Monday, February 23, 2009

One Down...

Little more than a month ago, I did a Bucket List... I'm not sure it's really a Bucket List, per se... just kind of an impulse sort of... "what would I like to do if I had unlimited time, money, and fitness..."

#6 on the list was: Do one-handed push-ups.

Scratch one thing off the list...

Friday I was completely kick ass at the gym. I felt good heading down there, I felt good while I was there.

The recumbent bike and I... are not really good friends.

I am apparently not the ideal they had in mind when designing the thing. Short, round, whatever... for one thing, my legs aren't quite long enough. I can either have the seat notched to 1.5 and be able to reach the pedals fine for the entire rotation, but my thighs bump into my stomach - at low speeds that's uncomfortable enough, and at high speeds tends to make me somewhat nauseated. Or I can have the seat notched to 2, and I can't reach the pedals at the full extension, which means rather than push left, push right, my cycling goes more like push right, pull left, pull right, push left, which does not do well for maintaining speed at all.

In either setting, there's a little divet in the seat - I guess it's to put your ass crack over, but mine's apparently in the wrong place, because no matter HOW I sit, I always end up with that bump under one butt-check or the other. This is uncomfortable to sit on, regardless of what speed I'm pedaling.

Third of all, the front handles are too far away, causing me to involuntarily pull back towards myself while pedaling, as if I'm trying to row a boat, and the side handles are set too closely to the bike-seat, compounding the whole thighs-hit-my-stomach problem by adding in a good dose of arms-are-squishing-against-my-boobs.

And those are just comfort issues with being ON the bike... that doesn't even begin to cover the whole resistance and pedaling and breathing and burning thighs and my hands get greasy and... and and and.

Doesn't matter. Twice a week, I do the bike. I set it for Intervals and vary back and forth between a resistance of 3 and resistance of 6 for 30 minutes, plus a 5 minute cool down at R2.

The routine goes this way, 2 mins at 3, 2 mins at 6, two mins at 3, ad nauseaum and there's a little LED displayer thing with dots. These dots supposedly are equal to another marker along the side to show you what your heart rate should be during these intervals... R3 gets two dots for "Fat Burn" and R6 gets 3 dots, which pushes it into "Cardio". (However, unlike the treadmill, the bike doesn't have the bare metal handgrips to monitor your actual heart rate, which is too bad. I think I'd burn a lot more calories - according to the readout - if the damn thing could see how fast my heart was actually going...) So while I'm biking, I stare at little dots... each dot equals one minute...

Mostly because I find biking to be a real chore, I started mathing out my biking speed versus the little dots... Ok, I'd gone X miles in Y time, that means I'm doing a little under 10mph, or approximately 1 mile per 6 dots. Half a mile in three dots. .16 miles in 1 dot.

Could I push that up some, I started wondering. Could I force myself to get from 1.45 miles to 1.63 miles in 1 minute?

Sometimes I can; sometimes I can't.

Friday, I was in the Zone. My legs weren't burning as much, and while I was sweating like crazy - hell, even my wrists were slick with persperation - I didn't feel bad.

I managed to push myself for the entire 30 minutes to pedal at least .2 miles per minute. That's 1 mile every 5 minutes, or a 20% increase in my speed.

So, I got off the bike feeling very damp, but proud. I did my short walk, in which I am currently maintaining a 3.0 - 3.2 speed (trying to build walking endurance, not speed) with variable inclines (between .5 and 7.5) and then decided to hit the weight room for a bit. I was still feeling strong and good to go.

A few weeks ago, MizFit pointed me at an entry from last year about tricep excercises, something I've been looking into because my pushups are giving me a wicked bicep, but if I don't balance it out soon, I'm going to look sort of malaportioned. Headed back to the weight room, I sat on the bench for a minute while I considered my options and then I thought, "I wonder if I can do those tricep dip things?" So I pushed the weight bench out from under the cable-weights and tried it. Ok, that wasn't too bad. I did a set of ten, then sat for a bit, then ten more, and sat. And ten more, and sat. I tried to do one last set of 10, but I just wasn't quite up for it, and clunked out at 5.

Feeling pleased with myself, I decided I'd go ahead and try the one-handed pushup. I've been a fan of these particular exercises for a while; they are serious hard-core.

It took me a few minutes to get the proper balance - that's part of the tricky bit to it is finding where you need to place your hand so that you don't tip over, that's also not preventing you from actually bending your elbow.

Astonishingly enough, I found the spot. I tucked my right arm behind my back, and lowered, then raised. I was, to say the least, a bit surprised. But not tired. I lowered again, and came back up. Wow. Two. And then a third.

And a fourth.

Well. Cross one thing off my list. 42 more to go...


Jen, a priorfatgirl said...

OMG OMG OMG - a one handed push up?! Holy triceps, you ROCK! said...

"Cross one thing off my list. 42 more to go"

For some reason, that makes me laugh. Probably because I'm too lazy to even consider a list that long. It sounds like you're on the right track. Best wishes.

Jennifer Newman said...

I second what the other Jen wrote ....OMG OMG OMG

I can still barely do wrists start creaking...but kick ass did one handed pushups!!

you are my Hero!! ;-)

Becky Fyfe said...

Wow! I'm impressed! I find push-ups one of the most difficult things to do!

Summer said...

Daaaaaang, girl! At this rate, if your feet get tired during the 3-Day, you'll be able to flip over and walk on your hands!

I'm very, very impressed. Even after my enforced arm-building period of using crutches, I still find push-ups -- the two handed kind -- a real challenge.

You're going to have Madonna arms soon, I know it.

Anonymous said...

"we're not worthy, we're not worthy!"

You are my superwoman!

Sabs said...

Wow, I can't even do one of those!

Hanlie said...

Wow, that is hardcore!

I could also never get comfortable on the recumbant, so I avoided cycling. But now that I'm training for a triathlon I started using the upright bike and I must say, it's much more comfortable (for about 10 minutes, then my ass gets numb - probably because I'm so heavy). But I do a few 10 minute workouts in one session, varying the speed and intensity all the time. In between I do strength training and rowing.

Natalia said...

A one handed push up.....really? That's awesome!!!!!