Expelling all the air from your lungs and balancing on your fingers and toes is harder than you think; it’s even harder when you are fully submerged in a tank of water. Still, hydrostatic testing is one of the more accurate ways to get a body fat reading.
On February 8th this year, I decided to set a new step-goal of seeing my abs. I can recall the date explicitly, as it’s the same day I signed-up for Adam Bornstein’s Getting Shredded event. Two months later… BOOM; abs!
Yup, that’s not stock imagery on on the right, that’s me sporting my new six-pack!
So what was different this time around?
I’ve been training back at a commercial gym in the UK for the last few days and it’s been an eye-opening experience in many ways. And unfortunately, aside from the odd exception, not many of these experiences have been positive, including bro-science run amok, poor to horrible training form and gym etiquette nowhere to be seen.
My life seems full of them, of late. No, not visitations from a celestial spirit… just more of those gut-wrenching pangs that accompany a moment of sudden insight.
They’ve been happening more frequently too, something I’ve put down to both advancing age and the company I’ve been keeping. It’s also part of my genetic disposition; always moving forward, always looking for answers — even to questions that probably don’t matter.
The problem with a weekend heavy-bag workout is that it’s easy to get carried away and go at it a little too hard! Especially when you throw an energizing playlist into the mix!
Today’s twelve-round slug-fest was hard in all sorts of ways, and adding abs and footwork into the rest intervals keeps the heart-rate elevated for the entire thirty minute workout. Unfortunately, despite using hand-wraps and good punching form, over twelve two-minute rounds, you will miss with a few punches, and that’s when the (wrong) knuckles can take a battering.
Still, a little skin lost is a reasonable investment in shifting that visceral body fat. You also get to release all your pent-up frustrations from the week past!
Closing thoughts: It never ceases to amaze me just how much harder music can push you in a workout. I have an awesome playlist that I listen to for cardio workouts and it can literally drive me to the point of exhaustion… and skinned knuckles!
I worked from home today and didn’t have access to the gym. So that meant mixing things up and improvising with what I have at home… which isn’t much!
The “plan” was to unhitch the heavy-bag and go through a series of lifting, pulling, pressing movements with it as many times as possible in 20 minutes. This particular routine is more about metabolic stimulation than it is strength and conditioning…
Anyway, after setting-up and trying a few of the movements, I knew I’d miscalculated. On the downside, the “plan” went out the window within seconds as I quickly realized there was no way on earth I could complete the sequence as written. On the plus side, it turned out to be a grueling workout!
Today was a rest day; an opportunity for my body to recover from the first two workouts of the week. Now sure, I am not quite as tired as this little fella, but I am appropriately sore from my efforts.
The week started out with lower body on Monday and upper body on Tuesday, with both sessions largely focused on increasing strength. And I did feel strong, in spite of the super-set format and short rest intervals. Still, there’s a long way to go this week with a second round of full-body conditioning on Thursday and an intense, metabolic stressor on Friday.
That reminds me, I’m working from home Friday so I need to think about an alternative to the barbell complex I’ve been using at the gym. Unhooking the heavy-bag and manhandling that for the 20 mins seems like the only viable option, although I’ll need to figure out some straps or ties to help with grip.
Closing thought: The importance of rest days is easily overlooked and more often than not, resting feels counter-intuitive to achieving your goals. However, if you are following any sort of strength or conditioning program, the rest days are when you actually get stronger!