Friday, March 12, 2010

Class #40, 2010

Once a week, I'm aiming to do both xfit and yoga. This is a tall order - but I think it's good to have one day where you kill your body, and then one full day off during the week. My goal right now is 3 xfits, and 4 yogas/week - with one day off in the mix somehow. Today was my "double" and it went well.

Yoga at 4 felt great - super full class with B.J., surrounded by nice hardworking people (one of whom clearly had a garlic-laden lunch...pew!) but all in all, a nice solid Bikram class. I already can feel some improvement in certain postures, perhaps just from more body/muscle awareness (because they hurt!). However, I cannot do eagle on my left side (and normally, Eagle is "my posture"...) apparently my hip has tightened up! And again, my standing head to knee is poo, but that's ok, it'll get there. Stamina was good all things considered, but I was a serious sweat ball. At the savasana, I noticed the gal next to me had a mere sheen of sweat, and I was in a sloppy puddle, dripping from every pore.

After class, I stayed and worked on some hip openers (pigeon) and a few other advanced postures I've been playing around with. Good yoga time!

Crossfit #3, 2010

Today I didn't intend necessarily to go to xfit, because I'd already committed to 4 p.m. yoga. However, I was up and energized so I actually hit 6 a.m. xfit. There were two other newbies, dudes, and the three of us did the workout with Paul at the helm.

Warm-up as usual.

Then this torture device known as a Fit Wheel was handed to us - you strap it to your feet, with a single wheel in the middle, and we attempted (in my case) to do three different core/ab exercises. I was pretty much a failure but I tried hard, and expect I'll get better next time now that I'm a little bit familiar with the concept. Yet again, my core strength...blows. And now I've got my work cut out for me!

The WOD today didn't involve running, and I was thrilled because the weather was crap and though I'd run a in a little morning mist the day before, it was all out cold, windy and pouring.

The WOD:
3 assisted pull-ups
4 push-ups
5 air squats

I needed HELLA assistance on the pull-ups..two bands. But I could do the three required barely (again, upper body strength is poor), ditto for the push-ups (from my knees) but I did them all. Now, my shining beacon of hope in all of this is my lower body strength is actually respectable, so the squats were nothin'!

This we did 15 times through on the minute; if you didn't finish in the 1 minute, you had to wait for the next one. We all pretty much stayed together and finished in about 40 seconds, with a 20 second rest (about enough time to set up my band(s) for my pull-ups) before starting again.

15 minutes to finish

Super fun, I even beat one of the dudes! (Of course, he was doing real pull-ups and push-ups, so it really doesn't count). I think because of the yoga, I'm really not feeling competitive - I realize we all have different bodies and bring different strength and ability to the table. I just want to get better for myself!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Crossfit #2, 2010

Today again I was the only one who showed at 7 a.m. so I got another personal training session with Paul. We started with the warm up, and then the skill set was all lunges and squats...and once my lower body was trashed, we moved on the the WOD.

Today's WOD:
400 m Run
10 box jumps
10 burpees

  • I didn't walk at all in the run!
  • My box jumps were on two stacked up weights, because I'm still in fear of the actual (2' high) box, but I did'em
  • I did the burpees WAY better than I thought I could.
  • I didn't take ANY breaks!
22:57 to finish, and I was in and out in 1 hour all together.

Again, I liked it - in fact, I'm somewhat in awe of how much my mind and body are enjoying a different exercise environment, movements, and vibe. There's music on. You can talk. You get to go outside.

Don't get me wrong: Bikram is my first love. But xfit is a nice complement!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Class #39, 2010

Oh I could not possibly get to yoga soon enough today! I was in so much pain from my first day of xfit. So, I was working from home and decided to hit the nooner at Sweatbox with Gary. It was lovely! After feeling so sore and tight, my body was thrilled for the heat and stretching!

However, my gawd did parts of me hurt. My standing head to knee was a mere shadow of its former self. But in some ways, having everything in your body hurt gives you a keen muscle awareness - you feel every movement really profoundly, which I found helped me with adjusting and even moving deeper into certain poses.

I do believe the two (xfit + Bikram) are going to work well together. I love the yoga, but my body needs a shake up, and from my first day of xfit alone, I can see how I have lower-than-desired upper body strength and core strength. Hopefully xfit will improve my yoga, and vice versa!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Crossfit #1, 2010

Ok, so I started Crossfit.

Crossfit, if you don't know, is yet another cult-like way to get in shape. The people who do Crossfit, similar to those who do Bikram, believe it is the way. My girlfriend, Jill, and my sister, Julie, do Crossfit (abbreviated as xfit). They go 5 times or so a week, and Jill is almost at her 1 year anniversary.

The premise is to be fit and healthy by doing all the types of movements you would need if you were stranded on a desert island. Push, pull, jump, grab, lift, run...lateral strength, core strength, upper and lower body strength, agility... This is done primarily though a lot of classic exercise movements - push-up, pull-ups, squats, lunges - and much of it with body weight only, but also with weights.

The new xfit gym that I'm going to, The Lab, A Crossfit Gym on Eastlake, is awesome because it has two separate rooms. One for the big kids (like Julie and Jill) and one for those of us who are a bit more...remedial. The Elements room, as it's called, requires you to be able to accomplish a lengthy list of exercises with perfect form, skill and strength before graduating to the big kids room. I plan to stay there for a long time, if not forever. And that is fine with me!

Today was my first day. I went to 7 a.m. (it felt luxurious to sleep until 6:30 a.m. before working out, unlike yoga which requires a 5:30 alarm). The gym is quite new, so I was the only one - so I effectively got a personal training session from Paul, who is a super sweet (and quite cute) guy who plays Rugby and is very fit. And very supportive.

There are three components to each visit:
1) Warm-Up
2) Skill Building
3) The WOD (workout of the day)

The warm up is a series of 6 exercises you do 8 reps of 8 times through with a little bit of weight in your hands. Up down, side to side, diagonal to diagonal, hip opener, and abs. Take about 5-10 minutes.

The skill segment focuses on learning a particular "xfit move" without the pressure of time or reps, but rather with a spotlight on form. Today was Turkish Get-Ups...a process of going from laying down to standing through a series of three movements. The first movement I did 10 times, then the second one 5 times (combined with the first) and then the whole movement 3 times, combining all three segments into one movement. This was another 10-15 minutes.

Finally the WOD.

WOD's can be scary, but today's looks accessible to me and I was happy about that! It was:

200m Run
10 Kettlebell Swings (with a mere 18 lbs)
100 jump ropes

5 times through. Yep. 5.

I finished that part in about 22 minutes. I had to walk a little because I was so winded from the jump roping that I couldn't quite catch my breath... but I did it! And, oddly, liked it!

So I'm committing to 6 months, right here, right now, on the big bad internet.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Class #38, 2010

Today was my first class since last Tuesday - that class was brutal, and the next day work was hell and I opted for margaritas with my boss rather than yoga with my boss. Then, Jill and I went away for the weekend to Whidbey Island, where there is no Bikram Yoga. While there, I tried to take a 'regular' hatha class but mis-read the schedule and actually ended up in my first pilates mat class.

And today, two days after the pilates class, my arms KILLED in yoga. I had to - gasp! - drop my arms in the second set of the half moon series. I remember that feeling when I first started practicing! My triceps...oy!

I'm pretty open about the fact that I believe in Bikram Yoga (did'ja get that?) but also, I'm honest that it doesn't target *everything* - many who practice feel a lack of (weight-bearing) upper body work, as well as serious attention to the abs. Well, this pilates class took care of my arms, and my hurt to laugh for the whole next day.

Still, class was awesome today, a nice class back after 5 days off and with Frani, a seasoned teacher whose been out of town for 4 months- so fun to have her back. I'm about to integrate some other exercise - which makes me nervous because I'm already feeling overextended, so something will have to give. But, both the pilates class and the scale are saying I need a little shake-up - so that, along with some dietary lock-down, will hopefully get me back to center by my birthday in June.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Class #37, 2010

Oh dear God.

6 a.m. class today, my first in a while, was phenomenally, seeing spots and stars hot. Like, swearing with my neighbor at the savasana. Like, I may never do this yoga again hot.

But, what was cool, was that the teacher was Brooke, who I went to training with - and she is a little spitfire up there! Fun and good class, once I came back to life.