Sunday, January 31, 2016

Workout K#1 and the pre-Phase 6 walkthrough: Starting strong (Workouts 69 & 70)

This was last Wednesday's Workout. It's been a busy week
with no posts. Sorry 'bout that. 

I'm way, way behind on posting about workouts. Sigh. It's been a busy time -- we're settling in at the new gym, I'm learning how to draw Celtic knotwork, we had a big blizzard, I'm working on a knitting project (actually two, one for me and one for a friend). Life is good, but spending time on the computer just keeps not happening.

I did my Phase 6 walkthrough on January 18 -- I'm taking advantage of some of the things our new gym has that our old one didn't -- Swiss balls, slides (or an ab roller, depending on what I can find), kettlebells. It's a ton of fun. I love having all these options and more.

I did Workout K #1 on January 20, 2016. I *love* Workout K -- it's an absolute hoot! January 20 was a bit of a pain though -- the gym was very very crowded and I had to change up the order on a lot of things. I think these are Resolutionaries working with trainers -- when you sign up at this gym you get two free sessions with one of the trainers that regularly work there. (There are several of them -- I believe they're contractors.) I'm hoping that after they've done their two free sessions, a lot of the Resolutionaries will sort of fade away...

My January 20, K#1 workout was:

  • Rollouts - 3 x 10 - This is one where I made a change from what I planned, at least temporarily. What I wanted to do were what the New Rules of Lifting For Life calls Push Aways -- a destabilized push-up position. I've seen the slides for that at the gym before, but they're not always out. (I think they may belong to one of the trainers.) What I can always find, though, is an ab roller, so I figured I could do that if the slides weren't available. (You can see a video of someone doing Ab Rollouts here.) The trick with these is to really, really stretch out and unbend the hips because that's what makes the abs really have to work to stabilize the core. 
  • Kettlebell Swing - 2 x 10 - (You can see a video of someone doing these here, except I'm not doing them one-handed.) I'm using a 20lb kettlebell. I think I'm going to have to ramp these up by increasing the volume (the number of reps and sets) because the next kettlebell up is 40lbs and that's a huge jump.)  I do them with both hands, facing a blank wall with an emergency exit door (rather than the mirrors that are on most of the walls) -- that way I've got extra grip on the kettlebell and if it does fly out of my grip it won't hurt anyone or anything. These are an absolute blast -- it's all "Wheeee!!" as the weight is flying around. 
  • Reverse Lunge & Cable Row - 3 x 12 - I can't find a video of these but they're a very standard reverse lunge with a one-arm row on the cable machine, not much to look at. I'm using 30 lbs on the cable machine. It's a good exercise -- one that really gets the whole body working, which is nice. This was one that I had to do out of order and was afraid I wouldn't be able to do at all, because every single station on both of the cable machines was in use. Fortunately, just when I was finishing my last rep of the last exercise, one of the machines became free. I'm not doing the Coordination Rows this Phase -- I decided to give those a rest after four months -- and am doing these for a whole body exercise instead. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Back Extensions - 3 x 12 - These are the same back extensions, I was doing in Phase 5, but I'm doing them with a lighter weight and at higher reps. (You can see a video of someone doing these here.) I used a 25lb weight, which isn't hugely lighter than the 30 lbs I was doing these at for 8 reps, but it's enough to make the difference. 
    • Swiss Ball Chest Press - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of someone doing these here.) Basically, these are like dumbbell bench presses only instead of a bench the upper body is on a Swiss (stability) ball. They're actually kind of great -- though they're pretty tricky. I like them. I used a pair of 15lb dumbbells for them and that's a good weight. 
  • Alternating sets of :
    • Side Lunges - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of someone doing these here.) With these, I just wanted a variation on the lunges I've been doing basically forever. It's enough of a different move and a different muscle working that I'm using a pair of 15lb dumbbells for these to start. 
    • Rear Delt Row - 3 x 12 - (You can see a video of someone doing these here.) These use the same 15lb dumbbells that I'm using for the side lunges. These rows are from the posture article and I'm hoping they'll strengthen the muscles that keep my shoulders back (and by extension, my chest open). 
  • Cardio: I didn't do any Intervals of Insanity because of time constraints. I really need to do something about that. In this case, I even cut short the pre-workout warmup to only 6 minutes. 
Even in a crowded gym, this workout is a ton of fun! The Swiss Ball Chest Presses are a challenge, but a really cool one. The Kettlebell Swings are really just pure fun. And the whole thing is just a great workout. 

We did try to get through the workout kind of quickly, because we were doing our evaluations with the  trainer we're working with (Travis) after the session. We'd been planning to do it on the 23rd, but the blizzard was pre-empting that, so we rescheduled for Wednesday after our workout. 

It worked out fine, but we got home very very late and didn't get dinner until late. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Racquetball Lesson!

I found this picture on the web, so it's copyright someone else, not mine at all. 
Patrick and I had a lesson with the Mike the racquetball pro at our new gym on Saturday. We did this in lieu of our normal workout -- Patrick's normal Saturday workout is a cardio workout and I'm between phases and was happy to do something new. We spent about an hour and a half learning racquetball from Mike.

He did a good job of sharing both the fun of the game and some basic fundamentals of it as well. We started by just hitting the ball to the front wall and taking turns hitting the ball. We learned a little bit about serving and keeping score and played a sort of a game (sort of because we were playing with easy newbie rules where we were allowed extra bounces) to five points.

When we managed to keep a volley going for a few exchanges he started talking about grip on the raquet and forehand swing form and backhand swing form and so on. I think he had us move on from hitting the ball in a sort of pseudo-game when we were on a high note.

He then had us doing drills -- trying to hit a square (4'x4') on the front wall with our forehand and then our backhand.

My goals for the workout were: a) don't get hit in the face and b) work up a good sweat. I totally succeeded at working up a good sweat. We played pretty hard and well and had a good time. I did get hit in the face by the ball -- fortunately it's pretty squishy hollow rubber so it didn't hurt at all. :D So I'm willing to consider it mostly a success anyway.

It's interesting the extent that safety is built into the rules of the game -- it is in the rules that players have to wear safety goggles. The court is marked with a "safety zone" so that the server won't accidentally be hit by the player returning/receiving the serve.

I hope we'll be doing this again -- I had a lot of  fun and would love to do that more. They rent racquets and balls at the gym and Mike said that perfectly serviceable beginner set can be bought for about $35.

Our next workout is scheduled for Monday. I've been figuring out my Phase 6 workouts -- Workouts K and L - and tomorrow will be the walk-through to make sure I know what to expect and what the starting weights should be. Goal for the workout: Work hard while sorting out the two new workouts. :D

Friday, January 15, 2016

Workout J#6: Shoulder ouch! Workokout 68

A good workout -- first as an actual member at the Sport Fit,
pity about my shoulder though. 

If you look at my workout log from Wednesday night closely, picking your way through the atrocious handwriting and rather cramped formatting, you'll see that for the third set of Rolling Side Planks I only did 11 instead of twelve. That is because my right shoulder just wasn't getting with the program on those -- I could feel a sort of clicking (not exactly, more like something bumpy moving over something else bumpy) in it as I was rolling onto that side. Honestly, I probably should have stopped them sooner. (I also only did 10 for the first set, but that was a lapse of memory.)

I didn't have any problem completing my reps with any of the other exercises, but my right shoulder did feel a little funky. Like it wasn't moving as fluidly as the other one. It didn't hurt, really, so I did my thing. Though I did back down a bit on the YLTWI raises because those are really surprisingly hard.

Thursday morning, though, my shoulder was definitely hurty. And had that same "bumps moving over one another" clicky-type feel with some movements, though not others. (Row-type moves were okay, but lateral raise type moves were not, for example.)

Fortunately, I have a few days before I really put stress on that arm, Our next workout is Saturday and that will be the raquetball lesson with the pro at Sport Fit. I'll undoubtedly be using my left arm for the raquet, so I shouldn't put too much strain on my right shoulder. So I really have until Monday evening before I am lifting weights again.

That's five days.

I have great hope that my shoulder will be back to normal by then -- particularly if I manage to sleep on my back rather than on my right side. (Unfortunately, on my right side is how I normally sleep because that's the cuddled-up-to-Patrick side.)

Anyway, ouchsome shoulder aside, it was a very good workout and I really enjoyed it. The Sport Fit's weight room was a little more busy -- lots of trainers working with clients (the trainers wear shirts that say "Personal Trainer" which is how I know this). So maybe it just took a little longer for the Resolutionaries to become apparent there. In any case, even with an obviously greater number of people in the workout rooms, I didn't have the slightest bit of problem logistically or crowd-wise doing everything I wanted to do. So yay!

Wednesday's workout was:
  • Core Stability - 3 x 45 seconds - I'm not totally exactly sure of the time to the second for each of these. I was at a bit of an awkward angle to the clock on the wall and I might have missed by a few seconds more or less. The 15lb kettlebell was really heavy, though, so I might have had a bit of incentive to, umm, read the clock wrong. 
  • Rolling Side Plank - 3 x 10, 12, 11 - As mentioned above, these were a bit of a problem. The first set of ten was because I'd forgotten I was going up to twelve. The last set of 11 was because my right shoulder was just not going to take even one more. And probably shouldn't have been asked to take as many as it did. 
  • Dumbbell Push Press - 3 x 5 - Doing five rep sets of these is much more achievable than doing bigger sets. Good to know, thought I probably won't be doing them again next phase. Unless Travis The Trainer thinks it's something I should be doing. I used a pair of 25lb dumbbells and they were hard. I swear I think I was doing more at that weight at one point and not finding them as difficult as now, though I'm not sure about that. There may be some interaction with the exercises that come before also working my arms and shoulders. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Single-leg Deadlifts - 3 x 10, 8, 8 - I used the pair of 25lb dumbbells for this as well. The first set I kind of got in a groove and I think I did 10 rather than 8, but I'm not 100% positive. I was more attentive after that. It's probably a sign that I could have raised the weight, and if I were doing Workout J again, I would. Since I'm not, though, I'm happy with what I did. 
    • Pushups - 3 x 8 - I really do think the benches at Sport Fit are an inch or so lower than the ones at Planet Fitness. Though it's possible I'm just imagining that. In any case, I made my reps and was even able to do most of them pretty fast, so I'm super pleased with these. :D 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Squats - 3 x 8 - I'm up to a pair of 45lb dumbbells with these and I'm pretty pleased with myself about that. I was able to make my reps with these working fast, which is excellent. I don't think my hands and arms (and shoulders) are up to going up to 50lb weights with these, so I believe if I keep going with these next phase, it's going to have to be a volume increase. Which I was pretty much planning on, so that works out fine. 
    • Standing YTLWI Raises - 3 x 8 - These were so incredibly hard last time that I was really worried about them. Particularly with my shoulder being all clicky and weird. They were still hard but doable this time -- I used a pair of 5lb dumbbells for the first two sets and just bodyweight for the last set. I'm not sure if these are going to continue next time. Pondering that sort of thing is a project for this weekend. 
  • Cardio - No time for Intervals of Insanity, but I did 174 calories in 10 minutes on the treadmill, so I'm pretty chuffed about that. 
I started this post on Thursday morning and am finishing it on Friday. The Friday Update on my right (clicky-weird) shoulder is that it's doing much, much better today. I slept on my left side (rather than my right) and that seems to have made a huge improvement. It feels more or less normal. My muscles are still a little sore from the hard workout though that's improving as normal as well. So yay! I'm going to continue to be gentle with my shoulder for a while, just to make sure it really is better, but I'm far less concerned than I was. 


Our next workout is scheduled for Saturday. We're having a raquetball lesson with the pro at the Sport Fit in the morning, which should be a heap of fun. Goals for the workout are: Don't take a ball (or raquet) to the face and work up a good sweat!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Workout I #6: A Good Workout, Changing Gyms, and Looking Forward (Workout 67)

Another excellent workout at the Sport Fit. 
Last weekend was one with some big changes for us -- we officially cancelled our membership at Planet Fitness (we hope, we'll keep an eye out to make sure we don't get charged) and started a membership at the Sport Fit. We'd been planning to check out the third gym in town (L.A. Fitness) but ultimately decided that we just liked the Sport Fit so very very much that we couldn't imagine it being better.

Among the perks at the Sport Fit (or perhaps it's better called a signing bonus), is a free fitness evaluation and two free sessions with one of the trainers that works there. (They appear to be independent contractors.) For *each* of us, which is awesome. This seems as though it's going to be really personal, personal training, which I'm totally excited about. We have our first session with Travis the Trainer on January 30. 

The reason we're waiting so long is many-faceted. 1) Patrick has a cold, so we wanted to give time for him to recover and for me to recover from the cold we're convinced I'll inevitably get. 2) On January 23rd (Saturday week), we're celebrating my one year Fit-i-versary by going to a climbing gym (or climbing playground) in town and then meeting up with some friends at a local brewery. 3) On January 17, (this coming Saturday) we're getting a free session at Sport Fit with their racquetball pro. 

Apparently, the big draw at the Sport Fit is their racquetball courts (which is why the weight rooms are typically not terribly crowded). We've seen some folks playing every time we've been there and they look like they're having a great time. The sport just looks like a blast, entirely apart from the rules and scoring and so on. So we're getting an intro to the sport from someone who is, apparently, excellent at teaching newbies and instilling a love of the game. That sounds like a ton of fun. 

Anyway, I'm head of myself -- Saturday's workout was good but left me kind of hurty, especially with some neck strain. Which has been a bit of a problem and a bit worrisome. More on that below the workout...

Saturday's workout was: 
  • Plank with Reduced Base of Support - 3 x 54 seconds, or at least that was the plan - I did the first and last sets with one arm raised and the middle set with one leg raised. Holding a leg up is, oddly, easier than holding up an arm. I forgot to keep my phone with me, so I'd have a timer available, so I was using the big clock-with-a-second-hand ont he wall. I think this is when I hurt my neck, oddly, because I had to crane around to see the clock while I was holding this position. Very annoying.
  • Coordination Rows (Single-Leg, Single-Arm, Cable Rows) - 3 x 10 - I was absolutely perfect for the first set, very wobbly for the second set, and then close to perfect for the second set. That's as far as standing on one leg goes. I'm still doing 20 lbs for these. If I stick with these in Phase 6 (which is coming up soon, more on this below), I'll be raising the weight, I think. 
  • Dumbbell Jump Squats - 3 x 8 - I was reluctant to raise the weight on these (from a pair of 30lb dumbbells to a pair of 35lbs) because the heavier weight places a great strain on my shoulders when I land. This may also have contributed to my upper back strain that I've been dealing with since this workout. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Offset Lunges - 3 x 8 - I used a 25lb weight again.. I was able to do these with the 25lb weight moving fast, which is my usual first line of increasing intensity. As this was my last time with this workout (probably), I didn't really feel like raising the weight and risking hurting my quad, so I just rocked the 25lb weight and it was good.
    • Assisted Chinups and Scapular Retraction -  3 x 8 for both - I did my best to set the weights so that I was actually lifting about 95 lbs (in the vicinity anyway) based on what I'd weighed in the morning when I woke up. That's a bit of an increase over what I've been lifting, I believe, which is cool. I'm not sure I really love the grips on the assisted chinup machine -- I feel like this is working my triceps more and my back less than I really want, but I have been getting stronger so it's okay I guess. I almost feel like I get more of the kind of work I want on my back from the scapular retractions, which I'm also getting stronger at.
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Back Extensions - 3 x 8 - I was able to go back to the "right" order for these, which was nice. I used a 30lb dumbbell, because I couldn't find a 30lb kettlebell, which might have been a tad easier to wrangle, and that worked just fine. I was a little concerned earlier in the workout that I'd have to figure out an alternate for these on the fly because there was a group working out in the room with the back extension station. As it turned out, they were done before I got in there and it all flowed just seamlessly. Woot! 
    • Diagonal Raises - 3 x 8 - These went just fine and despite the upper back strain I didn't have any problems with a 10lb weight. Which was nice. It's possible that I could go up to 12 lbs, but there isn't one in that part of the gym and I didn't feel like going on a quest. 
  • Cardio - No Insanities on Saturday, because our day was plenty insane without me spending an extra ten minutes working out. I did do 10 minutes on the treadmill for 165 calories. 
I have one more workout in Phase 5 -- that'll be J#6. It would have been scheduled for Monday, January 11, but I took that evening off because of my stiff back and the crick I'd had in my neck. I just though a little break would be a good idea. Especially as Patrick took the evening off yesterday for his own reasons.
I'm at the point of working out my workouts for Phase 6, but there is a wrinkle. We're meeting with the trainer on January 30  and I'm not sure I want to get to attached to my Phase 6 workouts before I get his professional expertise. Right? We get an evaluation (presumably on January 30) and two free sessions with him.

By my count I have five more workouts between now and seeing Travis the Trainer, one of which I know will be J#6. Our up-coming workout schedule is:
Wednesday, January 13 -- Workout J#6
Saturday, January 16 -- Raquetball with the Pro
Monday, January 18
Wednesday, January 20
Saturday, January 23 -- Climbing at Climb Zone to celebrate my Fit-i-versary
Monday, January 25
Wednesday, January 27
Saturday, January 30 -- Travis the Trainer, first session

I think I'll come up with a couple of Inter-phase workouts to alternate until I have something to take away from working with Travis. I need to work on that before next Monday. I know I want to work in some of the exercises I identified a couple of weeks ago when looking at exercises to improve posture. Those are: seated cable row, back fly with band, shoulder external rotation, rear-delt row. I need to look those up. I also want possibly make use of some of the new options available unto me at the Sport Fit -- stability balls! BOSU! Valslides! TRX Suspension system! Woot!

Next workout is scheduled for Wednesday and it will be my last workout in Phase 6. I'm excited. These heavy phases are kind of difficult and leave me feeling sore and creaky. I don't know if that's a weight thing or a technique thing or what. I do definitely push myself to lift heavier during them. Goal for the workout -- finish strong and be ready to move into new and exciting things in the new gym. :D 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Workout J #5: Auditioning a new Gym still (Workout 66)

Back at the Sport Fit for another good workout
I'm behind on posting again, because we had a super busy weekend. I'll get to some of what we did in my next post about Saturday's workout. This is about Thursday's workout -- we got to the Sport Fit for our free trial day kind of late because of work and traffic. I had a good workout, but figuring out how and where to do things made it a little slow. 

It was a good workout though and it was really not crowded at the Sport Fit -- I saw one of their trainers with a client, so they apparently get the New Year's Resolutionaries like Planet Fitness, but they don't seem to make the place as unmanageably crowded as at Planet Fitness. 

Thursday, January 7th's, workout was: 
  • Core Stabilization - 3 x 45 seconds - I can definitely feel these in my core as I'm doing them, in a very good way. I went up to 15lbs from 10 last time (using a kettlebell) and that worked well. Probably better than increasing the time would have.
  • Rolling Side Plank - 3 x 10 - These are definitely improving as well, It's amazing what a difference it makes just in how I place my arms. It makes it a lot less strain on my shoulders and makes it more possible to feel like I'm moving my whole body as a unit. For J#6 I might go up to 12 per set, just to end really strong.  
  • Dumbbell Push Press - 3 x 7, 5, 5 - I had myself down for three sets of five, but kind of got ahead of myself on the first set. Which was kind of a mistake because the other sets were *really* hard and felt like strain. Three sets of five would have been a lot better. I used a pair of 25lb dumbbells, which is what I've been using for a while, if I remember right. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Single-leg Dumbbell Deadlifts - 3 x 8 - I'm still using a pair of 25lb dumbbells for these because I hadn't written down that I was thinking of going up and just totally forgot. Whoops. I did increase the intensity by doing them *fast*, which worked out well. 
    • Push-Ups - 3 x 8 - I think the bench I was using at Sport Fit is lower than the ones at Planet Fitness, which is good because I was looking for a lower surface. Not a lot lower, just a bit, so I was still able to go pretty fast with them which was good.
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Squats (Dumbbell) - 3 x 8 - I increased the weight on these to a pair of 45lb dumbbells (from a pair of 40s). Holy kittens were they heavy. I was able to make my reps, but holding the weights was really hard. 
    • Standing YLTWI Raises - 3 x 8, 8, 5 - These were ridiculously difficult. Staggeringly difficult. I barely made my first set with a pair of 5lb dumbbells, which I've been using this whole phase. For the second set, I went without weights and those worked out okay. If they hadn't, I was going to skip the third set entirely, because they were so hard and I really felt like I was over-straining my upper back. For the third set, I went back to the 5lb weights and did 5, which was really difficult but I was able to do it. There was no way I could have done a third set of 8. I am not really positive why these were so hard except possibly the very heavy weights I was using for the squats.
  • Cardio - I didn't do any Intervals of Insanity, but I did spend 10 minutes on the treadmill before I started working out. According to the treadmill, that was 170 calories burned. Which may be right.
It was a good workout. Patrick wasn't feeling great and was a bit overwhelmed by the entirely different workout space, but I had a great workout. I really really like the Sport Fit -- it's just very comfortable and I really like the vibe there -- the people talk to each other in super friendly ways and it just feels very homey and comfortable. 

After Thursday's workout, our next workout was scheduled for Saturday and planned to go to the Sport Fit again. That'll be my next post. :D

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Workout 65 was vexing

Patrick had to work late on Monday, so our plan to start out one week free trial at the Sport Fit (a new gym near home) had to be delayed. I wound out exercising by myself at a different Planet Fitness from our "home" gym.

I've worked out at this other Planet Fitness before -- it's not a bad place, though it's considerably more compact than our usual one. I don't know that it has been more crowded as far as the machine-to-person ratio, it's just seemed like it because there's a lot less open space.

On Monday evening, between the compactness of the gym and the New Year's Resolution people at the gym (I shall call them "Resolutionaries") it was jammed. Almost no treadmills were free for my 10 minutes of cardio warmup time and the ones that were free needed rebooting. Same with the elliptical machines.

I wound out on an Arc Glider, which totally sucked. All the quad abuse of the elliptical without nearly as much calorie burn or benefit.

It didn't help at all that I was really jammed for time and stressed out about it. I was so short on time (because I didn't want to make Patrick wait for me in the cold at the Metro station) that I wound out doing the 30-minute circuit at Planet Fitness rather than what I wanted to be doing.

I was reminded why I don't like their 30-minute circuit very much -- 15lb weight intervals on the machines. It is very easy to fall into an unhappy valley where one weight is too high to move for a whole minute (or any substantial portion thereof) and the next weight down is too light to be accomplishing anything.

And my back hasn't felt quite right since.


So that's all I have to say about that workout.

Next workout is scheduled for tonight: With any luck at all, we'll be going to the Sport Fit to start our free trial week. I'll be doing Workout J#5 and I have high hopes that it will go well. Goal for the workout: Do it well and smoothly in the new gym.

I hope that Sport Fit isn't completely clotted up with Resolutionaries as well.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Workout I #5: Testing out a new gym (Workout 64)

We were at a different gym on Saturday and I was able to put
together a good workout. :D 
Patrick and I have been talking about changing gyms -- I'm starting to approach the limits on what the Planet Fitness has for me and I've been consistently running into "I can't do that" issues because of the equipment they don't have (stability balls, step boxes, kettlebells, medicine balls, valslides, TRX strap systems). Patrick has been running into more specifically etiquette issues -- people sitting on the machines playing with their phones while not working out, so no one else can use it. It's been driving him nuts.

Saturday, we decided to stop at one of the two other gyms in town for a tour and, if possible, a guest pass for a free session. The gym we went to, Sport Fit, is a local chain (though not much of a chain, there are only two) and has a definite homey charm. It's been there since the 80s and gives every sign of having grown over time to take up the whole building in a sort of organic way. (For example, there's an upper floor but the two ends of it don't connect, so you have to go downstairs and back up to get from the locker rooms to the cardio rooms.) The Sport Fit's main draw are the raquetball courts, which means (according to the guy we spoke to) that the weight rooms are not as crowded. 

That would be awesome. 

After our tour and talk with the guy, we asked for (and were granted) two free passes for a week's use of the gym. We had our gym bags with us, so he invited us to use the gym that day. (I don't think we've activated our free passes yet, but I'm not sure.) 

If we do join this gym, we'll each get two free sessions with a trainer to work out a plan and make sure we're doing things right. I'm excited about that -- though excited about it particularly for Patrick, because he's got a bad back and a bad shoulder and a bad hip. 

It's always weird working out in a new space -- just having to find things and figure out what's available takes extra time. I also need to figure out where I can do my exercising without being in anyone's way but still being near what I need. It made for a slow workout, but a good one. The Sport Fit had everything I needed and I think I can do a really good workout there. Looking to the future they have all the things I've been wishing for at Planet Fitness and I'm excited to be able to add exercises using those to my future workouts. Patrick did a cardio day, so he didn't really test the full offerings of the gym. 

(We'll go back and give it a more challenging test on Monday.) 

The new space necessitated a bit of reworking of things, but it worked out just fine. And on the whole I felt really strong and really capable. Which was totally awesome. 

Saturday's workout was: 
  • Plank with Reduced Base of Support - 3 x 50 seconds - I did the first and last sets with one arm raised and the middle set with one leg raised. Holding a leg up is, oddly, easier than holding up an arm. At the Planet Fitness, I use the timer on the circuit area to time these (and everything else that gets timed). Sport Fit doesn't have a timer like that, so I had to use a timer on my phone. That worked out just fine. 
  • Coordination Rows (Single-Leg, Single-Arm, Cable Rows) - 3 x 10 - I am positive I had the machine set for the same 20 lbs I've been doing at Planet Fitness, but it felt MUCH lighter. I checked and checked as I was working out because it felt so different. I did feel a little wobbly as I was working out, maybe because the weight wasn't what I was expecting. Maybe because I was a little off kilter because of the new gym (and the lack of lunch, though we did have a snack). I don't know. Anyway, I was a tad bit wobbly but otherwise these were very very easy. 
  • Dumbbell Jump Squats - 3 x 8 - I found a great spot for these and did great with them. I don't think I want to raise the weight next time, because the landing can be kind of tough on my shoulders, but I may go up to 10 reps per set. These were great, though, just strong and capable. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Offset Lunges - 3 x 8 - I used a 25lb weight, which was an increase from 20lbs the time before. I'm reluctant to push the weight up too fast because I don't want to hurt my quad again. That said, I was able to do these with the 25lb weight moving fast, which is my usual first line of increasing intensity. I might tentatively try 30lbs next time. Or I'll stick with this (as next time is my last go with this Phase). 
    • Assisted Chinups and Scapular Retraction -  3 x 8 for both - I did my best again to set the weight to the same place I had it last time, and once again it felt really light. I was even able to do three full sets of the Scapular Retractions, which was cool. This was another one where I felt really strong and capable. Loved it. I wandered around for a bit looking for the Assisted Chinup machine and was trying to think about what I'd do if they didn't have one, but then I found it right in the middle of the weight machine room completely visible. That was cool. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Diagonal Raises - 3 x 8 - I normally do these after the Back Extensions, but there was someone on the Back Extension apparatus when I got there, so I did these first while she was doing her set. It worked out fine. I was going to go up to a 12.5 lb weight for these, but there weren't any available, At least not that I could find. (Sport Fit has a much more organic feel, a much more homey and lived-in feel, but it's not quite as *organized* as Planet Fitness usually is. This is not really a bad thing,) If we do join that gym, I might be able to find some to 12.5lb weights to use for this. I just went with a 10lb again, which was fine.
    • Back Extensions - 3 x 8 - I had planned to go up from a 25lb weight plate to holding a pair of 15lb dumbbells. I didn't want to go to the more distant rack of dumbbells at this new place to get a pair of 15lbs, because I didn't want to take more time than necessary using the apparatus, so I just went with a 25lb plate again. I'll go up to 30 lbs next time. 
  • Cardio - Once again, I didn't do any Intervals of Insanity. It was well into the afternoon, we were starved, we had more errands to run, and Patrick had stopped *way* before I did (because once he got on the elliptical machine he just went, and I was walking around and getting oriented). I did do 10 minutes on the treadmill and burned (according to the machine) 157 calories before I started working out. 
We'll go back to the Sport Fit for our next workout tomorrow. We'll be there during prime time (after work on a weekday), which is also the busy time for Planet Fitness, so we'll be able to see how crowded it really is (or isn't) when we're used to running into crowding issues at Planet Fitness. And I think Patrick is planning on lifting, rather than just going on the elliptical, so he can give the place a real test as well. 

We'll use up our free pass for Sport Fit, then we'll go to the other gym in town (L.A. Fitness) and do a  tour there and see if they'll give us a free trial. Our impression right now is that L.A. Fitness would either have to be *awesome* or have to be *cheap* to beat Sport Fit -- we really liked the comfortable, homey environment and have a very strong preference for local businesses. :D

Next workout is scheduled for Monday. We'll be back at Sport Fit. Goal for the Workout: Get more comfortable at Sport Fit and rock the workout. :D 

Workout J #4: Pre-feasting sweating is even better (Workout 63)

New Year's Eve workout. The gym was pretty
empty and it went well.
The previous time I did Workout J (J#3) it was a very difficult time -- not like the weights were too heavy, it was just a grind. Like my body didn't want to or something. I don't know. It was not a lot of fun. Fortunately, this time (which was last Thursday on New Year's Eve) it went *great*! I felt really great and either raised the intensity one a few things during the workout or have them marked for increase next time. 

I didn't do any Intervals of Insanity at the end because Patrick and I had a few errands to run on our way home and we needed to get to it before places started closing for New Year's Eve. But I did a lot of good cardio exercise at the beginning and worked really really hard during the workout. 

Thursday's New Year's Eve workout was: 
  • Core Stabilization - 3 x 45 seconds - These are definitely getting better. I'm getting stronger at holding the weight at arms' length and at moving it around. I can feel it in my core as I'm doing it, but it's a good feeling. I'm going to try going up to 15lbs next time. Either that or going up to 50 seconds (at least). 
  • Rolling Side Plank - 3 x 8, 8, 10 - These are getting better too. I'm really feeling like I'm moving my whole torso as a unit, which is how it is supposed to be. I went up to 10 for the last set just to give myself some extra work. Which is  cool. I'll do that with all three sets next time. 
  • Dumbbell Push Press - 2 x 8, 7 - I had myself written down originally to do three sets of five. Then I got a little lost in the *doing* for the first set and did 8 reps. So I thought I'd do two sets of eight. Except that I really was only good for 15 total, so I stopped the last set at 7, unable to go on. I think I have myself down for 2 sets of 8 next time. Maybe I'll try for a third set and just see how far I can go. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Single-leg Dumbbell Deadlifts - 3 x 8 - I'm still using a pair of 25lb dumbbells for these and that went really really well. I don't have a note to go up with these, but I think I'm going to try 30s next time. (If I remember.) Because those went really really well! 
    • Push-Ups - 3 x 8 - I'm ready to start looking for a lower surface to do these off of. I'm doing really well off the bench and have started increasing the intensity by doing them *faster* which is all I have. I don't think I'm ready for the floor yet. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Squats (Dumbbell) - 3 x 8 - I'm using a pair of 40lb dumbbells for these. I've gotten to where I'm doing them fast, which is, as noted above, how I increase the intensity on things without increasing either the reps or the weight. The extra speed keeps the tension on the muscles in a more sustained way, which is something. I don't know that my arms and shoulders are up for holding 45lb weights, but I may try it to keep more work going. 
    • Standing YLTWI Raises - 3 x 8 - I actually did three whole sets of eight! I've been working toward that for a while and I'm very happy to have gotten there. I don't think I'm even close to going up from 5lb weights to 7.5lb weights (let alone 10lb), though. At least, not unless I scale back the sets and reps by rather a lot. 
  • Cardio - I didn't do any Intervals of Insanity, but I did spend 10 minutes on the treadmill before I started working out. According to the treadmill, that was 160 calories burned. Which may be right. 
The workout really did go very well and I had a great time. I was sweaty and felt *strong* which was awesome. Loved it!! 

Our next workout was on Saturday, January 2, and I'll post about it separately, because it was pretty exciting!