Sunday, April 24, 2022

The Workout

Strength training: I hate it, but I try to do a little every week.


This entry is kind of just fitness journaling so I can look back at it later.

I'm one of these people who goes through yo-yo weight gain and loss. I've been in exceptional shape for periods of my life: carved and fast. And I've been in lumpy, inferior condition through other periods. Normally I do some type of workout, but it can be intermittent for many months at a time, which is how I get out of shape. Currently my weight is greater than I'd like, but I've been in worse shape.


Cardio Training

My current plan is to do cardio two or three days a week. Usually this is two runs and a bicycle ride, but sometimes one of these is replaced by a hike. Running consists of trying to go at least 2 miles without walking, but sometimes I go farther and walk intervals.

Until last winter I didn't bicycle (or run) in winter. I finally got a bike trainer setup in my garage and managed to ride about once per week. I found it difficult to make myself do much more as I dislike the monotony. When the outdoor season begins, I usually start off with 6 to 8 miles and work my way up to as much as 20 - 30 miles by September or October. The farthest I've ever gone is 35 miles at the Grand Canyon a few years ago. I should clarify this is mountain biking, which is relatively more difficult per mile in terms of energy requirements than riding on pavement. I tend to take my mountain bike and ride everything: pavement, single track (trail), gravel bike path, dirt forest roads, etc.

Strength Training

I don't like strength training so I only do a minimum, just enough to make a difference if I'm persistent over time. Persistent means at least 2 days a week for me. I refuse to go to a gym so I only do whatever can be done at home. I used to do calisthenics but had to switch to mostly dumbbells due to joint pain.

Sets of 20 crunches - right now I only do a couple a week.

"Back lifts" or "Supermans" - I lay on my stomach and lift up my head and all four limbs and hold as long as I can. It's important I do these on the same day as crunches to balance out the front and back of my torso or I get back pain.

I lift the dumbbells from the carry position above waist level. I don't know the proper name of that exercise. Usually do a couple of sets of these. They are "easy" yet seem to work out certain muscle groups very well.

Bench press - sets of 12 (1 or 2 twice a week)

Overhead presses - not consistent with this

Curls - once a week, one set of 10 or 12

Sometimes I do other things like pushups or leg lifts on a whim.


Stretching

I'm not very good at stretching but I roll back on a yoga/exercise ball at least 3 or 4 days a week to stretch my back and the vertical muscles on the back of my neck. Skipping punishes me with neck and back pain. I also usually get a few relieving pops from the joins.

I also stretch my gluteus and psoas muscles nearly every day (5 or 6 days a week). Again, this is a back pain thing, which manifests in sometimes severe pain on my lower left back. It's asymmetrical and I think it dates to a back injury I got kayaking one year, but it also might be related to my twisted skeleton, as I have scoliosis of 11 degrees.

Other

I see a chiropractor once a month. I enjoy getting the joints cracked, although chiropractors tend to be quacks when they range off into metabolic theory or nutrition, so I like them to just stick to manipulation. I find this helps my flexibility around my torso and provides pain relief, though usually only for a couple of weeks.

I also sometimes use a foam roller stick, mostly on my calves and glutes when they feel too tight.

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