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Shaping up

Even though most people I know seem to believe otherwise; I can be quite lazy at times and prone to prolonged periods of procrastination. Admittedly, I usually keep on working hard in other areas, but the fact remains that for the past three months or so, I’ve done hardly anything more physically demanding than PE class, which really doesn’t count. Since I do believe that exercising is essential for my well-being, I’ve decided to change this. If you’ve followed my blog for a long time, you’ll probably know that I’ve done similar things before and proposed ways to shape up. This time is a little bit different though, but before I’ll discuss that in more detail, have a look at the actual program I’ve put together (mostly based on advice from Coach Summer over at GymnasticBodies).

The schedule can be found here.

So, what’s different? At first glance, there are actually no new exercises at all, I’ve done all of them before, some of them a lot. There is a slight difference in execution, though, because this time I’m going for 100% correct form as often as I can. In addition, some exercises contain holds at the extremes (like three seconds an the bottom and top of every chin-up repetition). Considering that I could probably pull off twenty chin-ups in one set, 5 x 3 doesn’t seem to heavy, but I’m serious when I say I the last set is really, really demanding. I do these movements slowly and with full control, no kipping whatsoever.

Furthermore, I’ve decreased the rest interval between sets a lot. The exercises in the program are paired, which means I do exercise A, then exercise B, then exercise A again and so on until all the sets are completed. Then I move on to the next pair. Earlier, I usually took much more rest, but now it should be around 60 seconds.

The biggest difference is the overall layout though. I’m going to try what Sommers calls Steady State training, which basically means that I will execute exactly the same program for a number of weeks (eight this time). This is very, very different from anything I’ve done before, because it implies that the last few weeks will probably be pretty easy as the body has adjusted to the load. Normally, I would increase the load so the subjective challenge is the same all the time, but using this method, the body can adjust properly, which not only results in safer progress, but also in quicker gains, again according to Sommers.

I won’t let this rest for eight weeks though before I write something again. However, I’m not going to comment on a regular basis, but rather when something interesting happens. I hope I have the discipline to keep this routine for the coming seven weeks (first week is already accomplished, comments in the file referred to above). I will of course keep track of my progress, because one final advantage with the Steayd State might be that it should be quite easy to feel the difference between the prgram now and after two months. I don’t really know how where this is leading, but it feels really good to be on the move again.

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