Hello Beautiful

It was the kind of rainy, gray, cold Saturday morning that made me look forward to the gym simply to get out of the house and still stay dry. I was also looking forward to changing up my workout routine like I talked about in this post. Yep–it was time to scale down the cardio and amp up the weights. Instead of doing an hour of cardio and 30 minutes of weights, I was going to swap it. It was the first experiment.

I was ready.  I was mentally prepared…sort of.  I was nervous, yes, about changing my routine, but I had to try. I skipped the elliptical and only ran on the treadmill. I did 1.65 miles, a tad more than what I’ve been doing for a few weeks. I’m looking forward to increasing my mileage next week.

After my run, I went to the weights and changed everything up. I did a mixture of the traditional weight machines, the plated weight machines for the upper body–back and chest, as well as the body weight exercises I have been doing. While I was doing the weight lifting my heart rate increased tremendously. That was cool to see. I was happy that I was able to spend so much time doing weights!

When I got home, I opened up one of these babies the second I walked in the door:

The company rep sent me a few samples recently and I was really looking forward to trying it as a recovery drink. The company claims it’s a good meal replacement drink (From their site: “Check out #Svelte in this month’s @NaturalSolution issue. Svelte is recommended as a great grab-n-go #mealreplacement. We agree!”). What I wanted it for was a post-workout snack that had a high protein count. 16 grams of protein was something I could get behind.

The drink I tried first was the chocolate. Mmmm chocolate. Most definitely. First, it tastes really, really good. It’s smooth and flavorful and did not taste like chemicals like Muscle Milk does to me. Second, I felt good after I drank it.

What I don’t like? The 260 calories in each bottle. That is really high for ME. That’s just a personal preference. I can see where the calorie count wouldn’t matter much to someone who was using this as a meal replacement but for a post-workout snack, that’s too high. I try to keep my snack calories around 100-150 calories tops.

So after my gym session I poured out half of the bottle and had that. It was very filling and got me through til lunch time. Did you catch my post on Sunday? Saturday after the gym I had the chocolate protein shake and it got me through for several hours until I was able to eat at my cousin’s house.

I really liked the flavors and am looking forward to trying the other flavors! They sent me chocolate, vanilla, spiced chai and cappuccino. The chai and vanilla are especially enticing to me.

Now for some facts: It’s made from organic soymilk, with organic complex carbohydrates for sustained energy. The Svelte website claims to be low-glycemic, but I don’t know a lot about that. Each bottle  has only 9 grams of sugar (excellent!). It’s also a good source of fiber,  is dairy-free and gluten-free.

This is the first protein shake product that I have really enjoyed in a long time. I didn’t feel like I was drinking chemicals and actually enjoyed it as a refreshing drink.

QUESTION: Have you tried the Svelte protein drinks? What did you think?


Fancy Gym Workout

This morning I tried the new, fancy gym. Since mine is under construction, we’re allowed to use this new fancy gym (even though my membership doesn’t normally allow it). It’s a bit of a drive from the house–but it will be much more convenient after work on the way home, so that’s a positive.

First up, breakfast. I’d picked up a sample pack of the Egg White Protein powder a few weeks ago. I decided to give it a try for a pre-workout breakfast.

I added some vanilla Greek Yogurt and water, then mixed it all in my Magic Bullet.

The verdict? Nasty.

DID NOT LIKE. At all. It tasted gross. The consistency was too liquidy. I am sticking with my Amazing Grass powders instead. I definitely won’t buy this product again. Yuck! Not only that, it wasn’t filling. I filled my water bottle with water and Glutamine supplements.

Then I hit the road. The new gym is huge. Parking was easy (plus), and everything was modern and up-to-date (plus). I did not see any “This Machine is Out of Order” signs like at my usual gym (annoying).

The cardio room on the main floor was huge. It had tons of different types of treadmills available, exercise bikes, stairmasters, and a few other machines I wasn’t quite sure how to use.

The other thing I loved? Staring out the big windows at the trees and river. It was a nice view.

The Spinning Bike looks rad. I really want to try that machine the next time I’m there! It’s completely computerized with an instructor and everything. Plus, I can hook up my ipod and listen to my own music.

I was able to find a treadmill without waiting and I hopped on for my 1.5 mile jog.

The treadmill was one I’d never seen before and it took me a few moments to get everything figured out. I still don’t know why there were handle bars above my head….Hmmm….

I had a great jog! I felt fantastic the entire time, I didn’t have any side cramps or pain in my leg. In fact, I zoned out and then looked down and saw that I’d jogged 1.48 miles…Wow! How time flies.

It took me 23 minutes to jog 1.5 miles. After that I explored the first floor a bit. The pool looked pretty nice. Then I went upstairs to do my weight training.

I have to admit, it was rather overwhelming. I felt like a fish out of water. All of the machines were different. These were high-tech machines…selecting the weight amount was challenging at first. Some of then machines had knobs to select the weights. Some were the regular type but labeled differently. I did my best to figure out each machine. It made the workout take a lot longer than normal.

Something else I noticed was that the machines used your whole body weight. Instead of sitting down and not moving anything but your arms to do the Lat Pull Down, you also did like crunches at the same time. Basically, the whole machine moved as I lifted weights. It was sort of odd at first, and took some getting used to. I wish I could have taken some video of it to describe these machines better.

I tried all of the machines out and then the second time around the room I got a much better work out. I knew what to do with each one and I knew what weight to use. I focused mostly on my upper body: shoulders, triceps, biceps, chest, back. I tried to fit in some ab workouts too, but the ab machines were way different than what I normally use.

It wasn’t very crowded. I didn’t have to wait to use any of the machines, so that was another plus. The new gym had motivational phrases around too:

Conquer Your Goals

Experience LIFE

I finished up my workout with using the medicine ball for the Russian Twist, and then the Row Machine. Lastly, I did my physical therapy for my IT Band.

The only downside to New Fancy Gym is there wasn’t really room to do stretching. I had to find a corner and make do. I did not like that aspect.

Gym Stats:

Time: 1:47

Calories Burned: 695

Activities: Treadmill, Weight lifting, strengthening exercises

All in all, it was a good experience. I liked more things than I disliked at the new gym. It’s only temporary but it gives me a pretty good idea of what my gym should be like after the remodel is over.

QUESTION: What are the pros and cons of your current gym?