Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday's Class: Circuit 6:15am to 7am

Fridays give me some workout options because the Y offers two classes in the morning that I can finish without going into cardiac arrest and still get to work on time: a Muscle class and a Circuit class. Neither of these classes are running intense, so they are perfect for doubling up on. Also, I will sometimes skip my morning classes on Friday and go in the evening. This works because I don't take any weekend class, which means I can give myself the proper amount of rest by going later in the day on Saturday if I worked out late on Friday. Other times I will just use Friday as a rest day if the classes earlier in the week have wiped me out, or I have gone too many days in a row.

Friday's Muscle class begins at 5:30am and ends 6:15am and is followed by A Circuit training class that ends at 7am. This is the only day of the week that I can double up on classes, because of times or the classes just don’t work well together. Of these two offerings I prefer the Circuit Training class, which is the more challenging class and offers the most variety. In all honesty, I am not a fan of either Muscle classes offered at my Y because they are both like a traditional aerobics class and are almost identical from one week to the next.

This week I have had issues with getting to bed on time, so I only went to the later class this week, which is the one that I enjoy more anyway. The Circuit class is set up in stations. There will be two exercises at each station, and you will spend 4 minutes at each station switching back and forth between each exercise after each minute. You go at you own pace and you are the only person in the room doing that exercise at that moment. After completing 4 minutes, you move to the next station. The instructor will often stop us between stations and have the whole class do the same exercise for 30 seconds.

I enjoy this class because our instructor is very good at monitoring our form, and she rotates different exercises in and out of the class from week to week, but there are a core group of exercises that you are sure to see each week. (there is no escaping burpees !!! p.s. the shit with the rings on the end of this video is just sick in the head. Not in this lifetime for me!!) Another aspect of this class that I really like is that each person does what they can in one minute, so nobody falls behind, and it is impossible for the Type A personality people to push the pace of the class into a death march or worse turn the class into something that resembles this
The circuit class offers the group atmosphere but makes the competition a personal one.

Today's class:

calf raises
full ab raise
down dog push ups
jumping jacks
star fish
oblique mt. climbers
squats on a bosu
jump the line
modified planks
shoulder press w/10 lbs weights

and two more exercises that I have blocked out forgotten.
we also did 30 sec. sets of lunges, jumping jacks, jumpees, and other sources of torment exercises that I have blocked out forgotten as well. Actually, this was a pretty good workout, but I wish that I had done a bit more. There is lots of snow falling today in Raleigh, and I am afraid that the gym will be closed tomorrow.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Oversleeping Kills!

Thursday's Plycore (sports conditioning) Class starts at 5:30am and last till 6:15am. I woke up today at 5:12am. I live close enough to my gym that I might have been able to make it. I even thought about it, really: I jumped up, got dressed, and told my wife that I was leaving; but, my circulatory system had other thoughts. After my, oh Shit, I overslept energy burned off. The blood was more oozing through my veins than flowing. So, I decided that I should just take my time, wake up, and work out on my own today. I did have to struggle against the urge to just say screw it and go back to bed. However, I had been pretty motivated the night before, so the thought was fleeting. But, honestly, my initial desire to haul ass to class was actually the more dangerous to my workout goals. I enjoy classes much more than workingout alone, but rushing to class late and joining without warming up is just a bad idea! Not as bad as this: but close. It is difficult to make the right choice because when you are motivated to get up and go to class it is counterintuitive to let that motivation go to waste. But really, on the risk to reward scale, it is just better to let it go. Do something different if you can or just change your plans and fit it in another day. If that isn't an option, then you’re better off just saying it wasn't supposed to be and making it an off day. It is a difficult choice to make, but it is the right call.

I have learned that I really need to give myself some time to wake and warm up before I take a morning workout class. Every stinkin' time that I have had a pull or strain in one of these classes, it was on a day that I was running late, so I try to get up somewhere between 4am and 4:20am. I don't want to shock my system anymore than it is already doomed to be shocked by my workout. Normally, I go to bed between 10:30 and 11pm, but last night I stayed up to watch The State of the Union, and this morning none of the three alarms stood a chance.

I got to the Y at 6am and locker 29 was just sitting there waiting for me, so there was still a good shot that this would be a good day. The lockers at the Y are first come first serve. But I always get 29 whenever it is available. Most of the staff members at the Y don't even ask which locker I want anymore--they see me coming and just reach for good old 29.

I popped my head into class, after I dropped my stuff off in the locker room, just to see what they were doing. The instructor for this class writes down the exercises, number of reps, and sets for the class on a dry erase board and you try to complete as much as you can. The class uses the entire gym, so the dry erase board helps you keep track of what you are doing. However, I wasn’t going to be able to do their workout because they had run a megaton of sprints on the b-ball courts, which as of 6am were being used for . . . B-ball of all things . . . So, I decided to do one of our prior days exercises with a few modifications:

2 laps around the track
4 flights of stairs up & down
5 assisted chin ups
20 push ups
20 prisoner squat with knee up (at the top of the squat, pull your knee up and twist at the waist bring the opposite elbow inward to meet the raised knee. Do this with both knees between each squat)
25 frog kicks (I don't hit the floor like he does, but maybe I should)
20 oblique crunches w/leg raise (each side) I have no idea what they are saying, but that is how you do it.
10 step ups (each side)
10 dips
10 dumbbell triceps extension (each arm)

I did this four times in just under 60mins. It was a pretty good workout that didn't kill me, which was just what I needed on a day where I was feeling really sluggish. Oversleeping can kill my motivation or my body if I am not careful, but today I kept my mind right and made to the gym and through a pretty good workout.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Truths: Sad & Happy

Let me just get some things out of the way here right off.

--I am 36. And being 36 sucks because 40 is eyeballing me and seems to be spoiling for a fight.

--I am 6'1" 1/3. But if you ask me how tall I am, I will tell you that I am 6'3". -G-, how tall are you? I am 6'3"!

--I have been working out on a consistent basis since May. I had to have my wisdom teeth remove and after that I really got serious about going to the gym. Before that, I was pretty hit and miss. I just did enough to fool myself into thinking that I was trying.

--I didn't start exercising in an effective manner until mid-Sept. Before that, I worked out on my own and did the same exercises over and over. At first I lost some weight and felt better, but I bottomed out and started getting at lot of fatigue injuries. Nothing serious just pulls and strains that make an already difficult task, downright loathsome.

--Things changed for me when I saw a bulletin board in my why about a member who had lost 86lbs. He had started going to the early bird fitness classes that start between 5:30am & 6:00am M-F. I started going to these classes too. (I'll write more about this later).

--I've been down this road before. I moved to Japan in 2003 and lived there for 3 years. In that time, I lost 50 lbs. I went to the gym a lot my 2nd & 3rd years in Japan, but I lost most of my weight during the 1st. I ate less and better, walked or rode a bicycle nearly everywhere, and vomited a good deal on the weekend due to a group of friends that would meet up in Tokyo on the weekend and pound beers all night until the trains stared running in the morning and mercifully carry our sorry selves back to our towns. It was hard on the old liver, but guaranteed a weekend of light meals (especially for a guy who earned the nickname "Puck Skywalker") Yes I vomited atop Mt. Fuji, Japan's most sacred Mountain, and all over a Korean airliner) but at least I did get any on the Prime Minister When I returned from Japan, my eating habits fell apart, I drove everywhere, stopped going to the gym, and I Ba-LOON-ed, and gained back 36lbs!

So, where am I now? I am doing well. I've lost those 36lbs again, but it has me scared because I know just how easy it would be to let it go and put it all right back on.

Here are the most Sad & Happy truths:

In 2003, I weighed 330 when I left for Japan.
In 2006, I weighed 282 when I returned to America.
In 2009, I weighed 316 when I went to the Doctor in Jan.
In 2010, I weighed 282 when I went to the Doctor on Jan 6th.

Now, this 282 is a more solid and action packed 282 than I ever had in Japan, but it is still 282, and I want to be 230.

These are my Truths both Sad & Happy.

Why am I writing this?

Well, I have been working out for some months now, and I am doing pretty well. But, my noodle has been my biggest adversary thus far. I talk about working out way too much, I obsess over tiny changes in my body, I talk about my workouts in great detail to people who I can tell tuned out before I even started speaking, I am pretty sure that I am driving my wife crazy, pissing off my friends and co-workers, and . . . you gueesed it . . . I am still fraught with self-doubt. Now, I am not doing all of this because I am some vain egomaniac. Really, I'm not! I swear. Promise. I am just struggling to keep my head screwed on straight and stick with something that I so desperately want to stick with. So, sometime back I thought that I should start posting about my experiences on Facebook in order to get out some of minds messiness. But I am sure that I am just annoying a bunch of people that I haven't spoke to since high school, confirming that I am still a mess to the people that I haven't spoken to since college, and letting my co-workers see a side of me that I think is best kept under tight wraps.

So, I figured that I would write this blog and launch all my crazy ass thoughts into the vast void of cyber space and not have to worry about my shrinking Facebook friend count or the number of characters in my stinking wall post.

Also, I hope that by writing this blog that I can keep up my current level of motivation, which is through the roof!