A Return to Strength

Thursday is supposed to be strength day, but it’s usually extra rest day because I never 20171207_181216.jpgwant to do it when I get home from work. So yesterday was more about “do it before you get lazy” than actually accomplishing much of anything strength-related.

Previously I had been working through the New Rules of Lifting program. After reading Lauren Early’s Irish dance training book, though, I started to wonder if the general strength approach was really the right one. Having no other ideas where to go, I still just went with it because otherwise I was at a loss. Now, though, I’m taking a more targeted approach.

As I mentioned, yesterday was more about just getting in the habit than really accomplishing anything. I decided on my way home from work that I should go through my two Irish dance training books (pictured above) and devise a plan that would help me personally. Five minutes before I want to work out is not a good time to develop a new plan.

Fortunately Lauren Early’s book has an off season suggested weight training plan written out, so I did an abbreviated version of that combined with a balancing exercise from Peter O’Grady’s book. The off season goal is to balance my imbalances that have developed during dance to stave off injury and generally get a good structural base going into my pre-season (with in season being Oireachtas in late November – my main goal for the next year).

After five minutes of mobility and another five of core (45 sec plank, 35 sec of the horrible leg thing on each side, 1 min of lower leg raises, and 25 sec of this plank-and-raise-opposite-arms-and-legs thing), I moved on to standing rows, back extensions, weighted squats, weighted side step ups, hamstring curls, and toe lifts. I finished up with some one foot balances and five minutes of flexibility. Again, with the goal of just being there, I only did 2 sets of each exercise for 10-12 reps. I also learned that I must have a large rib cage, because I’m not particularly thin and it hurts when I lay on my stomach on the padding-over-concrete floor.

In the end it was about 25 min of strength with the total session being 40 min. Not terribly long, but I did make my goal of actually doing something. For next week I plan to have a plan…I will likely follow the Lauren Early-suggested routine with a couple extra stability-focused exercises. Today would normally be a rest day, but since Monday I was sick and Wednesday I didn’t have class and was lazy, tonight is a dance practice night.


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