A bear, however hard he tried, grows tubby without exercise.

A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh (1926)

Ever since I began my new and specialized workout routine catered to my gym goals, which were briefly mentioned in +air+, my perspective on life changed.  First and foremost, I began to love Mondays because Mondays were always leg day.  I chose Monday as the designated leg day because I would start off my week with a challenging and fun workout, as opposed to arm or shoulders, which are very week – raise your hands if you have noodle arms 🙋🏻.

♓️

As I love football (soccer in America*), and used to dance, though I’m slowly getting back into dancing again, I’m no stranger to being active on my feet.

* NOTE: even though I was born and raised in America, football has always been a sport where you kick a ball with your feet across a field to score a goal, and it’s understood internationally as such, so we as Americans should also acknowledge that what we call football is more akin to rugby or something.  I wouldn’t know, as all I know about American football is that as a New Yorker, I should support the Giants.

♓️

However, incorporating new machines and routines to my leg day workout opened my eyes to how much room for improvement that I have.  Below is an example of a leg day routine, though it may change by week, so my muscles don’t get used to doing the same thing and stop improving

  1. Cardio: two 15-minute interval run on a treadmill on an incline with a two-minute break in between
  2. Smith Machine: three different types of squats (4 sets)
    1. No added weight: 20 reps
    2. Light weights: 15 reps
    3. Heavy weights: 12 reps
    4. No added weight: 20 reps
  3. Leg Extensions: three sets
    1. No added weight: 20 reps
    2. Light weights: 17 reps
    3. Heavy: 15 reps
  4. Seated Leg Curl: three sets (similar to leg extensions)
  5. I can’t remember the name of the machine but I do the same set routine as leg extensions
  6. Abs: three sets, minute break in between
    1. Plank – minute
    2. Crunches – 20 reps
    3. Bicycle crunches – 20 reps
    4. Leg raises – 20 reps
    5. Side crunches with a medicine ball – 20 reps on each side
  7. Cardio: rowing for fifteen minutes

♓️

I’ve gotten questions about my use of the Smith machine because many do think that it can be useful and counterproductive, but to me, it’s a godsend.  Without a Smith machine, I can barely hold up the bar, let alone lift it, so to have the assistance when I squat is extremely helpful.  I know that I can have someone spot me constantly, but sometimes I feel self-conscious when I work out and don’t appreciate the feeling of dependence.

♓️

Clearly, even if my goals are to tone my muscles and improve on my endurance, I still have a long way to go.  The cool thing about going to the gym is the humbling experience of realizing that you can always improve.  It may sound like a blow to your self-confidence when you see fitter people out there, but the only person you should compare yourself to is yourself.  Now I can confidently go the gym with my imperfect body because I know that I improved from a month ago, and I’m fine with that.

xoxo,

the girl who used to think running was enough

IMAGE CREDIT: Odyssey
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