Archive for November, 2016

I’m working back to normal workouts now with my broken foot healed.

One things I’ve gotten to discover first hand is the real benefit of compound movements. I know, this is something you hear a lot about in the lifting world on why free weights are better than machines, and it’s something I was aware of on a theoretical basis before but I understand it in terms of experience now.

While my foot was still healing and I needed to stay off it I discovered that while the gym I go to closest to me didn’t have any seated leg machines, one (in the same chain) a bit further away did. So I would sometimes go further away to that gym so I could do a seated hamstring curl and leg extension. Even staying off my foot I could work my legs some.

And surely this would help make it easier to transition back to lifts using my legs, like squats, after my foot was healed, right?


I still can barely manage squatting, even a few weeks back at it now. Trying to squat after so long without, my body completely forgot how to do that movement. Sure, the leg extension and hamstring curl helped build back some muscle on my legs, but muscle from those isolation movements did not translate well over to the functional movement of squatting- my muscles (all of them in conjunction) were not used to this movement.


Last night at the gym I for the first time since my break from lifting threw in a metabolic complex and it kicked my ass! I hate these. My comfort zone for workouts are heavy lifts with long rests between. The kind of stuff that builds muscle and leaves me sweating, but doesn’t really get my heart rate up for any sustained period of time. I also like swimming and HIIT cardio style workouts (sprints and such). But cardio HIIT workouts do not kick my ass as much as a barbell complex. I absolutely hate these when doing them, they feel miserable. And I realize I need to make more of an effort to do them more often. Because if I only stick with the stuff I find easiest or most enjoyable, I will be missing out. Sure, even if I only do a low intensity swimming several times a week I would have health benefits from that. But lifting and adding in some stuff that is a struggle and gets my heart rate going a lot more provides other forms of health benefits that are missed by sticking with just one style of workout. Aside from health benefits, it provides a different type of training benefit that other stuff doesn’t, and I’m missing out on performance if i skip it.

It helps though that I love how I feel AFTER it’s over though. And it doesn’t last very long. Not sure something like running a marathon is ever in my future. Much as I hate steady state cardio, not sure I could put up with it for such a long period of time.

Still trying to get into a groove of workouts though. It feels like a lot to fit into a schedule.

My goal is 3-4 days of lifting per week (each session taking 30-60 minutes usually), Krav Maga at least 1 day per week (fitting class times into my schedule is difficult or I’d aim for more often. Classes are 1 hr long if I remember correctly.), 1-2 complexes per week (so that adds 15-30 minutes, usually do these at the end of a lifting workout), and swimming 5 times a week, usually short distances at the end of my other workouts, but trying once a week to work in a mile swim (about 70 minutes). That all plus stretching and maybe working in some yoga classes. …. Kind of adds up to a lot of time. Everytime I go to the gym time seems to just melt away and it’s several hours later by the time I leave. Though it’s one benefit of going to the gym during my lunch break at work is it forces me to keep my workout time down, but that’s why I never try doing lifting workouts during lunch.

I think this is a really interesting topic, my comment on this post:

“I wonder too about the cause and effect for home fitness program users- I know one reason in the past (and sometimes present) I’ve been attracted to it is not just the ability to do it at home, anytime, but also the privacy and fear of looking stupid in front of other people at a gym or fitness class.

It’s interesting, I have a whole home gym set up in my basement for lifting and yet, since joining a commercial gym (initially only for the pool while recovering from foot injuries), I find it in some ways easier to get to the gym and workout than workout at home as counter intuitive as that is. Part of it is that I get to swim after lifting at the gym so that incentivizes me. There are also all the gym features that try to make it feel luxurious, which do make the experience feel like one of pampering over duty sometimes (I’m in love with getting to end workouts with a soak in a hot tub and/or some time in the steam room). And there is the factor of just being away from the stress of home that is relaxing, compared to working out in my basement where workouts are often in between doing laundry, with reading for school during my rests between sets. So working out has the “flexibility” of being able to do laundry and school work between sets and exercises, but it has the downside of not being the same quality me-time, time just for taking care of myself, that going out to a gym is.”

It’s interesting is that in many ways I think the very benefits of home workouts can be the downsides of home workouts

+ pivacy

– you don’t get out of your comfort zone and learn to be ok working out in front of others, and seeing that everyone else isn’t as perfect at it as you imagine

+you can do it anytime

-it’s easier to put off, “I’ll do it later” until later never comes because you ran out of time, because you aren’t on a schedule

+you can do it right at home, don’t need childcare, et cetera!

– you don’t take time just to take care of yourself, workouts are interspersed with the regular needs and stresses of home life such as taking care of kids, doing chores, et cetera.

Which isn’t to say the pluses aren’t really positives, because I thinkt they are and totally have a benefit and a place.

Yesterday Samantha posted about the real life secrets of aging athletes. And truer words were never spoken– as we get older, we have to pay closer attention to all the things that can limit the felicitous functioning of our bodies. When I was in my 20s, I could ignore the needs of sleep, nutritious food, […]

via The deceptive allure of home exercise programs — Fit Is a Feminist Issue

I love swimming, and I’m realizing one of many reasons that I really enjoy this form of exercise is due to migraines. Since exercise is both a trigger for migraines and makes them a lot worse, they clearly make exercise difficult.

Cold on the other hand is such a godsend for migraines. So swimming in cold water kind of balances it out. Because of having my head immersed in cold water, I don’t get the pain I would with other types of exercise.

As I’ve been doing strength training several days a week before swimming, a lot of the time I am dragging, having trouble doing the strength training because of a migraine. But getting in the pool to swim, I feel better and it doesn’t hold impact my ability to work like it otherwise would.

Of course when I googled I discovered a few people who said that chlorine triggers their  migraines, so it wouldn’t quite work for those folks. Also wouldn’t have the same impact if the water isn’t cold.

But for me, this is another reason to enjoy swimming 🙂