Saturday, June 14, 2014

10 Weeks In

10 weeks in, and though my weight and body comp numbers remain pretty well stalled, my performance--run pace and numbers of reps in strength training--continues to improve.

I'm one mission away from the end of Season One of Zombies Run! and trying to decide if I want to buy Season Two right away or dawdle awhile with the side content I haven't tried yet, like Supply and Airdrop Missions. I did run a 5K Race Mission this week, which was both my longest and fastest run yet since starting this fitness cycle. I'm contemplating whether to attempt a 10K. I don't know if my legs will take it, but I kind of want to push myself and see.

Plus, the game itself really motivates me. I have pushed myself longer and harder since starting the game than I would have without it. And the proof of that is that three times since starting, I have done missions while away from home. When I was at my mother's house at the tail end of the injury, stranded at my ex-wife's house with car problems, and this past week, visiting my father in Eufaula. Normally, I would take such an event as an easy excuse to miss a run, but wanting to push on and hear more of the story, I made myself run there. So Zombies Run! has been a big win so far, well worth the money.

The other half of my plan is not working out so well. The new routine is difficult, because it consists of progressively harder exercises done at slow cadence with strict form, much different than my Army experience of "bust out as many reps as you can in two minutes" and "the only bad rep is the one they don't count." For some exercises, I feel frustratingly weak.

However, the routine itself is very short; it calls for only a couple of sets of mostly low reps. By the time I'm done, it almost feels as if I haven't worked out at all, although during the sets, I definitely feel the strain. But there's this weird tension between the program's two principles of "do low volume work at high intensity" and "don't work to failure and leave strength in the bank." I'm never sure if I'm working hard enough, or if pushing harder will be counter-productive.

Plus, the program advocates working each bodypart only one day a week, with a week's rest between, which goes against the conventional wisdom I've been taught for 25 years. So the workouts feel scanty and unfinished, and it seems as if I'm resting between training bouts way too much, which is not helping my motivation. And yet, I've been making progress on my reps. However, since I've just switched to a new style of training, that improvement may be due more to neuromuscular adaptation than actual strength increase. We'll have to see what happens in the next couple of weeks, once I've got this new slow style down.

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