Tag Archives: gym

Non-Running Adventures: Abs + Jump Ropes. What?

Last night I got a little wild, wild!, and decided to try some new classes at the NYSC gym after work. The first class was at 6:30–Club Abs, and then directly after at 7–Cardio Rope Circuit. I had no idea what cardio rope circuit meant, but what the hell.

wild.

I got to the gym a little early for the class, so I was one of those people who stand in line outside the room of the class until it starts. I hate those people. So eager to be first in the room and get your spot. Calm down people! But, that wasn’t my motivation. Just early.

As I sat there watching the rest of the gym sweat it up on treadmills and ellipticals, two things happened. 1) I started to wish I could just leave the gym, go outside and run. Just straight up run wherever I want for as long as I want on my own schedule. I’m really starting to miss that freedom. 2) I started to fall asleep. I was nodding forward every few minutes, and it was a little ironic to be sleeping in a gym. Funny.

Anyway, on to the class reviews.

Club Abs:

Let me introduce the 14th St. NYSC nazi trainer. I don’t know his name, but he’s very serious about kicking your ass. Three minutes into class my abs were burning and threatening to tear. I rarely get that feeling when I do ab workouts (read: I never do ab workouts). We did a series of crunches in the standard crunch position and he really had us focus on our form and breathing. The key is to suck your bellybutton into your back (that sounds gross, but you know what I’m saying) every time you’re about to come up into a crunch. This engages your muscles hardcore. He would reprimand the room on everyone’s form, but realized at one point he was really just talking to me–apparently elbows should not be past your ears. Got it. We did some targeted oblique moves, and bicycle crunches. He motivated us to keep going and give it everything we had, which helped me push through. The end of class was rounded out with a lower back series to strengthen the body’s core holistically. Well thought out ab master. I will try to do this class every week. Maybe I’ll get some definition. That would be saweet.

Cardio Rope Circuit:

Re-enter ab nazi, and give him a jump rope. Really, same guy. As soon as we started warming up, I couldn’t keep the jump rope going. I was tripping, and then restarting every 5 jumps. I feel like I needed a personal warm-up window where I could mess up for 10 minute until I got the hang of it better, and then I could’ve maybe rocked it. But, that didn’t happen. When the real workout started I put the rope down and went SANS ROPE in the jump rope class. It’s not like there were other people doing that too, more like I was the lone loser with an invisible rope. But you know what? That’s cool.

Even sans rope (I really like the word sans) this class was a really, really good workout. The combo of jumping up and down non-stop and using your shoulders and arms to keep the jump rope going is a one-two punch. I had my hands going in the motion the whole time as if I was keeping my rope in motion–when I stopped my hands it wasn’t nearly as good of a workout. I was definitely sweating too, which is a good sign of butt kicking. We did different kinds of jumping techniques–twisting our legs side to side, scissor landings, jumping forward and backward. There was a chick in front of me who was crossing her jump rope and jumping double high–like really getting air. Clearly a past gymnast. Damn.

Halfway through class we put the ropes down and did some circuit training: pushups, scissor jumps with our hands on the floor, side jumps w/ hands on the floor (I’m sure there’s a proper name for these) followed by more pushups. Then finished up with 15 more minutes of jumping. Ultimately, I don’t know if I’ll seek this class again with a passion, but I’d do it again maybe.

Today.

I am sore. And I love it. Let’s see what comes next on this fitness mission.

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The Gym Might Be an Ongoing Thang

The morning after the holiday party I woke up cursing my hangover, but I ran anyway. It was one of those redemption runs (have you been there?) where you try and erase the damage you did the night before.

yes you can!

The weather that morning was 28 degrees, so I put on my new trusted winter running gear combo and headed out. It was a painful run since I got a side stitch halfway in (hangover dehydration much?), but I was okay other than that. I ran for a 2.5 miles. Done. On with the rest of the hangover day.

But I think I got more from that run then I realized. Not in a good way. In a ‘this is what you get for running in below freezing temperatures’ kind of way.

Yesterday at work, I was joking around with a bunch of my coworkers and when I laughed my upper respiratory/back of my throat area felt tight. Kind of like I was getting over a cough. After work last night I headed to the gym for a workout before I went out with friends, and on the treadmill I felt it too. It was like winter had two icy hands around my throat. <– What an intense sentence right there.

I started thinking that this is definitely a side effect from my run the other morning. I remember being stopped at a traffic light waiting for it to turn red, and holding my hands around my neck to warm it up. My neck was completely exposed and it was almost numb. Maybe I need to invest in a turtle neck running shirt–note: I don’t want to–or wear a scarf at the start of the run?

None the less, I ran a pretty decent 30 minutes on the treadmill thinking about this. Then thinking maybe the gym IS more practical when it’s this cold outside. Then wishing I lived in Florida so I could bask in glorious warm sunshine everyday. And drink Florida orange juice with the Tropicana farm dudes from the commercial…

Winter Running Gear Doesn’t Mean Success

On Sunday morning, determined to get my running mojo back (the winter is an evil, evil, mojo stealer), I went to Paragon Sports in the city and spent a large sum of money on technical winter running gear. The items? An Asics Thermopolis long sleeve top (below) and a Brooks windbreaker type jacket. I argued: this is an investment in my health, as I handed the cashier my credit card. I told him this theory and he agreed. I felt good.

After a fun, silly, long brunch–there’s no other way to do it–with two other NYC bloggers Leslie and Sofia, I planned an afternoon run. I got back to Brooklyn, digested for a hot minute, and donned my new gear. I have a tendency (bad habit, laziness, impatience.. whatever) to buy clothes without trying them on. The thermopolis shirt in a size xs fit perfect, the Brooks jacket in size xs = not so good. The sleeves landed just at my wrists which doesn’t lend well to ‘end-of-the-sleeve-grabbage’ while on a cold run. I know you know what I mean.

I made due with my shopping ignorance by pulling the shirtsleeves through the jacket and over my hands. Score.

All this effort was for nothing though. I got outside, started down the block. And stopped. It didn’t feel good! wtf? It always feels good. I was confused. I walked for one block then started up again. Negative. Still not good. I repeated the walk one, run one twice more and went in. LAME LACEY. Yeah. Bullocks.

I am going to return the jacket, but keep the shirt and hopefully try again soon. Note for winter gear buyers: the shirt kept me warm, but the thin, windbreaker (one-freakin-hundred-dollar) jacket wasn’t good. It held the wet that the other technical shirt was trying to wick away right against my skin. Lose.

In more news: no running or activity means bad sleeping. I am just not tired at night. So I figured, what the hell, and went to the gym (gasp!) after work today to have some fun. Yes, have some fun. I was actually looking forward to just wingin’ it.

First back to the gym workout (lists always make the workout look hardcore):

  • 10 minute warm-up on the treadmill at 5mph up to 6mph
  • 3×12 on a machine that works back + biceps–i should’ve looked at the name
  • 1×8 on a chest press that wasn’t set up for my height and I almost pulled a muscle in my chest so I stopped. I definitely looked like that girl who doesn’t know a thing about weights. Truth.
  • 3×10 bicep curls with 10lb weights
  • 3×10 shoulder raises with 5lb weights
  • 3×8 push ups
  • 2×30 bicycle crunches
  • 10 minute cool-down on the treadmill at an incline at 6mph down to 5mph
  • 5 minutes of walking jammin’ out to my ipod cuz it felt good.

I dug the gym. It was different. Maybe I’ll get stronger and avoid twenty degree weather windburn and hypothermia. Okay, I’m being extreme. But still.

P.S. To help me fall asleep lately, I’ve been reading a poem anthology book. This quote is from a poem called “Frost at Midnight” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It captures an essence of NYC for me:

“This populous village! Sea, and hill, and wood,

With all the numberless goings-on of life,

Inaudible as dreams!”

… aaand goodnight.