MGS W1D6: Fun with LA Fitness Personal Trainers

I finished off the week with 6 workouts (including 4 lifting days) under my belt, so I am feeling good. Being off program always seems like fun for a week or two, but eventually I start to feel sluggish, squishy, unmotivated, and generally unperky. Getting in a full week of planned workouts fixes me right up, though!

Saturday at eleven I met with a trainer from LA Fitness for one of those free “introductory” workouts that are more or less sales pitches for their services wrapped up with a workout designed to lift your mood, get your endorphins circulating, and make you more amenable to suggestions like — “Doesn’t shelling out $720 for 3 months of training sound like a GREAT idea?” I knew this going in, plus I was still very much focused on completing our TMMO personal finance plan, so I decided to have fun with the questionnaire, get as tough a workout as possible out of the trainer(s), and ask a bunch of questions about their success rate, how their program would be any different from what I could do on my own, and what it was like to work for their company.

These PT questionnaires always assume a pretty low level of fitness and a newbie starting state for each client, so I found it amusing to put in some of my answers.

Personal Training New Client Questionnaire (Partial excerpt)

When was the last time you were in the shape you like the most? Fall 2007

How did you feel at that time? Hungry.

What keeps you from reaching your goals? I like to eat. A lot!

Do you have a special date or event coming up that you’d like to get fit for? The rest of my life.

Who will support you in your fitness goals and keep you accountable? My husband, my sister, the wonderful gals at my women’s fitness forum, and around 1,000 readers per day on my fitness blog.

I wound up with two trainers, the nice ectomorphic former Army 11B who went over my survey with me, and a compact, mesomorphic former powerlifter who actually did know proper form for the lifts we went through. I technically wasn’t supposed to lift again until Monday since I’d just done a heavy workout the day before, but what the heck. Opportunities to have one’s squat and bench press form checked and corrected by an expert are few and far between when you work out alone. The workout consisted of 3 sets of 8-10 reps of:

BB Squat
45 degree leg press
Leg extension
BB Bench press
DB lying press variations
Tricep dips
Tricep rope pushdowns

Apropos of nothing, my triceps feel like they have been repeatedly pounded by a meat tenderizer and stabbed with bamboo slivers and there is a burning ring of DOMS fire around the lower insertions of my quads and hamstrings from Saturday’s workout.

I am sticking with my solo MGS workouts for now, but it was a good workout and a productive way to while away the time while my car was in the shop for it’s 90,000 mile tune up.

MGS W1D5: I leg-pressed 270 lbs in Mary Janes

My Ryka Versa cross training shoes arrived last week, and er…WOW. They are cute. And comfortable. And nice and flat, which means they are my new favorite shoes to wear to weight lifting workouts. They don’t work as well for running however, which is a blessing in disguise since I have a tendency to hop on a treadmill about 9 times out of 10 right after I lift to squeeze in some bonus intervals. I have better results when I put my running interval sessions on non-lifting days, so you might say that the new shoes are saving me from myself. I got them in both the black and white colors, but I have to say that the black ones are a lot more versatile with my wardrobe, not to mention very Asian fit chick chic with a pair of white liner socks.

Oh, and in case you missed my previous post about these Ryka kicks, you can read it here. has another great no minimum purchase coupon code for 30% off available now, which puts the Rykas at $28.00 before shipping and sales tax. Not too shabby for a $60 shoe.

I’m finished gushing now. Back to the daily workout log.

I had another late night at work yesterday and consumed some subpar eats–pizza from Flipper’s, the home of the soggiest, greasiest pizza known to mankind. The fact that I actually kind of enjoyed the stuff just goes to show that I am jonesing for any kind of pizza at all. This tells me that it is time to put my healthy whole wheat chicken breast, turkey pepperoni, jalapeno, and pineapple pita pizza recipe back into my daily rotation. My workout for the day was a half hour Hip Hob Abs cardio session and some lunch time stretching at my desk. I wasn’t able to get to the gym in time for the 30 minutes of combined elliptical and stationary bike, but my calories were within spec, so I’m not going to worry about it.

I was limping around with some pretty major DOMS yesterday thanks to my back to back lifting workouts on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I managed to work out a lot of the stiffness this morning by tackling Workout A again with even heavier weights. Ferruggia’s plan calls for only 5 heavy reps, so combined with the fact that I am still trying to get my strength levels up to pre-July levels, I am increasing my weights by relatively big increments with each successive workout. I am generally finished with my workout in under 30 minutes, and I am seeing progress and clearly working hard based on the amount of whining I’m doing regarding my sore muscles. Best of all, I look forward to my time in the gym again.

There was a very surreal and silly moment this morning when I was performing my seated military barbell press with a 70 lb barbell and looked over to the next bench to see another woman doing the same exercise…but with tiny 5 lb dumbbells.

It’s great to be back in the gym, LOL.

Workouts for 7/21-7/26/08

I’m behind on posting my workouts, so you all get to see the whole week at a glance!

Monday, 7/21: 10 Minute Trainer Cardio and Lower Body (20 min)

Tuesday, 7/22: MGS Beginner Blast Off, Intro Phase, Workout A (39 min)

Wednesday, 7/23: MGS Beginner Blast Off, Intro Phase, Workout B (29 min); Stationary bike, Levels 11-13 (16 min)

Thursday, 7/24: Hip Hop Abs Fat Burning Cardio (30 min); Elliptical trainer (15 min); Stationary Bike (15 min)

Friday, 7/25: MGS Beginner Blast Off, Intro Phase, Workout A; Stationary bike (16 min)

Saturday, 7/26: Unknown training program with trainer at LA Fitness (“free” new member session); REAL workout will be 20 minute HIIT run + 20 minute incline walk; possible swim afterwards

Summer Crunch Time Is Here Again

Every summer I have the noble goal of continuing to post regularly in my blog, and every summer, I am undone by the cyclical work crunch that accompanies a job in the video game industry. I’m doing user interface work for five different Nintendo DS titles at the moment, and at least three of those titles will be hitting alpha and beta phases within the next two months. This basically amounts to lots of unexpected late nights at work, and not much time for leisurely bulk food prep and hour-long workouts. I’ve also had a string of summer travel commitments (We are talking Alabama, Missouri, Philadelphia, and St. Petersburg, FL so far, and the Bahamas next month) that have thrown my normally well-scheduled life out of whack.

I really like the NROL workouts, but I need something that I can do on autopilot for a while. There are a lot of unique and new (to me) moves in NROL that I’m not comfortable performing with significant weight when my brain is elsewhere, and this leads me to NOT want to do the workouts at all. Stupid, but true. Because of this, I’m putting it on hold for a bit and running with Jason Ferruggia’s Muscle Gaining Secrets program (Beginner Blast Off) for a while. I just need to get back into the rhythm of *gym – meal prep – work – leisure time* again. A few months of back to the basics compound lifts with wonderfully heavy weights should do it. I don’t want novel new exercises or fancy workout periodization schedules right now. I just want to get stronger and make measurable progress at a steady pace without thinking about it too hard.

Speaking of not thinking too hard, I’ll also be varying my normal gym machine cardio options with cardio-in-a-box solutions like Hip Hop Abs and the 10 Minute Trainer DVDs from Beachbody as well as my trusty Yourself Fitness workouts, and Forza. Swimming is not coming along as well as I hoped since I still have some issues with figuring out when to breathe, but that is still on the slate, too. One day I will do it well enough to actually get a workout when I hit the pool! Right now, I doubt I’m burning much since I can’t sustain a steady swim for more than half a length. Sigh.

2008 Entertainment Book Clearance! ($8.99 shipped)

The 2008 Entertainment books are on sale for $7.99 plus $1 s/h. (Ignore the $1.99/item shipping charge on the shipping options page; the $1 shipping discount is shown on the final Place Order page before you confirm check out.) If you go through, you also earn $5.50 cash back per book purchased.

They are sold out of the Orlando and Miami books, but the other Florida books are still available as well as books for most of the cities in the USA. If you plan to travel out of town before November 2008 when most of the coupons in the 2008 books expire, you might want to pick up a book for your destination or for your own town. The Space Coast/Brevard book also overlaps with the Orlando book quite a bit, so that’s your best bet for coupons if you are planning to bring the kiddies down to the land of the Mouse.

I got the St. Pete/Clearwater book last month for my July 4th anniversary weekend trip to St. Pete and saved at least $50 using the buy one get one free coupons for the Dali Museum, Florida Aquarium, and various restaurants, not to mention the Regal Cinemas discounted ticket coupons which are good anywhere nationwide.

Fatwallet linkie:

I can’t believe I never noticed before!

I was left to my own devices last night when my husband went out to play some cards (the WoW collectible card game, not poker) with his geek crew, so I fired up the DVR and finally watched Brokeback Mountain for the first time whilst roasting a chicken, balancing my accounts in MS Money, and hoovering the carpet, not necessarily all at the same time.

Plenty has been said about the film, so I will just say that I found it really well acted, very emotionally engaging, and worthy of a few leaked tears at the end.

However, amidst all the blubbering I still noticed something really funny. Funny for me, anyway. Maybe not so much for my husband given the origin of my discovery.

MyHeritage: Celebrity MorphGeneology Family history

We could save a whole lot of money on Halloween this year if Chris would just get some black hair dye and a black cowboy hat, don’t you think?

Cute Workout Shoe Alert: 25% Off $39.99 Ryka Mary Janes

Update: A NEW 30% off coupon code with no minimum purchase is available from July 24-27! Use code: EMCP8LLK during checkout.

Foot Locker has a 25% off coupon code (EM218LM3)with no minimum purchase requirement that expires tonight at 11:59 PM CT. Best of all, with this magical coupon, you can score one of these insanely cute pairs of Ryka women’s Mary Jane-style trainers for about half the suggested retail price of $59.99.

All of these Ryka shoes are already on sale for $39.99, so the coupon knocks another $10 off the price, which means that you can have ’em for $29.99 + 6.99 s/h + sales tax.

Guess what I’ll be wearing to the gym next week on lifting days? W00t!

Reviews and multi-views of both the Versa and Ramble style Mary Janes can be found at Zappos. Both averaged 5 out of 5 stars from customers.

Ryka Ramble

Ryka Ramble

Description of the Ramble:

  • Stylish enough to go from around town to around the gym.
  • Hook and loop closure provides stability with easy on/off accessibility.
  • Open mesh upper offers breathable comfort.
  • Low Profile EVA midsole offers modern, stylish comfort.
  • Nitracel heel and forfoot cushioning absorbs impact and provides toe spring.
  • 8.00 oz.

Ryka Versa

Ryka Versa

Description of the Versa:

  • Open, lightweight in-gym trainer with fullfoot cushioning and midfoot stability.
  • Textured synthetic upper with mesh accents for lightweight support and detailing.
  • Full forefoot Nitracel EngageĀ® provides superior forefoot cushioning.
  • Rearfoot Cushioning Cartridge for rear stability shock absortion.
  • TPU shank offers midfoot stability.
  • Hook and loop closure strap for easy on/off and an adjustable, snug fit.
  • Shoe weighs 9.4 oz.