Phase 2 is here and cardio’s back! And let me tell you, I couldn’t be happier. Want to hear about this new Phase and how it’s going for me?
As you know, I’ve been anticipating the return of cardio to my workouts for awhile now. With the weight gain that I experienced in Phase 1 and the “new-ness” of weight-lifting, I was anxious to get back to my workout “roots”! So here are the highlights and lowlights of Week 5:
Highlights of Week 5
Cardio Is Back!
So this new Phase integrates cardio 3 days out of the week. The cardio is also supposed to be a moderate addition- just 30mins on the elliptical. For someone like me who has done a million high intensity cardio workouts this was a bit of a tease, but I welcomed anything that would help keep my heart rate up. Have you heard that weight training burns more calories than cardio? (I may do a post on this….) I know I have, and this has always confused me because there were days in Phase 1 when I didn’t even break a sweat lifting. So it was nice to get on a cardio machine and have some sweat dripping down my face again!
There are Some New Weight Training Moves
Okay so the first thing I noticed was that the weight-training moves in Phase 2 are different than those in Phase 1. For example, Pull-ups (lats) are now part of the mix along with Cable Cross-overs (chest), Side to side push-ups (chest), Toe-touchers (abs), Barbell step-ups (quads), Plie dumbell squats (quads), Over-head curls (biceps), etc. It was cool to learn some new moves! Some of them had me a bit tripped up -I can’t get my grip right on cable crossovers- but I know I’ll master them at some point in this Phase. Loving the new challenge!
The Introduction of Supersets
I will admit, in all of my workout experience, I’ve actually never known what a “superset” was. I remember sitting on the couch looking over the workout and asking my fiance “what’s a superset?” Well I now know what a superset is: hell! A superset is basically when you do a circuit of different exercises without rest. Jaime has us doing supersets all over the place and it’s usually two pretty tough exercises back to back. Some of the super sets this week included: Bent Barbell Rows/Seated Cable Rows (middle back), Toe Touchers/Crunches (Abs), Overhead Cable Curl/Cable Hammer Curls (Biceps), Standing Dumbbell Upright Row/Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Triceps) and Seated Leg Curls/Leg Extensions. Man!!! The supersets were the one time during my weight training sessions where I could feel my heart rate really soar and where I was dripping sweat. These were tough, but I welcome the additional burn!
Lowlights of Week 5
Time Ain’t On My Side
So with all the new amazingness that is cardio, new weight moves & super-sets, my gym sessions have lengthened. If I get into the gym by 7:30am and there’s cardio involved for that day, then I’m not truly done with the workout until close to 9:15am. That’s an hour and forty-five minutes at the gym (and that doesn’t even account for shower-time and rushing to work)!! I’m sorry, but this is just something that I’m still struggling to get used to and one of my critiques of the program thus far- it’s SUCH a time-suck! Definitely ups my expectations in terms of results.
All Over Soreness
This week I felt like I was always sore. All over. In Phase 1 the soreness was very specific- it was related to whichever muscle group I’d worked a day or two before. But with cardio in the mix, I’ve found that even muscles that weren’t in the weight training rotation were fatigued. Like on Day 2 of this week, after my first day back with cardio, my abs and inner thighs were sore! But my Day 1 workout was the Back muscle group, so why my abs and thighs were sore is a bit of a mystery… So basically I was hobbling around for this Week 5, trying to let my body recover. Speaking of which…
Six-Days A Week!
Phase 2 kicks you up to working out 6 days/week. I’m no wimp when it comes to exercise (think of the Insanity 6days/week schedule), but I found that going to the gym on the weekends has been rough. I cherish my ability to sleep in and relax on my Saturday and was pretty bummed to have to get my gym gear packed and go in to NYSC. That, combined with the fact that I was still sore from the cardio/weights mix of the previous 5days, made this a particularly hard adjustment. It also got me wondering, how much rest does my body need to recover? (another post idea perhaps?) Stay tuned for my Week 6 (halftime!) review! 😉 -CFC
** When do you give your body a rest from working out? **