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Exercise Log 11.24.13 (Rest Day Thoughts)

Quick moment to sit down and leave some thoughts about fitness progress, I’m on my second day of rest and anytime I spend this much time not at the gym I feel like I need to dedicate some time at least thinking about the gym. Working in retail my next week will be hectic I doubt I will get some good exercise in, but I will be going to do a long run downtown in the freezing abysmal cold so that should count for something.

As for physical progress while I am slowly seeing gains in strength categories I feel like nothing is drastically different just yet. My weight has not changed (still 160lbs) and while I definitely do see muscle growth, functional strength is still taking time to show. I know from basic research that muscle development takes a long time to settle in and that my realistic expectations to be where I want to be are really 2-3 years away at least, if not longer really.

One thing that may be limiting potential growth is my clean bulk, I’m definitely trying to consume the required quantities of protein to grow but I am not overconsuming to any real degree just because hey, I like not being fat. My skin from the fat loss never cinched up and honestly I want to stay skinny long enough that it does. As an aside, I think I am losing body fat today I went to cinch my waist belt and found myself trying to shoot for two holes in on my belt loop that don’t exist. So I must be doing okay in that category.

As for strength, I feel now very comfortable with my rotation of compound lifts. I have increased my pull-ups and my back strength is really turning around. I think one of the things I notice most in the last month of strength training is neuromuscular improvement especially in the back… when I go to flex laterals and scapula adductors I really *feel* the muscle involvement more. Neurological energy is a very vital part of strength I find and it is very much about training yourself mentally to engage your body the right way, much more than I ever suspected it was in the past.

Alright so about a month ago I did a rest day thoughts post like this and I set some goals, I’m pretty happy with the goals themselves still so I’m going to jot down some current progress based on my last few logs worth of activity. I think I’ve made some good improvement for just one month’s time.

Goal & Progress Log (last update Oct. 31st)

Deadlift of 400lbs (current max 245lbs) +20lbs
Front squat of 200lbs (current max 135lbs) no change
Back squat of 250lbs (current max 170lbs) +15lbs
Bench press of 185lbs (current max 145lbs) +30lbs
5K pace 23:30 (PR 23:58) +44 second improvement, new goal set

Log stats: Since Oct 31st I’ve had 18 workout days (1 of which was cardio only), 6 rest days. I’ve completed 4 exercise rotations. I also revised my routine workout rotation by swapping days to allow me to focus better on compound lifting and recovery. I’ve had no change in overall body weight.

A quick note is that I’ve decided for runs longer than 5K I am not interested in competitive pacing, all I care about is just enjoying the run. For the half marathon next spring my main goal is to have a sustainable pace that will let me run the whole thing without feeling like I need to break for long rest periods, I’m not going to spend a lot of time thinking about optimizing my pace in such a way as to have the “best” time… I like the competitive aspect, but the half marathon is just too long to feel like I need to do that. So I’ve removed keeping track of my half marathon pace from the goal list.

Okay, so in short I feel good with where I’m at, tomorrow is Leg Day so hoping to do some good squats and maybe try to break my front squat weight which is the only thing not yet improved over the last month. We’ll see!

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