2012-08-20

This Week In Exercise

Yesterday was another amazing session with my trainer at the gym. I have become a bit of a guinea pig. While filling out my workout log, my trainer said to me, "I don't really know what to write here. I don't know what to call some of these things because some of these things I make up on the spot."

It sounds hackneyed, but it's not. He's coming up with some really exciting combined movements that have revived my exercise regimen, blasted me out of my rut, and jettisoned me into a new level of physical fitness.

And the progress is real. Last week's balance-oriented exercises were so technically difficult for me that I didn't think I'd be able to do them. By the third strength training day of the week, though, I was powering through the workout with progressively less difficulty. Just when it was starting to get easy, Sunday rolled around and it was time for a new set of workouts.

Here they are, my (and possibly also your) strength training exercises for the week (go through the following superset three times):
  • Full Leg Extensions From Pull-Up Bar: Start in the "down" position on a pull-up bar. With your feet together and your legs fully extended, do a leg lift, but keep lifting until the soles of your feet are facing the ceiling. Do 10 of these.
  • Cable Pull-Up: Set a cable machine to maximum weight and attach the rope apparatus to the carabiner. Hold both ends of the rope and, with your feet together, lean back until your arms are fully extended and your body is at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Now, do 10 pull-ups from this position.
  • Cable Crunch: Reduce the weight on the cable machine. Face away from the machine, holding the rope over your shoulders, with your arms drawn in to your sides. Kneel down on the ground. Holding fast to the rope, "bow" down, then return to a kneeling position. Do 20 of these.
  • Side Plank With Cable Fly: Do a side plank with your palm on the ground and your feet together. With your free hand on a cable pulley, do 10 reverse flys; then, switch sides and repeat.
  • Push-Up With Cable Leg-Lift: Get in push-up position with one foot attached to a cable machine, slightly elevated off the ground. Do a push-up, then pull your knee up under you. Do 10 of these, then switch sides and repeat.
  • Cable Leg Crunch: Standing, with one foot attached to a cable machine, lift your leg up to a 90-degree angle in front of you. Focus on using your abs to perform the motion, as opposed to your legs. Do this 10 times per leg.
To give you some idea as to the level of experimentation involved in my workouts with my personal trainer, I am also going to include a list of exercises we attempted, but which I could not perform well enough to incorporate them into this week's training session. Feel free to give any of these a try. I am going to tack these on at the end of my strength workout over the course of the week to see if I can make some additional progress here.
  • Leg Lift Pull-Up: Do 10 pull-ups with your legs held out straight in front of you.
  • Side-To-Side Pull-Up: Do a standard pull-up, but pull your body up toward your right hand, then repeat that motion on the other side by pulling up to your left hand. Do 10 total.
  • Plyometric Pull-Up: Do a pull up at the apex of which you burst your body up into the air and your hands off the pull-up bar. (Analogous to a clapping push-up.)