A few months ago I saw a note on Facebook about a new triathlon club forming in my area. 2013 was my first year to belong to a triathlon club and my experience with the club had not been what I had expected. I knew the founders of the new club and knew that they had a great bond with all of their coached athletes. I did some research on their website and then took advantage of an incentive offer to join the club for 2014 and get the last months of 2013 included. One bonus perk was that they threw in a one month strength plan with the membership. Perfect timing because I have a strength test on my docket to complete by the end of the year for my gym membership.
Coach Aly and I emailed a few times to talk about my goals and strength training history. My goal is to do at least 36 push ups for the strength test (I only managed 24 last year.) And for my strength training history...I have to admit to being a very bad triathlete that only does weight work during the offseason. I haven't used a plan in the past, rather I would just attend boot camp class and count that full body workout as my strength training. I think given my responses, Aly was a little scared that I was a rookie so we set up a time to meet at the gym and work through the exercises so that she could confirm I knew the correct form and so that I would understand what each exercise was when it showed up in my workout each week.
That day at the gym, she really put me through the ringer on push ups. She definitely pushed me beyond my limits and challenged me that even though I can do them on my knees for the test I CAN do them from my toes so I should do them in workouts on my toes. Ha...I would never have pushed myself like that alone.
My workouts get delivered to me each week via Training Peaks. We touch base via email and Facebook messages on any questions that I have about the workouts or comments on them. I got started with the workouts and made my return to boot camp at about the same time. The first workout was split up with boot camp class in the middle. Let's just say the first night's push ups and core routine wore me out. I had to do some Facebook recovery time between the sets and Coach Aly got onto me to get it done!
Fast forward and I've now finished up three weeks of Aly's crazy workouts! This past week marked a big achievement when I pulled through on Tuesday to complete 316 push ups. I had a set of 8x10 push ups on toes with 7 sec set rest between each set and then 2 x 33 push ups on knees. Then after the workout was all done and my core work completed there was another push ups set with another 8x10 and 3x30.
I like to do my push ups and core workouts in a hallway just off the gym floor. It's quiet and I can suffer in solitude! Y'all... I almost cried these push ups hurt so bad. I was dripping sweat and losing my grip on the mat. Towards the end I had to increase the rest time and do a little mental pep talk to get going. But I did it and finished the set!
I would say that this workout was a little bit of a break through for me. I kept telling myself that if Aly believed I was capable of doing the workout then I should believe I was capable. Often we don't realize how much more we truly are capable of doing. Side note...one workout Aly prescribed push ups with a clap. Sadly on that one I couldn't clap but I could get my hands off the mat each time which amazed me. I never would have imagined I could do that simply because I had never tried...and I had never tried because I thought I couldn't do it.
Back to the push ups...the next day I met up with Aly for a coached plyometric workout. During one of the rest breaks, we were talking about the workout and I talked through the plan. It was legs, push ups, core, push ups. Aly looked at me and informed me she meant to delete the 2nd push ups set at the end of the workout. HAHAHAHAHA...hilarious. I told her it killed me and I had almost cried but I had kept going because that's what her workout said and while I'm a sarcastic person I am also at my core a rule-follower!
I need to remember in the future that I can only discover my limits when I test those boundaries and discover what I am capable of accomplishing. I'm hoping to do my push ups test before Thanksgiving and I can't wait to see if I nail the 36 push ups to score bonus points on the testing. I'll keep you all posted!