This month’s variation should have been one predominantly about having a learning curve, however it turned out to be more about overcoming obstacles such as illness, having no gym for a third of the month, having a lack of space which prevented the action of some of the individual exercises which required me to be able to have a full range of motion of all of my limbs while being on the floor and moving home.
However despite not being able to optimally improve physically, I was still able to gain a lot of knowledge about this relatively new training and exercise style, definitely new to me. As the name suggests and as I touched on briefly in previous Train Like a Pro 2016 posts the whole premise behind the concept is to replicate movements similar to those produced by animals as we have seen some of the great physical conditions that they have in order to survive and maintain their positions in the metaphorical food chain, removing the need for additional weights other than your body mass.
Initially the exercises I had seen were predominantly for working the legs, in particular the quadriceps and hamstrings with a static hold with hands and toes in contact with the floor with right angles between arms-shoulders, at the knees and at the hips with the legs raised an inch or two off of the floor (Undetermined specific animal) and the monkey swing movement where lowered in to a deep squat standing on the balls of your feet you sway side to side using your arms to gain momentum and the idea is to maintain your balance similar to the other static hold. However my favourite exercise from the month has been the Pike Push Up where starting in a Downward Facing Dog Yoga Pose you lower your head toward the floor and push back up working the shoulders as well as the pectoral muscles. This is a workout which does the same job as an incline press/push machine within a gym however I prefer this movement due to the fact that it uses your own bodyweight rather than a set weight of stepped value, thus in my case giving a more intense exertion of the muscles. This has placed the Pike Push Up, joint top of my bodyweight exercises list with the Typewriter Push Up and the V-Up Ab Exercise.
As you would expect with the reasoning above I did not reach my weight goal of 150lbs by the end of may weighing in this morning at 143lbs which would have been a disappointing result had I not understood the several challenges faced over the past five months as well as acknowledged the fact that at no point had I used Protein Supplements of any form yet I have noticed physical size and strength gain over the period. Looking towards my next “goal” of getting myself in an optimal physical condition to compete in Rugby Union (Or Rugby Sevens) next season and especially next months sport of the Decathlon it will be difficult to measure all of the components of fitness so if possible with a new gym membership starting June 1st I will attempt to measure progress via the speed and distance figures achieved from working out on resistance added aerobic machines. Within Rugby Union for a person to maintain a high physical workrate for 80 minutes or more will be crucial to my overall performance therefore aerobic endurance will be a key factor, arguably more so in Rugby Sevens with the high intensity, non stop action, 14 minute matches at tournaments with at least 3 matches per day (Normally in the space of a couple of hours). My current best performance regarding this has come on the Cross Trainer (X-Stepper) machine at half resistance with 4.21km (2.62miles) achieved in 22 minutes, an average speed of 11.4kph (7mph), I cannot wait to continue to work on this as well as see how the circuit training element of Decathlon training assists with this.