Xtreme Torture

I try and get out of the gym as often as possible for cross-training days.   I’ll take a bike ride, or a yoga class, or go on a hike if it fits my schedule.  But let’s face it, sometimes it’s just easier to hit the gym.  There are days when I feel guilty about that, but at the same time I want to get to the weight room at the gym at least twice a week.  I know that strength training is important to keeping me injury free and besides, lifting weights makes me feel bad-ass. 🙂

I’ve made it part of my routine to do my cross-training at the gym on Wednesdays.  My training plan declares Wednesdays “Rest/XT” days, but for some reason I’ve begun to treat that XT as Xtreme Torture rather than simply Cross-Training.  Forget that rest stuff – rest is for the weak!  … just kidding, I just usually take my rest days on Friday’s.  

I started this routine about a month ago, on a day when my attention span was about that of the fruit flies that have invaded my kitchen (they’re everywhere! They’re everywhere!).  For whatever reason I couldn’t bear the thought of spending any length of time on any one machine at the gym that day.  I made  a deal with myself that I could break my workout up over multiple pieces of cardio equipment as long as I hit a minimum of 30 minutes.  I ended up doing this:

StairMaster: 10 minutes
Arc Trainer: 10 minutes
Stationary bike: 10 minutes
Weight circuit: 20 minutes

Holy hell.  I was a sweaty beast by the end!  I really wasn’t expecting the workout to be so challenging given my slacker attitude going into it, but holy cow –  I kicked my own ass that day.   I think I burned something like 650 calories.

Four weeks later I’m sticking to that same routine, but I’m mixing it up a bit too.  I’m playing with the resistance levels, doing speed intervals, and lengthening the durations a bit.   Last week I lifted the heaviest weights I could and could barely walk the next day, but it felt awesome.  Today, I played games with the RPMs on the bike and the Arc Trainer.  I found a difficult pace and then vowed to not let myself drop below that number of revolutions per minute.  To make it more challenging, for 30-45 seconds I would either increase the resistance or add 40 RPMs, and then allow myself to drop down the the initial pace for a 1 minute recovery before repeating.  Let’s just say that not only was I wiping off the equipment when I was done, but I was also mopping up the embarrassingly massive puddles I’d left on the floor.   Oops!

What do you do on your cross-training days?  Do you have a favorite piece of equipment at the gym?  Treadmills don’t count!


12 Responses to Xtreme Torture

  1. Ugh, I also have fruit flies in my kitchen lately! So annoying! I think it’s the heat?

    Your workout sounds intense!! I rarely do machines at the gym (aside from the occasional treadmill run). I don’t even do much strength training anymore, but I do try to make it to yoga at least 2-3X a week, which I sort of count as cross training and strength training. 🙂

  2. I go for one long-ish bike ride a week + 1-2 yoga classes this week and I TRY to strength train at home 1-2 times a week as well. I need to get better at the strength training part!

  3. Abbi says:

    Before I started ramping up on the running, I used to do much more cross training but mostly with videos (as cheesy as that sounds) at home (don’t go to a gym). There’s lots of bad ones out there but there are good ones too. I’m trying to add that back into my routine because it really does help and I’ve already found that some of my upper body strength has gone away since I’ve been a slacker in that area. Did some pretty intense stuff on Tuesday and am still feeling it…but in a good way! Yours definitely sounds intense!

  4. James says:

    Way to go! Cross training is something I really haven’t done since the weather warmed up. My cross training now consists mostly of walks or playing with the kiddos.
    By the way, are you running the Pikesville 5K this weekend?

  5. Tricia says:

    Lately my cross training has mainly been swimming

  6. I really love to swim as my cross training workout, but haven’t been into it lately. I’ve been doing spin classes!! Love them!!

    Tomorrow I am going to try a Body Pump Class 🙂 Maybe a little cardio beforehand, but classes make the cross training days a little less monotonous!


  7. I cross train on the spinning bike and by doing kickboxing, skipping and circuit style strength training routines (weights, tension ropes etc)

    Oh and I posted a response to your Q in my comments section 🙂

  8. The Linz says:

    Yay for cross training! I love your commitement to kicking your own bootay at the gym. I find it hard to push myself without being in a bodypump class. So I typically stick to those kinds of cross-training. THat and kickboxing classes. So awesome! Keep up the good work!

  9. I take a great class called “Fusion Fitness” on my cross-training days. I was always so unmotivated at the gym and this class keeps me moving for 60 minutes. When I do go to the gym, I break things up in a similar manner as you. Keep up the good work!!!

  10. […] peas and yogurt for my afternoon snack.  Flip.  It’s been weeks since I’ve done my interval cross training workout, but today I hammered it out and added strength training and an ab work to boot.  […]

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