I had my sixth session with Rama on Sunday morning (six already!) and, again, I don’t know how I survived it.
While I was on the cross-trainer doing my 5-minute warm-up Rama told me what he had in store for me that day.
‘So, you’re going to do 100 push-ups…’
I burst out laughing. ‘I’m flattered you think I can do 100 push-ups,’ I said.
‘Listen. You’re going to do 100 push-ups, 100 crunches, 50 squat presses with the 3-kg weights, 150 bunny hops on a bench, and 80 lengths of the gym – walking or running – without a break. I don’t care what order you do them in, you can break them up or do them all in one go, but I’m going to time you. It could take you 15 minutes, it could take you the whole hour, but you will finish them.’
Holy sh*t. He was being serious. How the hell was I going to get through this?
I decided the only way to do it was to divide it into five sets – 20 push-ups, 20 crunches, 10 squat presses, 30 bunny hops, and 20 lengths of the gym. As I was walking the first 20 lengths of the gym, Rama said I should use that as recovery time, get my breath back and then start the next set with the hardest exercise first. That would be the bunny hops.
Now, bunny hops sound cute, but they’re not. They should really be called ‘soul-destroying jumping exercises’, because that’s what they are. This is what they’re supposed to look like:
Like I said, not cute. And you’re right, I can’t do that. Rama had me move my hands to the end of the bench, and put an object between my feet. I had to jump from side to side over the object. Apparently, according to him, I will be able to do full bunny hops in a few weeks. I will let you know when that happens!
Anyway, I did it. All of it. I was exhausted by the end of it. It took me 26 minutes and 13 seconds. Lots of room for improvement!
I had a much-needed rest after that – I didn’t think I’d make it through the last set, and then we started on the floor exercises – lower body and abs. And after a 2-minute cool-down on the treadmill, I was done. I was so glad that was over.
On Monday I woke up – my shoulders were aching (damn push-ups), my hamstrings were aching (damn bunny hops), I was aching all over basically.
I went to the gym for a cardio work-out – I did 15 minutes on the cross-trainer and then 20 minutes alternating between the treadmill and the stepping machine. Last week I was doing 2 minutes on each one, but today I did 3 minutes on the treadmill followed by 2 on the stepping machine.
And someone new came in today while I was halfway through my work-out. A French guy who lives in the building. He moved here four months ago, from Australia. Aren’t we an international bunch? We talked about the weather and the pool (in French) and then I left him to it.
On Tuesday I decided I was going to do the cardio circuit with the four machines which I did last week. It consisted of:
- 2 minutes on the cross-trainer
- 2 minutes on the treadmill
- 2 minutes on the stepping machine
- 2 minutes on the bike
I did that circuit five times – and it didn’t seem as bad as it did the week before. After doing the timed circuit on Sunday, nothing seems as bad as that!
I had an early session with Rama on Wednesday – at 9.15. Well, that’s early for me, but it means I get my work-out over and done with and can do other things afterwards (like go for coffee with the girls). As I was doing my warm-up, he said ‘It’s going to be a tough session today…’. He says that at the start of every session, and he’s always right. It’s always tough. After my warm-up, I did a few minutes on the bike and then we went to the stairwell.
The gym is on the sixth floor – Rama told me to walk all the way to the bottom and walk all the way back up again, and then walk up to the seventh floor. I had 10 minutes of stair-climbing to do. I made it up to the top in just over 2 minutes. I had a short break and he sent me back down again (in the lift this time!). I walked up the seven floors and had another break. The third time he sent me down to the second floor, and I walked up five floors. That’s 19 floors! In just over 10 minutes. ‘How do you feel?’ he asked. ‘Sick,’ I replied. Did I have breakfast, he asked? No, of course I didn’t. I should really do that from now on. ‘What you could do is think about entering the Vertical Marathon – up the stairs of the Emirates Towers later this year – just for fun,’ he told me. Fun? I Googled it when I got home – it’s in April: 52 floors, 1334 stairs. He’s clearly got me confused with someone else.
After those many minutes of torture, I did a circuit of machines in the main gym. It consisted of:
- 30 seconds on the leg press
- 30 seconds on the bench press
- 30 seconds of hamstring curls
- 30 seconds on the chest press
- 30 seconds on the lateral pulldown
- 30 seconds doing tricep extensions
- 30 seconds on the back extension machine
- 30 seconds doing bicep curls
I did one set, had a break, and then did a second set. Lower body floorwork and abs exercises followed and then I was done!
On Thursday, I met two Lebanese women in the gym. I’d seen them before but it was always during one of my sessions with Rama. Today they were loud. One was on the phone while she was on the treadmill, and when she wasn’t on the phone the two of them were talking to each other across the gym. I didn’t feel like moving from machine to machine with the two of them there so I did 15 minutes on the cross-trainer and then 20 minutes walking on the treadmill. Walking with the 3-kg weights, one minute with/without the weights. It was harder than I remembered, and felt harder than moving from one machine to the next.
I took Friday as my day off from the gym. I’d been six days in a row! Plus I had some stuff to do for my photography class…
I had planned to go to the gym on Saturday, but on my way to photography on Friday afternoon I slipped and fell at the mall. I landed on my left knee, grazed the top of my left foot, and somehow ended up on my ass. Yes, it was embarrassing. And I had so much stuff with me, it was like I was travelling – laptop, camera, tripod, handbag. Anyway, a woman helped me get my stuff together and I got the hell out of there. My knee ached throughout the class and I knew I was going to have a bruise on Saturday. The next morning, my knee was bruised and still sore so I thought I’d give it a rest and see how it felt by the time I had my session with Rama on Sunday.
And that’s another week over. I have no idea if I’m any closer to my goal as I still don’t know my weight. The scales haven’t come out of any of the boxes – there are only two or three boxes to open now so they should turn up in the next couple of days!
Read more updates here.