Welcome to my Obstacle course training – week 4 post!
I definitely feel like I’m getting stronger. My grip strength has improved, my endurance has improved and I honestly really excited to be heading in the right direction after dealing with injuries for so long.
I did have a bit of disruption in the last two weeks with Easter and a friend coming from Chicago to hang out… which was all awesome, I definitely think it’s important to live your life as much as possible and enjoy those Crunchy Easter Bunnies, and then get stuck back in when you’re able to.
Let’s get into the bits:
My diet has been mostly pretty alright, which a few little treats here and there for the season. Every 4 weeks I’ll get all the measurements, so here we go…
So, I’m comparing these stats to the ones I took in:
I’ve lost just under 2kgs in 4 weeks, which honestly not important to me at all because I’ve got some fat to lose and some muscle to gain so overall weight as a metric doesn’t help me at all.
My Body Mass Index (BMI) was 24.3 and now it’s 23.7 – so that’s trending in the right direction. All the fats are down… but unfortunately so is Bone Mass and Muscle Mass. So that’s not great. I need to figure that out. Skeletal Muscle and Protein are slightly up, which is good.
They define Skeletal Muscle as
The ratio of muscle involved in the mechanical system of our limbs and other parts of the body.
This is exactly what I want to increase. Big biceps and quads are not what I’m after… they’ll only make me heavier which means I won’t be able to spend as long on hanging obstacles. I’m after functional fitness, so I want to increase the muscles that help me move. I’m kind of the opposite to a body builder in these goals.
The Bone Mass going down is a little concerning. I obviously need strong bones, there is a bit of impact in obstacle courses… so I need to obviously increase the foods in my diet that will help with that.
Overall I was hoping for better numbers, but I’m mostly trending in the right direction so I’m happy with that.
I missed one run on Good Friday…. and I did a treadmill run when the weather was so wet… and it pains me to say that I came in at 47.83kms for April. If I had gotten that run in on Good Friday I would have gotten over the 50kms for the month. Bummer!
Still, apart from being a little metric-obsessed, my endurance is coming along nicely.
I’m still very conscious about making sure that I don’t walk at all during my runs and my latest run on Friday was super solid. Not my fastest time but pretty close, and I seem to be finishing my runs a lot stronger than I used to (I’ve got energy left towards the end of the run so I can speed up) which I’m really super happy about.
Definitely want to get over that 50km stat for May!
I’m also working hill sprints into my routine. I did one session each week I think, and while they are still ridiculously hard… I think the last session was slightly less devastating, so I’m happy with that. The endurance gains are 100% going to come from the hill sprints over the longer runs. The longer runs are great for conditioning for me.
On Tuesday and Saturday this week I did 4 sets of:
- 10 24-inch box steps each leg
- 10 30-inch box jumps
- 15 calf raises
- 10 squat jumps
The 30 inch box jump is still brutal, but I feel like I’ve got more in me… so this week I’m hoping to get to a gym where they have lots of foam boxes with velcro… so you can create any height you want. I definitely feel far more adventurous taking on the foam boxes then potentially cracking my shins on my wooden box, so I’m keen to give that a try.
I changed from ‘deep squats’ to ‘squat jumps’ which is way harder and seems to work my endurance a lot more. Definitely need more jumping in my life if I’m going to compete on obstacle courses.
Definitely feeling stronger in this area. Still can’t do proper pull ups or chin ups yet, but again I’m trending in the right direction.
The modified pull ups I am doing (right is chin up grip – palm facing me and left is modified grip – palm facing away from me) is absolutely getting stronger.
I’ve been doing a Thursday workout and a Sunday workout and my body has been coping well with that load. I’ve been super consistent with getting these workout in. I kind of see my upper body workouts as the non-negotiable ones.
I’m still figuring out which exercises belong in the once-a-week grip strength workout and which ones belong in the twice-a-week upper body workout… but I’m really, really excited to be able to work in a grip strength session. This is where ninjas are made.
Again, I need to be careful with my left elbow, but I’ve absolutely noticed improvement in my grip strength in both hands. I think a big part of that is the farmer’s carry type exercises. My elbow won’t let me hang from things just yet… but carrying something heavy kind of works those same muscles, so it’s a great interim step.
I honestly can’t wait until I can start hanging from things.
I’m hoping to get a rock climbing session in this week. I don’t know how my golfer’s elbow is going to cope with it, I’ll take it easy.
My golfer’s elbow on my left arm has definitely been improving. I’m getting a good feel for the movements I can do and the movements I can’t… so it just hasn’t really flared up for a long time. It’s still there but definitely affecting my life a lot less.
I am finding that I do get headaches after my upper body sessions… and I think I’m doing something that my neck doesn’t like. I go back to the physical therapist in a couple of weeks so I’m going to get them to help me with it.
My lower back is still very much a thing… it might even be a little worse. I thought it was going really well there for a bit, but definitely for the last few days it’s been really unhappy… which of course makes me really uncomfortable… and limits my mobility a touch.
I think with my lower back, there’s no one movement or exercise that makes it unhappy, I think it might be a combo of things… so I kind of need to figure out what I can do and what I might need to avoid to keep it happy and healing and heading in the right direction.
All in all I’m happy where I’m up to in these first 4 weeks, and I’m excited to see where I get to next.
Thanks for reading my little Obstacle course training – week 4 post!
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