Thursday, December 4, 2008

Buff bride

One of (many) difficulties in planning such a long engagement (18 months when all is said and done) is committing to getting in shape for the wedding. Now I didn't just want to lose weight because I want to look amazing in my wedding dress (although that is also a motivating factor)—I wanted to drop a few pounds because I met Mr. Spaniel in the best shape of my life (unemployment will do that to you), and gained ten pounds since I'd been with him. Harrumph. I don't like feeling like a sausage in my favorite clothes.

I purchased Buff Brides a long time ago (years before I met Mr. Spaniel) for a friend who broke her engagement. When she gave me back the book, I kept it instead of returning it (is that bad luck?). I have restarted Week 1 of the 24-week program about twenty-five time since then—I've never gotten past Week 11, because that's when it changes from a 3-day per week workout to a 4-day per week workout, and I don't adjust well to changes in my routine! Not only that, but the stronger I got, the more reps I needed to do to get my workout in, and it started to be too time-consuming.

But the results I've had from the workout have been so incredible in the past that I decided to start the program again—the short program, that is, starting 12 weeks from the Big Day. Until recently, I had definitely fallen for the myth that heavy weights make women "big," but I've been weight training for a few months with weights 2-3 times what I used to use when I do the Buff Brides workout, and I haven't popped out of my clothing yet. Because really: when you are fully capable of benching at least half your body weight, why should you be doing 50 reps of chest presses with 8-pound dumbbells?? That's just a waste of time.

My current workout plan:

  • 10-15 minutes of cardio (bike/elliptical/treadmill)
  • Weight lifting: upper body (3 sets of 10)
    • Chest press, 30 pounds
    • Dumbbell rows, 15 pounds
    • Tricep kickbacks, 8 pounds
    • Arnold presses, 15 pounds
    • Bicep curls, 15 pounds
    • Bicycles and crunches (3 sets of 15)
  • Another 10-15 minutes of cardio (usually treadmill)
Wednesday or ThursdayFriday
  • Same as Monday
  • Hiking (1 hour) or soccer (1.5 hours)
  • 20-30 minutes of cardio (elliptical/treadmill)
  • Weight lifting: lower body (3 sets of 10)
    • Leg press, 100 pounds
    • Leg extension (quads), 70 pounds
    • Leg curls (hamstrings), 70 pounds
    • Calf raises, 60 pounds
    • Leg adduction, 55 pounds
    • Leg abduction, 55 pounds
    • Hyper extension (lower back and glutes), 10 pounds
Seem intense enough? I only lost three pounds this way—probably because I am not doing enough cardio (I skip it whenever I feel short on time), possibly because of my penchant for 2 for $0.99 tacos at Jack in the Box. But I am headed in the right direction, and my clothes were starting to fit a little better. (I also feel much stronger, and that's a really awesome feeling!)

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