Hitting the Gym

WORKOUT #2 – On September 5, 2012, I took my workout to the gym. I’m a member of LA Fitness and love the Pasadena facility. Sometimes, the gym is crowded. They have two levels with equipment. I prefer being on the top-level. The reason is that, on the bottom level, people walking by can stop and stare. Since I’m not in great shape, it’s kind of intimidating. So, I prefer the top-level.

For my non-run days, I’ve decided to try out a workout that starts with the elliptical machine. Then, I would move on to the ab-crunch machine, the seated leg press machine, and the machine that assists with chin-ups and dips. This first work out at the gym will set the bar by which I measure my progress. This is how it went…

I was on the elliptical machine for 37 minutes. I spent 25 minutes peddling forward, followed by a 30 second pause. Then, I back pedaled for the remaining 12 minutes. The entire time on the elliptical machine, I was at level 1 of resistance. Again, like the running the day before, it had been a month since I last did this workout. So, the level 1 setting was perfect. My first 12 minutes wasn’t too difficult. However, from 12 minutes to 15 minutes, it got really hard, really fast. Even though the last 10 minutes of forward peddling was difficult, I just let the music power me through. The backpedaling portion started out pretty easy…at least the first 2 minutes. The last 10 minutes proved to be increasingly difficult. Two things kept me going….the music and pushing to see how many calories I would burn. At the end, the results were 5.34 miles, 435 calories burned (although, Map My Run calculated the calories at 1,241 calories).

From there, I was off to the seated leg press machine. I initially was planning on starting off with a set of 25 reps with 110 lbs. However, I ended up doing my first set of 25 reps at 130 lbs. The second set at the same weight got difficult towards the end. So, I went down from the 130 lbs to 110 lbs and completed the last two sets at that weight. I felt like the two weights were perfect. I felt like I worked hard to complete the sets.

Then, because the crunch machine was busy, I went off to the chin ups and dips. I love this machine! The reason is that I don’t have the confidence to try straight up chin ups and dips. So, this machine offsets some of the natural body weight to make them easier. As I get stronger, I believe that I will be able to the chin ups and dips without the aid of this machine. For this time, I had the machine offset my weight by 220 lbs. I alternated the chin ups with dips, completing 2 sets of 15 reps on each. The last two reps on the second set of each exercise were hard to complete. Of course, this just tells me that I’m at the proper weight to start with.

After waiting a few minutes, the ab crunch machine finally emptied so I could use it. The goal was to complete 2 sets of 25 reps with 100 lbs and 105 lbs. Goal met! Unlike the other machines, this one didn’t seem quite as hard. Next time, I’ll probably increase the weight.

I came away from this workout feeling great emotionally and a little tired physically. It is a good start and I can’t wait to see where I go from here. After 5 weeks of this regimen, I’ll see if it works for me. If the combination of running and work outs at the gym lead to weight loss and improved performance all around, I’ll stick with it. If not, I’ll evaluate what needs to be changed.

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Official PR’s
5K - 32:46 - 2012 Pasadena 5K

10K - 1:15:42 - 2013 Pasadena 10K

Half Marathon - 2:43:25 - 2013 Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon

Full Marathon - 6:21:46 - 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon
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