I’ve been struggling lately with what to write for my next post. In truth, I guess I’m feeling a bit in a rut with my workouts. Which seems funny to me as I write that, because between my big box gym membership (which I share with my husband … we snagged a 2 for 1 deal at the beginning of 2015 that apparently NEVER EXPIRES!), my boutique studio membership, my running habit, and my new daily yoga habit, you would think I would be anything but bored.
However, sometimes, choices can be overwhelming. And it’s easy to stay in your routine and not venture outside of your usual box.
This week, in particular, I took Tuesday off and went with my husband to the gym midday. The nice thing about our “Big Box” gym is, when the spin room is not in use for a class, members can go in and access virtual programs. This is a really terrific option for someone like my husband, who is a freelancer and doesn’t work traditional hours. His favorite time to go to the gym is between 2 and 4 pm on weekdays, when no traditional group exercise or spin classes are offered – most stay at home/work at home types prefer to go to the gym earlier – i.e., after 8am but before noon – but he’s a night owl. The virtual spin classes have been great for him. Sure, he’s a smart guy and can figure out the stationary bike on his own, but having someone guide you and push you really is valuable.
He insisted I was going to get a better workout than in the regular spin classes. I was skeptical – I didn’t think it would be worse, mind you, but I didn’t see how it would be better. However, he put speed drills on, which is something I really need and I never do. (I REALLY need to start doing speedwork on the treadmill, more on that in a minute.) We did 2 speed drills and 1 hill drill, for a total of about 55 minutes on the bike (each one was 15 minutes, the extra minutes the lag between programs, which I used as active recovery, then a short cool down). I felt pretty strong during most of it, and my heart rate and calorie burn report-out showed a pretty heavy duty workout. Okay, maybe it wasn’t “harder,” but it sure was a great workout. We also had the added bonus of hitting the gym on the most crowded day of the year, but the LEAST crowded time. 🙂
On Wednesday night, I went with my friend to BarreFlow. This is a relatively new workout format, developed by a local instructor, and it’s pretty quickly picking up momentum. Take a class and it’s easy to see why. Reading the description, it says it combines elements of Pilates, Barre, and Yoga. I would say it’s a higher intensity/cardio version of Barre/Pilates that utilizes more intense vinyasa yoga moves through transitions (such as, down dog, plank, etc.). However you want to describe it, it’s a class that targets the small muscles in your arms and legs while also strengthening your core. I love running and I love lifting, but I don’t work those small muscles as much as I should which has resulted in recent injuries. My friend, on the other hand – a former figure skater – loves Barre and prefers it to lifting. We’ve committed to keep each other honest on both – making sure we both get what we know we need but like to avoid!
(Funny story – we are both big fans of Fabletics and were both sporting our Fabletics gear on Wednesday, but didn’t take a photo. In fact, we *almost* wore the same pants! I couldn’t find mine, which is a reminder that I need to organize my workout gear and athleisure, and also a reminder that I do *not* need any more right now!)
In the capstone to busting my rut, winter running is far less easy to plan than warmer weather running in that it is just far, far too cold to run most early mornings (and, sometimes, treacherous, with black ice patches forming overnight). It’s worse when it snows, as there are limited places to go to run on cleared pathways, meaning I can’t just walk outside my door. This sometimes means that I have to forfeit some of my favorite staple classes in favor of going for a run, which this week was Thursday night. However the upside to missing my beloved Power class means that my body is not too broken and bruised to rise for Fusion early Friday morning. This particular class is a favorite of mine, but it is too much for me to go to a Thursday evening Power (which is very high intensity, involving heavy weights and intense cardio) and then turn around and get up at 6am for Fusion.
I’ve still been keeping up with my daily yoga, and better yet, Samara is back in town Saturday doing a focused class on hamstrings. I’m trying to decide between getting up super early and going to a Nitro class (which is high intensity cardio using all bodyweight exercises – it really kicks the endorphins into gear!), or getting up not quite as early (I maybe get an extra 30 minutes?) and getting a good 30 minutes of treadmill speedwork in. We’ll see. Good habits are good, and shaking up the rut is better, but so much change in one week is a lot to ask. 🙂