Standing on the Shoulders of Giants ~ Rachel

In high school, one of my biology teachers (Doc Shively) always urged us to stand on the shoulders of giants. Well, today I felt like a literal giant was standing on my shoulders! I know, I think of the weirdest stuff sometimes! Anyways, yesterday was my ease back into the gym day…I did 30 minutes on the stationary bike. Today was my date with my trainer Jen so there was no more easing.

I warmed up 10 minutes on the stationary bike. Jen then walked me over to the leg press. I used to love this machine because it made me feel so strong. Nothing has changed. I really prefer this machine over the leg extension for working my quads as my knees don’t hurt while I do it. Jen agreed with me and actually told me she really doesn’t like the leg extension machine because everyone always starts too far back and it damages their knees. I alternated the leg press with 8lb dumbbell shoulder presses. I kept pressing but Jen never told me to stop. She was working with the idea of lower weight, higher reps in an effort to get my heart rate up. Those shoulder presses got real hard after about 15 of them (hence, the giant on my shoulders).

We then did more shoulders! I did some lateral raises to the side and to the front, alternating with a large step up holding a medicine ball. I’m blanking now but I swear we did another shoulder exercise after that. I know we did a resistance band exercise where I pulled back at shoulder height. I should have felt it in my back but I was feeling it more so in my shoulders.  They were tired let me tell you.

I then proved to Jen I could hold a plank for 40 seconds. Even after over a week off, I did it. My butt was raising up too much though. And with all my sweat, I was sliding on the mat (and my glasses were falling off my head). My form was definitely suffering but I did it. My goal is 1 minute by Labor Day and I’m pretty sure I can do it.

I finished out my morning with 30 minutes on the Arc Trainer. I even did some of it without holding on to the arm thingies. My balance seems to be improving. Then again I did keep catching my headphones which would yank them out of the ipod which would crash to the floor. Once a klutz, always a klutz I suppose.

So for all you folks who lift weights, do you prefer the low weight/high rep or high weight/low rep approach or a mix of both depending on the day? Do you always leave a day of rest in between strength training or do you do it daily but focus on particular muscle groups?

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  • mark  On June 24, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I do it daily, and focus on certain muscles groups, but in a certain order. Never shoulders and the next day chest. Thats just too much on my triceps, all that pushing! I add weight all the time, i go for the heavy stuff…..What I do do is, every other say back day, ill rest 30 seconds inbetween sets, and then the other one, I rest until my heart rate goes back to close to normal. It makes a big differance in the cardio aspect for me. But also, my cardio sucks. But also, on 1 cigarette today! Whoot! ya i said whoot, so …….
    And also, I guess I do do both kinda reps…..Ill do a set of 14, add weight, set of 12, add weight, set of 10, add weight, set of 8, then without rest take off weight, lift til failure, take off more, lift til failure, take off more, lift til fail…..Really gets the heart up, and tricks the muscles. No rests on the way down….just rip off the weights and get back to it!

  • Ana Gates  On June 24, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    light weights, high reps : ) always.

    also, very true: once a klutz, always a klutz.

  • Shelley B  On June 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Nice workout, Rach! And good going with the plank hold…one minute by Labor Day? Sheesh, you’ll have it way before then!

    I am not much help in answering your question because I just do what my trainers tell me. I think I am working on pretty heavy weights, though…but it also feels like I do a million reps. All I can tell ya is that it’s working – my arms are not only toned, but are getting muscles – and I love it!

  • biz319  On June 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I do weights every other day – but usually through a DVD with hand weights. Some call for low weight/high reps – which I prefer.

    You’ll make that 1 minute plank by Labor Day – just keep your butt down! 😀

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