Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September Goals and Zuzana

Wow, it feels like forever since I posted. After finally finding our back to school groove with homework, chores and practices, we ended the week with some strep throat and a crunched car. Hopefully everything's back to normal and we can get back into a regular routine this week.

Last week went well as far as workouts go. Running is on track, my days are a little mixed up. My goal was to run 1 mile by the end of August. I ran eight minutes this morning and that got me well over half a mile. Breathing was good and my legs weren't super tired at the end of that first eight, so I think I could have pushed closer to that mile. I'll either try again tomorrow or Wednesday. I did HCC three days. It was harder the second two days than the first day, but I made it. I screwed up my strength training a bit, but in the process stumbled upon a new plan that I'll put in place for September and see how it goes. I've been doing upper body twice, lower body once then doing the opposite the next week. I missed an upper body workout last week, so I decided to do a combined workout to try to make up for it. Two things happened: I worked harder than I think I've ever worked and my legs were toast for the next days run. But I loved it!

The workout was Zuzana's Hotel Room Workout and there are lots of squats! I have followed Zuzana since she began her fitness journey. She has come a long way and she has changed the way her body looks a few times by trying different approaches to find what works for her and I love that its all documented. I used to do a lot of her workouts when she used weights, but then I kind of quit doing anything all winter and got soft. When I decided it was time to get off my ass, she had switched to these twelve to seventeen minute workouts
that involved mostly body weight. I poo pooed them, thinking those workouts wouldn't be enough to get me back in shape. My thinking was that Zuzana is already fit and just does those short workouts to maintain her fitness level. So for several months, I just watched her work out. Um, I like to watch her work out...and hear her talk.

After stumbling across some Crossfit stuff online then meeting and talking to a  woman at the grocery store  who does Crossfit locally, I changed my mind about Zuzana's workouts. While Crossfit  is different than Zuzana's workouts, they are still short, intense and they change daily. Hmmmm, this Czech chick might be on to something. So I tried one of Zuzana's workouts. The key word is try. Whichever workout I tried that day involved an exercise she calls Ninja Jump Tucks (scroll down) where you kneel down then jump up onto your feet. I couldn't do it. It really pissed me off. Not in a good way though. Instead of trying until I got it, I tucked it away and pretended it never happened and went back to my safe but boring workouts. Until last week.

Zuzana uses a lot of body weight exercises. She also uses a fancy 35lb sandbag, but you don't need one. I'm using an Ikea bag full of laundry. She now has added modifications for beginners and detailed explanations of all the exercises, which is super helpful. I have to modify some of the push ups, and today I had to eliminate the push up entirely from the side burpee that was part of today's workout, not because I wasn't strong enough, but because I'm not coordinated enough! So, while I don't look (or move for than matter) like Zuzana, I like the intensity, and I work hard and well under the pressure of the timer. Knowing that beep is coming keeps me dead focused and pushes me to do my best. And knowing its only going to be a few rounds doesn't hurt. You can do anything for 30 seconds, right?  Its tough and sweaty, and that feels so good. And cranking out strength training in about twelve minutes as opposed to the thirty to forty-five it usually takes? Win, win!

So one of my goals for September is to do these workouts in place of my regular strength training. Another goal is to get my diet locked down. The same ten pounds have been hanging around for months and its time for them to go. Stat. As far as runnning goes, I've signed up for a 5K in the middle of October. I'll get there, one minute at a time.

What are your fitness goals for September?


Andrew Opala said...

I like this idea of experimenting and trying things for yourself. My workouts are like that, but I must admit that I use basic training routines that everyone does. I just alter them to fit my time demands and training goals.

Great post!

I've seen her a few times on YouTube, and later find it hard to remember the exercise. Plus, there's not much to explain when your wife walks in and your all sweaty and panting in front of your laptop!

I'm sticking to guys for now!

Quinton J said...

Congrats on some solid training and for signing up for that 5k.

Emz said...

Awesome training.

Way to go!

I'm with "q" way for signing up!!!

Will said...

keep on running...it's the best of all forms of exercise!