A Great Workout and an AMT Review

My posts tend to get pretty heavy and pedantic. I don’t really write to delight or keep the attention of my readers (although I appreciate all of you!). But I also don’t like keeping a negative focus. So, I have good news and a much shorter post this time around.

Last night I watched my heart rate climb, felt sweat pouring down my brow, coached myself through two cramps, and ran my heart out on an AMT for 20 minutes. I gave it my all! There was something gratifying about being the heaviest person in the little line of machines and going faster than all of them with my head in the game. I stepped down and the pay off was immediate- my legs felt like they weighed a ton each but I was so pumped.
Have you seen an AMT? They are like ellipticals 2.0. but so much more. It stands for Adaptive Motion Trainer and the beauty of it is a more fluid motion and broad range in strides.

 

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                          The AMT-885 from Precor                             Photo Credit: amtfitness.com

 

Imagine a machine that allows you to bounce so that your movement isn’t rigid and isn’t guided by a track or wheel. You can bounce up and down like skipping on a jumprope or swing your legs far apart and feel like prancing gazelle. You can change your stride length from zero to thirty-six. You get a full range that feels like you’re running on air without the pounding of a treadmill or the stiffness of a crosstrainer or elliptical. You can go up and down like climbing stairs or do big large ovals like treading water.

I like that this is much less impact than running on a treadmill or on concrete but still gives enough bounce to get the benefits of some impact. Impact is a friend and foe to one’s body, especially with obesity. I know that some impact on my bones and joints is a way to keep them healthy and strong but I also know that high impact exercises work against my body since I’m carrying way more weight on my frame than I should. When I first tried this machine at my gym, my knees were not happy. I was dealing with knee problems and so I approached this machine carefully and tried to limit my time on it to 10 minutes initially. I found the impact really helped and feel my knees to my knowledge are benefitting from it!
I typically do 20-25 minutes of cardio followed by weight machines and then wrap it up with another 5-15 minutes of cardio at a more leisurely pace for cool down. I’d like to increase that number to 35 minutes of cardio, some weight machine, some free weights, and a 10 minute cool down.

I have a book coming my way to help me learn more about the machines and exercise moves so I can confidently do them with the right form and knowing what muscle areas they target.

If you have this type of machine available at your gym but have been intimidated to try it, I say give it a go! It’s so much fun!

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Obstacle Solving

Obstacle Solving – Like problem solving but tackling potential roadblocks.

Ready my arsenal.

    HDMI cable for the TV: No more dvd workout excuses. I’ll plug it into my laptop and play DVDs that way and as a plus stream youtube fitness routines I love. The DVD player  I had at my apartment doesn’t work here and plays black and white.

✓    New workout pants: The kind that don’t make me feel sloppy or make me wonder if my cottage cheese thighs are showing. Pairs that rise high and are opaque enough to give me confidence to bend over, dance, and jump without constantly worrying I’m gonna expose my belly or backside.

✓   Vitality Corner: A visual meditative center and reminder for me since that is the sense I am most honed into. It has motivational print outs that actually mean something to me and the green and blooming vitality of plants to tell me to keep striving for my best physical and mental health.

✓    Day Planner and Lists: I’m going to log daily weight, mood, and happy thoughts in there. I also need to be true to planning so I don’t put off things that will become workout or cooking excuses.

✓    MyFitnessPal: To log in food and exercise

✓    Time: I’m saying no to new responsibilities/studies/commitments until I’ve solidified my habits. One month until race day. One and a halfish months until Bible study is done. That frees my schedule even more until I feel set to take on new things if I want to.

✓    Music: Because music is good medicine.

✓    Friends: Because friends are also good medicine and my favorite sources of encouragement and wisdom

Tonight is a workout at the gym night. I have bible study until 9pm, so I’m hoping to do a late night gym routine. 9:15-10:15. That’s a long day for me. I was up at 6am. I won’t have time to “relax” until I’m back from the gym. But once I schedule my bible study work more faithfully, I will get a chance to relax for about an hour after work and then use that to empower a more efficient routine and attitude. Little by little, I’ll get this down.

Fitbit Bits – Post #1

Since this blog is a mishmash of everything in my life, I’m going to do periodic fitbit updates as it is one of my resolutions to be more mindful of how active [or lack thereof] I am.

Here’s where I’m at now:

Average workday steps: 3500-5000
Average weekend/days off steps: 7000-10000
Gym Routine: None yet
Badges:  5k steps, 10k steps, 26 miles, Weight Goal set
Short Term Goal: 3 gym days, tone up and lose weight/inches for flights
Long Term Goal:  5 workouts/week, fit into a size 14/16 and set second/final size goal

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I still haven’t added the gym into the mix. That’s on me, and I know I shouldn’t provide any excuses so I won’t.

But! I’ve been walking when weather conditions aren’t challenging on work lunch breaks. They aren’t long but they do get me a short exercise in the mix and gets everything going again after sitting for over 4 hours.

What I do is I walk from work to my farthest point and  run  fat girl jog back as far as I can, then walk the last bit back to work so people from the office don’t see me looking like an idiot.

This whole thing is only about 10 minutes total of exercise, but I feel victorious! Running…ahem…jogging…is really hard on my body and I’m impressing myself with the little stamina and good breathing I’ve had. I used to forget to breathe and have to stop to recover and my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest. Now, the only thing that happens is my back strains a bit after a while and my running onsets some wheezing AFTER my run/walk is over. Sounds a bit pathetic, but it is progress!

I really am more sedentary because of my career – that’s been interesting to figure out. Another reason I need the gym and stuff, for sure. On a full time work day, I clock in about 3500-5000 steps. When I was off for a week, I was consistently clocking 7000-8000 without trying, and 10,000 when I had time to do extra walking/running.

Ideally, my first fitness goal is to do 3 gym days for 45 minutes or more at a time. I’d also like to do a dvd workout on days I don’t go – either T-Tapp or a trainer led zumba routine or music-based workout.

From there, I’d like to increase it to 3 gym days with a true workout circuit and 3 days of T-tapp (I’d do it on gym days) and 2 days of harder trainer dvd workouts like my Jillian Michaels or Marissa Tomei ones.

I have some flights to plan mid year and later. On my last plane ride, I was at the end of the buckle. I have since gained about 10-15 pounds and I’m mortified of that buckle not clicking or someone complaining  that I should have ordered two seats. I AM NOT going to let that happen. I lose weight very slowly but I’m hopeful that with a good routine I’ll at least tone up a bit if not be down hopefully at least what I gained since then. That is my short term goal – to hop on that plane feeling good about myself and not feeling like I spill out of my seat.