Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

The final few

On Sunday the 16th of October 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!

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

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

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

  • Tricep extensions x 12
  • Chest press x 12
  • Rest x 40 s and repeat two more times

I had some water and did the second group of exercises:

  • Leg extension x 12
  • Romanian deadlift x 12 (20-lb weights)
  • Rest x 40 s and repeat two more times

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

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

The fourth group of exercises consisted of:

  • Hamstring curl x 12
  • Front squat x 12 (15-lb weights)
  • Rest x 40 s and repeat two more times

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

  • Upright row x 12
  • Shoulder press x 12 (3-kg weights)
  • Rest x 40 s and repeat two more times

My arms and shoulders had had enough by the end of that last set. I did some stretches after that and went home.

I went back to the gym for 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 min
  • Cool down x 5 min

And I managed to do it! I struggled during the last 5-minute run but kept telling myself that if I could run for 8 minutes, I could definitely do 5 minutes.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday morning – it was a tough one. I began with a warmup that consisted of:

  • Lunges x 5 on each side
  • Walkouts x 8
  • Dynamic lunges x 5 on each side
  • Quick feet (stepping out/in) x 30 s
  • Stance swivel x 30 s
  • Run on the spot x 30 s

There might have been more but I’ve forgotten! I had some water and did the first group of exercises:

  • Scissor jumps x 10 s
  • Jumping jacks x 10 s
  • Squat jumps x 10 s
  • Burpee/lateral shuffle x 6
  • Medicine ball squat/throw x 12
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Repeat two more times
  • Rest x 1 min

I had some water in that 1-minute break and towelled off the sweat. The second group of exercises consisted of:

  • Bulgarian squats x 8 on each side (3-kg medicine ball)
  • Front squat x 12 (10-lb weights)
  • Pushups x 12
  • Combined plank/shoulder tap x 20
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Repeat two more times
  • Rest x 1 min

I had some more water in the 1-minute rest and moved on to the next group of exercises:

  • Shoulder press x 10 (3-kg weights)
  • Low row x 10 (5 bars)
  • High knees with resistance bands x 30 s
  • Mountain climbers x 30 s
  • Rest x 30 s
  • Repeat two more times
  • Rest x 1 min

I had had enough by this point but there was one more group of exercises to get through:

  • Deadlift x 10 (20-lb weights)
  • Snatch x 6 on each side (10-lb weight)
  • Butterfly situps x 10 (3-kg medicine ball)
  • Rest x 30 s and repeat one more time

I did some stretches after that and was done.

I went back to the gym for 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

And I managed to do it!

On Friday morning I went to a yoga brunch at the XVA Hotel in Al Bastikiya. I’d been on a weekend yoga retreat in June with the same teacher, and she’s now organising yoga brunches. Eight of us (all women) had a 10am class on the shaded rooftop – and it was lovely! The weather has finally started to cool down and there was a lovely breeze up there. After the class we went down to the Courtyard Cafe where our pre-ordered breakfast was waiting for us. There was tea, coffee, fresh orange juice, labneh, pancakes, fruit platters and eggs – poached, fried, scrambled, boiled. It was a great start to the day and weekend and I’d definitely do it again…

Distance covered? 9.63 km.

screenshot_20161024-092836

Low point of the week? I ate and drank a lot over the weekend. Also, my brother and his family are visiting so we’ve been eating out every night…

High point of the week? I made it to the gym five times again and went to a yoga class!

Weight loss? I’ve been working out five times a week for the last five weeks and have still managed to put on weight. I dread to think what my weight would be if I wasn’t working out!

Read more updates here.

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The final few

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The fourth group of exercises consisted of:

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

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

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

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

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

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

And I managed to do it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I did some stretches after that and was done.

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

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

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

Distance covered? 10.06 km.

screenshot_20161013-131848

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

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

Weight loss? Meh.

Read more updates here.

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The final few

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Mobilisation stretches
  • Treadmill run x 400 m

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

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

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

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

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

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

I didn’t work out over the weekend.

Distance covered? 7.38 km in total.

2016-10-09-07-54-04

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

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

Weight loss? It’s not even worth mentioning.

Read more updates here.

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The final few

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The first group of exercises was the kettlebell circuit:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Distance covered?

2016-10-03-07-49-28

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

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

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

Read more updates here.

Leave a comment »

The final few

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

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

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

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

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

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

After some water I did the first exercise circuit:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more updates here.

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The final few

It’s been a while since I updated this! So, on Sunday the 4th of September I went to the gym and did Week 3 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

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

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I began with a 10-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and some stretches. It was a weights session and the first circuit consisted of:

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

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

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

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

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

The final set consisted of the following:

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

I did some stretches and was done.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then I did the first circuit:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The final few

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Screenshot_20160815-195728

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The final few

I began the week with Week 4 Day 1 (again) of the 10k Runner app:

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was followed by an abs circuit:

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

The second superset consisted of:

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

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

The next superset was:

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

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

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

My hamstrings were really sore on Tuesday, but I went to the gym and did Week 4 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After that I did some stretches and went home.

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

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

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

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

20160808_220408

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The final few

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

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

Ugh, it was awful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The second weights circuit consisted of:

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

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

The next two exercises were:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Screenshot_20160731-154245

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

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

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

2016-07-31 11.47.29

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The final few

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

2016-07-24 13.10.36

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

I started with 1 km on the treadmill:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Jumping jacks x 20
  • Bench crunches x 20

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more updates here.

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