Exercise routines

by Kim

(This poll may or may not work.)



Do you yearn to return to the gym?  Some of us preferred exercising at home even before the pandemic.

Tom Brady adheres to an extreme fitness routine.  No caffeine, gluten, or nightshade vegetables that could cause inflammation.  And this is interesting:

As the quarterback has aged, he works out less with weights, which could leave him prone to muscle tears. Now it’s all about planks, lunges and squats, followed by more pliability exercises, such as doing crunches with a vibrating roller beneath his back.

More here:

Everything we know about Tom Brady’s extreme diet and fitness routines

What are your extreme or non-extreme fitness routines?  Do you “swear” by anything?

67 thoughts on “Exercise routines

  1. I have returned to the gym! So this article is not timely at all for me. I’ve been back to my yoga studio, I’ve tried a spin class (does the music HAVE to be so loud?), and a new kettlebell class that was very good. I have Classpass, which lets you try different classes at different studios. I think Denver has a lot of options; I’m not sure if it’s as good in the Northeast or West. Everyone is still wearing masks and spacing themselves out across the gym, but it’s a very small price to pay.

  2. I also have a weight bench and free weights, so I can do resistance and cardio in the comfort of my basement. But I like going to my gym more. More variety, better equipment, a little bit of socialization.

    But what I like best is being outside. I went for a 1hr bike ride after work yesterday and was completely whipped, which is good news / bad news. I actually get such a sense of satisfaction from the post- pushing myself feeling, but, of course, I was low energy last night. (It also feels like I pulled a muscle in my right glute, but no pain, no gain). Told me how out of shape I am for that, but motivates me to do it again today especially since it’s going to be ~80.

  3. I quit running a couple years ago. I miss it a little – I liked how easy it was to get a hard workout, and I like the comradery of races and the competitive aspect of trying to beat old times. But I was tired of dealing with all the injuries – which is also why I stopped in my 20’s before picking it up again after DS was born. I’ve seen all the knee guys.

    I am really liking working out at home now that I have a bit more space to do it. I’ve been doing a mix of Zoom workouts through my work gym (which is has been all virtual since 3/2020) and – recently – Apple Fitness Plus which I actually really like a lot. I got the 3 month trial, but I paid to extend it for a year. I have some light dumbbells (5/10/15), a 20# kettlebell, yoga mat/blocks/straps, and resistance bands. I never use the resistance bands. One of my favorites is the Dance classes that Apple offers – I can look like a total fool in the privacy of my own home without mirrors!!! So much better than when I took Zumba or Hip Hop at the gym. The Apple HIIT and strength classes are good too, but I like the yoga classes through work better.

    DH has been talking about getting a spin bike, but it seems like one of those things that he will need to be pushed to make the decision. And I don’t care enough to push. (I would go Costco bike with Apple Fitness Plus workouts over Peleton or Soul Cycle.)

    I also walk a lot – 3 or 4 walks a day.

  4. I don’t miss the gym at all. I don’t really plan to go back to the gym if I can help it. I liked some group classes, but I haven’t really gone to the gym to socialize since I was in my early 20’s. (and I never met any decent guys at the gym then!) Maybe I’ll go to the work gym if I end up spending meaningful time in the office, but I always always hated the awkward factor of working out with coworkers. I only did it because it was convenient.

  5. I have an exercise bike in the tv room, which I rode this morning. Three times so far this week, yay for me.

    The kids hate that the exercise bike is in the tv room, but the only way I exercise is if it is incredibly convenient. There is no way I would get up and go to a gym.

  6. I was checked every box since we bought a treadmill last year. My only regret is that I waited to buy a treadmill because sometimes I just talk on it for 20-30 minutes while I am watching a show or talking to one of my friends.

    I went back to Pilates as soon as they opened last year in midd summer. I double masked and they had 1/2 the number of people in each class for about six months. For a number of reasons and based on the specific precautions/cleaning that was done in my studio – I felt safe and it worked out since I never got sick. I am two weeks (today) from my second dose so I am going to start wearing one mask for my future classes.

    My Pilates studio did offer remote classes via zoom when the studios were closed for quarantine. It was all floor work and I did try to take several classes a week. It wasn’t the same for me, but it was better than nothing. Our Peloton bike subscription has become a much better deal as we still pay the same price, but they added a ton of other fitness classes. My DH does the yoga and running classes. I have run outside with Peloton, but I think I prefer just listening to my own Spotify playlist.

  7. We also have a weight bench with a variety of free weights, an old Lifecycle that still works fine, and a walking treadmill that I use when the weather is bad. I also have an old Step (remember those?) that I occasionally use. Oh, and a giant inflatable ball that I just never really got into using for resistance training.

  8. typing on my phone for my post so there are typos, but that should be state that I walk on the treadmill while I am talking to friends on my AirPods. BTW, I also purchased the AirPods and Apple watch last year. Great investment (for me) as these are tools that I use to track and improve my daily fitness.

  9. I hate doing exercise classes in front of a screen, whether the classes are live or pre-recorded. I really miss going to the local YWCA, since they were close to my house, and had a wide variety of classes, and I could go to as many as I wanted with my monthly fee. But they haven’t gotten back to offering the classes that I want, and they probably won’t for a long time. I have been going to a local yoga studio once or twice a week for the past several weeks. I’m on the lookout for a barre class as well.

    For years, I did a body-pump-type class (with weights) at the Y. It made me feel like crap, but the common wisdom seemed to be that as you age you should work out with weights, so I suffered through it. After I had my appendix surgery a few years ago, I couldn’t do that class for a while — I could only walk and do light yoga classes. And I found that I felt great! From then on, I ditched all classes that use any resistance other than body weight, and that works so much better for me.

    The only other thing I do is walk. Hard cardio like running and swimming has always made me feel like crap too, even when I was young. Brisk walking and occasional hiking agrees with me much more.

    DH is the complete opposite of me. For him, the more extreme the workout, the better. I have become convinced that the optimum workout routine for one person can be totally different from the optimum workout routine for someone else.

  10. I have an elliptical and some free weights. I sold some free weights and gave away the weight bench via next door during the pandemic shortage. I still go to my former gym for top quality massage and unofficial PT (the owners are physical therapists. It is an elderly peoples gym). But I am no longer a member. I prefer outdoor walks, light hikes, kayak. The elliptical is not in the TV room, but in the all purpose cat/DH computer and desk/exercise room. I just use an IPad and headphones and a 30 minute show or several nerd commentator updates on Star Wars/Marvel/DC/LOTR/SOIAF.

  11. This is timely for me. I’m thinking about getting an elliptical. We have decent weights but nothing for cardio. I figure when we had the Y membership at $84 a month, that was $1,000 a year. So if I spend $1,000 on a good elliptical I will use it regularly and much more frequently than going to the Y. I just need to figure out how to fit one in the basement.

  12. And I quit the gym well before Covid after my trainer left and I started experiencing too much middle school girl behavior in the organized classes.

  13. I prefer jogging outdoors, but I do miss the gym very much when the weather doesn’t cooperate. I don’t like classes at all, though. I am very introverted in my exercise.

  14. “I don’t like classes at all, though. I am very introverted in my exercise.”

    It’s funny, I used to be like that. I ran, swam, did a little resistance training, etc., all on my own. But somewhere in my mid-fifties I started going to classes and now I really like them. I haven’t experienced the middle-school b.s. that Mémé mentions.

    My sister still hates classes. “Why would I pay someone to yell at me?” Well, these days, lots of teachers are more encouraging than yelly. But chacun à son goût.

  15. Pre-Covid, I belonged to three gyms, so this closed gym thing is an adjustment! It doesn’t sound so crazy when it gets broken down — 1 gym for rock climbing and a fabulous strength training class, 1 really cheap work gym for lunchtime yoga and pilates, and 1 cheap big chain gym to swim. Classes worked really well for me, because I just picked one on the topic I wanted to focus on (strength/cardio/flexibility) and turned my brain off and just followed directions. It was great!

    Our gyms are just starting to re-open, but I am last in line for vaccines (not yet eligible), so I won’t do indoor classes. A rowing class only gym has outdoor classes, so I am testing that for a month, but it is inconveniently located. I’ve learned a lot in the 4 or so classes I’ve taken there, so hopefully that will translate to me working out by myself on my at home rowing machine? (magic 8 ball says no…)

    I did get an exercise bike on Amazon, and Reddit has tons of info on how to hack it into a Peloton-style metric-tracking bike, but I just pedal and watch Yellowstone. And that’s been kind of nice!

    This has been a good workout-shakeup though. Without this bump I probably would have just kept going. In this time, I’ve ridden outside more, hiked more, rollerbladed a few times (and didn’t break anything!), and run into a lot of neighbors outside doing the same thing.

  16. I don’t know if I’ll go back to the gym. I used to go to a cheap community center gym near work. I ride the bike and chat with the regulars around me. Now I do a lot more running, walking, biking, and on rainy or too cold days, I do BeachBody workouts from an old DVD set I had. I’m thinking of signing up for the app, or the Obe app, so I get more variety.

    The ease of just being at home and getting up and working out when I feel like it is one of the best parts about working from home. Usually I’ve been doing a run between 1-3, but yesterday it was at 11am, and today it will be at 4pm.

  17. This topic is timely. I’ve been doing great with walking 10,000 steps daily, but I haven’t been doing anything else. I am at an age that if I don’t start working on strength and flexibility, I will pay down the road. I have everything I need at home, so that’s not an excuse…

  18. I was planning to return to the gym this week since it is 2 weeks since vax#2. But the weather has been too durned nice!

  19. Well, of course walking 3 miles burns more calories than running 1 mile. But how about comparing to running (or jogging) 3 miles? And it takes less time to cover the distance too!

  20. The main reason I joined a gym was so I wouldn’t have to exercise outdoors in the winter cold. I tried a few classes but did not like them. Too many dance steps, and I got quickly tangled in the bands. I would try a Pliates class but they offer it at a bad time. At the gym, I mostly use the treadmill, exercise bike, and weight machines. I do look forwards to returning because of the weight machines. I get more effective strength training that way.
    I tried the elliptical for a while but then I got injured and I blame the injury on that machine. It is not a natural gait, and I always felt weird and scrunched up on those machines.

  21. “It’s funny, I used to be like that. I ran, swam, did a little resistance training, etc., all on my own. But somewhere in my mid-fifties I started going to classes and now I really like them.”

    I don’t have an athletic bone in my body and I mostly exercise for the health benefits (I do like the outdoor aspect of jogging when I can do that). My cholesterol, BP, and heart rate are excellent if I exercise regularly and really bad if I do not (I think exercise affects me much more than the average person). So the rah rah nature of classes doesn’t really appeal to me. I do need to start yoga or something like yoga to improve my flexibility. I have reached the age where things have started to creak.

  22. “I have reached the age where things have started to creak.”

    Both of my knees now crunch. It is especially pronounced when I am walking down the stairs — crunch, crunch, crunch, one crunch with each step down. I asked my PCP about this, and she said there is really nothing to be done about crunching (other than exercises to try to keep the muscles around the knee strong). She said that when the knees start to hurt (they don’t yet, knock on wood), that is when I should see an orthopedic doctor.

  23. One physical activity that I really miss is ice skating. I took it up as a young adult, and I got pretty good at it, but it just became too hard on my knees. It was such a fun way to get exercise in the winter.

  24. In Before Times, I really enjoyed strength training/boot camp classes at the gym. I would go 3 times/week. I tried spin classes but did not like them – our gym had terrible bikes and I’m with RMS, the music was so loud I’d come out with a headache. I would sometimes do yoga classes, and sometimes even pretty consistently, but I find I fall into the category of people who want to like yoga, not the category of people who actually like yoga.

    In the past year we’ve accumulated a ton of weights, mats, bands, and a Peloton. Lots of working out at home for all of us. I would like to go back to the gym for the classes, but at the moment none of my favorite instructors are teaching. I still run 3-4 times/week, and I do Peloton and weight training 3-4 times/week. I love the Peloton classes, and I also love Bodyfit by Amy on youtube.

  25. One fitness center/rec center I teach at opened in July. The classes were mainly strength and less “aerobic” classes, so Tai Chi was allowed. They are still requiring masks and are still at 50% capacity, but are now doing Zumba and a couple of similar classes outside. The YMCA I go to reopened some classes – again, more low impact – yoga, Tai Chi, etc and swimming. They too are still requiring masks, reduced class sizes, etc. The Tai Chi class I take is now up to 10 participants and 1 teacher. We usually only have 6-8. The other fitness center I teach at opened up in November – same masking and reduced capacity. Again, Tai Chi, Pilates, yoga and swimming are the main activities, other than machines. I am at all three places. I wear a two layer cloth mask with a PM2.5 filter.

    Because my other job is WFH, I enjoy seeing people. No drama in any of my classes. I am bad about doing things at home or on my own. I did have a walking buddy, across town, so we talked on the phone while we walked. Our schedules don’t mesh now, so I have only done my classes since January.

  26. I am another person that wants to love yoga, and I have tried yoga at various times in my life. I just don’t like it, but Pilates is a close friend of yoga so I do get some of the same benefits.

  27. I don’t like yoga and I don’t even care that I don’t like yoga. I put yoga into the same category as massages and mani-pedi’s –activities that other people seem to find relaxing but that make me feel tense and nervous. I always remember when I had to do breathing exercises in childbirth class – I would alternate between incipient panic attacks and then trying not to burst out laughing.

  28. Yeah, we have an entire home gym upstairs except for the barbells, and I still go to my crossfit gym. I just don’t do well left to my own devices — I’ll work out at 2, now I have a call at 2, well let me get this thing done first, you know I haven’t checked the blog in a while, oops too close to dinner to start now. Plus I don’t know what to do when I get there. The gym, man, it’s show up at XX:XX or pay a fine and do the workout they give you. Plus I find I push myself MUCH harder in the gym; part of it is my competitive must-finish attitude, but part of it is also that with the loud music and people and instructors, I am distracted and don’t notice how much I’m suffering as much as I do at home on my own.

    The problem is that Covid has messed up my schedule, and the gym changed hands a few months before the shutdown so my class times have changed too, and I just haven’t found a consistent 3-4 classes a week that I can commit to on a regular basis. Oh, and they canceled my strongman class and substituted a more traditional lifting class. It’s fine, and I’m doing it, but it’s really not nearly as satisfying as doing stupid things with large heavy objects.

    So the end result is that I’m now back at the gym but still trying to figure what and when. As of now it’s one lifting class and one open gym (where I follow a lifting app that tells you what lifts to do and how much but at least get to use their equipment and have their music and people around). But I’m still getting no cardio, and I haven’t found anything fun enough to overcome my deep loathing of that kind of exercise. So it’s a work in progress.

  29. Fortunately for me, I have been banned from yoga, so I don’t even have to worry about it. I was advised by my neurologist to avoid three things : super heavy weights, yoga, and chiropractors. Everything else is fine. Well, probably not gymnastics but I suspec the doctor looked at me and presumed I wasn’t going to be doing any backflips. I was told that running is fine, Pilates is fine, and normal weights are fine.

  30. I know at least a few of you enjoy American Greed like stories and this one is a doozy.


    As it turns out pretty much everyone was robbing the place blind. They even caught LaPierre’s secretary stealing $40k to (among other things) pay for her sons’ wedding. She was of course allowed to keep her job. Presumably she knew where the skeletons were buried so they let it slide. Also the CFO had embezzled $1 million from his previous employer.

  31. I’m terrible at exercise. I know it’s the right thing to do, so I do some structured stuff sometimes. I try to be active (walk lots, swim with the kids, go on long hikes), but nothing else appeals to me. I’ve never had the post-workout high that some people get, so the benefits to exercise seem pretty theoretical. When left to my own devices, I make a plan – 45 minutes on the eliptical! Then I get to the gym later than I planned, remember that some study showed 20 minutes was enough, realize that if I stop at 15 I have definitely done better than yesterday AND there is time to sit in the sauna.

    So, classes are much better for me – I know if I show up, I will finish a class. I never found anything that really worked for me since the kids were born, and now we live too rural for that to work. Apple watch has been an inspiration – I do get some satisfaction with closing the rings. And I can see the effects on my heart (what my hrv and rhr are and how they change day to day). I like metrics. And as someone who has finished last in a lot of school events, exercise metrics have not inspired me in the past.

    This summer the kids wanted to swim a lot in the local rivers. I realized if I got in and treaded water for 30 minutes, I could close my ring. But now, it’s getting cold and I need a new plan.

  32. “In the past year we’ve accumulated a ton of weights”

    At first I thought she just meant a lot (yes, I actually considered initially that she was not being literal), but then as I was doing putting away some dishes I realized that might literally be true.

    A set of dumbbell pairs from 5# to 100# in 5# increments weighs 2100#.

    And I could totally see her family getting something like that if her DH and kids are also using it.

  33. “she said there is really nothing to be done about crunching (other than exercises to try to keep the muscles around the knee strong).”

    Leg extensions, and leg curls to balance that.

    When the pandemic started and gyms closed and I stopped bike commuting, DW and I started walking daily. After several weeks, I started developing a pain under my kneecap, especially as I climbed stairs or walked up steep hills.

    I remembered reading about how the thigh muscles just above the knee, especially the vastus medialis, can stabilize the kneecap and prevent/alleviate knee pain, so I started doing leg extensions, full range as well as pulse and hold. I also did leg curls to maintain balance.

    That seems to have helped. I haven’t felt that knee pain in a while, despite continuing our daily walks.

    One other thing I’ve found that helps prevent knee pain, as well as toe pain, is to walk backwards on the steepest downhill portions of our walks.

  34. LfB, does your upstairs gym include a chinning bar?

    That’s one piece of equipment I bought in response to the pandemic. DS also used it, and liked it so much that is one of the first things he bought when he moved into his apartment.

  35. Ivy, I agree on apple fitness…and the dance classes. I would never be brave enough to do those with other humans, but it gets my heart rate up and I don’t hate it. My sister and I “share” our rings and are competitive enough that it’s good motivation. I currently have a 40 day streak going of closing my rings. Working out like this also gives me fit points on WW, which I don’t eat but I enjoy looking at. I have lost 25 pounds since 1/1….15+ of which I’d picked up during the pandemic so needed to lose to get back into my work clothes.

    I was catching up tonight on yesterday’s thread, and wanted to report that I when I leased my new car last month, the salesWOMAN had me fill out the credit app on the computer at her desk and left the room while I did so. And getting me out the door was probably an hour and 15 min. It was a business transaction and they treated it as such.

  36. Guys, my friend is currently at a dealer and has been there for three hours! And she has a toddler with her. Dealers have no respect for humanity.

  37. OT, I’m looking forward to going back to the gym. There’s a lot of equipment at the gym that’s to bulky and/or expensive for me to get at home.

    Our HOA rec center just opened up a little this week. Limited hours, not more than 10 people at a time, and reservations required.

  38. “my friend is currently at a dealer and has been there for three hours! And she has a toddler with her. Dealers have no respect for humanity.”

    For those of you who’ve used Costco to buy their cars, did buying that way allow you to avoid this sort of thing?

  39. She reports the finance guy was not pleased when she wouldn’t tell him why she was buying a car tonight and that she declined the add-ons. And this was all after she did all the negotiating on price via text earlier in the day.

  40. For those of you who’ve used Costco to buy their cars, did buying that way allow you to avoid this sort of thing?

    Not really. They just set the price. You still have to go through all the BS with them trying to sell the extended warranty and such.

  41. “ Not really. They just set the price. You still have to go through all the BS with them trying to sell the extended warranty and such.”


    Finn. Your post and Anons on the other thread about having a personal relationship with the sales person made me think of the classic Seinfeld with Puddy as the sales guy. “They’re all Twix!!!”

    We bought our last car right before the pandemic (as some of you know), and as they advertised all the “new” options in April 2020, I almost wished I’d waited a few weeks.

  42. There are dealerships that don’t engage classic car selling shenanigans. It is so much easier to buy a car from those dealerships and there are enough dealerships to avoid the high pressure ones.

    The internet makes pricing fairly transparent.

    Why deal with the dealerships that make the process unpleasant?

    We are contemplating switching from Toyotas to something else. The vehicle quality seems to be dropping and the dealership we’ve gone to has changed hands and moved to the high pressure style, in both sales and service. If the vehicle quality was the same, we could go to another dealership for service. A hassle, but doable. But with both vehicle quality and dealership service declining, we’re looking at other brands.

    I generally buy a vehicle a year.

  43. I like my Honda dealership. No hassle buying a car from them. The sales guy was decent, no high pressure tactics. My DS was with me. I went without DH. I had come to buy and was taken seriously. There are women not only in the front office but also working on the cars.
    I am reminded of the movie My Cousin Vinny. The ladies working on the cars, seem serious types, very professional. Our community college must have a course in auto repair.

  44. Finn – Costco price is the starting point.

    Cass – curious how you like your Accord. But Honda probably won’t meet your truck needs. I was talking to a coworker this week who’s a very frugal type, and a loyal Toyota/Honda buyer. However, he needs to tow his boats, and the Tundra is very expensive. He said it took some looking, but he was able to find his ideal 2WD (increasingly rare) F-150 extended cab (the suicide door kind) that’s got some features but still has cloth seats, with 4K miles, at a Carmax in NC for $27k.

  45. Many of the car dealerships here are owned by NASCAR owners. Motoring and motorsports are taken seriously :-).

  46. When a person is so long lived, you almost expect that they will reach the milestone birthday of a 100.
    Prince Phillip had a very unusual role for a man, he played his part with grace. Note: I haven’t watched The Crown. We all have failings, it just that our failings and our marriages are not in the public spotlight for 73 years !

  47. We like our salesperson at BMW and we really appreciate him now that we shopped around at ten different places this year. We will buy or lease three different cars this year so it was necessary to go through this pain.

    He was recommended by a neighbor and I am glad that he is still at our dealer because it is a pleasure to work with him.

  48. When we bought our Subaru using Consumer Reports pricing as the starting point we did not have to endure the BS upselling/financing rigamarole at the dealer. Very low key and pleasant.

    My Fitbit sleep tracker is wildly inaccurate. I’ve been on phone calls or watching a movie with others and it tracks me as sleeping!

    Will Harry and Meghan attend the funeral?

  49. I’m sad that there likely won’t be public events for Prince Philip due to the virus. I’m a total sucker for pageantry.

  50. Our last big trip was to the U.K. We spent a day at Windsor castle. We saw the Changing of the Guard there. Closer and much more intimate than Buckingham Palace. We saw St. George’s chapel as well. There were so many tour buses, so early in the morning and people waiting to get in. Seems like another world now.

  51. It is true that the dealer haggling is very dealer specific and not brand specific. My neighbor was stuck in a suburu dealership for four hours. Last night my friend spent three hours at a Honda. I’m so envious of those that have a pleasant experience. You have it soooo good!

  52. When we bought DD’s Corolla through AAA, it was very easy and we completely avoided the dealer. They picked it up and brought it to the AAA office and we signed the paperwork there. The down side was we could’ve gotten a bit better price from the dealer.

  53. “Will Harry and Meghan attend the funeral?”

    My guess is that Harry will. Meghan is very pregnant at this point, so that might in itself be a reason for her not to go (or at least it could provide her with a face-saving reason for not attending if she doesn’t want to go and/or if the palace doesn’t want her there).

  54. When I bought my Infiniti 5yrs ago, I actually bought it from the dealer’s “Store A”. Their “Store B” is ~90miles closer to me. So on paper-signing day, we went to Store B, met the rookie sales guy who got tasked with bringing the car there from Store A, took it for a test drive and then did all the paperwork in about 20minutes. He took a while explaining all the features, but that was fine. Absolutely no hassle, upsell, waiting around, etc. I’ll definitely shop them if we’re in the market for another Infiniti.

  55. NoB – the situation you described is face saving, all the way around. In the current situation there is no good way, Meghan would feel welcome. It could be a different situation down the road.

  56. “We like our salesperson at BMW and we really appreciate him now that we shopped around at ten different places this year. ….

    He was recommended by a neighbor”

    Perhaps another example that a personal connection to the salesperson makes for a better buying experience.

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