20 – 10 Week Challenge

So, yesterday after work, Don and I began our 10-week strength training program.  He found it in the book You Are Your Own Gym.  Mark Lauren, the author and former Navy SEAL, believes that building muscle is more important and more beneficial than cardio.  Unlike cardio, when you build muscle, your muscle continues to burn calories long after your workout.  So, after reading the book, Don was totally on board with this idea.  After reading just a couple chapters, I was, too.

We decided to start with just the beginner’s 10-week program and then move to the other levels after that.  Weeks 1 and 2 are focused on arms, legs, and core.  Last evening we did the following:

Inclined/Elevated Pushups

With this and all of the exercises for Weeks 1 and 2, we set a clock for 7 1/2 minutes and do, what the author calls, ladders.  Do one pushup, rest for the length of one pushup.  Do two pushups, rest for the length of two pushups.  And so on.  Go up in your reps as high as you can and then work your way back down.  If the 7 1/2 minutes isn’t up yet, work up another ladder and continue until the time is completed.  I swear, even just this will take it out of you.  But then, onto the next exercise.

Let Me Ins

This, just like the previous exercise, is done for 7 1/2 minutes in ladder form.  As you can see in the picture to the left, you hold onto the door knob in the position shown and pull yourself up.  This one will kick your ass.  Don had a hard time with this one because his feet kept slipping on our basement floor.  I did my set after him and found that it works better if you press your feet against the door.  It helps keep your balance, too.  This also works your quads on top of working your arms.  After 7 1/2 minutes, move onto the next one.

Tricep Dips

This is an exercise that’s pretty common.  As with the others, do these for 7 1/2 minutes in ladder form.  Since this is the beginner’s program, the author said to keep your legs bent and not straight out like the picture.  Either way, it’ll rip you up.  Don said he got to the point to where he could only do sets of one.  Then again, he didn’t bend his legs and pushed himself pretty hard.  And today his triceps are really hurting him.  I, on the other hand, made sure to do at least sets of two.  But I also kept my legs bent and still had a struggling time of it.  And finally, onto the last exercise.

Let Me Ups

This is the best picture I could find, but it basically shows what the exercise is.  It’s like a pull up with your feet on the ground.  Since we are doing the beginner’s program, our legs should be bent.  I’m so weak, that I couldn’t even get my butt off the floor.  I was only lifting half of my body weight.  But, once again, this exercise is done for 7 1/2 minutes in ladder form.  When I was finished, I thought I was going to die.  Seriously.  I felt like I was going to puke.

Don and I are both pretty encouraged by how much of workout we got in just 30 minutes.  It was kind of funny for the rest of the evening because we were having a hard time lifting our forks to eat dinner.  But honestly, we’re pretty excited to see what’s going to happen in the next 10 weeks.  Tonight’s workout is for legs and core.  I’m going to be hurting tomorrow!

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