Treadmill Tuesday

14 09 2010

What up homies?  Aside from the obvious weekend days, I have to say I actually like Tuesdays.  The bullsh*t associated with Mondays is over, Monday night football (in the fall at least) puts me to bed in a good mood, I get the GTL out of the way (maybe just the GL), and mah gurl Jillian Michaels and my (gay?) crush Bob are on the tube.  I’m not a huge TV person (honest) but when it gets colder and I spend more time at the gym as opposed to outside, I like to watch Biggest Loser while on my cardio machine of choice.  That might sound a little sick, but I find that show to be extremely motivating and confidence boosting.  I am definitely going to hell.

I find I cannot *run* and watch TV, but “jogging”, walking on an incline, ellipticizing (total snack-face  verbiage there), or biking make it possible to watch or read trashy mags while gettin’ a sweat on.  Gyms that have the mini-flat screens attached to the cardio equipment are sooo money.  You can just plug-in your head phones and its like sitting at home on your couch, minus the sitting and couch part.  The awesome thing about watching your typical 30-60 minute prime time show is that it makes for great interval training. I try to sprint the commercials and recover during the show.  There’s usually 7-8 minutes of commercials and opening/closing credits in a 30 min slot, and 15-16 minutes for an hour show.  It’s broken up into 2-3 commercial breaks per half hour, plus 1 or 2 minutes of credits, and commercials in between shows (or every 30 minutes).  If you go “all out” during those breaks, that’s a pretty legit work out.  My favorite Tuesday cardio is as follows:

Biggest Loser w/ Jillian & Bob: 8pm-tune in/start time.  This workout is designed for the treadmill, but you can technically do it on any cardio machine, just make sure the interval levels are similar in resistance/difficulty.  A “sprint” should be hard enough that you can’t chitchat with the homegirl (or ja boy) next to you.   The settings/speeds will differ with machines/makes/models, obvs.

Hop on the treadmill and jog during intro credits/recap from last week: 1-2 minutes

Walk on 5% incline at 4.0-4.5 speed setting (about 14-13:30 min miles)

First commercial break (about 7 minutes into the show) Sprint 1-2 minutes, 2% incline (which mimics the incline of  the ground outside) at 7.5-8.5 speed setting (8 minute/7 minute miles  *sometimes I go faster, but this depends on your ability*), gradually increasing your speed into an all out sprint until show is back on. 

When show is back, decrease speed to 5.5-6.0 speed (10 minute-9 minute pace) and slowly increase the incline to 5% again.  Once at 5%, lower your speed back to 4.0-4.5 (14-13.5 minute pace) and power walk.  Pump those arm (don’t hold on) to burn more calories and work your core.

Next commercial repeat the “sprint”.  Repeat this sequence til the end of the show.  I guarantee you will not be bored and won’t even realize the workout you’re getting!

After a few times trying this, feel free to get creative.  Repetitive motions (running) cam cause overuse injuries if you’re not careful or diligent about stretching (I an neither), so it’s good to throw new things into the mix.  Instead of the sprinting, try another lateral or plyometric move.  Some ideas:

  • gallop sideways, switch “galloping leg” every 30 seconds
  • walk/jog backwards! very easy to do on a treadmill since you have the side balancers/supports
  • low shuffle to the side (think basketball drills), switch every 30 seconds
  • Skip! ya’ll know what this is
  • high knees/butt kicks, every 30 seconds
  • ummm, if you’re advanced/have good balance, feel free to try the grapevine (some call it Kareoke) but no one wants to see treadmill roadkill, so attempt at your own risk.

*Please note, the drills above should be attempted on 0% incline and a low speed….slightly slower than walking speed (15mph, 3.5-4 setting) and feel free to increase as you get better. 

I realize not everyone wants to look like a goober at the gym either.  I do this workout often and when I throw in some of the “non-traditional” moves, it tends to raise an eyebrow or two, but I feel like I’m getting a kick-ass workout and it doesn’t really bother me.  Plus, I typically have an ear to ear grin (skipping? common.  It’s a blast!) so I really don’t mind the occasional stare.

Once the show is over, I do walking lunges over to the spray bottle (equipment wipe-down caddy/station) and walking lunges back to the machine (given your gym has enough space to do this) for an extra butt-kick.  If you’re really feeling badass, try this move!

Turn around on the treadmill so the front of your body is facing away from the ‘mill display.  Sit on the belt and lean back until you can reach up and grab the handle bars or whatever is there (the bar/support beam normally in front of your waist when you are running on the ‘mill).  Using your arms pull your chest upward.  If you can do a normal grip, do so.  If not, try a reverse grip.  Stabilize your lower body into a modified reverse plank.  Essentially, you are doing a lying pull-up on the treadmill’s support bar.  Positioning your body in a reverse plank makes it easier  because your weight is distributed differently from the standard pull-up position.  You’re legs add support and you’re using less of your own body weight.  It works your core like crazy too; try to keep you hips up, just like in a regular reverse plank. 


Honesty, this is nothing new. It’s a  lying down pull-up on a treadmill. See…  But you do feel like friggin’ G.I. Jane banging out a few reps after your beastly workout!

I have a confession.  I’m pretty sure rule #1 of blogging is having a camera, albeit a good one.  I have a Nikon coolpix.  Ok, so I have the Honda civic of cameras; I can accept that.  What sucked was when I tried to take a pic of the spread I made for ManCandy and his boy-kins last night for MNF; the batteries were dead.  I fished around the junk drawer for another set of AAs and nothing. Epic fail.  My dins was leftover veggie pizza and a mucho grande salad, but that wasn’t particularly wonderful…presentation-wise.  However, the chips, homemade guac, salsa and cheese & cracker spread I made was relatively impressive for last-minute.  I even had a “treat” bowl full of carob covered pretzels.  Yeah, no dice with the Nikon.  So, on the do-list today is buying batteries.  Sorry I stink at life.  At least now you have a workout for your Revolving Apparatus of Death (so appropriately titled by Gina 

Not to disappoint with the visuals, this is my lover, Ginger.  I love to joke that ManCandy is a “Ginger” (if you don’t understand this reference, please go back to the rock you were under  Take a closer look at his pic….that strawberry blonde hair, peaches and cream complexion….freckles.  He does have soul though. I swear.

So, for now, my two gingers live in shaded (heh, get it?) harmony.

Do you like to watch TV while you workout? What’s your favorite show to watch?




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