Tuesday 23 December, 2014 by Uncle Spike
Over time I tackled the basics, that of scoffing less and scoffing better, then the quick-fire initial regime of the 30-Day Abs Challenge to kickstart the old bod into toning up a few muscles I never knew even existed.
Post Ramadan and after a short jollies to some of our neighbouring Greek islands (it’s cooler there for us in summer!), the ‘exercise regime of MY future’ began in earnest. The Abs Challenge was great, but only in the last week did the numbers really ramp up. Prior to that, it was a build-up process, but it worked! Since then I have exercised on average six days out of seven, even when we have been away somewhere. I’m no freak (not in a fitness type of way), but I was determined to ‘finish the job’. Abs soon firm up, as I found out, but the swimming belt that had become affixed to my hips was a bit more stubborn to shift.
Knowing by then what worked, what didn’t, what felt boring, and what felt like it was doing some good, I progressed over a month or so up to the set pattern you’ll see below. It’s not magical or very scientific, but it seems to work for me, and takes just 30-45 minutes each morning (before the household awakes). It is still stretching I find, and still a daily challenge – so I guess one could say the level must be about right.
My routine is as simple as this. On one day I do Set A, the next Set B, then Set C, and back to Set A again…. sometimes I’ll skip a day, often at a weekend, or if I’m a bit unwell or perhaps about to embark on a particularly strenuous day on the farm; otherwise, I mostly stick to two rounds of each per week. The numbers correspond to the set day I want to achieve, giving overall totals of 550, 650 or 750 reps per session – sounds a heck of a lot all added up like that, but slowly slowly it’s honestly quite achievable, even for a semi-old fart like me.
Leg Raise – Lying on my back, hands under bum, and lifting both legs up to almost vertical (A:65, B:75, C:85)
Sit Up – Lying on my back, legs semi-arched, toes under the radiator panel, arms stretched out behind me, then circling arms over until touching ankles – my arms are too short to find my feet; it’s a boy thing (A:110, B:130, C:150)
Crunch – Lying on my back, legs arched, fingers touching behind my head (but not pulling), raise chest a few inches until I can see my toes, concentrating on my stomach muscles (A:150, B:180, C:215)
Cross Crunch – Lying on my back, legs arched, hands clasped behind my head, raise and twist so that one elbow meets the opposing knee, and repeat for the other set (A:115, B:135, C:150)
Plank – Horizontal torture, raised up on toes and elbows for set number of seconds, while reading two pages of my book called “1001 More Ridiculous Ways To Die” – how rather appropriate I thought (A:110, B:130, C:150)
And my latest thing…. I bought a flippin’ bicycle !
A first for me in some 30 years really. Only tried it a couple of times, but as kiddo is now up and out on his bike, it seemed like the logical next step in complying with the needs of ‘family bonding’. Time will tell on that score. It’s just a cheapo Turkish branded bike, but after spotting a 30% online discount, paying over six months at 0% interest, I though it high time for a treat for once. Let’s hope I don’t live to regret it, lol?