Tag Archives: weights

Circuitous (29-30 July 2011)

I started the week with a bang, but lost steam in the middle. A typhoon and a simmering bout with colds necessitated bed rest. A crucial football game, believe it or not, made me skip last Thursday’s training.

The two-day hiatus did wonders to my body and mind. By the time I got back on Friday, I was eager to train again. Gone was the feeling of subtle staleness that had haunted the workouts of the past days. My left leg, which I mildly strained the week before, was back in tip-top shape.

Since it was loading week, I made the workouts extra harder. I had three training sessions in a span of two days – which was a relatively heavy load in light of my full-time day job and weekend morning classes. I did speed endurance work on Friday night.

After class in Makati the morning after, I headed out to good ole Rizal Memorial for a badass session of hurdle drills and some light speed work. I had a high quality hurdles session. I was focused entirely on the task at hand, trying to correct the deficiencies in my form. I practically had the entire Rizal Memorial Stadium to myself, until my friend Ninoy came in. Two hours later, I rode the train, the jeep and drove all the way to Celebrity Club in Quezon City for a gym workout to top the tiring day!

Despite shuttling between a classroom and two different training venues from opposite ends of the vast concrete jungle of Metro Manila, I had great fun!

Circuits (19 and 21 January 2011)

Ever since college, base training meant circuit weights. Among other variations of resistance exercises, I consider circuits the most difficult. Unlike, say, competition phase Olympic lifts where a track athlete has ample time of recovery time in between the high intensity sets, circuits involve much shorter rest time. It’s a double whammy of sorts, where both endurance and resistance compound the difficulty of the workout!

Back in my college track & field days, I drew additional strength and inspiration from my hardcore teammates (as well as the pretty athletes from other sports!). Being motivated enough to finish a grueling circuits routine by Coach Aris Manalo wasn’t a problem at all. Now that I train solo, the urge to slack off becomes ever so strong. And since I’m no longer around determined collegiate athletes, I am hard-pressed to say that my workout environment is conducive for high performance

Nevertheless, I had fun in the last two weight training sessions. Coming from off-season, the endurance routine did much to slap some sense into my lazy body. It helped that the gym was relatively less packed than usual. Listening to my favorite pump-up songs pushed me to do better.

Until I finish my long-delayed 2011 Macrocycle (woohoo! I sound so scientific) in around 2 weeks, I’ll be crafting variations of circuit routines to build a strong fitness base for the upcoming athletics season.

Circuit 1 (19 Jan 2011) – 15 reps x 2 sets

Front squat

Push-ups

Leg lifts

DB row

Leg curl on SB

Lumberjacks

Calf raises

Circuit 2 (21 Jan 2011) – 15 reps x 2 sets

Pull-ups

Deep squats

DB chest press

Jack knife

Upright row

Arabesque

Leg lifts

Alt. bicep curl

Triceps push back

Step-ups

 

Rolling With The Punches (14 – 16 January 2011)

My weight training session last Friday was geared towards preparing my body for last Saturday’s ABL game. Since I have yet to craft out the bad-ass track training program I’ve been harping about, I settled for a light gym/plyo workout. I didn’t want to over-exert myself, opting instead for a straightforward 20-minute slow jog, 15-minutes at the stationary bike and a 30-minute core session. Afterward, I did a short and straightforward weights routine, just to tone the muscles for the hoops battle ahead.

And it worked. I felt rejuvenated after sleeping for around 8 hours the night before the game. My performance at the game itself was a lot better than my ABL season debut, in terms of physical fitness that is. But when it came to tangible basketball performance, I couldn’t seem to translate my conditioning into actual statistics. But then again, basketball is a team sport. The game goes beyond personal statistics (more on this in later posts).

I was used sparingly throughout the game, in light of my mediocre performance. Nevertheless, I did a much better job in keeping up with the fast pace of an ABL game. Instead of feeling drained as I did the first game, I had so much more juice left in me as the final whistle blew.

After Saturday night’s hoops debacle, where our basketball squad lost by around 15 points, I’ve had enough of basketball. The expectations I put on myself was just way too much for my mediocre skills. I needed a dose of reality, to go back the sport I’m good at – athletics.

I had a good long run last Sunday afternoon. Nothing beats running at the good old Ateneo campus. I know every nook and cranny of the place, having spent a good chunk of my teenage years and young adulthood at the Hill. Moreover, the chilly afternoon air was refreshing. I didn’t tire out much, thanks to the relatively-less humid air. I ran for a good 18 minutes and did light running drills and plyometrics afterward.

Despite the 15-point ABL shutout (and other much bigger personal hurdles), this weekend’s training sessions turned out well. Although the fate of my 2011 athletics season – and my much-delayed comeback – lies uncertain due to the aforesaid barriers, I’ll be keeping my options open and just roll with the punches.

Core Strength (5 January 2011)

I’m gradually shifting from vacation mode to training mode. I went back to the gym last Wednesday, opting for a straightforward, core-intensive workout. Since I absolutely hate running on treadmills (especially when there’s no mirror in front and no gorgeous ladies beside me!), I settled for the good ole stationary bike. It takes twice as long to warm-up on these contraptions, but the change in setting is refreshing.

I must admit that I had neglected my core last season. I breezed through my core routines (bridges, Swiss ball exercises, lumberjacks, etc.), opting to cut corners in my workout. After all, one of the best facets of my body is my above average core strength – back in college, 3 years ago! Since I almost always train alone, it took quite some time before some well-meaning fellow track athletes pointed out an unwanted deficiency in my sprinting form. Instead of keeping a stable center of gravity, shoulders and hips throughout the sprint, I tended to wobble from side-to-side.

A few years back, such a glaring error in form was unthinkable, in light of the time I spent doing running drills and core strength exercises.

Hence, I fought off the urge for a quick fix. Instead of doing merely 2 sets, I did three sets of bridges (with 20kg and 10kg plates) for 45 seconds to a minute. Afterward, I did simulated lumberjack exercises using a 25-lb dumbbell. It was tiring but definitely worth it. At the end of my core routine, I felt like walking around topless amidst the crowded Boracay beach (or maybe not)!

Core workout:

Bridges

Lumberjacks

Plyo’s:

Lateral hops

Modified box jumps

Gym workout:

Push-ups with clap + DB Chest Fly

Deep squats

Reverse barbell row + Single-leg shoulder press

Arabesque

Some Off-Season Updates (26 December 2010)

Aside from an intense pick-up game last Saturday, I’ve been sedentary for the last 10 days. It’s refreshing not to chase after times or rush from work to training.Despite the relatively light workout load, one can’t help but feel stale after 10 months.

Since I slept at around 10:00 PM last night, I woke up at 5:30 AM. It felt great not having to rush to work! I took my time getting dressed for the gym.

I decided to do some core drills at the gym, just to wake up my dormant body. I didn’t do anything intensive. I just went over a few of the drills I remembered from Simon Hunt’s informative pre-season workout routine. In the coming weeks, I’ll be putting much emphasis on core strength – the main deficiency of my post-comeback sprinting form. I’ll be doing my utmost best to design a bad-ass training program for the upcoming track & field season.

In fact, I shelved the customary warm-up run for the stationary bike, just to keep things from being monotonous.

I intend to sprint more like Carl Lewis than Christophe Lemaitre!

I topped off the easy morning workout with light upper body weights and some ab exercises.

Coping (12 December 2010)

I didn’t get to train much the past few days. I went out on a blind date on Wednesday, I took the day off on Thursday and I went to my friends’ wedding on Friday. I was supposed to resume my regular routine last weekend, but since my mom went to the province, I had to stay at home with my dad.

I must admit that all these distractions and interruptions had sapped a major chunk of my juice. Ever since late October, I have been hard pressed to take in some measure of consistency. In any other circumstances, I would have been utterly pissed off. Needless to say, this isn’t just any other real-life hurdle.

Family comes first.

Hence, I have to make do with what I have. In an effort to salvage what was left of my competition sharpness, I worked out twice yesterday. I ran around the subdivision shortly after lunch. I was unable to go to my usual haunts since I had to be near my dad. It was a lackluster workout since I couldn’t really get into the zone whilst training at the subdivision. I missed the regularity of the oval and the familiarity of the Ateneo campus. Ironically, in training terms, I fell more at home in Ultra and Ateneo than in my very own subdivision!

My mom got home earlier than usual that night. After a light dinner, I headed out to the gym for a much needed weights/plyos session.

If I’m not mistaken, this week’s PATAFA Weekly Relays includes the 100m dash. It’s about time for me to compete!

Home workout:

Light run

5x50m uphills

Abs

Gym workout:

Core

Jerk

Single-leg Shoulder press

Standing long jump (dynamic)

Deep squats

Leg curls

Various ab exercises

Rising up (28 and 29 November 2010)

I had loads of fun the past two training days. Despite feeling a bit sore from the unforgiving 360 Fitness Club Boot Camp, I forced myself to go to Moro last Sunday afternoon. I wasn’t keen on doing anything too strenuous.

I ran around the Ateneo campus just to loosen up my legs. I look forward to these rare campus runs. Since I’m almost always nocturnal when it comes to training, basking under the sun’s warmth is a rare opportunity.

Read “Long Runs at the Hill”

Unfortunately, the overcast skies weren’t apt for me to wear my prescription shades! I did some light starts work afterward, just to polish some technical matters ahead of my first and last 100m dash race on the 11th of December.

I woke up this morning after a good 7 hours worth of sleep. The soreness of the weekend debacle was all gone. I was pumped-up to head out to the gym. I didn’t have to wake up early since it was a holiday. I really do miss early morning training sessions! It reminded me of the days when I listened to Oasis’ “Morning Glory” (got this from Goal, the movie) before heading out to Rizal or Ultra back in my college days.

As always, the gym was devoid of attractive single ladies. It was more crowded than the night shift. It got even more packed when the young guns from the Ateneo High School Track Team arrived! I didn’t complain, though. I just love lifting with fellow track & field athletes (even if I hardly know the new faces of the AHS track squad!). It’s a refreshing change from the usual gym habitues I’m accustomed too.

All-in-all, the past two days were quite productive. It’s good to know that I’m still pretty much in shape, despite some real life hurdles. I’m all set for my 2010 season debut – and finale!

Video credit:

oasisinetofficial

Track workout (28 Nov 2010)

1km run

Running drills

3x50m starts

Gym/plyo workout (29 Nov 2010)

Core on swiss ball

Jerk

Shoulder press

Bicep curls/tricep kickback

Pikes

Deep squats

Plyometric step-ups

Back (24 November 2010)

I went back to training last night, after a 6 days of forced rest. I felt in shape and, of course, well-rested. When I got to the gym, I realized that I left my iPod Shuffle at home. Without my musical companion, I was hard-pressed to get into the zone, in light of my family’s off-track woes. The complete absence of music at the newly-renovated gym exacerbated the struggle.

The silence was, as the cliche goes, deafening.

Nevertheless, the workout was of the highest quality. I had just about the right level of aggression in me, as shown by how fiercely I went through the cleans. As I went about doing the Olympic lift, I was deeply grunting throughout – aiming to execute the explosive movement as efficiently as possible. And it felt great doing those familiar exercises again.

I also did a few sets of plyometrics, just to wake my dormant legs. Since I had more than my fair of rest the past few week, my legs felt truly fresh.

Moreover, I’m back up to 150 lbs – Antonio Margarito’s fighting weight – from around 146 lbs a week earlier.

It was a short yet intense workout. It’s good to know that I’m still in shape.

Just in time (15 and 16 November 2010)

I must admit that my week-long layoff put me in a bind. My bout with illness, alcohol and my dad’s untimely affliction stunted an already feeble pre-competition confidence level. Since I work full-time for local investment house by day, I train mostly at night. In terms of volume, my training load nowadays is around 60 to 65% compared to my college days. As an athlete who relies on technique and hard work, rather than pure talent, such a deficit naturally elicits signs of alarm.

But then again, I must make do with what I have. I’m still thankful for being given a second shot at the sport I love!

The training sessions since my recovery had unexpectedly gone well, despite the layoff. Last Monday’s track session was intense. The first few reps of the hurdles workout was quite rusty. Gradually, I reached the proverbial “zone.” The hundreds (or thousands?) of hours I spent honing my hurdling had programmed the movements of hurdling quite well. I’m proud to say that I’ve mastered the junior hurdles! In the next hurdling session this Saturday (or Tuesday), I’ll be trying out the senior hurdles.

If things go according to plan, I might just make it in time for 4 Dec 2010 for my hurdling debut. I must make the most out of the small window of opportunity.

Track workout (15 November 2010)

2×1 hurdles (junior)

4×4 hurdles (junior)

3x100m dash (flying starts, 100%)

Gym workout (16 November 2010)

Bridges on Swiss ball

Full Bubkas

Cleans

Pull-ups + Push-ups with sidewards clap on MB

Scissor jumps

Deadlifts

Various ab exercises

Refreshed! (25 October 2010)

I had a great weights session yesterday. I just love it when Mondays are declared holidays. It rids the first day of the week of that negative mystique it so strongly exudes. After having my car checked (my Lancer needs new shocks!), I went to the gym to lift weights and do some plyo’s.

Since it was a holiday, the gym was more crowded than usual. I was still somewhat dazed at the lack of mirrors in Celeb. I’ve gotten used to looking at my form (or simply looking at myself) during workouts. It helped that there was this shy-looking Filipino-Chinese girl working out. I just love it when an attractive female is nearby – I get a solid performance boost!

I started off with the customary plyo’s. Since I had all day train, the workout wasn’t a frenzy of quick, straight-to-the-point exercises. This was refreshing. The quality of the plyo’s were encouraging. It’s a pity that the gym doesn’t have room for hurdles or space for bounding.

Afterward, I did cleans. In light of my weeks-long break from doing Olympic lifts (due to a sprained pinkie!), I lifted lighter than my usual load.

All-in-all, it was a fine training session. Thanks to three days of full sleep, I’ve recovered from the sluggish feeling brought about by sleep-deprivation.

Plyometrics:

Standing long jump

Pikes

Modified box jumps

Gym workout:

Bridges

Cleans

Squats + alternative DB chest press

Leg curls + calf raises

Various ab exercises

Fresh Air (22-23 September 2010)

Headed out to the Celeb Gym last Wednesday to do some explosive lifts and plyometric exercises. As usual, I kept it short and straightforward, not wanting to spend too much time at the gym in light of my limited hours.

When I got to the gym, I saw “Out of Order” signs on two of the 6 remaining treadmills. The gym used to have a full complement of around 12 treadmills for the past 4 to 5 years. Wear and tear had caused the number of available machines to steadily decline – quite inconvenient for warm-up purposes. With the amount of money one churns in for club membership, I often wonder why the gym equipment remain relatively substandard.

In the past months, I’ve rekindled a love for plyometrics. The exercises that require momentary flight is uniquely challenging. It relieves the boredom of my training venue and, at times, my training routine.  I was supposed to do a depth jump + box jump combo, but the lack of plyometric boxes made it impossible to do so. In fact, I had to improvise (putting a low wooden box over plastic aerobic steps) just to have a platform high enough for my workout goals.

I’m seriously considering donating equipment to gym.

I kept the weight training part short, since I was running out of time (I long to return to those hours-long sessions of the past!). I had difficulty doing cleans, a consequence of past interruptions of my training. There were some details in my form that I wanted to iron out, like the way I step back each time I catch the barbell on the way down. I guess I just have to lighten up the load just to fix these deficiencies.

As you’ve read from my past training logs, I’ve been getting quite stale lately. I decided to play some basketball last night with the other traders and brokers, just to breath some fresh air into my increasingly monotonous regimen. Although I still sucked at the hoops game, I was quite pleased at my explosiveness. I’m starting to reap the benefits of plyos and Olympic lifts.

Plyometrics:

Box jumps

Scissor jumps

Gym workout

Cleans

Single-leg shoulder press

Hamstring curl

Various ab exercises

Unloading (31 July 2010)

I lifted weights yesterday afternoon. The gym was almost deserted and, as usual, devoid of females. I took it easy, opting to focus more on explosive lifts and plyometrics – while watching the UAAP games on the boob tube (great job Blue Eagles! What a stellar finish!) I was still a little exhausted from the previous night’s basketball pick-up game.

I tried out my modified Umbro kicks. The extra lace holes gave the much snugger fit I prefer in my shoes. I am now a fan of Umbro, or cheap yet quality running shoes in general!

The plyometric session was highly satisfactory. I started off with my favorite exercise, the depth jump with bunny hops. After a few reps, all the jumping did a good job of pumping up my heart rate.

The lack of plymetric boxes at the gym irritates me. I had to improvise, putting a low box over some aerobic steps just to have a suitably high jump off point for the aforesaid exercise.

I added another 5 kilos to my jerk (45kg, 3×9 reps) just to challenge myself. I’m still quite far off from my clean & jerk personal best of  60kg (3×5 reps) in 2007/2008. Nevertheless, I’m getting there. I can lift 50kg (3×10 reps) in the power cleans. Once I lessen the number of reps, I’m sure I can manage to exceed my previous bests.

Plyometric workout:

Depth jump + bunny hop (static, 1×5)

Depth jump + bunny hop (2×8)

Single leg box jumps (3×8)

Pikes (3×8)

Gym workout:

Jerk (3×9)

Bench press (2×8)

Barbell row (2×10)

Leg press + back delt fly (2×10)

Bicep curls + tricep kickback (2×10)

Lower ab circuit (2×15)

Ab circuit (2×15)

Beautiful Stranger (27 July 2010)

As much I’d like my motivation to stay intrinsic, I can’t deny the fact that those fair maidens give quite a boost in strength. Back in college, I was a driven student-athlete – driven by an internal, superhuman desire to be the best hurdler in the Philippines, and by my gorgeous teammates (I’m referring to women here) and fellow athletes (again, girls)!

Celebrity Sports Club’s weights room can be likened to an all-boys school. Members of the fairer sex, much less those aesthetically endowed, are a rarity. To highlight the dire situation in the gym, the handful of ladies I’ve encountered can be counted on the fingers in my hand, with much to spare.

There’s this one girl who works out quite fiercely. She usually does long runs, core workouts and the occasional machine weights. I haven’t seen her in months. Since I’ve been practically lifting with guys the past two months or so, I was on the lookout for a female face not beyond the age of thirty-five.

Lo and behold, she came to the gym last night. While I was warming up, the short, porcelain-skinned lass even took the treadmill right beside mine.

This gave a much needed boost. Instead of the usual hour and a half, my training session lasted two hours. The quality of the lifts and the plyometric exercises increased as well. Instead of the usual sluggish feeling, I felt rejuvenated and pumped-up, akin to my intense college days.

I’ve never been known for my “game.” In fact, I have no game – an aspect I have to work on, mind you. Until I muster enough courage to actually start a conversation, she’ll remain just that – a beautiful stranger.

Plyometric workout

Dorsiflexion hops (3×10)

Lateral hops on cone (3×10)

Scissors (3×10)

Gym workout

Core

Power cleans (3×10)

Bench press + Pull-ups (3×10)

Deep squats + single leg shoulder press (3×10)

Leg curl + leg extension + bicep curl + some tricep workout (2×10)

Leg lifts with dumbbell (3×10)

Abs circuit (2×10)

Video credit:

madonnahub

Picking up the pieces (10, 13 and 14 July 2010)

I got sick for the better part of the previous week. The lack of sleep finally took its toll. It started a couple of Saturday’s ago. From a light, irritating cough, it worsened to phlegm-laced asthma and a bad cold. It took a good 5 days for me to recover.

I had no other choice but to cut my already meager allotment of gym and track time.

10 July

Last Saturday, I was healthy enough to lift weights. I didn’t feel like training though. I just went through the motions of the gym and plyo exercises. I felt weak doing the core exercises and weights routine. Perhaps it was the week-long layoff rearing its ugly head. Heeding my body’s signals, I packed my bags and went home.

Workout:

Depth jumps

Bench press

Bicep curl

Tricep extension

Abs circuit

13 July

I went back to the track on Tuesday night to do some light sprints. My pacing was off. I couldn’t seem to follow the goals of the workout (70% effort, 150m strides). Halfway through my routine, I shunned my trusty iPod Shuffle (my training buddy for the past 2 years). The music blaring in my ears were starting to become a nuisance.

Track workout:

Light running drills

3x150m sprints (70-80% effort, 4 minutes rest)

14 July

Again, I felt sluggish. It took some complex plyo reps to wake my sleepy system. I went light on weights, doing 2 sets for each exercise. I’m particularly proud of my Cleans. The hard work I put honing my form is starting to bear fruit!

Workout:

Complex box jumps

Cleans (2×9-10)

Stiff-legged dead lift (2×10)

Dips + leg lifts (2×10)

Split Squats + Ab scissors  (2×10 per leg)

Single leg shoulder press + leg lifts  (2×10)

Great workout!

I felt lazy today. Perhaps it was the week-long sleeplessness rearing its ugly head. I shook off the callings of a quiet Saturday and dragged myself all the way to Ultra. Whilst stuck in crawling, bumper-to-bumper EDSA traffic, I noticed the gray skies. I wouldn’t want to be rained out again like last week. This time around, however, I came prepared with rain gear.

The weather was surprisingly cooperative. I trained for about an hour this afternoon. After a short, 2 lap warm-up, I did a set of plyometric one-step hurdling drills – the first time in more than two years. It was a refreshing change to the hurdle walk-overs I’ve been doing the past 5 months.

Although I haven’t really worked out over the hurdles as much as I wanted to , the fundamentals are still quite strong. I loved the sensation of fast hip action and momentary flight. My form still needs more fine tuning.

With my confidence bolstered to record highs, my 5-step hurdle clearances (low hurdle height) went smoothly. I found my hurdling rhythm once again. Despite some obvious creaks due to my 2-year absence, every facet of hurdling went smoothly – the knee lead, the extension of the lead leg, the arm action, the lead leg cut and the trail leg action.

A couple more workouts like these and I’ll be ready to try out the three-stride pattern.

To end the track workout, I did 4x150m sprints (80% effort). Resting 1:30 in between sprints, the workout was not a walk in the park. I then went to Celeb for weight training session.

Track Workout:

Plyometric hurdle drills

5-step hurdle clearances

4x150m sprints

Weights:

Jerk (2×10)

Pull-ups/Bench Press super sets (2×10)

Stiff-legged dead lifts/Leg extension/Leg curl compound sets (2×10)

Ab circuit

That was one helluva GREAT WORKOUT!

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