Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yes, I have triceps.

Several years ago, I read about an exercise video called Basic Training that incorporated the use of a Body Bar, a weighted, padded fitness bar. At the time, I was doing a three-mile walk in my neighborhood several times a week and felt that it was keeping me in reasonable shape, but I wanted to add some weight lifting to my routine. Since I couldn't afford a gym membership, this seemed like a reasonable alternative.

The first few times I attempted to work through the video, I failed. The body bar is four feet long and weighs "only" nine pounds; it seemed it wouldn't pose much of a challenge. But after lifting that nine pounds up and down over my head a few dozen times, my arms started to feel like rubber - as did my legs after a few dozen squats, and my abs after a few dozen crunches. But I persisted, eventually mastering the workout, and kept it up for several years.

I'm not sure what happened to that healthy routine, but at some point it fell by the wayside. I'm not even going to try to explain the weeks/months in which I have failed to exercise at all, although I will say that a handful of breakups, menopause, and a couple of serious bouts with bronchitis contributed. Instead, I am going to forgive myself and move forward.

Because it is too easy to use extreme heat or extreme cold as an excuse not to exercise, I joined a bare bones gym, Fitness 19, last January. There are no step classes or shower facilities, no smoothie bars or saunas - just your basic cardio, strength and free weight equipment, a few lockers and a restroom. Since all I really need is the elliptical machine, it's perfect for me.

I have made it to the gym three or four times a week, on and off, for several months now; Monday, I decided it was also time to return to my Body Bar routine. My VHS bit the dust long ago, and was replaced by the Total Body Express DVD. I still work out to Basic Training, which uses the Body Bar to work on every main muscle group, but this DVD also includes Body Bar Basics, Hard Core Abs & Back, Armed and Dangerous, and Below the Belt, each designed to target specific areas of the body.

Yes, it was hard; yes, I did it. Yes, I have triceps; they have been screaming at me in pain ever since.

My goal is to do the Body Bar workout two or three times a week and get to the gym (or outdoors) for some cardio - either the elliptical machine or power walking through the neighborhood - the remaining days.

I think I can. Do you exercise regularly? What inspires you and keeps you motivated?


SAIDFRAZ said...

ahhhh, you're killing me - with guilt!

Pam said...

Don't feel guilty! I feel better when I work out; that's what keeps me going. Although I will admit I have a couple of cute outfits I am hoping to get back into this spring! ;-)