4 X 20 back squats (45kg) (1-2 minute recovery)
4 X 20 bench press (45kg) (1-2 minute recovery)
4 X 20 Romanian deadlifts (1-2 minute recovery)
4 x 10 military press (2-3 minute recovery)
The focus of this workout is endurance. I’ve struggled to crank up the weight with my squats, so I’ve recently taken it back to basics, switching to lower weight, higher reps, and closer attention to squat form.
For the military press on the other hand, the focus remains strength (lower reps, higher weight, longer recovery). The m-press is my fave shoulder exercise as it’s a total body exercise. Form is very important as it’s a higher injury risk movement. #impresswithyourmpress
4 X 12 pull ups (1 minute 20 recovery)
4 X 8 pistol squats (both left and right legs) (2 minute recovery)
4 X (5 basket hangs, straight into 5 hanging leg raises) (2 minute recovery)
4 X 20 raised leg bench tricep dips (1 minute 30 recovery)
I really rate pistol squats. When you don’t have access to a gym or a barbell, they’re my next best alternative. I’ve had surprisingly bad DOMS after sets of these. If you struggle with balance like I do, gently hold onto something for support, but watch your form! https://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/main/popup/name/pistol-squat
I’ve just started working on basket hangs and they’re tough! Ross Edgely rates them as a hard-hitting ab exercise. At the moment, I’m finding the form difficult to master, so I add in leg raises on top to make sure my abs are still getting fully worked.
Without access to a gym, triceps can be hard to work. Bench dips are the answer. Rather than countless reps, I raised my legs by sitting my feet on a second bench, forcing me to go lower into the dip.
One of my goals is to reach less than 10% body fat. I estimate that I’m around 15% now given all the running and exercise I already do.
I’ve always eaten well, and my meal plans are mostly lean and balanced, so rather than adopt a boring, bland, tasteless diet to achieve this goal, I’ve decided to make sacrifices. One sacrifice I made ages ago was removing crisps and butter from my diet. Recently, I’ve also removed sugary and diet fizzy drinks, as well as sausages and bacon (I’ll miss the last two very much!).
Sacrifice something you can live without, not something that you love, enjoy or feel you need. You can always have these foods again as treats or rewards in the future!
WORKOUT OF THE DAY
- Eccentric negative pull ups: (4 X 6 (5 second descent)) with dragon flies (6 X 3) as recovery.
- Tricep superset: 4 X (30 X Two handed bodyweight bench dips, straight into 20 X 10kg dumbbell lying single arm side skull-crushers) (near full recovery between sets).
- Calf burn up: 2 X (alternative right single leg calf raises, two footed calf raises, left single leg calf raises) (no recovery between legs, each set to failure, near full recovery between sets)
Eccentric (or negative) reps focus on the ‘down’ part of the exercise, which can be just as difficult and gain effective. Dragon flags were listed by Ross Edgely (CEO of TheProteinWorks) as one of the heaviest hitting ab exercises. I’ve started incorporating both of these into my workouts and I’m noticing differences immediately.
My tricep superset was surprising tiring given that it’s mostly low weight stuff. Note: the dumbbell exercise here is essentially single arm skull crushes, with elbows pointing outwards rather than towards feet.
The calf burn up is of my own invention. Each set is to failure. The focus should be on the right and left single leg calf raises. The two leg calf raises should be seen as an interval / recovery. Within each set, you go until you can’t do anymore, alternating legs when tired. Take a long rest, then repeat. The lactic build up is pretty bad as time under tension is high and recovery is low. The good thing is, you can do this anywhere!
Correct form for negative pull ups: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8xNrImzdwI
Correct form for dragon flags: https://rossedgley.com/product/19-page-ab-guide-and-workout/
Swimming has always been a big problemo for me. I don’t know what it is – I’ve always struggled with swimming. Finishing a triathlon is therefore a serious long term goal of mine. I’ve been running long distances since young, which pretty much covers me for the cycle (probably), so I should be able to handle the swim, right? Wrong. The swim is the one hurdle left in my way to triathlon success.
My swimming has improved a bit since starting at Loughborough University (‘improved’ as in I now wouldn’t drown immediately after falling into water). After talking to a few experts, and after researching a bit online, I’ve narrowed my swimming woes down to one thing – technique. Apparently, technique and form really matters in swimming and here are some of the basics I will be working on over the next couple of months:
- The bum must remain UP and the head face DOWN as much as possible.
- To breathe, you should rotate your shoulders, not your head.
- Kicking and leg action should come through the glutes.
- The elbows should remain wide and up, allowing you to catch the water with your forearms.
In my next few swimming sessions, I’m going to focus on bum and head placement as much as possible. When I feel like I’m on top of this, I’ll add in the correct breathing motion, then correct kicking action, etc. I’ve already done a swimming session in which I focused on bum and head placement and I definitely noticed less fatigue straight away.
Currently, I’m working on swimming up to or over 600m per session (with 100m rests). Ideally, I need to be swimming over 1000m in a pool to be ready for a 800m sprint triathlon swim. Big targets!
(For anyone interested, I found the above ideas from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuUV-8Ay5_M which was really useful).
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