Random Update – The Gym

My first gym session was the 27th of July 2011.  Until then, I’d basically never done any exercise for the sake of it.  The status summary after lots of sessions is – still fat, but the devil is in the detail.  It’s entirely obvious now that I recover better after the aerobic equipment, and for me, that was most of the aim of going in the first place.  I was sick of not only being out of breath after exerting myself, but having to spend too long recovering my breath.

The aerobic stuff in the gym still gets me out of breath, still makes me feel knackered but I’m recovered in a much, much shorter period of time.  I’m pleased.

So I’m not visibly losing weight and I’m not about to start running any distance, but I’m definitely feeling the benefit.  It’s also true that I’m still not enjoying the actual exercise.  It’s not a chore as such, but it’s not something I do with any relish.  Having said that, I was looking forward to the overall session yesterday in the hope that it would work out some of the anger and frustration that had built up that day at work, and it did.

All in all, it’s been a good life change so far.

Gym Log, Star Date somethingfunny

This is mostly just a record for myself, so I can look back in a year or so and see if / how much my gym sessions have changed (I’m going to record the distances next time I’m at the gym and update this, because I can’t remember them all).  This is what my current gym session consists of (not in this order, I mix them up to keep thing interesting).

  • Recumbent Bike – Warm up – 9 minutes, ~70rpm
  • Treadmill – 8 minutes, 5.5km/h, 2-9% incline
  • Upright Bike – 8 minutes, 80-100 rpm
  • Wave Form – 4 minutes, level 8
  • Cross Trainer – 2 minutes, level 1
  • Rowing – 10 minutes, medium intensity (1800-1900m)
  • Arm Bike – 5 minutes, level 4, 5, 6, 7, 4
  • Lats – 3 sets, 15 reps, 20kg
  • Shoulder Press – 2 sets, 15 reps, 10kg
  • Chest Press – 3 sets, 15 reps, 20kg
  • Low Row – 3 sets, 15 reps, 20kg
  • Leg Press – 2 sets, 12 reps, 30kg
  • Abdominal Crunch – 3 sets, 15 reps, 20kg
  • Pectoral – 2 sets, 15 reps, 15kg
  • Adductor – 2 sets, 15 reps, 20kg
  • Abductor – 2 sets, 15 reps, 20kg
  • Leg Curl – 2 sets, 15 reps, 20kg
  • Leg Extension – 2 sets, 15 reps, 15kg (These make me want to die!)
  • Recumbent Bike – Cool Down – 10 minutes, ~80rpm

13/10/2011 – update: Leg extensions are only 15kg and Abdominal crunches only 20kg.

14/10/2011 – update: corrected a few other entries.

Exercise for the sake of it

I have never been interested in taking part in sport.  I’ve just never found it an enjoyable activity, sure I played football as a kid, and tennis in the street for two weeks of the year, but it wasn’t something I found engaging.  I don’t think PE at school helped, but I wouldn’t say it stopped me either, I just never enjoyed it.

And I never liked the idea of exercise for the sake of it.  Running is great if you enjoy running, but running purely because you feel it is good for you never sat well with me.  That probably explains most of the motivation for things I do – but anyway that’s a different story.

I’ve had a pretty sedate lifestyle (I know, with my physique you would never have guessed right?), although never being able to drive meant I spent my teens, 20’s and early 30’s doing a lot of walking, but these days it’s slowed even more.  We’ve not done any LRP events for 5 years or so, and my job is even more desk bound than it used to be.

There have been a couple of events over the last 12 months which left me feeling embarrassed or frustrated at how out of breath I was.  So I’ve been wanting to make a change.

But the real inspiration for what I’ve done (more in a bit) is Grete (@randomwittering on twitter, and owner of Bookthing, on twitter as @bookthing_uk), my amazing wife.  Grete has been going to the gym (and aqua aerobics) for nearly 2 years now.  I’ve been talking about maybe going for about 12 months, and I finally took the plunge a few weeks ago.  I had two inductions at the local council run gym, the first was good, the second less so.

But I eventually went for a full session with Grete, and have been a couple of times a week now for the past month and a bit with a short break.  I won’t say I enjoy it, it is after all, exercise for the sake of it in its most pure form.  I mean let’s be honest, walking at 5.5km/hour for 10 minutes with varying inclines is great except you never actually go anywhere.  So no, I don’t enjoy it, but it does make me feel good.

It makes me feel like I’ve made a positive change in my life which will hopefully result in things being better.  I’m never really going to change my eating habits a great deal these days – I made that change when I found I was diabetic and I’m just about living on the edge of what I can tolerate food-wise (although the last 12 months have slipped a little).  So I needed to make another change.  I’m not fit enough to ‘do sport’ even if I wanted to (which I don’t, maybe American Football, but not much else), and the advantage the gym has is that at least what you do varies during the 90 minutes or so you’re there.

So, thank you Grete for inspiring me to go to the gym, and for inspiring me to make a positive change in my life.

I can’t stop having the bacon cobs for breakfast, but at least I can burn off some of the calories walking nowhere for 10 minutes.