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:
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….)