Category Archives: Resistance
Another round of #TransformationTuesday made me curious to go back and compare some of my own pictures. The photo on the left is from the summer of 2012 when I ventured down to Hawaii. I really like this picture of me! That is one of my favorite shirts, and I was having a great hair day! 🙂 The picture on the right is from the summer of 2014, and I love this picture, too!
The difference between the two?
I started lifting weights and completely overhauled my diet. I quit buying pre-packaged frozen lunches. I went mostly vegetarian, and I discovered that protein powder after you workout actually does work in building muscle. The difference in the 2 pictures is a whole 5lbs, but the definition is TREMENDOUSLY DIFFERENT! I have always been skinny, but I’ve never been strong.
skinnystrong looks and feels much different than skinny.
Today was my third round of Eccentric Upper. The first week left sore for days in muscle groups I don’t generally even notice. The second week didn’t do a whole lot. We’ll see how today ends up.
Before I started I did some shoulder stretches I found on one of my yoga inspiration’s YouTube channel. I actually think it really helped. My right shoulder has a bit of a knot in it right now, but throughout the workout it seemed to be less present.
I can happily report that I am doing ALL push ups like a big kid now. 🙂 The entire first block I spent doing girly push ups, but Tony mentions in this particular workout that you should suck it up and do it like a big kid (perhaps with a lesser range of motion) to engage more core. I took that as a direct challenge, and the last two weeks I’ve committed to “real” push ups using my power stands. Turns out I can actually do it! 🙂
I did a mix of chair assisted pull/chin ups and using the bands. I’m pretty sure I’ll feel it tomorrow. I tried very hard to feel the muscles in question, and it really is kind of amazing how mentally focusing on a group of muscles makes you work them more vigorously.
Some of the shoulder moves I swapped for different forms of bicep curls. I’m trying very hard to even my arms out…
After E.U. I did 90% of Ab Ripper X… 90% because I skipped the couple of moves that work the upper abs exclusively. A scoop of Jay Robb protein powder mixed into some almond milk and the world’s saltiest dinner rounded out the evening. 🙂
May I just say that I’m super pumped to be starting the new block! 🙂 Part of me is slightly bummed that block 1 is done solely because I had finally figured out a lot of the moves just in time to get something completely different. But different can also mean exciting!
Tony describes “eccentric” as the part of a move in which the muscle lengthens. This whole workout focuses on the lengthening of the muscle through the “negative” part of the move, example being the down part of a push up. I had just commented to my sister last night (who BTW is doing P90X3 also right now with her husband) that I was going to miss The Challenge, but I can assure her and everyone else that Eccentric Upper picks up where The Challenge left off. To make these moves achieve an eccentric focus, the push ups take a 3 count down with a 1 count up while pull/chin ups also use a 3 count lowering and 1 count back up.
- Standard Push Ups – All of my push ups were done with power bars on my knees today, except the burn out. Tony suggests that you suck it up and do it on your feet with a smaller range of motion to engage more core. Next time I’ll try that.
- Standard Pull Ups – I did a strange version of assisted… I was really trying to wear out my arms today. (I was successful FYI.) Knowing that the bulk of the energy was to be spent on the lowering, I used the chair to get up and then lifted my legs on the way down so that I was lowering my full body weight.
- Military Press – Push weights above your head and close together then slowly lowering until triceps are parallel to the ground. I have enormous shoulders, so I used my lighter 5lb weights.
- Military Push Ups – I’m really focusing on making my elbows graze my sides as I do these.
- Chin Ups – See standard pull ups.
- Deep Swimmer’s Press – Starting in a half curl position with arms parallel to ground, quickly complete the curl up then twist arms up into a press. Slowly lower back down to half curl.
- Fly Push Ups – basically wide arm push ups
- V Pull Ups – Technically these are wide arm pull ups in which you pull your chin to one hand lower and then pull up to the other hand. I instead used the bands and did a basic wide arm pull up band pull. You quickly pull the bands down and then slowly allow them back up. I really felt this in my lats.
- Upright Hammer Pull – like an upright row with a bicep twist up at the top
- Staggered Push Ups – I was just happily pushing away and missed the fact that you were supposed to 5 then switch which hand was in front… Instead I did all 10 before I realized my mistake, requiring me to then do 10 on the other side. BONUS! 🙂
- Rocket Launcher Row – Standing in a wide lunge and leaning your weight over your front leg, these are like military rows as you pull the weight into your arm pit keeping the elbows close to your sides.
- Lateral/Anterior Raise – Holding the weights like hammers with thumbs up, extend your arms to shoulder height out to the sides, lower, then do the same in the front.
- Plyo Push Ups – No plyo for me. I don’t trust my wrists for this right now. Instead I did 15 regular push ups.
- Vaulter Pull Ups – just like those from The Challenge
- Pterodactyl Flys – In another wide lunge, body leaning forward, lift the weights to shoulder height out to the sides.
- Rocket Launcher Kickback – Wide lunge, body forward, tricep kickbacks… I did this with 8lbs… Should have done 5.
- Flip Flop Combo – Curl up, hammer down slowly.
- Tricep Skyfers – These are kind of like tricep dips… Actually, they are tricep dips, but you make a stomach-up table with hands on your power bars, 1 leg up in the air, and then dip down.
- Kneeling Preacher Curl – In a lunge with one knee on the floor, curl those biceps!
- Burn out – Burn out for this was a push up/pull up combo again. This time it was 1 military push up then 1 wide arm pull up, followed by 2 of each, then 3…
I love The Challenge, and I love this one as well. I have always been exceptionally conscious of my arms; my upper arms like to hoard body fat. By the time I was about 24 I was definitely noticing an increase in their circumference. I can hear my mother saying, “Oh my gosh! You never had fat arms!” And while it is true that I never had arms that waved in the wind or were the size of small tree trunks, shirts that fit my body were obviously tight on my upper arms.
The thing about arm and leg fat… well all fat in general… is that it has to come off of everywhere for it to come off the places you want. I started speed walking a 3 mile trek everyday, which allowed me to wear my cute little green polka dotted shirt with the tuxedo pleats(!), but it wasn’t until I started doing yoga that a little pose called Downward Dog changed my arms. And then a couple of years later, my dude introduced me to P90X Shoulders & Arms and then the muscles started to chisel out. 🙂
I ended with half of Ab Ripper X before I decided I was exhausted. 🙂
I just couldn’t stay a day behind… not this early on.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, I took Tuesday off and did Agility X on Wednesday instead. Great. But that still left me one day behind my ‘schedule’, so I decided to take perhaps the stupid route and double up to get caught up. 🙂 I mean, I specifically mentioned how short the yoga was last week, right?
I went all out on the yoga. My thighs were seriously burning during the crescent-airplane sequence! During half-moon and twisted half-moon I used my yoga block (which rarely gets used anymore), but twisted is not happening. That’s fine. It will one day… maybe next year. I think I may have overdone my standing splits on one side as my “underbutt” (that’s a term all of my own 🙂 ) is a little unhappy right now. I have a hard time not wanting to perform a pose beyond what is acceptable for my body that day.
The bright spot in yoga today was Ted’s Chair. I did the arm balance successfully on one side!!! Woohoo! I love trick poses. 🙂 My crow was fairly exceptional (for me) also. For a more complete run down of the poses, see my previous yoga post.
Once I had completed the billion chaturangas in yoga, it was time for The Challenge! This time I had my fancy new pull up bands and push up bars to aid the process.
This week I set my numbers as 12 pull/chin ups and 16 push ups. I met my challenge, but boy was it hard, especially on the push ups. It got to the point that I would do about 6 and then complete the rest of the set 2 at a time with a brief pause at the top. In The Challenge, I’m still doing “girl push ups.” The pull ups were obviously far easier with the bands. I was sure to pause with the bands close to my body on each rep just like he tells the chick on the DVD. In fact, on many of my sets I did more than 12. Just for fun, and to see if I now magically had new found strength, I did a couple assisted pull ups and 2 unassisted chin ups.
No new magical strength yet.
BUT… I know that I have upper body muscles because they are exhausted. Tomorrow they’ll hurt. 🙂