Tag Archives: gym

Six Weeks For Change

One of my blogger friends, Karen, has posted a “challenge” to use the remaining six weeks of winter to implement change in your life.  She lists quite a bit of possible ideas you could use to kick start your life in the direction you are looking for.  I decided to use a couple of her suggestions (because they were relevant to me) and add one more for good measure.

Here are my six-week changes:

1. Go to at least one Zumba class (preferrably more because hopefully I will love it)
2. Try new recipes (and, of course, share with you all).  To make this more specific…I intend to try at least six new recipes over the next six weeks.
3. Improve my balance.  I will work on this in a number of ways, the first being physical therapy (twice weekly).  They are constantly working on my balance (especially in that right ankle).  I also intend to work on this using yoga (twice weekly) and other methods.
4. Jump rope (successfully).  If I make myself jump rope at least four times a week (every day I am at the gym) for even five minutes, it would stand to reason I would improve greatly over six weeks…right?

I invite you to visit Karen’s blog and take on the task of implementing changes (big or small) in your life over the next six weeks.  These weeks will just fly by and you will be glad you challenged yourself to make them really count.



I just wanted to share a little excitement with you all…

I was just able to cross three (yes, THREE) things off my list of goals!

– Do planks on the floor (not only can I do planks on the floor…I can do mountain climbers on the floor…and reptiles, too)

– Do the ab dipper with straight legs (I can totally do this…not quite as many as with bended knees, but I *can* do it)

– 250 pounds (CHECK!  I’m well into the 240’s right now!)

I also added a goal, which may seem a little peculiar:

– Trust myself

While working with Denise today she had me doing some new (challenging, very challenging) things.  One was to jump up onto a raised platform.  The other was to step up onto a workout bench.  Both of these things scared me…to death.  I was afraid to fall, afraid to hurt myself.  Denise had all the confidence in the world in me, but I did not.  I actually said out loud, “I do not trust myself to pull this off successfully.”  It sounded *so* strange to hear that come flying out of my mouth…Denise thought so, too.  So, I definitely need to work on trusting myself (because I actually did end up pulling both of those things off, by the way).  Trusting my own abilities and not letting my own mind talk me out of doing things.

How is your list of goals coming along?  Are you actively working toward accomplishing what you want most?  Do you allow yourself to self-sabotage (talking yourself out of doing good things)?


My Routine(s)

As I mentioned in my weigh in post this week, Denise changed my routines Wednesday.  I was working solely on four or five machines in a circuit fashion.  Apparently, that was not the best use of my time at the gym (go figure).  So, I thought I might share my new routines with all of you.  Some (actually most) of the exercises I do now *could* be done at home.  For those of you who do not go to the gym (for financial or other reasons), these moves may help you still get a great workout.

15 minutes of warm up on elliptical/treadmill/bike
bicep curls – 25 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
tricep extensions – 50 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
lateral raises – 10 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
front raises – 10 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
rows – 50 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
tricep sides – 10 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
ab dipper (nautilus) – 3 sets of 5+
planks (inclined) – 3 sets of 10+ (holding for a count of 10)
35 minutes of high intensity cardio on elliptical/treadmill/bike

15 minutes of warm up on elliptical/treadmill/bike
front lunges – 3 sets of 15
sumo lunges/squats – 3 sets of 15
pelvic raises – 3 sets of 20
calf raises – 200 lbs. – 3 sets of 30
thigh/hip abductor machine – 130 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
thigh/hip adductor machine – 130 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
leg raises (up and out) – 3 sets of 15
lower back extension – 260 lbs. – 3 sets of 15
crunches (on yoga ball) – 3 sets of 25
oblique twists (with med ball) – 3 sets of 20
35 minutes of high intensity cardio on elliptical/treadmill/bike

As long as I have been working out consistently (about 18 weeks) at the gym, there have only been a handful of times I have been sore the day(s) after working out.  This, of course, always frustrated me because I felt like I was not working hard/smart enough to really break down the muscle tissue and build more lean tissue.  However, since starting this new routine (on Thursday) I feel like I am working out “better” (so to speak).  Thursday I did the arm/ab routine and certainly felt it in my triceps Friday and a little Saturday.  Friday night I worked on the legs/back/abs and felt it yesterday.  My legs are still sore today, but I did walk (briskly) in the 5K last night, too.  So, I am sure some of my soreness comes from that.

If you workout on a time crunch, you can combine a lot of these moves into complex exercises.  My trainer says complex exercises work multiple muscle groups (including your core) at the same time…which can minimize the time/days you spend working out.

Combining moves into complex ones:
front lunges with lateral raises (or curls or shoulder presses or both)
sumo lunges/squats with front raises

I am sure there are other ways to combine moves, but those are the only two I know…for right now anyway.


Another {small} Setback

If it is not one thing it is another, right?  Here is the story:

Two weeks ago I changed personal trainers because Ebony left Fitworks.  Denise and I worked out on October 26th for the first time.  The workout was great (intense, interesting, new, etc.).  It consisted of various exercises I had never done before.  Two of which were full sit-ups and V-crunches.

Full sit-ups: Lying flat on your back, legs apart (more than shoulder width).  Hold a 15-pound medicine ball above your head (arms completely straight).  Sit up completely and bring the ball to your left foot.  Raise the ball back over your head and lie back again.  Sit up completely and bring the ball to your right foot.  Repeat (over and over and over and over again) alternating feet each time you sit up.

V-crunches: Only your tushie butt and hands should be touching the floor.  Your hands are only for stability.  Here’s a picture of what it (kinda) looked like when I did them…only I was *not* on a ball.  You alternate (fairly quickly) straightening and bending your legs while leaning your upper body back when you straighten your legs.  (I certainly hope I am making some sort of sense here – LOL)

V Crunches

Alright, so I did these two core workouts for approximately eight minutes (in 1-minute increments with short breaks in between).  Maybe that does not seem like a lot, but these were seriously intense.  The odd thing was my legs were burning (from the V crunches) but my abs felt fine.

The next day; however, my abs were *killing* me…and I do mean *killing*.  I could not lie flat on my back without pain in my lower abs.  I could not sit up without rolling out to the side and using my arm(s) to push me up because my lower abs felt like they would just give out.  The only thing I can even begin to compare it to was having my two cesarean sections.  It was awful.  What I did not realize at the time was I really hurt myself.

I ignored the pain and continued working out on my regular schedule.  Last night I went to Fitworks (two weeks later, mind you) to meet Denise.  When I tried to do sit-ups guess what?  I could not do them.  Not “I didn’t want to” or “I am afraid.”  I *literally* could. not. do. them.  I could do a regular crunch, but not a full and complete sit-up.  So, Denise starting asking questions because she knew I could do them two weeks ago.  Once I explained what I felt like for a week (actually more) after our original workout this is what she said:

I tore my muscle.

How awful.  Really awful.  I wanted to do those sit-ups and I wanted to workout hardcore.  After all, I want to be to 250 (or less) my Christmas.  I want to be to 225 (or less) by my birthday in February.  I have goals to meet and accomplishments to celebrate.  I do not have time to be injured and “taking it easy” on myself.  Right?

Apparently, she had another plan for me.  We switched from sit-ups and crunches to planks.  She said that I can still work the ab muscles, but in different ways that do not hurt them while they are healing (which evidently can take up to six whole stupid weeks, by the way).  She had to start me on the highest platform/table they have available at Fitworks (which really bummed me out that I was starting at the bottom – boo!) because I tried the lowest and could not do it without pain in my lower abs.  I started raised up on my hands and then lowered to my elbows.  Back up to the hands (straight arms) and back down to the elbows.  We did 45-second intervals with breaks (that seemed unnecessarily long to me) in between.  Here is (kinda) what it looks like, only I was on a platform not directly on the floor:


I cried at the gym last night.  Not because I was in pain, but because I am mad (really, pissed) at myself for not being able to do the sit-ups and the lower planks.  I feel like I am failing myself…like I am failing in general.  Then, of course, I was mad at myself for crying in public at the gym (tee hee).

This is when I got my first lecture from Denise.  “Erica, you’re working so hard.  You kicked butt tonight.  Yes, you cannot do this…temporarily…but you will do it in the future.  You *have* to allow your body to guide you on this journey.  When your body hurts you have to listen to it and take it easy.  That does not make you a failure.  That does not mean you cannot work out in other ways.  It does mean you should not continue do the moves that hurt you in the first place.”  That is not verbatim, but you get the idea.

The only problem is…I do not do “can’t.”  I do not handle “can’t” well – at all.  It eats at me.  It bothers me.  It keeps me up at night.  It gives me bad dreams.  It haunts me.  “Can’t” is not usually in my vocabulary.  Does that make me obsessive and a little bizarre?  Sure.  But I am okay with that (it is “can’t” I am not okay with).

Have you ever injured yourself working out?  How did you handle it?  Did it bother you not to be able to continue your “regularly scheduled programming?”  How long did it take for you to heal?


Sickness = Hurdle

So, I woke up this morning feeling stuffy.  My face hurt a little and my sinuses felt dry.  All day my body has felt strange, not bad or sore, just strange.  Of course, I went to the gym anyway…because I love it.

A few people have told me you should not workout when you are sick.  Have any of you heard this?  Also do you have any kind of explanation or grasp on just how “sick” you have to be to skip the gym?  I was not running a fever or throwing up, so I thought going to the gym was no big deal.  However, after trying to lift what I would normally, I felt it in my muscles (weakness).  I ended up reducing the weights and my reps in order to get my whole circuit in.  I still did fine on the elliptical, though, and it did not bother me even slightly.

Also I am not with the whole medication thing, so does anyone have any knowledge of natural “helpers” to kick a head cold?

Here’s to hoping I am feeling better tomorrow because I meet with my trainer at 6:30 PM.

How is your week going?  Are you still on the right track?