Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
November 10, 2016
I have to admit, I wasn't feeling all that great going into my workout on Tuesday. One is going to have these moments where you don’t feel like showing up for work, and Tuesday was one of those days. My arms were a bit sore, especially my right arm, and my left shoulder was also a little bit stiff. You see, the little movements that I have to do constantly at work have been getting to me as of late. Those tiny little muscles that you think nothing of can really start making life a little bit of hell for you, especially when you need the full compliment of your arsenal to do something. I initially had some ideas in regards to the workout, going a little heavy on the lifting and have fewer reps. However, I could tell right away that going heavy wasn’t going to be in the cards. I instantly assessed the stability of my right arm was going to cause some issues with the lifting. This was barely at my warm-up weight, and I could only figure it would get worse in regards to the steadiness and straightness of the bar. Since I have no spotter to really work with, I decided to make a quick change and go for reps as opposed to weight, doing sets of ten and working on my stability. Truthfully, it was probably just as difficult for me in regards to the effort, for I was only looking at 18 total reps at the beginning of my workout and ultimately did 50 for the day. Sure, I went for my warm-up weight at 135, but 50 reps is still 50 reps! I managed to survive the work and also did some other high intensity style workouts for the rest of my session. I threw in plenty of overhead squats, dumbbell overhead presses and did some split handle cable pulls. Normally, I would try to go as heavy as I could but I kind of kept the spirit of what I modified my day to be.
There are moments where you just have to make those kind of changes on the fly, and I decided to do some more high interval training. It’s something I will probably start engaging in again over the next couple weeks, mainly due to the fact my job is affecting my body in different ways than I expected. My right arm is incredibly overused these days, for who would have thought so much work with a mouse would cause so many troubles. There are days where I go home and my entire right arm is just as stiff as a board. I guess this will be my life for the time being, for no matter what job I seem to do, my tendinitis will ultimately come back to get me. When I worked at Target (which seems like a million years ago, but it was only six months ago) there were multiple days here I would get home and be so tired and disgusted with life that fitness was the last thing I had on my mind. These days it is that little soreness in my elbow, forearms and wrist that are causing the trouble. Fortunately I still have enough to do some push-ups and even run a bit. Of course, sitting on my butt all day and helping people understand why their bill is so high due to data usage (it’s usually their kids blowing up the data package! haha) is not really all that great for me either. I don’t really get to stand too much or move around much in between calls. I mean, I handled 44 calls on Monday. Ouch!
High interval training is not something new in the fitness industry, for I have done it multiple times over the years. One of these days I need to get a good workout partner and try my hand at German Volume Training again, which is the crazy equivalent to interval training. I might try my hand at it again on Thursday since I don’t really feel like doing heavy dead lifting and leg work for the second straight week. I think it might be a good call for me to lay off the heavy leg stuff, for it kind of got to me last week even after a day of rest. I did a lot leg work on Thursday and then did some good running on Friday, maintaining my schedule in spite of the lack of energy and the lack of desire to run (I know, that rarely happens to me…hehe). The oddity of course was the traumatic failure that was Sunday night for me. I slated a seven mile run for myself and after nearly five miles, I started cramping up. Now, I really shouldn’t consider that night to be a failure because 5.12 miles is still 5.12 miles, which is better than what I was doing up until a month ago. In spite of my time being so slow, I know a couple things to be true. I worked really hard in the gym and track, and in spite of the cramping Sunday night, I did feel strong and healthy. Heck, my blood pressure continues to go down on my sudden potato free diet (but then again, the addition of more alkaline foods has probably helped). I don’t know, all of these things that are going on right now in regards to my health and such are kind of making me wonder what is the right path to continue on.
One thing that is a truth is the idea of staying on top of my game. There was a nice little article I saw in regards to the New York Marathon, which happened this past weekend. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-marathoners-can-teach-you-about-reaching-your-goals_us_581fb483e4b0aac624852882 A lot of people that were interviewed after the race said some really pertinent things that mimic what is going on in my life. Persistence is really the key for me. As I limped home on that Sunday night, wondering why my body kind of broke down on me and thinking maybe I didn’t drink enough water or something, I kind of forgot how tough of a week I have had in the gym and the track. I’m really trying to up my effort up and push myself in ways I wasn’t doing before. Plus I am still breaking in new shoes, which might have contributed to the toughness of the run. And not to mention I ran a lot on dirt…and the whole time I was running was mostly on the uphill portion of my route. Geez, I was kind of setting myself up for some pain that night! Either way, I made the first attempt at doing that route and that was something I could be pretty proud about. Rather than focusing on the fact I used to be a minute faster and could easily run that route a year ago, I have to look at the fact I am trying to rebuild and I am not to far away. I will soon look back and laugh when I run that route again and succeed. You see, that is the type of mindset you need for yourself…that you need to enjoy the journey and the growing success along the path. Right now, I know I am not ready to compete in a major marathon, but I still have that crazy dream for two years from now…..where I will try my hand at a 50K race. Of course, I have to solve the riddle of my cramping issues first, which either means more salt in my system or less weight…whichever happens first. But there is the possibility that I might not even be ready by then, which is something I cannot let myself think about. At this point in time, I just need to keep trying to build my distance and build my calf strength. This is where my main problems exist with my running, and who knows what is in store for me if I can’t overcome this problem (I do have some problems with my ankles, especially the right side).
Right now I have to set that negative thought process aside, mainly because another piece of advice that I have to constantly remember is the fact that you need to be in a good place. It was not a subconscious decision on my part of kind of lay off the heavy leg stuff on Tuesday, for I wanted to save my legs for my Wednesday night run and see if I could improve upon my distance as I continue to prepare myself for the Arizona Distance Classic. Yup. I will be setting myself up for the race, and possibly for Ragnar Del Sol once again. Right now I will just focus on the half marathon, for it all depends on money down the line and whether I could even find a team that would want me. We shall worry about that for a future date, but that is another important principle about establishing a good fitness life…have a goal in mind. It is kind of strange, for I have kind of put aside a lot of my long term weight lifting goals. I wouldn’t call it a cop-out so to speak, but more of a necessity because I do need some more help and supervision on the subject, and I am mostly working out by myself with limited supervision. Darn it, why can’t I do a workout with the reckless abandon that might help me get on a Fail Army video. Maybe it is because I value my body far too much.
I was also thinking about another race that has intrigued me over the years, but I might not have enough time to really prepare for it. The Sedona Half Marathon on February 4 is kind of calling me, and has been one that has always gotten some good reviews. Of course, the hard part is the fact that half the race is going uphill and the other half is downhill. Either way, that would be a pretty rough race for my body if not prepared. Darn my weak calves! Either way, once I get my second paycheck this month I will be able to make more of those decisions and I will be able to give you more answers in regards to that stuff. I say later this month because I blew all my extra money on concert tickets for Gogol Bordello and Dream Theater, who play on back to back nights next week. It should be a fun couple of days and it will be a challenge to squeeze in my fitness stuff during that time. Either way, I will make this declaration depending on the car situation. Sedona Half Marathon AND the Arizona Distance Classic. I’m leaning to the second race because some of my family members might join me for that depending on how everyone is feeling when I throw the idea of a family activity back into the fire of discussion. I’m going to leave it up to my aunt, who was the one that proposed this whole idea.
So I now have some goals to work on, with the clear issue being my weak calves. Now, I shouldn’t call them weak considering they are pretty well defined (trust me, I was looking at them when I was doing some high steps!) but this will be the first thing I start working on when I go to the gym today. I’m going to start looking into exercises that will start building up some strength for me because clearly that is where my problem is and will always be. Bare in mind that not just strengthening my calves will be the number one goal from here on out, but I will have to start working on a way to maintain a good hydration level in my body since I sweat so profusely. That will all be looked at during the upcoming weeks as I start trying to increase my mileage and work on my strength. I won’t be giving up the primary goal of getting stronger per se, just means I will look at building slower since I want to save my body a little in regards to the running. I want to be evenly distributed in my body, for even though my excess stomach fat makes me a little lumpy, the leastI can do is handle my business for the rest of the body. I mean, I don’t want to end up like the guy I saw at Chipotle, who had some of the biggest most magnificent arms and chest muscles I had ever seen on anyone…only to have legs that were not much thicker than mine (fortunately I wasn’t stupid enough to joke with him “so when is leg day?”). Oh well, no one ever said doing a total body workout would be easy.
So that is the update for the time being, with me working on some specific areas and once again going back to a more functional and high volume style of training. Eventually I will go back to the straight up heavy stuff, for one has to constantly challenge the inner beast from time to time to make sure it is not hibernating. All this means is I have to work on the little things again.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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