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
January 26, 2017
Every now and then, I have to completely reassess things I am doing with my fitness regimen. Usually the little things are what is necessary, for there are days where I run into some issues with my working out that can cause some pain and discomfort for me. I have to harken back to the original days when I first started working out, where even the slightest changes in my process needed to be covered. The good thing is I was able to manage these changes quite easily, for the number of reps that I did always coincided with the level of intensity I partook in. Those were the days, for just doing ten skunk push-ups were a good thing and managing a handful of burpies meant I was getting better. Those days have been long gone, and the changes in the routine are not just tiny little checks, but massive changes that need to be applied almost immediately. You can imagine what it must have felt like to do dead lifts for the first time, or maybe actually doing a proper back squat without inverting my knees inward. The new issue I am running into these days is the fact I have some feet problems when it comes to my snatch practicing. You see, I am supposed to keep my feet on the ground and keep everything level. But like with the eerily similar problems I had in the past on other lifts, I keep wanting to lift my heels and use my tippy toes to get the needed thrust off the ground. That’s a big “no no” simply because you are not supposed to use your feet in that manner. I got some sessions coming up, so I will get a little more regulation from another set of eyes to help me in that respect.
Anyway, changes are always good when it comes to making new waves in your workout regimen. For a while there, I was having some problems with the strength in my legs, which often times resulted in some soreness in spots that should not have been so susceptible to soreness before. Right now, the biggest problems I have been running into has been with my achilles and my ankles. I know, it seems like this problem will never cease to bother me, for the years of damage that I wrought on my right foot is the main problem once again. Of course, when you seek to compensate for one side of your body, the other side is definitely going to see some issues with some new blowback. Right now, the two sides are competing, for my right leg has been suffering the soreness in the ankle and achilles, while some occasional soreness in my left knee seems to crop up occasionally. Predictably, the right quad was feeling a little tight while I had a slight pain in my left hip. Yup, it might be time for me to start seeing the chiropractor once again, especially with Ragnar Del Sol coming up once again. I have to tell you, this particular Ragnar will be the biggest challenge for me yet, mainly due to the combination of my foot and the fact I have gotten REALLY lazy with my running. With only having a month to really get myself into shape, I feel it is very doable from my personal standpoint. Fortunately I am in pretty good shape for the running part even though I may not have the breathing stamina in my favor yet, I still have the strength in my legs to get through this thing.
In case you don’t follow my other social media feeds, I have been putting a lot of work in terms of doing extra exercises in the gym. Lately, I have made sure just about every time I get into the hollowed grounds of fitness, I put together something that will at least get me some 75 minutes of usage. Now I am not necessarily going all out during these 75 minutes or so, mainly because I have to rack my own equipment and maintain my own spaces. I mean I have to be responsible for crying out loud! Anyway, I am putting a lot of work and reps into my body during this time, so this is not like I am taking it easy at the place, looking at my arms or something, or checking out my rather perfect calves that pulsate perfectly when I do any kind of running or jumping jack motion. Of course, I just transmitted to the world that I have pretty good calves, which believe me, are one of the few spot on my body that are really well developed right now (now if my darn stomach area would just follow!) Like I mentioned in a previous blog, I am no longer stacking up heavy stuff for the sake of stacking up heavy work outs. I am once again seeking out some good balances in my approach, mainly because I just don’t want wake up incredibly sore every day when I crawl out of bed every morning at the crack of dawn. But I also need to do this to make the gradual climb up the fitness ladder. One thing I have seen a lot of over the last couple weeks is the refocus on strengthening my legs. It used to be nothing but deadlifts and back squats for me, but lately I have been reconstituting some old advice. Jon used to get on my case about my back squat depth, so I have been going with lighter weights and using 10-pound plates to just slightly elevate my rear heels. This has once again allowed some better leverage for me getting into the lower positions. Now of course, I will try to do the heavy stuff to just see if I can one of these days, but that is not the biggest concern on my mind right now. I’m just trying to fix some mechanics once again and start stretching out the various parts of my body like my IT band and my knees (wow, I haven’t mentioned my IT band in quite awhile…I may have to start working that part of my body again to start getting some better results on my running).
Some of the other things I have been doing again is the amount of calf raises. Using the 45-pound plates, I have been getting some more work in raising my body. This not only works the toes, but it can also strengthen the ankles. Right now, I have not really seen the long term effects doing this would aid in, but more on that later. I have also been doing a lot more lean-downs, balancing on one foot and leaning over with a 53-pound kettle bell. I use the kettle because the weight makes it easy t through you off. One little move and you will find yourself flying out of control (okay, maybe not that dramatic but you will lose your balance and mess up the rep). This sort of movement will definitely help some of my smaller leg muscles that line the outer parts of my leg, giving me the kind of balance I will need when dealing with uneven surfaces. When you have strong enough feet that can manage the topsy turvy surfaces of a typical trail run, then your feet are doing well in terms of managing imbalances. This was something that really killed me on my final leg of Ragnar last year when I tried running on rocky surfaces during the last couple miles of my run. I have to tell you, that last stretch must have been nicknamed cramp city. Yeesh!
Anyway, I am desperately trying to get back into running this week, and it has not been a good result for me so far. I managed to get a little twofer in on Monday, punching in a tough workout in the morning followed by a rather long and dull session of plasma donating. Predictably, my run was going to stunk, simply due to all of the nonsense I put my body through that day. I still managed to get in a couple miles, but I was not too happy with myself. While most people would take the two miles a good result, I need to be at least capable of four times that amount. I say that because Ragnar is presenting an interesting problem for me. While I am slated for well over 17 miles on my three runs, I might have to add a few more just in case. Right now, our team captain is struggling with a hip injury and I stupidly offered to cover the opening leg of the race. Jon and Christa know the hell that is Runner 1 from Ragnar Del Sol, for the first leg is an 8.6-mile death march at a pretty steady incline the entire way. If things don’t clear up for our team captain, I will be doing the opening leg since I am Runner 2 and the change in legs would be the easiest for me to take on (plus the last two legs of mine would be at a downhill). It was kind of funny that Ragnar pretty much reshaped the entire Del Sol course, but left the first leg in tack. Thanks Obama! At least one thing will come out of this potential change for me…I will have achieved my Ragnar Del Sol goals in the span of two races. One goal was to finish the darn thing, which I struggled to do last year. If I get to start this race this year, I will be quite the happy camper!
Before I start getting delusions of grandeur in my mind, I have to get myself better prepared. Part of the problem with preparation is the “hurting” stages of training. I managed to up the distance on my Wednesday night run to over four miles, and the next challenge will be for five miles on the next run. I kind of cut it short because I needed to get some groceries and of course, finish the blog I am writing right now. The next challenge after tomorrow of course will be the first attempt in a long time up Sabino Canyon. I already have a busy day slated for Sunday, so getting my butt out of bed early and driving all the way to the opposite side of Tucson will be something that is a necessary evil. I will need to do this run to see how much more training will be necessary if I do have to do the 8.6 mile run to start Ragnar Del Sol. I am confident I can get to the top of Sabino Canyon, mainly because of all the leg work I have been doing in the interim. The only thing that might stop me is the fact the distance is going to be a tough time, especially going up. I will have to do some good eating on Saturday night to make sure I have enough gas to make that run.
Right now, I feel a little tired and sore due to the sudden change in the running…as in churning out mileage on a regular basis when my regimen was virtually non-existent. But I know things will change for me. I have to harken back to all the times where I felt like quitting due to a bad day in the gym, mainly because I felt weak or ill prepared for the work that was ahead of me. I just have to keep remembering that when you start at the beginning of any race, you have to start slow in order to keep that steady energy burn throughout the race. I think about the people that just started training at Parsons, some new clients for the one of the trainers named Bobby. Right now, they are all doing stuff that experienced gym nerds like myself would consider beginner stuff. Calisthenics, low weight-high reps training and a lot of resistance training has been on the menu for them. I think about the days when I used to do that, and it makes me realize how far I have come. Eventually, those people will be making bigger gains and start showing off the fruits of their labor when they begin some of the more fun ideas of fitness like German Volume Training and Super Sets. Which reminds me, I might be due for one of those ideas sooner or later. It will probably have to be later, for I don’t want to let my last session for the month go by the wayside. You see, thanks to a little trade I will be doing with Jon, I will get a few sessions where I will get to be forced into doing stuff I don’t necessarily like. I’m looking forward to it, which means I will probably put together a little workout that will be a greatest hits assortment of stuff I like to do…for I be under the tutelage of someone else for a while. Now of course, I will still have Mondays to myself, but I know for a fact I will be tired as hell on those days!
Hopefully within a week or two, all of the soreness issues from the running will be over with, and I will once again set the stage for an awesome Ragnar Del Sol. I will be with a completely new team for the most part, with a lotto new people to work with in the process. It will be fun, but I have to get this old body working a little harder!!
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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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