20 August 2011

Working Out

I'll admit it, I can be a bit of a "gym rat".  I'm not as consistent as I'd like to be (sometimes life gets the better of me)...but once I get there, I don't want to leave. ever.  Ok, well - not ever, but I really, REALLY enjoy being at the gym and working out.  That's not to say my workouts aren't hard as hell , I definitely push myself - I just love it...all of it: the cardio, the free weights, the lactic acid burn, the sweat, all of it = love. So, what exactly do I do when I'm there?  Well, I have a mix of workouts I've put together over the years that I really enjoy and find really effective.  One major resource for these workouts is this book:

I picked up this book when it came out back in 2008 and fell.in.love. The workout is a 30 day consecutive plan (18 total workouts + rest days) that gives specific detail about what to do each day (including photos of each move). The daily workout is set up as a circuit (5 actually) with anywhere from 2 - 5 exercises in each circuit followed by a cardio burst. I do each circuit twice with the cardio portion of the circuit once. A lot of the exercises are unique - not the usual squats or push-ups or lunges - those are included but with a twist: sumo squats with tricep extensions, or scorpion push-ups.  Love it!
I don't however follow the diet info. That's not to say it isn't worth following - it's just not conducive to a raw vegan lifestyle so I just skip that part of the book. If you're looking for a kick-ass workout to amp up your current fitness level I highly recommend the workout plan in this book. 

And what about cardio? I'm a runner and prefer to do that outside, but that doesn't always happen so here is my favorite gym cardio routine: 

Cardio Intervals on the Treadmill:

                     time         speed     incline
warm-up              0-2          3.5       0
jog                  2-3          5.0       0
walk                 3-4          4.0       2
jog                  4-5          5.5       0
walk                 5-6          4.0       2
run                  6-7          6.0       0
walk                 7-8          4.0       2
run                  8-9          6.5       0
walk                 9-10         4.0       2
run                  10-12        6.0       2
jog                  12-13        5.5       0
run                  13-14        6.5       0
walk                 14-15        4.0       2
run                  15-16        6.0       3
walk                 16-17        4.0       2
jog                  17-18        5.5       0
cool-down            18-20        3.5       0

This is a very effective, time-efficient workout.  I love that it is only 20 minutes, that it changes every minute or so, and that it incorporates intervals...but what I love most is that it is adaptable to my current fitness level. For example, if I've been away from the gym for a few weeks I can do this workout as is.  If I've been more disciplined and consistent with my workouts, I'll alter the incline levels (0=2, 2=4, 3=6). And because this workout is short, sometimes I do it twice, back to back or once before lifting weights and then again at the end.  It's by far my fav cardio if I have to do it indoors.  
Ok, gotta run - the gym is-a calling!