Thursday, August 13, 2009

Week 4

August 5 – Fourth week has begun!! Woohoo!!!!! Pushed the pace a bit more this morning in order to keep the heart rate up to at least mid range. I'm getting through rounds 8 & 9 very slowly. Truth be told, with 8 I've had to stop about 30 seconds short of the end, or take a quick 15-30 sec break in the middle, due to heart rate being too high. But each time the HR has dropped a bit, so soon I'll manage to sustain the whole period of time at a HR within my zone.

Even using the 12lb isn't keeping my heart rate up high enough through a couple of the arm/shoulder rounds – especially the One Arm Chest Press and the Seated Press. Luckily they are positioned toward the beginning and end, so in a way, part of a "warm up" and "cool down". But still, may have to add some weight soon. I can't believe I'm thinking of getting yet another sized KB! Wow! Will definitely start testing some other rounds with the 12lb next week to see if I can keep my HR up at a more consistent pace.

August 7 - Workout went great this morning, followed by a chiropractic appointment. I feel like a million bucks, not to mention 2 ft taller! Noticed that during Clean & Press I started to feel an ache in my lower back again. I quickly refocused on digging in those heels and squeezing the butt muscles. I also stretched my back in between next few rounds and the ache dissipated. Had to take a quick 15 sec break in the middle of round 8, but still managing to get through Tactical Lunges completely, though at an extremely slow pace. I'm breathing very hard during 8 & 9, and legs get tired, but my heart rate has dropped just below the top of my zone, 165-168, so I think I'm doing well.

I'm pumping up the pace on the 1 Arm Chest Press, but still can't get HR high enough. Because of that, I didn't take the 1 min break after, and went straight into the Squats/Sumo Dead Lifts instead. Overall, the 9lb and 12lb KBs are working well for their respective rounds. For those where my HR seems low, I just put more energy into the movements, keeping focused on proper form and technique, and jack up the pace a bit. I'd rather do that right now, then jump back to the 12lb too quickly.

August 9 – Best workout of my life!! I got through every round, without stopping, including 8 & 9. I did the best I've ever done on those two rounds. I'm finding the pace that works for me, plus I'm feeling my back and legs getting stronger, which allows me to sustain those rounds better. Still going at a snails pace, but they are intense cardio workouts, which keep my HR at the top of my zone. All is well.

I used the 12lb for the Swings and Cleans and that got my workout off to a high energy start. I think I'll keep doing that. I skipped the 1 min break again after the 1 Arm Chest Press. I'm able to pump things up for other rounds, but not that one. Despite the fact that with fully engages muscles, I'm working the movements at a much faster pace than Beth and Anthony, I still have my lowest HR reading with this round. I need a 15lb KB maybe.

I skipped 1 min break after Triple Crush as well. I love the Figure 8 to Static Hold. It's a fun set of movements. I'm finally starting to feel my abs working – especially with rounds 11, 12 & 14. Nice! I'm also finally getting up to speed with the One Arm Rows. So great for the arms, shoulders and back. Speaking of the back: my lower back issues are working themselves out nicely. Rounds 4-7 are when the lower back is most vulnerable for me, so I try to be extra aware of my form – heels pressed / butt clenched. LOL!

Later today I became aware of an ache in my right knee. I've always had "crunchy" knees, as I like to put it, to the point of being painful at times. So the squats and lunges were a concern for me when I first looked into this program. I tweeted Beth today to ask for any advice on protecting and strengthening the knees. She wrote back "Regularly go back to tutorial. Do wave squat progression on off days. I had knee problems b4 kb. All healed up now." Thanks Beth! Will do.

August 11 –This week has been about shifting my diet ('diet' meaning simply what I eat). I'm cutting out as much sugar as possible, eating more protein, fruits and vegetables, and taking supplements. The workout is doing wonders for my posture, strengthening my muscles, building up my energy, metabolism and general health, but I'm not losing any weight yet. I know that when strengthening the muscles, even if fat is being burned, you don't see a decrease in weight at first, since muscles weight more than fat. However, I felt I was defeating the long term purpose and counteracting all that effort with the unhealthy diet I was maintaining. The change is working out pretty well so far, mainly because I now FEEL healthy. And that's the most important thing.

I planned on working out tonight, but have had stomach issues the last couple of days. I've deduce that I haven't been eating enough solid food when taking all the vitamin supplements I'm now putting into my regimen. The supplements were upsetting my digestive system. At least that is my theory. We'll see how things improve tomorrow.

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