Monday, March 18, 2013

30 Days of Workouts

One of my friends recently posted his 30 days of going to the gym on instagram and it inspired me to try the same stunt.  I actually began this 30 day streak two weeks ago and even kept it up for a few days into my cold, but eventually had to admit defeat on Saturday as I still couldn't breathe out of my nose even with two medicines in me.  I am determined to complete my month of working out, so I'm starting afresh today.

My fitness goals for the week are to gradually build back up to my previous activity level:

  • Monday -- 34 minutes on elliptical machine with resistance intervals
  • Tuesday -- re-do training routine from Friday (three sets of 15 squats on flipped bosu, 15 squat-to-rows on each side, 15 burpees, 20 one-legged bicep curls with 12.5 lb. weights on each leg)
  • Wednesday -- training session, I'll post the workout she writes for me
  • Thursday -- 1 hour on elliptical machine with resistance intervals
  • Friday -- 30 minute running routine on treadmill (alternating one minute at 4.0 and one or two minutes at 5.5 or 6.0)
  • Saturday -- 5K on treadmill, try to at least match my original time of 38 minutes
  • Sunday -- 5K on treadmill, try to beat 38 minutes
In case you don't know what a bosu ball is, it looks like this:
(image from 

In this last routine that I did, I flip it so that the bouncy side is on the ground and I stand on the flat side to do my squats.  The added instability forces me to use more muscles (like my core in addition to my legs) to stay balanced.  Having a trainer at my gym has definitely inspired me to try exercises that I never would have done otherwise.  You can work out for less time if you work several muscle groups simultaneously and do the exercises quickly so that the routine is also cardiovascular.  The gym equipment was a little intimidating at first, but now I really enjoy it and feel confident using it.

The truth is, though, that you don't need a gym or any equipment to work out once you know some basic exercises.  Push ups, sit ups, burpees, mountain climbers, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, etc. are all parts of my regular routines and they only use the resistance of your own body weight.  Believe me that burpees are enough of a challenge on their own.  A lot of exercise demonstrations are on youtube if you don't know what some of these things look like.  Free weights are about $2-$5 each at a place like Target and they can double the amount of exercises you can do at home.

But I tend to have trouble staying motivated, so having appointments with a trainer and a specific place to do these workouts at a specific time of day keeps me feeling accountable for getting my exercise in each day.  In addition to general good health, weight loss, and proving that I can, I'm also doing this 30 days of workouts to prepare my body for a fun 5K that I'm doing in June.

(image from

I've registered for the "Run For Your Lives" in Medford, NJ.  It's kind of like a mix between flag football, a "Warrior Dash" or "Tough Mudder" run, and "Walking Dead."  Each runner gets a belt with several red flags on it.  They move through either a 10 kilometer or 5 kilometer course with climbing/crawling/swimming obstacles along the way, all while steering clear of the professionally made-up zombies trying to steal the flags.  If they make it through the course with some flags still attached to their belt, they get a medal that says they survived, but if they make it through the course without any flags left, the medal says "Dead" on it.  I've wanted to do one of these kinds of runs for years, but never had the courage to try it.  This is the perfect event for me because I can't think of any better motivation to run than to get away from one of these:
(image from

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