In conclusion June was…


how could it be anything other than awesome! I finished my 365 project in it…which heralded the completion of the overall giant ongoing challenge…in a hugely successful way…

go and look at the post if you have forgotten how awesome it was 😉

I set myself some challenges in June.

there was the arm challenge and the dumbbell challenge, there were Thor Thursdays and a running challenge.

there are full details lurking over here…

Crossing out failure and writing success.Now I am going to tell you how despite me not completing a single one of those challenges, I still consider June to have been a massive success!

Well firstly...there was the whole 365 project thing…

did I tell you about that?

ok I did…sorry I’ll shhh!

Well, apart from that, June saw me decide that this health and fitness lifestyle is too big to leave behind after the completion of my original 365, so I have committed to doing it again!

June has seem me try to complete multi-rep challenges (arms stuff and dumbbell stuff) and question why I was doing them. I found them dull and not challenging in the way that I needed.

Maybe I chose the wrong ones…

superbuffyI found they were not well rounded enough for me at this stage, they were doing nothing to further my quest to become a superhero. They really just made me better at the one or two particular things I was increasing each day. They have their place, and there is a lot to be said for challenging yourself to one of these if you believe it will benefit you.

But for me they are to specific, and did not further my overall goal. Possibly because I knew I could complete them, they were challenging in willpower to do them terms rather than exercise terms.

So I started Insanity…which for me is a huge new challenge!

June saw me consider my running, consider the goals I had set for myself

reading-half-marathonIt saw me decide that I was not a runner, just someone who ran sometimes. It also saw me be happy with that decision. and then completely at random agree to run a half marathon next march.

yeah, I only promised to do exercise to be fair…I never promised to make decisions or do thing s that made any sense at all!!

It is ok though I will save some bears!!

(save the bears here)

I think what I am trying to say, that even though I didn’t do what I thought I would at the beginning of June, I have a clearer idea of the sorts of things I want to be doing. The sort of challenges I want to be setting for myself. Ones that I find exciting and not ones that I *have* to set.

I am therefore not going to set myself a June specific challenge, but the current ongoing Insanity and half marathon training as well as peak dancing season and a desire to lift heavier weights should keep me going…




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About Sam Catchpole

Exercisaholic, Photographer, Artist, Writer, Engineer, Morris Dancer, General Obsessive...

26 responses to “In conclusion June was…”

  1. NancyTex says :

    Once again we are exactly on the same page, Sam. Carry on, sista.

  2. NancyTex says :

    p.s. Your June was a huge success!

    • Ice_Badger says :

      😀 thank you! I loved June!!
      It was reading your conclusions that led me to cement my own. I knew I was debating the use of the repetitive challenge I had set, and that I needed something more, it was only when I read and commented on your June that I figured out what it was! 😀

      • NancyTex says :

        That’s one of my favourite parts of blogging is the wisdom I get from the dialogues I have. Thanks for the great conversations we have together!

      • Ice_Badger says :

        😀 I love it too! It is one of the best and most unexpected parts of blogging 🙂

      • NancyTex says :

        p.s. meant to ask your advice on something. So I’ve been following the SL 5×5 to the letter of the law – even using the app on my phone to track weights. The program looks to increase your total load by 5lbs with each successive workout. the problem with that is that the smallest plates at my gym are 5lbs, so I have to increase 10 lbs each time. So far, so good. Hadn’t run into any issues. Until I hit Overhead Presses and the required increase. For some reason I find OH Press to be the most challenging exercise in SL. And I’m stuck at just the Olympic Bar (45 lbs). I tried adding a 5lb weight to each end of the bar yesterday but struggled, so I removed them and just went back to the previous sessions weight (45 lbs). So… question… do I stick with 45 until I can safely put more weight on it – or are there other exercises I should be doing to help me build more strength? Note: I do lat pull downs on the day I do OH press. Yesterday I used 60 lbs on lat pull downs.


      • Ice_Badger says :

        Firstly overhead presses at tough!
        are there dumbbells that add up to an intermediate weight which you could use to do dumbbell shoulder presses until you can increase the weight.
        Alternatively you could do the requires sets with your existing weight and add in some sets on the shoulder press machine as well to isolate the shoulders. This will help increase shoulder strength!
        We are lucky as we have 1.25 kg plates that fit on our Olympic bar so I can increase in small increments.
        I really want to get back to the strong lifts program but what with insanity and everything else i haven’t managed it yet!

      • NancyTex says :

        I hadn’t even considered dumbbells as an alternative. I’ll see if I can do that with the incremental bits. I also like the idea of the shoulder press machine – not as a replacement, but just to do more work on those muscles. I’m paranoid about my right shoulder because that’s the one with the injury. I’ll give this a try. Thanks Sam!

      • Ice_Badger says :

        They are both worth a try 🙂
        Shoulder press and leg press are good for working to failure (can’t do any more failure not being broken failure) legs and shoulders after squats or pressed 🙂

      • NancyTex says :

        GREAT idea! Never thought of doing leg presses on the machine after squats. (I’m still at the early stage of 5×5, so after I’ve done my squats – I do feel like there’s more gas in the tank, so to speak. this will be a good way to burn it out.

      • Ice_Badger says :

        It is good to do maybe every other time you do squats 🙂
        You can go so much heavier too, I discovered that I can do something like 120kg leg press as opposed to about 40kg on squats!

      • NancyTex says :

        I did 75 lbs yesterday in squats, which means tomorrow’s will be 85 (since I can’t increase by 5 lb increments). I think that’s almost 40 kgs. Yay – I’m nearly at Sam’s squat weight. (I have a feeling it’ll take me much longer to get to your deadlift weight though! 🙂

        p.s. there was a woman doing squats on the smith machine next to my rack yesterday. It’s such an unnatural angle. Almost looked like she was leaning way too far back.

      • Ice_Badger says :

        Hehe I haven’t done heavy heavy squats for a while so you’ll probably overtake me 😀
        Smith machines are unnatural! They tie you in to a false motion, and you have a false sense if what you can lift as the bar is supported!

      • NancyTex says :

        I was going to say something but then I thought better of it… None of my business! 🙂

      • Ice_Badger says :

        I always think that too.
        The chap who did the induction. At my free weights room said you can used the smiths machine for bench presses if you want to try increasing weight beyond what you are sure of without a spotter, that seems feasible but the motion is still restrictive…

      • NancyTex says :

        Yes, I found it restrictive for bench press too – but not nearly as bad as for squats. If I needed a spotter or was hesitant as to the weight, I might use the Smiths – but only as a last resort.

        okay – last question (maybe) 🙂

        The barbell row move is very awkward for me. I’m not sure if it’s just something that’ll take getting used to – but for now, I cringe on the alternate days when I have to do it. Is there a different move that works the same muscles? I kind of hate barbell row – at least as I’ve seen it done on the SL video clips.

      • Ice_Badger says :

        See I like the barbell row and hate the oh press!!
        Instead of the barbell row you could do single arm dumbbell rows with one knee and hand on the bench, it works the same muscles.

      • NancyTex says :

        I may switch to that. The way the dude does it on SL just seems awkward, especially with having to place it all the way down on the floor each time.

      • Ice_Badger says :

        I haven’t watched it on the SL video, but you shouldn’t have to put it down each time. I do it like the bent over row in Body pump. Legs slightly bent, lean forward row up to chest, repeat and put down after the whole set. Matt is happy with that too 🙂

      • NancyTex says :

        Okay- that’s what I WAS doing, but then learned that’s more of an “upright row”. The barbell row prescribed in the SL program is bent over in deadlift sort of position, bar on ground, and then lift to chest (bent over) and return to ground.

      • NancyTex says :

        See video at the bottom of this page:

        I’ve tried it 3 times now and it feels gross and unnatural every time.

      • NancyTex says :

        Oh – and I just clued into the bent over row move you’re referring to. I initially thought you meant the BodyPump move where you have the bar hanging with arms extended (standing upright) and then raising it to chest, an upright row. Now I get what you mean about the bent over row – and that would seem to make more sense. SL dude does it differently though so I tried his way. Hated it.

  3. NancyTex says :

    p.p.s. “they were challenging in willpower to do them terms rather than exercise terms.” This is EXACTLY how I felt. It became more about doing it because the calendar told me to, not because I felt I was getting the physical benefit I wanted. Safe to say I’m off of ’30-day’ challenges for a while.

  4. Helen says :

    Your June was awesome! I understand totally why you’re not setting challenges this month, I think perhaps when you’re as far along your journey then they are less helpful than I’m finding mine – I think it’s useful for me to have things to focus one improving. And yeah, I think that ninja Shaun will keep you occupied for the foreseeable future!

    • Ice_Badger says :

      Exactly 😀 they are helpful at some times, like you say when you need to focus or refocus, they are just not right for me now 🙂
      Ninja Shaun is certainly keeping me occupied, I have just finished “cardio recovery” which basically means planks squats lunges knees to shoulder plank thingies and suchlike really slowly with stretches in between…it may be a “recovery” but it is not easy!
      Thank you for my sponsorship too 😀 😀

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