Thursday, January 13, 2011
I finished up week four of the "CP25K" plan today, and plan to do the first run of week four on Saturday. On week five I'll warm up for 10 minutes with a mellow walk and then jog for 5 minutes, walk for 3, jog for 5, walk for 3, and jog for 5. I'll probably cool down for another few minutes and then call it a day. I can't wait to take the next step toward my first 5K!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Last week my strength training program transitioned from low-resistance, high-rep, full-body workouts to higher-resistance, lower-rep, targeted workouts. I had completed the full-body workouts for eight weeks in a row and felt that my body was now ready for more serious strength training. So on Tuesday I targeted the upper body and experienced very little soreness, although I greatly increased the weight load and the number of sets I completed. On Thursday I targeted the core with the same results: I could feel it but I had very little soreness.
So I assumed that on Sunday when I targeted the lower body that the results would be the same, that my body would be ready for that kind of leap in vigorous activity. I was wrong! I have so sore for the last two days that it's hard for me to walk up stairs or just push myself up from sitting. It's also fairly uncomfortable to walk, in fact, I look like I'm walking with a walker!
Here's what I did to make myself so sore. I started out with a 35 minute walk/jog, 19 minutes of walking and 16 minutes of jogging (CP25K plan). I then did two sets of 8-10 reps on the leg ext, leg curl, leg press, toe press, hip abduction and hip adduction machines. I set the weight so that the last three reps were hard.
I've been using all these machines for the previous couple of months so I don't think this is where the problem came in. Rather, I think the problem came when I then added two sets of dumbbell lunges, two sets of dumbbell step-ups, two sets of barbell squats, and one set of Bulgarian lunges. With that I walked for about 15 minutes at a moderate level and went home.
But as I said, within a day I was so sore I could hardly function. Yesterday was my next scheduled workout and I wasn't sure I could do it but I was able to warm-up sufficiently, minimize the pain and complete a fairly rigorous session without any problems. We'll see how the soreness feels as I begin trying to function today!
Well, I'm not one to sit around and mope, so I did some research and discovered an article by Elizabeth Quinn on About.com entitled "Muscle Pain and Soreness After Exercise - What Is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness." Here's the gist.
"Delayed onset muscle soreness" (DOMS) can be caused by any change in exercise activity or intensity but is most acute with "eccentric muscle contractions" such as "going down stairs, running downhill, lowering weights and the downward motion of squats and push-ups." Oh, that rings a bell. What happens is that when we change the intensity or duration of our exercise we cause more and greater microscopic tears and swelling in our muscles. The pain is the body's way of saying, "Dude, be patient, take it easy, give us time to catch up to your training plan!"
There's no sure fire cure or way to avoid DOMS but Quinn gives some good tips:
1. Warm up well before exercise and be sure to cool down immediately after. This increases blood flow and helps minimize the damage.
2. Engage in active recovery, that is, low t0 moderate aerobic activity the day after your exercise. This also increases blood flow and helps with the healing process.
3. Rest and let the body recover. If you do nothing else the DOMS will go away on its own in 3-7 days, and in part the body needs a break in order to recover fully.
4. Get a massage or spend some time stretching, especially after you warm up by doing some low to moderate activity such as walking at a slow pace.
5. Take an anti-inflammatory like aspirin or ibuprofen.
In addition to these helpful tips, Quinn also suggested a few ways to help prevent or minimize DOMS in the first place, two of which I'll mention here.
1. Rather than introducing a major, radical change to your program, gradually increase the weight load, intensity, or duration over time. She suggests the age-old "10% rule," that is, adding no more than 10% of any given aspect at a time. This rule is not a law but the point is that if you radically increase the weight load or exercise regimen and experience a lot of pain, back it off a bit. She stresses that it's best to avoid making "sudden major changes."
2. As mentioned above, she stressed that a good warm up and cool down are necessary parts of the process. For cool down a moderate paced aerobic activity, self-massage, and stretch immediately afterward usually do the trick.
Now what's left for me to do is get through this pain over the next few days and then put this wisdom into practice. Pain is a good teacher and I've learned my lesson well!
Hope you have a great day!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I reached a milestone yesterday--I earned my 50,000 point trophy! It took 1 year and 10 months, lots of working out, lots of tracking, lots of points chasing, but it was all worth it. I have come so far and learned so much, and I'm very thankful to SP and all my friends here for helping me along the way. And I want to give all the glory to Jesus for setting me on the right track and providing for me all along the way.
Two years ago this month I was standing in the very room I'm in right now and realizing that if I didn't find some way to turn things around I was going to die young like my dad. I was only 242 lbs and I know that compared to others that's not huge but it was the heaviest I had ever been, I was feeling so sluggish and depressed, my heart was giving me problems, and in my spirit I knew that if I didn't change I would die.
Thanks be to God, he helped me to resolve that day to start making slow changes--eat a little better, move one way or another even if I couldn't exert as much effort as I had in previous years, and stay focused on the long-term rather than short-term results. I began to do these things and the weight was coming off, and two months later I found SP. I decided to submit myself to the wisdom that's here as though I knew nothing, to do everything they told me to do, and to be patient. Almost two years later and I can honestly say that SP helped to change my life not just help me lose weight, and I'm SO thankful.
So praise be to God and thanks be to SP and all my friends here. I truly treasure you and thank God for you!
With my eyes set on the 60,000 point prize,
Monday, January 10, 2011
I'm the pastor of a little church in the suburbs of Minneapolis, and Monday is my one day off every week. I need it! It's been a very busy week at work (I put in 53.5 hours) and I transitioned in my strength training plan from low impact, full-body workouts to more intense, targeted workouts.
Specifically, I warmed up with a 30 minute walk/jog, then I targeted the upper body Tuesday, the core Thursday, and the lower body yesterday. After each workout I either got on the elliptical for 30 minutes or when home and hopped on the bike trainer for 30-45 minutes. With each strength workout I did two sets of each exercise and tried to hit the fatigue point by the tenth rep, that is, the point at which the body fails to complete the last rep. I was fairly successful at locating the proper weights so that this would happen, I had three great workouts, but my body needs a break! It needs to rest and rebuild.
So, thanks be to God, today is my day of rest and I intend to enjoy it to the fullest.
Hope you have a great day!
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Today after church a couple offered to buy us lunch at Denny's. Not my favorite place, but the price was right! And more importantly, I really counted it a privilege to spend time with this precious family.
As I searched the menu, I found a cranberry, chicken, vinaigrette salad that was actually quite good. I ordered the half-salad, combined it with a bowl of soup, and got out of there at around 500 cals and feeling good about my lunch.
So if you find yourself at Denny's, I would certainly recommend this salad.
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