Workout Wednesday

Okay. Today was good.

I’ll admit, I slept really well last night. And we were just a little ahead of schedule this morning. (Does it really matter? Not at all!)

But today I did five sets, in 21 minutes. I hit 750/1000. I did 100 sit-ups and push-ups and plank jump-ins (they are the worst) and hop heel clicks. I did 150 squats. I did 200 jumping jacks. In 21 minutes, with some rest in there.

On Friday, I did 750 and it took forever. It was also the middle of the afternoon and hot out. But here’s the table difference:

Jumping Jacks50*440*5
Plank Jump-Ins25*420*5

So, I don’t know what difference sets versus reps make, if it does, in this kind of workout. I paused more doing 25 sit-ups, I got more in my head on Friday. I did not rest nearly as much this morning. But does time of day change things that much? Caffeine? Having eaten? Humidity? I don’t know.

What I do know is that I’ll be working to normalize five sets, and pushing hard to stick to 22 minutes, maximum.

I’m glad I’m tracking this stuff. Fun fact! I started doing this in May, and really tracking things in June. Here’s my workout two months ago, and my workout today:

Jumping Jacks60200
Plank Jump-Ins18100

And you know what? In both of these workouts, I did more than nothing. But man, progress feels good!

Friday Freakout! 750!

I have been doing bodyweight exercises, building reps and sets to get to 1,000 reps. (I think if you go here, it’s the most recent post about it.) I have struggled, uh, the entire time with doing the exercise consistently–my worst streak of not doing any bodyweight was four days, until earlier this week, when it was five. So today, even though I did not get up early, I took my time and worked out.

And I got to 750. And probably no one cares except me, but guys, I did 100 sit-ups. I am proud of myself. And I’m not going to blow this lead by eating like a moron tonight! I am breaking the weight loss plateau I’ve been on for three weeks. It’s happening! Believe it!

Workout Wednesday

Let’s talk about timing.

Right now, this is my day’s bodyweight workout:

Jumping Jacks404160
Hop Heel Clicks20480
Plank Jump-Ins20480
Grand Total600

This works well right now. I’m trying to build endurance, and rest less frequently between (or, in the case of sit-ups generally and the third set particularly, within) sets, because I’ll lose myself in thought and also, not exercising is always better than exercising. I’m trying to get down to the workout above in 20 minutes.

And right now, I’m hitting about 21’10”, on average. I wonder if that’s all right–it’s the difference of 70 seconds–but I have gotten faster since I’ve started timing things.

The faster pace is for two reasons, I’d bet. One: I’m doing eighty sit-ups in a workout right now, which I’m pretty dang proud of. But I’d like to have better flow, and better control–I bet there’s something different about doing 20 sit-ups in a row versus 5 and 5 and 6 and 4 with little bursts of rest between. And two: I really want to hit a thousand, but keep my morning schedule in tact.

Hitting 1,000 looks like this, by the way:

Jumping Jacks505250
Hop Heel Clicks305150
Plank Jump-Ins305150

If I can get all that done in 30 minutes, I’ll be happy. So here’s the steps I am going to take by the end of the year to accomplish this:

  1. Get down to 20 minutes on four sets.
  2. Increase the number of reps to 25.
  3. Get down to 22 minutes on four sets.
  4. Increase the number of sets to 5.
  5. Increases the reps of jumping jacks to 50.
  6. Get up to five sets, 50×5 and 30x5x5.

I believe I can do this, except as I finish the second set! But it’s an achievable goal, I believe.

Now if I could only find a replacement for plank jump-ins, because I hate them. Any suggestions, fitness folks who may have stumbled upon this blog?

Workout Wednesday (7/22/20)

Enter: the Bicycle!

We found a bicycle refurbisher just south of us, and I picked up a blue 7-speed. B’s been teaching me how to best shift gears–yes, I rode a 21 speed bike and had no idea–and we’ve done a few rides.

I haven’t driven to work this week. Rode my bike Sunday, rode over on Monday, rode over yesterday. I’m enjoying it! I’ve made myself a deal: if I do six miles or more on my bike, I’m not as worried about hitting ten thousand steps. But some days, I hope to do all of it. All of it! Bodyweight exercises (recently hit 600 but struggling on timing on weekdays) and walking and steps and bicycling… just being active.

It’s kind of amazing, too–I can’t just eat what I want, even if I’m super active, and reasonably expect my weight to go down. But that’s for next week, surely.

Workout Wednesday (7/8/20)

I hit 500 today, in the grand attempt to count up to 1,000 exercises in a workout.

Broken down (without making a table)
Plank Jump-Ins – 4 sets of 15
Sit-Ups – 4 sets of 15
Push-Ups – 4 sets of 15
Hop Heel Clicks (OR, High Knees) – 4 sets of 15
Squats – 4 sets of 30
Jumping Jacks – 4 sets of 35

Each set is 125, so the total is 500. That’s the goal I set for July 8, and that’s the goal I’ve met. So I’m glad about that.

The last couple days I’ve struggled getting up at 5 a.m. (My routine in the morning is… long, and I’ve developed in-house phrases for different kinds of mornings!) Yesterday and today, I was ready to go back to bed for an ineffective, not-long-enough hour and a half. But I got up, and I was glad I did both time.

What’s that working out cliche? “One nearly always regrets not exercising; one rarely regrets exercising,” or something? The worst parts of my day are getting up at five, and then God willing, peeling a soaked t-shirt off at 6:45 so I can shower.

Anyhow. The next eight days are about timing–I’m focusing on 500 (maaaybe 560 or so, adding five to each exercise in two sets) while not resting as long between exercises. Resting a little: yes! Stopping to ponder philosophically, getting lost in thought and ultimately delaying doing more? No thank you!

Wish me luck, folx.

Workout Wednesday (6/24/2020)

So here’s progress:

So June 6 was the first day I did actual sets–I’m working on sixes right now. If I can do any, I can do six more. So June 6, I did three sets, give or take.

By continuing to do this every day after walking–with a couple days here and there where I did nothing–by June 19, I got up to four sets of jumping jacks, and four sets of squats, and three sets of hop heel clocks and plank jump-ins and push-ups and sit-ups, 18 each.

It’s not hard to go from a total 144, my first goal in June, to hitting 500 in total, which is my last goal for this month.

… I will also note two things. I’m writing this on Monday, and I did not do bodyweight today. I also haven’t written yet. It’s easier to do in the morning, before breakfast, rather than later in the day. That affects my count, and my morale. But I can get right back in it. I hit 408, dang it!

The other thing to note is that I’m trying to get to a specific goal right now–four sets on each exercise (30 for jumping jacks, 24 for squats, 18 for the rest, giving a total of 504)–and I may hit it before I post this. I may not. I struggle with sustaining the practice. I keep wanting to go higher and higher rather than getting used to the constant work.

Workout Wednesday (6/10/20)

I’m still walking. Brian and I are getting up at five–as mentioned in yesterday’s discourse on woodland creatures and rain-capture barrels–and we do two miles or so as the start of our day. We’ve only done this for three days, but it’s what I’ve wanted and I love it.

We’re figuring out what walks in the evening look like–if it’s too hot for the dogs, can we do different routes, etc.

The other part of these workouts is bodyweight exercises, per the recommendations of the health app I’m using, and, you know, common sense. I must commend unto you the workouts from Darebee, as they’re made for people like me: complete novices who are also nerds.

I think I’m using an old workout, or at least, I can’t find it quickly because I don’t remember the name specifically–but it’s simple. There are six exercises: sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, jump-in planks, hop heel clicks and squats. Each rep is worth one point. Get to 1,000 points.

I’ve broken 200, doing this for about a week. I think the challenge is to work out numerous times during the day, and I may or may not. But this is me trying, at least. My goal for the next ten days is 250–with as many jumping jacks and squats, and more push-ups and sit-ups. (I did thirty sit-ups today. That’s way better than my regular zero.)

And there you have it.

Workout Wednesday (5/27/20)

This kind of post will not have pictures for a long time.

Hi, my name is Arthur. At about age twenty, my metabolism started to slow, and through my twenties, I continually thought, “Well, I should take better care of my body,” which led to things like gym memberships I used once, swimming jags, and of course, deciding to eat healthily, buying a ton of vegetables and lean meats, and forgetting to plan or avoiding the work of cooking or making excuses, blah blah blah. I’d go on pretty good streaks, every now and again; but ultimately, I began accustomed to the weight that came on and just stayed.

Now, I should note a few things before I continue:

  1. There’s no such thing as a beach body, unless your body happens to be at a beach. That is to say, standards for physical appearance are absolutely cultural; I think there’s something to the idea of fitness at any size. And ultimately: you do you. Your body is not mine to police, legislate, judge or condemn.
  2. I am doing this for me, not for anyone else. I really do enjoy exercising. I had an awakening a few years ago when someone told me the atoms that composed me were on loan from God, and at that point, I stopped hating the meat and started loving it instead. And while I like the sentiment of that C.S. Lewis quote, “We are not bodies with souls; we are souls with bodies,” (did I rephrase?), we are souls and bodies. And spirits and minds. We’re complex, weird, carbon-based humans becoming, and when we started splitting things up and putting them into compartments, life lost a little luster.

Okay. So, I’m walking. Every day, at least a mile and a half. I attempt to get to ten thousand steps, but I don’t, always. Not yet. And I am already feeling better; I am already, after only a few weeks, seeing results on the scale. That and diet–nothing extreme, even; counting calories and not eating total garbage all the time. That’s it.

The workout is simple: walk for a mile and a half. I take the dogs on a cloverleaf, around four blocks. When B and I walk, it’s two miles, back and forth for two and a half blocks on three different streets. That’s it. That’s the workout.

I have plans, of course–I always, always have plans–but I’ll only talk about them if I actually do anything with them.