Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My current exercise plan

So somebody asked me the other day just what I do for exercise to get those ginormous bicepts (yesterday I took the garbage out and it was so heavy that I commented it was almost too much for my giant bicepts so I thought I'd continue the inside joke to those of you who weren't there.) Since I haven't posted just what goes on in my fitness classes I thought I'd update you all.
Now if you've been reading for a long time you'll know how important I think it is to build bigger muscles. (refresher: muscles burn calories when you're doing nothing thereby increasing your metabolism and helping you lose weight. It works even better than cardio) So based on my research, I discovered that low rep, heavy weights, like lifting to fatigue (8 reps) was the best for building muscle. That's what I did with Turbulence Training. Now this class is taught by this cute little girl (actually like 40 years old, but still tiny cheerleader body) who has been doing this for a long time. And I don't really know for sure but seems like she's not up on the latest research. However, she does know about the importance of strength training. But we do light weight, high reps. But I we do so many we still go to failure. She does 1 full song for every muscle group, so 3.5-5 minutes continuous of an exercise. So here's the rundown of what we do:
Cardio firstMondays - kickboxing. A warm up track then 3 or 4 more tracks, depending on how much explaining she has to do. Lots of punching, kicking, shuffling, blocking, kneeing. about 1/2 hour. You can go hard or go easy. I think I go about the hardest in the class. But I talked about this a little yesterday.
Wednesday - Step. Step is significantly less difficult. but it's longer, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. There are some tougher tracks and you can make it hard with more jumping. As i'm learning the moves I'm trying to make them more jumpy. But since she usually does the low impact for the majority of the class, I get screwed up a lot. We also do a lot of jump squat kind of things which are my favorite as they completely suck. ;)

Then Strength:
Warm up - a few of each of the exercises below
squats - a full 5 minutes of squats, going in different speeds (3 counts down 1 count up, 2 and 2, 1 and 3, 4 and 4, singles, and bottom half only) we have maybe 8 counts all song of shaking it out. oh yeah, I hold 2 8 lb weights on my shoulders until I'm too tired, then 2 5 lbs.
Chest - we do some pushups to start. I try and do full body until I can't any more, then girl pushups. Then we do flies and chest pressed with 2 8 lbs weights. Tip for chest presses, keep your arms wide and press up at the end to lift your shoulders off the ground. again, with different speeds like above.
Back and hamstrings - it's the back of the whole body for a song. It's a whole bunch of stiff legged deadlifts with 2 8lbs weights. Sometimes with rows at the bottom, sometimes with 3 or 7 rows at the bottom. There's also upright rows, clean and presses and more deadlifts. I think this is the track that has changed me the most. I ignored hamstrings on my own, but they are always sore after a class for a few days. This is super important for getting a nice butt.
Tricepts - that's right, a full song for that neglected little muscle. We do a couple things laying down, and I don't know what they're called so I'll describe them. She calls it super star barbie (who is the barbie who has bent arms at 90 degrees and they're stuck there.) So lay on your back, weights (2 8lbs) in your hands facing each other. bend arms and lower elbows to bottom of ribs, arms in superstar barbie pose. Keep elbows touching your shirt, pulled in. Then straigten up again. Also, bend elbows 90 degrees, and lower hands to the head, and straighten back. Different speeds for everything. Then we do some standing tricept presses behind the head. (by then I'm down to either 2 5 lbs or 1 8 lb)
Bicepts - The best. We sometimes do it to Since You've Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson. Now whenever I hear it I wanna do bicepts. Just curls, various speeds. Sometimes hammerheads sometimes arms turned out a bit, but mostly just regular curls. (do singles during the chorus!) I try and do these with the 8s but sometimes need to switch to the 5s.
Shoulders - some lateral raises, front raises, lateral raises with scapular rotation (arms bent, lift arms out to side, hands face down, rotate hands up to a hands up position, rotate down and lower) Then a whole bunch of overhead presses, like putting something on a high shelf, slightly ahead of you. Again, I try the 8s but a lot of these have to be with 5s.
Then we do abs. Basically a variety of curls, pilates things, lots of planks, which she calls hovers. This isn't as much as some people do for abs regularly. But that's for 2 reasons. 1 we're supposed to keep our abs really tight during the cardio part before this. And 2, I've heard that abs are the most overworked muscles. Especially crunches and that kind, because they are completely useless except for appearances. Planks are better for "core strength" for functional strength. My little know it all bit for the day is to recommend people replace an ab workout with squats and planks. Crunches or whatever will not make you look any better, unless you've already got 15% body fat and want to have a 6 pack.

Those are my classes. And now that I've started working out tuesday and thursday as well I'll tell you what they got. Just 1/2 hour on a cardio machine, treadmill or elliptical (for injuries or exhaustion, usually treadmill) and then assisted pullups. I set the counter weight at 60, so it meant I was lifting 140ish-60 = 80 lbs. I could do 8 reps the first set, 8 the second, and only 5 the third and fourth. But that's going to exhaustion right? so it's good. Then I stretch and do a few planks or pilates stuff on a mat and leave. The end.

I try and walk to dog most days, and sometimes get in a jog or video on the weekends.

So what do you do for exercise? Do you follow a plan? Is it just cardio (tell me so I can berate you)? Just try and "be active"?


sherijung said...

Randi, I answered you on my blog, it was too long to post here. Short story-yes, I have a plan, and NO! it's not just cardio.

Cara said...

I meant to post this the other day, but I was too busy at work. Thank you so much for posting it! It definitely gives me some good ideas on how to switch things up.

I will be doing at least 8 pull ups tomorrow. And while doing them, I will think about how awesome your arms look. haha :-)