Body Building Program | Review and Progress
I was watching a YouTube video recently about ways you can ensure you are making progress in the gym. One of the suggestions was to switch up your training routine every now and then to shock your body and avoid hitting a plateau.
It's quite likely I had hit that point.
I headed to bodybuilder.com and checked out their female training plans. Contrary to popular belief, this site is not only for people who want to be ripped, Arnie looking athletes. I was super impressed that they had an entire 16 week program, including five workouts per week.
And the best bit is, it's free.
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post. When I find something cool that I like, I get pretty excited.
The box jumps to start really threw me off. I had never done them before and was pretty uncertain about my ability. I did alright but was puffed. I wouldn't recommend if you have bad knees.
I started doing the single leg lunges with a barbell but found it hard to balance the weight, so I ended up switching to a kettlebell. The hip thrusts and calf raises were cool. I'm surprised that in two years I had never done any calf work.
I finished off with the 20 minutes 'jogging'. I wasn't sure that I was able to jog. That probably sounds weird, but I had never done it before. I started off power walking. I was surprised that I could get up to 6.8 still powerwalking. But it hurt my calves too much so I decided to give the jogging a go.
And lo and behold, I survived!
The medicine ball chest pass to start off was relatively easy but gets your arms nice and warmed up. Next it's on to five sets of five pushups which in my opinion, are deceptively hard.
The chest version of dips I knew I was going to die from, so instead I opted to do triceps pushups with legs extended. They target a different muscle, but hurt all the same.
The next two exercises I modified. Instead of doing flat bench cable fly's, I opted to do them on an incline and with dumbbells. The lying dumbbell triceps extension I did with a barbell because I feel that it's easier to control.
Finish off again with 20 minutes on the treadmill and each time I do it, I increase my jogging time. By the second week of this program, I was able to walk fast for 6 minutes and jog for the other 14.
Seems simple but your chest aches the next day...or at least mine does.
Day three is simply 20 minutes jogging on the treadmill. Man my cadio health has never been this good.
(Note: I skipped this in week four. I had been sick for a couple of days and the thought of jogging was making my brain go fuzzy. Listen to your body.)
A back and biceps day. Woohoo, I never thought I would be interested in getting a toned back, but man, they are hot!
Warm up was single arm kettlebells swings- simple but you feel the burn. The 5x5 for the day was RDL's. These are literally my favourite exercise, the pull on the hamstrings feels soooooo good and really, who doesn't want fab looking hammies?
Next up is 3x10-12 of wide grip Lat pulldown followed by bent over barbell row and incline dumbbell curl. I realised with the bent over barbell row, my form had been off and corrected it by placing my legs shoulder width apart with a slight bend at the knee and tried to get my back resembling a table-top. Not only did this make the movement feel more natural but I could feel it better also.
Form has been a big thing for me. Since I'm not a PT and I'm still pretty new to fitness, I find looking at pictures and videos of correct form very helpful. Performing the movements in a slow and controlled manner is also really important.
Finish up with, you guessed it, 20 minutes jogging on the treadmill. Man, I never knew that body builders liked jogging so much! I certainly don't!
The final day is a shoulder and abs day. I hate abs (to clarify, I love having toned abs, just hate working for them). Warm up set is 20 medicine ball rotational throws. Since I have no walls in the gym to actually throw a ball at, I have altered it so that I'm keeping the rotating movement but having the ball remain in my hands. Gotta improvise!
The 5x5 set is a standing dumbbell press. Love it! The next exercise also targets the shoulders and is 3x10-12 face pull's. These feel kinda awkward, particularly at the wrists.
The next two exercises are both core focused. Three sets of 20sec planks followed by 3x10-12 bottoms up. I had to Google this because I had NO idea what it was. Turns out it's just a reverse crunch where you raise your legs up and down, lifting your bottom at the top. Finish off with that much loved 20mins on the treadmill.
My first four weeks are now completed.
I don't really feel different and I'm not sure if I look different. I really wish that I had of taken progress pictures at the start to show my transformation. But I will endeavour to take some now so that I can track changes from here on out.
I can't say that this is the most EXCITING program, but t's certainly achievable and the fact that it happens to be free is another plus in my book.
Keep following along to hear my thoughts n the next four weeks and beyond.
Don't forget to follow me on social media: Instagram @evolveliving_blog and YouTube Carly Morton