So, tonight’s PT session was relatively tame; 10 minutes of interval training w/the heavyhands®, wherein I just hit play on my iPod (hooked to speakers) and blasted Billy Idol’s “Cyberpunk” CD (or whatever you call a unit of music on the iPod that used to be a CD 🙂 ) and mimicked jumping rope at varying intensities, from easy to really pumping. Of course, the benefit of using the heavyhands® is that you can do other movements with your arms–and you don’t end up slapping your legs with the rope…
I finished off with five minutes of Turkish Get Ups with the 1.5 pood kettlebell. Nothing too elaborate. But got a little time-under-tension for some strength conditioning. Nice.
For those of you wondering about the heavyhands®… I got them about, well, maybe 20 years ago at the Navy Exchange when I was in my Navy “A” school in Pensacola, FL. I don’t remember how I heard about them, but I think I probably read or saw the book that Len Schwartz wrote (and you can buy on the website or other various places) and thought they’d be pretty neat. So I got them and ran/walked all over the base for the several months that I was there, with an eye on progressing through heavier and heavier pairs of add-on weights.
They’ve traveled all over the world with me–I still have the same pair! Unfortunately, they went out of favor (as a product in sports stores) shortly after I got them, and it was hard to find the add-on weights to make them heavier. But I ended up buying a few sets of small dumbbells over the years to be the heavier pairs. Still like the originals, though. And finding this new site–looks like I can now get the add-on weights I always wanted. Yay!
Of course, years later, I discover kettlebells, which really are like heavyhands® on steroids… along with other exercise tools for full-body and leverage/rotational disadvantage (like clubbells®, etc.).
Okay–so speaking of PT sessions, let’s go back to last Saturday. I had a heck of a good time on this contraption.
I was up in DC visiting Brother Dave (hope he’s over the cold by now). I went up on Friday because I dreaded the ride back south. I figured if he was gonna be around, we could catch some time at the jacuzzi at Results. I had just worked out at the gym where I work, with my workmates Nancy and Nicki. We hit it pretty hard, too, so figured on just going up to get relaxed then some chow.
At the gym at work I did a hard interval set on the recumbent bike, then did sets of double dumbbell clean and jerks (after the first set I kept it at just the jerks) with 55 lb dumbbells alternating with leg presses on the machine (all the weight they have–only a little over 400 lbs, I think), and back extensions on the, errr, back extension thingy. I like that piece of gear because I can do a full core surround workout. Sounds weird; what I mean is that I do reps facing forward (back extensions), then laying on my back from fully stretched to the ground (crunches), then I crunch lying on each side. All the way around, see?
So, a full set would ideally be: 10 clean and jerks double dumbbell, 5-10 back extensions, then front crunches, then crunches on each side, followed by the 10-12 leg presses, followed by 10-12 calf raises using the weight on the leg press machine. Rinse and repeat as many times as you like, I ended up doing three run-throughs or so.
After that, I joined Nicki and Nancy in the “aerobic” room for some Billy Blanks Boot Camp, on a video they had running. Good calisthenics.
So anyway–I figured I’d done enough exercise for an evening, and was wanting to get into some nice, relaxing, hot water and maybe some steam.
Alas, my brother wasn’t into it that night–he had planned on going the next day, Saturday. He was already ready to eat, and by that time, so was I. So we met at Banana and had the cuban sandwiches. Yum. Saved the sweating for the next day.
Which we did do. Dave wasn’t up to snuff, so he wasn’t going to do a heavy duty workout, and I hadn’t planned on doing one at all. Well, he got on an elliptical and did a reasonably brisk workout for about 20 minutes then adjourned to one of the other training rooms to do abs and stretching and using the fitness ball.
I went over to the aforementioned contraption, an “elliptical fitness crosstrainer” and decided to give it a try. Thought, “What the heck?” You know, just something to get the blood moving until I went back to the locker room and dumped into the jacuzzi.
But–I guess I shouldn’t have turned on the Cyberpunk album…I went at that thing like I was training for a fight. And it felt gooooood. I put my particulars (weight, age) in the program and hit the “Interval” setting for 20 minutes.
After getting a couple minutes of getting the hang of it, we went to town. I pumped the pedals like a sabertooth was chasing me, and it varied between the two incline settings. I checked my heart rate and was mildly disappointed (only getting it in the low 130s or something) so I started really chugging away. The intervals for each incline setting were two minutes long, and the little indicators were for 30 second segments, so I started punching it for the last 30 second segment of each two minute interval.
I was able to keep my heart rate up in the 170s most of the last half of the session (according to the machine, that was waaaay in the red zone), and got my METs up in the 11.8 range.
Anyway–that’s not such a big deal to me. What surprised me was that I preformed that intensely after a heavy workout the evening before–one that I felt (mostly from the leg presses and jerks).
Also, when doing the session on the crosstrainer at such an intensity, I was breathing fairly heavily, but not uncomfortably so. I never felt out of breath. Not the hypoxic feeling I’ve had when doing a really intense kettlebell snatch test (where my front teeth feel numb and I might start to feel really tired).
I was sweating, but not buckets. No nausea. I made sure to warm down for a couple of minutes and watched my heart rate fall like a stone. That’s good news–and I whilst I was exercising, I didn’t even feel my heart pounding. Not like when I do other intense exercise. And when I was done–I was done. I felt like I still had plenty of energy, and wasn’t tired or “worked-out” at all. I was pleasantly surprised, I must say.
I’ve had that happen before–have a really good one when I wasn’t really feeling like even getting started. But–hey, sometimes that’s when the best times are had.
P.S. Whatever you think of Billy Idol or the fact that the Cyberpunk album was roundly trashed–it still makes a great workout CD. It has tons of beat and drive and aggression, spaced with a few slow portions for recovery. Be careful if you choose to listen to it and drive. 🙂