I’m in love with my workouts. Ever since I started doing my super slow routine, I feel like I’ve rediscovered what it means to workout. Take today for instance. I did shoulders and biceps. While doing front raises, I could literally feel the muscle in my shoulder agonize as I bought the dumbbell up and slowly down. It’s so intense that it makes you visually focus on and feel each muscle in your body. I highly recommend trying a super slow workout, at least for one month. I’m about two or three weeks into mine and I admit that I do feel leaner. I’m not saying this is the ultimate workout, but if you’ve been stuck in a plateau — this is certainly a great way to break it.
So as I mentioned before, on Tuesday I did a super slow workout routine. It was incredibly difficult and I was expecting to be pretty sore come Wednesday morning, but I wasn’t. This makes me wonder if I should increase the weight. Don’t get me wrong, my shoulders were a tad sore, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Today, on my day off, I decided to do a super slow shoulder press exercise. Again, it’s painfully difficult. I ended up doing some cardio immediately after the press, so I don’t expect to be sore, but I’m still intrigued by this super slow concept. Friday I will do a super slow chest workout.
So I started a new routine today — the super slow workout. I read about it the other day at work and it immediately intrigued me. The way it works is that you take 10 seconds to perform every exercise. So let’s say you’re doing a bicep curl. You take 5 seconds going up, and another 5 seconds going down. That way you stress the bicep muscle on the way up and again on the way down. Traditionally, you’d swing the dumbbell up and back down again, relying more on momentum than you do on your bicep muscle. I tried it with my shoulders/biceps workout today and I gotta sat, it was crazy intense.
I obviously lowered the weights since this was my first time doing a super slow routine. I started with dumbbell front raises. Normally I can do 8 reps with 30 lbs., but today I was doing 8 reps with 15 lbs. and I felt each and every rep. When it came time to working out my biceps, I set the bicep curl machine to 60 lbs and by the 7th rep I was ready to scream in agony. Yes, it was that intense. I loved it. I’m curious to see how sore I’ll be tomorrow. If it works, I think I might switch my routine to the super slow workout for the entire fall season!
It took me awhile, but I finally understand what he meant by that. You don’t need to spend an hour at the gym to get a solid workout. Take today for example. I was meeting my girlfriend for dinner after my workout, which meant I had 30 minutes to do my shoulders and biceps routine. So I did a circuit workout and boy was it intense. I went from front dumbbell raises to side dumbbell raises to biceps curls and back again. I was relentless and increased the weights whenever I could. I rested no more than 10 seconds in between sets. I was done in 25 minutes and I felt great. My shoulders truly felt (and still feel) sore.
So my point is — you don’t have to spend an hour or more working out to see results. Sometimes if you maintain excellent form, constantly switch sets (muscles), keep your heart rate up, and rest as little as possible — you get a better workout than you do had you spent an hour at the gym.
I had a pretty intense workout tonight. In addition to my normal shoulders and biceps routine, I did 16 sets of lunges (while holding two 12.5-lb. dumbbells) and 3 sets of dead lifts. My legs are beat right now. I’m particularly psyched about the dead lifts. It’s not often I do them so I added them to my routine. The trick with dead lifts is to make sure you squeeze your hamstrings and use them to pull your body back up once the weights reach your shins. That way you get the maximum squeeze/benefit from them.
I also started a new routine with my pull ups. Truth be told, my pull ups had hit a bit of a plateau, so rather than seeing how many I can do consecutively (which is what I’ve been doing since December), I did 4 sets of 2 pull ups. I like it, I feel like I have a cleaner form when I do it this way. Hopefully this will give my pull up workouts the kick in the rear they needed.
I hit my abs pretty hard today. After my shoulder/biceps routine I went straight for the medicine ball and did 3 sets of 20 crunches. In between sets I did planks, holding my position for 1 minute. At the moment, my abs don’t feel horribly sore, but I’m hoping that will change come the morning. I gotta say, doing planks is fun. Yes, I know that sounds twisted, but I like the challenge.
I had my free personal training session this evening. It was great. I’ve worked out with various personal trainers in the past, and each time I absolutely loved it. It’s not so much the motivation (I know I have enough of that), it’s the new moves and exercises I always get out these sessions. However, my personal training is usually short-lived since prices are ridiculously high.
Anyways, I had my session today and my trainer had me doing a ton of new core exercises. The ones that I found the most challenging were the planks and side lunges. I absolutely loved them though! My inner thighs/legs are already starting to feel that nice soreness from the lunges and likewise my abs feel stretched from the planks. I had never done planks before and I was able to hold the most difficult plank (at least to me) for 75 seconds. When I did the push-up position plank, I found it easier and held it for 2 minutes. Granted, my body was trembling like crazy. (Here’s a video of what planks look like. They look dead simple, but they’re not. They really burn your abs and lower back and shoulders.)
So now I’m debating hiring this trainer for some sessions. Like I said, I would love to, but it’s so expensive. Sigh. Anyone have $900 to spare?