Friday, January 20, 2012

Days 11-23

Alright. Back to updating. Missed four days when I got my wisdom teeth out, then started back up again on the fifth day, and have been working out ever since. I've modified my routine a bit, so that I'm balancing my workouts a little differently:

Mondays - Still a triceps day, but now also a chest/shoulders/abs workout.
Tuesdays - Back, legs, and abs workout. (Abs are an every-workout thing from now until I get them to look the way I want!)
Wednesdays - Still a forearms and shoulders workout, but adding chest and abs.
Thursdays are a rest day.
Fridays - Still biceps, but also back, legs and abs workout.
Saturdays - Just the chest, shoulders, and abs workout.
Sundays are a rest day.

Rest days, by the way, aren't real rest days, because I still insist on doing pushups and some ab work.

I really need to start stretching more. I stretch a bit, but I haven't done a great job of keeping any flexibility I had when I was in karate six or seven days a week. Which wasn't much, except what it's in my muscle memory anyway -- weird that I can still (un-stretched) kick at or above my head height, but can't touch my toes without some effort. So, I need to add a new flexibility goal. I'll get back to that.

I was up to 175.4 lbs before my surgery, which is the most I've ever weighed. Still 4.6 lbs UNDER my weight goal, but at least I was getting close. I dropped all the way back down to 167 lbs during my recovery, since I couldn't eat solid food. I'm now hovering right below 170, which is at least a start, but I'm sad for the lost progress. I'm trying to avoid packing the weight on quickly by eating more, because I am still trying to gain definition around my stomach, and don't want to keep covering it up just because I want to weigh more. It's shallow of me, but I'd rather weigh 160 and have a six pack than 180 and not. So the weight is going to have to come slowly, and through building more muscle.

My overall lifting ability is up a bit. Feeling way more comfortable with my biceps, and I've just started targeting my brachialis muscles (the outsides of the biceps) to try and get better definition in my arms. It's building a tiny bit, but I think I'm going to try upping my weight and reps to try and fast-track that a bit. My triceps and shoulders are looking good, and though I'm clearly still working on my chest and abs, my number of reps are still going up, which is good. My lower back is still bothering me, but a little less now that I'm including lower back exercise into my workouts. My legs are usually in good shape, and I'm trying to challenge myself to see how much weight I can deal with on the leg press. Right now I've stopped at 230, but I think I'll spend next week trying to get that number up.

Alright. That's enough for the day. Let's see if I can get back to updating this every day or so!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Days 3-10

So, no big surprise, I stopped updating after two days. But I've kept working out, which is a start, and here's to a better effort going forward.

I've gotten all the way through the program once now, and started over again on Thursday, although I've been modifying as I go. Added karate back into the mix Wednesday, Thursday, Friday last week. Scared about losing Monday-Wednesday (or longer) next week because of getting my wisdom teeth removed on Monday...

I won't bother with the full breakdown of the workouts all week, but today I stayed home instead of going to the gym or the dojo, and did a heavy abs workout instead. My body feels tired, but I'm already recovering faster than I was the first couple of days, and I'm getting a sense for what I'm comfortable lifting. By next Thursday when I start my third "lap" of this program, I'm going to try upping the amount of weight I'm lifting across the board, and see what happens.

My scale says I'm at 175.4 lbs. Which is great, except this morning it said I was at 171.8 lbs. So I think it just makes these things up as it goes.

Wishlist: a new scale.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day Two


So, this was Day Two, but it was also the first day of the "Bigger, Better Arms" workout from DailyBurn. All biceps work today, although I did a little bit of triceps work at the end (nothing crazy, just some tricep presses with a 50 lb weight to feel a little more balanced after all the bicep work). Anyway, my arms were killing me by the end, and I wasn't able to finish two sets of one exercise (these "21s" are brutal - you do half a curl, release, full curl, then down to half, then back up to full, then release... that's one rep...) and by the end of almost every set, I was pushing right up to failure. I didn't pace my weight well at all, and probably overexerted my arms too early into the workout...

Standing Dumbbell Curls

Set 1: 10 reps x 35 lbs
Set 2: 8 reps x 35 lbs (actually did the first two at 40 lbs, but my left bicep in particular just could not handle it)
Set 3: 6 reps x 35 lbs (failure at 4 reps, took a quick rest, and pushed through the last two)

Dumbbell Curl - Incline

Set 1: 10 reps x 30 lbs 
Set 2: 8 reps x 25 lbs (I was actually supposed to UP the weight here, but my arms were actually fatiguing quickly. 
Set 3: 6 reps x 25 lbs

Dumbbell Curl - One-Arm, Incline Bench

Set 1: 8 reps x 25 lbs
Set 2: 8 reps x 25 lbs
Set 3: 8 reps x 25 lbs

21s - EZ Bar

Set 1: 8 reps x 50 lbs
(Was unable to finish sets 2 or 3)

Hammer Curl - Cable, Rope Attachment

Set 1: 10 reps x 50 lbs
Set 2: 10 reps x 50 lbs
Set 3: 10 reps x 50 lbs

 (Yay! Something not TOO strenuous. This was a nice way to end the workout. I'll move to 12 reps per set next week, and then up the weight to 60 lbs after that.)

I'm realizing that next week I should go 25 / 30 / 35 on all the 10-8-6s. I got too excited with the standing dumbbell curls, and my arms were fatigued by the time those were done. I've also got to fight my way up to 10 reps per set on the one-arm curls. Thankfully I've recovered pretty fast (yay post-workout protein!!)

Let's go Day Three!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day One

Today was Day One.

Well, that's dramatic. Mostly, it was just Day One of my plan to actually document me working out, but it's hopefully also Day One of getting myself on a real, honest-to-god schedule that will get me to work out six days a week consistently.

Let's back up.

I'm 22-years-old, and I'm a martial artist and fitness enthusiast. I joined the site DailyBurn this past summer as part of a larger effort to train myself to start supplementing my karate training, especially when I'm at college and don't have the benefit of getting to be in the dojo every day. I forgot about it pretty quickly, until recently, and now I'm making a point of using it daily for these last few days of 2011, and for 2012. It's a pre-New Years resolution, of sorts. I'm writing this blog for anyone who's interested, I suppose, but mostly for myself -- to keep myself motivated, and keep track of my progress (or lack thereof).

My goals:
* Continue to build my arms.
 * Work on developing chest and back.
 * Shed some of the fat covering my six pack / make my six pack more prominent.
 * Go from my current weight of 171 (already up from 167) to around 180.
 * Take my body fat percentage from around 15% down to 10%. 

I'm trying the "Bigger, Better Arms" training program on DailyBurn -- it's a six-week, three-days-a-week (I'm doing Monday/Wednesday/Friday) program that focuses on building muscle for the biceps, triceps, shoulders and forearms. I'm rounding it out on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday with my own workout routines to build the chest, back, legs, and abs.
Today was my first workout using my Tue/Thu/Sat workouts, although I abbreviated it because I wasn't going to make it to the gym. So basically it was really just a light abs workout, with some pushups:

Set 1: 20 reps
Set 2: 20 reps
Set 3: 20 reps


Set 1: 20 reps
Set 2: 20 reps
Set 3: 20 reps

Russian Twists

Set 1: 15 reps
Set 2: 15 reps
Set 3: 20 reps

Set 1: 30 secs
Set 2: 30 secs

Noticing that my abs are stronger than my lower back, so I have to stop because of my back long before my abs really get sore. I'm definitely going to have to work on strengthening my back to start really working my abs. Tomorrow I start my "Bigger, Better Arms" program, which starts with essentially all bicep work tomorrow, then moves to triceps on Monday, and forearms and shoulders on Wednesday. So I'm guessing by tomorrow night, my arms will be pretty sore...

Here comes Day Two.