Posts Tagged NROL4W

Back to the Gym

After a short work day today, I headed to the gym to meet Curtis and his dad for a workout.  I got there first and actually did a lifting workout.  Woohoo!  I was feeling more than a little discouraged last time I lifted because all the weights that used to be light for me felt so heavy.  Tonight was much better though.  Since I’m easing into weight lifting, I kept the weights light for this first session just to get used to it again.  I did workout A from stage 1 of the NROLW:

A. Squat – 2 sets of 15 reps @ 65 lbs barbell with 60 s RI

B1. Push-up – 2 sets of 15 reps @ BW with 60 s RI

B2. Seated row – 2 sets of 15 reps @ plate 7/8 with 60 s RI (not sure of the weight of the plates, it was probably about 50 lbs?)

C1. Step-ups – 2 sets of 15 reps @ 15 lbs dumbbells with 60 s RI

C2. Prone jackknife – 2 sets of 8 reps @ BW with 60 s RI

After my lifting, I got on the treadmill for about 35 minutes and did alternating 5 minutes walking with 5 minutes running.  I haven’t been on the treadmill in months and it was incredibly boring.  I can’t believe I spent all last winter running on the treadmill to train for my half-marathon, because I know there’s no way I could do that now.  I think my only saving grace was that the Olympics were on for so much of the time last winter.

Tomorrow I’m going running with a friend after work.  We’re planning to run outside, so I’m hoping the temperature drops to a tolerable level by the time we go- it’s supposed to reach 91 degrees tomorrow!  I thought we were done with the summer heat, but apparently it’s not quite gone yet.


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New Plan

I’m going to pull a fast one on you and do a workout switch for this week (and the next few weeks).  Curtis signed us up to run an 8K on October 16 with some friends in Arlington, so I decided I should actually do some training for it.  I found Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 8k training plan and thought it would be a good option, or at least the last four weeks of it.  I think my base running fitness is sufficient to make up for the first 4 weeks of the 8 week plan and I can just start at week 5.

So tonight, I ran 4 miles with dog, Curtis and my father-in-law who is in town in tow.  We set a pretty quick pace for me, and ran my typical 4 mile loop around town.  We didn’t start till after 7PM, so it was already dark out and as I’ve mentioned I haven’t got any reflective gear yet.  I came up with a great solution though!  I attached a small LED flashlight to Tara’s collar so that it hung down and pointed at the ground.  It worked perfectly to light the pathway! And it didn’t seem to bother her one bit!  We were a bit worried that it would be too bright and she wouldn’t be able to see and that it would be uncomfortable, but I think since it pointed straight at the ground it wasn’t in her eyes at all and her running stride seemed to keep it pretty steady so it didn’t seem to bother her either.  I will feel much safer with this solution on the dark, unlit paths around here and add a little reflective gear and we will be good to go for the paths through the woods or near the roads.

By the way, 4 miles isn’t exactly on the plan for today, but it was a happy medium since it’s already Tuesday.  The plan has rest days on Friday, but I know that realistically I need my rest days to be Mondays, so my schedule will look something like this:

M: Rest

T: Easy 3 mile run

W: Moderate 5-6 mile run

R: Intervals or Tempo run

F: 3-4 mile run

S: Cross training

S: Long run
I would like to get in some weight training.  I still haven’t committed to starting NROLW again and I would really like to get back into it.  I originally wanted to lift 3 days a week, but I think that it is unreasonable right now to go from 0 gym days to 3+ gym days a week.  I need to gradually ease myself into it.  So, I’m going to start with doing what I can during the next four weeks then try to ease myself into the lifting program with two days a week of good heavy lifting.

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Oy Vey…

After my one very successful morning run, I have not yet managed to drag myself out of bed to repeat the experience.  I swore this morning would be THE morning, but alas, when my alarm went off at 5:30AM and it was still pitch black out I rationalized that I shouldn’t run in the dark until I get some reflective gear. (Note to self: add buying reflective gear to already overly long list of things to do).  I’ve decided that Mondays just aren’t good for morning workouts, all Mondays should be rest days!  But that means that other days should actually include some sort of physical activity.  If I make a list here, will you hold me accountable?  Please, oh please leave me a very stern comment or shoot me an email telling me to get my butt back out there.

Workouts for this week:

Tuesday: Weight Lifting (NROLW) after work

Wednesday: Run 30 minutes Hill repeats or Intervals (morning)

Thursday: Run? after work

Friday: Weight Lifting (NROLW) after lab or between labs if I can get my student ID this week

Saturday: Run 4 mile loop

Sunday: Weight Lifting (NROLW) or Swim

You probably won’t see me doing too much bike riding in the near future.  I’m more burnt out on that one that swimming or running.  For some reason the thought of even getting in the saddle completely demotivates me right now.

Have a great week!

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I had a great day today!  I got back my biochemistry exam and got a 98!!  It was a tough exam, so I am really very very pleased with the score.  I have a microbiology test this Friday, so hopefully I can keep it up and get another good grade on that one also.  I also was super-proud of Tara, our German Shepherd Dog, today.  We’ve had her for almost 7 months now and she has really come a long way since we brought her home.  The training we’ve done with her has really paid off.  I take her with me to my mom’s a lot of the time so she can get some fresh air in their yard and we can take advantage of the fenced area to play a bit of fetch.  At home, I often let her come out the front door with me off-leash after I’ve checked that there is nothing to distract her and make her run off (i.e. squirrels and other dogs).  Well, this afternoon when we were leaving to go to my mom’s, I let her out and she usually runs straight to the car.  My neighbor happened to just be walking her dog up the street and Tara caught sight of them and bolted!  I immediately called her, “Tara, here!”  and she stopped short in her tracks and immediately sprinted back to me!  This may not seem like much, but I think it is a huge success!  It’s a comforting thought to know that she’ll listen immediately even when she’s distracted if she ever comes upon a dangerous situation. 🙂

The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful.  I did NROLW stage 5 workout B tonight:

A. Barbell Romanian Deadlift/Bent-Over Row – 3 sets of 4 @ 90 lbs with 120s RI

B1. Partial single-leg squat – 3 sets of 4 @ 25 lbs with 120s RI

B2. Wide grip lat pulldown – 3 sets of 4 @ 80 lbs with 120s RI

C1. Back Extension (Prone Cobra) – 3 sets of 120s @ BW with 120s RI

C2. YTWL – 3 sets of 4 @ 10 lbs with 120s RI

D1. Swiss-ball crunch -3 sets of 4 @ 20 lbs with 120s RI

D2. Hip flexion – 3 sets of 4 @ BW with 120s RI

D3. Lateral flexion – 3 sets of 4 @ BW with 120s RI

This workout never seems quite as challenging as the other this stage.  I guess it’s because there is so much core work at the end that’s done at low/no weight.  I am kind of jealous of Mom, she is finishing this stage this week and gets to move on to Stage 6, which is the chin-up stage!  I am really excited about it for some reason.  I feel strange being so excited about a new weight workout, but I’ve really learned to love lifting over the past year.

Tomorrow will be a running day, just 5 miles with some up hill work.  I’m hoping to do it outside with Tara for part of it if the weather cooperates.

Goal Check-In

It’s that time of the month for my goal check-in for yearly and February goals!  I am also squeezing in some March goal-setting tonight, so bear with me through the rest of the post!

Yearly goals:

1. Set monthly goals on the first of every month and check-in on progress on the last day of every month. This is a work in progress.  I’m checking-in a day late, but on track for goal setting for March!
2. Complete a half-Ironman triathlon (signed up for Ironman 70.3 Timberman on August 22, 2010). Registered and reserved a room.  Training to begin in April.
3. Complete 2 sprint or Olympic distance triathlons as part of the Virginia Triathlon Series. Probably going to do Smith Mountain Lake Sprint and unsure what the other will be.
4. Do a half-marathon (signed up for the Charlottesville half-Marathon on April 17, 2010). Registered and in-training!
5. Complete one training run of 20 miles. I’m half-way there!  I finished my first 10 mile run on Feb. 14!
6. Try one new workout class at the gym for a month. Not yet, would like to try spin or a yoga class.

February goals:

1. Run a total of 60 miles by the end of the month. (Exercise tracker should reach 110 miles).  Done, I reached 115 miles on my tracker this month!

2. Workout (weights/running/cross training) at least 4 times per week. Almost reached this goal.  I think last week I only worked out 3 times.

3. Use bike trainer at least once! Done!

4. Focus on nutrition this month by counting calories for one continuous week, starting 2/15/2010. I counted calories for the last two weeks of February.

5. Go on one of the running club runs or join the triathlon club. Still haven’t gotten up the guts to do this.

6. Blog more than once a week! My calendar tells me that I did this for every week except the first one of February.

March goals:

1. Run at least 75 miles by the end of the month.  (Exercise tracker should reach 190 miles).

2. Workout (weights/running/cross training) at least 4 times per week.

3. Do a workout at home at least once per week.  (On demand workout, bike trainer, or DVD).

4. Run outside at least once per week.

5. Run with Tara at least 5 miles per week (no more than 3 miles per run).

6. Go for a run with the running club.

7. Join the triathlon club forum and post at least once.

8. Continue to focus on nutrition for the month by counting calories and balancing macronutrient levels.

9. Blog more than twice per week.

Have a great week!

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NROLW and a shortened Run

I did my run as planned yesterday – a personal 5k on the treadmill.  I finished in a personal best of 28:42!  it made me wonder what my speed would have been in a real race outside.  I wonder whether my mental toughness is developed enough to push faster?  I definitely wasn’t completely worn out from the run, so I think I could have gone faster.  Only one way to find out!  Hopefully I’ll get to race in a 5k and 10k before the half-marathon this spring.

Today, I decided to do NROLW Stage 5, workout B.

A. Barbell Romanian deadlift/bent-over row – 3 sets of 4 reps @ 85 lbs, 120s RI

B1. Partial single-leg squat – 3 sets of 4 reps @ BW, 120s RI

B2. Wide grip lat pulldown – 3 sets of 4 reps @ 75/80/80 lbs, 120s RI

C1. Back extension – 3 sets of 4 @ 25 lbs, 120s RI

C2. YTWL – 3 sets of 4 @ 10 lbs, 120s RI

D1. Swiss ball crunch – 3 sets of 4 @ 20 lbs, 120s RI

D2. Hip flexion – 3 sets of 4 @ BW, 120s RI

D3. Lateral flexion – 3 sets of 4 @ BW, 120s RI

E. Prone Cobra – 3 sets of 120s @ BW, 120s RI

Then I did my 15 minutes HIIT on the treadmill and kept running till 4.25 miles.  I was supposed to run a full 6-8 miles, but I just wasn’t feeling it today.  I know that’s a terrible excuse, but so it goes.

I’m still planning to count calories this week.  And to hold me accountable, I’ll post them here for every day this week.  I aim for about 2300 calories per day with a 30/30/40 split of protein/fat/carbs.  Let’s see what I’m at, shall we?

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Recovery Week and Goals Check-In

Hi!  It was strange being back at work this week after working from home all last week!  I’ve got several projects that are keeping me pretty busy right now, so work has been slightly stressful.  Not so much that I’m losing sleep over anything though!  I had an easy week for run training this week, just 4 miles each on Tuesday and Thursday.  Tuesday also included four 2:00 aerobic intervals.  I felt pretty good for both runs, both were done at a slightly faster than 10 minute mile pace overall.  This weekend I have a personal 5k planned for tomorrow and 6-8 miles on Sunday.  The heart rate stats include warm-up and cool-down.

Tuesday Run Heart Rate:

Duration – 47:15

Average Heart Rate – 171

Maximum Heart Rate – 194

Calories – 520

Thursday Run Heart Rate:

Duration -55:45

Average Heart Rate – 161

Maximum Heart Rate – 182

Calories – 565

I was supposed to start NROLW Stage 5 on Monday, but it started to snow again Monday afternoon and I didn’t want to drive in case it accumulated.  So, I didn’t end up starting workout A until Tuesday.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to finish it until today!  I did the A and B exercises on Tuesday and the rest today.  We had a very busy social life this week, and had friends over for dinner on Monday and Wednesday, and Curtis’s dad stayed with us on Tuesday night.  Then Thursday nights I have limited time because I have dog training with Tara.  Thank goodness I have off work on Fridays now!  I really need them to get things done!

This stage of NROLW is a repeat of an earlier stage, but with less repetitions and more sets.  Here’s the workout…

A. One-armed dumbbell snatch – 3 sets of 4 reps @ 20 lbs, 120s RI

B1. Dumbbell single-leg Romanian deadlift – 3 sets of 4 reps @ 30 lbs DBs, 120s RI

B2. Barbell bent over row – 3 sets of 4 reps @ 85 lbs, 120s RI

C1. Dumbbell single arm overhead squat – 3 sets of 4 reps (each arm) @ 12.5 lbs/15lbs and 25 lbs or 30 lbs DBs, 120s RI

C2. Dumbbell incline bench press – 3 sets of 4 reps @ 25 lbs DBs, 120s RI

D1. Plank – 3 sets of 120s, 120s RI

D2. Reverse Wood Chop – 3 sets of 4 reps @ plate 4, 120s RI

Body Weight Matrix (2 sets)

24 squats

12 lunges (each leg)

12 lunge jumps (each leg)

24 squat jumps

As always, that Body Weight Matrix business is tough.  I did the first set in 2:25, rested for 4:50 and then did the second set in 3:15.  I had to sit down for a bit after completing the second set.  Whew!  I need to increase weight almost across the board.  I think I can go up on A, C1, C2, and possibly D2.  Of course, since I split the workout in half, I’ll probably find that the weights I used to day are more than enough for next time.

Heart Rate Stats for Tuesday weights (A-B2):

Duration – 34:16

Average Heart Rate – 151

Maximum Heart Rate – 180

Calories – 195

Heart Rate Stats for Thursday weights (C1-Body Weight Matrix and stretching):

Duration – 1:00:38

Average Heart Rate – 119

Maximum Heart Rate – 180

Calories – 336

I think it will be helpful for me to check-in throughout the month on my monthly goals.  I intended to do this at the end of last week, but clearly that didn’t happen!  Better late than never…here goes.

1. Run a total of 60 miles by the end of the month. (Exercise tracker should reach 110 miles). I am definitely on track to reach this goal.  Already at 94.9 miles and I’m confident I can finish another 15 miles by the end of the month.

2. Workout (weights/running/cross training) at least 4 times per week. Despite the snow, I actually think I met this one every week this month so far.  I did four workouts the first week, five the second week, and have done three so far this week, with 2 more planned this weekend.

3. Use bike trainer at least once! Done! I did this last week on Wednesday during the second snow storm.

4. Focus on nutrition this month by counting calories for one continuous week, starting 2/15/2010. I  haven’t done too well with counting calories this week, so I’m going to keep it up for next week.  Mostly, I can keep track during the day, but I found dinners to be difficult this week because we had company twice and ate out once.

5. Go on one of the running club runs or join the triathlon club. Nope, not done either or made an effort to do either…I need to work on this.

6. Blog more than once a week! I actually set this goal after the first week of the month was over.  Since then, I have met this goal on the second week.  I need to blog at least one more time this weekend to meet it for this week.  I should mention that my weeks run Monday-Sunday for training purposes.

There’s more snow in the forecast for Monday.  It’s not supposed to be too bad though.  I hope that’s true because I’m ready to be done with snow now!

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Not quite what I planned

I must admit, I didn’t make it to the gym as planned on Monday morning.  I’m okay with it though, I’m still getting into the swing of things with my classes and figuring out the timing on getting to campus and such.  It’s crazy, but I have to leave over an hour early to get there, park, and get to class on time!  So, I don’t really gain that much time in the  mornings with starting class later than work.  I did do my planned NROLW workout on Monday night with my mom.  We are on the 3rd week of stage 4 and did the B workout.  I am really excited that we start the next stage next week!  Although, I have gotten used to these rather short routines for this stage.  It was definitely a treat after the loooong workouts in stage 3.

My run Tuesday was abbreviated from the plan.  It was supposed to be 3 miles, then 2×2:00, 2×3:00, 2×4:00 aerobic intervals, then another 2 miles.  I only did about 3 miles total, starting with a 1 mile warmup, then 2×2:00, 2×3:00, and 1×4:00 and then running till 3 miles and then cooldown.  I had to drop Suli, my kitty, off at the vet Tuesday evening for her teeth to be cleaned on Wednesday and I had to drop my car off at the shop because it’s been acting up lately.  Needless to say, it was a rather hectic evening and Curtis and I didn’t get to the gym till late (around 8 PM), so we didn’t want to do very long runs.

Again, tonight was somewhat hectic since we had to pick up both cat and car after their time at the vet and the shop.  Both are doing ok.  Suli is recovering nicely although still a little glassy eyed and definitely annoyed by Tara following her around wondering where she’s been.  Poor kitty!  She’s only 8 pounds, but she’s a pistol and I think she gave the vet techs quite a hassle when they were trying to remove her catheter before going home. Anyways, I decided I would do my next lifting session on Friday morning before class.  Then it’s off for a weekend of skiing for me!

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Cold Weekend

I’m back!  That skiing trip took up a lot of my blog time.  I didn’t end up running on Thursday or Sunday as called for by my plan.  Thursday I had plans in the evening and had to pack for skiing, so I just never got around to it.  Sunday, I spent the day skiing and then we had to travel home and didn’t get back until around 10 pm.  We did ski both Saturday and Sunday, though.  It was really cold both days, single digits and teens and snowing.  Luckily, we were well-prepared for the below-freezing temperatures and were dressed appropriately.  I only had issues with my fingers and toes getting cold, mostly just my fingers.

Tonight, it was back to my regularly scheduled weight training, which was workout B of stage 4.

A. Wide grip deadlift from a box – 2 sets of 8 @ 115 lbs barbell with 90 s RI

B1. Bulgarian split squat – 2 sets of 8 @ 25 lbs plate with 90 s RI

B2. Underhand grip lat pull down – 2 sets of 8 @ 70 lbs with 90 s RI

C1. Reverse lunge from box with forward reach – 2 sets of 8 @ 12 lbs dumbbells with 90 s RI

C2. Dumbbell prone Cuban snatch – 2 sets of 8 @ 12 lbs dumbbells with 90 s RI

D1. Swiss ball crunch – 2 sets of 8 @ 15 lbs DB with 90 s RI

D2. Reverse crunch – 2 sets of 8 @ BW with 90 s RI

D3. Lateral flexion – 2 sets of 8 @ BW with 90 s RI

E. Prone cobra – 2 sets of 120 s @ BW with 90 s RI

Heart rate stats:

Duration – 45:09

Maximum Heart Rate – 175

Average Heart Rate – 123

Calories – 274

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Cross Training?

Does downhill skiing count for cross-training this weekend?  We just found out that we have the opportunity to go to Timberline in West Virginia for the weekend and stay for free.  Since Curtis and I both LOVE to ski, and they’re getting decent snow this week, we could not pass it up.  Needless to say, I will not be doing my planned 8 mile run on Sunday.  And, I believe I set it as a goal to take my actual rest and cross training and not try to squeeze in extra workouts this year, so I am not even going to try and move it somewhere else! Crazy, I know.  I guess I’m going to fail at my 3-4 runs per week goal for this week, but I’m honestly not too worried about it.  My training has been stellar, and I can’t let it get in the way of my life! Can you tell I’m super-excited?!  We had limited ski time last year because we were saving vacation days for the wedding and didn’t have the opportunity to go on the weekend other than once (due to wedding planning activities).  It’ll be nice to get out on the slopes and have some downtime.  I’m really really interested to see if my increased leg strength from all my strength training, running and biking will impact my abilities.  I’m betting yes, but not sure since it’s not really specific and it’s been a year since I’ve been.  I’m planning to wear my heart rate monitor this weekend to see what the numbers are.

Anyways…back to your regularly scheduled program!

I went to mom’s tonight to do the first workout (A) of Stage 4 of NROLW, which is actually a throwback to Stage 2 with slightly different sets/reps/rest.  In this stage, there is the option of doing 2 or 3 sets.  Tonight I only did 2 because I wanted to finish quickly, but I think I’ll alternate between 2 and 3 every other week (if I say it here I’m obligated to do it, right?).  Here’s the workout:

A. Front squat / push press – 2 sets of 8 @ 65 lbs barbell with 90 s RI

B1. Step-up – 2 sets of 8 @ 25 lbs dumbbells with 90 s RI

B2. Dumbbell one-point row – 2 sets of 8 @ 25 lbs dumbbells with 90 s RI

C1. Static lunge, rear foot elevated – 2 sets of 8 @ 25 lbs dumbbells with 90 s RI

C2. Push-up – 2 sets of 8 @ BW with 90 s RI

D1. Plank – 2 sets of 120 s @ BW with 90 s RI  (Planks for 2 minutes = NOT FUN!)

D2. Cable horizontal wood chop – 2 sets of 8 @ mid-weight (~15 lbs?) exercise band with 90 s RI

(SIDE NOTE: My ‘g’ on my keyboard is broken and it’s driving me nuts…the key keeps popping off and getting stuck under the ‘f’.)


Duration – 35:57

Maximum Heart Rate – 179

Average Heart Rate – 137

Calories – 274

It was nice to workout with mom today, instead of fighting the testosterone-ful men at the gym for equipment.  Usually, I’m the only female anywhere near the free weights at the gym (other than the odd personal trainer working with a male client).  One night I was there, I actually counted 17+ men (I think there were more that were hidden behind columns/equipment) on the floor and I was the only woman.  The other gym that I used to go to had more female lifters, but still not many.  I wish more women would join the weight-lifting ranks and take control of the weight room.  One thing I have noticed, though, is that the men socialize just as much (if not more!) than women at my gym.  One guy even told me he had been there for 3 hours and probably only worked out for about 30 minutes because he had been talking.  Who has time for that?

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January Goals (a little late)

Well, I forgot that I set a goal to write this months goals by Thursday or Friday last week. Better late than never! Before this month’s goals, though, I want to recap my yearly goals. I realized that I never organized them in an easy to read list in my post, so they may be hard to find later on.
1. Set monthly goals on the first of every month and check-in on progress on the last day of every month.
2. Complete a half-Ironman triathlon (signed up for Ironman 70.3 Timberman on August 22, 2010).
3. Complete 2 sprint or Olympic distance triathlons as part of the Virginia Triathlon Series.
4. Do a half-marathon (signed up for the Charlottesville half-Marathon on April 17, 2010).
5. Complete one training run of 20 miles.
6. Try one new workout class at the gym for a month.

I actually am having a bit of a hard time coming up with my goals for January. I think it’s because I’ve spent so much time these past few days thinking about the “big picture” for my fitness goals this year. Here goes…
1. Run a total of 80 miles by the end of the month.
2. Run 3-4 times per week, no more and no less.
3. Use my new bike trainer at least twice.
4. Join a local running or triathlon club, or both.

A note about the last goal- our area has both active Runners club and Triathlon club, both of which I’ve considered joining in the past. The running club does weekend runs on both Saturdays (~5 miles) and Sundays (~10 miles). Curtis and I ran with them once a couple of months ago on a Saturday. I’ve never done anything with the triathlon club, but I’ve been lurking on their email listserv for about a year now. They don’t seem to have a ton of organized training activities, but I am thinking about joining for the camaraderie and in hopes of finding some training partners. When I was in school (high school and college), I was part of a number of different clubs and groups, but for some reason, I have quite the mental block about it these days. I am going to overcome that this month and take the leap.

In training today, I did NROLW Stage 3 workout B. This is the last workout for Stage 3 and Wednesday starts Stage 4!

A. Barbell Romanian deadlift/Bent-over row – 3 sets of 6 @ 85 lbs with RI 105s
B1. Partial Single-leg squat – 3 sets of 6 @ BW with RI 105s
B2. Wide grip lat pulldown – 3 sets of 6 @ 80 lbs with RI 105s
C1. Back Extension – 3 sets of 6 @ 15 lbs with RI 105s
C2. YTWL – 3 sets of 6 @ 7.5 lbs DBs with RI 105s
D1. Swiss ball Crunch (Long-arm variation) – 3 sets of 6 @ 15 lbs with RI 105s
D2. Hip Flexion (incline reverse crunch) – 3 sets of 6 @ BW with RI 105s
D3. Lateral Flexion (Swiss-ball side crunch) – 3 sets of 6 @ BW with RI 105s
E. Prone Cobra – 3 sets of 90s @ BW with RI 105s

Heart Rate Stats:
Duration – 1:04:33
Maximum Heart Rate – 165
Average Heart Rate – 124
Calories – 407

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