21 September 2011

Activity: 21 September

Well, I haven't been terribly active since returning to the US. You would think without employment and such, I'd have more time to get back into shape. That's totally true. And yet...? I don't have a gym membership, and I've been enjoying the lazy life of a houseboy. And last weekend, I bent the disc brake on my front wheel beyond repair when the wheel decided it no longer wanted to be associated with the rest of my bicycle while I was riding to a plant show on Route 1 in Beltsville, Maryland.

So, after feeling a bit disgusted with my lack of physicality, I finally decided to start a body-weight workout program. Inspired by Lifehacker's convict-conditioning workout post, I'm finally getting my fat ass on the floor and doing some crunches.

I'm using VirtuaGym's Chrome App interface--they have an entire series of programs using body-weight exercises. I'm doing a Beginner Shape program: I'm active, but I haven't been regularly for a while, and I'm looking to slim down and build lean muscle rather than strictly tone or build intense musculature. I need to lose another 26 (gasp...!) pounds before I'm back to where I want to be. It's not just a number, however--I could lose 25 pounds and still not look like what I want. I need to eventually build up muscle mass as well while maintaining my weight around 185. VirtuaGym's program would be an awesome circuit workout for muscle toning and weight loss. But not yet--I'm too far removed from that level of activity! I can only do one set of what I did today; my abs and quads hurt already from the lunges, squats, and various push-up-type workouts.

In 30 minutes, I did 11 activities: marched in place for 3 minutes (not as easy as it sounds!), 20 reps of windmills, 25 squats, 30 reps of lunges (once each leg is a single rep), 12 wall push-ups (psshhht, really? I did 'em anyway. Reaallllyyy slowly.), 2 sets of 15 reps of "front rotations" (swinging your arms in big, slow circles in front of you), 12 "board to mountain"s, 2 sets of 15 crunches, 12 board holds, 2 sets (10 reps and 6 reps) of back raises, and marching in place for another 2 minutes.

Taken individually, most of these exercises are piddly. Granted, lunges usually make me unsteady, because it's a repetitive activity that requires balance, and anything involving upper-body strength ("board to mountain"s and board holds) leave me shaking with muscle weakness (because I don't have much in my upper body). But I would likely have been able to do all of these exercises easily--if they hadn't been back-to-back for exactly 30 minutes. I think the workout wasn't supposed to last that long, but I took a break to check my e-mail and get some water. I was (am) also sweaty and disgusting. I clearly need to do this more often.

Tomorrow, the program has me running. Like, outside. For 30 minutes. Maybe I'll change that to bicycling for an hour. I'm not much of a runner.

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