Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Training, Celebrating..

Like many people, I have many demands on my time and have had to really embrace the 'less is more' approach to training. Currently I'm training 4 days a week - two full body workouts and two short HIIT cardio sessions. I've been training this way for 5 weeks and it is the first time in my 8 years of training with weights that I am not doing some sort of body-part split. Since the first time I injured my back, I have been interested in 'functional' training that will make my body strong in real life situations like lifting my niece, dancing salsa and lifting things around at work. I'm very interested in the Alwyn Cosgrove idea of training 'movements' that involve the body moving as a unit, rather than training body parts in isolation. Not only does this create a functional body, but it also burns an astounding number of calories due to the fact that, if done correctly, there is a lot of intensity and large muscle recruitment, accompanied by much grunting, sweating, puffing and making the ugly face. There is also a lot of work to get through and very little time for staring into space between sets if you want finish in a decent amount of time - for me that's 45 minutes MAX. I've never been one for hours in the gym.. concentration span of a kitten, I tell ya.

Typically I will aim for 3 sets of 10 or 3 sets of 8 if I'm using a particularly heavy weight or it is an exercise that I find particularly challenging, like unassisted pullups for example. I might start the set with 5 or 6 warmup reps at a lighter weight if I'm not feeling sufficiently ready. I use supersets or tri-sets in order to get through the session more quickly and usually I will superset an upper and lower body exercise so that, for example, my triceps are recovering while I work my butt.

A standard workout might look like this:
3 mins warmup on the bike
Widegrip Pullups
Bulgarian split squat
Tricep dips
Alternating dumbbell lunge and press (you can see a video of this exercise here in an excellent T-nation article, 'Strength Exercises that Work your Core')
Pressups with feet on swiss ball


Back rehab exercises and stretch.

** ** **

A few days ago I received an email from my friend Tony in Italy who wanted to double check what day my birthday is. I thought nothing of it until two days ago when my Aunt dropped by with a birthday present and I had one of those hyperventilating 'OMG I forgot my own birthday!' moments. Heh, THAT has never happened before! Of course, Margarita's happened, as did chocolate ganache cake and - er -all those other things that tend to become irresistable in that warm, happy Aprez-Margarita glow. One day a year of indulgence does not a fass ass make, and for this we should offer sincere and eternal thanks to the Gods of metabolism ;)


  1. Happy birthday! Many hugs and kisses to you!

    I shall bestow them in person next time we meet....

  2. Happy Birthday (following on from Kek :) ). Betcha don't look your age :) At least 10 years younger.

    I'm finding Alwyn's stuff interesting too. One thing is for certain. I have nasty DOMS!

    Liz N

  3. Happy belated Birthday... I just checked out that article "strength Exercises that Work Your Core"... some really cool ones there... think I will be giving at least a couple a go! Awesome videos too, it is good to actually see them being done rather than just read and try to figure it out. Thanks for that. Hope you are having an awesome weekend.


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