Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Backing away slowly

I have been on my exercise regimen for roughly 100 days now.  I can see clear results both in my ability to do the exercises and my body - I actually have pectoral and arm muscle definition without any sort of flexing, which has never happened before.  Unfortunately my quest to get a six pack is pretty much failing, as I have massively increased my core strength and endurance but you can't tell by looking at me.  I can *feel* all the extra muscle in my stomach but translating that into visual muscle definition is elusive.  My numbers are all up - crunches per set up from 20 to 100, weights increased anywhere from 50% to 100% depending on the exercise, so I am certainly a lot stronger.

Sadly it appears to be taking its toll.  I have had slight knee pain doing my cardio routine over the last week, but after yesterday the pain did not stop after the exercise was done.  Today it is still there, and although I am functional I am definitely concerned that I have done something bad to my knee.  Much as I want to be fit and strong I definitely don't want my joints to be a casualty of war.  I kind of thought that by focusing on the elliptical rather than high impact running I could avoid this kind of thing, but no such luck.

To a lesser extent my arms are also starting to complain.  I am not sure why, but it is my forearms that are sore.  I can't say why I expected something else, but I never felt like I was doing a lot of exercises that would strain my forearms in particular so I figured if I started to hurt it would be somewhere else.  Apparently I don't know what I am doing.

Which, you know, anyone could have told you.

At any rate I need to make changes.  Damaging myself is not part of the bargain.  I am doing this to get stronger, better, not to break myself.  Vanity certainly plays a part, no doubt, but I am surely not going to suffer through injuries to get a tiny bit extra hot.

My current plan is to switch from the elliptical to yoga.  I don't think I need to stick with yoga exclusively forever, but definitely for a month to let my knee get better, and then maybe swap up my routine so I only do elliptical training for 1 day a week and do rowing and yoga for the other two.  I should have thought of this before - do any one thing too much and you hurt yourself.  I need variety, and my body is telling me this in no uncertain terms.

I don't think I need to change my weight regimen particularly but I probably should have a bit more rest.  To that end I will go from 7 days a week to 6 - 3 on weights, 3 on cardio.  1 extra day of rest ought to allow my body to catch up from the punishment I am dishing out.

It is annoying to have to admit that I am mortal, and that my body can't just do whatever crap I order it to without complaint.  Obey orders, stupid body!

But admitting that I am mortal before the damage actually becomes a problem is certainly the way to go.  I cannot allow myself to get laid up with my tough mudder just two months away.  I need to be ready for crushing time come mid July, no exceptions shall be made.


  1. Yes, I'm mortal too. Not loving it, just accepting it.

  2. Your forearms may have been sore due to the elliptical. It can end up being a lot of time with one's arms tensed in a certain position while pedaling. I know that biking can do that for me from time to time.

  3. Michal OstrowskiMay 26, 2016 at 12:01 AM

    Try a rowing machine instead of elliptical.
    Start trying a 2K row... and work up to 5k (goal of doing that in 20minutes).
    Row with your legs, then core then arms. Pull the bar to the spot between your belly-button and rib-cage.
    I've hurt a lot of things over the years and I have horrifically bad knees. But the rower has never hurt me - in 18 years.