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Archive for June, 2011

Summer Run #4

June 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I increased my mileage a bit this weekend. Not by much, but I added a few extra steps. I think my goal for this summer will be to run 12 miles easy. This run felt easy and I’m hoping next week to repeat it or go for the 6 miles.

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Importance of Squats

June 27, 2011 Leave a comment

As much as I hate to admit this, it’s been roughly 1 year since I added a proper legs routine to my workout. So last week I started my comeback by doing leg curls and squats (using the squat rack). I was tempted to use the Smith machine, but I stayed away from it because using the barbell gives you a little bit more natural motion and it works out your stabilizer muscles (that’s the case with any free weights vs. machines argument).

Squats are a great way to lose weight and pack muscle because they work out such a huge portion of your body. In retrospect, I was very stupid for ignoring them and can’t even tell you why I ignored them for so long (I thought my running was enough of a “legs workout.”)

A few years ago I used to be able to do squats with two 45-lb. plates on each side. This time around I started with the 45-lb. barbell only. The reason? I want to make sure my form is perfect. Otherwise you’re not going to reap the benefits. A good rule of thumb is to keep your head up while doing squats and pretend there’s an invisible chair behind you and you’re trying to touch the chair with your butt.

I ended up doing 2 sets of 12 (with the bar weight alone) and then two sets with 25-lb. plates on each side (8 reps). I’ll continue this routine for another week (or as long as it takes for me to feel comfortable with my form) before increasing my weight. Needless to say, the next day my legs were sore — I truly missed that feeling.

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Summer Run #3

June 19, 2011 Leave a comment

I went for another outdoor run today. I thought I was a little faster than last week, but looking at my stats I was pretty much on par. On a different note, I started using RunKeeper instead of Cardio Trainer. I have to say I like RunKeeper just a bit more. They’re very similar, but for Facebook and Twitter — RunKeeper just works. (The Android version of Cardio Trainer is hit or miss when tweeting your runs.) Next weekend I’m hoping to run a little longer. Time to start racking up the miles!

Partial Rep Bench Press

June 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I started doing a new benchpress routine this week. On a flat bench using a barbell with two 45-lb. weights:

1st rep: do one traditional bench press (as shown in pic); lower barbell very slowly, pause at lowest point…
2nd rep: lift mid-way, hold, then lower barbell very slowly, pause at lowest point…
3rd rep: back to the traditional bench press; lower barbell very slowly, pause at lowest point…
4th rep: lift mid-way, hold, then lower barbell very slowly, pause at lowest point…
5th rep: back to the traditional bench press; lower barbell very slowly, pause at lowest point…

Essentially, I’m doing one full-extension bench press (without locking my elbows) followed by a partial bench press. The latter keeps constant pressure on my chest muscles — working them at their weakest point. I read about this routine in Men’s Health and figured I’d give it a shot. It’s a lot harder than it sounds and so far the danger I’ve found is that after that 4th rep, it’s hard to tell how much power I have left in me, so that 5th rep has been a struggle. This is the first time I’m doing this so hopefully it’ll give my muscles a nice variety from the routine I’ve been doing. From what I’ve read, the partial motion works out your pecs more, whereas the full-range uses your triceps more.

5 Treadmill Workouts

June 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Runner’s World has an interesting article on treadmill training. The gist of it (which I’ve mentioned before) is summed up in this quote:

“Never get locked into the same routine, otherwise your body is going to adapt pretty quickly and you won’t get as much out of it.”

I’d say that ideology should apply to your entire workout regimen (not just running). The article continues and gives 5 treadmill workout routines to help you run faster or motivate you to add hills. It’s a cool read for those days when you have no choice but to run indoors.

Summer Run #2

June 5, 2011 2 comments

Today’s run was a lot better than my Tuesday run. I did 5 miles and shaved 5 minutes off my time. It was windy, which added a bit of resistance, but I felt a lot faster today. I didn’t do any sprints, but I maintained under a 10-minute mile and my heart rate was around 164 – 170 bpm. Next week I would like to hit the same time or run a little longer. I think I also need a little rest — my body feels terribly sore. (Had an intense chest workout on Friday.)

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