Thursday, December 17, 2009

Back On The Upper East Side

Earlier this week, Drew had asked me if I'd like to come along with him when he met with his personal trainer. The original plan was to meet Friday morning. When I got home from the gym last night, I found out that the plan had changed and that we'd actually be meeting with the trainer, Billy, this morning. The only bummer about this plan (regardless of what day it was) is that we had to meet Billy at Drew's old gym on the Upper East Side. Since we had to meet Billy at 6 AM this morning, I said that we weren't getting up any earlier than we had to and we'd be taking a cab to get to the gym.

We got to the gym and stuffed our stuff into the locker room and when we met upstairs to do a little cardio before Billy got there, Drew told me that he had just gotten a text from Billy, who had a "minor catastrophe" at home and was running late. So, that meant that we had some time to kill. Luckily, we had brought our work clothes with us, so it didn't really matter if Billy was on time or not since we could just go straight from the gym to work.

Drew said we had about a half an hour to kill, so he jumped on the arc trainer. I really wanted to use the stair mill, but Drew said he didn't want to be exhausted from them, so I listened to what he had to say and did the elliptical machine. Except that really wasn't what I wanted to do. And I wasn't putting any effort into the whole thing. So, after 14 minutes of lack-luster elliptical, Nature was calling. I took care of that and decided to spend the next 16 minutes on the stairs. So much better! I was sweaty and happy!

Billy got there around 6:30 and rounded us up and took us to the weight room. Right away he had us grab some dumbbells. I got a 15 pounder and a 20 pounder. He had me start by setting both on the ground and then picking one up and lifting it over my head, setting it down and switching to the other dumbbell and doing the same thing. I did 15 of those with each arm.

Then I switched to the cable machine (which I hate). This exercise wasn't so bad though. All I had to do was pull the handle that was attached to the cable, while rotating my torso (similar to punching someone). I did 15 of those with each arm at 27.5 lbs.

Then I went back to the dumbbells for round two, but Billy bumped up the weight to 15 lbs and 25 lbs. Let me tell you, it makes a lot of difference those extra 5 pounds on the heavier dumbbell. I did 15 more of those with each arm. And then went back to the cable machine for round two at 32 lbs (15 reps per arm).

Then he had us lift up the Squat Machine with our arms (feet on the floor) 15 times. I did it with no weight, but Drew had to do it with weight, which just seemed mean. I also wasn't able to keep my feet on the floor the whole time. I had to jump up onto the platform to make it easier on myself (and keep my arms from failing).

We alternated that exercise with some modified pull-ups. We used the Smith Machine. Our feet were up on a workout bench at the end of the machine and we had to lift ourselves up 15 times. My arms were pretty much screaming at me already by this point. Then, of course, we had to do the Squat Machine thing again 15 times and the Smith Machine pull-ups 15 times. On the second round of Smith Machine pull-ups, I had to put my feet on the floor at the end in order to complete my 15 reps.

Then there was a quick breather while we walked from one area of the gym to another. We went into more of a stretching area and Billy had us get into plank position and just hold it for a few seconds. Then he had us alternate between plank position on our hands and plank position on our elbows. Ugh. That pretty much sucks. I couldn't even tell you how many times we did that. I think it was about 15 times the first time, but then we had to do some more later on, so I'd guess that we did that 20 times in total.

This is where things get a little fuzzy for me because I wasn't really in a position where I could write things down. I know that we did 25 real sit-ups. Turns out that I'm not very good at those. Billy had to hold my feet down. I am really good at crunches, though! We also did 5 push-ups.

And then we had to do this horrible thing involving a ball. I got really frustrated during this part. The point of it was that we were in plank position and we had to get our hands up onto the ball and then back off the ball. I thought that we were supposed to be able to get our hands up at the same time, which just wasn't working for me. I sort-of wanted to lean back and "jump" onto the ball with my hands, but that didn't seem very smart. I had a really hard time doing this right. After I had gotten it down a couple of times, Billy said that we couldn't leave until I had done it two more times properly.

So, I did the first one and rolled the ball to Drew. Then I put my knee down on the ground for a second. Billy asked Drew if I was doing it right and Drew said that I did put my leg down. Of course, that meant that we had to do even more of these dumb ball exercises. Even though I put my leg down after I was done with my part and had rolled the ball back! Ugh! I wasn't a very happy camper at that point.

Luckily, that was it. Billy had another client at 7, so we only had him for a short while. Of course, I forgot to press start on my watch right when we started training with Billy, so that's why my stats are a little off below.

After that, we still had about an hour until we had to hit the showers, so Drew asked if I wanted to do a fartlek run with him on the treadmill. The answer was really no, but instead I said yes.
But, on the way there, we saw the computerized bikes that they had at that gym and decided that we really needed to try them out. They were Expresso bikes. Um, can you just say awesome bikes? I'm pretty sure I've seen these before on Brie's blog and was super jealous when I saw them there.

They're really nice. They have gears that you have to change, the handle bars move, the seat isn't horrible, you can clip in (although I didn't have my bike shoes with me). I'd give it an A+ as far as bike equipment at a gymnasium and I fully intend on asking my regular gymnasium why they don't have one (or two!).

I chose a "Challenging" workout for us that was called "Wicked Workout". That should have been a dead giveaway right there. There were some serious hills in that baby! The highest % grade that we saw was 49%! Try climbing that in real life. Drew said he didn't really know anything about % grade or why it's done as a percentage, but I think that this article does a good job explaining it.

The riding was really fun (despite the fact that I spent a good deal of time muttering under my breath about the hills). It was fun because you had to try to stay on the road and I could see Drew ahead of me. I also really liked it because I tried to catch up to the other riders and then crash into them. It didn't really seem to have any effect on my riding or theirs, but it was a great source of entertainment for me!

The only really negative thing that I'd have to say about this bike is that the downhills were nothing like real life. You had no credit for the momentum you'd have if you were really going down a steep hill. But, I guess if I wanted it to be real, I'd don a bunch of cold-weather gear and ride my bike outside. The other negative thing was that Drew was way faster than me. He finished about 13 minutes before I did. I wasn't overly excited that he was that much faster than me, but I still had a really good time riding bikes with him.

In total this morning, I burned exactly 1000 recorded calories at the gym! I'm pretty sure that might be a new record for the gymnasium! I also think that it was probably more than that since I cheated myself out of a few minutes of working out with Billy, but I'm really happy with that total and all the effort that I put in this morning. I'm going to be out of town this weekend and I have almost no expectation that I'll be working out (in fact, I'll be making Christmas cookies, and lots of them), so I'm trying to compensate for that now. This was a really good start!

Elliptical & Stair Mill
Time: 30:00
Distance: 2.75 miles
Pace: 10:54/mile
Calories: 272
Maximum HR: 165
Average HR: 144

Training with Billy
Time: 22:10
Calories: 215
Maximum HR: 175
Average HR: 149

Expresso Spin Bike
Time: 47:10
Distance: 7.93 miles
Pace: 10.1 MPH (average)
Calories: 513
Maximum HR: 204*
Average HR: 160

*This heart rate is 100% wrong. When I was starting my watch for the bike riding, I looked down and it flashed on 204 and then immediately went to 118. So something was wrong for a second there (or I have some sort of heart flutter/murmur). But, since it says it on my watch and I don't have the actual number, I'm just going to record it anyway.

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