Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Fat Woman and the hardcore cardio

Fat Woman is a big fan on continuous improvement. Fat Woman seeks out truth, however uncomfortable, and had learned to take criticism. Fat Woman thinks that if you can't take criticism you are never going to learn, and if you never learn anything you're never going to change. That would  make you boring.

Fat Woman had said to Personal Trainer that he could criticise anything he liked about her and she would take note, although she would be grateful if he would keep the listing of her personality flaws to under six as she is a sensitive little bunny really.

Personal Trainer did not take this chance to tell Fat Woman she can be an annoying know-it-all (why should he when Fat Woman obviously knows this already?) or listing all the ways in which he finds her annoying. Instead Personal Trainer responded by critiquing Fat Woman's squat technique. Fat Woman feels that Personal Trainer threw away a golden opportunity, but thinks it's nice that Personal Trainer is focussed on her training.

Personal Trainer then made Fat Woman re-learn how to squat. This is all very good and useful, and Fat Woman is still learning how to squat properly as new issues keep emerging. The latest issue is that Fat Woman is tracking right during squats because a hip flexor (or something around that area) needs stretching. Osteopath was in agreement, so Fat Woman has yet another stretch in her repertoire.

The other criticism that Personal Trainer made was that Fat Woman doesn't do enough high intensity cardio. Personal Trainer pointed out that Fat Woman is great at low to medium intensity cardio work and can carry on rowing or walking or biking for hours. Fat Woman doesn't carry on for hours because she gets very, very bored doing cardio inside the gym. Personal Trainer said that Fat Woman could do with more intense cardio work, working at a higher heart rate. Fat Woman took this on board as she still hasn't got used to how fit she actually is, and Personal Trainer put high intensity cardio into Fat Woman's training sessions.

Personal Trainer went away for a week and Fat Woman thought this would be an ideal time to try doing some intense cardio at endurance levels. Fat Woman did a nice long set on the stationary bike, then stretched, and switched to the cross trainer. Fat Woman found a "cardio" programme that sets your heart rate at the "ideal" level and adjusts the resistance of then machine to keep you on track. Fat Woman thought this was an awesome idea and set off. Fat Woman set off and put her heart into the target range she works at with Personal Trainer (164bpm, which is a nominal 90% of the recommended max, depending on which algorithm you pick) and the machine started complaining and getting really, really slack in order to bring Fat Woman's heart rate down. Fat Woman had to reset the machine in the end.

Fat Woman was feeling very smug that she was so fit that the programmes on the machines at the gym weren't hard enough for her. Then Fat Woman did some reading and found out that recommended heart rate during exercise varies up to 15 beats per minute each way for individuals, so she could probably have worked a bit harder..

Fat Woman also did further reading and found many dire warnings about working too hard at 90% of your recommended maximum heart rate. Fat Woman is saving these to show Personal Trainer on a Cardio Friday when she doesn't feel like working hard.

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