Session 6… The PT Diaries

I honestly can’t believe that we are at session 6 – the time has flown!

After an absolute drenching before getting to the gym I made a start or getting stretched and warmed up.

After Session 5 where I just felt urgh today’s session was – well not easy but it was manageable, well it was until I got on the rowing machine that is (flashbacks to my 1000m challenge ensued). It didn’t help that the night before the session the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) kicked in around my back, shoulders and upper arms but everywhere else it is starting to ease off.

In general I am fairly fit but I just lack the ability to really push myself during physical exercise and my endurance levels, especially with cardio are pretty poor but it is improving (I think). I just need to stick it out and by having the PT sessions I feel it has really had a massive impact on my free training sessions. I now know what I need to be doing to get results and doing 20 minutes on the cross trainer a bit on the rowing machine and some weights just aren’t gonna cut it! Unfortunately that is what I did for a long time then thought I could just eat what I want in the early days. Put it this way YOU CAN’T! Some education made a massive difference last year but now it’s about making a major difference – it’s no longer about being slim, it is about being fit and healthy and a few muscles won’t hurt either!

So this session we once again mixed it up a little, Barry is still insistent I get on that bloody bike though!

Here is what I did – why not give it a go and see how you do!

  • Warm Up X-trainer 8 mins (keeping heart rate between 130-150bpm)
  • Walking Lunges + Shoulder Press 10m/8m/6m/4m X3
  • Interval Sprints on Spin Cycle (5 minutes)
    • 40secs Low Intensity
    • 20sec Sprint 85-90% HR (put it this way mine can get up to 194bpm!)
  • Resistance Training
    • Super Sets 3×12 with a break between each set (I did this to get my heart rate back to 150 but a 30 second break should be fine).
      • Tricep Cable Push Down (straight bar)
      • Seated Latt Pull Down(wide grip)
    • Break
      • Smith Squats (Barbell)
      • Bench Step Ups (6kg Dumbbells)
    • Break
      • Incline Bench Crunch
      • Bench Knee lift
  • Core Board 3x15secs Press Ups (spin)
  • Cardio Cycle 5 mins level 8 RPM 75+
  • Finisher
    • 500m Row level 8 (as fast as you can – should take about 2m 30s)
    • Stretch

Overall another great session that burnt approx. 650 calories (my HRM kept getting a little temperamental) I really feel that I have benefited from PT sessions and wish I had started much sooner in my ‘Coming Clean’ and getting fit journey as I would probably be in a completely different place right now. I was lucky if I managed to do around 300 calories in an hour when free styling. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there and inspirational people on Twitter but if you really want pushing to do your best and to make you keep going when you wanted to give up 3 times previously then personal training is definitely something to consider.

I’m yet to do further measurements but I can tell you my weight has increased slightly. I’m not scared at this stage, after all muscle weighs more than fat and I would much rather have more muscle than fat! I plan to take some further measurements at the end of next week after session 8 is complete to see my progress.

I have two more PT sessions left as part of this block but plan to undertake another 8 which will finish just a couple of weeks before my sisters wedding and will hopefully mean I will get into my bridesmaid dress with ease and furthermore really set me on track for working out myself and getting the most out of it!

My past PT Diaries can be found below….

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Upping the Weight Game

So this week marks my first full attempt at using the scary room in the gym i.e. the weights room!

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In nearly 12 months of attending the gym, its a room I have generally stayed away from, but after constantly moaning at Oliver – the guy who takes our LBT class – that I really need to be shifting more fat around the waist and toning up he recommended I do weights.

I didn’t have a clue what I should be doing i.e. what weights do I use, do I use machines, how many reps should I do etc. so I got booked in for a session to put a little programme together.

I couldn’t tell you what moves I am doing exactly, I am sure I will learn them in time, but I am pretty impressed with the amounts I can lift at an early stage. I have to say it is also a little addictive too!

After my first full session doing weights on my own followed by a class I was gobsmacked at just how many calories I had burnt – 1097 calories in just over 2 hours! A definite record for me! Plus half of that was burning fat – even better!

Weights

I love going in the weights room now but when I am on my own I can slacken off and chose lighter weights, it’s only if Oliver is passing and see’s that I’m not putting enough effort in that he makes me up my game (which is why I have added PT to my birthday wish list).

On Friday I was impressed to see the weights room full of girls – honestly do not be scared! I admit I was but now I know what I am doing I am more than happy to enter a room full of burly blokes who are lifting 50kg whilst I stick with 10kg (for now). I definitely recommend asking the staff at your gym to give you some advice on what you should be doing, as once you know you can make more of your workouts! The guys are there to help you and if they don’t want to then I would think twice about where you are a member!

Right now, a day after a 45 minute LBT class followed by another hour doing various weights my glutes and thighs are on fire. I may struggle getting up and down steps for a couple of days, but without a doubt I feel great and will be back in the weights room on Monday… after doing my LBT class of course!

I shall keep tracking my progress and report back!

Polar FT7 – Heart Rate Monitor Review

I bought my Polar FT7 back in March in order to accurately (or as accurately as possible) track my calorie expenditure in conjunction with using MyFitnessPal to track my calorie consumption.

I know the machines such as treadmills give you an indication as to the number of calories burnt but these miss our important factors such as your sex and height which are important in accurately calculating calorie expenditure which could mean the difference in losing weight and not losing weight!

So further to being gifted a £50 Amazon voucher by a friend (Thank You!) I took the opportunity to purchase a gadget that would do exactly what I needed and after reviewing various makes and models on the market and trying not to go over the £50 too much I finally settled on the Polar FT7.

The Polar FT7 is a Fitness Watch which consists of a chest strap and sensor along with the watch. In order to calculate your heart rate the chest strap must be worn, it’s comfortable and discreet (honestly) and you can however wear the watch as a normal day to day watch if desired.

Polar FT7 - 2

Before using the watch you are required to enter your personal data such as your height, weight and sex in order for the calorie expenditure calculation to be as accurate as possible (make sure you update this as you lose the weight to ensure the calculations are accurate).

So once you have done all that all you have to do is get moving!

You can use this watch doing absolutely any exercise. I use whilst taking classes, doing weights, using the cross trainer and even swimming! Just make sure you don’t press the buttons on the watch whilst submerged, I tend to start before entering the water and stopping once my hand and arms are dry.

What I love most about this watch is that it doesn’t just tell you how many calories you have burnt but if you workout increased your fitness levels or burnt fat. I am all for the latter and right now as I am trying to lose weight and rid my body of unwanted fat this was the feature that made me chose the Polar FT7.

I guess the main thing that this watch has taught me is that lower intensity workouts are the best for burning fat. You will see me in the gym doing high inclines on a treadmill or a high setting on the cross trainer slowly and not looking like I’m putting in much effort or doing the LBT classes in order to keep my heart rate at the right level to torch fat. More recently I have switched over from using the machines to using weights in a bid to torch more fat and tone up.

You really do not need to go all out sweating your arse off on a treadmill til you can barely breathe to get in shape and I think that is where a lot of people go wrong! I certainly was, but I have a lot of runners who argue this with me. I’m sorry but I’m going by the data on my Polar FT7 along with my personally results of losing 18lbs since I really started to get into this fitness lark at the end of January. It works for me and my knees are crap so you can keep your running!

Moving on there are various other features for the serious athlete such as showing your heart rate whilst working out so you can keep to the required BPM to get the most out of your workout, an overview as to average and maximum heart rate and it also shows a weekly overview of calorie expenditure.

Polar FT7

I have also found that there can be a vast difference in the figures the machine tells you and the figures the watch tells you. On certain equipment I can burn around 100 calories more per session, but on others I can burn considerably less. So for example you do not want to be told you’ve burnt 500 calories in a workout when you might have only burnt 250 and therefore eat your exercise calories back because in that case you will be overeating and therefore you will put on weight and will be wondering why exercising is not doing anything for you!

Having started to use the Polar FT7 on the 21st March, I have undertaken 70 hours worth of exercise (92 sessions) and burnt a grand total of 27,825 calories!!! And since I bought this little beauty I cannot work out without it. It’s like a little personal trainer on my arm pushing me to work harder and burn more. It’s like I am constantly battling against my personal best trying to increase my calorie burn since the last workout – especially in class situations.

So does anyone else use a HRM – if so which one and what do you think about it?