Days 21, 22, 23

June 7, 2006

On Day 21 I stayed in bed, got up late and didn't work out at all, which just goes to show that a habit does take more than three weeks to set.  However, on Tuesday I did my usual routine.  It was a lower body day and I just did 4 sets of 10 front squats using 80 lbs and 60 secs rest.  I also did the typical 3 sets of 15 reps of reverse crunches.

Today I just did my usual morning routine.  However, I changed from doing overhand grip pull-ups to doing pull-ups with a narrow grip and my palms facing one another (my pull-up bar is designed for this type of grip). 

Advertisement

Day 20

June 4, 2006

I am feeling very well-rested after yesterday.  I did the stationary bike for 25 minutes and the 5+max sets of pull-ups.  Feeling very good.

I think at least one day of complete rest may be a good thing every 30 days or so.  Any more and I know from personal experience that I will seriously risk breaking my habit of getting up early and moving.  I am strong believer that for anyone planning to exercise consistently for the rest of their lives HABIT is the most important thing to cultivate, not heavy weight-lifting, fat-loss, endurance training, or any other exercise goal, but simply doing whatever it takes to build an unbreakable habit.

It is said that it takes 21 days to create a habit.  I doubt this.  I think it takes a bit longer, at least 30 days.  I am coming up on day 21 tomorrow and certainly feel that I have built-in the habit of getting up early (4:50am now), cycling and doing pull-ups every day, then lifting four days a week.  However, I will be a lot more confident in this habit after I reach the 30 day mark.  I feel that I will have the habit totally mastered once I can continue my program even in the face of obstacles such as travel, which can be a huge habit-destroyer.

Habit is also the major reason why I am doing an extremely scaled-back version of the New Rules Program. I do only half the recommended workout instead of the whole thing.  I have learned from experience that doing too much can result in quick burn-out and kill the habit.  This is why I believe the most important thing in starting a lifelong program is to focus on what contributes to the habit and assiduously avoid anything that may break  the habit.

Once the habit is set, then one can start seriously building on it, by adding lengthening the workout, adding a lot heavier weights, going for personal bests, etc.

I am not close to that point yet.   

Day 19

June 4, 2006

Complete rest, no stationary bike, no pull-ups, no weights.

Day 18

June 2, 2006

Stationary bike 25 m, 5 pull-ups, 2 min rest 9 pull-ups

Upper body workout:

superset of 4 sets of 10 reps, dumbbell shoulder presses (16lbs.) and reverse grip bent-over rows (70lbs), 60 secs rest between sets

3 sets of 15 reps, reverse crunches, 60 secs rest 

Day 17

June 1, 2006

Stationary bike, 25 min, 5 pull-ups, 2 min rest, then 9 pull-up (max)

Lower Body workout: Front squats with 70lbs, 3 sets of 15, 30+ secs rest between sets

Squats+Shrugs with 70 lbs, 3 sets of 15, 30+ sec rest between sets.

Reverse crunches, 3 sets of 15 60 secs rest
Very difficult workout, I struggled to rest for only 30 secs between sets.  The weights were obviously not a problem, but the reps were difficult.

Day 16

May 31, 2006

Rest Day

I just did my stationary bike and pull-ups(9 reps). 

Day 15

May 30, 2006

Upper body workout:

supersets of push-ups and bent-over barbell overhand narrow grip barbell rows at 90lbs.

25 minutes on stationary bike as usual and one set of 5 and one set of 9 (max) pull-ups 

Day 14

May 29, 2006

Lower body workout:

superset of Bulgarian split-squats with 24lbs. and step-ups with 16 lbs., 5 sets of 5 reps each.

9 pull-ups. Body feeling well-rested after two rest days.

Day13

May 28, 2006

Last night I could feel the results of Friday's upper body workout and my pull-ups.  

Today I managed 8 reps in my maximal pull-up set.  

Day12

May 27, 2006

The tightness and soreness in my thighs has been reduced.  I don't feel much of an effect form yesterday's upper body workout.  This is a clear sign that I should be increasing the number of exercises since the number of sets and the weights certainly seem challenging at this point.

Today I did my typical 25 minutes on the stationary bike. I also did my pull-ups, a warm-up set of 5 then a maximal effort set of 8.

I should also note that throughout the latter part of this week I have been taking an enhanced vitamin and mineral regimen, including zinc and magnesium before bed on an empty stomach.  It is high in anti-oxidants (including alpa-lipoic acid, the super-antioxidant) and should help speed the repair of oxidative damage incurred in my workouts.