Saturday, April 16, 2011

Progess, Planning and Pals

Those are the three things that motivate me today.  Here's the gist:

As most of you know, I workout with a group of friends from work.  We do an array of different things.  However for the last few weeks we've been doing a workout plan that was developed by another friend of ours.  It's a 5-day a week plan.  Each workout for the first four days includes lifts, super sets, workouts with high-reps, core exercises and full body exercises.  The 5th day of each week is as follows:

5 rounds as fast as you can of:
15 squat jumps
20 push-ups
20 crunches
8 lunges (each leg)
7 pull-ups

One of the purposes of this workout is to gauge progress.  Ideally, you should be improving your time and ability to complete the workout.  The individual pieces of it should become easier as you build strength and endurance.  Here is what my times looked like for the past few weeks:

Week 1:
We actually decided to do this workout once prior to starting the new plan so that we could have a baseline to compare against.  I did the workout in a little over 15 minutes.  I wasn't set up to well (I needed to run to and from a location to do the pull-ups), however, endurance was a large issue.

Week 2:
About 12:30, a pretty good improvement.  I was set up a bit better so that I didn't have to run back and forth to do pull-ups.  If you've read previous posts, you'll know that pull-ups are difficult for me, but they got a lot easier this time around.

Week 3:  This week.
I actually did it twice this week.  I ended up going at it alone Friday night and we all met up Saturday morning (today) to do it together.  I learned something interesting from these last two days.  Here are my times:
Friday: 11:34 - I chalk up the improvement from Week 2 to building up strength and endurance.  As I get more and more active, my stamina in this type of a workout has gotten much greater.  Interestingly enough, I've also learned that paying attention to your breathing patterns plays a large role as well.
Saturday: 10:27 - I chalk the overnight improvement to the fact that I was with three other guys who were going faster than me.  I was anticipating a slower time (because my body was tired from the previous night's workout).  My pride set in however, and despite being absolutely gassed at the end of the workout, simply having them around made me go faster.

I realize that eventually, my times will plateau and I'll get to a point where beating my PR won't happen weekly.  However, I am interested and fascinated by the different factors that have led to the improvement.

The Plan has helped with strength and endurance.
My Pals pushed me to do better than I thought I could do.
My Progress makes me pumped to get back in the gym on Monday for another great week of workouts.

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