Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

The final few

On Sunday the 9th of October I began the week with Week 4 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 4 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 4 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Cooldown x 5 min

Someone had just started on my favourite treadmill as I got to the gym so I used the other one – I found it tough but I finished it.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I began with a warmup which consisted of:

  • Mobilisation exercises
  • Pushups, squats, airplanes
  • Cross-trainer x 400 m

Pete told me I’d be lifting weights – not very heavy weights – and I would definitely be feeling it the day after! The first group of exercises consisted of:

  • Chest press x 12 (4 bars)
  • Tricep extensions x 12 (2 bars/3 bars)
  • Rest x 40 s and repeat two more times

I found the first set of tricep extensions easy so Pete increased the weights for the second and third sets. I had some water and did the second group of exercises:

  • Front squat x 12 (20-lb weights)
  • Hamstring curls x 12 (7 bars reduced to 6 in sets 2 and 3)
  • Rest x 40 s and repeat two more times

I had some more water and moved on to the next group of exercises:

  • Lateral pulldown x 12 (15-lb weight)
  • Bicep curls x 12 (10-lb weights)
  • Rest x 40 s and repeat two more times

The fourth group of exercises consisted of:

  • Deadlifts x 12 (20-lb weights)
  • Leg extensions x 12 (7 bars)
  • Rest x 40 s and repeat two more times

I thought that would be it, but there was one more group of exercises:

  • Tricep dips x 12
  • Shoulder press x 12 (10-lb weights)
  • Rest x 40 s and repeat two more times

My arms and shoulders had had enough by the end of that last set. I really struggled with the third set of shoulder presses! I did some stretches after that and went home. I could feel my shoulders getting more and more sore as the day went on.

My shoulders were sorer on Tuesday morning. I went back to the gym for Week 4 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

And I managed to do it!

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday morning – it was a tough one. I began with a warmup that consisted of dynamic lunges, walkouts, mountain climbers, butt kickers, straight leg kicks, running on the spot, hip swivels and lateral shuffles, each for 30 seconds. There might have been more but I’ve forgotten! Pete told me the session would consist of three segments. The first segment consisted of:

  • Jumping jacks x 1 min
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Reverse wood chop x 30 s on each side (10-lb weight)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Dumbbell squats x 1 min (15-lb weights)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • V-sit to low V-sit x 1 min
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Shoulder press x 1 min (3-kg weights)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Lateral lunges x 1 min
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Repeat

Two sets of that was tough. I could feel my abs getting sore in the V-sit exercise and my shoulders were in agony after 1 minute of shoulder press. Just 1 minute! I had a 2-minute rest and did the next segment:

  • Combined squat/bicep curl x 20 s (3-kg weights)
  • Combined reverse lunge/shoulder press x 20 s (3-kg weight)
  • Squat jumps x 20 s
  • Scissor jumps x 20 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Repeat

I had a rest of 1 minute and moved on to the abs segment:

  • Rainbows x 30 s (10-lb weight)
  • Combined elbow plank/leg raise x 30 s
  • Side lunge/forward drive x 30 s on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Repeat

I had a rest of 1 minute and moved on to the ‘bonus’ round as we still had a few minutes left:

  • Pushups x 20 s
  • Bent over row x 20 s (10-lb weights, I think?)
  • Pushups x 20 s
  • Bent over row x 20 s
  • Rest

I did some stretches after that and was done.

I woke up on Thursday with really sore abs. I went back to the gym for Week 4 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

And I managed to do it! I didn’t work out again over the weekend.

Distance covered? 10.06 km.

screenshot_20161013-131848

Low point of the week? I can’t think of anything really…

High point of the week? I made it to the gym five times again!

Weight loss? Meh.

Read more updates here.

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The final few

On Sunday the 2nd of October I began the week with Week 3 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 1.5 min
  • Walk x 1.5 min
  • Run x 2.5 min
  • Walk x 2.5 min
  • Run x 2.5 min
  • Walk x 2.5 min
  • Run x 1.5 min
  • Walk x 1.5 min
  • Cooldown x 5 min

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I began with a warmup which consisted of:

  • Dead bugs x 16
  • Reverse wood chop x 12 on each side (3-kg weight)
  • Jumping jacks x 50
  • Opposite arm/leg extension x 10
  • Combined plank/shoulder tap x 10
  • Combined elbow plank/leg raise x 10
  • Repeat

Ugh. I was already tired. As usual, my Monday session consisted of weights. The first group of exercises consisted of:

  • Chest press x 10, alternating 5 on each side (15-lb weights)
  • Goblet squats x 10 (25-lb weight)
  • Lateral pulldown x 10 (9 bars)
  • Side plank/forward drive x 10 on each side
  • Rest and repeat two more times

After those three sets, I had some water and did the second group of exercises:

  • Combined tricep extension/hip raise x 15
  • Airplanes x 10 on each side (15-lb weight)
  • Cross-trainer x 90 s
  • Rest and repeat two more times

After three sets of that, I had more water and was expecting a third group of exercises. I was pleasantly surprised when Pete said it was time to stretch and go home!

On Tuesday I went to the gym for Week 3 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app, which was the same as Sunday’s run.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday. My warmup consisted of:

  • Mobilisation stretches
  • Treadmill run x 400 m

Pete told me I’d be doing the Group A/B workout format that I’d done two weeks earlier. Group A exercises consisted of mountain climbers, reverse lunge/forward drive and split squats. Group B exercises were skaters, combined plank/shoulder tap and pushups. It went like this:

  • Group A x 20 s (each exercise for 20 s)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Group B x 30 s (each exercise for 30 s)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Group A x 30 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Group B and 30 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Group A x 40 s
  • Rest

I had some much-needed water and a rest after that. I could have also done with a nap but that wasn’t happening. For the second group of exercises Group A consisted of combined squat/shoulder press (10-lb weights), jumping jacks, bicep curls (10-lb weights in the first set and 3-kg weights in the next two sets). Group B was bicycle crunches, wood chop (10-lb weight) on each side and running on the spot.

I was exhausted after that second group of exercises. Pete said I’d finish off the session with an easy 1 km on the cross-trainer. I did some stretches after that and went home.

I went back to the gym on Thursday for Week 3 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 2 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 2 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I didn’t work out over the weekend.

Distance covered? 7.38 km in total.

2016-10-09-07-54-04

Low point of the week? I’m still not eating very well.

High point of the week? I made it to the gym five times!

Weight loss? It’s not even worth mentioning.

Read more updates here.

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The final few

On Sunday the 25th of September I began the week with Week 2 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 1.5 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 1.5 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 1.5 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 1.5 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 1 min
  • Walk x 1 min
  • Run x 1 min
  • Walk x 1 min
  • Cooldown x 5 min

There was still only one treadmill working at the gym so I used my least favourite one.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I began with a warmup which consisted of:

  • Squats x 20
  • Plank and shoulder tap x 10, alternating 5 on each side
  • Airplanes x 10 on each side
  • Lunge and twist x 10, alternating 5 on each side
  • Elbow plank/leg raise x 10, alternating 5 on each side
  • Glute bridges x 20
  • Cross-trainer x 400 m

I know the saying that what you find really tough one day will become your warmup – well, Pete has certainly taken that to heart. While I was on the cross-trainer Pete said I’d be doing some heavy lifting and bodyweight exercises. The first group of exercises consisted of:

  • Bench step-ups x 6 on each side
  • Combined lunge/single row x 8 (15-lb weight/20-lb weight)
  • Single-leg deadlift x 10 on each side (15-lb weight)
  • Single shoulder press on one knee x 6 on each side (15-lb weight)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

After those three sets, I had some water and did the second group of exercises:

  • Front squat x 6 (20-lb weights)
  • Lateral pulldown x 6 (9 bars)
  • Hamstring curl x 8 (8 bars)
  • Pushups to failure (25/19/14)
  • Situps with two punches at the top x 10
  • Rest and repeat two more times

After three sets of that, I had more water and a short break. The last circuit consisted of:

  • Tricep extension x 12 (4 bars)
  • Hammer curl x 7/7/7
  • Rest and repeat one more time

For the hammer curl, I held a dumbbell in each hand, in the starting position. I did seven reps with my right hand, seven reps with my left hand and seven reps with both hands.

My hamstrings were sore on Tuesday but I went to the gym for Week 2 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app, which was the same as Sunday’s run. At least my favourite treadmill was working again!

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday. My warmup consisted of:

  • Quad rockers x 10 (moving from child’s pose to plank and back again)
  • Opposite arm/leg extension x 10, alternating
  • Pushups x 10
  • Squats x 10
  • Airplanes x 10 on each side
  • Combined reverse lunge/twist x 10, alternating

The first group of exercises was the kettlebell circuit:

  • Kettlebell swings x 3
  • Combined squat/upright row x 2
  • Shoulder press x 1
  • Repeat five more times
  • Rest x 30 s and repeat the whole thing two more times

I was tired by the end of that. I had some water and a 1-minute break. The next group of exercises was shuttle runs:

  • Run forward and reverse backwards x 30 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Run forward and back x 30 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Side steps x 30 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Run forward and reverse backwards x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Run forward and back x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Side steps x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Run forward and reverse backwards x 10 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Run forward and back x 10 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Side steps x 10 s
  • Rest

I had some more water and another 1-minute break. The third group of exercises involved a 3-kg medicine ball:

  • Combined squat/throw x 10 (I’d throw the ball to Pete, he’d roll it back to me)
  • Shoulder plank/return ball x 10 (I’d roll the ball to Pete, he’d roll it back to my other arm)
  • Combined reverse lunge/torso twist x 10 (10 on each side, with the medicine ball)
  • Rainbow x 10 (holding the medicine ball at my right hip, I’d raise it over my head to my left hip and back again)
  • Rest x 30 s and repeat two more times

After that set, I had another minute of rest followed by a cardio circuit:

  • Run on the spot x 30 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Jumping jacks x 30 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Quick feet x 30 s (stepping out and in very quickly)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Run on the spot x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Jumping jacks x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Quick feet and 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Run on the spot x 10 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Jumping jacks x 10 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Quick feet x 10 s
  • Rest

I’d had just about enough of jumping around for one day but my session wasn’t over yet. I repeated the kettlebell circuit (6 rounds x 3 sets), had a 1-minute break and then repeated the shuttle runs. And then I was finally done.

I went back to the gym on Thursday for Week 2 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 1.5 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Repeat the run/walk five more times
  • Cool down x 5 min

I took Friday off and had planned to go to yoga on Saturday morning but the class had changed to 9am. And after the Friday I had, there was no way I was doing very much that day.

Distance covered?

2016-10-03-07-49-28

Low point of the week? Even though I’ve been exercising, I’ve not been eating very well. And I drank far too much on Friday.

High point of the week? I made it to the gym five times!

Weight loss? It went down in the first half of the week and then back up over the weekend.

Read more updates here.

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The final few

On Sunday the 18th of September I decided I was going to start the 10k Runner app from the very beginning. Week 1 Day 1 went like this:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 1 min
  • Walk x 1.5 min
  • Repeat run/walk five more times
  • Cooldown x 5 min

I’d been struggling and thought starting at the beginning might help.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I began with a warmup which consisted of:

  • Walkout to plank x 6
  • Plank and shoulder tap x 10, alternating 5 on each side
  • Airplanes x 10 on each side
  • Lunge and twist x 10, alternating 5 on each side
  • Elbow plank/leg raise x 10, alternating 5 on each side
  • Squats x 20
  • Cross-trainer x 400 m

I was ready to go home after that. And I mentioned that the walkout to plank really pisses me off – I have no idea why! And squats as part of my warmup?

After some water I did the first exercise circuit:

  • Bulgarian squats x 6 on each side (15-lb weights)
  • Squat jumps x 5
  • Bent over row x 8 (20-lb weights)
  • Airplanes x 8 on each side (10-lb weight)
  • Dead bugs x 20
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Repeat two more times

The first exercise wasn’t supposed to be Bulgarian squats. Pete had said I was going to do a one-legged getup – basically from a seated position on a bench I was supposed to hold one leg straight in front of me and get up using just the other leg. I tried and nothing happened. I tried the other leg and nothing happened. Clearly I’m not as strong as he thinks I am! And clearly my ass is fatter than I think it is.

After three sets of that, I had some water and a short break. The second circuit consisted of:

  • Lunge/torso twist x 20, alternating 10 on each side (10-lb weight)
  • Lateral pulldown x 5 (8 bars)
  • Glute bridge slides x 8
  • Pushups to failure (21 in the first set, 10 in the second set, 13 in the third set)
  • Ab wheel rollout x 8
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Repeat two more times

Bloody hell – the glute bridge slides and ab wheel rollouts killed me. I could feel the glute bridge slides in my hamstrings and calves after just three of them. I also almost rolled forward flat on my face the first couple of times I tried the ab wheel rollout. After three sets of that I did some stretches and went home.

I was sore all over on Tuesday but I went to the gym for Week 1 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 1 min
  • Walk x 1.5 min
  • Repeat run/walk seven more times
  • Cool down x 5 min

Two of the treadmills are still out of order and I’ve been using my least favourite one, but there’s no choice at the moment.

I was still sore on Wednesday. I had another session with Pete. After the new stretching exercises (which I’m kind of getting used to) and a 400-m warmup on the cross-trainer, Pete told me I’d be doing the same Group A/B format I’d done the week before. Group A exercises consisted of mountain climbers, reverse lunge/forward drive and squat jumps. Group B exercises consisted of kettlebell swings (8-kg kettlebell), hip rolls and chest press. It went like this:

  • Group A x 20 s (each exercise for 20 s)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Group B x 30 s (each exercise for 30 s)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Group A x 30 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Group B x 30 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Group A x 40 s
  • Rest

I can’t remember what weight I used for the chest press but I’d had enough of squat jumps by the end of that circuit!

For the second group of exercises, Group A consisted of squat/press (8-kg kettlebell), jumping jacks and alternating bicep curls. Group B consisted of dead bugs, wood chopper (30 s on each side) and jumping side to side. It was the same format as the first group. And by the end of that, I’d had enough of jumping jacks! I think I used 10-lb dumbbells for the bicep curls, but I can’t remember.

I went back to the gym on Thursday for Week 1 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app. It was the same as Week 1 Day 2.

I took Friday off and went to a yoga class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary on Saturday morning.

Low point of the week? Even though I’ve been exercising, I’ve not been eating very well.

High point of the week? I made it to the gym five times and to yoga – I think I did well this week!

Weight loss? It went down in the first half of the week and then back up over the weekend. I didn’t drink over the weekend but I did have a pizza on Friday night.

Read more updates here.

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The final few

I went to the gym on Sunday and began with one set of the abs exercises Pete suggested I do with my workouts:

  • Hanging knee raises x 10
  • Side bends x 10 on each side (20-lb weight)
  • Abdominal toe touches x 20

I just didn’t feel like running that day. I decided I was going to walk for 30 minutes on the treadmill and then do the next two sets of the abs exercises.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I started with a 1 km walk/run on the treadmill and some stretches. Pete told me I’d be doing some heavy lifting during the session. He also said that I’d be swapping the order of the exercises so that I work the small muscle first and then the bigger muscle. I did three sets of each group of exercises with a 1 minute rest between each set. The first group of exercises was:

  • Leg extensions x 12 (machine)
  • Romanian deadlifts x 12 (20-lb weights)
  • Repeat two more times

The second group of exercises consisted of:

Pete had also kept the 3-kg weights handy in case the 10-lb weights were too much for me, but I managed to do all three sets with the 10-lb weights.

The next group of exercises was:

  • Hamstring curl x 12
  • Goblet squats x 12 (25-lb weight)

When Pete handed me the 25-lb weight to hold in front of my chest, I almost fell over. It was bloody heavy and I really struggled with that exercise – in all three sets.

The last group of exercises consisted of:

  • Bicep curls x 12 (machine)
  • Chest press x 12 (machine)

I did some stretches after that and staggered home.

I was sore everywhere on Tuesday. And I decided to skip the gym.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday and I did a lot in that one hour! I began with a 3-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and some stretches while Pete told me what I’d be doing and that I’d have to limit my breaks between each group of exercises to 1 minute.

The first exercise was 4 minutes on the cross-trainer, alternating 20 seconds of sprinting with 10 seconds of an easier pace. I then had a 1-minute break and began an abs circuit:

  • Crunches with low arms x 10
  • Crunches with raised arms x 10
  • Reverse crunches x 10
  • Crunches with arms overhead x 10

I did another 4 minutes on the cross-trainer as before. This was followed by another group of abs exercises. I had to use the resistance tube around my knees for this:

  • Plank combined with in/out x 10 (5 on each side)
  • Knee ins x 20
  • Glute bridges combined with in/out x 20
  • Toe touches x 20

For the first exercise, I was in a straight-arm plank position on a bench and I had to move my right leg out to the side and back and then repeat with my left leg, alternating five times on each side. For the glute bridges, I did a regular pelvic raise, opened and closed my knees and then lowered down, repeating 20 times.

The next Tabata set was using the ladder and the resistance tube, still around my knees:

  • Stepping in/out x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Stepping side to side x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Jumping in/out x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Monster walk x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

I took the resistance bands off and did the same crunch set as before.

The next Tabata circuit was the dreaded treadmill push:

  • Treadmill push x 20 s
  • Walk around x 40 s
  • Repeat for 4 minutes

After a 1-minute break and some water, I did another abs circuit:

  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Russian twists x 30 s (10-lb weight)
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Double crunch x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Bicycle crunch x 30 s
  • Rest

And finally there was 8 minutes on the treadmill:

  • Run x 20 s (8 km/h)
  • Walk x 40 s (6 km/h)
  • Repeat for 8 minutes

I did some stretches after that and went home.

I didn’t work out again in the week though.

Total distance covered this week? 3 km only. And that was walking.

Low point of the week? I wasn’t very motivated this week, no idea why.

High point of the week? Hmm… I can’t think of anything!

Weight loss? None, I seem to be consistently fat.

2016-06-26 03.48.02

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The final few

After my weekend yoga retreat, I woke up on Sunday feeling absolutely exhausted so I decided to take the day off. After all, I’d done ten workouts the week before!

I had a session with Pete on Monday. I began with a 10-minute warmup on the cross-trainer at a steady pace followed by some stretches. He told me that we’d be doing weights in the session. I did three sets of the following groups of exercises:

  • Chest press x 12
  • Bicep curls x 12
  • Combined knee-up/twist x 10 on each side

The second group of exercises was:

  • Romanian deadlifts x 12 (20-lb weights)
  • Leg extensions x 12
  • Elbow to knee crunches x 10 on each side

The third set of exercises was:

  • Seated low row x 12
  • Shoulder press x 12 (10-lb weights)
  • Situps x 10

And the fourth set consisted of:

  • Goblet squats x 12 (20-lb weight)
  • Hamstring curls x 12
  • Plank raises x 10

The plank raise simply meant me lying on the floor and then lifting myself into a plank position. I did some stretches after that and was done.

I ached the following morning – my shoulders, my hamstrings, my thighs. I went to the gym and tried to run but I was tired so I walked for 20 minutes. I also did three sets of the abs exercises (hanging knee raises, side bends and abdominal toe touches).

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday – he’d warned me that it was going to be interval training so I was (not) prepared for it. We got to the gym and my warmup was a 1 km walk/run on the treadmill – but when I started the treadmill it started making a really weird noise. We weren’t sure what the noise was but we thought it would be best to use a different treadmill. So I moved over and began on that – but I found it much harder than the other treadmill. Or perhaps I was just tired – I feel like I’m tired a lot these days! After the 1 km, I did some stretches  and began with 4 minutes on the treadmill, alternating 30 seconds at an easy pace with 30 seconds of sprinting.

After that I did an abs circuit:

  • Mountain climbers x 20
  • Toe touches x 20
  • Russian twists x 20 (10-lb weight)
  • T leg raises x 20

I had some water and then did three sets of the following exercises, without any breaks:

  • Kettlebell swings x 20 (8-kg kettlebell)
  • Combined squat/side raise x 10 (alternating 5 on each side)
  • Jumping jacks x 20 (ugh)
  • Combined bicep curl/shoulder press x 10 (3-kg weights – I think?)

I did three sets of that in 6 minutes and 30 seconds. After some water and a rest, I did another abs circuit:

  • Crunches x 10 (arms by my sides)
  • Crunches x 10 (arms above my legs)
  • Reverse crunches x 10
  • Crunches x 10 (arms overhead)

And then came another 4 minutes of intervals:

  • Treadmill push x 20 s
  • Walk around the gym x 40 s
  • Repeat for 4 minutes

Ugh – I hated that! I was sweaty and out of breath when I was done. I had some more water and did the final abs circuit:

  • Combined situp/twist x 10
  • Plank and feet out/in x 10
  • Scissors x 20
  • Dead bugs x 20 (10 on each side)

In the first exercise, I had to do a situp and then twist my upper body to the right and then to the left and then lower back down again, ten times. In the second exercise, I started in a plank position and then moved my right leg out to the right side and then my left leg out to the left side and then move the right leg back in, followed by the left leg. Scissors, well – scissors are scissors. And you can watch the dead bugs video if you want to!

I did some stretches after that and was done for the day.

I was a little sore on Thursday but I went to the gym. Again, I didn’t run as much as I wanted to but did 20 minutes of walking/running on the treadmill as well as three sets of the abs circuit.

I spent the entire weekend at home, mostly in my pajamas – so on Saturday afternoon I decided to go to a Hatha Yoga class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary. I hadn’t been in weeks and needed to do something! It was a good class and I’m glad I went.

Total distance covered this week? Only 4.5 km.

Low point of the week? Not being able to run very much – I’m not sure what’s wrong with me!

High point of the week? Making it to the gym four times and yoga once.

Weight loss? I have no idea what happened this week. Apart from Sunday lunch I ate every meal at home and didn’t even drink at all during the week so I’m not sure why my weight went up again…

2016-06-18 10.59.45

Read more updates here.

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The final few

I went to the gym on Sunday and began with one set of the abs exercises Pete suggested I do with my workouts:

  • Hanging knee raises x 10
  • Side bends x 10 on each side (20-lb weight)
  • Abdominal toe touches x 20

I then did Week 6 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 10 min
  • Walk x 5 min
  • Run x 10 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I managed to do the two runs at 7.5 km/h without reducing the speed at all! Each 10-minute run was a distance of 1.25 km/h so I managed to do 3.5 km in 30 minutes (not including the cool down at the end). I had some water and did two more sets of the abs exercises.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I started with a 10-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and some stretches. He told me I’d be lifting weights during the session. The first set of exercises was:

  • Romanian deadlifts x 12 (20-lb weights)
  • Leg extensions x 12 (machine)
  • Repeat two more times

After I’d done three sets of those exercises, I did an abs circuit:

  • Single leg abdominal in/out x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Side raises x 16 (8 on each side)
  • Weighted crunches x 20 (10-lb weight)

I’d forgotten my mat at home so Pete improvised a little. The single leg abdominal in/out was similar to cycling crunches. The side raises were done with my elbow on a bench so I was at an incline, rather than in a side plank position. The weighted crunches were done on a bench, holding a 10-lb weight behind my neck.

I had some water and did three sets of the following exercises:

  • Incline chest press x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Bent over row x 12 (10-lb weights)

After three sets, I did the same abs circuit as before. I had some more water and moved on to the third group of exercises:

  • Bicep curls x 12 (10-lb weights)
  • Tricep kickbacks x 12 (3-kg weights)
  • Abductor machine x 12

Pete had forgotten that we only have an abductor machine at our gym – or it would have been 12 reps on that too! I did three sets of that and did another set of abs exercises. And I was done for the day! I did some stretches and went home.

On Tuesday morning I was a bit sore in my upper body but I went back to the gym for Week 6 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app. I began with one set of the abs exercises (hanging knee raises, side bends, abdominal toe touches) and then did my run:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 10 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 10 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I did another two sets of the abs exercises and went home.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday morning. He told me it would be more cardio-based (ugh). I warmed up on the treadmill for 1 km and did some stretches. He told me that before each group of exercises I’d do a fire hydrant abs circuit. I was on all fours and did the following routine:

  • Lift leg out to the side and forward x 10
  • Lift leg out to the side and back x 10
  • Lift leg out x 10
  • Repeat on the other side

I did a 4-minute Tabata circuit:

  • Burpees x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Bicep curls x 20 s (10-lb weights)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Mountain climbers x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Combined front/side raise x 20 s (3-lb weights)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

I did another set of fire hydrants and then did the following group of exercises:

  • Monster walk x 10 steps forward, 10 steps backward x 2
  • Walking lunges x 2 lengths of the gym
  • Jumping jacks x 30
  • Pushups x 10
  • Repeat three times, no breaks

For the ‘monster’ walk, I had my legs wide with the resistance bands around my ankles and my hands up. With the walking lunges, I had to do a double lunge each time I took a step – so step, dip, dip, step, dip, dip, etc.

I did two sets of the following abs exercises:

  • Plank and single leg raise x 10 (alternating 5 on each side)
  • Butterfly situps x 20 (10-lb weight)

While in the plank position I had to lift one leg and put it back down, lift the other and put it back down, alternating 5 times on each side.

I did another set of fire hydrants and finished with another abs circuit:

  • Crunches (arms at my sides) x 10
  • Crunches (arms above my knees) x 10
  • Reverse crunches x 10
  • Crunches (arms overhead) x 10

I did some stretches and was done. Yay!

My glutes felt sore the following day! I went back to the gym on Thursday morning for Week 6 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 15 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

Well, that’s what I was supposed to do – but going from 10 minutes to 15 minutes is a big jump! And when I started running I wasn’t even sure I’d make it to 10 minutes, but told myself to get to 11 minutes at least. I ended up doing this:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 11 min
  • Walk x 1 min
  • Run x 4 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

So I ran the same number of minutes I would have, I just broke it up differently. I found it really tough though – and will probably spend next week doing the same workout a couple of times just to get used to it. I didn’t do the abs exercises on Thursday – I was running late and knew I’d be getting plenty of exercise over the weekend as I was going on a yoga retreat at XVA Hotel in Bastakiya, which was hosted by one of the teachers I know at Eco Yoga Sanctuary. I hadn’t done any yoga since the end of April so I thought this would be a good way to get back into it!

We were a small group at the retreat: me, my friend S, the yoga teacher and her mum. Our first class was at 6 pm on Thursday evening – it was an hour long and took place in one of the air-conditioned courtyards of the hotel (where all our classes took place over the weekend). We had a sleep yoga session at 9 pm – but that was more relaxation/meditation and we didn’t move at all.

On Friday we had yoga at the following times: 7-8:15 am, 12-1 pm and 6-7 pm. The classes were really good – more of a Hatha Flow class than regular Hatha yoga. The 6 pm class on the Friday was tough though as the courtyard was really warm and we were all drenched in sweat by the end of it (we realised halfway through that the air-conditioner was on the wrong setting). We had another sleep yoga session at 9 pm that night.

We had our last class of the retreat at 7 am on Saturday morning.

Total distance covered this week?

2016-06-12 07.25.42

Low point of the week? Not being able to run for 15 minutes while doing Week 6 Day 3 of the app.

High point of the week? Getting back to yoga. And having five gym sessions and five yoga sessions in the week!

Weight loss? Pretty steady for now. I didn’t have scales over the weekend so didn’t weigh myself.

2016-06-12 07.24.56

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The final few

So, April was a disaster – and I decided it was time to get back into my gym routine.

I went to the gym on Monday and decided to ease myself in gently. I decided to do Week 4 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 4 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 4 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

And I managed to do that, listening to my Prince playlist.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I began with a warmup on the treadmill:

  • Walk x 1 min
  • Run to 500 m
  • Walk x 1 min
  • Run to 1 km

I got to 1 km in 8:31. I did some stretches and Pete told me I’d probably hate him by the end of the session as I’d be working my legs mostly. He said there were three sets of exercises, each one beginning with pelvic lifts (x 20). So, the first set of exercises went like this:

  • Pelvic lifts x 20
  • Bulgarian squat hold x 20 s
  • Bulgarian squats x 20 (10 on each side)
  • Rest x 40 s
  • Bulgarian squat hold x 20 s
  • Bulgarian squats x 20 (10 on each side)
  • Rest x 40 s
  • Bulgarian squat hold x 20 s
  • Bulgarian squats x 20 (10 on each side)

I hate Bulgarian squats! And the squat hold was torture – my legs felt like jelly by the end of that set.

I had a water break and moved on to the next set of exercises:

  • Pelvic lifts x 20
  • High knees x 20 s
  • Romanian deadlifts x 10 (10-lb weights)
  • Rest x 40 s
  • High knees x 20 s
  • Romanian deadlifts x 10
  • Rest x 40 s
  • High knees x 20 s
  • Romanian deadlifts x 10

I had some more water, and did the next set of exercises:

  • Pelvic lifts x 20
  • Semi squat hold x 20 s
  • Combined in/out jumps/squat x 1 length of the ladder
  • Rest x 40 s
  • Semi squat hold x 20 s
  • Combined in/out jumps/squat x 1 length of the ladder
  • Rest x 40 s
  • Semi squat hold x 20 s
  • Combined in/out jumps/squat x 1 length of the ladder

Oh. My. God. Those ladder squats killed me – I’d jump into the ladder and squat, jump out of the ladder and squat, all the way to the end of it. My legs were on fire. And not in a good way.

I did a 3-minute walk on the treadmill after that, at 5.2 km/h – just so my legs wouldn’t seize up later. And during my stretches, Pete told me to hold each one for at least 20 seconds to make sure I got a really good stretch.

I wasn’t as sore as I thought I’d be on Tuesday, although both my knees were aching a bit. My glutes and hamstrings were a little sore, but nothing like I’d imagined. I went back to the gym to do Week 4 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app. One of the ladies in the building was there with her daughter and she asked me how often I had my trainer and what else I did in between sessions and then she told me she could really see a difference in my shape. Well, that was nice! We chatted for a bit and after enough procrastinating I got on the treadmill:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

Phew, I was glad when that was over.

I had another session Pete on Wednesday morning. I began with an easy 3-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and then went through the stretching routine.

I began with 12 minutes on the cross-trainer, alternating 20 seconds of sprints and 10 seconds of an easy pace. It was exhausting!

I then did the first group of exercises:

  • Lateral pulldown hold x 20 s
  • Lateral pulldown x 10
  • Hanging knee raises x 10
  • Rest 20 s and repeat two more times

I had a water break and did the next group of exercises:

  • Pushup hold x 20 s
  • Pushups x 10
  • Side crunches x 20 (10 on each side)
  • Rest 20 s and repeat two more times

After some water I did an abs set:

  • Side plank with reach through x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Bicycle crunches x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Side plank with reach through x 30 s (the other side)
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Double crunches x 30 s
  • Rest

I did another 4 minutes on the cross-trainer, alternating 20 s and 10 s. And after that I finished off with some stretches and went home.

Thursday was a holiday and Eco Yoga Sanctuary was closed so I went to the gym to do Week 4 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Run x 3 min
  • Walk x 2 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I managed to do that without stopping and went home.

And I didn’t work out again over the weekend.

Total distance covered this week? 9.46 km – although the run that I did on Thursday has disappeared from my Nike+ app although the total distance covered in May (so far) includes the 3.04 km. That’s weird – and annoying!

Low point of the week? I can’t think of anything

High point of the week? Feeling like I’ve got my groove back!

Weight loss? Hmm – I think I’m moving in the right direction. And when will I hit my goal weight of 65 kg? According to the Libra weight-tracking app, it will be December this year.

2016-05-08 05.53.17

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Dubai 2016: Week 12

Another busy week!

After the gym on Sunday, Dad and I decided to go out for lunch. I wanted to look at some dresses at the Dubai Mall – I was having my birthday drinks on Friday and wanted to look around. He wanted to look at electronics. So we decided to have lunch at Markette, opposite the Aquarium.

We got there at around 2pm. We both ordered the smoked salmon galette, which was much heavier than I thought it would be. I ordered a mixed salad on the side and Dad had the seafood chowder.

After lunch we walked to Debenhams. I was so full – and perhaps trying on clothes after a heavy meal wasn’t the best idea. There was absolutely nothing that I really liked. I tried on one dress, but it looked awful. In the end, I decided I’d wear something I already had.

We walked to the electronics section and stopped at Samsung. I had a look at the new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which I’d had my eye on for a while. I decided I’d buy it, and in the end Dad bought it for me as an early birthday present. We went home and I spent the rest of the afternoon setting up my new phone and then worked into the night.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. A friend of ours was in town on his way back to Bali so we met him for lunch at the JW Marriott Marquis. I’d been craving Italian food (no idea why) but the Italian restaurant, Positano, was closed for lunch. We ended up at Kitchen 6, the ‘international’ restaurant. There was so much food – I started with some hummus and salad. I then wandered over to the Italian section, but I’d also spotted the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, so I ended up with that instead. The trouble with buffets is I just don’t know what to eat (or when to stop).

After lunch, we went back home. I did a bit of work and then went to Arabic.

After the gym on Tuesday, I got on with some work. That evening, I went to Bahri Bar for a friend’s birthday. It was ladies night so we got three free glasses of Prosecco. We also had some food – and because we had Entertainer vouchers, two of the dishes were free. I was home by 10.30pm and did a bit more work.

After my session with Pete on Wednesday, I worked until the late afternoon. I had a piano lesson and then went straight to Arabic. It took me 20 minutes to get to the Trade Centre from Said Tower 1, which is almost just across the road! Traffic is crazy at that time of day.

I went to yoga on Thursday morning. By the time I got home after running some errands it was time for lunch. I also came home to this box:

2016-03-24 13.28.03

And when I opened it and put the pieces together I had a terrarium for my desk.

2016-03-24 13.10.33

Apparently it needs minimal care (thank God) and it’s very cute.

I got back into my pajamas and worked for the rest of the day. I didn’t want to go out that night as I knew Friday would be busy and I didn’t want to be tired. Clearly, this is a sign of age.

My sister arrived with her friends early on Friday morning. She was staying at the Shangri-La for Easter weekend, but popped in for a while to say hi on Friday morning. After lunch I walked over to the Shangri-La to get my hair and nails done, and she and her friends joined me at the salon. I relaxed for the rest of the day (the three of them went to the Dubai Mall).

That evening I’d invited a few friends to celebrate my birthday at the Ikandy at the Shangri-La poolside. I got there a little before 8pm and was really pleased with the area they’d arranged.

2016-03-25 19.51.32

Two friends arrived at 8pm on the dot as they didn’t want me sitting there by myself. Isn’t that so sweet?? We chatted for a while and opened the vodka – and by 8.30pm a few more people had arrived. I’d asked the manager to serve the food between 9 and 11pm – and there was so much of it! I think everyone had a good time – I know I did. I’d asked friends not to bring presents, but some just couldn’t help themselves. By 2am I’d signed the tab and two friends and I decided to have a drink at the Balcony Bar before they walked me home with my presents.

I spent most of the next day relaxing. I opened my presents (mostly books, alcohol and wine glasses), had some lunch and got back into bed while my sister and her friends traipsed around Mirdif City Centre all day. I met them in the evening at Ikandy for a drink before heading to Zuma for a late dinner. It was a very chilled evening…

I love my life.

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The final few

I went to the gym on Sunday morning. I did some stretches and did Week 7 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app (again):

  • Warm up x 5 min
  • Run x 20 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I’d been struggling with Week 7 for the last three weeks. I almost managed to run the whole 20 minutes this time, but I stopped in the 16th minute and walked for a little while before running again. It’s still such an effort.

On Monday morning I had a session with Pete. I started with a warmup on the treadmill:

  • Walk x 1 min (5.5 km/h)
  • Run x 400 m (7.5 km/h)
  • Walk x 1 min (5.5 km/h)
  • Run x 400 m (or to 1 km) (7.5 km/h)

I did 1 km in 8:38. I did some stretches and then did the first set of exercises:

  • Deadlifts x 12 (25-lb weights)
  • Abdominal knee in/out x 20
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Repeat two more times

I thought the 25-lb weights would be too heavy but the only place they really felt uncomfortable was in my grip.

I had a break and then did the next set of exercises:

  • Shuttle runs x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Jumping jacks x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat for 4 minutes

Ugh, that was tedious. After some more water, I did the next set of exercises:

  • Bulgarian squats x 12 (6 on each side)
  • Butterfly situps x 10
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Repeat two more times

After that, I did 4 minutes on the cross-trainer, alternating 20 s of fast speed with 10 s of easy speed.

There was one more set of exercises after that:

  • Overhead tricep extensions x 12 (15-lb weight)
  • Tricep extensions x 12 (machine)
  • Wood choppers x 10 on each side (10-lb weight)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

I did some stretches after that and was done for the day.

My hamstrings were sore on Tuesday, but I was fine everywhere else. I went to the gym to do Week 7 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warm up x 5 min
  • Run x 20 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

And guess what? I finally did it! I ran for 20 minutes, no stops. I actually ran for 20 min 50 s as I told myself I’d stop when I got to 3 km. So – I walked the first 500 m and then ran non-stop for 2.5 km! This is quite a breakthrough for me! I was thrilled for the rest of the day.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday. I began with a 10-minute uphill walk on the treadmill, starting with an incline of 1% and increasing it each minute until I was at 10% in the last minute.

I did some stretches and then did three sets of the following exercises:

  • Jumping jacks x 30
  • Fly press x 12 (10-lb weights)
  • Pullover tricep extensions x 12
  • Combined squat/kickback x 12 (alternating 6 on each side)

After that I did 4 minutes on the cross-trainer, alternating 20 s at a fast speed with 10 s at an easy speed. After a break, I did three sets of the next group of exercises:

  • High knees x 20 s (with my hands pressed against the wall)
  • Lateral pulldowns x 12
  • Tricep dips x 12
  • Combined reverse lunge/straight leg kick x 12 (6 on each side)

I finished those off with another 4 minutes on the cross-trainer, and finished off our session with an abs set:

  • Hanging knee raises x 10 (x 3)
  • Elbow to knee crunches x 10 on each side (x 3)
  • Abdominal toe touches x 10 (x 3)

I did a few stretches and went home. Pete would be travelling the following week, so I’d have the week off…

I went to a Hatha Flow class on Thursday morning. It was a different teacher and there was just one other person in the class.

I decided to take the day off on Friday. I probably should have gone to the gym, but I didn’t want to be tired that evening at my own birthday party! And of course Saturday was a write-off too.

Total distance covered this week? The 1 km on the 21st of March was my warmup in my session with Pete.

2016-03-28 11.01.30

Low point of the week? I did a lot of eating and drinking over the weekend…

High point of the week? I still managed five workouts this week, even though I skipped Friday and Saturday. And most people told me I’d lost weight when they saw me on Friday evening – I never get tired of hearing that!

Weight loss? Nice to see more of the 75 kg weights this week. I did notice, however, that my scales are probably wrong. My weight varies depending where I stand on the scales (they are really old), and sometimes my weight can go up or down by 1 kg or more in a matter of minutes. I think it’s time to treat myself to some new hi-tech scales. The Libra weight-tracking app now tells me I’ll hit my goal weight of 65 kg by December this year.

2016-03-28 11.02.12

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