I’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

Okay, you know that site I mentioned yesterday, PhysicalFitnet? If you want to have a nice, simple little workout, avoid that site like the plague!

Alternatively, you could consider changing up your workout routine by adding one or two of the exercises, not FIVE like someone on this blog did. Some were small adjustments to exercises I was already doing regularly, but a couple were new-to-me exercises. And at least one is destined to be a maybe-again-at-some-time-in-the-future-if-someone-is-holding-a-gun-to-my-head-and-appears-to-be-impatient exercise.

You’re on the edge of your seat now, aren’t you? (Thought so.)

First, the changes. I do regular old step-ups every workout. Sometimes I use dumbbells, sometimes the bar. And I vary the weights and reps for interest. Yawn. Today I did something different by–get ready for it!–doing side step-ups!

Honestly, I didn’t expect much difference, but….hello, inner thigh! Not in a painful way, but it did let me know it’s been feeling left out. Also, this exercise adds an element of balance that front step-ups don’t have. I’m thinking I’ll change my routine to do front step-ups on Mondays, sides on Wednesdays, and a combination-to-be-determined on Fridays. This one’s a keeper!

The next change was also minor, and is also staying in the rotation. I’ve been doing dumbbell pullovers with either a single, heavier dumbbell and using a two-handed grip or a plate weight. Today, I used two dumbbells and I could feel a subtle difference, more working of my inner bicep. So I’ll be mixing up my methods on pullovers, too.

I also tried the 1-leg standing calf raises with weights vs. the plain old humdrum 2-legged variety. I did it more for the stability and balance benefit than the strength aspect. What I learned is that I still don’t have a lot of stability and balance. All the more reason to keep them.

I also did some front, back, and static lunges (a.k.a split squats) with shoulder presses, but they didn’t really capture my fancy. I like the total body combo, but I think I prefer splitting up the moves. I dunno.

The killer exercise doomed to be pushed out of the repertoire completely was the one arm plank rows, shown below:

dumbbell, medicine ball plank, row balance and stability, weight training
1 arm rear shoulder dumbbell plank row

(Click on image to view this exercise…)

Okay, in viewing this video again I see a slight difference in the form. Ponytail gal is using an overhand grip, and I was using a neutral grip. That may be why I felt I was too twisty during the lift and too wobbly in the descent. I shall make one more attempt at these next week before deciding to discard them completely. (But I can promise you I won’t be doing them too often, no matter what! Yowza!)

Squat w/Back Extension was a new one for me, and I like it! I don’t use the medicine ball a whole lot, so that was a nice change, plus it was a nice stretchy move for later in the workout.

And the other new move for me was the one that started this whole thing, the alternating bicep curls on the Bosu. One word: keeper! In fact, I shall probably do most of my future bicep curls on the Bosu.

I also did some standard, garden-variety push-ups. Nothing exciting there.

As if any of this was exciting.

But it was a good workout! I don’t know if it was the gym temp, this combination of exercises, or some combination of the two, but I was dripping sweat midway through my first set and had to take a few 10-second breaks to catch my breath in my final. My exhales were more loud gasps during the plank rows and squats, which was kind of…

…wonderful. In the years I wouldn’t go to the gym, fear of doing something to draw attention was one of the things that stopped me. I got past that enough to get my fanny moving, but I was still somewhat self-conscious.

Today I realized that those days are firmly behind me. I heard my gaspy, grunty noises and kept right on going, never missing a beat. I did a few pauses to catch my breath in hopes of lowering the volume (and surviving), but my focus was on my workout, not on what anyone else might think about it. Or me.

I didn’t really even register or recognize the shift until my cool down and stretching, and I purposefully took a moment to look around. As you might expect, everyone else within the immediate area was busy with their own workouts and making their own funny little noises.

Today’s workout showed me that I’ve come a very long way since those old days. I still have my moments of hesitation, especially when trying a new apparatus, but I just keep motoring on. My self-confidence is much higher in the gym, and I’m feeling really good about THAT, almost as much as losing the weight.

Now, if I can just find a way to transfer that gym moxie to the outside world, I’ll be set! :)

And just so you know, and because I don’t say it nearly enough, YOU are part of the reason I feel so much more confident. YOUR stories of victory over obstacles inspire me, encourage me, and motivate me. YOU help me remember that we all have to start somewhere and it’s the starting that matters most. YOU should take a moment to pat yourselves on the back and congratulate yourselves for helping me have such a great workout*! (And think, you never even had to break a sweat!)

So tell me, what’s the most pride-inducing, chest-thumping (even if it’s just to you) change you’ve made since you jumped on the health and fitness wagon? And DO NOT try to tell me you haven’t changed! I don’t care if you haven’t lost a pound or inch, if you’ve been trying at all, something–and probably something profound–within you has changed. If you don’t want to share it with me (or any potential readers), pleasepleaseplease take a moment to say it out loud to yourself! You earned it!

*This act, while enormously appreciated, does not entitle you to any part of my cupcake on Saturday. (Only one more awesome workout and two days of on-plan eating to go! I wonder if it’s too soon to start reviewing their menu….)

12 thoughts on “I’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

  1. I’ve gotta say it. I’m so impressed. I got over my gym-shyness a few years ago and have gone more or less regularly (through thick and thin) 2 or 3 times/week. BUT, I do the resistance machines and never the free weights. I know they have helped me, but somehow they don’t feel like the real thing. Hats off to you. And, yes, definitely look at the menu and drool–that’s part of the fun of planning a treat.

  2. After spending decades sitting on the couch, I am really quite stunned to look back and realize that I’ve been exercising consistently (and mostly enjoying it) for six years. I am thinking I’ve made it a habit :-)

  3. Thanks for showing me a new fitness site! Looks awesome :) I can already feel the sore muscles.
    One thing that is totally opposite than what i used to do is to eat all my veggies before anything else on my plate and i love them.
    Exercise i’m learning something new everyday!
    I’m definitely proud of how far i’ve come.

  4. This year I kicked up my workouts a notch. I have been a consistent exerciser now for several years but was not pushing myself very hard. So I added in longer workouts and new classes like yoga and pilates. (Haven’t been back to my classes since I suffered my darn injury in March though. Sigh.) So I read this post and just found myself inspired for the day when I can get back fully to lifting weights again and kicking butt:)

  5. You are my idol! I need to start grunting and making funny noises in the gym. MUST LIFT WEIGHTS!

    The biggest change for me is my focus. I’m not obsessing about the scale and how slow it moves but instead have been focusing on my workouts and what I’m putting in my mouth. I’m being consistent and not beating myself up if I decide I want a treat now and then. Sure, the weight would come off faster if I didn’t indulge in those treats but I would feel deprived and swirl right down that rabbit hole again. That rabbit hole scares me – I’m never going down there again.

  6. Good for you, Cammy! You are really changing things up. I have yet to really step in a gym, per se. My early morning classes are at a Tae Bo studio and there are just a few of us, mostly my friends and me. The strength class I take is at my church and mostly with friends. I admire your confidence at the gym. Someday, I will have that.

    For now, what I am most proud about is my jogging. I have never been a runner and now I can jog for 20 minutes straight! I am proud of myself for being so diligent and patient in this journey, too.

  7. Cupcake explorations – I love this idea! And wow – that one-armed plank – I don’t know if I could do that one without any weights. I can do the side planks which are done just using one arm, but something about facing forward w/just one arm looks crazy.

  8. Cammy, you know me & my LOVE OF WEIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!!! I love mixing it up & feel that has been a key part of my success. I don’t get bored, I am always trying new ways to do things & searching out new ways as well. I pretty much change up my weight workout in some way every workout. Some days it is a lot of changes & others days just a change here & there BUT it never is the same!

    YOU DONE GOOD and deserve that cupcake!

    Me, the biggest thing it has done for me is with all my insecurities, I actually feel good about the way I look sometimes! :-) ANBD, I feel accomplished in the gym!!!! Like you, Now, if I can just find a way to transfer that gym moxie to the outside world, I’ll be set! That is my big prob!

  9. When I first started walking four miles a day, over 20 years ago, I totally felt like that. “Just walking” helped me to lose weight and lower my BP, and I kept it up for many years.

    I’m still doing it, but not as far or as frequently. Need to work on that. Still have times when I get really into it. After reading about so many of you Super-Women at the gym, it makes me realize that I need to get on the strength-training bus. I really do admire all of you for that!! I’m hoping osmosis through cyberspace will get me going.

  10. ok
    you have me mulling the GYM MOXIE to the outside world idea as most of us need to transfer the OUTSIDE WORLD MOXIE to the gym.


    hence the TIPPY TOE WAY OF LIFE book I keep reminding you we need :)

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