Three Is a Magic Number

A little Schoolhouse Rocks! to start off your Tuesday.

Each Tuesday and Thursday morning, I make my way to the gym at 5:30. Last Thursday, my trainer had my partner and I do something new. And it was a killer, which I’m still feeling the aftereffects of now (writing this on Saturday), so naturally I have to share it with all of you. After all, sharing is caring and if I’m suffering feeling the burn, it’s only fair that I pass it along!

We call this one “three is a magic number” – and when I say “we”, I mean me. My trainer doesn’t have cutesy names for things and I’m pretty sure my partner would make some ménage à trois comment.

To start, we each got a barbell with no additional weight. This is always a bit disconcerting because immediately I’m clued in to the fact that while the weight might not be great, the amount of reps will be. I used a 30 pound bar for this round of exercises.

Each exercise is repeated for three minutes with a minute rest in between. Fair warning, the three minutes last forever and the minute feels like fifteen seconds.

We started with clean and press. One might think that clean and press with a 30 pound bar is easy peasy lemon squeezy. And it is. For about 30 seconds. But for three minutes? Holy Hannah, does it burn.

Minute break? I’ll take it.

Next up is three minutes of barbell squats. Now I’ve got to say that my upper legs are a definitely ones that I need to work on so going into this set, I knew I’d be feeling it quick. And sure enough, I was. My quads and glutes were shaking in anger (and fatigue); they were so not impressed. 

Another minute break. Sweating profusely!

Finally, three minutes of deadlifts. Again, one would think this would be a piece of cake. That would be a big noperooni. It wasn’t as challenging as the squats or even the clean and press, but I was feeling it throughout, probably because my muscles fatigued from the prior six minutes.

This was only a small segment of my workout – less than 10 minutes total. Yet it was good stuff and one that I hope makes its way into the rotation in the future! I found that the key to this is to really take it nice and slow (not with breaks but to do a count with each – I always do a one, two, three and four); get into a repetitive motion and try to zone out mentally, yet stay engaged physically.

And because I know visual breakdowns are always fun…


Tell me about something new you’ve done at the gym recently.

8 thoughts on “Three Is a Magic Number

  1. Ahh my muscles ache just thinking about this exercise! 🙂 My trainer has had me using the Bosu ball lately for all kinds of crazy exercises. It’s not something I have at home so it’s a fun addition to my workout. She also throws in some exercises that sound like they are innocent but they are oh so tough (like single leg heel raises…burning calves!). It’s fun to switch it up and breaking them into chunks helps too.

    • Ooooh, what sort of things have you been doing on the Bosu? My trainer is a big fan of having us flip it over and do mountain climbers with our hands balance on the outside rim of it. Anything that wobbles when I’m on it makes me super nervous. I have a habit of falling at the gym!

    • Aahhhh, the chiro. I know the “getting cleared” thing well – dealt with it back in September/October with running. Hope you’re back in the clear soon!

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