Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Asylum: Volume 2: Upper Elite

Happy new year! Last night, I had a wonderful evening ringing in the new year with Seth, Seth's parents, and Dad and Lisa. What a great way to celebrate the arrival of 2013!

Today, I woke up ready for day two of Asylum: Volume 2. I noticed right away that I was pretty sore in the chest from yesterday's extensive number of push-ups in the X Trainer workout. I was a bit nervous because today was the Upper Elite workout.

Having completed this workout, I can now say this is the most difficult weight training session I have ever done. It was sixty minutes of non-stop upper body work. I actually think that this was a bit too much. My muscles were completely done at around the 45 minute mark.

The workout incorporated more varieties of push-ups than I can name. There were all the push-up moves from yesterday's X Trainer workout plus more. There were one arm push-ups, wide push-ups, standard push-ups, jumping push-ups, and triceps push-ups just to name a few. We definitely did hundreds of push-ups. My chest is completely fatigued. Again, some of the women in the workout finished with doing push-ups on their knees. I had to do this modification too and cannot even imagine not having to do so in the future.

There was also a good deal of work with hand weights. I went ahead and used eight pounders, which is what the women in Asylum were using throughout. There were a lot of compound moves that worked biceps, lats, and shoulders. I felt much more confident about these moves than I did with the push-ups. This is probably because my chest is one of my weaker muscles and also because it was fatigued from yesterday.

Every once in a while, to break things up slightly, there were some quick agility moves in the ladder. These were few and far between and I wish there had been more of this. I don't make a secret of the fact that I don't really like strength training and that I love cardio, so this might be the reason for my bias. Either way, a full hour of complex and extremely difficult moves focused on the upper body with little rest was a bit intense. This workout definitely gave me the most muscle pain I have ever felt.

One interesting aspect of the workout was that we moved through moves quick quickly. You usually had to do something for only 30 seconds to a minute; 2 minutes max. This was helpful as the moves were so difficult 30 seconds felt like an eternity. While various moves worked muscles similarly enough for effect, having the quick changes between exercises gave just enough variation to make the entire hour-long workout possible.

Upper Elite featured compound moves that allow you to tone your core as well. There was an entire set of chest work with weights with combined abdominal work.

This is an amazing upper body workout, although a bit lengthy for my taste. There is a huge focus on chest -- as usually Shaun T throws many, many push-ups your way. I can honestly say that this was not my favorite workout. I think it was a bit too much. I like intensity, but this was absolutely crazy. I am sure that this will never be a workout I really enjoy, but I think I can improve with it a bit with time. I could definitely see this workout winning points with people who love to resistance train.

Tomorrow, I'm looking forward to giving my very sore upper body a rest and doing the Power Legs workout. More news to come!

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