Ethan here and I cannot believe there's only one week left of our 8 week fitness challenge! I'm actually quite sad it's nearly over because it's been a real journey. This week i've seen real, strong progress. My body is finally feeling good and able to cope with some of the heavier lifting and more advanced moves that I was doing before my surgery. For example, I can now bench press 70kg and complete unassisted pull ups, chin ups and tricep dips. Not quite ready for weighted varieties but I'm chuffed with the progress!
This time last week I completed a great leg and shoulder workout and really enjoyed some time on the bike. I then went on to train back and triceps and midweek I met Dani at her gym for a joint workout! We trained chest and biceps together and it was great fun! What did we do? After completing a cycle and dynamic warm-up, we started on the bench press, then completed incline dumbbell presses, pull-ups, chin-ups (for fun) and ended with Zottman curls for our biceps and a plank for our core. Here's what I did weight and rep range wise:
- BENCH - 20kg x 15, 30kg x 12, 40kg x 10, 50kg x 8
- INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS - 12kg x 12, 14kg x 10, 16kg x 8, 18kg x 8, 20kg x 4
- PULL UPS - 12, 8, 8
- CHIN UPS - 8, 8, 5
- ZOTTMAN CURLS - 10kg x 10, 12kg x 10
- PLANK x 1 minute
Here's a clip of me doing my final set of chin ups (to "Driving home for Christmas"!) and managing 5:
The muscle groupings i've just described are a really good split. They are paired so that you do not overstrain muscles that work together/in unison. For example, if you train chest and triceps together, you might find that it's too much. Triceps are often the stabilising muscles used on heavy chest lifts. Choosing chest with biceps means you don't exhaust yourself. There are different views on this. At peak fitness, I quite enjoy completing pre-exhaust or antagonistic muscle moves. For example, I might do a single leg squat followed by a full squat or leg press to really exhaust my quadriceps. For me though, this only really works when you've built up a decent level of foundation strength in those muscles or you risk injury.
If you're training over Christmas - good for you! It really takes a lot of discipline to stay focussed with so many festivities and food around! I'm a big believer in balance as you know. There is no reason why you can't enjoy Christmas and the food involved. Just don't go overboard and stuff yourself until you cannot breathe (never a good feeling!). A few chocolates is fine but a whole box might be pushing it...! We need to enjoy life and not restrict ourselves too much. What I do to relieve any guilt, is plan my gym session after Christmas so that I can psyche myself up for it and know, in the back of my mind that I will put right any overindulgences! The 27/28th is a great day to put on that new gym kit with renewed focus ahead of the New Year. Set yourself goals and commit. There is no better feeling than beginning a journey like we've been on and knowing that if you plan and balance it right, it becomes a lifestyle not a chore.
I'd like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Thank you for reading and stay tuned for our final week's update when Dani and I reveal our final stats, summarise our highs and lows and recap on the what, whey & why.
Have a great one fitfam!