Cossack squats (alternating) - 3 x 8 ea way
Single-leg KB RDL - 3 x 8 @ 16 ea leg
Pistol box squats (1.5 holes) - 3 x 8 ea leg
(30s between legs + exercises)
A much better session than this time last week - managed a marginal improvement on the leg curls, though nothing to write home about, but the cossack squats are feeling continually smoother. Going forwards I’m going to start trying to load this, (goblet-style? maybe weighted vest?), and see how that goes.
The single-leg RDLs were also much better than last time, managing 8 reps with the 16 KB on all sets. I can push the reps on this a bit I reckon, and will probably be moving up in weight again in a few weeks.
The pistol squats were OK, and I got more reps done than last time, but I think they’re going to get a lot harder with the next decrease in height, which will be coming next week. I’m trying to go slowly and catch myself if I get a bit wobbly, but I think having the safety there does allow me to get out of shape or drop a bit too fast at the end, knowing it will save me. That won’t work once I’m doing full ROM though…
Still hits glutes and hips hard - probably something I need to work on more. It was noticeable on one series of movements where you go into a hip bridge and then lift and straighten one leg at a time that my hips kept drooping and my low back felt a little strained afterwards so I think adding some glute work would be a good move, or possibly just sticking with these type of pilates sessions.
Away over the weekend for a wedding, so no training, and diet was pretty relaxed too. I did do a fair bit of walking, but also a fair bit of sitting in a car so I think they probably negate each other somewhat. Also didn’t get a chance to hop on the scale, so I’ll be back to normal this week and then see where I’m at this Sunday.
I decided to repeat that same pilates session this morning as I figured more hip/glute work is probably a good thing.
OK session - woke up sleepy, but felt OK once I got into the gym. I must be doing something weird on the negative dips (maybe allowing shoulders to shrug up too much?) because after the second set I had pain running right up along the inner edge of my left scapular. This bugged me for the rest of the workout, and is still painful now which is a bummer. It doesn’t seem to inhibit movement at all, but just hurts.
Negative pullups were OK, but I just lost strength after 4th rep on last set so couldn’t get to 5.
Incline pushups felt a bit better than last week, and managed to get all 3 sets of 8 reps, so I can increase the height again next time. I’m starting to widen the rows a bit, with the rings pushed out 2-3 inches on either side to where I usually have them - this seemed OK, but couldn’t quite get to 3 x 8.
Core work was pretty solid, managing an extra rep on each set of ab wheel rollouts and bent-knee reverse hypers, plus 5s extra on each set of side planks.
Goblet cossack squats (alternating) - 3 x 8 @ 5 ea way
Single-leg KB RDL - 3 x 8 @ 20 ea leg
Pistol box squats (0.5 holes) - 3 x 5 ea leg
(30s between legs + exercises)
Decent session - mid-back is still painful on the left side from yesterday but it wasn’t affecting these lower body movements which is good.
Leg curls went fairly well, with being able to bump up the reps on the first set. Cossack squats were decent as well, holding a weight goblet-style - the only real issue here was keeping count of reps for some reason.
Surprised myself with how well I managed the increased weight on the SL KB RDL - I thought this would be harder and I’d have to cut the reps slightly. I might stick at 20 and bump the reps up before going for the next jump in weight.
Pistol box squats were tough at the lower height, but I think I’m only just now hitting parallel. I’ll slowly build the reps from here and hopefully can then progress deeper.
All about breathing and core work - not a terribly hard session, but there were some twisting core exercises that was aggravating the back issue, and I had to skip one that was making it hurt too much. Other than that all was fine (and I do feel like the back is getting better slowly but surely)
Bar inverted rows (7.5 holes, feet up) - 3 x 8
Hanging knee raises - 2 x 8
Banded pallof press (L/R) - 2 x 12 @ doubled green band ea side
Bent-knee reverse hypers - 2 x 12
Felt tired last night and again upon waking this morning, but this was a solid session regardless. Ring support holds really get you shaking by the end, but I just about got the 40s on all 3 sets. I also managed 7 reps for all the negative chinups which is good. I just need to do 3 x 8 on these before I can move on.
Also managed 8 reps for all sets of the pseudo-planche pushups and bar inverted rows. For the rows I think I can drop it one more notch without hitting the ground, but then I’ll need to move onto widening the grip. On the other session with the ring rows I think I’ll actually switch to working on one-arm rows instead. For the pushups I think the next stage is going to rings but I need to think about whether it’s best to change around which variation I do on which day, just to make setup easier.
Core work was solid - I was surprised how easy the hanging knee raises felt, so I can bump up the reps here without issue. I also need to progress the reverse hypers (straighten legs) and the pallof press (heavier band).
35m total w/ 25m running. Covered 3.49 mi/5.58 km in total. Decided to go for a slightly longer run than I’ve been doing more recently, and without a break in the middle, as I feel like I’ve probably been sandbagging the cardio a bit. I didn’t push too hard though, and was probably a good 200m or so short at the halfway mark compared to where I could get to when I was doing the full C25K twice weekly.
Weighed in on Sunday morning @ 13st 3.4lbs, waist measuring 86cm/34".
First weigh-in and measurements in 2 weeks, and I’m surprised the weight hasn’t dropped by more - I did have a few days off-plan last weekend but the rest of the time has been could so I thought that would more than compensate. It may just be a rogue weigh-in though, and the waist size has come down so that’s actually the better result I guess.
A smidgen earlier than normal, but no big deal. This one is all about balance, with core and glute work involved - I think it’s probably one of the better ones to keep doing going forwards as it seems to work the areas I need to without being overly complex.
I have said to myself before that that’s the ideal scenario (or increasing weight without waist size changing), but I’m so used to tracking weight and having that be synonymous with fat that it’s a hard mental habit to break.
Wide(r) ring rows (horizontal, rings above parallel grips) - 3 x 8
Ab wheel - 2 x 10
Side plank (L/R) - 2 x 40s ea side
Bent-knee-to-straddle reverse hypers - 2 x 8
I decided to just move onto regular dips rather than going with the negative dips again, as it was something to do with lowering slowly into the full stretch position that seemed to do the back in last week. I think that was the right call, and doing regular dips was actually pretty easy in comparison, so I can definitely bump up the reps here. The negative pullups were also better than last week, only getting tough right at the end.
Incline pushups went OK - I just about managed to get to 8 reps on the last set, so I can bump up the height again next time. For reference, the height at this session puts my toes roughly in line with my shoulders when at the top of the movement (i.e. arms fully extended), and my ankles are just above; next time I’ll probably be starting in a decline position.
The wide(r) rows went fine as well so I can push those wider next time. I realised for these that once I’ve ‘completed’ wide rows I can probably work on archer rows to help build single-arm rowing strength, before trying actual single-arm rows.
Interestingly the stuff above felt overall easier than last week, but then the core work was much tougher than last week. 1 extra rep on the ab wheel really did me in, and I was struggling to get to 40s on the side planks. The reverse hypers felt pretty easy though - I probably need to make sure I am doing them right and not compensating somehow.
Goblet cossack squats (alternating) - 3 x 8 @ 7.5 ea way
Single-leg KB RDL - 3 x 10ish @ 20 ea leg
Pistol box squats (0.5 holes) - 3 x 6 ea leg
(30s between legs + exercises)
Tough session - felt a bit tired upon waking this morning, and I’ve had a cold coming on over the past couple of days as well so I think that’s now starting to effect performance (although it’s not too bad).
Struggled with leg curls compared to normal - dropped quite a few reps from what I’ve been able to hit in previous weeks. The cossack squats were OK though, and I felt like I managed to sink deeper into each side than I have done previously, so it seems like my mobility has improved a bit.
The SL RDLs were tough as well - I pushed the reps up from last time, and completed 10 per set, per leg, but there were definitely some dodgy ones in there, needing the KB to touch the ground at the bottom to stabilise for example. Most of the reps were good, but I think I’ll probably repeat this next week and try to get it crisper.
Pistols were challenging but OK. I accidentally set the safety too low, but managed to hit a rep all the same before realising, so it seems like this system is working in progressing to full ROM eventually. I also discovered I can make two more height drops (after the current one) before taking the safety away altogether, so I’ve got some distance to go still.
Bar inverted rows (6.5 holes, feet up) - 3 x 7
Hanging knee raises - 2 x 10
Banded pallof press (L/R) - 2 x 10 @ doubled green + yellow bands ea side
Bent-knee-to-straddle reverse hypers - 2 x 9
Tough session, but OK. The cold hasn’t hit me super hard but it’s progressed slowly and affected my sleep this week a little. Last night it took me quite a while to fall asleep, but after that I slept solidly and didn’t feel too tired when my alarm went off, which is good.
Really struggling with the ring support holds for this length of time now. I think I’ll keep pushing it upwards and use the kind of rest-pause I did on the last set here to make up the time, and keep working towards getting each ‘first’ hold as long as possible. Barely managed the 8 reps of negative chinups as well - definitely needed a couple more seconds of rest between the last few reps. That’s now ‘cleared’ though and I’ll move onto chinups next time.
Shifted further forwards for these pseudo-planche pushups and the difficulty increased about 10x. Barely managed the 5 reps each set, but I think the key here is keeping my core really tight, in a hollow-body position, so it doesn’t sag and I’m able to keep the weight forwards a bit more. Bar inverted rows were tough after the negative chinups, but OK otherwise. Dropped a rep as it’s now on a lower setting, but I think I’ll be able to get 8s next time around.
Core work was pretty solid - got a couple of extra reps on the hanging knee raises compared to last time and an extra rep on the reverse hypers. Added resistance on the pallof presses and these got way harder too.
35m total w/ 25m running. Covered 3.78mi/6.05 km in total.
Went for the same time as last time, and didnt push super hard again but went with what felt natural at the start and then just tried to maintain it. I covered a chunk more ground than last week, and was probably only 20-30m short of the 5k mark at the turnaround which was pretty good going.
Bent-knee-to-straddle reverse hypers - 2 x 10
No training yesterday, and diet wasn’t particularly clean, so tried to make up for it a little today; as dips were easy last week I decided to just see if I could go for 8s throughout, and I did. They felt pretty smooth, with only the very last rep being a little wobbly. The negative pullups were tough, but got 6s across the board as required which was good.
Incline pushups were tough as hell and I barely got rep 7 on the last set. The wide ring rows were challenging too - I now have it so I’m pulling with my arms almost perpendicular to to my body, rather than tucking the elbows, so it’s somewhere between a row, a reverse flye and a face pull.
Core work was a struggle as well - I think the ab wheel went marginally better than last week, but the first set of side planks each round was really tough, probably just from the effect of doing it straight after the ab wheel. Reverse hypers still feel OK, so they’re progressing.
Meant to be a lower calisthenics session, but it wasn’t happening this morning so I swapped a pilates session in instead. I can do lower/upper back to back as the next 2 days to catch up so no big deal.
Think I’m wobbling a bit with this programming as I’m thinking ahead now to what I want to do next (as this was intended as a stop-gap/something different to get me going again, rather than a long-term plan). I’ve also just ordered a swiss/football bar (one with various angled grips) which I’ve been thinking about for quite a long time, and I’m hoping will let me get back into benching variations without constantly messing up my shoulders.