Gear

September started out in Dubai for a week and a bit in a five star, all-inclusive resort which thankfully had a gym but was using Technogym kit and software, sadly.  Once we were home, it was back in the pain cave on the Schwinn and the Bowflex treadmill before I headed off for a day trip to Raleigh, North Carolina.  Yes, what should have been a little over week there in a hearing turned out to be arrive, work, workout, get told about potential settlement, rush to the airport, redeye back to London!

Once back in the pain cave – and I’m really not sure if the iOS/watchOS software updates had anything to do with it – FulGaz started started having issues connecting to the Schwinn which was very frustrating.  It even happened again this morning, until I physically turned off the Bowflex treadmill which seems to somehow steal focus even though it’s not connected to the Schwinn (obviously).

Oh and I have finally upgraded by old Apple Watch Series 4 to a shiny new Apple Watch Ultra 2 which I’m keen to get properly set up and  calibrated properly: that JRNY treadmill run had the treadmill showing one distance, the fēnix showing a slightly shorter distance, and the Ultra 2 showing a significantly longer distance.  I will have to compare an outdoor walk next week when we’re back in Corralejo.

Mrs RHM has also upgraded to an Apple Watch Series 9.

Here are the results which are down from August’s:

September 2023 Stats

September 2023 Stats

Activities: 36 Distance: 370.63 kmTime: 17:49:39 Calories: 16,260

Turning to my weight, at the end of August I was 84.1kg, and at the end of September I weighed 84.3kg, up 0.2kg, but then there was Dubai and Raleigh…

Our home gym here in Ash, Surrey continues to expand: we now have a Schwinn 800IC/IC8 for my virtual cycling with FulGaz and JRNY; we have a ForceUSA G3 All-In-One Gym Set coupled with a BodyMax 145kg Barbell and Weight Set; a ProForm Cardio HIIT L6 Trainer for herself to do her stair stepping; and now we’ve just added a Bowflex BFX56 Treadmill 56/Treadmill 22 (depending upon where in the world you are {metric/imperial}).

The Bowflex BFX56 Treadmill is their top of the range model and features a fabulous 22″/56cm screen for their JRNY app to run on and the deck can have an incline from -5% to +20% gradient and also folds to save a bit of space when not in use.

So yes, there’s no excuse for us not getting fitter and leaner.

Herself – despite being a qualified personal trainer – has also enlisted the help of another personal trainer who specialises in getting bodybuilding athletes ready for competition. Yes, Alison will soon be competing in some Bikini Class bodybuilding contests in 2024. Watch this space!

The plan then will be for her to start offering personal trainer services herself with a focus on women and particularly Mums/mature women who may not feel comfortable in a full-on gym situation.

I forgot to do much more than mention that I was getting a Schwinn 800IC/IC8 as I started out last summer using a cheapo Amazon special exercise bike along with Apple Fitness+.

I looked at what Apple recommended/were using for their Fitness+ workouts and they were Schwinn bikes.  In the UK they’re supplied by – amongst others, I’m sure – Fitness Superstore and they had an offer on the Schwinn 800IC (formerly the IC8): already listed at half list price, they had an additional 10% off for the Bank Holiday weekend, so I pressed the button on one for delivery in early September 2022.

With the Schwinn’s arrival came physiotherapy, pain consultations and then experiments with Apple Fitness+, the first year’s free subscription to Bowflex’s JRNY app, and a trial of FulGaz.  The latter two are different from Fitness+ in that Apple are offering different duration classes only whereas the other two offer virtual rides using video of the actual routes.

In FulGaz’s case, they are adaptive workouts: speeding up or slowing down the videos to suit your pace/power which the app reads from the Schwinn.  They’re also linked to my Garmin fēnix 7S for my heart rate.

The other benefit of using FulGaz is that after each ride, it emails you a FIT file which you can import into Garmin Connect giving you the full details of the ride.  JRNY does not do this, sadly, but you can manually add further detail to Garmin Connect if you record a ride on JRNY and your Garmin fēnix 7S.

Anyway, here are some photos of the Schwinn, which has now done 2,800km…  I simply use an old iPad Air 2 to run FulGaz of JRNY and then after a workout, plug it back into the Schwinn’s USB port to charge it again.

Schwinn 800IC

Schwinn 800IC

Schwinn 800IC with a Tablet

If you’ve been checking in on this blog with my monthly workout stats and/or following my latest individual workout activities over here, then you’ll know that while I’m in the UK, I tend to just use our Schwinn 800IC static bike and I’m pretty much settling for FulGaz as my preferred workout program, given its “adaptive” video rides.

I’ve received an update from FulGaz today about the “LEJOG Challenge“: Land’s End to John O’Groats over 500km and 20 stages, most being over an hour and some like Hardknott Pass being a little bit ‘bumpy’ too…

Still, what could possibly go wrong?

We flew out to our place in Fuerteventura again on Saturday 1st October and after the weekend I started back with the real-world cycling on the Monday, having decided to up the ante a tad with my distances and to make sure I was following my consultant’s orders to do at least 30 minutes a day.

I’m still pleased with the result: 331.33km this month (including walking).

October 2022 Stats

In other news, we’ve gone a bit keto with our diets and the results are promising: I weighed 93.3kg on the Garmin Index S2 scales we have here at the start of the month and today I weigh 91kg (up 0.5kg from yesterday morning, which was a new low since the crash and muscle-wasting in July 2019).

With the Schwinn’s arrival came physiotherapy, pain consultations and then experiments with Apple Fitness+, the first year’s free subscription to Bowflex’s JRNY app, and a trial of FulGaz.  The latter two are different from Fitness+ in that Apple are offering different duration classes only whereas the other two offer virtual rides using video of the actual routes.

In FulGaz’s case, they are adaptive workouts: speeding up or slowing down the videos to suit your pace/power which the app reads from the Schwinn.  They’re also linked to my Garmin fēnix 7S for my heart rate.

The other benefit of using FulGaz is that after each ride, it emails you a FIT file which you can import into Garmin Connect giving you the full details of the ride.  JRNY does not do this, sadly.

So hitting the Schwinn every has been beneficial for me, but also for my weight which has been coming down slowly, thereby improving the load on my knee.

Here’s my stats for the 399km – mainly virtual/indoor – in September 2022:

September 2022 Statistics

We were still out in Corralejo for the first half of August 2022.

Back in London, it was a case of hammering the cheapo indoor bike, thinking we’d buy a Peloton bike when we move to Surrey and have a bigger garage and separate gym.  The Amazon special was OK, but I couldn’t stand up on it despite the Apple Fitness+ trainers suggesting I could.

And then a couple of things happened: a news article about Peloton’s losses being “an existential threat” made us think about whether a Peloton would be a good idea after all. They’re very expensive and rely on a paid subscription to Peloton if you want to do the guided rides (which I had really enjoyed in Big Sur).  If they went bust, the screen would effectively be useless and the purpose of the really expensive bike would go with them.

I looked at what Apple recommended/were using for their Fitness+ workouts and they were Schwinn bikes.  In the UK they’re supplied by – amongst others, I’m sure – Fitness Superstore and they had an offer on the Schwinn 800IC (formerly the IC8): already listed at half list price, they had an additional 10% off for the Bank Holiday weekend, so I pressed the button on one for delivery in early September.

Here are the stats for my 266km in August 2022:

August 2022 Stats

Back in June 2022, I was walking for fitness but was having a lot of pain in my bad knee, the one that I’d seen a consultant about back in 2012 who said I should stop running … before I ran the Berlin Marathon and a couple of half-marathons.

I had been recommended cycling, so was trying to introduce more of this into my training and then went to the USA in early June to do the Pacific Coast Highway. While we were there, I tried a Peloton fitness bike in a really expensive hotel we stayed at in Big Sur and started looking into buying one, just before seeing my consultant again.

He again recommended some weight loss and half an hour every day on a bicycle, with a recommendation for a cheap static bike.  That got me into finally using Apple Fitness+ and 30 minute rides.

So, here are my stats for June 2022.

June 2022 Stats

I’ve been using a Garmin fēnix 3 Sapphire for quite a while now; it’s a big, chunky lump of a fitness watch but then it is feature-packed and suitable for many forms of exercise.  I also have an Apple Watch Series 4 which works really well, but doesn’t measure blood oxygen levels like my wife’s latest one does.

I pair it with a heart rate monitor that clips to a strap you wear around your chest and then shower and dry it after exercising. We bought my wife a Garmin Forerunner 735XT a few years back and that has heart rate measuring built in (like the Apple Watch).

Now that we’re splitting our time between the UK and Fuerteventura I’m having to cart the Garmin back and forth, so I decided to leave it there where I work out more and use the Apple Watch in the UK. That’s not perfect because I then have to manually add each one to Garmin Connect.

So for my 60th birthday, Alison has bought me the new Garmin fēnix 7S, choosing the smaller S model so it’s not as chunky and large, especially as it encourages you to wear it 24/7 to monitor heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep tracking, etc.  It’s early days yet but the results are fascinating. I expect over the next few weeks it should get to know me properly and calibrate all its reports around me.

Garmin fēnix 7S

Tricky run this evening around the Hagaparken: chilly and a tight chest (tree pollen or asthma maybe?)

We have also bought some Garmin Index Scales which are wireless and mean we can track our weight individually direct into Garmin Connect without having to use a watch and then upload from there; much easier.

Talking of which, my weight is down 0.4kg since the start of 2019.