Body for Life, the Universe, and Everything

Being a description of the author's thoughts on the experience of participating in the "Body for Life" Challenge, questions of great philosophical import, and randomly selected topics of no significance whatsoever

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Location: Missouri, United States

In no particular order, I'm a professional lettering artist, a yoga practitioner, a cat lover, a vegetarian, a reader of everything from books to cereal boxes, married to a very attractive guy named Tom (nope, no kids), an exercise enthusiast, and a lot of other things I don't care to admit in a public forum. I have a BS in applied math that I haven't used in over 10 years, and I can put both feet behind my head. What else would you like to know?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A new career?

Yesterday (Sunday) I had trouble with my internet connection, and my blog entry didn't post until just past midnight, so I guess that puts me officially out of the running for NaBloPoMo prizes and such, but I wasn't doing it for that stuff anyway, so I will just keep going. Tonight I got involved in other things and somehow it got from 10:30 p.m. to after midnight without my noticing, so once again I have missed the midnight deadline. Oh well. I'm still posting every day, as long as you're not picky about the hour at which the day ends.

Today's excitement was starting my (very!) unofficial career as a personal trainer. My good friend Tanya has been talking for a year or so about how she wants me to help her get in shape. Well, she was finally ready to get started on this process, so she came over tonight and I started her on the Body for Life workouts. I know she won't be working out every day, because even if she were willing to spend the time, she has no room in her house for exercise equipment and a gym membership isn't really an option for her at the moment. So she came to my house, where there is a stationary bike, a weight bench, and an entire wall lined with dumbbells, along with me to explain to her how to use it all. I put her through the Day 1 workout on the standard BFL plan, which is an upper-body workout. I gave her the exercises that I have been using recently, but with half as much weight or a bit less (I also cut the rest periods in half on my own workout, but not on hers). Naturally I was guessing as to what would be the correct weights to use for her, but for the most part I was pretty close. She was telling me her arms were screaming by the end of it and she could actually feel her chest muscles. She did NOT like the prone extensions or prone pullovers (both of which I used as the final set for the appropriate muscle group, so she only had to do one set of each), but she was gung-ho to use them in the next workout because she could feel them working!

When she was finished with the upper-body workout, I asked if she wanted to get on the exercise bike to make up for the fact that she wouldn't be able to do aerobics the next day, as scheduled, and I was a little surprised when she said yes. Tanya is one of the nicest, and most considerate and polite people I know. About 17 minutes into the standard BFL HIIT workout, she was getting about as cranky as I have ever seen her in the 13 years we have been good friends, but she was still pedaling, just as I was telling her to do. I figured if she was telling me to shut up, I was doing pretty well as a personal trainer! I encouraged her to take an extra five minutes on the bike after the standard 20 in order to cool down, as I have found that to be most beneficial. She was happy to take my advice, and was still a little rubber-legged when she got off the bike at 25 minutes after starting to pedal.

We then repaired to the kitchen to hash over the experience (she also had me break out the calipers--I use them every day on myself--so she could find out what her body fat reading was). Tom got home when Tanya was starting to get ready to leave, and she told him how hard I'd gotten her to work, and he said, "Yep, she's tough! You know what would really be good is if you have her be your trainer for workouts and have me be your trainer for your diet!" That makes a lot of sense, because I am very good about doing my workouts on schedule and as they are intended to be done, and Tom is much better about the food side of BFL. We had a nice little discussion about that. Then she headed home, Tom headed downstairs to work on his novel, and I started to plan my workout for the day, since it would be hypocritical to be training someone else and not doing workouts myself, wouldn't it? (I've taken the last month off from workouts--ever since completing the century ride--because I just felt it was time for a break because I was getting too stale and couldn't remember why I was doing this any more. I also wanted to see if it would help my shoulder injury to rest it a bit.) While I was scribbling out my workout plan for the day, Tanya called from the road. She said, "I've discovered a side effect I wasn't expecting from the workouts...I'm singing, and I have the most incredible breath support!" She was very excited about this because she is a natural-born singer. I'm not, so I never noticed that side effect from working out, but she asked me to ask Tom if he had noticed it (he is a singer too...that's how we met Tanya--she and Tom were in a band together). He said he had, and that another unexpected bonus of working out was that it helped his bowling!

365 little-known reasons to do BFL....


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