Friday, May 6, 2011

Personal Training - 5/3/11 and 5/5/11

This was our final week of our 2-on-1 personal training sessions with Gilles. We had 4 weeks of training, which means 8 sessions. We covered a huge number of topics and I know Jenna and I both learned a ton. We're both extremely happy that we did the full month with him and now we're ready to move onto the second month, which is still a personal training session twice a week, but it'll be in a group of 6 instead of 2. That also brings the cost down significantly.
So this has now been about 4 weeks of 2 workouts per week (and precious little else) and about 2 weeks of actually tracking my food. That doesn't mean 2 weeks of eating well, it just means 2 weeks where i was trying to enter everything I ate into a spreadsheet. Sometimes I failed miserably at eating in the right proportion. Sometimes I failed at eating the proper amount (2800 calories per day is my goal). Sometimes, but not often, I did both. So this is not a super-strict diet. I'm still eating burgers and pizza and all the rest. But I am trying at least to eat a balance of macronutrients and to limit myself (or push myself) to 2800 per day. This isn't always easy, but the longer I do it, the easier it becomes.

Now for my results. You know I started at 245 pounds with 22.4% body fat, right? Well as of the end of this week, I am down to 235 (+/- depending on when I weigh myself) and according to my home calipers, I'm at 18% bodyfat. Gilles will do a check for us next week to see where we are for real (I did get some tips from him on where to pinch to get the best results) and I have pretty high hopes. I'm definitely seeing results. I'm looking thinner in the face for sure, and I can really see changes in my abdomen. I've got less fat and harder muscle underneath it. I'm also starting to see some of the fat that's right under my pecs starting to recede, which is cool. I would like to see more movement on my love handles but that will probably take more time. I'm not really noticing any big changes in the size of my arms or legs, though. I am, however, feeling stronger. I'm able to hold my static positions for longer, lift heavier weights, etc.

Here's the math: If I take my home fat test as accurate, that indicates that I have lost 12.5 pounds of fat and gained 2.5 pounds of muscle. Not bad for being in an almost-constant caloric deficit and not really doing much in the way of aerobic workouts. I did cardio, for sure, but my heart rate was well out of the fat burning zone. So I think I'm burning fat after workouts, primarily. Really, I think if I stick with my twice per week heavy strength workouts and add in another moderate strength workout on Saturday and a couple of low-intensity aerobic days during the week, I can really start peeling off the fat. nothing motivates like results, so I'm definitely feeling the drive to get to work on this even harder.

As for the workouts this week, I don't remember a ton of specifics. Jenna's shoulder was bugging her on Tuesday so we did legs instead of upper body. We started with weighted squats and step-ups and then went and did a bunch of lunges. I'm really liking the concept of progressions and regressions in the bodyweight exercises. As soon as I think I'm getting a handle on something, he pushes me just a little bit harder. The one for lunges is just a double bounce at the bottom. Forces you to pause down there a little longer, maybe? I don't know, but it worked. If you feel like you could do lunges all day, try doing a normal lunge and right when you would bring your back leg up, do a little bounce and then come back up. It's more like a double dip, really. Whatever you want to call it, it brutalized me. On Thursday, Jenna's shoulder was still bugging her and Gilles showed her the biceps stretch. He was able to precisely pinpoint where her pain is, and it's right in the spot where her biceps tendon attaches into the shoulder. He showed her the stretch and she said it really helped a lot. It was really cool that he was able to diagnose it like that, I think. We kept our cardio to a minimum on Thursday, which is not the normal thing. No steep treadmill climb to start out the day. We worked a lot on core, though. We did four ab exercises in a circuit, which was something we certainly couldn't have done a few weeks ago. I was even able to do single-arm and single-leg planks this time, which I haven't ever done before. We also did v-sits with medicine ball chops (8 pounds for me this time) and some exercises where you lie on your back with your legs straight up and touch your toes. I was miserable at them. We also did leg raises with our legs bent at 90ยบ. I've done them before with straight legs and my hands under my butt, but this was easier and harder. Easier because my legs were bent. bending or straightening your legs are your progressions and regressions on that one. The straighter your legs are, the harder it is. Your lower back wants to come off the floor and you have to clamp down on your core to keep it from happening. My hip flexors were just about toast on those so I ended up not finishing them. We then did chest presses and shoulder presses and I was definitely doing better on those than previously. i think I ended up pressing 120 or 140 pounds in sets of 12 at least once or twice, so that's pretty decent. I need to try it for max sometime and see what I can do. We also did assisted wide pullups to work our lats. That was fun, but tough.

So after all that, Gilles showed us a new lat stretch and we stretched out everything else to boot. It was a relatively calm day, cardio-wise, but we learned a bunch and felt like we had come a very long way from the beginning.

I'll report back after this weekend to let you know how everything goes. Thanks for reading!

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