Thursday, October 9, 2008

Training Log; 5-min isos

This was supposed to "be one of the hardest things [I] have ever done." There's no doubt: it was hard, and I knew it would be. I wanted to work as hard as I could for every exercise--no pacing or bracing or just holding in place. I also wanted to get my heart rate up to a working level, because I knew I'd be working my muscles at least.

My warmup was 1 hour of racquetball doubles with one of the club pros, Steve, and two other good players (because I play the least of everyone down there, I always get to be on Steve's team). I tried to work hard to get a good warmup but still was playing between 100 and 130 (about 10 minutes in, I got up to 150-something, but my HR didn't stay up there as much as I tried). I'm at the point where I just don't think I can get my heart rate up! Then it was on to the 5 minutes of work for isometric extremes:
  • Pushup--I used the "perfect pushup" handles and found that my hands kept wanting to turn as I got tired; I guess I'd better work on that. Although I've made it 5 minutes before, on dumbbells, I managed 3 minutes, but I was really, really focused on pulling down the whole time by lengthening through the pectorals. I think I only hit the ground 2 or 3 more times, but each time I got right back up and pulled down hard and fast to get back into position.
  • Curl--I used 8-lb dumbbells and sat at a bench. I dropped the weights at 2 minutes but continued through 5. I tried to focus on lengthening through the biceps but felt like I was using my elbows a lot more than my biceps, especially while holding the weights.
  • Scapular pull up--I managed 1:30 before I had to put my foot on a crate. However, I did not take a lot of weight off. The only other reason I couldn't continue to hold the entire 5 minutes is because my hands were slipping. Evidence of the fact that I did this as hard as I could: I couldn't uncurl my hands for another 5 minutes!
  • Dip--This was the first time I tried this one, and I jumped right to 5 minutes. Hah! Will had showed me this one recently, and he had written out what I was supposed to be focused on, so I really tried to do it correctly. Unfortunately, it took me almost 10 minutes to finish the 5 minutes of work. I lasted 1 minute before I had to drop a foot onto a crate. Then approximately every 30 seconds I had to let go; my arms just wouldn't hold me. By 2:30, I couldn't even hold myself on the bar without a 30-second break. Talk about frustrating. My arms wouldn't cooperate!
  • Crate crunch--I know I can do this one for 5 minutes, doing it correctly, so every time I started feeling tired, I crunched up higher and squeezed the ball/crate harder. Ouch. But my feet never dropped below 90 degrees and I was working, hard, the entire time. I could see my HR monitor the whole time, too, and managed to do this at 90 bpm; another frustrating exercise, because I was working really hard.
  • Lunge right--Everything went downhill from here. I lasted 1 minute, and it was the first leg exercise. Although I dropped my back knee, I continued pushing into the ground with the balls of my feet and trying to pull down through the front hamstring while lengthening the back hip flexor. I was really trying to focus on my hamstring, but I didn't feel like I was pulling down at all; I was really trying! To make matters worse, my face and arms began to feel numb (this was a different kind of numb than I'd felt before, which was like my legs were asleep; this was like all my everything was going to the muscles I was focusing on and there was nothing left for anything else. It was weird.). I just wanted to quit and cry because I didn't think I was doing it right and I wanted to work really hard.
  • Lunge left--This was pretty much a mirror of Lunge right; I lasted 1 minute up, but I still was working hard after my back knee hit the ground. Pushing, pulling, lengthening, feeling most in my hip flexor and little in my hamstring, getting numb, wanting to quit and cry. Ugh. But I kept going, because I had a list of things to do and I really want to get faster and stronger.
  • Hamstring--I know I can do this one for 5 minutes, so again, I was super focused on pulling down hard, straightening my legs, and pushing my hips back as far as possible. I worked my muscles hard; my heart rate wasn't over 70. I don't know what I'm doing wrong!
  • Wall squat--I really wanted to do this the entire 5 minutes. It was my last chance for success for the day and I was frustrated with the way the other exercises had gone. So I worked hard, pulled hard, kept a downward angle from my knee to hip, and kept working even when I felt like I was falling. I lasted 2:10 but worked all the way to the ground, stood back up, and sat down hard and fast. I think I hit the ground another 3 or 4 times in the remaining 2:50, but I was working hard.
After I finished the wall squats, I felt like I could have done the whole thing over again (yeah, I think I was going crazy). Then I walked downstairs to the locker room. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Then I was glad I had brought a protein shake in with me, because my muscles didn't want to cooperate with me. Then I went home and had some supper. After Bible study, I got some sleep. Lovely. Yes, it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. At the time, I wouldn't have ranked it in the top 100, but within an hour, it moved up to number 2 (number 1 is my first criterium: a 20-minute sprint that I wasn't necessarily expecting). I can't wait to do it again and hopefully last longer for every exercise.

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