Friday, August 26, 2011

I feel stroooonger than yesterdaaaaay

Sorry for the Britney Spears inspired title. I always like that Britney song. And it's fitting because this post is about nothing sewing-related at all. It's about my workout and how I am loving it.

You might recall that in June I decided I needed to workout more. For the next month, I made some half-hearted attempts at that. I started running again, maybe two or three times a week. That was about it.

Then came a week-long stay in Suttons Bay, and then the frenzy of preparing for Luke's birthday party. I let myself eat and eat through those weeks, and my workouts diminished to almost nothing once again. I started to feel very doughy and unmotivated. So one day, without much planning, I stopped into a fitness studio and bought their most expensive package, a one-month unlimited membership. Because I was a new member, they doubled my dollars and I actually get two-months for the price of one. I bought the package for one reason -- I needed external motivation because I had no inward motivation. I needed someone else to kick my ass. 

Since then, I've been going four times a week, always in the morning. The latest class I take is 8:30 a.m. In just one month of attending class I've become faster, stronger, more toned, more motivated, more energized, more flexible and have increased balance. I have less cellulite and lo and behold, below my post-baby belly fat, I'm starting to get some abs!

Since I'm spending four hours a week doing this work out, I miss having as much time as I did for sewing and blogging, and especially reading all the blogs I used to read.

But this is so totally worth it.

I thought I'd tell you a bit about the workout I'm doing, in case you're looking for something like it. I'll tell you all the reasons it is working for me. I share this not to be all Braggy McBraggerson, but because I hope it will inspire someone out there to get moving.

First off, the class is a "group training class" and it works like this. Each class can hold 20 people. There are 10 treadmills on one side of the room. On the other are 10 weight stations with a step. You pick a spot on either side to start. The class is 55-minutes long, and it's split into five-minute intervals. So you run for five minutes, then switch to the weight station and do weights for five stations. You do that four times and then one shorter set of three minutes and three minutes. Close with a cool down, and you're done.

Here's why it works for me:

-- I would never push myself as hard as they do in class if I was working out alone. The trainers tell you how fast to set your treadmill (there are three levels, walkers, runners and sprinters, and you place yourself in the appropriate group) and at what incline. If I was working out alone, I'd probably plug along at a 6.0 speed with maybe a 1.0 incline. With the trainers setting things for me, I've hit speeds of 10.0 and an incline of 15 -- I didn't even know it went that high! They are constantly pushing the speeds and inclines up and down, making your body never really know what's coming. It WORKS. Plus, seeing other people around you working hard is motivating. It's like peer pressure. If everyone else is running fast and working hard, you don't want to be left in the dust. And there are times I know if I was running on my own, I'd start walking, but I can't really because I'm in class. And I always make it through.

-- I have to sign up for each class in advance. Since there are only 20 spots, you must reserve a spot in class. You can cancel up to four hours before, but if it is later than that you can be eventually penalized and blocked from reserving spots for a week. This is huge for me. The act of setting something more or less in stone in my schedule makes me stick to it. I can tell myself over and over that I WILL go running at 9 a.m. tomorrow, but it is still easy to flake and decide not to when no one is really making you.  Having to schedule the classes makes you stick to it.

-- Because of the interval training style, the class flies by. When you break something down into small, five-minute segments, everything seems manageable. Yeah, walking at a 5.0 clip up a very steep incline might hurt like hell, but I know it'll only last a few minutes, at most. Then it'll be on to some other form of torture. They also do a great job mixing up the exercises and routines. In one month, I've done only a few strength training moves more than once. They mix it up to keep you guessing.

-- It's close to my house and the times are perfect for me. This is so huge! If you're trying to find a workout that will work for you, think hard about those two things. If the location is out of your way, you're going to skip classes so quickly. And if the times aren't times that mesh easily with your schedule, again, you'll find yourself stressed about making things work when they just don't. This place is a two minute drive from my house and there are classes that fit in around my work schedule when Jimmy is home. So he watches the boys for one hour. I know I'm lucky to have a husband who is supportive and allows me this time. He grumbles a bit, but only a bit.

So that's my long take on my workout. I have until Sept. 22, and I'm already wondering whether I should bite the bullet and buy another package. They are a little pricey, but taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Agree? It's hard to put a price tag on that. I hope this will inspire someone out there to sign up for a class, a bootcamp, a gym. Try one for free -- many will let you sample one class for free. Make a small commitment, a month or two, and put everything you have into it. I bet you'll find that it is totally worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Yay!! I am still waiting for the cellulite to disappear, or maybe I just have more than I thought I did, but I am so much stronger and in much better shape as well! And, you can always join me at boot camp too, if you decide to do something similar, yet different! ;)