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Its weekly Gym Day!

November 28, 2009

I only go to the gym once per week, and my sessions last about 30 minutes at most.  Its very fast, focussed and enjoyable.   You can read more about what I typically do here, just scroll down to “Excercise”.

What I really like about going to the gym once per week instead of being a gym junkie is:

  • I really look forward to it!  It’s not a chore at all.
  • I can get really pumped about one gym session a week, It’s a lot better to give 110% for 30 minutes once a week, than it is to give 50%, 3 times a week.  My goal is to build and activate fast twitch muscles fibres so I absolutely have to give 110% during every exercise.
  • I feel so pumped up before I go to the gym that I always have far more high intensity workouts than if I was going 3 or more times a week.
  • If I’m going every day or 3 times a week its easy to fall into the trap of making up for today’s laziness tomorrow.
  • The more you go to the gym and do the same excercises, the more your body will become used to the training and you’ll make less gains.
  • Save money! I buy a 10-pass for about $60 which lasts me 10 weeks.  Usual gym fees are about $60 a month.

Once a week works well for me, but I’d also like to add something else during the week, and still keep to my goal of doing less than 1 hour of high intensity exercise per week.  I used to do a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT) called Tabatas (8 x 20 second sprints with 10 second break in between), but since it got a bit cold here in Korea I have stopped training outside.  I’m thinking about a session of body-weight exercises (anyone good any good recommendations?) one time per week which I can do inside my apartment.

Yesterday morning I went to the gym but it was closed due to cleaning, so on the way home I went to the park, did about 4 short duration sprints at full pace, and then did body-weight pullups and dips in the park.

Today is Saturday, I went to the gym and did benchpress (max 57.5kgs), squats (max 57.5kgs), deadlifts (max 70kgs) and overhead press (max 30kgs) as well as 1 set of 10 inverted rows.  I only did 1 set of 10 as the squat rack freed up and I didn’t want to chance waiting around for some other guy to jump on.  If I miss the squat rack, there’s not much else I can do!

Typically I try to do 3 sets of as many body-weight exercises as I can.  I think once you can do over 10 reps of any bodyweight exercise it might be good to add weights, although I’m not quite at that stage yet.

Inverted rows are pullups done on the smith machine, with your body lying horizontal and usually using a bench to rest your feet on.  They are great for building strength in arms, shoulders, back and core as you should keep your body completely rigid and straight through the excercise.   Again its another one of those excercises which utilises so many big and small muscles groups in your body.  Everything is rigid, everything is either pulling or balancing so its a great exercise.

Video displaying inverted row with good technique here

Inverted Rows are great for building up strength if you can’t do pullups.  You can also start with your feet on the ground if the horizontal ones (using a chair or bench) are too hard so its a great exercise no matter what level of strength building you’re at.


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