Dumbbells in the gym

New gadgets and walking routes

Hi there! I’m back to wrap up the week of fitness and more.
Life lately around here has offered some freezing weather that later switched back into the wonderful 10C but with storm winds, the news that Shane MacGowan of the Pogues had passed away, and some overall crazy busy days because of business stuff, Christmas coming up, and lots more.

Last week’s fitness wrap-up short and sweet

Fitness-wise last week was very good, particularly in the gym. I felt strong and saw a lot of progress… specifically with barbell lunges and oomphy chest presses. Bulgarian split squats were done on Friday, still wobbly but this time I did them with no balance support from my trainer so I guess that’s a good thing.

Indoor cycling and good walks happened too, although the weather gods gave us temperatures that aren’t appropriate for humans, especially with some added wind. We had -2C up to maybe 5C at most (that’s 28F up to 40-ish), with feels like -8 (17F) some days. That’s a big no thanks from me anyway when it comes to the outdoors! But I walked 5,5 km on the Tuesday and 7 km on the Saturday.

During the week I also bought a Garmin watch, and was happy to see there are Garmins for other people than just runners. The new watch kept me occupied that evening, it was almost as exciting as setting up a new camera!

This week became a better week than expected. I’ve felt so tired recently and almost thought I was getting the flu or something. Or possibly effects of the cold weather and constant darkness? Then at the end of this week I started to feel better. Let’s dig into it.

Monday

Gym day. I felt so tired and drained of energy in the morning I thought I’d have to cancel, that I was getting the flu or something. After lunch I felt much better. Like, what? I’ve changed my breakfast, perhaps I’m not getting enough calories. I’ve managed to put together a recipe of gluten free protein waffles that works and is really nice. But there’s only 1/2 scoop of something carb-loaded (teff flour or sorghum flour in my case) so it’s possible I need more carbs at least. I may have to rethink that at least on training days. Or just add a banana? The thing is that I’m never happy about eating a lot so early in the morning. Any ideas are welcome!

Anyway, I did get to the gym and did a decent session.

  • Sumo deadlifts, 30 kgs
  • Back lunges, 10 kg dumbbells
  • Chest press, barbell 30 kgs
  • Dumbbell chest press, 10 kgs
  • Back extension with oblique twist
  • Good mornings, barbell 15 kgs
  • Bent-over raise, 5 kg dumbbells
  • Seated shoulder press, 6 kg dumbbells

How are reverse lunges so much easier than standard lunges? Or was it that I used dumbbells instead of the bar? Who knows. I enjoyed them however! But going straight from barbell chest press straight to dumbbell chest press messed with my head and I had a really hard time with the dumbbell chest presses. Because of my thinking or exhausted muscles? Who knows.

Tuesday

I opted for a walk instead of indoor cycling, because the weather forecast looked like there wouldn’t be much walking happening for a while. I’m all for walking despite rain and wind, but with yellow rain warnings and wind gusts up to 70 km/h, hmm I’m not so sure!

I went one of my standard routes but took the first left instead of the second. It took me a while to realise!! It was a beautiful road that looked like it would lead to some lovely cove, but when I got closer to the sea it looked like it was only leading to a farm, so I turned back there.

Some beautiful views on the way back.

Later when I checked the map, it turned out you can actually continue on that road and that it leads to something called Simon’s cove. I’ll give that a go another time.

Wednesday

Another good session in the gym.

  • Lunges, barbell 25 kgs
  • Squats, barbell 35 kgs
  • Pullovers, barbell 17,5 kgs
  • Barbell row 30 kgs
  • Flyes, 9 kg dumbbells
  • Renegade row, 6 kg dumbbells
  • Upright row, barbell 17,5 kgs
  • Lateral raise, 5 kg dumbbells

I still find lunges with the bar very challenging. I think it’s mostly for the balance, but I’m not sure. Today they went ok again, with some stumbles at the end of the last set. I was happy enough with that.
I had quite a bit of energy today and I wonder if it’s because of the time of day? Last Wednesday was also a really good kick-ass session. Today was the first time I managed to do almost three full sets of Renegade rows. I did 12-12-10 and had to stop on the last set mostly because I was so exhausted I nearly threw up. Haha! But strength-wise, I think I could have done another two. After some moments to breathe, I was good to go for the upright rows and did three good sets. My shoulders were fried in time for the lateral raise! The first two sets weren’t great but I dug up some extra oomph for the last set. I felt like I finished this session with dignity. 😀

Thursday

Oh yes, the killer DOMS from hell were back in my shoulders, chest and upper back. I was also generally very tired. I took it easy most of the day but did a few km on the indoor bike in the afternoon.

Friday

A good soft-ish session in the gym. Or.. not.

  • Deadlifts, barbell 30 kgs
  • Split squats, barbell 25 kgs
  • Overhead tricep press, 3 kg dumbbells
  • Chest press, barbell 30 kgs
  • Bicep curls, 3 kg dumbbells
  • Dumbbell row, 15 kgs
  • Shoulder press, barbell 15 kgs
  • Forward raise, 5 kg dumbbells

3 kgs for the bicep curls seemed very easy but I didn’t say anything – we’ll see later if he noticed that. The rest of the session was… not so easy. The dumbbell row was quite hard today and I managed two full sets and then repped out on the 10th rep in the last set. And the barbell shoulder press, OMG. This is the hardest exercise! I manage 9-10 reps in the first set, then in the remaining two sets I get to maybe 5-7 at most before my body just refuses to move any further . But I like doing them, they’re a good challenge and eventually I’ll get stronger with them.

And the split squats? No great success today, but as always – I just need to continue doing exercises like this.

Saturday

The weather forecast wasn’t great for today, but when I got up it didn’t look bad so I decided to go for a walk, and go back to where I was on Tuesday but continue to the cove. And I certainly didn’t regret that decision!

Where I previously thought it was a private road, I just needed to continue – the farm I had seen was straight ahead but when I got closer I saw that the road continued to the left. After I turned the next corner there was a little forest area and straight ahead I saw the sea with energetic waves. Lovely!

I took 159 photos down there. But as usual, like 200 photos of waves in different forms. Another time I’ll bring my ND filer and tripod and try some long exposure shots.

When I came home I felt like doing some more activity while I was at it, and did a good 10 km ride on the indoor bike, something they called “flat route” on Zwift which wasn’t particularly flat, but flat enough for my liking right now – I’m not ready for really hilly routes on the bike yet.

My father-in-law (who is now in Sweden) has bought a Kickr smart trainer – a gadget to connect his ordinary bike for using indoors, so he now also uses Zwift, and had signed up for a beginner’s group ride on Sunday. I decided to sign up too. I’ve never done a group ride there before so perhaps it’s time to check it out!

Sunday

So I did the group bike ride on Zwift. It was a 60 mins ride, which is the longest I’ve spent on the bike so far. To begin with i wasn’t a fan, but kept going and after a while I got into a nice flow keeping at least 70-75 W on the flat areas. This was something called “Zwift beginners” so I thought it would be mostly flat and quite easy, but hey ho, soon there were some uphills of up to 15%. They were short enough though and I enjoy pushing myself a bit on the bike!

I had to take a few breaks and got behind the group but I continued to finish the race, and at the last few km, some other a German cyclist came up next to me so of course I had to beat him! I did a nice sprint and finished 25th out of 40 cyclists and I’m quite happy with that. The ride was 23 km in total.

That was the end of this fitness week and I must say this has been a quite active week despite a slow-ish start. Thanks Kim and Deborah for hosting the Weekly rundown link-up!

18 responses to “New gadgets and walking routes”

  1. Deborah Brooks avatar

    Your photos from Saturday are really neat! You took almost 200 photos!? Wow. I like to use my Garmin for walking and cycling as well. Why not? Looks like a nice active week for you

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, before selection (of which were obviously ****) they were 159… the majority of waves. This is completely normal when I’m out with the camera!
      The Garmin is great for walking, this is the main reason I want a smart watch to, track distances, but with this model I can also save strength workouts with both exercises and weights!

  2. Jenn avatar

    Oh, cool new Garmin! I haven’t updated mine in quite some time – I’ve been using my Apple watch more and more.
    Gorgeous photos! I love getting out and documenting beautiful landscapes (and seascapes).
    You always have the best views while you’re out and about.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I was thinking of getting an Apple Watch since I use Apple for everything else, but it was more expensive and had much poorer battery time.
      Isn’t it wonderful to get out and capture those beautiful places?! This is a very scenic area and it’s pretty (almost) wherever I go.

  3. Chocolaterunsjudy avatar

    That cove looks amazing! Photographing waves, trying to get that perfect break — it’s addicting, isn’t it?

    I struggle big time with the shorter days and this year is no different. I’m going with more rest in the hopes that Spring will be more energetic. Only time will tell!

    I love my Garmin! Yes, you don’t have to be a runner, but man, there’s a steep learning curve with them. I’m always learning something new years down the road . . .

    1. Susanne avatar

      Addictive is a perfect way to express it! I can stay there for hours, just watching and listening to the waves… and photographing them.
      The darkness of this season is so hard. At least soon there’ll be the winter solstice.
      Definitely a lot to learn about the Garmin. I’m still exploring what it can do!

  4. Wendy avatar

    Your photos are beautiful! Aren’t you glad you followed that road?

    You had such a great week of workouts. I’m looking forward to getting back on track after last week.

    1. Susanne avatar

      That was a lovely walk, I’m so happy I decided to give it another try.
      I hope you’ll have a better week ahead!

  5. Jenny avatar

    Great week! Your strength workouts are awesome. I felt like my strength was kind of “meh” this week- it’s so hard to fit everything in. Your photos are so beautiful! But brr- that’s some cold weather.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Sorry to hear about your meh week – I’ve certainly had those. Do you think it’s hard to fit in good strength sessions when you also do long runs in between?

  6. Debbie avatar

    Nice job on lifting, walking, and cycling last week! And thanks for sharing pictures from your walks. It’s so pretty and green there!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, I’m thankful for all the green around here! I’m loving it, despite some nasty weathers this time of the year. We just had two storms in one weekend (but mostly up north and along the west coast)!

  7. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    That was a a nice week, Susanne! Your pics from your walks are stunning. I’ve had my Garmin Forerunner 255 since early July (of 2022), and I’m still learning about some of the features (many of which I really don’t have a need for, but still nice to know they’re available).

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you, Kim! My husband has a Forerunner that he bought in June this year. There are tons of features in these! I’m glad they make watches to suit other people than runners too.

  8. Marcia avatar

    Looks like you’re having fun with that shiny new Garmin! Awesome. Lots of great workouts this week and your photos are stunning!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Marcia! Yes, a great week altogether!

  9. Jessie avatar

    Great week Susanne! Love the sea photos, so pretty. Awesome to see progress at the gym! No wonder you were sore, sounds like an intense amount of weights!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Definitely quite intense gym sessions going on here. I’m loving it and so does my body (after the worst of DOMS has gone!).

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