Tea, coffee and biscuits provided

A flyer whooshed through the door this week for the local Fitness & Friendship Club. Check out the bicep on this smiley face!

The F&F Club is basically fitness classes held in various community halls. But it's not all about sweating…

There are few phrases in this world that give more comfort and joy than TEA, COFFEE AND BISCUITS PROVIDED!

Alas there were no refreshments at Squad Training this morning. "Squad training" is what our coach calls convincing all us kickboxing dames to get up early on a Sunday* for three hours of torturous activity:

  1. One hour of running
  2. One hour of old-school exercises (cardio/strength mixed up in painful ways, stuff like squats to burpees to jack jumps, punches, evil push up variations, evil ab moves, etc etc etc)
  3. One hour of sparring… pow!

Followed by collapsing into a pile of whine for as many hours as you please.

(It feels rather nice to be part of a squad, I have to say. We are getting team hoodies and everything. With our name printed on them!)

* UPDATE: Just to clarify in response to some emails, this is not something we do every Sunday! It's 3-4 times a year, tops! Most Sundays I am lounging around watching the MotoGP.

Instead of running outside, today we did an hour-long cardio machine circuit in the gym. I hate running, but cardio machines rank even higher on my CardioSucksOMeter. But this session was actually quite cool! We only had to do five minutes on each machine, so just when you were starting to foam at the mouth with rage, you could disembark and move to the next machine.

I need to do more cardio, so this might be something to adopt for the winter. Maybe a 30-45 minute circuit, some groovy tunes on the iPod… it would be over before you can say how the hell do you work this fecking stair machine. Of course I'd have to do it when the gym was quietish so my machine-hopping wouldn't be too annoying.

I can feel my body seizing up from today's efforts. Ow ow ow. But it was goooood… exercise has been helpful this week. Last week it was a messy, weeping my way through every class sort of affair. So onward and upward, dear pals.

Any cardio nerds out there curious about the circuit we did, I'll post it in the extended entry πŸ™‚

Cardio circuit: 5 minutes on each machine, upping the intensity for the last two minutes of each one. In no particular order – we all just had to jump on a machine and go!

  1. Recumbent bike – with high resistance
  2. Treadmill 1 – walk or run with 7.5% incline
  3. Treadmill 2 – walk with 15% incline (or run if you are insanely fit like some of my friends. dang!)
  4. Treadmill 3 – no incline, run like hell (i walked like hell; crappy knee)
  5. Treadmill 4 – fast walk (alleged recovery)
  6. Cross trainer – 2.5 mins forwards, 2.5 mins backwards
  7. Stair machine (never saw this machine before! like an escalator – steps keep coming at you!)
  8. Some other weird stepping machine – where you had to do tiny wee toddler-tantrum stomps
  9. Yet another bloody breed of stepping machine – trudging up a mountain kind of steps
  10. Stationery bike – pedal like mad
  11. Rowing machine – set to highest level, speedy as possible for last two minutes
  12. Arc trainer – holding dumbbells instead of the handles!

23 thoughts on “Tea, coffee and biscuits provided

  1. That friendship fitness and your squad both sound awesome. Bet it makes exercising in the super long months of The Dark Time so much more enjoyable? I know it’d motivate me, having a squad of fit chicks who know my name, and could find out where I live, and might possibly come and karate chop my door down to drag me out into the street in my PJs. LOL

    Is it bad that it seems like a memory from another life when I used to work out like that?
    These days I’m super chuffed when I manage a mile walk and some housework in the same day. πŸ™‚

    We did all toddle off to the YMCA yesterday to use the pool for the first time in two months..but they were doing repairs on the bastard of a thing!

  2. Woooooo, first to comment – yay for staying up late, hehe!

    Cardio I can get on board with, love it actually, don’t feel I’ve worked if I’m not sweating like a turkey at Christmas and ready to puke at the end of it! But running….eeeeeeeeek. It is my nemesis!!! I am no way in hell running right now – unless something is chasing me – the wobbly bits wobble far too much and I feel sooooo uncomfortable! I do hope one day I can manage a bit of a run – I keep thinking of the bit of your book when your first try beaking into a run from a brisk walk….but I’m not quite there yet!

  3. That is one helluva workout!!! I love that you are doing it as a team – must make it a bit easier, knowing others are suffering the same as you!

    Congratulations – I am in awe of your three hour workout!!!

  4. Hello DG! I am currently/still reading your archives (only in March 2008, but had to leap back to the future to heap buckets of praise upon you for all the inspiration you have given me so far). In addition, I am finishing your book and also enjoy listening to TwoFitChicks. So the trifecta of events is moving me to de-lurk and proclaim my thanks and send positive vibes across the pond from NYC to Scotland.

    Quick fit/fat stats: Overweight kid, lost 80 lbs on WW in college. Pretty much maintained and kept fairly fit, now shacked up in romantic bliss with my BF (who has the metabolism of a growing teen boy athelete) and have steadily gained 30 lbs in about a year. Stop the insanity! I need to get a handle on this n-o-w. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog to try to motivate myself (and hopefully others) as well. Pay it forward and all that. Your journey is truly an inspirational one!

    And just reading about Squad Training is making all sorts of muscles (wherever they’re hiding) ache.

  5. I’m liking your coach – that’s my kind of workout! Me too on the hating gym cardio; the only way to get through it is to swap activities before my very short attention span runs out.

    And play some thumping music, really loud.

  6. I need a squad :-(. I haven’t worked out in weeks and definitely need a good kick in the arse! I really loathe cardio-machines, they are BORING as hell! Funny phrase, hell is usually portrayed as anything BUT boring. Eternal boredom does sound hellish, but I digress.

    I’ll give your swap the machines before the boredom kicks in a go. Must remember to bring me some decent tunes. Or maybe an entertaining podcast ;-).

    ps: three hours of high-energy training? … oi!

  7. OOOH and if you tire of the grooooovin’ tunes on your ipod I just might know a FAB postcast you can listen to!!

  8. You must be in terrific shape now!

    (Note to self: be very, very nice to Shauna. Sounds like she could whip my butt without breaking into a sweat.)

  9. That sounds awesome! I love my running, but I also love to find new and interesting other ways to sweat. I’ve been in love with circuits this month…

  10. Hey! I did an aqua-aerobics class yesterday, first time. Woke up all night with cramps and charlie-freakin-horses… I know what you mean about the body seizing up, haha!

    Wow, squad? Cool!

  11. I spent the last 2 months or so reading through your archives. I think you’re lovely, and funny and sweet. I wish all the best to you and Dr. G!

  12. I hear you on the squad thing. My all time fave work ou t top is one with my squad name on it. Need a secure sense of belonging? Me? Nah…….not much anyway!

  13. Sounds like fun! Wish I had a squad for some support, encouragement, and MOTIVATION!!

    The good thing…I just bought a one month pass to the gym to see if I like it. The only thing is all those machines look a wee bit intimidating and there doesn’t seem to be anyone around to show me what to do- so I just get on and start pushing buttons!! Any tips out there?

  14. Don’t be too impressed people! I may have been physically present in the class for 3.5 hours but towards the end I did a lot of flopping on the ground and doing 5 reps instead of 10… then 2.. then none πŸ˜›

    @FitFunk – nice to meet you and thank you kindly for listening/reading πŸ™‚

    @Nikki – there should be some gym staff that can help you, or ask at the reception desk if they have an induction programme for new members. Maybe try going at a quiet time of day/night when there’s more likely to be a staff member free? It’s difficult for anyone to give tips online as we can’t see what machines you’re dealing with.

  15. Awesome, Shauny, even 3 or 4 times a year sounds more than enough!!!!

    I love the look of that crazy cardio circuit. I’m imagining musical chairs. I might try it out (though fortunately less variations of step machine in my hood).

    I would like it if my gym provided biscuits – perhaps nestled just above the chin-up bar for me to wrap my chompers around as a reward.

  16. I had an offer I couldn’t refuse from my gym recently. They were running a 1 year scheme of offering a membership fee free, 1pound per day to use the gym offer. Needless to say, inspired by your book and armed with my determination I have been going to the gym 3 times a week. I have been steadily losing the weight since so thank you. πŸ™‚

  17. Wow! I wish there was a club/group like that near me! Though my hips could do without the biscuit *wink*. I used to run with a club, but they discovered my web skills and over time running became a chore because it always lead to hours of unpaid website work πŸ™

    Enjoy your work out!

    All the best,

  18. Eh, I sure do miss my “Squad” – nothing organized, just the Usual Suspects who showed up over the lunch hr at my old gym! [Went out of business in Oct]
    I’ve had a hard time getting back into the groove, but at least New Gym has those cool Cybex Arc Trainers – easier on the ol’ feet & knees than my snail’s-pace jog on the TM…
    But I’ve signed myself up for a half in March; time to get crackin’!

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