Fitness & Exercise

Taking Your Workout To the Next Level

Context

It was now April 2012 and I had been working on my Weight Loss Regime for 5 months now.

(In earlier blogs, I had covered how I spent the 1st month – Nov-2011 – in just reading and understanding the Weight Loss process & had lost a cool 3 kgs then with minor changes in my lifestyle. Months 2-5 – Dec-2011 to Mar-2012 – were spent in establishing a healthy diet and intense gym routine, all of which were yielding fabulous results and I dropped another 7-8 Kgs. This particular blog covers my journey during months 6-7 when I made 2 major discoveries that helped me to take my work out to the next level)

In the last 4 months, I had put myself through quite a lot of wear and tear due to the intense cardio routine that I had followed. And I decided that it was time for a change – so decided to opt for an easily accessible though basic gym in our society. What was a major discovery for me though, was the Swimming pool!

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The Hardest Working yet Most Soothing Workout – Swimming!

Swimming as an option to take your workout to the next levelI discovered that Swimming on alternate days (in addition to my gym routine) not only provided a great relief to my stressed joints but also improved my cardio-vascular stamina. In addition, this helped by making my workouts multidimensional. I must admit though that the 1st day of swimming was hugely tiring. And even though the pool was small (about 20 metres long), I found to my dismay that I could only complete 20 laps. After, my whole body ached and I was as hungry as a bear at dinnertime.

Swimming is a great form of exercise – and helps to burn almost 9 calories a minute – but the issue is that after swimming, it’s very difficult to control your hunger. In the very 1st week, my diet was shot to hell as I was back to eating my regular portions, until by sheer accident I discovered a great trick. One day, I came home early from office and went swimming at 5 30 in the evening. Even though I swam about 30 laps, I did not feel as hungry as usual. This baffled me and I turned to the internet for help & found – much to my delight – that swimming in slightly warm water (about 24 degrees) helps to control hunger.

I slowly increased my stamina to 50 laps which was about a kilometre of swimming a day. I also learnt and regularly used the Butterfly Stroke which is great for increasing your heart rate and speeding up your metabolism.

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Cardio in the Gym is Not All You Should Do!

Cardio in the Gym is not All - Use Weights TooOverall I was starting to feel stronger but then I ran into a snag…

My access to running which was what I used to do in the Gym on alternate days was becoming impossible to achieve. Like most society gyms, there was only 1 Treadmill and 1 Cross trainer which was invariably busy with a lot of waiting time. Running on the road was a possibility but tough on knees so I had to figure out something different to do in the gym!

While I was still keen to run, my challenge was to use the waiting time for the machine effectively. So with lots of help from YouTube, I designed the following Bodyweight and Calorie Loss circuit which comprised:

  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Push ups
  • 20 Bench Dips
  • 20 Squats
  • 1 Minute Plank 

I would give myself a Rest time of 30 seconds between each Set of Exercises and a 90 second time out after completing 1 full circuit (all 5 exercises). 5 repetitions of the Full circuit made it a great calorie burner which also used all my muscles effectively and improved strength and fitness.

(Once you get used to the Circuit, you can add Lunges, Reverse lunges, Overhead weighted lunges and Mountain climbers to make sure that your body doesn’t get used to the pace).

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Very soon, I had a solid workout routine in place, that looked something like this:

  • 3 Days/Week – Swimming (30-50 laps) + Farmer’s walk
  • 2 Days/Week – Body Weight Circuit
  • 1 Day/Week – A Run of 5 kms followed by a cool off in the pool 

And on the 7th day, I rested!

One comment

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