Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

The final few

I left Dubai for the summer on 8th June. I had a workout with Trevor on Sunday, 31st May.

After my 5-minute warmup on the bike I did the following:

  • Treadmill x 4 min (1 min 5.5 km/h, 1 min 5.5 km/h (5% incline), 2 min 7.5 km/h)
  • Pushups x 30 s
  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • Bench squats x 30 s
  • Walk out/in x 1 min
  • Manmaker x 1 min
  • Squat press x 1 min
  • Rest and repeat

I then moved on to an abs circuit:

  • Reverse crunches x 30 s
  • Russian twists x 30 s
  • Abdominal in and out x 30 s
  • Rest and repeat

I then did some stretching and was done for the day. Looking back at my notes, that doesn’t seem like very much but perhaps I forgot something. I didn’t do much until Wednesday when I had another session with Trevor. I did 5 minutes on the bike and then did the following circuit:

  • Deadlifts x 15 (weighted bar)
  • Squats x 15 (10-lb weights)
  • Bent-over row x 15 (15-lb weights)
  • Lateral pulldown x 15
  • Mountain climbers x 15
  • Toe touches x 15
  • Treadmill x 4 min (2 min 7.5 km/h, 1 min x 5.5 km/h, 1 min x 7 km/h with 3% incline)

I had a rest and did the circuit again. The second time I did 20 reps of each exercise, but I had to lower the weight for the bent-over rows to two 10-lb weights as it was too heavy for me.

After another rest I did an abs circuit:

  • Reverse crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • In and out x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Sit-ups x 40 s (10-lb weight)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Russian twists x 40 s (10-lb weight)
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s

I did some stretching and was done!

I had my last session with Trevor the day before I left – on Sunday, 7th June. He was running late so I ended up doing a 10-minute warmup on the bike.

I then did the following supersets:

  • Bent-over row x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Chest press x 12 (10/15-lb weights)
  • Repeat x 3
  • Lateral pulldown x 12
  • Bench squats x 12 (10-lb weights)
  • Repeat x 3
  • Treadmill x 4 min (2 min 5.5 km/h, 2 min 7.5 km/h)
  • Deadlifts x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Tricep extensions x 12
  • Repeat x 3
  • Abdominal toe touches x 20
  • Mountain climbers x 20
  • Repeat x 3
  • Treadmill x 4 min (2 min 5.5 km/h, 2 min 7.5 km/h)

I did some stretches and was done. Trevor told me he’d been offered a new job – still in Dubai – but he wouldn’t know his schedule for a while. Let’s hope he can still train me when I get back in August!

I was in London for a week and I did no exercise whatsoever. I did walk a lot, as one does in London, but I don’t think it was anywhere near enough to burn the calories I was consuming!

While I’ve been in Jamaica, I’ve only been to the gym once. And that too for just 30 minutes (20 minutes on the cross-trainer as the treadmill was out of order and a few minutes of weights). Everywhere is just so hot, I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to move.

I did spend three days at a yoga retreat with my sister-in-law (T). It was at Old Fort Bay near Ocho Rios, the same place I went to last year, so at least we were doing something then. Apart from T and I, there was just one other girl from Vancouver on the retreat so it was a nice small group. We had five yoga classes in three days – and I really needed that. It was nice to see that there were some things I had difficulty with last year that I could do this year.

IMG-20150701-WA0062

I also noticed that there were some things I could do last year which I found harder this year. I suppose that’s the way it goes!

IMG-20150701-WA0026

It’s difficult to focus on something when you’re doing a balancing pose and then see that particular thing that you’re focusing on being washed away by a wave! I’ve also noticed that my wrists ache a lot more than they used to while doing yoga. It’s probably because I’m heavier. Ugh. I really need to sort this out when I get home!

I’ve bought myself a yoga retreat in Bali in December. I’m going there for my cousin’s wedding and have decided to go a few days earlier and treat myself. It sounds amazing and I can’t wait to do it.

Anyway, since we got back a week ago, I have done no exercise. I have been sweating profusely because of the heat though!

Low point of the last month? Eating my way through London and eating far too much bread here in Jamaica.

High point of the last month? Yoga on the beach for three days… and booking myself a yoga retreat in Bali. I will get into shape for that. I will, I will, I will… Watch this space.

Weight loss? All my clothes are snug so I’m guessing there’s been none whatsoever.

Think positively

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The final few

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? After the week in which I wasn’t feeling great, I went to London for five days with my mum. I ate my way through London – and had Chinese food every day (char siu pau, yum)! We got back on a Saturday morning and I had a session with Trevor on Sunday morning.

After my 5-minute warmup on the bike I did the following:

  • Treadmill x 4 min (1 min 5.5 km/h, 2 min 7.5 km/h, 1 min 5.5 km/h)
  • Squats x 30 s
  • Boxing x 30 s
  • Wide squats x 30 s
  • Boxing x 30 s
  • Step ups on the treadmill x 30 s
  • Boxing x 30 s
  • Step ups on the treadmill x 30 s
  • Boxing x 30 s
  • Treadmill x 4 min (1  min 5.5 km/h, 2 min 7.5 km/h, 1 min 5.5 km/h)

After a short break, I did this:

  • Bench squats x 30 s
  • Boxing x 30 s
  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • Boxing x 30 s
  • Knee raise/twist x 30 s
  • Boxing x 30 s
  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • Boxing x 30 s
  • Bike x 3 min (resistance 10, 80-90 rpm)

I then did the following superset:

  • Lateral pulldown (wide grip) x 15
  • Shoulder press x 15 (3-kg weights)
  • Lateral pulldown (narrow grip) x 15
  • Shoulder press x 15
  • Lateral pulldown (underhand grip) x 15
  • Shoulder press x 15

I had a rest and did this superset:

  • Combined deadlift/bench squat x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Tricep extensions x 12
  • Combined deadlift/bench squat x 10
  • Tricep extensions x 10
  • Combined deadlift/bench squat x 8
  • Tricep extensions x 8

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

I woke up on Monday feeling sore all over. I had yoga on Tuesday after ages – and I could really feel the difference. Everything was such an effort!

I had another session with Trevor on Wednesday. After 5 minutes on the bike, I did the following:

  • Combined deadlift/bicep curl/squat/shoulder press/reverse lunges (10-lb weights)

I did that eight times – and I wanted to die. After that I did the following circuit:

  • Treadmill x 6 min (1 min 5.5 km/h, 2 min 7.5 km/h x 2)
  • Press-ups x 15
  • Tricep extensions x 15
  • Lateral pulldown x 15
  • Mountain climbers x 15
  • Treadmill x 6 min (1 min 5.5 km/h, 2 min 7.5 km/h x 2)
  • Bent-over row x 15 (15-lb weights)
  • Tricep dips x 15
  • Combined squat/punches x 15 (3-kg weights)
  • Treadmill x 6 min (1 min 5.5 km/h, 2 min 7.5 km/h x 2)

I thought that was the end of it, but I was wrong. I then did the following:

  • Adductor machine x 15 (47 kg)
  • Single leg press x 15
  • Adductor machine x 15 (54 kg)
  • Adductor machine x 15 (47 kg)

You would think that taking the weight down in that last set would feel easier but it felt like hell. I did some stretching after that (not that I could feel my legs) and called it a day. I went home, had some breakfast, had a shower and decided to have a nap. I never nap – even when I think I should. I thought I’d sleep for an hour, but slept from 11am until almost 2pm! I must have been shattered.

I didn’t work out again that week. Trevor cancelled our session on Sunday and I didn’t do any exercise until my yoga class on Tuesday.

I got to the gym on Wednesday and did my warmup on the bike. At about 8.40 I got a text from Trevor to say that he’d overslept and couldn’t make it. As I was at the gym already I walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes (2.08 km) and did some lower body exercises and the 50-rep finisher.

And again, I didn’t work out the rest of the week.

Low point of the three weeks? Eating my way through London and not doing very much when I got back.

High point of the week? Eating my way through London and not doing very much when I got back. (See what I did there?)

Weight loss? I think we can safely assume that there was none!

Think positively

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The final few

After my week of doing nothing, I had a session with Trevor on Sunday morning. I hadn’t seen him in about 10 days and we caught up while I was doing my warmup on the bike. He told me he’d taken a break from the gym for a few days as he’d been feeling tired. Well, if he could do that so could I!

After my 5-minute warmup on the bike I did 10 minutes on the treadmill, alternating between walking and running. After that I moved on to the following circuit using 10-lb weights:

  • Shoulder press x 5
  • Squats x 5
  • Upright row x 5
  • Curtsey lunges x 5
  • Russian twists x 5
  • Crunches x 5
  • Bike x 2 min

For the Russian twists and crunches I only used one 10-lb weight instead of two. And in the second and third sets, I did 10 and 15 reps, respectively.

After that I did the following upper body workout:

  • Lateral pulldown x 20 (wide grip)
  • Tricep extensions x 15
  • Lateral pulldown x 20 (narrow grip)
  • Tricep extensions x 15
  • Lateral pulldown x 20 (underhand grip)
  • Tricep extensions x 15

I got back on the treadmill for another 5 minutes, walking at 5 km/h with an incline of 10%. By the end of the 5 minutes I’d reduced the incline to 8%. I did some stretches after that and was done for the day.

I woke up on Monday feeling sore all over. I also felt feverish and had a scratchy throat. Dammit! I felt the same on Tuesday and when I woke up on Wednesday morning I cancelled my session with Trevor. Every day I kept waiting for full-blown flu but it was really taking its time. It finally hit on Friday – I was sneezing and had a stuffy head. I felt a bit better on Saturday, but still not 100%. What a wasted week!

Low point of the week? Feeling under the weather for most of it.

High point of the week? I’m not sure there was one!

Weight loss? Ugh.

Taken

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The final few

Well, after the last few weeks where I was consistently working out four or five times a week, this week I did nothing. Nothing.

I cancelled my Sunday morning session with Trevor as I was exhausted after the mad weekend I’d had. I thought I’d go to the gym on my own on Monday but I just couldn’t move. My cousin couldn’t make our yoga class on Tuesday so I cancelled it. I cancelled my Wednesday session with Trevor too, intending to go to the gym on my own later that day.

By Wednesday evening I decided that I was just going to take a week off. More importantly, I was going to take a week off and not feel bad about it. I’d worked hard for the last seven or eight weeks (not that it shows!) and maybe I just needed a break.

Even though I was so tired, the only nights I stayed in were Sunday and Thursday. I’d had dinners planned all week – French restaurants four times (the three main ingredients of French food are butter, butter and butter) and Zaatar w Zeit on Friday night (where I ate a lot of bread after a very long time).

Oh well, I fell off the wagon. But I’m ready to get back on it now.

Low point of the week? Not working out at all. Eating and drinking a lot.

High point of the week? It was nice to just take a break. I really needed it.

Weight loss? Let’s not talk about that this week!

2015-04-19 19.36.45

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The final few

Four workouts done this week!

I had my usual session with Trevor on Sunday morning. I started with a 5-minute warmup on the bike and then did the following weights circuit with a set of 3 kg weights before beginning the abs challenge:

  • Bicep curls x 10
  • Chest squeeze x 10
  • Upright internal rotation (rotator cuff) x 10
  • Shoulder press x 10

I then did a short squat circuit:

  • Squats x 10
  • Jump squats x 10
  • Bounce squats x 10

Then came the 50-rep finisher (bicep curls, shoulder press, tricep extensions, tricep dips, press-ups). I had some water and spent 15 minutes on the treadmill – alternating between walking and running each minute (1.6 km). Then came the abs challenge for that day:

  • Leg sweep (with my elbows on a bench) x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Plank pulses x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Reverse crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • 1-2-3 situps x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Rest x 1 min
  • Repeat three more times

The hardest of those exercises were the leg sweeps (again). And the plank crunches were tough too. In the third and fourth sets, instead of doing the leg sweep, I did a cable to knee exercise using one of the machines. Balancing was hard enough without having to pull in a cable to an alternate knee! And then I was done.

On Monday I went back to the gym and did 5 minutes on the bike as a warmup. I did 20 minutes on the treadmill (2.30 km), alternating between walking and running. Then I did an abs circuit:

  • Bicycle crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Reach through crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • A-frame twists x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Toe touch leg drops x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s
  • Repeat three more times

I did the 50-rep finisher and did a few stretches after that and called it a day.

I had my usual yoga class on Tuesday morning.

I had my session with Trevor on Wednesday. I did a 5-minute warmup on the bike and then did the following circuit:

  • Bench squats x 15
  • Combined bicep curl/shoulder press x 15 (3-kg weights in the first set, 10-lb weights in the second and third sets)
  • Deadlifts x 15 (15-lb weights)
  • Press-ups x 15
  • Bike x 4 min (30 s at level 5 – speed 70 rpm/30 s at level 10 – speed 90 rpm)
  • Rest

In the second and third sets I increased the weights for the second exercise. I also increased the resistance on the bike, alternating between levels 6 and 12 every 30 seconds. In the third set, I didn’t have to do the 4 minutes on the bike.

I then did the abs challenge for the day:

  • Mountain climbers x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Side raises x 40 s (20 s on each side)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Abdominal in and out x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Abdominal toe touches x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s

I did some stretches after that, and was done.

I didn’t work out again the rest of the week. I was out for dinner on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and was exhausted most of the time. I naively thought I might make it to the gym on Friday morning, but didn’t get home from the party I went to until 6am!

Low point of the week? Again, I had friends in town from London and Hong Kong over the weekend and it was crazy. I drank a lot of wine on Thursday, vodka on Friday, and wine and vodka (and even gin as they eventually ran out of vodka) on Saturday! It was great to see everyone here in Dubai though…

High point of the week? Working out four times this week. In spite of drinking a lot over the weekend there was also a lot of dancing – so that must count for something!

Weight loss? Still up and down – meh.

2015-04-26 17.57.23

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The final few

Five workouts done this week!

I had my usual session with Trevor on Sunday morning. I started with a 5-minute warmup on the bike and then did the following weights circuit before beginning the abs challenge:

  • Combined deadlift/shoulder press x 10 (body bar)
  • Bent-over row x 10 (15-lb weights)
  • Sumo squats x 10 (20-lb weight)
  • Dumbbell jabs x 10 (3-kg weights)
  • Abductor machine x 10 (47 kg)
  • Lateral pulldown x 10
  • Repeat

In the second set I increased the reps to 15 for each exercise. I also increased the weights for the abductor machine to 54 kg. After that I did 15 minutes on the treadmill – alternating between walking and running each minute (1.6 km). And then I did an abs circuit:

  • Feet elevated crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Breakdance leg sweeps x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Knee to elbow twists x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Plank walkers x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Rest x 1 min
  • Repeat three more times

The hardest of those exercises were the breakdance sweeps (again). And the plank walkers were hard on my shoulders and back. After the first two sets I had to rest on my knees to do them!

After that I thought I was done for the day but Trevor put me back on the treadmill for 3 minutes at a speed of 6 km/h with an incline of 6%. And then I was done for the day.

On Monday I went back to the gym and did 5 minutes on the bike as a warmup. I did 20 minutes on the treadmill (2.27 km), alternating between walking and running. Then I did an abs circuit:

  • Bicycle crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Reach through crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • A-frame twists x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Toe touch leg drops x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s
  • Repeat three more times

I did the 50-rep finisher and did a few stretches after that and called it a day.

I had my usual yoga class on Tuesday morning. On Tuesday night Trevor cancelled our Wednesday morning session. I went to the gym anyway. I was tired though and after my 5-minute warmup on the bike I decided to just walk for 20 minutes (2:07 km). I then did the abs challenge for that day:

  • Situps x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Spiderman crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • V ups x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Hip rolls x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s

I still found the hip rolls really difficult – the Spiderman crunches were getting slightly easier. I did that circuit four times and finished off with the 50-rep finisher and was done for the day.

On Thursday, I decided to do the 20 minutes of cardio on the bike instead of the treadmill. I thought it might be easier but it really wasn’t! I kept alternating between level 5 and level 10 and would also pick up speed when I was on level 10. After the cardio I did the following circuit:

  • Lying leg raises x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Lying hip thrusts x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Scissor kicks x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s

That circuit was actually for Saturdays but as I never make it to the gym over the weekend I thought I’d give it a go. I ended with the 50-rep finisher.

I didn’t work out over the weekend.

Low point of the week? Again, I was out a lot this week – lunch on Sunday and Wednesday; dinner on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and a friend’s champagne breakfast on Friday (I had a croissant – the first one I’ve had in ages)! I also drank a little on Sunday and Wednesday; and a lot on Thursday and Friday. Oh, but it was so much fun!

High point of the week? Working out five times this week again. I’ve been consistent for six weeks now, but I still feel the only place I’ve really lost weight is my face.

Weight loss? Still up and down – meh.

Sweat

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The final few

Another good week at the gym!

I had my usual session with Trevor on Sunday morning. I started with a 5-minute warmup on the bike and then did the following weights circuit before beginning day 5 of his abs challenge:

  • Lateral pulldown x 10 (wide grip)
  • Squats x 15
  • Lateral pulldown x 10 (regular grip)
  • Squats x 15
  • Lateral pulldown x 10 (underhand grip)
  • Squats x 15
  • Tricep extensions x 10
  • Deadlifts x 10 (15-lb weights)
  • Tricep extensions x 10
  • Deadlifts x 10 (15-lb weights)
  • Tricep extensions x 10
  • Deadlifts x 10 (15-lb weights)

I did 15 minutes on the treadmill – alternating between walking and running each minute (1.6 km). And then did the abs circuit:

  • Bicycle crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Russian twists x 40 s (3-kg weight)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Flutter kicks x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Double crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s
  • Repeat three more times

The hardest of those four exercises were the flutter kicks. And I think they were hardest on my back than anywhere else. I did some stretching after that circuit and was done for the day.

On Monday I went back to the gym and did 5 minutes on the bike as a warmup. I did 20 minutes on the treadmill (2.25 km), alternating between walking and running. Then I did the abs circuit:

  • 1-2-3 mountain climber get-ups x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Reach through crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • A-frame twists x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Toe touch leg drops x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s
  • Repeat three more times

The 1-2-3 mountain climber get-ups were the worst of those four – it’s exactly as it sounds: three mountain climbers and then get up, then get down and do it over and over again. It was almost like burpees. Each session has been tough but I have to say that the 20 minutes does actually go pretty quickly.

I had yoga on Tuesday morning. Again, it was just me as my cousin was away. It was a good class though. Before she left, for some reason we started talking about botox and other ‘rejuvenating’ treatments and I told her that I’d never tried any of it but that if I looked my age I might reconsider. She asked me how old I was and was shocked when I told her I was 42 last week. ‘I really thought you were about 30,’ she said. I knew there was a reason I liked her…

On Wednesday I had an early session with Trevor. I warmed up on the bike and then did 20 minutes on the treadmill (2:17 km; walking and running). I then did his abs challenge for day 8. It was the same as day 1 so I knew what I was doing:

  • Mountain climbers x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Side plank x 40 s (changing sides halfway through)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Abdominal in and out x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Abdominal toe touches x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s

I was supposed to do the circuit four times. In the last round, Trevor suggested I change the exercises to the ones he’d posted on Instagram the day before. I hadn’t done them before as I’d had yoga and was quite keen to try something different:

  • Feet elevated crunches x 40 s (with my feet on a bench)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Breakdance leg sweeps x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Knee to elbow twists x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Plank walkers x 40 s
  • Rest

In his video, Trevor made the breakdance leg sweeps look so easy (I’ve tried to find a video of this, but no such luck). From a standing position, you lean down so that your hands are on the floor (almost like downward dog but with knees slightly bent). You then sweep the left leg forward and to the right, twisting your oblique muscles, and then back again. Repeat on the left. It was hard. Keeping my leg off the floor when it was extended was impossible! I have to admit I felt like a bit of a loser after that round! The knee to elbow twists were similar to Russian twists but with your arms folded at your chest (like a Cossack dancer) and your elbows touching the opposite knee and then the same on the other side.

We still had a few minutes left after that fourth (disastrous) round so Trevor introduced me to the 50-rep finisher:

  • Bicep curls x 10 (10-lb weights)
  • Shoulder press x 10 (10-lb weights)
  • Dumbbell tricep extension x 10 (10-lb weight)
  • Tricep dips x 10
  • Push-ups x 10

I decided it was something I should add to the end of all my workouts!

On Thursday I went back to the gym. I did my warmup on the bike and 20 minutes on the treadmill (2.25 km). I then did the abs challenge for that day:

  • Situps x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Spiderman crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • V ups x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Hip rolls x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s

It was still hard, but I did find it more doable than the week before! In the last set I swapped the hip rolls for Russian twists. The week before, I did Russian twists in the last two sets.

I didn’t work out over the weekend.

Low point of the week? I was out a lot this week – dinner on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I also drank on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Oh, I also had some bread – I had three bites of my mum’s pizza on Monday.

High point of the week? Working out five times this week. My yoga teacher thinking I was 30 years old!

Weight loss? Still up and down – but I’m not going to focus on that at the moment.

2015-04-05 08.14.21

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The final few

And another good week at the gym!

Trevor cancelled our Sunday morning session and I decided to go on my own. I did 5 km on the treadmill in 47:14 (31 seconds faster than last time). I walked it, starting at 6 km/h and increasing the speed every 5 minutes until I got to 6.5 km/h.

On Monday I was a bit rushed (fire drill and birthday lunch) so I ended up doing just 20 minutes on the treadmill (17:14) and two sets of lower body exercises. Still, better than nothing!

I had yoga on Tuesday morning. It was just me as my cousin was travelling. I thought about cancelling the class for the next two weeks but then felt like I really needed to do yoga and didn’t want to stop it for so long. It was a good class. I’m always surprised when I can do a seated forward bend and hold on to my feet – when I started doing yoga my hands barely reached the middle of my shins.

Trevor’s 30-day abs challenge started on Wednesday so that’s what we did in my session. I warmed up on the bike for 5 minutes and did this weights circuit before the abs challenge:

  • Combined bench squat/punches x 10 (3-kg weights)
  • Deadlifts x 10 (15-lb weights)
  • Shoulder press x 10 (10-lb weights)
  • Sumo squats x 10 (20-lb weight)
  • Lateral pulldown x 10
  • Repeat

After that I did 16 minutes on the treadmill (it’s supposed to be 20 minutes but we didn’t have enough time). I alternated walking and running, and on the last two runs I increased the incline to 3%. Then I did the following abs circuit for 20 minutes:

  • Mountain climbers x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Side plank x 40 s (changing sides halfway through)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Abdominal in and out x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Abdominal toe touches x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s

I did that circuit four times. Unfortunately both gym mats had disappeared so I was doing all the exercises on a bench – which took some getting used to. The hardest exercise was the side plank, but I think that’s because I was on a bench and just not very comfortable.

I did day 2 on Thursday. I did a 5-minute warmup on the bike and 20 minutes on the treadmill (2.22 km). And then came the abs circuit:

  • Situps x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Spiderman crunches x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • V ups x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Hip rolls x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s

It was much harder than the day before! Or perhaps I was already in so much pain from the day before that it felt like it was harder. I found the hip rolls the hardest and for the last two sets I swapped them for Russian twists – I figured they’d work the same oblique muscles so I just substituted them.

I thought I’d go to the gym on Friday but I didn’t. And on Saturday, the day after my birthday drinks, the closest I got to the abs challenge was doing a situp to get out of bed. And that was painful enough!

Low point of the week? My knees are still aching a bit. I had cake on Monday, and a lot of drinks on Friday night! I also had a can of Coke on Saturday – my first soft drink since 2nd January.

High point of the week? I worked out five times this week! I’d bought a pair of white linen shorts last summer and wanted to wear them on my birthday and was really pleasantly surprised when they fit. I also got a lot of comments from my friends at my birthday who said I looked fit (athletically speaking, I’m guessing). So that felt really good.

Weight loss? Still up and down – but I don’t think the scales accurately reflect the changes taking place in my body shape.

Just do it

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The final few

I had another good week at the gym.

Trevor cancelled our Sunday morning session and my first thought was: ‘Ah, I can just stay in bed.’ And then I thought I should get up and go on my own and try and improve on the 3 km time from the week before. I had the gym to myself. I did a 5-minute warmup on the bike and then did 3 km on the treadmill. I managed it in 26:11. I alternated walking and running – I started at 5.5 km and would jog at 7.5 km and then decided to switch to 6 km and 8 km. I’m aiming to get to 25 minutes and then will try and go for 5 km after that. So, in just two weeks I’ve taken almost 2 minutes off my 3 km time. It feels good! After that, I did two sets of lower body exercises and went home.

I went back to the gym on Monday and decided I was going to walk. My knees were a bit sore and I thought walking would be better than running. I started at 6 km/h and then increased the speed every 5 minutes by 0.1 km/h until I got to 6.5 km/h. That took me to 30 minutes but I decided to carry on and do 5 km in total. I ended up finishing in 47:45.

On Tuesday morning my cousin texted me to say she had a bad cough and couldn’t make it to yoga – so we cancelled our class. I went to the gym anyway, wondering if I could improve on my 3 km time. I did a 5-minute warmup on the bike and then began on the treadmill. I managed 3 km in 25:48 – another improvement! I alternated walking and running each minute – my minimum speed was 5.5 km/h and my maximum speed was 8.5 km/h (but I only did that a couple of times – I stuck to 8 km/h most of the time). I did two sets of lower body exercises after that and some stretching and I was done.

I had a session with Trevor on Wednesday morning. I did a 5-minute warmup on the bike and then we did 20 minutes of boxing. Each round consisted of 30 seconds of boxing (various combinations of jabs, hooks and uppercuts) and 30 seconds of a bodyweight exercise (squats, stepping on/off the treadmill, mountain climbers, alternating lunges, and so on). Halfway through I had 1 minute of rest. After the 20 minutes of boxing, we moved on to an abs workout. Trevor is starting an abs challenge on Instagram (@Trevor_Flowers_Fitness) from 1st April – and I got a preview of what was in store for the month. I did the following circuit:

  • Mountain climbers x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Side plank x 40 s (changing sides halfway through)
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Abdominal in and out x 40 s
  • Rest x 20 s
  • Abdominal toe touches x 40 s
  • Rest x 1 min 20 s

I did that circuit four times. It was exhausting. After that I did 5 minutes on the treadmill at an incline of 7% followed by some stretching and I was finished for the day.

I didn’t work out again in the week – but four days in a row is pretty good!

Low point of the week? My knees are still aching – both of them.

High point of the week? I worked out four times this week! I met up with some friends on Thursday night and one of them told me I’d lost weight since he’d last seen me almost three weeks before. We did end up having a lot of wine though…

Weight loss? Still up and down. Maybe I should just focus on how I feel!

Abs

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The final few

I had another good week at the gym.

I had my usual Sunday morning session with Trevor. I got to the gym and one of the ladies in the building was there with her daughter. We started chatting about exercise and it turned out that she’s a client of the doctor who gave the talk at Fitness First the week before. What a small world!

I did a 5-minute warmup on the bike and then moved on to the treadmill for 22 minutes:

  • 1 min x 5 km/h
  • 2 min x 5 km/h (5% incline)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (5.5% incline, 3-kg weights)
  • 1 min x 5 km/h (no incline, no weights)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (6% incline, 3-kg weights)
  • 1 min x 5 km/h (no incline, no weights)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (6.5% incline, 3-kg weights)
  • 1 min x 5 km/h (no incline, no weights)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (7% incline, 3-kg weights)
  • 1 min x 5 km/h (no incline, no weights)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (7.5% incline, 3-kg weights)
  • 1 min x 5 km/h (no incline, no weights)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (8% incline, 3-kg weights)
  • 1 min x 5 km/h (no incline, no weights)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (8.5% incline, 3-kg weights)
  • 1 min x 5 km/h (no incline, no weights)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (9% incline, 3-kg weights)
  • 1 min x 5 km/h (no incline, no weights)
  • 1 min x 5.5 km/h (9.5% incline, 3-kg weights)
  • 1 min x 5 km/h (no incline, no weights)
  • 1 min x 5 km/h (10% incline, 3-kg weights)

After that I did the following circuit twice:

  • Alternating clean and sweep x 10 on each side (15-lb weight)
  • Mountain climbers x 20 on each side
  • Wide sumo squats x 20 (20-lb weight)
  • Combined deadlifts/bent-over rows/kickbacks x 10 (10-lb weights)
  • Treadmill x 2 min at 7.5 km/h
  • Rest x 1 minute

The first exercise, the alternating clean and sweep, involved placing a 15-lb weight on the floor. I had to squat to pick it up with my right hand, ‘clean’ and then ‘press’, and then squat to put it back on the floor. I’d stand upright, squat to pick it up with my left hand and do the same thing. It was not easy.

After that circuit I did some stretching and was done for the day.

I woke up really sore on Monday – my deltoid muscles, my inner thighs, my quads. Everything seemed to hurt. My knees were aching too so when I went to the gym I decided I’d just walk for 30 minutes instead of alternating it with jogging. I started at 6 km/h and every 5 minutes I’d increase the speed by 0.1 km/h. So in the last 5 minutes I was walking at a pace of 6.5 km/h. I managed to do 3.11 km. After that I did two sets of lower body exercises and some sit-ups and that was it.

I had yoga at home on Tuesday morning and was still sore – I felt even more stiff than the day before, especially around my thighs. My upper body seemed to have recovered.

Trevor asked me if we could meet at 8am on Wednesday instead of 8.30. I agreed because I want to make the most of this motivated phase I seemed to be going through! I did my 5 minutes on the bike and then spent 10 minutes on the treadmill:

  • 1 min x 5 km/h
  • 2 min x 7.5 km/h
  • 1 min x 5 km/h
  • 2 min x 7.5 km/h
  • 1 min x 5 km/h
  • 2 min x 7.5 km/h
  • 1 min x 5 km/h

Trevor told me that I was going to do a series of six exercises – but… I would do the first exercise and then do a 100 m jog on the treadmill. I would then do the first and second exercises and do a 100 m jog on the treadmill. And so on. It went like this:

  • Good mornings x 10, treadmill x 100 m at 7.5 km/h
  • Good mornings x 10, combined squat/press x 10 (10-lb weights), treadmill x 100 m at 7.5 km/h
  • Good mornings x 10, combined squat/press x 10 (10-lb weights), mountain climbers x 10 on each side, treadmill x 100 m at 7.5 km/h
  • Good mornings x 10, combined squat/press x 10 (10-lb weights), mountain climbers x 10 on each side, tricep kickbacks x 10 (15-lb weights), treadmill x 100 m at 7.5 km/h
  • Good mornings x 10, combined squat/press x 10 (10-lb weights), mountain climbers x 10 on each side, tricep kickbacks x 10 (15-lb weights), leg press x 10, treadmill x 100 m at 7.5 km/h
  • Good mornings x 10, combined squat/press x 10 (10-lb weights), mountain climbers x 10 on each side, tricep kickbacks x 10 (15-lb weights), leg press x 10, lateral pulldown x 10, treadmill x 100 m at 7.5 km/h

My legs felt like jelly after I’d done all that. I think I only stopped for water once and that was on my way to the leg press machine in round five. Out of all of them, I think the combined squat/press was the hardest for me. And by the end of those six rounds, I’d done 50 of them!

I did a few lower body stretches after that and was finished for the day.

I went back to the gym on Thursday and did a 5-minute warmup on the bike. I then did 3 km on the treadmill in 26:48 – already an improvement from the week before. I was quite thrilled about that. I did two sets of lower body exercises and went home.

I didn’t work out over the weekend.

Low point of the week? My knees are still aching a bit – both of them.

High point of the week? I worked out five times this week again! Apart from Tuesday, I didn’t eat too badly either – but I did have a few glasses of wine at the weekend.

Weight loss? Still up and down – just when I think I’m starting a downward trend it climbs back up again. Very frustrating!

IMG_20150316_120846

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