Okay, so I know I have totally neglected my blog this past year, and I cannot say that I am proud of it – BUT, I figured it is the beginning of a new year, and WordPress just congratulated me on my 1 year anniversary, so I thought it was about time to just throw in one of those totally random posts. You know the kind that come out of the blue and then you wonder if any more will follow – I can’t make any promises. I am a total flake. I admit it okay.
Blah blah blah. SO, where do I start. Ummm…I have become ridiculously chubby for one. I am proud to say that I am nicely insulated for this winter season. And I am ashamed to say that I got thrown off track, ate a lot of food (because I have a weird obsession with food apparently – and after taking a psych class last semester, I have diagnosed myself as being an orally fixated person), didn’t go to the gym, and ate a lot of food. BUT I am starting to take some serious action.
I did not step foot in the gym for a month (shocking for me because I feel debilitatingly guilty if I don’t go) – it was nice not having to obsess over my workout regime; however, it is much nicer to be back in the swing of things – back to being obsessive.
After a month of being idle I hit the weight room, and let me tell you – it was embarrassing. I could hardly do 12 reps of chest press with FIFTEEN POUND dumbbells!!! Before being idle I was up to 35 lbs chest press of 12 reps, so this was a bit shocking. Weird how fast you can lose muscle and strength. That being said, it’s even weirder how fast you can gain it back – within 2 -3 weeks I was back to lifting heavy.
I started lifting heavy, omitting cardio, and eating tons of lean meats and complex carbs. This is called bulking (apparently) and it sure is nice. I got to eat eat eat. But that meant I started gaining weight – muscle that is, but with no cardio, all resistance, and lots of nutritious food comes fat gain. It is inevitable – if you want to gain muscle, you are going to gain fat. If you want to lose fat, you are going to have to lose some muscle gained.
So, I did that for 4 weeks, and then I incorporated a little cardio – easy, boring cardio – the kind that makes you hate cardio.
And after doing all this… the word I like to use to describe what my body has morphed into is BEEFY. I am beefy. I am just one beefy looking chick.
And now, I am training like I normally do…well, may be not exactly how I normally do, because I have dropped my weights, increased my reps (rather than just lifting super heavy). But I am back to normal cardio – HIIT!!!!! Intensity is key baby. That is the only way I know how to cut fat.
Sooooooo I am hoping to shed all this yucky fat now. With the help of a carb cycling starting next week.
The point of all this jibber jabber is to tell you how freaking AWESOME plyometrics are. ….I don’t know how I got so off topic from my original thought – but I guess it has been a while, and you needed a little fitness update.
Anyway, if you want to add some serious intensity to your workouts, then I highly recommend adding some plyos to your routine.
Not only do they get you vehemently out of breath, with your heart racing faster than a boston terrier, but they recruit SOOOOO many more muscle fibres than regular weight training and cardio.
I guarantee you will be in unbelievable pain the next day. And I sadistically hope you are in pain from them.
I have been doing 100 lbs barbell squats and 270 lbs leg presses, but after just one day of plyometrics and light squats and leg press, my legs were JELLY. I couldn’t extend my leg properly for the next 2 days, and it honestly looked like I was walking around with a stick in my bum – and walking down stairs…ooooo walking down stairs is THE WORSST.
Any way, I think I have talked about plyos in the past, but I guess I will just repeat myself.
The reason they are so freaking awesome, is because they develop muscular power and endurance.
Plyometrics are essentially explosive concentric and eccentric contractions, which allow for the most amount of force generation in the shortest amount of time. It is what all our elite athletes use to improve speed and power.
Concentric contractions are those which shorten the muscle (upward motion on a bicep curl)
Eccentric contractions are those which lengthen the muscle (downward motion of a bicep curl)
It can be kind of fun manipulating these two types of contractions to achieve different results – for example, eccentric contractions are the ones that will get you BIG – so if you want a ripped and bigger chest, then go suuuuupppper slow on the way down during a flat chest press. Or if you are on the bench press, do something called negative sets – so just do the motion of going down with super heavy weights – so heavy that you can’t push the bar back up. You will obviously need a spotter for that though (reason why I avoid negative sets – I hate being spotted)
Okay, I am getting too excited and going off topic. Back to plyos…
Plyos can benefit any kind of athletes – whether you are a marathon runner or a body builder. For marathon runners, this is the kind of stuff that’ll increase your speed and get you to the finish line faster without fatiguing as fast. For body builders, this is what will lean you out without stripping away all that hard earned muscle.
And like I said before, you recruit the most amount of muscle fibres – and trust me you will know what I mean once you start incorporating them into your routine (if you haven’t already).
And finally, you really need NOTHING to conduct these exercises. You can just use stairs, your own body, or an old jump rope from elementary school.
To name a few that I have been incorporating: BURPEES, LONG JUMPS, squatting and then explosively jumping and going back into a squat, hopping, quick feet on stairs.
Just superset a plyo with a normal weighted exercise – easy peasy with banging results!
BUT make sure you are doing them correctly, cause these are the kinds of exercises that will injury you if done incorrectly. Also, if you have joint or knee problems, then I would advise you to stay away, or talk to a professional about it.
Any way, that is all. Just wanted to share my sore leg story with you 🙂
Class at 8am – I got the world’s worst class schedule this semester; however, I do have Mondays and Fridays off – but that only means all 5 courses are crammed into 3 days. booooo!