Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

The final few

It’s been a while since I updated this! So, on Sunday the 4th of September I went to the gym and did 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 10-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and some stretches. It was a weights session and the first circuit consisted of:

  • Chest press x 15 (5 bars/4 bars)
  • Bent over row x 15 (10-lb weights)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

I lifted 5 bars for the chest press in the first set but it was too heavy for me, so for the next two sets Pete reduced it to 4 bars. The second group of exercises was:

  • Lateral pulldown x 15 (6 bars)
  • Shoulder press x 15 (10-lb weights/3-kg weights)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

For the shoulder press, I started with 10-lb weights but could barely lift them in the second set so Pete swapped them for 3-kg weights. After a short break, I moved on to the next set of exercises:

  • Goblet squats x 15 (20-lb weight)
  • Romanian deadlifts x 15 (15-lb weights)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

The final set consisted of the following:

  • Fly x 15 (10-lb weights)
  • Prone fly x 15 (10-lb weights)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

I did some stretches and was done.

I didn’t go to the gym on Tuesday and I had another session with Pete on Wednesday. I warmed up with just 500 m on the cross-trainer – walking for 1 minute and then running until I got to 500 m. I then did some stretches. Pete’s new favourite stretch is a walk-out to plank and I hate it. I don’t know why but it just pisses me off. Pete’s started incorporating it into my warmup along with the ‘world’s greatest stretch‘. There are also squats, lunges and other awful things.

After a thorough warmup, Pete explained a new exercise format to me. The exercises are split into two groups, A and B. Group A consisted of mountain climbers, combined reverse lunge/press (10-lb weight) and squat jumps. Group B consisted of kettlebell swings, plank jumping jacks (jumping my feet in/out while in a plank position) and the ribbon (similar to the halo). The circuit consisted of doing the exercises in Groups A and B for different lengths of time. I eventually figured out that it went like this:

  • Group A x 20 s (mountain climbers for 20 s, combined reverse lunge/press for 20 s, squat jumps 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 (each exercise for 30 s)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Group B x 30 s (each exercise for 30 s)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Group A x 40 s (each exercise for 40 s)
  • Rest

Bloody hell! I had some water and a rest and did the same format with different exercises. In the second circuit Group A consisted of combined squat/upright row (8-kg kettlebell), jumping scissors and halos (3-kg weight). Group B consisted of dead bugs, reverse wood chop (3-kg weight) and skaters.

Oh man, I was glad when that was over. I did some stretches and went home. I didn’t work out again in the week or over the weekend.

I didn’t work out again until Monday the 12th of September, when I had a session with Pete. I was so not in the mood and was kind of pleased when two of the treadmills were out of order. However, my warmup consisted of the walk-out to plank stretch, squats, A skips, running on the spot, butt kickers, side lunges (and everything repeated) and 400 m on the cross-trainer.

And then I did the first circuit:

  • Reverse lunge x 20, alternating 10 on each side (10-lb weights)
  • Reverse lunge/forward drive x 10 on each side
  • Bent over row x 15 (15-lb weights)
  • Dead bugs x 30
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse lunge x 20, alternating 10 on each side
  • Reverse lunge/forward drive x 10 on each side
  • Bent over row x 15
  • Lifting knee to chest x 20, alternating 10 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Reverse lunge x 20, alternating 10 on each side
  • Reverse lunge/forward drive x 10 on each side
  • Bent over row x 15
  • Skaters x 20
  • Rest

I had some more water. I wanted to take a nap but settled for sitting down until it was time for the second circuit:

  • Combined squat/press x 12 (3-kg weights)
  • Pushups x 12
  • Lateral pulldown x 5 (8 bars)
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Combined squat/press x 10
  • Pushups x 12
  • Lateral pulldown x 5
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Combined squat/press x 8
  • Pushups x 12
  • Lateral pulldown x 5
  • Rest x 1 min

I had another water break and then did the final group of exercises:

  • Bicep curls x 12, alternating 10 on each side (3-kg weights)
  • Tricep dips x 20
  • Heel to butt stretch x 10, alternating 5 on each side
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Bicep curls x 16
  • Tricep dips x 16
  • Rest

I did some stretches and went home. I didn’t have a session with Pete on Wednesday as I had a friend’s birthday on Tuesday and knew it would be a late night. In fact, I didn’t get back to the gym at all that week. I did, however, make it to yoga on Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning, so that’s something!

Low point of the two weeks? Not doing as much as I should.

High point of the two weeks? Finally getting back to yoga!

Weight loss? Meh. The less said about that the better.

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The final few

I couldn’t wake up on Sunday morning as I’d been out all weekend… and I skipped the gym.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I did a 1 km warmup on the treadmill followed by some stretches. I knew I’d be doing mostly weights but Pete started the session with an abs circuit:

  • Wood chopper x 12 on each side (15-lb weight)
  • Halo x 12 (15-lb weight)
  • Dead bugs x 30 s
  • Rest and repeat

I had a short break did the next group of exercises:

  • Chest press x 12 on each side, alternating (15-lb weights)
  • Goblet squats x 12 (15-lb weight)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

After another break of 1 minute I did the following set:

  • Lateral pulldowns x 12 (5 bars)
  • Romanian deadlifts x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

I had another water break and did the final circuit:

  • Tricep extensions x 10 (2 bars)
  • Bicep curls x 10 (10-lb weights)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

And I was done. I did some stretches and went home.

On Tuesday morning, I went back to the gym to do some walking/running. I wanted to do Week 3 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app but, after the first running interval I felt a dull ache in my left ankle. I started the second running interval and it got worse so I thought it would be best if I just walked. I did 3 km in just over 27 minutes and went home.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday. My warmup was 10 minutes on the cross-trainer and Pete told me one of his clients (who is a friend of mine) had mentioned the BBG workouts to him by Kayla Itsines so he was going to incorporate some of those moves into our session. Oh crap, I thought. Each circuit consisted of 7 minutes and four exercises. I had to do as many sets as possible in 7 minutes. The first circuit consisted of:

  • Jumping jacks x 30
  • Squats x 15
  • Lunges x 12 on each side
  • Step ups x 12 on each side (on the side of the treadmill)

Pete said I should aim for three sets in the 7 minutes. I could do that, couldn’t I? Well, apparently not. I got halfway through the third set when the 7 minutes was over. I was also really out of breath and my legs were on fire. I had some water.

Then I did the second circuit:

  • Burpees x 10
  • Tricep dips x 15
  • Mountain climbers x 30
  • Prone fly x 15 (3-kg weights)

I aimed to do three sets and managed in 7 min 10 seconds.

After some water there was a third set:

  • Squat jumps x 10
  • Abdominal knee in/out x 20
  • Combined squat/shoulder press x 15 (3-kg weights)
  • Bicep curls x 15 (3-kg weights)

I did three sets in 7 min 35 seconds. I had some water and went back on the cross-trainer for an easy cool down for 3 minutes. I did some stretches after that and went home. I was glad that was over!

I didn’t work out again in the week.

Total distance covered this week? 4 km – including the 1 km warmup with Pete on Monday.

Weight loss? It’s still going up – and all I did over the weekend was eat and drink.

Screenshot_20160905-164805

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The final few

I had a pretty good week at the gym. On Sunday morning, I decided to go back to Week 3 of the 10k Runner app – just to ease myself back in. I did Week 3 Day 1:

  • 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
  • Cool down x 5 min

It was manageable (just) and I was pleased I’d done something!

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I did a 1 km warmup on the treadmill followed by some stretches. I knew I’d be doing mostly weights and the first group of exercises consisted of:

  • Deadlifts x 10 (25-lb weights)
  • Combined plank/shoulder tap x 30 (alternating 15 on each side)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Repeat two more times

I had a 1 minute break where I drank some water and then did the next group of exercises:

  • Pushups x 10
  • Goblet squats x 10 (20-lb weight)
  • Lateral pulldown x 10
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Repeat two more times

After another break of 1 minute I did the following set – it was a nightmare:

  • Jumping jacks x 50
  • Burpees x 10
  • Jumping jacks x 50
  • Burpees x 8
  • Jumping jacks x 50
  • Burpees x 6
  • Jumping jacks x 50
  • Burpees x 4
  • No breaks!

When Pete told me what I’d be doing, I thought he’d lost his mind. That’s two hundred jumping jacks. TWO HUNDRED. The first 50 were OK, I have to say – but after the first 10 burpees I never quite recovered my breath and each group of jumping jacks got harder and harder. It was awful. Pete told me I wouldn’t be taking any breaks, but I did have to stop occasionally to catch my breath. I think I did all that in about 7 minutes – which isn’t great.

After I had some water and caught my breath properly, I moved on to abs:

  • Reverse crunches x 20
  • Elbow to knee crunches x 20 (10 on each side)
  • Single-leg lowering x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Side-bend crunches x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Double crunches x 20

And I was done. I did some stretches and went home.

On Tuesday morning, I went back to the gym to do Week 3 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app. It was exactly the same as Week 3 Day 1. About halfway through my workout, one of the ladies who lives in the building came in and started walking on the next treadmill. And then she started singing. Badly. I didn’t even know what she was singing, but I could hear her above my own headphones. So when I was cooling down and breathing somewhat normally, I thought F*** it and I started to sing along to my own music.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday. My warmup was 3 minutes on the cross-trainer, which immediately told me that I was in for one hell of a session! There were no repeated sets and there seemed to be no long breaks. I had to ask him to send me a list of all the things I’d done because I just couldn’t remember what they were:

  • Squat jumps x 20 s
  • Run on the spot x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Quick feet – forward/back x 30 s
  • Combined plank/shoulder taps x 30 s
  • Reverse lunge x 20 s on each side
  • Sprint forward and back pedal x 30 s
  • Rest x 1 min
  • Stance switches x 30 s
  • Wood chopper x 20 s on each side (15-lb weight)
  • Skaters x 30 s
  • Shuttle run x 30 s
  • Rest x 1 min
  • Quick feet – out/in x 30 s
  • Combined plank/forward reach x 30 s
  • Skaters x 30 s
  • Lateral shuffle x 30 s (in a semi-squat position)
  • Rest x 1 min
  • Pushups x 30 s
  • Combined lunge/continuous pulse x 30 s on each side
  • Sprint and back pedal x 30 s
  • Shuttle run x 30 s
  • Lateral shuffle x 30 s
  • Rest

It just went on and on and on… I later showed the list to a friend of mine and I thought she was going to pass out. I had some water and then Pete told me I had an abs circuit left:

  • Hip raises x 10
  • Elbow to knee crunches x 10 on each side
  • Crunches x 10
  • Treadmill run x 400 m
  • Hip raises x 10
  • Elbow to knee crunches x 10 on each side
  • Crunches x 10
  • Treadmill run x 400 m
  • Hip raises x 10
  • Elbow to knee crunches x 10 on each side
  • Crunches x 10

Ugh! I was so glad when that was over! I did some stretches after that and went home.

On Thursday I was tempted to stay in bed but I knew I had a busy weekend and all I’d be doing was eating and drinking so I went back to the gym and did 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 again over the weekend. As expected, I did eat and drink a lot.

Total distance covered this week? 8.34 km – including the 1 km warmup with Pete on Monday.

Weight loss? In spite of exercising five times this week, my weight just went up and up and up.

Screenshot_20160829-224424

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The final few

I woke up on Sunday morning feeling totally exhausted. I skipped the gym.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning but I was feeling so tired. I warmed up on the treadmill – I did a 1 km walk/run and then did some stretches.

Pete told me I’d be lifting some heavy weights but that he was going to mix things up. To prepare for the first set of exercises I did 10 reps on the chest press machine, using 4 bars. The first group of exercises consisted of six (yes, SIX) sets of the following:

  • Chest press x 6 (7 bars)
  • Abdominal scissors x 20 (in the first three sets)
  • Abdominal knee in/out x 20 (last three sets)

I had some water after the six sets and a short break. The next group of exercises consisted of the following:

  • Side step squats x 1 min
  • Mountain climbers x 1 min
  • Combined glute bridge/leg raise x 1 min
  • Combined Y T W x 1 min (from 1:59 in the video, but I did this resting on my knees)
  • Side step squats x 40 s
  • Mountain climbers x 40 s
  • Combined glute bridge/leg raise x 40 s
  • Combined Y T W x 40 s
  • Side step squats x 20 s
  • Mountain climbers x 20 s
  • Combined glute bridge/leg raise x 20 s
  • Combined Y T W x 20 s
  • No breaks!

For the combined glute bridge/leg raise, I stayed in the glute bridge position but would alternate lifting each leg. And for the Y T W, I did this resting on my knees – it works the back and deltoid muscles. After that, I had some water and a short break. To warm up for the next group of exercises, I did 10 reps on the lateral pulldown machine, using 4 bars. The next group of exercises consisted of six (yes, SIX) sets of the following:

  • Lateral pulldown x 6 (8 bars)
  • Side-bend crunches x 20 (first three sets)
  • Russian twists x 20 (last three sets)

Using 8 bars for the lateral pulldown was heavy – and I could feel a blister forming on my left hand. Thankfully my session was over apart from some stretches!

I didn’t do anything on Tuesday and had another session with Pete on Wednesday. My warmup was 3 minutes on the cross-trainer, which immediately told me that I was in for one hell of a session!

I did some stretches and moved on to the first group of exercises:

  • Combined glute bridge/leg raise x 16 (alternating 8 on each side)
  • Hip flexor stretch x 20 s on each side x 2
  • Crawl out/in x 5 (let the record show that I hate these)
  • Marching on the spot x 20 steps
  • Running on the spot x 40 steps
  • A skip x 20
  • Skaters x 10
  • Repeat

I had some water and a short break and then moved on to the next circuit:

  • Lateral burpees x 5
  • Combined plank/twist x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Jumping jacks x 30
  • Combined deadlift/shoulder press x 10 (10-lb weights)
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Repeat two more times

With the lateral burpees, instead of jumping up at the end of the burpee, I jumped to the side. I found the plank twist the hardest – from a plank position I had to raise one arm and look up, bring it back down again and do the same with the other arm. I really did think I was going to cry – my shoulders and abs were aching and I really wasn’t liking Pete very much at that point. I told him: ‘I’m hating this’. He replied that he could tell because I was usually kidding around or talking during the session but I barely said a word.

After a break, I moved on to the next group of exercises:

  • Goblet squat x 10 (15-lb weight)
  • Jump squat, step back x 5
  • Pushups x 15
  • Plank and reach x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Repeat two more times

For the jump squat, I had to jump forward into a squat position and then walk back in a semi-squat position to the starting point. The plank and reach was a little easier than the plank and twist, but only marginally – from a plank position I had to raise one arm in from of me, bring it back down again and do the same with the other side. My shoulders were really tired after that.

After three sets of torture, I had some water and then Pete said to finish off I had to choose between 1 km on the cross-trainer or on the treadmill. I chose the cross-trainer – I thought it would be quicker and less painful. I was right (7 min 15 s).

I did some stretches after that and went home, still feeling quite miserable!

I didn’t work out again in the week or over the weekend.

Total distance covered this week? 1 km – and that was my warmup for my session with Pete!

Weight loss? Up and down!

Screenshot_20160821-063138

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The final few

I didn’t go to the gym on Sunday because I was in Abu Dhabi for a wedding. I stayed up all night with a few friends, we went to breakfast at 8.30am and I didn’t get to bed until 10am. So I was shattered.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning, which I probably should have cancelled because I really was in no state to do anything. My feet hurt and I felt so sluggish. I was so relieved when he told me my warmup would be an uphill walk on the treadmill instead of a 1 km run. Or perhaps he took one look at me and realised I might start crying if he told me to run! So, I did a 10-minute uphill walk, starting with a 1% incline and increasing it each minute until I was at a 10% incline. I did a few stretches and Pete told me I’d be lifting heavy weights in our session. The first superset consisted of:

  • Chest press x 12
  • Tricep pulldown x 12
  • Rest and repeat two more times

Instead of a proper rest after the three sets, I did an abs circuit:

  • Single leg lowering x 10 (alternating 5 on each side)
  • Metronome x 10 (alternating 5 on each side)
  • Crunches x 20
  • Scissors x 20
  • Russian twists x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Situps x 10
  • Crunches x 10

What a long abs circuit! I could really feel my abs as I was getting to the end of the circuit. I had some water and did the next superset:

  • Incline row x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Seated low row x 12
  • Rest and repeat two more times

I repeated the same abs circuit as before (my abs were burning by this stage) and then had some water. The next group of exercises consisted of:

  • Leg extensions x 12
  • Romanian deadlifts x 12 (20-lb weights)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

I did another abs circuit (my abs were on fire at this point) and finished off with some stretches.

I woke up on Tuesday with really sore abs. I was also still exhausted after the weekend and decided to stay in bed and sleep.

I had a session with Pete on Wednesday morning. This time I did have to do a 1 km run as a warmup followed by some stretches. I didn’t do the usual stretching routine though – I did some very different ones:

  • Quad stretches x 10
  • Glute bridges x 10
  • Upper chest stretch x 10 (alternating 5 on each side)
  • Hip stretch x 10 (5 on each side)
  • Crawl out and in x 3

There were a couple of other stretches but I can’t remember them. I had some water and then did the following circuit:

  • Skaters x 10 (5 on each side)
  • Kettlebell swings x 20 (8-kg kettlebell)
  • Glute stretch x 8 (4 on each side) (very similar to tree pose)
  • Combined lunge/bent over row x 15 (10-lb weight)
  • Mountain climbers x 30
  • Quad roll x 10
  • Single shoulder press x 15 (3-kg weight)
  • Stretch x 4 (alternating 2 on each side)

Gosh, it was complicated! The quad roll started in child’s pose with my arms stretched in front of me – and I had to roll forward until I was almost in a plank position and then back again, ten times. The stretch at the end consisted of a routine of several different stretches, which I can’t remember! I did that circuit three times, with a 30-second break in between each set.

I then did a series of back and leg stretches followed by an abs circuit:

  • Side bend crunches x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Elbow to knee crunches x 10 on each side
  • Crunches with arms at my sides x 10
  • Reverse crunches x 10
  • Crunches with my arms straight above x 10
  • Crunches with my arms overhead x 10
  • Situps x 10
  • Crunches x 10

Thankfully I only had to do that once! I did some stretches after that and was done.

I didn’t work out again in the week or over the weekend.

Total distance covered this week? 1 km – and that was my warmup for my session with Pete!

Weight loss? I put on 1 kg while I was in Abu Dhabi! Thankfully I lost it as the week went on…

Screenshot_20160815-195728

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The final few

I began the week with Week 4 Day 1 (again) 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

I was so tired after that and decided to skip the abs exercises.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. Instead of the usual 1 km on the treadmill, my warmup was 6 minutes on the cross-trainer:

  • Easy pace x 2 min
  • 8 km/h x 2 m
  • 9-10 km/h x 2 m

I did some stretches and Pete told me I’d be lifting heavy weights. I began with three sets of the first superset:

  • Romanian deadlift x 12 (20-lb weights)
  • Hamstring curl x 12

That was followed by an abs circuit:

  • Mountain climbers x 30
  • Toe touches x 30
  • Plank x 30 s

The second superset consisted of:

  • Lateral pulldown (underhand grip) x 12
  • Bicep curl x 12 (10-lb weights)

I did three sets of that and repeated the same abs circuit as before.

The next superset was:

  • Goblet squat x 12 (20-lb weight)
  • Leg extension x 12 (7 bars)

I did three sets of those two exercises – the leg extension was tougher than usual as Pete had increased the weights on the machine. The bars aren’t marked but I’d imagine they’re 5 kg each? I’m really not sure! After the superset, I did the same abs circuit as before.

I was surprised when Pete told me we were done after that! I did some stretches and went home.

My hamstrings were really sore on Tuesday, but I went to the gym and did Week 4 Day 2 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

Phew! I managed it! I did one round of the abs circuit that Pete had told me to do: 10 hanging knee raises, 10 side bends on each side, 20 toe touches. I only did one set because I suddenly remembered that I wanted to do the 28-day ab challenge on the Blogilates site. I don’t expect to do them on the days I have sessions with Pete but I could easily incorporate them on the other days. So on Tuesday, I did the exercises for days 1 and 2: single straight leg stretch and criss-cross (aka bicycle crunches). I did 56 of each (28 on each side). I could really feel it in my abs.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday morning. I warmed up with a 1 km walk/run on the treadmill:

  • Walk x 100 m
  • Run x 400 m
  • Walk x 100 m
  • Run x 400 m

I did some stretches, had some water and began the first circuit:

  • Tricep dips x 12
  • Shoulder front raise x 12 (3-kg weights)
  • Wood chopper x 10 on each side (10-lb weight)
  • Jumping jacks x 30
  • Repeat two more times, no breaks

For the second exercise, I began in the same position as if I were going to do bicep curls, but instead of pivoting from the elbow, I’d pivot from the shoulder moving my whole arm up and forward (does that make sense??). My arms were pretty tired after all those exercises… I also had a weird pain around my belly button which I’d noticed over the last few days but couldn’t figure out what it was. It seemed very sensitive whenever anything came into contact with the skin around it.

I had some water and a 1-minute rest. The next set was a Tabata set:

  • Shuttle runs x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Farmer’s walk x 20 s (20-lb weights)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat for 4 minutes

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

  • Incline single-leg pushups x 12
  • Curtsey lunges x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Hip rolls x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Cross trainer x 30 kcal

For the single-leg pushups, I leaned on the chest press so my body was at an angle, lifted up one leg and did 6 pushups and then swapped legs for the next 6 pushups. On the cross-trainer I had to burn 30 kcal, no matter how long it took – it took about 2.5 minutes each time.

After that I did some stretches and went home.

I woke up on Thursday and the area around my belly button was really sore – worse than the day before. I’d felt it getting worse the evening before and stupidly consulted Dr Google which freaked me out (hernia, appendicitis, all the worst things you can imagine). So instead of going to the gym, I went to the doctor. She told me I had an infection and gave me a prescription for a cream and some antibiotics. I asked her how it could have happened but she said that it was quite common. Really? In my 40+ years I’ve never had an infected belly button. The only thing I’ve done differently over the last couple of weeks was go swimming with the kids. Could that be it??

I didn’t work out again over the weekend – I was in Abu Dhabi at a friend’s wedding…

Total distance covered this week? 6.75 km (not including the warmups during my session with Pete).

Weight loss? Slowly moving in the right direction (I didn’t have scales over the weekend).

20160808_220408

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The final few

I began the week with Week 4 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app, but I really struggled:

  • 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

Ugh, it was awful.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I began with 1 km on the treadmill:

  • Walk x 100 m
  • Run x 400 m
  • Walk x 100 m
  • Run x 400 m

As I was doing my stretches, Pete said I’d be lifting weights in the session. I had some water and did the first circuit:

  • Romanian deadlift x 12 (20-lb weights)
  • Leg extension x 12

I did three sets of that circuit followed by an abs circuit:

  • Lower ab lift x 10
  • Elbow to knee crunches x 10 on each side
  • Crunches (with arms overhead) x 10

The second weights circuit consisted of:

  • Chest press x 12
  • Bicep curl x 12 (10-lb weights, I think?)

I did three sets of that and repeated the same abs circuit as before. I always find the upper body exercises really tough.

The next two exercises were:

  • Goblet squat x 12 (20-lb weight)
  • Hamstring curl x 12

After three sets, I did the same abs circuit as before. And then it was my last weights circuit:

  • Lateral pulldown x 12
  • Tricep extension x 12 (15-lb weight)

Phew – I was done! I did some stretches and went home.

I was sore the next morning – especially around my shoulders and hamstrings. I didn’t go to the gym as we were taking the kids to the pool (that’s exercise too!).

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday morning. I warmed up with a 1 km walk/run on the treadmill:

  • Walk x 100 m
  • Run x 400 m
  • Walk x 100 m
  • Run x 400 m

I did some stretches and began with a Tabata set, using the ladder:

  • Step through x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Bunny hops x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Side steps x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Stepping in/out x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

I had some water and a 1-minute rest. The next set was a kettlebell set and it was tough:

  • Kettlebell (8 kg) swings x 3
  • Combined squat/upright row x 2
  • Shoulder press x 1
  • Repeat 5 more times, no breaks
  • Treadmill x 200 metres at 8.2 km/h
  • Repeat all of the above 2 more times, no breaks

So, basically it’s six sets of the kettlebell circuit followed by a short run repeated three times. It’s horrible. I had some water and tried to catch my breath while Pete told me about the next circuit:

  • Split squats x 10
  • Mountain climbers x 20
  • V-sit elbow to knee x 20

For the split squats, the starting position is with my feet together, I jump into a squat position and touch the floor with one hand and then jump back to the starting position. I then repeat the jump, squat and touch the floor with the other hand. For the V-sit elbow to knee, the starting position is with my arms crossed over my chest and my hands on the opposite shoulders, leaning back a little with my knees bent. I then bring one knee in and touch it with the opposite elbow and then go back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

I could feel my abs working in all the exercises I’d done. I had a water break and moved on to the final circuit:

  • Cross-trainer x 10 kcal (just over 1 minute)
  • Combined front raise/side raise x 8/6/6 (3-kg weights)
  • Repeat two more times, no breaks

On the cross-trainer, I had to burn 10 calories – however long it took me. For the front and side raises, I used the 3-kg weights because the 5-lb weights at the gym have finally fallen apart. I did 8 reps in the first set and 6 in the second and third sets.

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

I didn’t work out again in the week or over the weekend – my brother and sister left with their kids on Thursday evening. My parents and I spent the next two days in a daze – like the aftermath of a hurricane!

Total distance covered this week? 5.04 km (including the warmups during my session with Pete).

Screenshot_20160731-154245

Low point of the week? Only doing three workouts – and still eating a lot!

High point of the week? Running after my nephews – that must have burned a few calories!

Weight loss? Up and down like a yo-yo.

2016-07-31 11.47.29

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The final few

So, where have I been? In case you were wondering, I headed off to London at the end of June for 12 days. I ate croissants and sausages every morning (I’m not joking) and was out for lunch and dinner every day and night. I didn’t restrict myself at all. I also did some shopping and walked almost everywhere! When I got back (on the 12th morning), I was pretty sure I’d have put on weight so I decided not to weigh myself until Sunday morning – I thought it would give my body time to get back into its routine of ‘normal’ eating, etc. And when I weighed myself that morning, I hadn’t put on any weight. I was pleasantly surprised. While I was away I’d bought two new pairs of trainers (mainly because I couldn’t decide which colour I preferred!)…

2016-07-24 13.10.36

The next day I had my first session with Pete since the end of June. He said it wouldn’t be too bad (although his definition of ‘bad’ is different from mine).

I started with 1 km on the treadmill:

  • Walk x 100 m
  • Run x 400 m
  • Walk x 100 m
  • Run x 400 m

Oh. My. God. It was tough. I could feel all the consequences of all those croissants and sausages. I had some water, did some stretches and began the first circuit:

  • Chest press x 12
  • Leg extension x 12
  • Lateral pulldown x 12
  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • Double crunch x 30 s
  • Treadmill x 4 min (30 s walking, 30 s running)

I had some more water and a 1-minute rest. The next circuit consisted of:

  • Incline pushups x 12
  • Front squat x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Bentover row x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Romanian deadlifts x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Plank twist x 30 s
  • Russian twists x 30 s
  • Cross-trainer x 4 min (30 s walking, 30 s running)

After another 1-minute break and some water, I did the next circuit:

  • Low row x 12 (resistance band)
  • Goblet squats x 12 (15-lb weight)
  • Chest press (resistance band)
  • Good mornings x 12 (resistance band)
  • Hip rolls x 30 s
  • Butterfly situps x 30 s
  • Treadmill x 4 min (30 s walking, 30 s running)

I was dying. Thankfully it was the end of the session and I finished off with some stretches.

I was a bit sore on Tuesday but I went to the gym, intending to do Week 4 Day 2 of the 10k Runner, but I only managed for 20 minutes. I did do three sets of the abs exercises that Pete had told me to do: hanging knee raises x 10, side bends x 10 on each side, abdominal toe touches x 20.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday. I began with a warmup on the treadmill:

  • Walk x 1 min
  • Run/walk x 3 min (30 s intervals)
  • Run x 3 min

I did some stretches, had some water and began the first circuit:

  • Back extensions x 12
  • Tricep dips x 12
  • Shoulder press x 12 (10-lb weights)
  • Bicep curls x 12 (10-lb weights)
  • Knee in/out x 20
  • Rest for 40 seconds

I did that circuit three times, had a 1-minute break and moved on to the next one:

  • Step ups on the treadmill x 10 on each side
  • Side-step squat x 10 (alternating 5 on each side)
  • Walking lunges x 2 lengths of the gym
  • Elbow to knee crunches x 20 on each side
  • Rest for 40 seconds

I did that circuit three times and had a 1-minute break. The next circuit was simple:

  • Jumping jacks x 20
  • Bench crunches x 20

I did three sets of that circuit. For the bench crunches, I lay on the floor with my calves resting on a bench and did the situps from that position, touching the bench each time I came up. It was tough and I could really feel it in my abs!

I didn’t work out again in the week or over the weekend – my brother and sister are here with their kids so it’s been quite busy!

Total distance covered this week? 2.24 km (not including the warmups during my session with Pete).

Low point of the week? Struggling to get back into a routine – and eating out a lot with the family here!

High point of the week? Wearing my new trainers (how sad is that?)

Weight loss? Let’s not even go there. It’s been going up since I’ve come back from London – from all the eating out!

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The final few

I skipped the gym on Sunday.

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 did some stretches and Pete told me I’d be lifting heavy weights in the session. I began with the first group of exercises:

  • Front squat x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Leg extension x 12
  • Rest and repeat two more times

The front squat is similar to the goblet squat but I was holding two weights close to my chest. The extra 30-lb weight was heavy – as if squats aren’t bad enough!

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

  • Chest press x 12
  • Tricep pulldown x 12
  • Rest and repeat two more times

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

  • Romanian deadlifts x 12 (20-lb weights)
  • Hamstring curl x 12
  • Rest and repeat two more times

After another short break, I did the following group of exercises:

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

I did some stretches and went home. I had sore hamstrings and sore shoulders on Tuesday morning.

I had an earlier session with Pete on Wednesday as I had so many things to do – it was my last day before my trip to London. I got to the gym and he said ‘Cooper test!’ Oh, crap. I’d forgotten about that. I started with a warmup on the cross-trainer for 3 minutes. As I got to 3 minutes, Pete told me to go for another 30 seconds at a faster speed so that I was really warmed up. I did some stretches and then went back to the cross-trainer for the Cooper test. The last time I’d done it, I got to 1.96 km in 12 minutes. My goal was to beat that. I managed to get to 2.09 km in 12 minutes this time. I tried to keep my speed above 10 km/h for the whole 12 minutes, but did drop to 9 km/h a couple of times. But it was an improvement!

I had some water and did three sets (no breaks) of the following group of exercises:

  • Jerks (combined deadlift/shoulder press) x 12 (6 on each side)
  • Resistance high knees (my arms pressed against a wall) x 30 on each side
  • Abdominal toe touches x 30

I had another 1-minute break for water and did the following Tabata set:

  • Combined knee-up/twist x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Combined knee-up/twist x 20 s (on the other side)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Mountain climbers x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Glute bridges x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

After another 1-minute break, I got on the treadmill for 4 minutes:

  • Walk x 30 s (6 km/h)
  • Run x 30 s (8.5 km/h)
  • Repeat for 4 minutes

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and there was just one abs circuit after that:

  • Hip rolls x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Double crunch x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Scissors x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Side bend crunch x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s

I did a few stretches after that and was done. I wasn’t sure if I’d work out in London (highly unlikely given past trips) so let’s see what state my body is in when I get back…

Low point of the week? Only working out twice – and having pizza on Tuesday night.

High point of the week? Improving on my Cooper test result of 4 weeks ago!

Weight loss? Meh.

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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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