Saturday, September 3, 2011

359: Body Weight Workout, and Cheering for Team Mates

Body Weight 60X60s Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Total Reps
Squat 28 36 27 91
Lunge Lt 24 25 24 73
Lunge Rt 17 20 18 55
Row, Gr Band 38 43 45 126
Push up, Mod 40 30 24 94
Crunch 33 35 31 99
Bench Dips 18 20 20 58

I am stuck at a weight plateau. I've been at 263 for weeks now. It doesn't make much sense to me, since I'm running consistently, and eating pretty well, I think. Melissa from the Y suggested that I workout more often and mix up my program and diet to shock my system out of balance. I've decided to eat more, smaller meals, and spend more time on strength training, especially body-weight training at home.

Today, I tried a workout based on one of the beginner plans from The New Rules of Lifting. The author, Lou Schuler suggests that you really should master these moves with body weight before you get too serious about weight lifting with them. Makes sense. Not much point in bench pressing 75 pounds when you can't even do a push up yet. I've been doing most of these for some time, now, but I want to come up with a workout I can do at home with the equipment I have on hand: my body; a yoga mat, straps, and blocks; some resistance tubes; a big yellow inflatable ball; and a couple of those springy things that are supposed to give you a grip of steel and forearms like Popeye. I wanted to challenge myself, so rather than setting a number of reps to complete, I set 1 minute intervals on my watch and tried to see how many reps I could complete in that period of time. I moved down the circuit, completing one set of each exercise, with one minute to rest between sets. When I finished the last exercise, (Dips, in this case) I took a two minute rest, then went back up to the beginning again. The whole workout took 45 minutes and set a bench mark I can use to compete with myself. I'll try to better these totals next time.

I learned one surprising thing. My balance is much better when I lunge with my left leg than it is when I put my right leg forward. I have a feeling this has something to do with the way I'm using my upper body. It seems to improve when I clench my butt, but I can also get a lot more reps out with my left leg. I'll talk to the trainers at the Y on Wednesday and see what they think.

One thing that did not surprise me is that my upper body is weak. I still have to do those modified push ups with my knees down on the floor, and I wasn't able to do bench dips for the full 60 seconds at all. Some of this is because of my weakened shoulder, but I've never been very macho in my arms and chest. Building strength and endurance up top will help my running by helping me to maintain my form when I start to fatigue, so it's valuable to my training. Plus, big bulging arms will make me even more arousing to Mrs P. 

Pennsy, Pam, Clare, Ladonna, Shelia,
Lynne, Jake, and Melissa
I went to a 5K today. I didn't run, but I cheered on some good friends. Most of my group from LIVESTRONG at the YMCA ran in the race. I am recovering from yesterday's long run, so I didn't join them on the course, but I did cheer them on at the start and the finish. In between, Jake, Clare, and I walked a couple of laps around the dog park. One of my team mates is training to run the LIVESTRONG half-marathon in Austin next spring, so she ran and she finished before the rest of the group who were walking. She did great, and looked fantastic after a hard, HOT 3.1 miles. The rest of the team finished together, including Coach Melissa. They walked across the finish line proudly in their black and yellow "Survivor" tee-shirts. We all posed for this sweaty photo after the race. I am really coming to love these people. We are each on our own journey, but we share this victory: cancer tried to take us, and we wouldn't go. A lot of people lose that battle. We are the lucky ones. And we are determined to pass our message of hope and health on to as many people as will listen. We aren't just surviving. We're LIVING STRONG! And so can YOU!


Pennsy and his ugly friend from Markey
The One for the Five project is going great! More than $650 raised as of this writing. You can help sponsor my first half-marathon, and support the work of the Markey Cancer Center by clicking this link, or by handing me a check made out to the Markey Cancer Center. You write the check. I'll run the miles!

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