No bike commuting today since I need to be home at precisely 4:30 this afternoon to close the deal on my truck. I did, however, run my usual Friday morning 5k and it felt really strong and fast. I didn’t time it so it could have been an illusion (or delusion) on my part. That’s a little odd because a lot of weeks I’m starting to feel a little tired by Friday.
When I figured out that I was getting burned out on weight lifting, I decided to join Pam in a boot camp class every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Meyer Center. In order to not completely forsake all my strength work I’ve been getting there at about 5:20 am and doing the following workout before class starts:
- 4 sets of 12 bicep curls with about 80 lbs on the bar.
- 4 sets of 50 push-ups.
- 4 sets of 25 sit-ups (various varieties).
- 4 sets of 12 pull-ups.
Boot camp starts at 6:00 and lasts an hour. We usually start with a little warm-up, then run anywhere from a 1-1.5 miles before going back down to the gym. Quite often, we do some sprint work, and we always seem to do a lot of lower body strengthening exercises, some upper body exercises and some abs work.
The lower body stuff is something that is relatively new to me. I stopped lifting weights for the lower body muscles several years ago because I thought it was detrimental to my running and cycling and I could tell that I was adding bulk in my thighs and butt. I figured, hey, I’m running and riding all the time anyway so I shouldn’t need to specifically work those muscles.
Well, in this class, we’re doing a lot of lunges, jumping and squatting. I can tell my lower body is getting stronger, and at this point it is doing so without bulking up and making me slower. The difference is that these exercises are emphasizing fast-twitch responses instead of the slow-twitch response elicited by lifting weights.
Additionally, I’m finding that working out in the class environment is not as bad as I thought it might be. The class is actually mostly ladies, and with Pam there at least I have someone very familiar for a partner. I encourage her, and likewise she encourages me.
In all, I would give the class positive marks. I think I’ll enjoy it more when we start going outside instead of staying in the gym. Unfortunately, when we start taking the tandem out for morning rides later this spring we’ll need to use Tuesday and Thursday mornings for that activity since Pam doesn’t have to be at work quite so early those days. I’ve already decided, however, that it will be a good diversion next fall and winter after tandem riding season ends.
How about you? Do you ever do classes like this? Leave me a note in the comments if you do.