wednesday, assuming work craziness doesn’t keep me from the gym.

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Fit Report – Mar. 29th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout A

Another day, another workout. Well, two days, two workouts if you count yesterday’s cardio day, which I will.

IMG_5146All in all today went pretty well. Squats were pretty tough, but I managed while waiting two minutes between sets, up to two and a half between the last couple.

Bench press was going to be too easy at the weight the app wanted me to do, so I upped it by another 5 lbs to 115 lbs instead of 110. Still pretty easy, but like Monday, I didn’t want to go up too much and hurt myself.

I did the same on barbell row as well. I still don’t have great form on them, but I don’t think I’m ever going to get up to the type of weight that’s going to injure me on them.

I tried something Monday and today to give my wife a sense of what I’ve been doing at the gym. Monday I took a video of myself doing deadlifts, and today I did the same with me doing squats. Not going to post them here because the quality is a little bit crap, but maybe when I get my weights back up on those exercises I’ll shoot new vids and post them.

Anyway, cardio day tomorrow and maybe a weigh-in, and back for Workout B on Friday. See you then.

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Fit Report – Mar. 27th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout B

On Friday I mentioned that I’d be in to the gym today, provided my legs didn’t give out on me completely over the weekend (Friday’s workout was rough…). Turns out I needn’t have worried. By Saturday my legs were back to normal, no pain, no stiffness at all. Surprised the heck outta me.

IMG_5136So yeah, back at it today. Up to 185 lbs on squats. As they almost always seem to be, they were tough but doable. I waited about two minutes between sets just to give myself some recovery time and make sure my muscles didn’t get too sore. The last few reps were a bit wobbly, but there wasn’t any doubt about completing them.

Overhead press was fairly easy. I decided against going back up by ten pounds and stuck with five. No sense rushing things just to salve my ego. I’d feel pretty stupid if I strained something doing it. I waited between ninety seconds and two minutes after each set. Oddly, my mind was wandering during overhead press today, and not once, but twice I went to the bar to start a set and began to get into the squat position. Caught myself, but I’m not sure what was up with that. Tired, I guess.

Deadlifts were easy enough. I did go up ten pounds on those as that’s the increment below 220 lbs. Next time I’ll be above 200 lbs again, and should be trying for a personal best in a couple of weeks. Fingers crossed.

Back in for cardio tomorrow. See you then.

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Fit Report – Mar. 24th, 2017 – 5×5 Workout A

Oh my legs are going to hate me tomorrow.

Truth be told they don’t much like me now. They were still stiff from Tuesday’s workout when I went to the IMG_5116gym this afternoon, and my god did they not like squats. They were fine on the first, bar-only warmup set. They complained on the 95 lb warmup set, they really complained on the 135 lb warmup set, and by the time I did my first 180 lb set, they were screaming.

They weren’t exactly cramping, but they hurt, for sure. Still, I managed all five sets, and assuming they don’t implode this weekend, I’ll be back Monday for 185 lbs. I can only imagine how stiff and sore they’ll be when I wake up in the morning.

Thanks to deloading, bench press and barbell row were really easy today. I don’t think I even waited 90 seconds between sets. I might increase my weights by 10 lbs next time instead of five. We’ll see how brave I am.

See you (hopefully) Monday.

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Weekly Weigh-In / Fit Report – Mar. 22nd, 2017 – Cardio Day

Back into the gym today for cardio, and yes, when I woke up this morning my legs were indeed stiff from yesterday’s workout. Not nearly as bad as that first time back after the month off, but still noticeable. I had hoped a run today would work out that stiffness, but unfortunately all it seems to have done is exacerbated it. I feel stiffer now than I did before the gym.

If I still feel really stiff tomorrow, I might postpone tomorrow’s workout until Friday. I can’t imagine doing squats given how sore I feel now just bending to sit down. That’s for tomorrow, though.

Today, I actually managed to get in to weigh myself. I just did my plan of knocking on the consultation IMG_5103room door and when nobody answered, walked in and weighed myself. Went off without a hitch, so let’s look at what the numbers say.

Well, according to the scale, I’m down a whopping three pounds from three weeks ago. While 0.4 lbs of that is water (negligible), 2.4 lbs of that is apparently fat, leaving 0.2 lbs as muscle loss. Lower water should show higher fat mass, but in this case I’ve dropped significantly. My body fat percentage is surprisingly below 18%. I can only assume that it’s due to reduced calorie intake while I was sick (I didn’t have much of an appetite at the time) causing my body to dip into its fat stores.

Of course, these numbers are to be taken with a grain of salt, especially given that I’ve shown some reduction in strength (although that can probably be attributed to the muscles being out of practice). I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and see where it takes me.

See you tomorrow (and/or Friday).

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Fit Report – Mar. 7th/21st, 2017 – 5×5 Workout A/B

Would you look at that date spread. Kind of long, isn’t it?

Yeah, I haven’t been to the gym for strength training in two weeks, and for cardio in two weeks minus a day. It was a combination of me getting sick for a week and a half (hacking and coughing up some rather unpleasant green stuff along the way) and work getting in the way. I had actually started writing my blog post for that last workout the day of the workout, but I didn’t get time to finish it. I’ll give you a quick rundown, and then move on to today.

As you’ll recall, I was doing a second attempt to squat 225 lbs. That didn’t go as well as I’d hoped.  Still, I IMG_5098started squats well enough, getting four reps at 225 lbs, compared to three last week. That was the last of the progress, though. The next two sets were three reps apiece, same as last time. Unfortunately, the last two were down a rep to two. Somewhat disappointing, even if I was tired.

Bench press was where I was hoping to shine, getting back up to my personal best of 135 lbs. Alas, it wasn’t to be. I managed the first three sets, but my chest and arms just couldn’t manage on the last two. I probably should have taken more time between sets, but as I recall I was pressed for time over lunch, and needed to get back to work quickly.

Barbell row went well enough, even if I was rushing through it to the point where I paid absolutely no attention to form. Well, enough attention to know my form wasn’t good, but I was more in it for speed.

The next day I managed to get back to the gym for a run, and then the cold from hell hit, and here we are today. Loading up the app, right away it told me to deload IMG_509720% for having missed two weeks. Not as bad as the 30% I had to do before, but still disappointing and annoying. I noticed it errs on the side of caution and actually has you decrease your weights by somewhat more than 20%, but it’s close.

That dropped me down to 175 lbs on my squats. Glad to say that they weren’t as hard at this weight as they were at 145 lbs when I missed a month of workouts. My legs were a little shaky once the workout was done, but hopefully I won’t be nearly as sore as last time.

I felt the app was deloading me too far on my overhead press and deadlift, so I added back 5 lbs on top of what it recommended. Both were doable, and didn’t give me any trouble. Felt like they took effort, but not all I had. I’ll make my way back up again on those soon enough, I guess.

Back in tomorrow (hopefully) for cardio. See you then.

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Fit Report / Weekly Weigh-In – Mar. 2nd/3rd, 2017 – 5×5 Workout B/Cardio Day

Well, I guess I’m not as big a boy as I thought/hoped I was. In more ways than one.

Turns out my body thinks there’s a massive difference between 220 lbs and 225 lbs, because I couldn’t complete a single set of squats yesterday. In fact, you might as well call what I did 5×3, because I did five straight sets of three reps each, and that’s all that I had. I seriously strained on the third rep of each set, and IMG_5038while it’s a failure from the perspective of a complete 5×5, I’m not going to look at it that way. Those sets were hard, and I really put in the effort. I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t bother waiting the extra time between sets because a) I failed the first set, extra time isn’t going to make me complete the second, and b) I didn’t have that extra time to spare. Lunch hour is lunch hour, not lunch hour and a half, ya know?

So I still lifted big boy weights, just not enough of them. Oh well, there’s always next time.

Let’s follow that up with some success though, shall we? I managed to complete the full 5×5 on overhead press, and honestly it felt doable the whole way. The last rep was tough, but at no point did I think I wasn’t going to get it. That matches my personal best for overhead press. On to 105 lbs next time. I’ve lifted that before, but I’ve never been able to complete it, so we’ll see how it goes.

Deadlifts were strangely déja-vu inducing. Last Workout B I said that my grip was giving me trouble on the deadlift. And I think I also mentioned that the last time that happened, the following workout I had no grip trouble at all. Well, more of the same today. No grip trouble at 5 lbs heavier. Weird.

But enough about the workout, let’s move on to the weigh-in.

IMG_5035The good news is, I’m down 1.6 lbs from my last weigh-in. The bad news is it’s all water. My Total Body Water is down the exact same 1.6 lbs. I really haven’t been on the ball about staying hydrated lately. Of course that’s making all of the other numbers look wacky, so there’s that.

The last few times I’ve gone to weigh myself, I’ve talked to the fitness manager – who I know from the McCaul location – if I can use the scale and he’s told me I can just go on in and use it. I’m going to use that as implicit approval to just knock on the door and use the scale if no one is in the room from this point forward. If anyone asks, I can just refer them to him and make sure it’s okay. Most of the time there’s nobody in there, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Might as well say that I did cardio today (my days are a bit off, since I didn’t get to the gym Wednesday).

I’ll be back in Monday for Workout A and another stab at 225 lbs.

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