It has been a few months since I started going to the gym, and I still try to go to Spin class whenever it fits into my schedule. I love the fact that Spin pushes me to work harder than I really want to. A good Spin instructor individualizes the ride for each participant. You ride together, but each person works at his or her own level.
That said, I have to admit, that I often feel like leaving soon after the class begins. Before the second song ends, I find myself out of my comfort zone. I know that if I cycling on my own, I would probably slow down; or choose an easier route. I start to look around the room. Most people are barely breaking a sweat. I need a drink.
First Rule of Spin: Bring a water bottle.
We start to our first hill. The Sunday instructor loves to ride out of the saddle. (I should note: I choose classes based on when I can go, not the instructor that teaches them.) We begin a six-minute climb. She tells us to add a ¼ or ½ turn, if we can. Sometimes I add that much; sometimes I don’t. I believe you should push yourself. Keep pedaling to the beat of the music or faster. But if you can’t keep up, take off a little resistance
Second rule of Spin: It is your ride.
Yeah! Fifteen minutes are over! One quarter of the ride is done. I can do this!
We spend the next fifteen minutes working on speed and resistance. I forgot to bring a towel. My bars are dripping with sweat.
Third rule of Spin: Bring a towel.
Half of the class is over. With the lower resistance I start to feel like I can finish the class strong, but the instructor has a long climb planned. We begin a 24-minute ride up hill. We add on four complete turns as we stand out of the saddle, and do not decrease the resistance as we sit for short intervals to take a drink.
I am getting tired, but I realize that I am able to keep up with the class. I am holding my own. Sure there are some who are faster than I am, but I am keeping up!
The hill is over. We lower resistance, cool down and stretch. Class is over; we’ve all burned over 600 calories. I head home to shower. Another good workout done!
Do you take a gym class that pushes you harder than you’d work on your own? Post a comment below and tell me about it.
While working on this challenge, I’ve started to reflect on some of the ways that we all hold ourselves back from success. And I plan on being a winner in the weight loss game, so I wanted to share them with you.
1. We talk about going on a “diet.”
First things first: You need to throw the word “diet” out the window. When you make a plan to lose weight or eat more healthfully, don’t think of it as a diet. It is a way of life. Not a short-term, restrictive plan. Changing the way you eat can be difficult in the beginning. But with some planning and a little preparation you can be successful. Remember this isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. You didn’t wake up 10, 15, 20+ pounds heavier overnight. So know that the weight won’t come off overnight either. It just happens as a slow progression over a period of time.
2. We don’t really commit.
Just like the rest of you, Andy and I lead busy lives. Two full time jobs, two kids, keeping a happy marriage and a house to manage. Throw in planning and preparing healthy foods, food journaling and working out and it can be mind boggling. But you have to be willing to commit at any cost to succeed at being healthy. That doesn’t mean you should sacrifice your family, but know in your mind that being unhealthy is no longer an option.
3. We let life get in the way.
“Life” is going to happen and, as I’ve said in past blogs, if you wait for the perfect moment to take hold of your health it will never occur. You have to make it happen. I know a lot of women feel guilty for taking an hour out of their day three to four times a week to work out because it’s taking them away from their kids. But kids learn from watching what their parents do. Don’t you want to teach them to take good care of themselves? Getting yourself healthy and fit is not a selfish thing it’s a selfless thing and you’re paving the way for your legacy.
How do you think moms sabotage their get-healthy dreams? Post a comment and tell me!
That’s the biggest lesson Wes, my trainer at Gold’s Gym, has taught me. Twenty minutes of intense cardio bursts is just as good if not better since I’m shocking my body and forcing it to respond. On days I don’t do the cardio conditioning, I do weight training.
Wes has taught me four basic, strength-training exercises and twenty variations on them. Those basic movements are: the squat, bench press, overhead press and dead lift. If you can’t remember the last time you did any of those moves, it’s time to rethink your workout.
Worried that weight work will take longer than watching the counter tick down on the treadmill or elliptical trainer? Surprise: Weight training doesn’t require hours in the gym. An intense, half-hour is all that is needed. But you have to be fully present during your workout—no zoning out while watching TV on the stationary bike. The main focus is on correct form and intensity. It’s not how much you do, it’s what you do that matters.
Tiffany and I love our new, fit life and will not go back to our old ways. Sure, we’ll slip up now and then. We’re only human. But we are so aware of what our bodies need in order to thrive at peak performance and loving how good we feel, there’s not turning back.
Could you trade your straight cardio workout for conditioning? Post a comment and tell me!
In her post today, Tiffany noted that strength training is just as important as cardio when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape. The reason? As your muscles recover, you’ll continue to burn calories.
For best results, follow Tiffany’s lead and do both strength training and cardio in every workout. Here’s how to squeeze in five easy strengthening moves in just 10 minutes.
What’s your favorite strength/cardio combo? Share in the comments below.
You don’t need to kill yourself with cardio to lose fat and weight.
That’s the biggest message Lass, my trainer at Gold’s Gym, has taught me. I am lifting more weight today than I ever though I would. I’m amazed at each work out how much I can do. If you would have told me I’d be lifting heavy weights, flipping 100+ pound tractor tires and doing treadmill pushes (where I make the treadmill belt move vs. me programming it to move) I would have said your crazy!
With Lass, every workout involves strength and conditioning (Lass’ word for cardio). I leave the gym drenched in sweat and hardly able to walk due to muscle fatigue. And I love it! I went from all cardio—thinking I was really pushing myself—to really realizing what it meant to push myself and be pushed by using weights!
I’ve seen huge changes in my body (thanks to the workouts and a proper diet). There’s no way I’m going back to my all-cardio-all-the-time ways now!
Are you hesitant to try strength training? Post a comment and tell me why!