Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Physical Fitness Program 2019-12

This is my current weekly physical fitness program, following my Physical Fitness Principles:
  • Monday: Pilates/TRX for strength.
  • Tuesday: Yoga for flexibility.
  • Wednesday: Pilates/running for endurance.
  • Thursday: Swimming for endurance.
  • Friday: Pilates/free weights and weight machine for strength.
I generally don't work out on weekends, since those are when I do other activities, often including some kind of physical outdoor recreational activity.

I try to make sure to have time available for each full daily workout, but if I'm short of time, I can cut the number of reps, sets, or laps down, cut the time down, cut the rest periods by 15-30 seconds, or skip some yoga poses.



Monday: Pilates/TRX For Strength

This workout is very portable, good for traveling.

Warm-up: 3-5 minutes on rowing machine, ski machine, or elliptical.

Stretching: 2-3 minutes of general stretching and twisting.

Strength part 1: 15-25 minutes of Pilates mat work from Anatomy of Fitness Pilates, by Isabel Eisen. 1 set of 5-8 reps for each of the 25 separate exercises, moving at slow, controlled pace. I use a Tune Up Fitness Coregeous Ball for the ball exercises, but any medium-size inflatable ball or a throw pillow would also work.

The exercises:
  • Pointing Dog
  • Wide-legged plie
  • Standing leg extension
  • Monkey walk
  • Push-up
  • Breast stroke
  • Back burner
  • Triceps dip
  • Side leg series
  • Waistline warrior
  • Pilates ball roll-up
  • Rollover
  • Single leg drop
  • Corkscrew
  • Pilates ball heel tap
  • Pilates ball double leg stretch
  • Pilates ball hundred
  • Pilates ball side-lying inner thigh
  • Double dip
  • Low-to-high plank
  • Pilates ball tabletop-bridge
  • Bicycle twists
  • Teaser prep and teaser
  • Frog
  • Single-leg gluteal lift
This is excellent core body strength training using just body weight. It looks deceptively easy, so I make sure not to overdo it.

I built up to this level by doing 3 reps for the first few times.

Strength part 2: 25-30 minutes of TRX Go Suspension Training. 2 sets of 45 seconds for each of the 13 unique exercise from the "Burn Calories" and "Build Strength" workouts on the included instructional poster, moving at slow, controlled pace, with 45 seconds rest after each set. For single-leg exercises, I treat each leg as one set.

The exercises:
  • TRX hamstring curl
  • TRX low row
  • TRX crossing balance lunge
  • TRX chest press
  • TRX squat
  • TRX Y-deltoid fly
  • TRX lunge
  • TRX biceps curl
  • TRX atomic pike
  • TRX triceps press
  • TRX single leg squat
  • TRX hip press
  • TRX spiderman push up
This is excellent overall strength training using just body weight. The dynamic suspension straps mean that it incorporates many muscles at once, not just the primary ones targeted in an exercise, often including core strength.

That also means the effort is less focused on the targeted muscles and joints than with a weight machine, reducing the risk of injury. I found this to be a good way to restore my shoulder, which suffers from rotator cuff difficulty.

Because it depends on body position and angle relative to the straps, it's infinitely adjustable. If I need to increase or decrease intensity, I just step forward or back an inch or two.

I built up to this level by doing 1 set of 15 seconds for each exercise with 15 seconds rest, then increased by 5 seconds each week until I was at 30 seconds. Then I switched to 2 sets, resetting to 15 seconds, and increased by 5 seconds again each week.

Cool-down: 3-5 minutes on elliptical.



Tuesday: Yoga For Balance And Flexibility

This workout is very portable after memorizing the sequence of moves, good for traveling.

Because yoga workouts generally incorporate warm-up, stretching, and cool-down, I don't do those separately.

No matter what else I do during the week, if something disrupts my routine and I have to skip one or more workouts, I make sure to do this one, because of its general therapeutic and stress-reducing effects.

Balance and flexibility: 60 minutes of Power Yoga Collection: 3 Full-Length Programs by Rodney Yee. I cycle through the different programs on different weeks. They're all very similar, but with slightly different emphasis. I use a Yoga Mat, Block, and Strap Set. Sometimes it's convenient to have a second block. The 3rd program on that DVD shows best how to use the blocks and strap.

I'm not nearly as flexible as Yee, so I limit postures to only the degree I can do comfortably.

The postures, or asanas, not all of which appear in every program (most of the names from the book 50 Best Yoga Positions):
  • Tadasana, mountain pose
  • Adho mukha svanasana, downward-facing dog
  • sun salutation (this is actually a sequence moving through several poses, including mountain pose, lunge, plank, pushup, cobra, upward-facing dog, downward-facing dog, standing forward bend)
  • Biralasana, cat pose
  • Virabhadrasana I, warrior I
  • Virabhadrasana II, warrior II
  • Virabhadrasana III, warrior III
  • Trikonasana, triangle pose
  • Uttanasana, intense forward stretch/standing forward bend
  • Dandasana, staff pose
  • Navasana, boat pose
  • Balasana, child pose
  • Single-leg forward bend
  • Paschimottasana, double-leg forward bend
  • Upavista konasana, seated wide-angle forward pose sequence
  • Baddha konasana, cobbler's pose
  • Supta padangustasana, reclining big toe pose/raised leg stretch
  • Jathara parivartanasana, revolved abdomen pose
  • Marichyasana III, sage twist III
  • Garudasana, eagle twist
  • Kapotasana, pigeon pose
  • Anjaneyasana, crescent moon pose
  • Dhanaurasana, bow pose
  • Setu bandhasana, bridge pose
  • Purvottanasana, upward-facing plank
  • Urda dhanurasana, upward-facing bow pose
  • Virasana, hero pose
  • Utkatasana, chair pose/power pose
  • Prasarita padottanasana, wide leg stretch/wide leg forward bend
  • Savasana, corpse pose/relaxation pose
I built up to this level by using Yee's Power Yoga - Flexibility, 25 minutes. This is mostly the same set of asanas as the Power Yoga Collection, so it's both good training to learn them, and a shorter session if I have less time. It's also a good light flexibility workout any time I need it.



Wednesday: Pilates/Running For Endurance

This workout can be done almost anywhere outdoors, good for traveling. Also, many offices, hotels, and resorts have treadmills in their gyms. I do extra stretching to prevent tight or sore muscles the next day.

Warm-up: 3-5 minutes on rowing machine, ski machine, or elliptical.

Stretching: 2-3 minutes of leg stretching.

Strength: 15-25 minutes of Pilates mat work.

Endurance: 30 minutes on treadmill at 5 mph (2.5 miles in 30 minutes).

My goal is to work up to the USMC Timed Run requirement, which is 3 miles in 28 minutes or less (6.4 mph).

I built up to this level by doing interval training, starting at 1 minute running with 1 minute walking, increasing the running time by 1 minute each week until I was up to 9 minutes of running with 1 minute of walking.

Cool-down: 3-5 minutes on treadmill.

Stretching: 2-3 minutes of leg stretching.



Thursday: Swimming For Endurance


This is limited to health clubs with lap pools. I buy a 10-swim card at my pool, which is more economical than a monthly membership.

Stretching: 2-3 minutes of general stretching and twisting.

Warm-up: 2-4 lengths of freestyle at relaxed pace, 2 minutes per 50 (2 lengths of 25-yard pool).

Endurance: 32-36 lengths at workout pace, 1-2 minutes per 50, for total of 40 laps including the warm-up and cool-down. I break things up into groups of 5 50's: 2 50's of freestyle, 1 50 of kickboard, 1 50 of breast stroke, and 1 50 of freestyle. Sometimes I combine the 2 50's into a 100.

I built up to this level by starting with 5 50's, 2 minutes per 50, increasing by 5 50's every 2 weeks.

Cool-down: 2-4 lengths of freestyle at relaxed pace, 2 minutes per 50.



Thursday Alternative: Ski Machine Or Elliptical For Endurance


Occasionally I can't make it to the pool. The ski machine and elliptical are both good alternatives, since like swimming they're full-body, low-impact aerobic exercises (as opposed to running, which is a lower-body, high-impact aerobic exercise).

Warm-up:
 3-5 minutes on rowing machine, ski machine, or elliptical.

Stretching: 2-3 minutes of general stretching and twisting.

Endurance: 30 minutes on machine at middle to high incline, at middle resistance, doing intervals of 1 minute at fast pace, 1 minute at slow pace.

I built up to this level by doing the same intervals, but with no incline and light resistance.

Cool-down: 3-5 minutes on elliptical.



Friday: Pilates/Free Weights And Weight Machine For Strength

Many offices, hotels, and resorts have some kind of weight setup in their gyms.

Warm-up: 3-5 minutes on rowing machine, ski machine, or elliptical.

Stretching: 2-3 minutes of general stretching and twisting.

Strength part 1: 15-25 minutes of Pilates mat work.

Strength part 2: 25-30 minutes of free weights and weight machine following Strength Training Past 50 by Wayne Westcott and Thomas Baechle. 3 sets of 8 reps for each of 11 separate exercises at slow, controlled pace, with 15-60 seconds rest after each set. I make sure the amount of weight I use doesn't cause any joint pain during or after completing all the sets.

The exercises and weights (pounds):
  • Squat, 70
  • Leg extension, 35
  • Leg curl, 15
  • Chest press, 35
  • Chest fly, 25
  • Seated row, 45
  • Shoulder press, 25
  • Lat pull-down, 35
  • Tricep push-down, 30
  • Bicep curl, 15
  • Ab flex, 35
My goal is to at least double these weights, up to triple for some.

Since my weight machine doesn't have a leg press, I do squats with a barbell.

I don't like the bicep curl station on it, so I do those with either Cast Iron Hex Dumbbells, or the dumbbells that come with the barbell. I have a range of hex dumbbells from 10-30 lbs., which is convenient for doing a variety of free-weight exercises without having to change plates.

I use a Bicep Bomber for bicep and tricep isolation with both the free weights and the machine.

Weight machines generally isolate the targeted muscles and joints well, so all the effort is directed to them. While that's good for building just those areas, it also means higher force on them and higher risk of injury. I pay close attention to make sure I'm not overdoing it.

I built up to this level by doing 1 set of 8 reps for each exercise at light weight with 15 seconds rest after each set, then increased the weight by 1 setting each week for the next 2 weeks. Then I switched to 2 sets, resetting to light weight, and increased by 1 setting again each week. Then I switched to 3 sets and went through the weight settings again.

This was a fairly long progression, but it allowed me to build up gradually without joint or muscle injury.

Cool-down: 3-5 minutes on elliptical.

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