Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Explanation & gym programme

Its a two parter today - I'll give a bit of feedback on my (always appreciated) comments from the last blog entry, then I'll give a little account of the programme I was given (or at least my thoughts on it).

I've just had a quick look up of yesterday's comments so hopefully I won't miss any out!

Overall there is method (or methods) in my daily measurement madness.

I'm monitoring RHR daily, partly to establish the current level but then to watch for any hint of over training and alongside the RHR I get the blood pressure measurement so may as well record that.

I've tracked daily weight changes before and I'm very relaxed about how the numbers change: that there's never a uniform loss, and for me I'll often get several days staying the same or rising before a sudden large drop. Knowing that variance exists puts me off weekly weighing as the isolated figure is dubious without the context of the days that preceded it but also I can find that a weekly weight check can lead to my feeling tempted to switch off for a couple of days and try to play catch up before the date.

More importantly though, whilst the statto nerd in me wants a comprehensive body of data to analyse after the next 16 weeks I'm not setting myself any weight/measurements/RHR targets. Sure, I know the sort of level I'd like to get the weight to but I deliberately haven't worked out when I might expect to get there. My only commitment/target is to log my food intake and to exercise 6 times a week - I'm comfortable that if I concentrate on the process rather than the results all will work just fine. If I log food 90% of the time and exercise on 5.5 days a week then that's a success. That's how I'm defining it.

Regarding measurements though - spot on. My instinct is to measure monthly, but I do want to measure after one week solely because I suspect my belly will shrink through lower food volume and I'm curious to see if I'm right. Measuring after a week but then monthly disturbs the symmetry of the plan so I suspect I then went for weekly to maintain it (what would I psychologist make of that?). However, I'll tear myself away from weekly but reserve the right to use more colours in the plan to hide it!!

I definitely like the cross trainer. I could happily spend an hour or more on one whereas I cant do anything other than short intervals on a treadmill, and even that under duress. As for the exercise bike, I find that about as pleasant as repeatedly stabbing myself with a fork or watching a few minutes of Top Gear.

Anyway, yesterday I got my first programme from the gym.

Beforehand I was rather naively expecting to get something like 3 separate programmes based on 6 days training a week, a decent emphasis on cv work to supplement the shortfall in running, a very running specific set of weights and core exercises and a good running specific flexibility programme.

Hindsight tells me that was an unrealistic expectation from a gym instructor and that to get that I'd probably have to get something from a Personal Trainer or even a running coach.

Instead, what I got was what I suspect is a fairly generic programme: some upper body exercises on a Kinesis machine, body weight squats and lunges, 3 abdominal exercises, very basic stretches and a whole 10 minutes HIIT on the cross trainer.

I was disappointed.

However, I've done the programme twice and with some adaptations it actually works well enough for now. I've added on some extra core work, added more CV work in addition to 10 minutes HIIT, added more stretches. If I can start introducing some running in addition, having the odd swim (there's a heated outdoor pool as well as an indoor one) and continuing to add to the CV element to supplement running then it'll all work well enough.

Further down the line (as the achilles heals/strengthens more - and I feel it already has started) I can use the indoor running track for some drills to strengthen and injury proof my legs and there's a running club/group that run on Wednesday evenings.

Everything looks rosy. :-)


Maria said...

I think if you are weighing every day, but staying relaxed about it (and knowing that some days it will go up, due to fluid, training etc) then that is fine really- and like you say if it keeps you on track more than weekly weighing then great. I like the obsessiveness of doing it all weekly too (measurements)- just to keep it symmetrical!And good luck with the gym programme- I suppose they are trained to give people a wide variety of exercises to do, as you can always add to them (which you have).

rose said...

I love the fact that you are as (excuse me) anal about your charts as I am! Glad that you've been persuaded to go monthly with the measurements but have to tell you that I kept a seperate measurements chart that allowed me to keep that data flexible!
If you aren't happy with the gym programme after a couple of weeks then you can ask them to revise it. It's what you are paying for and if you don't ask then you don't get! It can't hurt to try.

I'm loving the whole lotta Rosy!

Rose(y) xxxx

Sarah said...

I think that it's great that you're self-aware and know how best to keep on track - just be prepared to adjust if you feel yourself getting obsessed.

I'm often disappointed by gym programmes. I appreciate being shown how to use the equipment, but always adjust the programme