The Den Mother gets a Workout

I get a workout every day, but it is not always planned or in line with my fitness goals, if you know what I mean.  In November I am re-assessing what I need: CrossFit, P90X and the Primal Blueprint Fitness plan all sit on my desktop…

Over the last six weeks I have been sweating my way through P90X.  It has been a great choice for so many reasons.  After a slow summer I needed something very structured and intense to kick my butt back on the fitness wagon.  Our family schedule has been too crazy to allow for my jetting off to the gym, so I needed it to work in my basement.

Six weeks later, I’ve done much better than just get my strength back, I have met some new body composition goals and I’m feeling energetic and excited about doing more.  I really don’t want to lose what I have gained just because life is getting busy.  But P90X is not going to cut it.

The downside is time.  1 to 1 1/2 hours just to do the workout, six days a week.  I’m not tired of Tony yet (though sometimes I turn off the volume), but I can’t get it in, especially Monday to Thursday.  My extra kids now arrive by 7:30 a.m. – which puts me upstairs with my game face on around 6:30 a.m. – and don’t leave until 5:00 p.m., at which time I run to catch up with my family (supper, lunches, dishes, clean-up, homework, bedtime) only to fall into bed by 9:30 just to make it through the next day.

CrossFit is efficient.  I was doing CrossFit diligently for a year, 2-3 times a week, at the local gym.  Loved it.  My progress was constant, I set new PRs often.  But, I’m looking at WODs and seeing only about 25% that will work for me with the limited equipment and space I have in my house.  I don’t want to drop weights on the tile floor – or throw them through the drywall, or the screen of the mac trying to do a 1 rep max.  I also don’t relish being pinned under a bar with only a three-year old to help set me free.  I can’t run or row in my basement and for the next five months the outdoors are likely to be somewhat inhospitable (in my neighbourhood, anyway).  I would have to modify most workouts beyond recognition, watering out the variety and intensity so intrinsic to their success.

I also know from experience that CrossFit, like many fitness programs, really shines when combined with community.  To be perfectly honest, I am a bit of a chicken.  When I have been working out alone for a long time I tend to not push myself as hard as I should.  I get scared at the end of round 4 and decide on the spot that 7 or 8 rounds would be more appropriate than 10…  I would still love to get together with a CFer once in a while for a WOD, but it may not be what is going to work every week.

Today I looked through the Primal Blueprint Fitness plan.  It is dead simple – no scaling or tinkering to make it work, for certain.  This probably will eventually drive me to distraction, however.  I can see myself getting bored quickly.

So, I’m going to take what I like about each and mix it in.  Here’s my plan:

Primal Blueprint Fitness LHT (Lift Heavy Things) workouts on two of my four working days.  If I’m itching for variety, I can throw in a Tabata set once in a while.  No thinking, very little time to set up and I can probably be done in 30 min, including warm-up and cool-down (I can post-workout stretch and cook breakfast at the same time).

Sprinting or CrossFit two times between Friday and Sunday.  Hopefully this will occasionally allow for a visit to a gym where I can safely do some heavy lifting and set some PRs.

If time allows for some indulgence on other days I can see myself returning to P90X.  The Yoga is an amazing stretch combined with strength work, and Plyometrics and Kenpo are just fun and intense cardio.  All three are workouts that need zero equipment.

The Primal Blueprint calls for four days a week of low intensity exercise.  I’m assuming that I do that when I have five little ones in my care for most of the day.  I laughed at this WOW… I carry a 25 – 30 lb. baby on my hip for hours every day.  That is only a couple pounds short of 1/4 my body weight, and yes, I go through a wide variety of movements while doing it: the initial scoop-up deadlift, the tie-a-shoe shuffle, the wipe-a-bum squat, the break-up-a-fight sprint, the happy-distraction-airplane shoulder press… At the very least I’m going to let my daily activity count as “moving frequently at a slow pace”, even if I am doing it with extra weight.

Bottom line:  I don’t have the energy, patience and sanity to do my job if I don’t make fitness a priority.  Stay tuned for results…

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