A Shift in Programs —- October update

Once I got to the point with the core program – a set of 6 exercises arranged in pairs – where it was no challenge, I looked for a full body program and found one. Five exercises with increasing reps and decreasing weight, ending with 100 push-ups. I’ve been getting 40 regularly and, as I discussed in my last entry, Starting Exercise After a Long Hiatus, I start easy. The program itself calls for completing the count but pauses are allowed to reach a cumulative total. For two of them, the rows and the push-ups, I halved the final count but have quickly built up to the total on one; but on the 100 push-ups I am sticking to 50 until I can do them without a pause.

In the gym on the assist rack I have finally reached the final weight plate and am now taking off only 20 pounds. So far it is clear I have over a month of pull-ups before I can reduce to 15 pounds, then 10, then zero. At that point, I will switch to a regular pull-up bar and begin training on that because I am sure those ‘naked’ pull-ups will not be entirely satisfactory.
My one-legged squats have reached one minute on each leg routinely so I am switching to similar squat exercises, the first one I tried being the pistol squat. Next time I think I’ll go to dynamic one-legged squats (these are also known as Bulgarian or Rumanian squats).
Also, regarding the L-sits, the gym now has the bars called parallettes for L-sits and other exercises. Believe it or not, I fell off twice trying them out. Sitting with arms stiff supporting you and then dropping suddenly shakes you up even though it is only a drop of a few inches. So I am continuing my L-sit progressive exercises at home to eventually get to the bars.

My alternating curls have been OK but I dropped the weight to a 30 pound barbell curled and French curled 5 times steadily until 10 minutes have passed, with pauses. The other elements in that program are changed only where they conflict with another program. I find that a good rest of one or two days does allow for a better workout, so I would not want to do push-ups the day after doing 50.

It is all very enjoyable and makes me feel good.

October Update………..

a lot has changed. Two events: the Delavier book came and caused me to revamp my whole program based on the detailed look it gives to the interaction of body parts plus the same young staff member at the gym who corrected my use of the assist rack on pull-ups approached me again and corrected me further. The latter is great because I was jerking myself up off the pad, thus overstressing my shoulders. He had me pull slowly and smoothly. Much better even though I had to drop down three bars to 45#. I am at 40# now and see myself progressing quickly but in a much more effective manner. 

I now have four programs, 2 at home and 2 at the gym and have added a corrective therapeutic set of exercises for my shoulders, targeting the rotator cuff. On the various changes I have made, the focus is on backing off the effort to life maximum weight – often recommended when form is suffering – and ramping up the reps and sets. I started that on the curls and it seems to be effective. I can always add weight but right now I want to focus on form and higher reps and sets. 

This revamping was brought into sight by my feeling that the core program was getting easy. So I went to a full body program of only five exercises but at extremely high rep levels, a cumulative rise in reps from 20 to 100 at intervals of 20. I struggle on the rows in a plank position (60 but am getting to only 40 or 50) and the push-ups (100 and I am getting to 50 with several pauses of a few seconds). The effects of this program were so dramatic that I thought this is the perfect time to change my whole program. 

Reports will continue.

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