So the belly has to go, that much is a given. It’s putting my balance off and the low cardio fitness isn’t helping either. So a while back I joined the gym in the National Aquatic Centre (it’s on the way to work) and I’ve been trying to get there every morning since. For various reasons, my routine didn’t really take hold until recently, but for the last fortnight or so, I’ve been keeping the routine up reasonably well. It’s a simple enough gym programme – I come in, I stretch the quads a bit until I feel the muscles around the knees straighten out and hear my left hip pop (yeah, it feels as wierd as it sounds…)

Quad Stretch

then do 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer at 60-70rpm,

Pulse fitness 280G Fusion 'X-Train' elliptical trainer

then sit seiza for a few minutes to let my heartrate come down,


then do a yoga stretch (the cobra, for anyone who’s interested, though I keep my toes pointed forwards and push my hips forward in the stretch to get right at the small of the back) for my back

Yoga cobra pose
Author may not look anywhere near as dignified as this while doing this pose...

and some basic warmup stretches from the aikido days.

aikido leg stretch

Aikido stretch
Yes, you look odd doing this. But it's the best stretch for the hips and quads that I know of.

All told, takes about an hour from walking in the front door to walking out the front door (you have to remember to shower and change or your workmates will kill you…). And here’s the fun bit – all the machines in the gym are rigged with smartcards and sensors (and I wear a heartbeat sensor strap while training) and they collate all the data for you and give you these lovely reports so you can tell if you’ve made progress or not…

Yearly graph as of Feb 25

(There are odd data points there from the introductory session and two sessions where I forgot the heartrate sensor strap).

It’s a bit clearer over the last month or so:

Monthly graph on Feb 25

After the routine finally kicked in, the max heartrate in the sessions has fallen steadily, as has the average heartrate (ie. I’ve increased my cardiovascular fitness).

Who says graphs can’t motivate you? 😀

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