Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Resolution Update #2

I mentioned before that because I feel accountable for putting out there my resolution for the year, the truthful thing to do would be provide monthly updates. So I plan on giving bimonthly updates at the 15th and the end of the month on my training and progress to date. As a reminder, my NY resolution is complete 2 full pull ups (palms facing me) by the end of September.

Here goes...

I really wasn't sure what I should be doing or how I should be 'training' for this, but got some good advice from some good peeps out there and found some online as well. Since my first update I've been hitting the gym 3x a week for 45-60min. I'm fortunate enough to get there Tuesday and Thursday after class as well as Saturday or Sunday. The weekend workouts are more intensive as I have more time to get a good workout in. My biggest rule is this - no dilly-dally. I'm in the gym for a purpose and it ain't to socialize. I get in around 9pm and it closes at 9:50 (bar time), so I have no time to waste between sets. Fortunately, there's maybe only one other person there and they're too busy doing their own thing or posing shirtless, as the guy tonight was. Fine by me. Another thing I've been doing is push-ups. Granted, they're only girl push-ups, but I'm doing them. I started off by knocking out a couple sets of 5 in the AM and then again in the PM and have moved it up to sets of 7. I also vary the 'plain' I do them on. Sometimes I'll have my hands on a medicine ball or my legs up on a stability ball. At work while in my cube, I'll use my desk and do an incline pushup.. when no one is watching, of course. I vary the hand positioning from time to time, too.

Update.. drum roll please.....

...I still can't do a pull up.

Am I surprised? No. I have improved, though. I started off by doing the negatives and could barely hold myself up for 1 second before dropping to the ground. Now I can hold myself up (forearms perpendicular to the ground and biceps parallel to the ground) for 4 seconds. I'll do 5-7 reps of these to see how long I can hold myself up. One thing I try to focus on is not using just my shoulders and upper arms. I try to focus on my mid section and stabilize my core to avoid any unnecessary movement, which I consider wasted energy. It's like a distance runner that swings their arms too much. Minimize that movement and save the energy for the part of your body that needs it the most - legs.

I also see how close I am to doing a pull up by attempting one per my instructions in my first post, and I'm not close. I think I can move up a few inches, but that's it. One workout I found, and have been doing, is to do pull ups using the bar on the squat rack. This way I can simulate the pull up and use as much of my legs as I want to assist myself. It's as close to the assisted pull up machine as I'll get.

Another big thing I need to do is increase my cardio. Hitting the weights 3x a week and adding bulk isn't gonna help when what I need to do is shed weight and lighten the load. The weight training has increased my metabolism, so I sure I'll see some changes once I get on a better running routine.

I might have to cut back on the pushups as I've noticed some tenderness in my right elbow. When I finally start swimming more regularly, I don't want to have any shoulder or elbow problems. I'm not sure if this will hurt my progress, but I'd rather get healthy early on than have to cut back in July or August. I also want to start keeping a journal of what my workouts are so I can better track my progress instead of guessing week to week.

At this point, all I can be is optimistic. It's still very early in the game and I know I've made good progress. I can't become a 'resolutionist' and bag it this early on. If you know me, that's not me. I will not break.


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