Weighty Matters

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Row, Row, Row Your Boat

on August 25, 2015

I stuck to my plan and checked out the rowing class last night.  HoooWow.  What a workout! Because it was my first session, I didn’t participate in the “class”.  Instead, the very nice trainer set me up on a rowing machine, talked about and demonstrated the correct form and had me give it a try.

It took a relatively short amount of time for me to feel comfortable.  The seat moves and the idea is to push back with your legs, lean slightly back, then pull the handle/cable to your chest.  The harder/faster one pulls, the more resistance.  Then after pulling back, you lean forward, slide forward and then repeat the motion.  You inhale going forward and exhale when rowing back.  (Okay, I think that’s what I was doing but I’m really tired tonight and might have confused it in my head.)

Leaning back helps work your abs because you then have to come forward.  This workout engages a number of different muscles if you do it with the correct form.  I almost leaned back too far at first and thought I was going to fall off of the seat, but I recovered.

The women that were there for the organized class were all given sensors to strap to their chests which would monitor their heart rates and show them if they were in the desired zone.  They all logged into the computer and their progress for heart rate and calorie burn were displayed on the wall monitor.  Each day there is a different routine for the class.  Yesterday they were to row to 2000 meters, rest for three minutes, row another 2000 meters, rest as long as they needed and then do a 500 meter sprint.

Since I wasn’t doing a class, the trainer instructed me to row steadily for 10 minutes, take a three minute break, and then row for another 10 minutes.  I had absolutely no idea going in what it would all feel like, if I could do it and, if I could, for how long.  However, I concentrated on maintaining good form, increasing my resistance, breathing, and working it for the full ten minutes.

Thank God for that three minute break!  In those ten minutes, my heart was pumping, I was sweating and, when I stopped for the break, my legs were wobbly.  What a rush!  The break felt terrific as I wiped sweat off of my face and drank the better part of  a liter of water.  Then it was back into form for the next 10 minutes.  This would be the defining chunk, I decided.  If I couldn’t do even 20 minutes of this form of exercise, what would be the point?

Hah! I told myself.  The point would be that if I couldn’t do 20 minutes that night, I would still continue to try and build up to the 20 minutes and then continue to make progress.

Much to my delight, I not only made the 20 minutes, I really pushed the last few minutes so that I could get my total meters over 3500.  I think I could have kept going and made it to the 4000, but the trainer wanted me to stop and assess on my first time out.

He was great.  He checked my progress every couple of minutes, told me when I needed to adjust my form and made sure to tell me when I put it all together and was really doing it right.

When I was done, he gave me some wipes to sanitize the handle and seat and asked me if I needed more water or a towel.  I will admit that my legs felt a bit like jelly when I stood up so I know that I truly gave them a good workout.  The trainer reminded everybody to keep moving for a while so that we wouldn’t stiffen up.

I am delighted to share that even though I was tired after the workout, I was not sore.  My knee didn’t complain and my heel didn’t start to hurt.  Plus, I felt energized in spirit and mentally pumped my fist and gave myself a “Booyah!” for the achievement.

I’d like to hit an actual class this week.  My plan is to commit to two classes a week with a third on weeks that I have time.  To illustrate how serious I am about this, I am seriously considering getting up much earlier than I usually do to take either a 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. class and then running home to shower and change before going to work.

I’ve needed a harder form of exercise to help in my overall fitness and weight loss effort.  I think I’ve found it with rowing.

 

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One response to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat

  1. How wonderful for you, Mary Stella, that you did the row and are determined to go forward. Double booyah to you! Plus, fun for us to read about.

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