Take Group Fitness Classes From the Comfort of Your Own Home… and I Have TWO Ways You Can Try For FREE!

March 28, 2018

Ever heard of LIFT Session? It’s a company that offers live online group fitness classes that you can do in your living room, basement, or any room of your house. I’m not taking about exercise videos. I’m taking about actual classes, with a coach and other students and everything! I’ve been taking LIFT classes for a month. They’re a lot of fun… and they kick my butt – always a good thing!
Read the rest of this entry »

Weight Loss Chart Update – SIX MONTH LOW!

October 2, 2013

Happy October! It’s the beginning of a new month, which means it’s time to update my weight loss chart. I had a hunch my weigh-in would bring good news, after all, I’ve been busting my butt preparing for last week’s stair climb race, and my eating has been good. Plus, I’ve been having weigh-ins with Mo, my trainer, on the scale at the gym, and I’ve been seeing loses on there. But I don’t use the scale at the gym to update my chart, I use my home scale. So let’s see the results, shall we?


FOUR POUND LOSS! Ba-bam! What’s even better is that Read the rest of this entry »

My First Session With a Personal Trainer

July 9, 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve lifted weights. And by a while, I mean months. I just flipped through my workout log, and the last time I had a workout with a significant weightlifting component was on Friday, February 8th. Almost 5 months ago to the day! This is mostly due to laziness on my part – it’s so much easier for me to get on an elliptical or go for a run, where I basically don’t have to think, than it is to lift weights, which requires constant focus on form and posture.

I’ve wanted to get back into lifting for some time now. When I was laid up and unable to exercise after my surgery, one of the things I looked forward to was lifting weights. But I never started lifting again, because Read the rest of this entry »


July 28, 2011

BREAKING NEWS!  Later this morning I’m heading out of town for a few days, to Las Vegas and then Seattle.  I’ll be back next week, but don’t you worry – the blog ain’t shutting down. I have new posts planned and in the works (I’m bringing my computer with me), so keep comin’ back for fresh content.  The Vegas part of my trip is for an event that I’m incredibly excited for.  I’m so excited that I don’t wanna to jinx it by telling you what it is!  You’ll hear about it soon enough, right here, on this blog.  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

= = = = =

On Tuesday, I did something that I haven’t done in a loooong time: a Two-A-Day.

Two-a-Days are what sports teams call days where they have two practices.  When I was the swim and water polo teams in high school, we would have two-a-days all the time (although I don’t remember calling them that – the term might be used more by football teams).  We would have morning practice before school, from 5:30 until 7am (not 5:30 arrival, that’s 5:30 in the pool), and practice after school, from 2:30 until 5pm.  That’s 4 hours of practice a day, and we would have Saturday practices as well!

I’m not on a sports team now, but it seems like a most fitting word for Tuesday’s accomplishment: two separate killer workouts in one day.  I’ve had particularly active days before, where I would have a dedicated workout, and then, later, end up having a good long walk with a friend or something, but I can’t remember ever, in this weight loss process, have two workouts as tough as these on the same day.  Oh, and not only on the same day, only 3.5 hours apart!

First Workout: 2pm.  I had a session with my personal trainer, Craig (check out his website and his Facebook page).  It’s been almost a month since my last Craig post, but I’ve been going every week and working with Craig, who’s been teaching me tons about weight-lifting form, technique, how to use various machines, how to goose my cardio, and so on.  They’re hour-long sessions, and Craig pushes me to try and do things I don’t think I’m capable of doing, and every session leaves me exhausted, sore, educated, and proud.

This time, Craig had me warm-up a little on the bike, and then by taking a run around the block (which I just calculated to be 1/2 mile) with 3-pound weights in each hand.  Then he had me do a ton of burpee-like things where I held a wooden box, jumped as far as could with it, then put it down and either did a couple push-ups on it, or a couple mountain climbers.  Ugh, tough.  That was followed by a ton of walking lunges, with me holding a 10-pound weight over my head, and that was followed by 6 minutes of very brisk, steep inclined walking on the treadmill.

I was ready to fall over at this point, but we weren’t done yet.  Craig handed me the 3-pound weights again, and I took off for another 1/2 mile run around the block.  After that, Craig taught me a couple different types of lateral pull-downs (for the back), and then I jumped back on the bike, where I did intervals of military presses while pedaling away for 10 minutes.  We finished with 60 tricep dips, which I learned to do for the first time.  I didn’t think I’d be able to do them, but I proved myself wrong!

When I left the gym all I wanted to do was lie down, and not get up for a while.

Second Workout: 6:30pm.  Richard Simmons’ class at Slimmons!  Richard was wearing a kilt (he has them in 5 different colors, naturally), and part of our warm-up was to bagpipe music.  Always something different at Slimmons!  Here’s the video from Tuesday’s class – I’m the one wearing all-black, with the white bandanna around my forehead:

Richard class was, like they always are, really fun and high energy.  I was wondering before class if I’d be able to make it through, given the workout I’d already completed, and I did.  For most of it, actually, I felt really great – like this was the day’s first and only workout – but by the time the toning part of the class came around, my arms felt ready to fall off.  Richard’s classes don’t have tons of toning – about 10 minutes, really – but tonight those 10 minutes were tough.

Here’s a picture of me after class – it’s not a great picture, as I took it myself in my car, but this is me after 2.5 combined hours of vigorous exercise:

You can’t tell that my black shirt is completely drenched.

About the bandanna:  I was digging through my closet a few days ago, and found a stash of bandannas I forgot I had.  Lately, I’ve been annoyed at how my glasses slip down my sweaty nose when I’m exercising, so I just starting wearing the bandannas as a sweat-absorber.  Tuesday was the first day I’ve worn a bandanna to Slimmons, or to a session with Craig, and I got comments at both gyms:  Nina, another of Craig’s clients, said that with my all-black clothes and my white bandanna, I looked like a ninja, and Richard, when he first saw me before class, said “Look at that bandanna!  You look like the Karate Kid, I like it!”  He proceeded to call me ‘Karate Kid’ all through the class.

A bandanna as a sweat absorber works, by the way.  After I snapped the above picture, I took the bandanna off, opened my car door, and wrung a remarkable amount of my sweat from the fabric:

See all that wet asphalt?  That’s my sweat.

On Wednesday morning I could barely pull myself out of bed, I was so sore.  But after breakfast (an english muffin with jam, and some juice I made from 3 my free tomatoes, 2 oranges, and an apple) and some chores around the house, I pulled on my swimsuit for the first time since May 15th, and went to swim some laps.  It felt great to be in the pool again, and although I didn’t push myself very hard, I managed to crank out 2000 yards before hitting the showers.  The breakdown:

  • 1000 warm-up (200 free, 200 IM, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 IM)
  • 500 free (at about 70% exertion)
  • 300 free (at about 85% exertion)
  • 200 cool-down

So.  That’s three workouts in about 24 hours.  Holy crap.

Keep it up, David!

Vista Tower

July 2, 2011

It’s the long holiday weekend, and I think this will be my one and only post until the week officially starts on Tuesday.  (And be sure to come back to my blog next week – I have a couple awesome things planned, including the sharing of a video that I just KNOW you’ll love…)

It won’t be news, if you’ve been a reader for a while, that I’ve been attending boot camp classes for a few months now (I went to two in the month of June, as my June Progress Report showed).  They’re led by Craig Ramsay, who was featured on Bravo’s Thintervention last fall, and he’s a fantastic trainer, a really wonderful guy, and a friend (see a picture of me and Craig here).  Recently, Craig started offering a new service – sessions where he pairs up two of his boot camp clients, and works with them on the gym floor (his boot camps, on the other hand, are held in a classroom).

Yesterday, I had my first session.  My friend Kristy, the super-talented singer-songwriter, had one of these sessions last Friday, and told me she was sore for nearly a week.  Craig’s boot camps are brutal, so I knew I’d be in for something tough…

…Here’s what went down.  Craig started me on an exercise bike.  After a good warm-up (about 10 minutes or so), he brought over two 10-pound weights, and had me, while pedaling, do a series of five different shoulder and bicep exercises, for 30 seconds each.  Not easy.  Especially not easy when, after I finished the first set, Craig came by and replaced my 10-pound weights with 15-pound weights!  I did two more complete sets, and the bike portion of the workout was completed.  I had to then pick my arms up off the floor and snap them back into their sockets, like they were Lego pieces.

Next was the bench press, where Craig emphasized proper form (I benched 65 pounds), followed by another type of standing chest exercise using dual pulleys that worked a different part of the chest.

Craig then said the StairMaster was next.  Ugh – StairMaster.  I’ll come back to the StairMaster in the next paragraph.  Following that was two different types of pull-ups, which I hate because I can’t do them very well at all, and the final exercise took place in the parking lot, where Craig put 20-pounds weights in each of my hands, and I climbed a 2-story staircase carrying them, going 2 steps at a time, for a total of 4 times.   I. Was. Ready. To. Collapse.   It took me a while to get home (Friday evening rush-hour traffic), but when I finally pulled into my garage, I didn’t want to leave my car – I was too comfortable, and all my muscles were sore!

OK – back to StairMaster.  I don’t like the StairMaster, but I do it every once in a while, because it’s such a great workout, and I can burn lots of calories, and fast.  My dislike of the StairMaster led me to create my favorite motivational exercise tool, which is to track the number of stories I climb when I’m on the machine, then, afterward, find a skyscraper somewhere on the planet of an equivalent height.  Most recently, I added the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit to my skyscraper collection (you can see the rest of my skyscraper collection here).

When Craig told me to get on the StairMaster during our session yesterday, I wasn’t surprised, as Nina, the other client I was paired with, had already spent some time on it.  But I was dreading it more than usual, because the session had been so taxing so far – I usually start workouts on the StairMaster, when I’m fresh, and yesterday when I got the machine up and running, I was already rather tired.  After a few minutes at level 5, Craig had me jump up to level 8, and then, every minute, go up one level, until I hit 12.  After a minute on 12, I returned to 8, and started the process again.  Craig also taught me another trick to mix things up on the StairMaster – pointing my feet towards one of the corners of the stairs, so I was walking at an angle, which works different muscles (or different parts of the same muscles… or whatever).

All told, I was on the StairMaster for 13 minutes, and I climbed 62 stories.  Time for a new skyscraper!

This time, I’m heading overseas, all the way to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – home to the Vista Tower, which, at 62 stories, is the fifth-tallest building in the country:

Yep.  I climbed that.

Even though the building has “The Intermark” written on it, it’s called Vista Tower – The Intermark refers to the development as a whole, which includes the DoubleTree Hotel on the right, a shopping center, and a 39-story office tower that’s under construction.

A month ago, I lamented about how not working out on the first day of a new month can be such a bummer – and, guess what!  Having such a great workout on the first day of a new month feels wonderful (duh)!

I have my next floor session with Craig scheduled for next Friday.  As for today… time to throw on some clothes and head to the gym!

Keep it up, David!

7am Wednesday Workout

November 17, 2010

I met up with my friend Joe and his trainer Oscar again this morning for a workout at the park.  We met up for the first time on Monday (I wrote about it in this post), and this workout was very similar to Monday’s, except for that I brought my camera this time!  Oscar the trainer doubled as Oscar the photographer – so I have him to thank for both an ass-kicking workout (I’ll be sore tomorrow, I’m sure) and lots of visual aids for the blog.

After stretching and warming up, Oscar had me complete a series of exercises designed to target my chest, back, arms, abs, and legs.  All the exercises were designed to use my own weight as resistance, and used two handles attached to a strap that was slung over a tree branch.

Here I am doing a chest exercise.  The motion is similar to a push-up, but I simultaneously had to steady my arms and hands, as they weren’t braced on something solid (like the floor). Instead, they were holding two handles in place as I leaned into them and then pushed myself away from them:

Then came a tricep exercise, also using my own weight as resistance.  This is probably the most effective tricep exercise I’ve ever done – my triceps were crazy sore on Tuesday from Monday’s workout.

Then came lunges (the handles and straps were pretty much just used for balance on these):

Followed by back:

And bicep curls:

A standing ab exercise that’s kinda similar to crunches, with my own weight adding resistance:

And the circuit ended with working my oblique abs on a mat:

On Monday, Oscar taught me all the exercises, so today, I went through the entire circuit, but upped the reps for each from 10 to 12.  Then, after a little rest, Oscar had me do a “30 Seconds of Hell” circuit, where I pushed myself to do as many reps as possible for each exercise for 30 seconds before immediately moving on to the next one.  Exhausting.  Felt great, too!  By the time I left the park, around 8:15am, I felt energized, was in good spirits, and glad my workout for the day was already over!  Back again on Friday morning.

Keep it up, David!