Sunday, January 16, 2011
Well, lunch today was not one of my more stellar moments, to say the least. The family and I went to a Mexican restaurant after church and I had a steak fajita which was very good and not too high in cals. I didn't eat much of the brown rice or beans so I'm sure my cals were in an acceptable range. But oh those chips and salsa tasted so good and I just couldn't stop. And then to top in all off, I decided to get some fried ice cream. As soon as I saw it I thought, why did you do that? Oh well, I only half enjoyed it because my tastes really have changed and I really didn't want that big glob of artery clogging fat.
When I got home and logged everything I ate I found that I consumed about 1650 cals just for lunch! Ouch. Oh well, I'm already up to 2400 for the day so I think I'll fast from here on out and do better next time.
Hope you have a great day, and hope I didn't blow my Tuesday morning weigh in on Sunday!
Saturday, January 15, 2011
My name is Charlie Handren and thus I originally chose the screen name chandren. To those who don't know me, this name appears to spell chand-ren rather than c-handren and thus I've toyed with the idea of switching up my screen name from time to time and finally decided to do it. So now "chandren" has become "MNCyclist." Hope the change isn't too confusing for anyone.
Have a great day.
Friday, January 14, 2011
My core is not very strong. I've been doing what I know to do in order to strengthen it this winter but my body is acclimating to the exercises I've been doing and thus not responding terribly well, that is, not growing much stronger. So this morning I discovered an article through msn.com, on fitbie.com, called "Cutting Edge Core Exercises." Here are several of the ideas they shared that I plan to work into my routine sooner or later. Hope you find this helpful.
• Mountain climber with Swiss ball: Incorporating a stability ball increases the difficulty in this variation of mountain climber. To perform, place your hands on a Swiss ball, then alternate raising each knee, without allowing your back to round.
• Side plank with reach under: Once you’ve mastered side plank, make it harder by adding a rotation. Start in side plank, and then raise your right arm straight above you. Keeping your abs braced, reach under and behind your torso. Now lift your arm back up.
• Lateral roll: Push your limits with this intense balance challenge: Lie with your upper back placed firmly on a Swiss ball, and hold a pole or broomstick, with your arms straight out from your sides. Roll across the ball as far as you can, taking tiny steps. Reverse directions and roll as far as you can to the other side.
• Swiss ball roll out: Sit on your knees in front of a Swiss ball and place your forearms and fists on the ball, with your elbows bent about 90 degrees. Slowly roll the ball forward, straightening your arms and extending your body as far as you can without allowing your lower back to “collapse.” Then use your abdominal muscles to pull the ball back to your knees.
• Swiss ball jackknife: Assume a pushup position, shins resting on a Swiss ball. Roll the ball toward your chest by pulling it forward with your feet. Pause, and then return the ball to the starting position.
• T-Stabilization: Assume a pushup position. Shift your weight onto your left arm and rotate your torso up and to the right until you’re facing sideways. Hold it for 3 seconds, and then return to the starting position. Rotate to the other side.
• Core stabilization: Sit on the floor with your knees bent. Hold a weight plate straight out in front of your chest and then lean back at a 45-degree angle. Without moving your torso, rotate your arms to the left as far as you can. Pause for 3 seconds. Rotate your arms to the right as far as you can. Pause again, and then continue to alternate back and forth for 30 seconds.
• Extended plank: Assume a pushup position, with your hands about 6 to 8 inches in front of your shoulders. The farther your hands are in front of you, the more challenging the move.
Hope you have a great day!
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!
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