As you might imagine, my good humor is fading as our early heatwave continues. Today, I was downright cranky! It’s not the first time, of course, but there’s usually a reason if I’m crabby. Today I was just mad because it was miserably hot again. LOL That’s really something to be mad about, right?
I honestly don’t enjoy being that way, so after a morning spent with the parents and Memaw (a potential contributing factor) and then running several errands in the 95° heat, I went straight from the car to the home gym (a.k.a. the spare bedroom) to rid myself of my negative energy.
Bad idea. I didn’t give the house time to cool down before I got with it, and I Thought I Would Die! After I slog-sweated through the strength portion, I headed outside to finish up the cardio, but I’d forgotten that I was working out three hours earlier than normal and it was a sauna out there. So I decided to round it all out with the stress reduction exercise of finishing the painting of a little curio shelf instead. And I felt better!
It goes to show that just as you sometimes have to spend money to save money, sometimes you have to be still to get fit. Fit to be around, anyway.
All this talk of exercise reminds me that I don’t think I’ve shared my current exercise program with y’all. Horrible oversight on my part!
You may remember that I dropped my gym membership a few months ago. For a while, I just let the extensive house and yard projects take care of the strength part of it, and worked in my cardio minutes most days. Hardly ideal, but it got the job done during a really busy time. Well, a few weeks ago I picked up Harley Pasternak’s 5 Factor Fitness at the library after reading about it on a few blogs. Summary: trainer-to-the-stars shares how he helps keep the Hollywood set in shape.
To be honest, I skimmed all the nutritional stuff. It seemed to be the standard 5-meals-a-day-to-boost-metabolism-and-burn-fat fare, which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily, but not something I found interesting since it seemed (to my untrained, skimming eye) to be a little light on healthy fat and grains. Plus, I’m pretty happy with the way I’m handling my eating. (Upcoming family reunion included.) Your mileage may vary.
The book’s exercise section did intrigue me, with its promise of Halle Berry-esque results* from working out 5 days a week for around 25 minutes each day. My initial reaction was skepticism, but then I realized that my normal gym workout, sans cardio and stretching, doesn’t last much longer than that. (It’s how I learned to exercise, and it seems to work well for me.) Also, according to the author, all you need is some dumbbells and a weight bench.
Daily Burn has an excellent description of the workout, including video demos, but in a nutshell it works like this:
5 minutes – cardio warmup
10 minutes – varying numbers of supersets, or pairings of exercises, each day, working different muscle groups
5 minutes – a different core exercise with each workout
5 minutes of cardio to close it out. (More is okay, too, but 5 minutes makes it equal 25 minutes expended, and Pasternak seems to have a thing for the number 5.)
The book includes a guide for numbers of sets, reps, and rest periods, and those change from week to week. (The Daily Burn article referenced above has details, along with a cautionary note to challenge yourself, but operate within your limits.)
Lacking access to a gym at present, I decided to give this a try for a while. I’m all about short, efficient, and effective workouts, and I’m curious to see if I can get what I need from this program. I’m a bit hampered by the fact that I only have one set of dumbbells, and they’re only 10 pounders. I’ve been watching Craigslist and yard sales for additions to the rack (a.k.a. an unused bookshelf), but until I get more weights I’ll just do really slow lifts and more of them. I’m also missing the weight bench, but I’m improvising by using my stability ball. I did that at the gym, too, most of the time, and I like it as it engages even more muscle groups. It also impresses passing trainers, but they’re not likely to be traipsing through my house so I’ll just have to impress my own self.
Anyway, I have to say, I’m enjoying it so far! It’s not my gym workout, but it IS a workout and I like how it fits into my day. If I do it in the late afternoon, I get set up to do my finishing cardio by taking a walk or hopping on my bike. (I’m sure I’ll enjoy that part even more, when it cools a little.) And if I get bored with or am not comfortable with some of the prescribed exercises, I can swap out other exercises for that muscle group. Once I get a few more weights, I think this could work! And if it doesn’t, I’ll just add a few more exercises. I’ll keep you updated!
So now that I have you on the edge of your seats, I’ll leave you for the weekend. I hope that you have a wonderful one. I’ll waddle back in with a post-family reunion report on Sunday or Monday!
*He doesn’t really promise that, but she was/is one of Pasternak’s clients.