Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fitness Challenge is on! and Crew Gym

Getting more workouts in then just my long run has always been a challenge for me. BF and I are trying to fix that two ways:

The first is getting a gym membership. This will help for a variety of reasons. One is that I won't be able to use the excuse that it's too hot out to run/bike. Granted I'll still be sweating my butt off, but at least it will be in air conditioned comfort verses the 100+ degree weather. I will also be able to do more cross training, with classes and weights. My mom is really into spinning, and now that shes supplementing it with running, she's seeing great changes. I'm hoping that knowing how fast I'm going will help with speed training and tempo work. Also, I need to be doing a lot more defining of my muscles in order to get into the shape I want to be.

The second method is to get a little competitive. BF and I have decided that we are going to have 3 categories, and over the next 6 weeks (till September 1st) we will see who can improve the most in each category. So our goals are set as:

Running 1 mile
One minute of push ups
One minute of sit ups

So if I increase the number of sit ups I can do in one minute versus what the BF can do, I win!

So tonight we headed over to Crew Gym on Washington Ave between Shepard and Durham. We got the tour and the whole speech on the costs and benefits and stuff. It is a very clean gym. The weights and machines are well organized. We went at 6 pm on purpose to see it at rush hour, but it wasn't very crowded. There are two upstairs areas that look down into the main room - one for a stretching area and one for cardio. After the tour, BF and I were both able to hop on treadmills right away (although the first one I got on didn't work).

Man has technology changed. I haven't had a gym membership in a few years, if you don't include my school gym. When I was growing up I belonged to the South Shore Harbor fitness center down in League City (I loved their indoor track, although my parents certainly didn't get their money's worth out of my membership), and when I lived in New Haven I was a member of two gyms (a Bally's and then one small local one, where I took kickboxing). The small one in New Haven had individual tvs on each treadmill, which I thought was pretty neat. I used to go first thing in the mornings and run and watch VH1 (cause that was the time that it actually had music videos on).

Now, each cardio machine at Crew allows you to plug headphones into it and watch any of the 4 tvs above you. That's kind of a step down, especially for someone who is near sighted and refuses to wear glasses. But, there is also a plug for your ipod, so that you can charge it and control it on the touch screen! Pretty cool. The touchscreen itself is pretty nice, and allows you to 'watch' as you go around a track. Finally, the treadmill has a USB port, and at the end of your workout, it asks if you want to download your workout information to your thumb drive. I haven't tried any of these yet, but I'll report back when I do!

So to start I cranked the treadmill up and started a run.

400 m at 5 mph
400 m 6 mph
400 m 4 mph

Bathroom break. When I popped back upstairs, BF informed me he finished his initial mile run, so I hopped on the treadmill and tried to get my best mile in.

400m 6mph
300m 5mph
200m 4 mph
400m 6mph
100m 5 mph
100m 6 mph
100m 7.2mph

Nice little simulated "sprint" towards the finish. I didn't think I would pick back up to 6mph again at the end but I did. That led me to a 11:05 minute mile! Def the fastest I have ever attempted to run a mile.

So in total, that was 1.75 miles in 20:20 minutes.

FYI, BF smoked by at somewhere around 7:45 minute mile. That's why we're going by percentage increase. :)

Moving on, BF and I helped each other do the push ups and sit ups. BF opted to do crunches instead of sit ups because of chronic upper back/shoulder pain. I opted for push ups on my knees instead of on my toes, because, well, I'm a wuss.

In the one minute allowed, I got in 22 push ups, and then 22 sit ups.

So we'll see how this goes! Right now the gym membership is a 3 day pass to use in the next 2 weeks. It would be wise for us to shop around elsewhere, so we'll see!

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