You may remember, in a moment of pure insanity I threatened vowed to exercise every day through the month of May (ooh that rhymes!), step up and/or change my routine a little and blog about what I’ve done. Today, being May 1st, is day one.
Thursdays usually see me doing 4 sets of 15 each of lat pull downs and chest presses, then a half mile swim. After my boxing lesson on Tuesday which included a lot of Richard shouting (literally) at me to a) keep my hands up, b) keep my elbows up and c) use my arms like pistons, I came to the conclusion that my arms needed more work. So I picked Sam’s brain, since I know she does weights (as well as other weird and wonderful things) about the best things to try, and so I did:

3 sets of 8 of:
Dumbbell bench press (5kg weights)
Single arm bent over rows (5kg weights)
Dumbbell Shoulder press (6kg weights)
Bicep curls (6kg weights)
Tricep extensions (5kg weights)
Lat pull downs (62.5kg)
Chest press (30kg)

followed by a 15 minute swim following the sequence: breaststroke, front crawl, breaststroke, breaststroke arms, breaststroke, breaststroke legs.

I have no idea how my weights match up to what other people do, I used to use dumbbells in my teens but I have no recollection of what I used. I could probably have used higher ones for the bench presses and bent over rows, but I was still having a certain amount of trepidation at that point! I did also wuss out and do these in the “ladies gym” instead of where all the big scary men were, mostly because there was a distinct lack of staff around to ask for help, so I thought I’d like to figure out what I was doing in private! Anyway, my arms ache now, but not too badly, so I think I must have chosen the right weights for at least some of what I did.
As part of this, I also faced up to one of my biggest fears. That’s right, I looked at myself in a full-length mirror. This is something I tend to avoid at all costs – even trying on new clothes. I don’t have a full length mirror in my house, and the thought of examining myself in one fills me with terror – a touch of “head in sand” attitude I think. But partway through the standing exercises, I decided that I did actually need to look at my reflection, to make sure I was using some approximation of the right techniques. Sadly, I didn’t have a cheesy feel-good film moment and come to the conclusion that I am strong and beautiful. More accurately, I realised how much I look like my dad (in a bad way) when I’m not wearing makeup and had a beautiful view of my rippling arm fat as I did tricep extensions. On a positive note, I also managed to notice what I was doing wrong and correct it, and remember to use my core muscles to help my posture, so all was not lost.
So I have achy arms and shoulders, and a mental image of myself working out that could haunt the nightmares of small children. But day 1/31 is complete, and it’s not even lunchtime yet!

I looked nothing like as cute as this!
I looked nothing like as cute as this!