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A full body gym plan: Fight or flight

Posted Jan 11 2011 7:37am

So I went back to gym last night and (kind of) followed the plan below.  Thanks to my sister, the dancer-fitness-instructor-guru extraordinaire, for creating this.

*Since this is an end of the day workout, grab a snack before the workout. A Lara Bar or something similar will provide the instant boost of sugar and protein your body will need. And try to keep the down time between exercises as short as possible to keep heart rate high.*

Hiking: On the treadmill, warm up for two minutes at a speed of 2.0 mph and 0% incline. Then start increasing the incline every 30 seconds by 1% until the max is reached. Once at the steepest incline, walk for two and a half minutes. Then start to bring the incline down by one percent every 30 seconds. Once at zero, cool down for two minutes.

Push-ups and stretch. Jump off treadmill and stretch lower back. Then do three sets of 10 push-ups, then a Sun Salutation A.

Bike Sprints: Move to the bike. Start with a two-minute warm-up on a relatively low resistance to make it feel like you are pedaling on a flat and smooth road. Sprint for ten seconds, recover for 20, repeat 7-10 times. Cool down two minutes.

Dips and Stretch: Jump off bike to do two sets of ten triceps dips on a bench. Stretch out arms and legs (Sun Salutation A).

I hate stairs! Even these stairs at a local grocery store. I didn't have to climb them, but the site of them gave me a sense of trepidation.



The Climb: Head to the stair climber and start off at a slow pace. Find an interval program and do this for 25 minutes (anything where the peaks and troughs are very different from each other to push the body into highs and lows). Stretch out body with sun salutation B.

Close with a 15-20 minute cool down on the treadmill.

*This a sprinting workout, so don’t forget to stretch! Also have a piece of fruit with high citric acid after the workout.*


So at the current moment, I could only do 15 minutes on the Stairmaster, going at intervals that went from 24 steps to 56 steps per minute. Keeping true to the name of this plan, I fought bailing out as long as I could. My legs lasted through three separate 1:40 56 steps per minute intervals. I hate stairs. My legs are going to hate me for this tomorrow.

On a positive note, I have to say I feel pretty empowered. This morning, as I hauled my gym bag out of the apartment, a knot of dread rose into my throat and perched itself like bile after a bender. By lunch, I had already given up on going to the gym to attempt this plan. There was really only one reason for all of this anxiety — the Stairmaster. In general, I HATE stairs. I purposely walk an extra block and down an alley to get to the train stop with an escalator, even when I am late! As I ascend any flight of stairs, my subconscious mind starts muttering the mantra, “I hate stairs, almost there! Don’t breath hard for one flight of stairs!”

So this is really why I didn’t want to attempt this workout.Then, out of nowhere, 5:30 pm struck and I just knew I had to get myself to the gym and take each exercise one tedious step at a time. If I didn’t make my way to the Stairmaster, then so be it. By seeing each task as a singular entity to tackle and not the part of a whole long workout, I was able to accomplish most of what I needed to do!  I got in an ass-kicking workout. Damnit, I got the stairs in, too!

If I did this three times a week for a month (and added more walking on off days to prep for the 5k training), I wonder how long it would take me to reach the full 25 minutes on the Stairmaster…. Probably not too long. Stairs, I shall tackle thee and leave victorious!

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