Category Archives: Workout log

The two-minute fitness manager

tamagotchiRemember the Tamagotchi and other “virtual pets” that were popular a few years ago?  That fad has died out (although they still exist) but that technology could be put to good use in fighting obesity.

I had that thought when I read this post in Obesity Panacea about a study concerning the effectiveness of automated cell-phone text messages to help people stay on track with their weight loss program.  The participants who simply received automated reminders throughout the day on their cell phones lost an average 10 pounds in 4 months compared to the control group–not too shabby.  It’s often said that nagging doesn’t work for weight loss, but maybe it depends on whether the source is a bot or your mother.

Since I spend way too much time on the computer, I looked around for a free (the best kind!) program that would remind you to get up and move, at intervals of your choosing.  I found Scirocco Take-A-Break, which sits in your icon tray and gives you a popup window at break time, then a countdown clock during the break.  I set mine to go off every 20 minutes, and did 2 minutes of some sort of exercise during the breaks.  Here’s what I did today, using a 12kg kettlebell and a Wii:

10:06 – kettlebell deadlifts

10:26 – 30 seconds each of kettlebell deadlifts, slingshots, high pulls and slingshots.  (Thanks to Kettlebell Wall for the idea!)

10:50 – turkish getups, “naked” (no weight)

11:13 – 12 cleans on each side, and 10 goblet squats

11:35 – 4 cleans and presses on each side, and 33 swings

After lunch, at 1:30 – 1 Helix song on Wii

2:00 – 12 presses on each side

2:18 – Plank, 1 minute (ouch!) and 1 Helix song

And so on – I was just winging it, but later I might put together a deck of index cards with simple 2-minute mini-workouts on them.

I’m going to make these workout breaks a habit and see where it gets me.  And if they come out with the Biggest Loser Tamagotchi, I hope I can get a cut!


Kettlebells and Beyonce

Kettlebells: For yesterday’s workout, I combined kettlebells with DDR.  After warming up some We Cheer-like moves to music and 10 turkish getups on each side with my 13# bell, I alternated 8 songs on DDR Extreme2 with 8 sets of 15 swings.

One of my favorite licenses on DDR is “Crazy In Love”, which brings us to…

Beyonce: A few days ago I read in this interview with Beyonce, which came up in a Google News search on Wii news:

I’m interested in a lot of different things. I’d like to get involved in videogames since I really love Wii Fit. I think it would be a great idea to incorporate choreography because for me my workout is way more fun when it involves dancing as opposed to running on a boring treadmill. So I would love to do some kind of fitness game but incorporate dance and performance into it. I think a lot of women would enjoy that.

As a result of that one quote, there are now articles online trumpeting that Beyonce is coming out with a fitness video game.  I would love to dance to “Single Ladies” while waving Wiimotes, but let’s not jump the gun here…

Shop your workout room!

Yesterday I did another MTM workout at the park.  As part of my warmup, I did Turkish getups using a 12-pound body bar – another great idea I got from MTM’s Sarah Rippel.  Normally this core-strengthening exercise is done with kettlebells, but really they can be done with any weight, or even no weight at all.

Windmills and side presses can also be done with a body bar in addition to kettlebells.  I had gotten the body bar on sale some years ago and it had been collecting dust in my workout room until Sarah gave me those great ideas; now it is one of my most-used pieces of equipment.

Instead of shopping for new fitness gadgets that I can’t afford, I’ve been “shopping” my workout room and brainstorming new ways to use old stuff.

thighmasterGot a Thighmaster?  Here are some ways to exercise with it that I bet Suzanne Somers never thought of:

  • Do lateral jumps over it for 1 minute
  • Take it outside, throw it as far as you can, and sprint to retrieve it.  Repeat 20 times.
  • Throw it as far up into a tree as you can, and climb up to get it
  • Hang it over a tree branch, and do some pull-ups from it

Just some Friday fun 🙂 but seriously, look around your workout room and see if you can bring your old gadgets back to life.

Back to the bands

I’ve been doing sort of an “intuitive” exercise program for the past couple of weeks, where I just do what I feel like doing. Funny thing is, when I give myself permission to skip dread-factor workouts like pushups, I don’t mind doing them as much.

Yesterday I did some band exercises from Sarah Rippel’s MTM program. (She just completed a tri!)  Bands are fantastic for the core.  One of my favorite exercises from MTM is the dowel iso-hold.  Sarah demonstrates at about 1:00 in this video. I held the hold for 90 seconds on each side, and on the second round, my arms were shaking!  Try it, you’ll like it.


At my lightest, about 3 years ago, I used to be able to bang out a set of between 20 and 25 pushups on my toes. (I could do even more if my feet were elevated; I think my shoulders are stronger than my chest muscles.)

Today, I’m a little bit heavier, and I have trouble just doing a set of 10. So now that the kids are back in school, I’m going to work on getting my pushups back up to their peak. I started this morning by doing 3 sets of 7, with about a 15 second rest in between. Finisher: 2 games (10 songs) of DDR Extreme, doubles.

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