This past week I started boosting my pull-ups count. As you recall, my goal is to do 12 continuous wide pulls-up using no momentum whatsoever. I’ve recently gotten my count up to a solid 3. I noticed that the pull-ups are easier to do when I train my chest. It’s as if working the opposite muscle group (in this case the chest) tricks my back into thinking it’s not tired, which in turn allows me to do more pull-ups. Three is still a pretty weak number, so by the end of the year I’d like to get back up to 5 continuous pull-ups. I’m not sure how aggressive that goal is so we’ll see where I stand come mid December.
On the flip side, I’ve noticed my explosive push ups have improved a bit. I still can’t do a full-on clap, but I’m getting a little more “air time” with my current sets.
It’s officially Thanksgiving, which means in a few hours millions of people across the U.S. are going to sit down and over-eat using “Thanksgiving” as a scapegoat. As someone who used to be overweight, I tell you, don’t do it. There’s nothing wrong with having a hearty meal, but doing it just because it’s a “holiday” is a bit of a cop out in my opinion. I’m not saying starve yourself, have fun, enjoy all the food, but try to make wise decisions. Maybe take it easy on the buttery mashed potatoes and give yourself another helping of salad. Ditch the turkey skin and eat just the meat. Don’t drown anything in gravy or maybe pass on the buttered bread. Simple things. That way on Friday you won’t be racing to the gym and working out for 2 hours in hopes of “undoing” everything you did on Thursday. Just a few friendly suggestions. The point is to enjoy the time you’re spending with those you care for. (And of course enjoy the food. Just don’t overdo it!)
My bicep workouts tend to bore me. I’m not sure why, but I find them dull. So I started a new routine with them today. I’m gonna work them out quickly and effectively up to the point where I get a nice pump going, and then I will stop. I think I’m over training my biceps. I work them till they’re sore (almost to fatigue) and I think by doing a “pump workout” I might get better results. At any rate, it’ll be good to try something new. The “slow” biceps workout hasn’t been very effective for me.
The New York Times has a very interesting story about elite athletes — runners in particular — and how they are able to train beyond their threshold of pain. I’ve always found this absolutely fascinating because this is that gray area where the mind has more “say” than the body. Personally, I try to focus on the pain as much as I can. I try to focus on the feeling itself to the point where you embrace it. I familiarize myself with the sensation so much that I can “run through” the pain. (Or lift through it if I’m doing weight training.) My favorite quote from the story:
“Mental tenacity — and the ability to manage and even thrive on and push through pain — is a key segregator between the mortals and immortals in running”
I believe that 100%.
Today was gonna be a day off for me. But after getting home and feeling a bit antsy, I decided to mix things up and hit the treadmill. I made a quick broccoli, apple, cucumber, and carrot juice and off I was. Man, it felt great. Having a juice just before working out is amazing. Like I said, it was supposed to be my day off and I was feeling lazy, but I did hill/sprint intervals for 30 minutes. It was intense. Right now I feel like a million bucks.
The trick was not sitting down. I knew that if I sat down in front of the TV or laptop it’d be that much harder to workout. So just a reminder folks, even when you feel lazy, you can still muster up some energy for a workout.
I hit the treadmill at the gym in New York today and yet again I had another intense workout. 40 minutes of alternating hills at a consistent 6 speed. On top of that, I got to workout with my girlfriend, which is something we don’t get to do often. We both go to the same gym, but work keeps us from working out together. I was off today so we both worked out in the late afternoon, which was nice.
As for my workout, I believe if I keep up this intensity I should be well on my way to melting away that 20-something percent body fat I was diagnosed with back in the summer. In fact, since I’ve dropped a few pounds since then, I wonder if my body fat has changed. I think I’m gonna do some Googling to see what the best ways of measuring one’s own body fat are. As for my abs, yet again I’ve neglected them. I know, I have to get on that sooner than later, but it’s just so easy to skip them. I think I’ve been working them out once every week, which isn’t much. I need to find an ab routine that works for me. It’s not laziness, it’s just finding the right routine.
Whenever I do cardio, I usually run on the treadmills at the gym in my building. Today, however, I was off from work so I decided I’d run at my gym in New York City. And I’m glad I did because I had such an awesome run. I ran for 40 minutes at 6 speed and with a varying incline. Basically, the incline would spike for one minute, and then drop for one minute. Repeat. Each spike was either 3.4 incline, 4 incline, 6 incline, or 7 incline. Not once did I feel tired. My heart rate was an average of 172.
I think what I enjoyed the most was the crowd. I love working out with other people around me. I don’t want a super crowded gym, but just enough people for a nice bubble of energy. It also helped that the people surrounding me were actually into their workouts and not just walking on the treadmill.