December 26, 2008

New Year’s Countdown!

With Feast-mas over, I now have 10 days of vacation until I go back to work on January 5. My plans for that time? Working my tail off at the gym and eating well so I start the new year right. If I wait until January 1st, I’ll probably get slowed down at the gym by all the new year’s resolutioners. It’s so easy to give up when all the machines are taken and all the lanes in the pool are closed. None of this for me! I have ten days to get the gym and cooking and eating healthy into my daily habits before I get sent off to who knows where for my next project.

Happily, Chia has decided to join me on this bootcamp journey, and we’re having a little contest: whoever loses the highest percentage of weight between now and January 5 (weigh in will be that morning) will have to post their most embarrassing moment publicly on their blog.


So, after weighing in this morning, I hit the gym. And when I say I “hit the gym”, I mean I hit it hardcore. Today was arms day and my plan was to go all-out. (Okay, maybe not all-out, but pretty all-out considering how I’ve barely worked out at all except for marathons for the last few months). I intended to do 15 minutes of rowing, but did 5 and was getting exhausted… so I decided to mix it up and do three sets of 5 minutes interspersed throughout the rest of my workout. That kept my heart rate up and kept me breaking a sweat throughout the workout – I think I like that! Plus, 5 minutes of rowing is totally doable and not monotonous, whereas after that, I get a bit bored.

For all my sets of lifting, I tried a new technique I just read about on someone’s blog (I can’t remember whose and I can’t come up with good keywords to search my Google Reader for the post, so please let me know if it’s you and I’ll give you full credit!). Basically the idea is that your muscles will get bigger faster if you spend more time on the lowering part of each exercise rather than the lifting part; the way I incorporated this was by lifting to the beat of my iPod, and either doing 1 count up and 3 counts down or 2 counts up and 6 counts down, depending on how fast the music was. It definitely added an extra challenge, as well as forcing me to go much slower than I normally go. My arms were seriously sore, especially after the shoulder sets.

After lifting/rowing for almost an hour, I headed back upstairs to eat a yummy protein-filled lunch. I’ve seen so much about how people who eat after exercise see greater benefits than those who don’t eat after… but how eating carbs seems to reverse that. Therefore, I went with a nice piece of grilled fish sprinkled with some herbes de provences, and some french cut green beans (yes, I know those are carbs, but I wanted something to go with the fish and I figured as long as I avoid the flour-y kind of carbs I’m okay). Took me about 5 minutes to make all of this – just sprinkled the spice on the fish, grilled it on my Foreman, and boiled the green beans while the fish was cooking. Easy peasy! It’s not a real recipe, but I’m going to post the pic anyway because I think it came out pretty when I plated it up! Please note that it is in fact one filet but it was a large one (I’d guess 8 oz or so) that broke and looks like two.

Anyway, now it’s time to see what I have in my arsenal of exercise DVDs to further punish my arms. I am so weak these days it’s pathetic… but that is going to change!

Anyone else have pre-new year’s resolutions?


10 thoughts on “New Year’s Countdown!”

  1. what a fun challenge – and what a great-looking lunch.

    I am headed to the gym (for the first time in WEEKS, stupid snow) in a couple of hours, and am so looking forward to a run & some weights.

  2. That sounds like fun, count me in. It will give me incentive to do something while I am out of town this weekend. Should I post me current weight or are we just posting percentages at the end of the challenge.


  3. You should get P90X! Its awesome home DVDs to do for lifting and cardio when you want to mix it up. I did the arms and abs was killer. I might go back up to the gym and do some cardio though. New years resolution…..get preggers! hahaha

  4. OK – I’m confused – the winner is really the loser? The one who looses the most weight has to humiliate themselves? I would not work out on that plan! ha ha – BUT I do feel inspired to go to the gym just because you are!

  5. HAHAHAHAHA! Popovers with butter!??! Who are you?

    Ty took me out too… which should have turned into a cheese covered bonanza… but I made it through!

    After yesterday’s brilliant low-cal intake day and three hour session at the gym… weighed in two pounds HEAVIER this morning.

    I guess I was more dehydrated than I thought from that food poisoning.

  6. I sometimes use the technique of expanding the ‘lowering’ portion of weight exercises, but I like to do it on the last set, with that last set either having same weight as, or even less than, the 1st set.

    1st set – relatively light weight – 10-12 reps
    2nd set – little heavier – 7-8 reps
    3rd set – heavier still – 3-4 reps
    4th set – same weight as 1st set, or even lower – 5-6 reps, elongating the down portion.

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