Another No-Plans Workout, and a Short CrossFit-ish Circuit

I swear, although we haven’t been posting, Kara and I have stayed fairly regular with our workouts.  So we did the Turkey Trot, and it was pretty fun, and went well!  Kara had an awesome time — something under 28 minutes.  And I met my goal of NOT WALKING.  My time was just over 35 minutes.  I can’t believe it, but I’ve actually signed up for ANOTHER 5K in December.  This one is a Santa Run.  My goal is to finish in under 33 minutes — I think it’s doable for me.  I’m getting better at running — still not my favorite thing, but there’s a serious improvement.

This week, I have been to the gym twice (so far!), but with very little planning.  Work has been nuts, and I just never knew if I was going to make it or not.  I ended up forcing myself to go at the last minute, both Monday and Wednesday.

Monday was definitely a no-plans workout.  Here’s sort of what it looked like, as I wandered aimlessly around the gym:

  • 10 heavy hack squats on the machine (I never know how to tell the total weight for that machine, but I added 70 pounds to the base weight)
  • 15 calf raises with the same weight as the hack squats
  • 15 overhead kettlebell swings, 20 lbs
  • 15 kettlebell upright rows, 20 lbs
  • 10 kettlebell halos
  • 20 chest presses with dumbbells, 15lbs each hand, alternating arms, and holding the “resting” arm at 45 degrees (the lowest part of the movement)
  • jump rope, 50 jumps
  • 50 bridges for the booty
  • windshield wiper abs, 10 each side
  • jump rope, 50 jumps
  • 5 minute run (at 10-min-per-mile pace)
  • ab crunch machine (x15)
  • 10 bench presses, 45 lbs
  • 10 bench presses 55 lbs
  • jump rope, 50 jumps
  • bicep 21’s (7 bottom half of a curl, 7 top half of a curl, 7 full range of motion)
  • cable tricep extensions (30 lbs, 15 reps)
  • 10 heavy hack squats on the machine
  • 15 calf raises with the same weight as the hack squats

So, again, this is what happens when I don’t make a plan.  I hit most of the major muscle groups (missed my back), but things were all over the place.  It was low-pressure and fun though.  And I feel good about getting something accomplished.  I was sore the next day, so you can tell I didn’t wuss out!

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Yesterday, I had a bit more of a plan, inspired by a CrossFit-style workout that Fitnessista posted. And I say “inspired by” because I didn’t write it down (ugh!), because my brain was mush at the end of the day, and I just (effing) forgot.  So I kind of just did it from memory, and within my time limit (I went right back to work afterward).

I love this “Bear Complex,” thing.  I did 15 rounds, at a gentle pace.  I took breaks when I wanted to, and finished 15 rounds in about 7 minutes.  It’s a great set of lifts.  I’ll definitely use it again, especially since I feel comfortable with all of the moves.

So, as you can see in the video above, one round consists of: 1 power clean, 1 front squat, 1 push press, 1 back squat, and 1 push press. Fairly straightforward, but after 5 or so without stopping, my heart was thumping out of my chest.  Awesome. 🙂  I did the move with 45 lbs.

Then I did three rounds of the following circuit, again at a pace that felt challenging, but not crazy intense.

  • jump rope, 100 jumps
  • 15 kettlebell swings, 20 lbs
  • box jumps, 18 inches, 10 reps

Then I finished off with some bridges for the bootay (50 reps).  Trying to activate my glutes more effectively, which is really helping me to better support my back, lately!

What happens when you go to the gym without a plan?  Is it weird that I have to plan, or else things look totally disorganized?

-Amanda

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Smash Gyms Groupon

Whoa, long hiatus for both of us over here.  I had a busy couple of weeks at work, so posting was at a minimum for me (i.e. zero), though I have been keeping up with workouts (and running!).  Do you blog at work?  Me=guilty.  Anyway, here’s what Kara and I have been up to.  As I mentioned in the last post, my Groupon at a local CrossFit gym expired, and so it was time for Kara and I to start using the new Groupon we just got for another place called Smash Gyms.  It’s an interesting place.  It is one big room, divided into a soft mat section, which is primarily dedicated to martial arts (Krav Maga, and kickboxing, among others), and a section suitable for group fitness classes like CrossFit and Kettlebell training.

It so happens that those last two are the first things Kara and I have tried over there.  Our first night was a class called Kettlebell Conditioning.  It started with a really great ab circuit that lasted about 10 minutes.  I’m stretching my brain to recall all of the moves, but I think it looked something like this:

Kettlebell Conditioning Class

  • plank (15 seconds)
  • side plank, right (15 seconds)
  • side plank, left (15 seconds)
  • table plank — like regular plank, except on your hands instead of elbows (15 seconds)
  • reach for the sky — feet toward ceiling, reach to touch your toes (x10, with a 10-second hold at the top of the last rep)
  • obliques — get into a normal situp position: knees up, heels on the ground. Then touch your ankles, squeezing your obliques (x10 each side).  Think about going side-to-side, rather than up.

I may be leaving something out there, especially since reading this doesn’t make it seem too hard, but I thought it was a pretty decent ab workout.  Though Kara’s made me do worse (or is it better?).

The kettlebell part was the following circuit repeated five times.

  • kettlebell swings, 10 kg (x10)
  • jumping jacks (x20)
  • kettlebell upright rows, 8 kg (x10)
  • kettlebell halos, 8 kg (x10) – see video below
  • squats (with or without a kettlebell) (x10, with a 10-second hold at the bottom of the last rep)
  • mountain climbers (x10 each side)
  • plank (30 seconds)

I think both of us thought the workout was pretty fun.  I, for one, wish it had been slightly more challenging,  but I know to increase my weight for next time.  I liked the instructor — she was super cheesy, but really positive.  I love positivity.  Who doesn’t??  She was motivating, and that’s all that matters. =)

Strength and Conditioning Class

This class was (sort of) organized like a CrossFit class.  I use the word “organized” very loosely, because it was very clearly not organized the day we went.  I did get to try some new things, which was good, but I also wanted to well…  you know… break a sweat?   I think Kara felt even more strongly than I did.  Anyway, I am hopeful that the class will be more organized tonight (we’re giving it another try).  Anyway, this time, we focused on a few skills:

  • pistol squats
  • chair sits
  • ring hold (like this, but it’s easier to practice if you start from a box at a height very close to the height you’d be “hanging” at)
  • pullups (more specifically, reverse pullups.  Jump to the top of the pullup, and then slowly let yourself come down.)
  • back squats, with increasing weight.  We went up to ~100 lbs.
Pistol Squats – from Shape.com
Chair Sit – balancing on your hands, lift your legs up and try to hold this position. It is very difficult! You can also try this from the floor to practice.

And we also worked on our endurance.  We did two rounds of as many burpees as possible in 1 minute.  My first minute, I think I got 19, and my second minute I got 17.  So, around 1 burpee every 3 seconds.

Tonight, we’re actually heading out to try this class again.  We’ll let you know how it goes this time!  What have you been up to lately?  Anyone training for a Turkey Trot?  I’m having trouble deciding what to wear for ours — I rarely run in cold weather.  Actually, I rarely run at all.  😉  But especially not in the cold.  So I guess I’m probably going with capri leggings, a tank top, and a running pullover.  I full expect to have to remove the pullover at some point, but I’ll just tie it around my waist or something.  Is that cheesy?  Any advice for running in cool weather?  I only expect it to be in the 50s or so, so not freezing…
-Amanda