|Photo by Rickie22, Licensed CC BY NC ND|
The program this week was all elliptical, all the time, now that the Mother of All Machines resides in the Workoutatorium, also known as my guest bedroom. For this week, the first full week of using the elliptical, I simply did 25 minutes each day with the tension set at 1. I found that I could handle the time fine, without needing to take breaks. My heart rate averaged around 136-137 bpm during these workouts, maxing out around 147 or so. Sweating was not a problem, as I sweat like a pig each day.
The results? Lost another whole 0.5 pounds. This may seem like almost nothing at all, and it certainly feels like it. But my weight is lower than it has been in years, at 296.9 pounds, and have lost 37 pounds overall, plus numerous inches. I am cautiously happy with my progress, and I have to confess that I enjoy working out on the elliptical more than my previous workouts of bike + rowing machine. That fact alone warms the cockles of my mother's heart, as she is so excited that I am: a) using the elliptical machine regularly; and b) enjoying it. I have to say, though, if I am being completely honest, the time does seem to fly faster on the elliptical, which is all kinds of a bonus in my mind, given how much I dislike the idea of working out.
And do you want to hear something nuts? Today (Sunday) I actually added an EXTRA workout into my routine, and did a full 25 minutes, at tension level 2. And I was happy to have done it. I may have just experienced my first endorphin rush in 24 weeks, and it is surprising. I wouldn't necessarily call it an "endorphin rush", actually, since it was so mild, so maybe I only experienced a single endorphin. Who can tell?
So this week, I think I am going to keep working out for 25 minutes each day on the elliptical machine, but at tension level 2. From now on, I will also try and work out 6 days a week instead of 5 days a week. 6 days a week was my old program (Mon-Sat) when I was working out back in 2000. Only then, it was 30 - 45 minutes of cardio each day, so I am still far behind that. For now, 25 minutes at level 2 is a good challenge, as my average heart rate was 137 bpm during that timeframe, maxing out at 152 bpm, which is a little too high. This time I will work out Sunday to Friday, so that my Friday night/Saturday timeframe is off the clock. It's too hard to be good on Fridays.
Speaking of my heart rate, my resting heart rate on Friday morning was 49 bpm, which is a new low. It is regularly ranging from 54 bpm to 60 bpm before my workouts, which is a nice indication that all this cardio I have been doing is having an impact - - before beginning my workout plan, my "resting" heart rate was regularly over 120 bpm, which is just terrible.
Also speaking of my heart rate, I have purchased yet another heart rate monitor, which I hope will finally enable me to track my heart rate during workouts using the DigiFit app. I had purchased a new bluetooth Polaris heart rate monitor last week, but it only works with the iPhone 4 or the iPad 3, neither of which I have (I think I am currently using the iPhone 2 and the iPad 2, and I am not about to upgrade my i-toys just to use a damn heart rate monitor). We shall see how the new monitor works when it arrives later on this week. Fingers crossed!
I am also, in the spirit of tracking every possible aspect of my workouts and gradually increasing fitness level, getting a wireless scale that tracks weight and body fat %. I am also getting a blood pressure monitor - - both the scale and the blood pressure monitor should [read: damn well better] communicate with the DigiFit app as well as the new heart rate monitor, for an all-over tracking of my vital stats. I will give a review of each when they arrive, and will let you know if/how they work.
In a final burst of optimism, I have begun taking pictures of myself both in front view and in profile. The first set of photos was absolutely horrifying, but the Nerd tells me that he can see a huge improvement after 24 weeks of working out. I have to take his word for it - I just see a land whale, which I know is not very self-confident of me, but I call 'em as I see 'em. For now. I am hoping that week after week even I will start to see progress, and eventually I will post some of the photos, once the differences are visible to the naked eye.