Blog Archives

Getting back on the wagon

It has been a struggle for me to work out lately. I haven’t been motivated at all and I’m starting to think me and the gal who runs half marathons are two different people!

But, we all go through peaks and valleys in life, right? One thing I have going for me is that I’ve been reading this book:

The only time I seem to be able to completely focus on reading is on the bike or elliptical trainer at the gym. At home, I get distracted by so many other things that I usually end up reading the same paragraph four times before giving up.

So I’ve gotten a few sessions in the past couple of weeks. I was on the elliptical for 60 minutes on Tuesday (keep up with my weekly workouts here)! Plus, it’s a really good book so far. When I finish, it will be the first book I’ve read all the way through in a very, very long time.

Another thing that has helped me get back on the fitness wagon is my friend Farrah.

I haven’t seen her in a while because we’ve both been busy. But today we got to workout for the first time in a long time and she kicked my behind (she’s a trainer, haha)! We walked outside for 3 miles and then came back in to do weights and abs. I know I will be sore tomorrow for sure!

And yes, that is an older picture, ha ha. It’s hard to imagine wearing sweaters right now as it’s been over 100 degrees here recently! But I shall not complain, I am no fan of winter.

Anyway, if you have been struggling with exercise (or lack thereof) try enlisting a really inspiring and active friend to get you moving or start diving into a new book while you sweat it out at the gym. Whatever it takes to get you moving so you can feel good again 🙂

I feel better already! Let’s hope this continues.

Seeing results

I am now into my third week of Body Pump and I can already tell a difference!

My results aren’t exactly “visible” yet but I can tell that I am getting stronger with each class. I have even increased my weight on a few different tracks: squats, back, and biceps. Lunges are also getting easier (did I really just say that?).

I enjoy Body Pump because it pushes me so much harder than I would push myself in the weight room. I like having an instructor there to tell me what I’m doing wrong and to encourage me in what I am doing well. Body Pump is also about endurance and toning, which is exactly what I am looking for.

And even though I have been in a class with men before, I love how this class I’ve been attending has been all women so far. Even though I know guys are typically stronger, it’s less intimidating not having them around 😉

Here is a breakdown of what I’ve been using on the bar:

  • Warm up – 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Squats – 10 kg (22 lbs)
  • Chest – 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Back – 7 kg (15.4 lbs)
  • Shoulders – 5 kg (11 lbs) + 4-5 lb hand weights we use for lateral & front raises
  • Lunges – 7 kg (15.4 lbs)
  • Triceps – 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Biceps – 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Abs – N/A

I started out lighter on squats, back and biceps before realizing more weight works better for me. I can’t wait to see how I improve in the future!

Body Pump 74 just got released over the weekend and I haven’t had a teacher run through it yet. We’ll see what happens at tomorrow’s class. Apparently it’s brutal (in a good way, ha ha). I think I read something about “walking hovers” — yikes!

If you like weight training but can’t ever seem to get yourself doing the right things in the weight room, I highly recommend this class.

Many gyms offer Body Pump, even this small one that I go to. It’s been a great experience so far having somewhere to go but I’m still kind of bummed there is no cardio cinema or spinning classes. I’m thinking about switching to a different gym when this contact is up in November. 😉

Back in the saddle

Oh, thank heavens I got to go to the gym again!

I’m praying that we don’t get anymore significant snowfall this year. It has really put a damper on my training efforts. I’m actually starting to get worried that I might not be ready for the mini marathon, but I still have a little over 2 months to go.

After a full 7 days of not running (gasp!) I finally got back on the treadmill for a quick 2-miler!

Distance: 2 miles

Time: 21:15

Pace: 10:38/mile

Then I followed that up with a quick upper body weights workout. Two sets each, 15 reps, except for side bends which were 25.

  • Chest presses (15 lbs)
  • Shoulder shrugs (20 lbs)
  • Bicep curls (10 lbs)
  • Tricep extensions (12.5 lbs)
  • Side bends (12.5 lbs)

It felt so good to work up a sweat again. I can’t wait to get in a good cardio session today, hopefully another run!

Sparkpeople 20-minute Dumbbell Workout

Yesterday, my workout plan called for running 1 mile and then completing some form of weight training.

Since I am a big fan of weight training, I know plenty of moves I can do but I have found it helpful to have a “program” to follow to make sure I cover all my bases and get the most out of my precious workout time.

This time, I decided to use the Sparkpeople 20-minute Dumbbell Workout which I printed off my computer before heading to the gym. I warmed up and ran 1 mile on the treadmill (easy in 12:00) and then got to work!

There were many things I liked about this routine, especially the time frame because it fit in perfectly with how much time I had left to work out. But there were some drawbacks as well.

The following is just my personal opinion:

Good

  • Time efficient
  • Hit every muscle group (chest, biceps, triceps, back, shoulders, legs, abs)
  • Included ab work (seated torso twist rocked!)
  • Stretching included

Not-so-good (and solutions)

  • I didn’t use enough weight (7.5 lbs, use more next time)
  • Crunches not challenging enough (add more reps)
  • The double leg lifts hurt my hip (try on bench instead of floor or switch to single leg)
  • Back extensions are really hard to do on floor (use balance ball)

Do you weight train? Follow a detailed program? What do you like or dislike about it?

I would definitely use this one again but make the modifications I mentioned above. I could also see myself doing a longer version of this with more than one set of the exercises.