Monday Morning Mountain. What better way to start the week then getting up early, and beating yourself up on an Arc Trainer with a session of Mountain. I started with a five minute warm up with the incline on level 5 and the resistance level on 25. By the end of the session I was able to do more than 5 minutes at incline level 20, and resistance level 100. I also spent 14 minutes of the hour workout at resistance level 100. This is a first for me! The use of a heart rate monitor is very motivating, it really propelled me to push harder on the machine because I was attempting to get my heart rate up to my anaerobic levels. For me anything 150 bpm and above is the anaerobic threshold.
I’m not sure how many actual calories I burned because ¾ of the way though the workout I think I drowned the heart rate monitor in sweat, and it stopped working. I love being the big sweat covered guy at the gym, people do double takes, or check my shirt out from the corner of their eyes as they walk past me, I think most people are incredulous to the amount of sweat that I am pouring out during a workout. My shirts always look as if I poured a five gallon bottle of water on my shirt, and my head and face look like I just got out of a pool.
The funny thing is as I’m working out, I ‘m always checking my shirt to see if I am going to soak through it, if doesn’t look like I’m going to make it I always step it up a notch. I am also checking out the floor below me, I want to see a puddle below my feet that looks like the one James used to leave behind. It would literally look like he had been incontinent and just lost it. That’s what I want to see, that’s how I know I’m giving it everything that I have, and not just go through the motions.
You see so many people at the gym get on a cardio machine, and they look like zombies. It’s almost as if they think by just getting on a machine and moving at a comfortable pace they are going to get a good burn. I don’t think there’s enough education out there for most people to understand what it takes to improve their physical health, if you aren’t pushing you aren’t working, and if you aren’t working your just there…
I’ve made two simple conclusions after my V02 test in Malibu. First my anaerobic level is 150 bpm, and above at this level I am burning calories at my maximum ability. When working at this level I breathe hard, and sweat more. Second, the more I sweat the more I know I’m burning calories. I’m sure there’s more to it, but if you don’t break a sweat then you aren’t pushing yourself. That is unless you have some genetic disorder which prevents you from sweating, and seeing as there aren’t many people with the disorder, most people just don’t work hard enough. Am I the crazy one, or is everyone else just not crazy enough?
A brief recap of my evening (last night) I title it “Obsession, and the subconscious mind”. I know I am making significant progress towards my subconscious accepting the desire to lose weight. Rolling into my second week back home, I have yet to have a moment of true weakness when it comes to food. I have definitely had cravings, but nothing that gave me enough reason to stop and eat some crap. It has been really easy saying no to family as well, I think they see how determined I am, and don't want to get in the way of my progress. I think my time away was equally beneficial for them as it was for me, had I lost that weight here under normal circumstances I would still have gotten the "Oh it's okay just eat one".
In any case I think I was sleepwalking. I had a dream about working out and food, when I started mumbling "35 calories times 5 servings is 135 calories (Clearly in sleep I lost the Asian gene for math)". I kept mumbling it to the point where I felt like I was caught in a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from, I think this actually called Sleep Paralysis. Somehow I found a way to get up and go to the bathroom, once in the bathroom I peed. I then turned right around and hopped on the scale. Looked at the number and went shit, I have to work harder. I stumbled back to bed, slept for about 20 minutes and got up repeating the entire cycle. This must have happened at least 5 or 6 times, until finally I went back to sleep for another couple of hours.
I don’t know how to interpret what occurred, but I do realize that a significant portion of my emotional well being is predicated on my desire to lose weight; this manifestation of some deep place can’t be all bad could it?
The next morning I weighed myself and found myself exactly the same weight as the day before. It wasn’t stressful or disheartening, to some degree I am happy that something like this occurred because it’s an indicator to me that I have made a change in someplace deeper than just the conscious mind. Some deep dark beast has been awoken and won’t take fat for an answer.
My evening personal training session with Zap went very well, I have to admit he is really stepping up his game to give me what I want, which is constant activity and intensity. I warmed up first on the incline treadmill with a 3 minute 3 mph start, and then increased the incline by 1 every minute for 15 straight minutes; I rounded out the time by doing an additional 2 minutes of recovery at an incline of 10. Immediately following the treadmill, I got on one of the Precor Elliptical machines, put the incline on 4, and the resistance on 10, and went for a Miracle Mile. It took me 8:32.
Our session started with seated shoulder presses with 30lb dumbbells, 4 sets 20 reps each set. In-between sets I had two additional exercises the first a Burpee to Box Jump, and second from a planked position on the bench I had to hop my legs towards my chest and then back to a plank position.
After the above circuit was completed he had me do 1 minute of cart pushers, this activity was coupled in a superset with shoulder presses on a balance ball. With the shoulder presses I used a lighter weight 25lbs, and started with both hands straight up, lower one side at a time, and then pressing both together. So a single repetition would be left, right, and then together. Starting with my second set of cart pushers I told Zap I want to do them for two minutes. On the fourth one I went for 3 minutes, which of course felt like an hour.
The third circuit started with a squat and cable press, then moved into side to sides which is featured below, then we moved into timed big ass rope activity, and finished with weighted standing crunches. I cannot believe how much stronger I am, the first time I did the side to sides I could barely get 5 done properly, and that was with rests between each one. I am starting to these well enough that I think the next time we will do them with the bosu.
My final two exercises were a superset or triceps extensions with more weighted standing crunches. I had to do 400 triceps extensions and 200 crunches. By the end of the workout my heart rate monitor showed that I had burned more than 1000 calories. This is exactly what I needed.
Beginning my second week was easier than I thought it would be, there was little to no hesitation this morning. Habits are a funny thing; repeat something enough and it starts to become innate. I am starting to feel like the person I was in my twenties. I am calmer, more collected, and developing a discipline for personal challenges. That’s what all of this “journey” is, right an exercise in self determination, wrapped up in one great big personal challenge right?
All in all a good second Monday, by for now…