Weekly Update #6: Goals

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about deciding to make some goals for weight-lifting so that I would have something to work towards and hopefully feel more motivated during my workouts. Well I’ve finally come up with some goals:

  1. Pull-ups: 1 unassisted
  2. Deadlift: 150 lbs
  3. Squat: 150 lbs
  4. Bench press: 100 lbs
  5. Muscle-up: 1

I obviously won’t be doing a muscle-up before I can do an unassisted pull-up, but it looks really cool and really hard to do, so I want to do one. I would love to include some more Olympic lifts in this list, but since I haven’t done any training with them and don’t have anyone to spot me at the gym/tell me if I’m going to kill myself, I’m going to save those for later.

My time-frame for most of these is the next six months (except for the muscle-up which I’ll aim for a year on). For some of these, like the deadlift and pul-up, that seems achievable. For others like the bench press, and a little bit the squat, this is terrifying but I figure it’s good to have a goal that scares me a little bit so that I know I’m actually trying and not just plodding along. Wish me luck!

My workouts got pushed to the end of the week because of after-work commitments at the beginning of the week, but I still got all three of them done. This may seem small or trivial to some people, but the fact that I’ve managed to get myself out the door to the gym or for a run three times a week for six weeks straight (minus a “lazy week” with just one workout) makes me proud of myself. Here’s what this week looked like:

Thursday: Back, biceps, and shoulders

This was a great workout with one exception: I’m now having difficulty holding up the heavier barbells. This problem first became apparent in my second set of straight-leg deadlifts. I was using the 70 lbs barbell and could feel my forearms straining with the effort of holding on to the bar towards the end of my set. During my third set it was all I could do to keep the bar from slipping from my fingers at the end. I had issues holding any kind of dumbbell/bar after that. Initially I was thinking I might need to start using straps that I’ve seen other people using, but after doing a bit of research into straps I discovered that it’s possible to train for a stronger grip. In light of that I’m going to work in a couple of grip exercises to each workout and see if I can hold off on using straps.

Workout:
5 minute warm-up on the treadmill
Assisted pull-up
Wide-rip lat pulldown
Seated cable row
Straight leg deadlifts
Rear upright rows
Side lateral raises

Friday: Chest, triceps, and shoulders

This one went really well. I was able to quite a few triceps exercises at what I consider to be close to “normal” weight. I had to push myself to finish the last couple of reps on a couple of the exercises, but largely it wasn’t a huge strain but it was more than I did the last time I trained them. They still feel good a few days later so I think I might be clear to start training them full force again soon!

Workout:
5 minute warm-up on the treadmill
Bench press
Skull crushers
Incline flies
Overhead triceps extensions
One arm row + kickback
One arm kettle bell swing with a hook grip
Front raises
Cable triceps pull down

Saturday: Afternoon run

This run sucked. Its only saving grace was the scenery along the way.

img_3929

img_3927I’m not sure what was up but for the majority of my run it felt like I could just not get enough oxygen into my lungs. I started to get a headache about a kilometre into the run as well (not sure if this was related to the breathing issue or not) which put me in a pretty foul mood. I stopped to walk quite a few times to try and catch my breath which was disappointing, but necessary. My breathing started to get a little better towards the end of it, but the headache stuck around unfortunately. I’m thankful that the scenery was so nice looking, it helped keep me from giving up completely.

QOTD: What fitness goals are you working towards?

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