I hurt, oh how I hurt!

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I finally made my return to the gym. I would (yet again) like to thank the folks at King West Fitness for being non-judgmental. It makes it so much easier to show back up at a gym when the staff still remember who you are and act as if you were just there yesterday, instead of noting the gaping 12 week MIA.

Going back to the gym for me involves breaking all of the barriers for why I haven’t been in the longest time.

1. Schedule gym time.
As soon as I stop going to the gym regularly there is no chance I’m actually going to go back unless I put it in my calendar. I will not get up early enough. I will not magically find time in my day. No, need to make a decision and put it in writing. I was an hour off my planned time today, but I still made it.

2. Buy the gadget
I’m a total gadget freak. The last time I had to go back to the gym I decided I simply couldn’t go until I had a better gym bag, and new better, proper running shoes. This time, it was an interval timer. I wanted to try this HIIT training I’ve been reading so much about and decided I simply could not do it without a timer. I’ll review the time in my next post.

3. Leave time for girly wardrobe changes & grooming.
If there is a guy reading this post I’m sure he’s rolling his eyes right now, some girls likely are as well. I’m super uncomfortable about myself at the gym and how my flabby body looks bouncing around on the machines, so there’s no way I’m going to show up without my legs newly shaved, and in clothes that I think look like crap. Yes, I realize the irony…. and if I didn’t my partner pointed it out to me today when I asked if the small brown stripes on the arms of my hoodies clashed too much with my black yoga pants. That being said, it’s a barrier, and it needed to be addressed.

The Work Out

After reading a tonne of information from Health Habits, and New Rules of Lifting for Women, I decided that I have been committing most of the exercise sins… or common mistakes. Hours on the cardio machines at a moderate pace, barbie weights, bizarre awkward crunches. I feel a bit embarrassed about this, but not too much. First off, I’m apparently far from alone in these common mistakes and secondly, they did help me loose 6 sizes so it wasn’t all bad.

I decided to start with Health Habits HIIT aerobic, followed by his HIIT anaerobic, and then following it up with workout 1 from NROLFW

Workout looked like this:

Elliptical resistance 8, height 10
5 min warm up
10 min HIIT with 10 second sprints, and 50 second recovery.

HIIT Squats – 9 ‘super sets’ (no idea if that word is right)
10 sec sprint
60 sec recovery

HIIT Push Ups (done at 45 degree angle) – 9 super sets
10 sec sprint
60 sec recovery

NROLFW Barbell Squat using 20 lbs
15 reps
2 sets

NROLFW 45 degree push up (see above)
15 reps
2 sets
(I alternated between this exercise and the step ups to reduce recovery time, may have been a mistake)

NROLFW Step up 3 steps, 24 lbs
15 reps (each leg)
2 sets

NROLFW Seated Row 40 lbs
15 reps
2 sets
(I alternated this exercise with the prone jack knife to reduce recovery time, may have been a mistake)

NROLFW Prone Jack Knife
15 reps
2 sets

Comments / Mistakes

1. HIIT before NROLFW

I didn’t find the HIIT series too challenging, I know that I can progress through that work out. The big difficulty came when I tried to do the barbell squats after doing the HIIT workout, there was way too much burn in my thighs and they were really really painful. As I got through the set they got easier, which I suppose is not supposed to happen. I think I can likely do more weight on the barbell squat but I’d better do them before anareobic HIIT.

2. NROLFW Prone Jack Knife WTF??!!!

I had a lot of problems with the prone jack knife and really wish I had watched this particular you tube video before trying them.

Part of the problem was this description from NROLFW:

Get Ready

  • Grab a Swiss ball and set your shins on top of it, with your palms flat on the floor.
  • Carefully walk your palms out until your body is in the push-up position, forming a straight line from your ankles through your neck.
  • Lift

  • Pull your knees towards your chest, allowing your torso to shift diagonally so your hips rise towards the ceiling and your head tilts down towards the floor
  • Keep your arms straight, and your neck in line with your torso.
  • Your toes will end up on the top of the ball, with most of your weight now shifted to your hands.
  • Return

  • Roll the ball back to the starting position, so your shins are again on top of the ball and your body is aligned from ankles to neck.
  • Basically the drawing and this text gave me the impression that the end position was butt high in the air, head between the shoulders pointed at the ground so that the back was vertical.

    All the youtube videos however stress how important it is to keep the back horizontal and in line with the floor. Which, after trying the exercise seems a bit easier and less awkward than the how to get my head between my shoulders pointed at the floor while on a swiss ball.

    3. Damn I’m sore!

    This is not going to be the workout where I say it feels great to have done it, I feel really really sore, and I expect walking will be a challenge tomorrow morning.

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