By Lauren Hale
On rare occasions, architecture students can be seen out and about at the university recreation centers, like normal students. This semester, amidst all the thesis stress and way-too-long research papers to write, myself and my good friend Brittany Ricker (who also contributes posts to this blog, check out her stuff, it’s really well-done), actually make it to the gym four days a week. We are definitely preparing for our upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic, but also because it feels amazing and it’s that one thing in your life that is ANTI-stress, very important. I always feel great when we leave the gym. Recently we started playing racquetball with some of the guys in our studio; it’s always a blast but Brittany and I aren’t very good yet. Oh well, still burning calories whether our racquet makes contact with the ball or not.
If we don’t play racquetball with the guys, we start with 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical. Varying speeds and resistance levels is key. And try actually switching your stride from forward to backward. It works the exact opposite muscles and feels really good. Then we move to the rowing machines. You basically sit on a seat that glides forward and backward while pushing on a handle that simulates rowing a canoe. This is a great way to get your upper body moving and cardio targets are being hit as well as resistance and muscle building. We started around level 3 and I’m up to level 8 and Brittany is on 10. After rowing we do a whole abdominal routine. We found this 30 day ab routine online and have been working our way through it. We started on day 1 with 15 sit-ups, 6 crunches, 6 leg-raises, and a 20-sec plank. We are now on day 15 and up to 70 sit-ups, 90 crunches, 45 leg-raises, and a 60-sec plank. Once we push ourselves through that we add various weight machines, usually ones that target the lower back (to balance all the ab workout), biceps, and whatever else we feel like doing. For the next two weeks, which is all the time we have left before spring break, we are adding running on the track, increasing the elliptical challenge and everything else while we are at it. We both already feel a lot stronger and the gym helps keep us sane through all this insane architecture stuff.