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Mr Twits Great Upside Down Monkey Circus - Get Fit Challenge - Week 3

May

20

Last week was a different kind of week to most. As part of the CTGF I thought I'd try some of the more gruelling sounding activities. I do Spin and Life Circuits most weeks so I'm used to putting some effort in. I chose Boxercise, H.I.T. (High Intensity Training) and Power Hoop and I thought I'd spread them over the month. Alas with availability of Power Hoop and a group Spin class and some fitness bartering "I'll do H.I.T. with you if you do group Spin?", I ended up deciding to do all 5 chosen activities over 4 days. I missed out Kung Fu because I used to do Shaolin Kung Fu here at Sussex over a decade ago.

 

I've done a little comparison:-

Boxercise

Intensity: High and low
Cardio: High I think
Sweat Factor: High
Out of breathe: Yes
Fun: Loads
Complicated to follow: No
Technique: It'll come
Recommend: Yes

Spin

Intensity: High and low
Cardio: Extreme
Sweat Factor: Extreme
Out of breathe: Yes
Fun: Sometimes (usually music dependent)
Complicated to follow: For new starters and the hard of hearing.
Technique: trainer should introduce the fundamentals. You need to learn your own limits though.
Recommend: Yes - its hard and noisy but rewarding.

At this point I should have been doing my headstand practice but after 2 dodgy night's sleep and 2 gruelling classes I decided sitting was a safer option....

H.I.T.

Intensity: High and low
Cardio: Moderate
Sweat Factor: Moderate
Out of breathe: Yes
Fun: No! Ladies No! Squatting (it burns us precious). Aerobics and step, Gangnam Style and LMFAO songs, make your own opinion.
Complicated to follow: No, listen to trainer and watch person in front.
Technique: It hurts too much to care.
Recommend: Yes and no, a really good workout, Ria is an excellent class instructor but this class is not for me.

Slept like a babe on Tuesday night.*

Power Hoop

Intensity:Moderate and low
Cardio: Moderate
Sweat Factor: Moderate
Out of breathe: Yes (due to lack of technique).
Fun: Yes
Complicated to follow: No.
Technique: Critical, if you don't have it its hard work but once you start getting it it's good fun and the breathlessness goes.
Recommend: Yes

Life Circuits

Intensity:You choose
Cardio: Moderate
Sweat Factor: Moderate/You choose
Out of breathe: Sometimes
Fun: Yes, both Mark and Terry work really hard on making these classes different every week.
Complicated to follow: No comment - once you get going its normally fine.
Technique: For safety reasons you should know what you're doing with weights and apparatus. The instructors will show you.
Recommend: Yes

And it's over. I couldn't wait for Friday's Yin Yoga class. It was the reward for a very very hard week. It has to be said that I did over do it during week 3. I was running on empty at H.I.T. and Power Hoop. I had a few aches that I wouldn't normally get, like tight calves.

In reflection I have a balanced exercise regime but I think I'd like to include a bit of walking, a bit of swimming, alternate cycling with rowing [Indoor Rowing Classes Terry?] and I wish I was disciplined enough to use the gym regularly on my own. I will commit to trying out the next 6 week course for Metabolic Training.

 

Quick Monkey Circus Update

*On Weds I had a go at the headstand. Karen pointed out I was going up in an uncontrolled and rushed way. I think I've improved that. Still haven't got that balance point. But I'm working on getting used to being upside down. I spent two 5 min sessions upside down on Friday and I think I'll go for 10 mins tonight. Then I reckon it's time to leave the wall.

 

Finally, water consumption is rubbish still but I've only had 5 packets of crisps this month. Walker's are sending a rep round later this week.

Commit to get fit Challenge - ITS Group - week 3

May

23

We made a recruit or two last week. Michele joined the group and Jeff joined us for spin.

 

7 members of ITS made it to a group spin class, there was a whiff of solidarity in the air that would have made Lech Lewenza's knees wobble. 40 minutes of panting, sweating, grinding and swearing later and I could sense the relief of finishing. The consensus was that it was good exercise but the bike needs getting used to. For Angi it was cycle 2 ever and cycle 2 in 2 days. Cheers to Andy for coming in especially to take the class.

 

Last week saw smaller groups take on life circuits, power hoop, racketball and an interesting 3 person badminton match. On an individual basis new activities included the gym, goal setting, running, yoga, zumba, H.I.T., boxercise, legs, bums and tums. Jane apparently had a wheelbarrow race at her allotment.

 

What I've picked up on though is that its not just the participants that are thinking about their fitness. There is interest in the department, small groups talking about their fitness activities.

 

And for those that were wondering, Terry still hasn't got his sticky pads.

Commit to get fit Challenge - ITS Group - week 4

May

31

Last week was the big ITS Table Tennis competition. An eagerly awaited tournament that had the enterants* picking up, what had formly been know as, a ping-pong bat for the first time since Atari Pong was invented (talking of which go to google images and type in "atari breakout").

 

Atari Pong

 

*All but one, Jane is a dab hand with the bat and the bookies had already closed shop and paid out on a win.

Monday lunch time was upon us and we gathered round two table tennis tables. All except Carol, where was Carol and why was Paolo there? In a switcharooney, much the same as Game of Thrones' Imp's Trial by Combat, Carol had a ringer.

 

Pool one wiiner: Jane

Pool one runner-up: Debs

Pool two winner: Paolo

Pool two runner-up: Angi

3rd place: Debs

2nd place: Jane

1st place: Paolo "The Ringer"

 

ITS CTFG Table Tennis winner 2013

Thanks to Sandy for arranging the tournament and supplying the winners trophy.

 

New activities for individual ITS members last week included fencing, life circuits, beginners running, core lecture and core training. One particularly tired team member had tried childcare, Carol had a bike accident Cry, but this week's alternative prize goes to Jeremy who flew out to Italy took on Pisa Baptistery's steps.

 

Finally, as IT we decided to have a look at some of the health and fitness programs and apps that are available. As that was a bit too time consuming we looked at ourselves and looked at what we were already using:-
Running and Cycling

Route planners
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/ (webpage and app)
http://www.mapmyrun.com/ (also with activity monitor and food log)
GPS Trackers
http://www.strava.com/
Yoga

Simply Yoga
http://is.gd/U9j0YZ
Health Checker

From Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies
http://is.gd/3ZUaUD (app also available)
Calorie King
http://www.calorieking.com/
Skiing

My Altitude
http://is.gd/G8x41i (also for cycling and walking)
Ski Tracks
http://is.gd/y2Fgj4
Fitness

Apps for Press-ups, squats, pull-ups and sit-ups
http://www.rittr.com/
Everything

Youtube has been used for allsorts of instruction and injury management

Commit to Schedule - Dealing with Injury, Illness and DOMS

May

11

What is great about Commit to Get Fit is that you get a bunch of team mates together, most of us don't know each other well and then you've got something to relate to other than work and like any relationship you then have a building block. The same is true at the additional classes. You can see people every lunch time heading for the sports centre and there's a fair chance they're commiting to get fit.

 

This year I'm trying to get a fitness programme together. I injured my knee nearly 4 years ago and it took over 3 years to get a diagnosis. Before my injury I used to run, not at any particular level but I enjoyed pounding the streets. However I always needed a goal, 10k here, 1/2 marathon there and one marathon. After that I tried a triathlon and really enjoyed it, despite not being a great swimmer. Shortly after that I injured my knee. After a few months out I needed something so I found Yoga and Spin. My knee got worse and the spin had to go. I saw an NHS physio, a chiropractor and got some suggestions from the Sussexsports team. I started Life Circuits twice a week and included some recovery exercises in that. I returned to the NHS and finally got referred to Orthopaedics, who then sent me back to my original physio who diagnosed me with quadriceps tendonitis.

 

Having a diagnosis means that I have some exercises that will help overcome the injury, or at least keep it at check. I does mean that I have to go to the gym once a week and extend my left quadricep. I've started running sporadiacally and go to spin lessons again. I haven't got a clue where my limit lies, this is something that I've decided to test. So the theory is let's aim for a 1/2 marathon and a beginners triathalon within a year. I've done two casual 5 milers this year and I've a 10K coming up in June. One thing is clear though, I won't make 10K without training.

 

So this year's CTGF is a weekly program of gym, outdoor run, indoor cycle, a 25 min swim and 1 or 2 yoga classes. I'll also be trying out Charleston and Bouldering as group activities.

 

Week 1

Thurs - Boundary Walk - CANCELLED due to ILLNESS

Sat - Swim - CANCELLED due to ILLNESS

Great start but unavoidable.

 

Week 2

Mon - Yoga - CANCELLED due to Bank Holiday

Tues - Life Circuits - Great class, team reps, good fun with a smigeon of competition

Weds - Run - Blowing a hoolie so I headed up to Falmer Sportscentre gym for the first time in about 9 years. Did 5K at pb speed? Lent forward in an attempt to start a change of running style. Calves are feeling it afterwards.

Thurs - Charleston - Really good fun and alot more energetic than I imagined it would be.

Fri - Spin - My legs are dead. I've no power in them at all but I give all I've got.

Sat - Swim - Enough is enough - CANCELLED due to DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness) has kicked in. I need to rest or I'll injure myself.

 

Now I go into Week 3 with some thoughts. Where did I over do it? I certainly went for it a little hard running on the treadmill and the Charleston was more energetic that expected. I think I'll stick to the program, yoga, spin and life circuits are classes so I'll do as expected. I want to up my distance for running by 1k per week, so 6k this week at a normal pace, and a 25 min swim. The knee is a little sore as I start, but yoga and life circuits should help that.

 

I've also read Sports Physio Tom Groom's notes from last year.......hopefully they'll keep me in check.

CTGF - I love it when a plan comes together

May

18

So this year's CTGF is a weekly program of gym, outdoor run, indoor cycle, a 25 min swim and 1 or 2 yoga classes. I'll also be trying out Charleston and Bouldering as group activities.

After last week's failure I did it.

Week 3

Monday - Yoga.

Tuesday - Circuits.

Wednesday - Spin - not as much energy as I'd have liked.

Thursday - Yoga.

Friday - Run - 6K - desired improvement of 1K over last week.

Saturday - 800m non-stop breaststroke. This may be (or at least equals) my pb!

 

This week I have Bouldering tonight and Charleston on Thursday, hope I don't over do it.

CTGF - What a difference a year makes

May

26

So this year's CTGF is a weekly program of gym, outdoor run, indoor cycle, a 25 min swim and 1 or 2 yoga classes. I'll also be trying out Charleston and Bouldering as group activities.

Week 4

Monday - Yoga.

Monday evening - Bouldering - I absoultely loved it. After promising Jane that I won't get all macho and gun-ho I got stuck right in. Managed a few yellows and a couple of purple and blacks, highest being a 4a which required a jump up to a handle.

Tuesday - Circuits. My arms ACHED after boldering. Before starting circuits I tried a row, fine, a chest press, fine, and the a press-up and a shoulder press. NO NO NO. No way. Switched those for some knee strengthening exercises.

Wednesday - Spin.

Thursday - Charleston - too knackered to do it and gave it a miss (or rather had a hangover from watching Sunderland secure premiership football for another season Cool).

Friday - Holiday - Run - 7K - Dropped the kids off at school and took a 7K route home along the Worthing seafront. Desired improvement of 1K over last week.

Saturday - 100m 'non-stop' front crawl. I've never been able to master front crawl and this was last year's failed CTFG challenge. I didn't think I was going to manage it on Saturday either after a couple of aborted attempts around the 50m mark.

1 week to go which should be pretty standard except for the highlight of the Boundary Run.

CTGF - Twice Round the Daffodils

Jun

05

So this year's CTGF is a weekly program of gym, outdoor run, indoor cycle, a 25 min swim and 1 or 2 yoga classes. I'll also be trying out Charleston and Bouldering as group activities.

Week 5

Monday - Yoga.

Tuesday - Circuits.

Wednesday - Boundary Run - boundary run is 2.5 miles / 4 km, my scheduled run for this week was 8km, so I went round twice. Really good fun. Not sure how my time compared with previous runs but I didn't the second lap quicker than the first. The second lap at the hill running up from Northfields was a killer but I made it.

Thursday - Hatha Yoga

Really enjoyed today's session. Did a bakasana and didn't fall on my face (that's not me in the photo).

bakasana 

 and then eka hasta bhujasana (that's not me either).

eka hasta bhujasana

Photo source

Friday - Spin.

Saturday - Well I should have rounded of CTGF 2015 with a swim but the kids were on 1/2 term and therefore not at swimming and that mean's I don't go either. It's all part of the schedule ;)

 

Well I'm sorry if I've bored you to tears with my blogs but I've achieved exactly what I wanted to and more. I'm on schedule for my first offical 10km in 4 years this coming Sunday. I've stuck to my my program albeit with a false start. I've got to know people better within my departmental team and met other people around the university.