I took Benny boy for another 2.2 mile walk this morning, I’m sure people in the neighborhood that I walk through thought I was having convulsions because I was using part of the walk as my dynamic warm up. Picture yourself having breakfast in your kitchen, drinking a cup of coffee, reading the Washington Post, and you glance outside and see a large Asian Man with a little white dog doing butt kickers, and leg kicks down your sidewalk. Anyone with a modicum of sanity would say WTF?
This morning when I got to the gym I decided it was a day for treading, on my new found love the Arc Trainer. I warmed up for 5 minutes, and then got right into the meat of the program raising the resistance level up to level 100, for the first 5 minutes. During the active recovery I brought the resistance down to level 40. I continued this pattern for 4 minutes on, 4 minutes off, 3 minutes on, 3 minutes off, 2 minutes on, 2 minutes off, 1 minute on, and 1 minute off. At the end of the cycles I started a series of sprints.
All of my speed sprints were done at resistance level 40, while my more difficult sprints were done with incline level 20 and resistance of 100. My sprinting went as follows 1 minute speed, 1 minute off, 1 minute hard, 1 minute off, 1 minute speed, 1 minute off, 1 minute hard, 1 minute off, 1 minute speed, 1 minute off, 1 minute speed, 1 minute off, then lowered to resistance level 30 for 1 minute of speed, 1 minute off, and then finished by doing 2 minutes straight of full incline and full resistance. Today was the first day I was able to go for an entire hour on the Arc Trainer.
Note to people who sweat like me. Find yourself a local outdoors store or runners store and buy yourself a tube of Electrolyte Tablets. I ran out today and didn’t have a chance to get to the store, and I have felt run down all day. I even managed to drink 4 quarts of water after my morning cardio session and still just felt off. Sam in Malibu recommended them to me, and I am a firm believer in them. Nuun seems to be the most popular brands but there are others out there, just don’t get suckered to buying a package of Sugaraid I mean Gatorade.
I spent a few hours at work today playing catch up, but had to go home early because one of the great surprises on my return home from Malibu was to find that the A/C is out in my condo, so most of my afternoon was spent waiting for HVAC contractors. Word to future home buyers, new home developments are only as good as the company building them, this place was purchased during the upswing of the real estate building boom from a few years ago, when houses were being thrown together. The compressor inside the A/C has gone out, yet I have to replace the entire unit. It of course is no surprise that the machine which was installed at the time of purchase is a cheap piece of crap where finding parts is like going to a nunnery and trying to find a dirty magazine.
Before you write a check to buy a new home make sure you are buying from a home builder who gives a shit, and not one who is going to build a you a piece of crap and call it pumpkin pie, by the time you are tasting the crap they are long gone. BTW the neighborhood in which they are building doesn’t mean squat, the more they paid for the land the more likely they are to cut corners.
I had to cancel my evening session with Zap because I was stuck waiting for a repairman. When the guy did finally arrive I was told that basically I would need to replace the entire unit. This put me in such a good mood I needed to workout, I was able to get a session with Ali.
The workout started with a warm up on the treadmill. I walked at 3.3 mph for 3 minutes, and then began to raise the incline 1 level every minute for 15 increases. At level 15 I stopped walking and put my feet on the edge of the treadmill. After 30 seconds I did a 20 second uphill sprint at 5 mph. I was able to do 1 more before I had to start my session. Doing the sprints is much harder on my own, not having a partner or a trainer pushing you makes it far more difficult to dig deep enough to find the courage to keep fighting during a tough treadmill sprint.
Why is that it’s so much easier when a stranger stands next to you keeping you accountable? What happens in the human mind that alters our behavior so much? Are we innately that vane or egotiscal that the presence of another gives us that extra burst? Or is it something deeper such a desire to please and not disappoint?
The session started with kick boxing knee blows. Ali held a heavy bag while placing his arms around the bag; he then positioned his trainer’s mitts at about stomach height around the bag. I was told to knee the mitts alternating legs for 1 minute. Immediately following the low knee blows, he moved the mitts higher so I was forced to jump or push off my opposing leg. Again we did this for 1 minute.
After concluding the second minute I moved right into 25 crunches while lying on a stability ball. He then each had me pull two heavy punching bags across the gym floor, I was told to do three sprints back pedaling, with each sprint getting faster. As soon as I was done with my third sprint we moved right back into boxing which you see below.
The session was fast paced, I don’t think about the time, or the sequence of the exercises. I actually can’t recall the entire series of exercises that we did, it is literally one after the other. The only time we have a moment is when he is explaining something new.
I do recall doing some new exercises which provided a nice change. At one point I was on my knees, from this position I threw a medicine ball at Ali, and then leaned forward to hit the ground in order to perform a push up. During the time I was doing a push up Ali would roll the medicine ball back at me, so I would have to pick it up and do it again. Another new exercise involved the Reebok step. I was told to tap the step with my left foot then my right foot, then come back down and take two steps. It felt like I was learning a new dance, with most of the weight on my calf muscles. Ali had me doing these for 30 second periods, but would tell me I had to reach a certain number of actual footsteps.
At the end of each of my sessions with Ali I feel exhausted, I’m soaking wet, and I feel like I’m making significant progress. When session started today, I really didn’t want to workout. I just wanted to go home and lay in bed. It was a challenge just getting to the gym, the warm up helped eliminate some of these feelings but his pushing me is what got me over the hump. By the end of the workout I felt awesome, it was the last workout of the week, and I feel great about getting through my first week back home. I’m elated that I stuck with my workout plan, and was able to adhere to a good meal plan. I really want a cheat meal, but I don’t feel comfortable with having one until I reach a certain number. Hopefully I’ll be there next week, because I could kill for some Indian, Greek, Sushi, Steak, and Mexican.
By for now…