Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Roundball Routine

I am very proud of myself. I seem to have gotten myself back into 7th grade form... in terms of basketball.

Granted, this is only a few notches higher above "terrible" on the basketball skills scale. One big advancement is that I can dribble down the court while looking ahead. If you are not familiar with basketball, this is roughly equivalent to being able to drive and change a CD in the car. I can even hit, I dunno, half my shots from within 15 feet?

All this is due to the fact that the gym at our apartment building has a small basketball court adjacent to the cardio and weight machines. And that's really what I'm blogging about.

I've been going to the gym for just about five solid years now. About 5-6 times a week. 60-90 mins each time. Without that, I would likely be sitting on a couch somewhere right now, alone, balancing a can of Pringles between my thigh and a gut so I could leave other hands free for the remote control and a bottle of beer.

Instead, I'm a pretty fit guy. But I think I've realized a deficiency in my workout. Much like eating a group of nutrients may not add up to full "nutrition" (see previous blog,) I'm wondering if a group of rote exercises gets me as fit as I could be. I'm no trainer. What do I know?

What I know is this... I used to pretty exclusively use an elliptical and then walk. Lately, I've been doing a set of running intervals and the 20-25 mins of shooting on the court. Dashing after rebounds. Playing two bounce with myself. Throwing the ball off the wall to pass it to myself, turning and shooting.

And tonight, I really noticed it: I can run longer than normal. I get less winded. I started doing some different weight exercises, too. But the dramatic change has been my level of stamina and fatigue in the gym. I'm having fewer days where I feel like I'm just not able to give my all in the gym.

But I'm going to blame the basketball. It's the most regular "full-active" activity I've done in some time. I think I sweat more on the court than I do on the treadmill. Plus, the basketball-as-workout is giving me, a competitive guy, some new benchmarks to aim for. I figure I will never hit 100% of my shots. But, that means nearly endless constant improvement. I felt like I hit a wall on the elliptical. I knew how hard I could go and really was only getting a few calories of improvement.

Weights are the same. I do not need to bulk up. Last thing I need is to have to go buy new shirts as a result of bulging muscles (say that with the "c"). So going up a weight level is not my goal.

I think it can also be chalked up to walking to work every day. I get 20 mins of walking in by default. Add in the running and the ball... I dunno. I'm feeling like I'm onto something new in my gym routine.

And I am deadly on the periphery of the key. You know. Without a defender up against me.

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