Fitness updates

Weights:
Doing pretty well; I’ve upped the weight of some exercises. Today I did:

Deltoid (Side): 45lb barbell upright row (2 sets X 6 reps)
Back (General): 40lb barbell bent-over row (2X6)
Trapezius (Upper): 45lb barbell shrug (2X6)
Deltoid (Rear): 40lb barbell rear delt row (2X6)
Biceps: 35lb barbell curl (2X6)
Brachialis: 10lb dumbbell preacher curl (2X10)
Brachioradialis: 10lb dumbbell hammer curl (2X8)
Wrist flexors: 10lb dumbbell wrist curl (2X10)
Wrist extensors: 8lb dumbell reverse wrist curl (2X10)

I may lower the weight on the bent-over row and the rear delt row, though. I’m not convinced my form was very good — I have a suspicion that I was just sort of bending over and flailing. 😉

This weekend is the annual Wind Dancers Pacific Rally, and it’s in Petaluma — apparently the arm-wrestling capital of the world. I’ve been told there will be arm-wrestling contests, so I’m really psyched to find out how I do against the other gals. There are a couple of them who obviously work out and can probably whup my ass, but I think I’ll be able to hold my own. Hammer curls, hammer curls, hammer curls! 😉

Cardio:
Jumping rope is going well. I’m enjoying the DVD of tricks, etc., even though the Token Famous People who hoot and holler along with the instructor are a little scary. The man is so toned that his pecs jiggle when he jumps. They jiggle a lot. Peter walked in on me doing the DVD the other night and was like “please don’t ever end up looking like that creepy guy.”

Running isn’t going that well at all. No side stitches tonight (thanks for the tips — exhaling more forcefully definitely helped!), but once again my calves hurt so much that I couldn’t keep jogging. It’s really frustrating because my heart rate isn’t getting up high enough. I’m trying to drink enough water both before and during my jogs, and I’m stretching — anyone have any tips? It’s the lower half of my calves, below the gastrocnemius. It feels like a muscular pain, but….what’s down there? The soleus?

I bicycled for a whopping 2 miles last night, and it was harder than I expected. The first mile was uphill, but not even really noticeably so, and it was depressingly difficult. Ah well. The route was to/from a class I’m taking, so maybe next week it’ll be a tiny bit easier.

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6 Responses to Fitness updates

  1. Michael says:

    The bicycle is how I got around the pains of walking/running/jogging. Being larger of frame with asian ankles and feet (aka small for my frame) putting one foot in front of the other in a rapid fashion often led to cramps and other more serious injuries before I even got to my target heart rate. The bicycle (mountain bike with street tires and a stationary recline bike at home) solved physical problems and riding the mountain bike on the street helps tone muscles I use on the motorcycle. YMMV of course. 🙂
    -Michael

  2. Spike says:

    I was an avid runner until this Spring when I tore some cartilage in my knee. Now I’m all about the biking and have put on more than a thousand miles on my hybrid. When I did run a lot and first started to bike I used a therapeutic cream (like tiger balm) to prevent cramping and muscle pain. Whether it’s worth getting your legs all smelly and greasy is another issue and why I used it sparingly.

  3. Craig says:

    It sounds like you need to try some specific stretches for the lower calf area. These are basic stretches which you may already know, but are usually quite effective.
    First, you want to stretch the general area by doing the basic “push the wall stretch”. Place your hands on the wall about shoulder height, step back with the leg you want to stretch (not too far, just far enough to feel the stretch) exhale into the stretch while keeping your heel in contact with the ground and back leg straight. Think about driving your hips forward while keeping the heel in contact with the floor. Hold until you feel the area relax into the stretch (10-20 sec). Do the other foot. Then work on the lower calf. This stretch is much like the above except you do not step as far back, and you bend the knee on the stretching leg. You should feel the stretch in the lower part of the calf/achilles area. Repeat on other leg. There are lots of variations, but give these a try first.
    Craig

  4. Cyclox says:

    Pain lower on the leg than the soleus/gastroc area? hmm, not much down there except the achilles tendon. You might try massaging the muscles and tendons in addition to the helpful stretches that Craig suggests. Also, try to stretch the muscles in the front of the lower leg too (e.g., tibialis anterior).
    Have you tried taking a yoga class or two? My problem on the bike isn’t strength so much as flexibility, and incorporating some yoga into my training regimen really really helps. On longer trips, 30 minutes of yoga in the hotel room or tent helps to ease the tension of being on the bike for hours and hours. On the track, there is no way my knee is getting down unless I stretch!
    You can also boost the cardio aspect of your weight training by cutting back on the rests between your weight sets. Don’t wait longer than 45 seconds between exercises and your heart and breathing rates will stay up.
    I don’t know how much cycling you’ve done, so pardon me if this seems too basic: use a lower gear when pedaling uphill 😉

  5. cyclox says:

    Update: What you’re describing could be soleus. Double-checked my anatomy guide and the other muscle down there is peroneus longus. At any rate, stretching and massage of those muscles should help. It’s possible that those muscles are being over-taxed while running. You might want to incorporate some calf-strengthening exercises into your weight routine.

  6. carolyn says:

    I’ve been trying some seated calf raises — at first, they weren’t doing anything, but then I realized that I need to put my toes/balls of feel on a brick so that I can lower my heels down further. That seems to be working the lower calf pretty well.
    I haven’t been running much lately, due to Annoying Asthma Cough, but the last time I did, I was able to jog/walk a 1.5 mile circuit without cramping up at all. I’m going to try 2 miles tonight, now that the cough’s subsiding a little bit.

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