After a few days enforced rest due to the recent faceplanting at speed* into a car incident, this week saw training go back into full swing. I’m still yet to venture back on to my bike but will try and man up post-house move next weekend. Instead I’ve been cycling a lot down the gym to build up some stamina for the imminent commute while trying to psychologically bribe myself into commuting by bike again.
The idea is based on the premise that I love sleep and am not a fan of early mornings and to get the equivalent of a one way cycle to the office, which is about 12 miles, I have to get up much earlier, spending an hour or so travelling and then about another hour in the gym.
If When I do start cycling again it should take about an hour total, which means an extra hour in bed. Unfortunately while on the daily commute by tube I keep reading articles about cyclists being killed in London which is making the sacrifice of an hours’ sleep actually seem a good deal.
On to cheerier matters, having joined a new gym close to the office purely to be able to shower post-bike commute, I’ve been using it a fair bit for actual exercise. This week I even gave into the relentless emails encouraging me to have a quick start session. Having been a member of almost every major gym chain over the years, I resisted as previous inductions have mainly consisted of being shown how the equipment works**, and then being given a recommended work out that is dull and consists of 40 minutes cardio, 20 minutes of weights and bears no relation to the goals I’ve had, which was mainly to get fit while putting in no effort whatsoever.
Fortunately this time was nothing like that and after a brief chat about the stupid amount of stupid events I’ve signed up for this year, the lovely Ben gave worked out a 25 minute circuit aimed to drastically increase cardio fitness and body condition. It mainly involves caning it on a rowing machine and then throwing around kettlebells and a VIPR, which is a weighted hollow rubber tube with handholds. Apparently invented by a some chap after watching a hockey team that trained in the gym be beat by a bunch of farm boys that trained outdoors, much like a modern version of Rocky IV, actually it’s possible he was inspired by Rocky IV but didn’t want to admit in case Sly claimed royalties.
Basically it’s like an easier to use barbell, so you can swing it around while doing bridges, lunges, press-ups and crunches. There’s a neat ab, chest and shoulder exercise that involves sitting down, holding your feet off the floor while swinging it like a kayak paddle, most useful for someone who needs to be able to kayak in the near future and hasn’t really done much paddling, except of the trousers rolled up seaside sort, for, well, ever.
As well as desperately trying to get fit for the Dirty Weekend in May, I’ve signed up for a week long bootcamp which obviously I want to be fit for***. It’s a new venture from an old colleague of mine who promises me that they will be able to help with the main aim of not dying in May. The location in Wales location looks amazing and I’m very happy there’s a dedicated chef on site too, I think there are still places left, so if you fancy it, check out Adventure Bootcamps. Obviously there’ll be a full report and review once I’m there, if they leave me with the strength to type.
*Almost two weeks on the bruises have almost faded, thanks for asking. Though there is a remaining bump on my forehead that is pushing my left eyebrow into a slightly quizzical position at all times.
** obviously useful if you have never set foot inside a gym but no use to a
highly trained athlete regular gym dabbler such as myself
***It’s kind of like that thing of wanting to swim to get fit but needing to be fit in able to be brave enough to wear a swimsuit in order to get fit