Stage 3 OverviewThis stage was very similar to Stage 2 but with different exercises. I did two sets of 6 reps of each of the exercises, with groups of alternating sets built in. There was also 102 seconds of rest between each set, which I found really long, and cut it back.
There was also the intervals in Workout B we saw in the last stage, but in addition a bodyweight matrix was included in Workout A. This consisted of 24 squats, lunges, plyometric lunges and jump squats repeated twice.
|One arm DB snatch||8kg||12kg|
|DB single leg Romanian deadlift||2 x 14kg db||2 x 16kg kb|
|Barbell bentover row||20kg||25kg|
|DB single arm overhead squat||4 / 8kg db||4 / 8kg db|
|DB incline bench press||2 x 8kg db||2 x 12kg db|
|Plank||BW (90 sec)||BW (90 sec)|
|Partial single leg squat||2 x 6kg db||2 x 12kg db|
|Wide grip lat pulldown||47lb||49.5lb|
|Y T W L||2 x 3kg db||2 x 4kg db|
|Swissball crunch||10kg plate||10kg plate|
|Prone cobra||BW (90 sec)||BW (90 sec)|
|Intervals - 1min work, 2min recovery x 5||-||-|
ResultsI really enjoyed some of these new exercises! I am loving deadlifts, and the single leg deadlift was a killer! In the best way. I also enjoyed starting to do some bench presses. I feel like I'm starting light, but hope to improve. The other exercise I surprisingly enjoyed was the back extension, which I could feel all through my hamstrings, glutes and back. I tried to be really controlled when I did this, and could really feel it working.
Some of the exercises were a bit awkward, and I wasn't entirely sure I was doing them correctly - especially the DB single arm overhead squat. I felt like because I was bending into the squat, I couldn't keep my arm up straight. Maybe the weight in my higher arm was too high? Similarly, the moves for the YTWL were a little complex, so I was just hoping I was doing them correctly.
I really liked the addition of the bodyweight matrix to the workout. Although I like intervals, adding an extra 15 minutes on to my weights workout pushed it out to almost 90 minutes per session, which is too long for me in the morning. I usually did the intervals the next day during my run session. But the boydweight matrix definitely got my heart rate up, and made my legs burn, but only took an extra 9 minutes or so (in the shorter of the two workouts). I would do this kind of thing just at home when I have a spare 15 minutes, or before / after a dvd.
105 seconds of rest was recommended between each set. I found this too long! As above, I only have a limited time in the morning, and it felt like I was just waiting around for more time than not. So I cut the rest periods to 60 or 75 seconds. I felt like that was enough time in between sets, and it cut down my workout session length considerably.
ThoughtsI'm starting to feel some real muscle definition in my upper body, which I like and makes me feel confident. I think in this stage I was a bit better at pushing myself to heavier weights - I'm getting a feel for how much more weight I can add for 6 reps.
I am still struggling with my forearm strength and lifting heavier weights, particularly for weighted leg exercises like dumbbell squats and deadlifts. My arms just can't keep up! I'm hoping that with time my forearm strength will improve, and until them I'm just going to push as much as I can.
I think Stage 4 is similar to Stage 2, so I'm looking forward to pushing myself again on some exercises I am feeling comfortable with. I've had a week's rest from strength training, so I'll give it a try next week.
What is your favourite strength training exercise? And your least favourite? Will straps help me lift heavier? I'd love to hear your suggestions!