Monthly Archives: April 2009

My Workout Rules

  1. Show up.
  2. The mind will give up before the body is ready to quit. Ignore the mind; trust the body.
  3. Keep track. Record every workout.
  4. Plan for the week and month. I concentrate on a different kind of workout (balance, unilateral, fat burning, strength) each month. By planning the workouts for the week and month I stay on track.
  5. Mix it up.
  6. Set a goal for the week/month/quarter/year and keep your eye on goals.
  7. Keep on learning something new.
  8. Keep flexible.
  9. Stretch.
  10. Listen to your body.
  11. Have fun, but not too much.  Do something hard, but not too long.

Stability/Balance Workout

This is one of the workouts I’m rocking these days. I warm with just enough cardio to begin to get a sweat on. Then I do this in a circuit style – 10 exercises in a row without stopping except for a quick sip of water. Rest for 2 minutes and do it all again. While each individual exercise doesn’t seem hard, put together you finish with no choice except to stand with perfect posture.

I begin sweating about 15 seconds into this and don’t stop until I’m in the shower running cool water over me.

1. Reverse Ball Crunch to Push-up
2. Ball Cobra
3. Wood Chop (high to low) with 5 or 10# weight plate or medicine ball
4. Bird-dogs (15 each side)
5. Hanging leg raises -raising to both sides and front -15 of each
6. Step-up to Balance with military press (step to the side)
7. Backward Lunges with DBs
8. Box Jumps
9. Wall Squats with DB- arms extended out in front
10. Bridge

Fun with Numbers

Numbers can drive me crazy. Not only because, as one of the first students ever to use “new math” back in early ’60s, I’m somewhat flawed at performing it. But also because numbers can be in themselves confusing.

This weekend I used 2 simple online calculators: body fat and body mass. The body fat calculator told me I was 32% fat; this makes me obese by the normal calculations. The BMI calculator said my BMI of 25 was in the good range.


So I went deeper into the numbers. If I lost 10# -all fat- what would the numbers show? My BF would come down to 24% – you will never see my abs at that % (women need a BF of >18% for visible abs), but I would be quite healthy and happy there. My BMI only drops 2 points, keeping me in the healthy range.

So apparently I’m just on the edge. A good place to arrest this trend and move it into the other direction. An attainable goal.

Now how to do it?

I wish -vehemently- that I could force myself to journal every bite of food I eat. I’ve grown past that and fight it like a petulant child. However, I can come up with a basic plan: what to eat every day for most of the day. And only alter what I’m eating for dinner each night.

That’s a workable plan.

I can calculate my calories for my workouts a bit tighter. THAT’S a workable plan.

I might even talk to trainer-pal Adam about the new bodybugg. Would that be a workable plan? We’ll have to see. My problems with this before were wearing something on my arm all day, and paying all the time for the “privelege” of accessing the software that goes with the hardware. We’ll see…

How do develop a plan of attack for your fitness and commit to working it? Any and all tips welcome.

Ten Minute Challenges, Week of 4/20

I’m taking this week’s challenges directly from one current regular workouts.

Monday: Planks. Choose any variation you’d like (see last week’s video for inspiration). Do it for one minute.

Tuesday: Wall Squats/Ball squats.

Wednesday: Crunches. I’m doing mine on a ball..

Thursday: Hop/Skip and Jump. Let’s have some fun. Just hop, skip and jump whenever you have the chance today. Around the grocery store? Through the parking lot? Be careful jumping up the stairs.

Friday: 21s. These are broken up bicep curls. Grab a comfortable weight, a soup can, or stretchy bands. With your hands near your side, raise your hands until they’re parallel to the ground, then drop them back down. Do a total of 7 times. Then raise your hands back to parallel and squeeze from that position up 7 times. Finally drop your arms back down and do 7 complete bicep curls.

Plank Variations

Since I’ve been writing these 10 Minute Challenges, I thought it would fun to show variations for some of the exercises I list.  (we shall not mention that certain people have been bugging me for months to do some videos….) For me, the most logical place to start was the very first exercise I did this time:  The Plank.

There are probably dozens of variations on the Plank, so I stuck with 9 that progress from the simplest to the most challenging.

Variations shown:

1. Basic Plank

2. Plank with knee touch

3. Plank with free leg knee touch

4. Plank to Push-Up

5. Plank with cross knee

6. Plank on Swiss ball

7. Plank on ball to reverse crunch

8. Plank on ball to reverse crunch to push-up

9 One legged plank on ball to reverse crunch

Which of these are your favorites?

I mentioned that I can’t really do #3.  I had foot surgery a couple years ago, and can’t often put that strain/weight on my bent left toe.  It’s not that the move is too hard to do- it’s that my toe can’t it.

Ten Minutes Challenges: wo April 12th

Ten minutes challenges are very simple idea: Do a movement for one minute and repeat it 10 times throughout the day.  These are fairly simple exercises that can re-energize us and inspire us -and our families- to get moving.

This week:
Monday: Steps 2×2. Head up a flight of stairs 2 at a time; then walk down in normal fashion.  The first minute try to complete this task 4 to 6 times.  No need to race on this one; concentrate on pushing up on each step.

Tuesday: Push Ups. Everyone can do some form of pushup whether you push up from the counter’s edge, from a wall, or from the floor, on your knees or your toes. No time set on this one.  Do 10 pushups each time.   By the end of the day, you’ll have done 100 pushups!

Wednesday: Jumping Jacks! Remember how much fun these were?  See how many you can do a minute, then see if you can do just one more each time.

Thursday: Bird Dogs. On the floor, on your hands and knees.  Keeping your head straight (looking down not out) raise your left arm and right leg straight out.  Hold for 5 seconds and return arm and leg to floor.  Alternate sides.

Friday: Foot Push. Stand erect, hands on hips.  Lift one foot slightly off the ground; balancing on one foot.  Keeping the foot parallel to the ground, gently push the free foot forward as far as you can while maintaining your balance.  You can bend the support leg but do not lean forward.  Try for 3-4 times on each side in your minute.

These exercises were designed to give you a little touch of a full body workout.  First your legs, then your arms, next some cardio and core and finishing with stability.  Want to head outdoors one day?  Play either a game of HopScotch or Leap Frog!

Shaking It Up

Had a great workout today.  It was an upper body day, but when I went to free weight section, there wasn’t a bench available anywhere.  Undaunted, I grabbed a Swiss (stability) ball and just kept on working.

Specific warm up: 3 sets of pull-ups on the gravaton.

First up bridge DB chest press on the ball, pair with skull crushers on the ball.

Next: Bent-over Rows, kneeling on the swiss ball, paired with 20#bb bicep curls.

Then: 10 push-ups with shoulder presses, then tricep extension.

At that point I gave up on the ball and did some standing cable rows and 2 kinds of tricep push downs to complete the workout.

I barely pulled my bra off before I took my shower…