An Unexpected Journey

"Health is the condition of wisdom, and the sign is cheerfulness — an open and noble temper." – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Leave a comment

“Operation Look, perform & Feel Better” October 16, 2012

Today was mostly a cardio day, so that meant two classes.  One during my lunch break and the other after work.  Since my gym recently screwed up one of my classes (read: they changed it to a format that is both dull and doesn’t get my heart rate up enough) I’ve had to rearrange my workout schedule for the week.  These two classes on the same day are part of that plan.

Lunch Time Workout
“Pre-Season Sports Conditioning” at NYSC 41st and 3rd Avenue.  This session involved a good combination of strength and cardio, and by the end I was definitely worn out!  Among the tougher exercises were pike push ups into a reverse crunch), a one arm dumbbell lift from a plank position and constant vaulting over risers back and forth.  Still sore from my Monday workout, this one was particularly rough!

After Work Exercise
I’m officially hooked on a boxing class that takes place at NYSC in the Theater District.  The class is a combination of boxing and calisthenics.  Last week the class was split in two, with one half doing an exercise and the other half boxing.  This week there were several stations set up (four of which were boxing stations) with varying exercises including jumping over obstacles, a rope ladder you had to perform various foot movements on (single leg hop etc.) and the ol’ standby: running up and down stairs (the class takes place in a lower level studio).  This one was much more killer than the last, but I got to have a ton of fun (and burn cals) in the process!


Leave a comment

“Operation Look, Perform & Feel Better” October 15, 2012

Today was a bit rough.  After three very tiring days at New York Comic-Con and away from the gym, today was my first time back!  As with many of my listings, this workout is broken out between my lunch hour and after work.

Lunch Time Workout
Boot Camp Class @ NYSC Grand Central.  Today was a bit rough including push-ups on a Bosu ball, an “abs” station for leg raises, sit ups etc. and bear crawls.  The class was broken out into three groups and we rotated stations.  It was one kick butt workout, exactly what I needed to get back into the swing of things!

After Work Exercise

Cardio
I decided to restart my “Couch to 5K” program.  After reinstalling the App on my iPhone, I decided to start at the beginning  and do the first jog which consists of one minute runs, followed by 1:30 brisk walks (rinse, repeat).  It also happened to be raining so I kept cool!

Weights
I wound up going a bit easy on my shoulders today due to some ongoing shoulder pain issues on my left side.  I’ve already set up an appointment with a doctor to have it examined.  Never ignore pain!  Sometimes taking care of yourself means going easy.

  • Chest Press: 110lb x 10 (2 Sets)
  • Incline Chest Press: 110lb x 10 (2 Sets)
  • Wide Shoulder Press: 95lb x 10 (2 Sets)
  • Dumbbell Pec Flyes: 30lb x 12 (2 Sets)
  • Close Grip Shoulder Press: 95lb x 10 (2 Sets)
  • Lateral Dumbbell Raise: 25lb x 10 (2 Sets)
  • Tricep Pulldown: 80lb x 10 (2 Sets)
  • French Press: 80lb x 10 (2 Sets)
  • Ab Crunch Machine: 45lb x 10 (2 Sets)


Leave a comment

“Operation Look, Perform & Feel Better” October 9, 2012

Like many days, I had to break up today’s working out ino two parts due to scheduling and meetings.  In a way this is a good thing as it allows me some rest from one to the other!

Lunch Time Workout

Cardio
Pre-Season Sports Conditioning Class at NYSC 41st and 3rd Avenue.  Today was rough!  At first I was heartened to see many of the exercises set up in the room were basic.  Weighted reverse lunges, high knees inside boxes then jumping over cones, duck walks and so on.  However, there was one killer on the floor.  One station was a truck tire where each group of five people would put their feet up, perform a push up, then inch over in a direction.  What makes this hard is you’re counting on the guy next to you to move, and when he doesn’t, you’re stuck, and yes, this happened as the guy next to me completely stalled.

After a round at the stations, the instructor then went on to torture us with a series of body weight and dumbbell exercises.  Try doing a wall sit for 60 seconds, then go right into weighted jump squats.  Ouch doesn’t begin to cover it!

Weights
Bench Press (Machine): 120lb x 10 (2 Sets)
Incline Press: 120lb x 10 (2 Sets)
Shoulder Press: 110lb x 10 (2 Sets)
Pec Flyes: 110lb x 12 (2 Sets)
Shoulder Press: 110lb x 10 (2 Sets)

After Work Exercise

Cardio
Boxing class at NYSC Theater District.  This wsa the first time I had taken this class and boy was it fun!  After some heart pumping warm ups including a ton of jumping jacks, the room was split into two.  one half would go at the bags while the other half performed an exercise (including bear crawls, squats, lunges, single leg hops and more).  Each student got one round with the instructor and it was nice to really let loose with him and have at it!  I’m definitely going to take this again!

Weights
Lateral Raises: 25lb x 10 (2 Sets)
Tricep Pushdowns: 90lb x 10 (2 Sets)
French Press: 90lb x 10 (2 Sets)


Leave a comment

“Operation Look, Perform & Feel Better” October 8, 2012

My normal Boot Camp class was cancelled because of the Columbus Day holiday so I decided to put together my own routine to torture myself, here it goes with explanations (where necessary).  Each exercise was done for two minutes before switching to the next one.

Riser “Sled” (45lbs)
Laying a towel flat on the floor, flip over a wide step and put it on top of the towel.  Put weight in the step (in this case I put in a 45lb plate) and then push across the floor.  I would go from one end of the studio, jump over the riser and go back and repeat.

Dumbbell Punches
With 8lb weights in each hand, punch left, then right, cross, then uppercut.

Front kick to Reverse Lunge

Side Lunges (15lbs)
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lunge to one side, keeping your feet in the same alignment.  Keep your back straight and hang your arms down with the dumbbells on either side of your foot.  I went in each direction for one minute.

Toe Taps
With a wide step set one riser high, toe tap around the edge of the step.  At the one minute mark, switch directions.

Plank / Shoulder Tap / Push up (2x)
Get in a push up position, tap your left shoulder with your right hand, then your right shoulder with your left hand.  Then perform two push ups and repeat.

Inchworm to Push Up to Jump

Surrenders
Using a mat on the floor and 8lb weights in each hand, hold the weights over your shoulders wide. Kneel down one at a time onto the mat, then push the weights up and press them down. With the weights still over your shoulders, stand back up and repeat.

High Knees & Jump on Wide Step
I set up two wide steps five levels high each in a row.  With your legs on either side of the step (set in the narrow direction) perform high knees going forward.  Jump up, then back down and perform high knees backwards.  Jump up, back down and repeat.

One Legged Dumbbell Raises (5lb)
Begin with a dumbbell in each hand, then raise one leg up and allow your arms to hang down.  Keep your back flat.  Raise the weights up to the sides, then swing them forward over your head.  Switch legs at the one minute mark.

Ab Sequence (Perform one minute of each, then repeat for a total of three rounds)
Crunches
Glute Bridge
Leg Raises


Leave a comment

“Operation Look, Perform & Feel Better” October 7, 2012

Weekend workouts are quite freeing in many ways. One of my favorite things to do is take over a studio in a gym, get my music pumping on the speaker system and set up a combination of risers, weights, medicine balls and more. Below I describe today’s cardio set up exercise by exercise. Each one was done for two minutes each before moving to the next. I did two run throughs altogether (which brought the session to about 40 minutes).

Cardio

Heisman on Risers to Squat Jumps
Four risers were set up, three levels high each in a row. Heismans were performed across each followed by a pivot, then a series of three squat jumps.

Jump Squat to Punches
Holding an 8lb weight in each hand, perform a jump squat. While squatting, perform a punch with each arm. Jump back up to a standing position and repeat.

“Tire Flips” with an Exercise Band
Using an exercise band, Stand on the center. Hold each handle to the sides, squat down, stand and lift up both your arms underhand in front of you (simulating the “tire flip” motion).

Vault over Riser
Set up a riser seven levels high. With both hands on the edges of the risers (hands stay on), vault both legs over (keep your legs together) side to side.

Skaters
Using a towel on the floor, put one foot on the towel and the other on the floor. Bend the leg down on the floor, then push your leg with the towel back at about a 45 degree angle and continue pulling that leg in and pushing it out as fast as possible. At the one minute mark, switch legs.

Body Bar Jump with Military Press
Two risers are set up with three levels high each. In between is a body bar (I used a 15lb one). Jump over the body bar once, turn around then jump over it again. Grab the bar, thrust your legs back, then back up, press the body bar up, put it back down and repeat.

Crunches (One Minute)

Leg Raises (One Minute)

Push Up to Elbow Strikes
Perform a push up, then throw one elbow back (holding yourself up with one hand) and then the other, repeat.

Tricep Extensions with Exercise Band

Dumbbell Punches
With 5lb weights in each hand, punch left, then right, cross, then uppercut.

Surrenders
Using a mat on the floor and 8lb weights in each hand, hold the weights over your shoulders wide. Kneel down one at a time onto the mat, then push the weights up and press them down. With the weights still over your shoulders, stand back up and repeat.

One Legged Medicine Ball Drills
Holding a Medicine Ball (12lb in this case) over your head, stand on one leg. Hop around 180 degrees, slam the ball down, catch it and then hold it overhead before turning around again. Switch legs at the one minute mark.

Weights
Leg Press: 320lb x 10 (2 Sets)
Squat (Machine): 320lb x 10 (2 Sets)
Leg Extensions: 110lb x 12 (3 Sets)
Leg Curls: 110lb x 12 (3 Sets)


Leave a comment

“Operation Look, Perform & Feel Better” October 4, 2012

Wednesday is usually my mid-week break, but Thursdays it’s right back on the wagon!  Today’s workouts were broken up into my lunch time exercises and then after work exercises.

Lunch Time Workout

Cardio
For the past eight months or so I had been taking “Pre Season Sports Conditioning” at NYSC Grand Central every Thursday.  This class consisted of lots of cardio, fast movements, running, squats etc.  However, the instructor who was teaching the class left and the gym rebranded the class as “UXF”, a new program they’re pushing that promises to burn 350-600 calories per session.  This routine is meant to be a combination of cardio and strength in intervals to keep your heart rate going.

Sadly, I’ve tried this class at two different locations with two different instructors and it just doesn’t serve the purpose I need.  I noticed in both classes there was very little focus on cardio.  Instead there were a lot of compound weight and body strength exercises, which is great, but they composed a majority of the class whereas the previous “Pre Season” class was the inverse, with an emphasis on cardio with strength training only complementing it.  It looks like I’ll be on a quest for a new class  to replace this one.

Weights

  • Deadlifts: 90lb x 12 (3 Sets)
  • Lat Pulldowns: 90lb x 12 (2 Sets)
  • One Arm Dumbbell Rows: 45lb x 12 (2 Sets)

 

After Work Exercise

Cardio
The routine below was put together as something I may do with friends so I thought I’d give it a shot and get a feel for it.  It definitely worked up a sweat and got my heart rate going in a way my lunch time class did not!  Each exercise was done for two minutes in a circuit with little to no gap in between exercises.  The weights indicated are the weight of the dumbbells held in each hand.

Warm Up (One Minute Each)

  • Windmills
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Toe Taps
  • Lateral hops
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Stretches`

 

“Martial Arts” themed workout

  • Forward Kick to Back Lunge
  • Standing crunches (alternate sides, opposite elbow to knee)
  • Triple Kick (front, side, back)
  • Squat/Double Punch (8lbs)
  • Switch Kicks/Butt Kicks (30 Seconds each, then switch)
  • Inch Worm to Push up
  • Dumbbell Punches (5 lbs)
  • Four Punch Combination (5 lbs)
  • Plank to back elbow strike
  • High Punch/Low Punch combination

 

Weights & Body Strength
During my “UXF” class and the cardio routine above, I used my biceps quite a bit, so by the time I got to the end of this bicep portion of my routine I was fatiguing sooner than expected!

  • Close Grip Pull Ups: 100lb assist x 12 (2 Sets)
  • Preacher Curls: 60lb x 12 (2 Sets)
  • Dumbbell Curls: 30lb x 10 (2 Sets)
  • Dumbbell Curls: 30lb x 8 (2 Sets)
  • Barbell Curls: 55lb x 8 (2 Sets)
  • Ab Crunch Machine (Nautilus): 80lb x 12 (2 Sets)
  • Crunches: 3 sets of 20
  • Leg Raises: 3 sets of 20


Leave a comment

“Operation Look, Perform & Feel Better” October 2, 2012

Yesterday’s workouts were broken up into two segments, my lunch break workout and then after work exercise.

Lunch Time Workout

Cardio
Pre-Season Sports conditioning Class at NYSC 41st and 3rd Avenue.  This is the class where the instructor sets up six stations around the studio and we go at each one for two minutes at a time.  Today we went two rounds and it was awesome!  Exercises included doing toe taps/high knees around a truck tire (yes, a truck tire) with your team (each team is five people).  We also did a sequence where you performed a squat to military press on a half foam roll, a skater movement using a towel on the floor (one leg bent, the other going back at an angle as fast as possible).  It was all killer and I felt great afterwards!

Weights

  • Chest Press: 115lb x 10 (2 Sets)
  • Incline Chest Press: 120lb x 10 (2 Sets)
  • Shoulder Press: 110lb x 8 (2 Sets)
  • Pec Flyes: 110lb x 12 (2 Sets)
  • Shoulder Press: 110lb x 8 (2 Sets)
  • Lateral Raises: 25lb x 10 (2 Sets)

 

After Work Exercise

Cardio
NYSC has introduced a new series of classes called “UXF” (I still don’t know what it stands for).  This class promised a mixture of cardio and strength training, but this instructor focused very heavily on body weight exercises, much to my disappointment.  It was good strength work, but cardio only made up about fifteen minutes of the session.  I’m taking another one tomorrow so I’m hoping that one will be different.

Weights

  • Tricep Bench Dips: 15x (2 Sets)
  • Lying Triceps Press: 55lb x 12 (2 Sets)
  • Tricep Pushdown: 80lb x 10 (2 Sets)