Last night after I got home from the gym I was still kind of on a runner’swalker’s high. I have been doing about 1000 calories at the gym each time I go but only had time for 750 calories. I have been steering away from interval training to a constant pace for a longer time. Last night I got back to the intervals doing 4 min at a challenging but manageable pace and for the 5th minute I push myself as hard as I can. I drop back down after the 5th minute back to where I was and do it again 3 more times.
I have read many articles about interval training and the benefits over constant speed. Live Strong has a great summery of the benefits here. Interval training does something mentally also. Instead of getting a good pace and zoning out for an hour, it makes you flex emotional and mental muscles too. Pushing yourself (safely) to your limits is the only way you can realize what you are truly capable of. Also I have found that the time goes by WAY faster because when I stay at a constant effort, there is only monotony. In interval training you are constantly changing between three states. The first warms you up and gets your heart pumping good. Second is the burst of effort. Go all out! The last stage is a recovery from the burst, a challenge to reach equilibrium again. Once you are finally comfortable again it’s time to blow it up again. It is the best feeling walking to your car after leaving it all on the machine.
I was hitting the weights pretty hard over the past month and realized that my workouts need to be about toning and not building. I am in a weight loss competition after all and gaining muscle makes it hard to hit pound goals. For now I will stop the heavy lifting and re-focus on toning for fitness instead of buffing for sexiness. There will be plenty of time to work on the 6-pack after the kegger is gone.
After feeling euphoric from my intense workout yesterday, I was thinking about where I am in my life and how grateful for the new guy I have found. I like this me. I am proud to be this me. Even in my thinner years (term used in the loosest of ways) I would constantly enter a state of self loathing and anger with myself. I didn’t like who I was and looked for the easiest ways to escape confronting my biggest problems. Today there is nothing I see as impossible. Instead I see challenges to defeat and obstacles to overcome but nothing is unobtainable. I am grateful in ways I can’t explain to be in that place.