Back to the gym today for my first personal training session of the year and it was an intense one!
Before I get into that, a few quick updates.
First, I had my weigh-in and body fat measurement before the start of the workout today. I weighed in at 201.8 pounds (down 0.2 pounds) and my body fat measurement is 19.7% (up from 18% at the last measure). I was a little more hopeful on the weight. Being down about a pound or so since the last weigh-in would have been a nice number but I’m not really discouraged. I’m not putting a lot of stock in the body fat measure since I kind of doubt it went up 2 full percent in the last couple of weeks. Those things are notorious for fluctuating based on diet, hydration, etc. so I won’t beat myself over this number. If it keeps inching north though, it’ll probably be something we need to address. For now, it’s another number to work with.
Second, it’s back to karate tonight after about a week and a half off for the holidays. Tonight is sparring which is sort of like jumping into the deep end of the intensity pool after a layoff so it might be a good endurance test. If you’re somebody who’s considered martial arts as a personal training method, please keep visiting here as we’ll be talking a lot about it (especially towards the second half of the year when I get closer to black belt). In short, it’s a great fitness program with benefits that go far beyond the physical. You learn the disciplines of respect, courage, hard work, and focus and this makes it an especially effective program for children and teens. More on that to come.
But now, today’s workout. I won’t go into great detail but here’s some of what we did and what I thought of it.
Sprint intervals – Started at a steady 7.2MPH for several minutes. Then up to 9MPH for a minute and down to 4MPH for 30 seconds and repeat a couple of times. Not a lot of fun during the run but it’s effective in building up speed for the run portion of the triathlon. Besides, you can do anything for a minute, right?
Spinning intervals – A combination of sprinting for a minute at low resistance, “hill climbing” for a minute at high resistance, and lateral deltoid raises with dumbbells at moderate resistance. I hate this circuit perhaps most of all and I’m literally dripping sweat after five minutes but I’ve noticed gains in my leg strength already. I feel that as long as I continue this, the bike for me may be the strongest of the three events.
Weighted Decline Crunches – Picture this exercise with a medicine ball in hand. I hate it but can’t deny that it works. A couple sets of 10 do the trick for me.
Dumbbell Oblique Side Bends – I find these as effective for those “love handles” as any exercise I’ve done. A couple sets of 15 and you’ll be feeling it.
Weighted Hand-To-Leg Ab Crunches – My trainer promised that if I did this exercise my abs would feel “shredded” in about two days. She was right. These exercises are hard (we used a plate instead of dumbbells as shown below) but my abs felt tight for a solid three days after I did these. I love ’em and I’ll include this exercise in just about any ab program I do going forward.
Days with the personal trainer are tough but I feel great afterwards. Granted, I can’t go at this intensity every day (we only meet twice a week) but adding these exercises in has been of great advantage.
Tonight it’s karate and tomorrow we’ll probably hit the treadmill for a distance run of about 4-5 miles. My brother-in-law sent me an e-mail just now challenging me to a 5K race in two weeks. I think I’m in. Time to see how the training is paying off!