Guinea Pigs

I’ve been enjoying my Efficient Workouts, and also enjoying the Body by Science book, particularly now that I’ve had a few of my concerns addressed, and once again have skimmed forward and see that they will be responding to other questions I have. I think there’s a nice balance that can be struck between doing functional high intensity exercise, and ‘other’ exercise.

My friend E* came to Balance on Monday night and complained at how difficult she found the class because she, due to some medical issues, was not able to exercise for several months, and having gone from a very fit person to an unfit person was very frustrating to her. So, I decided to invite her along to my Efficient workout this morning. Recalling how easy the first one seemed I thought it would be an ideal starting point for her to rebuild her strength after a lengthy time off, and she happily agreed to be a guinea pig for me!

The workout didn’t disappoint! As predicted, it was doable, and didn’t leave her sweating like a pig and unable to head to work without a shower – though I’ve warned her they do get harder and she will get sweatier. It also left her feeling like she challenged herself – she didn’t believe she was capable of an inverted row, and yet there she was, doing a great job of them, and even liking them! And she even did 5 toe pushups! She came out of it saying, “I don’t feel all used up, but I feel like I’ve worked. I also feel like I could use more weight on the overhead presses.”

I thought that was a good starting point for her.

I did workout #4 which was same as workout #3 but for 15 minutes this time. I increased my squat weight to 10kg, but otherwise kept all the other things equal.

And I sweated and puffed and was nearly tempted to put my feet on the floor for the inverted rows. At about 13 minutes I was really really struggling to get rep 5 out of each of those rows, grunting like those weight-mad-monkeys at the gym! How embarassing!  But I perservered and actually did all sets for all 15 minutes with the elevated feet! Woohoo!

I also have another (in principle) guinea pig for the Body by Science workouts. Mat has agreed to try them out. Mat has a physical job – he’s a welder – so he’s always moving heavy things around. Improved functional strength is going to be a big help to him in doing his job better. It will also, hopefully, reduce his risk of injury, and improve his cholesterol levels (his aren’t bad, but his family history suggests he’s really going to have to watch it). So, since it’s only 12 minutes a week and only 5 exercises, and it doesn’t involve running (Mat says “running’s got knobs on it unless someone’s chasing you”) he has agreed to try it out and see what he thinks.

Cool.  Now I just need to pin down a time with him!

I followed my workout with a quick run – 4.25km in 24ish minutes. It was, in fact, a quick run! I did about a 10.6 km/hr pace! Wow! And I thought I was struggling… probably just because I was pushing harder than usual! Nice!

Now I’m off to pay for a freezer, play with my horse, and await delivery!

Awesome day!


4 responses to “Guinea Pigs

  1. Hee hee, my partner is my guinea pig for the 12-minute workout too! He does other stuff (play squash, swim), but this is the only real resistance training he does. (Well, I drag him to Pilates here and there.)So far he doesn't look any different, but his lower back pain has improved, and his squash game has gotten better. (But that could be the Pilates.)

    • Hey D, I was curious, how is his recovery from the 12 minute workout. It seems to me that a full-on workout that leads to complete positive muscle failure must mean that he has some late onset muscle soreness or fatigue following his workouts. What have you been finding? I still haven’t been able to get Mat to commit to a time …

  2. We both find that we’re shaky and tired for the rest of the day after the workout, and the DOMS sets in about 24 hours after. We just deal. I have come to take the pain as a sign that I worked out properly, and I use the feedback on _which_ muscles are sore to think about how I executed the exercise. (Trapezius hurts but not rhomboids? Gotta rotate my hands externally next time.)

    Curiously, we both find that if we do the workout late in the evening, we can’t sleep that night. We’re tired, but just can’t fall asleep. We’re going try a morning workout this week.

    To make sure we have enough recovery time, we always exercise on Sunday because neither one of us has anything exercise-related on Monday. So on Mondays we both rest. (And I rest Tuesdays as well.) I take it as far as taking the elevator at work on Mondays, but that’s more the lazy side of me than anything. 🙂 🙂

    Does that help? Does Mat come and pick you up at work? (Could that be a good time to nab him to do the workout?)

    • We are a two car family (though my conscience keeps telling me I need to sell my car) so that wouldn’t be the way to get him to the gym.

      I assumed that there would be a significant recovery period required, so had been thinking about Friday nights – so he has Saturday and Sunday to recover – but I think the offer of a few beers after work with the boys would be far more appealing, and he’d blow off the workout more often than not. (Like tonight, for example 🙂 )

      And he’d MUCH rather sleep in or go to work on Saturday … but it’s getting quieter and he won’t have as much on, so it’s looking more like Saturday sometime after he’s up and moving … so perhaps …

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