Smashing Another Week
Another week down. It seems like I was just writing about the last one. It flew by before I realized it. My 30-day challenge to work out (and eat) like Chris Hemsworth is certainly not getting any easier. Since starting this challenge, my body has been adapting well to the training.
2. Special Conditions for the Week
3. My Week at a Glance
4. Saturday (Day 16)
5. Sunday (Day 17)
6. Monday (Day 18)
7. Tuesday (Day 19)
8. Wednesday (Day 20)
9. Thursday (Day 21)
10. Friday (Day 22)
11. Takeaways from Week 3
12. Week 3 Results
13. The Plan for Next Week
Special Conditions for the Week
This week is mostly straightforward. There was the last deload day included but aside from that, there were no special conditions to be considered in the training plan. The meal plan has remained at about 4 dinners cooked with the leftovers being eaten on the other nights/days of the week.
My Week at a Glance
My appetite has still been insane this week. I feel like I spend half the day eating right now. My daily calorie burn has still been pushing close to 1/3 of what I should be eating every day.
I liked how it worked out with adding more leftover nights into my meal plan the prior week. I took stock of what I still had left from week 2 and planned out my meals and portions to ensure I would have enough leftovers to cover the week. The best part about these leftovers has been that they have tasted just as good reheated as when they were first cooked!
It has not been mentioned previously but I perform all of my workouts in my home gym. This has proven easier for me in most cases than having to get out of bed and go somewhere else to work out. I do not have all the machines that another gym may have but most of those exercises are easily replaced with free weight variations. Here is a picture of what my home gym setup looks like currently.
Saturday (Day 16)
Much like the previous Saturdays, I started with an intense HIIT/HIRT session led by Luke Zocchi. These sessions are tough but I have come to enjoy them. On my training track, these are the only sessions that show the trainer performing the exercises in "real-time". The rest of the videos I have experienced on the strength training track have been looped demonstrations of the exercise.
This is even true for Da Rulk's workouts which have encouraging voiceovers but are still looped videos of him performing the movements. Never seeing him do the workout makes me wonder if Da Rulk can finish a Da Rulk workout sometimes. I got side-tracked a little bit there...
The Zocchi workout was followed up as usual by some bonus training from Michael Olajide Jr. These bonus training sessions have a heavy focus on boxing moves. The one for today also included jump rope work. It did not go well. I spent most of the time trying to figure out how I managed to hit my feet every time. The rest of the time involved cursing our basement ceiling for being so low... or at least it seemed low.
The meal tonight was Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi with Puttanesca. It was one that I decided I would make extra portions so the kids could have some as well. Those extra portions made it take forever to finish. So long in fact, that the kids were just about to go to bed by the time we finished making it. The meal itself was delicious and I had gnocchi leftovers for days after which was the plan.
Following that, I pushed through my last deload workout which focused on my chest. The next evening workout would be a full workout again.
Sunday (Day 17)
Sundays have been foundation training and rest days so far and I continued that today. I still did the foundation training but did not do any other training. I think this was the first day without some form of strength training since I started. I needed the rest though to regain some strength.
The rest day carried over into my dinner plan as well. I had one of my leftovers and called it a day.
Monday (Day 18)
Back to smashing Torre Washington workouts. Today focused on my core, legs, lower body and upper body.... so a lot of areas. This workout did not seem particularly tough. The toughest part was trying to wake up in the morning and get moving. I still stay up too late...
I learned how to julienne an apple in today's lunch adventure. Today's lunch was an apple, walnut and celery salad. It seemed a bit sweet for my taste.
This was another meatless Monday so Ricotta & Zucchini Polpette was up on my planner. This was another meal that I made 2 extra portions of. I thought the kids would eat one. I was wrong as this one took a long time to make with the extra portions as well. I do not have any pictures of this one unfortunately but I could not get my polpette to solidify. I am not sure if that is how they were supposed to be, but I had to cook the rest in batches as it did not all fit in the pan. If I had attempted to put more, they would have all run together.
My evening workout was brutal and focused on shoulders. I powered through it like usual. I felt the after-effects the next morning. My prior strength training only really focused on shoulders once a week. With the combination of my evening workouts and the scheduled morning workouts, my shoulders have been getting worked over. This isn't a bad thing though. I have been seeing definite improvements in my shoulders.
Tuesday (Day 19)
I woke up to very sore shoulders from Monday's workouts. I ate a quick breakfast of spiced rhubarb compote with granola while looking over the workouts for the day. Please let there be no shoulder work, Please let there be no shoulder work...
As if I should be so lucky. First up was strength training with Torre like most mornings. The targetted areas for today are my arms, back, chest and of course, shoulders. No rest for the wicked today it seems. The workout was not overly difficult and my shoulders did loosen up as I progressed. Maybe tomorrow they will get a break.
Today was a bonus workout day as well. My bonus prize being a 10 minute Da Rulk workout. In comparison to other workout routines by Rulk, this one seemed about on par. It was only 10 minutes but was still plenty to leave me gasping for air on the floor with jelly legs by the end.
I made a delicious banana peanut butter smoothie to recover and continued with the rest of my day. There would be no evening workout as I had another commitment to attend.
Wednesday (Day 20)
The only workout that terrifies me is here. That's right, I started the day with a 46-minute functional training session with Da Rulk. I am starting to think I will never fully adapt to Rulk's sessions. It seems like his workout is designed to weed out and eliminate the weak. Darwinism at its finest. This is the one session that kills me. I have found that I did seem to be able to go a little longer before taking a short rest this time. There is hope for the future... the distant future.
Dinner was beef fajitas with salsa. The salsa had a good amount of jalapenos in it which my wife did not appreciate. She ended up scrambling for water after tasting it. I, on the other hand, did not even really notice the spice. It was good salsa but not spicy by my standards. I planned it out to have one extra portion for Friday night when I would need some leftovers.
Even though I could not get the right size tortillas, I was very happy with how these turned out. With some fresh fuel, I then set out to do my evening workout. It was arm day and this workout is one that sets my arms on fire by the end. Regardless, I smashed the workout Another day in the books. I wrapped up the day with my daily meditation session as I laid down for bed.
Thursday (Day 21)
This was a rough morning waking up. I adjusted my alarm to get up at 5:30 about a week prior. This was to make my breakfast, eat and get my morning workout in before the chaos of getting the kids ready for the day. It was a slow start on this day.
The morning workout for the day was more strength training with Torre Washington. The focus was on my back, chest, shoulders (never a break...), and upper body. It was a tough one and required taking 10 lbs off my barbell incline presses. The routine had more reps per set than in the past. That pushed the last few reps into unsafe territory at the current weight. That said, I completed this workout without too much difficulty. That is not to say that it was easy, it still was challenging and required pushing myself.
For lunch, I went with my fallback meal of a Korean Lunch Bowl. This one is easy to make and requires several ingredients that I often still have laying around. After that, I tried something different and did my nightly workout. Those usually run shorter than the morning ones and I still had time on my lunch to power through it.
The workout of choice for this session was the 2nd of the bonus workouts by Chris Hemsworth and Luke Zocchi. This one focused heavily on the upper body. It was 6 sets of 6 reps of 6 exercises again just like the previous week. What made this even more interesting was that it included combination lifts like a bicep curl to a shoulder press. As each exercise is supposed to be completed in sequence without rest, I chose a very moderate weight of only 45 lbs this time around. For some of the exercises, it felt too light. It was a tradeoff between being able to maintain good form for all the exercises and provide enough weight. I opted for maintaining good form as higher weight is no good if your form is poor (or you can't complete the set).
Dinner was leftovers so nothing exciting there and I completed the day with my daily meditation session.
Friday (Day 22)
TGIF! Lucky Friday the 13th. Another day of dragging in the morning. I need to work on getting to bed earlier. Too much to do every day and way too little time to do it.
Another Torre Washington strength training workout greeted me this morning. I have gotten very familiar with our daily get-togethers at this point and mostly know what to expect. Friday's tortured areas of choice include my arms, core, legs and lower body. Wait... did I read that wrong? A break for my shoulders? I don't know how I will be able to face the rest of the day!
All joking aside, I plowed through this session without too much difficulty. However, I did underestimate glute bridges with a barbell. My buns of steel were not quite as steel-like as I thought. I ended up having to drop down from 95 lb to 75 lb after the first set. The first 12 reps quickly showed me that 95 lb would be too much for the remaining rounds of my workout. This was the only exercise that gave me any real difficulty. I had a bonus workout from Bobby Holland Hanton to complete as well but with how slow I was I ran out of time before starting it.
That was alright, I had plenty of time during lunch to complete the bonus workout. My lunch was leftovers so there was next to no time used getting it ready. After that, I got changed and set out to finish the bonus workout. The bonus workout was a challenge and showed me many new ways to use medicine balls. This workout is supposed to only take 20 minutes. It took me 36 minutes or so to get through all 5 rounds of exercises.
It left me sweating buckets as can be seen from the glisten in this picture. My heart rate also was near maxing out by the end of this session.
We had company over during dinner so I ended up having leftover fajitas from Wednesday. This also meant no evening workout. I was too exhausted anyway and ended up going to bed earlier for a change once everyone left. I listened to my daily meditation while winding down from the day.
Takeaways from the Week
Making a couple of extra servings of meals I knew I would like paid off. It allowed me to get more downtime from cooking over the week. However, it came with a sizeable cost in increased time preparing those meals. In particular, it led to a couple of recipes needing to be done in batches. This led to some amount of uncertainty. I will take this into account going forward so that I can plan my prep and cooking times better.
I also got around to making some protein bars from the snack recipes in the Centr app. They were much better than the first time I tried making them. I had some trouble with the ingredients being too sticky but was about to get around it. Ultimately, I had enough snacks to last most of the week even though my son kept trying to steal them. I am also not entirely positive that I am eating enough still even though it feels like I am always eating.
Final Results of the Week
I ended up losing a little more weight again. This came with a body fat percentage decrease as could be expected. Since I am on the strength training program, weight loss does make me worry that I am still not eating enough. I had thought I was eating a surplus by my numbers may be a little low.
Aside from that, muscle definition has continued to increase. I have also been feeling stronger, even though my body seems to be in a constant state of repair with all the punishment I have been throwing at it.
From a cooking standpoint, I still need to work on speeding things up. Meals that say they should take 20 - 30 minutes to make seem to take me 2 hours to get ready. The prep work takes forever for me!
You may be wondering where the pictures are, but I have purposely decided not to post before and after pictures every week. I did for the first check-in. The next time I will post the pictures will be the next post which should be the final one in this series. For those wondering, I have taken pictures in between but have not even put them together myself to compare. I will wait to see the final results until shortly before everyone reading these posts.
The next 8 days
The final stretch in my 30 Day Chris Hemsworth Fitness Challenge is coming up. There will be 8 days covered instead of 7. I have picked out my meals for the week and am set to power through and finish strong.
Check back in next week for the final update!
Related: Starting down a new path on my fitness journey | Trying Chris Hemsworth's Fitness Routine, 30 Day Chris Hemsworth Fitness Challenge - Week 2 Checkin, 30 Day Chris Hemsworth Fitness Challenge - Day 30 Check-In