Tag Archive | Resistance training

Exercise Tubes – Pros and Cons

exercise-tubingAs planned, I added exercise tubes/bands to my fitness regimen, in late January. I’d never used a tube before, only the flat bands. I know that the tubes (picture left) are also called bands, which is why I wrote “tubes/bands” above, but from this point on I will only refer to them as tubes. The ones I purchases were 20lb., which was a mistake; I should have bought the 15lb. tube. I can’t do the harder tube exercises, because I don’t have the strength to pull the tube above my head, if I’m standing in the center, but what I can do (and will discuss in a different post at a later time) has been quite effective for overall strengthening and toning. I like the tube far better than the bands I have used in the past, but I have had an unpleasant (to say the least) experience with the tube that I don’t think would have been possible with a band, which is why I want to warn others. To keep things in perspective, I want to share both the good and bad things I have learned about exercise tubes. Following are my Pros and Cons for this exercise equipment.

First,

The Pros:

  • Exercise tubes are very effective at toning muscle groups and building strength
  • They take up very little space
  • Light-weight and easy to transport, if need be

The Cons:

  • If you lose focus while the tube is held taught you could hurt yourself … badly
  • Should not be used in a space where you are in close proximity to others, because you could hurt them badly, and probably get sued for medical expenses, pain & suffering, etcetera

The pros are what make the tubes worth using despite the cons. I learned the hard and painful way why one should maintain focus while using an exercise tube. I was in the midst of doing lunges when I slid my foot back a couple of inches, without lowering my arms enough to make the tube slack first, and the tube swiftly rolled from under my foot and smacked me in the face. Thank God, I closed my eye in time, but it still hurt like hell. And even though it didn’t hurt much that first day, it was a little swollen and very achy the next day, and continued to be achy with no swelling for four more days.

I now take using the tube very seriously, and make certain to minimize any distractions. This means placing my cell phone on “flight mode” and turning the ringer off on my land-line (that’s what voice mail is for), and telling anyone who happens to be at home with me at that time not to bother me while I workout. So far, this has worked for me. I still worry about being blinded by the tube. I can still remember the pain and my eye has had some vision issues off and on since, but I’m mindful and pray that I will not make the same mistake twice.  Fingers crossed. 🙂

Advertisements

October Goal Achieved and Exceeded!

kept-calm-and-reached-100-goalIf you read my last post, you know that my goal was 1800 minutes of exercises by October 31st. Well, I have reached 1905 as of this morning. Yay! 😀

I am so proud of myself, because I wasn’t sure if I’d make it. I had to skip a few days this month, due to last minute plans/emergency, sickness and Murphy’s Law, even this morning I had to cut my workout short, but I still managed to surpass my intended goal.  I can only hope that I have the stamina and will to reach another 1800 minutes or greater by the end of November.

Tomorrow, I start from scratch. I plan to do what I did this month and stay on schedule as much as possible. No one can control every thing in life, but I will concentrate on controlling what I can. Continue exercising earlier, to help avoid interruptions. Interruptions are what interfered the most with my Summer workouts. Going to bed earlier and getting up at the same time every morning has also helped. I feel less lethargic in the mornings. Also, still drinking green tea. It is a great energy booster, especially when I walk for long periods.

I should mention that, in addition to exceeding my goal, I also switched to the blue resistance band two weeks ago, then I got cocky and upped my sets to 3 sets of 30 reps this week. Now, my resistance routine is kicking my butt! I am so tired afterwards I can hardly believe it. I never would have thought that one extra set of the same moves could make such a huge difference. That is why I decided to wait on the dumbbell routine and also adding a 4th set to my Broomstick workout. I need to get used to the blue band and extra set first. Maybe in a couple of weeks.

My November goal is, of course, 1800 minutes, but I’m hoping to exceed my goal once again.  I also hope to introduce dumbbells back into the mix. If I can do both of those things I will be very happy. 🙂

Will post again when I have made any significant changes.

Definitely Making Progress

Progress01As I mentioned in my last post, in order to hit my end of year goal, I must exercise for 60 minutes per day, for 90 days  in October, November and December. Luckily, two of these months have 31 days, which gives me extra time to make up for any missed exercise sessions between now and December 31st.

Well, October hasn’t even reached its midpoint and I am already ahead. As of today, I am more than 1 hour ahead. I’m basing this on 60 minutes per day every day. As of today, I have exercise 904 minutes. To remain on track, I only needed 840 minutes of exercise. I plan to remain ahead by abstaining from any unnecessary “exercise vacations”. Every day will be an exercise day, even if I cannot get everything I want to do that day done. Of course, no one can plan for every event, and there’s always Murphy’s Law, but, if I remain focused on my end goal and plan carefully, I feel confident that I can hit 1800 minutes and beyond this month and every month till the new year.

I have yet to create a dumbbell workout routine (yeah, I know, what is my problem?), BUT I rebooted my resistance band routine last week. I am doing the same number of sets and reps and moves, but with the magenta band (the easiest one) . I plan to move on to the blue band I was using earlier this year in a few weeks, maybe sooner. It depends on whether or not I introduce dumbbells into the mix this month.

At this point I walk pretty much every day, do broomstick workout at least 5 days a week, and I’ve done resistance almost every day but Sunday since starting again. I think that I should change things, so that I am only doing two exercises per day. Maybe, walking and resistance one day, Broomstick and walking the next, and dumbbells and walking the day after. I haven’t decided. I don’t mind doing three different exercises per day, so far. Broomstick and resistance don’t take long. They’re both under 20 minutes. But if I add reps or sets it would be a different story, I’m sure. I’m actually thinking of increasing the reps of the resistance routine before switching to harder bands and adding a 4th set of reps to the Broomstick workout as well. If that happens, I may switch my workout days around as I described or something similar.

I’ll write again at the end of this month or beginning of the next. Hopefully, I will have exceeded my 1800 minute October goal by a wide margin. 🙂

January Workout Time Better than Expected

JanuaryIf you read my last post about my 2014 exercise time goal, you know that I need to exercise at least 968 minutes per month, every month, to reach my goal. Well, in January I exceeded that goal by exercising 1,313 minutes. If I can keep up this momentum I may exceed my end of year goal by as much as 3,000 minutes. But since my classes didn’t start-up again until 2 weeks ago, that is unlikely. I doubt I will be able to keep my monthly times at 1,300 minutes plus. I’ll keep you apprised of my monthly times. February is the shortest month, so I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t clear 1000 minutes by the 28th.

As far as my actual exercises go, I have done Calisthenics & Abs workout 3 times a week, Walking at least four times a week, Resistance bands twice a week, Broomstick workout twice a week and I have still not gotten around to creating a dumbbell workout. I need to work on that. In fact, I will make that my true goal for the end of February: Create Dumbbell workout.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

One Goal Reached, Two Not

goalMy goal for July was to walk 1000 minutes, and do my resistance band and broomstick workouts 16 times. While I reached my walking goal and even exceeded it once again (1079 minutes), I failed to achieve my other two goals. I was short three days for the resistance band workout, and short two days for the broomstick workout.

In my defense, having friends and family pop over without calling first was the biggest problem. No sooner would I begin a workout when someone dropped by unannounced, and I didn’t get a chance to finish. The other problem was their hanging around for HOURS. No offense to my friends and loved ones reading this, I do enjoy your company, but if I had known you’d be stopping by I would have tried harder to make time for exercise earlier in the day (which is difficult because of work/school). And when you stay till it’s almost dinner time, I’m hungry and I just don’t have the energy to exercise by the time you leave, because I’ve spent all my energy entertaining you. Again, no offense.

From now on, I will have only one or two fitness goals at most. Three is just too much anyway.

My August goal is to do both the resistance band and the broomstick workouts at least 16 days this month. I will still be walking, of course, but there will be no set goal.

I almost forgot to mention that I also changed the resistance band routine to 3 sets, just like the broomstick routine, weeks ago. I would like to add that I exercised more this month than I did last month, despite not reaching two of my three goals for the month of July. So, I don’t feel too bad about the two failed goals. I do feel a little bad about it, but life happen, things come up. Fortunately, I have almost the entire month off. Classes don’t start back up again until the 21st or 22nd. So, I will have more time to workout. Yay! 🙂

I’ll post again when I have made any new changes. I’m considering introducing free weights/ dumbbells this month. And maybe even creating that new calisthenics workout. I definitely want to do that before fall officially begins. By Winter, I hope to be back to the old Calisthenics & Abs routine, stronger and better than ever.

June Goal Reached!

CelebrateAs of today, I not only reached my June Walking goal, I exceeded it by 37 minutes, for a total of 1037 minutes. I’m very happy about that. 🙂

I think my next goal should be for my resistance band routine and broomstick workout. I slacked a little on the resistance band routine to make time for walking so I would meet my June goal.

So, my July goal is to do both the broomstick and resistance band workouts at least 16 days this month. I will try to hit 1000 walking minutes again this month, but not by skipping out on the resistance or broomstick workouts.

I’ll post again when I have something new to report.

 

May 2013 Goal Reached!! New Goal Set

I reached my goal of 900 minutes and exceeded it! 🙂 950 minutes total walking time for the month of May. Despite my schedule and work load I intend to find a way of getting in even more exercise in June.

Also, I switched to the medium resistance band, and it has been somewhat hard, but not extremely so. I am definitely getting stronger and the moves that I am using are very firming. However, I am still looking for new moves that are doable with the type of bands I have and don’t require Herculean strength.

My new goal for June is 1000 minutes of Walking. That averages out to about 33 minutes a day. I know I won’t be able to do it every day, but I can walk an hour when possible and 30 minutes minimum the rest of the time, to reach my new goal.

When I update my fitness routine(s) I will post again.