Category Archives: exercise

This is the Gym: Do You Read? Edition

As documented before I am a cardio queen, loathe to do strength training. However at this stage of the game, I’m thinking about doing more. They say (the doctors) that strength training, especially as you age, is good for strengthening bones and what not and may help prevent osteoporosis. I do what they say sometimes and grudgingly hit the weights, mostly at home, but occasionally at the gym. One of my fave workouts is the PF 30 at Planet Fitness. You hit all the body parts and get in a little cardio in 30 minutes. Of course I do additional cardio after that but when I hit that PF 30 circuit I’m focused, completing the circuit in the order it was created, sometimes. Why sometimes? Because PEOPLE! Lord Jesus be a fence between me and these mugs in the circuit room lifting all Willy Nilly.

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I walk in, alone, put my ear buds in, start my house music (all soulful house mixes welcome) and start the circuit. Then here comes Stretch Armstrong. He’s here to use the step to stretch before his workout. Not a problem, he’s at the last station and will be long gone before I get there. I’m cool until the entrance of the Wonder Twins. They are here to do chest and shoulders and that’s it, oh and talk to each other a lot and take too long and cause me to skip those two stations and come back. They finally leave, I double back and get back on track until I see Old Time Rock and Roll enter the room. He’s a 50 something like me and is going hard on one step, no other equipment. He has that grit on his face like he’s straining for a marathon. I’m like bruh it’s not that deep, please move.  By the time I get to his station I’m good, he’s finished the marathon.

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Believing I have left all interlopers behind me I proceed to move through the last 5 stations and wouldn’t you know, Abs of Steel shows up for the ab machine. She does, I don’t know how many sets and how many reps, and I throw in the towel. I finish my abs separately which I needed to do more than that station anyway. But, that doesn’t negate the fact that mugs came into the express room and did everything but the express circuit @$*%^+>#(%

Look I’m all about mugs going hard for their workouts. I’m happy to see people working out especially those of us who are a certain age or older but, I need y’all, use the equipment for its assigned/posted purpose and keep it moving. However, judging from this experience, some of y’all don’t read,  at least not gym signs anyway.

Until next time see you at the gym, where I hope to find you adhering to all posted signage.

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Photos: MsThorns

 

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Yeah I Bit

Being 599 years old now (50) I have turned into one of those “I used to walk 5 miles one way barefoot in the snow to school” people when relating how “hard” we had it back in the day and how soft the yutes of today are. I love saying stuff like, “back in the day we had to look in a phone book for a number or call and get direction or use an actual paper map to get somewhere. These churn know nothing of the hardships we dusties born in the 1960s had to endure. But, let’s be clear, I love my tech. I love saying “ok Google, give me the best chocolate chip cookie recipe while listening to Spotify on my fancy wireless speakers. When it comes to tech and fitness though, I’m decidedly old school. I think the most important tech you need is a good pair of shoes for whatever your activity is. Tech fabric is good too for old hot flashing broads like myself but the wearables? Nah B I’m good. My Timex Ironman tells me how long and how fast I’m going and any course I’m on has mile markers on it. Yet a funny thing happened in March 2015. I had the bright idea to take my old self to the store and get a wearable. I didn’t do any research either. I know my Soror swore by her wearable and if it was good enough for my diva sister it would be good enough for me. So I copped me a Fitbit.

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Being a semi-doubter I wasn’t about to drop any serious coin, so I got the next to the cheapest model, the One. It was cool, easy to set up and use and the app was clean. I stuck it on my strap and headed out the door, every day, that I remembered and logged 35 to 45k steps a week. Clearly short of the standard 10,000 a day “they ” say we’re supposed to get. It didn’t help me do any more than I was already doing. Then one day I forgot I had it clipped to mon brassiere and threw it in the washing machine. It no longer worked but I was not pressed. I was busy anyway, working all those jobs trying to get my life together. 10,000 steps, let alone a Fitbit, was the last thing on my mind. Then it happened.

I blew up!

Being a petite fleur, 5 lbs shows up quickly and I was up about 25. Then my doctor was on my case about it so, I got another ONE. I wore it every day got the steps in when I could and reached that fanatic tipping point where I would turn my car around and go back home and get the blasted Fitbit if I forgot it. Who does that? Me and a bunch of other weirdos who want to track every doggone thing. I was full-fledge addicted and it was nothing nice.

I started adding friends on Fitbit, participating in Challenges, and watched my dad and that same Soror whoop me every week in step totals. Didn’t care though, I was actually moving more, was actually getting those pounds off and winning a challenge every now and then. All that “success” justified a reward, that reward was an upgrade. Amazon had the Charge2 on sale and I had to have it.

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I was in love. So sleek, so fancy, telling me when to get up off my fanny and move, it was the bomb! Until it wasn’t. I missed my watch. My regular big old Ironman. I TOOK it off and put my One back on and watch my steps turn well, weird. I could walk through Wal-Mart and get a thousand steps with the One and get MAYBE a quarter of that with the Charge2. I could do my hair for an hour with the Charge2 and get a thousand steps sitting down. I called bulls***.

The Charge2 is arm sensitive/driven. Do a lot of arm moving and waving and those steps go up. Walk with little arm movement or if it isn’t loose enough on the arm the steps are woefully under counted. There’s some user forums and documents and such that tell you to measure your steps and calibrate to address those issues. Then I remembered why I didn’t get a wearable for such a long time. I ain’t trying to do ALL THAT.

Now it’s May 2017. I still wear them both but use the Charge2 mostly for cardio and strength training and the One for walking. As of the day of this writing I haven’t worn either for a few days and it’s been GREAT! You see sometimes too much of a good thing is exactly that, too much. Fitbit had me stressing over how much sleep I wasn’t getting (which was also dead wrong), how I can smoke my friends step count and going into full scale panic when I didn’t have it on. Do I think wearables are useful? Absolutely, they can be a motivator and provide instant feedback on what you’re doing. However they can’t be wholly relied upon to starting or maintaining a healthy body/healthy life. In my experience, how my body and mind feel continues to be the best gauge of stamina, strength, flexibility and how rested and mentally well I am. Might be the same for you too.

Tell me about your experience. Do you use a wearable to measure your exercise, steps, heart rate and such? How’s it working out for you? Let me know in the comments or in the usual spots and until next time, see you on the trail where I’ll be rocking my trusty Ironman and maybe a Fitbit hidden somewhere.

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P.S. add me on Fitbit 😃

Photos: MsThorns

Back In Love Again

You may recall the love I have for the sporting goods store and the fretting done over the loss of Sports Authority. Well, while missing a turn I landed in the parking lot of a gigantic white box. I tuned up my nose and sucked my teeth. I knew that it was TOO BIG and could never replace my beloved SA or my back home fave Dunham’s Sports but I made note.

After a dryer situation over the weekend, I said I needed more essentials since my machine faileth me. You know what I mean, draws and socks, namely athletic socks. So I moseyed over to Big White Box, muttering I bet they don’t have what I need, I bet they’re high, I bet they suck.

I roll up and they have some sort of industrial size feeders and grills outside and I prayed, please Lord Jesus don’t let this be a giant “Huntin/Fishin/Campin” store. Well folks the Lord heard my cry because Academy Sports and Outdoors has errrrrrrrrthang.

Full disclosure: they did not have the super thick Thorlo walking socks, but they did have the regular ones and every other type of Thorlo so I was stoked. I got some socks that I’ll be doing stuff besides walking in so they got a pass. My next test was yoga mats.

The big box sports and other retailers are notorious for having one brand and one type of mat, the 3mm which is too thin for ye olde broad. Guess what? The heavens opened up and sent me a 6 mm antimicrobial yoga mat. I was ready to shout, but held on to it. There was one more test…

Tights.

Since I wrote about it a while ago I stepped my gear game up. I now actually match somewhat and have a lot more color. I still buy the majority of it at Walmart.  Other stores and the online retailers have nice stuff, but those jawns are HIGH. I didn’t expect Academy to be at Walmart pricing but, they need to be way under $75 for me to be fully sold. I found some from 17.99!

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As much as I like a package in the mail sometimes I want/need those socks, bag etc TODAY. Fortunately now my hard earned fitness dollars have found a new home at Academy Sports and Outdoors. The wait is a 10 minute drive and checkout counter away. If you have one in your town, check em out and if you don’t give some love to your local sporting goods store, they might just have exactly what you’re looking for.

Photos: MsThorns

Skip the Gym with Ya Boy

I think it was the beginning of the year. Knee deep in work (already) and feeling a truckload of guilt and actual sluggishness in general I decided to get back on track, again. Though I was ready physically my mind was playing tricks on me when it came to going to the gym. I was NOT ready to do that, because it required me to get up too early. I checked out my favorites on YouTube but wasn’t really feeling them either when I stumbled on this young fireball Millionaire Hoy @yaboymillhoy.

He came up in search all the time but I ignored it because so many of the titles included HIIT which given my back and joint situations I figured they would be out of reach. I was wrong. Just so happens that at the time I finally took the leap he was running a monthly challenge was for beginners so I dove in and loved it!

What I dig about ya boy:
Intensity – the workouts are challenging for all fitness levels. There are mods and previews of the next exercise in the mini box. Your heart will be pumping and you will sweat.
Variety – Millhoy is prolific he has close to 800 videos on his channel with new videos published every Sunday thru Friday. With a new challenge every month. So if you only wanted to workout with him you will not run out of things to do. He is also contributor to Sweat Stream Collab on YouTube.
Personality – y’all know how it goes. You pull up a YouTube workout that looks promising only to find the instructor to be gross i.e. voice irritating, too loud, obnoxious or just appear to be STANK in general. Well, he’s none of those. Now he talks non-stop, but never induces any side eye. He’s quite upbeat, lively and bearable even in the early morning, which is essential for grumpy old broads.
What he is not – a hulk smashing, weight dropping, cussing dude. If that’s your thing, cool, but he ain’t that dude.

So, if you feel like skipping the gym but still want to get it in, I highly recommend Millionaire Hoy. Check him out and subscribe if you dig him.

 

 

Wrap It Up

Welcome to 2016, I hope that your year thus far is as happy as it was when the clock struck 12 on January 1. After the indulgences of the holidays and maybe a respite from your fitness program you’re probably rip roaring to go and take off what you might have put on during the the festivities. Perhaps you did stay on track, didn’t pig out and stuck to your fitness program, if so good for you send some of that energy my way. I happen to be in the former group, having enjoyed plenty of food and wine between Thanksgiving and TODAY quite frankly I am now I’m ready to get it together.  However, I know who I am and jumping right into the eat right thing isn’t happening so I’m getting started by getting ye olde body moving again. The thing is, it seems that this body requires quite a bit more assistance than it used to. So, ladies and gentleman, I’d like to introduce you to the Abominable Exercise Woman.

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Rocking the latest in hurting joint fashions Abominable Exercise Woman models elbow sleeves to prevent the recurrence of tennis elbow and to aid with proper alignment in all those pushups and chaturangas, a knee brace for the arthritic knee and wrist wraps to prevent trauma that can cause the recurrence of the scary sounding but mostly harmless, ganglion cyst.  The injuries, the impending big 50 and this perimenopause/hormonal poundage got a sista HURTIN! However, I shall press on.  Two weeks in and I have actually had some improvement in my back, it’s not nearly as stiff and achy in the morning as previously experienced, so I’ll wrap up if that’s going to reduce the aches and pains. Hopefully I can lose some of this fine attire as my fitness level increases.

Now as always I ask, what about you? What wraps, contraptions, potions and concoctions do you use in order to work out? Do you use them all the time or only when you’re hurting? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter or on Google+.  Until next time see you in the living room, where I’ll be all wrapped up, but moving somehow.
Photos: MsThorns
Video: The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Just Say No

So I go to Walmart to get one thing and as is always the case and I came out with five. Creature of habit that I am I park in the same area and come in the same entrance. At this entrance they have produce on one side of the aisle and exercise apparel on the other. Those merchandisers are no dummies however, I AM because on EVERY trip I peruse the apparel. I mean you can’t be $15 for tights right?

On this most recent excursion I spot a purple jacket and tank, which are must haves, because PURPLE.  I  looked for some track pants but there were none to my liking. For some reason I looked down one of the racks and saw what I like to call “yoga booty shorts”. Thinking since I’m old and hot, ie. prone to a flash or five I’ll try them. They had my size so in the basket they went.

Woke up the next morning for some yoga and decided to give the booty shorts a test run. They were light and and fit nice or so I thought…

Downdog #1 I felt them creeping
Forward fold #2 I felt them twisting
Pyramid #3 I felt them bunching.

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By Svanasana time half my azz was out. I had to snatch that out wedgie before I could relax.

Now I’m not about to say I’m going to say no to the fitness apparel at the Mart. However I will say a hellnawl to those yoga booty shorts in the future…

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Unless they are money back guaranteed to not ride up in to the nether regions of my fanny.

What about you? Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction with your fitness gear? Do tell in the comments and in all the usual places.

Until next time, see you on the mat where my hind parts will be fully covered.

Also: for more yoga follies check ye olde broad out on Instagram.
Photos: MsThorns

This is the Gym! Nose Knows Edition

Last weekend was the last weekend for walking outside as everything is starting to bloom. My nose knows as it has started to trouble me. My nose also knows what gym smells like. My regular gym isn’t so bad because its pretty big and airy, nevertheless gyms, fitness and yoga classes invariably smell like funk, must, food, feet and or farts. Gross as they are those smells are expected at the gym, but what happened on this particular weekend, Lord Jesus almost put me out.

I’m on the treadmill, mad and cranky because I’ll be spending an hour on it instead of outside on the trail.  After about 20 minutes I finally got my mind right as I listened to Rakim tell me how to Move the Crowd and am hitting my stride. At 22 minutes, this chick rolls up to the treadmill on my left.  The treadmills are this close together

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When she starts walking she blows my nose all the way up with her PERFUME! Now why she came next to me I don’t know because even with one section closed for maintenance there were at least 10 other treadmills for her to use. I’m like this heffa is trolling me right now with this perfume.

I’m thinking she won’t last, I can wear a treadmill out so and I knew that when it came Survival of the Fittest on the treadmill I would win.  I was dead wrong.  22 minutes went to 30, went to 40 at which time Sucka Ni**a was playing… how appropriate. Q-Tip says “So concisely, musically we are the herb so sit back and light me, inhale my style is kinda fat reminiscent of a whale…” I inhale and start coughing and praying she would leave.

She didn’t.

She was on the same one hour program I was on.  I got off and she was still walking, she won.

I understand mugs want to smell fresh and all but THIS IS THE GYM, you are excused to be funky.  So ye old broad asks each of you ladies and gents to save your store bought fragrances until after you shower and are GONE from the gym. Members especially old broads will thank you.

P.S. in spite of the extreme duress I got the time in.

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Photos: MsThorns