The first month of co-pilot (not sponsored– if you want a discount, wheezy waiter is sponsored) seems to be going fine. I’m doing exercise exercises for 15 minutes 3 days a week and stretching for 15 minutes 3 days a week and I take Sundays off.
I started out with two weeks of calisthenics because I was traveling the first week and I needed another week to get used to the new program (also my person likes doing two week sets). These were two days of cardio and full body strength and one day that I would term “leg day.” The first two workouts were about the right level– I was left sweaty and breathless but didn’t feel like dying. My first time I did leg day it was too easy, I guess because my legs are in better shape (from walking) than the rest of me, so I let her know. She calibrated a bit too much in the other direction to fix it the next week but it was still doable. Each task is ~30 seconds (a few are longer if they’re based on number of reps, and some of my stretches are a full minute) with a 20-30 second break in between. It keeps things interesting and doable. (Note: YMMV– DH does things longer for longer because he started out in better shape!)
Then I had two weeks with weights. This time I had a full body day, an arm day, and a leg day. These were a bit harder than the calisthenics were, but still doable. My arms definitely felt much weaker after doing these exercises, but by the end of the two week set, the exercises had gotten easier and my arms had gotten stronger. But it wasn’t like I was feeling stronger right away– I definitely was feeling weaker and more tired with the exercise, even on days I didn’t exercise. I assume this is the whole muscles tearing and rebuilding thing going on. For all of these, I would do some warmup (always including arm circles for some reason), then a set of exercises, then I would repeat that set, and then I would end with stretches.
I currently have a 4 week set going where she’s breaking up things a bit differently. I have a day of upper body then lower body, then full body, then the next week it’s a different upper body, lower body, and full body. These also don’t have the thing where I do a set of exercises followed by a repeat– instead it’s a longer single set in the middle of warmup and stretching. The first arm day was a little too hard so she adjusted one of the exercises to make it doable for me.
DH’s trainer and my trainer have different personalities. DH’s is very business-y and pushes him. Everything is very matter-of-fact. Mine is more chit-chatty and doesn’t want me to ever feel bad exercising. She came late to exercising and understands that I don’t know what I’m doing. Any pushes for me are gentle.
I have not yet gotten any magical increases to willpower. Exercising is not a real habit yet even though it’s the first thing I do in the morning, and it does seem to take some of my willpower away from other things I would normally do in the morning. Infinite things cannot be added to my day. If something goes in, something else goes out. That may change as it becomes an actual habit and I start doing it without thinking, but for now it becoming a priority has displaced other things that had been priorities.
One thing that does seem to be magically working better– she asked if I had any stretches that I wanted to do on alternating days, and I was like, what do you have for people who spend their days sitting at the computer? And she was like, I’ve got you covered. So now I’m doing a set of really great stretches, including this leg thing where I roll my knees to one side and then the other that “loosens my hips” — I did not know my hips were tight until said exercise. DH also told me to suggest that she add another back exercise where you alternate toe touches while lying on your back, which she did because that’s supposed to be really good for strengthening your back for people who sit at the computer a lot. And I do seem to be able to sit at the computer without my back hurting. I think my posture is a little better too, though I don’t know if that’s a side effect or just coincidence.
If you’re wondering if I’ve had any weight-loss, the answer is no. I am currently weighing more than I did any time in my life except when 9 months pregnant. Fortunately weight-loss isn’t a very good measure of health, and as they say, muscle weighs more than fat but takes up less space. I don’t know that I’ve done anything spectacular in the muscle area (unlike DH whose 40 min 3x/week for over a year has given him lovely definition from his shoulders to his calves), but it’s a good reminder that health and weight are not equivalent.
How’s your exercise routine going (or not going)?