What a great week this has been. After the stiffness experienced in my legs since Thursday night last week, I had to get blood flowing back into the damn things. So a planned Monday walk actually ended up being a 7k (albeit very slow and steady jog). If you have been reading this over the last few weeks, you’ll know that I was suffering from issues with my knee. So to get out and hit the streets of Kilkenny again pain-free was genuinely emotional. That 7k was followed by a faster 5k Tuesday, and a faster one again Wednesday. Thursday was skipped for leg day, but I was down running the Castle Park grounds on Friday, before training soccer Friday night. I even had a run out for the team I manage this Sunday morning, Castlewarren Celtic, was a five-minute cameo, but still, I was just buzzing all week.
I am not saying all this in any braggadocious way, I am saying this because that joy I felt all week, is an experience that everyone can enjoy for themselves. I never liked running, in fact, I detested it. What was the f*cking point? I thought. Some people may have a fear of working out, for a whole number of reasons, I understand that. I have been there, many times in my life, but it is all about making that first step. Then planting that foot down and making the next one, and the next one. Whether that is walking into a gym, going for a run, joining a club. I used alcohol for many years to find my joy and shut off my brain, still do at times to be perfectly honest, but man, there is joy to be found running down that canal in Kilkenny I tell ya. A place I did a lot of drinking in my youth, now is a track, a beautiful picturesque track.
Session One :
A mid-day start on Tuesday was welcome. I came in fresh and focused, with the eyes on getting a good chest and back session going. Vinnie Taylor was the PT for the day and you know it is going to be an intense session. Supersets were on the card, and it was blasted through. The plates on the bar are stacking up, not be a lot but the strength is coming along nicely. Flat bench, followed by a lat bull down superset, going into a decline bench and rowing exercise, followed by incline and more rowing. Rowing for Ireland bai. there was another set thrown in, but it was all about the core workout at the end. Mentioning anything, even in passing to Vinnie is something you end up cursing yourself with.
We came up with a circuit that included hitting a sledgehammer off a tire for 30 seconds, smashing a medicine ball off the floor for 30 seconds, straight in battle ropes for 30 seconds. I did not think I would be suffering as much as I was during that circuit but Jaysus it was tough. I lay on the floor after two rounds absolutely spent. It was great. I managed to get home and get a slow 5k run-in after training, delighted with the day’s work.
Session Two :
Thursday night was leg day. Six days had passed since last week’s session, and I was still feeling the effects on my hamstrings. Lee was on hand to guide me through and push me. We started off with no-weight squats and went right over to do some hack squats. The load was manageable this time, but Lee told me this would be a warm-up before what is to come. Remembering the last time I worked with Lee in week six, I mentally prepared myself for the heavy load incoming. Lee worked my chest that day to absolute failure, and I had a feeling the same was coming. We started the leg press and increased the load steadily, before I knew it I was doing my heaviest weight in a long time. the final 200kgs press for 12(I think) showed me the improvement my knee has made over the last few weeks. The thoughts of that only a few weeks ago, with my knee in the state it was, just was not imaginable.
I gave a lot into those reps and had more to come. The machine I was on I did not know the name, but I knew the pain. My quads had all but given up on me by that stage but I soldiered on before we moved to hamstrings. The dreaded drop-set was on hand for this, we plowed through our sets to failure, the only problem was, if you did not reach your reps, you had to drop the weight and go until you did. I made it to nine of a 10 rep set, and because I missed out, I was pushed to about 30 more reps with no rest on a lighter weight. Sure how could I say no! Vinny came over to help with my core and made sure I composed myself before I puked so I could finish the three rounds I set myself to do, sound lads.
Session Three :
Saturday morning sessions are a bit different, in a good way. There seems to be a bit more freedom in the gym and with that comes an air of unpredictability. It was a relaxed yet strenuous workout with Vinnie on shoulders and arms. The pump was on but so were the chats. It is nice to pick his brain of him about various things, gives you a better understanding heading into the wild only a few weeks ahead. The burning sensation in the shoulder never goes away when lifting things above your head, that is probably a good thing in this world I am sure. Arms session breezes by, with maximum effort. I was re-introduced to 21’s. The 21s bicep curl is a powerful compound bicep exercise. Compared to standard bicep curls, bicep 21s maximize time under tension during the exercise motion. As a result, the increased time under tension strengthens the biceps muscle and encourages the growth of muscle cells. No doubt the focus and time on arms help on the other exercises I am growing stronger on. Another three-round core exercise and that was my week done.
If you want to make a change, you can contact Davy on 0892528904 or email [email protected]