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Week Five in the Gym

Published: March 28, 2017 (6 months ago)

I’m on week five of my attempt to go to the gym every single day. I have a seven day rotation that basically goes like this:

  • Monday: Lower body strength
  • Tuesday: Upper body strength
  • Wednesday: High intensity Interval training
  • Thursday: Back and chest hypertrophy
  • Friday: Legs hypertrophy
  • Saturday: Shoulders and arms hypertrophy
  • Sunday: Low intensity cardio

I haven’t been able to track this schedule religiously and miss an average 2 days per week. Chiefly, I miss the days I also play tennis, but did miss four straight days last week due to inflammation in my lower back and joints. When I feel these pains, I know I have to rest and wait it out or I risk injury. The way I judge my current status is that I’m just three weeks into the above schedule even though I’m technically on week five.

The latter half of last week and beginning this week (it is Tuesday as I write this), I’ve resumed a schedule specifically adjusted around my tennis schedule that looks like this:

  • Monday: Lower body strength
  • Tuesday: Upper body strength, sometimes Tennis
  • Wednesday: Tennis day or high intensity interval training
  • Thursday: Back and chest hypertrophy
  • Friday: Legs hypertrophy after tennis.
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Tennis (considered mid-to-high intensity interval)

Because I didn’t have tennis this past Sunday, I chose to do my Monday lower body strength training on Saturday and low-intensity interval training on Sunday. I felt pretty good Sunday and happy I’d pushed my weights up another 10%, but Monday morning I was regretting that somewhat measly gain as my legs were like rubber – I was stiff, feeling weak in the legs, and barely moving. Tuesday (today), I was still feeling sore, but went to the gym anyway.

I started with the usual 12 minute metabolic warmup on the treadmill, but I gotta tell you, it was a real struggle to get to the twelve minute mark and it took everything I had to warm up to just three-quarters the usual pace. I was, in short, truly digging to pull through that warm up. I literally was willing to walk out of the gym then and there. That’s how discouraged I was feeling at the moment.

Then something changed. I’m not sure what, other than I decided not to quit early and started an upper-body workout. Thankfully, I could just park my legs and focus on lifting with my arms. The seventeen point five dumbbells felt like feathers. I did one set with them and wondered if I picked up the wrong ones (but I didn’t). I switched them out for 22 lbs and did a set. Still felt like I was handling littler 5 pounders. Even these felt way lighter than I’m used to. Upped my game to 30 pounds and then final set with 35 pounds. Somehow I was pushing more than double my previous session’s weight and finished even the last set with ease.

I moved on to my next super-set which is the one I hate the most because I truly struggle to make it through. That’s the bench dip and barbell lying row. I was amazed. I always struggle halfway through the dips, but today, I did all three sets with incredible ease, butt just grazing the floor every time (no halfway cheats at all). I was now officially on a high and moved on to shoulder presses and underhand pull downs and finished with preacher curls and skull crushers. Everything more than double the weight I’d been struggling with.

What the hell’s going on? I have no clue, but today, I feel good and, for the first time, glad I’m hitting the gym and getting my (not so) lazy ass back into shape so I can play the sport I love the most.

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