Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weight (the kind you lift)

No, this blog post is not about gaining weight or losing weight, it's about LIFTING weight. Yeah, I'm talking about the weight that you use when you're doing arm curls, arm extensions, even dips. Yes, weight related exercises.

For the past 45+ days, I have been doing an accellerated version of Beachbody's exercise program, Power 90. I've been sick, I've pulled a muscle, but I am still here and I am still working out, until my latest setback.

My arms gave out.

When I first did Power 90 a year and a half ago, I started with 3 pound weights (please, no laughing) and increased it over time. I started that low because I had absolutely no strength in my arms. Once I completed that, I started the next level - the Power 90 Master Series. I had hoped that this program would prepare me for P90X. During the Power 90 Master Series (or P90MS), I began with 10pounds. I ended my second round of P90MS by lifting 25pounds. This was a huge accomplishment for me and I was very proud of it.

When I began P90X, I went back to the beginning of lifting 10pounds, and I'm glad that I did. The workouts were intense, and they tested me - literally. By the end of my third round of P90X, I was lifting 25pounds with my arms. So I was back to where I was at the end of P90MS.

During that time, I drastically improved my health statistics. Now, I wanted the physical results to match my health results.

So I went back to Power 90, but I did an accellerated version it. I was doing well by the end of the second phase (the 3-4 phase), and then I ran into problems with the weights. I increased the weight from 25 to 30pounds - and that's where the trouble started. I started feeling pain in my lower back. In the following weight workout, I wore a weight belt to protect my lower back and I did less reps. It felt as though the belt was preventing me from lifting my best, yet it was protecting my lower back from injury. It was a catch 22.

I admit, I did not complete the 3-4 series to the best of my ability. But, I am not digressing. I am pressing forward.

Tomorrow morning, I begin the Power 90 Master Series, or 5-6 series. Instead of increasing the weights, I am increasing the reps. During the 3-4 series, I lifted 25pounds with up to 15reps per exercise. As I begin the 5-6series, I'm dropping the weight again - purposely - to work on the endurance. I'm starting with 20 pounds. Even if I'm doing 15-20 reps, it's working the muscles just as hard as if I am lifting a heavier weight. Although some people may disagree, this will end up helping me in the end. If I can do more reps with a lower weight, this will make it easier over time as I increase the weight - primarily because I will be protecting my back, I won't be losing my form, and I will be much more confident of what I am doing.

In addition to doing the primary workouts from P90MS - Sweat 5-6 and Sculpt 5-6 - I will also be doing the other workouts as well: Core Cardio, Cardio Intervals, Plyo Legs, and Upper Middle Lower. In addition, I will also be doing a workout from the One On One series titled "Cardio Intervals". It will

Some may say that I'm taking a step back. I believe that sometimes one needs to take a step backward before progressing forward. If lowering the weights and increasing the reps helps develop the endurance of my muscles as well as strengthening them over time, then I am doing exactly what I am expecting.

The results will show up in time. I have time.

I do not have a video for phase two, yet. That is in process. I hope to have one up soon. When it is complete, I will post it here.

Onward, and forward...

1 comment:

Coach Gates Creating Motivation said...

Awesome James ~ because you cannot be setting yourself back, because you are CONTINUING! So what, you drop the weight and increase reps, so what? It is better than letting your pride and what others get in the way and you cause permanent injury to yourself to never be able to workout again! Now that is digressing!

I think you are being smart and true to yourself... you are honoring what your body is telling you... slow down the weights, it isn't ready for that yet...

So what, what others say! I know that all too well, for most of my life! What does matter is how you feel and what you think of you ~ I think you are a wonderful person who has given himself a second chance by persevering thru a diagnosis that you just were not satisfied with settling for,... there was more to life for you than allowing yourself to be unhealthy!

Drive on my friend... weights or NO weights!! You are still BRINGING IT!!!

XoXo Lorraine