These last couple of weeks I’ve been doing things a bit differently. or at least its felt different. Yesterday I went to the gym and did Back and Biceps, and these days I can just keep on going. I mean, I don’t need to quit after an hour or even two of training. I used to get tired and I knew when enough was enough. Now, I seem to be able to keep on going. Today, I went in again, this time it was shoulders. I didn’t need to go in today as shoulders is only on Tuesdays. I went in anyway. I grinded it out for what felt like hours, but if I had to guess it was probably an hour and a half.

In both instances I didn’t time the sessions. I wonder if this is the key? I guess, following the stop watch signals mental ques in your brain just like it does when I go running during the week – which is why I keep changing the route to confuse the visual recognition route patterns I’ve already associated with perceived exertion.

I’ve been wondering if perhaps I’m getting used to the routine and that perhaps I should make it more difficult by loading up the weights. Today, I loaded up the weights in a few exercises, but not all of them, and it wasn’t a problem. For example, I was quite able to do 2 dumbbell shrugs sessions. Same with military presses with the barbell. Perhaps its psychological because its summer and you just seem to have more time to make up your mind to go to the gym. I also feel more like I want to, which counts a lot.  Even my run-in to the gym are fast. Today I was sweating a load on the run in, didn’t seem to make a difference. My muscles weren’t tired during the lateral side raises either, in fact I did them twice also.

Its a good thing.

I think that I am eating more which I speculate is actually helping me recover and fuel my workouts more its hindering them. I tend to just go and eat when I’m hungry and can eat 2-3 times a day without any set-schedule. with the new job, trends have changed. I now eat at about 12 noon at my favourite stall down in the market. I eat again at about 18:00 on the way back from work – usually a protein shake-type thing(oats+protein+chia) or more recently a low-fat yoghurt with layers of dry oats in between. That's really been my only perceptible change in terms of eating.

I said this before but I’ve reduced my training load a lot since starting my new job and I have become somewhat lazier, not taking the opportunities that exist to train more(which is why I train less, obviously!). For instance, I used to run a lot into and out of the office in Chalfont. I also used to train in the mornings. These days, I’ve not done this. Instead I train after work and run only once or twice a week over 8km. It might be because its summer and there is no need to avoid the afternoons – its still plenty light and it makes it very possible. I think so. But this reduced load, fairly casual(lazy?) route is working out, perhaps its just that like many things, consistency is key and I’m consistent with this new schedule.

In other news, I found a new move recently which I really enjoy now. Its a chest move to isolate the pecs, however as you get tired it starts bringing in the shoulders. Its the usual standing cross-over fly. I never really thought much of it before because I always felt that Its just a vanity move(and perhaps deep down I knew that it requires strong pecs which I’ve not had before), because it looks great in the mirror but after getting through my routine the other night and like I said, still with gas in the tank, I tried it out. I find it tricky to know for sure when I’m isolating the pecs but this one really feels like its stretching them. The only real sign I use normally, is the next morning feeling. If its stiff, it worked. Even in the middle of the workouts, I don’t get sore anymore, I just get tired and weak. I wonder if this is partially because I usually do high-volume and fairly modest weights. Perhaps this will change moving forward. That said, I don't want to be stupid and get hurt. That attitude has gotten me this far and I’m happy with it.So jury’s out on that one.

What I have found which might also account for my extended sessions is that I’m now taking a bottle of water with me and re-filling 2-3 maybe even 4 times between sessions. Perhaps all this hydrations is the reason, It certainly coincides almost exactly. If I was a betting man, I’d cite this rather than the lack of timed sessions or high-volume, moderate weights.

I’ve completed my last module at university and theoretically speaking that will give me my (Hons) majoring in Software Engineering, I got an email the other day asking me to pick a ceremony date. I don’t care about going to a ceremony, especially one that takes 2 hours. I’d rather be in the gym, running or studying. However I’m at a bit of a loss until I get my exam results, which will take 9 weeks. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Mostly I’m finding it easier to reflect and train more in the absence of studying. I think a masters is worth a ceremony.

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