Years ago when I did Weight Watchers, the instructor (?) told us that when you go walking, you should be able to talk but not sing. I know that sounds really dumb but it's true and it has always stayed with me. So tonight while I was exercising, I was really conscious of working hard enough to talk to my personal trainer, but not serenading her. We solved all the world's problems tonight - wedding speeches; famine in Somalia; riots in London. No subject was off-limits and we got along really well.
Bearing in mind that I'm new to this weights game, some of these measures may seem sissy to you, but I really felt them working. My trainer reckons if I do this workout even twice a week (though three is better), I will see results.
- Leg Press at 40lbs - 3 x 15 reps (not too tough, just need to remember to push from my ankles and not my knees, or I can forget about a Riverdance career);
- Tricep Push at 10lbs - 3 x 10 reps (piece of cake at first, but gets a bit harder as you go along);
- Side Cable at 10lbs - 3 x 10 reps (works the obliques and you need to be careful that the cable doesn't twang back and rip your arm off);
- Bicep Curl at 7.5lbs - 3 x 10 reps (I didn't know I had biceps. Enough said);
- Fish Tails (an abdominal exercise working the obliques where you lay down on your back and twist your body so you reach down and tap the side of your ankle. Manageable);
- Step Ups at 15lbs - 3 x 10 reps (a basic step-up, step-down exercise while you hold onto some hand weights. A very natural motion for anyone's body but mine. I have no balance and need to concentrate on this one. Shameful);
- Rowing at 12.5lbs - 3 x 10 reps (otherwise known as the "boobs out" exercise to maintain posture and stretch your shoulder blades. I am awesome at this one. Figures);
- Leg Lifts - 3 x 10 reps (from the seated position, lean back and raise and lower both legs to 45 degree angle to work the abdominals. Again, I've got this one in the bag - thank you, Pilates);
- Chest Press at 7.5lbs - 3 x 10 reps (tricky, complicated by the fact I am perching my head and shoulders rather precariously on a medicine ball, AND trying not to drop weights on my face at the same time);
- Ball Between Legs (about as humiliating as it sounds. On your back, put your legs up in the air and the medicine ball between your calves, squeeze slightly and then reach up to tap the ball. Oddly enough - or not - I am good at this one);
- Wide Squats at 5lbs - 3 x 10 reps (last week I squatted prodigiously but this time I was also holding weights and had to squat down far enough so my elbows touched my knees. And I had to remember to gawk at myself in the mirror at the same time, lest I fall forward and humiliate myself. Awkward);
- Front-Side Laterals at 5lbs - 3 x 10 reps (arms were jelly at this point. Lost interest in talking to my trainer and just glared at her menacingly until even my eyeballs started to hurt);
- Elbow to Knee Crunches - 3 x 10 reps (invented by sadists. Basic ab crunches except your knees are up at 90-degrees and with your elbows behind your head, you pull up so that elbows reach forward and touch your knees. Biologically impossible for me at this point but I did them all. Didn't complain because I couldn't form the words.)
I know I wasn't the most coordinated person in the gym tonight but I feel like the exercises we did are things I can do for myself and I'm just so proud I didn't die. Or worse, give up.
Let's see what tomorrow brings, shall we?