Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Smarter not harder

Today I woke at 5 to do laundry (Why I can't pull my shit together to do it at night is absolutely beyond me.) and I woke up and couldn't move. My arms were as sore as the morning after my first day of boot camp.
Good because it meant I worked my bod and gave my arms a rockin workout bad because, well,  achy arms suck. Achy muscles suck in general. I knew today was going to be a super challenge for me in boot camp. Both physically and mentally. I had to remember to stick to my new found "Work smarter, not harder" but find a balance that forced me to push myself and do the best and give the maximum to the class but not go over the edge and burn myself out.

Class was PACKED today (which thrills me to no end each time I see it. I think back to all the 5:50 classes when we were in the park and it was just me and another girl, back when the 9am mommy class was just an idea and look, less than 6 months later a class full of devoted women!) and so he set up a ton of stations for us to rotate through. 4 worked with kettlebells and the rest were either body strength or cardio.

For some reason I with the achy muscles decided to start with dips. I love dips. They are one of my favorite arm exercises because they work the tricep (The back of the arm). I keep my legs out as far in front of me as I can so the dips are harder. I tend to fire them off as quick as I can and go as deep into a dip as I can. When I can't stand it anymore I pull my legs in a little bit. (while I'm on the subject, can someone tell me why I can do deep dips but can't get down to do a full push up?!)

Of course today dips were a bazillion times as hard with the achy muscles and they protested loudly. I can usually do about 40 in the 50 second span. Today it was about half that because my arms didn't want to cooperate. It was okay though. I knew I wasn't going to be able to do what I usually do.

From there I went to a couple of cardio stations and then to the three kettlebell stations. Swings, high pulls and what I call a tricep dip but I'm not sure what it's really called. You hold the kettlebell above and behind your head and raise and lower it. Not a very good description but maybe you get the idea?

Anyway, I grabbed the 25 pound weight again and did swings for 50 seconds and then did the high pulls with the 25 again for 50 seconds.
Last week, I would have pushed myself and attempted to do the tricep dip with the 25 as well. Smarter not harder and I picked up I think a 15 but it could have been a 10 I'm not sure. Even so it was a struggle. I'd do 5 and have to stop, another 5 and stop, another 5 and stop.

Today, rather than being frustrated with having to go down in weight I was proud of it. Proud that I pushed myself but didn't burn myself out. Proud that I listened to my body and didn't let that stubborn voice that is my ego take over.

To end the class he had us doing a fast round of cardio. The rest of the class did jumping jacks and running in place and I did squats and lunges and high knees.(again, I know there is a more technical name, I just don't know what it is) I was able to do some of the exercises that he had them doing and this time I was able to give it more than ever before because I had more energy left at the end of class. I wasn't dragging ass exhausted with wobbly limbs because I'd blown it all with the heavy weights. (That's not to say after all those high knees and lunges and squats my legs weren't wobbly, because they were!) I had energy to spare to really push myself and it felt really good. New and different.

I've struggled with the cardio since he really started pushing us. It's been my one big source of frustration in class that I can see progress with my strength and I can feel changes in my muscles but the cardio NEVER got (gets) easier for me. No matter how many times a week we did it, it was always a super struggle for me.

I think I get it now. I think I've been expending all of my energy on the weights and reserving nothing for the body work and the cardio. (DUH!)
Today the cardio was a challenge and it kicked my ass but it was nowhere NEAR as hard as in the past. I was able to get everything done at a good pace and not have to stop and take a break every 2 seconds as I'd always had to do before.

My excitement in class is renewed (not that it ever went anywhere)  and I can't wait to see the changes in my workout and my body with my new found wisdom.

Smarter, not harder...the grasshopper is learning...

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