R11D8 – Rest, Credit and Critique

i-hate-rest-days2It was a time constraint that forced me into taking my rest day, and as usual I was not happy about it. However, I am committed to rest and so I also made the quality decision to get to bed at 1030 in order to take full advantage of my resting. It also gave me an opportunity to look at my week and decide what the shortcomings were. It’s something that I don’t think people do enough when they finally decide to take charge of their workouts. It’s easy enough to plan, but evaluating your past week and addressing how you felt about it is a completely different skill. Even if your choice is to go with a 90 day program like T25 or P90X3 you should still evaluate at the end of each week what you got from it and if there are any issues that need work. For example, like many people who do or did P90X I was less than thrilled with Yoga and Kenpo. Eventually I decided to replace them both with something more appropriate to my goals. This time around, knowing that P90X3 may have shortcomings with it’s cardio days I have decided to evaluate all the workouts first and then develop a schedule from what I learn. To be honest, what I learned from the first week is that the only things worth doing again were P90X Agility X and T25 Total Body Circuit. But at least I know and what I also know is that I have gone through most of the phase 1 workouts so things are, I think, about to get bananas. At least I hope so.

Since I had my back surgery in April, I have understandably been relatively inactive compared to the last few years but I have to give myself a little credit because I am only 9 months post op and I am in almost every sense back to where I was. I would even have gone so far as to say I was there when we went to Cuba in December, only 8 months after. Now I haven’t been posting here for 10 years since my first surgery but I do have an interesting excerpt from my personal blog that I was writing at the time.

I started back on January 12th with complete and utter disregard for my New Year’s Resolution to start Jan 1 with a strict regimen of walking. I started off with just 20 minutes a day but rapidly realized that unless I was going to push myself to get back as quickly as possible then the whole process was going to be excruciatingly painful. So I went from a sedate 20 minutes 4 days a week in the beginning to 45 minutes every day within the first month. Of course, my weight remained resolutely high, determined that it could outlast my will. We have, of course, had this fight before, I think in terms of score, we are about even. However, this time I was not to be discouraged. I was determined that if I was going to change some things in my life, then I had to change some things in my life. Simple, right? Well, actually yes, it is. If you think about it, I wanted to change my health, my weight and my habits, so I had to change the support system on which those things relied. It was time to start felling the tree at the base, rather than trimming the top with nail scissors.

The amazing thing about this is that I wrote that in mid March of 2004, a full 14 1/2 months after my surgery. What I realize now is that the second time around I had learned enough from the life changing disaster that was my first surgery to make the second one seem like an outpatient corn removal. Check this out:

Today was a wonderful day weather wise which is so much better for rehab than the dead of a Canadian winter. I was able to get out and walk twice again today for a total of 1.6km or so, slightly ahead of my projected goal of 1.5k. I will try for 2k tomorrow but I think that I should stick with that for a few days, my leg was sore, I had some hip pain and the speed was noticeably diminished at the end of the walk.

That was taken from DAY 2 OF MY RECOVERY!! Even I have a hard time reconciling that it took me 14 and a half months to get to the point that should have taken 2 days. It makes me sick to realize just how much of my life I wasted on that first recovery but as they say, you can’t cry over spilled milk. That’s why this time I was so resolute in my decision to push as hard as I could to get up and about and with pretty impressive results. Yes, it’s been 8 months and I am still at the same place I was after about 2 months but that said my pain level is much improved and I can comfortably blame some of my inactivity on my lingering sicknesses.

All of that because I took one day off after 7 in a row, and yes, I am happy to report that once again I hate rest days. Today will be P90X3 again and hopefully another 6 in a row until my next rest day. Also, tomorrow I find out how much weight if any I have lost this week as it’s week 2 of the biggest loser weigh in…

Forced Rest. Ten Days From Hell

I hate rest. I hate having to take time out to recover and recharge. I know the value, I just don’t enjoy it. So you can imagine my state of mind now after 10 days of forced rest due to my back being uncooperative. I am still not sure what it was that caused the problem, I am guessing it was something I did during bootcamp with the med balls but whatever it was really did a number on me. I still have what I would consider significant pain in my right hip capsule which may or may not be directly related but may also be coincidental and a factor of not beign able to stretch. Whatever the case, the next couple of weeks are going to be critical as I try to ease back to action and prevent any further damage.

I can’t remember the last time my back took this long to mend, I can only say it was a VERY long time ago and I am thoroughly unimpressed to the point where I have considered voluntary fusion surgery to prevent any further issues. Whatever I do, I still need to get back into action and that is going to be a delicate mix of activity, rest, stretching, mobility and sensibility.

R4 D46 to D49 – Kelly (incomplete) and catchup

R4 D46 – Kelly

I find that when I do new Crossfit workouts that I often fall short. That in itself is weird since I usually (and I believe I am not alone in this) blast as hard as I can the first time I try things. For some reason it is just not the case with these workouts, a case in point is Kelly. Maybe it is intimidation, maybe just because I am at home doing this alone I am not sure. In retrospect, maybe it was because I was outside and it was 3 degrees but I am a man dammit!


Five rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
30 Box jump, 24 inch box
30 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball

As is well documented, I have a 26lb ball that I use for wall ball and having to run outside and do the wall ball outside meant this was going to be a cold workout. For that reason, among others I suppose, I only managed 3 rounds. My time was around 4:30 per round which if I was able to maintain that pace would have put me around the 22:30 mark for 5 rounds. That seems unreasonably fast to me. I didn’t measure the run exactly and I believe I may have been doing a 300m rather than 400m. Given that, it means an extra 500m for the whole round which makes more sense. Anyway, the block jumps were 20″ and the wall ball 10ft. Hopefully next time I will be able to get the 5 rounds but with the weather closing in, I am not sure I will be running outside again any time soon.

R4 D47 – Clean and Press 100

As a change of pace I opted to do 100 clean and press today. Unfortunately due to the low ceiling in the basement I had to settle for 45lbs for 75 clean and press (mostly in order to get the motion correct) and then around 30 95lb cleans.  After, I got the idea that I hadn’t really done enough so I did another 30 or so clean and press with 35lb dumbbells. That is a lot harder than it sounds! I had wanted to do some deadlift high pulls too but time was short and so I will have to leave them for another time. The important thing was that I was, in a manner, greasing the groove by reinforcing the movement with strict control over technique. Over time, this reinforcement should allow me to increase the weight so that once I get an Olympic bar for the garage, I can start to use heavier weight.

R4 D48 – 5K Run

Well, run is probably a strong word. I was tired, I assumed I was too tired to bother with keeping up with Shaun T and his minions so I though a brisk walk would do me as much good as I could tolerate. Besides, I hadn’t had a workout longer than about 30 minutes in a while so I thought a long walk would tick that box too. Uneventful would probably be too colourful a word for the workout and it reminded me why I do Insanity instead of the treadmill.

R4 D49 – Rest

I feel a little worn down and since this coming week is supposed to be rest week 2 I have some thinking to do.

Round 3 Day 89 – I’m Obviously Coasting To The End

It was supposed to be Legs and Back so I tried my WOD thing again:

10 Air squats
10 Regular wide squats
10 Pullups
10 Block jumps


Legs like jelly as I tried to coach the kids at gym but it felt great. Ouch. Pretty happy to be getting to the end of Round 3, I am a little bored with the workouts and haven’t tried to change it up. The Round 4 schedule will be up tomorrow so I can get my head around it in time for Saturday – potentially.

I probably should also do the P90X and Insanity Fit Tests this weekend. Maybe that would be a nice rest and benchmark for the next 3 months.

Round 2. Day 7 and 8. No Rest For The Wicked.

Chest and Back. Week 2 of Round 2 Begins.

Since I am off 2 days a week coaching I have to skip the rest day and carry on without the benefits of Stretch X. Not that I mind really, I remember through Round 1 I would take the rest day off and not bother with the Stretch X anyway.

Now I am the roadrunner of P90X. I find that since I have started turning off the music during the workout and using my own soundtrack, things can go a lot quicker. I also find that now I am in Round 2 my tolerance for Tony’s inane diarreah commentary is running thin. So although I am not at the point where I am muting him completely, I now only have him making the set change announcements. Even that, however, isn’t really working out since I can’t skip the time it takes for him to belittle the others, grab his “weapons” (ugh) and do 2 reps, chicken out and “check on the kids”. Anyone familiar with Tony will know just how irritating this gets after the first few times. At the start you don’t really even notice it, however as you start to get into much better shape you find the breaks a waste of valuable workout time. That said, I am now referencing the sheet and going at my own pace. So much so that I can finish the workout and ARX before they are getting to the warm down section. I do find that I am much more sore after, however, I will put that down to the lack of physical endurance I currently possess rather than the speed with which I am doing the workout. After all, the few days that I did my G90X at the gym, I rested between sets but didn’t have to wait for explanations or excuses in between. Those days I finished the workout, ARX included, in about 45 minutes.

I finished Chest and Back on Monday, it’s now Wednesday and I am still sore. My triceps are killer since I tried to blast them with diamond pushups and military pushups since I have noticed a severe lack of brute strength in my arms. I did the pushups with regular feet but then did an equal amount of extras off my knees, little girl style. My arms took as much of a beating as my ego on that one let me tell you.

G-Day 7 and 8 – Rest and Chest

I have missed a few days posting here but the reason is that I had to skip a couple of days for rest purposes and due to the fact we were just too busy. However, I managed to squeeze in Chest and Back at the gym, my second time around with that particular routine.

Chest and back went according to plan, the only adjustment I made was to do single arm pulls for my rear delts instead of doing the rear delt machine. This movement replaces the bent over back flys which to be honest are both difficult and potentially dangerous to do sitting down. A standing pull with your arm parallel to the ground with a cable at shoulder height gives you an excellent isolation of the rear delt without the pressure on your back that sitting provides. I find that doing pull ups at the gym is radically different than at home. The equipment is built for it, the extra space around me seems to provide me with extra strength and the fact that there are huge mirrors right opposite the pull up station is a huge bonus. I also have found that doing bench instead of push ups is also radically different. I am on program to get my bench up to 225 for the push up portions of the program which would make me happy. However, you need to be aware that the bench will never replace the push up as an exercise because of the isolation of the chest. I would recommend that you leave at least one push up movement maybe with a BOSU ball in your repertoire.

Day 35 – Couch Surfing

It’s Sunday. Rest Day. Cardio day not stretch X.

All for one, and one to the couch...
All for one, and one to the couch...

Nicole worked floor hours this morning and I stayed on the couch attempting not to sleep through the Hungarian Grand Prix. With Lewis Hamilton finally getting the success he deserves it should have been easy but even with the excitement of wheels falling off the cars I was unable to see the whole thing in once sitting. What is really weird is that no matter how far I rewound the DVR to watch it again, I always woke up with 4 laps to go.

I finally managed to finish the race and squeeze in a 40 minute jog on the treadmill. I then set about trying to get motivated to get back in the garage to finish some of the outstanding issues however with the rain and the thunder and so on I decided I would have a leftover steak from the BBQ yesterday and power nap my way through the afternoon.

One thing I can say about P90X is that I don’t feel at all guilty taking a day off like I used to. I know I am working hard enough to earn that rest time and even more importantly I know that I am working so hard that my body REQUIRES that rest time. Me, the couch and the cat, like the Three Musketeers were inseparable.

Did I feel guilty about not stretching? Not really, I actually stretched before and after my run this morning so I really didn’t feel like I was missing out.  I spent the rest of the day in front of the computer sorting and reviewing photos and making sure the backups were done and so on. I was astonished at how many pictures we have at home but compared to people with kids I am sure we are still pretty much bush league. I have 10,000 pictures in my TO SORT folders, imagine going through all that!

Day 27 – Saturday 18th July 2009. Stupid Monitor.

So I was cleaning out the garage today and decided to put the 20″ monitor out by the kerb for someone to take away, it is working fine and it’s free, I thought it would be gone in no time. However, as I reached to put it down on the electrical transformer in the front yard I felt a slight twinge in my back. A muscular pull type of feeling.  I spent the rest of the day hobbling around and trying to keep my back warm, mostly by finishing Need For Speed:Undercover on the PS3 and renting NHL’09. Anyway, it came time to go to the basement and I really couldn’t face it. I knew that by tomorrow my back would feel much better and didn’t want to risk hurting it more, especially since it was Yoga X. I just couldn’t face 90 minutes of that kind of pain. So I switched tomorrow’s day off with today and will do Yoga tomorrow, hopefully in much more agreeable condition.

Wow! A real day off!