Archive for August, 2012

Today was a rough workout.  It felt great but was a huge struggle.  I wondered why it was so hard but then I got to thinking ~ I added an additional 13 minutes of interactive biking to my routine; plus I did some of my trickier exercises.

  • 2 minutes bosu ball
  • 15 reps TRX row
  • 30 reps (each arm) battle ropes

3 sets of each then I started on my first mile race on the Expresso Bike; took a little more than 4 min to run the race.  Seems like a long mile; it goes very slow and the resistance changes often. It is more challenging than the traditional bike and the sudden changes in the terrain keep the muscles surprised. On to the next exercises.

  • 15 reps TRX row
  • 15 reps captain’s chair knee lifts
  • 15 reps back extensions

I did 3 sets of these exercises too working in the mile each round of the Expresso Bike for a total of 3 mile long races.

I rather like the stats on the Expresso website that tracks my activity but I am not sure where my heart rate should be.  I averaged out at about 150 from the three races.  This sounds quite high but I think maybe it was within a good range for my age; maybe a bit on the high side for my fitness level.  I don’t know what my heart rate was during my other activities and I didn’t really check afterwards but I will keep tabs on it and make sure I am working in the most effective level.


I thought I’d take it easy today but I still wanted to get a bit of a workout.  I first challenged Charles to a race on the new expresso bikes.  Very interesting; these have moving handle bars that allow you to steer and buttons to shift gears to increase speed and intensity.  There are several different tracks and races to choose from.  We just did the first one on the list called Mini Mayhem; a 2 mile race on a course where the bicyclist are miniature.  After that I did a bit of treadmill time then one more ride on the bike; followed by some weight training ~ I worked on some pull down weights today at 40 – 50 pounds for 4 sets of 15 reps on 2 different types of weight machines.

Back to the Bike; for my last race I choose the Expresso Speedway for a quick mile run around a race track.  As you go the terrain changes depending on the track you choose; sometimes a sudden increase in intensity like riding up hill or going down hill suddenly.  Really rather entertaining and a tough work out.  I rode in about 9th gear for most of the race; I am not a big bike rider so I will have to experiment with what gears are best. There are different variations and intensities of tracks and there is even a game of sorts to play.  I will definitely be exploring this more and use it in combination with my training exercises I’ve been working on.

I don’t think I mentioned yesterday it but my sister Chris enjoyed her personal training workout so much she signed up for some personal training time too.  She met with them yesterday for her first free session and he showed her some different exercises than I’ve learned; I can’t wait for her to show me what they are.  She has been using an inhaler for years and she has a bit of knee troubles so it can be easy to find an excuse to quit; but he pushed her to keep going even when it hurt and she thanked him today for having done so!  Pretty awesome if you ask me. She tore her knee up in an accident a few years ago and some other aches and pains to go along with. I think some general fitness will help her feel better all around. She said she told Peder today that without his motivation she would have given up yesterday when she had to reach for the inhaler but he encouraged her to continue and she felt great afterwards; well if you don’t count the screaming quadriceps!

Anyway, today I had a great workout.  They were having an open house at the gym and I’d earned some bonus bucks for some more personal training sessions!  I am not sure exactly how many I’m up to with what I purchased, what I’d gotten as a bonus for Chris signing up, and what my bonus bucks bought but I think a couple of times a month this year I should be meeting with Dustin, my personal trainer.

  • 15 reps TRX row
  • 15 reps TRX squat ~ plus I added in an arm extension overhead today
  • 2 minutes stepping on the bosu ball
  • 15 reps back extension
  • 15 reps ball slam
  • 1 mile spinning ~ I upped my speed today to an average of 2 minute 20 seconds a mile ~ about a cadence of 100

I did three reps of each breaking it down into two sections.  I need to ask Dustin if this is an effective way to workout.  I was sweating all over so I know I was doing good, but I want to make the best of my time at the gym and get some results going.  I don’t know that I look any different but I feel different.  More energy, better mood, and the strength I am gaining all make for a better me!

I love that feeling when I know I am getting something right!  I have been working on the kettlebell swings.  Sometimes actively trying them other times watching videos and researching pointers online.  I was still having a bit of troubles with the smoothness of the motion.  I posted a couple of days ago about my troubles with the kettlebell swing, but I think I’ve started to get it moving correctly.  A slight squat keeping back straight on the down swing and a smooth movement to stand and hip thrust on the upswing; keeping the kettlebell in a fluid motion.  I watched a very interesting video yesterday that talked about the importance of how you pick up the kettlebell.  I never really thought about that aspect of it but she mentioned that most people injure themselves before they even start by recklessly grabbing the kettlebell with one hand and going.  I was picking it up off a shelf today so I centered myself and used both hands.  Then when I found my place I placed the ball in front of me and positioned my feet and aligned myself before starting.  In the past I’d just grabbed the kettlebell with one hand and didn’t really think about the importance of balanced motions to prep for the exercise but it make sense.

Today I did a 3 reps of 6 different exercises.  I wasn’t sure I could make it through them all but after doing two rounds I hopped on the spinner bike for 2 miles then finished off with another round and a cool down on the treadmill; followed by some gentle stretches.

  • 15 reps captain’s chair knee lifts
  • 2 minutes fast feet ~ I even added an extra platform today so I was stepping higher!
  • 2 minutes kettlebell swing
  • 15 reps slam ball
  • 30 reps each arm battle rope
  • 15 reps up-wall ball throw

Met my sister at the gym this morning.  She meets with the trainer for the first time tomorrow; she did a few miles on the bike so as to not overwork anything in advance.  I did a few sets of some of the training exercises I’d learned so far.

  •  15 reps captain’s chair knee lifts
  • 2 minutes bosu ball steps
  • 15 standing bar push ups
  • 15 back extensions

I managed 3 sets of each exercises and cycled 3 miles on the spinner bike.  We both cooled down with a 10 minute treadmill walk.

I was pleased my first round of knee lifts in the captain’s chair went great.  I kept my self upright, shoulders aligned and back straight.  They get trickier as it goes though so by my last set I had to break it down into 3 sets of 5 and I kept slipping a little and finding my back arching a bit.  I hope to get it conquered soon, but I was still happy to have a good round my first set.

There are so many more exercises to do with this captain’s chair; the knee raises are the easiest one.  I will be happy when I’ve gained some strength.  I never really realized how weak many of my muscles are.  I lift heavy things and I am constantly moving at work, but apparently I don’t really have all that much muscle strength after all.

I have a feeling my family might start locking their doors and hiding out so I don’t know they are home!  I stopped by my mom’s house today and she said “have you been to the gym?” …. I replied with “no, I am here to workout with you.”  So she threw on her shoes and we headed to the basement for a workout.

I sent her my walking videos last week.  I really enjoyed the Leslie Sansone videos but with no air conditioning at home I didn’t use them much in the summer and I never really ended up with a room set up for exercising anyway.

I thought I should let my arm and back muscles rest from the past few days at the gym so I intended to do a bit on the treadmill at the gym if she wasn’t home or wanting to workout.

This is a sweaty workout! 5 miles at a 15 minute mile pace.  She does some arm action and quite a bit of movement in different directions so it’s a good all over workout.  I do like the stretches at the end too; this video has a little shorter of a stretching time than some of her others; but it still gives a nice release to those worked muscles.

Tomorrow I am working all day so no gym time for me; Monday though I will be back. Chris is off work too so I will drag her along for a workout.  Like I said everybody might start locking the doors and hiding out soon!

After reading my blog and listening to my stories my sister, Chris, asked me to take her to the gym and show her around.  After a short tour and 15 minutes on the treadmill I showed her some of the exercises I’d learned in my free training sessions. I also had her give them a little bit of a try.  I showed her some weight machines too and let her explore a bit.  A few minutes later she was taking with the folks at the gym and signing up!  I strongly encouraged her to take advantage of the free personal training sessions and I believe Tuesday she said will be her training day.

Meanwhile I did 3 sets of 3 different exercises

  • 30 count each arm with the battle ropes
  • 2 minutes fast feet
  • 15 reps knee lifts in the captain’s chair

I then did 3 miles spinning and a cool down for a bit on the treadmill.

Maybe a little smaller workout than the other days but I did spend some time showing Chris around and demonstrating a few thing.  I hope she finds the gym as enjoyable as I have so far and with any luck we can make sure we keep each other moving and motivated.  Our schedules won’t match up too many times, but we can hold each other accountable and meet there when our days off coincide.