September 2016 Exercise Log

Calendar

I probably won’t keep up with logging my exercise on my blog, but I’m going to post this here because I already started it in this format with my blog in mind. In the future, I’ll probably just log my workout notes in Google Docs, if at all.

The executive summary of this month’s workouts: I worked out twice a week, usually one class and one weights session. My go-to classes are Yoga Flow and Kickboxing, since the strength classes tend to do stuff that’s not recommended for my back, and they don’t offer Core Fusion these days. I’m feeling much more comfortable with the weight machines, and I’m clearly making progress, as evident in my longhand workout journal.

I suspect that I’ll continue to do one group fitness class and one weights session every week for the foreseeable future. Tuesdays are usually Weight Watchers meetings and Wednesdays are usually social lunches, and the group fitness schedule varies week to week.

Thursday 1 September: Yoga Flow
Great class, even if I modified a lot of the core work. My right lower back is still feeling a little weak and iffy, and I knew better than to try some of the pilates moves she was throwing at us.

Also wore a top I hadn’t felt comfortable enough to wear before. While I could still totally see my lumps and bumps and rolls and other supposed indignities, the paisley pattern camouflaged a lot of it — and probably no one was looking, anyway. It looked good on me, and it stayed where it was supposed to — and I’d rather have that than a big comfy shirt that shows my belly during downward dog.

Friday 2 September 2016: Machine Workout B
I went into this workout with a little muscle soreness already: calves, mainly (possibly from wearing exceptionally high heels the day before), but also a little biceps, a little glutes, and a slight lower back twinge when I twist just so.

Warmup: 10 minutes elliptical
1. Leg Extensions: 2 sets, 15 reps. Set 1 @ 50 lbs, Set 2 @ 40 lbs. That was rough.
2. Seated Leg Curl: 2×15 Couldn’t get the machine set up just right. Going to wait until the Fitness Center Manager is back from vacation to help me with it.
3. Standing Ab Twist: 2×15 w/resistance band
4. Medium Grip Lat Pulldown: 2×15, Set 1 @ 55 lbs, Set 2 @ 70 lbs to failure at 12 reps. I guess it was failure — I was physically unable to bring the bar all the way down to my chest anymore.
5. Bicep Curl: 2×10, 20 lbs, Set 2 to failure at 9 reps
6. Seated Cable Rows: 2×15, 45 lbs (Sitting on the floor)
7. Triceps Pushdown: 2×15, 30 lbs (on the lat pulldown machine — extreme eyes-closed focus to finish the last couple of reps)
Stretches

Sitting at my desk an hour after the workout, my biceps were trembly-weak, and my back and legs felt like I’d worked out. My lower back is still a little weird. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy lifting, and while I do want to push myself to see how I can improve, I also want to make sure I don’t injure myself so I’m unable to continue. Slow and steady and all that.

I’ve ordered a pack of Five Star Fat Li’l Notebooks for logging weight training, so in the future, I might just include info from fitness classes in that log, as well, and forego the whole blogging of exercise data that’s only really of interest to me.

Tuesday 6 September 2016: Lower Back Pain
Boy howdy. Not sure if I slept on it funny or what, but my lower back actually did a weird painful slippy thing while I was walking to my car after dropping Connor off at pre-k this morning. It feels weak and stretched out and unstable. Hope it recovers over the next couple of days.

Thursday 8 September 2016: Machine Workout A
Went into the workout really not feeling it. My morning oatmeal didn’t stick with me like it usually does, and I opted to forego coffee this morning in favor of some extra water, so I was tired and a little hungry starting out. I did the workout, and I didn’t half-ass anything, but I wasn’t as hyped about the strength training as I had been last week. I opted to pass on the ab crunch machine at the end, for fear of tweaking my back, but I got Mel to show me how to adjust the leg curl machine properly and did an easy set there.

My arms are weak an hour after the workout, but nothing else feels too bad.

Friday 9 September 2016: Kickboxing
Totally awesome workout. I was completely into it, and my only real modifications were some snap kicks (really, what could possibly go wrong by me jumping from one leg onto the other and kicking at the same time? Certainly not any lower back impact or potential hamstring injury) and circle kicks (my hammies are just too tight, so I did circle knees instead).

I felt good, and I felt like I looked good, and that helped me put my all into it.

My lower back feels a little weak about an hour after class, and I have the all-over body soreness that tells me I had a good workout.

Monday 12 September 2016: Kickboxing
Total 180 from Friday’s class — Not into it, low energy, took the low-impact way out of most moves, and bailed out on the abs portion of the program at the end. I think I have the key to being “on” for class in the future, though: stretching my hamstrings.

The instructor didn’t do many lower body stretches in the beginning, and then launched into a lower-body workout with lots of kicks and knee blocks. My lower back was having none of that — it didn’t hurt, but I could feel that, especially with my low energy, one unguarded move could be a Very Bad Thing. It wasn’t until we got to the cooldown stretches that I realized what had really gone wrong for me.

So, from now on, I’ll spend the few minutes before kickboxing class stretching my hamstrings and glutes, instead of just standing there and waiting for people to show up.

Thursday 15 September 2016: Yoga Flow
Fantastic class. I modified some of the core work in the last half of class to protect my back, as I could feel my my muscles getting tired. When my core gets tired and the wrong muscles try to compensate, that’s when I hurt myself — luckily, that didn’t happen today.

I wore a close-fitting yoga top I hadn’t worn before, and I can sincerely say that I gave zero fucks about the fact that my midriff rolls were clearly visible. The shirt was comfy and didn’t ride up, and I like the style and pattern, and good on me for being OK with my body. Pbbltltlt.

Friday 16 September 2016: Machine Workout Cancelled
My right elbow was too swollen and uncomfortable from an allergic reaction to trumpet vine poison ivy for me to justify attempting a workout. That means no strength training this week, but that’s OK.

Wednesday 21 September 2016: Machine Workout B
Cancelled my standing Wednesday lunch date in favor of a weights session, since my only other opportunity to work out this week is yoga.

That was a fantastic full-body workout! I feel awesome. My arms are especially trembly, but everything feels like it got a piece of the action. The standing ab twist was the core work I needed to round everything out. Some muscles got more weight today, some less, but everything felt good and consistent and like I’m getting the hang of it.

I also found myself wondering if the mirrors in the gym are mounted to the walls correctly, because, damn. I’m looking slender. Are you sure that mirror isn’t warped to make me look thinner? Just sayin’. Even wearing a long-sleeved shirt to hide the remains of my poison ivy rash, I felt pretty damn buff.

Thursday 22 September 2016: Yoga Flow
Apart from taking a couple vinyasa flows to the kneeling option because my arms didn’t have the oomph, today’s class was awesome. Stretchy. Felt good.

Monday 26 September 2016: Weight Machine Workout
Since I only do my strength workout once a week, I decided to combine more elements into the one workout. Next time, I may just add in the leg extensions and leg curls, too, since the workout as it is feels a little top-heavy.

The gym was busy today, so I had to jump onto the chest press machine between Mr. Buff Guy’s 220-lb sets. (I totally put it back to his setting when I was done — not just to be nice, but because I was also a little embarrassed by my paltry 60 lbs. I know I shouldn’t be, but…) Also had to just kinda do a lap around the gym once when EVERY SINGLE THING I had on my agenda was busy.

I’m convinced that the triceps pushdown must involve additional muscles, too, because there’s no way I can move more weight with my wimpy triceps than my biceps. For an equivalent number of reps, I can only biceps curl 15 lbs, where I can triceps pushdown 40 or 45 lbs?! Either the triceps pushdown utilizes back muscles, as well, or I’m doing the biceps curl machine wrong. Next time, I’m going to try standing a little farther back from the pulley and see if that activates the muscles differently.

Update, Tuesday Morning: I think the leg presses might be out. My lower back is feeling a smidge tweaky this morning, and I could feel something funky going on while I was doing those leg presses. Maybe stick with the curls and extensions (at least for now) and come up with something else for glutes.

Friday 30 September 2016: Kickboxing
I made sure to stretch properly before class this time, and I had not one back twinge through the whole class (or afterward). In fact, despite a few flagging moments of not feeling like I’d eaten my Wheaties, it was a very good class. I participated in all the high-impact jump-ropes and jumping jacks and whatnot, and I didn’t even modify any of the ab work at the end.

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