A moderately triumphant return, cardio without running

So after about a month or so without the joy of Sac Fitness Fairy workouts at Ultimate Fitness, I finally was able to return for a “restricted” workout today. Technically the ankle is somewhat strong, but definitely vulnerable and as a rule, you don’t unleash the SFF on a workout with no limits unless you’re ready for it. I wasn’t quite ready, but damn it I needed something! And, of course, SFF delivered.

My usual warmup of either running or walking a serious incline just wasn’t happening. Instead we put me walking slowly on the mill. Baby steps. I’d arrived 30 minutes ahead of time, which let me manage some other warmups and stretches, and also about 3/4 of a mile on the mill. It didn’t really do the trick, but SFF had other ideas.

Since running and jumping were strictly off limits, we contemplated other ways of keeping heart rate up, and so we put in some interval-like movements into the workout. We decided on 2 separate groups of exercises, each with 3 rounds of 3 exercises each. I started on the bench doing candles while holding a 30lb barbell. That’s just as dangerous as it sounds, falling off is a real possibility so care (and tights abs) is recommended. After 25 of those, we moved to a quick 15 reps of bench press with that same bar. Then I moved to WALL BALL!!! (love it) 30 reps, and our “heart rate increase” exercise.

Relating to that, I was nervous that my blood pressure meds might potentially slow me down. I am happy and excited to report that I had no exercise related slowdowns and was out of breath and tired in direct relation to the movements and efforts I was engaged it. YAY!

2 more rounds of candle/press/wall ball and it was on to the second group. This one would consist of 15 pullups, 15 dips and 15 hanging straight leg raises. Since my ankle would prevent me from jumping the pullups, I performed them in sets of 5 with brief rests. The first round of dips I also did sets of 5 on the tower, but then switched to 15 unbroken off the bench. The leg raises required them to also be broken into sets of 5.

3 times through and I was done. For being gone almost a month I was still surprisingly strong, though it was obvious my motor needed some tuning. Still, it was exciting and awesome to be back in the gym pushing myself, if not quite with an open ceiling. It was also eye opening to be able to boost my heart rate up without running (or biking or swimming). Wall ball is fairly low impact (depending on how you do it, and your hand eye coordination) but I definitely got a solid cardio workout out of it, plus a full body strength kick. Basically if you can’t do an exercise, improvise!

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