Gym training plan.

I don’t normally blog twice in one day butttttttt I really want to tell you about my gym session today!

Today we sat down with the trainer at the gym and he wrote us each out a personalised training plan! This training plan KICKED MY BUTT.

We explained that we do a lot of running, and that we want to use the gym for other things. Gideon explained that he wants to use the gym to lose a bit of weight and also improve his all round fitness ready for his longer term triathlon plan. I explained that I would like to strengthen my upper body (because I have piddly weakling arms), so my arms, shoulders and also tone up my abs and (hopefully) loose my love handles!

The gym instructor wrote us each a personalised plan to do in our gym sessions each week. It’s supposed to take roughly an hour. Here is my plan:-

  • Treadmill to warm up. Elevation level 5. Walk at a brisk pace (3.5mph) for 12 minutes.
  • 2000m on the rowing machine. Level 6 difficulty.
  • 4 minutes forward cycling on the hand bike at level 5 resistance.
  • 4 minutes backward cycling on the hand bike at level 5 resistance.
  • 15 minutes on the cross trainer – level 5
  • 4 reps of 16 on the shoulder press with 5kg weight to begin with
  • 4 reps of 16 on the lateral pulldown machine with 10-15kg weight to begin with
  • 3 30 second planks
  • 3 reps of 30 flutter kicks
  • 8 minute cool down on the sitting bike.

Gideon’s is different to mine (being personalised and all) so after our plans had been written out we parted ways to our respective machines and got on with it.

It was TOUGH.

The treadmill warm up was fine. Walking at a brisk pace is fine for me, I walk ridiculously fast in normal life. I burned about 80 calories doing this though according to the machine which I thought was pretty great.

Then it was onto the rowing. I really like the rowing machine. It took me just under 16 minutes to row 2000 meters. Not sure if thats good or not (I doubt it). I wasn’t trying too hard in terms of speed, I was focusing on getting my form right, because the hardest part about the rowing machine for me isn’t the actual weight/resistance, its sitting upright in a comfortable position for 16 minutes!

Then onto the handbike. If you haven’t seen one of these its a bit bizarre, you do a cycle motion basically but with your arms. This turns a sort of propeller type thing which is in water and you can adjust the resistance of it. The forward cycling was fairly easy,  but I found the backward cycling really hard. I’m not sure actually if there was a problem with my machine, because it didn’t stay consistent, the resistance got harder and harder until it ground to a halt. This is the first time i’ve ever done a backwards motion on it so I don’t know if that is supposed to happen or not.

This is the hand bike. Cycling for your arms!

Then onto the cross trainer. Here is where I slipped up a little. I only managed 5 minutes on the cross trainer. I mentioned earlier in the week that my knee had been giving me trouble, well the cross trainer really annoyed it, so I cut it short and moved onto the weights.

The shoulder press: Ow. OW OW OW OW OW!!!!! I did not think it would be that hard! Maybe it was because i’d already been rowing for ages and hand cycling etc. but getting 16 reps of 5kg on the shoulder press was tough. I managed the first 16. Just. But then had to give up after 10 on the other goes. Hopefully if I keep doing it i’ll see some improvement.

Then 4 reps of 16 on the lateral pull down. I kept the weight to 5kg instead of the suggested 10-15 because I found the shoulder press so hard, but I won’t do that again because it was much much easier than the shoulder press.

Then, for the plank! I told the trainer I didn’t think I’d be able to do three 30 second planks. He said just to do as long as I could. I didn’t have a timer so I had to count to 30 in my head, so I may have been a bit faster I don’t know, but I managed to count to 30 on every single one and I’m pretty proud of that. I didn’t think I had that in me, especially after all the rowing/cycling/weight lifting.

Then finally it was the flutter kicks. I’d never done these before. The trainer demonstrated it. It looks like the below:


I figured that would be really easy, boy was I wrong! This was so hard, I really really felt the stretch in my lower abdomen, and I didn’t get anywhere near 30 on each rep before having to give up.

Then it was just a cool down cycle and done.

I left the gym feeling pretty pleased with myself, but I still think that I feel much more knackered after running than I ever seem to after the gym. I don’t know if that means I should push more?

4 hours-ish later, I can definitely feel the work in my shoulders and arms. They ache a lot. Lifting things is hard. It’s the kind of ache I get after I’ve been trimming the hedges in the garden all afternoon, only worse. But no pain no gain I guess.

We have done a fair bit of gym work this week, and I’m very interested to find out how that impacts our 3 mile run tomorrow. I’m still really enjoying the gym though, I think the variety is good. Just running was getting a bit monotonous. We have been told to follow our plan for the next two weeks and then meet with the trainer again to review it, so this is just the beginning. Hopefully in time we will be able to find out what really works for us!




2 thoughts on “Gym training plan.

  1. That sounds like a great workout – well done on the planks!

    Shoulder press is a killer. I always find it’s one of the machines that doesn’t work well for my body (sometimes I can’t move the way the machines want me to), so I do it with free weights. So hard!

    I’m looking forward to seeing how the plan works for you and its impact on your running.


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