My gym is the local Y (YMCA), which here in Charlotte, North Carolina, is extensive and offers incredible amenities. Although I don’t get to the Y much anymore, last week I found myself there while #6 (Grace) was at rowing practice (her team practices at the Y when they can’t get on the lake).
Surrounded by rooms of equipment, machines, free weights, and even climbing walls, I was at a loss of what to do. Has that ever happened to you? I was standing there with more exercise opportunities than I could ask for, any workout at my fingertips, and nothing enticed me.
Lacking in motivation to create my own workout and typically ill-timed for a group exercise class, I walked the gym. I guess I figured some exercise machine would reach out and grab me. None did and so I spent at least 10 minutes wandering around, looking pretty pathetic actually.
After passing an exercise bike, a rowing machine, and a treadmill at least five times, it dawned on me that I now only had 45 minutes left before Grace would be done with her practice. Finally I decided to get on all three for 15 minutes each. At least I wouldn’t be bored.
In the end, I had an awesome workout. Just when I would tire of one machine, I was on to the next. I added a few weights to the bike portion and realized I had one of the best all-around workouts I had experienced in a long time. Here it is if you ever find yourself stuck at the gym, without a plan. You can do each machine for 10 minutes (30 minute workout), 15 minutes (45 min workout), or 20 minutes (hour workout). I promise… you won’t be disappointed.
My “Sure to Burn” Three-way gym workout:
Exercise bike: First grab some weights (8-10 lb. are fine). Place the machine on a 15-minute hill workout, level 4. Use the weights during the warm up, cool down, and one point in between. For weights, do bicep pull ups, shoulder press above the head, and tricep kick backs (12 reps each). You can rest the weights on the bike handles while riding.
Rowing machine: Warm up for 5 minutes. Then at the top of each minute, do a “power 10” (10 hard strokes all out). You should get about 10 “power tens” in. Finish with 3 minutes to go and cool down, pulling nice and easy.
Treadmill: Warm up for 5 minutes with a slow jog or walk. Increase hill for 1 minute and increase speed as well. This is a one-minute push. Then bring down both incline and speed for 3 minutes. Push again for one minute. Bring it down for three. Do this until you have 3 minutes left and then cool down.
Mixing things up is not only good for our mental state while we workout, it is also a great way to “fool” the body. When we rely on the same type of workout, our bodies grow accustom to it and we risk minimizing our workout burn…always working the same muscles. A workout like the one above not only creates variety for our mind, but for our muscles as well.