I have this week off from work -- I took vacation time. To kick off the week right, I accompanied Seth to the Mount Holyoke College gym this morning. He wanted to show me the track, where he likes to run, and their new fitness center.
Similar to the gym at Smith, the Mount Holyoke gym is brand new with a ton of treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes, all with their own televisions. Also, like Smith, they have weight machines and free weights.
Seth and I started our workout at the track, which seems to be around 1/10 of a mile in diameter -- a bit small. Seth did some training for the Hot Chocolate Run 5K that we are doing the first Sunday in December.
This was my first time running on a track since high school when, during my short stint on the field hockey team, we used to run mile runs on the track some days to warm up. I was pretty eager to check out the track again because I have been wanting to try some speed training.
I'm such a new runner that I am able to improve my times just by running normally, but I know that speed training is something that I will probably want to do in the future. Plus, I thought it would be interesting to check out a new style of workout. I find that reading about speed training workouts can be a bit daunting, so I decided to just fool around and do some fartlicks -- basically the running equivilent of doing whatever speed work you want.
I warmed up and then decided to do one lap of the track fast. I ran fast as I felt I could sustain for 1/10 of a mile (which for me was just under 7:00, which would be slow for lots of people). After the fast lap, I recovered by walking for 30 seconds. They I did two laps of the track at around 10:20, which is close to the speed I ran when I did the run portions of my half marathon. I did this workout for only around twenty-five minutes, but it was fun and interesting to try something new. I plan to look up some "real" speed workouts in my running books and try some different things.
Seth has been saying that he wants to do some toning, so after our time on the track we headed over to the fitness center so that we could do some resistance training.
Based on what I do for weight training in my aerobics class and a routine I got from my co-worker (who met with a trainer), I put together a workout for Seth. I think that the free weights are easier than the machines, so I started Seth there. Since he wants to build lean muscle instead of bulking up, I recommended more reps with lighter weights instead of doing fewer reps with heavier weights. When I train, I alternate between both approaches, doing light weights with lots of reps in my class and doing heaver weights with fewer weights when I am at the gym on my own.
I set up the following workout for Seth. For each set of exercises, I told him to do eight reps at 1/2 time (contract for two counts then release for two counts), then do eight reps with a 3/1 count ratio (contract for three, release for one), followed by eight reps with a 1/3 count ratio (contract for one, release for three). After that, he can do sixteen reps single time. Here were the exercises we did. I started him with the weights I use, but I think he'll be able to go heavier once he gets the form.
Warm up: 5 minutes on treadmill or elliptical
Chest: Chest press (8 lbs.) or fly (5 lbs.)
Shoulders: Row with a press (5 lbs.) or side raises (3 - 5 lbs.)
Back: Lat rows (10 lbs.)
Legs: Squats (two 5 lbs. or one 10 lb.) or moving lunges (5 lbs.)
Triceps: Dips or extensions (10 lbs.)
Biceps: Curls (8 - 10 lbs.)
Abs: Crunches on the ball (with the single count reps as oblique twist).
The workout should take around forty minutes, which I think would work with his schedule. We just went through a couple reps of each type at the gym today, in the interest of time, but plan to do the entire workout at home together tomorrow morning. (I have the weights we need.)
After Seth gets comfortable with this, we can try some stuff with heavier weights, but I think this will get him the results he wants -- toning of the upper body.
It was lots of fun going to the gym with Seth today. I am very excited that he plans to alternate resistance training with his cardio and can't wait to see his results!