It has been about a month or so since I stepped up my workouts, and now that my routine is feeling comfortable, and given the hit that my workout calories have taken with my new, streamlined weight, it's time to kick things up a notch. After all, if you don't push yourself, you miss half the fun, right? (and by 'fun', I apparently mean 'sweat', judging by this morning's results).
My most recent workout routine was 3 days x 55 minutes of elliptical at a crossramp of 6 and tension of 5 (or 25%) and a stride rate of 130, plus 8 free weight exercises using 6 pound weights at 4 sets of 12 reps each. On alternate days the routine is 60 minutes of elliptical at the same settings, without the weights. I can never decide which is my 'easier' day. Usually it's whatever day is not the current day. On Saturdays, my rest day, I have been doing only 30 minutes of elliptical, just to keep things limber.
Over time I have been seeing a constant decrease in the calories burned from my workouts with my declining weight, and that is frustrating to me. I feel ripped off - - if I am sweating that much (and man, do I ever sweat!), I want to get credit for it.
So I am incorporating a couple of changes to my workouts this week to try and make things a little more challenging, and hopefully kick up the calories a bit.
First, I have purchased a set of wrist/ankle weights. The set I am getting will be up to 5 pounds per wrist/ankle, with weight able to be added in 1 pound increments. I intend to start off using the weights on my wrists, and I will likely start light, only 1 pound per arm, just to see how it goes. By effectively adding weight back, I am increasing the effort required during my workout, and thereby increasing the calories burned.
I do not think I am yet fit enough to do a full 60 minutes at 140 bpm, and to be honest, I just don't have enough songs at that tempo to make up a full playlist. But I have a few 140 bpm songs, and they should help me to make my elliptical workouts a bit more intense.
I tried the new playlist this morning and noticed that my calories burned had increased, along with my stride count. I am reluctant to add much more time to my workout, because I do need to work sometime, and it's tough enough to fit an hour to an hour and half of workout into my schedule every workday as it is.
Hopefully the combination of wrist weights and faster pace will allow me to stretch out this routine for another few weeks before it starts getting comfortable again. I definitely felt challenged this morning, so we'll see how it plays out this week. Could be a long week...!