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Friday, March 27, 2009

STS System Week 4 in Review

WHEW!  This was a tough week.  I've had a lot to do and I've been mostly unable to get myself out of bed for the morning workouts, so I worked out in the evenings every day this week.  That has cut into my time to do other things, but at least I got it done.  Baby steps.

This week, weights were increased again.  Where week 1 I did 60% of our 1 Rep Max and Weeks 2 and 3 I did 65%, this week I'm up to 70%.  This is a real challenge, and I really felt it on Sunday with Disc 10 (Shoulders, Chest and Biceps).  There were exercises where I would get partway through and then my arm just wouldn't lift the weight anymore.  It wasn't like I was struggling or shaking, it just wouldn't even try at all, no budging whatsoever.  I made it through though, and even had to rewind the video a couple times where I was still trying to complete the reps and Cathe had moved on into another exercise.  I admit, it was a little frustrating, but I got it done.

Back and Triceps on Tuesday was easier.  I managed to get through the vast majority of the workout without having to rewind the video too much.  I'm really getting up there in weight on the lat rows, and it's really getting tough.  I'm getting to the point where at the end of each video I am so happy to be done!  Proud, and glad I did it, but happy it's over!  

As for legs, they are always tough.  I am actually fearing legs in mesocycle 2, as I hear that they get harder.  Still, I do feel stronger in my legs, which is always good.

And so, this ends mesocycle 1.  This mesocycle was all about endurance, so high reps at 60-70% of 1 rep max.  My understanding is that mesocycle 2 is going to mean 70-80% of my 1 rep max - yikes!  Mesocycle 2 is hypertrophy - muscle building and definition.  It will shake things up as far as upper body goes, and the mix will be different.  Leg workouts will move to the middle of the week (a good thing for me as far as scheduling goes).  I'm so used to mesocycle 1 at this point that I'm very curious about how mesocycle 2 is going to work.  I start mesocycle 2 on April 6.

In the meantime, after mesocycle 1, we are supposed to take a week off for active recovery.  So, for the next week I won't be doing any weight workouts at all, and I'll be focused on cardio and relaxation.  Cathe's instructions were that we can do as much cardio as we want, but no weights, and we shouldn't overdo anything.  No problem for me, I expect to be doing quite a bit of swimming.

Results?  Well, I didn't take measurements before I started, which is a shame.  I always find measurements to be horribly inaccurate, though.  I feel stronger, my body feels better.  I feel like I can do more, and I feel like my running has gotten faster and more efficient.  In fact, if you look at my running logs from March of 2008 and compare them to March of 2009, I'm about a minute per mile faster now.  As for my weight, it's stayed about the same since I started - maybe a pound or two lower.  

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