Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Kettle bells + Yoga

I spent almost 3 hours at the gym last night! I went a little crazy and bought a ton of passes for the AFC drop-in classes, so now I need to use them all up! Thankfully, the semester just started, and the new schedule has a lot of interesting classes that I want to try out. I saw that my favorite yoga instructor was teaching a new class in addition to her regular "Yoga Flow," called "Yoga Flexible Strength." It was described as:

This class actively combines strength and flexibility into a dynamic workout. The sequence of movements is designed to counter-balance the stresses of sedentary life and promote the practical application of strength and flexibility throughout one’s daily activities. This class will incorporate new moves, musical artists and styles each week to keep you coming back more.

I was intrigued to see how the class would be different from the fast-paced Yoga Flow. It started at 6:45, so I got to the gym a little after 5 to do two KB sets first. I wanted to allow plenty of time in between so I could stretch and cool down. I didn't want to make the mistake of coming straight from another workout to yoga - starting out sweaty and tired in yoga isn't fun. I know that it's supposed to stretch your muscles, and some people like it as a cool down, but I hate when my hands are sweaty and start slipping everywhere. I'm also self conscious about being red faced and sweaty when everyone else is just calmly in down dog.

As soon as I got to the gym, I staked out a spot on one of the corners of the track, and grabbed the KBs I was using (20 and 25 lbs). I don't know if I've mentioned this already, but I'll say it again - there are too many people at the gym! It's like everyone comes back after the summer and realizes that after 3 months of drinking beer by the pool, they need to start working out again. In a month, most of them will be gone, but for right now it's just way too many people. What really gets me is that the girls seem to travel in packs.

After grabbing a spot, I went to the assisted pullup machine. It's been a while since I've done any of those. Thanks to my tags on the blog, I can see that the last time I used the machine was July 1st, and I did some Joey-assisted pullups on July 3rd. Back in July, I did 2 at 60lbs assistance, then 3 and 4 at 70lbs assistance, and immediately following the 4 I did an additional 6 at 90lbs assistance. Since it's obviously been a while, I decided to see where things were first. I set it at 90lbs assistance and pretty easily did 10. I rested for 1-2 minutes, then set the assistance to 80lbs and completed 5. I probably could have done more, but I wanted to save some energy for the 3rd set. I then moved to 70lbs assistance, and did 2. I was pretty pleased with what I did - I definitely won't be starting from scratch. I'm hoping that if I keep it up, I'll be able to do a real pullup (or several) within 3 months.

The KB workout was HARD - I used the 25lb KB for almost every exercise, which was only the second time I've used it. Because of this, I went through it pretty slowly. I only switched to the 20lb KB for the Grand Ribbon and Triple Crush in the second set. I actually used the cards for the workout, although I altered the workout from the second card. It was supposed to be lightning rounds, where you do as many as you can of each section in 3 minutes. I started out doing that, but just couldn't keep up with the pace to do a significant amount in 3 minutes. I decided to just go twice through each section, without timing, and then to do the entire thing two times.


I was left with a good amount of time to stretch and cool down. I actually had too much time - when I went downstairs to where the class is held, I realized that there was a class still going. Now I know that the room will be occupied until 6:30 (or later - it definitely went late last night), so there isn't a point in getting down there before then. Once I got in, I set up my mat and towel toward the front so could see both the instructor and the mirror. The class was pretty great. For the first 2/3, I felt really good, like things were challenging, but still doable. I realized how much I missed the class, and how everything we did stretched out my muscles in ways I can't do on my own. Toward the end of the class, everything just felt tired. My arms didn't want to hold me up anymore. Thankfully, at that point it was just fun stuff left - arm balances and shavasana. You would think that my tired arms would make arm balances impossible, but I actually was able to do them! I think because it's more of creating a solid connection between your arms and legs, and just trusting that your wrists can hold you, that it doesn't require a lot of arm strength actually. I remember when I first started, I thought there's no way my arms can hold up my entire body weight. It definitely made me happy that I was able to do it, and on both sides! I'm not sure the exact name of this arm balance, I think it was similar to a side crane.

By the time I got home, chatted Joey's ear off about the gym, and then showered, it was 8:30. Time for dinner! I reheated some of the tikka masala from last week (recipe to come soon), had it over quinoa with roasted shrimp, and some rosemary garlic bread (recipe also coming) on the side. Joey apparently had been very productive while I was working up a sweat. He went to Sam's Club, made granola, baked the bread, made himself braised pork, cooked 5 breakfast sandwiches for each of us, using egg whites he bought at Sam's Club... Best boyfriend ever. Make that best person ever!

Heart Rate Monitor: (KB/yoga)
Duration: 0:55:39/1:06:33
Calories Burned: 484/293
Average Heart Rate: 143 (74.1% of max)/104 (53.9% of max)
Max Heart Rate: 166 (86.0% of max)/134 (69.4% of max)
Time in Zone (65-85%): 0:46:35/0:01:33