Guys, I’m so sore today. Friday, I took a rest day and you know about Saturday. Sunday when I got up, I felt mostly okay. My feet, on the top near my ankles, hurt, but other than that, I was pretty much okay, though very tired. I went to the gym and there weren’t many people there when I started, so I determined that I would try my new free weight workout, combined with my normal cardio on strength days. Today? My feet still hurt in the same place, along with the back of my knees, my abs, biceps, and the muscles at the joint of my leg and torso. That last one hurt so much, I could only make it through 35 minutes of jogging at 4.1 on a 1.0 incline this morning before I had to walk the rest of it. And even then, I took a 5 minute walking break after about 22 minutes of jogging! So it would appear that my new free weight workout is a success.
I don’t think I’ve ever exactly detailed what I do in those strength workouts, so I figured I’d go ahead and do that today. Other than the strength part, the rest of my workouts on those days are relatively static, so here’s that first: I start with a 10 minute warm up walk on the treadmill at 3.5 with 0 incline. I then move on to the strength portion. After that, I do 28-30 minutes on the elliptical, usually. The 28 minute is a weight loss preset with 4 minute intervals, increasing the resistance on alternating intervals. It’s not that tough and I should probably move on or increase the resistance. The 30 minute one (you set the time) is an interval workout. It’s really the same as the weight loss one (at least, the resistance feels the same) but the intervals are 2 minutes each. On both these workouts, I’ll do two intervals with the hand grips (the ones that move) and two without. Supposedly not using the bars and keeping your arms at your sides strengthens the abs. I did a cross country preset once and it was SO HARD. I should probably do that more often. It was REALLY tough and the resistance went super high. After the elliptical, I hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes. To be honest, I’ve been pretty slack lately and just walked at 3.5 with a 1.0 incline. When I’m spot on, I do intervals of 7.0-8.0 incline for 2-4 minutes and then drop down to 0 for the other interval. It’s tough and I’m breathing hard, but not TOO awful. I definitely need to get back to that. Anyway, now on to the strength. I’ll start with my old, machine-only workout.
In general, what I’m doing is two sets of 15 reps at a weight that’s tough by the end, but not killer. Then I do another set at a higher weight that I can barely eek out 10 reps for. Most of the time, the higher weight is 30lbs more. On a couple of my lower weight ones where I’m weaker, it’s only 10. And for abs, I do many more reps for all sets, but the gap is 20lbs. I use a free app for my iPod to keep up with these called Epic Workout. If you look for it, it’s icon is blue with a jagged mountain on it. Below, I’ll name the standard machine name along with s/r/w where s=sets, r=reps, and w=weight. Also, the Machine Seated Leg Press and Calf Raise are the same machine, so I usually do one set of one, then one set of the other and repeat. This is also the order I usually do them, but it doesn’t bother me to jump around if I need to because someone else is using the machines too, though usually I can stick to this order:
- Bicep Curls: 2/15/35, 1/10/45
- Machine Chest Press: 2/15/55, 1/10/85
- Machine Seated Leg Curl: 2/15/85, 1/10/115
- Wide Grip Lat Pull Down: 2/15/100, 1/10/130
- Machine Seated Leg Press: 2/15/130, 1/10/160
- Machine Seated Calf Raise: 2/15/130, 1/10/160
- Chest Dips: 2/15/70, 1/10/100
- Machine Leg Extension: 2/15/70, 1/10/100
- Machine Shoulder Press: 2/15/35, 1/10/45
- Machine Push Crunch: 2/50/70, 1/25/90
And that’s it. Now, on to the new workout. I got all the exercises here after searching for an easy to understand workout using only dumbbells as the equipment. I went through and copied all the exercises to a word document. I took out anything that was marked as advanced or looked too confusing. Then I tried to narrow it down to one to two exercises per muscle group. For weights I used two 5lb weights for most exercises and two 7.5lb weights for the harder set. I didn’t write down what I did and I’ve only done it once, so I’ll try and put it down from memory in the same format as above. Some don’t work that way, so I’ll elaborate then. If there’s no third number, it’s a floor exercise, so no weight is used. Also, if there is a weight, the weight listed is one dumbbell and I have one in each hand. The only exception to that I’ll note. The exercise names will come directly from the website linked above. I’ll also preface each move with the muscle group from the same website. Here they are:
- Abs – Plank Pose – 2 times for 60 seconds each
- Abs – Reverse Crunch – 2/15
- Back – Bent Over Row – 2/15/5, 1/10/7.5
- Back – Deadlift – 2/15/5, 1/10/7.5
- Bicep – Hammer Curl – 2/15/5, 1/10/7.5
- Bicep – Curl – 2/15/5, 1/10/7.5
- Calves – Standing Calf Raise – 1/15/5 per position (one straight, one toes in, one toes out)
- Chest – Incline Press – 2/15/5, 1/10/7.5
- Chest – Knee Push Ups – 2/15
- Ham & Glutes – Bridge Pose – 2/15
- Ham & Glutes – Leg Curl – 2/15
- Quads – Squat – 2/15/5, 1/10/7.5
- Shoulder – Shoulder Press – 2/15/5, 1/10/7.5
- Tricep – Overhead Extensions – 2/15/5 (one dumbbell using both hands, one set with right hand on top and then switch)
- Tricep – Tricep Kickbacks – 2/15/5, 1/10/7.5
And that’s it. Right now, I’m working from printouts with some instructions and pictures while I get used to what I’m doing. Once I do and can remember the form, I’ll go to the iPod app. Mostly the form seems fairly easy to maintain, but I do have to really concentrate and think about it. I’m a little wobbly on the Shoulder Press and the Incline Press.
Oh, also about the machine workouts: We have a set of machines that are in a rough oval. There’s a stop light hanging from the ceiling that changes. I think this is set up so you can do a Curves-type circuit. It includes all the machines I listed above except the ab machine. There’s a vertical ab machine with no weights. There’s also a weighted row machine (not like a typical rowing machine, it’s some kind of lateral row) that I don’t do. There are a ton more machines from the same company in the rest of the gym, but the weights are a little different. I don’t know if there’s any advantage to that, but mostly it’s women who use the ones I use. The circuit ones have weights with a pin that you move to select the weights. The others (that include the ab machine I use) have switches on the weight blocks that you flip to select your weight. A few of them (specifically the Leg Press and Extension) appear exactly the same except for the weight block. There are a lot of different types of machines on that side, including a bunch of pully-type machines. Since I’ve talked about the rest, I’ll go ahead and round it out and tell you that they’ve also got a Smith Machine, Roman Chair, and a bunch of weight benches of the typical barbell-type. There’s some more versatile pully machines. Obviously they’ve got a big rack of dumbbells going all the way up to insane weights. 🙂 They’ve got a pile of kettlebells, a rack of medicine balls, and some stability balls too, along with various other small equipment. It’s a pretty small gym, but they’ve got a lot packed into it.
So, that’s about it. I’ve kind of been cobbling my workouts together the best I can from stuff I find online. Some on Pinterest, but mostly just from Google searching and looking at what’s out there. Oh! I forgot stretching! The current theory I see everywhere is that you shouldn’t stretch before your workout, but after. I do the same stretches after any workout and I do them actually on the treadmill. I don’t know the real name of any of these stretches, so you’ll have to just bear with me. I hope I’m clear enough. I place each foot on the far side of the treadmill and do a bent over stretch for the back of my legs. I usually hold this one a while. Then I do that stretch you always see in exercise videos, where you put one bend one knee on one leg and stick the other foot out straight with your foot sticking up at a right angle to your leg. Then you bend over, stretching the extended leg and cock out the other hip to stretch that hip out. I do that twice on each side. Then I do calf raises and dips on the side of the machine. I do the bend over stretch again (because it usually just feels really good at the end!) and then I stretch out my arm. I pull one arm across the body and pull it back with the other arm and switch. Then I clasp my hands behind me and arch my back. And that’s really it. It’s then time to clean the machine, fill up my water bottle, and go home. 🙂