Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

The first half of my Sunday session with Rama was pure torture. There’s no other word for it. As I was warming up on the cross-trainer he said I’d be doing some cross-fit work which consisted of just two exercises. He then told me what the two exercises were: squat presses (with 3-kg weights) and burpees. I had to do 100 squat presses – but after every minute of squat presses I’d have to do three burpees! And… he was going to time me. He said some people took 20-30 minutes to do this exercise.

In the first minute I managed 14 squat presses, in the second minute I did 11, in the third and fourth minutes I did 10 each, in the fifth minute I did 9 (this was the lowest I got), and so on. It took me 14 minutes and 11 seconds. My legs were burning at the end of it.

When I was done I said, ‘Please tell me I don’t have to do that again.’ Thankfully, he said it was just one round. Phew!

After a rest I did some upper body work with 3-kg weights on my mat – chest press, fly press, and tricep extensions for two sets each. I asked Rama what difference it made to being on a bench (like I’ve been in the past) and he said being on the floor isolated the area I was working on as the rest of my body was supported by the floor. By being on a bench, you could still move from side to side, but on the floor there’s nowhere to go.

After the upper body work, I did 5 minutes on the stepping machine. This was followed by one-legged pelvic lifts and some lower back exercises and stretching. And I was done!

My legs were sore on Monday and I don’t think my yoga class helped much.

On Tuesday my legs were still sore and I thought walking/running might help. I managed 5k in 39:24 – another improvement!

I decided to look online for a website to log my walks/runs and eventually registered with Running Ahead. You can log each run, swim or weights entry and it keeps track of what you’ve done. You can view the data as an individual workout or as a weekly or monthly table. Just by looking at the summary page I can see that I’ve done 35 km in October already. This is going to be fun!

On Wednesday, as I was warming up, Rama told me I was going to do a circuit I’d done before:

  • Push-ups x 15
  • Squats x 20
  • Star jumps x 20
  • Jogging on the spot x 30 seconds
  • Wall squat x 30 seconds
  • Burpees x 15
  • Stair-climbers x 20
  • Crunches x 20
  • Plank x 30 seconds
  • Bear crawl x 2 lengths of the gym
  • Tricep dips x 15
  • Punches holding 3-kg weights x 20

It sounded familiar but I knew I hadn’t done this circuit in ages. The first time I did the circuit it took me 6 minutes and 23 seconds. It was tough – the wall squat gets me every time, and I still hate that bear crawl. After a break, I did the circuit again in 5 minutes and 52 seconds.

After reading through my past posts I realised the last time I’d done this circuit was at the end of April. The first time I did it that day I finished it in 6 minutes and 5 seconds; the second time I did it in 5 minutes and 44 seconds. I don’t know what’s going on but I’m fitter than I was then, so why haven’t my times improved?

After another rest, Rama started me on the Tabata training:

  • 20 seconds of burpees followed by 10 seconds of rest x 3 minutes
  • 7 seconds of sprint training followed by 7 seconds of rest x 6 minutes
  • 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

After a short rest, I did three sets of ab exercises followed by some stretching and then I was done!

I was sore all over on Thursday – my shoulders and arms were aching, and so were my legs. I still went to the gym and did 5k but found it really tough that day. I still did it in under 40 minutes but didn’t beat my fastest time.

Friday’s run was tough too – I considered stopping at 3k, at 30 minutes, and again at 4k and 4.5k! I managed the whole 5k in 39:47. Again, it was tough and I was nowhere near my fastest time.

TM, on the other hand, is crushing me at the gym.

I took the day off on Saturday.

Low point of the week? Seeing no improvement in my time for that old circuit. Or my runs, for that matter.

High point of the week? Realising I can actually keep going when all I want to do is stop.

Weight loss? I lost 0.5 kg this week – my total weight loss is now 17.2 kg (just under 38 lbs). I’m still aiming for 20 kg by the end of this year.


Read more updates here.

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