04/22/2011 Welcome to Biggest Loser Arlington, VA aka Rouie Ridge
My morning routine was displaced by the HVAC guys who FINALLY came today to install my new air conditioner. I just love the fact that this occurred on the one day that I actually didn’t need it. I’ve been sweating my balls off for a week now, and the first day I have A/C I no longer need it. I do have to thank them for taking long enough that it wasn’t worth going back to work today.
To break out of my poor attitude the last few days I figured today would a perfect opportunity to relive my time in Malibu. Friday is apparently a day that people in the Clarendon area don’t work out, so I was able to book my WSC trainer Ali for two sessions today. I had a session with him at 2:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. In between I got in a session of treading with a bit of a twist.
My first appointment with Ali started with my usual treadmill warm up, except this time I was able to maintain a speed of 3.1 mph for the first 14 minutes, and then in the final minute I raised the incline level to 18, but reduced the speed to 2.8 mph. Boxing is how we usual start a session, it’s a good way to get the entire body moving, and it doesn’t take long for my heart rate to shoot up.
Ali’s focus today was to work my back and biceps. I got to flip the heavy bag again, this time across the floor of the “aerobics room”; this was coupled with a squat and lift of a medicine ball. He also had me work on a side-step squat, and row using the resistance bands, which was supersetted with TRX body weight back rows. I again have to say the TRX is awesome, it’s one of the few devices were you can feel muscle soreness developing as you work.
After the TRX we put the gloves back on for more boxing, this time with addition of knee strikes. As its Friday and I’ve at this point worked out 8 times already, my feet were feeling less than nimble, so the knee strikes made me feel uncoordinated, as it’s necessary to push off the balls of your feet to get a good strike on the pads. In addition to the boxing, TRX, and resistance bands, we did more work on the Free Motion cable machine, again focusing on the back. One of the more memorable exercises he had me do, was to get on a spin bike, (not feeling good putting my large behind on a bicycle seat), and while pedaling he had me due back rows with a resistance band, Ali held the other side increasing and decreasing the tension during my pedaling. Trying to keep a good rhythm pedaling, and at the same time set a completely different rhythm for the back rows was a challenge. Trying to do this for two minutes straight was even more of a challenge.
By the end of the session, I could barely get my arms up to take off the boxing gloves. It was at this point I asked him about getting another session in today.
Following my session with Ali, I went to the locker room, changed my shirts, ate an Orange, reloaded my water bottles with water and electrolyte tablets, and grabbed my iPod.
I attempted an escalated version of treading, let’s call it treading plus. Normal treading involves working the highest intensity level you can handle on any cardio machine, you maintain this high intensity level for 5 minutes, then spend the next 5 minutes in active recovery, you follow this pattern for 4 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, and then perform a couple of sprints. Essentially it’s an on (intense work), and off (active recovery) workout, almost like extended intervals.
I got the brilliant idea to add an additional 6 minute primer in front of the 5 minute period. By doing this I added 12 minutes to the overall session, but more importantly I raised the difficulty of the entire workout exponentially. My weapon of choice today, was of course Senor Arc Trainer.
The entire treading session is found here. The gist of what I did is that on all the “on” parts I set the incline level 20, and the resistance level to 100. All the recovery periods were done at incline level of 10, and resistance level of 50. At the end of the treading portion I did 2 extra sprints at incline level 20 and resistance level 100. The final 5 sprints were done at incline level 10 and resistance level 50. All the sprints were done 1 minute on, and then 1 minute in active recovery. When I finished I felt I had accomplished a significant feat. It’s sad I know…
Went back to the locker room again, changed my shirts again, but this time I needed to change my socks, and boxers. While changing I smelled something which reminded me of a litter box, so I started looking around, I even looked underneath the bench in the locker room, that’s when I realized it was me, I had sweat so much that I smelled like pee. I guess at some point you are expelling so much sweat that the concentration of urea rises. I ate an apple to recharge.
Ali started me off with a short warm-up on the stair master, it’s the type of stair climbing machine that actually has a revolving set of steps. We went for 5 minutes increasing the speed at which the steps appear every minute. After the warm up we started the second session again with boxing.
We went hard with the boxing. He had me do a combination of punches and then he wanted me to push him backwards like he was a football tackling sled. In between the combinations he would pick one type of punch then have me burnout on that particular punch. Example he had me do a quick combination of left jab, right hook, and left cross, then I had to do one hundred hooks, left then right, this was done without rest.
Again he focused the workout on biceps and back, except this time each exercise added the elements of the core. Instead of just doing a dumbbell row, he had me go into a planked position on the bench with 1 hand, and then row the dumbbell with the other hand.
Ali also introduced me to the Reebok slide. The slide is an interesting device it mimics the motion of skating. You put on black covers which look hospital booties, then step onto a grey rectangular slab of plastic, once on the plastic you push off each side mimicking the motion of a speed skater, it involves work from a combination of muscles in your legs both ones which are crucial to everyday life and some that rarely get used. To increase the difficulty of the basic motion Ali had me touch a cone which was set just on the outside of one of the sides of the slide, then when I reached the other side he would toss me a medicine ball, which I would have to throw right back at him.
After the slide and a couple of more Free Motion exercises, we went back to boxing this time working on some kicks, and then we moved into combinations with kicks and punches. I know that I’m never going to be a kick boxing sensation, but I wouldn’t mind having a boxer’s body.
As I’m typing I’m starting to blur together the sessions I’ve had with Ali this week, we are moving so quickly between exercises and I am focusing so intensely on each motion that I have a hard time recalling everything we do in a session.
The week ended about as well as it started, I feel better by the day, except right now I could use a deep tissue massage. My body has the type of soreness that stretching won’t relieve. I’m trying to find somewhere to get a massage this weekend so I will be rejuvenated for next week, you wouldn’t believe how hard it is trying to make an appointment for a deep tissue massage around my neighborhood. Apparently everyone gets them, or people keep standing appointments.