Saturday, 31 January 2009

Weekly update

I made it to the gym three times this week, which I was pleased about. I'm just about back into my normal weekly routine after Christmas and the holiday period. Of course, we head off to China in two weeks, but at least I'll be getting my exercise done for two weeks.

On Tuesday I went to Fernwood and tried to do the weights routine that I'd done with Allan at Elite Physique. I had thought about driving over there, but I was a little intimidated by some of the equipment. I had to modify a few things. For example, Fernwood doesn't have the box gadget that I was squatting down to, and the benches were too high. I'm not complaining - if Fernwood had all that hard core weight lifting stuff I would never have walked in the door in the first place.

I was able to practise a lot of things. With the dead lifts, I used a 25 kg bar. The key difference was that it was a pretty little thing that had small compact weights on the end whereas the other one used large 5 kg weights. Not an issue, although the tip Allan gave me to stand a certain distance and then set my starting position so my shins were leaning on the bar just did not work with the Fernwood bar. Still, I was pracitising, which is what the session was all about.

For the squats I didn't try to do a similar weight on my own. Instead, I grabbed a 7.5 kg bar and practised holding it in the new position I'd been shown. My upper arms were quite tired, but it gradually felt more comfortable. I was particularly glad I'd done that one when I trained with Allan this Friday, as the whole position felt much more natural.

It was funny trying to do the lateral pulldown. We use Nautilus equipment at the Fernwood gym I go to. The lateral pulldown machine is usually set up with two grips. There are a couple of bars, one short one and one longer, that lie on the floor beside the machine. I think I've seen someone use them once before. Anyway, I wanted the longer bar, so I picked it up and then was left wondering how to attach it. I finally worked out something. I don't know if I set it up right but it seemed to work ok. I pulled it all apart and put it back to its usual setting when I finished. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been at all surprised if nobody had used it for a while.

I did the chest presses and overhead presses without any trouble, and I did one set of walking lunges. I figured that we'd only done one set on Friday so one set was enough. I hate walking lunges.

I wanted to go for a run during the week but it was just so hot. Not as hot as Melbourne or Adelaide, but still hot. Instead I went to the gym and did cardio. I did 20 mins on the treadmill and 10 mins on the bike. I was dripping sweat by the time I finished and the gym was airconditioned! I had intended to run for the whole half hour, but I caught sight of my face before I started. I was bright red, just from the drive to the gym and walking a couple of blocks. I decided discretion was probably the better part of valour in this case. I did a walk 1 min, run 1 min, to make sure I was able to drink while I was on the treadmill. I really haven't mastered the art of running and drinking at the same time. I managed to do a 6 km/hr, 7.5 km/hr pattern, with a few 9 km/hr minutes thrown in. Not many, but a few.

On Friday it was my PT session with Allan. I arrived in a rush. The gym is 20 mins from work, which really means 25 mins door to door. The car I'm driving doesn't have airconditioning, so I was pretty hot by the time I got there. We skipped the warm up and went straight into the 'heavy' gym. Squatting onto the box was the order of the day. I was lifting the bar without any weights added, so it was 20 kg. The box seemed a long way down.

(Late edit: This post has been sitting in draft for the past week. It's not that I've not been online. I've just been busy.)

Since it's been so long, I'll add a summary and skip to the part of the session that I was most excited about.

After the squats, more deadlifts. With and without shoes on for both squats and deadlifts, which was interesting. It's easier without shoes. Chest presses and something called a mid-row. A chat about nutrition. The exciting bit was that I finally got walking lunges. I've been doing them for nearly three years at the gym, at bootcamp etc, and it's been a struggle every time. Allan mentioned centre of gravity, I put it together with something Billy said which helped me do hip flexor stretches better, and all of a sudden I was "walking and lunging" instead of stepping, lunging, stepping, lunging. I was so excited that I came home to show TB, but I'd cooled down by then and couldn't make myself do them. He was rather amused but kindly took my word for it that I knew how to do them.

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