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About a year ago I wrote an article about how I joined a gym. I did stop going during summer, something which I had more or less planned to do (or rather, not do), because in summer I’d much rather go to the golf course or even for an occasional run or bike ride than to a stuffy, sweaty, overheated room with bad music. The good thing is that FitX allows you to rest your membership for up to six month of your one year contract (that prolongs the contract, so you are still paying for 12 months, but you can drag them out to up to 18 months of real time). So that’s what I did and then I returned in November. That was a bit later than I had intended, the original plan was to go back in October, but I could not quite motivate myself at first. But when evil dark winter weather was truly upon us, I went back. For the same reasons I started going in the first place: too much sitting on my ass, too little else to do.

The first few times were hard, partly because I had to admit that I had lost some of my strength again, partly because those weight machines haven’t become any more exciting in the meantime. I did stick to last year’s workout plan for two weeks or so, but then started to digress. First I did a few high intensity (well, high intensity if you are a wombat, anyway) workouts on top of the machine training, but since turning a shade of purple and looking like I am going to puke is not high on the list of things I like to do in public, I kind of got over that relatively fast. So instead I started to work towards exchanging my machine based exercises with free weight ones, one after the other. So instead of doing the forward press, I am doing bench presses now, instead of the sitting rowing machine I do dumbbell rows etc. I used all dumbbells at first, because even the bar alone seemed too heavy and unmanageable to me. It weighs 20 kg, for god’s sake, that’s more than I could press on the forward press.

Another great thing about FitX is that they have a lady gym, so a little separate free weight room just for women. What’s cool about this is not so much that it is only women (I don’t mind men most of the time), but rather, that it is smaller and does not have glass windows and glass walls all around, so you feel much less under scrutiny there. It is a very non-threatening environment to try your hands on dumbbells and barbells for the first time. And so, after a few weeks of working up to it, I finally managed to gather the courage (and the strength) to try barbell squats and deadlifts. I was mega-nervous the first time, so much so that my knees shook even before I picked the bar up (something that not really helps when you are trying to squat, let me tell you), but I got through it. The only machine which I still use is the pull-up machine, because I find it less awkward than using a resistance band and my first unassisted pull-up is still a long way away. (40 kg away, to be honest, because that is how much support I am currently using)

Transitioning to the barbell was the spark that I needed to really get me into this again. I genuinely love going to the gym at the moment. And so I started searching the net for all kinds of fitness advice and cool workout ideas and stuff and I encountered NerdFitness. The idea of mixing fitness with imagery from role playing games and superhero comics was very appealing to me (as you can imagine if you know me at all) and I promptly ordered their free starter package. It has some solid advice and they offer some fun things on their website (for example you can create a ‚character‘ like in a roleplaying game and then work your way through fitness quests to build it up). But in the end it is all a bit too American and too commercial for me to actually go for it.

But (and now, after four paragraphs of blabbering we are finally nearing the actual reason for this blog entry … well done, Jutta) it gave me an idea of how to create something similar for myself. A little points game to keep me interested. My personal quest to go from wombat to wolverine. And a way to break down and structure my fitness goals for 2018. So, here I present:

vombatus_ursinus_-maria_island_national_park

The Wombat Fitness Quest 2018:

Consistency goals:

  • – do some form of „workout“ on rest days: walk, bike, yoga, hiit bodyweight routine etc. (no judgement, no specific goal, just do something, can be as short as 10 minutes) (1 pt. per day)
  •  keep doing the strength workouts in the gym 2-3 times a week (10 pts per workout)
  • not more than one YumYum per week (no points, you moron … just don’t)
  •  go sugar and alcohol free for the fasting period (Carnival to Easter) (50 pts if I make it through all the way, -5 pts for every slip up)

Mental (get over yourself and do it already, 20 sec beastmode) goals:

  • do a free trial lesson with a personal trainer (50 pts)
  • start using the free weights section in the gym (50 pts)
  • try a crossfit class (50 pts)
  • try an aikido or other martial arts class (50 pts)

Specific strength and exercise related goals:
(when you hit any of these, set a new target)

  • 1 regular push-up (10 pts)
  • 1 unassisted chin-up or pull-up (50 pts)
  • 1 pistol squat (10 pts per side)
  • deadlift half your bodyweight (35 kg) for 4 sets of 5 reps (20 pts)
  • deadlift your bodyweight (70 kg) once (20 pts)
  • squat 30 kg for 4 sets of 5 reps (20 pts)
  • squat 50 kg once (20 pts)
  • bench press 25 kg (2x 12.5 kg dumbbell or 25 kg barbell) for 4 sets of 5 reps (30 pts)
  • overhead press 20 kg for 4 sets of 5 reps (20 pts)
  • do 20 burpees without a break (and without throwing up) (20 pts)
  • do a one hour run without a break (20 pts)

If you don’t do any weight training yourself, those goals will not mean much to you, and if you do, then all those goals must seem ridiculously easy, but that’s what life is like when you are a wombat.

I’ll keep track of all my achievements and earned points in an excel sheet and then I let you know how I progress and when or if I reach a new level. I am starting out as a wombat, of course. The other levels are as follows:

current: Wombat
200 pts: Wolpertinger
500 pts: Wallaby
1000 pts: Wildcat
1500 pts: Wolf
2000 pts: Wolverine

(Why is a wolverine cooler than a wolf you ask? Clearly you have never met one. A wolverine might not look like much, but it is a real bad-ass. And why do they all start with a W? Not sure, they just do.)

Let’s see how far I can go in 2018.

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