Well Spark friends I am proud to say that for 2 weeks, from 27 Feb to 13 Mar, I did....nothing....absolutely nothing....Nada....Zip....Zero
Workouts that is.
And that is absolutely the longest I have gone without working out for over 3 years!!
It felt almost, but not quite.....nice.
Here's the deal. On 26 Feb I competed in my 2d Powerlifting Competition (see blog bit.ly/1hpsk5A
). Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was anemic, with my hemoglobin count about 25% below where it should have been. While I did well at the meet, beating my previous PR from October, I had expected to do much better.
When the doc told me about the lab results (the day after the meet....thanks House! M.D. my a$$), I decided to let my body heal up and recover. And so I resolved to do....NOTHING!
Now my long term SP buds will know that that is almost unheard of for me.....you might as well just ask me to drink poison. Since getting serious about working out (which coincides with me signing up on SP), my rule of thumb, which I've heeded quite faithfully, is no more than 2 days without a workout. On day 3, come hell or high water, I'm doing something...anything to get my heart rate up and my muscles contracting.
It's actually been a very good rule and has given me a lot of flexibility. If I'm beat, sleepless, overworked, traveling, etc, I've given myself a way to take time off. But the evening of the 2d day off, I have to plan to do something the next day. This has kept me on track remarkably well.
Hence the magnitude of these past 2 weeks of rest & recovery.
Now truth be told, I was still pretty active. On top of working my day job, my Mom has been staying with us throughout this winter. On top of that, our #1 son came up for a weekend.....with his girlfriend, and we threw a birthday party for #2 son (his brother). Last Tuesday I drove up to Boston to drop my Mom off, then drove back to DC on Wed.
Now I've been working out pretty hard for about 7 months straight, lifting heavy weights 4x/week, doing cardio 2-3x/week, and most recently, starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 3 nights/week (see blog bit.ly/1an5uxq
). But during these two weeks of recovery, I've noticed something pretty incredible....many of my little aches & pains have gone away. I've had some chronic tendonitis in my right shoulder and left elbow that has finally subsided.
My aerobic capacity is just starting to come back too. Last week was the first time I was able to walk up the five flights of stairs to my office without getting winded. I must be building up some more red blood cells and hemoglobin....because God knows I've been eating enough. That's been the only downside....while I've been trying to be good with food, having my Mom in our house ("Come on, just share this piece of chocolate with me"), and having a house full of guests and a Birthday party, I just succumbed to eating crap (SWMBO makes a mean Pecan Pie and the best Banana-nut-chocolate chip bread ever...all the favorites of our visiting son, our birthday boy, and.....my MOM!)
So it was that last Thursday, after a 2-week cooling off period, I went to back to my mistress.....the gym. She's alluring, she's beguiling....and we were just meant to be!
I warmed up on the Concept 2 Rower, then did 5 sets of 15 each of Bench Press, Deadlift, and Overhead Press at about 40% of my max weight for each lift. Friday I did the same with Squats, Overhead Press, and added in some bodyweight dips.
These were surprisingly easy and hard. The weight was easily manageable, but the 15 reps were just enough to get my heart rate up and the last few reps were good to get my muscles feeling nicely sore.
Today, I decided to tackle the kettlebell. I did some research on good workouts that help you build back up aerobic capacity while also keeping you strong, and decided that kettlebells should do the trick nicely. I'm used to doing kettlebell swings, but I needed a few other good moves, so I read up on the Turkish Get-Up...what a cool move ( bit.ly/Ouebvs
For an hour, I practiced Turkish Get-Ups and alternated with 2 minutes kettlebell swings in between.....and I've got to tell you, my core, my back, my hamstrings, hell, my whole body is fired up!!
For the next 2-3 weeks, I'm going to focus on cardio and light weights, so I'm building up a routine that'll go between lifting 2-3x/week (5 sets of 15 reps at 40%), kettlebell workouts 2-3x/week, and Jiu-Jitsu wth #2 son 3x/week. I think that should ease me back into it, then I can start lifting heavy again come April.....more to follow.
Thanks for reading....have a great night Spark friends!!