FORGING IRON | WEEK 05

This week, I almost cursed at my trainer and may have been mistaken for a terrorist in the gym pool.

MONDAY

Beginning of the week means upper body, so I subjected myself to an hour of pain with David.

One of the common threads among the three trainers that I work with is that they all love the use of supersets, or short circuits. By this I mean doing one exercise immediately followed by one or two more without a break before repeating the pattern a couple of times. This effectively destroys any will one might have later on in the day or week to walk and move like a normal human being, because oh my god the pain.

It's very efficient, though, I will say that. When I am working out on my own, I follow a specific plan which is one exercise for 2-4 sets, then on to the next one, and the next. While I still work the same muscle groups for roughly the same amount of volume, I usually take much longer for the whole workout on my own than I do with a trainer.

This is a long way of saying that if you're thinking of getting a personal trainer, just do it, because it is one of the best investments you can make in yourself.

Tomorrow morning will have some cardio, then working legs in the afternoon with Jahmale.

TUESDAY

Nevermind, let's just call this a rest day.

I woke up feeling really weird. I felt slightly dizzy and had some chest pain that I'm going to say was more muscle tightness than heart issues. Hopefully.

And Jahmale has to reschedule on me, so I will be working legs on Friday instead.

Yay, rest.

WEDNESDAY

Felt much more like myself this morning, so I went for my usual 5.7 mile run. Why 5.7, you ask? Well that's because the road I run on ends at the 2.85 mile mark, so I go to the end and then turn around and run back.

My pace isn't where I want it to be, since I had an overall average of 8:57. This humidity is brutal, I really can't even describe it to someone who has never experienced it. But it's basically like taking a wet towel, heating it up to a couple hundred degrees, wrapping it around your face and mouth, and then attempting to breathe or function like a normal human.

Florida summers can suck it.

Anyways, tonight I spent another hour with my swim coach, Chris. This session was better than the last, because I didn't have any terrifying thoughts of drowning. He also took some videos of me swimming to show me in slow motion where my inefficiencies were. I love that, because I can actually visualize what he is telling me I am doing wrong, rather than trying to fix something and hoping for the best. I'm going to start using a GoPro when I swim on my own, which will also allow me to put the camera in the water to I can see my technique from underneath.

Then I got groceries, part of which consisted of potato chips, chocolate, and beer. Whatever.

THURSDAY

Today I almost cursed angrily at Deano, so I guess that means it was a good workout.

Core day has quickly become the most painful 60 minutes of my week. There are no weights or complicated movements to worry about. All that is required is that I move my body weight around, and it's horrible.

I mentioned leg lifts last week, and how much I hated them. So of course there were more planned for tonight. This was the first moment of the night where I almost said some NSFW things in the direction of Deano. Imagine someone taking a large, dull knife and inserting it between where your hip and leg bone connect. That's what this movement feels like after a few minutes. I actually clutched the rubber mat I was laying on in pain, as if I was in labor or something.

Maybe that was a bad comparison, but still. It hurts.

The other awesome (or cruel) thing she had me do tonight is called a sliding pike. This is an ab exercise where you get into a plank position with your feet on two paper plates. You then slide your feet towards your hands before sliding the legs back into the plank position in a wide circle.

This is some form of torture, I just know it.

FRIDAY

Hey, it's Friday! Wait, that means legs...

Cue the crying jordan meme.

This was the hardest day of the week, by far. Where I felt pain yesterday with Deano, I felt sheer weakness and frustration with this workout coached by Jahmale.

Our menu today consisted of heavy squats, heavy trap bar deadlifts, single leg presses, deficit goblin squats, weighted box step-ups, dead treadmill pushes, plus much more. Oh, and for dessert? 1 minute on the stationary bike at max resistance.

This was one of those workouts where I actually collapsed on the ground at the end of it and had to lay there for a couple minutes to get reacquainted with reality.

I'm going to be feeling this one for a few days, I already know it.

SATURDAY

Today was a gloomy day but I was glad to spend that time in the gym. I did my own thing today, working on one of the upper body days of my own version of the Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training (PHAT, for short) program. I promise I am going to be detailing out that weekly training program soon. If you're looking for a new (or first time) program, I think mine is a good one to try.

So as I was saying, I spent a little over an hour working through various chest, bicep, and tricep exercises. I was pretty spent by the end of it, but not too exhausted to skip swimming.

After lifting I went right to the pool and gutted out 1,200 yards. All in all, I spent about 2 hours at the gym, which I consider a solid day.

One funny exchange happened when I was at the pool, though.

I had taken my GoPro with me and set it up in various locations in my swim lane, so that I could look at the footage later to see what I'm doing wrong. So as I'm setting the camera in one of the spots, an old dude in another swim lane yells over:

Him: "Hey, what is that?"
Me: "This is a GoPro."
Him: "A what? Is it waterproof?" (he sounds suspicious now)
Me: "Uh, it's a GoPro. It has a waterproof case." (who the hell hasn't heard of GoPro?)
Him: "Is it a camera?"
Me: "Yes, it is a camera." (is this guy serious?)
Him: "Oh, okay..."

As I'm going back to the end of the swim lane to start swimming again, I realize something:

This man saw a tan, bearded guy setting up a small device with a blinking red light and probably thought he needed to get out of the pool.

Or maybe he just came out from the rock he was born under. One of the two.

SUNDAY

No workout today, I'm going to clean, plan for the week, and organize the videos and photos I took over the weekend. Looking forward to tomorrow, I'm seeing the Tampa Bay Rays play the Los Angeles Angels tomorrow in St. Petersburg with a buddy, and he has field level tickets. Should be a nice and relaxing 4th of July.

WEEK 05 SUMMARY

It was a somewhat productive week of training, but I don't like having two rest days. Ideally I want six days a week of training, with at least three of those days consisting of two workouts. If you're counting along at home, that means a target of 9 workouts per week. This week had seven.

I have my first Olympic distance triathlon just over one month from now. I need to step it up.