Anyone who knows me knows I am not one for change, I typically find a routine and then stick to it and when something shifts I start to dread the chaos and freak out. Strangely, with my workouts I am often quite the opposite. Very quickly I become bored with the same thing day after day and I seek out new adventures! Maybe that is what draws me to trail running? It is almost never the same experience even with the same course.
Most of my friends have some type of routine and I know a lot of them love to run or train with groups, and I like to do my own thing every now and again. I wanted to take today though to share with you the many different forms of exercise I have access to during the week and what I normally do and what I hope to continue with in the future.
The day to kick off the week and really sets the mood for all other days. If I skip a workout on Monday I may as well throw the whole week in the trash it seems. Monday I go to Zumba with my coworker 99% of the time. Even days where I am sore or tired or cranky I try to make it to Zumba even if it is the saddest performance of my life, simply to keep the routine going. It is one of the classes offered free to employees, and while I’ve noticed other companies giving watered down versions of classes, this is not like that at all.
After Zumba I try to make it to my gym. The last 2 weeks I’ve been doing weight training. I really am not comfortable with free weights, so I’ve been using machines. Other fitness classes I’ve attended include strength/cardio, cyclye/core, and yogalates. What do I do for my weight training? I’ll tell you, but please don’t laugh…in no particular order.
Leg press: I like this machine because I can feel it in my quads and butt. I try to make it so it also works my hamstrings. I do 3 sets of 15 reps at around 40 to 50 pounds depending on the day.
Prone hamstring curl machine: This machine is the bane of my existence and also the best thing to ever happen to me. Out of ALL the exercises and stretches and whatever elses I have done over the last year, this is what finally made me go OH MY GOD THAT’S THE ISSUE! I couldn’t finish my sets or reps the first day and that was on the lowest weight of 10 pounds! I’ve made my way up to 3 sets of 8-10 reps with 10 pounds. My left side still feels weak, but I know it’s making a difference.
Leg extension machine: I always underestimate this baby. To me it seems “easy” but whenever I start to use it I can feel my quads barking at me. Sometimes I’ll try it with just one leg at a time, mostly I do it with both. I believe I’m up to 3 sets of 10-15 reps with 40 pounds. Of course a day after a race or hard workout and that becomes much harder
Lateral pull down machine: Makes me feel good to work out the upper part of my body. I know I tend to neglect things from the waist up and that’s bad. I can feel this machine working, which makes me feel cool when I do use it. Right now I’m at 3 sets of 15 reps with 25-35 pounds of weight.
Hip Adduction / Abduction Machine: This set of machines is probably my second favorite after the hamstring curl. Partially because they’re the two I can use at the highest amount of weight. They are the “Don’t make eye contact” machines. Haha. Really they work the insides and outsides of the thighs/hips. I can feel myself growing stronger and more stable especially in the muscles where my ITB starts to hurt. It might be all in my head, but it almost seems like the tightness and pressure from my butt down through my leg is getting better. I can sit and lift without pain. I’m at 3 sets of 15 reps using 75-85 pounds.
Seated push up machine: I struggle with this one SO MUCH. I can only do 3 sets of 8-10 reps with the lowest weight of 10 pounds. I’m working on it though. Hoping to get better shoulders and triceps, maybe nicer looking arms for summer sleeves?
Seated chest press: Another area I suck at currently. I know I need serious help with my upper body and I am SO embarrassed using the machines, but I have every right to use them as much as anyone else and I’m not getting any better simply by looking longingly at them, right? At any rate, I’m at 3 sets of 8-10 reps of 10-15 pounds depending on the day.
Back extension machine: At first I didn’t like this machine. I was taught it last year and it hurt to use. Now my pain and issues have subsided slightly and I can use it without many side effects. If I’m being “lazy” I can do 3 sets of 15 reps at 45 pounds. I notched it up to 55 one night and boy did I feel it the next day! Ha!
Recently I read I should be doing fewer reps with more weight…I’ll work on that this week. Weight training is still very new to me.
I’ve been taking Tuesday as a rest day. However I have the option of doing a water aerobics class at work, or at my gym they offer tabata, yoga, or Pilates.
Work offers Zumba again on this night and I had been going on my own. Then I learned there is Zumba at my gym and I think about doing it instead. Lately I’ve been doing my weights routine for a second night and then using the treadmill or elliptical for some “running” mileage. I have done the strength class at my gym too, but I like trying to stick with my own weights routine for now.
I LOVE Thursday. My coworker and I go to the water aerobics class together. Honestly, it doesn’t always provide a GREAT workout, but one week I stayed and did laps in the pool while she took swim lessons and that was great. I’ve thought about hauling ass over to the weekly trail run with CRTR. When I get my speed up and weight down and the weather isn’t nasty and crazy I probably will start doing that after. For now my friend and I hang out in the sauna and gossip and relax which IMHO mental/emotional fitness is JUST as important and I can tell when we miss out weekly hang outs I always feel so “off” for a while. Work also offers Zumba with a different instructor this night, we did the class a few times when we didn’t feel like getting wet, but it’s been moved to Tuesday nights. Boo. Last week we hiked 3 miles on the local paved path instead too. She agreed to possibly go with me to CRTR, but to do the route as a hike as she is not a runner and has no desire to run. I’m cool with that. Thursday classes at my gym are the same as Tuesday, I’ve never gone in though.
Ah Friday the end of the glorious week. Every week I have every intention of going to the gym and doing a workout. One week I DID go to my gym and I did my weights routine! Other weeks I’ve gone and did a few walk/jog miles on the treadmill or elliptical. Work doesn’t offer any classes that I know of and my gym only offers Zumba, but that’s a later in the night class. I have done it and it is SUPER fun, but it’s also at a weird hour. I do try to be social every now and again ya know. Also, if I have a race on Sat I’ll skip a Fri workout.
Honestly, I’ve been taking these as days off and time for friends and family unless there is an event. My gym offers Zumba at 1000 and I’ve gone a few times. We also have 930 yoga I’ve been meaning to hit up for Saturday. A friend of mine teaches the 900 yoga at a different branch on Sunday, but I have yet to make it out there. I prefer being outside on the weekends and I’ll go hiking or running.
PS: I was recently given a pedometer at my gym. My goal was/is to reach 10,000 steps per day. I’ve been wearing it constantly. Unless I go running I haven’t counted those steps toward any “extra” fitness. Some days I’ve made it to only 2,000 steps, one day I made it to 15,000. It is certainly making me more aware of when I need to walk around and of course the dog gets an added benefit of health too when I take her along for the fun.
Now you know what my little fitness word looks like. What do you think? Do you have as many choices? Are you as bad as I am with sticking to a routine? Are you nervous with weights or have any advice for me on how not to be as nervous?
Don’t forget I am on dailymile and you’re welcome to friend me to spy on my progress. Full disclosure though, I am constantly forgetting to update and often post everything for the week over the weekend. Tune in tomorrow when I’ll share what sorts of FUN things I do when I’m not working out and it’s the “freakin’ weekend”.