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Author Topic: The 201X Health Improvement Thread  (Read 17690 times)
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« Reply #280 on: April 17, 2012, 02:34:07 PM »

Front raise, rev pec dec (which hits upper back and rear delts).

You can also do shrugs, as well as lat pulldowns with a slow upper release.

I found that this injury (which I'm suffering right now) prevented me from doing bench press, though pushups with my elbows tucked in work fine.

For the first time in a month I did seated shoulder presses (DB). I had 75 on my left, and 35 on my right. I did each one at a time (one arm on lap, other in the air).

Cuban presses with REALLY light weight (normally I do 50-60lbs, I was doing 20lbs) and rotator cuff extentions (in and out, on a cable machine while standing). Once again, >50% of my normal (not of my MAX) on the injured side.
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« Reply #281 on: April 17, 2012, 11:33:32 PM »

Waking up at 3:45 this morning because the new job is stressing me out had the one advantage of me being able to easily fit in my 4 miler.
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« Reply #282 on: April 18, 2012, 10:50:58 PM »

Got back into the gym today for a "light" session. For every exercise I completed each rep slowly, methodically, and carefully, constantly conscious of how my shoulder felt.  It was a slight blow to the ego to only move around lighter weights, but completing higher rep sets kind of made up for it a little. 

Finished my workout with about 25 minutes of interval cardio on the elliptical (low-impact to protect my neck), in part because I didn't want to over-do it with strength training and still felt my workout needed a little more, but also because I've been pretty sedentary lately and needed to move around.

Not an awful workout after 3+ weeks on the DL, but still humbling and a little frustrating. 

Better than nothing, though.
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« Reply #283 on: April 24, 2012, 10:46:49 PM »

Got a "light" week of lifting in prior to my 2nd injection, and also decided to give softball a go Friday night last week.  Lifting showed definite developing weakness on my left side which is continuing to get worse.  That's not a comforting development.  Was a little rusty on the softball field at first, but had one homerun, covered shortstop fairly well with only 3 missed plays out of 14, all early on, but subsequently regretted the decision on Saturday when my neck felt "jostled" and I had a severe tension headache running from my neck up to my skull which has lasted non-stop even through today.  My neck is clearly not right, and the nerve problems are back full-force (tingling, pins and needles, pain, etc).

Had my 2nd epidural injection this morning.  The doctors said that the 2nd is sometimes less painful than the first, but not in my case.  Still dealing with severe tightness at the site of the injection, my spine feels like shite, my headache is back now that the sedatives have worn off, and I'm moving around pretty slowly.  Nerve issues seem to be magnified once again following the injection, with things expected to get worse over the next week or two, but here's to hoping that this injection is more successful than the first.  While three times is usually a charm, I'm hoping for two.

I'm still going to tonight's Phillies/Diamondbacks game, though.  That's what painkillers are for.  And a wife to drive me.
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« Reply #284 on: April 24, 2012, 11:53:40 PM »

I need some fucking motivation here folks.  I'm no stranger to fitness, I've run a handful of marathons, triathlons and even an Ironman in 2010.  The birth of my 3rd child, and my wife going back to work full time is killing me.

I need suggestions from those with similarly busy lives, how do you find the motivation/time to workout.  I've gained 20 pounds, and feel like crap.  My day consists of getting up at 630, corraling everyone to get ready for school/daycare, then dropping the youngest off at daycare and heading to work.

After work is come home, help get dinner ready, clean up, get baby ready for bed and crash from exhaustion.

I have a treadmill, and a Kinetic bike trainer.

I know I'm a whining bitch, but I need a kick in the ass.
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« Reply #285 on: April 25, 2012, 12:10:33 AM »

Start by squeezing in a walk at lunch. Any chance of taking the kids for a walk after dinner? If that can't happen, about the only other thing I'd suggest is summoning every last ounce of your willpower to squeeze in 30 minutes on your treadmill before bed. I'm guessing some of your exhaustion is due to the weight gain, so I'd hope as you got into a routine of working out before bed things would get easier.

I'm trying to think of things to do outside the gym... I am fortunate enough to be able to work out during lunch so this is tough. Any sports teams you can join up with on the weekends for an hour or two of workout?
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« Reply #286 on: April 25, 2012, 12:43:11 AM »

I've been considering running on my lunch hour.  I do have an hour for lunch, but I wonder about cleaning up after.  I guess I could do a baby wipe shower after.
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« Reply #287 on: April 25, 2012, 01:02:45 AM »

How far do you live from work?  I've had great success making my commute be my exercise, but then, I only live 5 miles from work.  I can bike to work in almost exactly the time it takes me to walk and use the subway.  If I run home from work, I can do a 45 minute workout in essentially 15 minutes, since I would have spent 30 minutes commuting anyhow.

If you're too far for that to work, there are hybrid options.  Drive most of the way and bike the rest, or if your town has bike mounts on public buses, use that for part of the journey.

Forgot to mention that I'm on a similar page as you, busyness-wise.  I've got a 2-year-old and a new one due in a couple months, and I've been going to school full time this past year on top of my full time job.  My family and personal time mean too much to me to budge that for exercise, so spending commute time on exercise was the only option.
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« Reply #288 on: April 25, 2012, 01:15:38 AM »

I'm about 20km from work which is pretty far.  In the summer I will ride my bike, but having to drop my son off at Daycare sort of puts a damper on that.
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« Reply #289 on: April 25, 2012, 01:02:35 PM »

Get a tag-along, and see if the daycare minds if you lock it up there?
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« Reply #290 on: April 25, 2012, 01:33:55 PM »

Can you guys reccomend any good workout DVD's, specifically core/weight loss.  Preferably something I could do in 30-45min. for those days when running/biking isn't possible.  Something I can throw on that needs minimal equipment.
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« Reply #291 on: April 25, 2012, 01:47:29 PM »

Quote from: El-Producto on April 25, 2012, 01:33:55 PM

Can you guys reccomend any good workout DVD's, specifically core/weight loss.  Preferably something I could do in 30-45min. for those days when running/biking isn't possible.  Something I can throw on that needs minimal equipment.

Insanity is great. It's broken down into 2 stages: In the first, the videos are no longer than 45min, except for 1 day that would end up being about an hour, and in the second they get to about an hour.

No equipment required. I've lost over 20lbs using these videos. Once you get through that, there's a new Insanity workout series called Insanity: The Asylum. For that one, I would recommend some dumbbells, jump rope, agility ladder, and resistance bands.

Insanity
http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/best_sellers/insanity.do?code=GETINSANITYDOTCOM

Asylum
http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/insanity-next-level-asylum-workout.do?code=SEMB_GOOGLE_ASY
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« Reply #292 on: April 25, 2012, 02:15:45 PM »

Cool, I may have to try Insanity it sounds perfect.  Shorter workouts, and no equipment.  Perhaps I'll combine it with running/cycling, like 2 or 3 Insanity workouts a week.
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« Reply #293 on: April 25, 2012, 02:31:22 PM »

Week 1, Day 1 of C25K in the books.  I didn't die. 
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« Reply #294 on: April 30, 2012, 07:16:35 PM »

Quote from: El-Producto on April 25, 2012, 02:15:45 PM

Cool, I may have to try Insanity it sounds perfect.  Shorter workouts, and no equipment.  Perhaps I'll combine it with running/cycling, like 2 or 3 Insanity workouts a week.

Any progress?  Have you found something, started any kind of workout program, or at least modified your eating habits?  Just checking in to hold you accountable.   thumbsup

Quote from: Isgrimnur on April 25, 2012, 02:31:22 PM

Week 1, Day 1 of C25K in the books.  I didn't die.  

How's Week 2 going?

On a personal note, the 2nd round of epidural injections hasn't worked either.  Symptoms didn't get as magnified as the first round of injections, but dizziness and headaches were far worse this time.  For three or four days I could barely sit upright for more than a few moments and eating anything was near impossible due to the associated nausea.

Unfortunately as time goes on and treatments are ineffective, nerve damage seems to be getting worse.  In the beginning I only had pain, tingling, pins-and-needles, and general discomfort, but now actual strength seems to be deteriorating.  The "I-just-hit-my-funnybone" feeling has extended beyond my arm and into my shoulder, shoulderblade, and chest, and my grip strength also seems to be lessening.  I equate it to waking up early in the morning, trying to open a tightly closed jar, and your arm feels weak and tired.  My left side is now like that 24-7.  

My doctors have already started "the talks" as I refer to them.  A few conversations have started referencing more invasive procedures, starting with:  "You know, we've had a pretty good success rate with surgery."  I had really hoped to avoid any need to even consider surgery, but if epidurals aren't working and now I'm losing not only feeling but also strength, I'm starting to get a little concerned.

But I'm also struggling with sitting idle.  It has been months since I last was able to lift anything heavy, and during my last handful of gym sessions I lost a lot of strength.  The progress I worked so hard to obtain seems to just be wasting away.  

And my softball hiatus has been ridiculously frustrating.  My teams are strongly favored to win the championship tournaments both on Wednesday and Friday, and I have missed it all.  Not to mention the past three tournaments, two of which saw our team take 2nd.  I tried attending games to watch from the sidelines, but I can't do it any longer.  Because I feel capable of playing, despite doctor's orders, it's hard for me to be there and not play.  My competitive nature makes it likely for me to merely say "fuck it" and get back on the field (like I did the weekend before my most recent injection).

For now my intent is to return to the gym to get at least some activity in.  Light weight, higher reps, being mindful of any discomfort or pain, maybe some time on the elliptical (the lower impact shouldn't aggravate my discs too much).  At least to maintain some level of strength and conditioning in case surgery becomes a very real necessity.  

Mainly just ranting.  The wife is in Korea until May 13th and I just haven't felt up for much social interaction lately.  Sometimes I'm angry or frustrated, others I'm just down and apathetic.  A little too much drinking and binge eating lately, so today I'm heading to the gym because I just can't stay cooped up any longer.  Plus my wife isn't here to tell me "no" or yell at me when I am caught walking back in the front door in workout gear.  To think I'm at a point where I'm disciplined for "cheating", and that cheating involves sneaking out to go to the gym.   retard

Strength training and sports are a big part of my lifestyle.  Having it all taken away is driving me mad.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 07:19:06 PM by PeteRock » Logged

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« Reply #295 on: April 30, 2012, 07:30:31 PM »

I should clarify that I'm not going from doing nothing, I just need to do more.

I did run a 30km road race in March, which I was undertrained for but did complete.  I do run a couple of times a week, and did a fast 10km yesterday.

I'm starting the Insanity workouts, as I borrowed from a friend.  That starts tonight so we'll see how it goes!
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« Reply #296 on: April 30, 2012, 07:56:52 PM »

Quote from: El-Producto on April 25, 2012, 02:15:45 PM

Cool, I may have to try Insanity it sounds perfect.  Shorter workouts, and no equipment.  Perhaps I'll combine it with running/cycling, like 2 or 3 Insanity workouts a week.

Insanity sucks.  I can't put it any differently - it's an awful program.  Not just for difficulty, though it's incredibly difficult.  It's that there's no real science behind it.  You work at maximum effort for 30-40 minutes, but there's no reason to do so.  You will see your cardio conditioning go up, but you may not see anything else - no muscle definition, no weight loss, nada.  I did it for 30 days and didn't lose a pound.  So to work that hard for minimal benefit because it's not based on any kind of science just sucks.

By the way, it's not just me.  I'm on a website called Video Fitness, which is a very large fitness forum that has everyone from users to trainers.  So the knowledge level of the users there is very high.  The general consensus over there is that Insanity is a horribly designed program.  A few users got results, but the large majority did not and hated it.  The dread factor creeps in with Insanity after a couple of weeks and gets worse as time goes on.  If there's a gym in hell, they're doing Insanity.

Maybe it will work for you, but I'm glad you didn't shell out any money for it.  FYI, the follow up to Insanity is Asylum which was received more positively.  

If you don't like Insanity, I'd recommend the Weider X-Factor.  It's all body weight, has extremely effective core work, the workouts are 35-45 minutes, very effective for both cardio and core and runs $30 for about 10 DVDs.  In terms of workout bargains, it's really high on the list.  You can get it for $30 or so from Walmart/Target or places like that.  As someone who works out to DVDs 5 days a week, it's the best bang for my buck that I've ever purchased.
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« Reply #297 on: April 30, 2012, 08:03:27 PM »

Quote from: El-Producto on April 30, 2012, 07:30:31 PM

I should clarify that I'm not going from doing nothing, I just need to do more.

Fair enough.  I had seen that you mentioned being experienced with fitness and being in somewhat of a "rut," which we've all gone through, but the trouble is finding time as you well know.

Quote
I did run a 30km road race in March, which I was undertrained for but did complete.  I do run a couple of times a week, and did a fast 10km yesterday.

I'm starting the Insanity workouts, as I borrowed from a friend.  That starts tonight so we'll see how it goes!

I think you will benefit from strength training as it sounds like you predominantly focus on endurance events.  While your cardiovascular fitness is well-trained, I think you'll see more noticeable developments after adding some kind of strength training to your regiment.  But, as with anything, the problem is finding time.  While my schedule is busy, I do not have a family to care for (two dogs and a wife, but no children).  Plus, I can sneak off to the gym midday when it's minimally crowded and complete my workout in less than 90 minutes.  

You'll also see the most progress with basic adjustments to diet.  Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym, and diet is key to body composition.  

Good luck tonight.  But more importantly, good luck with DOMS in about 48 hours.   icon_wink
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« Reply #298 on: April 30, 2012, 08:42:00 PM »

Quote from: El-Producto on April 30, 2012, 07:30:31 PM

I'm starting the Insanity workouts, as I borrowed from a friend.  That starts tonight so we'll see how it goes!

I will completely disagree with Blackadar and say that Insanity is awesome. I lost well over 25lbs the first time I did it, and am already ~4lbs down again (3 weeks in).

I will agree that the workouts are incredibly difficult. IMO, in order to see the results, you need to not only follow the workout routine, but also a nutrition plan to complement it. You don't necessarily have to follow the recipes that come with the program, but there is a formula to calculate the amount of calories you should take in daily based on your level of activity, weight, etc.

Once, and if, you get through the 60 days of Insanity, they have Insanity: The Asylum, which is even harder, and can achieve better results in 30 days.
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« Reply #299 on: April 30, 2012, 08:45:18 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on April 30, 2012, 07:16:35 PM


My doctors have already started "the talks" as I refer to them.  A few conversations have started referencing more invasive procedures, starting with:  "You know, we've had a pretty good success rate with surgery."  I had really hoped to avoid any need to even consider surgery, but if epidurals aren't working and now I'm losing not only feeling but also strength, I'm starting to get a little concerned.

So, other than surgery, is there any other recourse for the issues you're having? Would further putting off surgery make the issue harder to correct?

Quote from: PeteRock on April 30, 2012, 07:16:35 PM

Mainly just ranting.  The wife is in Korea until May 13th and I just haven't felt up for much social interaction lately.  Sometimes I'm angry or frustrated, others I'm just down and apathetic.  A little too much drinking and binge eating lately, so today I'm heading to the gym because I just can't stay cooped up any longer.  Plus my wife isn't here to tell me "no" or yell at me when I am caught walking back in the front door in workout gear.  To think I'm at a point where I'm disciplined for "cheating", and that cheating involves sneaking out to go to the gym.   retard


Do you risk making the problem worse by pushing yourself at the gym?
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« Reply #300 on: April 30, 2012, 09:39:15 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on April 30, 2012, 07:16:35 PM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on April 25, 2012, 02:31:22 PM

Week 1, Day 1 of C25K in the books.  I didn't die. 

How's Week 2 going?

I did W1D2 late last week.  Day 3 will likely be today or tomorrow.  I'm not organized enough to align my weeks.  I did pick up a pair of running shoes from the local store of experts.
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« Reply #301 on: April 30, 2012, 10:56:18 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on April 30, 2012, 08:45:18 PM

So, other than surgery, is there any other recourse for the issues you're having? Would further putting off surgery make the issue harder to correct?

We first tried physical therapy, traction, and oral anti-inflammatories with zero improvement.  We then moved on to the first round of epidural injections at C6 and C7:



The first phase of injections only made symptoms worse and when initial inflammation subsided from the injections I went back to where I was with no progress forward.

We then did a 2nd phase of injections this past Tuesday as sometimes the first round may not be effective but an additional 2nd round can sometimes show better results.  So far not so good.

The final option is a 3rd phase of epidural injections.  Most spine specialists will only do up to three, but if at three there is no improvement then the procedure is deemed ineffective.  It is at this point that surgery becomes the primary next option.

Quote
Do you risk making the problem worse by pushing yourself at the gym?

Potentially, if I go too hard, lift too much weight, or do too much high-impact stuff (running, jumping, etc).  If I keep up with light training I have little risk of making things worse, but my discomfort level is pretty high.  The hard part is pushing through the problems (shooting pains, numbness, tingling, pectoral and deltoid numbness and soreness, weakness, etc).  

For now I can either be miserable and sedentary or miserable and fit.  I'm currently going back to "miserable and fit" as "miserable and sedentary" is starting to become a more serious problem mentally.

Putting off correcting the problem could potentially lead to irreversible and irreparable nerve damage with permanent loss of strength and permanent loss of feeling in some areas (loss of feeling in shoulder, left chest, thumb, index finger, and middle finger along with loss of grip strength, tricep strength, deltoid strength, and pectoral strength).

I can live with the pain and discomfort, but simply living with it will inevitably do irreparable harm.  Typically when symptoms are only pain, numbness, tingling, etc, the problem can be reversed with no lasting harm.  But, when strength starts to go then the problem goes from "easily treatable" to starting to discuss intrusive correction as a more pressing solution.

And my strength has now started to go. 
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« Reply #302 on: April 30, 2012, 11:29:30 PM »

Finally said "fuck it" today and hit the gym. Noticeable loss of strength in my left arm, primarily in deltoids, left pectoral, triceps, and grip, a lot of pins-and-needles and the usual discomfort I've become accustomed to, but with my current condition I still managed a 1300+ point workout on Fitocracy. 

If surgery becomes an inevitability then I'm planning to go into it as strong as I can be. 

I just have no idea when I'd find time to do it.  Pharmacy school starts August 13th. 

What sometimes drives me mad is seeing people taking their health for granted, unwilling to make the changes necessary to live a healthier lifestyle, acting the victim rather than taking control, yet my recovery practically requires physical restraint.  Not referring to anyone here, just speaking in the general sense.  I presumably do it all "right", eating correctly, training for strength and cardiovascular fitness, keeping my body fat around 10%, remaining active throughout the year, educating myself on proper training, diet, and nutrition, and something completely outside of my control has me sidelined. 
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« Reply #303 on: May 01, 2012, 12:17:40 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on April 30, 2012, 08:42:00 PM

Quote from: El-Producto on April 30, 2012, 07:30:31 PM

I'm starting the Insanity workouts, as I borrowed from a friend.  That starts tonight so we'll see how it goes!

I will completely disagree with Blackadar and say that Insanity is awesome. I lost well over 25lbs the first time I did it, and am already ~4lbs down again (3 weeks in).

I will agree that the workouts are incredibly difficult. IMO, in order to see the results, you need to not only follow the workout routine, but also a nutrition plan to complement it. You don't necessarily have to follow the recipes that come with the program, but there is a formula to calculate the amount of calories you should take in daily based on your level of activity, weight, etc.

Once, and if, you get through the 60 days of Insanity, they have Insanity: The Asylum, which is even harder, and can achieve better results in 30 days.

The results are typical of any exercise program that you'd get if you followed the diet plan since for most people it's 80% diet and 20% workouts.  The point is that you don't have to work that hard to achieve the results and Insanity isn't based off of any decent science.  It's just a "go full tilt until you puke" method of working out, which increases the risk of injury and provides no more benefit than HIIT, Tabata or even typical Interval training (where you do get rest).  But to each his/her own and if it worked for you, congrats.  You're one of the few I've spoken to for whom the program actually worked.

Also, Asylum isn't harder.  Different, but not harder.  If anything, it's easier and a bit more fun.  Some of the ladder work is a real blast.
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« Reply #304 on: May 01, 2012, 02:38:39 PM »

Like I said, my main focus is to add some strength/core work with my sport specific training which once Summer hits, is never a problem to get done.  I would never drop $120 on workout videos, but I was able to borrow them, and I like that they are reasonably short, and require no extra equipment.
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« Reply #305 on: May 01, 2012, 04:31:23 PM »

Quote from: El-Producto on May 01, 2012, 02:38:39 PM

Like I said, my main focus is to add some strength/core work with my sport specific training which once Summer hits, is never a problem to get done.  I would never drop $120 on workout videos, but I was able to borrow them, and I like that they are reasonably short, and require no extra equipment.

I'm not one to criticize workout regiments (not suggesting that Blackadar is, either) and am merely happy to see you doing more for your overall fitness.

However, Blackadar does have a point in terms of program effectiveness.  As he's said, the reason programs like Insanity work is primarily because of diet, not necessarily the regiment itself.  Many start programs like Insanity to lose fat, and in most cases if a diet system as well as the exercise program are followed, positive results can be seen.  And in your case, no need for equipment is a plus.

Fortunately you got the videos for free.  Otherwise I would have suggested using the entry fee to actually purchase equipment rather than workout videos (assuming ample space).  Strength training and diet modifications would allow for extremely efficient workouts, noticeable progress, and zero need for cardio (or any additional cardio to your current training program).  A barbell, plates, and a bench are pretty much all you need to hit your entire body.  

Or, if you still want better strength (merely focusing on core isn't necessarily enough - full body strength training will do more for you and still include your core), have you looked into books on body-weight exercises?  For example, You Are Your Own Gym.  If you burn out on Insanity, maybe something like this would allow you to develop your own workouts, manage your exercise time effectively, and get the specific results you want without any need for messing about in front of the TV.  

Just another option depending on your progress with Insanity.  And with summer coming, who doesn't like exercising outside?  There really isn't a need to "train 'till you puke" or even at such a high heart rate to get results.  You're also less likely to burn out on a program that might eventually lead to feelings of dread.  Some argue that high-intensity training is more effective than general weight training, especially when considering heart rate.  Try a set of heavy deadlifts and see where your heart rate is.  Your cardiovascular fitness may see an improvement, but overall strength may be less pronounced.
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« Reply #306 on: May 01, 2012, 05:08:05 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on May 01, 2012, 04:31:23 PM

Good stuff.

Good stuff Pete.  I agree that any fitness >>> no fitness, but I also believe that some of us have a tendency to work out too hard and burn ourselves out.  I know that if I don't feel like I'm really pushing the edge, I don't feel like it's a worthwhile workout.  It's taken years for me to listen to my body and actually tone down the workouts for a while before ramping up the intensity from time to time.  I've done P90, P90X, TurboFire, Insanity, Peak Fit Challenge and many other programs.  But I do much better when I rotate in and out of difficult programs versus trying to go at peak intensity every single day.  Now maybe El doesn't have that issue, but it's something that I always caution against because of my own tendencies.    

The workout program I suggested (X-Factor) is very much like that You Are Your Own Gym program.  In fact, the Dirty Dogs are done starting Week 2 (I think).  In terms of no-equipment strength/core work, I've never seen a better DVD set than that one.  It's all Core/Strength/Explosion work.
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« Reply #307 on: May 01, 2012, 05:44:47 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on May 01, 2012, 04:31:23 PM

Quote from: El-Producto on May 01, 2012, 02:38:39 PM

Like I said, my main focus is to add some strength/core work with my sport specific training which once Summer hits, is never a problem to get done.  I would never drop $120 on workout videos, but I was able to borrow them, and I like that they are reasonably short, and require no extra equipment.

I'm not one to criticize workout regiments (not suggesting that Blackadar is, either) and am merely happy to see you doing more for your overall fitness.

However, Blackadar does have a point in terms of program effectiveness.  As he's said, the reason programs like Insanity work is primarily because of diet, not necessarily the regiment itself.  Many start programs like Insanity to lose fat, and in most cases if a diet system as well as the exercise program are followed, positive results can be seen.  And in your case, no need for equipment is a plus.

That's what I mean, once summer comes motivation becomes less of an issue as my triathlon club has regular training days throughout the week. 

Fortunately you got the videos for free.  Otherwise I would have suggested using the entry fee to actually purchase equipment rather than workout videos (assuming ample space).  Strength training and diet modifications would allow for extremely efficient workouts, noticeable progress, and zero need for cardio (or any additional cardio to your current training program).  A barbell, plates, and a bench are pretty much all you need to hit your entire body.  

Or, if you still want better strength (merely focusing on core isn't necessarily enough - full body strength training will do more for you and still include your core), have you looked into books on body-weight exercises?  For example, You Are Your Own Gym.  If you burn out on Insanity, maybe something like this would allow you to develop your own workouts, manage your exercise time effectively, and get the specific results you want without any need for messing about in front of the TV.  

Just another option depending on your progress with Insanity.  And with summer coming, who doesn't like exercising outside?  There really isn't a need to "train 'till you puke" or even at such a high heart rate to get results.  You're also less likely to burn out on a program that might eventually lead to feelings of dread.  Some argue that high-intensity training is more effective than general weight training, especially when considering heart rate.  Try a set of heavy deadlifts and see where your heart rate is.  Your cardiovascular fitness may see an improvement, but overall strength may be less pronounced.
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« Reply #308 on: May 01, 2012, 05:50:02 PM »

Quote from: Blackadar on May 01, 2012, 05:08:05 PM

Good stuff Pete.

Thanks.

Quote
I agree that any fitness >>> no fitness, but I also believe that some of us have a tendency to work out too hard and burn ourselves out.  I know that if I don't feel like I'm really pushing the edge, I don't feel like it's a worthwhile workout.  It's taken years for me to listen to my body and actually tone down the workouts for a while before ramping up the intensity from time to time.  I've done P90, P90X, TurboFire, Insanity, Peak Fit Challenge and many other programs.  But I do much better when I rotate in and out of difficult programs versus trying to go at peak intensity every single day.  Now maybe El doesn't have that issue, but it's something that I always caution against because of my own tendencies.    

The workout program I suggested (X-Factor) is very much like that You Are Your Own Gym program.  In fact, the Dirty Dogs are done starting Week 2 (I think).  In terms of no-equipment strength/core work, I've never seen a better DVD set than that one.  It's all Core/Strength/Explosion work.

I normally worry about people starting too rigorous a training program because going too hard too quickly almost inevitably leads to burnout.  In El's case he's no newbie to training given his background so I'm less concerned, but I still warn against misconceptions.  Some assume that high intensity is necessary for a "good" workout and sufficient fat burning, but the entire "eat pizza, work off later on treadmill" thought process couldn't be more inaccurate (not suggesting that El subscribes to this philosophy, merely making a general point).  Building muscle is simply more efficient and effective.

Also, many assume that cardiovascular fitness leads to fat loss, whereas proper strength training and diet can be far more effective (not "diet" as in caloric deficit, but "diet" in terms of what one eats).  And it doesn't take countless hours in the gym to get results.  My lifting workouts are 45 minutes to an hour (primarily due to higher volume than when I first started), no cardio, and my body fat is around 11-12% right now.  Hoping to get to 10% or lower for the summer, but I could still be content where I am.  For most though 30 minutes of compound lifts, plenty of protein and green vegetables, and sufficient hydration is all that's really needed.  But, I think El might benefit from the cardio aspects of Insanity given his participation in endurance events.

But, ultimately I am happy to see motivation to do any kind of workout.  I don't have a lifting agenda per se, I just want to see people get desired results.  If El reaches his personal goals with Insanity then he's more likely to continue with a fitness lifestyle.  If not, we've at least discussed potential alternatives depending on how things go.  If one program doesn't work, there are still plenty of other options.  thumbsup
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« Reply #309 on: May 01, 2012, 11:17:29 PM »

Day 2 of saying "fuck it" and getting back in the gym.  Before my most recent injection I took it easy.  Not today.  Sure, I dropped in weight on all of my lifts, but I still did the same amount of volume, and I've been doing modified intermittent fasting so my workouts have been fasted (16 to 18 hours between meals, then loading up on "clean" protein and lots of greens within a 6 hour feeding window).

Deadlifted 205 and considered trying 225, but I'll save that for another day.  Body weight is back down to an even 150lbs (went up a bit with all of the "rest" associated with recovery).  IF works pretty efficiently and I'm hoping to wow the wife when she gets back from Korea.  Odds are she probably won't even notice, but I will know that my body fat percentage has noticeably dropped in three weeks of training and IF.  And as long as I handle my meals correctly my strength shouldn't drop, I should still build muscle, and my body fat will still decrease.

Man it feels good to be back at it. 
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« Reply #310 on: May 02, 2012, 02:03:34 AM »

Quote from: PeteRock on May 01, 2012, 11:17:29 PM

Day 2 of saying "fuck it" and getting back in the gym.  Before my most recent injection I took it easy.  Not today.  Sure, I dropped in weight on all of my lifts, but I still did the same amount of volume, and I've been doing modified intermittent fasting so my workouts have been fasted (16 to 18 hours between meals, then loading up on "clean" protein and lots of greens within a 6 hour feeding window).

Ha, I just started doing IF myself.  I don't eat from 8pm to 12pm.  I am about a week in and still having hunger problems.  My main issue is that I really like to eat, and used to "graze" quite frequently.  I'll find myself opening the fridge right before bed these days, looking for a snack, and have to stop myself. 
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« Reply #311 on: May 02, 2012, 02:11:59 AM »

Quote from: kathode on May 02, 2012, 02:03:34 AM

Quote from: PeteRock on May 01, 2012, 11:17:29 PM

Day 2 of saying "fuck it" and getting back in the gym.  Before my most recent injection I took it easy.  Not today.  Sure, I dropped in weight on all of my lifts, but I still did the same amount of volume, and I've been doing modified intermittent fasting so my workouts have been fasted (16 to 18 hours between meals, then loading up on "clean" protein and lots of greens within a 6 hour feeding window).

Ha, I just started doing IF myself.  I don't eat from 8pm to 12pm.  I am about a week in and still having hunger problems.  My main issue is that I really like to eat, and used to "graze" quite frequently.  I'll find myself opening the fridge right before bed these days, looking for a snack, and have to stop myself. 

Drink LOTS of water.  Whenever I get feelings of hunger I drink more water.  And then even more.  It'll help.  But, it's mostly mental.  One thing I do is tell my body that I'm not hungry, those feelings are just my body eating its own fat.  If you adjust your mental paradigm perhaps it'll be a little easier.

Granted, I have it a little easier as my wife is in Korea until the 13th, so if there's no one else to feed then it's easier to maintain my fast.  But if she's here and I make her lunch it is really hard to not eat something myself.  I plan on taking full advantage of her absence and will fast at least until she returns.  Then it may become a little more intermittent, but overall I should see noticeable progress given my current low body fat %. 

Keep at it and know that you have a fellow faster to commiserate with.  We'll get through this together. 

While I already wash my clothes on my abs, I expect my clothes to get even cleaner after IF.  Fabulous
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« Reply #312 on: May 02, 2012, 02:10:05 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on April 30, 2012, 11:29:30 PM

Finally said "fuck it" today and hit the gym. Noticeable loss of strength in my left arm, primarily in deltoids, left pectoral, triceps, and grip, a lot of pins-and-needles and the usual discomfort I've become accustomed to, but with my current condition I still managed a 1300+ point workout on Fitocracy.  

If surgery becomes an inevitability then I'm planning to go into it as strong as I can be.  

I just have no idea when I'd find time to do it.  Pharmacy school starts August 13th.  

What sometimes drives me mad is seeing people taking their health for granted, unwilling to make the changes necessary to live a healthier lifestyle, acting the victim rather than taking control, yet my recovery practically requires physical restraint.  Not referring to anyone here, just speaking in the general sense.  I presumably do it all "right", eating correctly, training for strength and cardiovascular fitness, keeping my body fat around 10%, remaining active throughout the year, educating myself on proper training, diet, and nutrition, and something completely outside of my control has me sidelined.  

Damn, sorry to hear that Pete...so much for a "simple fix" to the shoulder issues.  Hope it gets worked out soon, as I know how awful consistent shoulder/neck/back pain can be (although nowhere near what you're dealing with).

After an awful 3 week stretch that only saw me working out twice and eating like shit, I'm back on the wagon this week.  Had a couple great workouts already (Pete:  I'm taking your advice to drop the cardio and add more lifts.  We'll see how that goes.) and my diet has been much better.  Amazing what a difference being home vs. traveling makes in my exercise/diet routine.  The downside is forgetting how bad it hurts to jump back into exercises you haven't done for a while.  Did squats on Monday and my quads still feel like they're on fire 2 days later.   
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« Reply #313 on: May 02, 2012, 04:11:36 PM »


I'm back on the lifting train after a month off due to shoulder injury/new baby-dom. The shoulder is finally getting better but I scaled WAY back on the weights except for my deadlift which I kept at 250. Dropped the bench from 185 down to 75 and increased the reps. My squat I dropped down to 115 but will ramp it up fairly quickly. Wanted to make sure my shoulder wouldn't be an issue and so far it's not.
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« Reply #314 on: May 02, 2012, 05:24:00 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on May 02, 2012, 02:10:05 PM

After an awful 3 week stretch that only saw me working out twice and eating like shit, I'm back on the wagon this week.  Had a couple great workouts already (Pete:  I'm taking your advice to drop the cardio and add more lifts.  We'll see how that goes.) and my diet has been much better.  Amazing what a difference being home vs. traveling makes in my exercise/diet routine.
 

Many feel "obligated" to do cardio to get their heart rate up and feel as if they're burning calories.  To that I suggest doing a set of heavy deadlifts and see where your heart rate is.  Odds are you'll need a longer rest than after a 20 minute session on the treadmill.  Glad to see you incorporating more lifts.  When combined with diet I am pretty confident that you'll see even better results than when doing so much cardio.  Who really likes cardio, anyway?  Sure, some do, but most lifters dread it.

Quote
The downside is forgetting how bad it hurts to jump back into exercises you haven't done for a while.  Did squats on Monday and my quads still feel like they're on fire 2 days later.   

 icon_twisted

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Quote from: tiktokman on May 02, 2012, 04:11:36 PM


I'm back on the lifting train after a month off due to shoulder injury/new baby-dom. The shoulder is finally getting better but I scaled WAY back on the weights except for my deadlift which I kept at 250. Dropped the bench from 185 down to 75 and increased the reps. My squat I dropped down to 115 but will ramp it up fairly quickly. Wanted to make sure my shoulder wouldn't be an issue and so far it's not.

Welcome back!

Did you have a shoulder injury, or general inflammation from going too hard too soon?  Shoulder problems are a major issue in lifting because you use your shoulder in almost every lift.  Outside of isolation leg work even squats, stiff-legged deadlifts, and standing barbell calf raises incorporate your shoulders.  Hell, so do curls and tricep extensions.

Having just dealt with a supraspinatus strain, you'll probably have soreness from your shoulder injury in the beginning.  My shoulder is sore, not entirely from DOMS, but from my injury.  But I can tell that the pain/soreness isn't because I'm still hurt, but because my muscle still seems to be recovering and getting re-accustomed to lifting again.

Back when doing Starting Strength I also had shoulder problems from the program increasing weight too rapidly.  It worked great for strength development, but my joints couldn't take the pace. 

Had my follow-up visit with my spine specialist this morning.  I have good news and bad news.

First the bad:  I'm not fixed.  I still have the usual symptoms and discomfort.  But, my doctor wants to hold off on a third injection, in part because they haven't really done much to help just yet (boy am I glad I went through THAT process - twice), but also because he wants to revisit physical therapy now that the injections have placed anti-inflammatory medication directly into my vertebrae.  He's hoping that traction and massage therapy may help get the discs back to where they belong. 

Then, after three weeks of PT I go back in for another reevaluation.  If my problems improve, the level of improvement will determine if a third shot plus PT will be necessary, if I'm "fixed", or if intrusive correction will be necessary. 

There's a spinal surgeon that rotates through my specialist's office every month and my appointment was scheduled so that if intrusive correction is needed, I'll have a chance to get a surgical consultation and see if the surgeon things active correction may be more effective. 

Now the good:  Returning to action won't do any more damage than my current condition.  I run the risk of aggravating my symptoms of discomfort, but my discs shouldn't be caused to bulge any more than they currently do, and the nerve impingement exists whether I am active or not.  So I can return to lifting and to softball, although I had to promise no head-first slides or potential collisions.  When my doc saw the look on my face he immediately said, "I know you, and if there's a close play you're going to want to go for it.  I'm telling you it'll be better if you don't."   icon_lol

He also warned me that I may have a lot of discomfort, pain, and tingling from the activity, and to be mindful of my body, but outside of the discomfort I won't be doing any damage.  I just have to cope with it.  I've been coping with it for over half a year, so I'm no stranger to the pain.

So I can get back to lifting heavy (at least as much as my body can handle given my time away), and I'll be back on the softball field tonight with two weeks left until playoffs.  Hopefully that will be enough time to shake off some of the rust. 
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« Reply #315 on: May 03, 2012, 02:13:04 AM »

Got to 10 chin-ups in a row in my first of 6 sets (my last being 7 after the rest of my workout).

Also managed to DB curl 60lbs (each) x6 x2, then supersetted DB curl, DB hammer curl, and DB cross-over hammer curls as my third set @ 35lbs (10 reps each on each arm).

I put on a large sweater over my t-shirt - and it fit. Cool
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« Reply #316 on: May 03, 2012, 06:21:56 AM »

First softball double-header in almost two months.  It felt nice to be competing again.  Sent them to the fence twice for homeruns, hit well overall, started to get my bearings back at 3rd, and just loved being part of the team again. 

The body isn't appreciating it though.  My neck is pretty stiff, the tingling, pins-and-needles, pain, and numbness are back in full force, but if I'm going to have these issues anyway, I'd rather cope with them while competing than deal with them while watching from the sidelines. 

It's nice to be back at it.
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« Reply #317 on: May 03, 2012, 11:23:07 AM »

Hit a bump in the road... Monday morning I woke up and my foot was absolutely killing me - hurts to touch and to put weight (of course I"m at a convention where I need to do a lot of walking).  I think it's a stress fracture due to running, and  I can't get to a doctor until next week.  I'll probably have to lay off the running and lower body weights for a while.
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« Reply #318 on: May 03, 2012, 01:17:12 PM »

Quote from: Laner on May 03, 2012, 11:23:07 AM

Hit a bump in the road... Monday morning I woke up and my foot was absolutely killing me - hurts to touch and to put weight (of course I"m at a convention where I need to do a lot of walking).  I think it's a stress fracture due to running, and  I can't get to a doctor until next week.  I'll probably have to lay off the running and lower body weights for a while.

Man, that sucks.  Where is the pain in your foot?  I had "turf toe" a couple years ago, and it was one of the most painful things I've ever dealt with.  I always used to laugh at NFL players when that came up on the injury report, but I totally understand why.

Side note:  You know it's been a good workout when you can barely lift your arms up to desk level in order to type.   icon_cool
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« Reply #319 on: May 03, 2012, 04:54:30 PM »

Quote from: Laner on May 03, 2012, 11:23:07 AM

Hit a bump in the road... Monday morning I woke up and my foot was absolutely killing me - hurts to touch and to put weight (of course I"m at a convention where I need to do a lot of walking).  I think it's a stress fracture due to running, and  I can't get to a doctor until next week.  I'll probably have to lay off the running and lower body weights for a while.

Injuries suck.  More so when you're unable to get treatment right away, although I'm typically guilty of putting off treatment while trying to "play through it," continuing with the naive belief that whatever it is will just go away.   icon_redface

Odds are if the pain is so bad you'll be better off taking time away from running and lower body work.  You might even start to feel better, but I'd suggest waiting until you saw a doctor before returning to action.  Too often I've felt better, gone back to action too early, and only succeeded in lengthening my recovery time.

Good luck.

Quote
Side note:  You know it's been a good workout when you can barely lift your arms up to desk level in order to type.   icon_cool

Your comment just got me thinking about instances when we've all said "You know you've had a good workout when..."

Sure, there are the easy ones like "when you can barely get out of bed the next day," but we've all probably had specific situations resulting from turning in a quality workout.

You know you've had a good workout when...

...your legs start shaking out of control as you try to shift your 5-speed.

...you have to stop halfway up a flight of stairs, not because you're winded, but because your legs have simply quit.

...you go down the stairs way faster than you intended because your legs just gave way.

...lifting your arms to wash your hair in the shower is more difficult than trying to do it telepathically.

...you drop something, and no matter how valuable you wait for someone else to come by to pick it up for fear of not being able to get back up yourself.

...you want to eat everything on your way home from the gym and in your house when you get there.

...getting dressed causes a whimper to escape.

...your significant other can bring out an involuntary groan by purposely poking you in areas of soreness.

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