Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Efficient Exercise: Week 24

One on One Recap:  "Rest"

You know the workout is going to be good when it starts with tabata squats.  Matthew had me do 8 rounds 20 seconds squatting and 10 seconds of "rest" where you hold the squat at the bottom. Ouch. Matthew and I have a much different definition of rest.  This always feels like time has slowed down.   I've been trying to make a better effort at doing some spin biking in the morning and I had done 45 minutes that morning.  I'm sure that factored into the discomfort I had to fight through those 4 minutes. After I was warmed up, the workout began.  

The first circuit started with 20 repetitions of the ab roller.  This felt easy after the squats.  

The second exercise in the circuit was the ARx Pull down.  Matthew had me do 5 repetitions.  

And then finally, the lunge suspension fly.  Matt had me do 2 sets of 10.  The first set of 10 he held a thick foam brick out for me to press and hold my hands into at the "top" of the movement.  The second set, after I switched legs in the lunge, he removed the brick.  You'd think that would make it feel easier but it doesn't.  Matt had to remind me to keep my lunge deep.  

I completed this circuit of 3 exercises 2 times through.  The only difference between the two rounds was that the second time through I only had 3 repetitions on the ARx.  

Next up, 3 sets of dumbbell curl presses.  In the first set, Matt had me use 15 pound weights for 10 repetitions.  This was challenging but doable.  Matt took the 15 pound weights away and handed me 12 pound weight and upped the repetitions to 12 for the final 2 sets.  This was still challenging.  

We ended the workout with a little 360 arm circles and push pull.  

The tabata squats really wear you down quickly.  Another solid workout in the books.  But that's pretty much the norm at Efficient Exercise.  

Group Workout:  A Fire Cat Returns! 

The group workout was a full house of 8 people ready to take on whatever Matt threw at us.  It was a cold day and the gym was cold when I arrived.  I was ready to get started.  Its been quite a few weeks since the fire cats, also known as Wes and Paul,  have attended group class.  I was happy to be paired with Paul.  He is such a great cheerleader.  I felt bad as I wasn't really around much for his on minutes as I had four bonus exercises to get through 3 times.  

We started with the dumbbell thrusters.  Paul was on for the first minute, so I actually started with a bonus exercise:  blast strap knee ups.  On my minute in the thrusters I used 15 pound dumbbells.  I remember when this weight seemed really hard.  It still becomes a challenge toward the end of the minute, but definitely not as hard as it used to be.  

The bonus exercises were really a mini ab workout.  While waiting for my turn on the 360, I did a minute of bicycle crunches.  Combine that with leg lifts and knee ups and the bonus dumb bell curls were a welcome rest.  I used 15 pound dumbbell on the first round and 12 on my next two minutes.  

In other news, I hit 600 foot pounds of pressure on the ARx leg press.  I'm so happy my legs are getting stronger.  Paul hit the high mark over 700 foot pounds of pressure.  I tried to beat him, but I'm not there yet. 

For the goblet squat, Matthew said to focus on the depth of the squat rather than repetitions.  He said to aim for 10 repetitions.  I grabbed a 40 pound weight and tried to go as low as I could.

The last exercise in the circuit is still one of my least favorites -the rear foot elevated split squat (R.F.E.S.S.).  My balance just isn't as good on my right side as my left.  I know because I dislike it and am not good at it that I need to work harder at it.  I didn't give up, but was glad to get that exercise out of the way.  In true fire cat fashion, Paul was there to give me encouragement.  I wish I were better at that as well.  

By the time this workout was done, I was certainly no longer cold.  In fact, I was quite hot.  While having a smaller group class has its pluses, so do larger group workouts.  The energy of a large group class makes you want to work harder.  

Spin Bike Update:  You might recall that Matt has suggested that I do some low load exercise through out the week before breakfast.  His preference would be walking, but that's just not going to work for me schedule wise or now weather wise.  We agreed, I'd try to accomplish this on my spin bike.  I realized that I really need more structure than just having it be suggested, so I asked Matthew for an actual specific assignment.  He has now told me to ride on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday before breakfast for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Maybe this added structure will help me get up and go.  

How do you motivate yourself to do things you don't really enjoy?