Wednesday, November 03, 2010
I was so excited yesterday to have a day off from work that didn't have to include a day off from the gym. (Hate it when my gym closes for holidays, but I understand...) I knew I wanted to renew my Zumba muscles and that I had to ST, but I also knew I really wanted to try another line dancing class.
Logan and I showed up at the gym around 4:45pm. I figured if I hopped on the treadmill for 15 minutes and warm-up my limbs a little, I could go ahead and shove in my ST routine before my classes.
ST Tally for November (thus far):
1/13 ST Sessions
30/360 modified push-ups
I then proceeded downstairs and got to all but 3 of the machines on my list. Only concern was my right tricep, which was sore and hurting most of the time. I did what I could, but tried not to push it too hard.
Machines missed: 2 hip machines and bicep curl machine
I forgot my planks. *pout*
Line dancing was going really well. It was a lot more fast-paced than Friday's class (mainly because Friday's class is "line dancing for beginners" *lol*) but I kept up pretty well...until song number 3, that is. I don't even remember what move we were doing but I felt that familiar jiggle and pop in my left knee and when I tried to take the next step, I could tell the stupid thing was out. I thought about crying. I thought about collapsing in the corner. And then I politely told my son I'd be back, walked around the corner where no one could see, slid my back down the wall, popped the stupid thing back in, and then did a few laps around the track to test it. Surprisingly, it didn't feel too bad. I knew I could be playing with fire, but I figured it was worth the attempt to try to get back into class.
My moves were slow and I had to modify a few things, and the pain in my knee made me concentrate even more on my body, which always = a better workout. (Bonus?) I made it through the rest of class without too many troubles. There were times I nearly cried out of anger and frustration, but I pushed that aside and focused on doing what I could, making small steps, keeping off my heel (which seems to trigger my knee even more). I took another brake a little later and went downstairs to wrap the knee, hopeful that would help (and it did, though I hate those stupid wraps because they like to move and roll and cause discomfort) and then I finished the class and sat down in the corner to breathe.
I both did and did not want to Zumba now. I know how much I missed it last week, and I knew I would miss Thursday's class because of stupid work, so this was my last chance for a while with our regular instructor (she's getting married and going on her honeymoon). So I promised myself to do as much as I could, and when it hurt or I felt too tired, I could stop. And nearly did stop about 30 minutes in...and then she announced that she'd be taking measurements again after class. *sigh* I'd have to stick around for that anyways, might as well finish out the last 15 minutes of class. It was a difficult 3-4 songs, and she was extra bouncy last night, but I stuck with modifications where I needed to, kept my steps small and just did what I could.
And do you know what happened? Nothing. I survived. I didn't die. I felt sore everywhere, and promised myself I wouldn't do 2 classes in a row like that WITH ST for a WHILE! I went a little overboard, but I think from time to time we have to push past our limits, just to see where they are. And I learned that I was letting my knee have too much say over what I could do. Every time I work out on it after an incident, it gets stronger and heals quicker. I didn't even HAVE a "loose" period this time. I eliminated an entire step in my usual process of recovery. Still, I went overboard, and I recognize that....especially after the night I had.
I can't describe it, and I don't really know what it was, but I just felt....wrong. There was something not right. My circulation was a little off, my body felt extremely heavy, and I just had this sense that something wasn't right. After laying in bed for an hour, I got up and checked on all the kids and critters...just to be sure. And then I sat down and told Hubs what was happening, only, I couldn't quite explain it. I felt like my coloring was off and my body temperature. I took some Advil and drank some water, but it wasn't until I tasted the sweetness of the Diet Dr. Pepper I was using to induce burping, thinking it could be some strange gaseous event, when I realized that, perhaps, my body needed more "fuel" as they say. I thought it might have been a drop in my blood sugar or something, and I had the calories to cover something sweet, and I was willing to do just about anything to stop that feeling of overwhelming dread or whatever. So I ate a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie. I don't know if that was the problem, but I did start feeling a little better soon after. (Could have been the Advil kicking in..or the water I drank....*shrugs*) I went back to bed and go up feeling sore, but fine.
Now PLEASE note this - I'm putting this in my blog so I can remember what happened. What I don't need right now is someone stopping by and telling me I have cancer or something, because my hypochondriac self might just believe it. If you have a minor thought or suggestion, that's fine, but try not to freak me out too much. In my family, we don't take a lot of medicine for one reason - we believe in listening to the body. My body was trying to tell me something, and I'm not quite sure what it was, but I gave it something that settled it. If it ever happens again, I'll know what to try and, perhaps, narrow it down a little more. I did not feel like my life was in danger. My heart seemed to be pumping fine and I wasn't out of breath. Nothing "hurt" except what I had overworked at the gym. It may not be the way you handle things, but it's how we do it. Listening to my body has been so important to me, and this is just another example of that.
Anyhow, feeling better now. Sore, yes. Took a couple Advil again for the muscle soreness (I didn't stretch enough either...I'm sure of it!). Plan for the night is to rush home after work, go drop off Ethan's football equipment (we just "rent" it for the season) and probably cry a lot at the thought of not seeing these people again until next season, and then go to pilates at 7:30pm. I'm not expecting much from myself tonight in class...and I reserve the right to modify the hell out of everything they throw at me, and I reserve the right to leave early if I feel I need to and/or my body isn't up to it. I even reserve the right to NOT GO if I don't want to....there's always next week. I pushed too hard last night, so for tonight I'm going to take it easy, but I'm going to still work out. Why?
I'm 2/30 for my 30 in 30 workouts for November. But even a 15 minute walk down the street will work for my 30 in 30. Those are what I call my "rest" days....more like slow days.
Oh, and one final note -- It was SOOOOOOO hard to not weigh in this morning! I kept staring at the scale going, "I could just peek!" But I didn't. I stayed away (probably good...it's probably up today from that overboard workout yesterday!).
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Since today is a holiday for state workers (YAY! Election Day!), I get to work short days this week, 8:30am-4:30pm. That means that I will be able to get to the gym by 5:30pm instead of 7pm, which opens up a few more classes for me this week. As i said last week, I was excited and nervous to take my first Yoga class yesterday.
I've done Yoga before. I have a Yoga for Weight Loss DVD, as well as an AM Yoga DVD, and I've done tons of research of new moves online. The best thing about Yoga is that there's plenty of research you can do to self-teach yoga at home. This especially cool for a big girl who is afraid of the skinny chicks in most Yoga classes. I use Yoga most days as a stretching tool, so, to be perfectly honest, I do yoga for at least 10 minutes nearly every day. And another great thing about yoga? The more you do it, the better your balance and flexibility get. Still, I always wanted to try an actual Yoga class, and yesterday was my chance.
So I walk in, nervous both because I forgot my Yoga mat and because, well, it was my first time in a class. One thing I love about my gym is that there are very few "perfect" people there. My gym is full of all shapes, sizes, ages, and fitness abilities. And when you walk in the door, you're treated as just another gym goer. They don't analyze your body fat upon walking in. People don't usually stare as you're sweating your arse off on the elliptical or picking the indoor track over the treadmill. I get a lot of smiles and hellos from people now that they know me as a regular face there, and it's just a wonderful environment of support.
So, someone points me in the direction of the stash of yoga mats at the gym and I squeeze into the back. The girl next to me is plump as well, and I feel good that I'm not the only one who isn't a perfect size 0. (In fact, I doubt there was a single person who could fit that description, except maybe the tiny, tiny instructor! *lol*) To the left of me is an older woman with oxygen in her purse who warns me, "Just ignore me...I grunt and groan a lot!" *lol* There's one guy in the class, an older gentleman, who, the instructor announces, is already married. (To which he replies, "But my wife isn't here yet!" *lol*) Safe to say, this class is full of the same clientele I've seen at the gym - diverse. I feel a little better.
The instructor walks in and hones in on me as the only newbie. She asks if I've ever done Yoga before, and I tell her that I've only done it at home, I've never taken a class. "Cool!" she says, "Then we don't have any newbies here, not really." It's strange to think of myself as a veteran of sorts when I've never taken a class, but I love that I'm not being singled out for my newness.
We start by massaging our feet and legs, and then it's on to the moves. We held them a LOT longer than I normally do, but I was able to keep up with just about every one. I was even surprised that i didn't stumble or break my pose on my tree pose, like I normally do. I ended the class the way I end any good yoga session. Relaxed, limber, and feeling taller. I told one lady that I always feel thinner after yoga. "That's funny." she said, "I always feel sore! EVERYWHERE!" *lol* She then confessed that she was 60 years old (she didn't look it!) and that she was new to it. I told her that the more she does it, the easier it gets and she said, "That's what I'm hoping!"
After class the instructor came up to me and said, "So, how'd you like it?" I told her it was great. "Well, I hope you can come back!" she said. "You have a LOT of flexibility!"
Let me just say that a compliment like this from an instructor is always my favorite kind. I'm always so nervous when class begins, and when I get this kind of compliment, it makes me feel more self-confident, more sure of my abilities. Too often I doubt myself. Sure, I can get through poses every day that many people have trouble with because I've worked on them, but I always worry that I'm doing it wrong, that what I think is "good" really isn't at all. And then when I get that "at-a-girl" from the instructor I'm assured that I can keep going, keep doing what I'm doing and keep getting better. My foundation is built by me, it's secured through the support of others, and I continue to build from that. (This is also a very important part of Spark!)
Today I weighed in for the last time before Sunday. (I had to, our Biggest Loser challenge weighs in on Tuesdays and today was our final weigh-in.) Back down to 344.6. So bye-bye bloat weight! I knew I didn't gain 3 pounds of fat in 2 days! *lol*
So what's on tap for today? Well, first I have to pee. *lol* Random, I know. Other than that, there's a short trip to the store...stupid flies are buzzing around here (we have a screen out so they're headed in to survive the winter) and then maybe a trip to the movie store for a flick to watch, oh, and voting and the gym! I think maybe we'll hit both line dancing and Zumba tonight, and I need to do my ST tonight.
Have a fun Tuesday! Don't forget to vote!
Monday, November 01, 2010
For the record, I hated October.
Weight October 1st: 351.2
Weight Goal for November 1st: 343.2
Actual Weight November 1st: 347.2
Weight Lost in October: -4 pounds
Dare I even record the measurements? *sigh*
(Oct 1st - Nov 1st = Difference)
Waist: 48 - 48 = 0
Hips: 59 - 59 = 0
Neck: 15 - 15 = 0
Thigh: 25.25 - 25 = -.25
Calf: 21 - 22 = +1
Upper Arm: 15 - 15 = 0
Total inches lost in October: I actually gained .75 inches. *bangs head on desk*
Okay, so let's review. What did I do wrong? What happened? Did I go back to my old ways and start eating everything in sight? Did I hit the Chinese buffet once a week?
The answer? Nope. I didn't. I hate mindfully and healthfully a good percentage of the time. I worked out a lot. I also spent the entire month of October in a stand-still, never-ending TOM, and STILL I managed to hang on for dear life.
All last week the weight seemed to be dropping off of me. And then I ate some Mexican food Saturday night after trick-or-treat. I had pizza both Friday and Saturday. And I gained a pound. And then yesterday I hate popcorn at the movies, and I ate french fries too. And I gained 2 more pounds. So I guess what I'm saying, the only thing I can figure is, too much salt = a sad, unhappy, not shrinking Esther.
Nutrition & Fitness
10/1 - 1787 cal/80 minutes of cardio, 1442 burned, ST
10/2 - never finished tracking/65 min cardio, 1157 burned
10/3 - didn't track/0 fitness
10/4 - 2151 cal/55 min cardio, 899 burned
10/5 - 2282 cal/57 min cardio, 937 burned
10/6 - 2281 cal/33 min cardio, 698 burned
10/7 - 2319 cal/0 fitness
10/8 - never finished tracking/135 min cardio, 1805 burned
10/9 - didn't track, but I know I did well as I was with Becks/180 min cardio, 968 burned
10/10 - didn't track, 5k day, but I ate well/3.12 mi in 56 min, 422 burned
10/11 - didn't track, but I know I had a BAD BAD day that day/25 min cardio, 168 burned
10/12 - 2133 cal/0 fitness
10/13 - 1645 cal/45 min cardio, 611 burned
10/14 - didn't track/21 min cardio, 139 burned
10/15 - didn't track/0 fitness
10/16 - 5k day, didn't track but ate well/3.1 miles in 52 min, 489 burned
10/17 - didn't track/0 fitness
10/18 - 1834 cal/33 min cardio, 335 burned
10/19 - 2022 cal/45 min cardio, 740 burned
10/20 - 2454 cal/34 min cardio, 320 burned
10/21 - 2050 cal/0 fitness
10/22 - 2438 cal/240 min cardio, 4202 burned
10/23 - didn't track/25 min cardio, 165 burned
10/24 - 1720 cal/0 fitness
10/25 - didn't finish tracking/0 fitness
10/26 - didn't track/18 min cardio, 381 burned
10/27 - 1956 cal/60 min cardio, 1052 burned, ST
10/28 - 2217 cal/60 min cardio, 1064 burned
10/29 - 2149 cal/100 min cardio, 1225 burned
10/30 - 2607 cal/60 min cardio, 322 burned
10/31 - 2183 cal/20 min cardio, 132 burned
So what's to see here that I don't like? First of all -- lack of tracking. I can't tell whether those days I was just busy, or if I didn't want to track it because I was "bad."
** So for the month of November, goal #1 - Track Everything Every Day!
But, as for my calorie counts and calories burned...Spark had me set at a range of 2000-2400 or so to begin with, and then I dropped down the amount of cardio I planned on doing, which brought me down to 1900-2300 roughly. I just went and reset my calorie burn goal again to a range I tend to stay around more often and like (in my head) better - burning 4000 calories a week, which means I'm back up to a calorie range of 2190-2540. *smacks head on desk* This was a lot easier when I couldn't do much...I rarely hit my calorie burn goal in the beginning, and now I almost always surpass it. Could it be that I'm not eating enough? I still have this mental break at 1800 or 2000 calories. I keep thinking, "But I'm a girl! Why do I have to eat like a friggin' man and stuff so much food down my throat I want to vomit every day?" *sigh* I don't know, but whatever I tried this month did NOT work.
** November goal #2 - Don't think, just do. 2190-2540 calories in per day, 4000 calories burned per week. Period.
So, since we're exercising to burn 4000 calories a week, I need to burn about 667 a day M-Saturday. I tend to give myself Sundays off for Ethan's football games. Unfortunately, however, his team lost their semi-final game yesterday so football is over for us. *sad face* So it's time to stop being a wimp about it and put that day back on the docket. Exercising every single day will take me down to a goal of 571 calories burned per day. Definitely manageable because I don't have to do it all at once!
** November goal #3 - Stop being a wimp! 30 in 30 is back! 30 days of November, 30 days of exercise - now GO!
As for the lack of measurement movement. One thing you might notice in there is a severe lack of any decent ST schedule. Now, granted, there are more days of ST I did than are there. My only gripe with Spark is the difficulty of tracking my ST exercises through the app, so there are times I just don't track it because it takes so much time. Of course, I'm going to track it all this month, so that's not going to be a concern. But there was a general lack of ST in October because I was working on timing for my 5ks and then was considering HM training. No more. I want to lose weight and inches. I want my 24's to come up over my fat arse! (excuse my language, but those stupid pants are TAUNTING me!)
I should be ST 3 times a week. Now my PT was nervous about me upping my ST routine AND sticking with 3 days a week. But I can still do my PT ST schedule 2 days a week, and reserve that other ST day for at-home ST exercises. I can squeeze in more crunches and pushups and such.
** November goal #4 - Strength Train 3 times per week, no excuses! At the end of the month, I should be able to report having done:
1800 crunches (150 per day/ 3 times per week)
40 REGULAR push-ups (10 per week)
360 modified push-ups (30 per day/ 3 times per week)
80 squats (20 per week)
80 lunges (20 per week)
24 planks (2 per day/3 times per week, working toward a 60 second plank)
4 "modified" planks (1 a week, timed, to start)
(Okay, from everything I've read, Spark's "modified" planks are actually more difficult. Most places consider those the regular planks, and the ones on hands, like I do, the actual modified version. So I'm working my way toward pulling these into my routine.)
Finally, one last thing. I hate my scale again. HATE. I hate this plateau crap. I hate that it's become so difficult to lose weight even though I'm moving my butt like I've never done before. I hate how bloated I feel right now from a month and a half long TOM. And I hate what that TOM fluctuation seems to be doing to the scale as well. So...
** November goal #5 - Weigh-in once a week, Sundays, in the morning. Report that weight, good or bad, on Spark's tracker. Hiding is done, we need to know what's happening here because we have too far to go to hide from "bad" weeks now! Oh, and stop trying on those stupid 24s. A watched pot doesn't boil, and you can't will those stupid jeans into fitting. You can try them on the Sunday weigh-in before Thanksgiving, and then again before Christmas day.
Okay, Esther...breathe. October is over. November is here. You had some amazing pumpkin soup today with yummy big chunks of veggies in it. You need to remember to drink your water and just stick to the plan. And when all else fails, just go for a walk to clear your head and remind yourself that the numbers can't convey to your Spark Friends how DIFFERENT your legs feel now. Those stupid numbers don't show how your breathing is easier, how you feel more confident in a room, how you may get frustrated but more times than not, you push through that and move on. And someday very soon, this period WILL end, and there's a possibility that it could take a few pounds with it...or not. *shrug* Just know that it's a factor in the seemingly lack of progress right now....it HAS to be! Get some rest on your day off tomorrow, go back to your Zumba class and have a blast, enjoy clearing your head at a teacher-taught Yoga class tonight, and remember that above all else, I love you for the person you are, the person you are becoming, and the person you know that you want to be. As hard as it is to wish for tomorrow to come quicker, as much as it hurts hoping it would go faster, focus on today, on the time you have with your kids, on the time you have with yourself, and on every small step you make every single day to make your life, and the lives of those around you, better in every way.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday was my SIBCCT night, and I burned over 1,000 SP calories.
Thursday I followed my son's lead and started out on the stationary bike, and reminded myself how BORING it is and how much I hate it. We set our time for 30 minutes, but I did not want to be tied down to that thing, especially since it wasn't doing CRAP to raise my heart rate that much. I stopped after 10 minutes and switched to the elliptical. The machine set an automatic 60 minutes on the glute workout, and I just figured I'd stop whenever I wanted to. I didn't want to stop. Like, at all! It hurt, yes - my legs were still sore from the day before, but it also felt so great. I went for 35 minutes and then figured I was ready to go home. (I could've pushed more, but I knew I was sore still and I didn't want to injure myself.) I did my Yoga stretching to end the night and headed home...and then had a blowout with the Hubs. *sigh*
Yesterday was a bad day as far as things happening to me, but a good day for me because I pushed through them and did what I needed to do for myself anyways. Today I woke up SORE SORE SORE in my legs. Thank GOODNESS I stretched or I likely wouldn't be walking today. Funny thing is, as sore as I am, I still feel good. I can feel the muscles in my legs! I can feel my skinny girl legs under that hidden fat, and it felt good to know that I might one day have legs I'll be proud to show off. Still, being this sore signals only one thing for me today -- REST.
I have a little something to say about rest days. They are SOOOO important! I know you all know that, at least in your head, but let me put it to you this way. Having spent 6 months doing this I know that if I continue to push myself, I won't see results. My body will be in shock trying to keep up with me. And while I think it's great to push through a tiny bit of soreness, when your muscles are so sore that it's a little difficult to get up and walk, that should signal to you that they need their rest. It's an important part of the process. Today my weight is up from yesterday and the day before. Why? Because I pushed myself. This is NOT a signal to not work out, by all means. It's a signal that it's important to let my body spend the day doing what I have taught it to do, what it knows it needs, rest, repair, and kill a few fat cells along the way. So on the docket for today? Rest, relax, be me, and drink LOTS of water (because it's so important in the repair process...muscles need water to rebuild themselves!). If I handle this right, I should be able to get to the gym tomorrow and crank out my last day of cardio and ST.
So, weekend plans.
Friday - REST! I would *love* to go to a movie today. I haven't yet woken up Hubs. We're supposed to have our "date day" but with the fight last night, I'm both a little nervous about it and SURE we need it. I'll wake him up in a minute. We DO need to hit the grocery store, though.
Saturday - Workout at the gym in the morning. Football practice at 1pm. Trick-or-Treat with the boys at 6pm. I tried contacting a friend about possibly watching the boys for a couple hours so we can still go to our Halloween party, but she hasn't gotten back to me so I doubt that will happen.
Sunday - Wake up early. Pack lunches, and head to Belpre, OH for the big midget league semi-finals game. Our number 6 ranked team is going up against the number 2 ranked team, so my hope is that they do the best they can and DON'T get slaughtered! EEP! Of course, I secretly hope they'll win, but this is a TOUGH team, so I don't know what to really expect. Depends on if our boys are on their game (so wish Trick-or-Treat wasn't the night before!) and if the other boys are on theirs. I'll let you know how it goes.
Ooh, some things upcoming that I'm excited about....
I have a short week this week thanks to the holiday (state workers get November 2nd off for Election Day) so I'll be getting off at 4:30pm, instead of 6pm. That means I should be able to make it to the gym for the new Monday night Yoga class at 5:30pm. I'm so nervous! I do Yoga on my own because I was always afraid to walk into a room of skinny chicks and bust out some half-shaped yoga poses, but both the atmosphere at my gym and with my new self-confidence, I'm determined to get some REAL instruction on Yoga poses. Have to remember to take my Yoga mat to work with me so I have it for class!
Another new class at the gym starts on Wednesday. The best part? It's not until 7:35pm! Our gym rarely does late night classes (only ones I can get to are the 2 Zumba classes that start at 7pm on Tuesday and Thursday) so this is a HUGE step in the right direction for me! I think I actually "yipeed" out loud at the front desk of the gym last night when I saw the announcement sheet! *lol* Anyhow, Wednesday night, 7:35pm - Pilates! I've NEVER done pilates, so I'm excited to try it. I hope it goes alright! (Funny anecdote - My 11 year old son saw the posting and said, "What is pilates?" The guy at the gym said, "Do you know what yoga is?" Logan nodded and the guy continued, "Well, pilates is like yoga on steroids!" *lmao* The best part...my son didn't get it! *lol* I did though, and it made me giggle!)
So next week, I'm switching it up.
Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - Zumba and ST
Wednesday - Pilates
Thursday - DANG, I have to work! *pouts* I'll probably do a lunch walk, maybe fit some Yoga in too.
Friday - The gym. SIBCCT anyone? HRM....
I'm half tempted to show up for line dancing tonight at my gym at 5:30pm. I never make it in time but the instructor dude is so nice. It's VERY low intensity, so I think I could manage even with a little soreness, but I'll play it by ear.
Know what I love? When exercise becomes something you enjoy! I'm excited about classes! I'm excited again to try new things at the gym! I'm excited about my new ST routine (even if it does take forever right now! *lol*). I *love* that excitement.
Know what else I love? I spent about an hour this morning talking to a neighbor. I met this girl at Shoney's when Hubs and I used to go there Friday mornings for breakfast. She struggles with her weight as well, and when she saw me again she immediately wanted to know how I did it and how much I lost. She kept apologizing for "bugging me" but I assured her that helping her would make me feel so proud! I want to pass these gifts on to others. So this morning I told her to take some baby steps, give me a call when she needs to talk or wants to walk, and to never be shy about asking questions. I *might* just turn her into a new workout buddy! *lol* (I haven't told her that yet, though! ;) )
Have a great weekend everyone! Enjoy Halloween and don't eat too much candy! (But seriously, one tiny Snickers bar is not going to undo everything, so don't stress TOO DARN MUCH! ;) )
Thursday, October 28, 2010
...another pound of fat, that is! That's how I like to think of my workouts sometimes - me, blasting away those calories, calling my muscles into battle against those lazy little fat cells that do little more than take up space in my body. A big workout, like my SIBCCT last night, is full on war against fat!
Okay, okay. So I know you all are wondering just what exactly I did last night at the gym. Right? ...RIGHT? You see, I have a little secret to tell you...everyone pull in a little closer to the screen...can't have this getting out! PTs would KILL me if they knew I told you! ;)
...You can be your OWN personal trainer!
Yep, I said it. PTs of the world -- please don't kill the messenger! Last night, after a little online research and a firm plan of action in my head, I challenged myself to another round of Self-Induced Boot Camp Circuit Training. And the big secret is...you can too!
How It Works
Boot Camp - Think military drills. Even if you aren't in the military, one viewing of G.I. Jane, or one of the countless other movies that deal with boot camp training, will have you feeling more in the know. And the best part? Little to no equipment needed!
Circuit Training - Just watch Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, or one of the many circuit training DVDS, or visit a Curves gym just once, and you'll start to see how this works. Bursts of cardio mixed with bursts of ST exercises. Lather, rinse, and repeat. Don't know what kind of ST to do? Just think about ways you can use your body as a counter weight - no equipment needed! Surf through fitness magazines or online or through Spark! And make sure you find exercises for each major part of the body.
The key? Push yourself and KEEP MOVING! Always moving, always keeping your body guessing, always pushing yourself to stretch the idea of what your limitations are.
Last Night's Program
I downloaded an app for my iPhone that beeps at me every minute (or however long I set it), so I turned that on and got started.
First up is always the stretching and warm-up. Get those muscles loosened up and get warmed up. You don't want to go from 0 to 160 in 2.2 seconds. Not great on an engine, not so great on your body either. Don't know what to do? Seriously, Google is your friend! My warm-up was a little different last night because I really wanted to push to burn more than 700 calories. I stretched and then did 25 minutes on the elliptical machine.
Just don't stop! For 60 seconds straight (or however long you decide), go at the fastest pace you can. Aren't to running yet in your fitness level? No problem! Walk as fast as you can for 60 seconds. Get that heart rate up!
I did 12. I wanted to do a full 60 seconds, but I didn't take into account the time it would take me to get to each station, so my timer was a little screwed up. If that happens, just go with it. Count to 60 in your head or set a specific number to do.
Again, challenge yourself. It will all depend upon where you are physically. I did 15 modified push-ups. (I tried the regular kind and got to 2! *lol*)
I did 20 regular floor crunches followed by 12 bicycle crunches. (I used to *hate* bicycle crunches, and in a way I still do, but they work, darnit! One of the best abdominal exercises out there as far as I've experienced!)
Repeat this circuit 3 times.
I suck at this, but that's okay. The key is to keep moving, like I said. So for 60 seconds I was either jumping or fiddling with the rope, but when I wanted to stop and scream at myself, I just kept going. (One bonus of including at least 1 thing you're not so good at...if you repeat this workout over several weeks, you'll actually start to see and feel improvement. I kept telling myself, "Wow...I suck at this, but it'll be interesting to see how I can improve!")
Okay, so I'm lucky in that I have a boxing room at my gym that's generally pretty empty. I had the whole room to myself last night. I would punch the bag while moving around it and shuffling my feet. But you don't need gym equipment to do this either. Shadow boxing means boxing a shadow, something that's not really there. Just be careful not to overextend your elbows when you punch (that means don't ever lock them...listen to Billy Blanks on this one! It can be harmful, and the benefits of concentrating on your arms to make sure you don't lock them actually causes you to use those muscles more!), otherwise, beat that air like it stole your cookie and you had already worked it into your calorie count and had been looking forward to it all day! But don't stop moving your feet either.
Okay, I've worked a few months on trying to figure out how to work our speed bag at the gym, and do you know what I've learned? It's all about your core! Squat just a bit to form a steady base for your body (may not be possible if you are actually punching a real speed bag), tighten your abs and hold them there throughout the motion. You can use those abs in a sort of rocking motion to keep a steady pace on the speed bag (or air speed bag).
Repeat this circuit twice. (I would've loved to have done 3 times, but I was POOPED! already!)
Okay, let's face it...I was WORE OUT by this time! So I walked a lap around the track as fast as I could still manage. The wore out part means you're working it!
Ab Crunch Time!
I ended my circuits with a rather intense crunch time. Core is so important to me right now. Normally I would say you should add in some sort of arm work and some sort of leg work too, but...like I said, I was pooped! (I generally do lunges at this point and would probably add in planks or bear crawls.) I did 4 sets of 20 - 2 different kinds - with a 6 lb. medicine ball on the reclining ab bench to finish it out.
I only did this circuit 1 time.
By this time you should feel pretty spent. I don't know that I've ever seen someone after an intense workout go, "Give me more!" If you've got more to give, do some more circuits! But always remember your 5 minute (or more) cool down. For me, this is always just a simple walk for 5 minutes. I don't worry about pace, I can go as slow as I want. If you're on a treadmill or elliptical, you might want to decrease your speed by 1 (or .5) (or on the elliptical, slow your pace by 10 strides per minute) each minute of cool down. The key is to let your heart rate come back down gradually by continuing to move at a lower intensity than before.
OMG, please, please, please do NOT forget to stretch! Stretching is the key to ending muscle soreness, and after such an intense workout, you're going to need it! Yes, I am sore today, but I can move about and perform daily functions without extreme pain or muscle cramping. I also like to think that if I end my workouts with the same stretch routine every time, it's like sending a message to my muscles -- Thanks for what you've given me, but now you can rest. And it should last at LEAST 10 minutes.
(Of course, I didn't quite rest...I proceeded downstairs and spent an HOUR doing the ST routine the PT set for me. (OMG! *lol*) I'm hoping that once I get the new routine down it won't take me quite so long to complete.)
My warm-up on the elliptical was 25 minutes, my circuit was 25 minutes. Added together with the yoga stretching I do to end my workout, I burned 1,052 SP calories in an hour-long workout! That's one heck of a calorie burn!!
Now, please keep in mind that I'm not a professional, but this is just a taste of what my SIBCCT looks like, in case you were wondering. (Or at least what it looked like last night...I change it a bit every time.) The thing I want my Spark Friends to really know and realize, the thing I think most of you miss out on, is the "create your own" style workouts that I really do have a blast with from time to time. It's freeing and empowering to create your own and, my thought is always, as long as I'm moving and doing the best form I can maintain, then it's pretty darn good for my body, right? I use the tools I've learned from countless exercise classes and DVDs along the way, the stuff I read here on Spark, the stuff I see all of you do, and the exercises I read about in fitness magazines to design my own fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants workout!
You see because...I get bored. And one thing I've learned from my 6 months here, the reason it's different than before, is because I refuse to let myself get bored. I have to try for more, better, different. I have to have something to look forward to and learn or I get bored and want to give up. So circuit training like this lets me switch it up. I don't have a chance to get bored during my cardio segment because it's already over and I'm moving onto the next move. The first time I did this SIBCCT was because I got bored on the elliptical. I forced out 20 minutes, and then went and did pushups and planks and crunches, and then I did the rowing machine...and when I got bored on that, I went and did lunges and squats and crunches again, and then I went to the bike...and I got bored with that and moved onto the cable machine. I went from completely bored to completely excited...it's like being able to mix-and-match your favorite things, your calorie burners, the things you do because you feel you should, and the things you do to challenge yourself.
So there's my report from last night...and I have a challenge for you. Take one of your workouts this week, and switch it up. This can be done at all fitness levels. Seriously, you can do 3 minutes of cardio walking in place followed by wall push-ups, or you can do a sprint at your fastest speed followed by diamond or pull-ups even! I know that some of you like the instruction from a certified PT or your DVD instructor, but maybe try it, just once, and see how it feels to make up your own thing. (And someone test this with your HRM to see how the real calorie burn is. I just have to go on how I feel during and after.)
Today, I hope gets better soon. So far I've had my eye scratched by the cat, forgot my cell phone at home, and opted for a McD's breakfast that, well, was NASTY! (guess I don't like that anymore! *lol*) Oh, and I have no clue what to do for my workout tonight considering my Zumba class is canceled. *pout* Guess I have all day to figure it out!
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