Tonight I worked out while watching The Biggest Loser, so you’ll get a combination of show review and personal workout routine.
When I first heard Vegas, my initial reaction (even before they showed Bob’s reaction), was… what kind of reward is that? If you’re trying to lose weight, Vegas is NOT where you want to go. I would have rather seen a reward of “you can go to Vegas OR you can make the other team go.” It would have been much more interesting.
The Blue Team working out together was really cute, especially when they were all on the ellipticals. The shots of them all walking into the casino together were really adorable too 🙂
I tried to do some intense workouts while watching. I’m participating in a Biggest Loser challenge at the 3FC forums, and my team leader always puts out a few challenges for the show. Tonight’s was to do as many squats as possible during a commercial break. I grabbed a set of dumbbells and did 109!!! My legs were shaking like crazy by the end, so hopefully they’ll be sore tomorrow.
After watching Brittany get yelled at by Jillian for not being able to do 14 MPH on the treadmill, I decided I was going to try it myself. When I first got on to set it up, I found that the Westin treadmill “only” goes up to 12 MPH. I was disappointed, but since I had never run more than 8 MPH or so, I figured it would still be a good challenge, and thought I’d try to do it for a commercial break. Boy, was I wrong. I lasted all of 15 seconds before I almost fell off. 12 MPH is a 5:00 mile, and that is FAST. I tried to fight back for a few seconds, and then tried to grab the rails, but that just made it worse, and finally I was flying backward jabbing for the stop button on the darn machine. As it slowed, I managed to grab the rails, but I kept missing the sides of the machine with my feet and landing back on the belt, so I was bumping up and down on the belt as I tried to get my arms to hold me up enough to catch my footing on the sides. Ladies and gentleman, do not try that at home. And did anyone catch how long Brittany was supposed to go? I wasn’t positive, but that girl is apparently in way better shape than I am. On the next commercial, I tried again, this time with the little emergency stop thing hooked on to my shorts. I felt a lot better the second time, and stayed on for a full 30 seconds with really good running form before stopping (by manually making it stop, not by falling off and pulling the emergency switch). But you know what’s cool? Doing one minute (30 seconds for it to get up to 12 MPH, 30 seconds at 12 MPH) is 0.2 miles. Quick way to add mileage to my monthly total!
I also did some regular workouts during the show: various leg lifts, calf stretches, lunges, etc. And then I got kind of bored. I don’t really know that many leg workouts – I’ve always just done ballet and running, which works my legs enough. I glanced over to the handy Westin Workout shelf, and found a book to help: Men’s Health Total Body Workout Poster Book. I’m not a man, but it still sounded good: it advertises “24 full-color pullout programs to build the body you want.”
Now, that’s a little bit of a cheat… a lot of the exercises repeat across the posters. Still, I found a few new things to try that I liked, such as the King Deadlift and the Swiss-Ball Hip Extension and Leg Curl (about halfway down the page). The pictures are very clear, and the instructions are easy to follow, but I do wish that Westin had made an effort to pick a book of exercises you could actually do with the equipment that’s in the room. A lot of the leg exercises required a step (which would be easy to include in the room, if you ask me), a weight bench (more difficult, but still totally doable), or my favorite, a leg press machine (yeah, I get why they don’t include that one). It seems to me like Men’s Health shouldn’t include that in their book though – chances are if I own a leg press machine, I can look at the instructions on that rather than look to their poster book to tell me what to do.
I’ve been doing well with my weight training lately, thanks to my 8 Minute Fitness DVD which I’ve been good about doing almost every day. To get myself losing weight again, I need to increase the cardio (I’ve been skimping on it lately), and perhaps also try mixing up the weight lifting routine with real programs like the ones in this book (rather than just my own random amalgamations of exercises). I’ve never enjoyed learning about weight lifting (I just kind of follow the DVDs or the instructions on the machines), but hopefully this book will help me design some new routines and better understand which muscles I’m working when.
Anyone have any good weight lifting resources they’d recommend? It should be something kind of short and fun, because I get kind of bored with science-y stuff. My equipment is a bit limited though: dumbbells up to 25 pounds each, a 3 pound medicine ball, swiss ball, resistance tubing, and a yoga mat. Oh, and a laptop bag, chair, stool, and suitcase (all of which I’ve heard can be used to help with a hotel room workout). If you know any books that can MacGyver a good routine out of that assortment, do let me know 🙂