Finishing the Week with Core Exercises and Kick Boxing

I’ve gone to the gym 5 days in a row!!! It’s been years since that’s happened [as I’ve explained to my husband, I’m much better about researching exercise than doing exercise.]

Lots of stability ball exercises today, including:

  1. Crunches with Stability Ball
  2. Bridges on Stability Ball
  3. Push Ups on the Stability Ball
  4. Back Extension with Stability Ball
  5. Pendulum with Stability Ball
  6. Crunches on Stability Ball While Tossing Medicine Ball
  7. Superman on the Stability Ball

We finished up with:

  1. Punching Drills on the Bag
  2. Stretching After Strength Training

You can find descriptions of the Stability Ball exercises on SparkPeople.com’s Fitness Pages.

So, it’s the end of a successful week. Where does that leave us?  I want to go back to basics.  The pod-casts [see my Nutrition and Weight Loss Guidance page] that I enjoy so much and SparkPeople.com agree that setting real and measurable goals is very important to losing weight.  Both advise that you write down why you want to lose weight or get fit, and why the hard work and effort to accomplish your goal is worth it. Fat2FitRadio.com especially stress coming up with realistic weight loss goals.

Here’s an excerpt from the Fat2FitRadio.com Goal Setting Page:

Here are some ballpark figures that I worked out for a weight loss of 50 lbs.

5’5″ woman, 30 years old who exercises lightly (BMR x 1.375)

175 lbs – 2165 calories per day
125 lbs – 1850 calories per day

5’10″ man, 30 years old who exercises lightly (BMR x 1.375)

225 lbs – 2950 calories per day
175 lbs – 2550 calories per day

 

It is clear that diets don’t work because as soon as people go off of a diet, they start eating like they did before the diet. The best approach is to know your goal weight and then figure out how many calories per day you will need to eat to maintain that goal weight.

Start to eat your “maintenance” calories at the start of your weight loss. If you eat like a thinner person, you become that thinner person. You will gradually lose the weight and never feel deprived along the way. It’s not a sexy weight loss plan, but it works in the long term.

Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall in New York City

ZARKANA -Photo-by-OSA

My husband and I were lucky enough to get free tickets to see Cirque du Soleil‘s Zarkana.   Zarkana is a touring arena show that is playing in Radio City Music Hall in New York City.  Our tickets were dead center aisle seats in the fourth row!  Awesome.

The show basically transforms Radio City Music Hall into a Big Top circus, complete with two silly [and not terribly funny] clowns who keep the audience entertained while the sets are changed.  The one bit they did well was when they pulled a young woman from the audience and did some schtick with her.  She was a very good sport. 🙂   The Backstage.com review describes it as:

The essential story is the same: Zark the magician (Paul Bisson) searches for his love in the bowels of an old theater inhabited by a mischievous group of swamis, escaped prisoners, ballerinas, French soldiers, mad scientists, and misfits. He meets with exotic women creatures (all played by Meetu Chilana). In between, acrobats and aerialists perform Cirque’s trademark death-defying feats of skill, including the aptly named Wheel of Death.

 I had a terrific time – there were a couple of fumbles by the aerialists but overall they were superb.  I actually had my hands over my mouth as I watched some of the acts.  I think I was more impressed than the 10-year old boy sitting in front of me. [What the heck does it take to impress kids these days, anyway?  I think they compare live theater to computer generated images…]

Zarkana_ Village Voice

The sets were huge and beautiful.  The music was only mediocre but the voices were lovely.  The Village Voice review by Michael Musto was short and sweet. You should click on the link and read it.

Kickboxing Session Gets Tougher – Bosu Ball, Free Weights and Stability Ball

I met with John Salgado this afternoon for my kickboxing training session.  4 days in a row of exercise!  I’m proud of myself. 🙂

Bosu Ball:  We did warm ups on the Bosu Ball– running in place and front kicks.  Then a series of Bosu Ball exercises combining side lunges, side kicks and squats.  There are a couple of useful online videos available.

Bosu Ball available at Amazon.comHere are a couple of online videos from eHow.com:

Stability Ball:  We followed the Bosu Ball exercises with tucks and push ups with the stability ball.  Strength exercises for today used 15 lb. weights doing triceps exercises and biceps curls using the stability ball. John also had me begin wall squats with the balance ball.stability ball availale at Amazon.com

Here is a website called Ball-Exercises.com that lists a number of exercises for the Stability Ball.

Free Weights Continued:  Also John had me sit and stand while doing bicep curls and  dumb bell shoulder presses.

Cardio Rounds:  Clearly, the worst thing about returning to the gym after a long absence is the lack of stamina.  I couldn’t finish a whole round because I simply couldn’t breathe and felt nauseous.  I guess that’s my newest most important goal. 😉

To develop stamina, Livestrong.com suggests:

  • running  [can’t do it because of my knees right now]
  • sparring/training bouts) [yeah, I don’t appreciate people hitting me]
  • circuit training  Yes!
  • jumping rope [see bad knees excuse above 🙂 ]

Strength Training at Crunch Gym

Looking at yesterday’s workout, it is clear that I haven’t been working as hard as I should when I am at Crunch. I felt ashamed at the amount of my whining. 🙁  So, this morning I told Frank that I needed to be pushed harder.woman lifting weights cartoon

Taking it to heart, Frank had me doing lateral pull-downs, rows, and bicep exercises with much heavier weights.  I had to do knuckle push ups [modified because I was on my knees] and modified jumping jacks [no jumping] with two pound weights.  The knuckle push ups are supposed to help strengthen my wrists and my forearms –  both of which should help with kickboxing as well.

All in all, I think we accomplished a great deal more today.  Excellent!

Back Strengtheners With Resistance Bands and Kickboxing Cardio

I met with John Salgado this afternoon for my kickboxing session.  We’re going to ease into strengthening my legs so we focused primarily on arms and back.  The session  began with mobility exercises to try to get the kinks out of my legs. We then proceeded to do a series of slow front kicks. By isolating each part of the kick, John says that we work on our core strength, balance and technique.  [I found a related article on the benefit of isolation exercises called “How to Front Kick“.]

Then we moved onto Back Exercises [3 sets] using the Stability Ball:

Using the Resistance Bands and seated on a balance ball:

  • Lateral Rowskickboxing woman
  • Seated Rows
  • Bicep Curls

Also on the Balance Ball [3 sets]:

  • Push ups on the Stability Ball Reps: 12-15
  • Knee Tucks on the Stability Ball Reps: 12-15
  • Dumbbell Chest Press on Ball [15, 20, 25 lb weights]
  • Dumbbell Triceps Extensions on Ball [15, 20, 25 lb weights]
  • Sit ups [last set with light weights]

We also did a couple of rounds doing punches, slips and kicks with the punching bag. We finished with 3 minutes of elbow-to-knees sit ups.

After stretching my legs and back, we ended our session today with some QiGong outside.

We picked up a couple of Mango and Green Teas with Tapioca at CoCo Fresh Tea and Juice.  According to Livingstrong.com, tapioca bubble tea combines tea, milk, honey and cooked tapioca pearls to form a frothy beverage that should be treated as a dessert in your caloric count. The large drink probably contained more than 300 calories. I’d always thought tapioca was good for you but I think I will pass on these next time.

 

Calorie Goals – Which Calculator To Follow?

Which BMR calculator?I  dutifully logged my food intake for the day on SparkPeople.com.  According to the SparkPeople site, I should be eating 1,380 to 1,730 calories per day.  It’s difficult for me to stay within this range. I like to eat and tend to eat out a lot.  I also tend to go to sporting events so the food that I buy is often greasy… [Yes, there’s room for improvement.] In my defense, I have begun to make fruit protein shakes for breakfast with Chocolate Flavored Optimum Nutrition 100% Natural Oats and Whey Protein.  It is made with whole grain oats and all-whey protein; has no artificial flavors and no synthetic colors.  It does contain honey powder and evaporated cane juice powder but that’s better than High-Fructose Corn Syrup….  I throw the protein powder in the blender with some milk and frozen fruit and it tastes great.

Anyway, if I compare the SparkPeople.com calorie suggestion with the Calories and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) calculator on Fat2FitRadio.com,  it looks as if the SparkPeople.com guideline would be correct only if I were very sedentary.  Giving myself credit for working out 3-5 times a week, I should be considered “Moderately Active” and can consume 2,150 calories on a daily basis!  That would mean that, although incredibly unhealthy, the 2 bags of potato chips I consumed today were OK. [2 oz. for a total of 304 calories] How funny is that?  Somehow, I don’t believe either of my trainers would be pleased to hear it.

I’ll be seeing John tomorrow for Kickboxing…I’ll ask him. LOL

Limited Strength Training at Crunch Gym

I went to see Frank, my trainer at the local Crunch gym, this morning to restart my training program.  Because of my knee issues and the time I’ve been away, we took it really easy.

  • Warm up was 5 sets of lateral runs and some stretches

My work out comprised 3 sets of the following:

  • 1 minute of rope pulley machine – pulling down
  • 1 minute of rope pulley machine – pulling up
  • 20 modified inchworm exercises [just going forward and going back to stand up]
  • traditional lateral pull down machine
  • traditional row machine
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises [to the side, moving across to the front and then back down to hips; reverse order for next set]
  • side leg raises

I’m incapable of moving my knee to a 90 degree angle with any weight so squats and lunges are out of the question for the time being.

Here’s a good video example:


I tried the SparkPeople.com Trivia game – it asks about health and exercise questions.

Kickboxing Training with John Salgado

I thought I should say that John Salgado is my trainer and has been with me for years.  John is great– he never yells at me but always pushes me past my whining.  🙂

John Salgado, CPT, Kickboxing Trainer, Inner G Training
John Salgado, professional MMA Fighter, CPT, Kickboxing Trainer, Inner G Training

John is a professional MMA Fighter and runs Inner G Training in New York.  He also trains other professional MMA fighters.  I’ve never attended any of his actual classes [let’s face it, I don’t like group activities] but they look impressive.  We tend to do strength exercises using the Tabata method and then some cardio kickboxing with pads and punching bags.  I’m guessing that my workouts most closely resemble his Cardio Combat classes but I ‘ve never asked him.  Our cool downs focus on QiGong.  [I’ve included links to some QiGong videos and exercises you can try on my Weight Loss and Nutrition Guidance/Exercises page.] All together, it makes for a high calorie workout.

John always recommends rolling my legs out with a foam roller to help alleviate my knee issues.

Qigong is an ancient Eastern practice of whole-body healing, accomplished by way of postures, movement, and breathing rituals intended to release the bodies flow of chi.  The Livestrong.com site has some QiGong exercises you can try.  Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/19110-qigong-breathing-exercises/

Diet Club With Self Magazine

Icing and some trigger point massage seems to have helped a bit with the sore forearms.  I will continue tonight to see if I can get back to a pain free state.

I signed up for the Self.com Diet Club.  They provide a possible 16 strength and plyometric exercises and a cardio plan. You’re supposed to do the exercises three times a week.  The trainer on the online videos is from SparkPeople.com.  The idea is to exercise as part of a community and to track it online everyday so that you are more aware of your daily food and exercise decisions as well as more accountable.  I’m not that community minded but am giving it a go.

The exercises I did today were:

Hotdog
Regular Hotdog w. ketchup, roll, no mayo – 315 calories
  • Rotating Sculptor- 5 lb weights
  • Bottoms Up- 3 lb weights
  • Reshaping Reach – 10 lb weights
  • Biceps Balancer – 10 lb weights
  • Step Off It – 3 lb weights
  • Rear Raiser
  • Wide High Knee

As I am careful of my knees, I decided to avoid the plyometric exercises for the time being.

 We are heading off to the Staten Island Yankees game tonight with All-You-Can-Eat tickets again.  I’m pretty sure that I saw an article saying hot dogs are a better junk food choice.

I will try to at some without the bun… That should save some calories. LOL

Trigger Point Massage for Forearm Pain From Overuse

My husband and I walked a bit in the park today [he went to the gym without me as my knees are still achy.]  My issue for the day relates to sore forearms from my kickboxing work out on Thursday afternoon.

I haven’t done a kickboxing session since the end of March when I hurt my hand and began a serious bout of traveling!  While it was great fun to be back [and a serious surprise that I was still conscious at the end of the hour] I have been incredibly sore.  My shoulders and forearms have not recovered from my trainer’s tabata rounds of push up and pull up exercises.

All the podcasts I’ve listened to so far agree that strength exercises are best.  Of course they also agree that 90 percent of weight loss is determined by diet and nutrition rather than exercise.  I am easing my way into better nutrition.  As I mentioned previously, I will start by avoiding high fructose corn syrup. 🙂   That’s harder than you’d think as we are attending a Staten Island Yankees game with All-You-Can-Eat tickets.

In the interim, I have just ordered Clair Davies’ The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief, Second Edition from Amazon.com.  I hope that I can begin to work on getting the kinks out of my legs and arms without having to go to a massage therapist.  I decided to use a small racquetball rather than purchasing any massage equipment; the foot log that I purchased a while ago may also come in handy.

I found an article online called Trigger Point Massage. Simple Self-Help for Chronic Pain  by Christian Lemburg, that seems to cover the basic points. 

Trigger Point Rules
1. Trigger points are small, localized muscle cramps that feel like hard lumps or knots in your muscles.
2. Trigger points arise at predictable places in the muscle and cause predictable patterns of referred pain.
3. Trigger points hurt like hell when pressed, and referred pain may be felt, according to the characteristic pattern for that trigger point.
4. Trigger points can be treated by massage.
5. Massage with short, slow strokes in one direction, applying deep pressure.
6. When massaging, use your elbow, your knee, your knuckles, or a ball instead of your fingers. Use a ball between your body and a wall or the floor to reach hard spots.

Read the entire article:  http://www.crossfit.com/journal/library/37_05_trigger_points.pdf