It is week four on this ten-week journey. You know what, I am feeling strong. Aesthetically I have noticed some changes, which is always welcome. I am not talking He-Man stuff, more like ohhhh is that a bicep vein I see?
When I was younger I stupidly covered my left arm in a tattoo, why was that stupid? Well, that was the arm I could see my bicep vein on before! I blame the tattoo for taking away my veiny arms and not the four stone I had put on! it was nice to see one back though, this time on my other arm! Probably a vain thing to say (pun intended) but for someone who has had issues with their body image since they were a kid, it was a cool thing to see. Anyway, let’s go to the session……….
Session One :
The week started a bit earlier than normal with a one o’clock session on the cards. Chest and back were today’s priorities. I have to say it went off without a hitch. I always enjoyed doing my chest. It was humbling to do chest one my first session, making the transition from dumbells to the bar. the bar focuses on your form so much, much the improvement has been quite evident. My back, a muscle I neglected along with my legs, I never enjoyed doing it. Coupled with chest though seems a lot more enjoyable. previously I would dedicate a whole day to back, opting to do triceps and chest on the same day before. The benefits of the push, pull method though are working. That is you push the weight away from you for chest and pull towards you to exercise your back. The gym was quiet due to it being an off-peak time, so I got to chat with Davy a bit more. It can be easy to give into pre-conceived notions of a muscle man, but Davy is quite astute and a fountain of knowledge when it comes to the inner workings of your body. I used the facilities shower after the workout and left feeling pretty good about myself, starting my week off in a positive fashion.
Session Two :
Yes, leg F’N day. Vinny seems to clear his Wednesday 5 pm slot to greet me with glee as I enter the gym. He knows what is about to come, as do I. I laugh nervously and he clasps his hands in delight. Just to catch him off guard I skipped to the first machine, he knew I wouldn’t be skipping out though. It is not he wants you to feel in any way bad, he is just enthusiastic about his job and hard work, and honestly it helps. My stretching throughout the week has not made a huge difference though in my butt-wink issue. (See Week 3 for an explanation on that one). So with some minor adjustments, we went ahead with the workout, varying it every 10 reps in a 20 rep set. Fast, slow, squeeze, hold, all different methods used to release the blood flow to my muscles. On some of the slow ones, I struggled. My legs screamed at me, “Why are ya doing this to us ya bastard!”. I felt like telling them to ask Vinny, this man knows. All I could do though was let out a large aggressive “Ahhhhhhh!” as I pushed through the pain. Vinny is
always on hand to make sure you do each rep, the correct way, and give you words of encouragement all throughout. It may be the session I dread every week, but it is one I feel most accomplished after. Davy took the time to have a look at my ankle mobility and rolled out my calves, offering suggestions on how I can improve that going forward. We finished with that prowler and then some bag work, which was a welcome change. Nothing like hitting a punching bag to work out that day’s frustrations.
Session three :
Today was shoulders and arms, I day I generally enjoy. Today though I was not with it at all. I felt exhausted after the first warm-up exercise. I had breakfast 9 hours earlier in the day and that was it. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I felt it on every exercise. The thing with the 10-week program is that it’s expected you build upon your progress every week. Plates get added, as do new exercises or ways to lift. I can honestly say one particular shoulder press exercise broke me, it was the first time I ever properly dropped the weight in the middle of my set. The strain became too much and I quit. I quit for about 5 seconds and went again, but still, I quit. I was disappointed, even apologized to Vinny for it. He could sense I was struggling beforehand, inviting me to take longer rest periods between sets. He then broke my reps into blocks of five. Mentally getting to five in your head seems more doable. Sure you are still doing 15 in the same set, but when you are struggling on 7, 15 seems like an age away. It worked (with Vinny admittingly spotting me for a few).
My shoulders were on fire, so I was happy to welcome the triceps biceps superset. Back and forth in blocks of 15,15 and then 30. Triceps for 15, Biceps for 15, straight back to triceps for 15 etc……I quit again. This time because I felt like I was going to literally puke everywhere. I didn’t, but it sure felt like it. It was probably for a total of 7 seconds before continuing but still, it happened again and I learned a hard lesson in the need to fuel my body.
All in all, it was a week of self-reflection, hard work, and generally positive vibes (I type this as my shoulders and triceps tremble). Filled with getting out for my cardio stuff on my walks and a bit of football. My knee did not seem to flare up, with my limited football movement so that is a plus. The whole experience so far has been. It is keeping me driven, accountable, and motivated.
If you want to make a change, you can contact Davy on 0892528904 or email [email protected].