Overestimating Exercise

It’s been about a week since I’ve done an update.

feel I’ve been working out like a fiend, I am so tired and my feet and legs and arms are all sore… and yet, when I reflect back, I have really been doing far less than I think! What an odd thing we humans do:

we overestimate our activitiy levels and underestimate our eating levels!

I also think that people often underestimate their efforts!

So many people will go to the gym and work out for an hour and will feel pretty content with that, but they don’t always consider how much effort they actually put in. Are you getting anything out of your workouts if you NEVER break a sweat or feel short of breath? Yes, it’s better than doing nothing, but is it enough?

I have recently started thinking of my fitness classes as a 1, 2, or 3 effort level.

  • 1 is where I am present, I do a little, but don’t really break a sweat. It’s more about the participants, pushing them, guiding and demonstrating. Seniors Gym is a good example of this, and usually Ladies Gym Circuit, too. This is really forced incidental exercise. (I have a great job!)
  • 2 is where I put in effort, I break a sweat, but I won’t leave drenched or exhausted. Body Balance, Aqua Gold and Aqua Intense (while on deck) are all such levels of effort. Maybe we can consider this as a “fat burning zone” type workout, where I am probably not working over 75% of max heart rate at any point, but still definintely putting in an effort and all my movements are intentional and purposefully directed at fitness.
  • 3 is the killer kicker classes. I am usually the participant in these classes, such as Body Attack and Body Step, and Aqua Intense (in the water). I leave drenched and have worked hard and got the old ticker kickin’! These classes raise my fitness levels, yet challenge me enough that I feel like I might never be able to reach the peak of their demands. I would like to do 3 or 4 of these a week.

Here’s my workouts, and their intensity, over the last week.

I last reported on last Tuesday, and what a huge day that was, and then on Mat’s celebrations on Wednesdsay and Thursday – there was no workout for those two days, just birthday party and other festivities. Over these two days I missed a Body by Science workout (2-3), Balance (2) and Seniors (1) and Attack (3).

Due to the late return from Bunbury, I slept through the 6:15am start of Body Step (3) on Friday morning, and only did a few exercises during Ladies Gym Circuit (1), and then taught Aqua Gold (2).

Saturday and Sunday were mainly catch up cleaning and laundry days, so steady activity, but none of it particularly energetic. 

But I did do some active stuff on the weekend: Sunday morning I went for a short bike ride with friends, but it was SO windy that everyone decided to turn around early. It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden my bike, and even longer since I have felt unable to get to the end of Police Pools Road! Wowsa, it was wild! I also went for a short ride on TK (1) in a new saddle on Sunday! YAY! I rode my horse! I might be buying the saddle I tried, but I will have to sell my other saddles as soon as possible to get the cash together. I also want Chris to take a look at he and I in this saddle to ensure fit and position are good before I say yes, and commit to handing over the cash.

Monday I taught Aqua (2) and Balance (2), and I had a big day Tuesday again, with Attack (3) in the morning, Gym Circuit (1), Seniors Gym (1) and Aqua Intense (3) on Tuesday night. I had a GREAT workout on Tuesday night at Aqua, because I did the workout in and out of the water. Several days later I am still sore in the arms from lifting my body out of the water over and over. I was probably in and out of the water up to twice per track, so that’s 15-30 full body lifts! By the last track I was really struggling to get myself out easily. But the other awesome part of this was to get to play in the water, feel the resistance and remind myself what it is like for my participants! It was so refreshing!

Wednesday was an odd day. Normally I have the mornings off and have a Body by Science workout scheduled. Unfortunately I have only done one of these workouts in three weeks! But, you see, we had a sick staff member this week, and I had to go in all day, and set up, tear down, and lift lots of heavy things at work. Perhaps that was workout enough? 😉 Then I helped teach the first session of Boys Gym Circuit (1). Although I didn’t do all of the exercises, I did seem to demo push ups and planks constantly! Wow, there go my arms even more!! Sting! Ouch! I got home, ate, and turned around and taught Balance. Normally I feel like I only ever hit gear 2 in Balance but wow, I was running out of juice and felt like it was nearly a 3 effort level! My quads were also surprisingly fatigued!

Today was a busy day at work, but not nearly as physical as Wednesday, and only Seniors Gym (1)  to teach, but I am sitting here looking at the clock with 2 minutes until Body Attack starts and I barely feel guilty for deciding not to go. Although I haven’t done as much exercise as I planned this week, work has been busy, and I just feel like I need to be home and rest.

Perhaps it’s lazy of me? Perhaps I am failing in my effort to be consistent and stick to my schedule? Perhaps a workout tonight would reduce my cortisol levels and would help me with deal with stress? Whatever excuses I use, and whatever guilt I might try to impose on myself, the truth is that until I started compliling this list, I was thinking, “I’ve done plenty of exercise this week, so I can get away with missing this one workout.” (How often do we tell ourselves this relating to ‘treats’ and exercise?) But I’ve actually only done two workouts with a 3 level, and four with a 2 level, and the rest of it was all 1s. Incedental exercise aside, that is only 6 hours of moderate to high intensity exercise for the week. I suppose that’s great for the average person, but I hate to think of myself as average! 😀

And if I want to lose my 30-something belly, I’m going to have to do better than that! You see, I measured myself recently, and although I am not too much bigger than I was before Christmas, I am definitely SOFTER… unhappy! Time to up the ante!

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One response to “Overestimating Exercise

  1. Pingback: Wrapping Up February | Chasing the Blackwood Marathon·

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