Saturday morning I got up and ate a quick breakfast. Half a cinnamon raisin bagel and a kiwi:
I did the weights to start with. It was quite embarrassing to go to the gym and have to take the elevator to the second floor–but my doctor said no stairs. I tried not to let it get me down. I did two sets of 10 on each upper body machine. I did the entire circuit three times.
When I first started doing the weights, I’d glance down at my heart rate monitor and feel disappointed that my heart rate was barely moving. I didn’t let it discourage me, though. I decided doing weights was better than doing nothing!
I will admit: it’s been a LONG time since I’ve done weights. It’s never been my favorite workout. I’ve admitted before that I am a total cardio-junkie. It’s a struggle to do weights. But I had a half-assed routine I did about once or twice a week, never spending very much time doing it.
This summer I was focused completely on running and training for Hood to Coast. I honestly didn’t go to the gym much anymore–just to swim two times a week. I was spending my Saturdays doing long runs.
Not being able to run might be a good thing (or at least, I’m trying to tell myself that) because it’s giving me an opportunity to learn how to do other things. I KNOW that weight lifting is crucial and something that can help people get over weight loss plateaus. My personal trainer, Christian, has told me that many times and I saw results when I did a regular weight lifting routine. Starting to run made it easy to slip out of that routine.
So it’s been quite a while since I’ve lifted weights. I know I’m going to be sore tomorrow. I focused on the upper body only. I also did a lot of ab work.
Half way through my second round of the circuit training my arms were starting to shake a little! Remember how I said my heart rate monitor was giving me a pathetic reading when I first started? By the time I was half way through the workout, my heart rate was in the right zone! I kept at it and then moved to the other side of the gym where all the free weights are. I will admit, it’s been even longer since I’ve tried the free weights.
When I was working out with my personal trainer, he did a Cross-fit style/circuit training with a lot of core work and free weights. And man–Christian kicked my BUTT! I’d be sore for about 4 days. But it felt really good. I explored the machines and the weights that I’ve never even glanced at before.
It was a corner of the gym where the personal trainers were teaching people the same stuff Christian taught me. I saw a lot of people doing some pretty cool stuff–without weights or machines. Just using their own bodies to work out. I also saw a row machine. I wasn’t sure if I could do the row machine but there was only one way to find out: try it.
I knew my knee would tell me immediately if the row machine was out. I sat down and gave it a few tentative rows and there was no pain. Hmmm….maybe this is something I can do? I kept at it, listening to my body for signs of pain or discomfort. There weren’t any. I figured it was good! The row machine had a game on the screen. Basically, you are a fish and you have to row harder to prevent being eaten by sharks.
It sounds stupid but it was entertaining enough to keep me interested. I probably rowed for about 15-20 minutes and then focused on some core work. I had already given my abs a pretty good work out. This time I used a medicine ball and really focused on the abs. I bet I am crippled tomorrow!
Calories Burned: 475
My gym session started out as a bummer–just a reminder of all the things I CAN’T do–and ended with a pretty decent number on my watch. Granted, if I had been running for an hour and twenty-one minutes the calories burned would be doubled. However–weight training is one of the best things you can do for your body. It speeds up metabolism, it changes your body in ways that simple cardio cannot, and it burns fat. Definitely a healthy alternative to running (or sitting on my ass doing nothing)!
QUESTION: What is your opinion on weight training? Any tips or tricks?