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I have settled on three longer workouts per week, never on consecutive days: two on weekdays, one on weekends. They run for a round hour as determined by the duration of BBC Radio's playlists, especially Radio 2's Wednesday Workout and Upbeat. While those feature a good mix of classic and modern tracks it amuses me that the former is such that one is not surprised if something from, say, the soundtrack of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) is played.

I am using Betron B-25 headphones that mostly stay in my ears and do well at blocking the mechanical clanking and squeaking from the cross-trainer so that I can use fairly low volume. The isolation is such that spoken-word audio would also be viable.

My power output is down to around 21½ of the machine's calories per minute but I think that suffices as I still work up a sweat and do not want to overly tax myself. Rather than aiming for particular performance I instead just check the readings every song or so and increase the resistance if I am drifting over 55 RPM, which typically happens a couple of times over the course of the hour.

The lively popular music and lack of performance target certainly help my workouts to pass somewhat pleasantly. If facing another workout requires little willpower then I am more likely to continue with them.

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Mark T. B. Carroll

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