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On Friday, for instance, I did a little interval-type deal on the stationary bike: going as hard as I can (about 115 RPM) for 30 seconds, followed by a 60-second cool-down (about 50 RPM). I did this, I guess, about four or five times and really blew up my heart rate (about 147). I’ve read about this approach for some time now, but never really bought into it, until now. The deal is that you’re supposed to be able to get a whole lot of cardio benefit in a small amount of time.

They weren’t kidding, either:

After less than 15 minutes on the bike, I was pretty much exhausted.

I’m not generally in a hurry about most things, and I can’t say I’m anxious to spend less time at the gym or to zip through my cardio in order to start lifting or head home to start drinking Grain Belt a little earlier than usual. But the whole interval approach does have its benefits. It’s supposed to help burn off belly fat pretty effectively (not that I need to do that, specifically. . .), plus it’s great for boosting metabolism in general.

All I know is that I worked up a bucket of sweat in no time and my heart was thumping in a way that reminded me of junior high cross-country (which is not a particularly fond memory). Still, I’m thinking that, all in all, this can’t be a bad thing so long as I’m still vertical, so I’m going to give it another shot tonight after work.

My left knee is still giving me some trouble periodically, which is why I’m staying on the bike rather than the treadmill these days. (Actually, I did some treadmill work a week or so ago, but unless I’m running at about 6 mph, a pace I can maintain for only a short while, I just don’t get lathered up that much.) The elliptical thingy is thrilling and all, with those poles threatening at any moment to poke out an eye, but it just doesn’t do it for me.

Everything I read tells me I should vary my routine or risk drifting into some dreaded ennui, but after more than 18 months of doing this stuff, I’m still pretty OK with it. It’s not that I lie awake at night formulating new routines, or anything, but it’s become part of my weekly routine and I kind of miss it when something prevents me from getting down there. I do need to add some kind of stretching activity, though. I’m getting stronger, but I feel like I might actually be less flexible than I was when I started doing all this.

So, I’m thinking about taking a yoga or Pilates class. My Lovely Wife mentioned her interest in doing a beginning yoga thing, so maybe we could do it together. That way, I’d have someone to remind me that, yes, it’s time to go to class and, no, you can’t stay home and drink beer. (Sigh.)

But it’s back on the bike tonight for 15 minutes of all-out cranking, followed by some ab work (sigh) and some lifting. Then home for a nice cold one.

Thoughts to share?

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