Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

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

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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

I began the week with Week 5 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 6 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I managed to do it but was really out of breath by the end of it!

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I started with a 10-minute warmup on the cross-trainer:

  • 3 min x 6 km/h (resistance 5)
  • 4 min x 8.5 km/h (resistance 5)
  • 3 min x 8.5 km/h (resistance 9)

I did some stretches and Pete told me I’d be doing some heavy lifting and before each set of exercises I’d do 400 metres on the cross-trainer as quickly as I could.

I did the first 400 metres on the cross-trainer in about 2 minutes – my time got gradually slower as the session went on. Pete told me he expected me to be out of breath and sweating – and I was definitely both those things. The first group of exercises was:

  • Chest press x 12
  • Tricep extension x 12

I used the weights machines for both those exercises and did three sets with a 40-s rest between sets. The weights were so heavy for the chest press that Pete had to help me lift the bar up and down. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

Anyway, I had some water and did another 400 metres on the cross-trainer. I couldn’t go as fast as I did the first time. The second group of exercises was:

  • Goblet squats x 12 (20-lb weight)
  • Hamstring curl x 12 (weights machine)
  • Rest x 40 s

I did three sets of that and was really ready to go home after that! I even muttered ‘You’re fired’ when Pete told me to get back on the cross-trainer for the third 400-metre sprint.

I had some more water after that and did the third group of exercises:

  • Lateral pulldown x 12
  • Bicep curl x 12

I used the machines for those two exercises as well and did three sets with a 40-s rest between sets.

I did one more 400-metre sprint on the cross-trainer, followed by some stretches, and then I was done for the day. It was a really tough session and I fought to stay awake after lunch. In fact, I fought to stay awake until it was time for me to go to bed!

I woke up on Tuesday and was really sore – biceps, triceps, pecs, hamstrings. I could barely move. I went back to the gym though, and did Week 5 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 8 min
  • Walk x 5 min
  • Run x 5
  • Cool down x 5 min

I had planned on going to a yoga class on Tuesday afternoon but as I was cooling down on the treadmill I felt so tired. All I wanted to do was sleep! After I’d showered and had some lunch I realised there was no way I was going anywhere that afternoon.

I was still sore on Wednesday, especially my upper body. I had a session with Pete that morning. I began with 500 metres on the treadmill – I walked for the first minute and then ran until I got to 500 metres. I asked Pete why I was only doing half the warmup I normally do, and he replied saying I’d be doing the Cooper test during the session and would need to conserve my energy. Crap, I really didn’t like the sound of that.

I did some stretches while Pete explained that the point of the Cooper test is carried out to test a person’s lung capacity and is usually done by running as far as possible in 12 minutes. Pete also said that I’d be doing the test on the cross-trainer rather than on the treadmill, but at a resistance level of 8, as it would be easier to vary my pace on the cross-trainer. I finished with the stretches, but the Lebanese guy in the gym hadn’t finished on the cross-trainer (he had 13 minutes left) so I did the following group of exercises while waiting:

  • Step up on the treadmill x 10 on each side
  • Combined bicep curl/shoulder press/tricep extension x 10 (10-lb weight)
  • Treadmill push x 20 s (running on the treadmill while it’s off)
  • Repeat two more times, no breaks

I had a quick drink of water and did two sets of the following abs exercises:

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

Between the two sets I had a water break. And the Lebanese guy had finished on the treadmill. I began my 12-minute Cooper test at resistance level 8. I thought it would be better to pace myself rather than sprint and tire myself out – so I tried to keep the speed between 9 and 10 km/h for the 12 minutes and managed to get to 1.96 km. Pete said we’d repeat the test before my trip to London to see if there was any improvement.

I did another set of the abs exercises and had some more water.

I finished the session with 4 minutes of Tabata:

  • Butt kickers x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Skaters x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Jumping jacks x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Side to side jumps x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

I did some stretches after that and was done. I was exhausted and needed a nap.

I woke up on Thursday and my obliques were surprisingly sore! I went back to the gym and started with one set of the abs exercises I’d done the day before:

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

Pete suggested I incorporate the abs routine into my workouts on my own – I could either do one set before the treadmill and two after, or all three sets after the treadmill. I decided to split it up and did one set before.

I then did Week 5 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 8 min
  • Walk x 5 min
  • Run x 8 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I managed to do both 8-minute runs at 7.5 km/h – which turned out to be exactly 1 km each – so, not including the cool down, I did 3 km in 26 minutes. I had some water and did another set of the abs circuit. I was tempted to stop after two sets but then decided I may as well do all three!

And I didn’t work out over the weekend.

Total distance covered this week?

2016-06-05 11.21.43

Low point of the week? I still haven’t done any yoga.

High point of the week? I worked out five times! And three people over the weekend told me I’d lost weight.

Weight loss? Up and down, as usual. According to my Libra weight tracking app, I’ll hit my goal of 65 kg some time in early 2018.

2016-06-04 08.39.41

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The final few

I began the week with Week 5 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warmup x 5 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 6 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 5 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I managed to do it but was really out of breath by the end of it!

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I started with a 10-minute warmup on the cross-trainer:

  • 3 min x 6 km/h
  • 3 min x 8 km/h
  • 4 min x 9 km/h

After some stretches I did three sets of the first group of exercises:

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

I had some water and did an abs set:

  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • T leg raise x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Elbow plank to straight-arm plank x 30 s
  • Bicycle crunch x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)

After some more water, I did the following set of exercises three times:

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

I did the same abs set as before and then did the last set of lower body exercises:

  • Glute bridges x 20
  • Side leg raises x 10 on each side
  • Kickbacks x 10 on each side
  • Rest and repeat

I did some stretches and went home. I even felt fine the next day.

I went back to the gym on Tuesday but just walked for 3 km (28:16).

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday. I began with a 1 km walk/run on the treadmill (8.36). I did some stretches and we began with the first set of exercises:

    • Kettlebell swings x 30 s
    • Rest x 30 s
    • Kettlebell swings x 30 s
    • Rest x 30 s
    • Jumping jacks x 30 s
    • Rest x 30 s
    • Burpees x 30 s

Rest x 30 s

After some water, I did the following circuit:

  • Cross-trainer x 100 m
  • Hanging knee raises x 10
  • Combined kettlebell bicep curl/shoulder press x 10
  • Repeat as many times as possible in 6 minutes

After some water, I did the next set of exercises:

  • Farmer walk x 4 lengths of the gym (25-lb weights)
  • Plank twist x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Upright row x 10 (machine)
  • Repeat as many times as possible in 6 minutes

I had some more water and then did three sets of the following exercises, no breaks:

  • Back extensions x 10
  • Double crunch x 10
  • Spiderman plank x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)

And I was done. I was tired but didn’t ache at all the next day…

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

Total distance covered this week? 6.04 km.

Low point of the week? I still don’t feel very motivated. And I can’t even remember the last time I went to a yoga class.

High point of the week? Was there one??

Weight loss? Gosh, this is depressing.

2016-05-14 06.38.01

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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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The final few

Apart from my two sessions with Pete this week, I did no exercise. I was tired, lazy and just didn’t want to do anything.

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 8:42. I did some stretches and Pete told me I’d be doing weights in the session. The first set of exercises consisted of:

  • Leg extension x 12 (machine)
  • Dumbbell crunches x 20 (10-lb weights)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

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

  • Chest fly x 12 (10-lb weights)
  • Bent over row x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

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

  • Hamstring curl x 12 (machine)
  • Elbow to knee crunches x 20 (10 on each side)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

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

  • Bicep curl x 12 (machine)
  • Overhead tricep extension x 12 (15-lb weight)
  • Rest and repeat two more times

And then came the final set:

  • Sumo squats x 12 (25-lb weight)
  • Reverse crunches x 20
  • Rest and repeat two more times

I did some stretches and went home. I even felt fine the next day.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday morning. I started with a treadmill warmup:

  • Walking x 1 min
  • Running to 500 m
  • Walking x 1 min
  • Running to 1 km

I managed the 1 km in 8.33. I did some stretches and Pete told me it was going to be a tough session. The first set consisted of three rounds of the following exercises, without any breaks:

  • Kettlebell swings x 20
  • Upright row x 10
  • Ski jumps x 20
  • Scissors x 20

Ugh, it was hard. I then got on the cross-trainer for 4 minutes, alternating 20 seconds of sprinting with 10 seconds of an easy pace.

After some water, I did the next set of exercises:

  • Combined squat/side kick x 10 (alternating 5 on each side)
  • Jumping jacks x 30
  • Combined side raise/bicep curl x 10 (5-lb weights)

I had to do that continuously for 4 minutes, no breaks. I got on the cross-trainer again for another 4 minutes of intervals.

I had some more water and then Pete said there were two abs circuits left:

  • Plank x 30 s
  • Abdominal knee in/out x 20 s
  • Macarena plank x 30 s
  • Double crunch x 20
  • Rest
  • Side plank x 30 s (on one side)
  • Single leg lowering x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Side plank x 30 s (on the other side)
  • Butterfly situps x 20

And I was done. I was tired but didn’t ache at all the next day…

Eco Yoga Sanctuary was closed on Thursday for maintenance work so I couldn’t go to my yoga class (I totally would have though)…

And I didn’t work out again over the weekend. But, I decided that I was going to give myself a couple of days and then get back into it properly the following week.

Total distance covered this week? Just 2 km.

Low point of the week? I still don’t feel very motivated.

High point of the week? Was there one??

Weight loss? Hmm – it does seem to be going down a little. And when will I hit my goal weight of 65 kg? According to the Libra weight-tracking app that answer is still ‘NA’.

2016-04-30 20.38.09

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The final few

I’m still struggling to get back into my exercise routine.

I went to the gym on Sunday but walked fast for 3 km (28:03).

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

  • Walk x 1 min
  • Run x 400 m
  • Walk x 1 min
  • Run x 400 m

I usually end up running until I hit 1 km and managed to do that in 8:37. I did some stretches and Pete told me I’d be doing mostly weights in the session. The set of exercises were:

  • Incline pushup x 12
  • Chest press x 12
  • Flutter kicks x 30 s

I did that three times, had a quick water break and moved on to the next set of exercises:

  • Wall squat x 20 s
  • Bench squat/twist x 20 (10 on each side, 20-lb weight)
  • Butterfly situps x 20 (10-lb weight)

After three sets of that and some water, I did the next set of exercises:

  • Low row x 12
  • Inclined dumbbell row x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Russian twists x 20 (10 on each side, 10-lb weight)

And that was it. I thought there would be more, but it wasn’t too bad. The session went really quickly! I did some stretches and went home. My upper body was a bit sore the following day but it wasn’t too bad.

I woke up on Tuesday and wasn’t in the mood to do anything. So I did nothing.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday morning. I started with a treadmill warmup:

  • Walking x 1 min
  • Running x 400 m
  • Walking x 1 min
  • Running x 400 m (to 1 km)

I managed it in 8.37. I did some stretches and Pete told me it was going to be a sweaty session. The first set consisted of three rounds of the following exercises, without any breaks:

  • Step up on treadmill x 10 on each side
  • Shuttle runs x 10
  • Hanging knee raises x 10

It took me just under 5 minutes to do that. Then came an abs set:

  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • Scissors x 20
  • Leg sweep x 30 s
  • Double crunch x 20

I then got on the cross-trainer for 4 minutes, alternating 20 seconds of sprinting with 10 seconds of an easy pace.

After some water, I did the next set of exercises:

  • Jerks (like a combined deadlift/shoulder press) x 10 on each side (15-lb/10-lb weight)
  • Jumping jacks x 60
  • Tricep dips x 10

Again, it was supposed to be three continuous sets and no stops. Well, that didn’t happen. I absolutely hated the jumping jacks! And to think that by the end of that set of exercises I’d done 180 of them. I did that group of exercises in 11 minutes.

I had some more water and then Pete said we’d finish with an abs circuit:

  • Crunches x 20 (low arms)
  • Crunches x 20 (raised arms)
  • Reverse crunches x 20
  • Crunches x 20 (arms overhead)

Just as I finished the crunches, Pete said I had enough time to do another 4 minutes on the cross-trainer. Dammit! Once again, I alternated sprints and a slower pace for 20 and 10 seconds. And then I finally did some stretches and went home! It was a tough session. Pete even commented that he hadn’t seen me struggle like that in a long time…

I felt fine the next morning and went to a Hatha Flow class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary.

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

Total distance covered this week? Just 3 km.

Low point of the week? I still don’t feel very motivated.

High point of the week? Managing four workouts, even though I didn’t feel like it.

Weight loss? Ugh. None. And when will I hit my goal weight of 65 kg? According to the Libra weight-tracking app that answer is still ‘NA’.

2016-04-24 06.39.05

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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

After two really bad weeks at the gym, I really struggled to get back into my routine.

I went to the gym on Sunday and decided to start slowly – so I went back to Week 6 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warm up x 5 min
  • Run x 10 min
  • Walk x 5 min
  • Run x 10 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

I struggled. After not running for days, I found it hard. I walked for 1 minute at 10:00 (after 5 minutes of running), and again at 25 minutes (after 5 minutes of the second run), and once I hit 3 km I walked until I got to 30 minutes. I was supposed to do a cool down after that, but pressed the red ‘Stop’ button by mistake!

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

  • Walk x 1 min
  • Run x 400 m
  • Walk x 1 min
  • Run x 400 m

I usually end up running until I hit 1 km and managed to do that in 8:42. I did some stretches and Pete told me I’d be lifting weights, doing three sets of each exercise with an ‘active rest’ in between each set (this usually means no rest whatsoever). The first exercises were:

  • Sumo squats x 12 (25-lb weight)
  • Abdominal toe touches x 20
  • Rest x 20 s

I did that three times, had a quick water break and moved on to the next exercises:

  • Chest press x 12
  • Knee in/out x 20
  • Rest x 20 s

After three sets of that and some water, I did the next pair of exercises:

  • Single dumbbell row x 12 on each side (15-lb weight)
  • Sidebend crunches x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
  • Rest x 20 s

After some more water, I did the last two exercises:

  • Hamstring curl x 12
  • Front raise and lateral raise x 6 (3 kg weights)
  • Rest x 20 s

And that was it. I thought there would be more, but it wasn’t too bad. I did some stretches and went home. I also wasn’t in as much pain the following day as I thought I’d be.

I woke up on Tuesday and wasn’t in the mood to do anything. But I forced myself to get to the gym and did Week 6 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app:

  • Warm up x 5 min
  • Run x 10 min
  • Walk x 3 min
  • Run x 10 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

Ugh, I just couldn’t be bothered. Again, after 5 minutes of running I walked for 1 minute. And after 5 minutes of the second run I walked for 1 minute. And when I started again, I ran until I got to 3 km and then walked the rest of the time. Why am I so unmotivated??

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday morning. I started with a treadmill warmup:

  • Walking x 1 min
  • Running x 400 m
  • Walking x 1 min
  • Running x 400 m (to 1 km)

I managed it in 8.38. I did some stretches and Pete told me it was going to be a sweaty session. I began with 4 minutes on the cross-trainer (alternating 20 seconds sprint, 10 seconds easy).

After some water, I did the first Tabata set:

  • Split squats x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Combined side raise/front raise (5-lb weights)
  • Rest x 10 s
  • High knees x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Alternating reverse lunges x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Repeat

After some water, I did an abs circuit:

  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Flutter kicks x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Plank side raise x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Bicycle crunch x 30 s
  • Rest

I then went back to the treadmill for 4 minutes, alternating walking at 5.5 km/h and running at 8.5 km/h for 30 s.

Then came another circuit:

  • Combined squat/side kick x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Tricep dips x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Butt kickers x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s
  • Tricep kickbacks x 20 s
  • Rest x 10 s

That was followed by another abs circuit, which Pete said was the last thing I’d be doing:

  • Groiners x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Double crunch x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Macarena plank x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Situp clap x 30 s
  • Rest

Just as I finished the situp claps, Pete decided I’d do another 4 minutes on the cross-trainer (alternating 20 s spring, 10 s easy). He was right about one thing – it was a very sweaty session! I did some stretches after that and went home.

I felt fine the next morning and went to a Hatha Flow class at Eco Yoga Sanctuary. I thought I’d work out at least once over the weekend but was just too tired.

Total distance covered this week?

2016-04-17 08.41.51

Low point of the week? I still don’t feel very motivated.

High point of the week? Managing five workouts, even though I didn’t feel like it.

Weight loss? Ugh. None. And when will I hit my goal weight of 65 kg? According to the Libra weight-tracking app that answer is still ‘NA’.

2016-04-17 04.22.21

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The final few

If I thought the week before was bad, this week was not much better.

I skipped the gym on Sunday.

I skipped the gym on Monday.

I skipped the gym on Tuesday.

Thank God Pete came back fro his holiday. I had a session with him on Wednesday. I began with a warmup on the treadmill:

  • Walk x 1 min
  • Run x 400 m
  • Walk x 1 min
  • Run x 400 m

I managed to do that in 8:48 – which is slower than usual, but at least I did it. And after almost two weeks of doing next to nothing, it was hard.

I did some stretches and he told me the session would be easy. He talked me through the circuit:

  • Combined deadlift/shoulder press
  • Low row
  • Combined squat/upright row
  • Pushups
  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • Double crunch x 30 s
  • Cross-trainer x 4 min (30 seconds easy, 30 seconds sprint)

After the cross-trainer I would have a short break. In the first set, I did 12 reps of each exercise. In the second set, I did 10 reps of each exercise. In the third set, I did 8 reps of each exercise. And in the fourth set, I did 6 sets of each exercise (without the cross-trainer). It wasn’t easy, but it could have been much worse. I did some stretches after that and went home.

I really felt the pain in my hamstrings the next day. And the day after that.

I did nothing for the rest of the week. On Saturday afternoon, I dragged my fat ass to a Hatha yoga class, which is really what I needed. I hadn’t done yoga in what seemed like ages.

So there. A very bad week indeed.

Total distance covered this week? A big fat zero.

Low point of the week? Only managing to motivate myself to go to yoga once, and to the gym – not at all.

High point of the week? Pete’s return!

Weight loss? None. I have to admit it’s quite disheartening to see 77/78 kg again, especially after I thought I’d managed to get down to 75 kg. Pete said it should make me more determined, but it’s had quite the opposite effect. And the Libra weight-tracking app still can’t give me an expected date for hitting my goal weight of 65 kg (which seems a long way away).

2016-04-09 06.45.50

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