23 September 2011

Activity: 23 September

Well, besides helping bake for 6 hours (which wasn't very physically demanding), I did my third day of the VirtuaGym body-weight program: a repeat from Wednesday's exercises. The entire six weeks of the program is basically just a repeating 5-day cycle of body weight exercises on days 1, 3, and 5 and then running (which I switched to bicycling and doubled the time) on days 2 and 4. The speeds, reps, and times don't change from week 1 to week 6--so I might increase the challenge level as I go.

Even though this is only the second time I did the exercises, I improved my time by 10% (27 minutes instead of 30). I'm still all wiped out after doing them, innocuous though they seem. My shoulders, abs, and the entire area around my butt/groin/quads hurt from the other day. And yet, I felt a lot more capable doing the exercises today, despite the soreness. I love that tightness, the throb of a well-worked muscle. I should start stretching--especially if biking will be my almost-every-other-day aerobic exercise. David, my beau, and I have yoga deals at a nearby studio, so we'll start that this weekend, I think. It's a wonderful activity to complement parkour, so I'm all for it!

Today:

Marched in place for 3 minutes, 20 reps of windmills, 25 squats, 30 reps of lunges (once each leg is a single rep), 12 wall push-ups, 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.

22 September 2011

Cycling: 22 September

Today was Car Free Day in DC. (I want that to be hyphenated, because otherwise there's uncertainty in its meaning, but they don't hyphenate, so I won't either. Sigh.) I got my disc brake fixed on Tuesday, so it's a perfect time to get outside and be car-free!

I biked perhaps 11 or so miles over the course of an hour (split up in three sections). I finally got the iMapMyFitness iPhone app to work with GPS--apparently, I had a setting on somewhere that disallowed it access to GPS.

So, day 2 of my attempt to get back in shape is at least a success! I biked the length of time I planned, got dehydrated, and ate healthy-ish. I'm feeling sore from yesterday's workout (shoulders, arms, those muscles directly under your butt), and I'm terribly happy about it.

Tomorrow may be a challenge: I have paid work from 9 to 3, followed by a 4 to 5 walk-through of the DC State Fair area, and a birthday party in the evening. Before the birthday party is, of course, the time I will need to do the exercising thing. I'm feeling good about the routine at the moment--let's hope I feel the same tomorrow!

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.

01 September 2011

Cycling: 1 September

It has been a while since I exercised more than just a commute. Since I have returned to Washington, DC, I have not been to a gym, of course, but I have cycled almost every day--if only a few hundred feet (sometimes several miles interspersed throughout the day). But I don't count all of that, because it's commute--not sustained activity with the intention of burning calories.

Today, I rode up to Takoma Park for Soupergirl's restaurant's soft opening. I could have walked, or rode the metro, or taken the bus, but I didn't--I biked! It was good, a lot of small hills and cars. I need to do this more often so I can ride with my other half!