I made some progress on my rowing this week. I am doing the rowing intervals for the fat-burning effects but something Chris said made me realise that there was more to my problem with my times getting progressively worse.
Chris commented that if I was on a sprint programme, trying to improve my times, then I would alternate between the sprints programme I have been doing and periods of longer, slower rowing work. This slower work would enhance and build my cardio base.
I realised that the point at which I moved from my row start times improving to them rapidly declining coincided with when I started on a new project that filled up my time so completely that I stopped cycling to the bank each week. That bike ride was an hour of evil hills each week. It was not much but a lot more than what I do now. Especially since the weather took a turn for the worse and it also got dark in the mornings so that I stopped going to the allotment every morning with regularity.
It is also possible that my legs need more rolling. When I was in a better state a few months ago I found that I was panting for breath and all over physically exhausted. It was this complete exhaustion that was my limiting factor. Now I can’t keep going because my legs are blocked up with lactic acid. They ache and I physically cannot push them any harder, yet I am still breathing with ease and haven’t broken out in a sweat. This all suggests that I am not being effective in clearing the lactic from my legs.
Rolling to remove knots in the muscles and also a little more cardio work might clear this problem.
Results for last week
Workout 1: (Monday)
- Back squat: 86kg – 1×4 (or at least match 84kg) – I ended up just going for 85kg. I ended up doing my workout at 7.30am instead of the more usual 9.30am or 11am times I workout. As a result I felt that I needed to be a little bit easy on myself. It has been years since I last worked out that early and 85kg is a new PB weight to put on my back. Fortunately the 85kg went well, although I was interested to see that I struggled most at the very beginning of getting out of the hole (the part of the movement that uses the quads) and then flew up once I was able to start using the glutes properly. Perhaps it’s time to accept that my glutes have overtaken my quads and I should start focussing on my quads instead.
- Back squat: 62kg – 1x max rep effort (minimum 8 reps) – after that single effort I only squeezed out 8 reps on this.
- Hip thrusts: 124kg rest-pause method (10s rest, minimum 14 reps total) – I achieved a total of 16 reps (8,5,3), just squeezing past the 15 rep cut off and meaning I need to put this up next week.
- Reverse lunges: 20kg – 3×8 – this really makes my quads sore the next morning, although it also creates a bit of a sting in my glutes at the time. 20kg felt like a good weight so I’ll start building from here.
- Concept 2 intervals: 8x30s (60s rest) – target 2.01.0 – Over the course of this session I played with gradually increasing the resistance, starting with 2 intervals at 5, then 2 at 5.5 and finally 4 intervals at 6. By the final few I finally lost the sensation that I needed to take care to stop myself flying off the back of the rower. I think my glutes really have got strong when I wasn’t looking. So the times were: 2.01.0, 2.04.0, 2.02.7, 2.04.0, 2.00.9, 2.01.1, 2.02.4, 2.02.0. Shocking!
Workout 2: (Friday)
- Back squat: 78kg – 1×4 (or at least match 76kg) – I’m being brave and adding 2 reps again. I think – I was brave and I achieved! 1×4 with 78kg. Just about manageable.
- Back squat: 62kg – 1x max rep effort (minimum one more than last workout) – fortunately I managed to gain 2 reps today, completing 10 reps.
- RDL: 90kg 3×4 – this felt tough but I made it through. I feel like the 90kg is going to be a tough target to get through.
- Assisted glute-ham raises: Pink band support & full black sling, 3×8 – oh my word this ached. I’m also not quite sure what to do next week since I’m having a week off after that.
Plan for this week
- Back squat: 81kg – 1×3 (or at least match 80kg)
- Back squat: 62kg – 1x max rep effort (minimum 11 reps)
- Hip thrusts: 126kg rest-pause method (10s rest, minimum 8 reps total)
- Reverse lunges: 24kg – 3×8
- Concept 2 intervals: 8x30s (60s rest) – target 2.01.0
- Back squat: 84kg – 1×2 (or at least match 83kg)
- Back squat: 62kg – 1x max rep effort (minimum one more than last workout)
- RDL: 90kg 3×5
- Assisted glute-ham raises: Pink band support & full black and half yellow sling, 3×4