Tag Archives: HIIT

Belly Off 2008, week 8, Saturday challenge

Belly Off 2008 is done!

Unfortunately, I still have a belly so the project wasn’t as successful as you would imagine if you just read the title. Nevertheless, I”m OK with the progress I made.

I actually gained five pounds over the course of the program but I had two holidays thrown in there. That’s almost exactly what I gained over the same period of time last year. (You can take that for what it’s worth).

Today I did things a little different. I ran a half mile warm up lap and then did my bike intervals. After that I did the Power of 10 workouts twice for 30 seconds each. Then I finished with another half mile jog.

My final push up total was two sets of 15 each.

I made a lot of progress. On the first Saturday I did the Power of 10 once for 30 seconds and then managed a grand total of 5 pushups. I thought I was gonna die. If I went back and tried that workout today I bet I wouldn’t even break a sweat.


Belly Off 2008, week 8, day 1

Ehhh, I guess this lift was OK.

I added some weight in the deadlift and bench but I wasn’t able to finish the rest of the workout. I gave up on the lunges and I simply couldn’t do the intervals. I don’t know how anyone could do the HIIT after they’re really struggled with the deadlift.

Here are the numbers.

Deadlift (15×155, 12×165, 10×175)

I ended up starting too low. I thought I was doing 165 to start but after recaculating (after the set) I figured out that I was wrong. Even with the mistake I was still able to add 10 pounds to the end.

It might have been a good thing I didn’t figure out the weight right. The whole thing was tough. My legs were really beat down afterwards.

Bench (10×145, 10×150, 10×150)

I managed to add 10 pounds by the end. That’s pretty good. I didn’t have too much trouble until the last rep of the last set. Maybe all those pushups I’ve been doing are making a difference here.

Reverse lunge (5×25)

I did five reps and then my knees started hurting. I bailed after that.


I managed to do the five minute warm up and about 15 seconds in the first round before I stopped. Just didn’t feel like I could go on.

Belly Off 2008, week 7, Saturday challenge

Good workout.

The Men’s Health site has already flipped over to a new workout for 2009 so I’m gonna have to finish these last two challenges on memory. I’m sure that I did it right this time.

The intervals were the same as last time. To be honest, they didn’t seem as tough. I don’t know why. My legs weren’t burning as much as last week. I don’t know if that’s because I took an extra day off or if I’m just in better shape.

Did the power of 10 twice again. First round was 30 seconds and the second round was 20 seconds. I’m still unable to do the iso squat holds for the entire time. I did the first round with two 15 second sets. The second one was two 10 second sets.

I did 9 push ups in the first round and 10 in the second. That’s an increase of one overall but the first round was a lot lower then last time. I guess this is still good. I’ve had more energy in the end so I got a lot better on the second try.

Belly Off 2008, week 7, day 1

I have mixed feelings about today’s workout.

On the one hand I made some big increases. On the other hand I wasn’t able to finish all the reps towards the end. I guess, on the whole, I’m happy that I finally sucked it up and added some weight to my lifts.

If anything, today’s lift reinforced for me the fact that I haven’t been giving my all in the gym for a long time. I’ve been using my back pain as an excuse. I’ve basically been going to the gym and doing  just enough to be a little uncomfortable and calling it a day.

It’s almost like I go to the gym just to get my ticket punched. Unfortunately, even perfect attendance doesn’t produce results. You have to really work hard or you don’t get anything for your trouble.

Here are the numbers.

Deadlift (15×145, 12×155, 10×165)

I added 10 pounds on all three sets with no back problems. That’s huge. I’m really proud that I finally made the decision to get serious about adding weight. To be perfectly honest, after today’s lift I realize I can still do a lot more here. I probably need to be smart about adding weight, though, and not go too crazy. Still, I’ve been lifting weights consistently for almost three years now. There’s really no excuse for my numbers to be this low.

Bench (10×140, 10×140, 10×140)

I’ve got some kind of mental block on the bench press. I’m convinced that I’m gonna put too much on and I’m gonna get crushed by the bar. I’ve never really made a serious effort here. In fact, I spent most of the past few years hating on the bench press.

I added 5 pounds from the very start. I’ve got a big note in my journal from last week saying that the last set was “TOUGH.” I basically ignored it and added weight anyway. That’s probably my only choice. It was no tougher then last week. It turns out that my arms and shoulders work just like the rest of my body. When you force them to lift more weight they can do it.

In my head I know I can lift more but I just can’t seem to put that thought into action. I guess it’s just gonna take me forcing myself to add weight to get it done.

Reverse lunge (6×25, 3×25, 3×25)

I went up 5 pounds (10 – if ya want to get technical) and went with the 25’s. In retrospect, probably a bad move. I was so pumped to have added weight in the other two lifts that I figured I might as well go for gold. I couldn’t get close to 10 reps on any of the sets.

I kind of felt like that guy in the movie Tin Cup who refuses to lay up on the last hole but instead just keeps swinging for the green. After the first set it was perfectly clear that I had nothing left. I figured I’d rest and give it a try again. Even worse result. The third was just as big of a disaster. I still want to try the 25’s again next week. Just on principle.


I had zero in me at this point. I couldn’t even get past the five minute warm up. That’s two weeks in a row not finishing these.

Belly Off 2008, week 6, Saturday challenge

This was the hardest challenge yet.

I think I deserve a cookie for getting this one done today. My gym closes at 6pm on Sundays so I had to go earlier then usual. Instead of enjoying the 4pm NFL games, like the rest of America, I was sweating it out in the gym. I missed the epic Dallas Cowboy beatdown that I’m sure everyone I know will be talking about.

This workout was a little bit different. Instead of 10 rounds of 30 seconds on, 60 seconds off on the bicycle it changed to 5 rounds of 15 seconds on, 45 seconds off. I can say without question that the one I did today was a LOT harder. Since I only had 5 rounds I was able to go much harder on all of them. The final one was the most difficult 15 seconds I’ve experienced in the gym that I can remember.

After the cycling I moved on to the Power of 10. This time I had to do two sets. The first one involved doing all 10 for 30 seconds. After a little rest I had to do it again for 10 seconds.

I did 13 push ups in the first round and 5 in the second.

I can’t believe how tired and sore I am right now.

Belly Off 2008, week 5, Saturday challenge

I did this one on Saturday. This is the one I was supposed to do last week but skipped for whatever reason.

This workout involved the usual 10 intervals on the bike with 30 seconds on and 1 minute off. The power of 10 workouts were moved up to 30 seconds each.

This was without question the toughest Saturday challenge yet. I was spent after the intervals. I somehow managed to push through the power of 10 workouts for the most part but I simply couldn’t hold either of the split squat iso holds for the full time. I had to stop at 15 seconds and then do the other 15 seconds after a quick rest.

I ended up doing 12 push ups which is an increase of one. That being said, I wasn’t happy with my form on these. I think they were passable but they certainly weren’t nose to ground like I’d like them to be. I think I was so tired at this point that I didn’t even believe that I could do 12. When I did do them I ended up feeling bummed that I didn’t give it more effort.

Belly Off 2008, week 5, day 1

Yesterday was my first day in my new gym. It took a while to get the lay of the land but I found everything I needed without many problems.

A big change I made was upgrading my notebook. I’ve been using one the size of my palm forever now. Now I’ve got one almost as large as a regular notebook. I’m not even trying to hide it. The change made making notations a lot easier. Now I can make more detailed notes along with my numbers. I think that will help me decide when It’s time to add weight.

To be perfectly honest, it’s been time to add weight for a long time. I didn’t this time since everything was so new. Every weight I did was exactly the same as week 4.

Here are the numbers.

Deadlift (15×125, 12×130, 10×135)

This gym doesn’t have 10 pound bumper plates. They told us that we can throw the weights on the ground as hard as we want so I guess they figure they don’t need them. I was forced to use 35’s as a base. We didn’t have 35’s at the old gym so I was thrilled to see them there but it made me have to reach a little further down then I’d like to pick up the bar.

I only have one notation on my notebook – “easy.” That should pretty much sum it up. I need to start with 135 next time. That will solve all my issues here.

Bench (10×135, 10×135, 10×135)

The first two sets were pretty easy but the last one was tough. I’m glad I didn’t get overconfident because it would have been embarrassing to scream for help on my first day.

Reverse lunge (10×20, 10×20, 10×20)

These were as tough as usual. I’d like to note that while I was holding my 20 pound dumbbells the guy beside me was deadlifting 500 pounds FOR REPS! I still can’t believe it. Never seen anything like it.


Tough as always. I had thoughts of quitting early on but figured that since I’ve come this far there’s no point in stopping.