Friday, 18 November 2011

A good week

This week, for the first time since May, I actually managed to work out 3 times a week. In fact, ever since mid 2009, my workouts have been very irregular, so I have not progressed much in my strength training. Last year, life threw a crazy curve ball that made my stress levels shoot up. That coupled with the fact that I am an easy prey for cortisol, I really put on some fluff on the lower abs. To top it all, in June this year a minor accident left me with 3 herniated discs in the neck and put me on about 4 months of prescription anti inflammatories and physio therapy. So, from working out about 3 or 4 times a week in 2009, I dropped to 2 or 3 times a month and skipped one month altogether. Some good did come of all this. The blood work showed that I was low on Vit D -- not really surprising since I don't exactly spend 12 hour days in the sunlight. The MRI showed not just 3 herniated discs in the neck, but also 3 degenerated discs. Aha! I was wondering when my bad computer habits will finally come back to haunt me. They have. Every time I slouched in front of the computer, the pinched nerve would shock my arm. Like a dog on shock collar I was made very well aware of my bad posture at work and have been forced to sit up straight.

The inflammation has finally subsided and I hope at least for the rest of this month I can get in a couple more work outs. So far I have managed 4 workouts this month!!

Here's today's workout:

squats: 68lbs, 12*3
chest press (dumbells): 15 lbs, 12*3
one arm rows: 25 lbs, 9*3
flyes: 10lbs, 12*3
lat pull downs: 25 lbs, 12*3
tricep push down: 15lbs, 12*3
bicep curls (barbell): 25 lbs:, 12*3
tricep dips: 10, 12, 12
deadlifts: 55lbs, 10*3
Abs: some plank work with leg movement
jumping jack -- about 50 or so.

So far so good. Remains to be seen if I will keep up my postural corrections at work. I hope I do. And I hope I do it without the shock collar!

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varsha said...

Congratulations on the resumption! You will stick to it- we all go through rough patches !
As you have neck issues ,may I suggest incorporating pushups and face pulls on a pulley machine ? And avoiding lat pull -downs and flyes ? Unless you are absolutely sure about teh form ?
For in high volume training like this form sometimes dips in last sets/reps.

Agnija Bharathi said...

Hey thanks for the tip Varsha. I am in due for a change. As you can see, I am going real easy on the upper body and have to pause between sets to stretch the neck out, so I don't think my form is suffering. But, I am getting bored of this routine and it's due for a change. My goal before Spring was to actually start a 4-day split, never did materialize because of work commitments. Time to revisit. I am thinking of starting Krista's intermediate 4-day push/pull light/heavy split on her website ( What do you think? Will work? I will probably swap the crunches to plank work, though. Was never a big fan of crunches.

varsha said...

oh yes ! used it for a long time - but I did not spilt upper/lower - you can do what ever works for you .Reps were 3*8 for heavy and 2*12 for light. I wd do a day each of
light push and heavy push
and a day each of heavy pull and light pull .
It looked like this:
light push ( spilt squat ,lunges ,dumbell presses,shoulder presses) ,heavy pull (deadlifts.,romanian deadlifts , bent over row , hanging leg raises)
light pull ( swiss ball hamstring bridges ,cable rowing , single leg deadlifts )
heavy push ( squats ,bench,dips ,military press)

Agnija Bharathi said...

I like this plan. So if I understand you correctly, I could do sth like:
Monday: everything under heavy pull
Wed: everything under heavy push
Thu: everything under light pull
Sat/Sun: everything under light push?

PS any idea how to select weights for heavy and light as percentage of say how much I can work for 12 reps?

PPS: can you tell me which version u had in mind for swiss ball hamstring bridges?
PPPS: What's the difference between dumbell and bench presses, other than bench uses barbell? If so, I would like to not do bench since my lazy left side cheats big time on this.

PPPPS: Also, don't see any push ups?

varsha said...

My plan was:

- toughest ( for me heavy pull ) on Saturday as it is off for me.
- Monday : start of the week I would be rested and raring to go -so Heavy Push -which I found easier than Pull.
- Then follow with light pull on wed and light push on Friday.
- You must find what fits in to your routine giving you adequate recovery time.

- As a beginner i could do 1/6th for lower body and 1/8th for upper for most moves.But the only rule* here is what you can handle without losing form .*I once pulled my Back muscle badly while doing Romanian DL's 15 reps with a baby bawling on the door.No body is going to kill you if you leave that set midway. It happens.
- Push ups can alternate with Bench .Infact they are tougher than Bench and great if you have any back problem.Though moving the Iron somehow gives a bigger Adrenaline rush:)
- Dumbell bench presses have the big advantage that you can do one sided presses - especially for the weaker side only.I think you should do only single arm Dumbell bench and alternate with pushups.
- Even single leg work is awesome and great for glutes (esp as I had troublesome Knees) Glute work rocks.
- Look at the third version in this video.If double leg is easy for you
then roll out with single leg -that is tough!

varsha said...

ooops The link :

Agnija Bharathi said...

Thx, Varsha. I will expt with the weights. It will probably take me some time to figure out which ones will work for me. Overall sounds like an interesting workout!