Monday, November 21, 2016

a new, fast (gruelling!) workout

This is how I felt after my workout today.

I've been struggling mightily lately, both in terms of working out and eating right. I think what started it was my trainer being on medical leave for six weeks, followed by lots of back pain due to many long distance car trips in a short amount of time, and more time than usual at my desk at work. I started out pretty good while he was gone.  The first three weeks went well. The second three weeks, not so well. I at least worked out two of those three weeks. The last week I was on vacation and figured with all the walking I did it would even out. Um, not so much.

My first week back at the studio was over two weeks ago, and it was rough. He took it easy on me, but it still wasn't too pretty. Luckily I had worked out on my own the day before, so I didn't have any soreness from my workout with him the next day. The second week went much better, and I worked out on my own in between. Last week and this week, though, I'm on my own again, as he's out of town. I worked out as well as I could last week; however, my back was an absolute mess from travelling more than 10 hours in the car the previous weekend so I took it easy.  I mostly did a lot of walking on the treadmill, followed by several sets of squats, lunges, and push-ups.   My back is starting to feel better this week, so I decided to do a harder workout.

Awhile back I asked for a condensed workout I could do when pressed for time. My trainer sent one to me last week. It's seven different exercises that are done for one minute each and then repeated. It's supposed to take 28-31 minutes, including a short warm-up.  When I looked at it I thought, "Hmm that's not so bad." Since I got a late start in the gym after work today, I decided to try it.

Here's my express workout routine:
  • Warm-up 5 min. combination run in place, jumping jacks, mountain climbers
Rest 1 minute

All exercises are one minute in duration and I have to do as many as I can in that one minute. Rest 30 seconds between each exercise.
  • Kettle bell swing, 25 lbs.
  • Sumo squats, 25 lbs.
  • Push-ups
  • Reverse lunges, 15 lbs.
  • Dumbbell press, 10 lbs.
  • Mountain climbers
  • Body squats

Rest 1-2 minutes and then repeat the whole set.

One minute in duration doesn't sound like much, right? Wrong!  This was my first time doing it and it was tougher than I thought it would be. I made it through both sets, and I couldn't make a full minute, or even 30 seconds, on the mountain climbers and push-ups.  I think I had a hard time with those because this routine is very arm-heavy.  The dumbbell presses were tough, too, after about 30 seconds, but I made the full minute on those. The squats, sumo squats, and kettle bell swings were fine, although I reduced the weight to 20 lbs on the sumo squats and kettle bell swings because my back is still bothering me a bit. The reverse lunges really tired me out, but they always do, so that's nothing new.  I'm going to try this again tomorrow.

In order to help me get through the next three months until my surgery, I asked my trainer to give me short-term goals so it doesn't feel like such a grueling stretch of time. I've figured out that I'm not good with long-term goals and deadlines, whether it's at home or at work. I need short deadlines and smaller goals; if it's not in front of face and breathing down my neck I basically just screw around until the last possible minute and then cram. Obviously, that's not going to work with weight loss and core strengthening, which will prepare me for surgery. The way I handle my job is to break projects up into smaller goals with closer deadlines, which helps me cross the big finish line. I realized that I need to do that with my workouts and eating, too. So, my first goal for myself is to get back to working out five days a week and to stop all the snacking at work, and the deadline is the end of next week.  I'm going to start this week--actually I already did--by working out at least three days and not visiting my team's cubicle area at work to grab snacks (they always have snacks over there).

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