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Tag Archives: cardio

Forgot My Plan

7 Jul

Don’t forget your plan when you go to the gym, or in my case, to make a plan. sigh.

Usually when I go to the gym I have a plan of what I want to accomplish. It isn’t some set in stone can’t be adjusted in the moment kind of thing, but it at least covers how long I want to be doing cardio for and what muscle groups I plan to focus on when lifting weights. Within the muscle groups I know what moves I will do, but even those can be changed once I am at the gym.

The changes are usually because of not being able to access the equipment I need / want. So, say I wanted to run for 30 minutes but all the treadmills are in use, then I’ll go to the elliptical. Or say I want to do Wood Choppers using the pulley system but the proper attachment is nowhere to be found, then I’ll do them using a free weight or medicine ball, or maybe I won’t do them at all, maybe I’ll do Russian Twists instead.

It’s all about getting in the workout I want while making minor changes based on equipment availability and comfort level around the people that I am sharing the gym with.

By comfort level I mean some days the free weight section is crowded with jacked up guys who are doing super sets and moving from one exercise to another and they are taking up a lot of room with their little stations that they created. Or a bunch of guys are working out together and they kinda take over the space so some of them are working out while the others are hanging on equipment next to the guy who is working out while they all chat. I get it, they want to be social, but it sure can be annoying for the rest of us sometimes. *rolls eyes*

This was not meant to be a rant! Oops!

What I was trying to get to is that I always have a flexible plan when I go work out, ensuring I come away from my work out feeling like I have accomplished something and got in a solid session.

Until the other night.

I knew I was going to do my cardio, but hadn’t committed to which machine I wanted to use for it, in fact I kind of didn’t care what I did for my cardio. I ended up using the elliptical for 30 minutes, which is fine, but I could have done better.

Then I took a look at the free weight section and didn’t want to deal with navigating all the guys that were there so I went to a different room, it is a bit smaller but is a good space for free weight work. There were some guys in there but usually I’ll go in even if it is partially occupied cause, well, I can. But since I didn’t have a plan for which muscle groups I wanted to work on, and no real motivation to be there, I didn’t go in the room, instead I went to the stretching area, had a cool down, and went home.

I have never had such a short workout. And I can’t believe I let myself leave without getting some weight work done.

It was like, once there, with all the equipment, I was overwhelmed and didn’t know what I wanted to do, or what I should do, and I couldn’t make a decision, so I left.

Maybe it was because it was at the end of a long day and I was tired and my brain just couldn’t make any more decisions. Maybe for whatever reason I had less motivation that day and I used that lack of motivation as a reason to leave after doing only cardio. Maybe I am just a lazy person at heart and I wanted to go home and be cozy in my pajamas while watching Netflix. πŸ˜›

Whatever the reason, it wasn’t a great workout, and I think a big part of that is my going in to that gym without a plan.

The plan doesn’t have to be some big great detailed thing. Some days it is as simple as:

  • 30 mins cardio
  • weight work for arms, shoulders, and back
  • some core work
  • stretch

That’s it! That is all it takes to make a plan! Who knew something so simple could be the difference between getting a good work out in and only getting 30 minutes of cardio in? Not me, that’s for sure!

Lesson learned, plan, even just a bit, and my workout will be way better.

 

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30 of 30

30 May

Holy crap I did it! I actually completed both of the 30 Day Challenges! How is that even possible? That is so not a me thing to do, and yet, I did it! Yah!! πŸ˜€

shock! complete and utter shock I finished both challenges!

shock! complete and utter shock I finished both challenges!

For anybody who has no clue what I am talking about, I did a 30 Day Ab Challenge and a 30 Day Squat Challenge. You can read on the page just above here titled ’30 Day Challenges’ my day-to-day tracking of the past 30 days (if you want, no pressure or anything πŸ˜‰ lol)

So how do I feel? Honestly right now I feel tired and sore lol and elated and shocked and kinda proud. I know it’s a silly thing to feel pride about, I mean, people do far more amazing things daily, but I don’t care, I am just gonna feel the pride and let it give me a happy boost. πŸ™‚

My knees will be oh so happy the squat challenge is over, they freakin huuuurt! They did so well though, didn’t start giving me trouble till I hit 220 squats. From that point on however they were slightly problematic and have required some pampering. I don’t want to quit doing squats on such a regular basis but I am going to give them a rest for 2-3 days so I can give my knees a break from them. I feel so old complaining about my knees but whatever, I have bad knees, it’s just the way things go. πŸ˜›

The ab exercises sucked. I have such a weak core that working it out, while I know is a necessity if I want it to get stronger, is sooooooo hard and I’d rather work on pretty much any other part of my body because working out my core makes me feel really weak. *rolls eyes* Kinda ironic I suppose, the only way to make my core stronger is to work it out but the act of working it out makes me feel even weaker, sigh.

I won’t know until tomorrow if there were any noticeable changes to my body since tomorrow is when I take my ‘after’ pictures…which no, I won’t be posting any of the ‘before’ or ‘after’ pictures to the blog because I took them in a sports bra and underwear and nobody needs to be seeing that!

I had a minor problem with my ab work this evening, and it’s such a weird you’d never guess this problem in a million years kind of thing lol Last night I dropped something very heavy on my right foot, it landed on the top of my foot with the edge of the object and caused a severe amount of pain, deep breathing, squeezed shut eyes and massive effort to not swear at the top of my lungs because it was late and I don’t know how well sound travels but just in case it travels well I didn’t want to disturb the people above me lol I actually worried for a bit I might have broken something the pain was that intense. It immediately started swelling and walking was a special kind of torment. Oh, and sleeping wasn’t that great because the top of the foot couldn’t stand even the light pressure of the blankets buuuuuuut if I put my foot outside of the blankets it got cold, oy! Such a picky foot! lol

I was wearing runners for most of today (was working my second job) and boy oh boy that didn’t go well. Had trouble getting my foot in to the runner because of it being swollen, and once it was in the pain of being confined in the runner made the foot protest quite a bit. Not one to let pain get in my way I did my best to ignore it and go about my day. Thank goodness I dragon boat in flip flops! I was so grateful when I could take the runners off and wear something non-confining *sweet sigh of relief*

It didn’t look all that swollen at practice this evening so I thought it must be getting better, turns out it was the angle I was looking at it from, when I got home and sat on the floor and compared the two feet from a side view I saw the swelling it still quite apparent, go figure, shrug.

Here’s where the minor problem for my ab work came in. I tuck my feet under my living room chair and use the pressure of the chair to help me keep my form while doing sit-ups, like the equivalent of having someone sit on your feet. I got my feet under the chair but once I hit about the 30th sit-up and it became hard my feet started to strain upwards a bit putting pressure on the top of the foot. Oh dear god that was not pleasant! I wiggled the feet out a bit and figured for one night let the pressure hit more on the big toe area…which was when I found out the pain had actually spread down the big toe but I guess I hadn’t noticed because, well, basically, it’s just my whole foot at this point that hurts lol Why bother differentiating between toe and top of foot right?

Obviously I got the ab work done, like I was going to let a sore foot get in the way of that?! Nuh-uh! Gotta say though, I ended this challenge on a weirder note then anticipated lol πŸ˜›

I’m hoping my butt is perkier and my abs are a bit less squishy when I compare the pics I will be taking tomorrow to the ones I took at the beginning but I’m not holding my breath, I’m pretty sure I look the same everywhere, sigh. Oh well, it was still good to do the challenges even if I don’t get visible results, right?

I had also hoped that doing this would make my clothes fit a bit better but so far no-go on that, everything has still been fitting the same, double sigh. I think this means that while the exercises were good for me, and I know my thighs got stronger from all those squats, I’m gonna hafta kick it up a notch in the gym and increase my cardio…I may let that wait a day or two though in an effort to give my foot some healing time lol πŸ˜›

Final Verdict: Definitely worth it! These challenges provide structure, a plan, a goal, they help create a healthy habit of exercising on a routine of 3 days on 1 day off, and when you finish them, even if your clothes don’t fit better or you see any really obvious results you still feel good about having completed the challenges, and that my friend, is the best result possible. πŸ™‚

this deserves a happy dance!

this deserves a happy dance!

I Used To Be Able To Run, Honest!

24 Apr

Oh. My. God. Monday was so embarrassing! I hate the gym! 😦

Ignore me, I’m being overly dramatic (side effect of being an actor lol). I’m sure no one was watching, or watching enough to notice, but still! I embarrassed myself with my level of suckyness and that is almost worse then being embarrassed and knowing other people saw. I’m far more judgmental of myself then others seem to be of me…what’s with that? *raised eyebrow*

Anyways! Gotta shake it off! πŸ˜›

On Monday I went to the gym (like you hadn’t figured that out already? lol) and I hopped on the treadmill like always. Now, I am soooooo not a runner but last winter/summer I somehow ran enough on the freakin treadmill that I somehow accidentally became a bit of a runner. It wasn’t so much that I liked running, just that I’d become good at it and had managed to push myself to distances and speeds I never would have thought I could reach and I liked the challenge of doing even better each gym visit. Sick huh?

Towards the end of last year I was so busy with moving and work and being lazy that I stopped going to the gym as often as I used to. Didn’t think too much of it, and figured when I went back I’d pick up right where I left off. Then the car accident happened and I couldn’t go to the gym, and I started to chafe at the inactivity. I actually wanted to go and exercise but wasn’t allowed to, or capable of if I’m gonna be honest and I got in a slump. shrug. Once I was cleared for going back to the gym I did go a bit but still had to take it easy. Then dragon boat practice started up, oh, and a bit before practices started up I started hiking again and somehow, even though I was being physically active I wasn’t going anywhere near the treadmill.

Last Monday I went not just near the treadmill, but on it, and I thought I was going to die. *rolls eyes*

I started up at my regular warm up, about a minute of fast walking, then pushed the speed up to my former basic running speed. I was intending to do my interval sprints (30 seconds of sprinting, 1.5 minutes of regular running speed, for a grand total of 30 minutes) but by the time I got to where I usually start my sprints I was ready to quit, w.t.f??? I was shocked at how quickly I wanted to get off that evil contraption but there ya have it, apparently my running cardio is gone,Β kaput, out the window, dead.

This saddens me more then I thought it would. More though, it pisses me off! I worked my butt off (literally!) in my quest to become a runner. I went everyday to the stupid gym, I went when I felt sick, when I was tired, depressed, lazy, had other things to do, I skipped fun social activities to go to the gym, I pushed myself harder then I had ever been pushed, I sweated, I killed my runners, I dealt with body pains, I worked and I earned the level of running I got to. And now? Now it is all gone. Now I have to earn it all back again and all I can think about is how hard it was the first time, how much I went through, and how I don’t know if I can do that again. I don’t know that I have it in me. When I was running on Monday I seriously was ready to hop off and say screw it, nobody will ever know, I’ll just go sit on a freakin bike, those are easier. But then this guy got on the treadmill next to me and I somehow felt obligated to stay on, he blatantly looked at my treadmill screen so he saw my speed and time and if I got off so early in my “run” well, I’d be embarrassed wouldn’t I? And heaven forbid that happen! sigh. Sometimes I hate my pride lol

Well, in the end my 30 minute interval run turned in to a 20 minute slow jog, with, I am ashamed to admit, two quick stops so I could drink some water. *red faced* Β While I know any activity is good activity a huge part of me feels like why should I even bother if that is the best I can do? I had to run at a slower speed than I used to, and couldn’t maintain that for the length of time I used to run for.

I am definitely no longer a runner. 😦

After the treadmill I went to the free weights area, grabbed some dumbbells and did a bunch of squats etc for my legs, figured if I couldn’t run as well as I used to least I could do was work the muscles another way. I definitely worked them! It is two days later and my legs are still in pain! Good muscle pain though so I don’t mind, much. lol. πŸ˜›

I’m grateful I haven’t also lost my cardio ability when it comes to dragon boating. I can still paddle the endurance pieces coach puts us through no problem. But that kind of confuses me. How can I have good cardio in the paddling sense but sucky cardio in the running Β sense? Isn’t cardio cardio? Apparently it isn’t…but I don’t understand why. Sure paddling uses more core and running is legs but, well, I have no core strength, lol, it has always been one of my weakest areas, and now it seems like my core is stronger then my legs?? There is something way flawed with that…

The Next Level

12 May

You always hear talk about going to “the next level” like it’s this big amazing goal we should all have and if you don’t at some point reach it well, then you suck lol. There is so much pressure when you say you are losing weight, pressure to be perfect everyday, pressure to have an amazing story super fast that can wow people, pressure to make it to that next level…whatever that level might be.

To be honest, I didn’t think I had a next level, I have my level, the level of H. πŸ˜‰ lol I didn’t see what was wrong with that. I’m not an athlete, I’m not training to compete in some huge iron man competition, I’m not trying to prove to others how strong I am or how skinny I can get (well, ok, except for my agent, I have to prove to her how skinny I can get since she’s ordered me to lose another 20lbs but that’s a whole different can of worms lol). I’m not trying to find some elusive next level, I like my level. *stomps foot*

The only problem with my level is that it wasn’t getting me anywhere, stupid level, grr! πŸ˜‰ I didn’t know it but I wasn’t exercising effectively so the time I spent in the gym was not as productive as it could have been, in some ways it was even counter productive! Lame! Also, the food I was eating wasn’t giving me the needed fuel to accomplish what I wanted *rolls eyes* Oy!

Well, once I learned the eating plan and exercise plan I am now on I was taught more about levels, ah geez, it’s like you can’t get away from them. On this exercise plan you can’t just coast on one level, every week you are pushing to get better, by better I mean stronger, faster, more flexible. My endurance should be increasing, my muscle strength should be increasing, the types of weight work I do should be getting changed…let’s just say there are a lot of freakin levels to keep track of!

Even though I hate cardio I have been preferring my cardio days because at least on those days I for sure know what I am doing and am not so worried about fucking something up…by something I mean me! lol πŸ˜› Β I know I’ve mentioned my cardio before but just as a recap here is what I do:

20 minutes of running on a treadmill, set the treadmill to an incline of 1 – 2 to stimulate being outside (I started at 1 and am now at 2), jog for 3 minutes (I start at a fast walk for 30 seconds, then go to a light jog for a minute then a slightly faster jog for the remainder of that 3 minutes), then you sprint like a crazy person for 30 seconds, then you jog for 1.5 minutes, then you sprint like a crazy person for 30 seconds, then you jog for 1.5 minutes…tell me you see the pattern here and I don’t have to keep writing those same two sentences over an over? You sprint a total of 8 times, after the 8th sprint you cool down, sooooooo back to a light jog and eventually down to a walk. Now, for pacing, my jogging started out at a speed of 4 (sorry, I’m blanking if the machine measures in miles or km…) and my sprints started out at 8, but! you don’t do all your sprints at just one speed, oh no no no no no, cause see, that would be not pushing to the next level! You do a couple sprints at 8, then do some at 8.5 then maybe your 8th sprint is a 9…something like that. Every cardio day you have to at least match the sprint speeds you did the last cardio day but what you are really supposed to do is get better, so maybe swap out an 8 for an 8.5 or an 8.5 for a 9, get the idea?

Now that you see where I started let me tell ya where I’ve been stuck at. And boy do I mean stuck! I now do my light jog at 5.5 or 6 and my sprints are divided into 4 sprints at a speed of 9 and 4 sprints at a speed of 9.5…and that is it. I’ve been there forever! Every time I have a cardio day I swear I am gonna increase one of those sprints, either do 5 at 9.5 or maybe swap out a 9.5 for a 10…10 is like an elusive goal for me. It’s so freakin close but juuuust far enough away I can’t do it yet, so annoying! Well, everytime I get on that treadmill and swear I am gonna up my sprints I just can’t do it, I don’t have the stamina, the endurance, the capability, the elusive whatever the hell it is you need to get you to that next level. I was barely making it through the sprints I was already at and I knew if I tried to go at a speed of 10 I’d fall off the treadmill, I also knew if I did 5 sprints at 9.5 I’d not make it through the last one and I personally think it’s better to make it through all the sprints then have to jump to the side rails before the end of the 30 second sprint time cause your legs can’t keep going or you’re gonna fall or ya know, just expire right there from sheer over exertion. lol

Now, having said all that, I actually made it to dun-dun-dun: The Next Level!!!! *ding!ding!ding!*

My last cardio day which was Wednesday I was soooo not in the mood to be dealing with any aspect of life, let alone the working out part of it. I didn’t want to be there, I couldn’t bring myself to care, I was tired and had eaten very poorly the day before so I felt icky, I was full of excuses and reasons to not go…and yet, somehow I found myself in the gym on the treadmill…I’m still not really sure how I managed to get my butt there but right now I don’t care, I’m just glad I went. πŸ™‚

I wasn’t even planning to attempt bettering my sprints, frankly, I was prepared to be impressed if I managed my run at all lol. Well, somewhere during the third sprint I thought “meh, fuck it, might as well try doing 5 at 9.5 instead of the normal 4 at 9.5” and that is what I did. My fourth sprint was at 9.5 and so were all the rest after that. I upped my sprints! wOOt! πŸ˜€ *happy dance* While I was doing it I was a mixture of “am I actually doing this??” and “meh, I don’t care, just get it done so you can go back home and get away from people”

I think what got me over that line to My Next Level was not caring, the apathy, the complete lack of fear regarding my possible failure to succeed. Normally I am so focused when running and my brain is calculating everything my body is doing and feeling to try to figure out if I can push to the next level of sprints that I don’t just let go and try. I don’t trust my body to be able to perform at the next level, I don’t trust it to not fail. I’ve had my knee collapse under me due to over training and it took a year to be able to walk without a cane or crutches or some sort of aid, it took even longer to be able to take stairs and jog and then run, hell, I still limp sometimes from that stupid injury. I am terrified to go back to that spot, to be so injured I can’t walk, to be that helpless again. Combine that fear with the more normal fear of just not accomplishing what I decide to attempt and without my even realizing it I had crippled my ability to get to My Next Level.

Fear…it is such a little word for such a strong, over powering emotion. I hate that I let fear have any control over my exercising and yet, it does, it has a strong crushing grasp on my exercising because anytime I do something that strains my knee and could cause me to reinjure myself I take a half step back mentally and try to find a way to minimize the risk, but maybe the risk doesn’t always need to be minimized. Maybe my knee is already stronger then I give it credit for? Hell, it was only last summer I started being able to jog again and look at me now? I run freakin sprints! I may not have kicked fear in the teeth and made it get out of my way, but I think getting to my next level of sprints has at least helped me nudge it to the side a bit… πŸ™‚

I’m A Runner?!

14 Mar

The weirdest thing happened at the gym last week, yeah yeah I know, it happened last week and I’m only now relaying the story? What’s with that?! Remember all those posts where I mentioned what a lazy ass I am? There ya go, that is your explanation – notice I am so lazy I didn’t even have to type out a full explanation? I just let your critical thinking and problem solving skills take care of all of the work for me lol Β πŸ˜‰

Anyways! The weird thing. Hmm, first you need a bit of an explanation of the layout of my gym, it’s actually a Rec Centre (not that that should matter but I guess some people are gym snobs, and all I have to say to that is Really? You are proud you pay more then me per month for your sweat location? Whatever! lol) So, because it’s a Rec Centre they have the workout equipment spread through out a bunch of rooms, it’s kinda annoying cause it’s almost impossible to complete your workout in just one room, and well, I’m lazy, remember? Most of the cardio machines are in one room, there are 4 treadmills, 3 elipticals, 2 rowing machines, about 4 upright bikes and 3 reclining bikes, 2 steppers and, um, I think that’s it. The rest of that room is filled with some weight machines and a little free weight section. This means when I go to do cardio I’m usually in that room but every now and then all the machines are filled up and since according to my new work out regime I’m currently only using the treadmill for my cardio if all the treadmills are taken well I’m kinda screwed, and annoyed lol. There is however a room mostly devoted to spin classes but around the perimeter of the room there are 2 treadmills and a couple other cardio machines, they are kinda hidden and a lot of people don’t like using the machines in that room cause the spinners are all snobby about being in spin class and shoot you snotty looks if you go and use a piece of equipment in there while they are in class…uh hello, focus on your own workout there buddy instead of glaring at me for trying to do mine! harumph! Β πŸ˜‰

Something else about spinners is that they get to class ridiculously early and instead of resting, or stretching or something in preparation they actually climb up on to the bike and start peddling, at a totally decent pace, I don’t understand how they don’t get worn out before the class starts since some of them are sitting there peddling for a good half hour or more before the class – I tell ya, spinners are a special breed lol. πŸ˜› Anyways, I was having to use a treadmill in the spinning room cause all the other ones were in use and spinning class was only about 5 minutes from starting so there were a lot of people sitting on the bikes. I had to walk past some of them to get to the sign up sheet on the wall for the treadmill and due to the angle I suppose it could have kinda looked as if I was walking towards the front of the class. Well, this lady who is (I am assuming) new to spinning asked me a question as I passed by, I had my earbuds in and music blasting so I took out an earbud and asked her to repeat herself. She asked me how to use the screen and buttons for the bike, like I would know? I stared at her blankly for a couple seconds and then without my even thinking about what I was going to say the words “oh, I’m not a biker, I’m a runner, I have no idea how to use the controls on your spin bike, sorry.” came out of my mouth…

Uh…”I’m a runner“??????? What in blue blazes is with that??? I’m not a freakin runner! Sure, I use the treadmill, and yes technically I run on it but…I’m not a runner…runners are lean, and in shape, and well…really lean and in shape and I’m not either of those things. Nobody would use either of those words to describe me, not in a million years! And yet, somehow, that sentence came out of my mouth.

As I continued walking to the sign up sheet my mind was boggling at what my mouth had just said, I was waiting for someone to point at me and denounce my claim to be a runner but nobody did lol. Then, as I was walking back past the lady who asked me for help I heard her talking to the person next to her and she was saying how she had thought I was the instructor and that’s why she asked me for help…What?!?!?! Me?? The spin instructor??? Uh, they are ridiculously in shape (well, all the ones I have seen are), how the heck did that lady think I was a spin instructor?? It’s like the world got shifted on its axis that day. lol

I have to admit, it made me feel good about myself and my weight loss that some random stranger thought I could be a spin class instructor cause well, duuuude, that’s gotta mean I’m looking kinda fit right? Course, when the real spin instructor came in I looked like the most out of shape person ever in comparison so I’m sure that lady who asked me for help will never make that kind of mistake again, not now that she knows what a real spin instructor looks like lol πŸ˜› But hey, I’ll take the unintended compliment anyday. πŸ˜€

Like I said, that happened last week and since then I keep pondering this whole ‘being a runner thing’. I mean, could I be a runner? What is the definition of being a runner? Do you have to run a certain distance or a certain speed a certain amount of times a week to be considered a runner? I dunno…and while I suppose I could google the question and get an answer I’m not sooooo curious I’m about to sort though a bunch of Yahoo! answers lol. I think…and I could be way off base here…but I think I just might be turning in to a runner…not a professional one of course, but a semi-decent non professional runner. I can get some fairly decent speed, and every time I run I go a bit faster, I’m running 3 times a week, well until this week where now it will be 6 times a week and I dunno, to me that seems to indicate I’m turning in to a bit of a runner, what do you think?

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