Thursday, February 07, 2008

Circuits & Breathing

More circuit training today. I've grown to enjoy it. It feels much more effective. I'm sweating more and breathing harder than my previous methods. And whereas I used to hit the weights for up to two hours, it only takes me twenty five minutes to cycle through two complete circuits.

Two new personal records today.
  • My first set of "dumbbell chest presses" included 55lb dumbbells. Before today, I had never tried anything higher than 50lbs. I did 55lbs x 12. And I think I could have done the same with 60lb weights.

  • My second set of "angled leg presses" included 250lbs. Last week, I was doing 200. And 250 wasn't a very dramatic effort. I think I'll move up to 300lbs next week. (In the meanwhile, my homeslice Adam has moved up to like 425lbs. Still well ahead of me, but not entirely out of reach!
Wrapped up with an hour of hatha yoga. Focused on twisting poses and a good bit of pranayama, or breathing techniques. The instructor lead us through a few rounds of "Sun / Moon poses" where we alternated breathing through each of our nostrils in a methodical manner. After a few minutes, regular breathing was so effortless. And my lungs felt lighter. My sinuses had opened and it helped me relax. Amazing and nearly indescribable to go through just a few basic moves and feel such an instant and significant impact. Again, it was all very fulfilling. And as I was driving home I felt an unmistakable sense of clarity and calmness. It's like a mellow runner's high. Or a light wine buzz. Very smooth and subtle. Completely refreshing.

With the increase in my strength, the increase in my cardio, the extra flexibility and the unfettered clarity, I'm already looking forward to my next trip to the gym.
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