Working out working out (again!)

Monday, May 7, 2012 Permalink

I need to rethink my exercise regime.

Just a month or two ago I had a great routine going which was perfect for me – very sustainable and not at all obsessive:

Monday – (Faux) Zumba class
Tuesday – Cardio Blast class (high impact aerobic moves with some weights in between tracks)
Wednesday – Pump class 
Thursday – Pilates mat class
Friday – Circuit class (combo of cardio and strength)

Exercise in RealityI must confess that I was quite chuffed with my workouts… Each and every week I got some strength work in PLUS got pushed cardiovascularly in both the Cardio Blast and Circuit classes. In fact, I wrote here about the fact that the Cardio Blast class pushed me just outside of my comfort zone that I could appreciate that it was improving my fitness each week; and here about the challenging Circuit classes at my gym. All was going swimmingly.

But since then… several things have happened: collided in some Bermuda triangle type way… if you will; conspiring to work against me and my goal of increased fitness!

1. The Cardio Blast instructor quit and my gym hasn’t replaced her. I’d be happy with a circuit class instead, but as there were only 3-4 of us in the class anyway, I suspect the timeslot has been shelved permanently
2. I now work a 4-day week and no longer attend the Friday Circuit class
3. There have been a lot of public holidays meaning I’ve missed a few other classes over the past few weeks
4. I was sick last week, so skipped two classes, including my beloved faux-Zumba.

Okay, so there are four things there, making it a Bermuda square, or rectangle, or rhomboid or some other four-sided figure.

Although I’ve replaced the cancelled Cardio Blast class with another dance class I suspect it’s not quite as challenging AND it doesn’t include any strength work. And I haven’t quite worked out what I will do to replace the Friday Circuit class.

As a result of all of this my routine has been all over the place of late. Other than the week I was sick I’ve still been doing at least 4 days of exercise, but I worry that I’m not challenging myself enough cardiovascularly (and not increasing my fitness).

I know I said I wanted my exercise to be fun. Indeed I made a BIG deal about the fact that I’m not training for a marathon or some ‘event’ so don’t need to push myself to ridiculous levels, rather I want to exercise in a way I can sustain for ever. And ever.

LifestyleCreated-InspirationalQuotes20I’ve worked out that I much (much much) prefer gym class workouts. I seem to be able to manage to factor exercise into my working day. My gym (at/near work) is very small with limited classes, but even if something comes up and I can’t go to a planned lesson I’m able to get there and do something by myself (which was the case last Wednesday when I did some interval work on the bike and cross-trainer after the cancellation of a class).

I’ve also worked out that for some reason I like indoor circuit sessions much more than outdoor bootcamp type classes.

On one hand I’m quite proud of myself. I could easily coast along sprouting about the fact I’m doing four sessions at the gym each week. They have to be good for me. I increase my weights at Pump, I push myself harder in dance lessons and the like and I’ve done a few walks lately to make up for missed classes. But here I am (Miss ‘I’m-only-exercising-for-fun’), looking for ways to ‘up the ante’ and increase my cardiovascular fitness.

I’m still very unkeen to continue down the running track. I did a (week 2 Couch to 5km) run on Thursday after pilates to make up for the lack of sessions earlier in the week) and pretty much dreaded the thought of it beforehand – though when the time came, running for 90 seconds (with 2min breaks in between) six times, was doable – though still not fun.

I’m loath to engage a personal trainer at this stage and financially I’m supposed to be tightening my belt. It’s one thing to pay for the odd casual dance class (I keep meaning to make it to a Sh’bam class one of these weekends) but a whole other thing to pay for a trainer on top of my gym costs.

I’ve thought about driving into my workplace on Friday to attend the Circuit class, but that defeats the point of the whole not-going-to-work-on-a-Friday thing!

I can try to do more interval cardio work myself at the gym, although given my boredom threshold doing the same interval workouts on the same machines week after week can get pretty tedious.

Or… given that it’s the non-gym days I need to consider, perhaps if I commit to the Sh’bam class on weekends it will add some necessary cardio (and I’m thinking that dance class will be a very high-energy one!).

Mainly I need to be realistic. I like that I’m being ambitious fitness-wise without my usual angst or obsessiveness. I know that I’m not great at pushing myself out of the door (at home) when I’d much prefer to be reading, writing, sleeping or watching television. I know that getting out of the door takes more than willpower as there’s some motivation required as well, so (for me) there needs to be SOME enjoyment involved. Hmmmm…..

What are your thoughts? Should one try to constantly increase their fitness? Or will exercising regularly do that anyway, without having to push yourself more?


  • Liz@LastChanceTraining
    May 7, 2012

    Hi Deb,
    I would love to invite you to my Cycle class on Friday – I think that out of all of the classes I teach, you’d enjoy this one the most – the people, the music and the fun factor 🙂 Yes, you’ll work up a sweat, you’ll think I’m a cow in the middle of it, but I guarantee you’ll leave smiling 🙂
    Drop me a PM or email if you’d like to come!


    • Debbish
      May 7, 2012

      I must confess Liz that cycling / exercise bike is the thing I like the least… plus those spin bikes freak me out and hurt my hip flexors!


  • Sandra
    May 7, 2012

    Ooh I wish I lived up there so I could come to Liz’s RPM…! Funny, last night I sat down with the two gym’s Group Fitness timetables, my daughter’s dance timetable and my own calendar and mapped out my own plan of attack…it’s all about scheduling in what you “enjoy” and then just sticking to it like any other appointment…I might just share it on my Blog…you’ll notice there are about 3 RPM classes in there and NO dance type/zumba classes at all…LOL

    • Debbish
      May 7, 2012

      Sandra, I’ve only tried RPM once a few years ago and disliked it A LOT. I used an exercise bike when I first started exercising last year, as I got shin splints when I walked etc… but it got very tedious. Now I only use one every so often at the gym, but sometimes in our circuit classes we had to use the SPIN/RPM bikes and I find them freaky… And – as I said to Liz – they really hurt my hip flexors for some reason!

      It’s funny isn’t it that our exercise tastes are so different!

  • Vicki
    May 7, 2012

    Hi Deb, looks like it’s the right time to try a new class .. Sh’Bam certainly sounds like the one for you to try. Unless of course you would like to come to my Boxing class 😉 .. as you know I’m certain you will work up a sweat, push yourself and get in a bit of extra strength work!
    Just do what works for you but don’t ever stop trying! Vic x

    • Debbish
      May 8, 2012

      I don’t mind boxing classes. My gym offers a couple a week but they’re very ‘cliquey’ and you have to come with your own partner and gear! I went a few times when I first joined (and they’re tough classes) but always felt a bit like an interloper!

  • Karen@WaistingTime
    May 7, 2012

    I think just getting it done is enough, if you are seeing the results you want. Whatever those might be. (Calorie burn for weight loss, increased stamina, muscle definition…) But our bodies do adjust to what we do so it is probably good to mix things up every so often. I always get into a rut. I mean, ahem, routine. I much prefer to work out with someone else, be it my husband, mom and our trainer, or a class at the gym. I’ve tried to do it on my own but other than walking on the treadmill to recorded TV, there’s not much happening without company for me.

    • Debbish
      May 8, 2012

      You’re right about the variety Karen and I’d pretty much felt like I had a good mix of classes before – guess I just need to rethink what I want to go and get into a routine again!

  • KCLAnderson (Karen)
    May 8, 2012

    The fact that you know what types of fitness you like and enjoy is great. I’m recently back to kettlebells and am rediscovering why I loved them so much. I am working with the trainer (son of a friend) who taught me KBs in the first place (back in 2010) and I feel motivated to improve (I lost a lot of ground this past winter). So I guess the key is that if you really love whatever it is you’re doing, you’ll push yourself to do better and get fitter in the process. If you have to force yourself, you probably won’t work as hard.

    • Debbish
      May 8, 2012

      I’m sure that’s true Karen – even in the dance type classes when I first started I had to opt for the lower impact version of a few steps, but now I’ve been able to increase my energy levels. Also, being a perfectionist I like to try to get the steps as right as possible… which means I need to improve my fitness to keep up!

  • Eating as a Path to Yoga
    May 10, 2012

    I’m a yoga girl. Started taking a 30 minute pilates class once a week. I love Bodypump and Group Active. Walking outside too, when the weather is right.

    • Debbish
      May 10, 2012

      I don’t do yoga at the moment though did it years ago, but found I had problems with my hips and knees – I hyper=extend my legs and bit… so switched to pilates. I was doing that quite regularly but have dropped back a bit. (I haven’t heard of Group Active – some aerobic class or circuit type training perhaps?)

      • Eating as a Path to Yoga
        May 14, 2012

        The American distributors of Les Mills/Bodypump broke away & started their own company. So, Group Active is 20 minutes of basic step, 5 minutes of balance, 10 minutes of core, 20 minutes of strength training, and 5 minutes of stretch. I LOVE it!!!!

        • Debbish
          May 15, 2012

          Wow, sounds like a great combo I must google it to see if it’s available here in Oz!

I'd love to hear your thoughts