I’m really quite late in posting this update, as I’ve just finished my seventh sheet of high intensity training. However, as I often say, better late than never! If you’ve not read my prior posts, but you want to see my progress, check out:

Here’s the latest sheet:

Here’s a summary of my progress on various movements, starting from Session 80 from Sheet 5 to Session 96 on Sheet 6. All the machines are Nautilus, except the lower back and the torso rotation. As before, only Leg Press and Lower Back are done every session; all other movements are done every other session.

As you’ll see below, I continued making steady progress on leg press, which I really wanted to do. As a result, I stalled out on some other movements or even decreased. Overall, I’d say it was a good sheet.

Every week:

  • LP: Leg Press: 260 to 280 lbs. I was very happy to be making steady progress again.
  • LB: Lower Back: 160 to 162 lbs. I didn’t make much progress on this wider range of motion, but that’s okay!

Every other week:

  • Hip AB: Hip Abduction: 95 to 85 lbs. It helps to vary the weight on this machine a bit, given that I’m pretty much at my limit.
  • Hip AD: Hip Adduction: 115 to 105 lbs. Same as above
  • CR: Calf Raises: 300 lbs. I didn’t do this often.
  • Lower Back (see above)
  • PD: Lat Pull-Down: 130 lbs. No progress.
  • Leg Press (see above)
  • CP: Chest Press: 75 to 65 lbs. We decreased my weight because I’m just tapped out immediately after leg press.
  • Row: Row: 60 lbs. I still hate this machine, but the movement is exactly one that I use for riding, to get Lila up off her forehand, so I’d better get it done!
  • Ab C: Ab Crunch: Steady at 15 lbs.
Every other week:

  • LE: Leg Extension: 65 to 70 lbs. I went back up to 70 lbs.
  • LC: Leg Curls: LC is a 90-second curl of the leg, with progressive intensity, backward against a stable frame.
  • Lower Back (see above)
  • Leg Press (see above)
  • Bicep: Steady at 45 lbs: It’s still hard to make progress with this machine given that it’s immediately after leg press. Oh well!
  • Tricep: Steady at 80 lbs: Again, no progress, no worries.
  • Rot T: Rotate Torso: 44 to 46 lbs. On this sheet, we began doing a hold rather than movement, which is incredible hard but a much better workout. Now I struggle with muscle failure, rather than the movement.
  • New MXCP: (Funky MedX Ab Cruncher Hold): steady at 75 lbs: All good.

P.S. If you decide to try my SuperSlow gym — now TruFit Health — in south Denver, please tell them that I referred you!

Increase Your Self-Control

 Posted by on 15 July 2013 at 11:00 am  Advice, Ethics, Fitness, Health, Moral Amplifiers
Jul 152013
 

As you might recall, I answered a question about cultivating powers of self-control on the 23 June 2013 episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.

In that discussion, I mentioned that one strategy for increasing self-control is to set clear standards for success and failure, perhaps even with artificial rewards and punishments for oneself. For example, if Paul and I go out to a movie, sometimes I don’t wish to eat any of his popcorn. In that case, I’ll agree to pay him $20 if I eat any of his popcorn. (He’s not allowed to tempt me; that would be unfair.) I’ve never paid him that $20, simply because the prospect of doing so is sufficient incentive. I’m motivated not merely by the loss of $20, but also by the shame of so clearly giving in to temptation and thereby doing something that I know isn’t good for me. Plus, he’d never let me live it down!

As I mentioned in the broadcast, my friend Trey Givens used that same strategy last winter to help himself to clean up his diet and start working out. At some point, I’d tweeted him, “I have a solution to your lack of discipline! Send me $20 for every pound you gain or every week that you don’t workout!” He came up with a better plan, as explained in this blog post:

So, here’s what I’ll do: I will donate $20 for each week that I don’t work out AND I will donate $20 for each week that I don’t stick with The Whole 30. So, it’s possible that I could end up donating $40 in a week. I’ll donate it to Diana’s Philosophy in Action webcast. This also supports another personal goal of mine which is to give more monetary support to Objectivism this year.

Shortly thereafter, he modified the deal as follows:

OK. After thinking about it a bit more, I want to modify the deal for donating dollars to Philosophy in Action based on how well I stick to my diet and exercise plan.

I will donate $20 to PiA for every week in January that I do not work out at least 3 times. I will donate $20 to PiA for every meal in January in which I deliberately break The Whole 30 rules. I’m changing it because I think the previous arrangement was a bit too generous in leaving room for “error.” Like, if I ate a piece of candy today, I don’t want to find myself rationalizing into eating ice-cream for the rest of the week. And working out once a week is for the fat lady I am, not the fat lady I want to be; my goal is 3x a week at a minimum and so that’s why that’s the goal.

So, with these changes, it actually could end up that I owe Diana a zillion dollars at the end of a given week. I’m pretty sure I have enough self-control to avoid that, but in the event that I don’t, I will also change my name to “Congress.”

That’s definitely a better deal for Trey: the more fine-grained and specific that you can get with these artificial rewards and punishments the better.

So how did this experiment work? Pretty well, I think, particularly given the demands of the Whole 30. Still, I can’t help but laugh:

Well, it is finally over. And it is difficult for me to express exactly how glad not to be worrying over The Whole 30 any more.

I suppose the worrying part is my own fault, since for the month of January I could probably count on two hands the number of mornings that I woke without a vivid memory of a dream in which I ate something bad and worried about paying Diana $20 for the infraction. Clearly, my subconscious is far more concerned about financial matters than my physical well-being. So, how did I end up doing?

Well, I paid Diana a total of $80 this month.

Half of it was due to a week in which I was on a business trip and only worked out once. 2 missed workouts * $20 = $40.

On that same business trip, I was at a restaurant with my boss’s boss for dinner and I ordered what appeared to be a “safe” meal and explained to the waitress that I absolutely could not have diary. First, she came back with a plate sprinkled with cheese, so I sent it back. When she returned to the kitchen she explained that what I had ordered actually also included butter. So, I had a choice: change my order completely and be the awkward person sitting at the table without food or just suck it up and pay Diana $20 for having eaten some butter. Not being able to think of a delicate way to avoid the awkwardness, I decided to just pay up.

The second infraction happened just this past Saturday. I was at Costco and they have all these samples out and one of the displays caught my eye. It was some stuffed grape leaves and the package said it was dairy free and gluten free. I checked the label and the only thing that jumped out at me was that there is a bit of canola oil. I didn’t spot any cheese or sausage or wheat, so it must be OK, right? I tried it and it was pretty tasty. It wasn’t until last night that I was reflecting on this and realized I had just eaten a mouthful of RICE, a grain. So, this morning, I paid Diana another $20, but I have a package of those grape leaves in my freezer and I am very excited about eating them at some point in February.

You can check out his blog post for details on his ten-pound weight loss, plus before and after pictures. Really, $80 isn’t a bad price for a radical change in lifestyle!

Of course, I think that this is an excellent idea, and I encourage all of you to make use of it! Certainly, you’re welcome to use Philosophy in Action’s Tip Jar as your motivator. You definitely want to write down the rules — and better yet, share them with someone. You’re welcome to share them with me too. Basically, you need some kind of accountabilibuddy.

Oh, and in case you’ve not yet heard it, you can listen to or download the segment of the podcast on self-control here:

For more details, check out the question’s archive page. The full episode — where I answered questions on lying for the sake of a happy surprise, people too young to raise children, and more — is available as a podcast too.

Functional Fitness? Bah!

 Posted by on 30 March 2013 at 10:00 am  Fitness, SnowCon
Mar 302013
 

Some evangelists for CrossFit like to talk about the benefits of “functional fitness.” Personally, I see some value in training people how to properly lift heavy weights… but other than that, there’s just strength and skill.

I’ve experienced that first-hand: I did CrossFit for a year, and now I’ve been doing SuperSlow for nearly two years. I’ve seen that I can stack bales of hay, haul 50 pound bags of feed, and ride my very strong half-draft horse just as well doing SuperSlow as I did with CrossFit. Or rather, I can do it better because I’m not nursing a strained rotator cuff or unbearably sore from my workouts.

Recently, I experienced another revealing test of the power of SuperSlow. Until mid-March, I’d not skied or snowboarded all season. At first, the snow was terrible, so I was enjoying riding my horse, rather than hitting the slopes. Later, once the snow came, I was trapped at home with construction workers, supervising a slew of house repairs. I barely managed to escape the house for my weekly SuperSlow appointment; I couldn’t possibly manage to abandon ship for a whole day.

As a result, I skied and snowboarded for the first time in a full year at SnowCon 2013 in mid-March. (Yes, I was rusty!) Then, here’s what I did:

  • Monday: Ski for two hours in powder
  • Tuesday: Snowboard for five hours
  • Wednesday: Snowboard for five hours
  • Thursday: Ski for five hours

I’m a high intermediate/low expert skier, but I’m not experienced in powder. So the two hours on Monday were far more difficult for me than two hours on groomed runs would have been. Also, I’m still a beginner snowboarder, so that requires even more effort from me than skiing.

Guess what? I was mildly sore after Monday, but that gradually disappeared. I was tired after those five hour days, but I was never dangerous: my muscles were responding with full strength to the commands of my brain.

To my mind, that’s genuine functional fitness!

And guess what? Four of the five people in that picture do SuperSlow!

P.S. If you’re a local and you decide to try my SuperSlow gym — now TruFit Health — in south Denver, please tell them that I referred you!

Feb 092013
 

A few weeks ago, I completed my fifth sheet of SuperSlow training, i.e. another 16 sessions. If you’ve not read my prior posts on SuperSlow, check out:

Here’s the latest sheet:

Here’s a summary of my progress on various movements, starting from Session 64 from Sheet 4 to Session 80 on Sheet 5. All the machines are Nautilus, except the lower back and the torso rotation. As before, only Leg Press and Lower Back are done every session; all other movements are done every other session.

As you’ll see below, I decreased my weight on a number of machines. The decrease in leg press was the most significant — and most helpful — since that enabled me to start making gains again. Ultimately, I increased on the two machines that I care most about: leg press and lat pull-down. Still, I hope to see better progress in the next sheet.

Every week:

  • LP: Leg Press: 285 to 235 to 260 lbs. I wasn’t making any progress since moving my seat forward, so my trainer dropped my weight 50 lbs. Finally, I was able to get past 2 minutes 30 seconds, and my form was much better too. Since then, I’ve made steady progress back toward 300 lbs. That makes me happy!
  • LB: Lower Back: 182 to 160 lbs. Oddly, this decrease in weight represents progress. I began doing a wider range of motion, which is significantly harder, so I had to decrease my weight.

Every other week:

  • PD: Lat Pull-Down: 120 to 130 lbs. With this being first in the session, I’ve been able to make some progress.
  • CP: Chest Press: 70 to 75 lbs. With this machine, a five pound increase is good!
  • Row: Row: 60 to 65 lbs. I alternate between pulling and a 2 minute static hold. I still hate this machine because I struggle with form.
  • CR: Calf Raises: 305 to 300 lbs. I only did this three times in 16 weeks, so my weight dropped by five pounds.
  • Ab C: Ab Crunch: Steady at 20 lbs. I’m okay with that.
  • Hip AB: Hip Abduction: Steady at 95 lbs. I think I’m at my max weight, at least for now.
  • Hip AD: Hip Adduction: Steady at 115 lbs. I think I’m at my max weight, at least for now.
  • Lower Back (see above)
  • Leg Press (see above)
Every other week:

  • LE: Leg Extension: 70 to 65 lbs. My trainer dropped my weight to give me a better range of motion.
  • LC: Leg Curls: LC is a 90-second curl of the leg, with progressive intensity, backward against a stable frame.
  • Lower Back (see above)
  • Leg Press (see above)
  • Bicep: Steady at 50 lbs: It’s hard to make progress with this machine given that it’s immediately after leg press. Oh well!
  • Tricep: Steady at 85 lbs: Again, no progress. (My trainer dropped my weight for this — and now that I look, biceps too — on the final session. That was just a one-time thing though.)
  • Rot T: Rotate Torso: 44 lbs. I’ve struggled with this machine, because I’m often so exhausted at the end of the workout.
  • New MXCP: (Funky MedX Ab Cruncher Hold): 75 lbs: This machine has been really painfully difficult lately.

Honestly, I really struggled with my workouts on this sheet — mentally and physically — but I’m already doing better on my current sheet. So I look forward to my report on that.

P.S. If you decide to try my SuperSlow gym — now TruFit Health — in south Denver, please tell them that I referred you!

Sep 012012
 

Last Friday, I completed my fourth sheet of SuperSlow training, i.e. another 16 sessions. If you’ve not read my prior posts on SuperSlow, check out:

Here’s the latest sheet: This last sheet was something of a bear, but let’s see how I did. (Click to enlarge.)

Here’s a summary of my progress on various movements, starting from Session 48 from Sheet 3 to Session 64 on Sheet 4. All the machines are Nautilus, except the lower back and the torso rotation. As before, only Leg Press and Lower Back are done every session; all other movements are done every other session.

With this sheet, we decided to allow the leg press to take a back seat, given all the progress that I made in Sheet 3. So I did it last every session, which was insanely hard. I was focused on making progress on my lat pull-down, hip adduction, and hip abduction.

Every week:

  • LP: Leg Press: 280 to 285 lbs. My trainer moved my seat forward, and that just killed me. For the past few sessions, I’ve been extending my legs less (due my my knee popping down once), and that’s increased the difficulty too.
  • LB: Lower Back: 178 to 182 lbs. My weight on this machine is ridiculously high for a woman, so I’m not pushing myself too hard on it at present. Still, it’s the sole machine that I don’t hate!

Every other week:

  • CR: Calf Raises: 300 to 305 lbs. Progress is hard to make on this movement, because the heels are just moving a few inches up and down. Still, I can see better definition in my calves, and I expect to be up to 310 lbs soon.
  • Hip AB: Hip Abduction: 85 to 95 lbs. I’ve made some, but not much progress. It’s really hard, and I might be near my max weight.
  • Hip AD: Hip Adduction: 105 to 115 lbs. Again, I’ve made some, but not much progress. I might be near my max weight with this machine too.
  • Lower Back (see above)
  • Bicep: Steady at 50 lbs: Hrmph. I didn’t realize that I made no progress on this machine. My times aren’t great either.
  • Tricep: Steady at 85 lbs: Again, no progress. Boo!
  • Ab C: Ab Crunch: Steady at 20 lbs. I’m okay with that.
  • Leg Press (see above)
Every other week:

  • PD: Lat Pull-Down: 115 to 130 lbs. I’m really happy with my progress on this machine, particularly after being at 115 lbs for the whole of Sheet 3. You’ll see that my trainer accidentally increased me by 15 lbs, but I was able to do it! (We kept 10 lbs of that increase.) Sometimes, a mistaken weight increase is a great way to make progress.
  • CP: Chest Press: 65 to 70 lbs. I’ve struggled to make any progress on this machine, so I’m very happy with a 5 lb increase. My times didn’t really justify the increase, but sometimes an increase when stalled can get me out of a rut. I’ve done okay with 70 lbs, so I think that was the right decision.
  • Row: Row: 55 to 60 lbs. I alternate between pulling and a 2 minute static hold. I hate this machine, and I’m still having trouble with my form. But hey, a little progress is good!
  • LE/LC: Leg Extension: Steady at 70 lbs. I wasn’t able to make much progress on this machine due to its later placement in the workout. I’m okay with that. (LC is a 90-second Leg Curl of progressive intensity against a stable frame.)
  • Lower Back (see above)
  • Rot T: Rotate Torso: 50 to 40 lbs. My trainer dropped my weight to work on form, and I think that was helpful.
  • Leg Press (see above)

I can’t quite recall what my trainer and I decided to do on the next sheet. We’ve moved a bunch of machines around, yet again. Leg press is at the end of every other workout, and I think it’s in the middle of the others. The lat pull-down is still early, I think. For more than that, you’ll have to wait for my report in 16 weeks.

Overall, I’m still really happy to be doing SuperSlow. It’s the most difficult half hour of every week, but I just need that half hour to keep in great shape for the sports that I love — horseback riding, skiing, and snowboarding. Plus, my injury risk is negligible. I love that.

P.S. If you decide to try my SuperSlow gym — now TruFit Health — in south Denver, please tell them that I referred you!

Aug 042012
 

British Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith responded to some idiotic sexist comments in a blog post on Tuesday. For all the girls who aim to be strong, they’re well worth repeating:

While we can’t get enough of the supportive messages (seriously, keep ‘em coming, I think I speak for all of us when I say my self-esteem is currently at an all-time high), what we aren’t so crazy about is the few ignorant twerps making rude comments. We did a quick search on Twitter for the title of the programme, ‘weightlifting’ and our names (it isn’t every day you’re on telly for an hour, so of course you’d be interested to see what people are thinking!), and the majority response was still very positive. But there were of course a very small percentage of idiots who seemed to have missed the entire point of the documentary. However after reading for a while it became more and more obvious that these people had never done a moment of exercise in their life, or had the intelligence of a potato.

The obvious choice of slander when talking about female weightlifting is “how unfeminine, girls shouldn’t be strong or have muscles, this is wrong”. And maybe they’re right… in the Victorian era. To think people still think like this is laughable, we’re in 2012! This may sound like a sweeping generalisation, but most of the people that do think like this seem to be chauvinistic, pigheaded blokes who feel emasculated by the fact that we, three small, fairly feminine girls, are stronger than them. Simple as that. I confronted one guy that said “we’re probably all lesbians and look like blokes”, purely to explain the fact that his opinion is invalid cause he’s a moron. And wrong. He came up with the original comeback that I should get back in the kitchen. I laughed.

As Hannah pointed out earlier, we don’t lift weights in order to look hot, especially for the likes of men like that. What makes them think that we even WANT them to find us attractive? If you do, thanks very much, we’re flattered. But if you don’t, why do you really need to voice this opinion in the first place, and what makes you think we actually give a toss that you, personally, do not find us attractive? What do you want us to do? Shall we stop weightlifting, amend our diet in order to completely get rid of our ‘manly’ muscles, and become housewives in the sheer hope that one day you will look more favourably upon us and we might actually have a shot with you?! Cause you are clearly the kindest, most attractive type of man to grace the earth with your presence.

Oh but wait, you aren’t. This may be shocking to you, but we actually would rather be attractive to people who aren’t closed-minded and ignorant. Crazy, eh?! We, as any women with an ounce of self-confidence would, prefer our men to be confident enough in themselves to not feel emasculated by the fact that we aren’t weak and feeble. And here’s some food for thought – maybe you should broaden your criteria for what you consider ‘attractive’ anyway, because these perfect, feminine women you speak of probably have no interest in you either.

What makes me sad is that some girls had this opinion too! How ironic that the title of the show was Girl Power. You’d think that young women around the same age as us would commend us for doing something different and with our lives, and putting 100% effort into it in order to make something of ourselves. But apparently we’re ‘weird’ for not constantly eating crap, binge drinking regularly and wearing the shortest, tightest dresses that the high street has to offer. Sigh…

Even better, check out what she did:

The decibel level in the weightlifting arena reached new heights as 18-year-old Zoe Smith set a British clean and jerk record of 121 kilograms in the “B” session of the women’s 58kg category on Monday. She also went for a British record in the snatch, but tensed up and missed.

That’s 266 pounds, for us Americans. WOW.

 

In my post Obligatory Narcissism, I said:

I took that [photograph] just before my SuperSlow workout… in which I nearly died because my trainer moved the seat of the leg press forward a bit. She lessened the weight by 25 pounds too, but the bottom turn-around was horrific. At the end, I was yelling things like “OH MY GOD! NO, I’M NOT HOLDING! THAT WAS THE WORST THING EVER!” My trainer — and everyone else in the facility — was highly amused.

Of course, I plan to do that same awful leg press next week. I refuse to be beaten!

Well, I did that awful leg press the next week, and this time, we took video. It’s pretty awesome. Now, I must admonish you: Don’t hit the play button, then go browse some other web pages or switch to another program. You must watch the picture! I won’t explain further; you’ll hear what I mean.

This was the last machine of my workout, and I was so exhausted that I couldn’t manage to walk the 20 feet required to get to the waiting area all at once. I’m serious: I had to stop and sit down on the bicep machine for about five minutes!

Interestingly, I found the video genuinely helpful, as I can really see when I’m moving too fast or wiggling. That’s remarkably hard to feel at the time. I wonder if I could help correct my form problems on the row machine by recording and then watching video with my trainer. Video would probably be even more helpful for CrossFitters: I probably could have vastly improved the form of my Olympic lifts if I’d watched some video of them with my trainer.

High Heels and Sex Appeal

 Posted by on 19 May 2012 at 10:00 am  Ethics, Fitness, Health, Love/Sex
May 192012
 

I’ve never been a fan of high heels. I used to wear wide two-inch heels on rare special occasions — meaning, a few times per year. I’d be happy to do that now, except that my Morton’s neuroma (inflamed nerve in the ball of my right foot) begins to scream and holler after just a few minutes in heels. Even without that problem, I can’t imagine wearing heels on a regular basis: to enhance my rear lines at the price of destroying my feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back seems like idiotic trade-off to me. In my view, if you’re destroying your capacity to enjoy your life (and sex) in order to make yourself more attractive, you’re doing it wrong!

So just how bad are heels for your feet? Consider these two x-rays. First, a normal foot, standing flat on the ground:

Now, a foot in high heels:

The abnormal stress and weight on the ball foot is glaringly obvious — and we’re not even seeing how the toes are jammed into the narrow point of the shoe. Of course, feet are not the only causality of high heels, as the whole point of heels is that they change a woman’s posture — thereby affecting ankles, knees, hips, and back too. The article High Heels and Back Pain explains the basics nicely:

For over a century, the biomechanical effects of heels in everything from running shoes to stilettos has puzzled researchers and fired controversy. When standing barefoot, the perpendicular line of the straight body column creates a ninety degree angle with the floor. On a two-inch heel, were the body a rigid column and forced to tilt forward, the angle would be reduced to seventy degrees, and to fifty-five degrees on a three-inch heel. Thus, for the body to maintain an erect position, a whole series of joint adjustments (ankle, knee, hip, spine, head) are required to regain and retain one’s erect stance and equilibrium.

The slope or slant of the heel, rear to front, is called the ‘heel wedge angle’. The higher the heel, the greater the angle. On the bare foot there is no wedge angle. The bottom of the heel is on a level one hundred and eighty degrees, with body weight shared equally between heel and ball. Inside the heeled shoe, the wedge angle shifts body weight forward so that on a low heel, body weight is shared forty percent heel, sixty percent ball; and on a high heel ninety percent ball and ten percent heel.

Check out the article for more details, including some illustrative drawings.

Undoubtedly, modern high heels aren’t as damaging as Chinese foot binding. Happily, heels can be worn only on occasion, and I don’t see any problem with that. However, I can’t see wearing high heels regularly as anything but self-destructive. Sure, they’re sexy, but do you need to exude sex appeal at work? Probably not, unless you’re a stripper. More, to court chronic pain and disfigurement in order to feel a bit sexier seems like a cruel joke on yourself and your sex life. In my view, that’s a sign that you need to rethink your standards for sexy, preferably before you cause your body permanent damage.

A woman who is healthy, happy, warm, and engaging can exude plenty of sexy … with her feet flat on the ground.

Obligatory Narcissism

 Posted by on 10 May 2012 at 2:00 pm  Fitness, Personal
May 102012
 

Last week, I got my hair cut. (They’re fresh highlights too.) It’s now back to a bob again, and I might grow it out a bit. Since I’m a committed narcissist, I’m quite certain that the whole internet will explode in agony and despair if I don’t post a picture. Hence:

I took that just before my SuperSlow workout… in which I nearly died because my trainer moved the seat of the leg press forward a bit. She lessened the weight by 25 pounds too, but the bottom turn-around was horrific. At the end, I was yelling things like “OH MY GOD! NO, I’M NOT HOLDING! THAT WAS THE WORST THING EVER!” My trainer — and everyone else in the facility — was highly amused.

Of course, I plan to do that same awful leg press next week. I refuse to be beaten!

Apr 282012
 

On Friday, I completed my third sheet of SuperSlow training, i.e. another 16 sessions. By way of background, check out:

I began SuperSlow in early June of 2011, so I’ve been doing it for almost a year now. The sessions are grueling and exhausting, although I’ve definitely learned to limit my post-workout exhaustion by resting and eating for about 20 minutes immediately after my workout. I’m definitely enjoying the progress that I’ve made, particularly getting to 300 pounds on leg press. Mostly, I’m glad that I have the time, energy, and strength required to pursue my chosen sports — skiing, snowboarding, and horse riding — for the sheet pleasure of it. Physical fitness at the price of just 30 minutes once per week, with little muscle soreness, is pretty awesome.

Without further ado, here’s this third sheet. (Click to enlarge.)

Here’s a summary of my progress on various movements, starting from Session 32 from Sheet 2 to Session 48 on Sheet 3. All the machines are Nautilus, except the lower back and the torso rotation. As before, only Leg Press and Lower Back are done every session; all other movements are done every other session.

With this sheet, I pushed myself so hard on the leg press — and made so much progress — that I didn’t make much progress with other movements. For the last three sessions, we switched leg press to the last movement, with the expectation that I’ll be able to make more progress on other movements as a result. (The order of movements makes so much difference in my capacity to make progress!)

Every week:

  • LP: Leg Press: 260 to 305 lbs. I rocked the leg press with this sheet. I was increasing by 5 pounds with every workout, and then my trainer bumped me from 285 to 300 pounds. Gack! But I did it, and it was awesome. On 4/13, we moved the leg press to the end of my workout, so that I’m not completely trashed on other movements. Still, I got up to 305 lbs on Friday with a time of 2:24.
  • LB: Lower Back: 160 to 178 lbs. I was supposed to be at 168 this last week, but my trainer bumped me up an extra 10 pounds by accident. Still, I did two minutes!

Every other week:

  • Hip AB: Hip Abduction: Steady at 100 lbs, then readjusted position, so down to 85 lbs. I’d not been making any progress on this machine whatsoever with my feet on the upper rung. So my trainer moved my feet to the lower rung again. (That positioning affects the muscles I use in making the movement.) I made some progress in my last two sessions, but we’ll see what happens on the next sheet
  • Hip AD: Hip Adduction: 115 to 105 lbs. I was stuck at 115 lbs for weeks and weeks, so my trainer moved my feet to the lower rung and dropped the weight down to 105 pounds. That didn’t seem to help much in the last two sessions, but that might change. Or maybe more tweaks will be required.
  • Lower Back (see above)
  • Leg Press (see above)
  • PD: Lat Pull-Down: 110 to 115 lbs. Due to being completely trashed after my leg press, I made no progress on this machine for most of the sheet. My muscles weren’t failing: my whole body was just out of gas. After moving the leg press to the end of the workout, I did much better on 4/20, so I should be at 120 lbs next week.
  • CP: Chest Press: Steady at 65 lbs. Again, I was very exhausted after the leg press. But I’m always weak on this movement, so we’ll see what progress I make on the next sheet.
  • Row: Row: 60 to 55 lbs. I alternate between pulling and a 2 minute static hold. Due to leg press, plus the two arm movements before it, I couldn’t keep my form on this movement, so my trainer dropped my weight.
  • Ab C: Ab Crunch: 15 to 20 lbs. A bit of progress! Yay!

Every other week:

  • LE/LC: Leg Extension: 50 to 70 lbs. I was able to make great progress on this movement due to its early placement in the workout, plus really concentrating on working through the burn. (LC is a 90-second Leg Curl of progressive intensity against a stable frame.)
  • Leg Press (see above)
  • Bicep: 40 lbs to 50 lbs: Some progress, but I want more!
  • Tricep: 80 to 85 lbs: Just a bit of progress. I could really feel the exhaustion with this movement.
  • Lower Back (see above) Doing lower back after leg press nearly killed me. My legs, although locked in, would shake uncontrollably, and I often had to quit before I felt the tightness in my back.
  • Rot T: Rotate Torso: 48 to 50 lbs. Minimal progress: I was always so exhausted by this point in the workout!
  • CR: Calf Raises: 300 lbs. I only did this exercise a few times. I kept being a bit late or forgetting to bring the shoes I needed. I’ll have to make it happen more consistently on the next sheet.

For this next sheet, I want to focus on making major progress on just a few machines — just as I made so much progress on leg press and leg extension on this sheet. I’m thinking lat pull-down, hip abduction, and hip adduction. I’ll have to ask my trainer if we can move those around to be on different days, so that I can really give them my full power.

Basically, SuperSlow is still working really well for me. I’m making good progress with just one 30-minute session per week, and I’m looking forward to progressing even more in my next 16 sessions of Sheet 4!

P.S. If you decide to try my SuperSlow gym — now TruFit Health — in south Denver, please tell them that I referred you!

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha