I awoke to a
gorgeous Minnesota winter morning — snow blowing sideways from the northwest
and 4 inches of the white stuff underfoot as I trekked to the office. The
combination of craggy ice and crunchy snow makes for a pretty good lower body
workout; I can already feel it in my hammies and glutes as I write this.
Of course, it could
be that the soreness in my rear extremities has more to do with my workout last
night at the gym. Recently, for reasons I can’t adequately explain, I’ve been
doing different stuff. Rather than climbing onto the Elliptical Death Machine
for 45 minutes of cross-country air-walking and then grunting through a half
hour of lifting on the resistance machinery, on Friday I inexplicably jogged a
mile on the dreadmill. Then, last night, I did 20 minutes of anaerobic intervals on the
stationary bike (six one-minute sprints interspersed with one-minute recovery
pedaling). I even kept track of my heart rate: 116 for the sprints; 102 during
recovery. After some stretching (!!!), I did a round of kettlebell swings
(which I was surprised to note pushed my heart rate up into the 140s) as well
as some dumbbell lunges and overhead presses. Then a half-hour of push-pull
lifting (various presses and compound rows) before heading home.
I’m not sure
what this means, frankly. It’s not that I was bored with my previous routine.
Or that I’m concerned that I’m not progressing toward my fitness goals (I feel
pretty good for an old guy). I was curious how my tweaky left knee would handle
some running and delighted that it seemed to hold up just fine. And interval
training of any sort is a great way to squeeze in a little more intensity into
a shorter space of time (though I didn’t work up much of a lather on the bike).
Plus, it was about time I got serious about stretching, right? It actually
seemed to do some good.
I’m sure I’ll
get back on the EDM soon enough. Meanwhile, today is a non-gym day, so I’ll
take the same route home after work tonight and thus chalk up a total of 80
minutes of moderate cardio and lower-body exercise. Not bad for an off-day, I guess. Plus, it keeps
things interesting. There’s nothing like the threat of sliding off a sidewalk into
the path of an oncoming car to keep you focused.