I had all sorts of big plans for Wednesday, to see what kind of trouble I could get into at the gym.  I was going to wake up early, get my Wednesday started super early, and make a day full of activity.

But my Wednesday started even earlier, it started Tuesday night.  In the middle of the night the building’s fire alarm went off.  So we all trundled down the stairs, outside into the snow and the dark and the February, and waited for the fireman.  By the time they declared it a false alarm and I made it back into my apartment, my good night’s sleep was shattered.  It was an ominous start to my Wednesday.

So Wednesday morning, I trudged down to the gym, got there before the gym was even open, and waited for them to open the doors so I could grab one of the Spin bikes for the 6 am class.  But Leslie was coming to spin too!  She brought a few friends.  I was psyched just to spin with a friend.

Teacher of the morning class was Mike.  I think he’s a retired high school history teacher, and you hear it in his voice.  Bueller… Bueller?  It was an ok class.  We all worked hard.  Sometimes Mike would break out in screams at the end of a track for no reason.  It was jarring.  “GO…. GOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!”  Holy shit, relax man, I’m going.

After Spin, I still had time before work, so I decided to do some Chest work.

Barbell Bench Press (2 min rest):  115×5, 155×5, 185×5, 5, 7

DB Bench Press (60 sec rest):  140 x 8, 8, 8, 5, 4;  110 x 8, 8, 5

incline DB fly (4-2-4 tempo, 90 sec rest):  40 x 6, 12, 12


notes:  I don’t do barbell bench press very often.  I am out of practice, and I much prefer dumbbells.  But it is nice to get back into it.

Dumbbells were going good until set 4, then when I tried set 5, my reps were just TOO low, so I dropped the weight by 20% and kept going.  by set 8 I was fried.  It was my left side that wore out first, which is no surprise at all.  It felt weird grabbing the 55 lb dumbbells though, I could feel my right side just muscle through it hard but my left side would struggle.  The difference was quite pronounced at the end.

For the flyes, I failed out of the first set because someone interrupted me.  Oh well.  20 lb dumbbells isn’t much for flyes, but when you slow the tempo down like I did (4 seconds down, stay at the bottom for 2 seconds, raise up for 4 seconds)… what starts out easy at rep 1 feels like hell by rep 12.  Trust me.


Then I went to work.  I had not done a good weekday morning workout in a while, and I was feeling pretty drained by mid-morning.

Then Leslie sent me an email that made the pain go away.  “Jeremy, you can start carb-loading for the spinathon today or tomorrow.”

At lunch I went down and bought some fresh pasta.  It was like an episode of Popeye.

I coasted through the rest of the day, and thought, “hmmm, I could go for a little more punishment… I’m going to the gym after work…”  Then I tooted my corncob pipe and flexed a bicep.

But today was also the day Ottawa decided to have a big sloppy blizzard all day.  By the time I got out of work, the walk to the gym was NO fun.  It was all slush and puddles of gunk and ankle high wet snowdrifts.  It just wore you down to be outside.  People were leaving work early, scared of the roads.  Not I.  I was not going to give up on the gym.

Next spin class would not start until 6, signup at 5:45.    So I should in theory have time to do a back workout.  But my arrival was delayed by weather.  so after some barbell rows, I had to get to spin class.

bent over rows (2 min rest):  135 x 5; 185 x 5; 225 x 3, 3, 3

Evening spin was being taught by Courtney.  I like Courtney’s classes.  She has good music and makes her classes challenging but exciting.

this class had a lot of pyramids and tabata.  Pyramids in the sense of 15 sec power climb, 15 sec rest, 30 sec climb, 30 sec rest, 45 sec… etc etc Once you hit the high point, you go back down in increments of 15.  We did that for standing climbs and we did it later for races.  We also had songs with 2 minute heavy standing climbs, 90 sec heavy seated climbs.  We had a tabata song, 8 intervals of 20 sec race 10 sec rest.  If you know tabata that means you go at 100% of your max effort, then rest briefly, then max effort again, etc.

I came to the class with visions of doing the rest of my back workout after, but it was apparent 20 min in that this spin class was going to empty my tank.  I was sweating, working as hard as I possibly could, and slowly getting my butt more and more kicked.  I almost didn’t make it through the last song.  I had nothing left.  so I hit the showers, exhausted.

Changing back into my clothes, in the lockerroom, a young man leans over to start talking about the cracks in the soles of my feet and how I need to use teatree oil.  Weird people, man.  It creeped me out.

After gym I went to the health food store to pick up snacks for race day.  I wanted some sort of easy digesting snack, maybe I could try one of those cool gels I see runners eat.  Bonus to sucking down gel all day, I can pretend I’m an astronaut!  But I had to start snacking on it now, to let my tummy get used to it.  Take no chances.

And since it was carb loading day, I had visions of rice for dinner!  Hooray!  But still the trip home was totally miserable.  I walked in the door, flung off my coat, and collapsed.

A hard day, rivers of sweat and miles of frustration.  But I paid my dues today.


How about you?  Any good workouts?