A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cable Time

Have you ever used the cable machine? I never had. I've always been intimidated by all the options and sweaty guys that hang around it. But last night the trainer at the gym showed me that it doesn't have to be scary.

In fact, the thing I learned about the cable machine is that it really allows you to work multiple muscle groups at the same time. Abs and arms? Chest and legs? Arms and legs? Core and legs and arms? Yep, it can do all those things.

I wish I knew names for all the things she showed me or how to find photos or instructions of them online. I could describe them all but that would get long and tedious and I probably wouldn't do a very good job. I can tell you, though, that she would show me how to do one exercise, have me to do that that for 10 reps, show me another exercise (again, with 10 reps) and then alternate between the two for two or three sets, depending. We did a lot of things standing on one leg or incorporating squats and lunges into chest presses or lat pull downs. And, of course, we used the stability ball for this torturous move:

Thankfully, she let me alternate the Pike move pictured above with just tucking my knees into my chest. We switched between Pikes and chest presses:

We did wall sits with a resistance band tied around my thighs for adductor and abductor exercises. Ohhh, that made my quads burn! She pointed out that I probably have pretty strong glute and hip muscles otherwise those would have burned more, too. This was alternated with a hip/core exercise using the stability ball.

Finally, we ended with a series of side planks (I LOVE side planks. No joke.) and an attempt at something called "dead bug". I can't find a picture of exactly what she had me do, but let's just say it involved using my lower ab muscles. Of which I have none. I warned her, but she was still surprised at how hard it was for me anyway. All the other exercises I managed to do with flying colors (except for doing 10 Pikes in a row. Ugh.). It's just those pesky lower ab moves that are my kryptonite.

I'm still contemplating how to work some of these moves into my strength training. I'm thinking that I might substitute them when the ActiveTrax program suggests a machine that would work the same or similar muscle group.

After an hour of strength training (which included a short quarter mile warm-up jog on the treadmill) I tied on my bandanna and strapped on my iPhone in order to get in 3 miles on the treadmill.

I, uh, failed.

Part of it was that I had said I'd be home for dinner at a certain time and I ran out of time before I hit 3 miles. Part of it was that I just wasn't feeling the running. I did 2.25 miles so combined with the quarter mile from earlier I guess I did a total of 2.5. Ugh. Not even 30 minutes of cardio!

I've just been so tired lately. Running has seemed harder than usual since my 10K race. This is either due to the monthly hormone shift or my body is just telling me it wants a break. I was thinking about doing two aerobics classes tonight but I think I'll just stick to one. I also still have the option of running another 10K race on Sunday with the people from my work running group. I suppose I could run it but I seriously doubt it would be one of my best races. It would definitely be more for the camaraderie building experience than the racing experience. I guess if we run at lunch tomorrow I'll see how I feel and then make my decision.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE the cable machine! Sure, there are only a few exercises I do with it....but my favorite is the one that works your triceps. The one where you pull down on two sides of a rope? Gosh, that is a horrible description...but it kills - and it works!!

Anonymous said...

Cable machine is a lot of fun. Check out the cable squat to row. I like it better than a row machine on its own, since it adds in the squat, requiring more core stability.

lifestudent said...

It sounds like you got your butt whooped today. I havent been in a gym in about two years, but used to like using the cable machines!

kristen said...

Wow - sounds like your getting a great workout in. I love planks too! I also recently did those stability ball (torterous move) push up things. My abs - killing me. I could't even cough without pain. So good!

I would love to use those cable machines. Good description of them. always sweaty dudes hanging out all over them.

kilax said...

Ha ha. The guy in the cable machine pic looks funny to me. We have one at our office gym. I would love if someone showed me how to use it.

Are you feeling more well rested this week? I hope the 4-day weekend helps :)

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