Tuesday’s are a blur. . .
We open the hallowed portals of Dave’s Gym at the ungodly and unreasonable time of 7am. I couldn’t possibly train effectively at that time in the day. There is not enough coffee or other stimulants, legal or otherwise, that could kick start my perk to the point where I could do anything useful with a bar. For those rare and, frankly, insane gym bunnies that bounce in all bright eyed and bushy tailed at stupid O’ clock it’s a great time to train. The gym is way less frantic then the evening and there is something nice about getting your workout done early doors and then just being able to kick back smug in the knowledge that you’ve done your session and the rest of the day is yours. Smug, smug, smug. Bastards, I find them despicable and unnatural.
Seething resentment set aside for the time being I reckon my perfect time to train is at 11:35 precisely. A minute either side can result in catastrophic consequences and lead to grim, dark days of misery. Which given that I usually train after 12pm gives me a handy excuse in consistent under performance.
On Tuesdays it’s Zoe’s turn to open the Gym. This means crawling out of bed at 5:30am (we live about 30 -45 mins away from the Gym depending on traffic and stuff) and spending the first 5 minutes of your day picking up puppy shit up of the kitchen floor. Even though it was wifey’s turn to to face the horror of dawn and puppy poo I don’t ever get back to sleep properly afterwards. I just lie there cocooned in the duvet waiting for the kids to stir or the dog to finally chew through the kitchen door.
As it turned out the kids were still in a state of near coma by about 730am and I had to poke them all awake with a combination of a big stick and a over excited puppy with a taste for ear nibbling. Partial revenge for the countless sleepless nights that the hell spawn have subjected us both to.
The morning routine of whipping the kids through breakfast, getting dressed and to school all clutching lunchboxes and various homework projects can leave one a little breathless. It’s like groundhog day but without the chance of snogging Andie MacDowell. Fortunately this then gives me the opportunity to walk the dog on the beach and engage in my new favorite hobby which I refer romantically to as Beach combing and Zoe, usually while rolling her eyes, refers to as picking up rubbish and carrying it home. She is wrong as the shards of sea glass that have been worn into smooth, opaque pebbles of gem like beauty are all part of an important project of incredible importance. As is the driftwood. And the bricks that have been eroded into egg shaped lumps of terracotta perfection. As are the various rocks and stones that I lug up the hill from the beach in my backpack. There is a plan, it’s just that I’m not entirely sure what it is yet.
Unfortunately it was at the point of returning home that all productivity ground to a halt. It was Max’s fault, even though he was at school and therefore above blame. He asked me this morning, during an avalanche of toast and cereal, to help him get past a certain point on a game that he his playing on my ipad. Now, we have a strict rule of no screens in the morning; TV, computer or otherwise and I said that I’d have a look at it later for him. Which was a mistake as I spent the next hour or so playing Swordigo and trying to get past the Level 9 Fire Bats in The Caves of Corruption so I could get the 3rd shard of The Mageblade and save The Kingdom of Whatever. It’s more addictive then crack and should be banned with immediate effect.
So, with a perfectly good morning ruined I set off for work and the bubble of comfort that only a well worn commute and Radio 4 can bring. I love Radio 4 and would happily pay the license fee twice over just for that brilliant station alone. Many is the time that I have been sat in my car outside the Gym or my house unwilling to get out until the program that I’m listening to has finished.
Finally I got inside the gym doors and, after my obligatory pre-workout triple espresso, the training fury is ready to be unleashed.
Today is a cardio day and I have a few things to say on the subject.
- You must do regular cardio, it isn’t just for runners and Crosstrainer Girl, it’s for your heart. The pumpy thing in the middle of your chest that keeps you alive.
- Weights aren’t cardio, not even (and it kills me to admit this) squats. Any heavy compound exercise will take your heart rate up to stratospheric heights but it isn’t cardio unless you can keep it there for awhile.
- The exception to the weights ain’t cardio rule is any hard circuit based training such as complexes, crossfit or similar.
- There are entire armies of wanna be bodybuilders and strength athletes out there that are convinced that by merely glancing at a treadmill all of their precious muscle will instantly vanish and they will become shadows of their previously glorious selves. Wrong, wrong, wrong. You won’t lose any muscle at all unless you do seriously epic amounts of cardio. Training for a marathon and trying to gain muscle is dumb, but then I also happen to think that training for a marathon is dumb no matter what. By doing more cardio and getting a bit fitter will only help you in your quest to super buffdom. It will improve your recovery times, increase blood flow and enable you to push harder when grinding out hard set after hard set.
- What constitutes cardio is very straightforward. It’s to do with your heart rate and nothing else. It doesn’t matter how you get your heart rate up there; weights, cycling, swimming, vigorous shagging – as long as you can maintain that level of intensity at over 85% of your maximum heart rate then you’ll get fitter.
- To work out what your 85% or higher should be all you need to do is subtract your age from 220. This gives you 100%. Now just multiply that number by .85 and you will have your target heart rate.
- For the sake of clarity here’s mine: 220 – 42 = 178 178 x .85 = 151 So in theory all I need to do is get my heart rate up to 151bpm or higher and hold it there for between 10 and 30 mins and I will get to become even more awesome then I already am, as impossible as that is to believe. In practice though I usually hover around the 160-170 area as I ideally want to be fitter then someone younger then me (everyone).
Today we did –
Cycle – 10 mins @ 80-85% max heart rate
Crosstrain – 10 mins @ 90-95% max heart rate.
Run – 1km
Circuit of doom – One person does a complex of 5 reps on cleans, front squat, press, back squat, good morning and rows. The other person does rope madness for as long as it takes your partner to complete the complex. repeat until you can’t.
Check out the video
After that I attempted to make a start in writing this blog but behind the reception of a busy gym is not the ideal place to let the creative juices flow. So I didn’t. So it’s late. Sorry.
Thanks for reading,