Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

The final few

After a late night on Saturday I was so tempted to cancel my session with Randy on Sunday. I thought about it but then realised I hadn’t done any exercise since Wednesday and thought I should just do it. We got to the gym and found three other people there. That rarely happens!

I started with the usual 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and then began the first circuit:

I did that three times. The side plank/leg raise combination was difficult. I think it was partly because I haven’t had a yoga class in a few weeks and am really noticing how inflexible I’ve become.

I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and had a short rest. I then began the next circuit:

  • One-arm dumbbell row (15-lb weight) x 15 on each side
  • Plank x 45 seconds (but moving my right leg out and then back, and then left leg out and then back)
  • Incline sit-ups x 20

I did that three times. I found the 15-lb weight too heavy during the dumbbell row so for the second and third sets, Randy reduced the reps to 12. It was still tough though!

Randy then stretched me and I was done.

My second session with Randy on Wednesday was also tough. I started with a 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and then did the following circuit:

  • Alternating knee-ins x 30 seconds
  • Rest x 5 seconds
  • Half-burpees x 30 seconds
  • Rest x 5 seconds
  • Tricep push-ups x 30 seconds
  • Rest x 5 seconds
  • Plank x 30 seconds
  • Rest

I did that three times. The rest of 5 seconds sounds good but that’s how long it takes to get into position for the next exercise! Half-burpees are just like regular burpees but you don’t stand up at the end of it.

I did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer, had a water break and then did the next circuit:

  • Kettlebell swings (6-kg) x 20
  • The ladder x 6 lengths (in and out separately in one direction, jumping in and out with feet together in the other)
  • Chest fly press (3-kg weights) x 20
  • Bent over row (3-kg weights) x 20

I did that three times too.

Randy then stretched me and I was done.

I didn’t work out on Thursday BUT I did remember to do the plank! I did the 1.5-minute plank in my bedroom before going to the Shangri-La poolside with my sister and nephew.

After taking my sister and her monster to the airport on Friday I went to the gym. I did 3 km on the cross-trainer (24:13) and then did a 2-minute plank. I didn’t think I was going to make it to 2 minutes but I somehow managed it. The time seemed to go by very slowly!

I didn’t work out again over the weekend.

Low point of the week? I hit my highest weight of the year on Sunday. I also cut my left knee while getting out of the pool at the Shangri-La on Tuesday. As if that knee doesn’t have enough going on with it!

High point of the week? At least I made it to the gym three times this week… Also, I haven’t had a Galaxy bar in weeks now!

Weight loss? I hit 72 kg on Sunday (after a weekend of eating and drinking) – but was back down to 70 on Friday after a night of drinking (again, I just don’t get it).

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The final few

I had a Sunday session with Randy.

I started with 5 minutes on the cross-trainer and spent the first half of the session doing a few rounds of boxing: jabs, hooks, upper cuts, kicks. All of them separately and then combining them. The last round we did was four alternating jabs and two kicks – 15 times on each side. It was exhausting!

I took a water break and then did the following circuit:

  • Fly press (3-kg weights) x 15
  • Leg press x 15
  • Squats x 15
  • Tricep pullover/extension combination (3-kg weights) x 12
  • Abdominal leg raises x 15

I did that circuit three times and my session was over! Randy stretched out my lower body and I was done.

I had my yoga class on Monday morning. We mostly do the same things each week but this week was the first time I was able to get into a reclining twist. I’m not sure what it’s really called so here’s a photo.

Twist

It has taken me months to be able to get my knee to touch the floor. Even with my shoulder off the ground, my knee was nowhere near the floor. I should probably say that my shoulder still isn’t on the ground but at least my knee is. Hopefully the rest will follow but considering it took me two years to be able to get into child’s pose, I’m not expecting this to happen any time soon!

I didn’t go back to the gym for the rest of the week – I was supposed to have a session with Randy on Wednesday morning but I woke up feeling rather queasy and so I cancelled. I left for Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday for a friend’s wedding. It was a heavy few days – drinking champagne and dancing till at least 6am for four nights. Crazy stuff!

Low point of the week? Drinking far too much – in fact I think I need a new liver!

High point of the week? Being able to get my knee on the floor while in that pose I mention above.

Weight loss? Again, I’ve been mostly 69 kg all week…

Yoga

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The final few

I had a lazy few days while Randy was on holiday and finally had a session with him on Wednesday. He went easy on me as it had been a couple of weeks!

I started with a 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer and then did the following circuit:

  • Bench press (3-kg weights) x 15
  • Leg raises x 15
  • Kettlebell swings (6 kg) x 20
  • Tricep dips x 12

I did that circuit three times. In the last set Randy increased the weights for the bench press to 10 lbs.

I did 3 more minutes on the cross-trainer and began the second circuit. It consisted of:

  • Combined squat/upright row/military press x 12 (on each side)
  • Lateral pulldown x 15
  • Leg-lowering abs x 15
  • Bicep curls (3-kg) x 12 (alternating sides)

I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and then Randy stretched me out.

That was the only time I worked out this week!

Low point of the week? Only working out once – I’d been feeling a bit fluish on Monday/Tuesday and even cancelled my yoga class on Monday.

High point of the week? Thank goodness Randy’s back – I need someone to force me to the gym these days.

Weight loss? My weight has fluctuated between 68 and 70 kg this week! I can live with that…

Healthy

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The final few

I couldn’t have my usual Sunday session with Randy as my cousin and a friend were having a lunch for me that day – to celebrate my 40th. I thought I might be able to get to the gym before lunch, but that didn’t happen! I had to be at the hairdresser by 11am, and lunch was at 12.30pm. But I did have yoga on Monday, and I did spend 30 minutes on the treadmill on Tuesday (3.7 km).

I had a session with Randy on Wednesday. He started off by measuring me. This is how my body has changed in the last 3 weeks:

  • Arms: no change
  • Chest: +1 cm (+0.4 inches)
  • Waist: -4 cm (-1.5 inches)
  • Hips: -1 cm (-0.4 inches)
  • Thighs: -5 cm (-1.9 inches) (l), -7 cm (-2.7 inches) (r) (now there’s only a 2-cm difference between them)

I’m convinced the first measurements we took were wrong. Is it possible to lose that many inches in 3 weeks??

I did a 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer. My first circuit consisted of:

  • Alternating backward lunges x 2 minutes
  • Push-ups x 40
  • Squats x 40
  • Sit-ups x 40
  • Rest
  • Alternating backward lunges x 1 minute
  • Push-ups x 20
  • Squats x 20
  • Sit-ups x 20

I had a brief rest and then did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer.

The second circuit consisted of:

  • Squat/shoulder press x 50 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Plank and reach x 50 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Kettlebell swings (6 kg) x 50 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Burpees x 50 seconds

I did that circuit twice.

I then did 4 minutes on my abs:

  • V-sit (boat pose) x 20 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Extended leg reach x 20 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds

I did that four times and then Randy stretched me out.

It was my last session with Randy before he went on holiday. I told him I’d be on the treadmill while he was away so I better stick to that. Having said that, I didn’t make it to the gym the rest of the week. I had friends in town for my birthday and it was all a bit too much!

Low point of the week? Drinking far too much – in fact I think I need a new liver!

High point of the week? Losing inches around my waist and thighs – I wasn’t expecting that at all.

Weight loss? Again, I’ve been either 68 or 69 kg all week! I love seeing that ‘6’ at the front…

I know

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The final few

I had my usual Sunday morning session with Randy. I started with my 5-minute warm-up on the cross-trainer while he set up the equipment. The first circuit consisted of:

  • Step-ups on a bench combined with a shoulder press (3-kg weights) x 10 on each side
  • Push-ups x 12
  • Plank x 40 seconds (50 seconds in the second set, 60 seconds in the third set)
  • Running on the spot x 30 seconds

Step-ups are hard enough without adding a shoulder press to them. I really notice how much weaker my left leg is when I do these. My terrible balance and fear of falling don’t help either!

I did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and then did the next circuit:

  • Squat x 20 seconds (held)
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Squats x 20 seconds
  • Ladder x 2 (stepping in and out, no jumping this time)
  • Sit-ups x 20 (holding a 10-lb weight above my head)

Randy thinks the regular sit-ups are too easy for me and is making them harder. The 10-lb weight also worked my arms a bit more!

I did another 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and then Randy stretched me. It was a good session – and nowhere near as tough as the two sessions I had the week before.

I woke up on Monday with sore shoulders and glutes. I was also tired from a night out on Sunday. I had my usual yoga class on Monday morning – our teacher introduced another new pose (the heron or krounchasana) which of course I can’t do!

On Tuesday my glutes were even sorer than they were on Monday. I went to the gym for a quick workout as I was meeting my cousin at noon. I did 20 minutes on the treadmill and two sets of sit-ups. Better than nothing, isn’t it?

I was still sore on Wednesday morning but had another tough session with Randy. I started with 5 minutes on the cross-trainer and then we went outside.

My first two exercises consisted of:

  • Plank x 30 seconds
  • Running up the length of the pool and back x 20 seconds
  • Repeat x 4

I did that circuit twice. If I finished the running there and back in under 20 seconds I could rest for whatever was left of the 20 seconds (that only happened the first two times I did it and it was for 5 and 3 seconds).

We went back inside after that and did three 2-minute rounds of boxing. Each 2-minute round consisted of:

  • 10 alternating punches
  • Duck (i.e. squat)
  • 20 alternating punches
  • Duck
  • 30 alternating punches
  • Duck
  • 40 alternating punches
  • Duck
  • 50 alternating punches
  • Duck

If the 2 minutes wasn’t up by the end of the 50 punches, we started again at 10 punches and carried on until the time ran out. In the second and third rounds, Randy kept raising his arms so I had to punch higher and higher. I couldn’t wait for it to be over!

I then did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer and began the next circuit:

  • Jumping jacks x 45 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Deadlift/upright row (3-kg weights) x 45 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Burpees x 45 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Stair-climbers x 45 seconds
  • Rest x 10 seconds
  • Alternating backward lunges x 45 seconds
  • Rest

Luckily I only had to do that circuit twice. I got back on the cross-trainer for a 3-minute cooldown and then Randy stretched me. Done for the day!

I didn’t work out again the rest of the week – I was a bit hungover on Thursday and really hungover on Friday, and on Saturday I was out of the house from 7am to 7pm!

Low point of the week? I don’t think there was one – apart from the two hangovers.

High point of the week? Deciding that spending even 15-20 minutes on the treadmill on Tuesday was better than nothing.

Weight loss? I’ve been either 68 or 69 kg all week! Let’s hope this continues…

Sexy

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The final few

Randy is definitely on a mission! I had two killer sessions with him this week.

I was doing my warm-up on the cross-trainer when he came in with some new instrument of torture.

‘What’s that?’ I asked.

‘A ladder,’ he replied.

I was none the wiser.

After my warm-up I began the first circuit:

  • Combined upright row and single shoulder press (3-kg weight) x 15
  • Kettlebell swings (8 kg) x 20
  • Backward lunges x 10 on each side
  • Burpees x 10

I did three sets of that. The first exercise was done holding the weight, bending down towards the floor as if you’re picking it up and then lifting it straight above your head like a single shoulder press. I noticed after two kettlebell swings that Randy had increased the weight of the kettlebell. By the third set my lower back was feeling very uncomfortable!

I did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer while Randy set up the ladder.

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Yes, that’s Randy.

The second set consisted of:

  • Combined plank/push-up x 5 on each side
  • Sit-ups x 20
  • Squat jumps x 15
  • Ladder (back and forth) x 3

I did that three times too. So for the combined plank/push-up – I started in the plank position on my elbows and had to raise myself into the push-up position using my arms (obviously). In the first set I started on my right side but by the time I got to the left I really struggled to do it – so for the next two sets I started on the left side which was a little easier.

The ladder wasn’t too bad. What I had to do was step in and step out in one direction really quickly. So: left foot in, right foot in, left foot out, right foot out, while moving up the ladder. In the other direction I had to jump in and out while moving down the ladder. It wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be, but by the third set my left knee was starting to ache a bit.

After that, Randy stretched my legs and I was done for the day.

I had yoga on Monday as usual. Our teacher has introduced side planks into our class which we never had before (thank God it’s something new!).

On Wednesday I had my second session with Randy and the entire session was outside. I was warming up on the cross-trainer when he came in and told me to join him by the pool when I was done. He’d set up some cones at equal distances and I really didn’t like the look of them!

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‘We call this the suicide run,’ he told me.

Oh, good.

‘You have to run from the first cone to the second, do a squat, run back to the first cone, squat, run to the third cone, squat, run back to the first cone, squat, run to the fourth cone, squat, run back to the first cone, squat, run to the fifth cone, squat, run back to the first cone, squat.’

Suicide, indeed.

My first circuit consisted of:

  • Suicide run
  • Kettlebell swings (6 kg) x 20
  • Sit-ups x 15
  • Burpees x 10

Randy said he noticed I had struggled with the heavier kettlebell in our last session so brought back the 6-kg kettlebell.

The second circuit consisted of:

  • Combined plank/reach x 40 seconds
  • Push-ups x 10
  • Side plank x 10 seconds
  • Side plank raises x 10 on each side
  • Suicide run (without the squats)

By the time the second circuit began, whatever shade from the sun we had to begin with had disappeared and it was hot. There were also a couple of people sitting by the pool, watching me run back and forth!

The combined plank/reach began with me in the plank position on my elbows and then having to reach out in front of me – right arm then the left and so on, without swinging my body too much. The side plank was held for 10 seconds followed by raises on the same side, and then switching to the other side. And with the push-ups, Randy told me to lower myself all the way down so that my chest was on the floor and then to push myself up. It was a bloody hard session.

We went back indoors (air conditioning, yay!), I did 3 minutes on the cross-trainer to cool down and then Randy stretched out my legs.

On Thursday I went back to the gym on my own for the first time since the beginning of December. I spent 30 minutes on the cross-trainer and combined walking and jogging (1 minute walking, 1 minute jogging, and so on). I told myself that if I could feel my knees starting to get sore I’d just walk, but they seemed OK. I managed to do 3.5 km. In October I was able to do 3.90 km in 30 minutes so I have some catching up to do! But at least it’s a start. After that I did the lower body exercises that Rama taught me and some sit-ups.

I went back again on Friday. I thought about skipping it and going on Saturday but as I’d had an early night on Thursday, and may very well be hungover on Saturday, I thought I’d just go. I did 30 minutes on the treadmill again (3.54 km). I considered stopping at 20 minutes, and then again when I got to 3 km (at 25:20). But I just made myself go on. I then did the lower body exercises and sit-ups again.

I wasn’t hungover on Saturday but decided to take the day off anyway. I lazed around the house, read my book and played the piano (burning 200 calories in 70 minutes, according to My Fitness Pal). I didn’t even do any work or check my work email. It felt so good.

Low point of the week? Learning that the Vertical Marathon is on the 5th of April (just 3 weeks away). I will never be ready for that in time and will have to postpone it to next year instead. Oh, I also seem to be addicted to mini Galaxy bars again. That’s not good.

High point of the week? Going back to the gym on my own. I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time but really had no motivation. It’s good to be back!

Weight loss? None.

2013 Fit

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