Saturday, November 03, 2012

Cross-training with a Friend

For close to a year I took two classes a week, one was an intervals class, where I worked on running fast, and the other was a bootcamp. I loved both of these classes. I had an absolute blast and made some great friends there, too!

Once my girls started school full time I no longer needed to do my workouts at night, after my husband was home to watch the girls. Now I can fit in my workouts during the day, which is great, but it means I don't need to go to my awesome classes anymore. Great for the budget, but sad for me for missing out on the classes. I have had to find other ways to fit in intervals and cross-training, and so far it's working out really well! 

I find it easy enough to motivate myself to do my intervals workouts on my own, but I knew bootcamp would be harder to replicate solo. Luckily one of my best friends, Sarah, who I met in bootcamp, was able to meet up one day a week with me to do a bootcamp session on our own. I was a little worried we wouldn't push ourselves, but after hobbling around two days after the workout last week because my adductors were so sore, I knew I didn't have to worry about that! 

Sarah and I quickly settled on an outline for our workouts and then we take turns coming up with exercises for the circuits each week. We meet at a local track and it has all the space we need. 

Our basic outline looks like this:

Jog 2 laps of the track (1/2 mile)

Circuit One
2 reps of 5 exercises

Run up and down the stairs in the bleachers for 10 mins

Circuit Two
2 reps of 5 exercises

Cool Down

It takes about an hour to do the whole thing. The exercises in each of the circuits we do for 1 min each.

We like to shake up the exercises we do each week and have taken to doing a bit of research to find new exercises. Some of our favorites are:

  • simple ab exercises, like crunches, bicycle crunches and sit-ups with a "slow release" (counting to 10 on the way back down
  • push-ups
  • planks, like full planks, side planks and forearm planks
  • jump rope or jumping jack
  • squats with overhead press (with weights)
  • squat with arm curl
  • one-legged lunges
  • reverse lunges
  • hopping back and forth over our mat
  • tricep dips
  • mountain climbers
  • burpees
  • bent over row with tricep kickback
  • tricep press
  • alternating arm and leg extension (sometimes touching elbow to knee)
  • bridges (sometimes lifting a leg)
As a runner, I really need to do a cross-training workout every week to improve my strength, so I especially look forward to these bootcamp sessions. I also look forward to them because Sarah and I spend the whole time chatting and have a really great time doing them! You really forget how hard you are working when you are having so much fun at the same time. 

In addition to bootcamp I am doing bridges with leg raises at home, squats, a skating move my PT calls "Apollo Ohno" and an exercise to improve my glute strength where I lie on my stomach, engage my core and lift one leg at a time while squeezing my glutes. 

If you have any other suggestions for exercises that we can throw in to our routine, let me know! We are always looking for new exercises to try out.

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