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Apothecary's Tough Mudder Prep

Discussion in 'Fitness Journals' started by Apothecary, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Apothecary

    Apothecary Elite Member
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    I haven't posted in a while but I have been doing well. Workouts are strong and diet is ok, but I have gained a little. I really need to lose about 10lbs of fat or so, but that is not what this journal is about.

    Up to now, my goal has been to simply lose weight and get my body transformed. That worked and although I have had a few backslides in diet they have all been manageable so far. As I enter my 49th year on this planet and look toward the big 5-0 I began to think about what I want to accomplish as it relates to my body. When I started this I approached it with an attitude I hoped would allow me to compete in a body building tournament of some kind. However that is just not going to happen. I started this way too late and just don't have the body type for something like that to be reasonable.

    Cardio events don't really appeal to me either. I love lifting weights but hate the slow mundane cardio. Then a friend told me about Tough Mudder. One look and I was hooked. This is what I want to do.

    So I rallied some people from work and we are approaching this as a team effort. I thought I would chronicle my journey here and may entice my co-workers to do the same.

    My goal is simple
    Complete the Tough Mudder competition on April 6/7, 2013.


    What I got goin' for me
    Despite the fact that I am not strong enough for this event, I am in a "zone" with my lifting so I know how to get there. My lifts are productive and my improvement in form over just the past 6 months is significant. There is a lot of work to do here but I have a real handle on that.

    What is working against me
    Cardio. I hate it. I can barely tolerate HIIT and have slacked-off on that for the past 6 months. My form while running is horrible. My knees hurt, my heart rate sucks. I essentially feel like Frankenstein when I run. This is the area where I really need to improve the most and I will need to do a lot of research to get there. Otherwise I will be crawling between obstacles.

    Flexibility. This is definitely my worst attribute. I will need to focus on a strict stretching routine outside of my workouts.

    Long Term Fitness Goals
    By March, I need to be able to do the following:

    • Complete their 5 circuit training program 3 times per week.
    • Run 15 miles per week.
    • Do 20 BW pullups over a series of sets with 30 second rests.




    So here I go. My journey starts today! :mad:
     
  2. Apothecary

    Apothecary Elite Member
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    Today I ran/walked for 35 minutes. My goal was to make 3 miles, but I fell short. I made it to 2.39 miles. I ran in cycles. When my heart rate hit 150 at 6mph, I walked at 3mph until my heart rate fell to 120. After about 24 minutes my knees hurt a little too much to keep going back to 6mph, so I walked the last 11 minutes at 3-4mph instead.

    Hopefully this run will not mess with tomorrows lifting too much. I will find out tomorrow when the alarm wakes me.
     
  3. leftyx

    leftyx Senior Member

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    Way to go. Congratulations on your starting a new program of exercise. That tough mudder really is.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2
     
  4. mastover

    mastover Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mike, I hate cardio as well. I never do any conventional cardio. If you've got the passion to do this, I have no doubt's you'll succeed. You have been a success in every other aspect of your life and remain an inspiration to many of us here. Just make sure to keep lifting and you'll trump your TM competition. :tu:
     
  5. Apothecary

    Apothecary Elite Member
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    Thanks Jordan and Aram. This will definitely be the hardest thing I have ever attempted. Both the training and the event itself.


    Today was a lift-day. I am on a 2-day split Push/Pull rotation (one day push, one day pull).

    Goal is 8 reps on lower, 10 reps on upper, 3 sets in perfect, slow form. When I hit max reps I increase the weight. Thirty second rests.

    Leg Press 4.5 plates each side: 8, 8, 7
    Bench Press 105lb: 10, 10, 8
    Squat 115lb: 8, 7, 6
    Machine Fly 140lb: 10, 8, 6
    Alternating Side Step-ups 20lb: 10, 10, 10 (sloppy for 2-3 final reps)
    Arnold Press 20lb DB: 10, 10, 8
    Hammer Calf Raises 110lb: 15, 12, 10
    Dips BW: 10, 10, 10 (add 10lbs next week)

    Yesterday's run did not impact the work. Sigh of relief there.
     
  6. Shamie

    Shamie Senior Member

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    I listen to a podcast "turbulence training". In one of the episodes (2nd most recent), he gave a great description of his Toughmudder experience in Denver. I attached the link. I did one in Pennsylvania, and his description was very accurate. The PA course was pretty hilly, but the Denver course was at a high elevation, but apart from that, his description made me feel like I was there again.

    http://www.turbulencetraining.com/tt.rss
     
  7. Apothecary

    Apothecary Elite Member
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    Awesome. Thanks. I will check it out.
     
  8. macdiver

    macdiver Well-Known Member
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    Regarding your knees and your form. These are classic symptoms of a heel impact. Try landing with your foot under you and on the front or mid part of you foot. Then lower your heel to the gound. Do not extend out your leg in front of you. This will lesson the impact on your knees by using your foot / calf to absorb it. There are a few options to learn this technique. Look into Chi running, Pose running, our my personal favorite - barefoot running (which is free unlike the others. It even does not need shoes). Google will give you more information. Try Googling Dr. Lieberman at Harvard for several studies on impact forces while running. Dr. Phil maffetone is another resource especially regarding heart rate training.

    Good luck. You'll do great:tucool:
     
  9. Apothecary

    Apothecary Elite Member
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    Yeah I have done some research and I know about heel-first impact. I struggle hard to make sure I land mid-foot. I can run on my toes but obviously that results in fatigue setting-in. I still have a lot to learn in this area. I will check out the two types you mention. I assume one is the "Falling" running and the other is the "Kicking" running?

    I will point out that after this last run, I don't think my knee pain was shock pain. I think it was more tendon fatigue. If I am right, that will get better as I run more. I had no lasting pain from the run, but walking a lot made the side of my knees mildly hurt as if I worked-out.
     
  10. Whoracle

    Whoracle Well-Known Member

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    I want to do the Tough Mudder in so cal next year myself. I really need to step my game up though to be ready. Good luck to both of us and hopefully we both make it :tucool:
     
  11. Apothecary

    Apothecary Elite Member
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    Yeah I have about 9 months to train and I will need all of it.

    Good luck to you too!
     
  12. Apothecary

    Apothecary Elite Member
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    To Kiev

    Off day today. Heading to Kiev. I am going to be stuck there until Sunday. Not looking forward to that. The hotel I have there (Premier Palace) has an awesome gym though. Better than the Intercontinental. Their DB's only go to 30 lbs. :)
     
  13. leftyx

    leftyx Senior Member

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    Kiev, Russia? Wow wish I could get stuck somewhere like that. :D

    Great that there is a good gym there too. :tu:
     
  14. BJ

    BJ Active Member

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    Just read thru your journal... I recently had the desire to complete a TM as well, but got sidetracked by a calf and shoulder injury. I do still want to complete one in the future. Where is the race that you are looking at? We are in the process of relocating to the Birmingham, AL area... just a couple hours from Atlanta. I will definitely be keeping up with your progress... and may begin being more focused on that end goal myself. Anyway... :gl:
     
  15. Apothecary

    Apothecary Elite Member
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    If you decide to go at the Dahlonega event and want company let me know. You are free to join us.
     
  16. Apothecary

    Apothecary Elite Member
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    Back in Atlanta

    Busy week in Kiev. I had to push both of my workouts by a day to accommodate the flight schedule but was able to get them both in. Even the the gym was decent, there were things missing that I couldn't do. For example, they had to barbell rack that you could use to do squats, so I settled for kettle squats using a DB instead. The step they had for my lateral step-ups was a little shorter than I am used to as well, making that a bit too easy. But I compensated by pushing hard on the other exercises that were better solved.

    Thurs - Pull (delta from last week)
    Assisted Pullup -55: 10, 8, 8 (+2)
    Romanian BB DL 165: 9(+1), 7, 7(+1)
    BB Bent over Row 105: 10, 10(+1), 10(+2)
    Hip Abduction 155: 12, 12, 12
    DB Lateral Raise 10: 10, 10(+2+), 10(+2)
    Lying Leg Raise BW: 12, 12, 10
    BB Curl 50: 10, 10, 10(+3)
    Decline Twist Ab Crunch 10: 12, 12, 12
    Shrug 145: 10, 10, 10

    I changed my form on DB Lateral Raise. Before I was doing a kind of butterfly motion for a full to 3/4 partial. I had gotten up to about 25lbs or so. However, I read on exrx.net that if your elbows are above your hands you are working your side delts, if your hands are higher you are working rear delts. I changed to elbows up and it literally feels like I am working a tiny little muscle that has never been worked. So back to 10lbs on that one. I am curious if anyone else has comments on that exercise.


    Sat - Push
    Leg Press 410: 8, 8, 8
    BB Bench Press 105: 10, 10(+1), 8
    Goblet Squat 50: 8, 8, 8
    Machine Fly 140: 10, 7, 6
    Lateral Step-up 20: 8, 8, 8
    Arnold Press 20: 10, 10, 8(+1)
    Hammer Calf Raise 110: 15, 15(+3), 12(+2)
    Dip BW: 10, 10, 10

    My chest presses are low weight, but very productive. The motion is slow and steady and I accomplish the full range. It has taken two years to get here. After a year of this i should see a LOT of improvement there.

    Diet on the trip was good. I avoided things like desert and eyeballed eating right. I beleive I lost a couple pounds. My Jeans were a tad looser by the end of the trip.
     
  17. Apothecary

    Apothecary Elite Member
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    Pull Day

    Today was Pull. The workout was good. Form was strong and I got some good increases.


    Pull-up BW: 2(fail), -55: 10, 9(+1), 8
    Romanian BB DL 165: 10(+1), 8(+1), 8(+1)
    BB Bent-over Row 115(+10): 10, 8(-2), 7(-3)
    Hip Abductor 150 3-sec hold: 12, 12, 10(-2)
    DB Lateral Raise 12.5(+2.5): 10, 8(-2), 8(-2)
    Lying Leg Raise BW: 12, 12, 12
    Bicep BB Curl 60(+10): 10, 9(-1), 7(-3)
    Plank w/Knee Raise BW: 8, 8, 8
    Shrug 2-sec hold 145: 12, 12, 10(-2)
    Side Plank 30sec, 30sec, 30sec

    I added BW pullups to the rotation. Getting that +1 increase was murder considering the 1.5 reps I did at BW. But I need to measure where I am improving in just BW so I added that to the front.

    The RDL's were tough but I wanted across the board increase there. That last rep of the last set was hard as hell. Going down for Rep 7 I decided in my mind it was the last one. However when I got back up I pushed it one farther. I am normally scared to push too far on this one for fear of my lower back rounding. However, I held good form on my back and the lift was true.

    The DB raises feel better already. I expect to get good increases there over the next several weeks.

    On Bicep Curls I switched to the big bar. My gym has the black 55lb sturdy bar, so I put to 2.5's on it to make 60. I have to say I felt a little silly lifting to baby plates, but I like using the big bar. It forces you to focus more on stability.

    Diet today was great. One more shake before bed and I bank a good clean day.
     
  18. leftyx

    leftyx Senior Member

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    Great day. Those RDLs are impressive. As are the BB rows. Don't worry about the pull-ups. Those will happen.
     
  19. Apothecary

    Apothecary Elite Member
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    Thanks Jordan. I really put working on BW pullups off for too long. Most of the reason is overcoming the embarrassment of failing on rep number 2. :o
     
  20. Apothecary

    Apothecary Elite Member
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    I decided to end a good day with a bang. I am heading into the basement to knock out a 10 minute HIIT on the treadmill.
     
    #20 Apothecary, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012

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