So a funny thing happened in Week 9. My weight gain has stalled (and even dropped a little) and I’m back in the 116-117 range. I’m not doing anything different with the meal plan, and my strength gains are consistent so it could be a factor of the heat (it’s hot, hot, hot here!) or water retention, or something (like being a woman). My 9 point caliper test also show that my body fat has gone up a bit in the past month (by 1 % point, from 15% to 16%) and I’ve gained less than 1 lb of lean muscle mass since my last pinch. Not the results I was hoping for, especially since at my last pinch, I had gained 4 lbs of lean muscle mass, which is not an easy thing to do for a women, and in such a short period of time.
So, as expected, increases in muscle slowed, and small (very small) increase in BF, but, I’m still seeing progress in the strength department, so clear progress is being made! Here are the results from upper body 6X6 day: 115 lbs for the flat bench press and 55 lbs for one arm DB rows. Let’s compare that with the last time I did a 6X6 (during week 5): I was benching 105 for 6 reps so I’m seeing a 10 lb increase; and a 5 lb increase (up from 50 lbs) for the one arm rows. Phew! That was HARD work!
The second day of this week for Hybrid training is the lower body 6X6, again one of my favorites. I love training legs-I just can’t get enough of it! Thanks to some great input frm BBR members, I experiment a bit with foot placement (2-3 inches wider than usual) and I see an improvement (hurray!!!) in my squat poundage. I get 6 reps out of 145 lbs for sets 1 and 2 and 150 for set 3. That last set totally made my day! That represents a 15 lb improvement from week 5. For the stiff legged deads, I’m pulling 155 lbs, though truth be told my back starts to round on set 3 for the last rep, so maybe I was too aggressive…form is always more important than any number. For my last 6X6 I was deadlifting (135, 140, 145), so again, we are talking about a 10 lb improvement. I also see a huge improvement in the plate loaded squat leg press (420 lbs for 6 reps, up from 360) but break even with the leg curl (70 lbs). Gotta love a great leg day!
The last day of the week is a Hybrid HIIT day. I do 10 sprints on the rowing machine (ouch, ouch, everywhere!) followed by the weight circuit. On set 1 I do 8 rope chins, back barbell squats (95 lbs for 15 reps), 35 lb DB bench presses (15 reps), then drop the rope chins (I’m tuckered out) and do inverted rows (15 reps, but barely, have to drop my feet to the floor and off the bench to complete 15) and back barbell squats for sets 2 and 3. I notice that comparing to the first time I worked the circuit, I’m squatting 30 lbs more for the back barbell squat (I started off during the first week at 65 lbs for 15 reps). It’s awesome…I wasn’t even trying to see an improvement on this day for that exercise, but I did, and I’m not complaining! I finish with a 20 minute uphill walk (8.0 incline) on the treadmill (the step mill is taken! grrrr.)
Another fun week on the program. I’m happy, injury-free, and consistently seeing strength gains. OK time to go eat! Please feel free to leave comments below.
-Sumi Singh is a Personal Trainer in Austin, TX and an online diet coach. Her website is www.shailafitness.com