November 11, 2015In Cat's Fitness DiaryBy Cat Ferrier12 Minutes

All Over Weights


Day 1 also happens to be the day after my birthday so you can imagine my excitement at having to do Tabata sprints this afternoon! I asked Sean for help and he provided so many options so I’m diving in and excited to get started and work hard…and this may be hard!!

If I had known you were starting the day after your birthday (and I’m assuming some form of celebrations) I may well have told you to leave it a day or so! 

I’m not a fan of training the night after going out. There is a thought that training “helps” rid the body of alcohol. I’m not a fan of this. In reality, alcohol is a poison. By training when it’s in the system, you are simply pumping it around the body! I would usually advise to drink lots of water and perhaps go for a walk or a slow jog. Tabata sprints probably did little more than to make you feel a bit sick! What I have seen in the past, is that if someone is a little hungover, they don’t train as hard or conversely, train really hard but injure themselves.

Obviously, it’s your choice, but my general advice is to give it a miss the day after a heavy night.

I did a cardio warm-up on the elliptical followed by some stretching and jumping jacks. Hopped on to the treadmill for 8 rounds of Tabata sprints and then onto the weights.

My gym is pretty basic (but it’s in my apartment complex and free wahey!) but we have 5, 10 and 15lb dumb bells and I used the 10lb for the weight training in this session. I did 15 reps of each exercise and managed well though it did up my heart rate and I felt my muscles working, think 15b may be too much so will stick with 10 through the weekend and see if I am still doing 15 reps with ease.

Sounds like a good plan to start with.

If the 10lb is too easy but the 15lb too hard you could just work to failure with the 10lb and forget my rep range too a point.

Loved the sit-ups and reverse crunches as I had been doing a lot of planks before this workout so good to switch it up – though I did throw in 1 plank and 1 min side plank at the end of my workout for good measure!

Good work.

As for food, I didn’t even come close to the recommended calorie intake! Total calories today were 1,375 instead of the 1,708 that Sean recommended! I really only ate when I was hungry and when I had time  (Today I worked 8am-2pm, took a nap, hit the gym then worked again from 7pm-midnight) and shoved a handful of trail mix in my mouth on the car on the way to job #2 – that was probably the worst thing I ate today as I thought I may have to nibble on my dashboard.

Macros here are what Sean recommended vs what I had:

  • Protein: 140g / 98
  • Fat: 59g / 55
  • Carbs: 172g / 129

Well done Cat. Good attempt. It’s actually a bit of a misnomer counting calories, as most packets are averages and even “an apple” or “a potoato” is an average sized potato. What this means is counting calories just keeps you in a ballpark, which it seems like you were. Well done. Perhaps try to get a little more protein in just to ensure the body can repair and recover from training.

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Well hello, hamstrings! Yikes after day 1 of leg training in this program I’m a little stiff but know that I had a good workout!

Lol. Sounds positive.

Started on the elliptic again for a warm-up followed by stretching then straight on to sprints on the treadmill before hitting the weights. So, I did 3 sets of 15 regular squats holding 10lb dumbbells in each hand, 3 x 15 glute bridge with 10lbs on my hips, 3 x 15 deadlift with 10lbs in each hand then onto split squats and my legs are fire! I managed 3 sets of 12 in this and the first two sets with 10b weights and the third set no weights as my back leg and butt were killing me!

This sounds bang on. If you were using 10lbs for the squats, bridges and deadlifts, then they would be too heavy for split, or to light for the others. Bodyweight for the splits sounds about right, so I’m glad you found it tough.

Leg extensions burned at 12 reps and I was using ‘4’ on the cable machine – now I have no idea what that means or what the weight increments are, I looked on line but there are so many different answers. So for me, burns on 4..

If you are using the same gym each time, that’s all that matters. make a note; 4 is your weight… for now.

I did curls lying on the floor with a 5lb weight gripped between my feet – with my basic gym I looked up ways to modify some of the exercises – and this worked well though really not much strain at 15 reps.

Good work. Do you have a TRX in there or other suspension trainer? If not I can give you another exercise or try with the 10lb or even the 15lb.

Crushed abs and ran out the door to work. For sure I could have slowed down this session but had a major time crunch and wanted to get it all in and get out.

It has to work with your lifestyle. You are very busy, so if you’re short of time we can always superset some exercises.

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Upper Body


Wow! I thought my legs were stiff yesterday but today is even worse! Tight hamstrings and achilles tendons (injured them a few years ago dancing so have to be careful here and have special exercises to do every day), stretched out in the hot shower this morning but I could barely bend right over and hug the back of my knees – very unusual for me as I have always been loose that way because of dancing. I didn’t stretch at the end of my session yesterday but also makes me think maybe I’m not performing my deadlift correctly? Or am I doing it right and this is how I’m supposed to feel?!

DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) are expected when you start lifting weights. If the DOMS are in the hamstrings and glutes, that’s perfect. If they are in the lower back, we need to work on technique. From what you’ve said, I think you are working correctly.

Anyway, upper body…warm-up and sprints on the treadmill and then weights let’s go!

Used 10lb dumbbells for everything and did sets of 15

You may need to jump up to 15lbs. Good work to nail the 15reps on 10lbs. 

Lat pull down 3 sets of 15 with #4 on the machine (?!) but think I can go to 5 next time as it was a little too comfortable and I did switched pulling the bar in front of my chest and behind my head – which one os better?!

Keep it in front of the head for now. Behind is okay, but some people have been known to jar the neck. I’d stay safe and pull to the top o the chest. I would say jump to 5. Sounds too easy for you at the moment, but that’s not bad. We’ll build slowly. It’s a marathon not a sprint.

Seated row 3 sets of 15reps at #5 (and my back was SO SORE the next day!!)

Haha! Good, then the body is changing.

Triceps dips 3 sets of 12 with straight legs and found this really difficult and my shoulders were burning!!

If it’s too hard, just bend the legs when it gets too tough. Though if you managed the 15, that’s brilliant.

This morning I also did a hike and stair run before my gym session so feeling pretty good, though still didn’t meet my calorie goals

You are getting DOMS, which means you have micro tears in your muscles. You must let these repair and recover in order to build a little muscle which will then help lower your bodyfat. If you don’t feed your body well enough, it can’t repair properly and you could get injured. If you have DOMS and eat properly they’ll recover quicker. As a dancer, we don’t the DOMS turning into a pull because the body hasn’t been given the carbs, protein and fats to repair.