Pushing the limits

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m using the Runtastic sit-ups app to help me track my progress each morning as I exercise.

It’s a fairly reasonable app, and gives me a good measure each day when I use it. It uses the iPhone accelerometer to track my movement up and down, and gives me a visual indicator to show how many sit-ups I have left in each rep. I’ve now got to the stage where I’m doing 14 reps in one set, then 10, 8, 6, 6 and 4. Determined to push myself, I did another five reps at the end to make 9 in total and take me up to 57 sit-ups across my workout.

If you had told me six months ago that I would be cracking out 57 sit-ups of a morning, I would have told you to shut up. Now that I’m doing it, I feel a sense of pride in my achievement and see that it is possible for me to go further with this then I dared imagine.

By the end of the week I will be able to crank out 20 reps in one set and move onto the next challenge which is to get to 60 reps in one set over 18 days. It steadily builds up and starts from your previous milestone. If I get to 100 reps in one set, then I should be seeing a significant improvement in my abdomen and core strength. That should get me to Christmas and I’ll be starting the New Year in great health.

The thought of it is almost too exciting – it’s hard work, but I am starting to feel the benefits of it. I’m feeling each morning get slightly easier even though I’m doing more, and my recovery time is definitely reducing. I can’t see any physical changes just yet, but I am only a week or so into the programme. I’m sure by the fourth week of doing this, I will be seeing visible results.

One area that I am definitely seeing results in is with the Dumbbells. I’ve been doing curls for the last fortnight, at least 20-30 reps across two sessions (morning and evening). The last few days I’ve been introducing some extra elements, including rowing and also shoulder lifts. This is because the wife encouraged me saying the curls weren’t enough to make an overall difference to my arms. It also meant that I could give my shoulder a work out – I’ve had a problem with my rotator cuff joint in my shoulder for a few years, and the doctor has always suggested I do some light exercise to help with it. Certainly the rowing and the shoulder lifts feel like it’s working it, and I’m not pushing too hard so as not to cause any more damage than is already there.

So now my morning routine looks something like this:

50 sit-ups (or whatever the prescribed number is for that morning)
2 x 20 reps of dumbbell curls for each arm
2 x 20 reps of dumbbell rows for each arm
1 x 10 reps of dumbbell shoulder lifts for each arm

In time I’m hoping to add a cycle ride roughly every other day to this, but I don’t want to move too fast so as to put myself off doing any of it. Apart from a brief stint in 2006 when I went to the gym, this is the closest thing I could call a fitness bug that I’ve ever had (if you also exclude the cycling to work I did in 2009).

I’m hoping to keep it up for as long as I can do – I want to feel healthy and I want to have strength and fitness. Long may it continue!

Pushing the limits

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