Friday, December 31, 2010

More Stairs

Beginner Workout: Walk up the stairs.

Yup, you read it right; you can start by simply walking up the stairs. . Once you can climb 20 flights without difficulty, then you are ready to graduate to intermediate levels
Beginners can start by simply walking up the stairs.

For some people, walking up 20 flights of stairs will be difficult at first. If you get tired when climbing up, simply take a breather and rest a minute or two before finishing your climb. Another tip is to use the hand rails to help pull your way up. This is actually a technique I picked up from stair racers. As they go up the stairs they pull themselves up using the handrails. They do this to help save their legs towards the end of the race. This also has the added benefit of working your upper body at the same time.

Once you can walk up 20 flights with no problem, what’s next? The next level is to perform sets of 10-20 flights, but this is where things can get interesting by adding rounds and increasing your stride length (number of steps you climb at a time).

Intermediate Workout: Walk Up The Stairs 2 flights at a time for multiple rounds

Warm up: Walk up 10-20 flights using every step (Usually takes 2-4 minutes)

Round 2: Walk up 10-20 flights using every 2 steps. (Usually takes 1:30-3:30)

There is a big difference between walking up every step and using 2 steps. Changing from 1 to 2 steps forces your legs to work much harder ,so expect increases in strength, endurance, calories burned and yes body fat burned!

Round 3: Repeat Round 2

Round 4: Repeat Round 2

Round 5: Repeat Round 2

With a 1-2 minute rest in between rounds this workout should take about 25 minutes.
So what happens when this 5-round intermediate workout becomes too easy? Don’t worry, there are higher and higher levels!

Advanced Workout: Run Up the stairs for multiple rounds

 Warm up: Walk up 10-20 flights using every step (Usually takes 1-4 minutes)

Round 2: Walk up 10-20 flights using every 2 steps. (Usually takes 1:30-3:30)

Round 3: Run up 10 fights using 1 or 2 steps (Usually takes 45-60 seconds)
After your first round of running up, you will need to rest, so take as long as you need to catch your breath and then repeat. (Usually 2-5 minutes)

Round 4: Repeat Round 3

Round 5: Repeat Round 3

With a 1-5 minute rest in between rounds this workout should take about 20 minutes.

This is just the beginning. There are countless other ways to add variety to these workouts to make them tougher. I've actually had a Professional WNBA player curse me out because the stair workouts I gave her were so brutal. She actually scared me too as she was 6'3 and would push me around on the court when we played pick up basketball.

More Stair Workout Tips:

Change the rest intervals:

As your conditioning improves and you are looking for greater fat loss this, decreasing your rest intervals is an excellent way to shock your system into greater progress. So if you’re resting 3 minutes between your rounds drop down to 2:45 and so forth. I actually dropped down to even 1 minute between rounds and these have been some of the most time efficient and most rewarding workouts I’ve ever done.

Add more rounds:

This one is simple. Add more exercise and you will do more work. The more work done  the more fat burned. 

Try 3 steps:

A word of warning: running stairs three at a time is difficult and only for those who are highly fit. You have no business doing this if you are not an advanced stair exerciser. And I mean “real” stair exerciser. Even elite professional athletes will trip over themselves trying this if they are not ready for it! Besides burning a lot of fat, you can also expect major increases in strength and power.

So there you have it – three workouts from beginner to advanced, and three ways to take your real stair climbing workouts to even higher levels as you get in better and better shape. 

Happy Stair Climbing And Fat-Burning!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Climbing for fun

So I had a thought...
How strenuous is the climb to the top of the Crown?
The climb to the crown is a strenuous journey that encompasses 354 steps in a cramped enclosed area with high temperatures. The steps within the Statue are 19" (48 cm) wide, are shallow and taper at one end. Head clearance is 6 feet 2 inches. All crown visitors must be able to climb up and down the 354 steps unassisted.
I just booked my tour for Wednesday January 19th at 10am from Jersey City Ferry Terminal in Liberty State Park.


So I FINALLY went and checked out the stairs at my mom's place.
It's better than I'd hoped. There are 17 floors and 14 stairs between each floor. That's 238 stairs! Give or take.
Monday  I'm going to Boot Camp and then I'm headed back to mom's to do the stairs.

We went to Rock Center today to see the tree.

I am officially scared.

WHAT was I thinking?! I'm going to climb to the top of THIS?! Holy smokes...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

5 boro

While I'm at it discussing biking and things...
Feb 1st is the day to sign up for the TD Bank 5 boro! This year I finish. So help me God this year I finish.

Back on track

Monday I'm heading back to Boot Camp. I'm afraid I'm going to feel like a toddler learning to walk all over again.
I HATE taking these extended breaks. In my head, I'll be able to pick right back up where I left off but I know that physically that's not realistic and I also know that this will frustrate me to no end.
Saturday since the weather is going to be 40 degrees I'm going to head into the city and take the bike out. I don't expect to be able to do more than 5 or 6 miles but it's better than nothing!
I have to keep that thought at the forefront of my brain. That while pushing myself is good, setting unrealistic goals will only frustrate me and set me in the wrong direction to reach my goals.
There is a definite part of my brain that thinks I'll be able to bike 20 miles on Saturday and will be very angry and frustrated if I can't.
Honestly, if I make it up to the Intrepid and then back to mom's (or down to the Staten Island Ferry and back up) I'll be elated. It's about 8 miles up and back both ways. I need to remember smaller bites to reach my goal. If not, I'll never get to see the top of the stairs or see the finish of the 5 boro!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


So the hubs and I have agreed that we are both going to lose 30 pounds by our next Disney trip which is on April 6th.
That means I have about 98 days to get to 155 pounds.
I haven't been 155 pounds in about 20 years.  This should be FUN!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stair Climb

So today I'd promised myself that I was going to my moms to do the 18 flights of stairs.
As you can see from the clock above I have about 2 months to get my act together so I don't make a complete fool of myself and be the last kid on the stairs at the Climb to the Top.

I really was going to do it too and then that damn voice in my head piped up "But why start today? You can't do it again till next week. Wait, start then"

The other smart, strong voice didn't have anything to say so my feet took me home.

When I picked the kids up from school the first thing my oldest asked me was "Did you do the stairs?"
I was honest. I told him I didn't.
He got mad at me!
He informed me that while on winter break, they will be doing the stairs with me every single day.
I told him he's got himself a deal.

Now, to keep myself on the straight and narrow at bedtime each night, I will be telling the kiddos that we are going to visit their grandmother and we will do the stairs and have lunch with grandma and my sister.

I know my kids, they will be sure I get to those steps every single day.

I also haven't been to Boot Camp in about 3 weeks and I'm starting to feel flabby and icky. Hopefully the stairs will get me back on track and in the groove again.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Oh my GOSH! I know what I'm ordering myself with my Christmas money!
Sure it's not the 25 pound I'm used to but it will totally work for having at home.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This morning (Which I think is a much more accurate read)
Headed in the right direction!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


The hubby goes back to work tomorrow.
I love him, he's my best pal and I'm always happy to have him around, even when the reason he's around isn't so cool. (He's been home on bereavement leave)
He does however, supremely mess with my schedule.
Perfect example:
The other day I woke him up as I was getting the kids ready for school and said
"I think today I'm going to head into the city and do the stairs at my mom's place"
and I left the room.
I came back in a few minutes later and he said:
"So, you wanna hang out today?"
The lazy evil twit in me said
and that was that. No exercise for me on that day.
I've been away from Boot Camp and any sort of exercise for almost 2 weeks now.
I'm REALLY anxious to get to those damn stairs at mom's so I think tomorrow I'm going to drop off the kids and head into the city to do them.  If I was feeling REALLY ambitious, I'd do Boot Camp AND stairs but I don't think I've got that in me.
I really want to see the scale moving in the right direction again and it's not going to do anything if I sit around here on my fat rear end all day!!

Tomorrow I'm going to do the stairs and then walk down to the World Trade Center PATH station.

Things that make me happy

This is today

From here on December 2nd

Monday, December 13, 2010


So, tomorrow we have no boot camp due to a sick David.

Tomorrow, I think after I drop the kiddos off at school, I'm going to finally do what I've been saying I'm going to do and head into the city to do the stairs at my mom's place.

I'm actually looking forward to it!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Eating with kids

Yesterday was my mother in laws memorial service. It was lovely and I only had one breakdown during a conversation with MIL's BFF.

I am convinced that time is relative to the situation. When I'm in Disney World, I look at my watch and 4 hours have flown away.
Yesterday, time stood still and I'm certain the clock actually ticked backwards.
By the time we go to the hall to eat, I was beyond starving.

Thankfully, the kids were also starving and so rather than drag my chair to the buffet of yummy food, I focused on what they needed and bounced up and down like a yoyo getting them stuff.
When I was finally able to sit, I had a small serving of what was offered and I sucked it down like a vacuum. Against my own better judgment and the voices in my head, rather than sitting and waiting to let the food digest I galloped back up and got another helping of the chicken dish.

As God is my witness, I put my fork in to cut the chicken and it bent like it was in a cartoon and sprung out of my hands like it was on a marionette string.

I took that as a sign and stopped eating.

We have so much in our fridge as left overs, INCLUDING two huge tubs of cool whip.

I must be strong.
Back to Boot Camp tomorrow!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sanrio Christmas

If Santa wanted to bring me these sneakers I think I'd redouble my exercise efforts!! These are AMAZING!!
ASICS x Sanrio's 50th Anniversary Sneakers

Sanrio teams up with ASICS in a special 50th anniversary collaboration for these exciting ultra-limited edition ASICS GEL-Euphoria sneakers featuring exclusive graphics of Hello Kitty and her super cute friends. Fabulous detailing with contrasting neon pink trims and shoelaces against a black mesh and synthetic patent leather upper for a lightweight and flexible shoe that's sure to inspire you to rev up your workout routine.

- Lightweight and flexible shoe incorporating ASICS exclusive GEL Cushioning system
- Unique tongue design

and this backpack would be PERFECT for my new bike since it doesn't have any bag.

Hello Kitty 15" Backpack: Carousel
Item #08341

The little princess carries her schoolwork to class in royal style with this adorable Hello Kitty 15" backpack. Beautifully designed backpack featuring Hello Kitty and friends go round on the magical carousel. Multiple pockets keep school supplies organized.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


DAMN IT. I cannot believe I just did that.
I just inhaled two packages of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I could have gone for just one, but did I? Oh no! That would have been way to "normal" and not at all the behavior of a sugar addict. No, I ate 4 cups and don't remember tasting them or chewing them.

See? This is what I was concerned with in my last post. Binging on the stuff that's lying around the house to distract me from what I'm feeling.

Tomorrow, I have GOT to get the hell out of this apartment and get some exercise. I've got to do something to move.
Even if it's only galloping up and down the basement stairs a few times. I need to do something.

Ya know, that's actually not a terrible idea. The basement I mean. The cleaning woman is coming here tomorrow and she's here during all my free time but that doesn't mean I have to be here with her.

I'm going to take the jump rope down and do jump rope and stairs tomorrow... Consider it penance for those evil peanut butter cups!

Emotional Eating

My mother in law passed last night.
I'm coping by listening to my IPOD at levels that cannot be healthy for my ears.
Trying to block the world out.
I have to be careful that in the next few days, during the funeral and the wake and all the planning and prepping and trying to be a support for my father in law and my husband and kids I don't swing to extremes with my eating.

I can't forget to eat or avoid eating thanks to the huge knot in my stomach and I can't drown my sadness in food either.
Had a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast and didn't even taste it.
Currently it actually feels like there is a boulder in my stomach. Food is the furthest thing from my mind.

In the past I have turned to my love of baking to soothe my soul and I still might but I have to handle the after the stuff is baked different. In the past, I've eaten through the sorrow and have devoured a pound of cookies alone without even realizing it.

My other swing is that I just don't eat anything at all. The dull ache is too much and I don't feel hunger so I forget to eat.
Tomorrow I'll head back to Boot Camp and find a different way to work through all of this....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


My mother in law is dying. We went to see her today to say goodbye. I'm super close to her so this is super hard for me.

I'm not a social kitten by nature but I really don't feel like going to Boot Camp tomorrow and putting on a friendly face for my classmates. I feel like a solitary day is in order for me. I don't, however want to go another day without doing SOME form of exercise and since it's going to be a high of 33 tomorrow biking is out.

Tomorrow I'm going to my mom's place to work on stairs.

It's 17 stories. The most I've done so far is 6 stories of 100 steps and both times I'm huffing and puffing at the top.

I went looking to see what  I could find to help me train and push myself and get the most out of the stairs.
The first thing I came across actually made me cackle and snort:

Sample Running Stairs Cardio Workout

Find a flight of stairs that has at least 20-30 stairs (a track with stadium seating at a high school or local college is ideal).
Walk up the stairs to the top and then down the stairs to the bottom 3-5 times. After this warm-up you will begin the workout.

1) Sprint from the bottom of the stairs to the top as fast as possible
2) Then walk down.
3) Repeat this routine for a total of three to five sets. Your legs should be pretty sore the next day. Work your way up to a total of ten sets.
As your conditioning improves you have many more options to continually challenge your anaerobic system.
Run more flights of stairs
Increase your sets
Use a weighed vest

While I totally dig the weighted vest idea and it's been something I've wanted to invest in for a while and might before all of this is over, the sprinting up the steps as fast as possible is what made me laugh.
I might be vain, and stubborn and a bit of a Pollyanna when it comes to these sorts of things but that I know I cannot do yet.

I think tomorrow my plan is to walk up the steps one time and count them so I know what I'm dealing with and then head right back down and go up again trying to take the steps two at a time.
No extra weight, nothing but my IPod and a bottle of water and my camera to record the whole thing.

I have to do this in baby steps. One at a time, one foot, one step at a time. I have to remember that I'm not competing with anyone but myself on this one...

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Remember when  said I wanted to see how far I could go and how I enjoyed pushing myself?
I found my wall with the tire and the weights.
I KNOW if I did this before class I could have gotten more done. I know if I had been fresh and not done half an hour of intense work just prior I would have had better form and wouldn't have punked out.
I'm both disappointed and glad watching this video.
I love that I'm able to do most of them clean with good form and I'm glad I was able to do as many as I did but I'm disappointed that I couldn't do the 10 he wanted me to do.
I have it in me! I KNOW it's in there and over time I'll do ten and more!
Now I have a weight to work towards.
For the record that extra 5 pounds is INSANE. I've picked up the 45 pound before but not to do anything like this.
Oh and after this, the kids and I went and did the stairs and I took them 2 at at time!
Here is the video:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Goals and pushing yourself

Tomorrow I head back to Boot Camp. Saturdays are always fun because my husband and the kids come with me.
It's a different group of folks and a different vibe to the class.
We work just as hard though!
I've asked David if tomorrow I can attempt the tire step up with the 45 pounder tomorrow but because I'm insane I might have to grab the 50 just to see if I can do it. Just to push myself a little harder and a little further.

Next week I'm going to do the stairs at my mom's place at least 3 times and I'm going to start to take myself out of the house after I drop the kiddos off.
Depending on the weather I might even attempt to take the bike out!
My usual routine is to come home and sit on the computer after Boot Camp. It's taking it's toll on my mental health.
I'm all about being alone and solitude but I need to force myself out of the apartment and get some fresh air!

I'll be taking the camera with me tomorrow again so hopefully we can get some good video of me on the tire!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Yesterday I spent the day with my dad who I adore.
We went to WalMart and I finally replaced the scale that the kids had broken earlier this year.
I've been going by measurement rather than by weight.
The scale is telling me that I've jumped back up to 189.
I was flabbergasted. How can that be?! My waist is measuring at 36"!! The last time I saw a 36 inch waist I was down in the 170s.
The only thing I can come up with is that muscle weighs more than fat? It's a tired excuse but it's the only one I can come up with to explain why the scale is so high but my measurements are at about the lowest they have ever been!
I think for Christmas I might need to ask Santa for a scale with a body fat percentage reading on it.
I think I will also weigh myself far less than I thought I would and continue to rely on measurements to tell me where I'm at.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Boot Camp

Today was by far one of the best days at Boot Camp.
I worked super duper hard.
At the start of class I gave David my camera and told him to take photos and video of me.
I felt a little silly doing it but now that I see the videos and photos I'm super glad I had him do it.

See in my head I'm a size 2 and in stellar shape. Then I see the photos and video and well...the truth doesn't jive so well with my delusion.
This is actually a good thing though because it keeps me on track.

Here is some video & some photos of what we did today. David sets up stations and we do 50 seconds of as many reps as we can in that 50 seconds. Click to enlarge the photos

As you can see, we have a lot of fun in class and we laugh together and encourage each other every step of the way.

David has a saying in class " As long as you're moving" he had us doing something on our fronts with this ball but I realized that my cut off shirt I was showing off a little more than I wanted to

So I went and did my own thing with a Kettlebell and David was cool with that.

He originally had us doing swings with the Kettlebell. (See? I'm laughing. It's really a fun class)

but my lower back started giving me troubles so I started to do one of my favorite exercises instead

He then had us doing laps around the studio and I felt my calves knot and I thought I wasn't going to be able to finish but I did. Exhausted and out of breath. David wasn't done with me though. I'd asked him if I could do the dock walk with the 35 pounder overhead. I'd also asked if we could do more work with the tire today.
Damn him he got creative thanks to the rain...
40 pound kettlebell doing step ups on the tire.
I'm the only one in class that did this and I'm so INSANELY proud that I got it done.
Look how high I have to step up to get up onto the tire! (Click on the photos to enlarge and see the whole things)

You can see how I'm struggling. David only got the last 4 reps. He made me do 20 of them!