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Go With the Flow

During my whole lifting career I’ve had someone else tell me what to do or how to do my workouts in some way or another.  The 3 years training for figure I had trainers telling me what to do with everything every step of the way.  After figure I had a program I followed for powerlifting (which I never got to complete).  Then I went into crossfit, where I had a coach dictating my workouts.  After crossfit I partnered back up with Mark who also controlled what workouts we did, when, etc.  NOW… I’m on my own.  And it’s no wonder I don’t trust myself with my own workouts… I’ve never had to do it alone!

To add to the trust issue, My Monday workout left me so exhausted.  I know that lifting heavy will do this but it was to the point it had a negative effect metabolically.  My mind loved it.  Who wouldn’t love to say they deadlifted a total of 8,350 pounds in one session! and had technically reached new recent PRs?  After adding that up for you, I’m sitting here thinking… NO f*cking wonder!  But this is how I’ve always done it… high volume.  This is what I’m used to.  This is all I really know.

This is also what got me into trouble in the first place.  I have a hard time believing less ismore and in my case less really is more.  I’ll preach it all day long.  But saying and doing are two totally different thingsThe proof of the pudding is in the eating.  After coming back from only using crossfit as my workout for 6 months, with very little heavy lifting, and having taken 3 months off before this (a 9 month span of not lifting like I’m used to)… I didn’t come back weaker… I came back stronger!

Gabby Reese  Photo by Joe McNally

My previous deadlift PR was 260.  My previous squat PR was 210.  My previous bench PR was 120.  From the time of those PRs, I’ve gained 40 lbs.  If you were to strap on a 40 lb weight vest and squat your max weight, do you think you could do it?  Do you think that squat would feel heavier?  Would be heavier?  What about a deadliftAnd push-ups, and pull-ups, and any other movement requiring you to move your body weight?

Since coming back, I’ve lost about 15 lbs in my squat, 20 lbs in my deadlift and I’ve gained 15 lbs in my bench after putting on this 40 lb weight vest?  Theoretically, I’ve gained in all lifts.  And when I think of it like this and also realize I have no dictators… I can let go and have fun with training!

That is what I did yesterday.  I went with the flow.  I went in knowing what I wanted to accomplish, but not having a set plan.  I listened to my body as I moved through the workout.  And by doing so I have found the routine I will experiment with for the next couple of weeks.  A friend of mine asked that I put this in the open so I could be held accountable.  She knows the trust issues I have with myself. ☺

I won’t go into a long drawn out explanation, but I chose this routine because it warmed me up at the same time it fatigued the muscles without having to do a thousand sets, reps and exercises at very high intensity (like I’m used to).  I have to keep in mind, my top goal is being efficient while avoiding extreme exhaustionTrain smarter, not harder!  I’m still in the recovery stages of adrenal fatigue.  The reminder that I did very little the last 9 months, but was still able to maintain if not gain strength kept me on track with this routine.

Flat Bench Press
15 warm up bench straight into very slow reps with 3 sec. hold at bottom x 8 (bar)
12 x 95 lb (about 3ish reps from failure)
3 x 115 lb (with 2 sec. hold at bottom)
2 x 135 lb (with 2 sec. hold at bottom – failure)

Close-grip bench superset w/ leg raises
close-grip bench 15 warm up straight into slow 3 sec hold at bottom x 8 (bar)
3 x 3 super slow leg raises

Close-grip bench slow 3 sec. hold at bottom x 8 (bar)
3 x 3 super slow leg raises

Close-grip bench 3 sec. hold at bottom x 8 (bar)
3 x 3 super slow leg raises

That’s it!  My body told me afterwards this was enough.  This morning the lactic acid in my muscles is confirmation.

My next couple of weeks will mimic this rep scheme.  Working on the 3 main powerlifting moves; squat, deadlift and bench.  On accessory work I will use the slow tempo technique.  I will aim for one exercise per body part in addition to the main movement.  I’m also toying around with the idea of the 3rd week being a crossfit style week, working on explosive moves – speed squats, etc.  Leaving perfect timing for my 4th week… recovery week.

Going with the flow allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and find a new style of lifting I really like so far.  It allowed me to design my first workout routine for myself!  How do you step out of your comfort zone?

2 Comments:
~Karen C.L. Anderson~ says:

Sounds like an “intuitive” workout :-)

yes! And it felt soooo good. :) Amazing, right? ;)

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