Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Hate This Workout

This is about how I feel right now.  I felt like I was in High School all over again getting up this morning.  I guess that could be because I spent the day at a High School, and will be for the next seven weeks.  I'm almost already looking forward to Middle School starting an hour later.  

If you haven't been reading my blog, this might not make sense, so to catch everyone up to speed I started student teaching today.  I live an hour away, and I have to be at the school by 6:40.  You do the math.  It is early...especially to someone for whom 8AM has been early for the past 3 years.  Oh, and if you can't do the math, or are too lazy to, or just don't care, I was up at 4:30.  I got there early today, but I think I can sleep a little later tomorrow...maybe even 4:45!  

Anyway, what I am currently grappling with is that, the timing of starting this new "job" (in quotes because it feels like a job, but you usually get paid for jobs) has coincided with starting a new workout plan.  I've been talking a lot about yoga lately, and I've been noticing that while I am really strong, my muscles get tired pretty fast.  So this next workout plan is going to be geared more towards muscle endurance than pure strength (meaning, higher reps).  Also, I need to work on my cardiovascular endurance as well.  All kind of endurance.  Well, guess what?  I hate endurance.  I get bored after 8 reps, and I rarely run for more than 20 minutes because I think its boring.  I'm not about to put myself through THAT much unhappiness...after all, if I am going to be this tired after school every day, I am going to need something to will myself to get to the gym, so I'm doing a throwback to the first workout from New Rules of Lifting for Women (which I don't like, by the way, but if you want to talk about that, leave a comment or email me).  

I'm going to follow the general format of the first workout of this program, because it was the only part I liked.  It starts with low sets - high reps, and slowly increases in sets and decreases in reps.  I am going to rotate two different groups of exercises, workout A, and workout B, and will do each 8 times, putting me at the 6 week mark again.  

Workout A:  Squats, superset Bulgarian Squats and Barbell Chest Press, superset PushUps and Hamstring Curls.

Workout B:  Deadlifts, superset Dumbbell Shoulder Press and Assisted Pullups, superset Dumbbell Rows and Rear Delt Row.

If you don't know what a superset is, it means that I will go through the workout like this:  

Squats (complete all sets)
Bulgarian Squats
Barbell Chest Press
Bulgarian Squats
Barbell Chest Press (continue that until all sets are completed)
Dumbbell Rows
Rear Delt Rows
Dumbbell Rows
Rear Delt Rows  (continue that until all sets are completed)

I hope that makes sense.  If it doesn't, and you care, feel free to ask questions.  If you don't care, I'm sticking my tongue out at you right now.  If you already knew...well you probably skipped that anyway.  

The reps and sets are going to go like this:  
Session 1:  2 sets of 15 reps
Session 2:  2 sets of 12 reps
Session 3:  3 sets of 10 reps
Session 4:  3 sets of 8 reps
Session 5:  4 sets of 8 reps
Session 6:  4 sets of 6 reps
Session 7:  5 sets of 6 reps
Session 8:  5 sets of 5 reps

So I will be doing both Workout A and Workout B once for each Session...not on the same days, I'm not sure if that is obvious or not.  So this week, I will do Workout A, Session 1 today, Workout B Session 1 tomorrow, and Workout A Session 2 on Friday, and progress like that.  By the way, if anyone knows how to import spreadsheets into blogger, that would make this all a lot more readable.  

On a weekly basis, the plan is this:  
Monday - off, unless class is cancelled, in which case I will go to yoga
Tuesday - lifting, cardio 20 minutes
Wednesday - lifting, run 20 minutes
Thursday - run 20 minutes, yoga
Friday - lifting, cardio 20 minutes
Saturday - run 20 minutes, yoga
Sunday - yoga?  run?  altogether undecided on this day.  I would hate to have two days off in a row, because I feel like that is enough time to make me feel lazy, but it kind of just works out that way right now.  For now I will probably do yoga, but once the weather is nicer, I will probably run outside.

The workout plan that I just finished is here...in a considerably cuter post because I was considerably less tired.    

Also, the order I have things listed above, is the order I do them in.  Always lifting before running, because lifting is more important to me.  I'd rather keep my strength for lifting then wear myself out running beforehand.  I like to do any kind of cardio before yoga, because yoga gets me all relaxed, and I would hate to harsh my mellow by getting all amped up again afterwards.  

I'm never sure if anyone cares about these posts, but they're important to me for two reasons.  First, if I didn't do this today, I probably would have put off another day of lifting trying to think of the *perfect program*.  Obviously nothing is perfect, so its more productive to just keep moving forward.  Second, I think that most people get the impression that vegans aren't strong...and while there are plenty of examples proving that this is not true, I feel like my personal example of how you can eat good vegan food, workout hard, build muscle, and be healthy, is important to me.  And....its my blog after all, right?  

Anyway, although this isn't my ideal workout (that is coming next), I'm going to try really hard to stick to the running, or at least cardio.  I know 20 minutes is nothing, but I'm trying to do less, more consistently, rather than more, less often.

Don't forget, only two more days to sign up for the Juicer Giveaway!   


  1. Cute pic, and it was exactly how I felt today too! I hate when school starts up again. I'm never ready! I usually wake up at 5am and leave at 7:30am for school but I actually set my alarm for 6am and challenged myself to get ready faster so I would have more precious hours of sleep! Why can't school just be later?!

  2. Sorry you have to get up earlier now! If it makes you feel any better, I get up at 4:45 every morning (it was really tough at first!) but you get used to it. (Though we also go to bed at around 8:45 :s)

    Though we aren't vegans ourselves, my husband has done bodybuilding in the past and he thought it would be neat to experiment with bodybuilding on a vegan diet. (Though he probably won't, at least not anytime soon, I know he did some reading about it and found it really interesting).

    Anyways, hope tomorrow morning doesn't come too early;)

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  4. awww sweetie...i feel ya abt distances and waking up early. it's really a bother.

    goodness look at your work out plan....i should be working out too but i think my fingers are doing alot of exercising these days (keyboard)

    love the polar bear pic. made me chuckled!

  5. I'm also working on doing less more consistently than more,less often.

    Would you recommend The New Rules of Lifting for Women? Or, is there something else you would suggest. I'm just starting out with consistent weight training, so I'd like to pick your brain a bit.:)

  6. Oooh, Shelby, an hour of extra sleep? That sounds so nice right now, haha.

    Lesley, I wish I could go to bed that early, but my house is so loud that I would be lying in bed for an hour until my brother went to sleep at 10. I might have to try though, because 6 1/2 hours isn't going to cut it for me. One of the many reasons that I can't wait to move. That's really cool that your husband has looked into vegan bodybuilding!

    Denny, gah, I have been meaning to send you an email since yesterday, it is coming. My fingers are going to be getting a huge rest these next few months, since I don't have a computer while I am student teaching, haha, I need to work out!

    Ashley, I will send you an email also, but I wanted to put it up here too, since someone asked. I only got to Stage 3 of NROL4W. There were a lot of things that I like about the book. I think it is a really good way to get beginners into lifting (and not weenie girly lifting, but not crazy person either), and it addresses a lot of concerns like, turning into a she-man, overtraining, and why Barbie weights don't really do anything. Also, JP fitness has a forum, with a subforum that is solely for people doing NROL4W (and I say people, because I know some men have done it also). It is a good workout. You go through the sets pretty quick, so you can work up a little bit of a sweat, but there is also HIIT (high intensity interval training) involved, as well as suggestions for accommodating other cardio if you want.

    I think that this book is great if you need a plan and are completely shameless. I picked this book up when I had been lifting for over two years, and I liked the way it started out (hence my doing the first stage again, although these are different exercises than in the book). However, once I got to the second stage, I started to feel a little silly. Then in the third stage I felt even sillier, and I abandoned it there to go back to my own thing.

    Long story short, the workouts are good, the advice is sound, and it can be helpful, especially when you are starting out, to have a workout planned out for you (I believe it is a 6 month workout, actually, 6 different stages). But I was far too proud to do some of the things they wanted me to do. I'm not saying they wouldn't have *worked*, but it just wasn't for me....especially since I didn't feel like I needed it.

    I actually sold it to someone on sparkpeople a few weeks ago or I would have sent you my copy!

  7. 4:30 is awfully early! I get up at 5:30 for work and it never seems to get any easier.

    I'm not familiar with that training book, but I lift like a man. I've been weight training like this for more than five years now and I absolutely love it. I have a personal trainer and he kicks my butt every week.

  8. Gina,
    I love reading about your workouts, and I think 20 minutes of cardio is plenty. That, combined with your strength training and yoga sounds like a perfect balance to me!

    Sorry you have to get up so early, but your student teaching will fly by...I can't wait to hear some stories. :)

  9. I hope I get the motivation you have to work out. Hopefully being in Colorado Springs with all those fit people will help. :P

    That is an unnatural time to have to wake up. I hope it passes by fast for you.

  10. I wish I had your willpower. I am trying to be more consistent about getting to workout. I hope that I have the time (and energy) to start a program while Omnidude is away. I'm sure it will make the time go by faster. I hope the early wake up time goes by quickly. I get up at 5:45 to be out of the house by 7. I've mastered "quick".

  11. omg 4:45! i've been feeling like getting out of bed at 8:45 for work has been particularly hard lately.

  12. my goodness, gina!! i've never had a friend who plans workouts- i don't even do that haha i guess if it helps you stick with it, more power to ya!!

    i can't imagine waking up so early. i would slaughter myself. i remember during holidays, sears would open so goddamn early. i had to be there at 6:45 every weekend and nobody would ever switch me shifts.

  13. YIKES! That's way too early! I'm supposed to be lifting, but the laziness won't allow it. I also feel like that bear - cutest picture ever BTW!!

  14. Sounds like a great workout program. I'm following a pretty similar one and it's been awesome!

  15. Yikes, sounds intense! Then again, my only "workout" involves lifting pans in and out of ovens. ;)

  16. Oh, student teaching is DEFINITELY working. It's a job. I always considered school my job anyway. I did student teaching last semester at a high school. That is a TERRIBLY early time for you to be at school. I had to be at mine at 8:10 and students had to be there by 8:25. Teenagers really aren't designed to operate too early in the morning. I think 9 would be a good time, but as a teacher I don't want to be there until 5 every night as I have my own kids, so I can understand getting it started earlier.

    About the workout, that looks like a good plan. I also had low endurance but over the last 2 years have done more cardio to kick it up. Classes are the only thing that works to get me motivated. I just can't do the tredmill or elyptical without getting incredibly bored.