It’s that time again, folks, and I have a doozie for you this week.
You remember that I’m doing this Biggest Loser thing, right? We are now in week five (of eight) and Tracy, our Biggest Loser Boss decided to kick things up a notch.
Everyday (or almost every day) she assigns a virtual challenge, which we can choose to do, or not do for extra points. I have always been a fan of the ‘extra credit’ – especially in 9th grade, where I could write down five Geometry-related words and their definitions and raise my test score from an ”E” to a “D”. And sadly, I am not even kidding. The extra credit is precisely the reason I can even remember that Goldback’s Conjecture was a Geometry-related term. Lord knows I didn’t know what it was back then and I have not a clue what it is 25 years later, but I remember using it on an extra-credit opportunity. Had it not been for the extra credit (and the fact that I had a tutoring session from a high school kid every Sunday at 3:00 PM), I would have failed the class. Instead, Goldback and his Conjecture helped me to ”pass” Geometry with a D-. I headed straight for Algebra II and never looked back.
But anyway, where was I?
Oh yes, virtual challenges.
Because we are in Week 5, and because Tracy really wants the very best for our bodies (HA!) she sent us two calendars with a set of exercises on each and told us they were our virtual challenges for the month of February. One is titled “Fab AB February” and the other? The other should be called DYING A SLOW DEATH IN FEBRUARY (DASDIF), but actually it’s called “February’s Wall Sits and Donkey kicks“.
For instance, the virtual challenge for today, on Fab AB February is 20 sit ups (or crunches) / 6 push-ups / 20 second plank. I’ll save the plank for another day, but you should know it is more than just lying face-down on a flat surface and taking a picture.
The virtual challenge for today on the DASDIF calendar is 60 second wall-sit / 35 donkey kicks (both legs) / 1:05 second wall sit.
I’ll say that nice and slow for you….
T-h-e w-a-l-l s-i-t.
I had never heard of the wall sit before Saturday when I did it for the first time. Imagine, if you will, holding yourself in a sitting position while not sitting. Believe me when I tell you it’s not nearly as easy as it sounds.
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the wall sit.
A wall sit, also known as a Roman Chair, is an exercise done to strengthen the quadriceps muscles. It is characterized by the two right angles (do we really have to talk about angles?) formed by the body, one at the hips and one at the knees. The person wall sitting places their back against a wall with their feet shoulder width apart and a little ways out from the wall. Then, keeping their back against the wall, they lower their hips until their knees form right angles. This is a very intense work out for the quadriceps muscles. It can be very painful to hold this position for extended periods of time. Wall sits are used as a primary strengthening exercise in many sports requiring strong quadriceps like fencing, ice hockey, sailing (mostly small boat racing), skiing and track and field. This exercise is also used as a disciplinary activity in the armed forces. It takes up little space, and can be administered easily in classroom settings to misbehaving soldiers-in-training.
The safety of this exercise is disputed; the knees bear most of the load, especially when held at 90 degrees. It is a terrible exercise for someone with an existing knee problem.
Just to be clear, a wall sit, when done correctly looks like this.
And no, that is not me in the picture. Nor did I take the picture.
The fact is, I had trouble wall sitting for 15 seconds on Saturday. Three days into the DASDIF calendar and I am still not able to bend to a full 90 degree angle, (stupid Geometry!) but I did surprise myself this evening when I was able to hold the position for 65 seconds.
After the 25 second mark, the wall sit is absolute torture. I began to sweat and my legs begin to shake. Who needs water-boarding when you could have them do a wall sit? And I also wondered if Micheal Phelps and Apolo Ohno do wall sits as part of their Olympic training.
I’ll give you a second to try the wall sit. And then, I’d love for you to tell me how long you could hold it before your legs started to shake. And then I can say, “I told you so!” The wall sit increases by 10 seconds each day which means by the end of the month, biggest loser participants wanting extra credit should be able to hold the position for five minutes.
FIVE FRIGGIN’ MINUTES PEOPLE.
Do you know how long five friggin’ minutes is, when you’re in that position?
After three days of the wall sit,
my thighs are I am telling you the chances of me being able to pull that off will be slim.
I’m just wondering if Tracy will allow me to write down and define donkey kick, plank, torture, quadriceps and wall sit….
That’s what I learned this week.
Care to share what YOU learned this week?
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