Monday, October 13, 2014

Time to Get Our Workout On


Now, if only I could remember where I put my pants.

A typical day in the gym for Char and I goes something like this:

Char – So, what do you want to do today?
Me – I don’t know, what do you want to do?
Char – I don’t know, maybe some cardio and some weights…
Me – Yeah, I suppose. Here grab these kettle bell things and swing them around a bit.
Char - Ok. What's this giant box thing for?
Me - I think you're supposed to jump on and off it. But first, walk around the weight room with this heavy medicine ball, and make sure you’re sweating and breathing heavy when you do.
Char – Why?
Me – ‘Cause that’s how people know you’re serious. And while you do that, I’ll grunt and slam this giant bean bag into the floor so everyone knows we’re not messing around over here.

Too Much Weight?
30-90 minutes later we’ve stumbled through a hodgepodge workout of CrossFit-ish moves, weight training, and some other made up stuff. We’re not really focused and no closer to our personal fitness goals than we were before we started.

Used to be, we could just walk in and dream up a dozen or so things to do to get a decent smoke session out of ourselves, but the last month has had us in so many different places and with gyms that don’t have the equipment we’ve come to expect (talking about you Fort Meade, where are all the medicine balls?) and we’re running into the gym rat version of writer’s block. Our workouts are becoming mediocre and boring. Oh, there’s some sweating and some grunting going on, but if we really want to pursue our physical goals seriously, it’s time to come up with a plan.

It’s time to get serious.

So, we’ve come up with a menu of options for inflicting pain and suffering on our bodies in pursuit of physical progress (or prowess; depends on how I feel when I wake up). Each day has a specific focus, with different options that we put together for each focus. For example, choose Weight Training for Tuesday and then pick the Dumbbell Destruction plan from the list; get ripped. Should be simple enough and yet satisfy the Choose Your Own Adventure Book desire embedded in both of us from growing up in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

Mondays (Endurance Cardio):
Trail Runs (Fort Meade and Maryland are covered with short and medium trails for running)
Lap Swim
Spinning (The apartment complex has two awesome spin bikes with selectable workout videos)

Tuesdays (Strength):
CrossFit
Weight Training
Yoga (as a recovery or second workout option)

Wednesdays (Speed Cardio):
Track Intervals
Swim Intervals
Spin Intervals

So, um, basically it’s an interval kind of day.

Thursday (Strength):
CrossFit
Weight Training
Yoga

Thursday has the same focus as Tuesday but a different workout.  So, whatever we do on Tuesday, we can’t do on Thursday.

Friday (Makeup Day):
Fill in the blank with whatever you feel you need.

Each day was chosen and built around our plan to build a fantastic fitness foundation (alliteration!) while in Maryland. The intervals help build the speed that we both struggle with in cycling and running. The CrossFit helps Char learn how to jump onto something taller than a toaster oven. The swimming satisfies my innate desire to become the world’s hairiest triathlete. All of this while avoiding the distraction of actual races and organized events and building the foundation in the three core areas of fitness that I often use to judge my health: strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Weekends are adventure days where we choose something fun and exciting. This is a huge change for us. Before now, the weekends were filled with long cycling or running sessions, but we don’t have our bikes here in Maryland and chose not to commit to any specific long distance events in the near future. We can finally use the weekends to explore the local sights, history, culture, and even make up some crazy adventures to combine our fitness with what’s available. 

Stay tuned for the National Mall Scavenger Hunt Adventure that we’re currently working on.