Friday, May 9, 2014

Welcome to Friday!

There's still seven minutes left until noon, so I say, good morning!  I hope you're having a lovely morning so far, because I certainly am.  In my work as a "senior research associate II" for a biopharma company, I much prefer the days that get me into the lab to the days where I'm pushing paper around on my desk.  There's a super-ultra-important analysis that needs to have results by Monday morning, so I'm trying to be all enthusiastic about the prospect of coming into work tomorrow--that is, Saturday--afternoon.  I haven't managed to muster any enthusiasm yet, simply general resignation to my fate.

Hamstrings/glutes are still sore, and I've got a weekend of hiking and running ahead of me, so this morning was all about the upper body work.  I started, however, with 6 minutes on the treadmill, walking to warm up, and finished with 15 minutes on the bicycle, basically to relax and read a magazine.  In between I was doing Power 5s!

What's a Power 5, you ask?  It's when you run through a series of weight lifting exercises, lifting enough weight that you can only manage 5 reps at a time.  I did the following, for 3 sets:
Shoulder press (50 pounds)
Pull-up (30 pound assist)
Push-up (nothing fancy here, just dropped and gave myself 5)
Machine row (100 first set, then 90 next two sets)
Doodle bugs (aka dead bugs, but my brain kept calling them doodle bugs, so the name has stuck--10 reps each leg)
Farmer's walk (90, 80, 70 pounds)

I decreased the weight on the farmer's walk but made it more difficult for myself by switching from plates to dumbbells.  Dumbbells are much wider, which means you have to hold them farther out to the side, adding more engagement to the muscles.  They're also more difficult to hold on to, which helps for grip strength.

I was inspired to try the dead bugs as an exercise in whether I'm engaging my abdominals correctly for support in other exercises.  Basically, you're doing it right if you can keep your low back connected to the ground over the full range of the exercise.  Nailed it!  Guess I've been working on abdominal support for long enough that my body knows what it's doing.

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