After three cancelled flights out of Ohio, I decided to make the best of my gifted extra time and do what fit crashers do best: head to the gym. Nothing like a sweaty workout to release some of that pent up airport frustration, right?
I kicked things off with a warm up on one of my favorite pieces of equipment: the rowing machine. I was never a rower, and I don’t pretend to be one, but something about that machine always calls my name when I step into a gym. Maybe it’s the awesome full-body workout it delivers, or the fact that it’s a sure fire way to get my heart rate up in just a few minutes. But if there’s a rowing machine around, you can bet I’ll find my way to it. For my warm up today, I began with five minutes of steady state rowing followed by two rounds of tabata. Funny how just a few minutes of pushing and pulling can really take it out of you. Gasping for air, sweat pouring into my eyeballs, I was now ready for the main event.
I don’t go to the gym to make the rounds on the weight machines. To me, that’s about as boring as watching paint dry. So you’ll typically find me with a note card in hand, surrounded by a few equipment odds and ends, working my way through a HIIT series. There’s nothing better than fitting gut-busting cardio, weights, and a few coordination exercises into one 20 minute burst of activity. Today’s was inspired by something I saw on The Daily HIIT. Here’s the breakdown:
After each element, complete 100 rounds with a jump rope.
- 30 burpees with calf raises instead of jumps
- 30 elevated push ups, alternating leg
- 30 switch jump lunges
- 30 V push ups
- 30 squats with alternating single-leg front kick
- 30 tricep dips
- 30 side to side lunges
- 30 V abs each side
- 30 mountain climbers (one set = two steps)
- 30 toe touches each side
This sequence killed me – after a few stretches I was absolutely ready to go home. The original workout called for 60 reps of each exercise, but that was taking way too long. So I estimated what one minute of effort would be and it came out to around 30 reps. Not a very scientific process, but hey, it worked for today.
My favorite part of this workout, though, was when someone at the gym stopped me half way through and asked me, “So, what are you training for?” Training for? I had to pause for a minute and think of any upcoming races or events that might suffice for an answer. While I have the March Rock ‘n Roll half marathon on my schedule, I haven’t technically started training for it yet. But I couldn’t answer with “nothing,” could I? Wouldn’t that make all of this huffing and puffing and sweating and groaning and gritting-of-teeth seem silly?
“I’m just training for…life,” I replied with an awkward smile and a shrug of my shoulders, standing in a pool of my own sweat. It sounded absolutely ludicrous, but it was absolutely true. Fitness for me isn’t always about an event, or a goal, or getting my body over a finish line. Sometimes, it’s just fun to push my limits and see what kinds of things I can do from day to day. The giddy astonishment of finishing 30 reps of elevated push ups, for example, was enough to make me feel like I had accomplished great things, even without a finisher’s medal to prove it. So, whether someone asks you that same question or not, remember to stand up for the simple joy of training for fun, of training for yourself, and of training for…life.
What are you training for?
Hello fit crashers! I am home in Cincinnati spending the holidays with family. It’s been a wonderful time to step away from the buzz and bustle of DC and press the reset button before the new year. But vacations at home wouldn’t be complete without a whole lot of sweat, thanks to some help from the Original Fit Crasher (hi mom!). Here’s what we’ve been up to so far.
I had a lot of gift shopping left to do on my first day in town. So, channeling my best yoga calm, I joined the frenzied masses at the mall to visit the new REI store. It was worth it. If there was a gym in the back, I could live in that store. All the fitness gear I could imagine, cozy sleeping bags, and food. Oh, and I found something for everyone on my list, too! After the marathon shopping session, I grabbed a few snack bars to test out while standing in the check-out line: Fit ‘n Crisp vanilla marshmallow bar and Nature’s Bakery whole wheat raspberry fig bar.
The consensus: they were both terrible. Way too icky, fake, and sugary sweet. Definitely not the healthy snack I was looking for! Next time I will grab an almond butter packet instead; at least I know those will hold me over without making me feel like I need to brush my teeth.
Gifts in hand, I made my way home to fit in a quick session at the gym before dinner. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I opted for a 12 minute HIIT workout.
The particular workout was inspired by Daily Hiit, and runs 50 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for 12 rounds. Here’s the breakdown:
- Burpee to a tuck jump
- Deadlift to a row (I used 30 lbs.)
- Spiderman push ups
- Two ab rows, two bicycles
I ended in a pool of sweat with three minutes of planks. Phew! Love that endorphin rush.
The next morning I got up for a quick run before taking the Original Fit Crasher to her first hot yoga class. Check out these awesome Christmas lawn decorations I spotted around mile three – Santa in a hot air ballon is my favorite.
And then it was time to bend and flow at Move Your Hyde, the hot yoga studio I discovered over Thanksgiving. They have an intro class that was the perfect fit for Mom’s first time. She did great! But as the Original Fit Crasher, was there really any question?
I admit it, I would have never signed up for an intro class on my own. After many years of practicing, my ego would have pushed me to sign up for the advanced class. But those 60 minutes proved to be such a humbling gift. Instead of confidently flying through the sequences and taking them for granted, like I do too often, it made me slow down and take the time to really dig into each and every pose and each and every breath. So in this case, introducing Mom to yoga proved to be exactly the reintroduction I needed for myself. I left feeling refreshed, recharged, and excited to get back on my mat.
What have you crashed this week?
Sandy came through the East Coast yesterday and kicked up quite a tantrum on her way outta town. Due to the high winds, heavy rains, danger of flying debris, and falling trees, most of DC stayed indoors yesterday. Today is not much better. I hope all of you are safe.
Fighting cabin fever. Go away Sandy!
My thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost power, water, homes, and even lives. Mother nature certainly gave us quite a fright with ye ole Frankenstorm.
I spent yesterday hunkered down with loved ones. Thankfully I brought my TRX with me so I could get in a quick workout. Has anyone else purchased one of these handy-dandy go-anywhere contraptions?
I keep mine slung over the door in my apartment. It does wonders when I’m in a pinch and need a convenient option. I typically do a series of arms (rows, pull ups, triceps), abs (atomic push ups, plank runners), and legs (glutes, one leg pistol, lunge). There are so many possible exercise combos, it’s a shame I only stick to the most obvious ones. Any TRXers out there with ideas for new moves?
At any rate, today is cold and rainy and the roads are still a mess. My usual running routes are flooded and spots in fitness classes are going fast. For those of us who are taking the day to regroup indoors and are in desperate need of a fitness outlet…here are a few ideas:
- Barre: For a ballet fix, MyBarre3 offers online classes for $15 a month. You can even chose how long you want class to be (between 10 – 60 minutes). How cool is that? As an extra treat to get you en pointe at home, use the code 15mybarre3 for a 15 day free trial (thanks to Well+Good NYC for the tip!).
- Yoga: I’m a big fan of the power yoga podcasts from Dave Farmar. They’re challenging enough to give you a workout fix, but also a great stretch to boot. Download one and try it out!
- Body Weight: BodyRock.tv has been kicked around as an awesome (and free) resource for high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout videos. Every workout is under 20 minutes and many can be done with little to no equipment. Don’t have a sandbag? Use a duffle full of books. Don’t have weights? Use those water bottles you stocked up on. You get the idea. I’ve been following their website for years and have been pleasantly surprised about how effective they are. That said, the website favors posting suggestive photos of the trainers and the workout titles are typically NSFW. You’ve been warned. Also check out the HIIT videos posted by the original BodyRock trainer. They work along the same principle and will make you sweat in no time.
- Sandy Inspired: New wellness website Thriive posted The Hurricane Sandy Workout with moves including “Honey Boo Boo Wall Sits.” Looks like being indoors for 48 hours has left us all a bit punchy! I’m a contributor to Thriive and am excited about its launch last week…just in time to post Sandy inspiration! The Washingtonian also shared a great round up of at-home exercises for those of us staying in today.
Whatever you do fit crash today, be safe out there!
I gotta know: do you have any at-home workout ideas to share?