Sep 012014
 

I’ve been steady and normal with my workouts…meaning, despite the stresses I’ve experienced this year and the wedding stuff piling up and piling up…one thing that stayed consistent was my fitness. I am grateful for that because I DEFINITELY used fitness as a stress reliever.

Here is an example of a typical week in my fitness world:

Saturday

Boot Camp!

I know, I previously said that I probably wouldn’t go to another boot camp class in the summer because it was way too hot and my heart rate got too high…but I went again anyways. It wasn’t as hot this time. I went to the Warrior Room with a bottle of water and bottle of ice cold Gatorade. I wore a hat this time (which was smart) and wore lots of sunscreen. We were instructed to get 2 kettlebells and walk to the school football field (about 4 blocks).

I got to the school and realized I didn’t have much water in my bottle so I ended up jogging back to the gym and then back again! I guess that was my warm-up. This class was brutal. We did partner workouts. My partner would jump rope and I would sprint to the 50 yard line, touch the line and sprint back to the 40 yard line, then back, then sprint back to the 30 yard line and so forth. BRU-TAL! I was dying. Then we switched and I jumped rope while she sprinted.

Then we did a bunch of kettle bell work (squats, dead lifts, high pull and double swing) then did the sprinting/jump rope intervals. Then back to kettle bells–chest press, shoulder press, pushups and bent over rows. Damn. No wonder I was so sore the next day!

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So that was my calorie burn. It was a surprisingly high for only an hour workout! 753 calories burned.

Sunday

I treated my body to some low-key fitness, as per usual on Sundays. I’m frequently sore and not really feeling like heavy lifting. Sometimes I run, sometimes we go for a hike. This particular Sunday I warmed up with about 22 minutes on the elliptical (2 miles) and then it was time for yoga. I really really really needed that yoga class!

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Calories Burned: 341. I was particularly sore from the Warrior Room.

Monday

Rest Day.

Thank goddess!

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Tuesday

Warrior Room!

I was recovered (about 90%) from Saturday’s boot camp and ready to do some weight lifting! I went to the Kettlebell Conditioning class. It was half isolation and half tabata workout. This class in particular was a killer! We did these “burnout” sets where we did intervals of really hard work. Here is an example: 80 High Knees, 4 burpees, 60 Mountain Climbers, 4 burpees TWICE in less than 3 minutes. Gawd! It was HARD. You’d be surprised at how shaky your legs are by the time you get to the burpee part of the set. Then we did kettlebell work. For example: lateral raises, front raises, bicep curls, and goblet squats.

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It was a rough workout and I was really glad when it was over with. Calories burned: 528.

Wednesday

I wasn’t really feeling the whole weight thing…but I did it. Since I’d done specific isolation workouts with the kettlebells the night before, I made sure I worked other parts of my body. I warmed up and then did one leg romanian dead lifts, regular dead lifts, push-ups and a bunch of ab work. After that I did 2 miles on the elliptical. I went easy on the resistance because the sprints I did at Boot Camp made my knees a little cranky and I wanted to take it easy.

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Definitely less calories burned on my own when compared to the Warrior Room, but it was a nice, stress-free workout and I finished up with lots of stretching and foam rolling. Calories burned: 451.

Thursday

Another rest day. I was a little sore from Tuesday and Wednesday–mainly in my hips. That was slightly odd but not abnormal. Every once in awhile my hips get a little sore but it’s usually a good sore, not like an injury. I took a few walks with Bella this day to loosen things up.

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Some weeks Rest Days are difficult. I’m antsy and want to do something. Some weeks I am grateful for those two rest days I have each week! As the years go by, I’ve noticed myself slowing down a little bit and feeling much happier about two rest days a week. My body needs the repair. I’m slowly realizing that I need to EAT more on rest days, actually REST, and let my body do what it needs to do. This hasn’t always been the case, but injuries and over-training at times have taught me to listen to my body and REST when it needs it.

Friday

Swim! I love my swim nights. Sure, sometimes I just don’t feel like it because it’s a process. Drive to the pool, change into the swimming gear, swim, shower, sometimes it feels like a whole thing. But most of the time I look forward to this because swimming is a form of relaxation and meditation for me. It gives me time to think and sometimes not think. I like going on Friday nights because the pool isn’t too crowded and it’s a good transition from the work week into the weekend.

It’s also nice relaxing in the hot tub and sauna afterwards. That always makes my sore muscles feel good! As for the calorie burn, I have no idea. Every once in awhile I used to wear my heart rate monitor in the pool to gauge how my calorie burn is. I normally do not wear it while I swim. The number doesn’t really change much–average burn is 275-350 calories. Kind of low, I know, but the swimming is more for relaxation and to give my joints and body a break from high impact activities.

Saturday

No Boot Camp this day. I was not going to chance it with my knees. Instead I took the Kettlebell Conditioning class. It was a lot of jumping in this class. For example, one routine was this: 5 tuck jumps, 10 frog jumps, 15 floor jumps (i.e crouching down to touch the floor then jumping up with hands high), 20 squat jumps– two times then 12 push-ups. This was another killer. My thighs were ON FIRE. Seriously, on fire. Half way through the first round my legs felt like jelly. Whoever got done first in the class, went into plank position and the clock was stopped. We were timed and if we didn’t beat that time, Ashley made us run. BRUTAL. We ran a few times. LOL

Then we did some kettlebell work–various types of bicep curls, goblet squats, sumo squats, traditional kettlebell swings and two bell kettlebell swings. It was a super hard workout but I was glad I did it.

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527 calories burned. I took my sweaty self home to get cleaned up.

The Coming Weeks

As for biking…I’m kind of disappointed that there wasn’t much of it this summer. I’d hazard a guess that I biked to work maybe a dozen times the entire summer. I wish it had been more but time didn’t allow it. I was busy training for my 5k and then just got busy with other fitness.

The wedding is approaching. My fitness routine will be pretty normal the week leading up to the wedding. Pretty sure I’m going to take that day off, though. :) As for the honeymoon, I am not making any plans. I want to relax and just see what happens. We plan on doing a little hiking, I will definitely be swimming, and we hope to do some sea kayaking. But time will tell. I may end up doing nothing!

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Jul 012014
 

Back in the early days of this blog, I used to write a lot about the workouts I did. I was focusing on running and I used to run the waterfront loop during my lunch hour (man, I have so many fond memories of that). On the weekends Michael and I used to ride our bikes on the 40 mile Springwater Loop around Portland. These were the focuses of my blog. Weight lifting was pretty non-existent on 110pounds.com. I just didn’t like it. I didn’t really spend much time on it and didn’t see any changes in my body as a result. I thought it was a waste of time. Boy was I wrong. Several injuries that sidelined me from biking or running meant I had to find SOMETHING I could do. That’s when I started lifting weights.

Funny, when you lift weights FOR REAL, like it’s your main focus, several times a week for months on end–you DO see results! Who knew? That started the love affair with weight lifting. Once I saw a change and felt a change, I was convinced. I haven’t done a post in a long time about what kind of work I’m doing in the gym. I wanted to share what my favorite workouts are lately in this post.

Kettlebell High Pull

This is one that I learned at The Warrior Room but with two kettlebells. At first it was hard and I didn’t quite get it. I kept dropping my elbows but once I practiced a bit and found my rhythm it was easy and FUN. Check out this video on how to do the High Pull. Fast-forward to about 45 seconds in to see a demonstration of the move. The video is only using one kettle bell and when I do it, I use two. Currently I’m using two 15 pound kettlebells. This isn’t a great picture, but it gives you an idea:

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Kettlebell Swing

This is the basic swing, one move you learn on day one with kettlebells. I’m currently using a 30 pound kettlebell. I could probably go up to 35 but I tend to air on the side of caution when it comes to increasing my weights. I know, I know, if I want to see progress I need to up the weight! I try my best but my history with injury has made me overly cautious and as such, I tend to get stuck in ruts for awhile before I go up in weight.

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One Leg Romanian Dead Lift

This one can be done with free weights or with kettlebells, whichever feels most comfortable with you. I love this exercise because it reminds me just how imbalanced my body is. One side is ALWAYS more wobbly than the other. I also notice that if I take a break from doing this exercise I lose whatever balance improvements I’ve gained pretty quickly. I am currently using two 15 pound weights for this exercise. I’d like to go up to 17.5 pounds soon but I keep having setbacks and have to start over again.

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Chest Press

There is nothing flashy or fancy about this exercise but it’s functional and I notice a difference when I do it consistently. I lay down on the bench and then do a few sets of presses with a 30 or 35 pound barbell. I could probably increase to 40 pounds any day now if I’d stop being so cautious. :) This is a move that helps me with day to day life. For example, Michael and I recently bought a new bookcase and had to move the old one into the office and then move the new one to the living room. These were very large, very heavy pieces and while there was no way I could life it all by myself, it was certainly easy with the both of us and I did not struggle with carrying the weight. Yay for weightlifting!

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Leg Abductions/Adductions

This exercise is something I’ve been doing for awhile, on and off depending on what kind of resources I have handy. My physical therapist suggested I do this to strengthen my glutes (when I was trying everything I could to fix my knees). It works. I can feel it! I use one of the machines at the gym and do both legs. If I don’t have access to the machine, or I’m at home, it can be done with those stretchy bands, but I like the machine better.

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Bird Dog

This one is a suggestion from my physical therapist, as well as a yoga move. It’s a funny name but it is so beneficial–for runners, for anyone with muscle imbalance or chronic injury. It works on the core as well as the glutes and hamstrings. I work this move into my abs workouts.

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The Result

A recent workout included all of the above moves, plus a few other various things (some balance exercises, ab exercises and weight machines), 15 minutes of the elliptical and 10 minutes of stretching. This was the calorie burn:

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Not bad, huh? I’m working on strengthening my core and still working on my glutes. I know they are a weak part of my body and if I’m going to be serious about getting back to running I need to focus on my weaknesses or this will never stick! I’m glad I’ve been sticking with the weight lifting. The focus may change (I go back and forth in focus between the glutes, triceps and abs) but the bottom line doesn’t: lifting weights makes me feel better and stronger. Read these two interesting articles I found:

7 Strength Training Myths Every Woman Should Know

Why Women Don’t (But Should) Lift Weights

If you’re on the fence about starting a strength training program, I recommend you give it a chance–at least for a few weeks. Give it four weeks of 2-3 sessions each week and you WILL see a change. It might be a change on the scale (most likely a loss!), you might notice you are stronger, you might feel better or you might notice some muscle definition you never had before. Sure you won’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger after just a month of lifting weights, but trust me. If you stick with it, you will see a difference. Ladies: don’t be intimidated! You have every right to be there with the guys and show them what you got! Don’t be shy! I let my shyness keep me away for far too long. I am so glad I learned to love weights!

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