Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You Are your Own Gym Program

A few months ago the host of one of the running podcasts that I listen to and really enjoy mentioned the book You are Your own Gym (Yayog).  We're also friends on dailymile and he started posting his Yayog workouts.  I had been interested in adding some workouts that I could do at home if I get the kids to sleep or in short amounts of time.  I reserved the book at the library (which has a really great system for reserving books online and sending you an e-mail).  I was only 3rd or 4th on the list but apparently everyone who checks out the book wants to keep it for the full time because it took two months for me to move to the top of the list.  In that time, I really considered just buying the book but in case I didn't like it I didn't want to have a $13 book sitting around. 

I got it last Thursday or Friday and spent a few days just reading it.  The first few chapters are an explanation of the author's background and philosophy, nutrition, why you should resistance train, etc.  Then the book shows the exercises (I think more than 100 of them) with detailed explanations and pictures. Each exercise tells you if it's a 1-4 level (1 being beginner and 4 being expert) and giving modifications for making it easier and making it harder.  Wow.  Let me say that some of the exercises I can't imagine ever being able to do not to mention the "make it harder" variations.  The exercises are either done with just your body weight or are done with things you have sitting around your house like leaning on the door frame or using a coffee table. You do pull ups on the top of the door but I don't think I can reach the top of the door unless I stand on a chair.  A few ask you to pick up soup cans or phone books but most just use your body and house. 

His intent is that you can mix and match however you would like.  But the back of the book includes 4 10 week programs (basic through Master Class (or something like that - It's a military name)).  He gives minimums that a person should be able to do before starting the 3 non-basic programs.  The basic program is 4 days a week (and may become 5 days later). 

I started the Basic program on Monday.  The first two weeks are ladders - you set a timer for 7.5 minutes.  Do 1 rep of the exercise, do 2 reps, do 3 reps, etc. until you would not be able to do the next count, then come back down.  So 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, (would not be able to do 6) 4, 3, 2, 1.  If you finish before the time you start another ladder or just do 1, 1, 1 until the end of time.  Monday was push/pull so push-ups, let-me-ins (sort of pulling to standing on a doorknob), triceps dips, and an exercise that I couldn't figure out how to do given the things sitting around out house but now I have figured it out.  Tuesday was legs/core.  First was supposed to be step-back alternating lunges but I could not do a single one so I used the modification of already being in the lunge stance.  Then alternating Romanian Dead Leans or something like.  Possibly the most confusing exercise I've ever done.  I literally could not get my body to lean forward while putting the wrong hand forward.  I just saw a note in the Yayog forum that this is one of the hardest exercises to do.  Then squats.  Then swimmers (lay on your stomach and lift one leg and opposite arm, etc.)

So far I've "enjoyed" it if enjoying is breaking a serious sweat at 8:00 in the evening.  If someone else has the book reserved, I won't be able to renew it so I'll probably either buy it in a few weeks or put it at the top of my holiday wish list. 

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