I walked into Day 3 a bit apprehensive and a bit excited, as I was still quite sore from the previous two workouts, but looking forward to seeing what would come next. As I walked in, two folks from the regular class were finishing up sets of pull-ups and wall balls, and it did my heart good to see that they were struggling as well.
I started off with what I thought was a perfect warmup. Three sets of a 200m run, 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and 20 mountain-climbers. The run felt good, I managed the first 10 push-ups with just a bit of struggle at the end, I was burning from sit-up one from my previous days, and the mountain climbers certainly got my heart pumping. By round 2 I was struggling on the push-ups and sit-ups, and by round 3 push-up and sit-up #10 were big struggles. For where I’m at currently, that seemed just about right.
On to our lessons. We began with wall climbs, in which you get in push-up position with your feet against the wall, do a push-up, then slowly walk backwards up the wall. It looked pretty cool in the demo, but was quite a bit tougher to do in practice. On the first one I just about fell down the wall, the second I got the hang of it, and by the third I was pooped and half fell down the wall at the end again. Looking forward to more of these, though, if just from a “something different” perspective.
Next we worked on dead lifts by practicing with the medicine ball. As all these free-weight exercises are new to me (I’ve only really done isolated bar exercises, and mostly for upper body, as in the past all leg-work was done with dumb bells instead of a bar), there’s a lot of work to be done on form. We started with learning how to pick up the ball and clean it, focusing on maintaining a good squat position and keeping the ball in tight. From there, we practiced some wall balls (which felt amazingly like setter drills but with a bit more weight and bit bigger ball). After lesson time, it was time for the daily workout.
Today’s workout was a 21-15-9 progression of wall balls and a form of abdominal torture known as toes to bar. From a hanging position, the goal is to pull your toes up to the bar as shown at the left. Yeah, I thought that was funny too. Chris modified the instructions for me, allowing me to shoot for getting me knees up to my elbows. I got a bit closer there, but still REALLY struggled. After instruction, it was time to start the workout!
The first set of 21 wall balls wasn’t too bad… I was using a 10-pound ball and the form was very similar to volleyball. Not saying I wasn’t struggling and huffing and puffing by the end, but I didn’t want to die (yet). Then on to the bar for 21 “elbows-to-knees.” Yikes. I was spent from the three I did to practice before we started. I tried my best to maintain proper form and not swing, but it probably took me 6 or 7 sets to finish the required 21. Was THRILLED to go back to wall ball for my set of 15. Again, the wall-balls got tough after about 10, but I was still happy to be there and not yet at the bar. The walk from the wall to the bar was mighty depressing. Got to the bar and 15 elbows-to-knees seemed excruciating. I ended up breaking the set into 5’s, then 4’s, then 3’s, and just about cried. OK, the set of nine left. Hanging in there. Back to the wall ball. Mighty tired, but ecstatic to be away from the bar, so nine of these wasn’t too bad (not sure if it was the 10-pound ball or just hating the ab exercises). Next time I probably ought to jump to the 14-pound weight and find out. Nine elbows-to-knees on the bar. Yeah. Started out trying for sets of 3. Wasn’t happening. Made it through two of these, tried my last set of three and only got two weak ones in, then hunkered down for one last good one. Yippee, done!
I was spent, sore, tired, exhausted, but wasn’t ready to throw up or pass out. This seemed like what a workout should be. Two days off until my next lesson, so perhaps a bit more time for my soreness to work itself out… sure hoping today’s improvement is a trend toward starting to get more comfortable and not just a workout that was a touch lighter since I was so familiar with the wall-ball type exercise from volleyball!