4 weeks of hard training

4 weeks of hard training is coming to an end tomorrow! These past weeks have been quite hard and in the beginning I had pretty hard time with DOMS, but after purchasing the foam roller and really focusing on my stretching and muscle maintenance, it hasn’t been that big of a deal.

These four weeks have been consisted of 4-5 workouts per week, including two intense CrossTraining workouts and 2 Tabata workouts plus one longer workout with a recovery in mind. And the results?

Yesterday I hit the gym and I had a pull-workout planned: deadlifts, romanian deadlifts, box jumps, flutter kicks, pull-ups and abmat-abs. The day before I was thinking about the weights what my max would be, and yesterday I nailed them! 5×2 (5 rounds, 2 reps) deadlift at 120 kg (264 lbs) – nailed it! I figured that my one rep max could be somewhere between 140-150, but being able to do five rounds with that particular weight – I was very pleased. Also at the same time I did my record time with that workout plus managed to increase my max pull-ups (with a band) so far – the first pull-up without a rubber band is coming up nicely, you’ll see!

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Hands shaking, skin torn, sweat on the floor = workout complete!

Overall these 4 weeks have taught me quite a few things: hard work truly pays off and that I really, really love CrossTraining. It pushes me to my full potential and there’s no question I wouldn’t hit my goals.

Also during these past two weeks a certain question has been popping up: why do I train and who do I train for? I train for myself and I train because I want to be fit – not just now, but 50 years from now.

Next week I’ll be taking it easy at the gym, recovery and muscle maintaining is very much needed and I’ll be focusing on my weight lifting techniques.

Take care guys!

-Joni-

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Midsummer festivities and trainings

This weekend has been all about celebrating the midsummer and the beginning of the summer. For me it started with a work day yesterday and when I was done with that, we wen’t to my in-laws for an amazing dinner and had a good time all together. It has been pretty hard at work so a little pause did the trick.

Today I resumed my training regime and headed to the gym to do my pull-workout routine. I was pleased when I added more weights than last week and double the amount to two weeks ago and still managed to improve my time by almost 25 min. And yes – I was beat afterwards; hands shaking, little light headed and tired. Never the less – the best feeling in the world!

I’m waiting forward hitting tomorrows TABATA and monday will be all about refueling for the next week as I’ll focus on muscle-care (stretching and mobility) with the help of our CrossTraining coach.

Take it easy guys!

Scheduling and hard work.

This June has been quite month for me. I’ve managed to get 4 workouts per week and now it feels like it’s time to add fifth workout to the schedule – but to do this wisely. My weeks have consisted of 2-3 CrossTraining workouts and rest days plus one additional longer cardio exercise. Now this week I’ll add something to the list.

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Post-workout meal.

I’ve decided to do our CrossTraining teams scheduled push- and pull workout routines once a week, 2 x Tabata and adding one recovery exercise, most likely biking for 45-90 min to the week. I’ll do this routine for 3 weeks now and then I’ll take a week off. Well not ‘off’ but will take it easy, train my weight lifting techniques, stretch, take care of my muscles etc. I think that this 4 weeks hard work + 1 week recovering is a good tempo, we’ll see eventually.

This week I’ve been really pushing it, thriving to be better with every rep. It’s funny, because at the beginning of the year I found myself quite easily cheating on my reps, but not anymore. I keep hearing our head coaches voice in my head: “tight package! bum backwards! open you’re chest!”. This is great, because when you cheat, you risk injuring yourself.

Today I have the day off from work and like usually when I’d have the time to sleep in, I woke up at 5:20 am. Hit the gym at 7:00 am and did my TABATA routine there, was absolutely pumped afterwards. Now, I’m going to chill the rest of the day and tomorrow will bike for a nice stretch.

Take care guys!

-Joni-

Keep on rollin’

It has been quite successful week what comes to training. Meal planning (which is pretty free, because it’s summer), workouts and recovery have all been going well. It comes to mind that even too well? Could it be that I’m starting to get into the rhythm again? Maybe not, but let’s enjoy the idea while it lasts 🙂 

Last week I got some not-so-good news from the doctor, my broken toe has been bothering me and it seems that there is some breakage in the joint, which will probably need an operation at some point, but not now. Well this will not slow me down, I’m going to do the exercises I can and keep myself from running. This will be quite easy because I love my new bike 🙂

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This week starts off with a rest day, yesterday it was all about blasting workouts with static components in between, really nice workout, although my toe was against it. I have made the decision to ride my bike to the gym and back, whether it rains or not, this will give me a good warm-up and starts the recovery process nicely so I can do my foam rolling and stretching at home later on.

The plan for the week is to do 4-5 exercises which include push and pull strength, 2 x TABATA and one longer bike ride with recovery in mind. More about these later on the week.

This weekend we have a great holiday here in Finland, called the midsummer or in Finnish: Juhannus. This traditionally means good food, company and partying (the Finnish way), it’s awesome!

Please do comment what do you like about the blog, all comments are most welcome!

-Joni-

T to the A to the B to the…

I guess some of you guessed that I’m going to talk a bit about TABATA. I did my first exercise today and it blew me away, totally.

TABATA sounded a little bit weird at first, but I’ll admit, all the presumptions are gone now to the trash and I’m loving this. The basic idea of this training is to amp up your muscle growth and endurance, boost your metabolism and fat burn. The best thing about this is that the workouts don’t take that long. But you’ll work your *ss off. Guaranteed.

Basically it goes like this: first you start with a warm-up, 2-5 min then you start doing cardio e.g. rowing machine, stationary bike for 4 minutes by doing intervals: 20 sec max and 10 sec recovery. So in total you’ll get 8 x 20 sec max and 8 x 10 sec recovery. You can choose to do 2-3 different moves/machines with the same interval, total work-out time being around 20 min.

For me, I started with the rowing- machine for 5 min and then moved to TABATA, rested 3 min and did TABATA on a skiing machine, then a 2 minute recovery just by walking. I was exhausted at first but the muscles started burning just as I hit the car and I felt the pump. Amazing! I don’t suggest you doing this every day but 2-3 times a week sounds good to me.

And also this is CRITICAL! If you have a heart condition or any other basic illness contact your medical physician before attempting TABATA. Your HR (heart rate) will blow through the roof doing this exercise, it’s very intense so be careful not to break yourself!

btw, I decided that next year I’m trying to get my self into shape to compete in a Triathlon, we’ll see what happens. All the tips for this are most welcome 🙂

Take care guys and work hard!

Healthy food an investment worth your money?

Most definitely. I’ve noticed that food prices have been getting up in Finland for some time now. Each time the same question comes to mind: why local food is more expensive than the stuff that comes from a whole different continent? I know the answer isn’t all black and white, nor is it simple to answer to.

Never the less, I’ve grown a mentality, that every single dollar, euro or even yen you spend on healthy food is money well spent. With vegetables, fresh meat, fish and chicken products you are investing into yourself and into a better you. My friend used to say that money is an old invention and they print it more every day.

Cooking healthy isn’t rocket science. In my experience color is the key. When you have 3-4 different colors on your plate, you can’t go wrong. Green, red, orange, brown, white, yellow, pink. Those are the first colors that come to mind for me. Here’s an easy dish I prepared the other day:

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Colorful – isn’t it? This is an easy salad to make. Start by cooking your chicken. I used good quality chicken without marinade, all natural. Chopped it to small bites, cooked it with oil, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and tarragon. Season to taste would come in mind :). When your chicken is cooked, let it lie for a minute. Wash your vegetables – I used cucumber, tomatoes and paprika on this one, which gives it a nice solid foundation. There are tons of different salads to choose from and I suggest you try them out! Then I chopped all of my veggies to edible size. Finally I started putting up the salad, veggies first, then some nice low-fat mozzarella, chicken and to top it off with some nice sweet and sour sauce (yeah I know this isn’t actually diet food, but seriously – this tasted soooo good :). Healthy, nice looking and tasty! You can change the salad easily by changing the chicken to something else, like fish, meat, ham… you name it!

The cost? Around 10 €. 3-4 portions. Time to make: 15-20 min. Worth it: definitely.

-Joni-

Milestone achieved.

Today was my weigh-in day. I made a promise to myself that if I’d be able to lose 20 kg, I’d buy myself a new bike. Well, I purchased the bike last week and today I reached that -20 kg! So I can be happy with my new bike. But will this be enough? No way.

I set a new goal today, -30 kg in February 2014. This is totally achievable.

What I’ve learned from our CrossTraining workouts is that the mind wins over matter, when you’re fully concentrated and willing, you’ll get that one more rep out of you. Also in general my new way of life has given me more determination and in general I feel good, better than in years – and this is just the beginning.

After a weeks training of CrossTraining I already understand the effects what will become of those intensive training sessions. Strength, agility, endurance and speed all in the same package. I’ve also adapted a new way of thinking about my looks – I don’t care if I have a six pack or not, I just want to be able to do 20 pull-ups – when I’m 80. Being fit comes first, looks second. Luckily they tend to walk hand in hand (haha).

Tomorrow I have the day off from work and feeling a slight DOMS after yesterdays workout, but not as much as I feared, maybe thanks to the foam roll I purchased, it’s so cool. I’m getting tomorrow some more results from my doctor, regarding my broken toes. I’ll found out how long I have to hold myself from running, but luckily I got that new bike.

Take care guys and train hard!

-Joni-