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Tag Archives: weight lifting

Forgot My Plan

7 Jul

Don’t forget your plan when you go to the gym, or in my case, to make a plan. sigh.

Usually when I go to the gym I have a plan of what I want to accomplish. It isn’t some set in stone can’t be adjusted in the moment kind of thing, but it at least covers how long I want to be doing cardio for and what muscle groups I plan to focus on when lifting weights. Within the muscle groups I know what moves I will do, but even those can be changed once I am at the gym.

The changes are usually because of not being able to access the equipment I need / want. So, say I wanted to run for 30 minutes but all the treadmills are in use, then I’ll go to the elliptical. Or say I want to do Wood Choppers using the pulley system but the proper attachment is nowhere to be found, then I’ll do them using a free weight or medicine ball, or maybe I won’t do them at all, maybe I’ll do Russian Twists instead.

It’s all about getting in the workout I want while making minor changes based on equipment availability and comfort level around the people that I am sharing the gym with.

By comfort level I mean some days the free weight section is crowded with jacked up guys who are doing super sets and moving from one exercise to another and they are taking up a lot of room with their little stations that they created. Or a bunch of guys are working out together and they kinda take over the space so some of them are working out while the others are hanging on equipment next to the guy who is working out while they all chat. I get it, they want to be social, but it sure can be annoying for the rest of us sometimes. *rolls eyes*

This was not meant to be a rant! Oops!

What I was trying to get to is that I always have a flexible plan when I go work out, ensuring I come away from my work out feeling like I have accomplished something and got in a solid session.

Until the other night.

I knew I was going to do my cardio, but hadn’t committed to which machine I wanted to use for it, in fact I kind of didn’t care what I did for my cardio. I ended up using the elliptical for 30 minutes, which is fine, but I could have done better.

Then I took a look at the free weight section and didn’t want to deal with navigating all the guys that were there so I went to a different room, it is a bit smaller but is a good space for free weight work. There were some guys in there but usually I’ll go in even if it is partially occupied cause, well, I can. But since I didn’t have a plan for which muscle groups I wanted to work on, and no real motivation to be there, I didn’t go in the room, instead I went to the stretching area, had a cool down, and went home.

I have never had such a short workout. And I can’t believe I let myself leave without getting some weight work done.

It was like, once there, with all the equipment, I was overwhelmed and didn’t know what I wanted to do, or what I should do, and I couldn’t make a decision, so I left.

Maybe it was because it was at the end of a long day and I was tired and my brain just couldn’t make any more decisions. Maybe for whatever reason I had less motivation that day and I used that lack of motivation as a reason to leave after doing only cardio. Maybe I am just a lazy person at heart and I wanted to go home and be cozy in my pajamas while watching Netflix. 😛

Whatever the reason, it wasn’t a great workout, and I think a big part of that is my going in to that gym without a plan.

The plan doesn’t have to be some big great detailed thing. Some days it is as simple as:

  • 30 mins cardio
  • weight work for arms, shoulders, and back
  • some core work
  • stretch

That’s it! That is all it takes to make a plan! Who knew something so simple could be the difference between getting a good work out in and only getting 30 minutes of cardio in? Not me, that’s for sure!

Lesson learned, plan, even just a bit, and my workout will be way better.

 

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Rest Days

19 Apr

I’m not sure how I feel about rest days. I know for muscle growth you need them, but generally you can have a rest day that isn’t really a rest day. That makes no sense to you I’m betting, what with you not being in my head an all lol

If you are working on building muscle it is easy to have a rest day because you just divvy up what days you work various muscle groups. So, Monday might be arms and shoulders, Tuesday  legs, Wednesday back etc. You are still going daily but you are also giving certain muscle groups a rest.

A year or so ago when I was following an extreme workout regime given to me by a super fit friend I got one rest day a week, my week looked like this:

Day 1 – short cardio, arms and shoulders

Day 2 – cardio, core

Day 3 – short cardio, legs

Day 4 – cardio, core

Day 5 – short cardio, back

Day 6 – cardio, core

Day 7 – rest

I personally feel a rest day needs to be earned, and because I am super hard on myself I feel that until I am at the fitness level I want to be at, and am maintaining, I have not earned a rest day. Doesn’t mean I don’t have days I don’t exercise, but that is due to scheduling or sheer laziness, not because I have it marked down as a rest day lol.

rest day 3

This past Wednesday though I consciously took a rest day. The previous Sunday I went running, did a bunch of squats and some upper body weight work, Monday I went for a hike, Tuesday I had dragon boat practice. The run alone caused me some muscle pain, mostly in my legs, well, most likely the run combined with the squats lol, but whatever the cause, there was muscle pain. The hike on the Monday was not planned, I was supposed to be doing something else but it ended up as a hike (on a new trail, yay!) but that did nothing for my muscle pain, especially when I wasn’t content to just hike so I did interval work while hiking. By that I mean whenever there was a flat section I would either stop and do squats, change from walking to doing walking lunges, plank, do some push-ups or do calf presses (standing ones, I would find a curb or log to balance on). During the course of the hike I did each of those exercises three times, each time a set of 12, it made me feel the hike was a better workout for the inclusion of the extra work.

But yeah, so by Tuesday my legs were kinda pissed at me lol and the run I was going to take before practice did not happen. By the time Wednesday came around all I could think was my legs would never forgive me if I went running or hiking that day so I did nothing exercise-y. I did some house work but not enough I feel it can be counted as exercise lol

Thing is, while I am not adverse to building muscle, when I think about building muscle I think of my back, shoulders and arms, mostly because that is where I need it for dragon boating. I don’t really think of my legs, which means I don’t generally give them a day off. The days I decide to not go running or hiking are usually days my knee is acting up, so I give the knee a break but that break is in no way meant as a rest day for my leg muscles, shrug.

I count my runs and my hikes as cardio, and I’m sorry but who gets a rest day from cardio? Nobody!…Least, I don’t think we are supposed to, are we?  But this past week made me realize that I am dummy and sure I am getting cardio when I go hiking or running but I am also building strength in my legs which means I am working the muscles, doh! Sooooo now I am wondering if I should be spacing my runs and hikes so I don’t do them every day, or at least consecutive days because I need to give the leg muscles a rest between workouts…

Why oh why do there have to be so many questions when it comes to working out?? sigh.

I think for now I’ll just follow what my body says, if the legs are hurting to the point the hike won’t feel good but will just be painful I won’t hike, but if I think the hike will stretch the muscles out and make them feel good well, bring it on! lol 😉

To The Gym – Finally!

11 Mar

WooHoo! I am finally allowed back to the gym!…on a conditional basis but whatever! I’m allowed back that’s all that matters to me! lol It’s not that I miss the gym exactly, more like I miss working out and not feeling like a huge blob sitting in my living room getting bigger and bigger and bigger…I mean c’mon, who wants to feel like that? Not me!

The conditional basis for my return to the world of exercise is this: I am allowed back for two weeks and I must ease in to things, sigh, I’m not good at “easing in” to things, I like to jump right in but fine, *pout* I’ll try to ease in…kinda 😉

After two weeks I have to go back to my physio and he has to reassess me to see how my back and neck are dealing with my normal routine. I don’t know what happens after that…

I’m not sure how well my body is dealing with my normal routine to be honest. I am lifting heavy stuff at work again, I am doing my normal activities, admittedly I haven’t been to the gym as often as I would like because life got in the way and I am totally out of the habit of prioritizing exercise in to my life (I plan to fix that!) but if I don’t make it to the gym I try to use my exercise bike or at least do some core work on my living room floor. I made a rule that if I am watching more then one hour of tv I have to ride the exercise bike for at least an hour while watching tv, and well, me being me, once I’ve done an hour of cardio I’m not going to stop there so then I do push ups, sit ups, core work, stretching, ya know, the normal stuff. However, by the end of the day my neck and back are hurting quite a bit and that is not normal…if I use a heating pad and rest it it seems to do a bit better but it shouldn’t be hurting right?

I’m trying not to think about it too much, I’ll just wait and see what the physio says next week. 🙂

Going back to the gym was…odd. I was actually kinda scared, something I was not expecting. I think the fear was partially because it was a new gym so I wouldn’t know where anything was and it’d take me a bit of time to get oriented and I didn’t know what to expect for how busy it would be or what type of people would be in there (I have noooooo desire to go to a gym that is full of snobs, ugh). The other reason was I have lost muscle mass, my muscle definition is not at all what it used to be and I am squishier around the middle, sigh. While I hate the squishy look I know it’s only a matter of consistent workouts and proper eating to help get that lessened but the big fear was how much my cardio ability and strength ability had declined. I worked hard to become good at running and to be able to lift weights I never thought I’d be able to lift. I was terrified to find that was all gone.

Guess what? It’s gone. 😦

After my first visit to the gym I was torn between being happy I went and feeling good about myself and wanting to cry because I wasn’t able to do as good of a workout as I used to be able to. I ran but not as fast or for as long as I used to, I just couldn’t do it, or couldn’t manage to push myself to do it. Oh, and get this, I totally blanked on my free weight routine. I thought I’d do back and arms but I get to the free weight section, I’m surrounded by buff guys who are lifting ridiculously heavy weights and I blanked on my exercises. I couldn’t remember everything I used to do, was worried I didn’t remember the proper form for some things, didn’t know what weights I should start with (cause I figured I’d have to start with smaller weights than what I used to be able to lift but it was a guessing game of what size) and something new, I was embarrassed to be lifting such small (in comparison to those guys) weights. That is just down right stupid, I am a girl, a girl who is soooo not a body builder so of course I can’t lift the same weights, or anything near! Plus it was my first time back after months away due to injury so nothing to be ashamed about!…and yet…I guess part of the embarrassment was because they were watching me and I was feeling kinda judged by them, not cool, but also probably all in my head so I can’t blame them for that. sigh.

Today was my second time to the gym and I wondered if I was going to feel the same way. I struggled on the treadmill, more then I ever have and that annoys me. Thing is, I think I could have pushed harder, could have done better, but I’ve lost that ability to push myself, to reach a limit I didn’t think I could. Where did that go? Where did that voice in my head that used to encourage me, yell at me, push me to give that little bit extra so I accomplished the goal I set for the day go? That voice is my version of Jillian Michaels, it’s not quite as mean, but it is what got me through some harsh running sessions. I miss it…I’m not sure how to get it back…I’m not even sure when I lost it…and more importantly, what does it mean that I lost it? Has some inner part of me given up? I know some days I feel like that, like I have given up on myself, my future, my goals. I don’t like the feeling, I don’t want to have given up but some days the fight just isn’t there and I don’t know how to get it back. Maybe just jumping in to my routine, starting back at dragon boat practice, just in general being more active will make me feel better about myself and that in turn will help me get that voice back? I dunno…I do know that I neeeeed that voice cause todays running session was lame in comparison to what I used to do. I’m a little lost…

So for now, since I don’t know what to do, I am going to start with the basics. I am going to be physically active everyday. I am going to eat healthier and do my best to follow the 80/20 rule. I am going to surround myself with motivational posters, youtube videos, phrases etc so that when I falter I can find inspiration where ever I am. I am going to research and reteach myself proper weight lifting form, create an actual strength routine so the next time I am in the gym it doesn’t matter if I blank because I will have something written down that tells me what to do. I am going to make this weight loss happen! I am going to find my inner voice! I am going to reteach myself how to fight! I am going to stop giving up and reach my goals! (I feel like I should make that marine noise they make in movies after all that lol)

 

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