Yesterday I decided to give myself the day off. I had planned on this week being a "take it easy" type of week, and although I had set my alarm early enough to get up and go do something productive, I opted to enjoy the sleep while I could. There will be enough early mornings in my future to make up for one filled with sleep.
The weather today was a little touch-and-go. It's actually really warm (compared to the last few days), but the warmer weather brought some rain, so it's been raining on and off all day. I knew I wanted to go to the gymnasium (Disclosure: I love to call it the gymnasium instead of the gym. I know it's funny and conjures up an image that is completely unlike any NYSC I've ever been to, but I figure if it makes me happy to go there, then I should embrace it).
I tried to figure out my workout plan for this off-season and I think I've got a rough outline of what I'll try to strive to do each week. One thing that I'm really excited about is incorporating more weight-lifting into my workouts. When I first started training for triathlons, I also started lifting weights more often, but that sort-of fell off once I got into longer workouts. It also probably coincided with the fact that the weather got nicer and the last thing I wanted to do was to go to the gymnasium when I could be working out outside.
Drew had a book called Weight Training Workouts That Work by James Orvis that he gave to me to try out. I know that a lot of people have enjoyed The New Rules of Lifting for Women, but I figured that I would give this book a try since it's free and I've got it and it looks like I can do it. It's a 12-week plan with 3 workouts per week. Mostly the workouts are on non-consecutive days and I'm thinking that I will most likely lift Wednesday, Friday and then either Sunday or Monday. Of course, I blew all of that by starting today on a Saturday!
This is the workout with the weights that I lifted after doing a quick 5-minute walking warm-up at 4.5 speed on the treadmill:
Dumbbell Bench Press: 2 sets x 15 reps @ 15 lbs (per arm)
Lat Pulldown (wide grip): 2 sets x 15 reps @ 60 lbs
Leg Press: 2 sets x 15 reps @ 90 lbs (plus machine)*
Dumbbell Pullovers: 2 sets x 15 reps @ 15 lbs
Barbell Curls: 2 sets x 15 reps @ 20 lbs
Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 2 sets x 15 reps @ 10 lbs
Crunches: 2 sets x 15 reps
I had never done some of the lifts before today -- the Dumbbell Bench Press and Dumbbell Pullovers. I've done regular bench presses before, but not with dumbbells. I'm not sure I like one more than the other. Drew told me that he thinks that you can actually lift more weight with dumbbells than you can with barbells, which is funny. The dumbbell pullovers were pretty hard, I thought. The first set I don't think I was doing quite right. The book has instructions (and pictures) on how to do each exercise, so after the first set of pullovers, I read the instructions to get some better tips on how to improve on the second set. Keeping my back flatter on the bench and leading with my elbows definitely made the second set easier and better.
When we were doing the Dumbbell Shoulder Press, Drew said, "This is how you get those bowling ball shoulders." Honestly, it never occurred to me that I would want my shoulders to resemble bowling balls, but I guess that if I do, I should keep on doing this exercise!
We ended up not doing any more cardio. Drew has just started feeling a little under the weather and we needed to run some errands and I've got a birthday party to go to tonight, so it seemed like it might be for the best to just head home. I think that I really will enjoy this book. I'm pretty clueless in the weight-room about which exercises to do and I basically need step-by-step directions, which is what this book provides. I'm supposed to do this same workout two more times this week, but I might try increasing the weights a little bit next time if I can. I didn't want to push it too hard today since I have a duathlon in the morning!
*So, when we were doing the leg presses, I was wondering how much the machine itself weighs. It seems like a fairly logical question since you count the bar when you're doing bench presses, why wouldn't you also count the weight of the sled on the leg press machine? A quick Google search turns up several varying answers and a lot of mean-spirited message boards. It seems like in the weight lifting community, you're a sissy for even wanting to know how much the sled weighs and it could weigh as little as 25 pounds or as much as 100. I guess I'll just keep wondering, but I'd prefer not to be labeled a sissy!
Maximum HR: 146
Average HR: 106