Category Archives: Body

Body: Week 7-8 (February 11-24)

It was a below average week for my workout schedule. On both weeks I managed to go the gym 3 times a week, which would be OK as the minimum. However once I only did abdominal exercises as I felt I was coming down with a cold and couldn’t do more.

There is only one elliptical machine that I can use for running as all the others hurt my knee after a few minutes. If that machine is taken, I feel I cannot really do my cardio, which is what I like to start with. I could do spinning, stationary bikes, but they are either two easy (the ones you sit in comfortable) or too difficult, like the ones they do the Tour de France style spinning classes. I tried all the other classes I could think of for cardio, but all involved jumping, which again was bad for my knee. So what’s left? Rowing. That’s what I did another time in this fortnight, when my favorite elliptical was taken. Currently I can only really row for 10-11 minutes. I hope to build up my endurance, so I could row longer. But this is already 2000 meters, according to the machine’s built in calculator.

My weight is OK as I am maintaining where I am. I would like to lose more, but at th same time I am satisfied that I am not gaining despite not really paying special attention to my diet. I guess I am starting to have the right habits in terms of portion control and hopefully content too. I am eating a big salad almost every day and plenty of fruit in various forms. I may even eat a bit too much of that, but that’s how I am trying to replace the sugars that I am eating much less. So I am content enough with my weight.

Anya started a diet/lifestyle based on this book: The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy). It also covers how and what to do in terms of movement for the healthy body. I didn’t read the whole thing, but this page contains  the summary of recommendations: Exercise Primally – Move, Lift, and Sprint! My takeaway form that page is that I should be able to do 50 pushups, 12 pullups, 50 squats and hold the plank position for 2 minutes. Currently I can do 15, 6.5, 20 and 35 seconds, respectively. Building up to those higher numbers feels like something I can accomplish. So form now on I will log the change sin the numbers, which hopefully will show upward trends.

Body: Week 5-6 (January 25 – February 10)

The beginning of this two week period was OK from a workout perspective. I managed to go 3 times within 4 days. However then I got sick, had the flu, was in bed for 3 days. Even after I recuperated I didn’t feel ready to hit the gym for a few days. So I ended up only going 3 times in this fortnight. Here is the summary of my January visits to the gym:

  • 16 times
  • 300 minutes on the elliptical running machine
  • 10 min rowing
  • 230 minutes on various classes
  • 190 minutes doing abdominal exercises
  • 150 (times 3) sets of various exercises with weights for leg and upper body.
  • 1300 minutes spent altogether at the gym. That excludes changing clothes or taking a shower, which  I always do there.

This post is part of the series answering how I did this week with my new year resolution of having more fun, working on my body, and being more spiritual?

Body: Week 4

.It was a great week for my body as I finally I managed to go to the gym 4 times. Not just that I took 3 different classes. Specifically. Monday afternoon I took a “water fitness” class that is described as “A great cardiovascular and strength building workout in the water. Classes will feature a variety of equipment for a great total body workout without impact on the joints.” Most of it felt good, although my knee even in the water didn’t always like what it was asked too. not to mention that I was doing the exercises slower than I was supposed to. But it sure was a full workout. The next day, to my surprise it was not the muscles in my legs that were sore, but around my shoulder. That’s when I realized that I moved my arm in the resisting water much more than I thought I did.

Wednesday I gave one more chance to the cardio camp class. But that’s it, I am done with it. I put on my brand new sneaker, even put the gel sole in them to soften the impact of jumping, but still my knee really didn’t like all that jumping. And I didn’t even do half of what the others did. So now I know for sure this is not for me. I didn’t hurt myself, I pushed myself and I learned something about myself, so I consider the experience a success.

Thursday I tried something new: TRX. The abbreviation stands for Total body Resistance eXercise. It is a suspension training, meaning that you hang on straps and the difficulty of the workout depend on the angle you are hanging. I can keep trying to explain it, or just share a video.

Let me tell you how disappointing it was. As I’ve been working out more or less regularly for a year I though I am in reasonable condition, particularly regarding my strength (I know that my flexibility isn’t great.) So I thought i will be good at TRX as it requires strength. But in this group of 7 beginners I felt I was the weakest. All the other participants, it seemed, could keep doing the exercises for the required 30 second or minute, but I rarely could do it, usually had to stop at least 10-20 seconds before. In other words I felt week compared to my mates. I know it is not a competition but it crashed my spirit a bit. On the other hand it was a great workout: I moved a lot of my muscles in half an hour and got really tired. When I I got home I looked into getting the TRX equipment, which looked like strong straps to me, but found the price unjustifiable. (Really $200 for a piece strap?) I also realized that if I want to do it at the gym I have to do it as part of a class and each session cost extra. Maybe I will just keep strengthening myself and will give it another try when I feel I am much stronger.

This post is part of the series answering how I did this week with my new year resolution of having more fun, working on my body, and being more spiritual?

Body and Spirit: Week 3

Despite my best intention I managed to get to the gym only three times again this week. Monday and Tuesday I did my regular workout of half an hour cardio and an 50 minute or so other exercise after that. Wednesday I gave the cardio camp another try. It felt wrong again on my knees and lower legs. Next week will be the last chance for me to get comfortable with it: I bought new workout shoes. If they work out and soften enough the impact on jumping around on my knee I will stick to the class. If they don’t than in this case will not follow that advice of no pain no gain. I am feeling the wrong kind of pain here I think.

There were two deaths this week that shook my spiritual world. On one hand an elderly woman passed away I knew from an online community for 14 years. She was described by other members of the community as

  • having lived well
  • being fiercly libreal, 
  • having a strong, caring, funny soul
  • whose presence inspires
  • having strong sens of what was right and wrong

I wans’t particularly close to her, but know that almost always agreed with her and found her attention to other members valuable. I will miss her passionate voice.

The other death is even less personal: I read a lot about the background of Aaron Swartz and his suicide. These two passing made me stop and wonder whether I am living the life that

  • I want to
  • is worth living
  • would be remembered in such positive terms as my online friend’s was.

As usual there are no answers, just pondering what if anything should I change to get better answers to the questions above.

This post is part of the series answering how I did this week with my new year resolution of having more fun, working on my body, and being more spiritual?