Ok- so for Hybrid Week 6- I was actually SUPPOSED to be on a beach, but my trip got canceled, and thanks to a variety of aggravating circumstances it never materialized. 2 days, 2 different airports, a malfunctioning airplane and the like…all with a tired, impatient, wiggly toddler…meant I had my first staycation. I *don’t* recommend this for anyone! *sigh* Anyway.
The one positive thing is that I get to head to the gym this week for Week 6 of Hybrid. My weight is amazingly and gradually inching up (yeay!) and I’m still making strength gains. I’m at 116 now and it’s inching upwards.
For my upper body hypertrophy day, I’m trying to challenge myself with shorter than 1 minute for rest periods. For some reason, and maybe it’s because I’ve been starting with incline DB presses I’m not seeing much improvement in weight here. I’m stuck at the 35 and 40 lb DBs but I see 10 lb improvements in lat pulldowns (which come after the chest part on upper body hypertrophy days). I’ve also introduced cross bench DB pullovers and although I’m using the 40s, I’m getting in more reps with the same amount of weight than the last time I tried this. I gradually need to increase the rest from 45 seconds to 1 minute by the time I hit shoulders. I happily note a 5 lb increase for side lateral raises for shoulders (last time it was a special 16 lb DB for 12 and 10 reps for sets 1 and 2, and this time it’s 20 lbs for 8 reps for both sets- yeah!) , break even with seated DB presses for shoulders, but come out better with standing barbell curls.
My happy moment this week was seeing a big improvement in my front squat! This is one of the exercises for the legs that was challenging at first because of the bar placement, but now everything seems to be fitting just right! I break the 100 lb mark which is a personal record for 8 reps, discover how much fun walking barbell lunges are (everyone just kind of clears the way for you! and hello, feel them right away in the glutes!). It’s my first time doing these for lower body hypertrophy day, so I’m using 75 lbs on the extra long olympic barbell for 12 reps, and I am confident I can tackle more weight next time. I come out even with the leg extension but see an improvement in the seated leg curl.
The third day and final Hybrid day this week is a Total Body HIIT day. Seriously- I think I’m fitter than the average bear, but GEEZ this day NEVER gets easier! I complete 20 minutes of HIIT (a total of 10 sprints) on the elliptical then wobble off to the chin, squat, bench circuit. I do rope chinups today and get through 8, 6, and 5 reps. This is actually not an improvement from before (wah!) but I remember a fellow BBR member saying these get harder as you get heavier. I’m hoping he’s not right! In any event, I’m actually seeing an improvement in the bench and squat weight for the circuit, squatting 95 for 15 reps and 70 lbs for the bench for 15 reps. This represents a 10 lb increase for the squats. I finish with one of the most butt-kicking cardio machine known to Sumi- the step mill. For those of you that haven’t seen this cardio machine, it’s like an escalator that never ends. 20 minutes on this thing at level 6 and I’m the definition of toast. The awesome thing about this machine is that you can really squeeze the glutes with each step. I haven’t seen this machine at many gyms and probably with good reason. It’s hard as heck!
Please feel free to leave some comments or suggestions below. Lots of people at the gym are asking me what “I’m doing” and it’s fun to be able to represent such an awesome program like the Hybrid! OK time to go eat!
–Sumi Singh is a Personal Trainer in Austin, TX and an online diet coach. Her website is www.shailafitness.com