Monday, April 16, 2012


I just did this workout for the first time since 1997. It was as awesome and as horrible as I remember. ;)

I used to do this tape 2-3 times per week (alternating with the other Firm tapes) because it is my absolute favorite. It's short and intense at 42 minutes, rather than long and grueling at 60+ minutes like the other Firm tapes from that "season".

Anyway, I was pleased that all the old moves came back to me so easily. I even remembered ahead of her instructions, so I was ready to switch before she announced the next move. By the end of the tape, I was doing everything in that "zombie state" you achieve when muscle memory takes over, sort of like attending Catholic Mass after five years of sinner-hood.

Just follow along with the old folks if you get lost

I kind of feel like death, but not as death-y as I thought I would. My arms are definitely going to scream at me tomorrow, though, and my quads are right there with them. I was very well behaved, though, and took it easy.

You know how, at the beginning of the video, they always say, "Beginners, no weights," and, "Try to aim for 50% of the exercises your first time through."?


Every time I started a workout in the past, I would use the recommended weights right away and aim for doing 100% of the exercises like a champ, no matter how awful I felt after six out of eighteen reps. The result was usually knees that felt like I'd stuck barbed wire in them and an inability to lift my arms up high enough to wash my hair. I'd whine and force my way through this until my body was conditioned enough to do it with only a little bit of pain, at which point I'd rock star it up and push myself to use weights that were too heavy all over again.


This time, I was careful. Back then, I was 25 and weighed 230 pounds. With age comes maturity, I suppose. I'm 35 and weigh 350 pounds now; the last thing I need is a blown knee or a slipped disc. I decided to listen to the nice instructors and pace myself. I was able to do 80-100% of the exercises, but I put in 50% of the effort. Instead of lunging until my back knee touched the floor, I dipped until my knee was 50% of the way. Instead of doing 40 french presses, I did 20. Also, I did use some weight, but it was about 30-50% of the recommended weight. I used 3-pound hand weights for most of the 10-pound exercises, and I didn't use any weight when they called for 3-5 pounds.

I'm proud of myself. Since I didn't push myself, I'm not dreading the next workout. Also, I'm mature enough to realize 1) any movement is good, 2) this will help me lose weight, even though I'm not doing 100% of the workout yet, and 3) my heart rate was consistently in the fat-burning zone, so even though I didn't workout like a champ, I'll still reap the benefits. By combining weights with aerobics, I'll still get the results I want (i.e. added muscle, not just fat-burning). Muscle helps burn fat/calories, so it's a win-win.

Ahhhh... here come the endorphins. I love this feeling. :)

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