Adding a few details from my last post, here are some suggestions for the gym.  By the way, most people save the hot shower/sauna/hot tub etc. for the end of their workout, but in the winter time I like to jump right into the hot tub first.  It’s a great warm up for my cold muscles in the morning.  Try it, it’s lovely!

I started with 12 minutes on the stair climber.  That’s how long I’m hoping it will take me to get to the top of the Columbia Tower during the Big Climb in March, so I’m practicing indoors.  I did 68 floors at an average of 90 steps per minute.  The actual climb is 69 floors and 1,311 steps.  I’ve got 2 months to work on getting faster.

After that, it was all abs and upper body.  As far as my ab workout, here are a few things to try:

Start with about 5 minutes of Around the Worlds.  Stand with your feet together and then try standing on one leg.  Alternate legs, this will help with balance and obliques.

Head over to the mats with a kettlebell for a series of sit-ups and crunches:  Take no breaks, do all 7 sets for a total of 125 reps, and consider the crunches to be your “rest time”.  (Start and end with crunches, mixing in the kettlebell sit ups.)

The main difference here is that w/a crunch, only your head and shoulders come off the ground.  If these are easy for you, go to the rack and add a 10 or 20 lb. plate behind your head.  (I’ll try to get pics of these).  With the kettlebell sit ups, you are coming all the way up, holding the kettlebell cradled in both hands in front of you, and lifting it high above your knees.  (Again, I know pictures would help.)  roll back down, one vertebrae at time, until you are all the way back on the floor and the kettlebell is just above your chest.  Here we go:

1. 20 reps: crunches (no weight)

2. 15 reps: kettlebell sit ups

3. 20 reps: crunches (no weight)

4. 15 reps: kettlebell sit ups

5. 20 reps: crunches (no weight)

6. 15 reps: kettlebells sit ups

7. 20 reps: crunches (no weight)

Then go back to your obliques with a few more kettlebell twists.  You can try these sitting and standing.  Hold the kettlebell at different levels on each set to work your entire torso.  Next, do some twists on the Captain’s Chair.

Finally, end your workout with a few sets of the low Figure 8’s with the side lunge.  You’ll need to be low and in a good side-lunge position to effectively work your abs.

By the way, if you don’t feel this in your abs the next day, then bump up your weight and reps.  You should roll out of bed the next morning and get a good reminder of this workout!

Tomorrow I’m off to burn a bunch of calories on the slopes at Crystal Mountain… then back to kettlebells on Sunday.



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