Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This week we talked to the group about turning it up a notch. After a month of using the machines, it was time to learn how to use free weights. It came at a good time, too, because many of them had reached a plateau.

For some reason, this group has had some difficulty breaking through to the next level. Hopefully the free weights will help shake some things loose. They’ll burn more calories doing the exercises with dumbbells (DB) because of all the other stabilizer muscles that will come into play, particularly in their core.

The main idea is to simply take each exercise they did on machines, and replace it with dumbbells. The Chest Press machine is replaced with Chest Press on the exercise ball. The Seated Row machine is replaced with Single Arm Rows.

The Leg Press machine is replaced by doing body squats while holding dumbbells on their shoulders. The Lower Back machine and Leg machines are replaced with Bent Knee Deadlifts.

They’ll also do Lateral Raises instead of the Shoulder Press Machine, Bicep Curls with instead of the Bicep Curl Machine, and Overhead Presses instead of the Tricep Press Machine. They’ll also do several abdominal exercises on the ball, to replace the Ab Machine.

One of the keys to keeping the intensity up is to do the exercises back to back, without stopping. Here’s the first workout they’ll be doing for the next two weeks in case you’d like to try it. Make sure you get with someone who knows how to perform the movements correctly. Do each group of exercises back-to-back three times, with 10-12 repetitions each.

1. Chest Press on Ball (DB) / Body Squats (DB)
2. Single Arm Rows (DB) / Bent Knee Deadlifts (DB)
3. Lateral Raises (DB) / Bicep Curls (DB) / Overhead Press
4. Ab Crunches on Ball (regular, back bends, crossing over)

This week, my Cutie-Pie also turned it up a little bit. Her gym class is doing a 1 mile run fitness test on Tuesday, so she got together with me several times to help her prepare. I just love the fact that they’re having the kids do this, and she says they’ve been running quite a bit in gym class to get ready.

So we got on the treadmill to see where she was. I was pretty surprised, and she did a fair amount of running the first time to finish in 15:56. Now I know there are kids out there that will blow that away, but some kids are born runners and some aren’t.

I’m one of those guys that wasn’t borne to it. In fact, for many years, I couldn’t run at all, due to a pretty serious case of asthma. A few years back, they came out with some medicine that finally controlled it.

When I first started jogging a few years ago, I finished at the back of the pack consistently. After a couple years of working on it, I now finish right in the middle of the group.

That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a big deal to me. Especially when you realize that only so many people show up for the 5K’s, duathons, and half marathons that I like to run. So to be in the middle of a pretty exclusive group is pretty cool.

The second time we got together, we went out to the track at the football field. I think it’s much easier doing a mile for time out there, because you’re outside. It’s also cooler outside this time of year.

At the field, she kept a faster pace and only walked a little bit after each quarter mile. The last lap was faster, as she kicked it up to try and get there under 13:00. I was surprised at how determined she was as we ran around that last turn, and she finished in 12:53, three minutes quicker than before.

The last workout had to be inside again, due to the rain. It was also later in the day, and I could tell she wasn’t feeling it quite as much, as she held back a little in the first two quarter miles. Still, she kicked it up in the end and finished right at 14:00.

While it was a minute slower than out at the track, it was still almost two minutes faster than the last time she was on the treadmill. It was also pretty darn good for an eight year old who’s about four feet tall!

Her fitness test is Tuesday at school, so after resting Monday to recover, she should be ready to go. The things she’ll need to remember are to try and lengthen her stride to use more muscles and take the pressure off her knees. She also needs to concentrate on her breathing when it gets tough: in-two, out-two, in-two, out-two.

She’s also planning on doing the 25 mile distance in the C.A.M.A. Park-To-Park bike ride coming up the first weekend in June. She’s done the 8 mile distance already, and with a new bike, wants to go a little bit further. So she’ll do it with her daddy, while her younger brother does the 8 miler with her mom.

A bunch of us will be doing the 40 miler, and there are even some serious riders in town who’ll do the 70 mile distance—now that’s impressive! But to me, it’s just as impressive to see an 8 year old do 25 miles.

This week’s winner was Alison Raney, who lost 1.1% of her body weight and 2.0 lbs. Nicole Clodfelter and Mindi Milner tied for second, losing about 1.0%. Nicole lost 2.2 lbs, and Mindi lost 1.6 lbs. Tisha Brinkley placed fourth, losing 1.6 lbs, and Janice Johnson was fifth, also losing 1.2 lbs.

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