Here’s my strengths & weaknesses:
- Treadmill: Spend a lot of time running at the treadmill, at the speed between 8.5 to 9.0 km/hr which I am able to maintain for 10 min. Then I will do brisk walk for about a minute or two before increasing the gradient of the machine to 4.0 or 5.0 and do a uphill jog between 6.5 to 7.0km per hour, maintaining the speed for about 7min.
- Cycling: Cycle at effort level 4 or 5 and try my best to maintain at 80 to 90 rpm for about 8 min. Normally will stop when the caloric meter indicate 50 calories. As much as I can, I do cycling without holding on the handle so that my limbs work much harder and I had to activate my core in order to prevent myself my sliding off the bike’s seat. The time I am able to stay still and cycle without sliding off is increasing with practice. But the exercise is tough so normally I will not do more than 10 min.
- Normally I will do one round of cardio, but quite intensive for about 10 to 20 minutes, then I will proceed to do something such as stretching, weights or attend exercise classes and come back to do another round of cardio, followed by stretching as a cool down. In other words, I break down my cardio sessions (within the same workout session) to avoid injuries or over-straining.
- I did a push up test today and noted that my upper body is very weak. I could hardly manage a real push-up, ie going all almost touching the ground and coming up. Today, I read the Shape Magazine (Malaysia edition) July 07 and a few of the contributors in the articles mentioned that they do push ups and sit ups every morning. I plan to give push up and sit ups a try, especially next month when I am on my gymless workout regime (I froze my gym membership next month due to travel).
- I am weak when it comes to weight machines that exercises the biceps, chest and triceps- so perhaps I will try to use these machines more. Probably start with few reps and lighter weight so that I don’t end up scaring myself off.
Flexibility- relatively ok
- From young, I seemed to have good flexibility. I could do a front split on both left and ride sides when I was a teenager and with the split, bring my head to touch my calves. Then years of not doing stretches, my muscles become less flexible. But now that I am incorporating stretches in my post workouts, I have regained flexibility that I used to have.
- I am very particular about stretching after workouts- as long as I do cardio and/or weight training, even if it is only for 5 min, I will make sure I stretch from head to toe. After I started doing this, I noticed that I seldom get muscle cramps or pulls (due to lack of stretching) the day after exercising. Yes, muscle soreness due to too much cardio are to be expected, since I’ve increased my intensity but this is different from muscle pulls.
Core and Balancing- improving
- I love exercising involving balancing. I remembered the first time when I had to do the tree and star , warrior 3 poses, I could hardly maintain the poses. Now, I love poses that require balancing as well as mental concentration. With the Stability ball, balancing exercises become even more fun.
- One of the benefits of gaining better balance is a faster reflex reaction. You may have encountered situation where you accidentally push a glass off the corner of a table, knowing the glass will drop to the floor and shatter if you do not grab it. Yet your reflex is slow and as the result, you watch the glass fell on the floor and shattered into pieces. By doing balancing exercises, you train your mind to balance the body, because various balancing poses or exercises using Stability ball challenges the body from its center of gravity. With practice, the body learns to balance against unstable surfaces, such as the Stability ball, moving in split second to regain balance to avoid falling off the ball.
I would need to focus more on strength exercises especially for my upper body. That means I will start to do push-ups (that I used to dread)-about 15times every alternate day. And I will start doing sit-ups on the Stability ball in low reps- perhaps averaging about 30 a day with the proper technique.