Tabata survivors

Peer pressure brought us all back to the gym this morning. 4th time this week, we’re getting really keen!

But it wasn’t for weights…nooooo, that would’ve been too easy!!

We cycled! 😀

But it had to be extreme, we’re not used to simple stuff.

Well, Tabata training it is, then!

The goal was to keep cycling at over 120 rpm. I managed to achieve about 140 rpm only at the beginning of each set (the 1st minute or so). After that, it was only a struggle to reach 120. I distinctly remember staring at the monitor – 109 rpm – and cycling faster and faster and faaaster!!! However, the machine seemed stuck, the number wouldn’t change and it felt like forever. Oh, I’ve never realised how long 2 seconds are…

I kept watching the timer and I knew when I was supposed to stop, but I’m pretty sure that if Matt hadn’t told me to, I would’ve continued cycling chaotically. My brain acknowledged that 20 s have passed, but it wouldn’t tell my muscles to slow down until it would hear the magic word “STOP!”. Next, 7 s would fly like nothing – I swear I pedalled once or twice during that – and the countdown would begin… This was like a bad dream. Or a feverish nightmare.

After the second set I sat down, had some water and only then I was able to fill my lungs with air. I couldn’t control the noises I was making. I just sat there panting and hissing.

You are supposed to “cool down” after interval training. I did cycle a bit, but the main goal was to keep my breakfast inside of me.  And to get rid of the pain in my stomach. Imagine appendicitis pain, but located elsewhere. I couldn’t even breathe or move properly.

Meanwhile a friend of mine was happily sweating on an elliptical machine. I don’t know why people use that. It’s not very effective. I do have some respect for them, stemming from my inability to use the machine. I feel like puking after 5 min, no matter how easy the exercise is. And there’s no car/sea sickness involved here. It’s just elliptical machine sickness.

I didn’t want to eat after training, but we ended up in Avalanche anyway. The guys had a proper English breakfast and I ordered a chicken avocado salad. I needed something light.

I feel a numb pain now, very different from weight training. I’m very curious what will happen tomorrow. Or better yet, on Monday.

I think I need bacon

Today is not my day. I woke up with a horrible back pain. Horrible as in… I couldn’t roll in bed kinda pain. Or I couldn’t stand properly. Or move my arms. Or wash my face over the sink. I knew this was coming. I was in pain yesterday, but it was the “I can’t really turn and look back” or “that thing may as well stay on the floor” kind of pain. The level I’ve reached today was surprising. A hot shower helped, to some extent. You’re not supposed to roll your lower back, but this case was borderline acceptable so I tried foam rolling the sore muscle again. Yesterday that made me feel better. Today… I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t hold the right position. I gave up and cycled to the gym wondering if it’s worth the trip.

I immediately started feeling better, even during the warm up. Once the blood was pumping through my muscles, the pain significantly diminished.  Never underestimate the power of training again!

Things went well until the last exercise – the barbell complex. This was a disaster. It turns out I can’t do bent over rows with 20 kg. I struggled to finish the 10 reps, did the power cleans and as I was preparing to do the overhead press my arms decided – no, that’s not going to happen. I tried to jump a bit and get the load off my chest, but there was no nerve firing in my arms, no muscle contracting. Dead! I couldn’t give up so easily, I still forced myself to do the exercise, but after 6 reps it was over. I wanted to cry. So I started screaming a bit. I skipped the remaining reps and went straight to squats. On the 2nd set I simply gave up right after the rows. I threw away the weight and sat down. I’ve never felt so angry and so hopeless in the gym before. Thus, I switched to the light bar and did the 3 sets with 18.5 kg. At least it was vaguely more than last time (17.5 kg). I’ll try 19 kg next time.

The deadlifts are still going well. I’m already dreaming about lifting 100 kg. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m definitely above 80 kg. I was tempted to skip the warm up and lift 50 kg from the very beginning (8 reps), but I haven’t done Romanian deadlifts in a while and I needed to remember them. So warm up is still 40 kg, but we’re getting there. 🙂

I tried to order mom’s protein today, but it seems that myprotein decided they don’t deliver after all. I called them again and they told something completely different this time. I hate their customer service. I’m not sure what I’ll do. I might get it on my address and then forward it home, if mom really wants to go through with this. This adds another failure on today’s list. By the time I figured out there’s no way I can order the stuff from other sources I was already pretty upset. So upset I bit into a fork. I will remember this day every time I look in a mirror.

What’s next, Murphy?

Epic training

I’m on Phase 4. Whatever that means. I trust Matt knows what he’s doing. I don’t know the principles and criteria that guide him when choosing the exercises. All I understood was that it’s supposed to be more difficult. Yes, that is possible. And yes, I somehow completed the sets today.

I’ve had another “I can’t jump on the box!” moment. Lame. My brain might’ve been right, though. The extra weight I was carrying was a bit of a problem. Next time I’ll jump on the higher box, I must!

The weight for bench press is lower this week because I was failing on all the sets. I’d say is just right now. If I look at my progress, this hasn’t increased at all. I can definitely do more reps, though. I like this new schedule, with more than 5 reps. It feels like you’re slowly building up strength and pushing the limits. I’m optimistic about it. My arms hurt a lot in the past weeks. 😀

The best part was the deadlift. Band deadlift!! I’m adding this video to demonstrate the technique of stepping on the band. 😛 Most of the exercises I found online use some interesting equipment that we don’t really need. Please ignore the rest, not all the people in that video have good form.

I was able to lift 50 kg with bands and I’m a little bit amazed that I managed to do it. (It was actually written on my sheet!) This is nearly my bodyweight. It would’ve been exactly my body weight if I hadn’t eaten a kilo of dates last week.

Usually, the  deadlift is only difficult at the beginning, when you take the weight off the floor. The bands make it difficult all the way up. Locking was really a problem and I nearly fell over on the first reps. But I survived!! And loved that exercise!!! 😀

John was the epic one today. The barbell complex looked very difficult, but he didn’t give up. At the end he was covered in sweat and feeling pretty miserable. He’s taking that Greek God joke very seriously and I think he might get there by the end of the diet. Watch out, girls!

Worst bit, my workout didn’t end there. Any phase starts with the gruesome max reps split squats!!! Last time, 14 reps – 27.5 kg. This time, 15 reps on left leg (weak leg) and 14.5 on the right one with the same weight. Not much of an improvement. However, I still consider that the greatest achievement on split squats is the first rep. If you manage to do it, you’re set for the next 10 min or so. May God help you!

On my way home I stopped to grab a salad for lunch. It took me 5 min to lock the bike in front of the shop, although it was all set in place. I knocked over the nearby bike, straightened that, then my bike started sliding. With great effort I put my bike back into place. Then my handle bar cover slid off and my bike fell again. Then it took me ages to pull the lock off the rack. Then I dropped the keys, then one bit of the lock. At this point I was having troubles picking things off the floor and standing on my feet. I was holding onto the bike seat and laughing like a retard.

It wasn’t much prettier in the shop. You can’t really explain to the staff why you’re panting and grunting whilst picking up a 200g salad from the shelf. I started singing at a certain point, just so I’d sound more human. I can’t really sing. I hope I’m allowed back in the shop because it’s my main source of food at the moment.

Moms are awesome!

Lately all my conversations involve some sort of reference to training. Posh garden party? Talk about deadlifts, max reps, squats, racks, gyms…you get the picture. Sounds silly, but I always learn from these conversations. I’ve heard something reassuring recently. I was chatting with this guy in college (he does judo) and he mentioned that his 59-year-old mother has started weight training. Apparently, her doctor recommend it so she would get into shape. She doesn’t need to lose weight, but get stronger and have a better posture.  It’s going well for her (no suprise here) and this gives me hope.

My mom hasn’t started proper training yet, but she is on a low-carb diet at the moment. She already lost 4 kg. Every time I talk to her the weight is smaller. 🙂