Now, I have never been what you would call a ‘gym bunny’ but I used to frequent those rooms of sweat and endorphins on a regular basis.
After I got married that all stopped and I disgracefully put on two stone over two years, which was atrocious for my self-esteem. I guess that’s what happens when you get happy.
In December 2018, I decided to get off my gluteus maximus and start exercising again. I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions so my timing was considered with the hope that as this wasn’t a resolution I would carry on past March. It’s also cheaper in December!
I’m still kicking myself for what happened during my first month. I decided to have a one-off personal training session.
“What do you want to achieve?”
“Like most people, I want to shift some weight.”
And just like that my personal trainer wrote up an intense, interval training course designed to bring my heart rate up in short bursts. He assured me it would work and my somewhat unrealistic goal of losing two stone by March seemed promising.
Having done a lot of exercise before, I was well aware that stretching is essential before pushing forward with hard core interval training. Did I follow my experience? No, no I didn’t. My impatience is a character fault that many of my friends take the mick out of me for and this time my lack of patience was to my detriment. So excited to get on with my new interval training regime I skipped the morning yoga, positioned myself on the rowing machine and proceeded to hammer my legs until I pulled my hamstring. Two sessions is all it took and, three months later, it still hurts to walk.
I didn’t want to stop completely and when I’ve had this injury before I’ve found that light exercise can help. I’m not saying you should exercise on an injury so please don’t follow suit. I gave up the battle ropes, medicine balls, ski machine and rowing machine, and took to the cross trainer and bike instead.
It’s working. The weight is irritatingly taking a long time to shift but I am much fitter, feel healthier and my new routine is helping me sleep. My teen akin skin is getting better too and I’m generally happier. I now make sure to fit yoga in before I trot off and that stretches out my muscles and my mind.
What I like about my gym is that it’s not an intimidating place. No one looks at each other, I think out of respect rather than wretchedness. Some of the staff are friendly, my PT appears decidedly miserable, but he’s a one off and I find it easy once stepping in to lock into my tunes and ignore the world for a while.
They say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit and I’ve passed that mark so am hopeful I’ll keep it up.
So, what’s better? Interval training or continuous cardio? Well it depends entirely on what you want to achieve, your fitness level and what you enjoy – if I didn’t enjoy the gym there is no way I’d be able to keep it up. Of course, it also depends on whether you have any injuries…
If you want to lose weight fast, then interval training is the one. By increasing your heart rate in short bursts, bringing it back down then hitting the cardio again, the weight drops off. However, I prefer my meditative time on the cross trainer. Music in my ears, I try and move to the beat – this is an answer to the somewhat unkind comment my husband made about my lack of rhythm. For a musician, the slur was devastating.
I’ll continue my light training until I heal up and be very careful of the interval training in future.
To all my fellow gymans take care on that rowing machine!