PHA Diary: Week 1

  

Last week I blogged about PHA training after reading a book by the celebrity personal trainer Matt Roberts.  I signed off by agreeing to put my money where my mouth is and try out a PHA training plan for myself.  So, I’ve just completed my first week on the plan (4 workouts) and have followed it as closely as I can in order to give you a true picture of what it’s like.

I set up my little circuit in a quiet corner of the gym (The workout doesn’t require much just a step, 1 pair of light dumbells and an abs ball so no waiting around for equipment /machines to become free and very easy to adapt to do at home.)  The moves are simple ones; press ups, squats, lunges, leg lifts, lat raises, reverse flys, shoulder press and abs crunch and are repeated and mixed up into a circuit, alternating between upper and lower body moves. There are also step-ups/jog-ups thrown in at random places for extra cardio.  I have attached a copy of the plan to this post.

Workout 1: I felt very motivated about having a new plan to follow.  I like to mix up my training every couple of months and this came at the right time.  I followed the plan to the letter (or so I thought, see Day 3) and completed it in just under 40 minutes.  It was reasonably difficult and I did get hot and breathless when doing the step-jogs but at the end I felt that I could do a bit more – I like to be exhausted and flat out on the mats when I finish training!  With the exception of reverse flys and shouder press, I used only my bodyweight for the resistance exercises.  Ordinarily I would use quite heavy weights or plyometrics when training my legs so this might be why it felt a little easy.  Anyway it’s only day 1…

Workout 2:  I added a light bodybar for the squats and lunges to make it tougher. I struggled with the Ball Hamstring Curl – I’ve not done this move before and can’t stay on the ball long enough to get a sufficient number of reps done which is really frustrating.  It was also a bit of a pain having to keep refering to my notebook but this isn’t a criticism of the plan, just of my memory.  Again it took just under 40 minutes to complete my session and as with the day before, I felt that I could have done more but I did find the press-ups a challenge, I’d love to avoid them but for the purposes of this experiment I have to stick with them grrr!  Taking a break from the plan tomorrow and going to a Zumba class.

Workout 3: I’ve been to a Zumba class and taken a rest day.  Usually when I start a new training plan I would be suffering with DOMS at this stage (where the muscles hurt 1-2 days after training) but so far… nothing.  I’m actually a little disappointed.  I read through the plan again before I went to the gym to see how I could make it tougher and decided to introduce weights to some of the moves.  I also realised that I had entirely missed out lat raises and had instead been doing extra reverse flys – Oops.  I used a weighted ball for the leg moves and increased the weights on the upperbody moves.  I remembered my stop watch too so was able to do the timed moves accurately.  My total workout time was 35 minutes.

Workout 4: I was still unable to remember the routine from memory (there are 26 moves) and was frustrated at having to continually consult my notebook which I feel is adding to my time.  I really focused on technique on day four and used the mirrors to check my form (apologies to anyone who thought I was a poser checking out my own butt, I just wanted to check how low my squats were!).  I’m enjoying the plan but next week will focus on keeping it challenging by getting the right level of weights and quickening my pace on the cardio.  I’ll also wear my heart rate monitor so I can let you know exactly how hard it is rather than being subjective.

The plan is attached, join in!
PHA Training Plan (Fat Loss)

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