Tag Archives: weights training

Happy feet

24 Aug

My feet are feeling the love. I have found a pair of shoes that are really comfortable for walking, they’re light, and there’s more room around my forefoot.

And the best thing is I didn’t have to buy a new pair of shoes.

I was originally wearing my Asics GT 2170s but these gave me lots of grief, especially during last week’s long walk. My right big toe nail is still recovering from the bruising walk. There were a few nights in the past week when I was woken by the throbbing underneath my toe nail. Oh so painful.

So anyway this week I’ve been wearing my Asics Gel DS Trainers. Bliss I tell you, utter bliss. They are so comfortable and cushiony. And my toes aren’t getting a battering. 🙂

During the week I’ve been walking around 7km most days but this afternoon I did a 12km walk. I didn’t experience any problems with my feet. So fingers crossed I’ve found the perfect shoe for endurance walking. And I managed a 30sec jog every kilometre – total of 12 x 30sec jogs today. 🙂

This morning I did my weights session at the gym. I enjoy going to the gym on a Saturday morning because its so quiet, compared to the peak hour traffic on week days. I have the choice of machines and weights. And benches. During the week guys hog the benches and don’t willingly give them up.

I increased the weights today so I had to reduce the reps on some of the exercises. The goal is to gradually increase the reps as I get stronger.




20 Aug

Is it just me but the day after a rest day I find it really hard to get motivated to get up early and to the gym, or out for a walk, or whatever other physical activity I had planned. It’s like give me an inch and I’ll take a mile. In other words, give me a rest day and I’ll find any excuse to extend it. Blame it on the inner sloth!

So if you hadn’t caught on by now, this was my usual early morning inner psychological warfare waging again. Get up, no stay in bed, get up, no stay in bed, GET UP, !@#$%^ Ceasefire!

Hmm, guess what won out! Yes it was a case of JFDI (just freakin’ do it) this morning. Get up, dress up, show up and get active. Once I was at the gym I decided to make the most of the hour I give myself to get through my workout, so it was heavier weights, faster reps, longer intervals, fewer rests.

And as usual, by the time I left the gym, I was glad I’d made the effort. Sound familiar?!


Baby steps

17 Aug

Running attempt #52 (or so it feels like it) this afternoon. The plan was to try some 60sec jogs with walking inbetween.

Sounds easy.

It wasn’t.

I ended up doing 10 x 10sec shuffles (I’m being generous with this description) spread out during a 10km walk. I can’t lift my left leg very well when attempting to jog. It tends to drag a bit. So not a lot of progress to speak of in 14 weeks. For a runner I’m making a great walker 🙂

Earlier today I did a weights session at the gym. Again I was to start incorporating some leg exercises into my routine. So I did leg presses with an extremely light weight, static lunges, hamstring curls using a Swiss ball, and one leg bridges. No problems while doing them but it will be interesting to see how I feel tomorrow. Hopefully not too sore as I have a 19km walk to do. But…I will have company for part of the walk. Ruth is going to join me! And of course, seeing we are the Caffeinista Sistas, coffee will be on the cards! 🙂


Get the body moving…the mind will follow

13 Aug

I had a week’s break from the gym last week but it was back into it again this morning.

There was the usual initial resistance I experience when I wake and don’t feel like going to the gym but would much rather stay in bed a little longer. However I have come to realise that those are the days I do need to get out and do something. So it’s a case of getting the body moving…the mind then follows!

So ignoring my inner sloth, I got up, got ready and out the door. Having a week off really helped. I felt more refreshed and managed quite a hard session this morning. I love the sensation of lifting heavy weights…well, heavy for me anyway. And you can see tangible results from lifting weights. Beats seeing saggy, soft muscles.

There was a little bit of cardio happening as well – a warm up on the xtrainer and then later a short, sharp interval session on the same machine. At least this doesn’t bother the hammy. And it gets my heart rate up.

Then at lunchtime I managed to get outdoors for a 6km walk. Its good to get away from the desk, the phone calls and the emails that demand to be answered, if only briefly. And the weather was great. There was a cool breeze blowing but there was blue skies and sunshine.

So, as I said, sometimes I have to ignore my mind and just get the body moving. I always feel much better for doing so.


The grunter

30 Jul

When I’m at the gym for my weights session I totally zone out. There’s no idle chit chat for me. I’m there for one purpose and one purpose only – to get through my weights session in the time allotted. I pop my ear phones in, turn my iPod up and get on with it.

This morning I was distracted by The Grunter. I could hear him over my music – every couple of minutes or so my music would be punctuated by very loud grunts. The first time it happened I thought someone had hurt themselves and I swung around to see what had happened. But no….no injury, just a guy looking very red in the face, eyeballs bulging, the veins in his head popping as he strained and grunted under a massive weight balanced on his barbell. Once he had finished his reps he would let the bar drop, crashing to the ground. Time now to stop, gaze into the full length mirror and strike a pose. Then on to the next set or the next exercise…and more grunting. Very.loudly.

Well I guess it did distract me from how I was feeling though I was finding it hard to concentrate given the volume of grunts coming from nearby. I can’t say I have encountered the grunter before so maybe he only makes brief gym appearances or we go at different times. Until this morning.

At lunchtime I went for a 6km walk with the plan of concentrating on my walking form. Today though, nothing seemed to flow and I think at times it was a mish mash of race walking (done really badly) and my normal walking style. I hate to know what I actually look like while walking – maybe it’s better I don’t know! Though some guy did compliment my shoes – my pink/blue Asics gel trainers. Interesting that he commented on my shoes rather than the pace of my walking! Still I was walking faster than him, not hard when he was wearing thongs! 🙂


The work-in-progress me

25 Jul

I was reading an article by Craig Harper today titled ‘I’m a F**kwit sometimes’ and it resonated with me. There are so many self-help ‘gurus’ trying to sell their message to us that we should be awesome, amazing, living life to our maximum potential, achieving our dreams, and being super positive people all the time.

But you know, in real life yes, sometimes I am simply amazing (and believe me, you’ll hear about it) but sometimes I can be so ordinary, super boring, so utterly predictable, half arsed, lazy, well I could go on and on. I can’t be totally switched on, 110% positive, brimming with enthusiasm, and totally embracing life all the time.

And you know, that’s ok.

As Craig says, I am (we all are) a work in progress – totally human, fallible and imperfect. We can have our off days when things just don’t go to plan, as we can have our super awesome days, and every shade in between.

Anyway I was running late for the gym this morning. I had so much gear to organise for the gym, the shower afterwards, the walk at lunchtime (which didn’t happen) – all this so I could get to work early as I was meeting a friend for breakfast. Honestly, the things I do for good coffee, food and company!

And it was so cold. I made the mistake of having a peek at the weather report before getting out of bed. It was minus 5 degrees but apparently felt like minus 10. WTF! No way! Thank goodness I wasn’t walking this morning. Even so I had to tip warm water over my car windscreen, passenger windows and doors, as they had frozen shut.

Once at the gym it was a case of lots of shoulder presses, upright rows, triceps dips and bicep curls, with the odd set of push ups in there just to mix things up. Result? Jelly arms!

The planned 5km walk at lunchtime never happened today because of work pressures – it’s always the way. However I plan on doing the walk tomorrow lunchtime regardless. I’m sure they can do without me for about 50 minutes.

And I’ve been hungry today. Lunch never hit the sides (leftover Tandoori chicken) and my teensy mandarin certainly wasn’t going to hit the mark. Fortunately a work colleague gave me a kiwi fruit and an orange which helped fill me up. Then a little later I had an apple and some almonds. And tonight there’s been some snacking while preparing dinner and getting tomorrow’s lunch organised. Oops :0

So the work-in-progress me has had some hits and some misses today. But that’s ok. That’s life.


Toughen up Tuesday

23 Jul

Actually I think in the 12WBT program it’s known as Tighten up Tuesday but I prefer the term ‘toughen up’. The aim of the day is to tighten up the diet and exercise – no excuses, no cheating, and no slacking off. Hmmm….

So here goes….

An early morning weights session at the gym, focusing on back and chest since I can’t do any of the leg exercises…yet again. So there were the usual lat pull downs, low cable rows, lots of push ups and dumbbell chest presses. And some time on the xtrainer, just to mix things up. And there was no slacking off or opting for easier weights but I still don’t feel like I’m getting a proper workout because I can’t do any leg-based weights. Do I sound frustrated? Yes!

For breakfast I had apple muesli, dolloped with natural yoghurt. I use the Kuranda gluten free, fruit free muesli with quinoa and cacao nibs. It’s delicious. Topped with grated apple and milk, and then dolloped with chobani natural yoghurt it becomes very, very delicious!

Morning tea was some more natural yoghurt with oven roasted strawberries. If you’ve never tasted oven roasted strawberries, you are really missing out on a taste sensation. This method is particularly good for strawberries that aren’t fully ripe and tasty – oven roasting brings out the sweetness and intensifies it. All you need to do is hull them, halve them, and place them on a baking tray (cut side up so they don’t stick to the baking paper) and roast in a 150*c oven for around 30 minutes.

I went for a brisk 5km walk at lunchtime along the cycle path that takes me through Turner. Brisk because there was a rather chilly wind blowing. Normally I walk early in the morning and don’t see anyone but walking at lunchtime I was passed by lots of runners. Sigh. I do miss running. I was very envious of even the slowest plodder today because they can do something I can’t do at the moment – run. We always want what we can’t have.

Today for lunch I had left over potato, spinach and feta tortilla. Sometimes food always tastes better the day after it’s been made and today was no exception. To follow I had a small mandarin from our tree. It might be small in size but it packs a flavour punch that many shop bought mandarins lack.

To deal with the mid-afternoon munchies I snacked on soy, linseed and chia corn thins with cottage cheese. It may sound gross to some but this is actually one of my favourite snacks. To each their own, I always say. Having said that, every so often this afternoon my thoughts would stray to a packet of salt and vinegar chips. Don’t ask me why – this is not normally something I eat nor even usually crave. Maybe I’m lacking salt? Instead I had a licorice tea which actually is better in combating sweet cravings but it does seem to have helped marginally.

Tea tonight was lamb with beetroot puree and herbed peas with ricotta. I love ricotta in any dish. The beetroot puree was different. Gee its messy though – I had beetroot juice everywhere, especially when it came to peeling it once it had roasted, and then pureeing it. Fortunately I remembered to don some gloves for the peeling stage otherwise I’d have red hands now!

In summary I think it was a toughen up day. I came so close to succumbing to the salt & vinegar chips this afternoon. I added a walk at lunchtime, in addition to the weights session I did this morning.

And I’m thinking an early night might be on the cards. Though I do have to pull my finger out and finish off some baby clothes I’m knitting for a baby that has now arrived. And no, I’m not referring to the royal birth!


The fog

16 Jul

And I’m not talking about the fog outdoors but the fog inside my head.

This morning at the gym I struggled through my workout, finding the weights I had been using previously very heavy today. My time on the xtrainer wasn’t much better – it was a hard slog. I had an inkling of this when I first started on the xtrainer as a warm up before the weights session but I initially put it down to just warming up and getting started.

Then I moved to the weights component of my session. First up was a super set comprising assisted pull ups and the incline chest press machine. Something was not quite right. The weights that I usually could lift I was really struggling with this morning. I even had to check to make sure I had selected the right weight. Moving on to the lat pull downs and I felt like I was going to be travelling up with the bar with each rep, and be swinging from the top of the machine.

The final xtrainer session involved intervals and these must the slowest and hardest intervals on record – swimming through mud would be easier.

And somehow I managed to complete 4 sets, 15 reps of push ups without face planting.

The rest of the day was spent in the fog, with a sledgehammer joining in this afternoon. Not looking good.

Hopefully the Vietnamese beef noodle soup I made for tea will work its wonders tonight and I wake revitalised tomorrow. It’s up there with chicken noodle soup as a curative isn’t it? It’s chock full of good stuff like star anise, cinnamon and ginger, and topped with fresh basil, coriander and mint.


One crowded hour

10 Jul

It was peak hour at the gym this morning. I don’t usually do a weights session on a Wednesday but because I’m having brekkie with two of my favourite buddies tomorrow I had changed my schedule around this week. It seems that hump day must be THE day to do the gym thing – there were people everywhere.

And it was arms and shoulders day for me. There seemed to be endless reps and sets of shoulder presses, upright rows, triceps dips, and biceps curls. By the end my arms were like jelly and even several hours later I was still lacking fine motor control! You know you’ve had a good session when that happens!

I had my physio appointment this afternoon – I was worried about what he was going to say about my lack of progress in the hammy department but he surprised me. In fact he was a lot more optimistic about my progress than I was. It’s also a possibility that sitting on the upright bike at the gym (with their oversized seats) on Saturday may have aggravated the tendon and set up local irritation and swelling. That will teach me. In future I’ll stick to my own bike on the wind trainer.

Also, as part of my jog/walk program for New York he wants me to follow the Couch to 5km program. This will provide structure to building up my running.

So here we go again…..


Power hour

4 Jul

It was my second gym session for the week and this morning it was focused on shoulders, back, calves and triceps. I’ve skipped the hamstring exercises until the tendonitis settles down.

I was reading Gretchen Rubin’s blog, The Happiness Project where she was talking about heuristics ie the quick, commonsense principles we apply to solve a problem or make a decision. I liked the idea of re-naming my gym session to something more energising ie Power Hour. Sounds far more powerful and inspirational than ‘weights session’!

My power hour at the gym was spent doing upright rows, shoulder presses, calf raises, rear deltoid raises, triceps kickbacks, French press, seated row and push ups. The session started and finished with 5 mins on the xtrainer. I opted for heavier weights this morning so the final reps of some sets were a struggle but that will improve as my strength improves.

The tendonitis doesn’t feel so bad today. I haven’t done any exercises such as lunges to aggravate it so hopefully this will help with recovery.

Otherwise it was just a long day and I was glad to get home tonight. The butter chicken we had for tea was delicious, as was the lamb Biriyani we had last night. I packed ingredients for tomorrow’s lunch of herbed ricotta with roasted pumpkin open sandwich. It doesn’t look like an awful lot so I sure hope its filling! 🙂