It’s strength training day again. Most of my exercises are intended to strengthen my core muscles. I’m not trying for bulky beach muscles – If I built ‘em I’d just have to carry them around when I run. However, any extra support I get for my back helps, and the tiny amount of visible muscle definition I’ve developed is good for my ego.
I do all my exercises in my living room, which cuts out travel time to a gym. That way I can get everything done in about a half-hour if I don’t do any stalling, lounging around, or playing with the cats. Staying home also forces me to keep it simple. In a gym I might screw around with all the different equipment just keep from being bored. I get my home workout done with just a foam exercise pad and a kettlebell.
Here’s a typical routine:
- Start the water for the oatmeal. Strength training day is a good time to make oatmeal. The steel cut oats that are a staple of my breakfast diet take more than a half an hour to cook. The stove is visible from the living room while I’m doing my exercises.
- Feed the cats, with Felix impatiently reminding me that this should be step 1.
- Go to the living room, turn on the TV, and set the Roku box to my Pandora channel so I can listen to music.
- Do three sets of side planks for each leg, lifting the non-supporting leg 10 times in each set.
- Look at the water on the stove. It’s not boiling, so do 20 push-ups.
- The water should be boiling by now. Get up, go to the stove and put the oatmeal in the water. I make eight servings, which is enough for six breakfasts. Stir the oatmeal for a few minutes with the water boiling, then turn the stove down to simmer, set the timer for 30 minutes, and return to the living room.
- Do single leg bridges. Again, I do three sets for each leg, holding the position for 10 breaths for each set.
- Lie on my back and do 30 bent leg pendulums.
- Do 100 situps, alternating the angle as I go along to make sure I exercise all my ab muscles.
- Go into the kitchen, stir the oatmeal and start the coffee.
- Set the TV source to the DVD player. Start up the advanced version of the workout DVD that came with my Reebok kettlebell. Follow the cheerful young guy as he leads me through some simple squats and exercises for my back and butt. It takes about 8 minutes to complete the workout.
And then I’m done, and it’s time for breakfast.
Trivia!: Charles Atlas, like Jim Fixx, died of a heart attack after running.