Circuits and new cardio program

Small turnout to circuit training yesterday.  Just 6 of us and the trainer went outside to set up some exercise stations.

We started doing push ups, sit ups and squats as a group, then we went around the stations. First round was 30 seconds of each station, then 45 and then one minute.

The stations were: jogging with burpees, squats with a weight, throwing a medicine ball in the air while standing from seated position, bosu planks, turning from side to side with a weight for obliques, Swiss ball crunches and kettle bell squats.

I was probably the most unfit of those that turned up and sometimes wished for a break but there was basically no breaks at all.  It kicked my butt but I felt good afterwards.  I didn’t mind being outside where everyone walking or driving past could see.  I just felt proud of what I was doing and it was nice to be part of a group.

I started my new cardio program today. The treadmill settings have been increased a lot, and doing supersets of spin bike with push ups is a challenge.  When I got to the third exercise, the elliptical on gear 14 I just couldn’t do it for 10 minutes. I felt like my heart was going to burst by that stage.  I only managed 2 minutes.  I might try a lower gear and build up to 14.   Managed the rest of the program okay, but boy was I a sweaty mess afterwards! 

Loving the progress I’m making!  Will have a day off from gym tomorrow.

Friday Circuits

Every Friday at lunch time my gym offers a 1 hour circuits session.  Circuits reminds me of doing phys-ed at high school.  A group of about 10 of us went out onto the grass outside the gym where little exercise stations had been set up.  The idea is that 1 or 2 people start at each station, do the exercise for 2 minutes, then a whistle is blown and we rotate to the next station.

imageToday’s stations were:
Agility ladder  (pictured)
Sled drag (weighted)
Tyre flip  (pictured)
Stick wrestling (with a partner)
Running with weights
Tyre throwing

Apparently Debbie (trainer) has an army background, which explains why these exercises are a bit different.

Today was my second attempt at circuits and it was hard.  Hard is good, I guess.  Circuits combines both cardio and weight exercises so it didn’t take long for me to get my heart rate up and keep it up.

imageBut there are some things I don’t like about circuit training. The exercises are uncontrolled. By this I mean it’s not like using machines inside the gym that are specially designed to target a specific muscle, while not causing harm to any of your other muscles.  Doing circuits, you’re often using a lot of muscles at once, but often I was scared I was going to do some damage.  For example, in flinging tyres across the field I was worried I’d put my back out.  I also didn’t like getting my hands dirty flipping tractor tyres in the damp grass  (prissy, I know…)

imageMidway through we were asked to do fireman lifts (pictured) with a partner.  I’ve never attempted this before and I didn’t give it a go… don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet  (my back was already starting to hurt).

Overall, it was nice to do something different, but it was difficult.  I will keep going along once a week or once a fortnight for some variation.  These sort of drills "toughen you up" but aren’t overly pleasant to do, because they push me a bit further than what I’m comfortable with.  I know being pushed hard is good, but I really dislike it when it gets to the point that I’m not enjoying it and it hurts.

Maybe I’ll harden up a bit and get used to it in the future.

I rewarded myself with a chicken burger and strawberry milkshake at the gym café afterward.  Good idea or bad idea?

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