I realized that besides my pumpkin addiction slowing me down on weight loss, the wintry winds have been a sad excuse for my not doing 15-mile bike rides or 5-mile runs, and so I haven’t been doing very much at all. Sure I have gone on the occasional walk or 30-minute run, or even a brief weight-training session indoors, but the common denominator here is the sparsity in which I have been participating in these activities.
I decided that there was absolutely no reason why I couldn’t accomplish a rigorous workout indoors for a full hour. I have weights and an able body plus a head full of knowledge from more world-class trainers than I rightly know what to do with. I decided with those three things not only would I do an hour-long workout, making sure I burned at least 600 calories, but I would push myself as hard as I could sans trainer.
The thing I recall most about the incredible trainers I have been privileged to work with is that they could push me so much harder than I ever pushed myself. This is why I am a strong advocate for personal trainers. I’ve never pushed myself to the point where I’ve made myself cry—my trainers have multiple times. I don’t even think I have ever pushed myself to the point of muttering profanities under my breath either, which was a regular occurrence with past trainers as well.
So with that in mind I began my at-home workout ready to make my men proud. First, I started off with stretching, which I loathe entirely, but I understand is important. Then, I started the warm up. E.J., my no-nonsense drill sergeant trainer for the at-home portion of “The Biggest Loser,” would often have me start out with hundreds of squats and jump ropes; my backside never looked better. Even my saying that now would disgust E.J. because he was always telling me not to worry about my looking good in jeans, but instead being healthy and strong.
E.J., God love him was such a brute. When I would do a particularly heinous workout and look to him for some confirmation that I was killing it he would say “What do you want a compliment or something? Get back to work!” I would then mutter under my breath, A smile or a high-five once in awhile wouldn’t kill you. E.J. was very heavy on the tough, extra light on love. But I don’t think I have ever adored another trainer more.
With E.J. in mind I began my squat warm up.
45 second plank
45 second wall sit
45 second plank
Boxing and dancing all over the house while sweat poured off my face.
Then it was time for the real work to begin. With absolutely nothing in mind, I grabbed my 25-lb. weight and began doing tricep curls. I counted up to 25, thinking I would do 4 rounds of those to make it 100. Then walking lunges with the 25-lb. weight overhead. I despise walking lunges, especially with added weight, but I was going for tough here, and that’s exactly what my trainers would’ve made me do. I lunged up and down the narrow hallway of my apartment with weight overhead already getting agitated. I forced myself to do 25, tacking that onto the circuit. Then I got down on the floor and did 25 push-ups, the right way, as my past trainer Bryan had absolutely no tolerance for my push-ups on my knees. I collapsed every three push-ups, but I powered through until 25.
At this point I had a somewhat disturbing notion that all the exercises would not be complete until I did 100 of everything. Also, according to my heart rate monitor, my heart rate was through the roof. Excellent.
After the push-ups, I felt like I needed one more thing to do before I started in on round two of the circuit, so I settled on crunches with a 15-lb. weight. I did 25 of those as well. So the circuit was this:
25 tricep curls with a 25-lb. weight
25 walking lunges with 25-lb. weight overhead
25 push-ups (the right way)
25 crunches with a 15-lb. weight
Four rounds to equal 100
Halfway through the second round I was gasping and twitching as the F-word exploded from my mouth. With each downward and upward motion of a push-up, or forward heave of a lunge, I muttered and groused. I forced myself to make it to the third round, during which I consoled myself; I only had one more round to go.
By the time I wrapped up it had been an hour and two minutes, and I had burned 649 calories. I couldn’t get off the floor for a solid three minutes. Had someone walked in they would have presumed a train had somehow found its way into my house, ran me down and left me for dead.
I forced myself to roll to my side and stand up in order to shower. I shut off my raging alternative endurance radio on Pandora and slowly trudged to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror and saw my red splotchy face, my hair shellacked with sweat and I beamed. What euphoria! What pride! What a workout!
What the frack?
I couldn’t move my arms to get my sports bra off. It was too much effort. The last time I had trouble getting my sports bra off from sheer exhaustion was at “The Biggest Loser” Ranch. My arms had been so weak and sore then that no matter how I tried to rip the stretchy material from my top-half, it wouldn’t budge. It was as if the sweat and my lack of strength had created a super glue scenario. With no one around at the time to help me, I had to open my bedroom door, call down the hall to a production assistant (who was male, buff and attractive) to help me at least get some leverage. He saw my situation, and looking nonplussed, commented that he’d seen it all and proceeded to rip my sweaty bra upwards from the back while I held on to the front.
So here we were again, except I didn’t have a hunky production assistant to help me out of my bra. Which really was for the best. I managed on my own, but my smile grew tenfold knowing that I had just worked myself so hard I couldn’t remove my sports bra. Bob Harper would be so proud. E.J. would’ve told me to stop acting smug and run a couple laps around my house and see if I was still smiling. Either way, my mission had been accomplished.