I am a little amazed at the moment. Not by myself mind you, but by intelligent authors and sports trainer type folk that actually know what they are talking about. They weight training book I am following had me do a 4 week break in routine followed by a week off and now I have moved into a 4 week routine for fat loss. What has amazed me is that in the plan, the author wrote that after the initial 4 weeks, I would feel like the routine had gotten easy, stale, and that I would be close to plateauing in the current routine. I can't speak to the plateauing truly but I can say that I wasn't getting the same burn or soreness after the work outs anymore. I certainly was ready to do something else too. I guess when fitness is your career, you'll pick up some info. along the way.
So I took the week off as prescribed (only from lifting, not running) and rested up for the next 4 week battle. This week was the first week on the new routine. Wow, quite a kick to the system. Sore, exhausted, feeling stronger by the day though. The current routine is comprised of two different workouts that I alternate between. The first is comprised of alternating sets of squats/seated rowing; shoulder push press/hip flexor extensions; dynamic rotating lunges/swiss ball crunches. The second workout is alternating sets of deadlifts/inclined dumbell press; mixed grip lat pull downs/split squats; romanian deadlifts/swiss ball lateral rolls.
In total each work out currently consists of 3 sets or 6 exercises with 15 reps per set. After doing each routine twice, I drop the reps to 12 and increase the weight appropriately. Same thing after two more sessions, weight increases, reps drop to 10.
I am getting much more comfortable in the free weight area of the gym. I am actually loading up a bit more weight now so I don't feel quite as inferior, although to be honest I have a long long way to get anywhere near the majority of the guys that work out at my gym. I am feeling a difference though, my strength is improving and I am actually really enjoying the balance between running and lifting. The feeling from the two different routines is so different. The pumped up, shaky, wiped out feeling after a solid session of lifting is nothing like the almost euphoric, drained feeling after a long run. It is almost a little of a yin - yang sort of phenomenon. I am hoping that the authors are right again though. They claim that after this four week routine I will be able to actually see results in terms of muscle mass and fat loss. Here's hoping...
pullups - still at 1 positive rep, but my negative reps are more controlled and have increased to a max of 7 in the first set and 5 in the second.
dips - 8 positive reps first set, 3 positive reps/4 negative second set.
weight - down to 196.6 this morning for a total weight loss so far of 7.8 pounds.