R9D21/2 – X2 Core And Plyocide

I have to admit to feeling lazy this past week. I feel like I have eaten too many nuts and it’s making me lethargic. If I was still addicted to the scale I am sure that I would find a couple of pounds extra. However, in the spirit of the New Year I am going to try and limit my exposure to the scale to once a month. There are always times that you will find yourself straying off track a little, the problems arise when you get off track in more than one area and don’t recognize the issues. Once you get one wheel off the road you are in a precarious position, a little correction and you are back on track, a slight distraction and you are in the ditch. For me personally it doesn’t take much, for example this week I worked out 5 of 7 days but one of those days was an easy day (Mobility) and so I feel like I didn’t get the work I needed. Maybe it’s getting used to the P90X2 workouts too, rather than the crazy kettlebell and Olympic Lifting I am used to. Whatever it is, I am tackling this feeling of lethargy by not taking tuesday off. Last week and the week before I took it off because it is the day between bootcamps and I thought I would burn myself out. However I am finding that I am underworked so in the spirit of listening to my body I will squeeze another workout in tomorrow. As it happens, the schedule calls for yoga which is kind of a good fit for me.

Speaking of the schedule, I am going to finish up this week and move on to phase 2 which looks like this:

Phase 2 – Strength:

1. Chest + Back + Balance & X2 Ab Ripper
2. Plyocide
3. Rest or X2 Recovery + Mobility
4. X2 Shoulders + Arms & X2 Ab Ripper
5. X2 Yoga
6. Base + Back & X2 Ab Ripper
7. Rest or X2 Recovery + Mobility

It’s much the same but there are more specific strength components than there are in the Core of Total Body workouts. I am really looking forward to this because the workouts that I love the most from P90X are the bodypart specific workouts. I am also going to post reviews of PAP upper and PAP lower to complete the collection.

On the injury front I strained my rotator cuff last week spotting the girls at gym and it’s been insanely painful. It’s a little better now but it meant no pressing during the workouts this week. I am sure that compounded my feeling of lethargy and in return for laying and trying to rest my shoulder I made my back sore (maybe from overstretching..). Quite some time ago I had a very sore toe, and in fact it wasn’t just the toe, it was my whole front of my left foot was sore to flex or contract. I panicked and thought I may have gout so I treated it with strawberries. I am not sure exactly what it was but I am thinking that I may have bruised the ball of my foot doing something during the summer in my VFF’s. Whatever it was, I noticed a couple of weeks ago that it is gone which is a relief. Other than that I am pretty healthy at the moment other than the viral thing that we all got during Christmas. I have been feeling good after my workouts but I still know that I could use to get an extra hour or two of sleep each night. I just can’t seem to get myself to bed on time. I think that is my final frontier, if I can conquer my bad sleep habits, I think I may have this wellness thing licked.

 

Day 43 – Stop! This Ride Is Over.

Injuries are a fact of life. Some people have bum shoulders, sore knees or dickie elbows but me, I have the Holy Grail of injuries, a back injury. I have mentioned it many times before, sometimes at length other times as a reason to whine about my progress or make excuses for not doing a workout. However there is a serious side to my injury which for the first time in many years raised its ugly head today.

I had a serious back injury as a teenager, I had a rugby scrum collapse on me and being a prop that meant the strength of all 7 people behind me and all 8 of the opposition contributed to folding me in half. I was diagnosed with a slipped disc, a condition now referred to as a herniated disc. I wore a back support (read corset) for a few weeks and was cleared as fit. My injury never affected me again through an additional 11 years of rugby at an elite level, 14 or so motor vehicle accidents and numerous other athletic and potentially lethal endeavours. However, being the typical egomaniacal male athlete, after I stopped playing competitive sports I threw myself into the gym and pounding hundreds of thousands of pounds of weight around each time I stepped into the gym. I am not certain of the first time my back went out but I do remember the first significant time especially since I didn’t know what the hell was wrong or how to fix it.

Normally at this point I would expound on the huge weight I was lifting however the relevance seems to pale in comparison to the injury. All I will say is that I was on an incline leg press that I was unable to finish. The stack came down and although there are safety stops, I had them set too low and again, I was folded in half by the machine. I remember laying on the floor of the gym, breathless, in disbelief that my body had betrayed me. The next thing I remember is not being able to reach my feet to put my socks on and being in excruciating pain. I am not sure if I went to the doctor or if I took a few days off and recovered on my own. What I do recall is that after that point, my problems increased in frequency and severity. The one great thing about keeping a journal, online or not, is that you can solidify timelines with alarming accuracy and for the most part will surprise yourself at how fast time really does fly.

Flash forward approximately 5 years and you would find me on a gurney in the emergency department, my third visit in 3 days, being wheeled into the MRI and screaming bloody murder as they try to straighten my legs to get me into the machine. Being the size that I am getting me into the MRI is like trying to get toothpaste back into the tube at the best of times. This time I was in so much pain that the nurse popped two tiny blue pills into my mouth and I woke up 2 days later with an 8 inch scar on my back and a chunk of spinal disc in a plastic cup by my bed. I spent the next 4 months getting back on my feet, trying to rebuild my right leg that lost 30% of it’s mass due to the nerve impingement and trying to deal with both the psychological damage that the injury had done and the addictive effects of the painkillers. Fortunately I had a vacation in Australia that broke my dependence on the painkillers and since I was never one for taking painkillers anyway that was a narrow miss for me. The rest of the recovery wasn’t so easy.

It’s now 8 years later and my leg is still only about 85%. The history of time spent recovering from “back pain” is vastly down. For a long time, regardless of my weight I would intermittently have an issue. I found that a really good anti-inflammatory (arthrotec) and a good muscle relaxant (cyclobenzaprene) work wonders but the most effective tool I have found is actually my Costco inversion table. A couple of minutes on that will take days off my recovery time. So I was down to 2 days to recover from the pre-op of almost 2 weeks. However, the back still bothers me from time to time. This time however, has been the first time since the surgery that the pain has radiated down my leg again. That fact alone has scared me to death. I realized when I turned 30 that the time was approaching that I would have to stop wandering the earth at 275lbs plus and for the last few years I have had varied success in getting below that figure. I was 255 when I got married 2 years ago and although that is pretty good for me I can’t shake the idea that if I was 220lbs at least some of my pain would go away. My point is that I think in part my injury has been aggravated by my weight but also that I may in the long term be looking down the barrel of another back surgery. This time, to fuse the bones and get rid of the troublesome disc issue for good.

So what do I do now? I was off my feet for 4 days, which in this day and age is unheard of for me. I am walking with a cane again just in case my leg decides to give out on me (in reality I am sure it won’t but I am not going to gamble with that) and the pain is still causing cramping and a weird stiffness throughout my quad muscle. I have to admit that my first reaction was to walk, then jog then run to drop the weight as fast as possible but the PT in me just can’t give up that weight training piece even if it is only with bodyweight. So the solution for now, get my back better, stretch the quad and the lower back to get rid of the cramping and get back into it as soon as possible. I am looking at almost 12 days of complete rest, not an ideal situation, but I think ti quit now would be a massive disservice. Maybe the smarter thing to do would be to take my diet seriously for once and put the 270’s, 260’s and 250’s behind me for good. You see, just like most people who use exercise as their primary method of weight control my lack of control over my diet is my failing. Ask anyone who had purchased a beachbody product and they will probably lament you with tales of “loving food too much” or being “addicted” to food and being “unable to control” themselves. It’s a common theme that I see on a daily basis with people at work who participate in our Biggest Loser competition but let’s just be really honest for a second… If your life or the life of the people you love depended on you controlling your diet and you could keep that reality in front of your face 24/7 they anyone, and I mean ANYONE could lose the weight. The problem is that we get distracted and fail to realize the importance of what we are required to do.

Simply stated, we fail to pay attention to what should be our priority. In reality you should treat your weightloss like a Harry Houdini escape. The sooner you get out, the sooner you can get back to life, and if you don’t, you die. I guess people (myself included) don’t realize that weightloss isn’t about quality of life necessarily, it’s about length of life and if you were asked to trade 10 years of your life for a year’s supply of pizza would you really do it?

I’m thinking that I probably wouldn’t any more…

Thanks for letting me vent and if you made it down this far congratulations… Have a cookie! 🙂

Round 2, Phase 2, Week 1 – Back Tweak = Back Day!!

I am sporadic in my updating only due to the fact that I am sporadic in my work. I tweaked something in my back the other day and being cautious doesn’t really jive with what I am trying to achieve. However, I have found if I am careful and warm up properly that I can still achieve what I need to while hurting. The Insanity Plyo was the worst. Trying to keep up with Shaun T while feeling like you have daggers up and down your spine is not optimal. But, as they say, you do what you can.

I am really happy to be in Phase 2 if only to enjoy the “other” DVDs in the P90X set which you only get to do during weeks 4-7. Maybe it is a reflection of my enjoyment of a good shoulder workout I am not sure. Anyway, I managed to get through my Back and Biceps day yesterday despite being incredibly uncomfortable. I figured if I was going to be home all day with a sore back, the least I could do is try and get some bodyparts done. As strange as it may sound, doing pullups when my back is sore is a great benefit. By the time the workout was done (it took me almost 90 minutes) I did feel a great deal better. However, I couldn’t manage any Ab Ripper today, it was just agony.

The Pain... It's in there somewhere.

For those of you who have sore backs, don’t let the workouts slip if you can. Especially if it is a back day. I have an inversion table which works wonders for me, but before I got it, doing pullups was an acceptable substitute. The one thing it took me many years to figure out was that moving, exercising, walking and doing chinups made me feel better not worse. The temptation is to lay down and do very little, in fact I posted a page once on what to do when your back goes out however when I wrote that page, I was still far from understanding that the key to rehab of a back injury is exercise. I was also under the impression that back pain was in your back. Since then I have come to understand that my personal pain is a mixture of piriformis, ITB and hamstring issues all rolled into one causing pain through my sciatic nerve and down my leg.

So I am moving a little slowly, just around the time that I am realizing that I am not doing enough and need to step it up a notch.

Day 85 – Core Syn

We all have our idiosyncracies

I have been looking forward to Core Syn this time around, if only due to the fact that skipping days due to coaching makes me feel like I am dogging it a little bit. So a good hard workout is exactly what I required to get me back in the swing. Core Syn, as usual, didn’t disappoint. In fact, I was prompted by a video post on another blog to try the plank to chataranga run with proper form this time. Now I am a pretty muscular person and that particular move is challenging for me due to the amount of space my arms and legs occupy. Imagine if you will not being able to go from downward dog to runners pose because like Tony demonstrates in the DVD your leg gets caught up underneath you and jabs you in the chest. That is the kid of issue I have to deal with. I have come to realize that most people who do P90X either do it to get bigger, leaner or fitter. There are not many people like myself whose goal it is to get smaller in places. Like I have stated I didn’t do this for weight loss, but a reduction in sheer mass would not go unnoticed nor unwelcome.

So the core strength and the flexibility were the two things that I knew I could improve upon. Core Syn gives you the opportunity to litmus test yourself against your goals. So far, and since I am on day 84ish you would think by now I should be doing OK and I am. However, I have issues with my back and legs that are probably pretty foreign to most people. I lost about 20% of the mass in my right thigh during the days before my back surgery in 2001. That mass has never returned and as such my body has compensated with different strength in different areas. One upshot of that problem is that occasionally I get leg pain after I work out. I am not sure if it is parts of the muscle rebuilding or the nerves repairing or (hopefully not) that it is more damage being done. Either way, sometimes when I stand up the day following coaching or a hard leg workout my leg will give out. House and I have that much in common, well, that and the misanthropic nature that comes with a deep-seated hatred for pretty much everyone. Recently I have been having pain through my hip flexor area of my right leg and it feels nerve like, not muscular and indeed my leg gives out sometimes if I am not careful. Point being that although many of my goals have been met, my position on my back remains the same. My confidence may build on the strength and flexibility fronts but there are still things I am learning about my body and my previous injury which, despite the surgery, is still a concern. I’m going to be 42 in February and if I feel like this when I am 60 or 70 I will be happy. Since I wasn’t happy feeling like this at 32 but have steadily improved, I can’t help but think that things are pointed in the right direction. However, and as a side dig at myself, walking around at more than 250lbs isn’t good for you, period.

Bear that in mind all you P90X’ers, be careful what you wish for.

Day 82 – Redemption (I am so lost sometimes)

So my last entry lamenting the fact that I missed my last weights day was a little premature. Fact is that I have one day left. The day 81 workout was the Kenpo that I switched with Yoga leaving me with Legs and Back today and then Yoga on Friday (or not, as noted).

Sometimes I wonder...

So I am now in a position where I have one resistance day left and then one cardio day and then a full week of rest week and then I am done.

I’ll let you know how the last resistance day goes. Nothing out of the norm I can’t imagine.

So it would figure that once I did the math and figured out I still had one day left to do that I would be feeling like garbage. I think I had a little too much coffee today because I felt shaky and weak, a sure sign of caffeine overload. For me, when that happens I get the feeling that I can’t get any blood flow to my muscles, I feel weak and surprisingly lethargic. Once I start working out however I find my heart rate goes higher than normal and I sweat like a wildebeast. Speaking of which, here’s an interesting fact for the day that I think maybe everyone except me knows… The wildebeast is the same animal as the Gnu. I had literally no idea. Besides, it sounds less dramatic to say I was sweating like a Gnu.

So the start of the workout was difficult but I pushed myself to do more knowing how I would feel after 10 minutes or so. That is an incredibly important part of fitness and weightloss. Knowing how your body will react to something is a powerful tool in your arsenal. It is obvious that some days you are going to be better in the gym than others, it’s just a fact. During those days that you feel great and want to do more, you should do whatever you can because you know that there are going to be days when you have to take it easy because you don’t feel so good. The point is to recognize the difference between your body sending you a message to take it easy and your brain telling you to relax because it is being lazy. Laziness doesn’t have an equal and opposite force, it is just a drain. Lazy people are lazy in all facets of their life including at the gym and with their diet. Strong motivated people know when to push and when to hold back and that is something that will always work to their advantage.

In other words, learn to recognize your BODY’S signals, not your brain’s.

So I started off not feeling great, but after the first round of pullups and lunges I started to come around. As usual for me, once I get going I feel fine, which is why I have a long standing agreement with myself that if I don’t feel like going to the gym I will go anyway and see how it is. If I still feel like I don’t need to be there after 10 minutes, I am allowed to leave. Of the dozens of times I have thought of this rule, I have only ever once turned around after 10 minutes and left.

So what have I learned about the leg days? This is important to me because when I first hurt my back way back in 1997 or so it was on an incline leg press doing slightly over 1000lbs. The sled came down on me and I was unable to turn the stop handles quickly enough. Due to the fact that I was not flexible, something had to give and it was my back. Now, I am not blaming my entire history of back problems on that one event, but what I do know is that morning laying on the floor of The Workout was the first time I ever remember feeling the pain of disc herniation. I continued to work on my legs for the next few years without much incident, I mostly did squats and extensions and stayed away from the sled. Once my back started to give out more regularly I gave up working out my legs because it seemed that every time I did something with my legs I put my back out. I even recall doing the original P90 workout a few years ago and after leg day the next morning I couldn’t walk because of my back. After my surgery I was left with a weak right leg having lost about 30% of the muscle mass in my thigh. I tried in vain to rebuild the leg but found it incredibly frustrating. Looking back I wish I had listened to myself when I used to tell my PT clients about the importance of stretching, not for flexibility necessarily but for warmup and warm down purposes. Had I realized that my back problems were linked directly to my leg issues and the lack of hamstring flexibility I could have saved myself a lot of grief. But, you live and learn.

So what I have learned about leg days is that your legs are a critical part of your lower back health, your overall flexibility and even your core strength. If you are smart and look after your hamstrings, keep them flexible and strong you will go a long way towards preventing unnecessary back pain. This also applies to knee pain and hip pain since the leg muscles are the connection between your hips and your knees. I can’t stress how important it is to keep the back of your legs supple and the proof is the fact that I am able to do the intense workouts for my legs in P90X without any adverse effects on my back. This alone has been both a major benefit but also a major surprise to me. My right leg has grown in strength and size over the past 90 days which I was unable to accomplish in the 8 years since my surgery. It just goes to show, you should try everything once because you just never know what might work.

Except acupuncture. Don’t bother with acupuncture it doesn’t work. I can tell you that from experience.

Day 31 – Building a better bar

Back and Biceps – Yes, they are real. Greg Valentino – The man whose arms exploded. Bear in mind he is 5’2″.

Yes, they are real. Greg Valentino - The man whose arms exploded.

The other day I found a pretty strong hollow metal bar at Home Depot for under $20. Today before my workout I drilled holes in my basement door frame and slid the bar in. I now have a guaranteed bulletproof, 400+lb holding chinup bar from hell! I just need to get some kind of grips or foam or something to go with it and I will be in chinup heaven.

Speaking of chinups, even after just a week off my chinups are back down to miserable numbers again. I was doing sets of 10-12 at least during week 3 and today during Back and Biceps I was struggling with 5!! Maybe it was the week off, maybe it was just that I was tired, I am not sure but whatever it was it frustrated the hell out of me! The workout was good again, I am LOVING these non-repeater workouts at this point. I am in the frame of mind where I just want to attack everything and try as much as I can and these week 5 workouts are just the ticket. I am also at peace with Ab-Crippler X, I know I will get there eventually and I am just putting up with the pain for now until I conquer it! I am getting better every time I do it and I find if I cheat a little and start a couple of minutes early once they get to crunchy frog we are at the same point and I seem to do OK from there. It’s the bicycles and Crunchy Frog that are killing me now. My lower back is very painful when I do them and that does not help.

I am disturbed also at the degree of pain from my shoulder, of course I haven’t gone for my ultrasound yet which I got the Rx for months ago. However it is not just chinups that are painful, the more I do bicep curls the more painful it gets. I can work around the pain however it means that each set of different hand grip bicep curls kind of meld into one big hammer curl set. I will try and get to the doctor next week once Bob comes back to work and see what they say. Maybe a cortisone injection will be enough.

It has just occurred to me that I may be saying the same crap over and over again. I haven’t gone back and read any of my old posts, I hate to read my own stuff, so maybe I am boring you with my repetition…

I have been watching some of the Big Brother stuff on YouTube and I have to say what a great summer that would be! Get up early before the other idiots are around, have a coffee in the California morning sun, lay around in the pool for a while or the hot tub, work out outside, do some cardio, have all your groceries bought and paid for… What a blast. Of course you would have to put up with the kind of brainless degenerate narcissists that would choose to go on Big Brother but still I think it would be worth it.

So anyway, today was difficult but enjoyable. The arms were pumped afterwards and I even resisted the temptation to put on a little gun show inthe new mirrors. That will have to wait until the fat show has left town!

Day 29 – Phase 2. Bring the Pain!

So here I go, all soft and fuzzy after my week of rest only to be thrown to the lions. I still have to install my chinup bar in the basement but since today is Chest, Shoulders and Triceps hopefully I won’t need it yet. However, I should put it up before I am too sore to lift my arms to brush my teeth tomorrow.

The only thing more difficult than the airborne clapping pushup... and I am not THAT crazy!

The only thing more difficult than the airborne clapping pushup… and I am not THAT crazy!

Nicole decided to join me today, I am guessing she is on the P9X program where you can work out once every 9 days and still look amazing. Not that I am bitter or anything… Anyway, the workout was a real treat. It was difficult enough to have me sweating bullets again, simple enough that you didn’t have to skip back on the DVD to understand the movements and best of all there were no repeat movements. Even though it is good to have repeats so you can really push yourself, the time flies by if you do a list of completely new exercises instead. The program consisted of 24 movements, some compound shoulder/arm/chest motion, some isolation exercises. I knew it would be hard given that I had taken an easy week but even so during the workout I was amazed that I was able to push myself harder and make it through most of the workout doing max reps. I also made full 25 reps on at least 1/2 of the Ab Crippler exercises which shocked me. My hip flexors must have thought that last week was just brilliant with no AR… So much for that.

I did find that my wrists started getting sore at one point, I suppose I should really be using push up bars to protect my wrists knowing that I have carpal tunnel in both wrists as it is. The history on that is I woke one morning last year with a sore rhomboid muscle and a weird tingling in my arm. After a few hours I found that I had lost the feeling in half of my right hand (and of course I am right handed!). I was not able to feel anything in my 4th and pinkie fingers or down that side of my hand. What was far more distressing than that was the fact that I had barely any grip strength in my hand. I had trouble holding on to a 45lb plate with my hand in the coming days which really scared me. I went to see a neurologist (nerve guy ) who told me a couple of things. First, the fact that I have no feeling in my right shin and zero reflex in my right knee since my back surgery is permanent. Second, the nerve test on my hand said that PROBABLY I would get the feeling and the strength back. Enter the ridiculous medical community and their inadequate testing equipment. “Grip this” he said, giving me a handheld grip strength monitor. I crushed it. My grip strength in my right pathetic hand was still off the chart regardless of the fact that it was about 50% of my left hand. It was actually so bad that I could no longer do chinups at the gym because I couldn’t hang on to the bar with my right hand. Anyway, long story short he said that it was radial nueropathy known as Saturday Night Palsy because it usually happens when people get drunk, pass out and trap their arm underneath them, pinching the nerve. Either that or (and he was disturbingly casual about this next part) I had degenerative disc disease in my neck and my vertebrae were crushing my spinal cord. Nice! This was disturbing because I was at one time diagnosed with DDD in my spine as part of my MRI’s for my back. Taking a look at my massive head (orange on a toothpick!) you would think that he would be more inclined towards the spinal-neck-vertebrae-crushing thing, but apparently not.

So, that is the history behind my wrist/arm/hand/neck problems and it is the reason why, after his diagnosis of carpal tunnel in BOTH wrists, that I have some wrist pain when doing pushups. Nicole said it was due to me doing not only clapping pushups but AIRBORNE pushups with Tony, but I don’t think so *wink*.

Day 22 – Rest week is here, yay!

Yoga

Sounds bizarre that rest week would start with the longest and most challenging workout of all but rest simply means no weights. Today is Yoga X and I am hoping for an improvement in my performance after such a hard week last week. The downside to skipping the rest / stretch day is that I am now working on 10 days straight and I won’t be able to take a day off until Sunday. I think at that point I may stretch a little but try to take the day completely off to recuperate before phase 2 starts.

I have to admit I am pretty proud of myself. The end of phase 1 is in sight and I am still fully committed to the process. Having said that, I still have 68 days to go which at this point seems like forever. In fact, when I complete the 90 days it will be (if my math is correct) September 19th which is after coaching starts. I hadn’t figured it out until now so let’s assume that I have to take Tuesday and Thursday off during coaching season. That means that from Sept 8th most likely I will lose 2 days a week. Luckily I will be on day 78 on Labour Day so this will only affect me for a couple of weeks. Potentially then, my finish date will move from Saturday September 19th to Friday September 25th. That all depends on nothing else getting in the way, including not being away at all or, if away, being able to do the workout anyway. That will be a challenge since we have a weekend in Penetang and at least one wedding to go to between now and then.

One step at a time though, it’s my first exposure to rest week including something they call Core Synergistics which makes my abs hurt just thinking about it. I want to get the workout done as soon as I get home tonight because I didn’t watch Big Brother last night and I don’t want to fall behind!

Right there... That is actually me with the big red pain!

So yoga went OK, I found it was dragging for a while around the 30 minute mark and I actually ended up skipping a couple of the twist positions because I had a tightness in my back. The session was OK and it didn’t aggravate it but once I finished I could tell that I had slightly overstretched it. Hopefully with this being rest week it will give me a chance to rest it and heal a little. My back is cracking all the way along now after the workout, I should probably have gone on my inversion table after I finished. So I am a little stiff but it’s probably nothing to be concerned about. Just for future reference it is my left side, lower back from the bottom of my ribcage all the way down to the top of my hip bone. It was probably strained as I went into Warrior 1 from runners pose. It stiffens up and makes it impossible for me to stand up quickly, however once I walk for a few seconds it loosens up just fine.

Day 12 – Injury prone?

Legs and Back.

The lobster made me do it!

Injuries are a fact of life in any athletic endeavour. I very rarely go to the gym without feeling some kind of pain somewhere. There is always something I am having to work around or be careful with and maybe only a few weeks in each year where I can really go full out in the gym without pain. As I get older, the injuries last longer, they refuse to heal at all without rest and of course once I stop to rest them, something else inevitably gets tweaked. Such has been the case with my elbow / shoulder. Since around August last year when I started lifting heavy at the gym again my shoulder has been problematic. For a while I was unable to bench at all due to the pain and since I was once again getting close to my personal best this was incredibly frustrating. Admitting that my personal best has already happened is a huge pill for me to swallow however setting new personal bests for flexibility and low body fat are where my focus should be. So my shoulder was a pain. Since starting P90X I have had less and less problems with it to the point now where there are days when I don’t feel it at all. However, I have a new issue. My elbows are sore on the inside. I know it is from close grip inwards facing pullups since I have never done them that way; I considered the inward facing grip to be somewhat of a cheat. The easy thing would be to skip that exercise and replace it with something else but my instinct tells me that I should be able to do this, maybe not now, but at some time my arms should be capable of doing the movement. Considering I have gone from maybe 2 or 3 chinup ability a few months ago to being able to do sets of ten I am very happy however the nagging issue of my elbow remains. I will admit that as my weight continues to fall, the chinups become increasingly easier, however I would like to be able to know that I am able to go into any workout, be it P90X or my regular weight training regime without the fear of pain. Maybe given the types of workout that I do, that is an unattainable dream. The intensity I bring to my workouts certainly doesn’t lend itself to a stress free and injury free life but I long for those days of my youth where the soreness went away after a day or two and things didn’t hurt just because you used them.

Maybe it was because I was sick last week and have been feeling under the weather for a few days or maybe it was the fact that I had already done 45 minutes on the treadmill this morning that I was dreading the legs and back workout for the day. So much so that I agreed to go out for an early dinner to The Keg at 4 in the afternoon in the hope that the meal would settle me into the right mindset. I am not sure if it was the lobster or the steak but once I got home I was determined to squeeze the day’s work in.

Legs and back is a tough day for me. I have had some bad experiences in the past with lunges causing my back to go out the following day so I am understandably wary of them. For the most part, today is all lunges of various types. Couple that with the pullups that are still challenging for me and you have a workout that I just don’t like. Sprinkle Ab Rippling X on top and you have an hour and a half of hell. My squats seem to be improving and my lunges, with the exception of my back leg aren’t bad at all. Getting that back leg to stay straight is a real problem though. There are only 4 types of pullups in the workout, 2 rounds of each. That means however that there are 8 rounds of 2 kinds of lunges / squats. I may be wrong but it doesn’t seem like they repeat the leg stuff. I wouldn’t know since I don’t have anywhere on the sheet to record the numbers or types even though Tony keeps telling us to write it all down ON THE SHEET! So imagine then 16 sets of legs, lets say half of them are repeated so you are looking at 12 different leg exercises of which I would bet half are lunges. I do remember that there is a wall sit which is then repeated as a single leg wall sit which I failed spectacularly at today. Do my legs feel stronger? Absolutely! Does my back feel like it is in danger of going out the following day? So far, not really. I will try to turn up the intensity slowly, gradually getting lower with my movements and hope that with time my back will get used to the work. Today my heart rate topped out at almost 150 which means I am still getting the workout I need. Also, where I was burning about 2000 calories a week at the gym (not including 10 hours of coaching) I am now up at around or slightly over 3000 for the week. That is an unexpected surprise!

Day 11 – Maybe!?

Well, I woke up just as sick as I went to bed. I thought that maybe if I walked around a while I would feel better but after having staggered to the bathroom I figured I had better get back to the heating pad before I hurt myself. My back is a fickle thing, you would think that a day off my feet would be a welcom relief, that my back would thank me with at the very least a pain free day but NO… a few hours off my feet and I can be debilitated for days on end while my spine attempts to realign itself. After an hour on the heating pad it was time to try again, and I was fully aware that with my coworker off today that I had to get to work somehow so I made a valiant attempt and convinced myself that as I moved more and more I would loosen up. Turns out I was right… I am sitting here at the end of the day almost completely recovered from my stomach upset (although let it be said that my stomach is still tender and cramping) and able to walk mostly upright with only a small degree of pain over and above the usual. However, I am not sure it would be wise to attempt yoga X today. In fact, I am not sure it would be wise to attempt any kind of X today at all unless I want to end up with herniated disc X, barf on the basement floor X or oops I snapped my neck falling out of the crane pose X!

I guess we will see, I may nap for a few minutes now and see how I feel after that. In the grand scheme of things, an extra day isn’t the end of the world.