Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Gym Smells like Cake...Or The Importance of Cross Training

After my long run yesterday, I knew my body and my mind needed a break.  Running takes not only a physical toll on your body but a mental one as well.  Too much of a good thing (yes, in this scenario, running is the good thing.  I know.  Seriously).

With that in mind, I knew it was time to head to the gym and take it easy on the elliptical.  Plus I had some torture in the form of Jillian Michaels waiting for me at home later.

The second I walked into the gym I was not met with the usual stench of sweaty bodies, chlorine, and staleness.  Instead I smelled...cake.

And not just any cake.  Cake baking in the oven.  Warm, sweet, delicious cake.  I thought that the closer I got to the cardio and weight room the less pronounced it would be.  But this wasn't so.  I can only assume that it was some kind of new cake scented air freshener that was meant to motivate (as in, it smells like cake, I want cake, NO I must work out!).

But all it did was make me want cake.

I managed to knock out an easy 30 minutes on the elliptical (read: boring).  I push myself.  I'm a pusher.  I like working hard.  Making myself take rest days is hard.  I feel like I'm not getting a "real" workout if I'm not going as hard and as fast as I can.

But here's the thing.  Rest days are important.  Your body needs that time to recover.  And for your own's important.  If all you're doing is running all the time, you're going to get burned out.  You'll be more susceptible to injuries.  And worst yet, it will probably make you hate hate HATE running (since yeah, you probably really love it, right?)

And the pros of cross training?  Your running will actually improve!  You'll get faster, stronger, and if you're trying to lose weight, it'll probably be a little easier.  When you constantly do the same workout every day (running, biking, underwater ballet, whatever), while initially you'll see results, eventually your body will adapt.  Your weight loss (if that's your goal) will plateau.  You'll possibly get an overuse injury.  And you'll be bored out of your freaking mind.

Don't worry if you don't have a gym membership.  Almost anything can count as cross training.  If you usually run, take your bike out for a ride.  If you're a serial walker, try popping in a yoga DVD.  And if you're kinda insane, try picking up one of this lady's DVDs:

Holy crap was this a hard video.  Silly me.  I was all, "I'm in pretty good shape.  I've done her videos before.  Week one will be a cinch." 

The amount of sweat alone...oh jeez, I don't even have words.  I'll try again tomorrow.  I'd like to give a thorough review of this program, as I plan on doing it for the next 30 days.

I know there are mixed opinions on Jillian Michaels, say what you may, but that woman knows how to beat you to the ground in 30 minutes or less.

I definitely didn't want cake after that.

1 comment:

  1. Love this. So well-written, as always, with that streak of humor. It makes me want to go work out NOW. I'm concerned about the gym smelling like cake, though, that's pretty gross. Or, at least, disconcerting.