For those of you wondering what I'm doing to get in shape for the UGRR tour, I am happy to say that I've been able to get myself to the gym six days a week since I left my job. That's particularly good since I have had no schedule these last few weeks. Considering myself to be on vacation, no two days have been the same, and I have only done what I feel like doing, when I feel like doing it.
My workouts started out easier than I expected. I'm not sure if I was in better shape than I thought (hard to imagine) or if the excitement of having time to myself carried me through. Week 2 was a bit of slogging agony but, even so, I didn't have trouble getting myself to the gym. At this point, I feel my body beginning to reshape itself; I love feeling my muscles get stronger.
I begin every workout with a ride on one of the various stationary bicycles. I ride 20-25 minutes. Between the warm up and cool down, I move from a low-intensity level up through four or five more difficult levels, changing levels every minute, repeating this progressive pattern three more times during the ride, and culminating with an all-out high-point minute. If you want to know more about this, there is a video online about this 20-Minute Aerobics Solution.
After the aerobic workout, I do two exercises to strengthen my abdominal muscles (ex.: Exercise Ball Crunch, Cable Seated Crunch) and two exercises to strengthen my back (ex.: One Arm Dumbbell Row, Wide Grip Pull Down). Then I spend some time stretching.
Then, I work with weights to strengthen either my upper-body or lower-body muscles. I alternate days, so on a day that I'm shredding (er, strengthening) my upper-body muscles, my lower body is recovering, and vice versa.
Today was an Upper Body day. That means that I did two exercises to work on each of these sets of muscles:
Chest (ex.: Dumbbell Flys, Chest Press)
Shoulders (ex.: Dumbbell Shoulder Press, Side Lateral Raise)
Triceps (ex.: Dumbbell Extension, Close Grip Tricep Push Down)
Biceps (ex.: Dumbbell Biceps Curl, Bicep Curl Machine)
I work each set of muscles in a progressively intensive way--moving my way up through two or three levels of weights until I hit my high/exhaustion point.
I did not have to do a lot of research before beginning this program because I had done a lot of research and experimenting about 15 years ago. When I set foot in the gym (and even though the gym owner confirmed that the last time I had stepped through their door was ten years ago), it all came back to me. Those of you who know me will be surprised to learn that I have not yet recorded any of my workouts (is it really legitimate if no spreadsheet is involved?)...but I may yet.