Thursday, January 26, 2012

Heavy Lifting Experiment

Forgot to update again, for more than a week! I suck. I did do all my workouts as planned. I was good. Just not good about updating.

Anyhoo-- 30-day challenge is (almost) over, and I felt like moving on to something more interesting (with goals, because I am insanely goal-motivated). Enter HEAVY LIFTING.

I'm not going to lie and say that youtubing Women's events at the Crossfit Games didn't partly inspire this. Those ladies just look so awesome lifting those bars. But also, I wanted to shake up my workout routine, as well as see the effects of such a different style of workout. In my time as a fitness junkie, I've done "typical" 30min steady state cardio/30 min light weight lifting; no results. I've done endurance training for the marathon; NEGATIVE results, and I'll probably never do that again unless I'm raising money for something. I've done HIIT workouts; good but not great results. So now I'm going to move on to a heavy lifting program and see what that does to me. I like experimenting.

After spending SHITLOADS of time scouring Leangains, reading Starting Strength, and lurking on the MDA forums in threads about lifting, I've come away with some good advice and feel confident in starting a dedicated program. However, I don't want to give up HIIT metcons completely, because I do have Tough Mudder coming up and I'll need that cardio conditioning. Doing HIIT while heavy lifting is basically sacrilege, so I'm definitely going AMA by retaining at least one HIIT session a week. Whatever, we'll see how it works out.

As far as diet goes, I'm not changing much; I already basically do the Leangains-style 16:8 fast-feed schedule, just naturally. The only difference is that I'll be adding in carb cycling on the heavy lifting days. So, on lifting days, I'll be eating around 200g of carbs (still no grains, though; this will be sweet potatoes, bananas, white rice, etc) and very low fat (below 50g), while on normal days I'll be doing my usual high fat-low carb deal.

I'm doing two lifting workouts (reverse pyramid style) and one HIIT + hill sprints workout per week, with two days of low level activity (walking and yoga), and two days of complete REST. That will probably be the hardest part--at first I devised a schedule of 5x/wk workouts, alternating HIIT and lifting, but the experts on the MDA forums shot that down REAL QUICK. Apparently with lifting, less is more, and rest is the most important part. Still, the idea of just 3 workouts a week, and basically no cardio, freaks the shit out of me.

I'll be really interested to see how this new style of eating/working out affects me. I know from experience that I tend to build muscle and strength really quickly, but I've never really done much in the way of real lifting, nor allowed myself the carbs to make recovery/strength building really effective. So, we'll see. It'll be an adventure.

Yesterday's workout was my first lifting workout. I following Starting Strength's A workout, which was squats, deadlifts, and presses. I was quickly told by MDA peeps that this was wrong and very ineffective and actually dangerous, doing squats and deadlifts same day. So that won't happen again. But anyhoo, here were my loads:

Squats: 60, 60, 80, 80, 80 (as you can see, I wasn't RPT'ing yet. Also, I think I could have done more weight, but I don't have a squat rack so I'm basically limited to what I'm physically able to lift into squat position. That'll change as soon as I get to Texas and have gym access.)
Deadlifts: 80, 90, 90, 100, 100
Presses: 50, 60, 60, 50, 50 (60 was my fail point; I outright failed the third rep on the third set).

Today is a rest day. Woo! Fasting till noon, then low carb/high fat rest of the day.

Tomorrow I'll be starting the lifting schedule for real, with squats, bench press, and curls, all done RPT-style. Then next Monday I'll be doing deadlift, shoulder press, bent rows, and lateral raises. That'll remain the split from here on out unless I decide I don't like it for whatever reason.

I actually have not yet eaten today. I need to go get food. I've been too busy. RESTING. Haha. No but seriously, I'm already a sore monster from yesterday. And it feels different from my usual soreness. It's like full-body OW.

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