Ups & Downs –

Oops, am I in trouble again?
Not this time.
It’s one of my new workouts.

I have been writing up my own workouts for a few weeks now, taking ones I see online and tweaking them for my home gym, or using a workout from instagram as an idea base to make my own from.
In all of these, I’ve included my physio’s exercises and making sure I have a variety of cardio, weights and a combination to keep me happy.

What is this ‘ups and downs’ you talk about?
After writing up two as a test, not knowing if they will actually work, I have used them several times a week and find them very good.
I’m not sure if they are a thing elsewhere, but I like them.
They get my heart rate up, and the challenge is put out there.
I have one for arms/shoulders and one for core/butt.
I tweak them a little each time I use them, and put my run distance on the sheet (every little bit counts for Run Down Under).

Ok, the idea behind them is that there are two portions to the workout.
Cardio and strength.
Five rounds with both time and reps for each.
The run part starts at 5 mins – time goes down, speed goes up and the strength portion starts low on reps and go up with each round.
So as an example, it would be 5 mins/8.5 speed; 4 mins/9 speed; 3 mins/10 speed; 2 mins/sprint/ 12 speed.
The reps start at 10 and work up to 25 with 4-5 exercises to do.
I then finish on round 5 with a 3 min sprint on L2 before cool down stretches/physio exercises.
This takes around 45 mins and makes me sweat like crazy.
Boy do I feel good afterwards though. It hurts, and I grunt like a stuck pig or ‘someone dying’ as my son put it (that’s what a 2 min plank will do for you).
I add weights to whatever I can to up the ante – it’s gotta do me good right…?

Where to from here…
From here I will up the weights, add an incline to the runs and practice those burpees and push ups.

Sometimes I wish I had started this two years ago when I first thought of it. Sometimes in life we have to learn things the hard way to get a better understanding of the ‘why’ behind it.
I run when I can (park run and longer if I have the opportunity) and know that when I do run these exercises are doing me good, making me stronger.
And that is what I am happy about.

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Fit not skinny

The ‘Why’
When we start a new fitness or exercise routine what is our aim? To get fit, to lose weight, to look better in a bikini..? 
To look like what ‘society’ says we should. 
Unfortunately for many people this is the why they start something of this vein, when the only reason should be to be happy with themselves. To be fitter, healthier and Happy.  Most of us take a few goes at the new regime to get our priorities sorted, and to be doing it solely for ourselves. 
I’m in the third year of my running and as my regular readers know, the last few months have been soul searching for my Why.  The why am I doing this, Why. 
Today while out on the bike I had this weird epiphany, it’s not that I only just realised it, it was the title of this post. Part of my why is to be fit not skinny. The weight and toning will sort itself out as I get fitter, and keep active. I don’t want to be working out like this to get skinny. I want to be fit and strong. 

Weight vs strength
How does weight have an impact on your strength? To be honest I don’t know, but from what I’ve seen, you don’t have to be skinny to be strong. Some of my customers, and social media friends, go to weights classes and could dead-lift me out the gym. None of them are skinny. Fit and healthy looking, absolutely. 
This doesn’t mean I wont still be wanting to lose that 8k+ I’m carrying, it’s more a matter that it will sort itself out when I get my routine back into action. Despite my best intentions (that have gone awry at times) not being able to run means that there is a rogue kilo or two that has decided to call me home. Knowing I can get out on the bike gives me another outlet, I just have to push myself and not want to eat all the food after a short ride*. My weight will become less of an issue once I am back to 100% active.  It’s about being stronger than I was before and being able to ride or run the hills easier, finish a run with more left in the tank, and generally have it feel more comfortable. Like it was 6-8  months ago.
Weight is only a number right?
*This is something I have to work on. I know when I run 15+kms what I can eat, but riding 15k is such an easy thing to do, the distance to eat ratio is completely different, and i have to make the appropriate changes.

Fit endurance not fit muscly
I know a few people who attend the gym simply to get lean and be muscly and look good. While there is no problem with that, people can do what they like, especially as it doesn’t affect my life.  I however, want to do more with my gym workouts. I want it to supplement my cardio. I want to have that endurance (you never know when you’ll need to outrun someone/thing or zombies..). I want to know I can go a distance, and look good. I don’t mind if I have a few lumpy bits, if I know I am strong then that’s all that matters. Being a lean machine is not as important as being a strong one.

Fit not skinny.
Your ‘why’ is your business. Mine is to be strong and fit, to keep active well into my old age. Not to end up with knee/hip replacements or being injured form doing sports because I am unfit. 
I want to be fit and strong. The skinny will come, or not, with how I workout and what I eat. 
I have to watch my diet, and not watch as in watch it go down my gullet.

This next part of my journey is about the fit not skinny, the diet and workout, the physio and running. The bike.

Exercise sticks

Day 3 with my funky exercise sticks and all is going well. I don’t want to say it’s been easy, the combinations have been workable, with nothing too strenuous. That being said I will now have several days of hard work ahead of me.

I have found it easy to actually get in and do it. For 4 days this week I’ll be doing 12 hr days then travelling, so I shall ask hubby to get my sticks out each day. Then next week I am travelling interstate for 3 days – not sure whether I’ll get to a gym, a park or anything for a good cardio workout – so will be taking some sticks to do the very minimum.
It’s all about getting in a routine!

For a quick test, I’m going to take a few measurements and see how I fare after the first fortnight.