As I mentioned in a previous post, my background is that of a high-level competitive athlete - namely, that of a figure skater. (Or did I mention that? … I don’t know - but I’ve mentioned it now, so that’s what counts!)
I have most of my background knowledge of form and whatnot from those many years of training (mostly from off-ice conditioning) and also my ability to understand that my body is capable of much more than I could imagine - which basically means I just have to keep aiming higher and seeing where my body can go. In fact, I’ve already accomplished a good many goals this summer at a much faster rate than I expected to - which is both good and bad. Good, because that opens up more doors for me and allows me to set higher goals. Bad, because I seem to have been severely underestimating my capacity to fulfill goals and improve in short periods of time.
Anyway - the point of this all this insanity is to gain muscle (mostly make what I have more dense, not necessarily gain mass), lose fat tissue (so that I get to see more of that muscle!), and gain in both cardiovascular endurance and explosive strength.
As such, I’ve been following a decently strict nutritional and workout regimen. I’ll be posting the nutritional breakdown soon - for now, let’s talk about working out.
There’s a list of things that I need to hit every week - there’s the ‘optional’ stuff (that I do for the sake of doing/because I enjoy it) and then there’s the stuff that I know I need to get done every week.
2 x sub 60 minute 10km run.
(I’m running the Tough Mudder in September - which is a 16km + obstacles. Running these are both necessary for my endurance training and getting my joints and whatnot ready for the pounding. I’m working up to longer runs, but this is my current distance training. I’ll be upping the distance once every few weeks, whilst keeping one of the 10km’s around for maintenance. This is also a part of my calorific deficit goals I need to hit every week.)
As for the 5km for time, I’m preparing myself for another race (Spartan Sprint) which is similar to the Tough Mudder, but only a 5km obstacle course. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do a sub 25-minute 5km by the end of this summer. Like I’ve said, this isn’t only about endurance or strength - it’s about both)
(I know that as someone who’s ‘starting up’, it’s technically more beneficial to do full body days, but with my cardio regimen added into it plus my optional activities, it becomes a little bit too much for me to really handle, resulting in more needed rest days or unwanted injuries. Therefore, I’d much rather to split days and not necessarily advance as quickly in strength then put myself out of commission for training for my main ‘event’ - that being the Tough Mudder race.)
I swear, it isn’t the case. I’ve just recently consulted with the wonderful community on reddit (/r/xxfitness) about what I should do concerning routinnes, since I didn’t want to burn myself out too quickly - (I don’t take rest days unless I really feel like it’s absolutely necessary). I was advised to throw in abs a bunch more into my routine - just after working out my ‘main’ muscle groups of the day, since abs are very necessary stabilizer muscles, and the last thing you want is terrible form on a deadlift because you decided to burn out your abs first.
I sometimes drop the abs sections of a workout, if I feel like I’d be too sloppy. (This is usually the case when I’m working arms/chest, since any attempt at anything like a plank results with my arms shaking right off the bat, and my face in the mat.)
I do these as often as my body will let me, because I think they’re awesome. Also, some of my activities happen every week, despite my condition, because I’m on a team!
Beach Volleyball + 10k run or bike - I’m part of a summer league, and despite my shitty hand-to-eye co-ordination/horrible teamplayer skills, I quite enjoy it. I almost never leave without some form of bug-bite/bruised forearms battlescars. The 10k (which is usually biking) is me being a cheap student and deciding to not pay for bus tickets to get to location. Makes a great cooldown/warm up though!
Hot Yoga or Hot Power Yoga - I love yoga. In fact, my whole serious fitness regimen started with it. Not only is it an amazingly refreshing workout, but it’s wonderful for flexibility and clarity of the mind. It leaves you with a clear mind and in a sort of calm, half-pain induced trance. Plus, when I do happen to have the money, I’ll be taking an instructor’s course, because I’d love to be an instructor!
Yin Yoga - Similar in concept to Hot Yoga, except poses are more based off of stretching out the muscles and releasing deep-tissue tension. I daresay these hurt more than Power Yoga, and can be much more challenging. It definitely takes much more mental control to not get out of the poses! I really try to go to one of these a week, since I find it very advantageous to do a ‘deep cleanse’ of muscles I’ve worn out from heavy lifting and all that running.
5km Row - I wish I was on a rowing team, but alas - I am not only inexperienced, I am also pretty broke (Three cheers for being a student!) I find that it’s a really nice switch-up for cardio though, and a great overall body workout. Hopefully, I’ll get into a rowing team one day.
Now that we have all of that over with… let me show you how I throw all of this into my weekly schedule.
I don’t really have set ‘times’, since my work schedule changes week to week. I just base what I do when according to when the gym is open and when I have to work.
- 5km run, Volleyball. (I got a ride home because I managed to jump on a stick and impale my foot. Ouchies.)
- Back + Biceps + Abs (It’s raining right now, but I’ll mildly grudgingly drag myself to the gym, where I’ll be pretty happy to be drowned in my own sweat).
- Leg day + Abs (My favourite day, by far. I’m probably going to do this early in the morning, because that means the squat racks will be empty, and I work in the mall where my gym is located at 9 AM)
- 5km Row + Yoga (It’s supposed to thunderstorm, so no running for me…) I’ll probably have to make that 5km Row a HIIT session, since it doesn’t seem like I’ll have room to do that this week.
- 10km Run (No thunderstorms, yay!)
- Yin Yoga + Hot Yoga, Afternoon Arms + Chest + Shoulders (Lots to do today, but a friend of mine is coming into town and explicitly requested Hot Yoga, so it’s definitely happening!)
- 11.4 km run. (Challenging myself with a run to a landmark and back - I have a goal list, and it’s on it, so might as well!)
I do epsom salt soaks when I feel like it’s necessary, and also do the hot-cold showers to help with muscle recovery. In all honesty though, it’s got a lot to do with what you’re feeding your body!