Spin, back, biceps, hot yoga.  That was the plan for Saturday, and it felt ambitious, by my best guess somewhere between 3 and 4 hours of exercise.

I showed up for some morning Spin.  I saw a guy who has been the instructor in the past sitting on the bench in the changeroom.  I can’t remember his name.  So I pick a name – I walk up to him (headphones in my ears, music playing), and say, “Hey Mike! You teaching this one?”  He looks at me, mutters “yeah” as he looks down.  I heard him, but keep staring at him, widen my eyes, cock my head, smile, as if waiting for something.  He looks back at me, raises his voice, “Yes.” and drops his chin as he says it, to see if I am paying attention.  I smile and wander away.  (Reminder, his actual name is not Mike)

It was awkward, but I was curious to see what fitness class instructors are like out of class, before they turn the dial to “HAPPY” so they can motivate a group of strangers to do something difficult.  That I was kind of trolling him was just a bonus for me 🙂  (evil smile)

My neighbour showed up, and it looked like the class was filling up really early!  We were 10 minutes out and I couldn’t see two empty bikes side by side any more.  My neighbour ran to the signup sheet, and I went to scout out some bikes.  When he showed up, I asked nonverbally if he signed me up, he said no.  I shrugged and decided possession was 9/10 of the law, and stayed on my bike 😛

When the teacher showed up, he announced that the signup sheet was full, so if someone had not signed up, they should get off their bike.  I kept my mouth shut and kept rolling.  A few minutes later the teacher was chatting to the gym front desk staff, and my neighbour and I looked at each other and we smiled and I went back to rolling on the bike.  I was interested to see where this was going…

Teacher came back, and said if they have to, they will do roll call off the list and single the squatter(s) out and make them apologize to the class for the delay.  Spider-sense tingling!!

Front staff came back and said some of the waiters had left but one person was determined to get a bike (they HAD earned it after all).  Teacher had the list in front of him, was JUST about to read it off, when someone pointed out there was an unused bike stuck in the middle of the pack (I bet a squatter had run away).  So everyone who stuck around now had a bike and we could begin.

Yeah, I cut it close on that one!  I think I will sign up from now on 🙂

Class was good, I didn’t want to go all out on the tension, I knew I had a long day ahead of me.  Even still, I was sweating like CRAZY.  My body just wanted to sweat it all out.  I was working hard, maybe 80% the whole 60 min class, but that was enough.  I actually felt bad that the stranger to my right had inherited my puddle of sweat by about 6 songs in, it was now under my bike and under his bike too.  Crazy!  I was wondering if he would try and do stretches after and wipe out on my sweat.  Spoiler:  he did not wipe out in the end.

I also am not happy with the new bikes, there is an awkward transition from the downpedal to the uppedal, it is jerky.  I only notice it when I stand, but it makes standing climbs kinda suck.  I hope there are lots of races and power climbs in my future, so I can avoid that.

On to the weightlifting! I left Spin, bid farewell to the neighbour, and hit the weight room right away.

Back & Biceps:

100 reps close grip rows (machine):  100 lbs X 35 /65s rest/ x30 / 35s rest/ x20 / 15s rest/ x15

superset underhand grip cable rows & neutral grip pulldowns (90s rest):  120/105 X20/20, 20/20, 20/20

superset reverse cable flys & straight arm pulldowns w/rope (90s rest):  55/40 x 14/10, 12/9, 14/11

curl machine (90s rest):  80 x10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

seated alternating DB curls (90s rest):  40 x8, 8, 8, 7, 6, 8

notes:  I was nervous about my energy levels after spin, but the machine rows held up pretty well.  I felt a nice pump already in my back after those.  Then when I went to the supersets of the rows and pulldowns (easily the hardest part), I had a hard time corralling the 2 machines at once.  I set up the bars I wanted, then when I was over with the cable rows, I noticed a girl staring at the pulldowns.  I went over to apologize, saying we could switch in and out, and she said, “no, I just don’t know how to use it”.  I explained that with the neutral-grip bar, you hold the ends with a neutral grip (ie. palms neither down nor up, but to the inside, like holding a hammer) and pull it down to the front of your chest.  She nodded, and we agreed to switch in and out.

With my 90s rest and her apparent 20s rest, she went about 5 times with her weight for 2 of my supersets, then was gone by the 3rd.  Not to judge, but it seemed like she was experimenting rather than picking a challenging weight 🙂  It kind of looked like she was trying stuff out while her boyfriend did stuff about 40 feet away.  BOO, ladies! Hit the weights with intensity!

Anyways, that superset is intense, I was shaking after every superset, my face twisted up in major discomfort.  But I did it!

I saw my friend the trainer working on a Saturday, which is rare (hi Terry!), so I went up and asked him if I could get to the pec deck in the roped off area with the free moving bars, so I could do reverse flys.  He said not needed, and took me to a machine in the corner which I mostly ignore, where I could easily do it with cables.  Since he was there, he also showed me some ways to work the exercises a little better:  for the reverse flys, alternate back and forth from standing up straight to leaning forward about 45 degrees.  Go back and forth, one standing up, one leaning forward, keeping the same angle of the pull.  And for the straight pulldowns, use a rope and bring it just to your hips.

Both of those were hard!  It made the exercises harder, I tried 60 pounds with the rope, and immediately NOPE, so I dropped the weight to 40 and kept going.  As you can see, I could not hit 20 reps with either of those exercises, so it was just difficult enough.  I think I found my new favorite variation, thanks Terry!

Then I came home, and fell into a deep sleep.  For like 90 minutes.  No foolin.  I must have been tired!

I was debating what yoga class to go to, and dreading having to go again really soon, because Saturday night does not have many choices, it was either Sat afternoon or bust.  But then I saw a last minute ad for a Saturday night class being run by my friend Megan!  90 minutes, warm room (not hot), live dj… hmmm…

I admit, I shy away from the live dj yoga classes.  I like tranquility, I don’t crave a party atmosphere.  BUT, it was my friend running it for one.  All the proceeds were going to charity for another.  It was also in the evening!  AND, maybe switching it up for its own sake will be a good shock for my body.  Now, this class had been sold out for a while (it’s very popular).  But 2 tickets had suddenly opened up!  I decided it wasn’t a coincidence.  I messaged Megan and asked if I could buy a ticket.  She said yes, and I was in!

Showed up for the 7 pm class.  It was going to be 90 min long, 40 people, dj with a turntable, 2 teachers taking turns teaching.  Megan was one of the teachers, and Nigel was the other teacher, never had a class with Nigel before.

me, Megan, Nigel!

When I showed up, I was given a glowy tube thing, told to put it around my wrist or ankle or something, sounds like a “club” thing, haha.  I tried, it was too small for my big wrists, which meant no point even looking at my ankle.  Too big for your reindeer games, Megan! (For the record, as the pic clearly shows, I looped the glowy through my belt loops on the yoga shorts.  So I had a glow in the dark groin.)

Based on the glowy tube thing, I was guessing that the dj wouldn’t be spinning AC/DC, haha.

The class would be a “prana flow” class, and Nigel would teach for 45, Megan for the other 45.  A demo mat was set up at the front of the room, and in the middle of the room, to make it easier for people to see.  A warm room meant it was only about 25 degrees, but with all the people, bound to hit at least 30 degrees.  I had no idea what they meant by prana flow, although I had gotten tastes of it from Megan’s classes before.

It was very different!  We moved with our breath quite a bit (which I guessed from the name, prana being breath), and were always moving around on our mat, rotating evenly through facing all 4 sides of our mat.  Lots of moving around, changing directions, lots of side planks.  Did I say lots of side planks?  LOTS of side planks.  Variations on the side plank, including normal side p’s, one where your bottom leg swings out in front of you, and the one where your top leg extends out behind you, in all cases either on the floor or held up in the air, depending on your ability.  This can be very tiring, and most of our energy was devoted towards that.

We did chaturanga here and there for the first 45 min, but for the back half, we were told to merely “wink” at chaturanga, meaning don’t do it, just recognize that is the place where it would go, AKA stay in extended plank for a second before heading back to downward dog.  I think they recognized 90 min of chaturanga and side planks was pretty rigorous, so they trimmed the chaturanga out, to show us mercy 🙂

We also “pulsed” a lot, in various poses, experimenting with using our breath to make our torso and spine move through “waves”, playing with our trunk positioning in extended plank, and in garland pose, and in down dog, and in up dog and cobra.  The pulses were interesting!  I might want to add that on the regular to my deep squats, it felt quite good there.

NOW, in all fairness, on the down side!  The music was quite loud, and I couldn’t hear Nigel when he spoke.  Megan cut through the buzz a little bit with her commands, but you shouldn’t have to fight the music to be heard.  I don’t know if a noisy hot room is my thing.  Also, with all the spinning around, my yoga towel that covered the mat was getting all twisted up into piles all the time, so I yanked it off.  But now with just my trusty rubber yoga mat getting sweaty, I kept losing my grip and slipping.  I am just too heavy and sweaty for all that spinning around while keeping your balance.  I would need some way to keep my towel pinned down to my mat for me to keep traction.

Don’t take it the wrong way, I was really glad I went to that class!  I always appreciate new challenges.  That it all was for charity was just gravy.  I came home, exhausted and happy.  That’s why this blog is so late, I had to go sleep, haha.

What a great Saturday!  Hard work all day long!  Day 20 down!

Megan’s main business web page:  http://www.journeyoftheyogini.com/

Nigel’s web page:  http://www.yogawithnigel.com/

learn more about Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow:  http://shivarea.com/about-prana-flow

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