Thursday, November 06, 2008
Workout Routine
Monday/Wednesday/Friday: Endurance
Stretch
Upper Body Weights (I skip weights on Friday)
Run (usually 4-6 miles)
Ab Work
Stretch/Massage with Foam Roller

Tuesday/Thursday: Intensity
Stretch
Lower Body Weights (3 sets of 10 each)
- lunges
- squats
- crossover lunges
- plie squats with leg raises
Plyometric Exercises (3 sets of 10 each - no weights)
- jumping lunges
- jumping squats
- skaters
- jumping plie squats
- side to side jumps
The Tabata Protocol
- walk 5 minutes (8 incline/3.5 mph)
- max sprint 20 seconds (8 incline/7 mph)
- walk 30 seconds
- repeat sprinting and walking for 4 minutes
- walk 5 minutes
I run/walk stairs until I'm totally wiped out
Stretch/Massage with Foam Roller

Monday/Wednesday/Friday workouts are actually much longer, but the Tuesday/Thursday ones are pretty hardcore. I just started doing "The Tabata Protocol" and I love it. It's only 4 minutes, but it is intense. If you decide to try it, have a water bottle and a towel handy because you will sweat more in those 4 minutes than you thought possible. Also, do your max sprint speed, not mine. When I started, my max speed was 6 mph (and I'd been doing minute long sprints on an incline a few times a week for 6 months). The Tabata Protocol was actually originally for speed skating, but you can apply it to almost anything (I watched some Crossfit folks doing Tabata squats on YouTube, but I don't think I'm ready for that yet).

The "ab work" isn't much because I have some muscle separation and I need to be careful not to make it worse. Lately, I've been doing these exercises I found here, but I don't push it.

I was just thinking that I started exercising again just about a year ago. I hadn't exercised in a year and I had been on strict bedrest for 10 weeks and limited activity for 8 months. I certainly wasn't up for sprints. I started exercising when the babies were two months old and at first I was just walking, for maybe 15 minutes at a time. I slowly increased my time at the gym (and on the elliptical at home).

When the babies were seven months old I decided I wanted to push myself more and I picked up Jillian Michaels' book Making the Cut. Her workouts are incredibly varied and mix weight lifting with calisthenics and sprinting (alternating flat and inclines sprints). The idea is that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) challenges you more, increases your fitness level faster and boosts your metabolism (there's also some research that indicates HIIT suppresses your appetite while steady cardio increases it). Her book has a 30 day routine and I did it twice and then I just started doing my own thing and that has evolved into this workout routine. The first time I did one of her uphill sprints (10 incline/5.5 mph) I seriously thought I was going to puke (and I went slower the next time!).

I don't plan on doing it forever, though. I think the secret (for me) with working out is to change up what I do so that I don't get bored and so I'm challenging myself in different ways.

I have also found that motivates me is not my weight. I have always managed to maintain a decent weight, but I have also always felt like I would like to lose "just 5 more pounds". When I picked up Jillian Michaels' book that was actually my goal. Just 5 more pounds. But, about a week into it, I realized that even if I lost 5 pounds, I would still probably want to lose 5 more and that was a silly way to live my life. I just decided to be happy with where I am at. And, for some reason I feel way more motivated at the gym now. I guess because I'm doing it because I want to and because it feels good (not just long term, but in the moment and then throughout the day afterwards). I find if I just focus on feeling good, a lot of things fall into the right place.
posted by lochan | link
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Name: Laura

I have five kids including triplets. I'm too busy to blog, but I do anyway (uh, sometimes).

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