Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

After the tough leg workout I had on Wednesday, my legs were just about feeling back to normal by Sunday morning. And then I had another session with Rama.

I did a 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and then we began.

I started with three sets of:

  • Dumbell chest press x 15
  • Dumbell fly press x 15

I then had eight 20-second rounds of the burpee/push-up/squat jump combination separated by 10 seconds of rest.

The next resistance exercise was three sets of:

  • Lateral pulldown x 15
  • Seated row x 15

Then came the push-up/squat jump combination: 10 push-ups, 10 squat jumps, 10 seconds rest, 9 push-ups, 9 squat jumps, 10 seconds rest, and so on.

The last resistance exercise was three sets of:

  • Bicep curls x 15
  • Tricep extensions x 15

And the last circuit consisted of:

  • Walking lunges x 30 seconds
  • Star jumps x 30 seconds
  • Rest x 30 seconds
  • Walking lunges x 30 seconds
  • Stair-climbers x 30 seconds
  • Rest

I did that three times. 

And then came the abs: 10 different exercises for 20 seconds with a 10-second rest in between each one. To finish off, I did the side plank for 25 seconds on each side. Twice. I told Rama that even a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have been able to do that once, let alone twice, because just 2 weeks ago I had to use my other hand for support! 

I didn’t have yoga on Monday – my cousin couldn’t make it and I didn’t feel like having the class on my own. I went to the gym instead. I did 3k on the treadmill – walking/jogging (24:54), two sets of tricep extensions, two sets of lower body exercises, some abs and stretching. It was a good workout. 

On Tuesday I was a bit fragile after my Monday night out and didn’t think I’d be able to run at all. I went to the gym anyway as I knew I probably wouldn’t go on Friday, Saturday or Sunday (packing/travelling/settling in). I did 3k on the cross-trainer (23:05) and two sets of lower body exercises. Just as well I went because I ended up at Tim Horton’s with a friend and I had a large French vanilla cappuccino (and I don’t even want to know how many calories are in that)!

On Wednesday I had my 40th session with Rama. Forty! Time flies in Dubai. As it was my last session before I travel he did a series of fitness tests, each one done for 1 minute:

  • Push-ups – 40 (39 last time)
  • Burpees – 17 (I didn’t do these last time)
  • Sit-ups – 22.5 (full sit-ups with Rama holding my feet, not crunches like I’ve done in the past – 39 crunches last time)
  • Shuttle runs – 16 
  • Squats – 28
  • Distance on the cross-trainer at level 10 – 200 metres

Then came a circuit I hadn’t done in weeks:

  • Squat jumps with 10-lb weights x 15
  • 1 minute rest
  • Squat jumps x 15
  • 1 minute rest
  • Bear crawl x 3.5 lengths of the gym
  • Star jumps x 100
  • 1 minute rest
  • Push-ups with 10-lb weights x 20
  • Ski jumps with 3-kg weights x 100
  • Rest

I hate that circuit. I’ve had to do it twice in the past, but today I only had to do it once.

After that there was a different variation of the push-up/squat jump combination I did on Sunday. Instead of push-ups, I had to do tricep dips. So: 10 tricep dips followed by 10 squat jumps and a 10-second rest, 9 tricep dips followed by 9 squat jumps and a 10-second rest, and so on. 

And then there was more:

  • Bicep curls x 15
  • Hip exercises x 10 on each side (four different exercises)
  • Tricep extensions x 15
  • Bicep curls x 15
  • Single leg squats with toe touches x 15 on each side
  • Tricep extensions x 15

And then there were abs: basic crunches, abs cycle, scissor kicks, long lever crunches, side planks. And then it was over.

Or so I thought.

As I was lying almost comatose on my mat, Rama said: ‘There’s just one more thing today.’

Don’t say it, please don’t say it, I thought to myself.


Nooooo! After all that??

‘Just once. My parting gift to you.’

Oh. My. God. I went down in the lift. I opened the door to the stairwell and found someone’s driver having a nap on the stairs! I made it up to the sixth floor (but only just) and then I was done.

On Wednesday night I came across the Plank a Day challenge on Twitter. I always intend to do things like this but come morning I’ve usually forgotten all about them. Anyway, the challenge is to do the plank every day for as long as you can and tweet about it with the #plankaday hashtag. I believe if you don’t the PlankPolice will come after you! So, the following morning I went to the gym and walked/ran 3k (24:51) and did the plank for 1 minute. Getting to that 1 minute was a struggle – I was ready to give up at 45 seconds but held on to 1 minute. This is going to be interesting. After that I did a set of lower body exercises and was done.

I didn’t work out on Friday (I was too hungover) but I still did the plank – just for 32 seconds. I didn’t work out on Saturday either as I was travelling that evening and had packed my trainers!

Low points of the week? Having my last session with Rama. I’ll have to join a gym and find a trainer in Bali – 7 weeks is a long time to sit on my ass. 

High points of the week? Quite a few this week:

  • Discovering I can do things I wouldn’t have been able to do even a month ago (side planks, full sit-ups, running)
  • Buying two swimsuits on Friday and not cringing when I looked in the mirror. I even considered a bikini but I don’t think I’m quite ready for that!
  • Going out on Monday night and someone thinking I was in my late 20s (I know it’s not a fitness-related high point, but it felt good)
  • At passport control on Saturday, the guy looked at me, looked at my passport photo, looked back at me. ‘You’ve lost some weight!’ he said.

Weight loss? A total of 17.6 kg (just under 39 lbs). Frustrating after hitting that 18-kg mark a couple of weeks ago.


Read more updates here.


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