Yesterday I discussed a bit how I’m re-committing to my fitness routine with a new outlook- to push myself. To challenge myself. To make my body feel sore and tired again and really reap the benefits of working out instead of just doing it for the sake of doing it. This new mindset will of course be balanced with adequate rest and recovery to avoid injury, otherwise what would be the point? But I’ve been erring a bit too much on the ‘safe’ side for a while, and it’s time to challenge that.
Strength training is the first area I am tackling with this, because I feel like it has suffered the most. As I got closer to my half marathon in March, I didn’t want to overtax my muscles and backed off my efforts in the office gym, which is where I do my weight work. Work also got very busy, and I was skipping many of my afternoon sessions because there was too much work I ‘had’ to do. If I did manage to squeeze it in, I just went to my go to exercises and was over and done with in 20 minutes.
These were actually just excuses, which deep down I knew. I was bored with my routine. Not only was I not trying out new moves, I wasn’t upping the intensity. So I didn’t want to do it. I also no longer saw changes in my body. Yet another cautionary tale about the need for variety in your fitness regime.
At first, I started looking into group classes like Body Pump or CrossFit that so many people rave about. Since I do most of my working out on my own, the class mentality is appealing to me. But ultimately, it’s too much money and I couldn’t consistently find times early enough in the day for me to know that I would keep up a steady commitment. And the more I thought about it, since I have a free office gym, it just seemed silly to pay for such things that honestly I can do myself.
So, the new game plan: Each week, change the routine. There are so many great moves and ideas out there to keep things interesting! This means both new moves and upping the intensity of current ones. I will aim for four solid sessions in the office gym of at least 25-30 minutes. I will have two routines that alternate days and focus on different muscle groups, although my core will get a workout each day. I will keep integrating planks and push-ups on a regular basis, because I like these and they’re good exercises to maintain.
This plan began this week in earnest. Monday’s routine was the real tough one, but I’m not repeating it until tomorrow, so I’ll discuss Tuesday’s and today’s routine, which focused on core, lower back and the arms.
After a quick warm up, I did a plank for at least a minute (please forgive the picture quality!):
Then I did three sets of the following:
The leg raises and twists were the truly new additions- I did both when I began strength training last year but dropped them for the more efficient plank. My core muscles were a tad sore the next day- which means my plan is working.