Fall Fitness 2015 #3 – Resistance bands

Yesterday was my third of 20 personal training appointments. At my request trainer J developed, demonstrated, and taught me how to do several exercises using braided resistance bands. Since I am leaving for 5 days of vacation next week, I really wanted to have a variety of exercises I could do in a hotel room with a yoga towel and stretchy bands. There will be no TRX suspension straps available to me, but the hotels have small workout facilities and all assured me they have dumb bells and kettle bells therein as well. Between the floor exercises we previously reviewed and now these new things with the bands, I should be able to continue my strength/toning training practices while away vacationing. Here’s what we did today:

  • Band-assisted squat
  • Seated (or kneeling) band lat pulldown
  • Band reverse fly
  • Band abs pullover
  • Band triceps pressdown
  • Band assisted hip hinge
  • Band row
  • Band resist rotation press – hip dominant
  • Band chest press
  • Band biceps curl
  • Band 1-arm overhead press

It was surprisingly, deceptively simple to learn routine, and I can feel the work throughout my limbs tonight. And with that, here are my goals and progress report for the week.

  1. Weight – Drop 20 lbs. ON TRACK
    Third week finds me zero pounds gained or lost, which is to be expected. However, I had a huge boost by having to return 2 pairs of pants ordered online in the larger size. Clothes are fitting about the same, but I am so very close to fitting into a pair of pants that have not buttoned around my tummy in at least a year, probably closer to 2 years. The carb budget my endocrinologist suggested is working pretty well thus far, when I have the discipline to follow it. I have had days of completely blowing the budget (family dinner last Friday night, pizza on Saturday for lunch, pizza at the law firm last night working late), but even with that my numbers have been holding steady at below 140 before meals. I think the fact that I’m becoming more mindful of meal timing also helps with that. Setting annoying alert time on phone for 5 hour breaks forces me to stop whatever I am doing, test, and eat something, even if I am not terribly hungry.
  2. Strength training – 3 times per week on my own. ON TRACK
    In the 7 days between training sessions, I was at the gym Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday evenings doing TRX exercises, cardio, or both. I had an ongoing struggle with the evil pink kettle bell and the sumo dead lifts, but J and I reviewed it today and he says my form looks good. He also suggested that if I want YouTube videos to review during the week, I get recommendations from him rather than go it alone. I told him my YouTube exercise training day was now concluded. My daily exposure to the gym is helping enormously with my anxiety, and I believe making myself contemplate the overall benefits (versus dwelling on my discomfort and dislike) is going a long way toward my consistency.
  3. Stretching/Flexibility – 3 to 4 yoga practices per week. ON TRACK
    I was at yoga practice Saturday morning, Monday and Wednesday mornings, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, for a total of 5 practices this reporting week. The 5:30 a.m. practices are getting easier if only because I allow myself a cup of caffeinated coffee beforehand. If I am getting up at 4:30 for yoga practice I should get a little treat for my effort.
  4. Cardio/HIIT – 3 days per weekKINDA ON TRACK
    I am still doing well with the daily walking/rowing, but nothing dramatic in the fat burning department. While I know I need to increase my intensity in this regard, I just have not begun pursuing this goal. If anything, I am far more focused on getting my mind under control and myself to the gym and to yoga regularly. I am moving, right? Even thought I am not moving with intent to burn fat, I am doing some moderate, consistent things in this area.
  5. Post updates each week. ON TRACK
    Here we are – update from session 3 of 20. M commented to me last night that the cost of personal training is worth every single penny. This was huge – M does not generally value such “expertise” (quotes are always purely his) – but I am doing the exercise, practicing the things I am learning, and pushing through where by now I would have surely quit without the accountability of meeting with J each week. I will be candid that I have wanted to quit at least once a week since this began, yet I am hanging in, hanging on, going forward to the best of my ability. The benefits are more than just the regular exercise. I have more energy and more focus, and I just feel as if I am making progress … so much more, farther than I have been all on my own.

I make it a point to tell my trainer how much I appreciate all he does for me, both during the sessions and with his ongoing support in between. Hopefully all the people he works with regularly do the same, because it seems like a thankless task. More than that, though, I am grateful that M is so supportive of my efforts. Despite my plaintive wailings about how I cannot do this, I have been continuing to get up and to do what I need to do. The cardio will come, or I will develop squats and circuit strength training into some sort of fat burning routine. Regular Bikram practice is also providing benefits in the incremental progress I am achieving each time I am at the studio.

I am starting to think I can actually learn to strength train, that I can build pretty muscles. The seeds of goals beyond learning to train safely and sanely are starting to be planted. It is something to ponder for awhile going forward, and perhaps after I return from vacation I will broach the subject with J. I do believe I need to sit down and figure out what resides at the next waypoint in this journey, so J can formalize his ideas of how to get me there.

Happy weekending everyone!

3 thoughts on “Fall Fitness 2015 #3 – Resistance bands

    • I was just realizing how consistent I have been with J – I don’t miss appointments, I don’t even think about rescheduling much less cancelling. I was telling him yesterday it finally occurred to me that maybe I could just skip meeting next week if it put him into a crunch fitting me in Monday or Tuesday, but he nixed that idea immediately and I’m actually glad, because this weekly meeting keeps me on track.
      Expect another post on the topic before I leave on vacation – I need some help figuring out where I am going with this. 🙂

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