Workout Routine 2023

In fall of 2022 my wife and I got gym memberships at Lindsay Park (yes we will call it that forever, regardless of its current name). After almost three years of gyms being closed or restricted, it has been a good change to get out of the basement gym. I’m a long term believer that you can do a great workout in a prison cell, for instance with squats, pushups, running, and while that’s true, it’s also refreshing to get out to an excellent facility and spread your wings.

The approach I take is to start by taking advantage of the toys that they have which I do not. This goes from big machines like stairmasters, rowing machine or assault bike, to the plethora of balancing tools, 100 lb kettlebells, hex bar, cable machines, the variation is mind bending. And we even swam a couple of times!

When we started going, I wanted to get my lift pb’s back up. In the basement gym I didn’t have much in the way of weight. So I started building up my squat and deadlift again, for the fun of lifting heavy and also to build up baseline strength for a return to running (always in the back of my head!). You forget how fun having actual weight on the bar is when you haven’t done it in a few years. However, in January my Wife and I decided to run a road race, so I have switched focus towards cardio and running from lifting heavy.

In view of this goal, I have been gradually running more, and faster. I am trying to add volume gradually, as when I started again in the middle of January I hadn’t run for two months and was a little rusty. And I was really slow. Right now I am slightly less slow 😉 My Wife is absolutely blazing and putting up good mileage numbers. Running is just the best workout. It get my diesel engine purring like no other and also is so enjoyable. I am doing supplementary exercises to strength and add mobility to my hips and feet, which are weak areas for me at the moment. Yes I am the guy doing clamshells on the mats now! My favourite activity in this regard is balancing and squats on a balancing board. They have boards that you balance on with a roller in the center, for a dynamic similar to surfing. These are what I use, doing deep squats and really feeling the stabilizers fire, you can just feel the hips/ankles opening up, its dynamic mobility work and also really fun!

To keep building aerobic strength I am spending time on the stairmaster, stationary bike (warmup/cooldown usually) and assault bike. I’m trying to do some lifting and frankly enjoy using machines like pec fly. This is after decades of a free weight, body weight type mentality that frowned upon machines. Who cares. The machines can be fun, just have fun, there’s lots of other free weight type stuff in the week anyways. I got into a bit of a maintenance mentality through COVID, plus having a tough year physically last year (car crash, covid, etc). So now I am actually building again and putting on fitness, which is awesome.

We also have been using the steam room and occasionally the cold plunge, I’m not sure how much that helps with recovery but in any event it’s enjoyable.

I prefer to run outside from home and still do workouts in the basement particularly when short on time. A few times I have almost bailed on getting a workout in, but when it takes mere minutes to get changed and get going, those sessions, which even if short are better than a zero, are getting done. I’ve been managing to get in some good streaks, last week I worked out nine days in a row, before it felt like I needed a rest day. I haven’t been scheduling rest days, just taking them when my body tells me its time.

I’ve been skating regularly, but a little less as going to the gym instead. Everything is tradeoffs. Where my wife and I would often skate on a weekday evening, we are now referring to the gym as our living room.

One other thing is that so far this year I have eaten lunch outside and followed with at least a 20 minutes walk almost every day, even days in the minus 20s. The extra walks have to be helpful and the concept of embracing winter by sitting outside in the cold has been an interesting journey. It turns out, if you don’t think its too cold, it’s not.

Of particular importance starting a week ago is that we have cut down on sweets for lent. This means no soda (ok I’m having the occasional ginger ale) but no chocolate, candy, coca cola. For me this has always been a weak spot. It’s the sort of thing that for me requires a discipline that I was never able to apply for any length of time. In that way I feel that though it is a sacrifice for Lent and I am dealing with cravings, the non-spiritual reward is one that it is time for.

Thanks for reading!


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