Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Gym pentathlon

In the few months before I left Korea I put on a bit of weight. I was drinking a little too much and a little too often. I had stopped taekwondo and the only exercise I was getting was on my bike. I was looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life.

I got back home in the UK and I enjoyed the pleasures I was largely denied over the years in Asia, namely particular food and beer. Oh bitter how I do indeed love you. Consequently I put a little more weight which became a little to noticeable in my midriff.

So I joined a gym and I've been going their for over half a year now. In the first few months I didn't take things too seriously, even getting to a stage where I just used the swimming pool and the jacuzzi. And then I came back from a trip to Barcelona and decided I wanted to lose some weight. It's slowly started to happen.

Recently I had a fitness test and one instructor gave me a new plan for weekly exercises and I've stuck to it so far and more importantly I've been enjoying the exercise and the challenge. A couple of weeks ago the gym put up some posters for a pentathlon and I signed up. I thought about it for a few days and thought I'd give it a go as there's no fee to do it and it may motivate me to get fitter.

There are five disciplines that you have to do and you have four weeks to complete them. The total number you need to do to be entered into a prize draw is twenty but to qualify for the draw you need to have done each discipline a minimum of two times. To qualify for a t-shirt you need to do each discipline at least once and have a total of at least ten. So far I have done four of the disciplines with a total of 8/20 done with over two weeks to go. Some of the challenges are harder than others but none are against the clock.

Swimming. You have to swim 25 lengths (any stroke in the 20m pool). This is easy for me because at the moment I am swimming about three or four times a week, often 30 lengths+  and am really enjoying it.

Treadmill. You have to run or walk at least 3 kilometres. Again this is fairly easy and is one of the things an instructor has set me to do as part of my exercise routine.

Rowing. You have to row 1,500 metres. I find this easy as part of my weekly routine is to row 2,500 meters as often as I can. I find this great exercise as I try to beat my previous best.

Spinning classes. I had my first one last week, and even though I use the bike in the gym a lot I found this brutal. I particularly found the standing upright and then doing something similar to push ups tough. I was buoyed though by the man in front of me who appeared much fitter actually stopping a few times as I ploughed on. I felt great the next day.

Bodypump classes. I haven't been to a class yet as the times haven't worked out for me so far. Although I have seen some on-line videos I am a bit wary of how hard this will be for me because one of my elbows clicks when I do certain exercises (tennis elbow?).

I hope to get through the twenty challenges before time runs out. Damn it, I am one class away from getting the t-shirt! Regardless, I feel a bit fitter right now and am probably at my lightest in twelve months or so. Hopefully all the cardio work will pay off at some stage. I have a target weight which will be difficult to get down to and will involve a bit of sacrifice, commitment and changes.

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