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What have I been doing? Making progress, that's what!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

It's been a long time since I made a blog entry here, updated my SparkPeople status, or used most of SparkPeople's other tools. I still think they're useful and believe SparkPeople is a great resource (especially because it's free!) -- I've just focused solely on working with my trainer recently, and not taken the time to track everything here explicitly. (I do need to go back to tracking my food explicitly, because I have NOT been meeting my nutritional goals, but that's for another post.)

However, I have made progress. My trainer finally did an assessment day with me last week (Nov. 5), and discovered that I've gone from 35% body fat to 29.5% body fat in about 3.5 months! There are various losses of inches I could talk about, too, but they weren't as encouraging as the change in body composition. My weight has not changed too much since I started working out (hence the comment above about needing to go back to planning and tracking my food intake, though I know the lack of a weight drop is partly due to having built up my muscles some more), but hearing that my body composition has changed this much was great. In fact, we accidentally put my height in as 1" lower than we did last time (I forgot last time we rounded up, not down)

My trainer has also moved me to a new phase of our time together. Goodlife personal trainers are supposed to start new clients in a Foundation phase, which is 8-12 weeks of work focusing on "primal movements" (push, pull, twist, lunge, twist, squat), addressing muscle imbalances and increasing mobility -- basically focusing on large muscle groups and multi-group stuff that is helpful for real-life stuff like hauling laundry baskets. I've now moved from the Foundation phase to the Build phase, in which weight gets added to the primal movements, but isolated movements are also introduced and muscle groups get split. From there, I will be moved to Burn (full-body workout with lots of reps and low rest time -- my trainer is planning some kind of circuit for when we get there), and from there to Strength (compound exercises with low reps and longer rest time to ensure maximum recovery). After that, we will continually cycle through Build, Burn and Strength -- several weeks in each, with more time in Build than the other two phases.

You know what? I'm really missing Foundation. And we will NEVER go back to it! Doing the Build phase is a lot harder on me because the goal is not to get to a certain number of reps -- rather, I have to keep lifting the weight until I just can't anymore. The goal is for me to get to that point somewhere between 40 and 70 seconds after I start -- if I can't get to 40 seconds, the weight is too heavy, but if I last longer than 70 seconds, the weight is too light. We do 3 sets of that for each exercise. So this basically means the goal is for me to fail, over and over and over again. It's seriously making me want to cry sometimes, even though I know it is making me stronger.

So how am I going to handle this new experience so I won't want to just give up or hate it? I've decided to go back to asking my trainer to make a photocopy of my workout at the end of each session, so I can track what weight I used with each exercise each week. Maybe, if I can make a little graph of the weight I've been using each time, and can see how it's been going up over time, just maybe that will help me feel like I can still pat myself on the back, even though the experience of failing over and over within the workout itself really sucks. I got my first photocopy yesterday, which actually showed what I'd done in the last 3 sessions, so I'm all set to set this up. I'll try out this strategy for a while and then try to report on how it goes.

I'm going to make another post now to record what exercises I'm doing now, since I've been asked about that now and then.
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.