Frailty Thy Name is Bodyweight Circuits

All night and all morning, my waking thoughts were preoccupied with today’s training plan: bodyweight circuits. I wasn’t anxious or even doubtful that I could do them…okay maybe I was a little anxious … but I was almost overconfident. I pulled a bodyweight training plan from the website Nerd Fitness. (It’s mostly a website that ties in nerd culture with fitness and working out). I knew I needed a beginner workout routine because it’s been a while since I last worked with a personal trainer in the gym. Like…18+ months a while.

So here’s the bodyweight circuit:

20 squats (assisted or regular — I did regular)
10 push ups (from knees, elevated, or regular — I did from my knees)
10 walking lunges on each side
10 dumbbell rows — I used 10 pound weights but I might increase it to 15 next time
30 second plank
30 jumping jacks

Repeat the circuit 2 more times until you can work your way up to 5 times total.

I approached the first circuit a little cocky. I cranked out the 20 squats (I’ve always been a huge fan) and then subsequently got my ass handed to me by the pushups and lunges. I’ve never been able to do proper form pushups. I’ve always done them from my knees. But after the first 10, I already felt my heart racing as my body finally joined my mind in this game. Lunges I can take or leave really. Because of the knee pain I suffered from when I was at my highest weight, I get nervous with lunges which affects my form. It’s all a mental thing, really. I’ll have to watch some Youtube videos on proper lunge form once the burning in my thighs subsides. The remainder of the circuit was fine. By my third round of planks I was sweating buckets, but I really enjoyed the dumbbell rows which means I might need to increase my weight to make them harder.

So I went into this thing a little skeptical as to whether a piddly 10 pushups per circuit would be enough for me. Turns out that I am, in fact, a beginner. Therefore this is perfect. One day in the future, I’ll be able to look back on this post and laugh at how frail I was, but eating a nice serving of humble pie reminds me just how far I have to go in my training. I’m learning lessons each and every day about humility.

The second part of my plan was to go for a hike. The beauty about working from home now is that I can take hour-long lunches to go for a walk (and because it’s Teacher Appreciation Day, I extended that hour to 90 minutes … shhh … don’t tell my boss). The Birkie training program doesn’t specify distance but I noticed that they intersperse their aerobic workouts with hiking on hilly trails. If I was back in Hayward, this would’ve been perfect because I could walk the Birkie Trail. Unfortunately, I’m not, so concessions must be made.

The scenic Ice Age Trail, is a hiking trail that goes from Interstate Park in St. Croix Falls down to southern Wisconsin and back up through the Potawatomi State park on Lake Michigan. The segment I hiked was only a fraction of what exists but it’s my favorite area to hike.

I’m not sure how far I hiked but I don’t think that matters too much. There’s nothing better than being alone in the woods with your thoughts or while listening to a riveting podcast or audiobook.

The Ice Age Trail meets up with the Wooly Mountain Bike Trail in several locations and since the Woolly trail criss crosses through the small pine and brush, it’s easy to get turned around. I generally have a good sense of direction, but I try to avoid the Wooly Mountain Bike Trail because I’m not on a bike nor do I know that trail as well as I do the Ice Age trail. Nevertheless, both organizations do an excellent job at keeping these trails clean and free of fallen debris during the season.

Tomorrow’s plan: A two-hour bike ride on a new bike trail in Hugo, MN.

Until then…

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