2012-07-08

Week 4: A Week Here, A Week There

Finally I am starting to feel my body get somewhere. The persistent exercise is starting to bring me back around. This begs the question: what happened?

Sure, I blogged about how my exercise regimen had diminished three weeks ago, and I guess it is a pretty accurate story. Still, there is something about hindsight that changes a person's perspective on things. Looking back at it now, I cannot help but be surprised that my body had fallen so far, so fast. Part of this is because when I left Ottawa, I was in the middle of making some very interesting progress with respect to running. I was coming off of long winter of cardio machines, and teaching myself how to run fast again. As tends to be the case, when a person dedicates time and effort toward a specific fitness goal, the goals on the periphery tend to fall behind. Therefore, as I was increasing the intensity of my daily run, I was losing upper body muscle mass more rapidly than I understood at the time.

When I arrived here, and found myself ill-equipped for runs as far and as intense as mine had been in Ottawa, it happened that now both my cardio and my strength training were suffering. I lost a lot of ground, and did so without really noticing.

However, if you've been reading the blog for the past month (and really, who isn't reading the blog these days, am I right...? *cue chirping crickets*) then you know that I have been very persistent with this exercise business lately. Now, at last, on my fourth week of maintaining patchwork training regimen, my body has clicked. My muscles are growing. My energy levels are returning to normal. I'm sleeping through the night again. Food seems appealing. I have all the tell-tale signs of a body returning to its normal, healthy, fit state.

And I'm still a long way from being done.

Week 4: Hitch Your Wagon to Kelechi Opara
So long as we're patching together a training regimen week-by-week, why not pull from all available sources? Sure, I'm an endurance athlete, a distance runner, and I love to run. But the fact of the matter is that even runners need upper body mass, and as I said in the previous section, I've lost a bit too much.

If mass is what I want, then why not pull Week 4's training regimen from a source of wisdom tailored specifically to that goal? That resource is the fantastic Bodybuilding.com, and the regimen is a week's worth of lifting workouts from Kelechi Opara.

Follow the link above for the routine's specifics. I will summarize:
  • Day 1: Legs
  • Day 2: Back/Shoulders/Abs
  • Day 3: Chest/Triceps/Calves
  • Day 4: (Rest)
  • Day 5: Legs/Abs
  • Day 6: Back/Shoulders
  • Day 7: (Rest)
Add to that a hefty dose of classic Stationary Waves cardio training, as follows:
  • Day 1: 60min light cardio
  • Day 2: 40min fartlek
  • Day 3: 40min run
  • Day 4: 40min fartlek
  • Day 5: 40min run
  • Day 6: 40min run
  • Day 7: (Rest)
Voila! A somewhat interesting Week 4 lies ahead of us. If I like how I feel after a week of body-building, I might continue on. We shall have to see. This is the beauty of not training for anything specific - anything goes. Train however you feel like training at the beginning of any particular week. Variety is the spice of life.

I know what you're thinking: Body-building? On Stationary Waves? That's crazy! But it's not crazy. Any part of the body can atrophy. Any aspect of fitness can fall behind the curve. Strength training is an important component of anyone's workout regimen. Sometimes, to climb your way over a plateau, you have to pull from sources from which you don't ordinary draw.